Jan 222019
 

Ok it’s not woman crush Wednesday yet but today I want to get all girl-crazy over Chung Ha. Admittedly, I’m super flaky with girl crushes so my girl Kpop biases have changed numerous times over the years, from Taeyeon to Hyolyn to Sana to Sunmi and now to Chung Ha. I just like her more and more with every comeback!

Her latest song, Gotta Go, has wrecked me. I get taken pretty easily with choreography and this song has some really interesting moves. When Chung Ha was in the group IOI, she was known as the dancing queen and it’s not really a surprise that she was able to take those skills and go solo. She can certainly hold her own by herself!

I’ve watched her perform this song on every music countdown show over the last few weeks and I am just obsessed. Her style is just so cool like a 1980s woman in a power suit walking into the boardroom.

I DONT KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING BUT I REALLY AM ALL ABOUT CHUNG HA THESE DAYS.

Enjoy this MV and then if you’re really feeling inspired, do the Kpop workout for this song afterward! I AM GOING TO DO IT AS SOON AS I POST THIS!

Give Me Five Thailand is one of my favorite Kpop exercise channels, especially when I get Henry to do these with me because he hates it so much haha.

Jan 192019
 

I’m admitting defeat. White flag is up and waving. I’m surrendering to my body. I will hereby try to get rest this weekend!

I mean, my version of rest basically means that I will take breaks from moving around like a lunatic…?

But wow, I really do feel like a fucking rag doll today. I’m certain that 80% of this is stress but I also think I have some mild virus that my body is kickboxing.

Today’s agenda consists of catching up on Divorce (I’m halfway through season 2 and now Henry suddenly decides he needs to watch it too which is the most annoying thing ever), making Valentines (it’s the busiest time of the year for us!), starting a new high school K-drama with Chooch (he walked in on me watching Revenge Note and became obsessed), watching Henry make kimchi, planning for our whirlwind trip to Toronto next weekend, and waiting out this snowstorm that we’re supposed to be getting.

Pretty chill, and just what I need after the hectic week that just passed!

One good thing about today is that Henry and I were coming back from a walk and just as I was getting ready to grumble about how gross all the dirty, melty snow looks, I realized that we are already halfway through January and that is my least favorite month ever so I felt really inspired and hopeful that I will make it through another winter without succumbing to the blues (grays?)!

Whooo boy I preach about being positive all the time but sometimes that it one fucking difficult thing to practice!

THIS JUST IN: I fake-fainted in front of Henry and he didn’t even flinch.

My favorite thing about Divorce is the awesome 70s soundtrack. Also, I love that Sarah Jessica Parker still has the voice of a teenage girl—her voice has always been my favorite thing about her. Also x2, if Henry and I ever get a fake-divorce from our never-happened-marriage, I hope he NEVER DATES AGAIN. I made him promise that today, and then I texted Chooch at the Teen Center and told him to make sure Henry doesn’t ever try to give him a new mom. Then Henry walked into the room wearing an ugly army-colored t-shirt with a bright blue thermal shirt under it and I realized I HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

On that note, here are some pictures from last week.

Henry made Kimbap and bean sprout soup for dinner last Sunday and I was there for it. He’s also making a batch of kimchi—he is my little ahjumma!

Against our better judgment, we bought Chooch a puzzle so now half of Henry’s work station has been usurped. I also bought this hot pink furry coat which Chooch was more than happy to model for the purposes of this picture.

Here I am, being multi-fandom AF in my BIGBANG scarf and Jonghyun pin. I love wearing my Kpop faves!

Well, back to my afternoon itinerary which involves roller coaster YouTube vlogs and harping on Henry to finish Kpop valentines. Stay warm, my muffins!

Jan 092019
 

First full week where I’m in the office every day since November probably and bitch it shows. I’m struggling.

We had a new admin start on Monday and today she had to suffer through two whole hours of being trained by me. I asked her if anyone had showed her the supply room yet and when she said yes I guess I looked noticeably sad because she said, “We…could go again?” So we did! But it was sad because the supply room guy told me that they’re no longer stocking my favorite red pens — they’re his favorite too so we bonded over that and he encouraged me to take a bunch since they’ll be NOTHING BUT A MEMORY soon.

It’s fine.

Anyway, new admin told me that she thought we were the same age and she is only in her late 20s so I will be keeping this one.

This drive-by blog post is brought to you by my burnt out brain and this great Winner video:

ETA: Lol just realized I posted the wrong video not that anyone cares but we’ll leave that one there as a bonus bc this a cool rookie group, and here is the actual Winner video, wow such generosity on my part:

Jan 082019
 

I woke up Saturday morning at some unholy hour and had an idea for a new greeting card, and then any chance I had of falling back asleep was slaughtered.

Here’s some Kpop lore for you, which you will need to know to fully understand this card: Korea has an abundance of music countdown shows, similar to TRL, where Kpop groups come on and perform their latest single. One of the shows is called Inkigayo (“popular song”) and they are notorious for selling a sandwich that the idols go wild over.

Legend has it that G-Dragon has been known to use those sandwiches as a carrier pigeon to get his number to whichever female idol he had his eyes on at the time. Look, I don’t know if this is true or not, but Seungri (from G-Dragon’s group BIGBANG) said it once on a variety show!

And now that there’s a new dating “scandal” in the kpop world with Jennie (Blackpink) and Kai (EXO), this whole Inkigayo sandwich rumor has returned and the memes are so entertaining!

So I thought to myself, while half-asleep, wouldn’t it be funny to make a card shaped like the Inkigayo sandwich where the sender could hide a message inside…

I started picturing a children’s pop-up book, where there are also tabs to pull, and I thought, “Maybe it could be a piece of lettuce that could slide out of the sandwich…”

But that’s because silly me forgot for a second that this is a Korean sandwich, which are way different than American sandwiches that are stacked with lunchmeat and cheese. I googled Inkigayo sandwich just so I could have an accurate depiction for my design, and quickly realized that there are no trimmings of lettuce or tomato sticking out that I could use.

