Mar 132018

BIGBANG gifted us with 3:50 of pure beauty today and I am once again for leaving for work with freshly-watered eyeballs.

With G-Dragon joining T.O.P. in the military last month, Taeyang enlisting yesterday, Daesung enlisting today, and Seungri joining them all soon, this song is bitter-fucking-sweet. I want to thank them for bringing so much happiness to my life when I needed it most.

They all sound so sweet in this song. Forever kings.

Here’s the lyric video too for anyone interested in that! The lyrics are so beautiful.

Mar 102018

Oh hey guys, B-line Story Time!

Early Thursday morning, right before 6am if my blurry eyes were looking at the time properly, I woke up to what sounded like an explosion, a loud bang, followed by tons of masculine shouting. I had slept on the couch that night because sometimes I like to fall asleep to Korean stuff playing on YouTube (leave me alone), so when I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was that my living room was flooded with flashing red and blue lights. I jumped off the couch and ran to the window.

There were cops and SWAT vehicles ALL UP AND DOWN MY STREET.

My heart was racing and I felt dizzy with anxiety. My first thought was HOW DID THEY FIND ME.

I mean: I DIDN’T DO IT.


But after the first few seconds of shock wore off, I realized that they weren’t coming for me after all. Even though it sounded like they had my house surrounded and were actually INSIDE my house.

Oh wait…they kind of were.




I heard an undecipherable shouting, someone yelling about drugs.

Of course. It’s always motherfucking drugs.

Chooch had woken up too and that boy wakes at NOTHING so you know shit was apocalyptic up here on P-Ave. I went flying upstairs and joined him in my bedroom, where we sat at the foot of my bed, peeking out the blinds. I called Henry at work and he said that Hot Naybor Chris had already called him because he too heard an explosion. Now that I think about it, I think all I heard was the banging of the front door being knocked in, but Chooch said he for sure heard an explosion followed by a bright flash of light outside his window and that the explosion sounded like it came from upstairs. So we think the cops might have used a flash bomb upstairs before entering the neighbor’s bedroom.

You guys. My mind was spinning. With Boots, that fucking piece of white trash who lived there last year, something like this would be expected. In fact something similar did happen to him but I was at work for that one. And that was because he robbed and assaulted a man. (Janna looked him up last night out of curiosity and I’m happy to report that that d-bag is currently in jail.)

But this current guy…he seemed so NORMAL. I know, I know, that’s how it always works. The neighbor of BTK goes on record saying, “But Dennis was so normal!” Ted Bundy’s grandma talking about how he helped her carry her groceries like a NORMAL guy. We’ve all heard that before. But when this guy moved in last spring, after the landlord literally had to gut and rebuild the interior of that unit after Boots destroyed it with his drug-induced stupors, Chooch and I went out to introduce ourselves and it became a thing that we could exclude Henry from, you know? Like, we knew the neighbor better than Henry because we met him first. It was kind of like a Parker’s sitch. I don’t want to say his name, so we’ll make one up: Ned.

I was so happy to have Ned next door after the horrors of Boots! There was a woman who lived there too, she was occasionally annoying (she talked SUPER LOUD and fought with Ned a lot) but overall, they were pretty normal people, didn’t come and go at all hours of the night, DIDN’T SLAM THE DOOR THANK THE FUCKING LORD. Just pretty regular neighbors. In fact, the only thing they gave us to obsess about was trying to figure out their relationship. We never saw them leave together in the same car, or even at the same time, and they seemed to just not like each other. I think we settled on the belief that they were siblings or cousins, maybe. She told me her name once when we were both leaving for work at the same time, but a truck drove past just as she said it so I just pretended like I heard because I didn’t feel like extending the conversation by asking her to repeat it.

One time we talked about the weather and she was like, “GIRL I WILL TAKE THIS RAIN OVER THAT COLD SHIT WE’VE BEEN HAVING” and I was like, “Ok.”

She was fairly unassuming too. Always dressed in workout clothes. Not like slummy, grimy sweatshirts or whatever, but really nice workout clothes. And she was in great shape too. So in my head, she was an aerobics instructor.

COINCIDENTALLY, she was not there while all of this was going on Thursday morning. DID SHE KNOW? WAS SHE THE MOLE? WERE THEY AFTER HER TOO?

I kept thinking it had to be her. I wanted it to be her because I really liked Ned and didn’t want to believe that he did something bad.

But after an hour of listening to the drug task team tear the house apart, an hour of crashing and banging and shattering and clattering, police radios squawking, the police dog barking, the SWAT team eventually pulled out. So I was like, “MAYBE IT WAS A MISTAKE! MAYBE THEY DIDN’T FIND ANYTHING!”

But then….I looked out the window again and saw him.


Standing on the sidewalk, surrounded by police clad in hoodies and vests.


“They have Ned cuffed!” I hoarsely whispered to Chooch, and then we started to cry a little.

Like, it actually hurt to see him out there with his head hanging.

This is the third neighbor in a row over there who has been arrested in dramatic fashion (the lady who lived there before Boots was arrested by the US Marshall; we think she part of some car theft ring), but for some reason, this is the one that hurts, man. I felt some type of affinity toward Ned. I wanted him to kick out that broad and be able to have a quiet existence without her yelling at him. I was so Team Ned.

“You didn’t even know him!” Henry yelled at me that night when I started crying about it with my hands over my heart and saying, “I FEEL SO BAD FOR NED. I HOPE HE DIDN’T DO IT. MAYBE HE WAS FRAMED!!!!!”

And, in the middle of the K-drama we were watching, “DO YOU THINK NED IS OK!?”

I keep having these sad montages of my interactions with Ned whirring through my mind. Like when we were both coming home at the same time and he was telling me that he was going to South Carolina because his daughter was graduating early from college, and he was worried about the impending snow storm. And I was like, “Be careful out there!”

Or the time we were both checking our mail boxes at the same time on Halloween and he was like, “I guess I better run out and get candy, the kids’ll be coming” and I laughed, “And mine will be one of them!”

“Remember when we were walking to CVS the other night and Ned was driving down the street and we waved at each other?” I sadly asked Henry yesterday and he was like, “Please stop.”

