Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

pickle cupcakes, butterfly lattes, amish pretzels: Saturday things.

July 20th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Today started with a pickle cupcake from Potomac Station because Pittsburgh has been transformed to Picklesburgh, as is what happens every July for the last, I dunno, 9 years? Chooch and I went to the inaugural Picklesburgh and that was enough for me. Back then, it was 100% located on a bridge. That was a NOPE for me, fam. Now, it’s spread out into other areas of downtown but it’s a nope for me.

But I’ll still indulge in some offsite novelty pickle action (as long as it doesn’t involve usurping tennis courts and hitting a wiffle ball with a paddle). If I had to actually go into the bowels of Picklesburgh for this cupcake, well…I wouldn’t have.

You know what? This wasn’t bad. It’s not a flavor I’d indulge in regularly, and I only had 1/4 of this, but to be honest I have been craving more of it since then. It just kind of works. The cake part had actual pickles in it and the frosting most def was spiked with pickle juice.

Later, I said to Henry, we gotta get outta here, man. Chooch is at a grad party, Penelope is hibernating on the back porch, my squirrels are off scavenging in other ‘hoods I guess, and I am fucking lonely, bored, frustrated, miserable, etc. But look, I’m not dumb, I know that this sad sack era is annoying. Trust me, I’m annoying myself. You think I don’t want to experience happiness again?? I do. But also, baby steps.

Anyway, I didn’t want to go to a cemetery (we did this last weekend and I cried to the point of near-hysteria) and I didn’t want to do NATURE because I didn’t feel like changing out of my Vans. So, I suggested going to Washington, which for you NON-LOCALS is a small city about 40 minutes from Pittsburgh. Henry won’t say to me right now, so we silently got in the car and stopped at CRAZY HORSE COFFEE on the outskirts of Washington first for some bev.

I got a DELECTABLE local favorite called a butterfly latte which was made with blue matcha, vanilla, lavender, and I opted for soy milk.

And since I have been subsisting on mostly desserts since Drew died, Henry and I got a vegan chocolate zucchini bread to share and that too was DELECTABLE.

The one thing that was questionable to me was the cafe’s use of a b&w American flag throughout their cafe and on the other side of the cup cozies. I told Henry that it made me uncomfortable and he didn’t say anything because he knows that whatever he says will be the wrong thing. I literally just told him that I think we will end up getting divorced over all of this and he was like “o m g.” But honestly, I just feel nothing and am not sure how things will ever get better especially once Chooch leaves for college, but hey, just me being OH HONESTLY, ERIN I guess.

But yeah, that latte was a beaut!

And then we parked in downtown Washington and walked around for a bit just for exercise. It was weird though because PSYCHO MIKE lived here briefly the summer after high school, 1997, above a Pgh Paints shop in a really shitty, sketchy, dirty apartment shared with two other guys, one of which he knew from the teen asylum place he lived in for a few mths after smashing a picture frame over his dad’s head (while I was on the phone with him) and generally being loudly suicidal.

Washington things.

Then we went here because pretzels are Henry’s prozac.

Some older gentleman came in and started loudly narrating his quest for a specific kind of BBQ that they NORMALLY have but DID NOT HAVE at this time (he made the employees look) and then he started telling me about how IT MAKES FOR THE BEST BBQ HAM HE HAS EVER HAD AND LOOK HE IS NOT NORMALLY A BIG HAM PERSON, BUT THIS BBQ SAUCE IS SO FREAKING GOOD and on and on and even after I told him that I don’t eat meat he still gave me detailed instructions on how to make it and I was like, “OK but even if I ate meat, I don’t cook, so…”

Anyway, this bro was such a fucking a hype man for the sauce that I ended up pulling one of the jars off the shelf (it wasn’t the one he was looking for, but it was the same brand) and said, “OK you sold me on this” and then to Henry, I whispered, “You can just put this on tofu, can’t you?” and Henry was like, “I can put anything on tofu, I am a Tofu Master Chef.”

Then we got Amish pretzels. I got mine unsalted but it still had a buttery glaze on it just like the one I got at Sheetz last week when Chooch and I had our MOMMY-CHOOCH DAY and just like that pretzel, this one made me immediately sick as I was eating it.

Ignore my gnarly nail polish. I can’t really muster the fucks needed right now to make my nails presentable to the public.

And then I had to walk down the MILITARY HALL (literally a hallway pockmarked with photos of old ass local vets I guess, I didn’t really stop and browse) to get to the bathroom where I took this grotesque selfie – my face doesn’t hold a smile these days so this is the best I can do.

Now I’m home. I just came back from my 4th walk of the day. I have some old Wimbledon match on YouTube because again – so many things are triggering now but tennis matches in the background seem to be somewhat soothing at the moment.


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Friday Funk

July 19th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

As usual, my blog is busted and I spent an hour writing a post (it was a bunch of nothing hoo-haw cries for help honestly, not missing anything) only to post it and be presented with an error page and no saved draft.

Also my current theme was no longer supported by WordPress so Henry reverted my blog back to a theme I used 100 years ago and it is TRASH and has not resolved ANY issue (blame the Russian hackers, I dunno) and I really think that 2024 has been so awful and I might as well just add the DEATH TO OH HONESTLY ERIN to the timeline.

Anyway, here’s a picture of Chooch from when he decided to wake up today. Then he went ro Picklesburgh and played tennis which is so much more than anything I have done all week. Life is so great.


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Depressing Brain Dump

July 16th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

There is the older man who I always see on my walks around Brookline. His constant companion is this beautiful Husky, and she HOWLS for him when he has to leave her outside while he pops into 802 Coffee because the owner is an asshole who doesn’t allow dogs inside (all previous owners did).