Do you guys know what’s in an Inkigayo sandwich?

It’s three layers.

One layer has cabbage, cucumber, apples and corn. It looks like a coleslaw. I’m down for that.

Another layer has boiled potatoes, eggs and crab. So, like an egg and potato salad combined with some crab thrown in. I don’t eat seafood, but maybe it’s fake? If so, still down for that.

But you guys.

The middle layer, though.

It’s…strawberry jam.

At first I was like, “What, no.” But I gotta say, I think I’d STILL BE DOWN FOR THAT.

I LOVE putting jam or jelly on grilled cheese so, maybe this is similar?

Apparently, these sandwiches have become so popular that the 7-Elevens in Korea sell them now so that might be my first stop when I go back, you can judge me, I’m cool with it.

Picture from Korea Herald

So, since I had no protruding produce to work with like on a beefy American ‘wich, I made an “Inkigayo Sandwich” label which the actual sandwiches do have, according to the pictures I’ve seen, and that’s what you pull out to reveal the message!

I used Jennie and Kai for my example message. Have you SEEN Kai rock a croptop though? Jennie is so lucky.

Image result for kai crop top

Kai, you’re rude.

The back of the card is gold glittered cardstock, making it nice and sturdy.

View this post on Instagram

If you’re up to your neck in Kpop gossip like me then you have definitely heard the lore behind the infamous Inkigayo sandwich. Legend has it (thanks, Seungri!) that G-Dragon used to give his number to female idols by hiding it inside the super popular Inkigayo sandwiches. With the latest dating news of Jennie and Kai, the Inkigayo sandwich has been coming up a lot again and I thought it would be fun to make a card based on this where you could hide a message and have the recipient pull the Inkigayo tab to reveal it. Call it the InkiHELLO card, if you want! This card is blank, and backed with glittery cardstock. It still fits in the standard-sized envelopes (don’t worry – we tested! Just stick it in there on a diagonal!) so you don’t have to walk this card to your friends house and hand-deliver it, unless you feel like you really need the exercise. • • • • #idolsandwich #bangtanboys #kai #exo #jennie #gdragon #valentine #greetingcard #kpop #kpopmemes #kpopgossip #kpoptea #bigbang #winner #ikon #blackpink #bangtansonyeondan #wannaone #superjunior #daebakdesigners

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I’m obsessed with this card! You could use it for so many things! Here’s the link to it – go snatch one up!

 Let’s cap this off with a video of BIGBANG performing Bae Bae on Inkigayo!

Dec 292018
 

Let’s take a break from Christmas-related recaps and talk about some shit that’s been happening around here lately.

  1. NEW NEIGHBORS

Remember how several months ago I was stoked because that jackass guy who always was working on his broke-down cars in the driveway finally moved out and took his junkyard with him? Well he’s been replaced by some old broad and her young adult son who DRIVES A DUMPTRUCK AND PARKS IT IN THE DRIVEWAY. Now, we don’t have to deal with these n00bs other than when we’re being annoyed by that monstrosity in the driveway, but Hot Naybor Chris shares a wall with them and told us that they’re loud and constantly fighting with each other. I heard the son screaming at someone outside last week and it was actually chilling. He seems mostly like a derelict but who knows if he’s dangerous. I don’t trust anyone!

Haley started to leave a note on his dumptruck recently but Blake made her take it off because he seems like maybe he could be a loose cannon—he apparently came out of his house and started yelling at some of Blake’s friends who were walking down the sidewalk, so that’s great. I’m dying to start a fight with him.

Henry walked outside earlier today and Hot Naybor Chris’s wife actually WAS fighting with him over the whole dumptruck thing and Henry said she yelled that if he parks it there again she’s going to break the windows with a rock. Lol, #TeamHNCWife

Oh, also, HIS ASSCRACK IS ALWAYS SHOWING!

In other neighbor-related news, did I tell you about the time several weeks ago when I was walking to the trolley and Chooch’s “friend” Rob, a middle-aged man who has lived on this block even longer than me and is notorious for public drunkeness, was walking down his sidewalk to his truck which was parked on the street.  Drunk Rob stopped me and slurred “hey check out my cat” and for a moment I thought this was a ploy to shove me in his pickup truck and show me his weener but his cat really was sitting on the sidewalk. Whew.

2. BABYSITTERS CLUB

We’ve been babysitting Calvin off and on since yesterday and it’s been fun but good goddamn I forgot how exhausting small children are! I only have so many funny voices and dance moves, you know?

We took him to Eat n Park last night for dinner and it was the first time we took him out in public without his parents so before we went inside, I pleaded with him to not embarrass us and he listened to me! He was super good the whole time and actually ate the food we cut into elf-approved pieces  without hurling it across the restaurant!

(I tried to slip him a black olive but that was a big NOPE.)

When the waitress came to take our orders, we acted SO FUCKING SUSPICIOUS like we were kidnappers.

“What should we order for him?” we whispered to each other. “Does he like mac ‘n cheese?” we wondered out loud. I think a normal waitress would have maybe signaled for an amber alert, because we were acting like we had no idea how to care for a toddler so clearly he was abducted. But this was Eat n Park and those broads don’t pay attention to your empty coffee cup, let alone suspicious behavior.

I definitely think Calvin likes me better than Henry though. He’s been paying more attention to me recently so now I’m obsessed with hanging out with him and making sure that he stays liking me more than Henry.

That’s my end game for everything.

Earlier today, it took all three of us to change his clothes.

3. OH YOU WAIT UNTIL MOM FINDS OUT, BUDDY

I bought Chooch this shirt for Christmas because we love The Lost Boys and that’s one of my favorite parts of the movie and we all know I give presents selfishly. Another shirt for us to share!

