Jul 052021
 

On our way from King’s Island this afternoon, we stopped at Rt 73 Diner in Wilmington, Ohio. It was a semi-rural looking area BUT I looked ahead and saw that they had VEGGIE BURGERS on the menu and I wanted that.

Chooch made us sit at one of the high-top tables which I never prefer but it was better than the tiny table we were also offered in between two giant parties of people. But that is besides the point.

When our waitress came over, it was pretty obvious she was borderline flustered. Then when she asked us how we doing, she responded to our reciprocation of the question with a very sarcastic, “Oh I’m doing just great.”

Henry blurted out, “you look great.”

“Really?” she asked, looking up from her order pad.

And you guys…

He fucking said, “No.”

No!!!

Chooch and I were ready to slide under the table to shield ourselves from the eye-daggers she was launching at Henry.

I didn’t even know how to save him from that one aside from explaining to her what I thought maybe had happened, which was that his first response was supposed to be matching her sarcasm, meaning she looked the opposite of great so that when she asked him if he meant it, he said no. But I honestly didn’t want to walk into that fire, backdraft-style. So instead I just mumbled, “coffee and water” when she asked for my drink order.

Henry was perplexed when she left and chooch and I finally were free to voice our discomfort. He had no idea that what he said was insulting!

“You might as well have just told her to smile more,” Chooch cried.

So then Henry was pretty much ducking every time she came near us and I was trying to overcompensate by bubble-wrapping our table with pleases and thank yous.

Henry had the poor timing of snagging her when she was en route to another table, and asking, “can we get some napkins?” She gave him a really tight smile and actually spun on her heels to go back and get us napkins which she didn’t SLAM into our table but she also didn’t set them down GENTLY.

“Wow she really hates us,” Henry said sheepishly.

“Yeah, you literally made her hate us right away, after the first thing you said!” Chooch yelled.

“Just don’t ever talk again,” I pleaded.

Then as we were leaving, Chooch stood up right as she was about to pass from behind him and almost made her slam into him.

For what it’s worth, she really did look great regardless of the quality of day she was having. She reminded me a bit of our friend Dawn from Castle Blood and Dawn is pretty AF!

(Also during this lunch, Henry was trying to tell me shit about the recent semi-derailment of the coaster El Toro in NJ. “I already told you everything you just told me,” I said. Henry said that I didn’t “do a good job” giving him the facts BUT LUCKILY a fellow man explained it better so now Henry understands. Is it still mansplaining when it’s man-to-man? Or is it just plain explaining?)

Henry left the waitress a hearty tip and then we ran out of there. My veggie burger was super good, though the jury is out whether or not she spit in it. Hopefully just in Henry’s burger!

P.S. one of the waiters (maybe the owner?) opened a large freezer behind the counter and there at least 15 boxes of BOSCO STICKS all stacked up in there. Whyyyyyy. They’re fucking haunting me!

Jun 212021
 

Oh hi hello annyeong, it’s me, Erin R. Kelly. I am home now from a whirlwind trip to Cedar Point and have many many many things to say about that but first I want to give a shout out to this bitchin’ small lake town in Ohio named VERMILION. It’s about 30ish minutes outside of Sandusky (home of Cedar Point, le duh), and just super fucking adorable and quaint. We actually stopped here on the way home from another Cedar Point trip in 2019 but it was a Sunday and nothing was open expect for a Hungarian restaurant that had nothing for vegetarians except for pretzels which would have been fine if Chooch and I didn’t require a full meal every now and then (i.e. when Henry remembers).

We stopped here to eat for real this time and then walked around for a bit and I do not usually think, “BOY I COULD LIVE HERE” but the thought did cross my mind once until I remembered: OHIO HAS WINTERS AND THERE IS A THING CALLED THE LAKE EFFECT, NOPE, NO THANKS. But it was a nice and breezy 70 degrees up in that piece today and that lake air kind of brainwashed me for a minute or two. Here are some pictures before I go upstairs and hit the hay HARD-LIKE.

#SmoothMove

We ate at Big Ed’s and can I just say once again how fucking exciting it is to be eating in restaurants again?! The power of vaccinations! We chose Big Ed’s because their menu boasted, DOWNRIGHT INSISTED, that they served VEGGIE BURGERS.

However, when Chooch tried to order one, the waitress’s face fell into a GOSH DARNIT expression as she relayed the bad news that they had unfortunately JUST RUN OUT OF THEM. So I asked if they had grilled cheese, which wasn’t listed on the menu, but she said they could do that for us and I was like THANK GOD LADY BECAUSE THIS PLACE IS THE FUCKING BEES KNEES (seems like something they’d say in Vermilion) AND WE DON’T WANT TO TAKE OUR MEAT-FREE BUSINESS ELSEWHERE.

I didn’t really desire a grilled cheese because Chooch and I both had one for a late dinner the night before after leaving Cedar Point at a very suspect family restaurant that wasn’t very satisfying and had no vibes of any sort but we did have a very nice waitress named Carey who made the experience OK; sometimes the waitstaff really does make all the difference and it was the same case here, too, because our waitress was so nice that we didn’t want to be like FUCK YALL CARNIVOROUS TOWNIE BITCHES and walk out.

Plus, this place was a whole ass retro mood (ruined only by the inexplicable need to be playing COUNTRY MUSIC instead of like, Frankie Valli or that 1950s “Lollipop” song on repeat). Henry even found one of his old lunchboxes on display. (This was after he divulged in the car that one of the first CDs he bought was MR MISTER – it was a big day of Henry Stuffs.)

I appreciated that my coffee came in this old floral cup. And the grilled cheese was better than DIANNE’S FAMILY RESTAURANT or whatever the place in Sandusky was called, who cares. However, the fries were better at the “who cares” place, BUT! Don’t get it twisted because they still weren’t “the good kinds.” I have a very specific french fry palate.

This place is like, renown for their ice cream and SODA PARLOR bullshit. Like, they have egg creams (had this one time ever in 1998 at a diner in Philly after the Dracula’s Ball and t’was not for me.) and PHOSPHATES which even Henry had to google because I guess even though he is old, he is not old enough to know the simple pleasures of stool-spinning at the soda fountain after school with Sally, sipping on PHOSPHATES.

They also had a milkshake that Henry ALMOST indulged in, called the Green River and I sort of wished he had ordered it but I’m also glad that he didn’t because I kept thinking about the Green River Killer. (I mean, I make serial killer for not-a-living, so come on.)

After we ate, we strolled around town (“to digest,” I always say because I am an Old Person now). It was seriously the most precious place, even though every wall had may flies stuck to it. I don’t know if that’s what they were but it’s what Henry said and he knows everything, so. May flies.

Look at this quaint little Ohio Venice!

There was some informational placard about this light house but I got bored.

Just looking at Lake Erie. We’ve seen it before, but you know. Lake Respect.

After Chooch realized I was taking pictures, ugh.

And then I caught him mid-stretch, looking like he’s reciting some epic Shakespeare soliloquy to the lake.

He is not happy about this picture. Good thing the brat doesn’t read my blog.

And then we left and continued our drive home! I don’t think we fought at all, either! A miracle, really.

Maybe that’s why I’m so tired right now–from containing all of my tempers.

Aug 232020
 

Chooch and I went on our routine late-night walk last night, after a big storm passed by. It made Brookline look even creepier so we decided to make it a photo-walk. Here are some filterless pictures.

My favorite part of the walk was when Chooch shone his flashlight into the window of a house and then ran, leaving me frozen on the sidewalk so if anyone looked out, HERE I AM! I DID IT!

I mean, Brookline alleys are probably safe at 11pm on a Saturday?

I didn’t realize that the firemen were “loafing” outside of the fire station, totally watching Chooch and I being iPhone creeps. They’re used to us though.

Oh shit! I forgot to tell you. A few weeks ago, Henry and I were strolling along the boulevard and as we walked past this Sacred place which I still don’t exactly understand but I love their window, I happened to glance in the front door and saw some woman laying on the ground, looking dead. I freaked out and called Henry over. “SHOULD WE CALL 911???!!!” I screamed. But Henry looked in and said, “The whole room [which is small!!] is full of women laying down. I think  they’re  meditating or something.” He seemed unconcerned about this but I was like WHAT IF IT’S A SUICIDE CIRCLE!?

“I don’t think that’s what it is. I think they’re OK.”

But I really wanted to knock on the door, even if it meant disrupting their chi, or whatever. In any case, we continued on with our walk and on the way back, everyone inside was now standing, so I guess I was just being paranoid as usual—UNLESS THEIR BODIES WERE BEING CONTROLLED BY THE ANCIENT MAYAN WARLOCKS THEY CONJURED.

Back when I dated Psycho Mike, his mom was SUPER into angels. I don’t just mean she had like, porcelain angel shit around the house. I mean, she did, but also she believed that angels actually existed and she would attend these angel events where other angel stans would congregate in a circle and like, try to make the earth move or some bullshit? I dunno, she was super into it and also super not into me so maybe I really do have a devil on my shoulder.

This is where Parker’s used to be. :( I’m still pretty broken up at their decision to close, but now that we know that Oak Hill Post is going in this spot, we’ve been stalking them by peering in the window to see what additional items have been added to the menu (they have a pretty gourmet-sounding veggie burger that the mere thought of is making Chooch and I pool our collective saliva into an imaginary spittoon) and of course some Korean-fusion chicken thing because Americans gotta ride that wave into Overkillville.

Pictured, you can see Chooch shining his fucking flashlight into the window like we are the world’s most transparent burglars.

Today is a new day, bright and sunny. Please excuse me while I resume bossing Henry around.

Mar 082020
 

Here are some photos from last Sunday before I got sick.

We had decided to kick off Henry’s Coffee Corner again (this ship started to sink before it even left the dock, let’s be real here), so he chose Carnegie Coffee, which is in…you know, Carnegie. Not something I would have picked but OK.

I never bothered to take any pictures because we got there at 1:42 and were met with a sign on the door that said they were closing at 2 for a private event so that really lit a fire under our collective asses. I wanted to just go somewhere else, because I had a book under my arm and would have liked to have sat down and read a chapter but cook on, Carnegie Coffee.

It seemed comfortable enough inside – ample seating that extended to a second floor, and you know how much seating means to me. But he staff was unsmiling, and then Henry had a weird interaction with some weird-ass who came up to him and asked if we were in line. We were, in fact, in line, but the guy said, “Oh, because the line is usually over there” and pointed to the other side of the column we were standing next to. Really buddy. Sorry we’re not fucking regulars in your dumb townie cafe.

So that really set off Henry and then I was secondhand mad about it too, especially when the d-bag actually went over to the right side of the column and stood there, like wow, you’re really sticking it to us, Line-Standing Warrior.

I got a vanilla rose latte. It was fine, but now I associate it with the stomach flu, so that’s great. Chooch got hot chocolate. Henry got iced coffee I think, who can be sure. That stringent line stander got freakin’ hot tea because of course he did. He probably took it back to his table to daintily slurp while carousing Craigslist for, I don’t know, 1950s dinghies.

(?????????????)

Then we got our drinks and left because god forbid, 2:00pm event.

