Apr 032021
 

Hello to everyone on this fine Good Friday! Easter is my second favorite holiday after Halloween, not for Jesus-rising reasons, but I think mostly because Easter = spring even though it was 30 degrees here in Pittsburgh yesterday AND SNOWING, OK April. So even though I’m working dreaded Late Shift today, I’m still in pretty good spirits knowing that we have a pre-Easter Trinidadian vegan meal to pick up tomorrow, and we’ll hopefully be noshing on our now-traditional Eastergayo sandwiches on Sunday, hopefully in some lovely forest-type of setting?? HOPEFULLY? HOPEFULLY I CAN SAY HOPEFULLY MORE TIMES IN THIS POST??

(HELLO, THIS IS ERIN FROM THE NEXT DAY, STOPPING BY TO SAY THAT I DID NOT GET VERY FAR WITH THIS POST YESTERDAY SO NOW IT’S SATURDAY AND LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH.)

  • Last Saturday morning was super nice and sunny so Henry and Blake went outside to do yardwork. At first I was like NO THANKS because I wasn’t feeling social, but then I heard Blake and Henry start to gossip so I was like DID SOMEONE SAY LASCIVIOUS THINGS WITHOUT ME? So I went outside to eavesdrop. UNFORCH, Blake’s kids were out there and immediately latched on to me because, come on, I’m the super mysterious cool girl next door. I’m pretty sure they literally have no idea who I am in relation to them, but that’s OK because I’m too young to be a grandma anyway. I mean, we were playing some fun make-believe zoo game and that was cool but I was desperate to get in on the adult convo. I may have had my own thoughts to share, depending on the subject! I AM A GROWN-UP TOO! Except that you would never know it because I am literally forever at the kids table. Then Buddy made an appearance and I was like “oooh it’s Buddy!” and got up to go play with him but Calvin was like, “No come back and play with me!” and I was like “BUT SQUIRRELS!” and yeah.
  • Speaking of Blake, he and his wife Haley had a new baby on Monday! His name is Milo. Haley’s mom was staying at their house watching Calvin and Lily, so we were all outside playing on Tuesday, waiting for them to come home (baby turnaround time is a lot quicker these days, it seems?!). I found a bunch of Chooch’s old action figures and took them outside for Calvin and Lily. One of them was a muscular man with a big shark head. Calvin kept asking me who it was and I was like “the fuck if I know” but in a more kid-friendly fashion, and then Chooch was like “I DON’T KNOW, STOP TALKING TO ME” and Haley’s mom was like, “Surely you must know, it was something you played with at some point!” but he insisted he had no idea and honestly, it might as well have been the first time seeing this damn thing for me. Then Blake and Haley came home with the baby and as Blake walked past our porch, he shouted apropos of nothing, “Ooh, Street Shark!” Of-fucking-course Blake would know.

  • Recently, one of the bigger names in the kpop pin community passed away. She was an American expat in South Korea and made some really stunning pins, and while I never had an online relationship with her, I still knew her name and was actually shocked to find out that she had died. Someone started a hashtag for her and asked everyone to post a picture of their kpop fan lightsticks last week, using the hashtag. I was honored to have a chance to contribute to this online outpouring of love and I only hope that her family and close friends were privy to this so they could see how much of an impact she had on the kpop community.
  • I’m glad that April Fool’s Day doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore.

  • Drew’s face was me after doing two noon-8:30 late shifts in a row. I don’t know why, but these late shifts really do a number on my sanity. I was blessed with two relatively quiet nights but last night, one of my co-workers asked me to help him with something at 8:27 and I was like YOU ARE SO LUCKY YOU HAVE BEEN NICE TO ME FOR THE LAST 11 YEARS.
  • This morning, Henry and I went to a new Russian/European market for some last-minute Easter basket stuff. We got Turkish cotton candy and now I am disgusted at the SHIT that we have been fed at American carnivals and circuses all this time! Um, I guess I will talk about that in a future weekend recap though.

BRB WALKING TO THE LIBRARY TO PICK UP SOME BOOOOOOOOOOOKS!!!

  • We babysat for a bit Thursday evening (it was supposed to be Henry and Chooch doing the entertaining since I was working late shift but guess who’s more fun and Calvin knows it?). Here’s a picture of Uncle Chooch being completely put-out and knowing exactly how it felt for me and Henry every time Young Chooch wanted to “play” Mouse Trap, lol, fuck that game.
  • Matt Gaetz did it.
  • I didn’t have too many side effects after my first Pfizer shot – just a mild headache and an ache at the injection site that actually got PRETTY uncomfortable later that night and hurt when I lifted my arm for most of the next day. But I am preparing for the worst after I get my second dose. I requested off work for the day of and after already so hopefully it’s approved and I can be miserable on the couch with the cats all day. I’m low-key a little scared! But thinking of having somewhat of a “normal” summer & not potentially dying from Covid is all I care about right now. I was Kakao’ing with my friend Kyoung who lives in Korea and he was asking me about how the situation is here currently and I was like, “Well, there are still a lot of people who won’t wear masks and are therefore making it worse for the rest of us normal, sensible people” and he is like, FLABBERGASTED that there are Americans who are still anti-mask and his response to that was “They can have their freedoms after corona!” EXACTLY. WHEN WILL AMERICA WAKE THE FUCK UP.
  • Henry found this timelapse he took the first time we were in Korea and only thought to send it to me last week, wow, thanks.
  • In case you guys were wondering about what I dream about now, it’s feeding squirrels and animals that either shouldn’t be in my backyard (sea otters) or don’t exist IRL (miniature gray-boxy-furry alligator things on leashes), also men dressed in unicorn onesies. (Yes, I was feeding the unicorn man, too. Carrots, if you were curious.)
  • In case you were also wondering about my current culinary quests, I recently decided that I was grown-up enough to tackle the creation of smoothie bowls on my own, unsupervised. Henry went out and bought me a ton of healthy, vegan ingredients, powders, mix-ins, etc and even bought a better blender-thingie for me to use and can you guess how many times I’ve used it since this all started two weeks ago? If you guessed any number other than zero, then 딩 동 댕! Sorry Henry, but I am just too chicken to use this damn thing! So instead, I just wait for him to come home from work and he makes me smoothie bowls for dinner. His presentation is lacking though. And the one he made me last night was brown so I thought he went the chocolate PB route but no, it was acai and pineapple?! It was so hard for me to get past the color, knowing it wasn’t chocolate! It never tasted like anything other than “brown” after that.