The day after Drew died, I saw him on the Boulevard. She wasn’t with him.

I haven’t seen him at all since then.

Yesterday, Henry brought Drew’s ashes home. A brand new wave of grief crashed into me. I am so glad to have her back here, but oh my fucking god. Oh my fucking god. I hate this, I hate everything.

I’m having a hard time finding a therapist.

I’m having a hard time in general.

Margie sent me an article the other day, written by a veterinarian, about how society needs to take pet loss grief more seriously. We get bereavement time at work when immediate family dies. People are kind and gentle and don’t expect, one or two days later, for us to be “over it.” Well, pets are immediate family. This is the hardest mourned someone since my Pappap died in 1996. Every time I start to feel “stupid” about it, I have to check myself. I don’t give a shit anymore who thinks this is dumb or trivial. I just don’t. I know how I feel and if someone asks me “Hey how are you?” I’m going to be honest with my reply because I am not going to minimize my feelings. If someone is uncomfortable with that, then I don’t know what to say because this is real life and I can’t fake it anymore.

I know deep in my heart that I won’t feel this way forever. I am trying to get to the other side, but I also don’t want to push myself because I can tell you that I was not allowed the time and space to properly grieve my Pappap when I was 16. I carried that grief and trauma with me into adulthood. I know there are lessons here and I appreciate that, but I cannot care about that right now until I deal with my feelings.

Every day, I sit here and scroll through pictures of her, not understanding how this could have happened.

My friend Amber (the OG Amber!) wrote in a card that Marcy is taking care of Drew now and that made me cry but also, I felt comforted at that idea.

And my friend Lyda sent me a care package that included a little moveable cat that her son made on his 3D printer. That also made me cry, but in a good way.

This house just feels so empty. How could such a small being take up so much space? God, she was just so fucking special to our family.

She was perfect.

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RUNNING ERRANDS: a day off with Erin and Chooch

July 12th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

It’s me, the miserable one. Today has been somewhat of a breakthrough day.

I guess.

I had scheduled the day off over a month in advance, figuring that I would need the day to get some shit done for the graduation party. But, as you know, I have been half-crippled with these awful feelings – and before you think to yourself, “It was just a cat” please unkindly fuck right off because she was a family member and it has unlocked layers of past grief and anticipatory grief so I have been going through it these past two weeks and again am grateful for my friends who have checked in on me.

In the morning, I went for a walk and finished two books, one of which was a book on coping with the loss of a cat that my brother Corey had sent me and while it made me feel like every raw nerve in my body was being poked and prodded at times, it was overall a very cathartic read and you know what I did when I finished it? I contacted a local therapist experienced in EMDR therapy and am in the process of getting something scheduled.

So I feel positive about that.

I still cried a bunch of times today BUT! Chooch spent a large portion of the day with me and that was so good for me to get out of the house and I dunno, live a little. I let him drive, which is also good for me because I’m a passenger princess. So that in and of itself was an adventure.

I wanted to go to Round Hill Park because it’s symbolic in a way. He and I went there one day during the summer of 2020. I had taken a day off because they were pushing us to take PTO even though we were working from home and there was nowhere to really go because it was still the height of the pandemic. But I had suggested Round Hill because it’s outdoors and I thought we’d be safe. It was the summer before he started high school.

This is the summer before he starts college. I am gutted.

He agreed only because he was excited to drive that far out, I’m sure.

We had to drive past his doctor’s office on the way – in Jefferson Hills – so I suggested that we stop there because he had some immunization paper work for college that needed to be filled out. He was just there last week for his wellness visit and they gave him his records then but Drexel was like NO IT HAS TO BE DONE ON OUR FORM PLEASE AND THANKS. Anyway, we went in and he was like, “I have a PDF—” and the lady was like, “Great, please print it out and come back.”

Like, no offer to just print it out there, just sent us away like we were riffraff begging for loose pills.

(j/k she was nice but still.)

Then we went to Sheetz and got coffee and breakfast. Chooch regretted “not backing in” to the parking spot. He is obsessed with backing in, like why do guys think this is such a flex??

Anyway, Round Hill was nice and not crowded. We saw some animals that reminded us of Bambi though, like this rabbit:

And this goat:

:( I’m still in agony. It hurts so bad.

There was some annoying little girl over by the horses being a total know-it-all. I guess she and her mom are regulars because they were like ALL OVER one of the horses even though there are signs everywhere that say no petting, but the mom seemed like she was on a personal level with them, and was flaunting it which was kind of off-putting but you do you, horse lady.

Chooch thought he was safe from a photo shoot but then I saw some lady across the street in a field of flowers taking pictures and you know, monkey see monkey do, so I made him go over there with me and he was so pissed.

“This could be our last time here together,” I said somberly to Chooch, who sighed, “THAT is what you said the LAST time, too.”

Then we began our QUEST for a printer.

Apparently, CVS prints documents for you but we couldn’t find one that was on the way back to where his doctor is, so we stopped at a Rite Aid in Elizabeth were some old lady was like OH HAHAHAHA WE STOPPED DOING THAT YEARS AGO like we were transplants from the 1980s asking for the latest blockbuster on VHS.

Desperate, Chooch turned to Google and found some place in Clairton called Precision Copy Center with zero reviews but we shrugged and decided to check it out. To be fair we could have done this any other day because the deadline isn’t until Sept 1st but it became A MISSION to get it done WHILE WE WERE OUT.