It was a decent enough day, weather-wise, so we decided to take a stroll, much to Chooch’s chagrin because I guess he had important things to attend to at home? We were in the same area where Janna and I went to see that play, Mumburger, last year, so we scoped out the posters for upcoming shows for that little theater and Henry and Chooch seemed moderately interested in maybe possibly attending a future show, so we’ll see if we can shoot some culture up Henry’s butt after all.

I got to see some churches and Chooch pet copious amounts of dogs (lol, actually just 2).

Chooch was really unimpressed with both churches. OK DAMIEN.

A thing we saw.

Then we went to Fresh Thyme (Henry and Chooch love this damn market and I’m just like, OK it’s still boring) and I washed my hands there twice and lubed up with hand sanitizer, came home and started to watch Knives Out with them and then 35 minutes into I excused myself to tend to an Olympian Vomiting Event which, on a scale from Hipster After a Bloody Mary Bar Brunch to Regan’s Pea Soup, I would rate myself a solid Carnival Ride Puking Scene From “Problem Child.”

Image result for problem child puke scene gif

Really looking forward to a better Sunday today!

Dec 052019
 

Many, many, many years ago, during the heyday of Farmville and its brethren on Facebook, I used to play some theme park game where, in order to be able to advance or collect coins or whatever, you would have to send invites to your other Facebook friends, which oftentimes would cause you to lose said Facebook friends. So I would opt for the other ways to advance: signing up for “free offers” and by that I mean I would sign up Henry.

One of the offers was from the Branson Tourism Board. I provided them with his phone number too and I will never forget how perplexed he was once day when he said, “Someone called me at work about travel offers for Branson, Missouri.”

And then they sent him a bunch of brochures and literature, too.

I remember cracking up over this and thinking, “Why the fuck does some town in MISSOURI have a tourism board!? Who would ever go to BRANSON, MISSOURI?!”

Fast forward a few years later and some broad whose blog I used to hate-read went to a theme park there called Silver Dollar City. Now this chick was a hugely annoying blogger who came up during that whole TWEE INVASION and she wears dresses meant for children so I immediately figured, “Oh, if the Skunkboy family is going to this place, it must be lame AS FUCK.”

But then…they got an RMC roller coaster and by now you probably now that I am an RMC ho bag. (True fact: the word for “pumpkin” in Korean sounds similar to ho bag.) So Silver Dollar City was firmly set in my sights, much to Henry’s chagrin because it’s nearly a 13-hour drive (we will not get on a plane in this household unless it’s absolutely necessary – we’ll road trip to our fucking graves, I guess). Anyway, if you don’t know, RMC is the manufacturer of some of my favorite roller coaster and my new life goal is to ride all of them (Japan here we come again, I guess?). I decided over the summer that this would make a lovely Thanksgiving weekend getaway, similar to our Dollywood trip last November.

Henry quickly reminded me that Pigeon Forge, TN is a much easier drive but I stayed firmly planted in La La Land and refused to give up hope.

I liveblogged our drive here, which took basically the entire day/night last Saturday. We had to stop a lot because Henry hurt his back Friday morning at work, as previously mentioned. Honestly, it’s a miracle that we went at all because I didn’t even get him  to officially confirm that we could go until Thanksgiving Eve, and we were supposed to leave Friday when he came home from work so that we weren’t rushing to get there. When I found out he hurt his back and wasn’t going to be able to go, I bluffed and said that Chooch and I discussed it and decided we were still going to go, just without him, and that sent Henry into a panic because I’m sure he had visions of us Thelma-and-Louise’ing off a cliff somewhere outside of Columbus, Ohio because let’s face it: there’s no way I was going to last for more than 3.5 hours behind the wheel.

All of this is to say, we didn’t even have a hotel reserved until Saturday afternoon, which Henry booked when we stopped from lunch in Indianapolis. And bitch, you know I complained about it too!

Here’s the dinky Christmas tree in the lobby.

Actually, it wasn’t the worst. The room was really nice except that the bathroom was SO SMALL—the kind of small where the sink is actually outside of the bathroom. I thought that the beds and pillows were way too hard but Brokeback Mountain over here was all, “I stan a (hard-ass) queen (bed)” and kept gushing about how wonderfully he slept. Wow, brag much.

We ate breakfast at the hotel and it was fine. Your typical continental hotel breakfast but the breakfast room was spacious and clean, and there was an old lady working there who I originally hated because she kept being in my way but then she came over to our table to clear our plates and she was super personable and had a nice Southern accent so then I felt bad for hating her which prompted Henry to launch his daily lecture about how I shouldn’t be so quick to hate people and he can really just go fuck himself, you know?

We headed out of the hotel around 9:00AM, figuring we could drive around and explore. FUNNY STORY: the night before, Henry left the hotel to find a store to buy Chooch gloves because of course he didn’t bring any, and he said that some old lady in the parking lot was glaring at him when he came back and nabbed  the parking spot she was gunning for. He and I went back out to the car right after that to look for our phone chargers, and Henry was like, “Look! There she is, she’s still glaring at me!” and nodded toward some old lady who was getting stuff out of the trunk of her car. The next morning, we were loading our bags in the trunk of the car before leaving when Henry noticed THAT HE PARKED IN A HANDICAP SPOT, NO FUCKING WONDER THAT BROAD WAS GLARING AT HIM!

“Well, I’m temporarily handicapped,” Henry pointed out, using this as yet another opportunity to whine about his back.

I somehow have no idea what the Ozarks really are I guess and assumed that there would be a mountain we could drive up and you know, look around, but it turns out the entire expanse of land around Branson is considered “The Ozarks” so there was no actual mountain to look at, like the Smokeys. I think that was my first mistake – I kept seeing things about how Branson and Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg are sister cities…but it’s more like step-sister cities. Maybe it’s because we were there on a gloomy, super windy December day, but Branson just felt really sad and run down in comparison to Pigeon Forge. Both are full of Ripleys attractions, tacky museums, $$$ hokey dinner theaters…but Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are just more beautiful areas.

Luckily, we weren’t there to ride go-karts or play mini-golf, so we bypassed the big touristy area and drove out to some Table Lake thing which is apparently mad-made and that’s kind of weird.

OMG the wind was so frigid. Also, Chooch’s hair, lol.

Our next stop was “historic downtown Branson” which was super homey and even on this cold day, everyone was all warm and friendly. Fuckin’ Missourians, amirite.

Anyway, downtown Branson was rife with variety stores, ice cream parlours, wig shops, whatever Henry’s Warehouse Outlet is…of course, most of the places were closed because Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but Henry kept harping about how DICK’S 5 & 10 was open, and I was like, “Why do you care about this place so much” and then we walked in and he went straight to the candy bar section like he’s been there before, I WONDER.

This was the type of place I hate, because it’s loaded with chintzy shit that I desperately want for my desk at work but also don’t really feel like paying for and no this isn’t my big dark confession about how I’m a klepto, thanks. And for every aisle of Erin-friendly bullshit they have, there are three more that are full of Americana decor bullshit, MAGA hates, and cooking shit.

BARF.

I kept saying things like, “EW VOMIT, THIS ISN’T  MY STYLE” and “EW WHO WOULD PUT THAT IN THEIR YARD” forgetting where I was, and then I would notice people giving me shifty side-eyes.

In the end, I ended up buying a Dick’s 5 & 10 magnet because I guess this is a legit Branson landmark, a mini marquee for my desk, and Henry got candy bars, one of which the cashier pretended she was going to steal and then asked where we were visiting from because we are obviously tourists everywhere we go, and 2 hours after I said “Pittsburgh,” I wailed, “OH NO SHOULD I HAVE SPECIFIED WHICH PITTSBURGH? WHAT IF SHE THINKS WE’RE FROM PITTSBURG, KANSAS? I DON’T WANT TO BE MISTAKEN FOR A DOROTHY!”

Whatever that means.

I literally know nothing about Kansas aside from tornadoes.

Amazingly, I managed to convince Mr. Hot-Blooded to wear a jacket. Getting him to zip it was a war I didn’t feel like waging that day, though.

We went into an antique store after that and I could hear Henry weakly murmur, “Please don’t find anything,” from behind me. Like what Henry? A WHEELCHAIR? A GIANT PIECE OF AN ARCADE GAME? A CHURCH PEW?

What I did find though was this one section full of vintage magazine ads so I texted my brother Ryan and asked, “WOULD DAD LIKE THESE” and he was like, “YES THE CHEVY AND OIL&GAS ONES” and I also found an old 7Up ad too because bottled beverages is another thing that my dad really enjoys – he has several vintage pop machines in his garage, next to his ’55 Chevy and whatever other old cars he has; he changes them up.

We walked out after only spending $9 and Henry mopped beads of sweat off his cheap-ass forehead.

Also, Chooch used the bathroom there because of course he did and then got pissed because we didn’t care about the dumb salt and pepper shakers he wanted us to look at.

Then we spent way too much time carefully selecting taffy from a candy shop run by a nice old lady and I have since eaten so much of it that I might as well get pre-fitted for dentures.

We eventually left downtown Branson because it wasn’t really that exciting and the only thing that interested me (Dino’s Cake & Coffee, home of the Famous 24K Cake?!) was closed. Dino, you motherfucker.

Chooch kept pronouncing it like “dino”saur but I said it was probably more like deeno.

“I know that because there was this guy named Dino who wanted to marry my aunt Susie so bad,” I explained.

“Didn’t everyone want to  marry your aunt Susie?” Henry scoffed, because apparently my family stories are jokes?!

I wonder what it’s like to have someone who wants to marry you….

Then we went to some lake thing where Chooch couldn’t skip a rock and I learned about ZEBRA MUSSELS because there were warning signs everywhere but thank god Henry the Pocket Biologist was there to mussel-splain to us that they are AN INVASIVE SPECIES blah blah blah LAKE ERIE HAD A PROBLEM WITH THEM TOO snore snore snore.

In between all of this, I checked the weather on my phone once every 7 minutes because certain rides are not operational if the temperature dips below a certain degree and I was OBSESSED with this all weekend. Henry was like, “Look, we’re here and it doesn’t really matter, you can’t change it, so let it go.”

OK Elsa.

Is that who sings that? I have made it this far in life without ever seeing Frozen or listening long enough to any media outlet to even know what it’s about. BIG DAB.

Then we drove around looking for a place for me  to pee (I’m really picky about public restrooms and we started to near a Walmart but my body language was a clear, undeniable, “DO NOT EVEN” that a speaker of any language would have easily understood, so instead, Henry found a Hardees and bought some fries* while I peed in a handicap stall next to some lady who was shitting.

*(I’m weird about going in a fast food place just to use the bathroom so I will always make Henry buy something.)

Then it was time to go to SILVER DOLLAR CITY!

Nov 042019
 

What’s a road trip without a stop at some obscure, dilapidated roadside attraction? We had about an hour to kill on Saturday because Lake Compounce didn’t open until 5 pm, so I convinced Henry to finally take me to Holy Land USA in nearby Waterbury, Connecticut. And by “finally,” I mean that I suggested we stop there once in 2013 when we were on our way home from visiting our friend Alyson in New Hampshire and he said “N-O.”

