Dec 032022
 

Oh my god, when I found out that NCT Dream was releasing a movie centered around their recent In a Dream concert, and that TWO theaters in Pittsburgh were actually going to be showing it, I bought two tickets immediately the day they went on sale. NCT Dream is the “younger brothers” to the main NCT unit, NCT127. I know, it’s confusing. SM Entertainment really does the most and their convoluted NCT conglomerate takes some time to really parse through. Basically, you can’t really be a moderate or part-time fan of NCT – you gotta be all in because there are so many moving pieces.

Anyway! I fluctuate between who I like more: NCT127 or NCT Dream. At this point, I have seen NCT127 three times (twice at KCON, and once at a full-fledged concert on their recent US tour) and I have seen NCT Drean NONE TIMES.

But I really think that they are my faves. They just make my heart so happy and I want all of the best things for them.

Watching this movie was going to have to be the next best thing to actually seeing them live.

Today was the day of the movie and I WAS FUCKING READY!!!

My Haechan pendant (designed by me, made by Henry) and a NCT lightstick necklace by the talented The Idol Collective.

My Cherry Bomb purse (this is actually NCT127) with my Renjun and Jaemin pins showing.

NCT Dream Dear Diary pin; Haechan Boom-era pin.

You guys, it didn’t occur to me until we got to the theater that I FUCKING FORGET TO WEAR MY NCT DREAM T-SHIRT. I HATE MYSELF.

“It’s going to be dark in there,” Henry reasoned. YEAH BUT…

P.S. We were only about 7 minutes away from home when Henry looked over at me and frowned because I WAS ALREADY STARTING TO CRY. Why do I have to feel so much?

“I should have brought Kleenex because I know I’m going to cry. I can’t help it! I care very deeply about NCT Dream. They’re on the same level as the cats and squirrels,” I said wailed.
Henry:

Henry mumbled, “Wow. So that puts me even lower.”

!!!!!

The girl in front of me took a picture of this so then I had to, too Henry sighed.

I sent this to Chooch, who was at work and “sadly” had to miss the viewing festivities. “Great, now I have to sit next to him while he eats popcorn in a silent theater.” Chooch and I are very much anti-Henry’s Mouth Noises.

IT STARTED WITH RENJUN RIGHT OFF THE BAT AND MY TEARS JUST FELL FREELY.

You guys. I thought there was no way for me to love these guys any more than I already did, but then I spent two hours with them in a theater and my heart was swelling to the point of explosion. This concert was a huge deal for them because it was at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, which is like the PREMIERE venue for artists to perform at in Seoul, it’s what they all aim for. It’s also only their SECOND concert (like, full concert of their own and not just like festivals, etc.) and the first one with Mark, who had “graduated” out of NCT Dream before they had their first concert because originally, NCT Dream wasn’t a fixed unit. It was intended to be a fluid unit with revolving members under the age of 20. So once Mark had his 20th birthday, he “graduated” out of NCT Dream. The fans did not like this one bit and demanded that SM reconsider, bring Mark back, and keep NCT Dream as a fixed unit with the original 7 members. Eventually, SM caved, put Mark back in and promised that the current lineup would be the forever-lineup.

Yeah, I was a mess at most times throughout this movie. My nose was running bigly and my stomach hurt from trying to silent-cry when I wanted so badly to big-sob. And I know you’re wondering: Henry only fell asleep once at the very end, for “like a second,” he said. To be fair, he legit likes them but will honestly fall asleep at any given opportunity. He would probably also fall asleep during a Ted Nugent biopic.

I’m glad that this was available in Pittsburgh and that I was able to go. Yes, it emotionally wrecked me but it was amazing to see so many of their songs as they performed them at their concert in Seoul. I am so proud of them and the huge crowd they drew!

Since the World Cup stuff is happening currently, I’ll end this with a video of them performing Trigger the Fever, which was the official song of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017 (whatever that means) and Mark actually has a songwriting credit for this!

And here they are performing it at the soccer thing in 2017 (minus Jaemin because I think he was injured):

They were so young!!!

Afterward, Henry and I went to Angkor for some Thai food and I tried so hard to rehash the entire 2 hours but he barely had anything to say and just nodded a lot, but you know, that’s just Henry.

Sigh.

