May 152022
 

We spent the weekend at Cedar Point for Choochs belated birthday…event? Celebration? I dunno what you want to call it but he didn’t want a party so we told him to invite a friend to take to cedar point for the weekend.

BEFORE: we were getting ready to leave Saturday morning around 7am. Henry was loading stuff into the car or doing otherwise boring dad shit. I had just been outside feeding the squirrels and left the front door open as I’m wont to do because our cat Drew likes to roll around on the porch and be close to all the nature-y things.

Suddenly (갑자기), Chooch yelled, “THERE’S A BIRD IN THE HOUSE!” I thought he was joking but NO there was a small sparrow (maybe?) all scared and fluttering around the house. Drew, Miss Hardcore Bird Hunter, was suddenly NOT SO TOUGH now that her prey had invaded her turf. She was like THE FUCK IS THIS while I ran around trying to get the bird to fly out a window. After about a minute, it flew out the still-opened door just as Henry was coming into the house to assess the sitch after hearing us scream BIRD IN HOUSE.

Drew the Brave had slunk off onto the back porch by then, just as Penelope came flying down the steps, looking super alarmed with a “WHAT DID I MISS” expression on her precious face.

“You and Drew almost had a new roommate!” I laughed.

Nothing else to report on that. THANKS FOR LETTING ME SHARE.

AFTER: We had a really fun day at the park. Chooch and Zakk were hungry because they didn’t spend their money on food as suggested/recommended (we bought them lunch!!) so we went to this diner/family restaurant/greasy spoon called Dianna’s. We went there once last year after Cedar Point too.

Henry and I weren’t hungry but decided to get pie AND OH MY WHAT A GREAT DECISION.

Ok so you know that me and my luck with cream pies is a crap shoot. When I heard that butterscotch pie was an option, I ordered it because my MOMMY used to make butterscotch pie when I was growing up and it was to die for.

I immediately had ordering regertz because what if it tasted like nursing home food?

IT DID NOT. My god, it was wonderful. Even Chooch, upon stealing a forkful, gasped an appreciative, “Oh!”


Henry and Chooch got coconut cream and BUCKEYE, respectively. Henry’s was excellent – my preferred kind of coconut cream that isn’t too pudding-y and has actual coconut shards in it – but Chooch’s buckeye was the CLEAR WINNER. I loved my pie but when I tasted his, I did have ordering regertz then.

Our waitress was wonderful too but she had to leave us at 10pm because she had to be back at 8am. She made sure all of her tables knew this detail of her life.

Oh and Chooch’s friend Zakk ordered chicken Alfredo after contemplating which burger he wanted. Kids are funny.

Then it was time to go back to our rooms at the SEA CREST, a family-run motel that Henry has been trying to get us to stay at since 2019. The first time, we pulled into the parking lot and I said “oh hell no” and we went to a chain hotel WHICH WAS ACTUALLY TERRIBLE and cost much more. So this time I let him have his way since we needed two rooms.

You know, it was actually fine and out of all the places we’ve stayed at recently, it gave me the best nights sleep somehow.

I just had to lean into the Sam & Dean Winchester aesthetic.

Henry kept screaming about how all the reviews were great, and everyone said it was clean AND THATS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

It actually was clean. It smelled like the 1970s but I surprised myself by being ok with it.


Wood paneling? Check.

Strange ceiling tiles and off-off-off-off brand of toiletries? Check.

Vintage rattan lampshade thing?? CHECKITY CHECK CHECK CHECK.

1950s Filing Cabinet Olive Green hues in the bathroom? Ch-ch-ch-check!

Creepy single middle-aged man for a neighbor who was outside of his door smoking every time we came and went? YOU FUCKING KNOW IT.

(Sorry, no picture!)


Man Born in the 1960s art installation? CHECK PLZ.

Here’s a bonus picture of my donut from this morning because it perfectly matched the color palette of the room.

Anyway, Henry wants to stay here every time now and I think I might actually be ok with it??!! It was QUIET and aside from being a living time capsule of the 1970s, it actually was a quality deal. There I said it. Henry and THE REVIEWs were right.

May 092022
 

Henry had to do a delivery thingie in Erie on Saturday and was all, “Wah, come with me. Wah, I don’t want to be alone.” It was actually embarrassing. I only went because it was a miserable, rainy day in Pittsburgh, but sunny in Erie. I’d rather be in a dumb work van in the sun than sitting in the house in the rain. MAYBE THAT’S JUST ME.

We listened to and talked about kpop  the whole way there because that’s how you kpop-couple. Also, this is weird, but I think it’s really made our relationship better somehow?? Like, we finally found something that we can both enjoy? Or we’re just numb to each other. Probably a little of both.

Henry brought up the fact that Stray Kids had to add three additional shows to their upcoming US tour because it sold out so fast since Ticketmaster refuses to do anything about BOTS and scammers. I’m seriously so angry about that shit. Fuck Ticketmaster so hard. Anyway, this inspired me to look up the Newark shows to see if there were any tickets left. A handful for both nights, all resellers. I’m normally very against this but I started to have HUGE FOMO and wished that I had tried to get tickets when they first went on sale. I haven’t seen a kpop concert since SuperM in November 2019 and my heart needs fed. My friend Veronica lives in LA and she’s been living her best life by going to smaller shows for groups she doesn’t know much about just because she can and needs to. Everyone should be like Veronica!! If Pittsburgh wasn’t such a podunk city, I’d do the same thing. But I have to TRAVEL for kpop.

It’s fine.

Anyway, I started doing my HEAVY SIGH/WISTFUL EYELASH BAT routine that I step into whenever I’m trying to coax Henry into saying what I want him to say without my having to say it first, in this case, “GO AHEAD AND GET TICKETS IF YOU WANT.”

He did not pass the test.

So I had to flat out say that I wanted to go which started a whole, “THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY” and “I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN GET THAT DAY OFF WORK” and “THEN WE HAVE TO GET A HOTEL” line of rhetoric which I’m used to and can work with, trust.

“What if you get tickets for this and then NCT127 announces their tour?” Henry asked, trying to reason with me on a level he knew I would understand.

“Then I’ll buy tickets for that too. That’s why I have credit cards. For emergencies,” I said in a LE DUH tone developed exclusively for teenage girls.

“Kpop is not an emergency,” he sighed, and I knew that this would be just Part 1 of my plan. TO BE CONTINUED…

Anyway, the other reason I agreed to go was because he said we could get lunch in Erie and I found a diner (dinor, for some reason) that had polenta on the menu. LIKE, THREE TIMES! Or maybe just twice, I can’t remember, but there were actually other vegetarian options for me too, lots of avocado things, and even a meatless eggs benedict. I don’t think there were any vegan options though. If there were, the menu didn’t do a great job noted it.

First Henry to make his super boring lame delivery. I read a book while this was happening and then when he was done, I harangued him for being so slow and told him maybe he’s too old and should consider a new line of work.

I’m an honest partner.

Gem City was CUTE. I don’t know what I was expecting. I don’t know much about Erie but assumed that it was going to be a grungy joint with lots of Flos strutting around with grits to kiss. But no, it was kind of quirky with local art that you could buy straight from the wall. It was exactly noon so the place was crowded but the tables were spread out nicely so it didn’t feel stuffy. We were seated within 5 minutes, which was great and everyone there was super friendly and laid back, but maybe too laid back because we didn’t get our food until almost 1pm, which seems excessive for a diner (sorry, DINOR).

Fun fact about me: I went through such a heavy love affair with polenta in 2007/2008 that I created a category for it on here (I think it only has like 2 or 3 posts added to it though, you know how I run hot and cold). I also really don’t understand what it is. But I do like it! It’s the texture for me, fam.

This polenta was OK. But I kind of regret getting the breakfast option and wish I had gone with the polenta salad because that sounded really refreshing, but also the avocado sandwich did too so now I guess I need to go back someday.

No veggie burgers though which was kind of odd because it would have felt on brand for this place. Their signature burger had BURNT HAM, blackberry jam, and Wisconsin brie on it, and I wanted Henry to get it because I didn’t understand this whole “burnt ham” thing but I guess it’s an Erie thing?

Henry just got the house burger, whatever that is.

THIS BATHROOM THO?! I mean, I would never choose that wallpaper print for my own house but I loved it for Gem City. It made me feel fancy while I was peeing. I’m glad I didn’t pass on this piss chance.

Um, then we went to Waldameer because it was open for season pass photo day and said that some rides would be operating and I was like, “I guarantee that Ravine Flyer II won’t be one of them” but Henry—who was in, like, a really great mood I guess because he felt all cool and bigly because he thought I was actually watching him load cases of beverage onto his dolly-thing earlier but I can promise you that I was not—exclaimed, “WELL, WE’RE IN THE AREA, IT WON’T HURT TO CHECK!” So we went there and the only rides open were the carousel, Scrambler and Music Express. We bought Chooch cotton candy though and then left.

AND THEN CAME HOME AND BOUGHT STRAY KIDS TICKETS HAHAHAHA I’M GOING TO SEE STRAY KIDS NEXT MONTH BOY-O. Did I spend more than I would have preferred on not-great seats? Fuck yeah I did, for sure. But do I regret it? NO REGERTZ.

 

This has been me telling you about the things that happened last Saturday.

May 062022
 

It’s Friday. I haven’t done a “5” in a while. Here’s an amusement park palate-cleanser:

  1. Troop Beverly Hills, what a thrill.

After all of my HENRY HAS NEVER SEEN TROOP BEVERLY HILLS / HENRY IS NOW WATCHING TROOP BEVERLY HILLS / HENRY THOUGHT TROOP BEVERLY HILLS WAS ‘NOT BAD’ Internet postings a few weeks ago, my pal Heidi got an Instagram ad for Troop Beverly Hills shirts. She shared it with me and I immediately the above shirt, and also another design too because I NEEDED TO. My heart *and* my head were saying it was the right choice. When I told Henry I bought two, I think he was initially scared because he thought I meant I bought two of the same shirts, one for me and one for him.