But you know me and odd religious things. Gotta see ’em all!

(Ex: Ultraviolet Apocalypse; Giant Mary, Museum of Religious Statues; Troy Hill Relics.)

Chooch, who had his headphones on for 99% of the trip, was like, “The fuck are we?” when we rolled to a stop at the crest of a hill in what appeared to be a Mexican part of town (I kept begging Henry to stop at one of the Mexican markets so we could get candy but he was like NOT TODAY so I guess the next time we’re driving through Connecticut? Henry has no jams.

I guess this place was built in the 50s and was meant to be an actual, booming religious theme park. Were there going to be rides though? How can you have a theme park without rides? I wish this place had taken off because I could have sold them my plans for the Crucifixion-themed restaurant I’ve wanted to open for like 20 years now – The Rusty Nail. (Side of Pontius pilaf anyone?)

Up until 2013, the land was possessively presided over by a group of nuns called the Religious Sisters of Filippi Greco who got all nuts anytime they were approached by people who wanted to restore it, but apparently they could be bought for $350,000, which is what some car dealer and the mayor offered them on June 20, 2013. So I guess now those goons own the place and so far, all they have managed to do was replace the cross with a new and larger lighted cross, and I guess they cleared away some of the weeds or whatever.

I found this picture when scouring the Internet for more information on what this place was like in its heyday and I found this picture:

Image result for holy land usa

I 100% would NOT recommend crawling inside any of the structures that are still standing at Holy Land. Chooch made me look inside one of the windows and I had so much trepidation, expecting to see the jaw of a cat and Satanic symbols in dried blood, but there was nothing – just dirt and cobwebs.

Thank god.

Although I can’t rule out that there weren’t any demonic spirits swirling about. That’s where I would loaf if I was Satan’s relative.

The whole area was so scraggly and ugly. Someone’s comment on Roadside America said to check for ticks before getting back into the car so then I began obsessing about ticks and Chooch was like, “We’re wearing pants and long-sleeves, and it’s November. I think we will be fine.”

Thank god Henry wasn’t there when I was spiraling-out about ticks (he walked a different direction than us, and then went back to the car to look at Reddit probably) or else I would have received sedation in the form of a Hencyclopedia diatribe about ticks.

The view of Waterbury from the summit of Holy Land, USA.

Chooch slipped on a rock and almost slid down a hill by the cross and then denied it when I was standing right there and saw it happen with my own two eyes, and then wondered why I was all, “NO WAY, MISTER NIMBLE” when he wanted to scale some treacherous pile of rocks a few minutes later, so I kept imitating him slipping on the rock and it’s a wonder I haven’t won any awards yet for excelsior parenting.

I looked inside the Tower of Babel, expecting to see the remains of a Devil’s Night sacrifice, but all I saw was an empty water bottle.

NOT EVEN ONE BEER CAN!

Rando key.

Several other people showed up while we there, with the intent of casually poking around just like us, so Henry was less concerned about trespassing at that point. He is a big follower of warning signs. Like, if I ever wanted to just completely shut myself off to him, a strategically-placed “no trespassing” sign would easily get the job done.

THAT IS ALL I’M SAYING.

We walked back to the car, where Henry was casually leaning against the hood, scrolling on his phone like a teenager, when Chooch decided he needed to go geocaching and then got tangled in the bare branches of a tree and fell on another rock, so that was cool. If anyone came back with ticks, it was that careless dumbass.

I mean, Holy Land USA was a cool place to stretch our legs, but unless you’re a HARDCORE Roadside America app user and obsessed with marking sights as BEEN THERE, then I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going too far out of your way to visit this run-down plot of ruins.

Jun 202019
 

Our Big Day On the Loose W/O Henry wasn’t over after we left Conneaut Lake Park, oh no. We had some kind of famous frozen custard that we needed to motorboat.

But first! Janna had to go the wrong way when leaving the Conneaut parking lot and proceed to turn around.

Janna’s murder podcast was still playing. Chooch told me later that he was frustrated because she had it playing on the back speakers only so he couldn’t hear what we were talking about and if there’s one thing about Chooch, it’s that he’s exactly like me and HATES missing out on adult conversations.

When I was a kid, I would always be desperate to know what my Pappap was talking about to other adults in the room so I would constantly be piping up with a “Who?” or “Why?” and he’d be all, “Are you writing a book? Leave this chapter out.”

HARSH.

Anyway, this joint isn’t too far from the lake and Janna seemed to know where she was going once she got her bearings. I guess Janna used to patronize this establishment a lot back when she went to college in this area, so that makes more sense now that I know this is why she follows them on Facebook and not just because she collects the Facebook pages of random ice cream parlors in the boonies.

I was mad when we got there though because it’s a CASH ONLY CREAMERY and Janna did not WARN ME of this! So we had to stand in line and wait for these two elderly women to push every button on the courtesy ATM and I feel like it’s blasphemy to mention my Pappap in a blog post and then go on to bash old ladies a few paragraphs later, but these bitches were so slow and annoying! I swear to God, I almost flipped out (not on them, on Janna) and demanded that we just leave because the hatred was making me not care for ice cream so much anymore!

ALSO, THE FLAVOR OF THE DAY WAS BANANA AND I DON’T LIKE BANANA-FLAVORED THINGS USUALLY.

(I love real bananas though and will typically slice one up as a mix-in for my pathetic everyday lunch of instant oatmeal at work.)

(Actually, for a while, A-ron thought that I was putting a banana in my tea because I make my oatmeal in my coffee cup using the hot water that everyone uses for tea…so he was going around telling people that I was making banana tea which I can’t tell if that sounds good or gross.)

Once those bitches finally got their money, it was my turn and now not only was I mad that those ladies got to the ATM first, I was additionally angry at the $2.50 service fee! UGH, JANNA!

AND THE SMALLEST DENOMINATION WAS $20!!

This is what happens when I’m out in the real world with Henry and now I have to be responsible for paying for things. Shit’s expensive! That inflation hullabaloo is real talk! Ugh, I really like it when I can be all young and ignorant while Henry is the one opening the wallet.

Luckily, the line to order went super fast because they were well-staffed and efficient. The guys in front of me got TWO SCOOPS each – one of banana and one of chocolate.

Well, now I was intrigued. I never considered mixing the banana with another flavor. So on a whim, I ordered the same and then prayed I wouldn’t have regerts. Unless it was like, banana cream pie, I would probably never get a banana-flavored scoop of ice cream so this was a big step for me.

I really hate banana popsicles too.

WAIT A MINUTE – banana pudding pops are pretty good though.

Sorry, I’m like really writing a research paper on my palate here.

You guys. Janna was right. So were the guys in front of me. This custard was AMAZE. I had assumed it was just going to be like the soft serve-esque version of custard but NO. It was thick, rich, creamy, and scooped straight from these giant metal vats.

And the banana tasted l like decadent banana pudding so I was SOLD. Even Chooch was like, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I do…” I mean, we liked it so much that it wasn’t even worth pretending like we didn’t just to piss Janna off. That should tell you something.

We were in love with these sweet lickable mounds.

Meanwhile, Janna got two scoops of chocolate (#NoAdventure) and then had the audacity to ask for JIMMIES but of course the scooper was like, “WTF, you mean, SPRINKLES?” I was so offended that Janna said “jimmies” and I’m glad that I didn’t hear it happen because it might have caused me to lose one of my scoops.

God, Janna.

It was still raining so we stood under the overhang of Hank’s right in front of the car of the OLD LADIES, like we were having an scoop-slurping standoff.

Then it was time for post-dessert dinner. We were still starving even though we were filled with Hank (gross) and to be honest, I probably could have sucked back another scoop or three. But we wanted real food now, and I was adamant that we go to this place we passed hours ago when we first got off the highway – it was a family restaurant/truck stop diner called Aunt Bee’s and for some reason, I had really latched on to it.

But first, Janna made us drive around Meadville so she could show Chooch her old college and say things like, “I REMEMBER DRIVING ACROSS THIS BRIDGE WHILE LISTENING TO KC & JOJO” and Chooch probably thought she was talking about Jojo Siwa but also he probably couldn’t hear her over all the murder in the backseat.

It was while looking for Aunt Bee’s that Janna committed the most U-Turns. When I think of this day, I will think of U-Turns first. I lost count of how many U-Turns happened, but there was definitely one instance where two U-Turns went down on the exact same part of this road road.

In Janna’s defense though, several of the U-Turns happened because the road that Aunt Bee’s is on literally looks like some gravel dumping ground for machinery, so we didn’t think it was right, but the Google bitch just kept repeating over and over to TURN LEFT ON SMOCK and Janna was like THIS CAN’T BE IT! And then somehow we ended up on a road above it, looking down at Aunt Bee’s, screaming, “HOW DO WE GET THERE?!” Finally, I told Janna that she was just going to have to take a leap of faith and drive her car off the overpass into the parking lot for Aunt Bee’s and she did that and sadly perished but Chooch and I survived.

See?:

Janna’s ghost took this picture for us. And by ghost, I mean the pinwheel made from her vertebrae.

Anyway, see how that sign that says “WELCOME”? Oh yeah OK. Sure. We were anything but welcome! We walked in and all the elderly townies swiveled in their seats and leered upon us like we were three Pee Wee Hermans entering a senior citizen biker bar after knocking over a row of their Hover-Rounds.

“Maybe they think we’re a lesbian couple!” I said to Janna and she was like, “You’re not my type.”

Their tagline should be, “GOOD LUCK FINDING US.”

Also, I love that they bake wedding cakes.

We were the youngest people there, except for our waitress who was so nice but Janna was kind of mean to her?! She was like, “IS THERE MAYO ON MY BLT?! OH WAIT, NEVER MIND THERE IS” and didn’t apologize for jumping to conclusions!

Also, Janna ordered potato soup that looked like a clump of mashed potatoes in a cup.

(The following Monday at a work lunch, Sue mentioned that she likes thick soups and I was like, “Boy, do I know a place for you!”)

Chooch ordered spaghetti and failed to note that it came with meatballs, so while making gagging noises, he attempted to transfer them onto his napkin but then one went rogue and nearly rolled off the table, causing all carnivores within a 5 mile radius to feel a sharp pain in their heart.

Me? Oh I just had a grilled cheese and the best fresh cut fries I’ve had in some time, so I was alright.

Baby animals and life advice on the wall of the bathroom. I was going to text this to my pal Alyson but her band was in LA playing a show at the Whiskey Go Go (!!!!!) so I didn’t want to interrupt that with a loo text even though I don’t think she would have minded too much!

Selfie in Aunt Bee’s bathroom.

Now I’m kind of sad that we didn’t have Hank’s way earlier in the day, before we went to Conneaut Lake Park, because I would have like to have stuck my thumb in one of their alleged fresh-baked pies.

And then we went home, but first Janna had to literally pass up the highway exit immediately after leaving Aunt Bee’s. Like, she even slowed down and looked right at it then failed to turn.

I can’t wait for our next day trip!!!

Jun 122019
 

When I look back on this day now, all I can see is that we had really quality FAMILY TIME learning about another religion, eating good foods, and talking to peacocks.