No one has been over there since this happened Thursday morning, except for the landlord (HNC called him immediately, he’s such a Town Gossip!), and the landlord said that the cops completely trashed the place. Once again, he’s got an empty unit that needs a ton of work before he can rent it again.


Anyway, I snuck over there last night to check for mail in the mail box because I don’t know Ned’s last name and we wanted to see if we could figure out what was going on. His name wasn’t on anything, but hers was. We looked her up and if this is the same woman, which I think probably is because her name is pretty unique, SHE RECENTLY GOT OUT OF JAIL, DRUG-RELATED OF COURSE. Ugh. But this made me have hope, that maybe it was her they were after, maybe Ned was framed, maybe he took the fall for her.

But then Henry got some intel from his cop contact who said that a normal drug sweep usually only entails a handful of cops, not SWAT. Guys I’m telling you, our street was lit up like a popo Christmas tree. There had to have been at least 20 cops out there. His source also said that coke was found, and gave him the name of the man arrested.


There’s a man who is often over there, we thought he was even living there for awhile, so first I thought that maybe he was there when this happened, and he got arrested too.

But I only saw Ned in cuffs. And that other guy’s car wasn’t here.

So then I sadly let myself think the inevitable: DID NED GIVE US A FAKE NAME.

We looked up the name the source gave us and if it’s Ned, then we have essentially been living next door to a leader of a fucking heroin ring. There was a well-known incident here in Pittsburgh from the early 2000s that this guy was involved in, where a popular and infamous nightclub was used as a front. The DEA was involved and this guy, if it’s actually Ned or not I don’t know, served about 10 years in prison but then was let out when some law was passed to reduce sentences for non-violent drug crimes. The dates match up. The age of the guy named in the articles we read match the age of the guy arrested next to us.

OMFG WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING NEXT DOOR TO US. Literally every other house on our block is just…regular. Older people. Families. Just a regular city street! The common denominator is….(no, not me, which is what Glenn suggested)…THE LANDLORD. Maybe he’s the top dog!?

We’re trying to get more information. Today, one of Ned’s friends, this guy with a ginger beard who just looks like he’s probably a jerk, stopped over just as we were getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, so we sat in the car and watched him go in the house for less than 30 seconds AND THEN LEAVE. WHAT WAS HE DOING I’M SO SCARED.

I don’t really understand why I’m having such Emotion over this whole ordeal but it really fucking sucked to see that guy getting arrested. I felt so disappointed, yet worried. OK, so maybe we only ever had like three encounters with each other, but I was so happy to have a neighbor who wasn’t, I don’t know, potentially raping strung-out ladies next door; covering holes in his windows with cereal boxes; stomping up and down the steps at all hours of the night in his cement-block boots; and stealing from the veritable grab-bag of squatters he was letting live there.

Ned seemed like a decent guy. I feel so fucking duped.

So hoodwinked.

So fooled.

I  think I actually have some slight PTSD from this. It was so scary, like they were in our house. It was a really scary way to wake up, let me tell you.

“So, those people were like major drug lords but they only paid me $3 to shovel their sidewalk? Wow,” Chooch muttered, suddenly not sorry for Ned anymore.

If you’re keeping score, this makes 3 out 3 recent neighbors who have moved out because now they live in a prison.  That side of the house is cursed.

Here’s some free advice for the landlord: do better background checks maybe? Like, is this even happening at all? And perhaps find a nice elderly couple to rent to. Half-deaf so my constant Kpop won’t cause complaints, she knits, he does crossword puzzles.

Mar 092018

Usually, Henry goes to “the store” alone. I put “the store” in “quotes” because the inside joke is that he’s really “having an affair.” But the reality is that “going to the store” is literally Henry’s get-away. I imagine he just roams around the aisles in a daze, all zoned out to the adult contemporary tunes wafting from the rafters, a lone tear softly rolling down his weathered cheek.

I’m fine with this because I typically hate shopping of any kind, especially the grocery kind. But there was nothing else to do last weekend (Chooch was sick AGAIN! This sick-season has been terrible), so I gladly tagged along for the food-shopping adventures.

First! Saturday morning, we walked to Pitaland for, well, pita. Chooch wanted pita and hummus and when you live within walking distance from a legit Mediterranean market, you don’t very well go to Shop n Save for a tub of greasy Sabra.

You feel me?

I used to be terrified of Pitaland for years when I first moved to Brookline. I’m sure it made sense to me at the time because I’m such a rational flower blossom, but now I’m just like, ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I WASTED ALL THAT TIME AVOIDING PITALAND.” Honestly, I would shield my face anytime I walked past it! Whaaaat was I thinking.

Now I like to go with Henry and sample the olive bar (it’s encouraged) and check to see if they have any weird fruit. (Sometimes that have persimmon but nothing much more crazy than that.) Henry has become friendly with one of the guys who works there, who is also a professor, so he thinks he’s really cool because the guy will always come out and shake Henry’s hand, and then Henry will quickly look around to make sure people were watching that. It’s so lame.

So yeah, we went to Pitaland and got pitabread, hummus, and two different kinds of olives because why the hell not. We’re adults!

Later that night, Henry had to go to “the real store.” I went with him because sometimes it’s fun to follow him around like a lemming and ask him questions about cleaning products and coupons. We went to Kuhn’s, which is a grocery store pretty close to us and the one Henry frequents the most if he just needs basic things, because it’s a pretty no-frill establishment. It’s actually surprising that they even sell Halo Top there, to be honest.

I had to laugh because now all of Henry’s cashier and bagger friends there know that he’s not a single dad. Henry, exposed!

I loudly scoffed at the produce section and asked, “ARE WE GOING TO THE ASIAN MARKET TOMORROW? I can’t eat this crap.”

P.S. the Asian market is the only one I enjoy going to.

I was really excited when we entered the bakery area but then some jackass walked past me and attempted to assassinate me with his disgusting drug store cologne. Thanks, guy. No bakery smells for me!

