Aug 102022
 

Right after Chooch left for Mexico, Henry and I started to rearrange his room. Nothing too life-altering! It was just basically swapped out a bookshelf and dresser so that there’s more space to walk into his room now. The dresser was too long for the wall it originally sat in front of. Now you can actually open his bedroom door and walk in without getting Ikea “wood” jammed up into your hip!

We also strung up some fiesta bunting as a nod to his one-month home of Mexico.

I don’t think I ever realized that he has a PRIME VIEW of the Cure corner from his room. I’m sure this is so very thrilling to him.

Honestly, I was a nervous wreck all day waiting for Chooch. So many emotions! Happiness that he was coming home, anxiety for him traveling alone, sadness for him having to leave his new friends…I was a mess.

It didn’t help that his flight wasn’t due to land in PGH until around 10:30p, so it was a long ass day, my friends.

LUCKILY!! The lame-o church carnival across the street had an oldies cover band called THE WURMS performing. They played  Stray Cat Strut for approx. 20 minutes and then abruptly left. Henry said that was because they were “practicing” and by that I think he meant SOUNDCHECKING.

They did eventually come back out and went on to play other songs like my fave SECRET AGENT MAN and I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW, but then they reverted back Stray Cat Strut.

HNC was thoroughly enjoying the show, though, and that’s all that matters.

Drew, waiting for Chooch.

Anyway, then we went to the airport and picked him up but you already knew that.

The next day, Janna and Judy came over for WELCOME HOME TACO PARTY!

We even had a bowl of cactus because apparently that was Chooch’s favorite thing that he ate in Mexico but he was REALLY NERVOUS over the fact that Henry had prepared this for him. I mean, we got it at the local Mexican grocery store, Las Palmas, not from the plant section in Home Depot so I dunno what he thought was going to happen?!

I told him to do something for the picture and I guess he was still riding that GROUP PICTURE wave from Mexico because he actually did something instead of yelling at me for wanting a picture.

We were all so happy to have Chooch back and he actually told us stories and let us look at the SHARED ALBUM he has with his Mexico squad! I’m obsessed with them by the way. Earlier that afternoon, he was on a video call with them in his room and it was the purest thing ever, oh my dumb heart.

<3

Apparently, one of the girls in the group (not in his squad though) was a delinquent who lives in a penthouse in Philly and kept going to clubs all night and missing class and she ended up having her college credit revoked! And a fifteen year old girl in the group made out with a twenty year old local on the beach in front of the group leaders!

I also had to laugh because in addition to the language and culture group, there was a smaller group of students there for leadership and something, and every time CIEE would devote posts to them on Insta, I would get so angry because it meant chooch wouldn’t be in it. I kept screaming I HATE THESE LEADERSHIP KIDS! NO ONE CARES! and apparently the language and culture kids felt the same way lol. Chooch said it was so annoying because they weren’t a part of any of the stuff they were doing but always showed up for the excursions and no one liked them. They looked so boring!!

And that was pretty much the weekend, in case you were wondering. Preparing for Chooch and celebrating Chooch!

Aug 072022
 

true to form, we waited for him to come down the steps forever and then finally started to wonder where he was so Henry texted him and was like WHERE U AT and he was like BAGGAGE CLAIM?! He somehow walked right past us and we didn’t see him?! So our reunion was extremely anticlimactic.

BUT HE IS HOME, CHOOCH IS BACK!! HE IS ACTUALLY TELLING US STORIES RIGHT NOW IN THE CAR SO BYEEEE.

Aug 012022
 


Today was all car, all the time. We left Nashua around 8am after splitting a leftover birthday cupcake (thanks, Alyson!), agreed on an audiobook, and settled in for the long-haul drive. (A bit over 9 hours, plus all the inevitable stopping.)

I didn’t LiveBlog since we were audiobooking but I probably should have because the book was a ZERO STAR for me, son.

(It was “All I Want” by Darcey Bell, in case you care. I will probably have lots of mean things to say about it in my August book wrap-up.)

Anyway, that picture is from a NY rest stop. I thought the flowers were pretty, because I am 43 now and these are things that delight the Elder Eyes.


For lunch, we went to Apple Valley Restaurant in Milford PA (?). This was after we stopped at a Pilot where some tractor trailer had the audacity to block the exit and one of the Pilot guys had to continually get on the loud speaker to call out the truck # and chastise the driver in an overly friendly tone about how it’s rude to do so and other truckers are now blocked in and he is GOING TO HAVE HIM TOWED IF HE DOESNT COME OUT AND MOVE HIS DAMN TRUCK. Then he went back to showers today look for him there! The other guys working the counter were weighing in on this, how they can always tell which driver it is by the guilty look on their faces but how they will never come forward, and it was really quite something. Trucker drama. Wow.

I actually didn’t understand what the guy had done and Henry explained it to me but it sounded stupid aka I still didn’t understand.

But yeah Apple Valley was not our first or even second or third choice but the one place looked permanently closed, the other made me feel uncomfortable when we pulled in the lot (it was fast-foodish but there were a lot of people eating outside and the inside was packed), but Apple Valley claimed to have a veggie burger so winner winner.

Immediately I was mad because Henry asked for a booth and the only one was right by the lobby so I didn’t get to see the bowels on this wood-paneled eatery. I pouted about this for some time and then pretended to act like I was balking at the prices just to see what Henry would say and when he was like “we can leave…” I snapped, “OH OK SO YOU THINK WE ARE TOO POOR TO EAT HERE THEN?”

We stayed and it’s a good thing too because my veggie burger (which I was expecting to be OUT OF STOCK because supply demands / economy stuff I don’t put attention to etc) was actually pretty delicious. It had avo and also some wonderful pesto mayo on it.


Thick Boi! It was thicker than Henry’s Real Meat Burger!

Also I loved the fancy metal plates.