 

 

 

Nov 282022
 

Leaving Tennessee today! It’s 6:46am and we’re packing up the room which involves us throwing stuff at Henry and saying, “Here put this in here.”

We woke up extra early to get to Crockett’s Breakfast Camp right when they open at 7 because for some reason I have latched on to this place after watching YouTube videos about it but it gets super crowded. We got here at 6:56 and there was already a small group of people waiting.

Chooch and Henry are not impressed yet.

7:45am: Back at the hotel so Henry can “go to the bathroom” before we check out. What you missed:

  • Henry being sulky that I made him order Aretha Frankenstein’s Griddle Cakes which are just thick boi pancakes made in a griddle because I wanted to try them but didn’t want my own order since it was too much for muh belly and also didn’t come with a side of PONE like the egg breakfasts do. I was obsessed with this mythical PONE and it turned out to just be a thimble-sized dollop of a mushy corn bread (almost like ChiChi’s, #rip) with cranberries. It was good but I wish I would have known that’s all it was.
  • The pancakes were GÜT!!!!
  • Our waitress had an accent and Henry was like IT SOUNDS CAJUN and chooch and I were like, “who were you talking to??” Because it was totally some sort of Eastern Euro I’m betting. Then we saw her name on the bill – JULIYA. So Cajun.
  • Had to check out the bathroom as per the uje. The broad in there with me left without washing her hands, ugh.

Last view from our balcony. We stayed at some lame SureStay / Best Western but it ended up being ok even though I threw a huge fit about it on Saturday just based on the parking lot, backside of the building lol oh, me.

9:34am Hoo boy we just had a great excursion to Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. I wanted to recreate a picture from 2011 and we tried to do this on Saturday but the mountains were SO CROWDED that we couldnt get even get a parking spot. So we came back this morning and it was basically snowing, soooo cold, but somehow we only argued once and very briefly??

I’ll post the recreation in a separate blog post because I used the DSLR for it.

11:00am: We’re only just leaving Pigeon Forge now. It took so long to drive out of the mountains and Henry refused to stop anywhere even though I purposely wore a nice sweater to have my picture taken in. But ok. Mm.

Stopped at a gas station in Pigeon Forge that was next to a Bojangles and as we were leaving I saw a sign for sweet potato pies so I made Henry go into Bojangles and get one but he had to wait ten minutes for new ones to be made and I actually hate saying this but it was lowkey worth it. McD’s-esque and the filling was so smooth and warm.

12:36pm: Starting to not be as sulky. Found a place to eat at in some rando’ Virginian town, stay tuned. Hopefully they’re actually open. Just sitting here in the meantime marveling over Renjun’s precious baby voice.

1:16pm: Made it to White Birch!

I haven’t had a golden latte in forever.

Guys. I got the vegan curry and it was…meh, sadly. It had huge chunks of crunchy onions and carrots that were barely cooked, stewed tomatoes (ugh), over rice and quinoa. I had to keep trying to eat around stuff and it didn’t even taste curry-ish, but more like a stew.

Chooch didn’t eat any of his wrap which I tasted and immediately wished I had ordered because it was delicious but Chooch is v. picky. So I guess that’s what I’m having for dinner.

Henry got a chicken salad sandwich or something who cares.

3:45pm: Henry made me drive for a little while and that was annoying. I’m actually still driving right now while I’m blogging JUST KIDDING I’m not an asshole.

5:44pm: this drive is so boring. I finished a book (Palm Beach Finland). It was ok. We have been listening to NCT this whole time. Chooch is laying in the back being a baby.

7:37pm: We just stopped at a rest area in Pennsylvania and I swear to fucking GOD this is not familiar even though we are on this route very often?? I feel like if it’s not new-new, it is at the very least a renovated rest stop but Henry is arguing that it’s not. I mean it was like sparkling, even the bathroom, and the vending area had an intense number of options and a SITTING AREA.

When we were leaving, I pointed out the numbers along the side of the door and asked if it was in case you wanted to measure your height and Henry said it’s there for when there is a robbery/crime so you know the approx. height of the perp?? I never knew this. I literally thought it was there in case someone felt like checking their height for curiosity purposes.