Well, it’s almost time for me to eat some pre-Easter Trinidadian vegan foods so I will wish you all a wonderful Easter and leave you with a picture of Penelope and Jackson Wang’s newest MV!

THE 80S VIBES WITH THIS ONE!!

Mar 282021
 

Please take 20 minutes today to listen to these Korean Americans – now living in South Korea – talk about their feelings about the rise of Anti-Asian hate crimes & the experiences they’ve had with racism and discrimination in the US.

“You can’t hug someone trying to punch you.”

I wish I had a bigger platform so I could make more of a difference. Very very very frustrated, especially at the lack of support and response from fellow Americans who need to reflect upon what it truly means to be American now more than ever. We need to add our voices to their voices to make the message impossible not to hear.

And as always: Talk to your kids!! Don’t let hate (and Trump!!!) win!!

Mar 212021
 

Hello from my couch in Brookline. Today was v. nice, much sun, etc. so I made Henry go on a cemetery walk with me. It had been a while since we pounded pavement in that beautiful Calvary Cem, so that is where I chose to go. We stopped at Bae Bae’s first for some cold bev and LITERALLY THE BEST SNICKERDOODLE AND DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES I HAVE EVER STUFFED INTO MY BIG FAT MOUTH. Henry is like part of some sacred snickerdoodle blood line and even he said PROBABLY when I asked him if it was the best he’s ever had.

Henry never gets very superlative up in this piece so that’s gotta be like the best review Bae Bae’s will ever get, sincerely.

Anyway, I had literally been crying about ten minutes prior to being like TAKE A PICTURE OF ME IN THIS HOODIE because look, I had found this hoodie way in the back recesses of my closet the other day and it just so happens that I bought it in 2007 when I was looking for the perfect top to wear with the pink tutu I had made specifically to flounce around in at Chooch’s 1st birthday party and I was like AT LEAST 70 pounds heavier then and this hoodie barely fit.

I mean, it actually didn’t really fit well at all – I could barely lift my arms because it was so snug.

But now it is all loose and even a little too big but super cozy and it brings back the best memories of when I was trying so hard to be a scene kid even though I WAS A NEW MOM not willing to admit that that ship had gon’ and straight SAILED.

So yes, please enjoy some pictures of me trying desperately to “pose” when my natural instinct is to put my arms up and do a weird tilt. The amount of times “why can’t you be normal” runs through my inner monologue on a daily basis is actually really sad – JUST LET ME BE ME, SELF! Ugh. I have so many personalities constantly arguing with each other on the inside should I be alarmed or nah.

Or jump. I’m also a big advocate for jumping poses. But that’s probably because Jillian Michaels has me trained to jump on cue.

I hate my mouth so I wanted to cover my mouth in all of the pictures but Henry was like STOP BEING WEIRD and it made me wish Chooch had been there (he had to say home and work on a powerpoint about STDs lololol and I suggested that he use pictures of the STD cookies that me, Blake and Janna made several years ago and he was like DAD SAID THE SAME THING. ALSO, NO.) because Chooch takes really good pictures of me (I mean, as good as you can get when you’re working with someone who has a Leno chin and resting&active ugly face.

Henry took this action shot of me pulling pine needles out of my hand. That was fun.

I’m also a fan of “RUNNING TOWARD THE CAMERA” shots.

HERE I COME.

Henry was like WOW YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD RUNNER I BET YOU WOULD LOOK GOOD RUNNING IN A WEDDING DRESS—

lololol jk he def did not say that.

Although now I’m laughing because my ex-friend Keri always said she imagined me being a runaway bride but instead I just get to be a never-bride hahahahah I’m not crying I’m laughing.

Me and my man JC. His hand was actually broken so it was very awkward to hold.

Here I am covering my mouth again and Henry was not a fan of the pose. Also, I was sitting on a tree butt.

Anyway, here’s a trip back to 2007 when I first wore the hoodie and it barely fit and I hadn’t lost a single pound of baby weight yet and my legs were THICCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC.

I don’t miss 2007 at all but I do really miss those Draven shoes, like a lot a lot a lot..

OK thanks for joining me on this photo-journey. I hope you had as much of an OK time as I did.

OH one more thing!!!! I fixed an Easter decoration that had fallen down in front of a grave so pass that shit on to God or whoever.

P.S. Bonus picture of Dumb Henry a/k/a Him Man.

Mar 202021
 

I’m tired and sad and have no intro other than: here are some words and pictures.

  • One day last week, I was at my usual spot at the front window, talking to the squirrels because that’s my life now. I’m like Gorillas in the Mist except more toward Squirrels on the Porch. ANYWAY!! You know that I call all t he brown ones “Buddy” and all the gray ones are “Mr. Gray Guy” because I am so fucking original, can you stand it. So this one particular instance, one of the Buddys was here and I was half-hanging out the window talking to him. Right as I was saying BUDDY, YOU’RE SO CUTE in my (according to my housemates) creepy squirrel tone, I looked up and made direct eye contact with some man who was walking by and had no idea that there was a squirrel on the other side of the porch pillar so it looked like 100% I was cat-calling this dumb man. That was fun.
  • Henry and I went to some fleatique place last Saturday and I wanted this painting SO BAD but it was like 10 feet tall and $2000. Then I got my stimulus and Henry joked that I could go back and get it but then quickly yelled JUST KIDDING IT WON’T FIT IN THE HOUSE. I mean, we could hang it horizontally but OK.

  • But then we went to Global Market in Squirrel Hill and I got this glorious elephant mobile from India which really adds a “pop” of color lol.

  • Henry, looking at the “13 years ago today” pictures on Google drive on his phone, asked me, “Wtf are these??” I glanced and said, “Oh, that’s the homeless guy I picked up at a gas station & drove to a diner at midnight, and the others are pictures of the cleaning guy I was obsessed with at my old job.” Henry was like, “They look like they were taken at a mental institution.” I mean, that old job really was in a super dismal building, and in the basement of it no less. I really hated working there.
  • And here is a conversation that Chooch and I had the other day:

Me: I can’t remember what I used to feed you for breakfast & lunch when you were little. Do you remember?