WHY DIDN’T I DO THAT.

Oh well, Father’s Day and his birthday are both coming up…

Pink and green is my ult color combo, ever since I was a youngin’ and had a green dress with pink hippos on it. I love that dress so much and also it was when I was still cute & and an only child, so I relate these colors to the best days of my life.

I have a faux-suede moto jacket that I thought would look adorable with this shirt so I stupidly asked Henry to take pictures of me in it when we went to the cem for a walk later that day last weekend.

Bro, we’re still in the same city, stand back some more.

Honestly, what goes through this man’s head when I ask him to take a fucking picture? “Take a picture of me but also make sure I’m just a blip on the screen.”

I had to actually take a test photo for him because he did the same fucking shit here too!!! AND IT WASN’T EVEN LEVEL.

Where is Chooch when I need him. Oh yeah, WORKING.

I dunno what these poses are. I don’t even care anymore.

And then instead of helping me down from the wall, Henry took pictures of my flailing descent. (I am terrified of even the smallest heights and have found myself paralyzed in fear before having to dismount from things even shorter than that wall. One time I got stuck in a tree – only like 2 feet off the ground – and Henry took a picture of me crying in it.)

2. Hunting for Chocolate Chip Cookies

After we left the cem, I was craving chocolate chip cookies. However, it was now around 3pm and god forbid bakeries be open past like, 1pm. So we were stressing about where to go and I remembered that one time, Henry stopped at this ice cream shop on the North Side and we were pleasantly surprised to find that they had outrageously good cookies. So we rolled up and it was CLOSED FOR VACATION. But! I remembered that literally right across there was another bakery-type place that I thought might be open because they also serve food. CLOSED FOR TECHNICAL ISSUES. Henry was like, “Oh, Adda coffee is on this street too – they usually have baked goods.” CLOSED SEVERAL MINUTES AGO.

The worst!!!

Literally every other option nearby was closed according to Google and Yelp, but then I saw a listing for this Mexican bakery called Panaderia in Mt. Lebanon, which is on the way to picking up Chooch from work, so we stopped there because they have NORMAL PEOPLE HOURS.

It was very small and narrow so I didn’t take any other pictures, but everything we got (and we got a lot because we’re pigs for baked goods) was wonderful and not too sweet so I ate so much without getting sick!

Now I’m jealous of all the authentic treats Chooch will be smashing in Meridian this summer.

In case you were wondering, I did get a chocolate chip cookie the next day when we went to pick up our pints at Sugar Spell Scoops. It was literally exactly what I wanted. A choco-fucking-chip cookie. How hard is it?! I would have been happy with a pack of Chips Ahoy, honestly.

(I dunno what it is about Chips Ahoy, probably the nostalgia talking, but sometimes those are all I ever want. Even over Oreos. Gimme a fistful of the Ahoys with a cold cup of milk, boy-o.)

3. Girl Buddy’s Babies

Well guys, it was inevitable. About a month or two ago, Girl Buddy was stealing stuff from our yard to use in her nest, which apparently was INSIDE HNC’S PORCH ROOF. I know this because I watched her run next door with all her nesting supplies in her mouth and begin to run up HNC’s sidewalk, only for his wife to come barging out of the house and literally yell, “SHOO! SHOO SQUIRREL!!” Girl Buddy tried to come back again a few minutes but this time was shooed all the way down the driveway to the backyard.

What a hater HNC’s wife is.

Nevertheless, Girl Buddy prevailed and made her nest up in there, and then two weeks ago, the little babies started poking their heads out of the roof opening! And as of last week, they were old enough to leave the nest and were tentatively climbing down the wall. This was super cute but also awful because Ruth was home and they were making a racket. So I was standing on my porch, tossing grapes down the driveway in a desperate attempt to lure them away from her damn porch, because she has been going BALLISTIC lately. Not just with the squirrels (although she did come home one day and bellow MOTHERFUCKING SQUIRRELS!!!), but with everyone. She started a fight with one guy because he parked his van on the street and was pulled forward too far so that she couldn’t easily back out of the driveway and she threatened him with a baseball bat.

I have a recording of it. It was…wow. Just wow. To be that miserable.

So my days have been spent policing the squirrel sitch because I’m so afraid she’s going to come home with a BB gun one day and I am trying so hard to protect these precious beings.

MY HEART.

The other evening, Ruth was other there having a conniption. They’re messing with her plants, I don’t even know. She needs to get over herself because her porch is not that nice. Anyway, she was on the phone screaming to HNC about it and he was like “i will take care of it” (she had him on speaker so the whole neighborhood could hear). So she’s out there yelling about it and sweeping (OMG our porches are little square slabs and she is out there sweeping with a compulsion, like numerous times a day, I truly don’t know what is left for her to sweep) and while this was happening, Girl Buddy started hopping over to the porch steps, like “SAY IT TO MY FACE!” I was fucking dying. Girl Buddy is ruthless.

4. HEARTSTOPPER

See the source image

If you read all of my book wrap-up posts, well, you’re a real one. But also, then you might know that I have read and ADORED Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper graphic novel series (the way the backs of my eyes are stinging with looming tears right now). Well, I had been anxiously awaiting the premier of the Netflix adaptation and it was worth the wait. This series is everything. The casting is IMPECCABLE. I watch every episode while hugging myself so that my heart doesn’t explode.

I can’t explain how or why but the confusing emotions and coming-of-age strife and giddy love conveyed in the graphic novels are so palpable. It made me feel like I was back in 9th grade. And the cast totally takes everything Alice Oseman has given them and just fucking sparkles on screen. I love it so much and I’m hoping that we get a season for each book?! I don’t care if you think this out of your demographic. It’s amazing and sweet and pure, and you will love it. Imagine how many kids this is helping right now, how many adults wish they had this when they were growing up. That’s the part that really makes the ice crack a little around my heart. Whew.

Also, I’m obsessed with Kit Connor.

Alsox2: This is GOOD:

Netflix’s ‘Heartstopper’ Is Its Highest Scoring Critic And Audience Hit In Ages (forbes.com)

See the source image

5. Coaster Socializing

We finally bit the bullet and joined a coaster club/organization. I can’t remember if I mentioned this on here already but I feel like I did? Or did I have some self-deprecating tweet about it? Who knows. But originally, we just signed Chooch up because he is allowed to bring two guests to most of the events. But then saw  that this club is organizing a Nordic trip for the summer of 2023 and excuse me, sir, but I want in on that action. It’s for member’s only so now Henry and I are members too, lol.

Honestly though, I really am hoping that this works out because we don’t have any friends who are into this shit and I am dying to talk to someone about the rumors that Hershey’s Wildcat is going to get RMCd. You know. Roller coaster thangs. We tried this club action before with the Dark Ride and Funhouse Enthusiasts and it was cool to get to do some behind-the-scenes stuff but literally no one in that group talked to us and we felt so out of place.

We’re already off to a bad start with this coaster one because the guy hasn’t emailed us any info like he was supposed to and we need a fucking membership # in order to register for any upcoming event we want to attend, so this is annoying.

Well, I have shit to do so let’s end this on a dreamy note….an NCT DREAMy note, that is!

May 042022
 

My ultimate comfort band is back with a new single / future album and I am 100% here for it.

When I say this is one of the few non-Kpop groups that gets me stoked…

JON MESS, PLEASE MARRY ME. I’ve been stanning your evil genius mind since the mid-2000s at this point, let’s go.

So many of the other bands I loved during that time have completely changed their sound, or I just outgrew them. But Dance Gavin Dance always stay true to themselves while somehow continuing to still sound fresh and new. You know what you’re going to get from them, in the best, most complimentary way possible.

Ugh, I’m so content right now.

Do you have a comfort band?? (Pretending this is LiveJournal where people used to actually comment. Just let me have this moment lol.)

May 022022
 

The main reason I was reluctant to change our spring break destination to Orlando was because I was 99.9999999% sure that Universal would be poppin’ off. I was watching all kinds of WORST TIME TO GO TO UNIVERSAL videos on YouTube and I checked all those different “crowd prediction” websites, whatever the hell they’re called, and sure enough for the week we were planning on going, Universal was in the RED ZONE. Otherwise known as the PREPARED TO STAND IN LINE ALL DAY AND HATE HUMANITY zone.

Add to this overhearing a guy in line behind us at Busch Gardens Williamsburg saying that he waited in line for VelociCoaster for 4 hours.

Four.

Hours.

Granted, he didn’t offer any additional information on this, like was it during the height of summer? Was it on opening day? Who can be sure?! But this was still enough to chill my blood.

I was lowkey dreading this day. It was, in my eyes, the most important day of the trip because we had such a great time at this park in 2016 and I have been chomping at the bit (I learned this phrase in elementary school and use it entirely too much – does anyone else even say this!? Is it time to retire it??) to go back. Plus? VelociCoaster.

And OK< Hagrid’s too.

But…VelociCoaster.

Assuming not everyone here is a coasterslut like me, VelociCoaster is a new as of 2021 Intamin multi-launch coaster built in the Jurassic World section of Universal Islands of Adventure and it has caused some sopping wet dreams across the coaster community. A lot of popular enthusiasts whose opinions I greatly trust have even gone as far as to say it’s the greatest coaster in the world, currently.

I was prepared to plant myself in a long-ass line and potentially get one lone ride on this thing, if I was lucky.

The park opens to the general public at 8am so we got there around 7:30 because we remembered that it was quite a hike from the parking garage, through security, and then through the City Walk before you even get to the park entrance.

Side note: Universal is actually split up into two separate parks which is so fucking annoying and low-key feels like a scam to be honest. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure both have entrances that are accessed via City Walk, but if you pay the park-to-park pass, you can access both not only on the same day, but also via Hogwart’s Express. Of course the park-to-park pass costs even more money than an individual ticket for each park, because CORPORATIONS, amirite.