But it started out to a completely different tune, less Donna Reed Show theme wafting from a 1950s den and way more Viking death metal blasting from behind a teenager’s locked bedroom door. Remember how I was just droning on last week about how I’ve been getting a bad case of the (je)Junes every year? (And, that’s putting it mildly.) Well, I have been READY FOR IT, you guys. I have been standing at the door with my paper mache armor fashioned from pages of self help books, I’ve been extra-exercising to keep those endorphins pumping like a bad 1990s club hit, and I have been trying to make plans – you know, the good old DISTRACTION TACTIC.

This…almost backfired. When I suggested to those two ass poles (this was the name of a company that I saw today at work!) I live with that we take a day trip out to New Vrindaban a/k/a The Palace of Gold after Chooch’s piano lesson on Sunday, Henry said nothing and Chooch just flat out said no.

Yeah, this went over real with me, the girl who wakes up on the perpetual wrong side of the bed on Sundays. So I threw a mini-fit, said JUST FORGET IT, pretended like I was going to go alone, and in the meantime, Chooch and Henry had some emergency meeting in Restrain Erin Headquarters, I guess, because suddenly Henry was like, “We’re going to Palace of Gold and we’re so excited about it! Yay! Woo! Look at us!” and he and Chooch were waving their arms in the air like they were trying to lure people off the highway to buy new mattresses.

So I grudgingly got in the car and then Chooch immediately started bitching because he realized he left his headphones at home and had to GOD FORBID listen to his lame parents talk which just consisted of Henry trying to butter me up and me telling him to fuck off in a myriad of super creative and sickening ways. I even told him to take us home three times and then Chooch started screaming about being kidnapped and I yelled, “I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT” and TURNED OFF the 1980s Soft Rock Spotify playlist that usually always pacifies me. This is when Henry was realizing that maybe this was a bad idea.

However, once we got to shitty West Virginia, things turned around because Chooch and I started making comments about how the rural town we passed through looked like a place where Henry would gladly live and then we saw a hick walking down the road with a fishing road jutting out of his backpack and I started dry-heaving and then I decided that if Henry didn’t have Chooch and me in his life, he’d probably live in a houseboat, and then Chooch and I started laughing so hard we were crying and JUST LIKE THAT our day turned around.

Thank god we worked out our grumps because it ended up being a fantastic day!

But first, we had to deal with the car from Florida doing 12 MPH that wound up in front of us as we swerved through the windy roads to Palace of Gold and suddenly we had a common enemy so we bonded as a family over this.

Then, I was disoriented because Henry brought us in the back way! Of course he’d have to go rogue with directions, this is basically what he was born to do.

Anyway, by now we were all pretty much acting like sane, non-possessed human beings again and maybe even sort of looked like a family who liked each other. We parked at the top of the hill, across from the Palace, and then walked down the road to where the compound, Temple, and–most importantly–the CAFETERIA are located. I marched them right into the establishment like I was a seasoned regular, even though this was only my third time eating there…

…but first time FINALLY indulging in the buffet!

Chooch almost ordered from the “regular food” menu but at the last minute, he sighed and said he would try the buffet.

Newsflash: Chooch has spent the last thirteen years of his life actively avoiding Indian food. Henry and I used to eat it pretty often in the glory days of our relationship, but then Chooch was hatched with a bland palate so we can only feast on paneer and curry when we’re sans Chooch.

Since this is a Hare Krishna compound, there is NO MEAT to be found on site. Henry said that there was actually a sign forbidding visitors to bring the fleshy contraband on to the grounds which made me wonder if Henry pitched his pocket jerky beforehand.

SPOILER: Chooch LOVES Indian food now. He kept going on and on about how shocked he was and how he never realized it was so good while Henry and I just glared at him.

He even went back up for seconds!

Meanwhile, Henry was writing an investigative report under the table about how everyone started at the buffet FROM THE WRONG END so then he was TRAPPED BY THE SALAD.

Honestly, boyfriend kept jawing off about this — NO ONE CARED.

After we ate, I wanted to take them into the Temple but they were too scared or something because there were a lot of people milling about probably because it was some sacred prayer hour.

Well, those heathens don’t know what they were missing because the Temple is one of the best parts of the joint!

You should have seen the first handful of pictures Henry took of us in front of this holy elephant. Most of them weren’t even centered! I kept yelling, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU” until I got distracted by an empty beverage can that someone had carelessly discarded by the pond so then I spent a good whole 2 minutes holding it gingerly between the tips of two fingers because GERMS, looking for a garbage can.

I’ll never understand what goes through a bitch’s mind when they toss trash onto the ground except that OH WAIT nothing goes through their mind because they’re self-centered pigs with low IQs.

Honest question: if you were strolling along this beautiful path, would you feel compelled to litter?!

“Why didn’t you tell me there are PEACOCKS here? I wouldn’t have been so mad about coming here then!” Chooch cried, and seriously, why didn’t I?? I should have known that would have been the biggest selling point for him and we could have avoided all the dysfunction in the car.

WOW I HAVE ORIGINAL IDEAS.

I’m trying to be less camera shy in my older age. I was thinking about how when Chooch is older, he won’t have many pictures of us that aren’t just shitty selfies so I’m trying to put aside my self-consciousness.

(I still delete a lot of pictures, though.)

(I need to find someone better than Henry to take pictures — he usually finds my worst angles and I’m starting to think he does it purpose.)

Man, we spent a good long while out in the area of the swan pond and Dancing Acolytes, listening to the mating calls of the peacocks and waiting for some crazy cult person to come bursting out of one of the cabins, wielding a handsaw and shrieking the Hare Krishna mantra in reverse.

Next, we walked back up to the Palace for a tour. Hoo boy, better tune in tomorrow (probably) for that installment.

Apr 142019
 

My egghead son got straight A’s again and our half-assed tradition is to let him pick a place to eat out (as opposed to our usual parenting tactic of forgetting to feed him). He almost immediately chose the neighborhood sandwich hotspot, Parker’s, and no one argued with that.

  • Can we walk there? CHECK
  • Is it cheap? CHECK
  • Is the owner the coolest guy in town? CHECK TIMES OUR ZIPCODE

Parker’s is one of those places that we love but don’t hit up very often. “Why don’t we eat here more often?” Chooch and I are known to questioningly lament when we walk past it, which is nearly everyday.

Well, it’s one of those places that closes at 3pm so weeknights are out. And we honestly just don’t dine out too often, because I’m always freaking out about things I learned in that nutrition class I attended once in a dream.

We invited Blake and his brood–Haley was working, sadly, so it was just me, Lily, and a bunch of boys. When we got to the Boulevard, it was POPPIN’! Spring has definitely sprung. I always bitch about my town but there is really something special about that main street in spring and summer. And there have been so many improvements over the last few years so it’s not just a row of dives and pits.

The addition of Parker’s is definitely one of the best improvements!

I ordered the Sunnydale which is meatless and comes on a pretzel bun and who doesn’t like a pretzel bun other than people who don’t like pretzely breads.

Chooch and I gloated because Parker himself acknowledged us as usual and NOT HENRY. Not gonna lie, I’d probably try to pursue Parker if I were single.

Lol.

Gotta get them free ‘wiches.

Meanwhile, Calvin got french toast sticks and licked every single one of them so then no one else could try one, THANKS CALVIN!

Henry and Lily scrutinized Chooch’s coloring skills.

Then the guy who owns the gaming place came in with his gf and said, “Congrats on being student of the month at the teen center!” and I was like, “Well, there are only like 8 kids there, so….” because my self-deprecation extends to Chooch, but then I whispered, “How did Ed know!?!?” and Chooch just shrugged.

After breakfast, we went next door to the post office to mail some card orders and our favorite postal worker Michael gave Chooch and Calvin suckers and I was like, “Really, we come here every Saturday and this is the first I’m seeing of these suckers?!”

Then! We walked past the fire station and the firemen let Calving sit in the fire truck for no reason other than he is a baby and for god’s sake, I miss being a baby! Also, I miss being a blond 18-year-old, because I got a lot of perks at that age too, just saying.

Then! Immediately after this, we crossed the street and Chooch tripped over the curb and twisted his knee, causing A Scene right in front of our Mexican friend manning the taco cart so that was great, but luckily Chooch lived to take another step.

Then! We went to the library so Chooch could get a new library card and the librarians scowled because they are the only people in our neighborhood who hate them. I just asked him why and he said because they’re stupid…and also because he talks in a volume one level up from a whisper, and one time he–GOD FORBID–helped someone on the computer.

I’m sure there isn’t ANY OTHER reason, you guys.

Our last stop was the bakery for post-breakfast dessert (what, that’s a thing) and then on the way home, some lady was all HI RILEY and it turns out it was the woman who is in charge of the teen center, and then the weird lady who lives in the big house up the street started asking me about Lily because I was pushing her in the stroller and my immediate response was to yell, “SHE IS NOT MY BABY” like a paranoid kidnapper, and then some girl who lives on our block walked by with her dogs and said, “I saw on Facebook that you’re student of the month at the teen center!” so then Chooch and I exchanged “a-ha!” looks and he checked Facebook and found this:

So, mystery solved!

Also, Henry and I went back up to the boulevard later that day to get our weekly supply of pita bread and dates from Pitaland, and the guy working was all, “HELLO FRIENDS” because we’re there so often, and then we went to CVS and Chooch’s cashier-friend Hayley rang us up and then later I saw Chooch’s friend Spencer the corgi and his owner Bob and I started cracking up because it’s kind of like a Yinzer Stars Hollow, now that I think about it, and Chooch is Rory.

Every time I start to consider moving away from Brookline, I think of the boulevard and how it has everything we need short of an Asian market (it does have a Chinese restaurant, a Chinese massage parlor, and a Vietnamese nail salon though!) and then I realize that I have somehow become attached to this town over the years.

Saturday was just a really perfect spring day all around. And the rest of the weekend was great too but that’s a post for later!

Mar 122019
 

This past weekend was a good one because as I noted in my last cop-out of a blog post, it was finally starting to feel a little bit like spring! (Granted, it’s back to the 30s at the time of this “writing”…) We made sure to take lots of neighborhood strolls, and this is one of the things I love about living in Brookline (as opposed to the millions of things that I hate) – so many things are easily accessible to us.

FOR EXAMPLE: We stopped at the post office where our favorite* mail guy Michael scanned in our card orders; we went to Party Cake to grab some cookies and a monster glob of icing for Calvin to wipe all over his parents’ new furniture  (you’re welcome, Blake and Haley!),; we grabbed some pita at Pitaland which is basically just Henry’s excuse to go and visit the one guy who works there because he’s always like “MY FRIEND!” when he sees Henry and sometimes even someone as emotionless and bearded as Henry needs to know that someone is happy to see him, I guess; and then I bought tampons at CVS, all while rolling our eyes at Candy Cane, the cane-using broad who usurps the entire girth of the sidewalk and I am hard-pressed to believe that she needs the cane at all! That bitch fucking CRUISES, all while refusing to move over for anyone — I purposely stepped into the street once just so she could see the PERILS she puts other people in!