After nearly getting t-boned by a pick-up truck, we pulled up to this random copy place next to the river in a rundown area next to a moonshine distillery??? and they were like “um try Kinkos maybe???” I think this was a commercial printer, lol.

I  guess I can’t embed videos anymore on this broke-add blog that is another thing that is dying in my life and I just can’t give a shit about it anymore.”>IMG_3512

Anyway, we ended up at the Pleasant Hills Library and the librarian looked surprised that two people under the age of 70 were requesting print services. But it was a success and now the doctor’s office has it and will get it back to us within 3-5 business days and it’s one last college thing to worry about it.

That map on the floor was for people to write down adventures they’ve had in a certain place and then stick it on the map so I did one for getting married in Seoul while Chooch was struggling to only print the pages he needed so we wouldn’t be OVERCHARGED god forbid (it came to 60 cents and I brought in FOUR QUARTERS so we were on a BUDGET).

Wouldn’t Chooch and I be incredible on the Amazing Race?

THEN we had to go to Giant Eagle (UGH GROCERY SHOPPING) to get gluten-free bread and a small gluten-free cake for tomorrow because “one and a half” of his friends are gluten-free whatever that means. Following the baker’s directions to where the gluten free cakes were located was like a side-quest. We had to go back  to the bakery and ask for directions a second time, LOL. But, we succeeded.

Everything is annoying / stressful / sad / panic-inducing lately. It’s going to be OK though, right? Eventually?

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A week and 2 days later.

July 10th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

It’s been hard. I went to a pet grief support group Monday night. Henry came with me and it was us and five elderly women who are regulars. They were so welcoming and comforting. One could have passed for my friend Marlene’s sister, right down to her dry sense of humor.

Per the Fight Club-seque rules of the group, I am not permitted to share any details of what everyone discussed. (I’m not kidding!! “What is shared in the room stays in the room.”)

I’m really trying to not sink into the grief but the cat loss book that my brother sent me (seriously my friends and family have been truly holding me above water) says to DRIVE into it. So, OK – I’m doing that. I’m letting myself sob. But I’m also going for walks. I’m (trying) to help with party decorations. But I’m also desperately wishing I’d come back that walk and see her waiting by the window.

I am also seeking therapy to help me process the trauma of this. It’s hard enough losing a family member but the way this happened has wrecked me for what feels like life. I am looking to try EMDR therapy.

I’m still not really eating. I have almond milk with a scoop of protein for breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, and dinner is usually a cookie or ice cream. I don’t know what is happening to me but I cannot bring myself to making my morning smoothie or anything else that was a routine because it just makes me think of Drew and I feel broken again. Baby steps. One day I will want to eat dinner again. One day, using the blender won’t make me cry.

I am working on not blaming myself but it is so hard when I was the only one here. I am trying to stop the WHAT IFS (I had reacted faster) and the BARGAINING (I would go back to 2016 and relive all the trauma with my grandparents house / Sharon if it meant reliving Drew and Penelope’s first year with us). I know this will take time. I’m writing in her tonight because it’s like a pep talk. I can do this. I have lost and mourned others. No one will replace Drew. No one will fill her spot in my heart. I couldn’t stop it. It’s not OK but it has to be otherwise I will be living in this loop forever and it is so painful. It hurts so much.

Some positive things:

  • I did my annual wellness check yesterday and all my numbers came back in the green. Yay.
  • The Olympics will be starting soon. Yay.
  • Spending time with Chooch. He still hasn’t gotten his license but has his permit so we’ve been letting him drive us around. Last night, I was his passenger and he decided he wasn’t feeling in the mood for music so he turned off the radio and just talked – no soul-baring convos or anything like that but just some light chitchat and it was just what I needed, especially when we drove past a fire station and he suggested finding a baby to leave on the doorstep lol.
  • Penelope is still here.
  • The squirrels are still here.
  • Today I went into the office just to get out of the house and I got to see Sue and Megan and I walked around disgusting Pgh but it was a bit of normalcy. While there, my laptop died and I was issued a new one. The IT guy said I AM THE FIRST PERSON IN THE FIRM TO GET THE NEW MODEL. I said I’m going to brag about it and he said “oh you definitely should.”
  • New NCT127, which Drew would have loved (well, I would have loved pretending that she loved it to annoy Chooch).

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Hello from Griefland

July 07th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

It hasn’t been a full week yet. It is ok that I’m not ok. I keep telling myself this but then I go back to wailing I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU IM SORRY every time I’m alone.

Yesterday was truly bad. I spent most of the morning drowning in hopelessness and feeling like I couldn’t go on. None of the pet grief hotlines are real – busy signals, voice mails, complete wrong numbers. So I looked up general grief hotlines and started texting with someone from one of them. I didn’t help.

But then I called my friend Lisa and we talked for an hour. She is a hospice chaplain and has walked me through the grief process of my Pappap all the way up to Marcy. I should have called her so much earlier because she helped me calm me a little even though much of the beginning of the conversation was me slurring incoherently around uncontrollable sobs.

Lisa said that what she is hearing is that on top of grieving my best friend, I am also grieving the fact that my son is leaving for college. I told her that after this happened, I only feel emotionally stable when Chooch is down here with me during the day. If he goes back to his room, I cry. If he runs to Dunkin, I cry.

It’s compounded grief. Why is this happening. I was taking solace in the fact that Bambi would be here with me when Chooch goes to college and now she’s not here and yes I have Penelope but she is very much the opposite of Drew and doesn’t come around much during the day so I am going to be so alone as I work from home every day.