Our waiter was a young guy named Derrick but Henry thought he said Dick. He was ok but kept disappearing and the hostess had to go looking for me because he was probably out back filming TikToks.

Afterward, we checked out the adjacent candy store where I ended up coming face to face with what is now known as Megan’s Birthday Present, and then I spotted a Mr Gray Guy outside who turned out to be a Mrs Gray Girl so Henry went to the car to get peanuts and I fed her!!

Flying J is next to PA mountains, therefore making it an ok place to stop.

Me in the bathroom looking haggard because I’m 43 now and road trips are now very tiring for me.

We only stopped at one (1) Sheetz if you can believe that!! But it was memorable because Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “Kiss Them For Me” was playing and I can’t remember the last time, if ever, I heard that in the wild?! This was after we getting gas at Pilot earlier and the gas pumps were ensconced in the synthy majesty of Running Up That Hill.

And not nearly as unexpected but equally as audibly delicious, S vussudio was playing at some point too today – maybe at a Love’s?! Henry clearly tries to hit them all.

We finished the book about 30 minutes outside of Pgh and ranted about it angrily until we got home. The end.

P.S. The lowlight was the book in case you couldn’t tell.

Jul 312022
 

Hello from Nashua, NH! Yesterday was my 43rd birthday and it was a very special one because I got to spend it with my dear friend Alyson and her husband Ryan whom I finally got to meet and he is the post awesome counterpart to Alyson. We had a mist excellent breakfast, bought plants (because we are all Middle Ageds), day-drank myself nearly under the table, went on a scenic walk, ate delicious homemade Korean food, unboxed a GOT7 album, got a surprise FaceTime from Chooch on the beach in Yucatán, cooed at a family of skunks.

It was such a memorable day and I will OBVIOUSLY be back to do a full recap but today is another day spending time with the Wilsons and I am so ready for it!

Jul 292022
 

Good morn’. It’s 9:00am and we’ve departed for our latest weekend adventure. It feels like we left the house an hour ago but we got tied up in a long Dunkin drive thru line and are currently only in Cranberry. Lame.

I convinced Henry to take a slightly longer route to our destination, which will take us through NY instead of across the entire length of Pennsylvania. I’m so sick of making that same drive over and over. I did have an ulterior motive though – this route takes us through Buffalo and I want vegan füdz for lunch.

I brought this book along for the ride. I can go either way with Riley Sager (Henry hates his books) so we’ll see where we land with this one. You care.

I just held the door open for someone at GetGo and as I was making a gloating face to Henry, I almost crashed into the guy I held the door open for so now Henry is clowning me.

Henry got a Krispy Kreme at Get Go and I took a small bite because I don’t often have these things. I think they’re fine but I still don’t understand why people hyperventilate over them. I remember when my hometown got its first location and my family, who had grown to love them thanks to all the car show road trips they went on without me, the Family Pariah, went fucking nuts. Mostly my dad, who was obsessed with these breakfast sweets that are neither crispy nor creamy. This was back when my dad and I hated each other so I think I probably intentionally went into it being a bitter Betty, pre-hating them because I refused to agree with my dad on anything then lol oh teenage Erin. You were a fucking delight.

11:06am: We’re almost in NY! Lake Erie has been on our left for quite some time. I have been quietly reading my book like a precious Princess while Henry houses palmfuls of trail mix.

Made the mistake of asking Henry why gas prices vary by state and now he’s droning on about taxes, totally ruining Taemin’s “IDEA” which is currently playing, so I said “I’m bored now” as I looked longingly out the window.

“Always nice talking to you,” he sighed.

11:40am: a gaggle of Hell’s Angels just puttered past us and I was tempted to flip them off to see if Henry would defend me once we pull into the next rest stop and see them waiting for us. He asked me to please not. Now we’re talking about who kills more people: them or the Pagans and Henry said probably them because they’re “more nationwide.” I wonder if he knows that from when he was studying them to pass the admission test that he ultimately failed because he has NARC written all over him.

“Their leader just died,” he said (why does he know this?!).

“Was he an out of shape slob like the ones that drove past?”

“Well no. He was very skinny because he had cancer.”

That killed the convo.

12:03pm: at my fave rest stop in New York.

He was made because I yelled HENRY just so I could take this lol. Some kid stood at the glass and got a passing by truck to beep and I cried I WANT TO DO IT TOO but Henry muttered “come on.”

LEAVING THE REST AREA AND SPOTTED THE HELLS ANGELS. this was the best shot I could get because Henry didn’t want to get killed.

1:24pm: Just left Sunshine Vegan!

Ok, I loved it. Black-owned vegan establishments just do it better. That’s facts. First of all, we walked in and the owner’s son joyfully greeted us with the announcement that it was his moms birthday and I was like Lord what’s it like to have a kid who cares about your bday?? It was just such a welcoming atmosphere.

I got a po’boy (I’m obsessed with vegan shrimp done right and this was it), Henry got some type of veggie sub (he thought it was a burger lol), and we got a carrot “tuna” salad dip to share. It was all so delicious and I didn’t feel like shit afterward.

And oh my LORD whatever that green sauce is, I wanted to lick every runaway drop off the plate.

This dog’s name is Dinero and he hated Henry! Yessss.

2:14pm: Made Henry detour to some village called OAKFIELD for donuts at some okay donuterie called Sweet Ally’s. I actually couldn’t finish my fruity pebble donut and gave it to Henry but the few bites I had were ok. Nothing to write home about except I guess that is what I’m technically doing??

The best part was this small park behind the donut place that gave walking prompts!! I won at it.

Actually the highlight of this was when Henry was struggling to get SIRI to understand that he needed directions to Sweet Ally’s. She had us going to Utah at one part. I was laughing so hard and he legit yelled at me which made laugh harder.

3:22pm: Stopped in Seabreeze Park land to do some Lake Ontario stuff!

The public restroom here was like a prison cell!