4. In Case You Were Wondering, I’m Still Talking About My Tooth Tragedy

I was closing out all the tabs on my phone and it was all “how much do root canals cost” “I lost a filling” “does my tooth need pulled” “if you swallow a filling can you die” “do tooth implants hurt.” Henry rolled his eyes out of his head when I told him so now my tabs are full of eye stuff.

My fixed tooth is now super sensitive to cold and it hurts when I chew hard food on that side so now I’m panicking THAT I AM NOT FIXED (or am I just FIXATING) but at least I don’t have a shell back there anymore?

5. My New Fetish

So, I used to be into watching Korean idols eating (don’t judge me) but then the other day, I, um, accidentally watched a video compilation of Jinu from Winner drinking so I guess that’s my new kink?!

Well, in other news, my only plan for this weekend is to hunker down and crank out some new card designs for Valentine’s Day — I’m almost done with a 16-card set of The Cure designs! They are so fucking cringey.

Dec 262018
 

…to think I’d feel like recapping any Christmas bullshit on here today. The last three days ended up being much busier than I expected plus I just got home after spending a day out and about with my best son (lol) doing our best impressions of Henry, and all I will be doing the rest of the evening is watching Winner videos (I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THEM! ONE MONTH!) and probably theme park videos too because the scope of my obsessions is pretty limited to those two things lately.

I hope everyone survived Christmas and all of its maddening consumerism and loneliness. I tried to do that whole “mind control” thing I blabbed on about a few blog posts ago but I realized my feelings of disdain for Christmas run too deep so all I can really do is buckle up and brace myself.

Dec 192018
 

You know how motivational speakers and self-help weirdos are always preaching about mind over matter, etc etc? Well, somewhere in my life, I actually kind of started to believe that WHOA maybe there actually is something to positive thinking. I know it’s easy to fall into those negative nets and motherfuck everything that comes your way, and I spend a lot of my days doing just that. Being surly is kind of my thing, also I think I might be borderline.

But anyway, today is a really good example of how thoughts can completely set the tone and control the day. Take this morning, for example. I got a twitter notification that the trolley was having issues and I flipped my shit because I hate when wrenches are thrown into my daily routine. So I ran out of the house earlier than usual in order to grab an earlier trolley and hopefully not be as late. The trolley driver was really great about keeping us updated on what was happening and how the detour was going to go, and I appreciated that. Yes, I was still annoyed. Yes, I whined about it when I got to work 10 minutes late which doesn’t even count as late at that place, trust me — my job is so laid back when it comes to these things. It’s ME who gets all wound up about it!

And yes, I berated Henry via KakaoTalk because this was all his fault, after all.

About an hour later though, I was thought to myself, “You know, this could have been way worse. We’re lucky that we have a transit system full of people who are so on the ball.” I mean, whoever runs that twitter account is amazing at keeping passengers updated, and what a shitty position to be in, knowing your tweets are going to get lambasted by angry Yinzers. So do you know what I did? I deleted my crybaby tweet about how the trolley sucks and I replied to the Port Authority account, thanking them for being so helpful and diligent at keeping us up to speed when shit like this happens. 9 times out of 10, when they’re having issues, it’s because of some uncontrollable force, like a tree falling on one of the wires or some dumbass leaving their car on the tracks (this happens more than you’d think). And just like that, the tone of my day changed! Being nice kind of felt…..NICE. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?!

Then I was having an annoying afternoon of dealing with people who definitely haven’t discovered that sentiment up there about being nice, and I was being a big bitchbaby about that but then we got an email from Wendy about a late afternoon holiday soiree that she and the other associate directors prepared for our department, which included ALCOHOL and normally I would let my social anxiety dictate how I RSVP to something like this (yes, even with people I see everyday, I get a little palm-sweaty and collar-tuggy when surrounded by them). But I told myself that it would be good to walk away from my computer screen and have a drink with my work friends.  I figured I would just make an appearance and then sneak away, but I ended up staying for the full hour and it was really fun and reminded me of how it used to be there so maybe in 2019 I will try to be more people-y.

And then guess what happened?! Henry actually parked the car and met me outside of my building so that we could walk back to  the car together since I have been complaining lately about the weirdos I have to encounter on the way to where he waits for me after work. I thought that was really sweet but of course I didn’t let him know that, haha.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning (oh, don’t worry, there will be a WHOLE POST dedicated to my oral woes, I know you can’t wait) so once again, I let my feelings about that darken my mood and I was totally snippy with Henry and Chooch but then I watched the new Winner video and said, “Fuck it, I’m buying tickets to see them” so now I’m going to see them in Toronto next month, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME AND MY WRECKED MOLAR.

So my current mood is: pretty fucking content as long as I’m not thinking about my tooth (OR, THE SHELL OF MY TOOTH), and the whole poing of this is that I guess those dumbass self-help weirdos are kind of right. Plus, one of the YouTube fitness ladies I like also reminds us that if we smile, we can actually convince ourselves to feel happier and I think that she’s probably right because she has a degree in something.

Anyway, I’m going to go and watch this Winner video MILLIONS of times now because it is really uplifting and that’s the whole point of this post which you would know if you were paying attention, jesus.

Dec 182018
 

I’m really weird about decorating. For instance, a lot of people assume that since I am so into Halloween, my house must basically look like tomb during October, but I don’t think we have bothered decorating since like, 2008?! We haven’t even had carved pumpkins in forever! I’m pretty lazy.

And aside from a Christmas tree/Trudy, we don’t really do much else even though every summer I think to myself, “I should start working on that dark Christmas wreath I’ve been dreaming about for 10 years” but do you think I do that? NO BECAUSE IM TOO BUSY HOUNDING HENRY TO TAKE US TO AMUSEMENT PARKS!

But this year, I kind of felt inspired to throw up some extra lights and make good ol’ Robert look extra festive. I mean, have you seen my house? We have fucking lights blinking and flashing all year round regardless of the almighty baby Jesus.