*(Speaking of postal workers, I need to eat crow or whatever it is people say instead of I FUCKED UP AND RETRACT MY PRIOR STATEMENTS because I have been known to lambaste the weekday postal worker on here from time to time but over the last several months, I have truly softened to her and we have really great chats now about how she is misunderstood as a postal worker, and now my heart breaks for her and all of the bad reviews she gets on the Brookline community forum**.)

**(I have never been to the Brookline community forum but I do remember one time a bunch of years ago someone posted my blog on the Brookline Facebook page and I thought we were going to have to move and change our names, buy some wigs, but thankfully everything was fine and people chuckled or whatever.)

Meanwhile, that stupid photography bordello Babe Cave suffered some vandalism and now I’m panicking a little because I said shitty things about it on Twitter before it opened and what if I’m a suspect now?! I mean, it was probably the local Feminist Fotog group rising up and taking action, so hopefully it won’t take long for me to clear my name.

LOOK, I USE WORDS NOT ROCKS, OK!? IT WASN’T ME.

Later on Saturday afternoon, we went to Rock Bottom for our friend Patty’s 40th birthday dinner! I actually haven’t seen her in about a year because I’m a lazy person but it was great seeing how far she’s come with her physical therapy!

I told Chooch to take a picture of the cake. He really took his job seriously. Look at that artistically-situated shadow, the creatively-cut off cake corner. Chooch really has a future in photography. He should get an internship at BABE CAVE.

I know Chooch, that’s how I feel when adults are talking, too.

Gayle and her husband Jeffrey were also there and I was happy to sit at a table with people we know because almost every time we go to a party, we are our own island. This meant I had a new audience for my incessant calls of “I’m so hungrrrrryyy.” The waitresses were so worried about getting everyone’s drink orders, completely ignoring the fact that I was literally chewing on my hair and swaying in my seat from malnourishment. (<—which WordPress is telling me isn’t a word. It tells me that a lot.)

Put my preschool-mentality son in a room with balloons and watch the obsession mount. He fucked around with those balloons nearly the whole time, attempting to clandestinely saw one of the strings off with a knife, before finally just flat out asking Patty if he could take one….

And then Henry tied Chooch’s arm to the chair with it when he wasn’t paying attention.

…and then before we left, Chooch accidentally let go of the string and the balloon drifted off toward the ceiling. Instead of just getting another balloon, he stood on a chair and then jumped for it, and thankfully he waited until my back was turned because I probably would have gotten Jello-legs and  then wailed, “OMG BE CAREFUL” with my hand on my chest. I’m “that” kind of mom.

In addition to balloon-obsessions, all of the tables were generously sprinkled with confetti, and APPARENTLY Chooch had filled my purse with handfuls of the shit, unbeknownst to me but THANKS JEFFREY for NARCing on him. So then I transferred all of it to Gayle’s purse while she was in the bathroom, plus a piece of dried plant from the centerpiece, for good measure.

But the best was when Chooch shoved a fistful of confetti down Dumb Henry’s shirt.

This picture looks like it was  taken with my old Blackberry Curve that had the perpetually smeared lens.

We got home later that evening and immediately…..

He only cried for like a minute at least, lol.

The rest of the weekend was chill AF, as illustrated by Penelope:

Henry was in Grandpa Nanny mode that night so Chooch and I had to make our own dinners which was weird, but then we started watching Umbrella Academy so that was cool (never forget that time Gerard Way gave Chooch a Twitter shout out for his 8th birthday!).

And that was 1000-some words about a weekend.

Mar 082019
 

It’s been a minute since I regaled this bleak corner of the Internet with some Lunch Break Tales. To be fair, not much has been happening because it’s been fucking COLD in case you didn’t know, so I spend most of my time on the streets of PGH walking super fast to stay warm, or forcing Henry to talk to me on the phone because I am a lonely person, there I said it. Now that spring’s approaching, things should start to pick up out there, for example, Downtown Jesus should like, rise out from behind his tomb or whatever.

(Seriously, where has he been?! I haven’t seen him…since sometime right after his birthday/Christmas, I think!)

Anyway, let’s see what kind of janky recap I can construct from the last couple of garbage weeks.

  1. LUKE PERRY

I found out about Luke Perry dying while I was out gallivanting on my lunch break (obviously, otherwise this wouldn’t be here in LUNCH BREAK TALES). I got a CNN notification, or Washington Post, some kind of notification. This was right after Henry rudely cut me off mid-Seungri Scandal rant and said he’d “call me back” so I had no one to share my sorrow with and I NEEDED HUMAN INTERACTION RIGHT THEN. Come on, Luke Perry’s death had pretty much every broad in my age bracket shook that day. I started to run up to someone in a winter parka, the kind with the fur-lined hood, because I was sure it was my co-worker Regina, but then she lifted her head at the last second and I was just about to hysterically scream LUKE PERRY DIED but at the very last possible second I realized, AS WE MADE EYE CONTACT WITH MY MOUTH AGAPE, that it wasn’t Regina. Maybe could have been Regina’s mom and wow my eyes are really bad. So then I had to abruptly veer a different direction but it was so obvious.

(I take that back about “every broad in my age bracket” because later that day, Nate came over to my desk and was like LUKE PERRY and we commiserated over that for a bit. He was like, “REMEMBER ON 90210 WHEN HE WAS MARRIED TO THE NOXEMA GIRL AND SHE GOT SHOT” and I only vaguely remember that but I started freaking out because just over the weeken I made Chooch watch “I Know What You Did Last Summer”* and during that my mind started wandering into “other teen horror movies from the 90s” which made me think about “that one that Rebecca Gayheart was in” and I was so relieved when I was able to remember without the aid of Google that it was “Urban Legend” but the whole reason I’m even mentioning this is because who the hell has Rebecca Gayheart pop up twice in less than a week in 2019 aside from like, her mom, or, I dunno, the family of the person she vehicularly man-slaughtered?)

*(Chooch’s main takeaway from this movie was: “THEY HAD LAPTOPS IN 1997!?”)

2. GABRIEL, THE STREET FASHION REPORTER

OK, this is going back several weeks now, possibly even months so I can’t even be certain I’m remembering this bro’s name correctly, but I kept forgetting to write about. Although, I DID send a Postcard From Erin’s Lunch Break about it to my pal Valarie! But there was this one day when I was heading back to work when some young guy crossed the street in what seemed like a purposely attempt to intercept me.

He succeeded.

“I really like your jacket!” he began, and I was like, “Yeah I know, right?! It’s great!” I mean, it really is. It’s COW-PRINT, people.

“Did you buy it somewhere down here?” he asked.

“Oh god no, I bought it like…20 years ago probably at Contempo,” I laughed. (I think that’s where it’s from! I honestly can’t remember but I was definitely 20 when that purchase was made, probably using my corporate credit card that my mom paid, HAHAHAHAH no really, I’m crying because I miss those days.)

“Would you consider yourself someone who’s into fashion?” he pressed, and now I was getting paranoid. I mean, if you’re going to either sexually harass me or pick my pocket, let’s get this over with, boo. You know?

I just shrugged and mumbled something about how wearing clothes without stains or wrinkles was enough for me these days, and he went on to compliment me for mixing patterns.

“I really like when people mix patterns,” he said with a smile and now I was really wondering if he was stalling me while the kidnapper van found a spot to park. “I went to the Art Institute for fashion design,” he explained, so I guess that made a little more sense and I was less worried now about the chance of blood ruining my cow jacket post-kidney harvesting.

He introduced himself as Gabriel and we shook hands which is always weird yet exciting for me, touching another stranger on the street. For as anti-social and introverted I have become over the years, I am also curiously starved for human interaction at the same time.

Then he asked me if I was in a hurry to get somewhere and I was like YES, WORK and he was like, “Oh darn, well, maybe I’ll see you around again sometime, hopefully in another cool coat!” and then I became aware of the fact that all of the people on the sidewalk waiting for the bus were watching this strange not-really-flirtation and I walked away wondering wtf had just happened.

I mean, nice guy. Real nice guy. But way too interested in my clothes!?

3. SIDEWALK LAWS

I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned this on here but I hate when people walk down the sidewalk in a three or more person throng, so that they are occupying the entire girth of the damn sidewalk and then NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM does the proper “fall back” when someone approaches from the opposite way. This happens nearly every time I walk through the Strip District and it fucking drives me mad. The one day, I super passively aggressively said, “No it’s fine, I’ll just STEP OUT ONTO THE ROAD so you guys don’t have to break up your yuppie huddle.”

God for-fucking-bid.

I flipped out the one day while walking through the Strip and decided that I’m going to run for Mayor and then when I win (obviously) I’m going to patrol the sidewalks of downtown Pittsburgh, issuing warrants for arrest for sidewalk hogs.

“You can’t do that,” Henry said, white knighting sidewalk slobs worldwide.

“I CAN AFTER I MAKE IT A LAW!” I cried.

It’s too bad I don’t already have power because I really have so much I would like to change. For instance, Pittsburgh needs to get on board with vending machine culture. Perhaps if I suggest a TERRIBLE TOWEL dispenser, that would get the attention of whoever is in charge of Pittsburgh.

Oh yeah, the actual mayor. Lol.

Well, I really think that’s all I have. In my head, so much more has happened on my walks, but “in my head” is the operative phrase there, I guess. I’d have so much more to write about if I lived in Korea, probably.

Jan 232019
 

Henry had to work because I guess Faygo doesn’t recognize the importance of Martin Luther King Jr., but Chooch and I had the day off. We had lunch plans with Janna but first Chooch got all involved in some pirated version of Heathers he found on YouTube and I was like “Oh ok so I’m watching Heathers with my kid” but then I quickly was like, “Wait should I be watching Heathers with my kid?” It’s funny how you don’t realize how inappropriate/crude/parentally alarming things are until you watch it with your pre-teen.

Chooch’s main takeaway was that Christian Slater isn’t all that great.

WELL OK BUT YOU WERE BORN IN 2006 SO…

Janna came and picked us up around 12:30 (she originally thought I wanted her to pick us up at 12:03 and thought I was being oddly specific when really she’s a number-dummy) and we headed off to Lawrenceville via some weird scenic route. Originally, our plan was to go to B52, which is a vegan place that Henry refuses to go to not because he’s some big burly bacon-eater, but because he just knows that the clientele within those walls is going to be pretentious AF.

And deep down, I know this too.

So we arrived around 1:00 and there was a 30 minute wait because every yuppie vegan in the area who had the day off had the same idea as us. We gave the hostess our name, figuring we were there so we might as well just deal with the wait. Some weird bitch came in and started asking us all these questions about the wait and where to leave her name and there were two other people standing closer to her so I don’t understand why she couldn’t just ask them—oh yeah, because they looked like stuck-up douches and we looked like regular people without a list of French films about incest shoved up our asses.