Oh and fun fact: if you’re going for  the Harry Potter specifically, kindly note (I spend too much time writing work emails OMG) that this land is SPLIT BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES so you need to buy admission to both parks if you want to experience all of the Harry Potter stuff.

Universal is lucky that it’s worth every penny though. I literally can’t even say it’s not.

Anyway, that being said! We lucked out because everything we wanted to accomplish on this trip was on the Islands of Adventure side: VelociCoaster, Hagrid’s, the Hulk coaster which was being refurbed when we were there in 2016, and Kong which was still being built and didn’t open until later in 2016. So woo hoo, the Tight Wads got to save some dough.

OK, so we got there around 7:30 and drove right up to an open parking booth, no giant line of cars to wait in. The guy at the booth said we were his first customer of the day, even!? Paid for parking (cheaper than Busch Gardens Tampa by $15 I think, which we’d learn the next day lol!) and got a spot in the garage with no hassle, and then proceeded to cruise right through security because Henry left his PURSE in the car.

In that picture up there, you can see how far ahead of us Henry was walking, lol. Roller Coaster Dad was on a mission!

I was almost peeing myself!! It still wasn’t quite 8am but they let us in! Like, we never had to break a stride, no additional lines to stand in!

Henry said, “I think today might not too bad—” and I nearly slapped my hand over his mouth. Like, OK Jinx Jacobs Strikes Again!

What? Am I being too niche in my references again? Did you not own this Care Bears VHS (the kind in the puffy case!) and watch it every day for a year?

It was nice not having to run, especially because there was no way I’d ever remember how to get to the Jurassic World area. However, you could see VelociCoaster from various areas en route and we were squealing! (OK, just I was).

OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDD.

When we got to the ride entrance, it said it was only a 30 minute wait! Once we got into the line, though, it did a lot of wending and winding and we thought that there was no way this was only a 30 minute wait. No fucking way.

But when I say that this line never stops moving, I’m not lying. There is no time for kids to fuck around the railing or people to pop a squat against the wall. It is near-constant motion. And the queue is so entertaining!

In this part of the line, you can actually watch the trains go through the second launch. I was obsessed with this area! We made Janna watch videos about it when she was here for Cake Night and she was like wow and we were like NO JANNA YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS THE ACTUAL RIDE SHOOTING THRU THERE and she was like OK I GET IT YES THAT IS COOL OK THANKS.

You know you’re almost there when you reach the LOCKER area. I love that more and more rides are adopting for in-line lockers so you’re not stranded in a crowd without your phone. It was so easy too – you scan your park ticket and a free locker pops open. You just have to remember what dinosaur group your locker is in so  that when you get off the ride, you can find it on the other side. It’s a pretty seamless process. I’m sure there are people out there who still find ways to screw it up, but we had no issues. Some of the RMC coasters do this too (Steel Vengeance, Twisted Timbers) and it’s so convenient, but there are always those people who don’t listen and still try to bring in giant backpacks. The lockers are small and meant for phones, cameras, wallets, fanny packs, anything you have stuffed in your pockets.

And then you go through the metal detector and upstairs to the final waiting area before it’s time to board!!

When it was our turn, I told the line attendant that there were just two of us because the only row open was the back row, so Chooch and I were like HAHAHAHA SUCK IT HENRY until we realized that meant he got front row on the next train.

Ugh.

By 8:30am, we were riding on the VelociCoaster, what a goddamn dream.

OK, now it’s time to talk about the actual ride and you know I’m bad at this! I’m not all “Immelmann this” and “Zero G Stall” that…I barely know the names of all of the elements! That’s all Chooch. But what I can tell you is that this ride seemed to defy all logic. Like, how do these engineers know that the average human body can withstand such insanity?!

This is not the tallest or fastest coaster out there, but the launches are perfect and the layout is will you leave you breathlessly asking, “Whaaaaaa just happened?!?” when you come barreling into the brake run.

Um, this is legit. Believe the hype.

Actually, our first ride on it was the weakest. Probably because it was still so early and hadn’t had a chance to fully warm up yet (I used to think this was a myth; ’tis not) because we ended up riding it three* more times throughout the day and that bitch was fucking hauling by the afternoon. And you guys, do not even get me started on the NIGHT RIDES.

Chooch is actually on  this one here ^^^! But yeah, later in the evening, Chooch was like, “Fuck this, I’m using the single rider line” even though we never waited more than 35 minutes each time, so he actually got on before us and then got right back in line so we stood there taking pictures of every train as it came over the tophat, figuring we’d eventually get him, lol.

Honestly though. The last two rides Henry and I had were in the front row. They assign seats on this ride in order to keep the line moving but there is a separate line for the front row with a sign that warns you that the wait will be longer if you opt for that. I feel like people didn’t realize it was an option because both times when we requested front row, there were only two couples waiting in that line. And then both times it was like we broke the seal because both times when we returned to the station, the front line was so much longer, lol.

But holy shit – front row at night. I am such a back row bitch, but hold up, Rhonda – front row is where it’s at on this.

AT NIGHT.

It was hands down one of the best coaster experiences I’ve ever had and I am honestly crying a little bit as I try to parse through my memories.

Oh also! After Chooch came back from his second single-rider experience, one of his friends from school was there (it wasn’t a surprise- they knew going into this that they were both going to be at Islands of Adventure on this particular Tuesday) so they went off and rode it together and then spent the rest of the evening running amok in the park and isn’t that the dream? To be at a park THIS GREAT with a friend? Meanwhile, I was stuck with Just Henry, ugh. It was fine. We’ll talk more about that later.

This post was for VelociCoaster Things Only.

To summarize: this coaster is just as amazing as all the cargo-shorted enthusiasts will have you believe. Ops were INCREDIBLE. Theming was just right. FUN WAS OFF THE CHARTS.

Here. This guy explains it so much better than me.

May 012022
 

After we left St. Augustine two entire Fridays ago at this point, we chose Savannah as our final rest stop for the day and now you get to look at the handful of photos I took from that leg of the return trip home. Just pretend like you’re sitting in my living room as I’m clicking through the slides.

Chooch was determined to go to Georgia Peach World, having seen the signs for it after waking up in the backseat during our initial trek  to Florida earlier in the week.

So, we stopped at Georgia Peach World because What Chooch Wants, Chooch Gets.

Sike, we all wanted to stop there.

Luckily, we made it there about 30 minutes before CLOSING TIME. I was hoping for some peach pie but alas, no luck. They had pecan pies though, but I was being a pie snob and said NAY. Chooch desired a glass jar of peaches for some reason, so we got that and then Henry and I shared some peach soft serve which was actually quite delectable. BUT the girl working there was so fucking miserable that it ruined the whole experience for us and I was actually mad that I liked the ice cream.

I mentioned this in my live blog from last week, but Chooch’s jar of peaches only lasted 24 hours. Henry opened the trunk when we got to our final hotel the next night in West Virginia and the jar rolled right out and shattered in the parking lot. $10 and Chooch’s “only want” (yeah right) down the drain.

Henry allegedly booked a hotel “in” Savannah but it was actually on the outskirts and was SUPER WEIRD:


Henry kept saying, “THEYRE REMODELING” but they apparently only remodeled the lobby and then quit because everything else was shabby and neglected and there were no signs that the renovation was still in process?! The wallpaper was peeling everywhere in the hallway and our room had super strange window valances and decorative jars displayed in recessed walls?! It was very 80s which I would normally be down with but this place was strange AF.

Don’t ever let Henry book you a hotel. He’s like a travel agent trained in Hell.

The bathroom was decent though. I will give it that.

Anyway it was only about 8:30 when we checked in and I started panicking about not making the most of our time so Henry was like good lord we will go to downtown Savannah, calm down!

Chooch was like “nah I’m good fam” so he stayed back and watched, I don’t even know, King of the Hill or something, while I was miserable for the TWENTY MINUTE drove to Savannah. Henry is the worst.

We parked somewhere and then walked down to the river where there was some action.

Coulda went here but we didn’t because Henry never wants to do anything.

I remember these steps from the last time we were in Savannah! Or at least similar steps that I was sure I was going to fall down.

Nothing too notable happened while we were down there except for when some guy stopped us and asked, “wanna see something cool?” And I’m like “I want to say yes so bad but is this going to end with him whipping out his dick?”

Henry had the KEEP WALKING look in his eyes but I of course let my naïveté get the best of me and said OK!

He goes, “ok, yell ‘aye!’ real loud.”

I mean, I did it but I was also super paranoid that I was being groomed as the butt of a joke. I mean, there were people around but it was also a Friday night and many of those people were drunk so this was probably ok.

He was like “no do it louder.” So I did and he’s like “do you hear the echo?”

I did not. At this point my mind is flipping through all the scenarios where the end game is my dead body floating in the river behind us.

How do we get from Point DO YOU HEAR THE ECHO to Point BLOATED RIVER BODY? So many scenarios.

Now he’s telling us to walk outside of the little courtyard circle we’re standing in and to yell “aye” again. “Or yell anything you want, just yell something,” he said and this comforted me because I admit that I was fixating on the “aye” part. Why “aye”? Is that the magic word, when hollared at 9pm in the center of this courtyard, that permits a pirate portal to open so the ghost of Blackbeard can claim a wife?

So we did as we were told and then he had us come back to the center again and do it again AND BY GOLLY, now I could hear it! There was a distinct echo but only in the middle of the courtyard!

Now the guy and his friends were really stoked that we could hear it and he explained that it was some local phenomenon or something and I was like WOW THANKS FOR TELLING US! But then I made sure to Google “Savannah echo” afterward to verify that he wasn’t actually trying to fuck with gullible tourists and thankfully, it’s an actual local attraction.

Then we bought three rum cakes off some vendor. They were delicious.