It’s a nice nook to relax after a long day of My Bloody Valentining. In other words, these lights will definitely still up for Valentines Day/until they burn out.

Just some bonus shots of Drew at Trudy’s feet. The cats are very respectful of her. Just not any ornament dangling from her that may be constructed of felt or pompoms.

I wanted to cover the whole ceiling in garland and lights but Henry was like SO IT CAN ALL FALL ON US UNEXPECTEDLY WHILE WE’RE WATCHING ALL THE K-DRAMAS IM ADDICTED TO? I THINK NOT.

Asshole.

Garland on the mantle. Wow, I went ALL OUT this year. Get me a fucking spread in Better Homes & Gardens.

Anyway, something small like this has helped get me more in the spirit, because I don’t WANT to be a Scrooge, ok? It just comes naturally and I have to be mindful enough to want to make a change. And you know, barking light-hanging orders at Henry really helped to lift my spirit!!

I have some pictures of downtown Xmas spirit shit that I have been collecting so I will post those this week too. Maybe it will help some other people get in the spirit as well!

K annyeong.

Dec 172018
 

It’s been a whole year without Jonghyun and I am drowning in real thick feelings and ugly tears. I can’t explain why exactly but his death wrecked me harder than any other “celebrity” death and it felt like losing someone I actually knew in “real life,” because his artistry really touched me and brought me so much joy.

The anniversary of his death is really hard for so many of us, but it’s also a reminder that this time of year is especially slippery and fragile for so many people suffering from depression. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the stress of holiday shopping and tensions can definitely flare when shops are crowded and the streets are full of traffic and it feels like we’re hemorrhaging money, but I am going to try extra hard this week to smile at strangers, even the weirdos I see on my lunch break walks (except maybe not the one weird man who made sexually suggestive gestures at me with a Slim Jim last week and then high-pitched shrieked at a woman waiting to cross the street).

It’s not much, but sometimes a (non-creepy) smile can go a long way, and maybe it will be the difference to someone who is having a bad day or feels extra alone in this whirlwind holiday season.

Please, if you’re reading this, be kind to a stranger this week. Be kind to one stranger everyday. Let’s all be extra shiny for Jonghyun.

Dec 042018
 

Regularly scheduled amusement park and Kpop posts are interrupted because Blake and Haley’s baby was born today! Haley managed to break the Henry Family Curse by finally bringing a girl into the fold!

Chooch’s first niece! Henry’s first granddaughter!

Her name is Lily Anne and we’re obsessed. I am so prepared to buy all the cute baby girl clothes for her!

Congratulations to Haley & Blake!

Nov 292018
 

When we first decided* we were going to Tennessee for Thanksgiving weekend, I figured we’d get in sometime Saturday evening, have dinner or something, and then go to DOLLYWOOD on Sunday, because that was legitimately the sole impetus of this trip.

*(See also: when I decided and told Henry and Chooch we were going to Tennessee for Thanksgiving weekend.)

But then Henry was like, “Let’s just leave sometime Friday evening, drive halfway, and then have most of Saturday to do the Tennessee things.”  Who is this Captain Funtime Spirit using Henry as a host body!? I was stoked on this idea and we even got along the whole night in the car and only fought once on Saturday while still in West Virginia, when I was angry and had my typical knee-jerk temper explosion all over not being able to find my conditioner when I woke up Saturday morning. And then Henry told me to “end it” which is basically just the same as telling me to CALM DOWN which he doesn’t do anymore, but I can see we’re going to have a battle over semantics here soon.

We arrived in Pigeon Forge sometime around 1:00pm, I think. It would have been later than that if Henry had given in to my desire to tour the BUSH’S BAKED BEANS FACTORY. I was heart-broken when we drove past the visitor center and I saw tourists out there posing with all the baked beans signs, living their best gassy lives.

Once we hit that main drag in Pigeon Forge, the one that’s like the Las Vegas strip of tourist traps, Chooch’s eyes lit up like an orphan about to dive into a hot bowl of porridge.

Here are the highlights from Saturday, aka Every Single Thing We Did because it was such a great FAMILY FUNTIME day, as Chooch would call it. We love us some funtime.

POORLY PLANNED LUNCH!

Apparently, Pigeon Forge loves pancakes. There are pancake house everywhere! But you know what pancake houses are notorious for? Closing at 2-fucking-PM. So, no pancake houses for us. Then we were going to eat at some Cuban place I found on shitty Yelp but I got irrationally mad when we pulled up and found that it was in a strip mall-ish area. I didn’t want to eat in a strip mall! By then, we were halfway to Gatlinburg and I didn’t want to go too far away because we still needed to go back to our hotel so Chooch could change clothes for his Cool Boy Smoky Mountain Photoshoot since they let us check in but then the maid had literally JUST started cleaning our room so we just dumped our bags, hung out in the fitness room for a bit so I could walk like a freak on the treadmill after being in the car all morning, and then left for lunch.

So when we saw the Wild Bear Tavern, I screamed, “FUCK IT, JUST STOP HERE, I DON’T CARE.” Hilariously, it ended up being a German restaurant. First of all, German food and vegetarians rarely mesh well. Second of all, the last time we ate a German restaurant was in 2011 (OMG the same year we were last in Tennessee too!) and Henry and I both got major food poisoning. We were with two other people that night who didn’t get sick at all and the only common denominator was the apple strudel that Henry and I had for dessert so I guess we were poisoned by the Evil Queen? Henry has been terrified of German food ever since so he opted for a burger and Chooch and I both ordered grilled cheese from the kids menu and the waitress was just like, “Why did you come here, tho?”

I did get a side of spaetzel though which was drowning in a pool of melted, watery cheese so it was kind of like German mac n’ cheese I guess and not even close to being as glorious as the spaetzel my Pappap used to make for Christmas. He was the spaetzel king.