My favorite tattooist – Erin from Kyklops – messaged me and said I don’t have to wait for her fall bookings to open, she is ready when I am. I know memorializing her on me will be cathartic and I want to get that done ASAP. I am scrambling to grab onto anything that will stabilize me but it feels like I’m paddling through quicksand.

Lisa also made me feel that my emotions are valid and that I shouldn’t feel this distressed over “just a cat” because she truly was so much more than that and the trauma around watching her die in front of me and not being able to stop it after I had always said I would never let anything happen to her, it’s so much. I can’t handle it. This grief is actually making me feel like my heart is going to just stop.

Henry called the vet yesterday, the one I took her to last week, and as soon as he said “Drew” he said that the person he was talking to said, “oh, Bambi” and that made me break down all over again. Anyway, he told them that I’m having a hard time and they gave him some resources for me, one being a pet grief support group that happens to be meeting tomorrow night so I’m going to go to that. I need help. I need so much help.

We went to the Asian market today to get some stuff for Chooch’s graduation party and as we were walking thru the parking lot, an older white lady was like HELLO! as she got out of her car and I was like do we know this lady. No, we didn’t but she was just one of those people who likes to talk to everyone so I ended up walking with her and she was like “I love this place so much, I get so many interesting things here!” and then she asked Chooch if he likes to cook Chinese food and he goes “no but my dad makes Korean food” and she screamed KOREAN!!! through the parking lot and I was like Jesus Christ lady. So she asked me how he got into making Korean food and I gave her the condensed version, ending with us getting married in Korea and she was like Omg congratulations and you know what, I almost started to tell her about Drew because I am so desperate for human connection right now, anyone to listen and empathize, and she seemed like a great candidate but then I was like Erin stop, this lady came here to buy peanut oil (which Henry had to help her choose), she is not here to be your suicide hotline.

I can’t imagine doing anything I used to love to do now that Drew’s not here. I had to ask Henry to change the notification on his phone because I used to mockingly reenact it for her every time it would sound off. I had to ask him to change the song that Alexa would play when I ask for her to turn on the living room light because I used to sing that to her too.

I can’t watch travel vlogs. I can’t watch kpop content. Everything is dead to me. I have had on Sky News all day because there is nothing else that I can stand to have on in the background. Just give me bland British news.

Sorry to sound like a 5-year-old but WHY?! I don’t understand how this happened!!! Why was she taken away from me??


Happy fucking 4th

July 04th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

My bereavement diet of peanut butter toast and ice cream is going strong, so for dinner I had ice cream at Page’s. Every dog in line with their owners reminded me of Drew because Chooch would always say “look at that Bambi (what he called Drew) dog” and I would say, “that doesn’t look like Bambi at all” but tonight I came home and told him that I saw two Bambi dogs and all dogs now look like her to me, I am fucking haunted.

There is a sign that literally says WAIT TO BE CALLED TO THE WINDOW in like 4 different ways but this lady was like “does not apply to me” and was standing so close to Henry while he was paying that he walked into her when he turned to leave lol.

Anyway, I got a blueberry soft serve. It would have been more satisfying if my best cat had not just tragically and traumatically died in front of me 4 days ago…

It’s not getting easier yet. I am truly thankful for the friends who have repeatedly checked in on me this week. Texting and chatting with them has been the only thing helping me get through the days. I hate being in this house. I hate the mornings especially – no Bambi to catapult into my bed and gnaw at me viciously because she’s in such a hurry for me to get out of bed, you can play Connections later, let’s goooooo. I hate nighttime because I start to panic about going to bed because I know I will wake up repeatedly through the night with my mind whirring.

Today, Penelope has spent the whole time laying under the chaise lounge on the backporch. She has eaten at least but I am freaking out and keeping an eye on her. I don’t know if she is also sad or what but I cannot lose her too. We were going to go to the Butler County Fair today just for something to do, to try and have some semblance of fun, but with Penelope acting so down, I opted to stay home.

I would give up the chance to ever go to Korea again if it would bring back Drew. I would give up ever even leaving the state again if it would bring her back.

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Dying in Brookline

July 03rd, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

This is Drew right after we adopted her in January 2016. I am not handling this well at all. I have barely eaten anything (a mini blizzard, peanut butter toast, a Rice Krispie treat since she died on Monday) and I can stop full-body sobbing. I know this is normal and that many people experience this level of grief but it doesn’t help me right now. I don’t know what I need. Time, I guess.

Penelope has been spending more time with us so she definitely is aware. Usually she will sleep all day on the back porch but she has been out and about more.

Ever since last fall, I felt so disoriented. I can’t put my finger on it, maybe my subconscious knowing that our days with Chooch living here were numbered, maybe it was the stress of trying to help the new neighbors through a language barrier, but I can tell you that 2024 has not brought much more comfort, starting immediately with Barb dying.

Yes, there was Korea but I will tell you, that is bringing me no comfort right now.

All I can think about is when Chooch leaves for college in September, how lonely it is going to be around here. I expected obviously that Drew would be with us still and that we’d have each other to lean on during the day but then she was taken from me and I can’t make any sense of it. I can’t stop thinking about it and picturing that last moment, literally watching her die and not being able to do a fucking thing about it.

This was literally just Sunday morning. I had seen an IG reel the night before where someone turned a Churru treat into a popsicle and Drew went nuts over it which shocked me because she was our fussy one.

I bought cooling mats for both of them just a few weeks ago. Drew used to run and slide on hers across the room. She had even just been doing that Monday morning before I logged onto work too. It was such a normal day so far.

I am never going to read this again because I don’t want to remember the pain I feel right now but I have to get these thoughts out of my head and I don’t know what else to do. I’m spiraling out and have cried so much that I can’t believe I’m not just a desiccated skin sack at this point.