I don’t know what any of this shit is but I thought it looked like something that tourists would take pictures of.

I made Henry cross the street so I could take his picture in a Nugent Vibes Recharging Station.

Then we went to a souvenir store because as mentioned previously, Henry is suddenly really into buying hats. I can often be found looking bored and impatient during these times.

After I was satisfied with the number of steps I had accumulated and felt that we made the most of our free Friday night time, we went back to the hotel, stopping to pick up some Taco Bell for Chooch since feeding your kids is something that parents are expected to do.

And this was what we did in Georgia.

Apr 292022
 

Henry and I went for a hike(ish) on Sunday because the weather was glorious and I needed to walk off Chooch’s birthday cake. We went to some trail in McKeesport called Dead Man’s Hollow or something and it was OK but not as dead or industrial as promised.

I’ve been watching Derry Girls (I only know one person who likes this show – an expat in South Korea who I follow on YouTube but for some reason I didn’t think I would like it based on her recommendation and yet, here I am!) so JOIN THE IRA felt relevant to me in the moment.

Still don’t fully understand that whole part of history.

But Derry Girls is fucking fantastic and I actually LOL for real numerous times in every episode which Chooch hates because everything I watch is so dumb, of course. But probably also because he wants to watch it but now can’t because I ruined it for him.

We passed a younger couple on the main trail and the girl-part of the couple said that my Marcy tattoo was adorable and asked who did it so I said ERIN HOSFIELD AT KYKLOPS and she gave me a knowing nod so I asked, “Oh, do you know her??” and she was like, “Yeah! I’m a tattoo artist too” and I meant to ask her where but A GANG OF FUCKING BICYCLYSTS came at us and edged me off the trail so than I was all distracted with trying not to die and it kind of killed the conversation so instead of continuing my new role of “functioning human exchanging logical words with another human” I awkwardly crossed back over to the other side of the trail where Henry was.

Every time I try to be normal, leave it to a fucking BICYCLIST to foil my progress.

I hate myself sometimes (a lot of the times) lol ugh.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to do with myself since there was no roller coaster station at the end of the trail. How can I made riding roller coasters job?? HELP. Something that doesn’t require me to be on YouTube, thanks.

We had a nice walk except that the trail incessantly criss-crossed over a stream and it was so fucking annoying so of course I blamed Henry and he was like HOW IS THIS MY FAULT but then on the way back, we ran into two families: one was coming down a path from a hill and had stopped abruptly because the other family was up ahead and the dad had PICKED UP A GARTER (gardner? I never knew!) SNAKE and was showing his family and the mom from the second family was basically standing on a rock, hugging herself, and screaming and the dad from Other Family was like DO YOU GUYS WANT TO TOUCH IT and the other mom was all NO WE ARE GOOD but her son was like I WANT TO

Afterward, we went to…hold please…Di’s Kornerstone Diner. Sorry, but that name is not memorable to me.

I was so proud of this shot, lol.

Fries: A (not an A+ because they weren’t “The Good Kinds” which I still, in all of the 42 years on this earth, cannot articulate what that means, but my MOUTH knows.)

Grilled cheese: A, as far as diners/family restaurants go. I like when the bread is substantial and not like they took discount Wonder Bread slices and stepped it on first.

I was pretty content with my post-hike lunch. The real testament was WHAT DO THEIR PIES TASTE LIKE but as mentioned earlier, I was walking off some rich birthday cake, PLUS we had a Sugar Spell Scoops pint pick-up later that day.

No room for pie, sadly. :(

Oh but Henry had room for cole slaw, lol.

More grilled cheese shots.

Di’s bathroom was nothing to write home about though, but it was clean!

Later that evening, after Chooch came home from work, we took some cake over to Judy’s. While there, she and Chooch started reminiscing about the games they used to play when she would babysit him.

“Remember that toy you got stuck in the tree?” she asked.

“Oh, my drone?” Chooch asked.

“Yeah! And then we called the firemen but they said they couldn’t help, and you were crying, ‘I want my daddy to get it’,” Judy said, and this seemed sus to me. Chooch crying for Henry?

Hmm….

Also, they called the fire company?!

Chooch flashed me a covert “this is news to me” look while Judy kept on talking about how “then your dad arrived and climbed that tree all the way to the top!”

Henry was sitting smug and snug on a chair, like the star of the fucking show that he is, with his mustachioed lips twisted into what I suspect was a slight smile. Meanwhile, I’m next to Chooch on the Sofa of Skepticism, wondering if this might have been your average rhododendron bush instead of a, you know, tree.

Judy went on about this for a bit longer, like she was giving a synopsis of her favorite Disney movie from the 1940s, Henry in warehouse coveralls wrenching a drone from the tallest tree in the kingdom like a sword from the stone, and I was ready to pop my top.

As soon as we left her apartment, Chooch and I opted to take the steps and I immediately blurted out THERE IS NO WAY HE CLIMBED A TREE.

“Oh I know!” Chooch agreed. “I feel like I would remember that.”

If this was drone-related, that would mean this happened about 6 years ago.

Once we reunited with Henry in the parking lot, I started pelting him with accusations.

“I can’t believe you just sat there and let your mom believe that you climbed a tree when she was clearly getting you confused with someone else,” I said, arms akimbo, foot tapping impatiently while waiting for him concede.

“I really did climb a tree, why is that so hard to believe,” he said huffily, getting into the car.

“Then why am I just finding out about this now? All these years later? I feel like if it was true, you would have told me THAT DAY. Like, GUESS WHAT I DID TODAY. I WAS A HERO. But no, you never said a word.”

“That’s because it wasn’t a big deal, OK!” Henry shouted in defense. TOO defensively, if you ask me.

“No, it just doesn’t add up,” I said, watching to make sure he didn’t rear-end any cars on the way home. He’s getting super bad at breaking for red lights these days. “Maybe if you hadn’t gone AWOL in the SERVICE, I’d buy it,” I added.

And then he did the I’M DONE HERE silent lip movement.

But don’t worry, it’s nearly a week later and I’m still poking him about it.

Apr 172022
 

Listen, Linda. When I woke up at 6:30am this morning in some stupid West Virginian town, I really thought we were driving home where I would then stay out for days upon days.

But then halfway thru the drive, Henry offhandedly mentioned that it was the opening day for Kennywood and that Chooch and I still needed to get our season passes.

“Might not be too crowded since it’s Easter, he shrugged.

We did go home first for a bit! We’re not psychos. And honestly the plan was that Henry would just drop us off so we could pick up our passes and check out the sitch while he went to vacuum out the heavily road-tripped car. I told him I figured we’d just stay an hour because even if it was crowded, I’d have at least liked to walk around and check out all the new changes (mostly fresh paint-related). And there’s all these new murals buffeted the walkway into the park:

Dude. This looks GREAT. I’m not mad about this at all.

Anyway, the park was not even KIND of crowded. We walked right onto the Phantom. Peep the purple!!

Great color choice, obv!

We then rode Exterminator and screamed JANNA!!! through it, because that’s just what one does on the Exterminator (it should also be known that Janna hates this ride lol).

It’s not bias, it’s truth that Kennywood has the best screamin’ swing ride in the world. However, it felt like they were running shorter cycles?! Kennywood, we gonna need longer Swingshot action ok.

Noah’s Ark has changed so many times over the years that it just honestly never feels familiar to me anymore.

But it’s still a must-do if there’s no line.

Show-tying interlude.

I bet you already guessed that we stayed a bit longer than “an hour.” Henry didn’t care. He used the free time to go grocery shopping and then he napped in the pick-up lot lol.

The entrance to the Jack Rabbit is so extra now especially considering that there really wasn’t a legit entrance before.

Someone took Chooch’s souvenir drink cup from the loose article bin instead of theirs and he was SO PISSED because we had just filled ours up and now he obviously couldn’t drink from his. It wasn’t that big of a deal. He still has a cup, it’s just not the one he was given at the season pass holder window and we honestly shouldn’t have been using them anyway without washing them first, so. Cook on, Chooch.

Before the cup incident.

We also rode Racer which was, you know, the Racer. Steel Curtain wasn’t running (shocker) so we hit Aero360 and of course someone on the ride before us puked so we had to wait for them to clean it and then pointedly avoided that area of the ride. This used to be my favorite flat ride and now it feels so foreign to me?! It was still fun but it wasn’t how it remembered it so did it change or do I just go to too many parks, who can be sure. We both agreed that this flat ride also seemed to have a very short cycle.

When we got off this one, chooch asked if Golden Nugget was open and if so, were we going to get any ice cream. It was definitely open and we were definitely getting a cone because last summer we made a BAD CHOICE and got stupid Millie’s (only because they were bragging about their Kennywood-exclusive Eat n Park smiley cookie flavor) so we actually went an entire season with NO GOLDEN NUGGET.

REMEDIED.

Upside of going to Kennywood on a chilly day is not having your Golden Nugget drip down your wrist. (Best amusement park ice cream cone, not accepting opposing opinions 🖐🛑)

Honestly though this is, to quote from my friend Alyson, part of the process. You cannot come to this park and not get the famous square ice cream! It’s a Pittsburgh tradition so if you are an out-of-towner thinking about collecting some coaster creds from Pittsburgh’s Kennywood, DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT A CONE FROM GOLDEN NUGGET. We always choose “all of it” as our topping, pro tip.

It’s so instagrammable too!! You better tag me in that shit.

We got in line for Sky Rocket but it was one train ops so the line was kind of long-ish. I was like, “dude we rode some of the best launch coasters in the world this week, do we really want to end with Sky Rocket” and Chooch was like, “no, no we don’t” so we ended the day with another ride on Phantom and yeah, that coaster still ranks top 10 in my heart. It is SO GOOD. I get so stupidly happy when the enthusiasts include it in their Top Whatever lists. It deserves the recognition!

So one hour turned into three – what a great way to spend an Easter afternoon!