Chooch got like 3 new stains on his hoodie just from lunch because he eats like a three-year-old, so going back to the hotel afterward was imperative! Luckily, our room was done for real that time.

TRAIL MIX CHOKING!

Next up was the aforementioned Cool Boy Smoky Mountain Photoshoot! The highlight of this for us, don’t hate, was when we were driving back down the mountains to go  to Gatlinburg and Henry started choking on trail mix to the point where one lone tour dripped down his cheek and Chooch and I were going WILD over this. Then we were just like, “OMG please stop choking!” and it reminded me of how Glenn always chokes on peanuts at work. Good job being like Glenn, Henry. Anyway, Tuesday night, I was like, “Hey Chooch remember when Dad was choking on trail mix?” and  then we were crying because we were laughing so hard at the three-day-old memory and Henry called us a bunch of fuckers.

MYSTERIOUS MANSION!!

I wanted to do this the last time we were in Tennessee but it was before Chooch was wild about going to haunted houses and no one else thought it was a Super Great Idea like I did, so I did not go. But this time I was determined, and Chooch was pretty hyped up about it too. It took us a while to get through the Gatlinburg tourist traffic, but once we found somewhere to park, it was just a short walk from there. Henry was like, “I am not going in this thing, have fun” but had to come in anyway to pay for us, haha.

It was relatively “cheap” by haunted house standards ($13 for me, $8 for Chooch; something like that) and the ticket booth guy gave us the run-down in a melodramatic tone without making eye contact with us once. It was weird. But also, thank you for not looking at me, ticket guy.

Anyway, he sent us into a waiting room which was very dim and themed like an old-fashioned sitting room with a fireplace. There was a family of 5 waiting for us to join them, and then the ticket guy came over the intercom and told us it was time to find our way out of the room.

We were allowed to touch everything and push things, so that was really cool, and eventually we figured out that the fireplace had to be pushed in order for an entrance to be found. Every single person in that family (a mom, a SUPER TALL dad, a young son and daughter, and a SUPER TALL teenaged daughter) were absolutely paralyzed with fear and holding on to each other, so finally I offered to go first and they were basically treating me like a fucking hero, like I was some chick Van Helsing or something. It was HILAR. These people totally made the haunted house that much better for us, Chooch and I both agreed, which is no small feat because we barely agree on the color of the sky these days.

They were absolutely latched on to us and at first, I thought to myself, “Wow, this haunted house isn’t even that—-”  but then SHIT STARTED TO GO DOWN. Basically, without writing a goddamn screenplay, we were being stalked and terrorized by the same two or three guys and they were effective as fuck. One of them kept making a raptor-like sound in our faces, and at one point, we had walked up a staircase and were crossing a balcony-like hallway that overlooked the downstairs when one of them JUMPED FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE INTO THE HALLWAY WE WERE IN and I’ll tell you what, that family started a veritable stampede and I thought we were going to get turned into one a Pigeon Forge pancake for real. My throat hurt from screaming and laughing and scream-laughing! Oh shit, Chooch and I were cracking up so bad, this family was the limit.

At one point, the SUPER TALL daughter had my arm in a death grip, but she was pulling it behind my back at an uncomfortable angle, and then one of those guys came back to terrorize us some more and I was bracing myself for the crunch of cartilage as she snapped my arm back, but luckily I was able to break free. Her mom was holding on to my back and eventually realized what she was doing and said, “I AM SO SORRY. WE ARE REALLY DOING THE MOST RIGHT NOW” and I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell her it was fine. But real talk – if Chooch and I had gone through on our own, I might have had to utilize an emergency exit because it really like some real life terror situation at times. And the theming inside the house was great too, from what I was able to see in the flurry of hysteria going on around me. So damn good, would recommend. Exceeded expectations!

KILLING TIME IN G-BURG

We weren’t hungry yet so we decided to just walk around Gatlinburg and count how many times we got to say NOPE every time Chooch would excitedly point out some arcade or shooting gallery. Ripley’s pretty much owns eastern Tennessee, I’ve learned, so every other tourist attraction we passed had their name on it. We did some of that stuff last time, but ever since that duck boat tragedy last summer, I have been determined to boycott those motherfuckers so all I had to say was, “No, Ripley’s killed people” and then Chooch said, “Oh, I didn’t know” and NEVER ASKED AGAIN.

It was wonderful.

We walked by Christ in the Smokeys and I got a picture of Christ all dressed up in twinkle lights for Christmas to send to our friend Bill, who I dragged there along with us last time, but he admitted it was a real diamond in the rough. Of course it was!

Just in case I ever started to forget that we were in the south, we’d walk past a souvenir shop that had several pro-Trump novelty shirt hanging in the window. Yup. Cool fucking story.

MELLOW MUSHROOM!

We ate at the Pigeon Forge location twice last time we were there and all I could remember was that I had something with tempeh, so I wanted to go back because tempeh is one of my favorite vegetarian foods and also, we were in the South and my veg options were slim.

Admittedly, it wasn’t as great as I remembered, but it was still a nice dinner. Henry got the Holy Shiitake mushroom pizza so I could have a slice, Chooch got something with two different kinds of tomatoes and then remembered he doesn’t like tomatoes so he had to pick them off but supposedly liked whatever remained, and I got that tempeh sandwich thing which was great but not like, “OH SHIT I HAVE TO WRITE SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS IN MY BLOG ABOUT THIS” great.

I had a beer and I normally don’t drink very often anymore so I was pretty much plastered. Henry asked me what I ordered and I honestly have no idea, it was whatever the waiter recommended when I told him I only really like wheat beers. It was OK! I drank the whole glass! But it wasn’t very big, so….

We found the fountain where Bill almost actually drowned Chooch when he was pretending to drown him, lol.

(I know I’m referencing our last trip here so much but you have to understand that it was an epic time, and Chooch and Bill even have a commemorative book for it.)