There’s an Indian market in the same shopping center as Kuhn’s, so I dragged Henry into it after he put the groceries in the car. I’m always on the look-out for new exotic candies to thrust upon my co-workers, but they had all of the same stuff I got at the last Indian market which is still sitting untouched in the Pumpkin of Confectionary Horrors. (It’s not that the pan pasand candy is BAD per se…it just tastes like you’re sucking on someone’s grandma’s recently-perfumed neck, that’s all.)

So instead, we bought some cookies that were just OK.

Sunday was more marketing! We went to two Asian markets in the Strip: Sam Bok because they have a wonderful fridge full of homemade banchan and I had been straight craving kkaennip. There were two women in the next aisle over talking and I understood like three words of their conversation…baby steps, lol.

Then we had to fight our way through the Sunday Daydrinkers to our favorite Asian market: WFH Oriental. In my head, I call it Work From Home because that’s the acronym we use on roll call at work when we’re working from home.


We got more jujubes! Honestly, if you have an Asian market in your town, go check out the produce! And don’t be afraid to ask someone if you don’t know what you’re looking at. We’ve added so many delicious staples to our meals that way, like baby taro. We eat so much baby taro, like savages, motherfucker.

Speaking of taro, I wanted bubble tea so we want to Pink Box in Squirrel Hill (not a market per se, but I’m including it) because they have delightful Asian baked goods so we stuffed our faces with milk bread and whatever.

Mmm, red bean.

All those different markets we went to, yet Henry had toast and Hot Fries for breakfast on Sunday. I mean, friendly reminder that when you’re a grown-up, you can eat whatever you want for breakfast. Jeffrey Dahmer even ate people — dare to dream!

Well, that concludes my totally boring story about how I tagged along when Henry performed his housewife duties at the market.

Mar 072018

One of my favorite pastimes is following the cats around the house and taking pictures of them. More so Drew than Penelope because (no offense, Penelope) Drew actually does stuff while Penelope is mostly being a loaf somewhere out of sight.


*(When I was in elementary school, I used to watch this block of TV on PBS called Britcom Blitz and one of the shows was Man About the House, featuring Yootha Joyce, and that kick-started this weird Yootha Joyce obsession that I carried into middle school and even used her name as a pen name for a poetry project in 7th grade Communications class and literally no one knew who Yootha Joyce was because why would they.)

**(Anyway, that’s where the title of this blog post comes from.)

In this edition (I honestly typed out “addition” at first. I am not getting enough sleep, sigh #2), Drew gives a Pioneer Ave. Gallery tour.

Here, we find Drew perched in front of a gallery wall of her favorite person in the whole world, Chooch. Literally, this whole chunk of the house is one huge shrine to that kid. I guess we love him, who knew.

Here, we find Drew somewhere she shouldn’t be—the fucking mantel, which features an original piece of Chooch pottery, a Somnambulant painting of my Pappap, and some Mexican folkart that I bought at a vintage shop in Cleveland.

Also: a dead plant, SHINee and Jonghyun albums (also art), and a rock from outside of my first apartment.

Here, we find Drew busted as she’s about to dive off the mantel and onto a chair. Her ass is rudely obstructing a Somnambulant painting of G-Dragon (<3), an old camera from my Pappap’s house, and an old hand mirror that I found in the bathroom closet when I moved into this house in 1999. YES, I CONSIDER THIS TO BE A PIECE OF MY PERSONAL ART COLLECTION OK. It’s a motherfucking relic.

Here, we find Drew losing herself in the lyrics to The Cure’s “Same Deep Water As You,” also featuring this gorgeous drawing of Robert Smith that I bought on eBay in 1999 and have cherished ever since.

Here, we find Drew chilling on top of a curio cabinet, next to the RIP CAT MEMORIAL WALL. Also, dangling ice cream cones = art.

Good night from this crazy 고양이!

Stay turned for my next blog post which is about, OMG get ready, going grocery shopping with Henry over the weekend. God, can you even stand the suspense.

Feb 272018

G-Dragon last weekend in Jeju.

I know this is WAY OUTTA CHARACTER for me, but allow me to be melodramatic for a minute and openly wallow in my shallow tears because today was the day of G-Dragon’s mandatory military enlistment. *sob* *sob* *sob*

(This just reminded me of high school when I desperately wanted a Saab convertible because OJ Simpson’s daughter Arnelle had one and my dad was soooo disgusted about that, lol.)

I feel like I did a good job not being super over-the-top about this at work and I put the topic to rest after making Glenn and Lauren look at a picture of G-Dragon with his family.  Glenn actually kept all disparaging comments to himself!

At least there are 1,000s of videos on YouTube for us VIPs to cuddle up to during these 20+ months we’re without him. Being a kpop fan is really sad sometimes, you guys!

I never thought I would love another artist as much as I love The Cure’s Robert Smith, but somehow this beautiful Korean genius snuck into my heart when I wasn’t expecting it and I’m not mad about it. Maybe G-Dragon seems like just another rapper to you, but to me, he exudes charisma and beauty and sometimes it’s hard for me to even look at him without swooning. I feel super privileged and lucky to have gotten the opportunity to see him last summer, and I wish I could capture the emotions I felt during that concert into a tangible form, and then carefully encapsulate that into a snowglobe so anytime I need a reminder of the happiness I’m capable of feeling, I could just gently rock that snowglobe upside down and watch my feelings float around in a fluid Babylon.

Feb 242018

I mean, it is Caturday, after all.

Mostly I just wanted to post about Chooch’s week-long project: building Drew her dream mansion out of boxes. We always have empty boxes in the house because Henry has an Amazon Prime problem, and when we shop at the Asian market, they put our groceries in boxes instead of bags.

It started out just looking like some weird arcade game. Drew loves to jump in through the window.

I hung around a bit last Sunday at Chooch’s piano lesson because I haven’t talked to his teacher in a while and she is so cool. Right away, Chooch blurted out, “I BUILT MY CAT A HOUSE OUT OF BOXES” and Cheryl was like, “Man, I remember when I was a kid and realized I could build thing out of boxes. It was awesome.” So I excitedly told her about the frog hotels I used to make when I was younger, where I would take many boxes, tape them together, make doorways, fill it with Barbie and Sweet Secrets furniture, capture frogs and then get so sad when all the frogs subsequently escaped and leap-frogged the fuck out of town.