Eventually, the hostess with the weird bob, 1980s Babysitters Club glasses and super red lipstick came over and said that some space opened up at the counter if we wanted to sit there instead of continuing to wait for a table, and we stupidly said yes, which was such a mistake because it was awkward at the counter and I couldn’t get comfortable long enough to even concentrate on the menu. I kept hoarsely whispering to Janna, “I hate this. I hate it here. I’m so uncomfortable. They don’t even have what I wanted* on the menu today. Let’s just leave OMG should we just leave Janna can we leave?” and Janna really picked up handsomely on my hints and said, “Yes, we can just leave” so we did and I was like DEUCES MALORIE (that’s what I imagine the hostess’s name was).

*(Vegan mousakka! Do you know how rare that is?! Real mousakka used to be one of my favorite foods after I had it in Greece when my aunt Sharon was like YOU WILL NOT LIKE THAT but bam bitch, I did.)

Anyway, we left and Janna was like, “Thank god, I hated sitting there too” and so many more people had lined up after us that we figured we had probably lost our spot for a table by then anyway, so fuck off B52. I don’t get why vegan eateries have to be soooooo uppity and uncomfortable. The only place I’ve been to that wasn’t like that, that didn’t make me feel like I needed to have pixie bangs or a neck tattoo or a Schwinn with a wicker basket as my primary means of transportation, is Zenith. Long live Zenith!!

We went down the street a bit and hit up our backup plan, Ki Ramen. I mean, after driving around for an eternity because Lawrenceville needs to trade in some hipsters for parking spaces, for real. It’s a huge reason why we don’t frequent that area more often.

Anyway, Ki Ramen was OK. It was weird because we walked in and stood there for a while before some waiter came over and asked, “You guys eatin’?”

Um, yes, that was the plan.

Apparently, we were in the wrong dining area? I was so confused! There were people eating in the room we were standing in, but the waiter took us down into a glorified garage (seriously, there were big wires coming out of the concrete walls) and at first I thought he was seating us AT ANOTHER COUNTER but at the last minute, he slid the menus down on the last empty table in that room. Thank god.

We started off with cauliflower wings – they were delicious!

Janna and I both got curry ramen. It wasn’t the best ramen I’ve ever had, that’s for sure. I mean, not to be a spoiled brat, but I’ve had ramen in actual Asia, so…

LOL, I cringed so hard when I typed that. Keeping it!

You think I’m bad, Chooch is like the biggest ramen snob ever and was definitely not impressed with his ramen.

But, the service was pretty quick which was nice because we were fucking starving.

Chooch-Eating-Ramen is my favorite Chooch, I think. He has such chopsticks-wielding pizzazz.

Chooch said this looked like our cat Penelope. :(

When the waitress brought our checks, the one she gave me was waaaaay cheaper than what it should have been. It was like half of what ours should have really been and there was that split second when I wanted to be an asshole and not say anything but this blog ain’t called OH HONESTLY ERIN for nothin’, OK?! I am stupid-honest! So I waved the waitress over and told her she brought me the wrong check, thinking that at the very least, maybe it would bring me some good old-fashioned Karma, but so far all it brought me was two shitty days in a row at work and $40 out of my bank account.

I was bitching about this to Henry who said, “Yeah, but even if you had kept the wrong check, you paid by credit card so they would have just charged the difference to the account later when they realized what happened,” and oh I’m sorry, I forgot that Henry teaches a class on Restaurant Check Fraud at the community college.

See also: STFU Henry.

Apparently, this was Chooch’s “take it easy” pose.

The post-lunch plan was to go to a cafe and get caffeine and dessert. We decided on Black Forge because Janna had never been there and I don’t go there as much as I should, but first Janna had to get stuck in a one-way street cesspool downtown, causing Chooch and I to have a million laughing fits until she tried to back out of a parking lot into oncoming traffic and then we weren’t laughing anymore.

But, she did eventually get us to Allentown in one piece, and then tried to park in a lot designated for the police at the local police station, lol. Fucking popo and their own private, convenient parking lots. Pfft.

Allentown has murals, you guys. We live for murals.

I have one pose, and this is it.

At Black Forge, Janna and I attended Chooch’s lecture on gender equality, inspired by the fact that Black Forge’s bathrooms are designated for “Wizards” and “Witches” but both genders can be either of those things, and also included a reference to “old men holding their dingalings in the bathroom.”

It was a great learning experience. I felt so enlightened.

The last time I was at Black Forge, their punch cards featured Trump and various members of his shitty administration, but now that most of those people have been ousted, their current cards just feature a bunch of Trump’s degenerate visages. I really fucking hate that man so goddamn much, that Black Forge could sell gas station swill and I would still happily support them.

But as it turns out, their coffee and other beverages are fantastic and they sell pastries made at the nearby vegan restaurant Onion Maiden, which is actually another vegan place that doesn’t make me like an outcast. But it’s also very small inside and gets crowded fast so you have to be strategic when planning a meal there.

Totally worth it though and now I’m kicking myself for not just suggesting we have lunch there that day!

In case you were wondering, which you weren’t I know, I got the My Dying Chai which may have been the best chai latte I’ve ever had, Janna got something mocha-y, and Chooch had to be difficult and inquire if the hot chocolate came in different flavors because he is spoiled rotten by the baristas at Muddy Cup who will make any fucking kind of fancy-ass hot chocolate your imagination can concoct as long as they have the syrup there (and they have the most extensive syrup collection I’ve ever seen), so the barista at Black Forge was like, “………flavors?” and then realized what he was asking so she was like, “Yeah go for it, bro” and he went with strawberry because I think he felt panicked since he didn’t have a list to reference, but he said the final product was “really fucking good” and I was like, “I will take your word for it” because I don’t play that backwash game.

Wow, that was a good way to spend the day off. It was only like 10 degrees and the perfect day to stay inside, but I’m really glad we went out and braved the bitter winter.

***

Later that evening, I made fun of Henry which caused Chooch to laugh so hard that he vomited and then I made the mistake of looking at it, so I started dry-heaving really bad and then Henry was like CLEAN THAT UP to Chooch, so then Chooch was dry-heaving while he was mopping up his puke, and this made me dry-heave even HARDER to the point where I was for certain that I was going to throw up, so I had to push Henry out of the way and run to the bathroom, where I could still hear Chooch dry-heaving from downstairs so then we were like gang-gagging back and forth, this terrible volley of vomit-coughs, and my eyes were watering so bad and eventually I FELL TO MY KNEES and screamed, “STOP MAKING THAT NOISE, CHOOCH, PLEASE!!!” because his hoarking was contagious. This went on for a solid five-minutes, passing puke-scares back and forth and Henry calmly muttered, “You two are fucking idiots” while the cats were like, “DO YA’LL HAVE HAIRBALLS TOO?!”

My abs were actually sore the next day from my fake bulimia bout.

Anyway, that’s just a little glimpse of what it’s like to be in this hell house.

Aug 252018
 

Oh, it was fraught with adversity.

My obsession with Holiday World started about five or six years ago when we were planning a small road trip around a visit with our pals Bill and Jessi in Michigan. I started looking up amusement parks around that area and found two in Indiana that seemed promising: Holiday World and Indiana Beach. I remember it was a big to-do because I wanted to go to both parks and didn’t understand what the problem was, no matter how many times Henry showed me on a map that they were on opposing sides of the state from each other.

SO WHAT!?

Henry just wasn’t as committed as me I guess, and in the end he made me choose one.

In his own gruff dad-words: ONE OR THE OTHER!

I ended up choosing Indiana Beach because they had several rides and y’all know that dark rides are my absolute favorite things in amusement parks. A pox on those that don’t have any, I say!

Something made me jump back on the Holiday World train sometime in late April.

“We’ll see,” Henry said, utilizing his favorite cop-out response.

“But we never go anywhere!” I cried.

“We literally just came back from Korea?!” Henry cried while foraging in our backyard for that night’s dandelion dinner because Korea left as poor people.

(It didn’t really but that’s how Henry acted because it gave him an easy way out of having to do anything for the unforeseeable future.)

My begging and pleading went on for MONTHS culminating in him flipping out and yelling, “SOMETIMES I FORGET THAT YOU’RE ACTUALLY AS OLD AS YOU ARE!” in the middle of Target when I was pouting.

I even took this one particular Friday off work because it was getting down to the wire and I couldn’t get that asshole to confirm but if we were going to go, it was going to have to be on that weekend and finally I was like FUCK YOU and booked the hotel and then the rest of that week was really tense and silent in our house, lol, not really but Henry wasn’t pleased with me at all.

At one point, just me and Chooch were going to go but I hoped that my bluff wouldn’t come true because I definitely didn’t want to make that 7 hour drive myself. HOW WOULD I LIVE BLOG?!

After I booked the hotel though, I started to tell work people about it because I thought maybe if I vocalized my desires, they would be more apt to come true so I was all, “YEAH WE’RE GOING TO HOLIDAY WORLD THIS WEEKEND NO BIG DEAL” and blew on my finger nails a few times like I was a 1950s greaser who just called some nerd Coke Bottle Eyes at the soda shop.

Glenn was like, “That sounds dumb” but Lauren and Margie were all in. Especially when I told them that there was the promise of FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE WITH SANTA IN MRS. CLAUS’S KITCHEN.

I walked past them one time last week and casually called over my shoulder, “Oh, and all soft drinks are FREE at Holiday World. Sunscreen too” and then I fake-yawned and continued on to my desk.

But then the day before I admitted to Lauren that I wasn’t actually sure if we were going for real because I still hadn’t gotten Henry to say the y-word (“yes,” come on guys, I shouldn’t have to spell out everything for you, get a clue) but that I had taken the following day off a month prior.

“Did you take that day off specifically for this, without knowing for sure–” and then she started cracking up when I sadly nodded.

So then Friday came. I knew Henry didn’t take the day off because god forbid he ever takes days off work, but sometimes he can get out of there semi-early depending on other people. I fucking paced around Brookline ALL DAY and then Chooch and I argued because I didn’t feel that he cared enough about this trip, and he was like, “But it’s just….Indiana—I mean, no I’m really excited! I want to go! Yay, Holiday World!” but his forced enthusiasm wasn’t foolin’ nobody. NOBODY.

Finally, that d-bag Henry came waltzing in the house around 3:00 and I was like LET’S GO but then he had to take a stupid shower first and pack and I was tapping holes into the floor with my foot.

It was around 3:30 when we finally left the house and I was like, “OK we’re doing this, we’re finally leaving” and Henry was surprisingly in a good mood so that made me feel ominous, you know? Like was something going to happen? (This isn’t foreshadowing, nothing happened, but I am a very superstitious and paranoid person so I was ON EDGE all weekend.)

The funny part is that part of my deal was that if we went to Holiday World, I would drive part way. Originally, I said I would drive for the first part because I can’t drive well at night (see: eyes that can’t see) and Henry was like, “Deal” but then I was like, “Well, I’ll just drive to Columbus and then you can drive after that because I get confused around Columbus” and he sighed heavily but still agreed.

(When I was friends with my ex-bff who lived in shitty Cinci, I would always make her take the Greyhound to Columbus and then I would pick her up there and make her drive the rest of the way to Cinci because following directions on a highway is not my strongsuit. On my very first time ever visiting her, I got the exit number screwed up and got lost like 2 hours into the trip, lost my temper, and came home. Turns out my head scrambled the exit number and instead of taking, say for example, Exit 81 I took Exit 18 and it didn’t occur to me at all that it was awfully soon into the drive to be “almost there” and then I stopped at a gas station and got in a fight with some trashy bitch in Marietta, OH and I have the rest blacked out but I think I wrote about it on LiveJournal so maybe I’ll go and look that up on a rainy day which could be any day since all it’s done here in Pittsburgh this summer is rain and will you just get back to the story, Erin?!)