4:03pm: Back in the car. Here are some pictures from our LAKE ADVENTURE which wasn’t much of an adventure but it was still nice to get out of the car and sit on a large rock above splashing lake waves while pretending it was the ocean.

Ok, stay predominating, preDon’s.

Anyway, Henry and I are actually really enjoying each other’s company amazingly even though I did at one point snip: Why can’t you just do what I want and keep your mouth shut about it?” He was like WOW but then proceeded to do what I want hahaha.

Also!! I asked him if he got me something for my bday (tomorrow!!) and he said but that he can’t give it to me until Chooch is back and if that’s my present…I mean, yay! But also, can I have STUFF too? I’m a very STUFF-centric bitch.

6:39pm: We’re at Eddie’s in Sylvan Beach for dinner and regardless of how the food ends up being, this restaurant is MY STYLE. It got mediocre reviews on Yelp for being DATED and LIVING IN THE PAST and NO RENOVATIONS SINCE THE 60s which is how I knew it was the right choice.

That vinyl / carpet combo!

Also, our waitress’s name is Hannah and of course it is because she looks like every Hannah over ever known. (She is very nice.)

News flash: Henry chose PEPPERCORN as the dressing for his salad. I have never known him to select this?!

And then it looked like bleu cheese and he said no it’s peppercorn so I was like HOW DO U KNOW ITS PEPPERCORN and he said because he could taste the peppercorns?! What do they taste like?! Peppery corns?!

Before we ate, we bought some tickets because GALAXI was running this time! Sorry Chooch but we snagged a coaster credit that you don’t have. (Although, he got a country credit that I don’t have so I think he wins this round lol.)

I thought Henry was holding his nose because he too was bothered by the STRONG currents of B.O. being tossed around on this carnival coaster but I guess he just had an itch. It was a really strong stench. Anyway, we thought this was going to be tough and janky but it was surprisingly pleasant! I was a fan.

Couldn’t pass this up! Did it get worse than last year somehow? It just felt like we were mostly in the dark and the “scares” were barely lit. Oh well, I only ride it for that nostalgic aroma of must and grease, and the sound of the pretzel cars turning corners. It’s a vibe.

After eating, I demanded that we walk around some more to digest. Because of all this LOLLYGAGGING, our ETA in Nashua is now 12:18am lolololol.

Today is just “casual driving day” or as Henry calls it “Never Gonna Get There” day lol.

I can’t believe I got milquetoast Henry to do this.

The ride operator was oiling the track!

“I bet he had to sign waivers for that,” I said.

“I bet he didn’t,” Henry said in his I KNOW THINGS tone.

Same day, different lake. This is Lake Oneida! I fell in love with Sylvan Beach when we were visited last September and that love is still going strong. It is such a cute little vacation town! I’m already pining for it.

Anyway, when we left, Henry made me drive for almost TWO HOURS. Ok, 90 minutes. But that was annoying because he always sleeps when I drive so I’m basically driving alone. And I wanted to read my book some more but now it’s 9:23 and dark so thanks Hank.

Well, I’m going to post this now since it’s going to essentially be tomorrow when we check into our hotel. I’ll update if anything noteworthy happens!!

11:50pm: Still in the car as expected but I just realized who our waitress reminded me of:

HOLLY J from DeGrassi, also can a Look be any more early-2000s?!

1:00am: we’re here. Good fucking night.

Jul 242022
 
  1. Plant Stuff

I blinked and my cactus in the Cure Corner sprouted two tall growths.

2. The only way I can get Chooch to respond to me is to send him pictures of the cats.

3. Coney Island Peep Show

I got stuck talking to Hot Naybor Chris yesterday morning after he busted me negotiating in the backyard with one of the Mr. Gray Guy squirrels (I am so close to earning their trust, I can feel it), and he said, “You know, not everyone can say that they can look out their kitchen window and see Coney Island. I gotta come over sometime and see the whole set up.” This is weird because we’ve lived next door to each other for 20 years (!!) and he has not once been inside our house. SHOULD I CHARGE AN ADMISSION FEE?

ALSO OH GOD WHAT ELSE DOES HE SEE DO I NEED TO UP MY CURTAIN GAME.

4. Rad new kitchen addition!

Megan gave me some early birthday presents at work on Thursday (we were in the office for CASUAL LUNCH) and this sparkling cassette thing is the perfect vessel for my coffee cart straws! (NOT PLASTIC STRAWS, FYI – these are biodegradable.)

5. Ridic TBR

This is my current TBR stack – two of them are currently being read, but I am drowning! So many of my library requests came in at once and I am trying to stay calm about it, lol ugh.

6. Downtown Jesus

Speaking of CASUAL LUNCH, when I was coming down from the designated lunch room with Nate and Amber, we saw Downtown Jesus in the lobby of our building! Nate gave me a knowing glance and it almost felt like the old days.

It’s effing humid in my house. The end.

 

Jul 172022
 

I am shook. My heart has been empty without G Dragon and he has delivered. This is so unexpected and exceeds every expectation I had when I found out about this collab. I am in (happy) tears right now as we’re driving to Waldameer Park – thank you, GD!

I just fell in love with him all over again. My king.

Jul 152022
 

If someone asks me what my favorite song is, my mind literally wants to melt because I just can’t choose! Band, yes. Song? No!

But with movies, it has always been nearly my whole life these three: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Back to the Beach, and The Lost Boys. I have various memorabilia for the first two but it occurred to me recently that I have nothing for The Lost Boys! It’s what my 1980s Dream Kitchen has been missing.

Then I found this artist on Etsy who does parody takes on VHS covers of mostly 80s movies and when I saw that there was one for The Lost Boys, I snatched that (you missed) sucker right up.

I really really really like this so much because the art style is like something I would have done in my fake artist days. Outsider art forever.