Right after this, we walked past a bunch of small kids who were singing some song, that went like, “I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N” and passers-by were straight charmed by this Flanders-esque display of religion, but not us. We were gagging and trying to push our horns back into our scalps. There’s only one thing worse than kids and it’s RELIGIOUS kids.

We watched this guy poop out taffy logs from a machine. I also bought Ole Smoky moonshine taffy at some other candy store for work and Henry was pissed because my work always gets all the candy.

JURASSIC JUNGLE OAT RIDE!

After walking off our dinner, we went back to Pigeon Forge so that Chooch and I go on the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride!

Or, Oat Ride, I guess.

Now look, you don’t need to read the reviews to know that this is going to be a hokey trip through a glorified warehouse, but I NEEDED TO DO THIS. Henry kept saying it was going to be a rip-off, but he still handed over the credit card to the bored teenager working the ticket booth, and then he promptly went back and sat in the car while Chooch and I boarded a boat, or oat, with another family of suckers tourists.

That one dummy looks like a psycho Nick Jonas.

Sooooo…..it was actually pretty horrific in that I felt like we could have potentially been murdered in there. It was so dark (except for the jackass dad’s phone flashlight that he had turned on for THE ENTIRE RIDE because he was recording THE ENTIRE RIDE. Bro, that shit’s already on YouTube, don’t re-do it.) Chooch and I were especially terrified of the larger-than-life, extremely and inexplicably buff pterodactyl that was perched in anger above us.

We had so many questions.

I mean, I’m no dinosaur expert, but many things in there did not add up.

Overall, IT WAS FUCKING GREAT! Chooch started applauding sarcastically at the end, so then the mom of the family in front of us turned around and also started clapping but I think she actually meant it.

But yeah, if you’re into supremely tacky tourist shit from the 1970s, then this will be the jam to your peanut buttered travel itinerary.

I might still be drunk from that beer.

WHEN CHOOCH DIVORCED HIMSELF FROM THE FAMILY

We went back to the hotel after the Jurassic thing so we could drop the car off and just walk to play mini golf — HENRY’S IDEA! He must have been having so much fun hemorrhaging money on family time.

But it was hard to cross the big bad Pigeon Forge tourist highway so we couldn’t go to the mini golf place that Chooch originally chose and had to pick one of the dozens of places on the side we were already on.

So we chose Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure, where Chooch finally realized after all this time that he sucks at mini golf.

I was so giddy by this point of the night, and spent most of the time doubled over in laughter while Chooch was practically roid-raging over his inability to get the ball in the hole in less than 9 strokes while Henry was looking up flights for one from Knoxville to Pittsburgh.

I sincerely don’t know how we didn’t get kicked out.

But most importantly, I won! Taemin’s wife always wins!

Somehow we missed an entire hole, Chooch lost his ball right at the end which resulted in him having a major psychiatric break and so he stormed off back to the hotel ahead of us, I nearly laughed myself to death because I’m a great mom, and Henry kept mumbling about wanting ice cream but then he never got ice cream.

We made it back to the hotel and almost immediately crashed. It’s amazing that we managed to mostly get along so well!

(Although, there was one time earlier that day when Chooch was trying to make a video for Instagram and got mad later when he realized you could hear Henry and me arguing in the background. I asked him what we were saying and he said we were arguing about where something was and then he imitated me saying, “That’s literally what I just said” and I said that he made me sound like a sassy teenage girl. “Yeah. That’s because that’s what you sound like,” he said in a way that implied it was NOT a compliment. Rude.)

Nov 242018
 

We made it safely to Tennessee! Now we gotta convince Henry that he really really really wants to take us to the Gatlinburg haunted house.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend & eating lots of Thanksgiving leftovers!

Nov 192018
 

You know how sometimes, before you go to bed, your mind wants to narrate to you in full detail the specifics of C-sections? GIRL, that happened to me just last night!

I know it’s been like, what, 12+ years since I was sliced and diced but I swear I still have incision pain.

“That’s probably why I can’t get rid of this little belly-bulge! It’s my body’s way of shielding me from the incision scar!” I cried hysterically to Henry, who mumbled, “You don’t even have a scar there” at the same time I was describing the scar as my Ouchie Strip.

“Really? Ouchie Strip?” Henry repeated with something in the middle of disgust and disappointment. Look, it was the first thing I could think of ok.

“CHILD BIRTH IS UNNATURAL!” I wailed in my next breath. “People should be born from….SEEDS!”

“So what, men should just walk around ejaculating in the dirt?” Henry asked.

“No, men won’t have anything to do with this. Fuck those jackasses. God will just drop the seeds from a cloud in Heaven,” I said slowly, thinking about it as I went on. “Farmer God.”

Then Henry reminded me that I don’t even believe in God, AND THAT’S WHY! GOD MAKES CRUEL THINGS HAPPEN TO US LIKE DONALD TRUMP AND CHILD BIRTH.

Henry fell asleep soon after this, leaving me to lie there, thinking about how MY ORGANS* WERE POTENTIALLY SCOOPED OUT OF MY BODY CAVITY AND DUMPED INTO A TROUGH, THANKS CHOOCH.

*(I didn’t even know that this could happen until 2 years ago when I was watching some BuzzFeed video about men going through fake child birth and they were like dry heaving when they found that out about C-sections and I was like, “WAIT, DID THAT HAPPEN TO ME TOO?!” and Henry was like, “Maybe your intestines?” And then I was dry-heaving too.)

(Seriously my insides feel bruised right now at the thought.)

(I just asked Henry about it again and he said, “I don’t know if they took anything out. They grabbed him by his big head and—”

“OH MY GOD!!” I shrieked, wincing.

“You brought it up!!” Henry spat.)