Chooch had the “Please stop talking” look on his face, so I left.

Chooch built an addition off the side of the estate which features a plastic-covered window so Drew goes in there and taunts Penelope, who at first was leery of the house, confusing it with a jail instead, I guess. Penelope can be pretty hard to impress.

The problem with this ever-expanding pension is that it takes up so much room on the floor and Henry desperately wants to take it to work and toss it in the dumpster but Chooch and I have been getting so much joy out of this! I love sitting on the couch and directing him in the construction process while lifting nary a finger.

Drew also loves to nest under a pile of packing paper. Henry didn’t know she was in there and accidentally punted her across the floor last night so now we all hate Henry.

Finally, yesterday, we got Penelope to go in the house! There’s a new room off the back (not seen in this photo) and poor Peenlop got stuck in it because she’s kind of chubby and Chooch only catered to Drew’s measurements when cutting doorways.

Drew is so destructive and has caved in the roof numerous times since last week, so Chooch served her an eviction notice last night. She’s as bad as our old neighbor, Boots!

And to end this cat-full post, here are some pictures sent me from yesterday, when he was casually standing in his room and Drew jumped onto his shoulders. She does this sometimes and it’s so bizarre! They have the strangest relationship.


OK, I have shit to do today.

Feb 212018

Everyone was healthy last weekend so it didn’t suck! However, we still didn’t do very much because Henry was like, “OMG YOU CAN TELL I WAS SICK THIS HOUSE IS A DUMP” so he wanted to stay home forever and ever amen, even though I was twisting his arm to go out and do shit.

I succeeded in getting him to walk to the post office with me, and then we stopped at CVS on the way back because he needed to buy something boring, like a battery I think. CVS was playing the best 80s soft rock, so I mindlessly zoned out by the Easter candy, wondering who’s holding Donna now.

What I really wanted to do more than anything was take a walk in Homewood Cem and then get some bubble tea but two-thirds of my household were not behind this. And then it started snowing really hard, so Henry was saved by Mother Nature.

I still wanted bubble tea though so Henry reluctantly followed me out the door. We decided to go to Chick’n Bubbly so that he could get some KFC (Korean fried chicken, don’t get it twisted). I had already eaten lunch but when I saw they had tteokbokki on the  menu, I convinced Henry to share it with me which is hilarious and because I inhaled 85% of it on my own. Tteokbokki is probably my favorite Korean food. I can’t wait to try all the different kinds in South Korea!!

(I’m eating some right now as I type this. Henry is a good tteokbokki cook-er!)

Afternoon #떡볶이 with 오빠!

Ah, so fucking good! The only downside is that they were playing dumb American music in there.

On the way home, I tried to make him admit that Taemin’s song make his weener tingle, and he snapped that if I had a weener, I’d probably have a constant erection while listening to Taemin and I couldn’t stop laughing (and also imagining how awesome that would be).

“Would you still like me if I had a weener?” I asked, and believe me you this is not even close to the first time we’ve had this thoughtful conversation.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled. “I have to think about it.”


We got home and I bragged to Chooch about how great our afternoon snack was and he was like, “I can’t hear you over the joy I’m feeling from playing Minecraft” – he made a friend in his Saturday Lego robotics class and they schedule Minecraft sessions from Saturday afternoons. The life of Chooch. Then we got sucked into Days of Our Lives for a while because Henry was scrolling through Roku and there was a DAYS section. I casually pointed out that Kate looked scarily young in the thumbnail and Henry was all, “That is not Kate. There is no way” so then he had to play it to see if it really was and three episodes later we totally forgot why we were watching it and I was crying over how old Jennifer Horton looks now and then Henry was all, “Who’s that?” and I said, “Anna” and he said, “????” and I said, “She was the clothing designer who married Tony DiMera and she made Calliope’s light-up wedding dress—-”

Henry was impressed* at how much of my memory is used up on soap opera family trees. Also, Elder John Black looks so much like Glenn I can’t stand it.

*(See also: disgusted and appalled.)

(Lori and I were talking about this on Monday and how the Soap Opera Digest wedding dress issues were always the best ones and I was like, “Yeah, back when I thought getting married was actually in my future” and she was like, “Back when I had dreams.” THANKS FOR RUINING OUR LIVES, DAYS.)

(Seriously though, Kate had so much work done that she looks younger than Lucas and HE IS SUPPOSED TO BE HER SON!!)

I spent a large portion of Saturday evening obsessing over my clavicle. I made Henry google “is it normal for one side of my clavicle to protrude more than the other?” because I was too scared to do it myself. Apparently, yes it’s normal.

That night, we had Family Kpop Workout Hour and it was everything I wanted it to be – I love these nights so much that I never make plans on Saturday nights now if I can help it! (Henry and Chooch are like “please make friends and go out with them on weekends.”)

My clavicle didn’t pop out, thank god.


Sunday was another good day. We went shopping at the Asian market and one good thing happened and one bad thing happened.

The good: They had jejubes! We bought a bag and I have been happily eating them all week.

The bad: The Nongfu Spring iced tea bottles no longer have BIGBANG on them. I guess the contract is up and I’m sad, but we still several bottle because that’s the best iced tea I’ve even had. (Rose lychee is my favorite, FYI.)

I finished Love In Trouble (Suspicious Partner) at some point over the weekend, so I started watching Cheese in the Trap and had an argument with Henry because he doesn’t believe me that the main girl is the same girl from Goblin, because he has stupid eyes.

Our Sundays are lit, fam.

Henry went up the street to Great Clips (ugh) to get a hair cut. I wanted him to take a picture of Taemin with him to show the stylist as reference, but he said, “NOPE.”

Image result for taemin day and night gif

Later that evening, we met up with Blake, Haley, and Calvin for dinner. Coincidentally, Blake wanted bubble tea so we chose restaurants based on that which is how I learned to never again choose a restaurant based on bubble tea. But the subpar meal was balanced out by the good company! It’s always fun hanging out with those guys, and watching Calvin crack up at the mere sight of Chooch was so funny!