(Also this ended up being park number 8 since last Saturday, I am SO FUCKING TIRED AND MY FEET ARE WORTHLESS SLABS OF BRUISES AND BLISTERS.)

(Actually I don’t have any blisters but I wanted the alliteration.)

(I do think I have nerve damage or something happening in one of them though.)

Apr 162022
 

This morning was very boring so I didn’t LiveBlog, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that we stopped at QuikTrip and got REALLY GREAT lemon bar lattes. Holy shit yo that shit was hot, sweet, elixir from the heavens.

We made it to Carowinds, park number 7, around noon-thirty. It looked like it wasn’t crowded and Fury was nearly a walk-on. What sorcery is this?!

Sadly, I was unable to enjoy my ride because the asshole in front of me was blatantly holding his phone above his head the whole time so I was trying not to get smashed in the face.

Also? Does Fury feel slow AF now because we have been spoiled this past week by so many amazing coasters?! I was actually disappointed.

Then we rode Copperhead Strike which I will admit to liking better this time around, maybe because we were in the back.

So that was ok and the line was only about 25 minutes.

Chooch still needed to get some credits that we missed the last time but one of them – the Vekoma boomerang, had a long-ass line for absolutely no reason other than that GP love boomerangs because they have no taste.

So we skipped that and went to Kitty Hawk which is a family Vekoma suspended and has the slowest ops ever, omfg.

Growing old in line so chooch can get a dumb credit.

Another one that he needed wasn’t running, so we settled for Ricochet which ended up breaking down while we were in the long-ass line but that was a BLESSING because there was a mass exodus so we were able to move up almost to the front. Maintenance arrived quickly, fixed the issue within 5 minutes, plus another 5 minutes of test-cycling the cars and we were back in business.

We actually got Henry to ride with us. This was then before the ride broke down when the line was still long, looking up food options for when we leave. For as shitty as Carowinds is, we at least all got along for the few short hours we were there.

Is it tho?

Anyway, Chooch got 2 credits, still needs 2 (3? I think there might be another kiddie one) more so I guess eventually we have to go back again ughhhh. This is just not an enjoyable park.

Then we had to walk through the parking lot looking for the car amidst a sea of other white cars while Henry’s shoe squeaked miserably and Chooch and I were losing our minds. Then we got in the car and made Chooch share his gummy turtles with us, which are shockingly good.

“Where did you get these again?” I asked.

“I dunno. Orange Land. Orange World,” he answered casually and it made me crack up because the fact that he has a job and buys his own shit now is endlessly humorous to me because it always ends up being dumb shit.

Anyway, I figured I’d start a live blog now because today’s Carowinds sojourn isn’t worth its own post.

YO. We just ate at Bean Vegan Cuisine and I was in food lust, bigly. Thank god I found this joint because we almost ate at some basic diner that basic Henry found.

Dude I knew as soon as we walked in that this was the spot. The options were overwhelming!

BATHROOM GLAMOR.

So one of the few things I crave sometimes that I can’t eat is seafood. I mean, I physically can eat it, but morally I won’t. You know how it is. So when I saw that they had vegan crab dip on the menu, I urged henry to order it for the table.

IT WAS HEAVENLY. Made from jackfruit and definitely had a crab dip texture and flavor. I was hooked.

I got the CHIKN PARM SANDWICH. Fun fact about this bitch, when I was in elementary school I would get so excited when Burger King’s chicken parm sandwich would return. That was my JAM. I can still remember how it tasted.

This was so good, I was screaming inside my head.

Henry got a side of vegan Mac n cheese with his cheese steak and it was everything. Chooch didn’t like it but he is extremely picky with vegan cheese.

Speaking of, he got some cowboy burger and was a big bitch baby because he didn’t like the bbq sauce on it. He did eat most of it but not without whining about it.

Wahhh.

He kept telling us we’re so annoying and I dunno why but this was making me crack up so bad and now I’m slaphappy.

6:55: At a really nice rest area in Virginia that has a little trail behind it which was wonderful!

I asked Henry if he thinks truckers bring broads up there at night and he distractedly said, “Yeah…I mean, no! There are lights back here.”

Mmmm ok.

Then I made a huge production out of getting Chooch to pose for this picture while people of his same age were walking by and watching lololol.

I guess you had to be there.

At least the scenery is better in Virginia.

8:25: Every time we call Henry out for breathing heavy, he goes, “Just be happy I’m breathing.” What a cocky response.

9:00pm: Arrived at the so-so Microtel in Beckley WV and Henry immediately dropped and shattered Chooch’s coveted jar of Georgia peaches from Peach World so that was a whole thing. Good one, Hank.

Well, I guess we’re in for the night because wtf is there to do in BECKLEY at 9:18 but ice my METATARSAL injury thing and read?

PS this piece of shit hotel has EWTN on their cable guide but then it doesn’t come in. I’m so pissed because we’re missing the EASTER MASS VIGIL.

10:20: UPDATE: the power just went out!!! I’m scared – it’s so dark and this is awful. Henry is like OH WELL and got back into bed but Chooch the Sleuth went out to the lobby to get the scoop. He just came back and said that literally no one in the lobby is fazed.

Man, we were watching a really great LIFETIME movie too.

10:23 – ITS BACK!! I said THANK GOD and Henry mumbled “yeah thank god the world almost ended.” It was actually terrifying!!!

Apr 142022
 

Hello from our dumb hotel in Orlando. Today is a slower day (park we’re going to today doesn’t open until 2pm, blessed be) so I’m just chilling here post-Valhalla donut feast (I split Ube and Berry Berry with Henry, and Chooch had Churro) and I happened to see that the full trailer for the Heartstopper Netflix adaptation has dropped on YouTube so I watched it while Chooch was yelling at me to use my headphones and now I am sobbing because I love this graphic novel series so much. I finished #4 in the car on Sunday so I am even more ready for this.

I highly recommend these books. Highly highly highly. They are everything.

Also, here’s my ube donut:

We actually had a shitty experience there because the people working (not Valhalla employees – they were for the other place in the shared space) had no personality nor the desire to assist us. Then they forgot two things in our order so Henry to go back in twice to get it taken care of. I mean we were the only customers there HOW HARD IS IT.

Still, those donuts are so good that it was worth it.

But yeah, sometimes vegan places can have the shittiest customer service just sayin’.

Then we went to Craft & Common to get coffee to bring back and the experience there was so much better. The girl who waited on us was super friendly and helpful and it made the coffee taste even better to me, TBH.

I would highly recommend this place. Don’t listen to Henry and Chooch – they didn’t like theirs but they also don’t like coffee they just think that they do.

Now we’re going to ORANGE WORLD for souvenirs and then lunch at some point. I will check back! (LUNCH IN AN ACTUAL RESTAURANT AND NOT IN A THEME PARK I AM SO FUCKING STOKED!)

Orange World! Had a much better experience this time – I feel like we got yelled at here by some old lady cashier in 2016 but I can’t remember. I just know that we were extremely unwelcome.

They had barely any postcards though so we went to another gift shop and now chooch is pouting because some lady and all her kids cut in front of him when he was trying to check out and then his dumb Marvel toy thing wouldn’t scan and the cashier made him walk “all the way across the store” to get a new one instead of taking the plastic off.

So he came outside to sulk on a bench.

Just left the hotel again to get lunch. This trash has been sitting on the steps since we got here Sunday night and it’s become A THING. I am simultaneously angry and curious. Every time we come back from somewhere, I shout IT’S STILL THERE WHAT A SHOCKER.

Today, I said, “I wonder how much longer it will stay–” and Henry cut me off to yell, “The whole time! It will stay there the whole time just pick it up and throw it away” but now I literally can’t because I genuinely need to know. If it’s still there tomorrow morning when we’re leaving, I will throw it away then.

There are literally garbage cans at the bottom of every stairwell, I just don’t understand why someone would feel the need to drop whatever that even is right there.

WE JUST ORDERED I AM SO EXCITED IT WAS SUCH A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE SO FAR I AM HUNGRY THOUGH.

Ok. This was the BEST meal I had all damn week, I love faux chix sandwiches soooo much and will choose them over veggie burgers every time.

Chooch got a chicken sub:

Look how enthused he is! We are tired!

I got a kale side salad and my body was rejoicing – “Vegetables! Greens! Bring it!”

Winter Park Biscuit Co, you get an A+.

Ok dudes (in a gender neutral sense), we are headed to Fun Stop Orlando now so I am signing off. Poof.

Apr 122022
 

Hello from the road. Today we are driving to Tampa so I have a moment for a Story Time.

We spent Monday at SeaWorld Orlando and it was AN AMAZING DAY. I will get to all the good stuff in the future but today I want to talk about the only low points, both of which happened in the same ride line, but at different times.

1. Adventures in Babysitting

Chooch and I had been wanting to ride Infinity Falls all damn day because it was hot hot hot and also because we had never been on a rapids ride that has an elevator?! That seemed interesting so even though I don’t often run to get in line for water rides, I was down for this.

However, because it was hot hot hot, this ride was also a HOT commodity, you could say. Oh ho ho.

We walked by at one point in the afternoon and saw that the wait time was allegedly 45 minutes so we ditched Henry and dipped in line. However!! As soon as we got through the entrance, some man ran up to us (literally bypassed the British family behind us) and asked, “Excuse me!! Could my girls ride with you two? They want to ride and—”

I will be honest here and tell you that these events were such a blur that I can’t even remember if I even heard his reason. I am presuming it was that the parents didn’t want to ride. I was so flustered that I just blurted out “ok sure” and that is how Chooch and I ended up with two little girls in our care?! And have you ever seen me trying to talk to young kids? Whooo boy. It ain’t pretty. Chooch was giving me the U SO CRINGE side eye and I returned it with the WHAT DO U WANT ME TO DO head shake.

To their credit, they were extremely well-behaved and not like, running amok through the queue landscaping like some other children were.