Anyway, as you can plainly see, this is not in my kitchen. That’s because after I bought this, I found an art print that was even MORE My Kitchen-y!

We hung it right across from the Corey Cabinets, so now I’m surrounded by Corey Power every time I enter the kitchen. It’s my safe space.

I truly think that this is a PERFECT MOVIE. It is TIMELESS. The casting is chef’s kiss. The location is 1980s summer utopia. The soundtrack has not one skippable track (my ONLY complaint is that they used nary a Cure song, but Mummy Calls softens that blow a bit). It is probably the movie I know the most by-heart than anything else and I can still remember the very first time I ever saw it, when my Aunt Susie rented it after it came out on video and brought it over and I laid on the family room watching it and thinking Corey Haim was OMFG SO RAD and I wanted to be Star!!

And it was the best feeling ever to get to experience Chooch’s first time watching it when he was little – he was 2 and we had to buy him Lost Boys figurines because he loved it so much. His third birthday cake was the Lost Boys movie poster and he was Death By Stereo for Halloween when he was….8? 9? I dunno but it was 2015. I can’t math right now.

So yeah, it was time to get some Lost Boys art up on these walls! Now to get some Lost Boys art that lights up….Henry?

Jul 102022
 

2:39AM: A trio of bickering and we haven’t even pulled out of the driveway yet! Chooch almost left without his phone charger and now I’m the bad guy for asking him if he has it, I guess.

Also, Henry cleaned my glasses for me and it’s like looking out of, well, glass. Is this how it was always supposed to be?!

3:07am: been in the check-in line for 3 minutes and two people have asked me questions so far as if I know anything?!

3:18am: I know this is going to shock everyone but we’ve been here for 20 minutes and the American Airlines check in counter has been empty. But 6 of them are now slowly walking out and we’re all like “shut up” when one of them called out good mornings all sing-songily. It’s 3:00am gtfo.

3:56am: At the gate. Henry and I got PARENT PASSES to come all the way with him – I’m sure he is SO happy about this considering he sniped, “you’re so embarrassing” 8x in the last 10 minutes.

I almost took this with the flash on so that probably would have really sent him over the edge lololol.

4:45am: Now we have Dunkin’ Donuts and Henry is waiting in line somewhere else to get Chooch to big boy food. “I’m excited for this ‘home style breakfast.'”

Henry, bearer of bad news, just strutted over to tell Chooch that they don’t have pancakes today and he took the liberty of substituting it with toast. Chooch is not happy about this. Henry walked away and Chooch said, “asshole” in a super conversational tone and I don’t know why, probably because of the whole “2 hours of sleep” thing, but I can’t stop laughing.

Oh yeah! Since we couldn’t send Doll to Mexico with Chooch, we took pictures of her to put in his suitcase as a surprise:

5:15am: There is another CIEE kid here!!! We wanted Chooch to say hi and he said “I’ll say in Mexico.” WOW LOL. Now he’s trying to hide his shirt and avoid her but her dad looked right at him so we’ll see how this plays out.

5:52am: Well, he’s all boarded. Henry said he wished he took a picture of us hugging because it was so awkward considering I usually always slap or flick him to show affection. I’m crying, guys. This sucks.

Henry’s trying to flex his airplane knowledge. “They took the chocks out so the plane should be moving soon.”

6:21am: Just watched the plane take off. I’m a mess.

This is Henry’s version of “sad” I guess.

6:33am: Whelp. Chooch’s plane had to land because the lady behind him passed out and they’re doing CPR so now we’re going back to the gate. We had JUST gotten off the shuttle too and managed to jump back on before the doors closed because otherwise I think we would have had to go through security again and I don’t think our Gate Passes would have still worked since his flight had technically departed.

6:55am: lady has been brought off on stretcher. They’re still doing CPR. :/

While we’re killing time waiting for takeoff part 2, here’s a picture of Chooch’s Bon Voyage dinner, which I had hoped would be at a decent restaurant but when we left it up to him, he just kept suggesting Applebees because of that stupid country song that I hate and I was really trying to internalize my dissatisfaction with this choice since it was for HIS Bon voyage dinner not mine, but then he looked at the menu and realized that there is nothing for us to eat there so then he settled for take out from Moonlit Burgers because they have impossible burgers.

He was actually SO NICE all day yesterday and even treated us like human beings. It was almost as if he realized he was leaving for a month and might miss us.

7:16am: now everyone is getting off the plane.

(Everyone is saying that the lady had a heart attack.)

LOOK WHO’S BACK.

I just asked him if it was scary and he said, “no. I’m a sociopath.” And then cracked up. Wow.

8:13am: REBOARDING. I GET TO RE-CRY TOO I GUESS.

P.S. Apparently that other CIEE kid is going somewhere else not Merida because Henry just talked to chooch’s chaperone and she didn’t mention any other kids that she will be waiting for??!!

8:56am: Getting ready for takeoff part 2. *fingers crossed* He’s going to be cutting it super close for his connecting flight. Went from a 3-hour layover to basically having about 30 minutes to get to the gate, hopefully his chaperone is actually there. I hate this so much.

9:08am: He’s in the air. Attempting to leave the airport for the second time today.

9:22am:

Outside! I missed you!

10:24am: Went home for a second, consoled the cats after they did a Human Count and realized Chooch was missing, tossed some peanuts to Mr. Gray Guy, and then we came back out to Allegro’s to get some of their morning buns because I am honestly not going to be able to sit still and relax until I know that Chooch has made his connecting flight and is safe in Merida this day is so stressful. How will I ever send him off to college?!!!

Meanwhile, I imagine Chooch is on the plane, watching Better Call Saul, and giving zero fucks about anything because that kid does not know anxiety.

Dude this was good and sort of helped make me feel better…until it made me sick because I ate the whole damn thing ugh.