Our waitress kept putting food down in front of Calvin and even clipped him in the head with a plate at one point. Safe to say we will never be going back there!

This picture is everything!

We just relaxed the rest of Sunday evening and by that I mean I jogged around the house relentlessly while watching K-Dramas, Chooch worked on the cat house he’s been building out of boxes (Henry totally wants to throw it out but I’ve been egging Chooch on to keep adding to it), and I don’t know what Henry did. I think he made cards and cleaned or something, I can’t really remember. That was three whole days ago.

Ugh, I love weekends.

Feb 172018

Sadly, after going strong for over a month of Saturday Night Family Kpop Workout Hour, we had to skip the last two weeks on account of being too busy fulfilling Valentine card orders and then Henry and Chooch being sick last week. But tonight, we’ll be back at it and I’m so excited!

(I still do Kpop workouts everyday on my own regardless, but it’s way more fun when we shove away the furniture and prance around as a fam.)

So in honor of our tradition resuming tonight, I’m sharing my current favorite Kpop dance workout routine for anyone who wants to give it a try! It’s so fun and helped me get down to a size 6 so it’s legit you guys I swear!

Oh and just because I’m a fucking sweetheart, here’s Henry’s favorite routine:

Feb 162018

I know what you guys are thinking: When will Erin tell us about her weekend? She always tells us about her weekend. DID SHE NOT HAVE A WEEKEND?!

Guys*, calm down. I had a weekend. It was just really fucking boring.

*(Read: voices in my head.)

Henry and Chooch were both sick at the same time and I was SO MAD about this! Let’s be real, I don’t really hang out with anyone else but them, and they were in no condition to hangout. Chooch wasn’t too sick on Friday night, at least, so after Henry went to bed at 8pm, Chooch and I got comfortable on the couch and watched the PyeongChang opening ceremonies, because I wanted to see my land. It sucked that I had to watch the American broadcast though, and when Katie Couric mispronounced “hanbok,” I was ready to throw in the towel.

I know a lot of people think that the athlete march thing is boring as fuck, but Chooch and I like to watch the entire thing because it teaches us about countries we had no idea existed. For a good long minute, we were convinced that “Iron” was a country because our eyes are bad. And we cheered every time a kpop song was played (BIGBANG – “Fantastic Baby,” BTS – “DNA,” Red Velvet – “Red Flavor,” and Twice “Likey”!) and furiously flipped off the TV every time they showed Pence’s fucking pudding face, that guy can go to hell. I’m super glad he sat during the Korean athletes’s entrance – I’m practicing my “eh”s and maple syrup stats for when I pretend to be Canadian next month in Korea.  I hate feeling such shame to be an American.

But….I do.

Sorry, but aside from Shaun White, I have been rooting for the Korean athletes in every event, I don’t care.

(Speaking of Shaun White, watching him win gold the other night was so exciting. I mean, I hate hugs, but if he told me to bring it in, I’d be all like OPEN ARMS by Journey, if you know what I mean.)

(Do you know what I mean?)

So that was Friday.

Saturday was so much boredom. Chooch was down for the count all day and Henry had to work even though he was sick as a dog (which not all Koreans eat, btw). He came home and pretty much went right to bed, so I was on my own, baby. I did A LOT of exercising, K-Drama watching [I’m almost done with Love In Trouble (Suspicious Partner) and it’s so good], coffee-drinking, and major whining.

In the morning, I walked to the post office to mail some last minute Valentine orders that had trickled in. I can go to the Brookline one on Saturdays because MAUREEN isn’t ever there. I guess when you work for the post office for 30 years, you’re exempt from weekend hours. On my way there, I noticed a cluster of people taking up an entire section of the Brookline Boulevard sidewalk, enrapt in what some older lady tour guide (??) was telling them. A TOUR OF BROOKLINE, WHO WOULD PAY FOR THAT!? As I got closer, none of the people moved for me, so I had to fucking walk in a mound of crunchy street snow to get around them. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I seethed openly as this happened and at least three of them heard of me. GOOD FOR THEM. While this was happening, I could heard the tour guide explaining to them the history of the Pittsburgh wedding cookie table.

After a positive post office experience, I came back out to a blessedly empty sidewalk and then noticed that they had all crammed inside DeLuca’s Bakery, all 20-something of them, and then it occurred to me that this was maybe some type of cookie walk thing and if so, what a HORRIBLE representative of Pittsburgh cookies that tour guide chose because DeLuca’s fucking suuuuuuucks. Like, they could come to my house and I’ll give them better cookies which is saying a lot considering the last time I baked cookies unsupervised, I put all the dough on one baking thing because I was trying to make a giant marijuana leaf (????) and then all my friends got a stomachache because it was undercooked, obviously. This was a long time ago.

I walked to Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced latte because it was kind of mild that day, in the 50s I think?  Some speedskating thing was on and there was a Korean in it so even though I had my latte in my hand, I hung out by the counter so I could watch it and eventually the young kid that knows us so well that he, honest to god, has a large black unsweetened iced tea waiting for Henry if he sees us walking in, asked me if I needed help and I was like NO JUST TRYNA ROOT FOR MY COUNTRY IN  THE OLYMPICS, BRO, IS THAT OK WITH YOU? YOU GONNA REPORT ME TO TRUMP?

J/K. I just said, “No, I’m just watching this” but then I felt awkward after that so I just left.

Came home and made a bunch of kpop birthday cards and teased the cats.

Henry at least came downstairs long enough to make me dinner, and then later on we went to Target because I wanted to get out of the house and he was just like, “I’m dying, but sure, let’s go shopping for the NOTHING THAT WE NEED.” But isn’t that how all Target trips are? I bought Chooch a strand of Valentine candy heart lights, for Christ’s sake. Such necessity.

(I’m watching the Olympics as I write this on a rainy Thursday night and I’m crying because South Korea’s Yun SungBin won the gold in men’s skeleton and through my tears he looks like the killer from Love in Trouble! I’m not sure what he looks like to someone with normal eyesight though.)

(Another Olympic aside: I’m not buying into the charm that Adam Rippon is selling and I know that’s like unheard of but I just don’t get it sorry guys*. Also, I don’t really like figure skating that much.)