We were about 15 minutes from the front of the line when the dreaded ATTN RIDERS announcement came on BECAUSE THE DAMN RIDE WAS DOWN. People started to get out of line and Chooch and I are looking at each other and then looking down at our wards, who were quietly sitting on the ground playing with a rock or something, talking about Jojo Siwa, I don’t know what little girls these days do.

I personally would have kept standing in line without giving it a second thought let me tell you this pertinent piece of the story: About halfway into the wait, I looked down and realized that one of the kids was NOT WEARING SHOES. I remember now that she had ran back to her dad real quick when we were still near the entrance and now it was dawning on me that it was probably because she was GIVING HIM HER SHOES to hold.

You cannot ride these things without shoes!! I remember one time at Kennywood, Chooch and I were on Raging Rapids with strangers and one was a teen girl who took her shoes off before our raft thing even departed and the ride operator was like “put your shoes on” and she was like “no” and the ride op was like “I will not send this raft until you put your shoes back on.” It was a whole thing, ok. Trust me. I was there. You weren’t.

So now I’m fixated on this, of course, because I know my luck and I was certain we’d get up there and the ride op would be like “this bitch needs shoes” and I’d be like “this bitch isn’t with me” and then the people behind us would be like “sir, this bitch lying. The bitch is with this bitch. We saw this bitch’s dad ask the bitch if his bitch could ride with her and this bitch said yes. This bitch is with that bitch.”

And then I’d have to do the walk of shame down the exit ramp with my not-kids while my actual kid likely wouldn’t stay on the ride because that’s just the kind of kid this bitch produced.

So now I’m thinking that maybe this was a blessing. This is my out. I squatted down to tell the girls what the sitch was because they hadn’t heard the announcement. They originally said they wanted to stay and my head filled with comic strip swears so we continued to stand in line but then as more people in front of us left, I was like “OK I’m calling it, I don’t want your parents to be worried” and they agreed.

Of course, the MOMENT we got out of line, an announcement came on that said, “ATTN RIDERS, INFINITY FALLS IS….BACK OPEN!”

Apparently the nice British family behind us had motioned to Chooch that they saved our spot and I initially was like YEAH BOI until I remembered the SHOES so I was like “no we are too far back now and it would be cutting” only because I knew that if we got back in our spot, it would be moot because we still wouldnt have been able to ride because I might be a semi-sociopath when it comes to kids but I’m not so far gone that I would allow two small kids to walk down an exit ramp by themselves and then look for their parents, of course I would go with them.

Chooch was BIGLY MAD at me but whatever, get over it. He could have stayed but the reality of the sitch was that I was not riding this ride in either scenario.

The girls’ mom was waiting at the entrance and I explained the situation about how we weren’t sure how long the ride was going to be down and didn’t want them to be worried and she was like, “No I totally understand thank you for trying!” She was really nice and her kids were really cute and I know it was like tres weird that the dad even pawned them off on us in the first place (Henry was like “little did he know, he gave his kids to the person who hates kids”) but I actually would have had no problem with them accompanying us if it hadn’t been for THE SHOES. Ugh.

It was literally an entire day later when Chooch blurted out 갑자기, “I can’t believe you asked them if their daddy was too scared to ride Infinity Falls–”

“I was trying to make conversation!” I cried in defense of my poor peopling skills.

“—and she was like ‘actually my daddy is very brave.”

Shut up, Chooch Who Spoke No Words At All To These Rando Childs.

2. Piss-Head Aussies

Later on in the day, Chooch attempted again to ride Infinity Falls. The line was a tad bit shorter so we were hopeful.

Right off the bat, I was pissed when an Australian family waved over more family members into their group, requiring them to line-jump about 20 people. I really fucking hate that shit. Do you know how many times Henry gets into line much later than us because he either didn’t run or stopped to get a locker? Do we encourage him to line jump and expect people to step aside for King Henry? NO! WE DON’T! Because line jumping is cause for removal from the park!

Even though I have never seen this happen.

Now I was fixated on these wankers. It was four adults – two couples – and a teenage girl, a boy about 8, and a girl who was maybe 4 or 5. One of the guys and one of the women were both wearing GUCCI tennis shoes.

At a theme park.

In line for a water ride.

Cool!

They were so loud and obnoxious the whole time with their big toothy smiles and hya hya hya laughs, and I know this is awful but I have developed a prejudice toward our friends from down under because of numerous shitty experiences at work (we have four Aussie offices) and this family did not help the cause.

Especially when we were almost to the front of the line and I noticed that the two men walked out of the queue and into a small grassy area. I thought that they were looking through a fence at the rapids ride, because the little boy was also with them, but the women in the group were hooting and hollering yes I said hooting and hollering because they were fucking assholes and that is what fucking assholes do, so this is when I really started to pay attention to what was going on, just in time for the boy to go back to the line and the little girl to join the men.

Who proceeded to PULL DOWN HER UNDERWEAR.

AND THEN TAKE THEM ALL THE WAY OFF.

AND THEN CREATE A POTTY SEAT WITH HIS ARMS, SO THAT BOTH OF HER KNEES WERE HOOKED ON HIS ARMS, AND THEN HE AIMED HER BODY SLIGHTLY UPWARD SO THAT SHE WAS BASICALLY A URINATING FOUNTAIN.

Chooch and I looked at each other, totally aghast. Like is this happening. Is this small child being assisted in public urination by this man??

We quickly averted our eyes because neither of us were trying to look at the bare ass of a CHILD?! While both moms and teenage girl were straight cackling back in line.

Chooch said that there were other people who were also watching with stunned looks on their faces but no one said anything because god forbid anyone try to be the voice of reason while standing in line but honestly, I came close. I stood there and GLARED at them and loudly said shit like I CANT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAS SO TRASHY and I REALLLLY wanted to be like EXCUSE ME I DUNNO IF THIS IS COOL IN YOUR COUNTRY…but I’m not gonna like, the one dude looked like a big, slobby bear who wasn’t above hitting a woman and I wasn’t trying to poke that nasty thing. Both women were much much larger than me too and Chooch and I were just out-numbered anyway.

In hindsight, I wish I had said something because they were such white trash motherfuckers the entire time we were in that line, oh well.

Then I had to watch the one mom vigorously pick out a wedgie through her ugly dress. It was so much. Just…so much.

Anyway, I made Chooch take this picture and send it to Henry so he would have somewhat of a visual for when we told him the story, and thanks to this picture he was able to identify them later when the pissing girl through a major tantrum in the middle of the park when they were sitting near him and none of the adults even bothered to stop it. He attempted to record it but Henry sucks at Spy Mode. He’s not like me.

We eventually did get to ride the stupid ride and thankfully didn’t have to ride with the Aussie Pissers especially knowing that the rapids were essentially going to be bathing that little bitch after she pissed without wiping in line.

Well, that’s my story. Goodbye.

Apr 102022
 

Good morning I guess this will be sort of a live blog as we have a good 11 hour trek to make today and I am sure I will be bored AF. It is currently 8:34 and we just left, WAIT FOR IT, Mama Steve’s!! I’m not gonna lie, when we tacked on Williamsburg to our poorly planned spring break road trip, I cried, “OMG THAT MEANS WE CAN GO TO MAMA STEVES!” Of course chooch and Henry were like, “Where now?” because they don’t get obsessed with things for no reason like I do.

We asked for a booth and even though we were the only people there besides one old guy eating forlornly alone, we were placed at a table because our waitress JANICE who hated us apparently only had one booth in her section but there were ANTS on it.

(Henry just turned up FOREIGNER’S JUKE BOX HERO super loud in the car, for anyone who was wondering what songs would make Henry reach over to give the volume knob a good twist.)

Anyway I know our waitress’s name was Janice because she told us and for a minute I forgot restaurant etiquette and almost introduced myself back to her but after pausing with my mouth agape for entirely too long, I recovered long enough to blurt out, “oh ok nice to meet you.”

I honestly forgot how to human for a hot sec.

At first I was disappointed and was considering not loving Mama Steve’s anymore but then I was consoled by that awesome Blue Flame-esque instrumental covers of pop classics wafting from the ceiling and all the BLUE ACCENTS.

Henry and Chooch just think it’s “ok.” They both ordered omelettes. I noticed Chooch had a pile of tomatoes, peppers, and onions on the side of his plate.

“Why would you get a veggie omelette if you’re just going to pick everything out?” I asked.

“I didn’t pick them out!” he cried defensively. “They fell out! And once they’re by themselves, I don’t eat them.”

The eating intricacies of Chooch.

I ordered whole grain pancakes and then made Henry take two. Janice came over later to take away my cleared off plate and said, “You did good!!” But then saw the reminder of my pancakes on Henry’s plate so I had to fess up. They were good! I just know my limit!!

I made Chooch take a picture of me with Mama Steve’s in the background because I love it here! I want to roll around on the floor and absorb all the 1960s vibes.

(Ok, maybe I’ll put on some coveralls before I do that.)

I didn’t check out the bathroom last time and henry said it was “nothing special” but I said, “I WILL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT.”

Seemed pretty special to me!!

Then we were rung up at the register by a super-mysterious old lady, reminiscent of Katherine Helmand, in a mink stole and she HAD to be Mama Steve, she HAD TO BE. She kept locking eyes with me so I had no good opportunity to take a picture. She even spoke in an accented whisper!!!

She walked past us while we were eating, in all of her strange vintage European elegance, and I said, “That’s my STYLE ICON right there” and Henry said he imagined that being me walking into The Law Firm as an old lady to get my last paycheck, so I guess in Henry’s mind, we’ll be going back to paper paychecks that need to be manually deposited at some point in the future.

Ugh WTF is this shit?? “Bridge Lift In Progress”?!! Ugh.

“It’s not even for a ship. That’s just a tug pulling a barge,” Henry mansplained, causing Chooch to pipe up from the backseat, “whoa ho ho.”