8:14pm: we should be home in about 24 minutes so I’ll put this live blog out of its misery. Byeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Nov 202022
 

Hey-o it’s not Throwback Thursday or whatever but we are going to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge for a post-Thanksgiving getaway next weekend which has been lubing up my brain with fond memories of the last time we were there in 2018 and actually got along practically the entire time like a real life, functioning family unit so I started scouring the blog for old posts and decided to re-share this one in particular because holy shit, we had so much fun that day! It was like Henry realized that it was OK to kick back and like, I dunno, smile while letting us do whatever the hell we wanted. I hope it’s like that again this weekend and also HOLY SHIT how was 2018 that long ago??

Anyway, I’m super stoked for Dollywood (natch), specifically Lightning Rod so fingers crossed that it’s running (you never know!) and also for the chance to go to PAL’S SUDDEN SERVICE again! After discovering it during last year’s Thanksgiving trip to Georgia, I have been dying to go back.

I also want to eat at CROCKETT’S BREAKFAST CAMP in Gatlinburg, which somehow, we have missed out on the prior two times we were in teh area.

Oh my god and Dollywood’s cinnamon bread.

Goddamn, I love this tourist trap part of Tennessee so fucking much.

***

When we first decided* we were going to Tennessee for Thanksgiving weekend, I figured we’d get in sometime Saturday evening, have dinner or something, and then go to DOLLYWOOD on Sunday, because that was legitimately the sole impetus of this trip.

*(See also: when I decided and told Henry and Chooch we were going to Tennessee for Thanksgiving weekend.)

But then Henry was like, “Let’s just leave sometime Friday evening, drive halfway, and then have most of Saturday to do the Tennessee things.”  Who is this Captain Funtime Spirit using Henry as a host body!? I was stoked on this idea and we even got along the whole night in the car and only fought once on Saturday while still in West Virginia, when I was angry and had my typical knee-jerk temper explosion all over not being able to find my conditioner when I woke up Saturday morning. And then Henry told me to “end it” which is basically just the same as telling me to CALM DOWN which he doesn’t do anymore, but I can see we’re going to have a battle over semantics here soon.

We arrived in Pigeon Forge sometime around 1:00pm, I think. It would have been later than that if Henry had given in to my desire to tour the BUSH’S BAKED BEANS FACTORY. I was heart-broken when we drove past the visitor center and I saw tourists out there posing with all the baked beans signs, living their best gassy lives.

Once we hit that main drag in Pigeon Forge, the one that’s like the Las Vegas strip of tourist traps, Chooch’s eyes lit up like an orphan about to dive into a hot bowl of porridge.

Here are the highlights from Saturday, aka Every Single Thing We Did because it was such a great FAMILY FUNTIME day, as Chooch would call it. We love us some funtime.

POORLY PLANNED LUNCH!

Apparently, Pigeon Forge loves pancakes. There are pancake house everywhere! But you know what pancake houses are notorious for? Closing at 2-fucking-PM. So, no pancake houses for us. Then we were going to eat at some Cuban place I found on shitty Yelp but I got irrationally mad when we pulled up and found that it was in a strip mall-ish area. I didn’t want to eat in a strip mall! By then, we were halfway to Gatlinburg and I didn’t want to go too far away because we still needed to go back to our hotel so Chooch could change clothes for his Cool Boy Smoky Mountain Photoshoot since they let us check in but then the maid had literally JUST started cleaning our room so we just dumped our bags, hung out in the fitness room for a bit so I could walk like a freak on the treadmill after being in the car all morning, and then left for lunch.

So when we saw the Wild Bear Tavern, I screamed, “FUCK IT, JUST STOP HERE, I DON’T CARE.” Hilariously, it ended up being a German restaurant. First of all, German food and vegetarians rarely mesh well. Second of all, the last time we ate a German restaurant was in 2011 (OMG the same year we were last in Tennessee too!) and Henry and I both got major food poisoning. We were with two other people that night who didn’t get sick at all and the only common denominator was the apple strudel that Henry and I had for dessert so I guess we were poisoned by the Evil Queen? Henry has been terrified of German food ever since so he opted for a burger and Chooch and I both ordered grilled cheese from the kids menu and the waitress was just like, “Why did you come here, tho?”