Jesus Christ she meant everything to me.


my Splimp, my Scootchie Lootchie, my Mrs Beringer Mrs Drew Beringer Paging Mrs Beringer, my Carat, my Suez, my Suezinson, my best friend

July 01st, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

I lost my best friend this morning and I can’t fucking process it. One minute, Drew was standing on the beverage buffet, looking at the birds. I was standing next to her, petting her and talking to Henry on the phone. I had just hung up with Henry and started to walk back to my desk when I heard a thud. I turned around and Drew was laying on her side on the floor, convulsing, her tongue protruding. I was screaming BAMBI! BAMBI! (that’s Chooch’s name for her and I call her that more than Drew, too) and then I called Henry and screamed “I THINK BAMBI IS DYING COME HOME” and then I ran next door to HNC’s house and straight up banged on his front door. Poor guy was so bewildered when he opened it and I was like CAN YOU TAKE ME TO THE EMERGENCY VET I THINK MY CAT IS DEAD and he was like Jesus Christ let me get dressed real fast (he had pants on at least) and then I ran back into the house but you guys, I knew it. I knew she was gone. She was limp in my arms and I was begging her to come back and even by the time HNC got me to the vet down the street, only about 5 minutes had passed but it was too late. They couldn’t do anything and I am still sitting here crying like I’m going to throw up, haven’t cried like this in 9 years – when I lost Marcy. I just don’t understand how this happened. She was fine, we sat on the porch before work, she had her treats, she was like ” INORITE” as I was on an endless call to the help desk right when I logged on to work. And then she just wasn’t alive anymore. SHE JUST WASN’T ALIVE ANYMORE.

I want to punch something so hard.

I wanted to punch everyone at the vet.

The vet said that it was likely a blood clot that went straight to her brain, there wasn’t nothing that could have detected it, nothing they could have done or I could have done like that is supposed to make me feel any better knowing that the one living being I spend most of my time with, literally SO MUCH TIME TOGETHER, is just not here now and there is no going back, there is nothing to undo it and I am so fucking pissed and depressed and traumatized and I don’t FUCKING UNDERSTAND.

I was sitting alone in the cry room when Henry and Chooch showed up – Chooch was home when this happened but he was asleep and I don’t know how he didn’t hear me screaming but I didn’t want to waste time trying to wake him up and I don’t know if that was the wrong choice or not but he didn’t know that she had died when they showed up even though I had texted Henry and told him and then all three of us just stayed in this tiny room holding her and crying and even Henry who never emotes was crying and how is this happening. Why, I don’t understand she is my best friend and now I feel so alone immediately.


It feels like I only JUST said goodbye to Marcy and now that same pain is happening all over again. I feel so sick. I feel so bad for Chooch. Bambi was his baby. When we adopted her, I went into it with my heart still hurting from Marcy and I said to myself, “This is for Chooch. This is what Chooch needs and I am doing this for Chooch” and I swore that I would love the new cat, I’m not a monster, but I didn’t want to get attached. And of course I got attached instantaneously. I thought about her all day at work the next day and was so excited to go home and play with her. And then right after that we adopted her sister Penelope and they don’t really like each other all that much but Penelope knows. She can sense it and she’s being really mopey and weird and I hate this for all of us and now I can’t sing my “It’s one and two and two and ones!” to them anymore when I walk into the room and I don’t think Henry will miss that but maybe secretly.

I want to always remember how she has been afraid of the threshold to our bedroom since she was a kitten and to this day (ugh) she would very tentatively approach and then fucking LEAP across the room straight onto our bed, usually landing on my groin and causing me to scream in agony.

I want to always remember how she would wait for Henry to get comfortable on the couch and then decide that she wanted to sit beneath the throw blanket that I keep on that side of the couch and he’d go, “Ugh, fine you asshole” and move over, and then hold up the blanket so she could burrow under it.

I want to always remember how she would jump on Chooch’s shoulders when she was a younger cat.

I want to always remember how she would interact so docilely with the squirrels BUT HATED THE BIRDS.

She was so jumpy and sensitive. One time I had my hair in a ponytail and she for some reason didn’t recognize me and slowly backed away.

No one else ever really got to meet her or experience her quirks because it was STRANGER DANGER every time someone came over, but for us three, she was such a GIGANTIC part of our household and our lives. Like, she was ALWAYS with us.

She called treats “trits” and if I spelled “Is it t-r-i-t-s time?” she would run to the kitchen and wait. She and Penelope eat their trits on fine China saucers (well, from Goodwill).

I am so unbelievably wrecked. She is so special to us. I thought we had so many more years. I thought Chooch would go away to college and I could taunt him with pictures of Bambi loving me more and forgetting all about him. I just, I really thought that.


Day Trip to Dorney

(8:07am) Good morning party people, we’re currently en route to Allentown, PA to spend a few hours at Dorney Park. They have a new dive coaster and we need that cred. It takes a bit over 4 hours to get there so I really had to plead my case to Henry on this one haha.

We were just listening to one of the writers of St. Elmo’s Fire talking on WDVE in the wake of the Brat Pack doc and now I am desperate to watch that movie again – one of my faves when I was a teen!! Henry just admitted that he doesn’t think he ever watched the whole thing, oh my godddddd. Guess that’s what we will be doing this weekend.

(8:36am) Since my last check-in, we grabbed morning sustenance at Dunkin, Henry went the wrong way and denied it, then almost went through a redlight RIGHT IN FRONT OF COP and acted like it was NBD even though he did a HARD STOP that threw me forward and if it had me driving, Henry would have lambasted me and revoked my license because I’m a WOMAN.