Chooch: No.

~a pause~

Me: …I might not have fed you.

Then we both cracked up at the same time. At least we can laugh about these things?!

  • Oh shit, St. Patrick’s Day Sugarspell Pint Pre-Order! I don’t like 3/17 but I love the shamrock-y flavs. Pot o’ Golden Milk is my fave because it’s A GOLDEN LATTE. I really love turmeric even though it’s a really dumb word to say.

  • This cute picture of Chooch matching the wall and Drew matching Chooch:

  • Oh! I can’t believe I forgot to mention that 2 weekends ago we got takeout from a brand new African cuisine place that MAKES FUFU!! They also had puff puff but the ones we got were over cooked so bad that we couldn’t even eat them so overall the experience was just so-so. Also I prefer the version of fufu that Henry makes because the recipe he got for it uses plantain and cassava and this place only uses cassava. It was still good! But I like the texture of the plantain one. I guess there are all different kinds of ways to make fufu & it varies by region. I dunno, I’m still learning!

  • Penelope always looks either angry or morose.
  • You guys it’s 6pm on Saturday and I have a legit headache from the hours I spent stalking squirrels today. Henry told me I’m “so weird” but you have no idea how close I am to TAMING ONE OF THESE BUDDYS AND HAVING HIM CUDDLE WITH ME WHILE WEARING A CUTE LITTLE SWEATER AND BERET. At one point, I was in the backyard while five of them were frolicking in the tree branches watching me like I was crazy. One literally sprawled out on his stomach on a branch like “lessee how dis is gon’ play out.”

I don’t want to type anymore. Goodbye, my guy(s).

Mar 192021
 

I know that donating to charities or fundraisers, or patronizing Asian-owned restaurants and shops isn’t something that’s feasible for everyone, especially while we’re in a pandemic, so I’ve really been over here trying to think of ways to help support the Asian community (this of course is in addition to BEING ALLIES, educating ourselves/friends/children/families, and curb-stomping hate speech and hate crimes when we see it!!). And I realized, duh, 75% of the content I watch on YouTube is made by Asian creators so today I am going to be sharing five of my favorites because watching their videos not only supports them financially, but you might actually learn some things about their culture as well.

  1. Ashley Choi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8-k8-FlJGY

Ashley is a (sometimes) Kpop idol living in Seoul and her vlogs are so adorable. They’re called the Adulting Series and they make Henry laugh because she has the same amount of adulting skills as me. She’s good friends with another Korean vlogger I love – Joan Kim – and I honestly have added so much to our past Seoul itineraries based on the cafes and boutiques they frequent in their vlogs.

Ashley was in a group called Ladies Code and now she does radio work, but a few years ago she had a solo comeback and this song still makes me smile so much!

2. Ur Mom Ashley

OK PLEASE JUST LISTEN TO ME. I am lowkey obsessed with Ashley and her siblings Amber and Andrew because they remind me of me and my brothers when we all still lived at home. It was CHAOS in the best way and watching these videos has been bringing so much joy and comfort to my life these days.  I literally laugh out loud so hard and then the cats get secondhand embarrassment. Sorry, cats, but ya’ll need to lighten up!

3. Strictly Dumpling

Do not watch Mikey’s videos on an empty stomach OMFG. This guy eats the best food and he can fucking CHOW DOWN, it’s actually remarkable to watch. Plus, he travels all over the world to eat said food, yeah boy.

4. CupofTJ

In case you couldn’t tell, my YouTube niche is food and travel lol. TJ is one of the cutest and most personable food &t travel vloggers out there, I promise you! And in the video I’m sharing, she meets up with MY FAVORITE SEOUL YOUTUBERS, Sarah & Kyuho, so consider this a 2-for-1 deal, OK?!

5. Fancy Nancy

I found Fancy Nancy on YouTube several years ago when she was living in Korea (she was teaching there) but now she’s back in the States and still amazing so you should go and watch her! She has a lot of daily vlogs but also a good bit of (pre-COVID) travel vlogs too. I’m obsessed with travel vlogs but there are A LOT OF REALLY ANNOYING TRAVEL YOUTUBERS out there. Fancy Nancy is not one of them!

I could do a post on some of my favorite Asian books too if anyone would be interested in that. Reading IS SUCH A GOOD WAY TO LEARN more about other cultures and people’s experiences!

Please please please remember that we cannot sit here drinking our matcha lattes, using our Hello Kitty waffle maker, reading manga while unwinding with a BTS MediHeal face mask AND IGNORE THE FACT THAT ASIANS ARE BEING MURDERED, THREATENED & BULLIED IN AMERICA. We cannot consume their media and eat their food and then not say shit. NOT ON MY WATCH.

Mar 172021
 

Hello guys. I think we’re all on the same page here because I can’t imagine any racists being able to stomach the writings of this fragile, liberal snowflake so unless you’re here to hate-read I think we’re pretty much aligned in our social stances, but I’d still be remiss to not firmly state that I stand with the Asian community and if I EVER hear anyone slinging slurs, calling it “the China virus,” or flashing even the slightest side-eye at an Asian person, I will fucking throw down.

Here at Oh Honestly Central, we’re regular supporters of Asian-owned businesses but we definitely have been more mindful of ramping up our efforts since the pandemic hit. We (but REALLY Henry) love getting produce at Asian markets. Even just on that sweet potato tip, you guys, you literally cannot find a tastier one anywhere else, and don’t even say Whole Foods. I’m always shocked when I tell people that we shop at Asian markets and then THEY’RE shocked to find out that Pittsburgh has one – but there are actually quite a few here! So if you’re looking to support your Asian community on that ramen and novelty candy front, definitely check to see if your town has an Asian market.

Our personal favorites are WFH Oriental and Many More Asian Market, both located in the Strip District.

What really gets me is when white people make racist jokes against Asians, but then they LOVE THEM SOME SUSHI. White people do this shit to Black people too. You know the types: the broad who slides into her lululemon for her Cardi B-soundtracked spin class but then won’t sit next to the Black man on the bus. The redneck who posts Asian stereotype memes and then chases it down with a double order of General Tso’s. Don’t be that person! But DO BE the person who appreciates and respects Asian cuisine. Restaurants in general are really hurting right now, and Asian restaurants are DEFINITELY suffering. Consider getting some take out this week!