*(Sometimes I start to believe that I’m really talking to people. Like I’m doing a podcast entirely through thought.)

Sunday was more of the same but at least Henry kind of hung out a little, at one point, but he still slept for SO LONG. I decided to watch some Olympics but the local news people irritated me by talking in Yinzer voices about what kimchi “apparently” is and how it’s “supposed to be pretty good.” 헐!

At one point, I flew upstairs in a panic and asked, “WILL U BE BETTER BY LUNCHTIME HOW WILL EAT LUNCH” and he sickly groaned, “Chill out, it’s only 10:30.”


He did eventually come downstairs long enough to make my lunch, sit down for 20 minutes, and then go back to bed. God, milk it much?

Chooch still had a low fever so he didn’t go to his piano lesson. He spent most of the day resting and that concept is SO WEIRD to me because when I’m sick, I’m always front and center, making sure I don’t miss any action while constantly reminding my roommates that I’m slowly expiring.

Let me tell you just how bored I was: I actually begged Henry to let me go grocery shopping with him that evening. Like, get me out of the house, please. I mean, I guess I could have gone and hung out with imaginary friends at the cemetery, but….

“Are measles itchy?” I asked Henry, scratching my face.

“You don’t have measles,” he sighed.

Wow, grocery shopping is so boring. And Henry chose the 12 Items Or Less lane when he has FOURTEEN ITEMS!!!!

And that was basically the extent of my weekend with sick people.

Image result for taemin sad gif

Feb 142018

Well it’s Valentine’s Day and while I’m not all that into it (I just love making Valentines though ok I can’t help it, it’s a sick condition), I still want to take a minute out of my pressing Wednesday business to give my Valentine of 17 years a shout-out because even though I don’t always put it in blunt sentences, I love that big dumb mountain man. I think most people are wise enough to read between the lines and figure that out, amirite?

I don’t know many other men who could deal with my special brand of high maintenance (honestly sometimes I think Henry feels like it would be easier if all I wanted was bling and not constant emotional massaging), erratic mood swings, and psychotic obsessions. This ahjussi not only puts up with my kpop obsession, but he has filled the kitchen with Korean ingredients and cookware, can name at least two members of a dozen Kpop groups, casually mentions the top three Kpop agencies in daily conversation, knows the names of the entire Running Man cast, and is willingly and excitedly going to South Korea with me next month. If that’s not ride or die, then….I guess I just don’t understand the definition.

But then…is it love, or is it Stockholm Syndrome?

So there’s my bi-annual props to Henry. I guess I’ll be back with another edition in June when it’s his birthday.

Happy Valentines Day, my friends!

Feb 112018

I’m back again with more lunch break tales because my life is so fucking rich.

The past few weeks, again, have been so inconsistent, weather-wise. On Friday though, Amber came back in from a walk and said it was actually nice out.

“Like, nice enough that I won’t need gloves?” I asked.

“I mean, it’s still kind of cold. You probably don’t need a hat, but I’d still take gloves,” she said, after giving it a second of thought.

I made a disappointed grumble, and Todd said to Amber, “Look, you gotta give her the answer she’s wanting, Amber. And she’s wanting to not wear gloves.”

“Fine, then don’t take gloves,” she said with great exasperation, but I was already walking down the hall with just my coat on anyway.

And….I totally wish I had brought my gloves, fucking ugh forever.

That was just a sample of the daily convos my co-workers are forced to have with me.

Anyway, let’s explore downtown Pittsburgh with some more pictures, SHALL WE?! Starting with one that I took after work and not on my lunch break, look at me, breaking the blogging law.

Market Square. I walk  through here everyday on my way to where Henry picks me up and it’s annoying because I almost always get stuck behind CASUAL WALKERS and don’t you know I’m a speed-walker all day every day? Get the fuck outta my way.

I usually eat oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for lunch every day. Don’t cry for me too hard, this is what I choose to eat because it’s easy and simple and something I can actually handle myself. (Mostly.) But last Friday, I was out of oatmeal and felt like gnawing off my arm, so I stopped at Bae Bae’s on my break. My intent was to just get kimbap to go, but they were only serving kimbap for dinner that day. So I ended up getting the tofu steak lunchbox and had the most delightful conversation with the guy working the counter. I cannot express how much I love this place, from the people to the food to the ambiance, and I want to become friends with them in the worst way. I just wanted to blurt out I’M GOING TO KOREA NEXT MONTH CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT FOREVER?! But I played it cool.

When I went up to get my food, the girl who is always there and I think is one of the owners (#speculation) said, “You’ve been here before, right?” and I was like, “YES LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS WANT TO COME OVER?!” JK I just said yes and then tacked on an overzealous, fan-girly, “AND I FOLLOW YOU GUYS ON INSTAGRAM.”

And as I was leaving, the other guy who is always there called out, “See you later, Erin! Have a good day!” and I was like, “OH I AM SO IN THE CLUB NOW.” JK I’m never in any clubs, not since elementary school when Spring and I had the Animal Rescue Club, meetings were held in the attic of the shed in my backyard, and the closest we came to saving an animal was when we found a groundhog that was probably dead and my mom was all DON’T TOUCH IT IT COULD HAVE RABIES THAT’S GROSS.


We could have been so good at saving animals if dumb parents hadn’t gotten in the way.

I walk through a lot of alleys downtown because they’re fucking creepy and interesting. Some dude was murdered in this one. Well, that’s where his body was found, anyway.

Stupid trolley station thing that I use almost every day. There’s also a free art gallery above it, which is kind of cool I guess but doesn’t take away from the fact that I hate taking the T to work, woe is me.

When I was leaving for my afternoon walk on Friday, I rode down on the elevator with Sue, who half-jokingly said, “Hey, while you’re out, see if you can find Jeannie’s work ID. She lost it on the way back from Proper.” Since I never have a cemented destination in my mind when I step outside, I purposely walked down that particular block and without any effort whatsoever, I found Jeannie’s ID laying on the sidewalk in front of the Benedum. I AM A FUCKING HERO. I sent Jeannie a picture of it and she was like YOU’RE THE BEST and I was like LE DUH. Anyway, I get a reward now, and that’s all that matters.