(10:28am) Just stopped at a restaurant area in Sideling Hill whatever that means and Henry is being so annoying and also breathing heavy.

(11:51am) Welcome back to The Rest Stop Report. Just stopped at one outside of Harrisburg. Bathroom was clean. Came out to some weird hullabaloo at the vending machines where Henry was standing with a fistful of dollars like he was in the pit at a strip club, while Chooch was like GET ME THIS GET ME THAT. The vending machine had TUNA AND CRACKERS. I wanted Henry to get it for an experiment (a Will This Kill a Man experiment, specifically) but he ended up getting nothing so I don’t know what all that singing and dancing was for.

Apparently a package of Veggie Sticks was half sticking out and Chooch wanted Henry to shake the machine to see if he could knock it loose but Henry’s excuse was that “someone was working there” – bitch where? We saw no such employee. This was just his excuse to not have to be exposed for WEAKNESS.

(1:06pm) we made it!

(1:27pm) Iron Menace, the new one, down for maintenance ugh!

So we came to Steel Force and had to wait for them to clean a seat that someone puked in!

Also Chooch was a bitch about this picture. God forbid I’m trying to collect MEMS of our last summer together before he sets collegiate sail ugh.

(2:36pm) Hello from a table after eating cheese flatbread and witnessing Henry having a shit fit because he ate more than his share of a fried tasty kake krinkle (??) and we called him out on it. My least favorite thing about him is when he gets all high and mighty and gaslighty, wherein he acts like he’s this PERFECT MAN who never does anything wrong.

“You have a Saint complex!” I cried. “And I’ll tell you exactly who gave it to you – your mother!”

It’s true. He can do no wrong in her eyes and she makes sure everyone knows it. If only she knew the Henry we know!!

Anyway, Iron Menace was chefs kiss! Chooch’s 351st credit!

Also, it’s this babe’s 100th bday and she is riding gloriously like a young lady!

Still pouting lol.



(3:28pm) Slowest log flume ops.

(5:32pm) We just pulled out of Dorney so I will do little recaps here and there on the 4.5 hour drive home (ugh) but wow what a nice day except for when Henry threw his little bitch fest earlier over lunch. He’s sort of ok now.

Look at this cute shirt I bought!!!! I was going to get a Steel Force shirt but then I saw this and had to snatch it because CLOWN LOVE.

(5:44pm) At Trivet Diner whatever that means. Our server is very nice so far and is sorry that they don’t have almond milk for the cold brew that I am about to regret ordering.

Also our server likes my sunglasses and the cold brew is good so this is going well :)

Better than listening to Chooch recount all the times I acted like a baby in Stockholm. Ugh. When I pointed out that it was because he ruined my life because I wanted to go to the Vasa museum but we went to the Viking museum instead, he put on this really slow, drawl of condescension and said, “And we could have gone there too. You looked in and suddenly you said we couldn’t go because you wanted to eat instead, so then we had to go and eat. Remember.”

Um wait. Hahah hold up now hunny. What now?!

(6:26pm) one of the servers called over another server when I was paying because she wanted her (Crystal apparently) to see my phone case and Chooch mumbled “wow are you happy now, it’s all you ever wanted.”

We just left and I’m lamenting that I didn’t leave a big enough tip (more than 25%) and Henry and Chooch yelled in tandem, “it was plenty!” I’m sorry but NORA was NICE.

(6:42pm) At Sheetz and the power went out! A bad storm is on the horizon and I’m lowkey terrified because we’re going to be driving into it. :/

Here are some dreamy pictures from Dorney <3 the only slight downside was the ops on talon. Literal station wait yet it took us so long to get on and sent that Henry looked like he forgot who we were when we rejoined him. Also on the way there, a guy running one of the games kept yelling “Win your mom a prize! Hey, win your mom a prize! Where are you going?! Your mom wants a prize!” And then to the two boys behind us, “Hey win that kid’s mom a prize.” Lol.

Ok thoughts – loved it in the back/middle. Did NOT love it second row/last seat on right. I felt like a rag doll in a bad way. But overall what a great addition. I love the industrial makeover that whole section of the park got.

Steel Force Club Forever!! Chooch ride it two back-to-back times before we left. The second time, there was barely anyone waiting in the station so we just jumped up a few rows. The guy who got in behind us was like “Ooh you guys skipped the line! I saw what you did! Don’t worry I won’t tell” and then to Chooch he said “Your mom cracked the code!” But it was totally Chooch who chose to do this after seeing another girl do it on the first ride we were on that round. I remember the last time we were there in 2019, it was similar low crowds and we asked if we could stay on and the line attendant was like NO U HAVE TO GET BACK IN LINE and it was RIDIC because they were sending trains with like four people in them.

Anyway. Steel Force is so good. After we ride it the first time today, we did go all the way around and got back in line, only to get on a train and then have the ride attendants yell EVERYONE OUT because someone puked. The ride op in his little hut yelled AGAIN?? into his microphone because it had legit JUST happened before we rode the first time and we had to wait for them to clean it and send it empty. But yeah, happened again less than 10 minutes later! This time they had to wait for more cleaning supplies so they asked everyone to leave the line.

The real question: WAS IT THE SAME PERSON.

There was a ride attendant named OMAR on Talon and he was nice but slow AF and everyone was like OMAR! when our train was on the brake run while the slow-ass ops were preparing to send the train in the station. Omar seemed like he liked the attention but I don’t think the kids calling for him had good intentions.

Chooch hating life.