***

 I was moderately annoyed when I first went out on my break today because I had to go to the dumb post office to mail my greeting cards since I have to stand there and watch the postal workers scan them in because I can’t trust them to always do their job properly! For it being such a bleak, rainy day today, people were fucking FRIENDLY out there on the streets of Pittsburgh. Like, people were actually SMILING at me when I would pause to let them pass me since sometimes the sidewalks don’t accommodate two people passing with umbrellas. And then I found that instead of stomping along with resting bitch face like usual, I was smiling too and then even more people were smiling back and I was like WHAT IS THIS SORCERY.

And then I started to CRY. Not like full-blown Hallmark TV movie sobbing but my eyes were for sure welling up and it BURNT, like Holy Water on the face of Satan.

(Or Saran, as I originally typed. You know, that motherfucker and his sinister kitchen wrap products. Hisssss.)

***

I think maybe I’m becoming weak and soft because basic things like humanity and compassion or whatever the fuck are starting to sneak through my wall of hate and I just don’t care anymore. Like, this one day last week, I was waiting for the trolley (i.e. how all of my Horror Stories start) when I heard this broad’s loud-ass mouth from many yards away (I forget how much of a distance a yard is but it was like distance between my desk and Wendy’s office away, which means nothing to you if you don’t work with me).

She had that terrible “smoking since 13” Pittsburgh trash voice that I loathe so much and immediately start prejudging, when I hear it LOOK I’M SORRY I’M NOT A FUCKING SAINT. But keep reading because maybe I’m changing, who knows.

Now, this broad had cut our distance in half and she was scream-talking to the fare attendant about the weather. As she shouted for him to have a good day, I began to pray to the trolley lords to help repel her from my area but apparently no fucking religion wants me because she pushed her stroller right up next to me and that’s when I realized I’ve seen her, but not heard her, on the trolley a few months ago.

Immediately, she started talking to me about her kid in the stroller who turned two in September, didn’t want to wear her gloves, and can count to 10 but skips 7 & 8 (Chooch always skipped 7 and said it was because he didn’t need it so I was softening up to this broad before I had a chance to stop myself). She was also a lot younger than her CDC Smoker Voice tv commercial made her out to be.

This broad was so chatty and usually I blanch at this but I robotically said things like “My son does not like to keep gloves on either” in an effort to balance the camaraderie. I even picked up the kid’s plastic Elmo phone one of the 18 she chucked it.

But then the T came and I sat five rows back her. She sat near the lady who likes Phyllis from The Office aka the only person on the T who is ever charmed by that annoying family I sometimes bitch about on here. Immediately, this girl proceeded to tell Phyllis everything going on in her life, which is all pretty awful:

  • she has an older daughter who is a super bad seed and was in Western Psych and basically sounds like she’s capable of murder except that she loves animals thank god so the therapists at Western Psych would use animal therapy on here
  • her baby’s daddy sounds like a piece of shit
  • she’s adopted and doesn’t have close family which is why she talks to strangers (GURL STOP)
  • she had to check to see if she had homework due that day not because she’s in school but because she had to take weekly Bible classes in order for her rent to be paid — THAT WAS THE WORST PART!

Anyway there was so much more she was telling Phyllis and normally people flapping and wringing out their dirty laundry on pub-trans makes me so disgusted but this girl was like…still upbeat. Like, she wasn’t complaining or relaying any of this shit in a woe-is-me fashion, but she was being very matter-of-fact and conversational probably because that dumb boyfriend of hers doesn’t talk to her!!!

Look, this might have been another time in less than a week that my eyes spontaneously sprinkled. And when the trolley arrived at my stop, I went out of my way to walk by her just so I could tell her I hoped she has a good day. Henry said it’s like when the Grinch’s heart grew ten sizes or whatever. I guess.

Per-fucking-spective, bro.

If that girl can get off her ass and do the work expected of her to make her life better, in spite of all the hurdles and challenges in her way, then maybe I could at the very least take the T to work without acting like it’s the worst thing to ever happen to me…

Ok, baby steps, Erin. Tiny baby gnome steps.

Nov 182018
 

I am back where I belong. An asylum. Specifically, Transallegheny Insane Asylum haunted house. This line wasn’t that long, but I bought time by playing a game on my phone, sort of like Scattergories. Janna, obviously had to go to the bathroom and I tricked her into going into the port-o-potty that was a trick. It didn’t have a loud siren, though. Lats year, it was a prank and whenever you opened the door wide enough, a siren would sound and it would embarrass you. While waiting in line for the house, the people were looking for a group of 2 or 3, so we presented ourselves and we walked up to the entrance with a group of 4 other people. Immediately, when we were inside, we were going super slow, because the other people leading us were turtles through the whole thing. At some points, the dad, named Paul would stop to explain the certain rooms, because he worked there before, I guess. For example, in a closet room, we walked through clothes and Paul said, “This is where the old women were kept.”

When the guy at the beginning told us the rules, he clearly stated, “Do not stop, or run, because you might catch up to the group ahead of you,” then he said, “Do not stop because the group behind you can catch up to you.” Paul didn’t understand because he went slow the whole time instead of going a normal speed, you know walking pace.

My favorite part was when we were walking up a stairwell and his family started to yell at him about going too slow, but he said, “Gotta get your money’s worth.” He continued going super slow, despite what his family told him, he probably got spanked in the car by his wife.

We finally got to the rooms where the patients were kept. The first room we entered, the roommates were arguing about something, then started to pull each other’s hair and screamed at each other.

There was this one hall that had mannequins on each side, and I expected one of them to be a real person, and it was true. Then we had to hail to “him”, but we didn’t know who exactly we were hailing to, but I praised anyway. When we got to the demon’s lair, the walls were made of pallets. Mum was knocking hard on them and the people got mad and told us to, “Stop hitting the boards!” She was as disobedient as Paul, she kept tapping the boards. The demon was a dog thing and it almost ate us, but it was still cute.

The spider nest was back again this year, and Paul had to stop to basically look at every string woven by the spiders, that was how slow he was going. Janna got really scared at some parts, like the part where we were walking through fog, then all of a sudden men on stilts were looking over and following us. She also got very scared by nothing, she doesn’t get scared by anything. We don’t know why she goes because she doesn’t care about the spooks.