I was prepared to get in the drivers seat when we were leaving but Henry said he would drive for a little bit because he’s a big tough man and everyone knows women should just shut up and get in the passenger seat. He was going to switch off with me once we got to West Virginia but HILARIOUSLY it started storming so hard that it was hazardous and everyone was crawling along the highway with their flashers on and by the time it stopped, we were nearly to Columbus, and Henry was like, “WOW YOU SURE GOT OUT OF THAT ONE” and I just smiled cutely because we all knew I wasn’t going to do any driving, come on now, I have shit to do.

It was around 7 at this point (yes, that rain took a major chunk out of our travel time) so we stopped in some podunk town for dinner. We were going to eat some joint called Clay’s which was an ice cream parlour and family restaurant, but there was a bit of a wait. I put in my name and we sat on a wooden bench with some of the locals who knew we were outlanders, but then Henry realized there was a Loving Hut nearby so we left and he was mad at me for not telling the lady to take our name off the list like he suddenly is the authority on restaurant couth.

Got to Loving Hut and originally sat down near a fucking screaming toddler whose ear-piercing screeches were ricocheting in my head, and I almost left because I was on the verge of flipping a table (its mom just sat there and scrolled through her phone, like hello maybe your idiot kid is screaming because it wants you to look at it) but then Henry asked a waitress if she could clean off an empty but dirty table on the other side of a wall so ALL WAS WELL.

I usually try to just eat at local establishments when we travel but the call of Loving was just too strong. We used to have a Loving Hut in Pittsburgh but it closed and I’m not sure if it’s reopening somewhere else or just gonezo forever, but it’s a vegetarian joint that even Hank the Meat-Tank can stand so we were all happy. (Even Korea has Loving Huts!)

I want to go back in time and tear that sandwich apart with my gnashing maw all over again it was so good. (Vegan BBQ with coleslaw, ugh more please). I don’t know what Henry got but he nearly licked the plate clean while Chooch complained because he didn’t like the sauce on his burger bun – that kid is so averse to condiments, it makes me sad.

We were sooooo off-schedule by then. Our original ETA was 10:30pm but we had only made it to Cinci by 10, and Santa Claus was still 3 hours from there. But the bright side of running late was that we got to see fireworks over top of an otherwise bland city.

Chooch fell asleep sometime after this and I was burdened with the task of making sure Henry didn’t fall alseep at the wheel even though I was tired too but SOLIDARITY. The drive from Cinci to Louisville wasn’t too bad (we drove past the Vent Museum!) but holy shit it was all black nothingness once we hit Indiana. And then we somehow got rerouted so the GPS added 45 minutes to the drive time and I started crying out of anger while Henry was threatening the GPS robot lady, but then somehow it recalculated and shaved off a bunch of time so we celebrated.

We rolled up to the super basic (but clean and not crawling with sex workers like the last place Henry booked in Newark) Motel 6 or 8 or whatever number they use sometime after midnight which was actually after 1am for us but time rolled back an hour when we crossed over into the central time zone somewhere in Indiana. There was some family in a banged-up minivan who got there at the same time as us and the dad was like, “HAHA you guys look as thrilled as us” because we were just dragging at that point. He had on shorts and a wife-beater and as the elevator door closed on us, Chooch said, “He looked like a discount Vin Diesel” and I couldn’t stop laughing at that because he kind of did look like that.

We crashed and then woke up bright and early to get ready for HOLIDAY WORLD! First we went to Subway for a light breakfast (I get sick if I go to amusement parks with too much food in my gut) and we were in line with a young alternatrash couple that were super skinny probably from drugs and the dude had TERRIBLE face tattoos, which was basically my prelude to a day full of more face tattoos, so many face tattoos, Indiana must run specials on them. And they weren’t on people who looked cool and edgy, like guys in bands or tattoo artists, guys who can pull that shit off because it’s part of their lifestyle as a musician or artist, you know? No, these were the kinds that screamed, “I just finished beating my girlfriend and gave myself this shoddy prison face tattoo.” Every single guy I saw in that park who had one just looked so fucking trashy and heroin-y and I can guess that they all had at least one Kid Rock CD in their car at that moment.

But that didn’t affect our glorious time at Holiday World!

We got there right when it opened at 10am and expected it to be relatively crowded because it was a Saturday and we try to avoid going to amusement parks on weekends. I was fully prepared to have to do a lot of waiting in lines but it was gloriously sparse!

The Raven was the first ride we rode! It was a wicked coaster and unexpectedly fun – Chooch and I sat in the back and got our asses (and necks) kicked on it.

I took some family’s picture here and then the mom was all, “here I’ll take yours too” and I reluctantly agreed but I hate having my picture taken so bad so that’s why it looks like I have 87 fire-sticks up my ass.

Henry was going to wear a gray shirt that I hate because every time he wears it, he’s in a bad mood, so then he changed into a different gray shirt. The man loves grays and browns, I don’t think he’ll change up his wardrobe at this point.

I’m going to stop here and get into the real meaty portions of Holiday World in my next post because SPOILER ALERT we had such a great time there and I can’t stop thinking about those majestic wooden coasters.

Aug 202018
 

Before I get into the real reason we were in Santa Claus, Indiana, I want to talk about the delightful time we spent at the Santa Claus Museum before departing for Pittsburgh yesterday morning.

Yes, the museum was open on Sundays, much to Henry’s dismay!

I thought it was pretty strange that a random town in Indiana was named after Santa, but luckily, I learned immediately at the museum that it was originally called Santa Fee, but when it was time to, I don’t know, do something postal-related, I can’t remember now (I’m the worst at museum-ing!), they realized that there was a town called Santa Fe also in Indiana (WHICH SANTA FE CAME FIRST!? Who has time to google, not me — I want to get through this blog post and finish watching the Taemin Off-Sick concert!! HE WEARS A SWEATER VEST WITH NOTHING UNDER IT DURING ONE SONG, AND HIS PANTS HAVE SUSPENDERS AND HE HAS SOME WEIRD SWEATER COOZY ON HIS ONE FOREARM – ONLY LEE TAEMIN CAN MAKE THIS DORK-STYLE SIZZLE).

Anyway, back to the Sante Fee vs. Santa Fe debacle. There was a town hall meeting to come up with a new name and during that meeting, a strong gust of wind blew the door open and some child-broad yelled, “SANTA CLAUS?!” So that’s how that happened.

A likely story.

But first, we had to snoop around this creepy Santa statue which is allegedly the oldest in the world but then I also read that it’s the only tribute statue to Santa, so…It was still very cool! When we were walking over to it, we saw an older couple that was standing in line in front of us for our first ride on the Voyage at Holiday World the day before!

SPOILER ALERT: We were in Santa Claus for an amusement park.

Such secrets.

(It wasn’t a secret. But we almost didn’t go so I was trying to refrain from being all FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL HOLIDAY WORLD except at work. Those poor people had to hear about it a lot. The new admin lady is learning so much about me whether she wants to or not.)

‘Sup Santa.

So the museum was actually a museum for the TOWN and not Santa in general, which was fine. I appreciate learning the history of a quaint little town every now and then.

I love that they keep old letters to Santa on display.

LIKE THIS ONE.

One of my favorites was from some polite bitch who was like I don’t want anything for Xmas but peace and whatnot and then she conveniently left a PS:

But then the one below it, OUCH MY STUPID HEART.

Chooch was diligently working to piece together this puzzle which ended up missing a bunch of edge pieces and he was in a fit of extreme outrage over this but before the rage happened, some super annoying midwest family came in and the young daughter screamed, “MAMA IS THAT REALLY SANTA” while peering at pictures of some old town Santa in a cabinet. Chooch spun around so fast with the most disgusted look on his face and I was like OH GOD IS HE GOING TO END THIS BITCH’S CHILDHOOD RIGHT NOW but then he turned back around and focused all of his energy on that stupid puzzle that I would have had pieced together in like two minutes, but let’s not make this a competition.

Then the mom was hovering while I was reading the letters to Santa so I stepped aside and she swooped in and started taking pictures of every single one.

The other appealing thing about this town is that some dude back in the day was like, “I have a lot of money so I’m going to retired and build Santa Claus Land” and that’s what he did but then it was only mildly successful and something happened, I can’t remember, and now it’s Holiday World.

OH! There was a wall in the hallway that had a bunch of framed celebrities’ headshots with signed dollar bills in each one and it turns out that some townie back in the 80s decided to write to famous people and ask for their autographed pictures and they included a dollar to also be signed and these celebrities like Johnny Carson and Danny DeVito actually complied?! I thought only soap opera actors did that shit.

Chooch was like, “I DON’T KNOW WHO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE ARE” so I pointed to Charlton Heston and started mouthing off about the NRA and Henry gave me the NOT HERE, NOT NOW moustache bristle so then I mumbled, “He was Moses.”

GUYS, IF I WRITE TO G-DRAGON IN THE MILITARY AND INCLUDE A 1000 WON BILL, HE WILL SIGN IT AND SEND ME A GLORIOUS PHOTO OF HIS PERFECT FACE.

THEN WE WENT TO THE FAKE POST OFFICE.

AND CHOOCH WROTE A LETTER TO SANTA.

(Even though the lady in the museum didn’t ask him if he had written his letter yet, but she practically pounced on the kids in the annoying family about it because they were younger OK #AGEISM.)

This fucker really asked Santa for V-Bucks. I RUE THE DAY FORTNIGHT CAME INTO OUR LIVES. I literally start to shake when he starts begging and whining for V-Bucks. He wanted this “special” they were having the other day and then told me it was TWENTY-FIVE REAL DOLLARS to get a bunch of FAKE DOLLARS to buy FAKE GOODS for his VIDEO GAME CHARACTER?! Um, no. This is the dumbest thing ever, Santa don’t you dare get him V-Bucks.

Get me a gift certificate for Choice Music.

Then the annoying family came in and took over so I was like OK LET’S WRAP THIS UP because I just couldn’t handle the mom with her neon pink Loony Toons shirt and fanny pack.

I don’t know if it was actually Loony Toons but it was neon pink and something a mom would wear in the early nineties and I needed to get away from her.

(Ironically, I was wearing a Hypercolor shirt BUT IT WAS FOR THE BAND HANDS LIKE HOUSES so don’t lump me in. Don’t you fucking dare do it.)

This old-ass creepy church was also on the property so we poked around.

Oh god, it smelled SO OLD in there, and I felt like I was for sure inhaling asbestos and ancient sins. I can’t believe they let people go in there. The floorboards were whack in some spots and I felt like rafters could have started falling in on us at any moment and not just because we heathens yo.

The museum was free but there was a suggested donation of $5 for families so I made Henry cough it up and then I only signed Chooch’s and my name in the guest book, hahahahaha.