Here in Pgh, we really like Nak Won Garden for Korean food, Tong Garden for Chinese (FUN FACT: Chooch is friends with the son of the owners!), Thai Spoon has my favorite winter curry,  Bae Bae’s Cafe is awesome if you want delicious chocolate chip cookies (possibly the best in the ‘Burgh??) and bingsu, and Ineffable Ca Phe has the best banh mi (a tofu option, even!) and Vietnamese coffee around!

AND HAVE YOU EVER HAD ASIAN BREAD?? Good lord people – check your city for Asian bakeries. We’re addicted to Pink Box and Sumi’s Cakery. My favorite is milk bread, oh fuck yeah.

And don’t stop there! While you’re eating your bibimbap or pho at home, watch some Asian TV! Netflix has SO MUCH to choose from there days! I’m currently watching the second season of Love Alarm and plan on starting Sisyphus this weekend! YouTube is also awesome if you want to learn more about various cultures or engage in some virtual travel. We’ve been watching a lot of Drew Binsky’s vlogs lately and have learned SO MUCH about different countries.

Oh! Read books by Asian authors! ESPECIALLY own voices/memoirs. One that I read recently was Sigh, Gone by Phuc Tran. It was equal parts hilarious, superbly written, educational, and also infuriating.

If you’re looking to put your money where your mouth is, NY Mag has a great list here.

When I was a kid and learned the term “melting pot,” I thought that was so cool, that AMERICA was so cool. Because we are a country full of so many different cultures! It’s a beautiful thing and it blows my mind that not everyone sees it that way. Imagine how boring and plain this country would be if we didn’t have so many different people sharing their cultures.

And lastly, IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING, BUT ALSO REPORT THE THING!!!!

Mar 132021
 

My eyes and brain are no longer teammates: I read that highlighted part up there as “a young girl eats potpourri out of her dead best friend.” This is where I am in life right now. Almost inspires me to start writing flash fiction again?

Have a happy weekend, everybody.

Mar 112021
 

Not a whole lot happened, but some things did happen, and here are those things.

I started watching Ginny & Georgia on Netflix. I never heard of it until I saw it featured on Friday and I thought to myself, “OK I could go for some light family sitcom bullshit right about now” but wow that show had some dark moments! Anyway, I did that thing that I always do when I’m watching TV which is spend an absurd amount of time on IMDB and HOLY SHIT that show has a ton of Degrassi grads on it! So many that there is actually a BuzzFeed article about it?!

Then there is this one girl who was in one episode and at a glance she reminded me of someone, and then I finally realized it was the “girl from that Superman show. The new-ish one. The one that was on the WB or whatever…you know…..SMALLVILLE!” I screamed at Henry. Wow, that one almost gave me a stroke from all the mind-strain. So then of course I had to look up Smallville to find the name of the girl (Kristen Kreuk) because I wanted to see if they were related (they are not). THEN a few minutes later I was looking up another person from Ginny & Georgia and he was in a movie or show with….KRISTEN KREUK. Literally, this is a person who I haven’t thought of since I used to wear whatever those fake UGGs were called in the early 2000s and now she was coming up twice in 10 minutes, I was screaming.

Man, what were those fake UGGs called? I remember my friend Stacey made fun of me for wearing them because she said I didn’t seem like the type, but they were so comfortable to wear to haunted houses!!!

EMUs!! They were called EMUs, lololol.

AnyHOO, I binged that whole mothercheffin’ show over the weekend and have none regertz. NONE REGERTZ.

On one of Henry’s many trips to The Store, he came back with “toys” for Chooch and nothing for Drew and me. That wasn’t really a memorable moment but I liked this picture and wanted to INCLUDE IT IN THIS BLOG POST OK?

(In case you ever wondered, yes, I type EXTRA HARD AND ANGRY when I’m CAPSCREAMING.)

I don’t remember how it happened, but Henry and I ended up watching a “Top 100 Kpop Videos as of March 2021” video countdown on YouTube. We’ve watched these in the past – it just shows you a couple seconds of each video with stats at the bottom, like what number the video peaked at, what position it was in last month, etc. It’s really annoying now though because the more popular BTS gets, the more their psycho fans go back and stream every single video so they are ALL OVER these countdowns. (And Twice. And Blackpink.) Henry and I were getting so angry about it (especially considering these isn’t a single SHINee video on it anymore – don’t worry though, BIGBANG is still representing!) that you would have thought we were watching a sports thing if you had walked by because we were both standing up in front of the TV (wait, I think only Henry was, but I was lurched forward on the couch, high anxiety), SHOUTING OUR GUESSES and acting like true ridiculous dumbasses. When it got to the Top 10, I was screaming shit like, “IT BETTER NOT BE ALL BTS!” and Henry was like, “THERE WILL PROBABLY BE AT LEAST ONE MORE BLACKPINK!” and I started screaming all the BTS songs that hadn’t appeared yet and every single one of my guesses was in the Top 10 (BTS-wise) and that brought us to the #1 spot. I remembered that only the Hyuna version of Gangnam Style had appeared on the list thus far, so I yelled, “WAIT! IT COULD STILL BE PSY!”

AND THEN IT WAS!!! IT WAS PSY’S GANGNAM STYLE!!! Henry and I were screaming like the Pens just won the Stanley Cup, we were THAT happy it wasn’t BTS, lol.

However, seeing some of those older BTS videos made me yearn for their pre-Americanized era. I used to really like them so much! And I still have nothing against them, just their toxic fans.

Then Henry and I went to Target and talked about our old Riot Fest memories for some reason and then I couldn’t remember the name of the band La Dispute and spent the whole ride to Target and the entire time walking around Target trying to remember but all I could think of was the one song where he screams CAN I STILL GET INTO HEAVEN IF I KILL MYSELF and anyway, I clearly remembered at some point that it was La Dispute since I already said it. Try to keep up.

But man, we had some really good times at Riot Fest! Too bad it got shitty.