Finally, as expected at the end, there was a chainsaw guy. He didn’t chase us, but he got very close to our feet and bodies. When it was time to leave, we had to find where dad parked. We checked the spot he dropped us off in, but he was gone. We were freezing and I called him, but he didn’t tell us where he was. He kept saying he saw us, but he didn’t tell us his surroundings and where he was parked relative to where he dropped us off.

*******

EDITORS NOTE: Erin here. Like, a day after this dumb haunted house that PAUL ruined, I realized that perhaps his older daughter wasn’t actually calling him “Paul,” but the more sensible Pa. I mean, we were in West Virginia and they were all speaking with mountain drawls, so….

Meanwhile, Janna had recently rescued a tiny kitten from a tunnel on her way to work, two days prior to our attending this haunt. She has been trying to come up with the perfect name for him and I served her one on a silver platter decorated with maraschino apples: PAWL.

GET IT? Because we hated “Paul” and cats have paws, so PAWL?!

Omg I was so excited about this last night and she laughed real hard but didn’t actually confirm that this is the new official name of Tunnel Cat.

Chooch wasn’t laughing at all so I yelled DON’T YOU GET IT? And he mumbled, “yeah, I got your dumb joke.”

He is so jealous of my effortless humor.

Nov 152018
 

In case any imaginary doctors out there are wondering about my health, I am still under the weather. Look, I know it’s just a cold. In fact, I’m certain  that’s all it is, but you would think I had tuberculosis the way I carry on about it.

I wanted to leave work early on Tuesday because I couldn’t keep my head up, and I’m certain Boss Amber would have been like, “byeeeeeee” if I had asked, but then I realized that even if I left early, I DON’T HAVE A HOUSEKEY because I STILL NEVER GOT ONE MADE because THE ONLY GOOD HOUSEKEY WAS LOST BY CHOOCH and all the other housekeys made since then SUCK and I 100% have NO LUCK GETTING THEM TO OPEN THE DOOR.

EVEN BLAKE STRUGGLES WITH IT WHEN HE HAS TO USE IT!

Spare me the suggestions, I know what I need to do! Just let me vent about it OK!? Ugh.

So then I thought, well, maybe I can leave a little bit before Chooch is done with school and text him to go straight home so that he will be there to open the door for me since he somehow has the magic touch and can persuade his fucking bastard key to unlock the door. But then I got caght up in something for work and ended up making it through the whole day and it’s a good thing too because when Henry and I got home at 6:00, Chooch was hanging out on  the front porch because he DIDN’T BRING HIS KEY WITH HIM. Don’t call CYS too hard on us though because he had literally just gotten home from the library, so no, he wasn’t out in the cold for THREE HOURS.

did go home a few hours early yesterday though because Henry was home to open the door for me (look, I realize this sounds ludicrous, because it is, but this is just like…my life now) but then we had not one but THREE VISITORS!? Literally no one ever knocks on our door now that we’re not poor people with outstanding gas bills so usually if there is a knock, I can’t see a silhouette through the frosted glass because it’s some dummy looking for Chooch. But this time there were ADULT SHADOWS, you guys.

Don’t worry. It was just Blake (twice) and then my mom who stopped by to bring us charity deli goods. Then I told her that in my annual review at work that day, I was called “the special little unicorn of the department” and she promptly said, “GOODBYE” and left.

WOW.

(Seriously though, my mom knows how conceited these things make me and she probably had to vomit at least once out the window on her way home.)

This is such an exciting update!

Then we were told last night that if the weather today was shitty, we could work from home and I was like GOD ARE YOU THERE IT’S ME ERIN because I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling much better the next day (TODAY) and wow, call me motherfucking Miss Cleo because I woke up feeling like someone gutted my head and stuffed it like it was practice for next week’s thanksgiving turkey.

But, I still trudged on in to work (on the trolley, no less, THANKS HENRY) in freezing rain that wasn’t treacherous enough to warrant a WFH request and I was so whiny about it for about the first hour of my shift.

I kept imagining that I was at home with a hot washcloth covering my face but that just made it worse, like being on a diet and imagining yourself sensually eating a cake (like a good quality one, not some jacked up hillbilly supermarket sheet cake) in your underwear.

With the mailman.

Then! It was still raining/snowing (OMG IS THAT WHAT WINTERY MIX MEANS?? I THINK I FIGURED IT OUT!) when it was time to take my break so I didn’t think going outside for a walk would be in my best interests. A normal sick person probably would have kicked back with a book or amusement park map but I decided that this would be a good time for me to walk up the full 40 flights of steps inside my building for the first time! Margie was like “that doesn’t seem like a great id—-” but I couldn’t hear her because I was already imprisoned inside the stair well. Since I was already on the 10th floor, I didn’t want to cheat so I first walked down to the first floor, all the way back up to 40 (there was a creepy security camera up there and I thought Interpol was going to come out from the door and arrest me), then all the way back to 1 and back up to 10.

I couldn’t breathe on account of BEING SICK but I did that shit with no break mostly because the stairwells are gross (Lauren and I saw a cockroach in there on Monday when we walked down from a meeting on 28) so no thanks steps, I won’t be sitting down on you.

Carrie told me if I wanted to sweat out my sickness, I should have just eaten spicy food and now I’m sad that I didn’t do that on my dumb break instead.

And that was today’s episode of Erin’s Poor Choices.

Oh and then guess what happened?! The weather actually turned bad and Henry was like “have fun taking the trolley home.” I triple-hate him today. But then he bought our Dollywood tickets so now I’m semi-calm.

But, still stuffy and sniffly so goodbye.

PS this was the treasure I found at the end of my stair-climbing odyssey and yes it’s blurry because I was shaking lol. Walking up steps while congested is like, no joke. And probably the opposite of drinking hot tea and honey.