Afterward, we went down the street to Santa’s Candy Castle which I mentioned in my liveblog (DID YOU READ IT?! I can’t remember what I wrote but it was probably not important). This was originally part of Santa Claus Land – oh hey, the candy castle’s website has a history page! Here, just read this. 

I just love shit like this. I didn’t even want any candy, I just wanted to see the building. But then I saw that they sold salt water taffy so I bought a bag for work just to be a dick because everyone goes to the beach and brings back legit salt water taffy. WELL HERE’S A SACK OF TAFFY FROM SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA!

Glenn was not impressed.

Overall, Santa Claus, Indiana is a quirky little town and even though I couldn’t imagine living there, it was a fun little road trip and I hope that one day Chooch will be like, “KIDS WE’RE GOING TO SANTA CLAUS” and his partner will be like, “WTF WHY.”

Aug 192018
 

Guys, our trip to Holiday World was everything I wanted it to be and more but we will get to that another day. Right now, we just checked out of our OK hotel (I booked it and it was way better than the sex shack Henry holed us up in in Newark) but it was hard to leave because we had inadvertently become invested in a movie on the Hallmark Channel (Bridal Wave, lol). I mean, I can guess how it ends but STILL.

So now it’s 8:43am and we’re on our way to the Santa Claus Museum, because we are in Santa Claus, IN after all.

We just drove past a house surrounded by corn fields that had a ROOMS FOR RENT sign and now I wish we had stayed there. Also, I just told Henry I’m Live-blogging and he flipped me off.

8:52am:

Obligatory.

9:42am: We just left the Santa Claus Museum and Santa’s Candy Castle and both were worth the pit stop in case you were considering driving past with no regrets.

Oldest Santa statue in the world!

I think I will post about the museum separately because I have a lot of pictures and there was a family there that I hated.

But Santa’s Candy was legit. It smelled wonderful and the employees were so nice! The guy who rang us up reminded me of Hank from Breaking Bad. He just kind of looked like him, OK?!

We bought a small bag of Krispie Kreme Jelly Bellys there and I only ate like 10 of them and feel so fucking sick.

11:26am: TIME JUMPED AHEAD I GUESS. Stupid time zones. We just stopped at a Pilot and it destroyed my good mood because I hate gross gas stations and this one was awful and the “coffee station” was dilapidated and there were flies all over it SO THAT WAS A SOLID NOPE.

REMINDER THAT I HAVE NOT HAD ANY COFFEE TODAY.

11:40am:

Me: I could NOT live in Indiana.

Henry: That’s obvious. Places are limited where you could live.

But seriously WHERE ARE ALL THE CAFES. I have to get coffee at MCDONALD’S.

Chooch just screamed, “Peach ice cream!” because we just passed some barn-shaped grocery store with a huge peach ice cream sign so now I’m mocking him and screaming PEACH ICE CREAM is my new brand. Also, if you think Henry didn’t just completely overcomplicate an order of one small coffee with cream and sweetener, then do you even know Henry? That was the most awkward McDonald’s drive-thru ordering I’ve witnessed in a long time.

Also I only ordered a small because if I find a better place I AM STOPPING.

Or – telling Henry to stop.

12:08pm: Driving through Louisville and I just can’t stop feeling disgusted that they have some sports arena called the KFC Yum! Center.

12:20pm: Henry just made some off-hand comment about how the time hasn’t changed yet and I started screaming about how that there time done BEEN changed for A WHILE now and he would know that if HE READ MY LIVE BLOG.

12:50pm: Oh I forgot – when we stopped at Pilot, there was a RED CARPET INN across the street so Chooch and I were dry-heaving. And then inside Pilot, an announcement came on that SHOWER #4 WAS READY and Chooch was all “ew people take showers here?!” And we had to explain to him that Truck Driver Life but then I added, “If I was staying at that Red Carpet Inn, I’d rather take showers here” and Chooch almost puked from laughing so hard and then the cashier asked Henry if he needed a bag and he said NO because he thought we were still standing there and would help him carry the stuff but of course we had already walked outside and he came out to the parking lot with an armful of items and started bitching at us for bailing like this was so unexpected.

2:31pm: WHY DO RESTAURANTS CLOSE AFTER LUNCH. Every fucking place I’ve found on Yelp for this shitty area outside of Cincinnati closes at 2 or 3 so now I guess we are going to Hyde’s which is fine but I have eaten here before and I wanted to try something different! Ugh! I AM HUNGRY THO SO SOMEONE JUST STUFF A GRILLED CHEESE IN MY FAT FACE ALREADY.

Also I have chocolate stains all over my shirt and shorts from the dumb protein bar I ate for breakfast. Ugh.

2:48pm: We’re at Hyde’s and I came so close to sitting at a booth with OLIVER NORTH.

GAG!! (In case you don’t know, I HATE OLIVER NORTH.)

Also, Chooch beat me and submitted the Hyde’s help wanted sign to Job Spotter and got 97 points for it! THAT’S NINETY SEVEN CENTS!!

Well, Henry and I just had a mild disagreement over the Cole slaw here (I think it’s too sweet, he thinks it’s just right) and for some reason, Chooch thought this was SO HILARIOUS that he spewed a mouthful of iced tea all over the booth and Henry was like GOODBYE and left us lol.

Update: Henry’s back. He was just hiding in the bathroom. The only guy that was sitting near us got up and left.

I just had to send Chooch outside to take deep breaths and now he’s making friends with a gaggle or elder-broads.

Now he’s back and blaming Henry for making him crack up and he really just said, “I’m just trying to live a normal life.”

3:00pm: Waitress just asked me “Do you want more coffee ma’am” and I’m like yeah but I also need you to stop calling me ma’am.

I just wistfully said, “Ugh now I want to watch Short Circuit” and Henry asked why. “Um, because of this SONG?!”

(Bee Gee’s More Than a Woman is playing right now.)

Why does he never KNOW.

3:25pm: Some broad just said she wanted two slices of coconut pie to go so the waitress repeated “Ok 2 coconuts to go” so Henry scoffed and said, “I have two coconuts to go” and gestured at Chooch and me. WOW FUNNY GUY.

3:43pm: I got mad at Chooch and told him he can go get reborn elsewhere and I don’t even know that that means but it felt like the ULTIMATE SLAM at the time.

3:54pm: Here in Henry’s Mecca, aka Jungle Jim’s:

4:57pm: Just left Jungle Jim’s and Henry has that fresh-from-the-market glow. I like it there to a point but then I remember that I’m surrounded by assholes and getting rammed into with shopping carts and I’m over it. Especially when some kids were like “Mom look, exotic KitKats! Are they real?!” And Mom came over with her resting bitch fest and said, “Ew I don’t know. Those are WEIRD” and of course she was super skinny and had that quintessential short soccer mom hair

YOU’RE weird, Mom!

They had cherimoya which I begged for because if you didn’t know that is my FAVORITE fruit but Henry was like, “NOT FOR $10 A PIECE!” Ugh. I did get a sapote though which I haven’t had since my friend Kevin sent me one five or six years ago and I have dreamt of them ever since!

5:53pm: Just stopped at another Pilot. I went into the bathroom and the only available stall had a bunch of poop in it so I said NOPE I’LL WAIT FOR ANOTHER and then a girl came in and was like “There a mess in there?” And I said “Yes it’s pretty gross” so we stood there silently for about 30 seconds listening to someone pee in the taken stall, and then the girl said, “Like is it just not flushed?” And I said “I mean I didn’t really inspect it. I just saw a ton of poop and left” so she went in, lifted up her leg AND FLUSHED IT WITH HER FOOT. She had on flip flops! It could have flipped and flopped into the muddy commode!

Anyway, it flushed and she was like THERE U GO and I muttered thanks and then reluctantly went in even though I didn’t want to use that stall and furthermore I didn’t even really have to pee that bad!!

Oh, the crisis.

Back out in the store, Henry and Chooch filled me on their own bathroom story about the guy who may or not have been living in one of the stalls and another stall was playing rap music. When I told Henry my story and got to the part about the girl using her flip flopped foot to flush, he said, “I saw a guy come out of the bathroom in bare feet yesterday” and I scanned my brain to play back all the places we were at yesterday and I screamed, “EW AT HOLIDAY WORLD?!”

That park had some very questionable clientele.

Chooch got the Giordano’s Deep Dish limited edition Lays and it doesn’t taste like it at all and now the car smells kind of like puke because of it.

7:00pm: Current Sitch – Henry is not speaking to me because I snapped at him for not immediately knowing what I was talking about when I mentioned the Log Jammer’s spillway.

7:36pm: HENRY JUST TOLD ME TO CALM DOWN BECAUSE I AM FURIOUS WITH THE SHEETZ APP RIGHT NOW. OH I’M SORRY, AM I BEING TOO MUCH “EMOTIONAL WOMAN” FOR YOU RIGHT NOW?

8:24pm: I finally ate my coveted, signature Sheetz veggie wrap so I feel better now however Henry started “thinking out loud” about whether Ruby Tuesday’s still has their lettuce wedge salad and I snapped out and yelled SHUT UP NO ONE CARES.

Also, we managed to lose not one but TWO of the three reusable straws we brought with us so I feel pretty defeated because we didn’t just throw them out by accident but we literally LITTERED. There was a hole in the stupid Journeys drawstring bag we had with us at Holiday World ugh.

Also x2 one of my relatives was mocking those of us concerned with the environment and sardonically promised not to use straws and I am just so fucking sick of conservative cabbagefucks acting like it’s so cool to be environmentally deviant. You’re right, let’s all just dump buckets of oil into the nearest body of water for funsies and show the world who owns it. Rah rah rah.

Also x3 before I fed my face, I snapped out on Chooch because I am SO SICK OF HIM ASKING FOR V-BUCKS FOR THAT STUPID FORTNITE GAME and I yelled about how I’m not spending $25 for some in-game purchase that won’t even yield something tangible that he can hold in his hand but is only just some virtual accessory for his stupid character and school starts on Friday and we haven’t even bought him new shoes yet so NO I’M NOT FUNNELING MY HARD-EARNED MONEY INTO THE MAW OF A FUCKING VIDEO GAME. And wow did I ever feel like a REAL MOM after that rant.

8:56pm: Two of my friends announced that they’re going to be moms and it was so nice to see GOOD NEWS today – I’m so happy for them!

9:24pm: WELCOME TO PENNSYLVANIA. Oh thank god.

9:47pm: Chooch was just on the phone with his neighbor-pal who is extremely geographically challenged. “I wasn’t in CHICAGO, Jayden! No that’s in ILLINOIS. I was in INDIANA!” On the way there Friday night, he was like, “No Jayden I’m not there yet. No, I’m not coming home tonight! BECAUSE IT TAKES 7 HOURS TO GET THERE, WHY WOULD I COME HOME THE SAME NIGHT?!” He gets so aggravated talking to him haha.

10:58pm: Hi friends I have been home since 10:15 and I am ready to crash and dream about the incredible coasters we rode at Holiday World – Chooch and I are obsessed! I would include Henry in that statement but he’s a bitch and only rode ONE OF THEM, ONCE. He’s so disappointing.