The next day, Henry was “at The Store” again and someone knocked on the door! I was scared!! But I thought maybe it was just HNC so I opened it cautiously. It was not HNC but some older Yinzer lady holding a CLIPBOARD. Oh boy. My favorite.  She was collecting signatures so her boss could be a judge or something, I don’t know, I’m a really bad listener. Her approach was very LOOK I DON’T WANT TO BE DOING THIS which is honestly something I could appreciate because I feel like that would be my lead-in too. I mean, she wasn’t asking for money or for me  to sign up for some fly-by-night utility company that would up forwarding my calls to a local tattoo parlor (this is a true story and the guy who owned that place was NOT HAPPY because this was back when I didn’t have a cell phone and people used to actually call my house a lot, see also: pre-Henry, when I had a life). While I was signing her dumb petition, she peered around me and in her thick smoker’s voice, she croaked, “WHOA YOU HAVE A REALLY COOL HOUSE. YOU REALLY DO!” and I was like “Wow thanks I’m so glad that the first person to see my DIY updates is some rando collecting signatures for her boss with a matchbook law degree. But still, I was happy that someone saw  it and liked it! However, she went next door after that,  to Blake’s, and I heard her says, “OH, AREN’T YOU A DOLL!” to one of Henry’s grandkids so now I’m not sure I can trust this lady’s opinion.

(J/k but they do sound like lil monstas on the other side of our wall lol.)

Henry was cleaning the bedroom and I was like LET ME SEE IF THERE ARE ANY CLOTHES THAT I CAN GET RID AWAY. Negative. I’m a clotheshorse. I love all of my clothes and will not part with them. However, I thought that maybe I could reorganize my dresser drawers since my method of putting away clothes is balling them up and punching them into an already-overstuffed drawer and then using the HIP-BUMP method to close it. So I dumped the first drawer out on the bed and Henry was like “here do it like this” and I thought that he would just DO IT FOR ME but sadly this story DOES NOT HAVE A FAIRY TALE ENDING because he only demonstrated on two shirts and then went back to his own stuff?!!?!? SO I HAD TO FOLD EVERYTHING MYSELF?? IT TOOK ALL DAY! (He said it was only an hour but this is *my* sob story not his, so.)

Then I wanted cauliflower pizza for dinner so that is what Henry made me:

And that was my weekend. It was OK! The weather was fairly decent I think but I can’t remember because it’s Thursday now and who cares.

Mar 042021
 

In this latest “Anywhere But Here” episode, let’s travel back to 2018 when we strolled around the grounds of the Changdeokgung Palace and ooh’d and ahh’d at cherry blossoms & other lovely spring foliage. 

***

We woke up early on a Saturday morning and set off for some palace-touring. As I mentioned previously, our hotel was in a great location and we were able to walk to several of the Five Grand Palaces of Seoul! Probably would have been a faster/easier walk if we weren’t following Henry’s lead, but….as Henry said, “WE GOT THERE, DIDN’T WE?!”

Wow, tough guy.

I wanted to start with Gyeongbokdung Palace first but Henry was all, “my way or the highway” or some other Dad-ism, so we went to Changdeokgung Palace first. I know, it’s hard to keep the names straight! But the one that starts with a G is like, the most popular one I guess.

In hindsight though, our crazy walks are something I look back on now and laugh about. I miss it! We saw a lot of crazy shit this way and it reaffirmed that we definitely were better suited sans itinerary. As much as I loved the European adventures I went on as a kid with my family, it was so much better not to be tied down to a group agenda and panicking everyday because you’re close to missing bus call. For this trip, we had a list of things we wanted to do and we played it by ear. Sometimes we didn’t know what we were doing until after we woke up that morning! It was slightly stressful for me at times because I’m an undercover control freak, but I quickly learned to just go with it and maybe that’s why we managed to make it through our Korea pilgrimage with minimal fighting.

Donhwamun Gate, the largest of all palace gates. Get on Donhwamun’s level, other gates. 

According to Wiki, this Palace literally translates to “Prospering Virtue Palace.” It was the second palace to be established after Gyeongbokgung, which is the one I wanted to see first but that’s OK Henry, fuck up the chronological order!

The original palace was built between 1405-1412 but burnt down during the Japanese invasion in 1592 and again in 1623 but each time it was rebuilt, and the reconstruction remained true to its original form. It’s incredibly humbling and sobering to be walking around grounds filled with so much history and tragedy.

Chooch might have a future as a Walmart greeter, you guys.

We got there early enough that it wasn’t flooded with tourists yet. Look at the mountain peeking out back there! I believe that’s part of Mt. Bugaksan. One of the things I didn’t know about Korea until I started marinating in a KOREA 101 bath is that Korea is like, 70% mountains! And almost everywhere you go in Seoul, you can see them. It’s one of the things I loved so much about this city, that no matter how urban and cosmopolitan it feels in one direction, if you pivot another way, you’ve got a mountain looming over you, or a Palace’s ancient presence behind you. Seoul has everything. Seoul IS everything.

Injeongjeon Hall

This is the throne hall, where all The Big Events took place back in the day, like coronations and poisonings probably.

This is the inside of Injeongjeon Hall. I bet lots of scary people have mingled under those chandeliers.

And now please enjoy some gratuitous spring flower shots:

The spring buds were like celebs, man. There were some cherry blossoms that you couldn’t get anywhere near because of the throng of older people with their tripods and huge lenses.

It was so deserted in this area that I was afraid we weren’t supposed to be there. Those trees though.

I was so glad that Chooch got to experience all this history! He was really into it.

This was before ancient Korean spirits possessed Chooch and me and gave us the ability to lacerate Henry’s feelings with our hunger-driven words.

Because, we would never normally be mean to Henry.

Lol.

I had to go for my annual wellness test this morning at work, and when the lab tech was getting ready to take my blood pressure, he said, “Just think about things that make you happy.” And immediately, in my mind, I was walking the peaceful grounds of Changdeokgung again.

Mar 012021
 

Saturday was ok!

We have been slowly cleaning/purging our bedroom and suddenly Drew appeared on our bed and you need to know that this rarely happens because she’s very terrified of our room for some reason and only comes in a handful times a year, and only after long-jumping over the threshold. I guess my room must be haunted?! We did just get a new mattress and haven’t picked out a new frame yet so maybe the fact that the bed is lower to the ground appeals to her? Anyway, this was a super big deal!