Now Chooch the Engineer is pointing out all the different ways they could have built this bridge to avoid this.

THAT MOTHERFUCKER.

9:23am: Some podunk cop just pulled us over because dumbass Henry was speeding because he “didn’t realize” the speed limit changed. I have no idea where we are, some dumbass hick town in Virginia.

OMG HE JUST GAVE HENRY HIS DUMB TICKET AND AS HE WALKED AWAY HE TURNED AND LOOKED AT ME WITH A FUCKING GROSS LOOK ON HIS FACE AND I FLIPPED OUT AND YELLED EW DONT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT YOU DUMB COP and henry was like “OK OK” and quickly put up the window and now I am fucking popping off because I hate cops so much HOPE U MET YOUR QUOTA, PIG OINK OINK.

If I had been the one driving, we’d probably be at the police station right now.

#mouth

Time for some Heartstopper 4 action!

A self-serve Dunkin’?? We had to buy a mini-Silk because they didn’t have DAIRY ALTS and it was a huge controversy. (It was my solution BTW) and I didn’t even require the need for DAIRY ALTS because I can drink iced coffee for the coffee flavor unlike Henry & Chooch, the coffee posers.

We are somewhere in North Carolina, btw.

A very pretty rest area in Fayetteville or something. There was drama in the restroom though because only ONE FAUCET worked and some lady was standing there waiting for her mom to finish up so she became the official spokesperson, telling everyone who came out of a stall that “only the one at the end works.” She told the custodian but as I was washing my hands, she left so I felt responsible for telling the people who came out of the stalls after me and then panicked because what if they didn’t pass it on and then the news died out?!

I guess newcomers would have to find out for themselves…

Our first Bojangles! The door was locked but some old man was coming out and let us slip inside. It wasn’t crowded in here at all but APPARENTLY they are short-staffed and locked the doors so they could try to keep up with the drive-thru rush but people inside keep letting in the outsiders like us and now people are getting angry. We had a convo about it with a LOCAL GENTLEMAN and he and Henry bonded over the shared knowledge of how UNDERSTAFFED it is everywhere and then the dude said “HAVE YOU A GOOD DAY” when he left and I so excited to hear it.

HAVE. YOU. A. GOOD. DAY.

I just randomly said something to Chooch in the tune of the Skate or Die Nintendo game song, so then I explained to him what that was and sang it (Skate. Or. Die. Skate or die. Die die die die die) and he got REALLY annoyed and said I’ve told him this numerous times over the years lol. I guess that game really made an impact on me??

This is all I wanted!! A biscuit! And the salad was actually decent.

Anyway, the locked door controversy went on the entire time we were there. It was insane. I admitted that I originally thought the door was locked because the staff was planning a mass suicide.

“Wow,” Henry muttered.

Later on, Henry came back to our booth after getting butter & honey because I started acting like I was insulted that my biscuit didn’t just come with it, right as Chooch and I were fighting because he said only the door on one side of the building was locked and I said they both were. Henry goes, “No they’re both locked—someone was standing outside the other door trying to get in when I walked by.”

“Did you let them in?” I asked.

“Nope,” Henry said, taking a big manly man-man bite of his food. Chooch and I lost it in tandem. The way he’s so ruthless sometimes!

I drizzled honey on my biscuit while Chooch cringed in the background. “You ruined that,” he said.

You ruined me,” I retorted.

Back in the car, 1:42pm.

Calm down, Henry! Thirst much??

2:24: Pit stop at South of the Border! Chooch was being soooo snotty because he “just wants to get to Orlando” but we’re not doing anything there tonight anyway so what’s the rush?? Little bitch.

I made him pose for this picture and he was soooo bent out of shape about it:

I like this picture of me because my hair is covering my stupid face.

Chooch was mad because I wanted my picture taken on this mule. Then henry rejoined us after getting gas in the car and we went into one of the gift shops but didn’t see anything we wanted.

On the way back to the car, I wanted Chooch to take my picture with Henry this time too on the mules. I was going to ask this guy standing nearby if he’d take a picture of all of us but he was on the phone and his wife was holding a dog. But luckily he got off the phone just in time and said, “You guys want a picture of all of you?” which made Chooch’s whole body contort into a visual groan. I said YES and now we have a FAMILY PICTURE from this racist tourist trap, lucky us!

I told the guy, “you made my day, and ruined his!” pointing to Chooch. Dude was happy to assist!

It’s 3:19 but I forgot to mention that about 30 minutes ago, we stopped at a Pilot and my TREY SONGZ jam was playing – I haven’t heard it in like 10 years but went on auto-pilot mode and dramatically began lip-synching it in Henry’s face at the beverage cooler but he said HE DID NOT REMEMBER IT?! It was on a mixed cd that played for a solid year on repeat in our bedroom?! (This is not an exaggeration?!)

NO WAIT I WAS WRONG AND BECAUSE I AM HONEST I WILL ADMIT IT. It was a different Trey Songz track that was on the mixed CD also I did really like the one playing in Pilot too – it was the first Trey Songz I ever heard!

5:39pm I guess we’re in Georgia now? All I know is that we’ve been in stop-n-go traffic for the last hour and my calf is cramping from slamming on the invisible passenger-side brake. I swear to god Henry speeds up every time the brake lights come on on the cars in front of us. He’s giving me such anxiety.

DUDE. We just stopped at a rest area (and the doors were locked just like Bojangles!! but there was also a sign that said to use the doors in the rear of the building) and each faucet had a Dyson hand dryer attached to it!!! I had to side-eye the little girl at the sink next to me to figure out how to use it.

7:34. We just grabbed some Subway for a quick dinner in the car. We still don’t know if we’re in Florida or Georgia for some reason, but I feel like Henry should know??

Anyway before Subway we went to Race Trac and I got coffee but I can’t drink it because every time I bring the cup to my lips, all I can smell is cigarette for some reason and then I feel like I have an ashtray in my mouth??

Two bikers just passed us wearing WARLOCKS OF FLORIDA vests. Assholes.

7:58pm ok NOW we’re in Florida!

Also? I cannot stop thinking about the nice day we had at Busch Gardens yesterday. It started out as a series of QUESTION MARKS but ended up being just a very enjoyable day and we all got along until we got back to the hotel that night! A-ma–ZING.

We have 2.5 hours left of this never ending drive. I shall hit PUBLISH on this rat’s nest of words now and edit with any updates if anything noteworthy happens. Who can be sure?!

9:18pm You haven’t missed anything other than me quizzing Henry on NCT members’ voices and talking about TOP from BIGBANG doing wine labels as a new venture.

And then totally 갑자기, i said that I missed Wildwood. “It’s so magical there don’t you think?”

Henry, considering this. “Yeah, I mean, it was nice.”

“Oh, ‘it was nice.’ So you won’t commit to ‘magical’?” I cried.

“I mean, nowhere is really magical in my opinion,” was Henry’s defense.

“Ok not even Korea? REALLY?”

“No, not even Korea. Because magical is something that’s not believable and Korea is real…”

“OK WELL ITS MAGICAL TO ME IN THAT I COULDNT BELIEVE I WAS THERE,” I huffed, but COOK ON HENRY.

10:45pm: Checking into our hotel which is directly across from the street from The Drop Tower. Ugh.

Hi technically it’s the next day (12:14am) but I wanted to jump on here before I go to bed to say that I made Henry walk around the area by our hotel with me so that I could acquire my daily step goal (I aim low – 12,000 – which I generally hit by the afternoon except for when we’re literally in the car all day ugh) before midnight. I made it by 11:45! Woo!

Also, we ended walking past the drop tower and it was so unbelievably depressing. I said I wished we had a flower to put down and henry was like “well we don’t, so…” He has no feelings.

Then I took a picture of him next to the Hooters sign across from our hotel so I could send it to Chooch back in the room, because we love to insinuate that Henry has a VIP frequent customer card and has wet dreams about it (Hooters, not the card).

(Maybe the card, too.)

(Maybe also the fire hydrant.)

We’re also across from this bitch. Chooch had a mental breakdown at the one in Pigeon Forge several years ago lol:

Ok good night! SeaWorld tomorrow! Chooch should get his 200th credit!

Apr 082022
 

Hello from somewhere in Maryland I think. We left shortly after I logged off from work at 5:30 to start our first leg of this season’s poorly-planned road trip. I’m not even giving our final destination on here for fear of jinxing it, as it’s been jinxed numerous times already and it’s actually amazing we even left Pgh at this point.

Anyway, it’s 8:40pm and I talked Henry’s ear off for the last three hours (he looooves when I tell him stories from when I was in high school, just fucking SAVORS that shit like it’s a piece of fresh jerky) so I thought I’d hope on this trash pile and type some things, post some pics, you know, things us BLOGGERS do.

I dunno why I screamed that bit.


Relevant to this drive, and I’ll tell you why in a minute calm down, here is a picture of Chooch from the weekend when he was trying to watch The Adam Project which made scoff dramatically, “Ugh, Ryan Reynolds” and Chooch asked, “Why do you hate him again?” prompting Henry to answer from the dining room, “Because he hurt someone or something…”

Ok first of all? STFU don’t answer for me.

Second of all, he hurt ALANIS MORISSETTE (and also Scarlett Johansson but I was focused on Alanis at the mo’) so I started screaming about this and Chooch was like “ok well I don’t know who that is so…”

And also, he just seems like an asshole. Like the type of guy in high school who you never wanted to have to sit near because you knew at some point he was going to openly make fun of you for having braces or something.

That kind of guy.

Also, BLAKE LIVELY?? Ugh.

I mean she literally was the worst part of Gossip Girl but cool. Marry her & then expect us to care?!