11:40pm: OK he landed at 12:20 and is off the plane. His CIEE chaperone is not there like she said she would be because why should anything go according to plan, but his gate is at least in the same terminal so he just has to get there. I might puke up that orange roll.

11:46am: Update from Chooch – “you guys are so annoying. I’m trying to walk.” Wow sorry for worrying.

12:38pm: He should be taking off soon! I’m tracking his flight because I’m Stalker Mom. I’m going to go live with this post now but will for sure update when he lands in Merida. Thank you for taking this virtual journey with me lol!

2:11pm: I keep obsessively refreshing the flight tracker. He has like 40 minutes. Since I last left you, I made progress on getting Mr. Gray Guy (a squirrel) to love me and I took a whole ass 30 minute nap, who even am I? A nap?! I mean, I guess I’ve been awake since 2:15AM.

Earlier today Henry was like, “we should have just driven him to Miami for that flight,” and after approx. 1.3 seconds of letting this spin cycle thru my empty mind like a ratty dryer sheet, I cried, “Why didn’t we??!!” I mean, Henry and I weren’t even traveling today but it was just reminder after the next of why I hate flying so much. It’s the whole fucking process for me. TSA especially. I fucking hate it. Travelers are already so stressed and harried and tired but then they gotta contend with these motherfuckers whose job prerequisite is SCHOOL BULLY.

Pittsburgh TSA sucks.

3:13pm: OK he’s there! I only know because of the stalking I’ve been doing not because he had the decency to text to me. He did, however, texted Henry: where’s my immigration form because of fucking course sonny boy didn’t listen to a word we told him the whole 6 hours we were in the airport together this morning but mmm ok.

Anyway, I’ll probably end this here. I’m ok now that he’s there and I will probably continue to be OK until we have to do this all over again in reverse on August 6th god help me.

ETA: I can’t believe I forgot these pertinent tidbits (though I have a vague recollection of typing them so they probably didn’t save because WordPress is trash):

  • the reason everyone had to get off the plane was because it had done a “hard landing” meaning that it made an emergency landing with nearly a full tank which is apparently not great for the plane and can cause stress so it needed to be inspected. The American Airlines guy at the gate kept us pretty well-informed about this which I appreciated but this part freaked me out: the maintenance crew is BASED IN DALLAS so they were essentially walking the Pittsburgh team through the inspection over the phone?!?!
  • Before all the passengers got off the plane, the lady who had the heart attack was wheeled off on a stretcher. They had to bring her off into the gate and then take her onto an elevator to get her back out onto the tarmac where the ambulance was. We saw them doing CPR still as they put her in the ambulance, and at this point it had been at least a half an hour since Chooch had texted me to say that they landed.
  • After the incident happened on the plane, one of the passengers gave her CPR. That passenger was standing near us when everyone got off the plane and people were going up to her and thanking her for helping. One guy was super choked up when he thanked her so I can only imagine how traumatic it must have been for everyone who witnessed it. I asked Chooch if it was upsetting and he said, “No not really but I’m a sociopath” because that’s what I always call him because his ambivalence is shocking at times.
  • Henry went to Brueggers while we were waiting for the plane to be inspected and the co-pilot was in there telling everyone what happened. He said it was literally right during take off and he knew it was bad because normally they’re not allowed to make emergency landings until they’re above a certain altitude but they were given the all-clear because “a passenger wasn’t breathing.” I literally cannot even imagine.
  • I got to talk to Chooch for a millisecond tonight after he got to his homestay. He told me, “I dunno sure I’m tired bye” whatever that means. We still don’t even know he was able to get his luggage because that apparently isn’t an important enough question for him to answer.
  • I legit can’t stop thinking about that lady and I wasn’t even on the plane. I really hope that she’s ok. :(
Jul 092022
 

I literally cannot handle myself today. Chooch leaves early tomorrow morning and the tears are a’looming. I cried in the car on the way home from the Elizabeth farmer’s market and he wasn’t even with us (little brat slept until noon!!!).

I do not have the mental verve right now to post anything of substance so let’s enjoy some pictures of the phone I made Henry buy me last weekend at the Rocket in Ypsilanti. It was the candied pastels that originally caught my eye, but the fact that the handset actually works is what sealed the deal. I am the queen of dumb novelty purses! My collection is so stupid but I love each and every one of them, even though 90% of them are not very functional.

I love that it matches the kitchen and my fave windbreaker thing!

P.S. I also recently treated myself to that sweet ass Lost Boys art poster. Lost Boys is hands down my favorite movie and it’s the perfect addition to the 1980s Dream Kitchen.

I hate myself sometimes lol ugh.

OK, off to take Chooch to say goodbye to his grandma and then, if he ever decides where he wants to go, a Bon Voyage dinner. This seemed like such a great idea way back when we started filling out all the applications etc back in December but now that tomorrow is officially the day he leaves me for a month, I am having Big Regertz.

Jul 042022
 

Henry and I were both off on Friday and I thought would be nice to have a FAMILY BREAKFAST since Chooch will be leaving for Mexico soon and I just want to cram in as much family time as possible, so sue me!

I chose Cafetano in the strip and apparently I was the only one who thought it was good – the guys just thought it was ok. I had a croissant with guava jam and it was actually more delicious and substantial than I expected but, and hear me out, it felt like more of a treat/snack than a breakfast? Like when you’re on vacation and sightseeing and stumble upon a cafe at a non-meal time and decide to get a big pasty, it’s not your lunch or anything, it’s just a random timed non-meal feeding? That’s how this felt to me. A mid-morning vaca treat.

But yeah. We’re such horrible terrible mean parents, taking our son out to breakfast GOD FORBID. You’d have thought we were taking him to forcibly donate all of his Pokémon shit to the nearest landfill. Don’t worry, we did eventually take the big baby home.

More Adventures In “All Three Of Us Are Home Together” Land:

I tagged along with Henry and Chooch who were walking to get a haircut for Chooch because his mop has gotten very unruly.