Henry hung up the pinball marquee, as previously mentioned, and we went to Target for boring things like pillows. Later that night, I watched the last episode of It’s A Sin and it WAS A LOT. I have this weird, morbid obsession with the 1980s AIDS crisis – not in a YAY AIDS! way, but just because I guess I enjoy having my heart ripped out and feeling extremely frustrated and helpless that so many people suffered through it and that, big shocker, it became political. One of my favorite booktubers is from the UK and she mentioned this show a while back so I had been waiting for it to pop up on HBO.

It was SO GOOD. Heart-wrenching, yes, but shit—those characters felt like my actual friends. (Colin forever.) Anyway, when the last episode ended, I was so torn apart and desperate to hug Chooch so I ran upstairs to demand he hug me, but he was in the bathroom doing his nighttime facial routine so he slammed the door on me as he yelled, “WHAT?”

“I want a hug!” I cried, standing outside the bathroom.

“Oh my god,” I heard him gurgle as he splashed his face. Then we started arguing through the door because it was taking him too long to come out (like a whole minute but do you know me? I hate waiting!!) and then when he did, he gave me the most pathetic one-armed hug and mumbled, “You’re so annoying” and to be honest I didn’t even want the hug anymore because he made me wait!!!

Anyway, highly recommend It’s a Sin, even though the previews made it seem like Neil Patrick Harris had a much bigger role.

Sunday was OK. Henry and I went to one of the Asian markets first thing in the morning and I spent the whole time picking up various things and googling “Can squirrels eat [insert various things]?” We ended up getting them a bag of chestnuts and those have been going over well!

Then Henry went to pick up our latest Sugar Spell pre-order. This time, in honor of their second anniversary, they brought back 6 of their most popular, signature pints and at the last minute, I decided to skip this round because I am really trying hard to get back on my healthy eating kick (I’m still pretty fucking healthy but being home has me making some bad choices!) and also I sometimes feel guilty that we’re taking pints away from people who have less luck at beating the crowds. BUT! The next night, they also released some of their ICE CREAM PIES and I have never tried one of their ICE CREAM PIES so I was like, “Fuck it, get a pie, Henry” and that’s what he was doing while Chooch and I were choking on our sweat and tears during Level 10 of Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and asking each other, “WHY DID WE DECIDE TO REVISIT THIS!?”

So Henry went to pick up the pie on Sunday and came home with a pint of Rocky Road too which is the one flavor I was really going to gun for if I had opted to order pints this time around.

“I bought this for myself,” Henry said, while Chooch and I laughed and grabbed spoons.

Anyway that pie—-to quote the great Uncle Jesse Katsopolis, “HAVE MERCY.”

Here’s Chooch matching another part of the house.

Well, aside from all this, I went on a bunch of walks, ate bibimbap made with oatmeal instead of rice (so…bibim….oatmeal? I don’t know the Korean for oatmeal and don’t feel like looking it up—OK fine I looked it up and it’s literally oatmeal lol) which was DELICIOUS thank you Henry and also Cheap Lazy Vegan, and then I watched the new Walking Dead which was “eh” until they showed Maggie and Glenn’s son Hershel and then I fucking lost my mind and also Negan looked like Henry at the end of the episode:

The Walking Dead season 10 episode 17 callbacks and talking points | The  Independent

I had been looking forward to this past weekend more than usual, not because we had anything planned, but because I took Monday off and the thought of three work-free days was just making me legit giddy. I’m sure it’s not just me, but work has been especially trying. It’s hard enough navigating things remotely but we have also been training a new person and it’s been a lot. I am so much better face-to-face than trying to share my screen from home and have all my jokes and sarcastic jabs bomb tragically.  I know that I’m getting burnt out and that I will find a way to recharge and bounce back, because I always do. And that starts with taking a day off! Which I knew I needed the other day when I completely lost my patience and temper and that rarely happens because Work Erin is a completely closed off and dialed back version of Real Erin, so my co-workers were actually shocked and said that they couldn’t imagine me being mad and when I laughingly relayed this later to Henry, he murmured, “Wow, they really don’t know you….lucky.”

Wow, thanks Henry.

Anyway, I was determined to just relax and be cool all weekend, and I think I succeeded because I can’t remember my heart racing at any point (aside from Jillian Michaels Time!).

Hopefully we won’t be getting any more snow for the season and we can start doing more outdoorsy things (I hate being outside during winter) especially since nearly all our bigger projects are finished (except for that fucking subway sign because now Henry is trying to figure out how he wants to hang it since it’s so massive, ugh). I just gotta get out of this fucking house.

Feb 242021
 

I used to be friends with this one broad who was SO UP IN MY RELATIONSHIP with Henry that it was kind of gross. And every holiday she’d be all, WHAT DID HENRY GET YOU – like bitch step off. Jesus. It was frustrating because Henry and I don’t *always* exchange gifts and she was giving me a complex about this, like he must not love me. But you know what that they say: better to have someone who does little things for you every day than big things on holidays – I think someone said that? Maybe?

Anyway, my point is that we don’t go all out for each other every Valentine’s Day, although some years are more inspired than others (like that ONE TIME I baked him a cake and will never let him forget it). This year, I did zilch for him, but LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL BANGLE HE GOT ME!

Full disclosure, he knew I wanted it and went through this whole rigmarole of measuring my hand before ordering it, lol. It felt like redemption though and here’s why: I love this jeweler (Martha Rotten) so much. I bought a doll-head ring from her probably about 8 years ago and it is sooooo chunky and eye-catching, and you know, totally my style. So then one time several years later, Henry and I went to Riot Fest in Chicago and she was a vendor there!! I got to gush to her face about how much I love her work and even pointed out the ring and yelled “I HAVE THIS ONE!” and she was like “OK cool story” but in a nice way and I was psychically pleading with Henry to let me buy something but this was back when we were less financially secure so Henry answered my silent pleas with silent LOOK of his own and I was like OK WE WILL BE BACK! but of course we never came back because wasn’t it enough that we drained our accounts for a three-day music festival in the mid-west, Erin? GOD!

But every once in awhile, I revisit her Etsy shop and drool over the new(-to-me) additions. When I saw this planchette bangle, I was like I WANT THIS and sent it to Henry.