Telling me I can have some of his dippin dots if I could find a spoon on the ground because he’d rather a dirty floor-spoon go into his dippin dots than one that had already previously been in my mouth how sweet.

I love the color palette of the enterprise!!! Also I miss the enterprise at Kennywood and hate the replacement they put in.

Somehow we missed the kiddie cred in 2019. This was one of the most jerky/janky kids coasters I’ve ever ridden. I hated it lol.

There was almost someone who puked on the Tilt a Whirl too and that someone was me lol. Whoooo this was a doozy on a hot-ass day. Look at creepster Henry on the wall.

(8:42pm) Ugh Henry is making me drive. BRB.

(10:10pm) UGHHHHH at a rest stop finally – it was / is raining so hard with lighting everywhere and I was silently screaming as I white-knuckled the steering wheel, trying not to hydroplane on the fucking turnpike, while Henry relaxed in the passenger seat. I hate him. Now he’s inside the rest stop probably treating himself to some snacks from 7-eleven fucking asshole.

Also I wish our 7-elevens were like Asian ones and were actually fun to stop at.

I’m publishing this now because my muscles hurt from being clenched for the last hour and I want to do some calming breathing exercises or something (sometimes I miss my smoking years because this would be one of those CALLS FOR A CAMEL moments of yesteryear) but maybe I’ll stop back with one or two more updates, who knows.

(11:19pm) just checking in to say we passed through the Squirrel Hill tunnel and I want everyone to know that Henry got to drive the last leg home in perfectly dry weather MUST BE NICE.

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Happy Father’s Day, Him Man

June 16th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Our cats call Henry “Him Man” and they very thoughtfully had this Funko Pop made in his likeness (circa 2010 because there was no salt & pepper beard option and everything else made him look like Santa) for Father’s Day. So nice of them. Sadly, a Ted Nugent album and soft pretzel weren’t accessory options.

Anyway, we’re en route to King’s Island for more “Father’s Day” fun but really this was just an excuse to go ride roller coasters.

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My graduate <3

June 14th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Last night was a blur. I want to say so much about it but right now I’m just kind of lost in my admiration for him as NERDY as that sounds! He did such a great job, almost entirely on his own, and I hope he is proud of himself too.

I took this picture because you can see me, Henry and Janna in the front row lol.

He graduated with high honors from one of the best magnet schools, with a concentration in Computers & Connections. He was the only one in his concentration that scored a perfect 5 on the C&C AP test. He studied abroad in Merida, Mexico. He did sailing. He did that mentorship thing at the Carnegie Science Center. He did a gaming/coding course at Pitt (and got paid for it!). He joined the tennis team and medaled!

But he also made time to work part time jobs, expand his musical horizons (“best taste in music” was a common theme in his yearbook messages and HMM WHERE DID HE GET THAT FROM), have fun with his friends (and they are a really really really great group of kids too), travel with his dorky parents, collect roller coaster credits, and apparently be “the funniest kid in the class of 2024” according to what many kids wrote in his yearbook.


So yeah lol. That happened. Leaving his mark.

Can’t wait to see how he closes out college lol.

Bonus pictures from the school photographer:

Chooch’s friend Zakk from elementary school to now – I used to drive them to school almost every morning and we’d listen to Escalation on the radio while making fun of all the dumb yinzers who called in (and we also called in once AND WON!!).

After “the fall.”

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Monday MmmHmms

June 10th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Some things that have made me happy currently.

This might end up being my summer jam 2024. It gives me STRONG mid-90s summer vibes, laying out at my Pappap’s pool with WAMO blasting on a yellow AIWA boombox, getting ready to go to Evan’s art show later that night at CMU in a minivan full of my favorite people nostalgic feels. JEESUS. U WOULDNT UNDERSTAND. U HAD TO BE THERE. I’m happy but also almost in tears as I float back into time on the waves of this beautiful summer jam.

Oh yeah-yeah-yeah.

This corner of my kitchen is still 4+4. This morning, I stood there while waiting for my coffee to be done, watching a Tears for Fears video and willing myself to get calm before logging on to another week of work. I really shouldn’t complain about my job but I have had a short fuse lately. I have been giving myself a lot of pep talks lately too which sounds REALLY LAME but it’s kind of helping. It’s keeping my heart rate down, in any case.

This is such a bad picture (??? what was I doing ???) but I’m happy that our yard is kind of OK-looking again. We (LOL “we”) replaced the little wooded fencing we had with this new one that Henry painted. I mean, the old one was really fun but the reality is that we made it out of pieces of an old pallet so it started to rot and fall apart. I hate living here so much but at least it looks moderately presentable if anyone randomly comes up to the porch for hopefully a non-nefarious reason.

Another really bad picture BUT I had been so excited for Sunday because it meant my 14-day metabolism reset was officially over (I lost 6 pounds and between .05 – 2 inches around various body parts lol) and all I could think about was the ice cream sundae from Meccha Matcha that I was going to treat myself with. You guys? WORTH IT. Good lord, this was so satisfying and I want to be eating it again right at this very moment.

Hi, this song is also constantly in my head lately, making me happy.

OK this one too! I love this WayV comeback soooo much.


Well, that’s all the fucking happiness I can muster right now. Haha. :/

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The Birthday Kings lol

June 06th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Happy birthday to Henry (59 ughhhhh) and Haechan (24 awwww)!

Henry is so pissed because he had to wait in line at Burger Kjng for TWENTY MINUTES ON HIS BDAY just for this crown. Worth it. (For me, I mean.)