Chooch: Why did she have to come with us?

Henry: She needs steps.

Chooch: Couldn’t she just walk the other direction?

Apparently I’m annoying?!!?

Anyway, this was another reason, same day, for Chooch to act like we’re the WORST PARENTS. I guess we should let him starve in his bedroom growing locks to rival Crystal Gale. Who knows. I try not to poke the bear.

LOLKIDDINGILOVEIT.

*****

Well, in other news, Henry and I just finished the last episode of Stranger Things tonight and I am wrecked. IYKYK. Back to work tomorrow, and of course it’s my in-office day when I’m exhausted from a long weekend of traveling and fun, with swollen puffy eyes from all the crying I did over Stranger Things. Chooch came running downstairs when he realized we were watching it, to confirm that I was crying. He was satisfied with his discovery.

Jul 032022
 

Hello from Romulus, Michigan! That’s where are hotel is but we spent most of Saturday with our good pals that we haven’t seen since…2018???…Bill & Jessi at their house in Westland.

Just for perspective, Jessi gave me a photo of Bill & Chooch from the first time we met them IRL:

I think this was 2008?? Pretty sure Chooch was 2!

PARDON THE TYPOS: I’m writing this in the car, FYI

The drive up was rather uneventful – it only takes about 4 hours and it went by pretty fast surprisingly!

We got to Bill & Jessi’s around 1pm, hung out with their canine crew – Mabel, Zeke, and Priscilla! – and then went to lunch at Red Apple, my only request! They took us here twice in the past and I just really imprinted on the unchanged 1970s dark wood paneled interior.


I realized as we were paying that I didn’t take any pictures while we were there! No photographical evidence of my grilled cheese or the super ingenious table divider that can be lowered if you want to join the booth next to you (I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!) because I was too busy explaining NCT to Jessi and internally exploding with excitement over hanging out with them again after all this time!

Never passes up the toy machines.

True words!

Then we went to Ypsilanti, which I’ve never been to before and didn’t even know how to pronounce until yesterday. We went to a street that had some cool shops and sort of had a Pittsburgh’s Southside vibe. There was so much I wanted to buy at the Unicorn store but settled on a furry shark journal – really stoked about it because I have been wanting to start journaling again and now I have a good reason.

I regret not asking someone else to take this so that Jessi could have gotten in this one with us – I failed to take a single of them and Bill yesterday! I am off my social snaps game, thanks COVID.

Oh god, when Jessi said I would love the Rocket, they were not kidding. I wanted everything!! I settled on a bunch of candy (they had salty Dutch licorice!) and a telephone-shaped purse that has a WORKING HANDSET! It connects via Bluetooth to your cell phone. Henry was so terrified when I found the locked case of novelty purses but I eventually wore him down (my wallet was in the car!) and he “let” me buy it.

Even Bill was like “WHAT THAT IS AMAZING” upon learning that it could be used as a real phone. Henry needs to lighten up and find his joy I think.

I was annoyed though because they had BTS Funko pop figures or whatever and I was like DO U SEE WHAT I MEAN, EVEN HERE! because we had been bitching to Bill earlier about how BTS has ruined a lot of the fun for us. Bill understood and validated my borderline hipster breakdown because it’s happened to him too obviously with other music though! And same with me too, for example Henry and I saw Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance when they played reallllly small venues and now you hear their music at like, sporting events basically.

ACTUALLY one time a few summers ago I was walking past our baseball stadium and heard BTS playing there!! Ugh I had forgotten about that and now I’m annoyed all over again lol.


Accidentally stumbled upon a rock store which had me tempted to start collecting again like I used to in elementary school when the mall had a dork store and my grandma let me buy this starter collectors box of rocks and I was all in for a few weeks like YEAH BOY I COLLECT ROCKS NOW but then never added to it.

Anyway, there was so much I wanted to buy here! And they have staff on hand to turn anything you buy into custom jewelry and that was ultra appealing to me but of course I didn’t see then sign on the door until we leaving. Meanwhile, Henry sat in a chair by the door and gave no fucks whatsoever about Chooch’s and my cries of “buy this for me!” echoing across the store. He is literally the worst.

Whatever the rest of us had a grand time touching every single rock for sale.


Next door was a new age-y shop where Jessi bought tarot cards and Chooch was looking for a Sobek statue and being generally weird and getting uncomfy over the Mother Earth statue.

I told him I wasn’t buying him anything because his room is a pig sty and whatever we bought him would just be usurped by clutter anyway.

Then we went down the road to Depot Town for some oddity store action (I wanted a Slimer painting but it was $1100 and I’m not that much of an art connoisseur; I settled for $10 sunglasses instead) and dinner at Maiz!

The chips & salsa were muy bueno! I dunno if that’s right but I can say it in Korean with more confidence upon request.

Probably bitching about his bike. Chooch is always having bike issues his whole life no matter what bike it is and always blames the bike or Henry even though it’s clear to the viewers at home that this is a CHOOCH PROBLEM.

Vegetarian trio of tacos! Everyone was stuffed afterward but I whispered psychically to myself, “I could go for some ice cream, shrug.”

After dinner, we parted ways so that we could check into our dumb hotel in Romulus and get screwed over at Dunkin’ (they had no cold brew or iced coffee – I hate mobile ordering because it never tells you that!) and then went back to Bill & Jessi’s for some puppy playtime and Jackbox action.

Henry is the worst at games. His name was just “Henry” because he is uninspired. My name was Taemin’s Unni ;)

We played for hours and it was a hilarious time but also alarming when I realized how inappropriately genius some of Chooch’s contributions were. I mean, the first time he ever played Cards Against Humanity was also at Bill & Jessi’s and I think he was like 7 or 8 so he learned early at how to be the absolute worst human when playing these types of games lol.