It just arrived the other day and I am obsessed. I love big, heavy jewelry so much! (This is going to make Henry’s head explode because my actual Day Of Valentine’s present was a new FitBit but I freaked out because it was too big and I was uber-aware of it on my wrist so he took it back lol. I don’t want my FUNCTIONAL accessories to be clunky!!)

Ew, ignore my awful nail polish.

Also arriving on the same day as my bangle was the F21 clothes I got Chooch during their President’s Day sale. I mean, someday when we have places to go again, we’ll at least have lots of new clothes and accessories, because online shopping is like my pandemic sport.

Anyway! Last night, I was like, “Put on this shirt and stand in front of the door” because shit is SO EXCITING around these parts.

Actually these are just tigers probably BUT IT’S MY BLOG AND IF I WANT THEM TO BE BENGALS FOR THE SAKE OF A BLOG POST TITLE, THEN BLAH BLAH BLAH.

He’s just lucky I didn’t make him put on the tiger robe too….(why didn’t I make him put on the tiger robe too!?!??!).

Welp, that’s all for me (except that the latest news in the Kpop world is that G-Dragon and Jenny from Blackpink are dating OMFG!!!).

Feb 222021
 

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

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

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

JUST PUTTING THAT OUT THERE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 212021
 

I’m just sitting here relaxing on a Sunday evening and thought that instead of waiting until next week or never to talk about the weekend, why not just do it now even though the weekend is still alive? Because it’s actually been a pretty nice one for once! (I mean, I shouldn’t say “for once” – but during covid times, it’s basically just more of the same, minus the logging on for work.)

Saturday started off STRONG with Henry coming home with baked goods for 350 Bakery and sorry but I do not pause to take pictures of these sugary AM delights anymore. Then we walked to the post office and the library – Saturday traditions, I guess. After that, Chooch went to the Teen Center and Henry had to go to the Man Store and get Tools and Stuff so I hung out with the cats and squirrels and then decided to see how selfie-licious the Cure Corner actually is, because I’ve wanted for some time to have FOTO ZONES around my house and this just seems like it’s calling out for some vanity shots, yanno?

I’m just really feeling myself every time I sit in this chair! I’m so happy with this dumb corner. It reminds me of all the trendy cafes I’ve gone to  that has that ONE COVETED SPOT with the cool backdrop that you can never get anywhere close to because some dumb influencer with a fresh balayage got there when it opened and has since posted 87 pictures to her IG story but still REFUSES TO LEAVE.

Except now I can sit there whenever the hell I want, letting my gray hairs fly freely because fuck a salon during the pandemic.

I just wish I had someone bringing me a latte instead of having to make my own cuppa French press. Sigh.

That neon backlight, tho! It even makes *me* look decent!

I’m still collecting some more of my Cure memorabilia to add to the area (I think I already talked about this recently but I have no idea what is happening IRL as opposed to in my head, so…) but the one thing that I would really liked to add is a hidden speaker somewhere that starts playing random Cure songs when someone starts walking up the steps. Am I asking for too much? Henry?

Then a bunch of nothing happened while Henry went in the basement and worked on my Coney Island pin ball sign.

He gets really mad for some reason when I visit him in the basement to check on his progress. And when I ask him things like, “But how do you know how to do this stuff?” I guess someone REALLY paid attention in high school shop class!

Then Chooch and I did our Jillian workout and I spent the rest of the evening watching the Professor of Rock YouTube channel while Penelope snoozed next to me:

Professor of Rock has some really great videos about 80s music which is my cuppa…French press.  Henry was “taking a break” from sign-making for the night so he joined me in time to watch one about “In the Air Tonight” and what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and relive my cherry-popping experience of that jam. I have a visceral memory of what I imagine to be the first time I heard Genesis’ “Tonight Tonight Tonight” though, when I was probably 6? 7? and I still think about it every time I hear that song. It haunts me in the best ways.

This brings us to Sunday! I saw Janna for the first time in a year! Literally! The last time we saw each other was right before the pandemic when we went to the Hollywood Theater to see JoJo Rabbit. I know that people have still been hanging out with friends and family and vacationing and living their lives since all of this started and maybe I’m on erring on the side of EXTREME CAUTION but I just have not felt comfortable doing any of these things. And I know that Janna has also been taking the virus seriously, as well. But we decided that we would meet up for a masked walk through Jefferson Memorial and it was SO GOOD TO SEE HER! My throat was actually sore from talking so much! Look, no offense to Henry and Chooch but I AM SO TIRED OF ONLY HAVING THEM TO HANG OUT WITH.

And while I was gone, Henry sent me this:

!!!!!

It’s not done yet but this is basically what it will look like. He spent all weekend building the frame and drilling the holes for the marquee lights to sit in, and I’m just so delighted! He just primed the frame and then will paint it white tomorrow. The glass will be backlit by LEDs and then once the lightbulbs come from wherever he ordered them, it’ll be ready to hang in the kitchen and then he can start working (for the 769874545th time) on my Seoul subway sign.

Also, the marquee lights aren’t in there permanently – Henry just set them in there to show me that he finally finished the holes. Believe me, my Type A-ism will take over and I’ll have the last say in the way they’re arranged, lol.

Then we did some shopping and picked up Mandy’s Pizza for dinner.

Mandy’s is the best because they have an entire vegan menu in addition to their regular one and their vegan ham & cheese hoagie makes me feel like a kid looking out the window in the backseat of my Pappap’s car one night while we drove home from his favorite car dealership, Grabiak’s (my Pappap collected Corvettes and I think this is where he got them!?!), with “Tonight Tonight Tonight” playing on the radio. Either my aunt Susie or Sharon was also there and I just remember feeling so content. That’s what Mandy’s ham & cheese does for me, too.

Feb 192021
 

I honestly don’t think I ever even heard the word “foment” before until that former President, forever dingleberry Trump incited an insurrection and suddenly that was the word du jour on all the news channels.

Anyway. Just wanted an excuse to use that.

So here are some things, not necessarily five as we’re wont to do here on Fridays, because I’m feeling more in a freestyle mood if you know what I mean and if you do please tell me because I don’t know anymore.

I watched that Netflix documentary about the Cecil Hotel last week – it was good but I felt it was also kind of repetitive and while I wished there were more episodes exploring more of the dark history instead of just focusing on the Elisa Lam case, I also think that they could have accomplished the same thing in probably less. Does that even make sense or am I typing in circles again.