This morning, I woke up to an Alanis song on the radio and then felt inspired in the car to play some of my faves and then from there somehow I got on a Paula Cole / Shawn Colvin / Jewel kick so Henry was really loving life, especially when I put on Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album in its entirety and proceeded to dredge up the Psycho Mike years which is another topic henry loves because now not only is he my chef, caretaker, and chauffeur but crisis counselor too.

“Man, I really had no idea who I was back then,” I murmured, lost in 1997/1998 for a minute.

“And you do now?” Henry sneered.

“Uh yeah. I’m born-again Korean?!”

I miss the cats so much already this is the worst part of vacation. :( My mom will be staying with them but I swear Drew knew since last night that we were leaving. She saw the suitcases in my room and just knew. Then when Henry was packing up the car today, she ran onto the back porch and sulked, ughhhh my heart.

Still thinking about this s’mores sundae Henry & I shared from Sugar Spell on Sunday. Usually we’d partake in the pint preorder but figured we’d switch it up and just get a sundae. It was decadent! Of course henry cried because I allegedly ate “all the good parts.” He also tried to criticize me for choosing banana as one of the scoop flavors but it ended up tasting sooooo good with the s’mores accoutrements – waiting for my apology.

Oh man, now .38 Special’s Caught Up In You is on the radio as if I needed more reasons to revisit the past. Goddamn, this song.

HOLD THE PHONE, I just got a story from Henry regarding his middle school days! I mentioned that MOLLY HATCHET opened for .38 Special when I saw them in 1997 with Lisa and Henry said that he will always remember middle school dances (“Not ‘dances’! One dance!” Henry just yelled as I’m reading aloud what I’m typing) where JOCKOS requested Molly Hatchet’s “Green Grass & High Tides” and I fixated on the JOCKOS part because I didn’t understand what he meant so I kept repeating, “JOCKOS?”

And he’d be like “YEAH JOCK. Os.”

So then I would say, “JACQUE O’S?”

And he’d be like “yeah.”

And I’d be like “Who the fuck is Jacque O?”

Like he said it with such certainty that I’d understand.

And then he’d say “NO. JOCKOS. YOU KNOW. JOCKS.”

Oh. Jocks. Sorry. In my school day we just called them “jocks.” That was good enough. No need for the extra syllable.

Apropos of nothing, this oatmeal is FUCKING BONKERS. 100% recommend this. Gimme a sponsorship deal because I would do dumb blog ad spots for this shit WEEKLY without giving a single fuck about selling out. It’s so good that I brought it on vacation with me!!

Henry didn’t dance with anyone at the middle school dance, btw. I just remembered to ask him now. He said, “It was 8th grade. No one danced.” Things were different in the 90s I guess because I remember being in 6th or 7th grade and having my HEART BROKEN because Chris L. danced with Monica L. to VANESSA WILLIAMS’ SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST and if I told you I didn’t think about that more than once when Desperate Housewives was on TV, I’m sure you’d know I was lying.

Pfft. Chris L. What a Ryan Reynolds-type he was though. Literally always braced myself for him to say something brutal all through elementary school but still had the dumbest crush on him SIGH.

</3

“There’s a 24-hours Dunkin Donuts,” Henry pointed out.

“Oh my god” I yelled in my high-pitched mocking voice, so now he’s back to stewing in the drivers seat.

Michael Jackson’s THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL just came on and it will never not sound like he’s saying “high giggles” instead of “high heels.” My mom and I used to argue about it when I was little because I insisted it was GIGGLES and she’d be all BUT THAT DOESNT MAKE SENSE.

“What did you wear to the dance?” I just asked Henry, because I’m still thinking about this.

“I don’t know! It was 40 years ago!”

“Was it polyester?” I probed. (Ah, classic polyester probe.)

“Maybe?! I mean it was the 70s…”

(Gentle reader, it is at this point that I’d like to point out that my middle school dance was in the NINETIES.)

“Do you have pictures?!”

“No! IT WAS THE 70s! Kids didn’t walk around with cameras!”

God ok Hemorrhaging Hank, calm down.

Ok I’m signing off now. I might not stop back tomorrow but possibly will return on Sunday which is going to be A Big Driving Day.

Tata.

UPDATE: I am now BLASTING Alanis’ “Uninvited” so I eagerly woke Chooch up in the backseat to manically shout DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?

“NO!” he hissed around his FORKED TONGUE OF TEENAGER.

“It’s Alanis Morissette!” I cried giddily.

“WHO CARES!” he cried back.

“Not Ryan Reynolds,” I mumbled.

Apr 062022
 

You guys! Yesterday was my first day back to the office! We were given the option to stay at home fulltime (most people happily ate that choice up) or to select a hybrid schedule. I chose to just come in one day a week to break up the monotony but mostly to have at least one day free of screaming demon kids.

I was actually SO EXCITED Monday night. No nerves at all, and I guess it’s because I knew I wouldn’t be going back to a packed department so the stress and pressure was very low. I had my outfit all picked out and I was READY! I actually bought this shirt at the end of 2020 when we *thought* we were returning to work at the beginning of 2021. Oh, ha ha ha.

I love it so much – the button on the back of the collar is a tiny elephant!!

Henry the Dearheart* drove me to work because the TROLLEY is under construction as per uje and I was panicking at the prospect of dealing with the SHUTTLE which is so unreliable that even Chooch was like “fuck this noise, I’ll find a gd bus to take to school instead.” Chooch is way more adventurous with pub.trans. than I am though so this was no big deal for him. He knows how to look that shit up.

*(This one time in the infant stages of our relationship, like PRE-CHOOCH, Henry and I went to a flea market and he held the door open for some old lady, who in turn called him DEARHEART and that was one of those super bland to most people moments that became seared into my memory and I still think of it often. Why, tho. And also the fact that there was a sign on the same door that said NO WHEELIES and I didn’t know what that meant so Henry had to explain that wheelies are those dumb shoes with wheels on them and evidently that flea market has/had a big infestation of hooligans-on-wheels.)

Anyway, I was mildly anxious on the drive there only because I thought we were going to be late. (“Who will know?” Henry asked, and he’s not wrong.)

But then the weirdest thing happened: he dropped me off down the street from my building and I walked down the sidewalk like I belonged on it, entered my building, said hello to the security guard, got in the elevator, pushed “10”—-it was like I was on auto-pilot. Muscle memory after all of this time. Strode right into the department like it hadn’t been two fucking years since I last worked from my desk.

There were only 5 other people there that day: Jeannie, Sharon, Lucas, Sandy, and Dawn who recently joined our department but has worked for the firm since the 90s. I had never met her in person before because our department rarely interacts face-to-face with practice assistants, etc so it was really cool to get to chat with her! I was SUPER STARVED for conversation and I think I may have exhausted her a little – she kept nervously laughing and saying, “Oh jeez” in response to all of the FASCINATING ASIDES I kept blurting out from my desk. I calmed down a little after lunch though.

BACK IN THE OFFICE!

It was so awesome to see Sandy, Jeannie, and Lucas too! I sadly never got around to seeing Sharon (I’m not even sure where she was stationed) but she actually used to work in our department back when I first started, and then left about a year later, only to come back during the pandemic! So that’s really cool and I have to make a point of seeking her out on my next Tuesday there (in two weeks – vacation is next week!).

The actual work-portion of the day was actually pretty normal, if you ignore the fact that I now sit at a completely bare desk. To be honest, it felt almost like some of the pre-pandemic Fridays when tons of people would be working from home or just off in general. Fridays had become ghost towns there, so it kind of felt like a more extreme version of that.

Some things I forgot about:

  • how gross the coffee is
  • how the water barely gets lukewarm
  • how fucking FREEZING IT IS

Oh! And I got to meet my gal Beth on the 11th floor to get my new ID badge! Finally, after 12 years of enduring the ugliest picture of myself which then eventually wore off so I looked like a ghost (i.e. a huge improvement).

Seeing her familiar face was another blast of normalcy

Things didn’t get REAL until it was time for my lunch time walk. People kept saying that downtown had changed a lot, gotten “rough” since the pandemic, and it was sadly…kind of true. :( Just felt real sketchy and rundown. I ended up walking to the Strip and so much has changed in that area that I felt really disoriented.

Here are some pictures. I didn’t take very many because I was on the phone with DUMB HENRY off and on.

This area still smells like piss so there’s one constant for you.

This whole fucking area was new-to-me. It looks like it’s about to be a yuppie utopia. Can’t wait.

I did some new cafes that I will be hitting up in the coming weeks though. Look out, cafes.

On the way back, I was waiting to cross the street when I heard manic mumbling behind me. I was like, “OMG Lord, please say it’s so….” and I slowly turned to see THE ONE AND ONLY DOWNTOWN JESUS. He is still around!! Or, has recently risen. Either way, he was there and then I saw him AGAIN when I was leaving work. What a fucking GREAT DAY. You can read more about Downtown Jesus and see some pictures of him here and here, thank you.

What else…my former supervisor admitted to me in an email with other people copied that I was correct about something and she was incorrect, and it was SUCH A BIG DEAL, like something that I have waited 10 long years for, that I considered printing the email but the firm got new printers during the pandemic and I didn’t feel like trying to figure out how to use that shit. Baby steps, you guys. It was baby’s first day back to the real world, after all.

Then I came home and the cats were like, YOU BETRAYED US, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!!? And the squirrels were completely out of food?! Henry and Chooch were home by the afternoon!? Anyway, when I came home, one of my Buddys was in the driveway, and please you have to believe me because I do not lie on here unless it’s a blatantly obvious hyperbole, but HE LITERALLY STOOD UP WHEN HE SAW ME AND THEN RAN TO ME, YOU GUYS. He was *that* hungry. Starved. POOR WOODLAND CREATURE!!! And Penelope was sprawled out on me nearly all night.

So, there you have it. Me dipping my toe into the social office waters. One day a week is a really good start. Maybe I will eventually up it to two. I AM SUPER WILD AND CRAZY LIKE THAT.

I’ll leave you with my current favorite NCT Dream song.