Sue called me Hawkeye Kelly and I love that nickname because my eyes are actually so freaking terrible!

I treated myself to a bag of parmesan Goldfish from CVS, but I went to one of the smaller, crappier ones in lieu of the decent one I normally go to, and that was sad because this particular CVS reeks of cigarette smoke and sewage. It’s just really bad. But I really enjoy the one cashier who is there often, a young stoner named Cameron who is super pleasant and jovial and ends every transaction by handing over the bag and cheerfully saying, “Enjoy!”

Even when the broad in front of me was purchasing nothing but a pack of Always pads, he sent her off with an emphatic invitation to, “ENJOY!”

Feb 092018

It’s Friday and I’m tired but also really looking forward to going home and watching the replay of the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, so here is a mild photo dump with minimal wordage.

But most importantly, an update on the countdown calendar!

That paper plane is moving at a snail’s pace, like I’m taking a hot air balloon to Korea it feels like.

My babies! For as stressed out as I was these last several weeks, I sure am going to miss all the action once the Valentine orders stop. I am still 100% convinced that this was a fluke, though! I’m bracing myself for my least favorite part of being an Etsy seller — the inevitable deluge of convos re: late or lost items. USPS, you give me heartburn.

I bought Chooch this adorable Corgi pillow from Etsy and couldn’t resist giving it to him early. Drew feels threatened, though.

Penelope’s perfect profile!

And here’s dumb old me, a window selfie from last night’s late shift. Our department is basically all reflective windows and it can be startling once the sun goes down. Anyway, this is my favorite shirt. It brings back memories from my time spent as a mediocre, part-time goth.

I also have several photos from my lunchtime travels, but I thought maybe I would save those for their own Lunch Break Tales post? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you guys enjoy looking at pictures of my so-so city or should I just start a private scrapbook for those lol like I would ever scrapbook.

No offense, scrapbookers! I just don’t have the mental coordination for that.

BONUS: Sudden urge to buy Reeboks which I have not worn since middle school:

Feb 072018

It’s that time again. Weekend recap!

I spent the morning finishing my Golden Girls Valentines and crying tears of joy while watching video clips of Taeyang’s wedding. The disgusted sneer Henry kept giving me was so perfect.

So, all week I was thinking about how I wanted to go to Nak Won Garden on Saturday for some soondubu jjigae (look, Henry is a marvel at Korean home-cookin’, but there is just nothing like that bubbling ttukbaegi of kimchi & tofu that comes out of a real Korean kitchen sorry Bae Henry).

(That’s what I call him because I like to pretend that he’s in love with Bae Suzy, a Korean singer/actress.)

(He doesn’t get it.)

Right. So all week I’m enduring this shitty cold weather and thinking about the soondubu at the end of the frigid tunnel, but then Chooch had to go and get stupid straight A’s so there went my Korean lunch out. Instead, we went to Blue Flame, which was fine because Blue Flame has a forever spot in my heart and everyone who knows me knows that!

As soon as Henry parked the car, Chooch was out the door and running over to the wall at the side of the parking lot. On the other side is a creek which, to most people, is not noteworthy in the slightest. But ever since I was really little, it was tradition to peer over that wall at the creek below, especially in the warmer months when tadpoles could be seen. I’m not sure who started this or why, but it was one of the things that I did with my Pappap so it’s always been special. And of course I taught Chooch about it when he was super little, so it’s just like a thing now. It feels like we’re honoring my Pappap every time we look down into that shallow, burbling water, so I’m going to keep doing it until the day I die, fight me.

I posted about this on Instagram and one of my friends who also grew up in this area said she used to do the same thing when she was a kid so maybe it really is A Thing!

(Also, a Bae Suzy video just came on as I’m typing this and now I’m laughing alone.)

Creek peek.

Inside Blue Flame, all Chooch wanted was one (1) blueberry pancake. For as outspoken and independent as he typically is in most situations, this kid is AWFUL at communicating with waitresses. I don’t know what happens, but he fucking shuts down as soon as they ask him for his order and then LOOKS AT US while he’s mumbling his order, like we’re his FUCKING KIDNAPPERS and he wants our approval.

It is beyond awkward, like these waitresses probably think he beat him at home or something, the way he acts all nervous and skittish, and then sometimes he doesn’t know how to answer their questions so we have to do it for him! Like, honestly, WHAT KIND OF FUCKING BREAD DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR TOAST?! YOU ONLY LIKE WHITE BREAD SO JUST SAY THAT.

Jesus Christ!

Or when he acts like ordering a drink is the hardest question he’ll answer all day when he literally only ever gets one of two things: chocolate milk or lemonade.

It’s so uncomfortable.

My favorite is when the waitress explains his options – and you know most places have the same standard canon drink menu – and he looks at US like “Which of those do I like?” which I always feel looks like he’s seeking our approval so he won’t get whipped when we leave for ordering apple juice instead of milk.

The rest of our Saturday was full of card-making tension and at one point Chooch mumbles, “My parents are literally fighting over serial killer Valentines.”

It was a hard lesson in supply & demand that day. But we persevered. Barely.


Sunday was cool too! Chooch’s piano lesson was canceled so we got to just relax that morning without needing to run around. After lunch, we went to Oakland because Chooch is doing a report on Crispus Attucks and can barely find any solid info on him. The Brookline branch of the Carnegie library ordered a book for him and then failed to tell him that it was never even put on the truck yet until a week later when Henry called to see what the hell was going on, and we had to buy a book on Amazon, which ended up being some children’s story. Chooch’s teacher was all pissed off at him at first, until other kids also were like, “THE LIBRARY FAILED US” so she said she was going to rough them up, or call and complain. One of those.

So we took him to the main Carnegie Library on Sunday and the librarian who helped us totally redeemed all librarians in Chooch’s eyes, and now he’s like, “MAYBE IT’S JUST THE BROOKLINE ONES WHO SUCK” and yes son that’s surely it because the Brookline library is pretty dumb. Chooch has beef with three of them.

He likes the security guard there though.

Sunday was a wet snow kind of day and Henry muttered a lot about how it was just the type of day where you should stay home. LOL.