We called it a night at midnight because we have three hours of driving this morning to get us to Michigan’s Adventure, otherwise I’d have guzzled another cup of coffee and settled in for more opportunities to be repulsively irreverent, my forte.

We are going to meet up with them again tomorrow morning for breakfast before we leave and I am going to have to make sure some group picture action happens at that time because I clearly shit the bed on that yesterday!

Jun 302022
 

Hey ‘sup guys. Here’s a little dump of pictures and things. I’ve been feeling so uninspired lately and lethargic, which I’m sure has nothing to do with NEWS FATIGUE. I know I’m not alone when I saw that what I really really want is to lay prone in a cool, dark room for several days without the ability to think about anything. I just feel so stressed out – not with anything in my DIRECT life – but with, you know, everything else. I hate it for all of us.

I’m sure this has so many meanings on top of meanings with more meanings stuffed into hidden pockets (OMG remember those Kangaroo shoes with the pockets in them?!?), but last night I had a nightmare where someone that looked like Michael Myers but I think was supposed to just be a generic killer kept coming after me every day as soon as the sun went down, so it was literally like Groundhog Day where I had to keep fighting for my life. But in this particular “episode” (which of course was set on Gillcrest Drive, where my mom’s house and my Pappap’s house are), I was running and running from this asshole, and I had gauze or Ace bandages wrapped around my torso. Finally, I was SO SICK of running and peeing my pants in anticipation of being hunted that I said out loud, “I can’t do this anymore, I’m just going to let him kill me.”

o.O

Ugh.

So, here’s some shit that I want to get on here for prosperity, etc.

  • Henry was on the news several weeks ago! I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this yet. But this one day, he had just come home from work and some broad was knocking on Hot Naybor Chris’s door. No one was home, so she came down into the driveway and asked Henry if he knew that his neighbor was involved in A HIT AND RUN the evening before. Henry was like, “Um, not to my knowledge….?” and then she asked him if she could ask him some questions, at which point the CAMERAMAN popped out of nowhere and Henry was so annoyed. You guys know that our street SUCKS BIG TIME, but the weird thing is that HNC’s wife Ruth wasn’t really involved in the type of hit and run that the news was portraying it to be. I mean, when we found out, we assumed they meant that she was crossing the street and got hit by a car, but what actually happened according to her was that she was pulling out of the driveway and some car came flying past and clipped the front of her car. She’s fine and her car just has minimal damage but it was jarring enough that HNC called the city or somewhere and said that we need speed bumps on our road. They recently installed some at the far end of our road in a spot that doesn’t even need them but OK cook on, we have like monthly accidents here especially in summer.
    • Before I post the vid, I also want to mention that the bodiless voice you hear in the news report belongs to Chooch’s nemesis “The Witch,” who used to yell at him all the time when he was younger, and in my eyes this was karma from all the shit HER kid used to put me through when he was a kid and I first moved here! HE FUCKING BROKE INTO MY HOUSE AND ROBBED ME (OK it was just a bunch of CDs but still!!) when he was like 10!!!! Waaaay worse than Chooch and his friends playing in her dumb yard but OK.
    • Henry said that before the news lady started interviewing him, she was freaking out because BUDDY THE SQUIRREL was sitting on the bistro, eating peanuts in all of his casual splendor and she was just so stunned that he was completely unbothered by her presence. Henry said she took pictures of him but if she were a true fan, she would have asked him for a statement too. The news could be so much more light-hearted!!
      • This happened RIGHT AFTER we told Blake that one of his “babysitters” was letting the kids play on the sidewalk a few houses up, and that person threw a fit but sorry for giving a shit about the safety of children. Our street is a nightmare and cars have wrecked onto the sidewalk plenty of times since I have lived here. So, cook on.

THE NEWS ARTICLE

CLIP OF HENRY:

  • We went to Kennywood AGAIN Sunday evening because we had some samples left over from our Bites and Pints card. It was really humid on Sunday and there was hardly anyone there. But some of the rides weren’t running and it just had an overall strange vibe. Still, we had fun. The highlight was making friends with a couple from Texas who were enthusiasts in the middle of a coaster roadrip! Kennywood was #5 on their route – I think they were doing 11 overall. More than we have ever done! The record for us so far is 8 and we might break that next summer when we do the Nordic trip with Coaster Crew. (Fingers crossed – we secured our spot but with the unpredictability of airlines and COVID, who the fuck knows). Anyway, it was the first time that we got to talk about RMC with people IRL! It all started because Henry was wearing his Velocicoaster hat (not an RMC…) and the dude was like, “Was it great?” and then they said they were recently in Florida and rode Iron Gwazi but didn’t make it to Universal and the mere mention of Iron Gwazi had me popping off. Anyway, that was fun and I was jealous that they were in the middle of a trip even though we just had ours in April, I’m never satisfied!! Anyway, here are some pictures.

One of the ride attendants on the Racer told me she liked my shirt – it was my KCON 2017 shirt so I was super happy and Henry was like, “omg.”

Apparently this was Henry’s first time riding the Wave Swinger at Kennywood?!

Golden Nugget mirror selfie.

I had my sleeves rolled up and one slipped down before I took this picture and I didn’t care enough to fix it but then as soon as I posted it on IG I felt the need to explain myself because there is always someone who has to ask the dumb Qs you know. Always someone tryna nitpick. WELL I BEAT THEM TO IT THIS TIME.

  • Henry and I have been babysitting his grandkids on Wednesdays but yesterday we just had the youngest, Milo, and I was excited because I never get to really hang with him since the two older ones are always like “ERIN PLAY WITH US” and milking me of every last drop of creative energy I have in me. First of all, he is a Big Fan of my house, so thank you Milo for appreciating my funhouse. And second of all, wow he is such a mild kid! Waaaay easier than 16-year-old Bitchy McCrybaby who came barrelling into the house whining about his bicycle woes and I really wish that I had started a tally of all the arguments he’s had with Henry re: his bikes over the years because it’s A LOT and they stress me out so bad. Like, fight about something new please, omg.
  • Also I had to laugh because we took Milo for a walk to get ice cream on the boulevard and some of the regulars were doing little double takes like “where did she get that baby” lol.