Numerous times while watching this, I had the thought that this is 100% the type of Roadside Shack of Doom that Henry has put us up in various times throughout the years. In fact, I’m convinced that if we had had to stay in LA at any point during our whirlwind trip to Coachella in 2004, we would have been walking the same blood-stained hallways that Richard Ramirez once roamed. I mean, the actual place he booked for us during that trip was a Knights Inn in San Bernardino that was also hooker housing (I talked to one of them when she came out of a neighboring room as I was petting a stray cat and she said, “Oh, there’s lots of cats around here – we feed them every day!”).

And let’s not forget that seedy Red Carpet Inn outside of Newark – I mean, THE CONNOTATION AND ALLUSION BEHIND “RED CARPET” IN THIS CONTEXT ALONE IS NAUSEATING.

This inspired me to go digging for that particular vacation journal because, can’t travel now so might as well live vicariously through past sojourns, right? A thing you need to know about me is that I have fucking journals all over the house. Like, tons of them. Like, if I ever became a former President, they’d have a good place to start with my library collection. Until you get to the later ones when I wasn’t yet aware of how problematic my “jokes” were. Y-I-K-E-S. Let’s just say I’ve had lots of years (and self-education) to, um, grow away from that.

While digging through a cedar trunk (Henry’s from the SERVICE!!!) of my self-penned tomes, I found the very first journal in my Vacation Series, which I must have started when I was 9ish?

I barged into Chooch’s room to read him this super adorable disclaimer but he interrupted me to guess, “does it say ‘caution: very uninteresting content’?” WOW JUST WOW guess I won’t be leaving him my hand-written vacation journal canon in my Will.

Eventually, I did find the specific journal I was looking for and was reminded of how mentally unstable and self-loathing I was back in 2004 when Henry and I took that California trip – I was apparently VERY AWARE of the girth of my arms and fixated on it to the point that it ruined the entire vacation for me and probably made Henry reconsider his choices. I’m still very neurotic and self-conscious but I think I have gotten A LITTLE better over the years!?

Yikes.

My mom asked me if I want these torch lights that she salvaged from my grandparents’ house because she feels that it would really complete my decor, lol. Yes I want them! However, after going back and looking at pictures of them when they were still hanging in saluting stasis in my Pappap’s goth hallway (which, ironically, was blood-red carpeted), I’m now remembering how gigantic these suckers are and wondering where I would put them, plus there’s the whole electrical side of it to consider (Henry reminded me 87 times during this discussion that we do not own this house and while he has his electrician-guy background, he doesn’t want to be doing electrical work on a house that he does not own). UGHHHH. What to do!? I  guess I will take them and store them and hope that one day I will wake up and think, “This is the day we start actively house-hunting.” I dunno why I’m being so lazy about this. (I mean, I do know – it’s because we don’t want to be limited to where we can buy a house while Chooch is in school, but still, I have to wonder how much of that is just an excuse because I’m such a fucking weirdo when it comes to change.)

(Hopefully Chooch, the Zillow Prince, doesn’t read that last line and take that as his cue to start sending me house listings again lol.)

Back to my vacation journals. The one with the Coachella recount also had the tail end of our weekend 2003 road trip to Lancaster, PA which was supposed to be my consolation prize for Henry ruining my birthday trip to Boston/Salem by getting the flu (according to my journal, we had to abandon our Salem itinerary halfway through the day and go back to the hotel because Henry thought he was having a heart attack and knowing me, because you know, I am me, I’m sure I verbally eviscerated him the entire car ride back for ruining my day. Anyway!!! I know certain reader(s) enjoy being taught shit by Henry, so here’s a little lesson that he taught  me at 8:43PM on August 8th, 2003:

Truck drivers used to “swap” toll tickets so their toll would be cheaper but then they got caught, which is why the rest areas usually have two different ways to get in so that the traffic doesn’t cross or something. [Now that I’m typing this based on what I wrote in my vacation journal, it doesn’t make sense so I’m sure I was only half-assedly listening.] Anyway, those shady-ass truckers got busted because of the discrepancy in time on the turnpike tickets. Quotes Henry, “It made it look like it only took them an hour to drive 300 miles. Hahahaha!” According to my journal, I laughed really loudly and mockingly so I basically haven’t changed at all. Sorry, Hank.

Drew likes to sit on the mantle, much to my chagrin, and here she is bird-watching with Trudy. Please note that after this morning, Trudy no longer is wearing the matador-red tiger robe because it was bringing out the bull in Drew’s sister Penelope, and I’ll tell you what, little gets the blood pumping quite like the sound of a mannequin hitting the floor behind you in an otherwise ghostly-quiet house while you’re concentrating on work.

I’ve started to slowly add things to the wall adjacent to the Cure Corner – when I say I have a lot of Cure memorabilia, I mean that I have so much that I have actually been uncovering prints and posters that I had no idea I had, or even when/where they came from. So yeah–I could decorate an entire house with just the stuff that I’ve collected since, when, like 1999 I guess.  But right now, I started with these three smaller things: a sketch of Robert from the artist EsQui, the picture of me meeting Robert OMG kill me, and — bear with me — this cute 3D cockatoo art that I bought from some store based in Amsterdam when it came to me late one night (when alllllll the best/stupidest ideas visit me) that I needed something cockatoo-related in that area because if you didn’t know, Like Cockatoos is in my Top 10 favorite songs by the Cure.

Henry was shining his phone’s flashlight at this corner for me while I took pictures because it’s shrouded by a moody pink light up there 24:7 (actually more like 18:7 because we have the light on a timer lol). As soon as it’s OK to have parties again, I’m going to insist that all of my friends take turns sitting here so I can take their pictures. Maybe this could be like a polaroid zone.

Here’s me: how can I effectively turn my home into a functioning modern art exhibit or at the very least, an Instagram-trendy cafe but without the baristas. This has been my dream for quite some time but ever since Corey, Kara, and I visited this one abandoned house-cum-art installation a few years back, I was like THIS IS FOR ME. More secret passages and fireplace-crawl spaces!

OK, maybe I will consider buying a house sooner rather than later, before my friends are too old and feeble to army-crawl in between walls in order to access the bathroom-slash-movie theater that only plays silent, vintage porn.