I wonder if Trump knows that libraries are free…?

But anyway, Henry was miserable because there was some broad singing in a room near the front of the library and it seemed like every person standing around watching the performance had bathed in patchouli that morning, so we had to walk through that and it was unpleasant. Henry REALLY hates it even more than me so he complained about it off and on for the better part of an hour.

Almost immediately, we enlisted the help of the aforementioned librarian and she was incredibly helpful and invested in Chooch’s project. Unlike waitresses, he was actually able to communicate to her what he needed so she took us to the right section and kept coming back with more books that she found elsewhere. She was a savior.

Chooch wants to only go to that library from now on.

Dork alert.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend that he’s gifted. Especially when I watched him struggle to smear jelly on his toast at Blue Flame, or observed the way he uses a fork to pile bites of pancake onto the blade of a butter knife instead of just, you know, taking the fork all the way home with the pancake bites.

“Who eats like that?!” I cried, and he was like, “What? What am I doing wrong?”

I mean, nothing I guess. It just seems like it takes so much effort to balance food on a knife, that’s all.

And then we made Chooch pay his own library fines since he was unable to check out his book otherwise.

“GO ON, TELL THE MAN ABOUT YOUR FINES,” we said as we nudged Chooch toward the librarian at the check-out counter.

I mean, we live three blocks away from a library, so there’s really no excuse.

And then we went back to working in a knock-off Hallmark sweatshop for the rest of the day/night.

That’s all for now. I have shit to do, food to eat, vids to watch.

Feb 062018

My favorite Taemin song changes weekly. Currently, it’s “Play Me” because it calms the heart palpitations I’ve been getting every day for the last week. I am not good under pressure, that’s for damn sure. But it just makes unwinding each night feel even more glorious, you know?

People have asked me what I’m most looking forward to when we go to Korea next month and I guess I’m expected to say something about Kpop or eating all the street food and trust me, my heart flutters when I think of those things. But that’s not it. I’m mostly looking forward to waking up every day and being surrounded by the language, seeing and hearing Hangeul everywhere. To me, it’s the most beautiful language in the world. I’m learning it so slowly – it’s hard when you’re not taking an actual graded class – but not once have I felt like quitting.

I’m so excited to read all of the signs in Korea!

Sometimes I get so antsy at work and by the time Henry picks me up I am frantically putting Kpop on in the car and saying, “I’ve heard nothing but English all day ugh*!” And he’s just like, “oh for god’s sake.” Yet he’s the first one to sit down and turn on a Korean drama, so.

(I don’t listen to music or anything at work because I’m paranoid and need to know what’s being said around me at all times, also I hate ear buds.)

You know how some people can relieve headaches by applying pressure on the part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger? That’s kind of the effect that listening to Korean has on my brain. Like a wash of relief. I can’t explain it any better than that.

There is no point to this blog post but it feels good to be relaxin’ in the couch and casually typing this on my phone after spending hours in the non compos cards sweatshop (I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT SWEATSHOP THO!!).

I’m trying to be nicer to myself and taking a break here and there but I’m not very good at it.

Wow hey blog thanks for listening. Time for korean lesson & bed. Lol like I sleep.

Feb 052018

(Some dumb old story I wrote 10 years ago, probably during a fever who knows.)

“Don’t!” Oscar shouted at his mother-in-law. “Let me.” He took the plate out of her hands and replaced it on the table before she had a chance to pile it with food. His wife had long since died but he still ate at her parent’s house on the fourth Monday of every fifth month. Pulling a compartmentalized picnic tray from his messenger bag, he began the methodical process of separating his food. He always ate his meals in quarters: protein in one pocket, vegetables in another, starches touched only each other, and then condiments formed a pool in the final compartment. Or fruit if there was any to have, in which case he would forego the frivolous sauces.

Oscar kept his digital watch set to beep in fifteen minute intervals, a reminder to put a new TicTac in his mouth. He would only do this at work, though, because he lived above a slaughterhouse and sometimes the howling and the squealing of chains and the grinding of gears rendered it impossible for Oscar to hear his watch. If something else happened to be in his mouth when his watch would chime, he’d spit it out into the tiny wastebasket under his desk, which was emptied four times during his shift.

On Sundays, Oscar enjoyed going to the farmers market in the industrial district of town. A public parking garage was provided as a courtesy to the citizens, but Oscar preferred parking on the street. He loved the way the quarters sounded as their shiny disks slid into the metal slot of the meter. It was slightly arousing, but only Oscar’s therapist knew this.

“Sometimes I lick the quarters before they leave my hand, and often I feel pained to release them. But once I hear that sound, it makes me swell. You know. Swell. And that is one of the most rewarding sensations this life has to offer, I really think.” Oscar’s therapist copied this quote for his file in bright red ink.

One day, Oscar was granted a handsome bonus because the company had enjoyed a very successful quarter. He went home that night, scrubbed each limb with a vibrant pine-scented homemade bar of soap that he purchased from Ethel who worked on the twenty-fourth floor but was visiting her friend on the twenty-fifth floor at the time of purchase. Thumbing through the phone book, he found just the number he was looking for.

At exactly 9:41, his doorbell rang. He dawdled and stalled, pacing beneath the stately portrait of George Washington which hung in the foyer, and chugging on a quart of half-spoiled vitamin D milk, until 9:45, at which time he found it perfect to open the door and greet the four prostitutes he ordered.

For a quarter of an hour, they quietly noshed on tea sandwiches, which Oscar had meticulously de-crusted and quartered over top of his grandmother’s serving tray, which was conveniently divided into quadrants. He precisely slipped his Quarterflash album from its sleeve and placed it gently upon the record player. Then they moved to his slumber quarters, where Oscar requested that he be tied to each one of the bedposts. The four cocottes silently obliged.

As Oscar lay there, mind soaring with the possibilities, wondering if he would become as tumescent as he did in the company of parking meters, one of the harlots brandished a chainsaw from her purse and by 11:15, Oscar’s post-quartering torso was left in the center of his bed, and his limbs were sold to the slaughterhouse below where they were wrapped in freezer paper and sold for a quarter a pound.