  • Sheetz selfie on the way home from Newark yesterday – I think this is the big Sheetz in Altoona. I love the bathroom in this one! The green tiles make me happy. Anyway, I can never pass up a Sheetz selfie op but also I wanted a picture of me in my STRAY KIDS Maniac shirt lol.
  • Speaking of kpop it’s pretty hilarious how people who mocked me when I first got into kpop in 2015 are now suddenly totally immersed in it, like, thanks, I accept your non-existent apology lol. Too bad these people missed out on the best years of kpop when they were too busy making fun of every picture I posted of G-Dragon instead of actually being open to learning what I liked about it. I thought I was being overly sensitive about this but then I mentioned it to Carrie a few weeks ago when we saw each in real life at work and she agreed that it was fucked up and Carrie will tell me if I’m being a baby so THERE!!

  • Dumb Henry is finally getting some more of my Cure stuff framed, he is so slow and dumb, as previously mentioned. Anyway, I really like lilac frame DONT YOU. Not like you’ll be able to notice it anyway in the moody Cure nook.

I feel like I had more to say but I guess not so now if you’ll excuse me I’m gonna watch more of the Umbrella Academy so chooch will stop trolling me for being a slow series watcher.

This month has been ugh and yay. All at once, at times. Drama, depression, fun times, lots of crying, cracking up on roller coasters – it’s been a ride. Bring on July.

Jun 282022
 

좋은 아침 여러분! Henry and I just left the house, destination: Newark (ugh) for Stray Kids (yay!). Figured I’d combine some weekend pics with a LiveBlog because Henry is being grumpy gramps and ignoring me.

When the weather is nice, I like to leave the front door open (much to Henry’s chagrin) so that the cats can watch the birds.

Breaking: we’re in Murrysville and henry just pointed out some auto body shop that he just got an ad for on Instagram and I openly mocked him because WHO CARES and now he’s crying about how this is why he doesn’t talk lol aw. Oh well.

9:52am: Finally made a Sheetz stop for breakfast OMG I was dying.

Oblig Sheetz Selfie.

In more weekend news, Henry finally framed his big shot Father’s Day gift LOL. Not only did I save that part for him, but the size of the picture ended up being weird so he had to MAKE his own frame. Even better! But look at how great it looks on the wall!

I started cracking up though thinking about the future when Henry and I are both dead and Chooch is like “I don’t have room for this shit” or more likely his partner is like “You’re not bringing this shit in our house” and this picture among others ends up in Goodwill lol.

Me-n-Drew! She’s my best friend. We chill with the squirrels together every day.

Aside from ANOTHER Sunday evening trip to Kennywood, the only other memorable thing that happened was that Onion Maiden had a ramen pop-up. I got Dan Dan noodles and a matcha Eddie for lunch on Sunday and it was miraculous.

I love Onion Maiden.

In Today News, it’s 11:10 and we are still in Pennsylvania – Altoona to be exact, according to Henry. So far we have only stopped at one Sheetz but I have a feeling that will change soon.

12:12pm: (1212!!!) We stopped at Sheetz but nothing of note happened until we got back on the road and a bug flew in Henry’s ear! He’s being such a baby about it and I’m like OK but you’re ruining the song that I’m listening to (“Round and Round” – NCT U).

5:27pm: OMG what a day. I was AWOL after my last update because I was watching/listening to the SURPRISE EDITION of the January 6 Committee hearing – WOW. Thoroughly riveting (not being sarcastic) and then we got to our hotel in Newark at almost 4 but the lobby was a clusterfuck of anxious Stays (Stray Kids fans Duh) trying to check in because the stupid hotel’s system was down and they had a backlog to get thru. It was awful. Finally got checked in after nearly an hour of waiting for our name to be called like we were in the DMV – wasn’t even air conditioned!! There was only one annoying person – some businessman who kept trying to cut the line and the people at the desk kept yelling at him. Finally the one woman was like “Sir all these people are waiting to go to a concert so they need to get checked in also, please wait your turn” and I was like YEAH, SUIT. Get back in line.

Now we’re in an Uber with a driver named Isaiah who has not said one word to us. He’s taking us to Urban Vegan which is right by the Prudential Center.

Yo, we ate at Urban Vegan before the concert and it was legit. Why can’t Pgh have places like this?! You know I always go for the vegan chicken sandwiches, and I got plantain as a side. Henry got the jerk bbq on a biscuit with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Everything was excelsior.

Now it’s 11:22pm and we’re in an Uber heading back to the hotel after a fantastic Stray Kids concert. I missed live Kpop so much and now I feel alive also our Uber driver is huffing madly at the traffic and it’s making me….Uber uncomfy, so I’m signing off.

Oh wait! Two girls who were in the lobby of the hotel waiting to check in at the same time as us got an Uber right before ours came, literally right where we were standing and we also saw another older couple from the lobby when we were walking to the Prudential Center after eating dinner. Small Newark.

Jun 272022
 

Really throwing myself into these Jimmy-jams lately (that’s what my cats call their fave songs).

  • Woosung- Phase Me

https://youtu.be/5Uj6RrJUAcA

Woosung has one of the most distinct and interesting voices not just in Kpop but all pop.

  • Youngjae – Sugar

My Got7 bias <3

  • Wonho – Crazy

Here‘s some live Wonho action – he is THRIVING.

  • Stray Kids – Circus

I’M SEEING THEM TOMORROW!!

  • Kang Daniel – How We Live

https://youtu.be/X-XHUVTeSwY

A big feel-good Jimmy-jam and we all need to take a moment to feel good these days. I’ll do a girl group / solo one soon!