Anyway, just my annual reminder that while I abuse and torture Henry psychologically and emotionally, he is still my top guy (can I say he is at least tied with some other guys for top spot? OK FINE ITS HIM, #1 OPPA, BAE, WHATEVER).

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recent haps so far in june.

June 05th, 2024 | Category: Uncategorized

Here are some things that happened around and about the last week. So exciting.

On Friday, something went down at that behavioral health house thingie a few houses up from me. One of the newer residents was being interrogated across the street by the popo. First just one, then two, then three, THEN A FOURTH. I couldn’t tell what was going on but I did hear him say at one point, “I was in Western Psych” and “So wha’ happened was…” and something about him being in the living room and someone got punched and then a girl walked in, I don’t know. They did end up cuffing him and taking him away though. Don’t worry, I was watching the whole thing from my window, doing my civic duty to make sure no BRUTALITY went down. I am so triggered by cops. Especially the while male ones! They all look the same to me, like someone said “paper dolls, but make the cops” with a finger snap.

Anyway, while this was going on, HNC’s wife came home and went COMICALLY out of her way to maneuver around that one cop car so that she could still park in “her spot.” I was like ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. Park somewhere else! They are conducting an investigation!

Wait, that makes it sound like I’m siding with the cops. AND I AM NOT. But I was just a full-fledged embodiment of an eyeroll at that point.

Um…Chooch is back to learning how to drive. He had a big set-back last year when he injured his knee, then he lost interest and his permit expired. Then he regained interest and got his permit renewed and has been driving with Henry every day. Here, you will find Henry instructing him on how to parallel park, which I imagine has got to be a lot easier than it was for us, back in the days of NO CAMERAS. Interestingly, and whether or not you want to believe this is entirely up to you, but I was actually REALLY excellent at parallel parking. I haven’t had to do it in years at this point so I’m probably not great at it now. But still! It was the one good takeaway from my dating Psycho Mike. He was a good parallel parking teacher.

During one of Chooch’s STUDENT DRIVER cruises, he and Henry went to Giant Eagle (GROCERY STORE if anyone not in Pittsburgh reads this some day after I commit a crime / expire in a spectacular way and the Internet suddenly becomes interested in WHO WAS ERIN KELLY), where Chooch texted me a picture of a COOKIE CRISP box that features YEONJUN from TXT. I was like OMG even  though I don’t hard stan TXT, I like their music and thought this was a really cute collab! Anyway, they came home, and I said, “Where is my cereal??”

Chooch scoffed, “Oh, you WANTED that? I was NOT buying it” and Henry, perpetually in the dark, goes, “What cereal? Who?” Chooch didn’t even show him!!

Anyway, Henry found this one with HueningKai and bought it for me so I’m back to being happy again (temporarily).

It’s just wild how things have changed even from when I started listening to Kpop, which doesn’t seem like it was that long ago but … 2015 man. I remember scouring the local Asian markets, desperate to find these Chinese iced tea bottles that BIGBANG was supposed to be featured on as brand ambassadors. We eventually found them in Cleveland and then finally one of our bigger Asian markets started carrying them, but it was such a big deal that I have the empty bottles lined up on my fireplace mantel like motherfucking family heirlooms.

Henry and I had breakfast with Pam and Greg on Sunday! Pam’s been in town because her house closing was on Monday (!!!) so I was happy for a reason to meet up! I randomly chose this place called Dari-Villa in Bellevue because it was equidistance from us and Greg, where she’s been staying. Never been here before, and either had Greg, but it seemed great … at first. The vibe was right: a cozy little local diner-type of place specializing in breakfast and lunch, amusement park memorabilia on display, REALLY GOOD 80s MUSIC PUMPING OUT THE SPEAKERS THE ENTIRE TIME. (Pet Shop Boys!)

Our server was nice. I can’t really comment on the food because my 14 day metabolism reset had me eating plain oatmeal (lol I’m committed) but Henry said his omelet was just OK.

When the server brought our check over, Greg goes, “Oh I’m sorry, we forgot to ask you but can we get this separated three ways?” and she seemed fine with it, but I know this can be A CONTENTIOUS THING at smaller spots. “Sure thing,” she said, and, “I’ll be back over with more coffee for you guys, too.”

I was like thank god because I HAD ONLY HAD ONE REFILL and addicts gonna addict, you know?

Anyway, she came back over with three checks and Henry and Greg quickly realized that their breakfasts were mixed up (Greg got Henry’s and Greg’s was on ours) and it probably wouldn’t have mattered because they were about the same, but the server goes, “SHIT!!!” and SNATCHED UP THE CHECKS and stormed off. It was so intense. I felt like curling up inside myself.

She finally came back and I promise you these were still wrong because there is no way Henry’s and my breakfasts cost nearly $30 when all I had was coffee and a $2.95 bowl of oatmeal but ain’t no one trying to correct this bitch for a second time. We apologized PROFUSELY and she said in this low-pitched, clipped tone, “This is why we need to know in the beginning.”


I dunno, I have big respect for people in the service industry and am a notorious overtipper, but the way she snapped out on us like that, after what I felt like a morning of pleasant interactions, it was a real turn off. I actually low-key wanted Henry to not tip her but then I would have just felt guilty. Maybe she got bad news between the time she served us our food and brought our checks, I don’t know, but I will say her tune changed bigly when she came back to collect our payment like none of that happened?? Greg apologized again and she casually waved him off and said, “Oh you’re fine!” and said the same thing to Henry the Doof who hadn’t even gotten out his credit card yet and made her stand there waiting WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I DIDN’T WANT, I WANTED HER TO NEVER HAVE TO LOOK AT US AGAIN.


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