I did get a side of spaetzel though which was drowning in a pool of melted, watery cheese so it was kind of like German mac n’ cheese I guess and not even close to being as glorious as the spaetzel my Pappap used to make for Christmas. He was the spaetzel king.

Chooch got like 3 new stains on his hoodie just from lunch because he eats like a three-year-old, so going back to the hotel afterward was imperative! Luckily, our room was done for real that time.

TRAIL MIX CHOKING!

Next up was the aforementioned Cool Boy Smoky Mountain Photoshoot! The highlight of this for us, don’t hate, was when we were driving back down the mountains to go  to Gatlinburg and Henry started choking on trail mix to the point where one lone tour dripped down his cheek and Chooch and I were going WILD over this. Then we were just like, “OMG please stop choking!” and it reminded me of how Glenn always chokes on peanuts at work. Good job being like Glenn, Henry. Anyway, Tuesday night, I was like, “Hey Chooch remember when Dad was choking on trail mix?” and  then we were crying because we were laughing so hard at the three-day-old memory and Henry called us a bunch of fuckers.

MYSTERIOUS MANSION!!

I wanted to do this the last time we were in Tennessee but it was before Chooch was wild about going to haunted houses and no one else thought it was a Super Great Idea like I did, so I did not go. But this time I was determined, and Chooch was pretty hyped up about it too. It took us a while to get through the Gatlinburg tourist traffic, but once we found somewhere to park, it was just a short walk from there. Henry was like, “I am not going in this thing, have fun” but had to come in anyway to pay for us, haha.

It was relatively “cheap” by haunted house standards ($13 for me, $8 for Chooch; something like that) and the ticket booth guy gave us the run-down in a melodramatic tone without making eye contact with us once. It was weird. But also, thank you for not looking at me, ticket guy.

Anyway, he sent us into a waiting room which was very dim and themed like an old-fashioned sitting room with a fireplace. There was a family of 5 waiting for us to join them, and then the ticket guy came over the intercom and told us it was time to find our way out of the room.

We were allowed to touch everything and push things, so that was really cool, and eventually we figured out that the fireplace had to be pushed in order for an entrance to be found. Every single person in that family (a mom, a SUPER TALL dad, a young son and daughter, and a SUPER TALL teenaged daughter) were absolutely paralyzed with fear and holding on to each other, so finally I offered to go first and they were basically treating me like a fucking hero, like I was some chick Van Helsing or something. It was HILAR. These people totally made the haunted house that much better for us, Chooch and I both agreed, which is no small feat because we barely agree on the color of the sky these days.

They were absolutely latched on to us and at first, I thought to myself, “Wow, this haunted house isn’t even that—-”  but then SHIT STARTED TO GO DOWN. Basically, without writing a goddamn screenplay, we were being stalked and terrorized by the same two or three guys and they were effective as fuck. One of them kept making a raptor-like sound in our faces, and at one point, we had walked up a staircase and were crossing a balcony-like hallway that overlooked the downstairs when one of them JUMPED FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HOUSE INTO THE HALLWAY WE WERE IN and I’ll tell you what, that family started a veritable stampede and I thought we were going to get turned into one a Pigeon Forge pancake for real. My throat hurt from screaming and laughing and scream-laughing! Oh shit, Chooch and I were cracking up so bad, this family was the limit.

At one point, the SUPER TALL daughter had my arm in a death grip, but she was pulling it behind my back at an uncomfortable angle, and then one of those guys came back to terrorize us some more and I was bracing myself for the crunch of cartilage as she snapped my arm back, but luckily I was able to break free. Her mom was holding on to my back and eventually realized what she was doing and said, “I AM SO SORRY. WE ARE REALLY DOING THE MOST RIGHT NOW” and I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell her it was fine. But real talk – if Chooch and I had gone through on our own, I might have had to utilize an emergency exit because it really like some real life terror situation at times. And the theming inside the house was great too, from what I was able to see in the flurry of hysteria going on around me. So damn good, would recommend. Exceeded expectations!

KILLING TIME IN G-BURG

We weren’t hungry yet so we decided to just walk around Gatlinburg and count how many times we got to say NOPE every time Chooch would excitedly point out some arcade or shooting gallery. Ripley’s pretty much owns eastern Tennessee, I’ve learned, so every other tourist attraction we passed had their name on it. We did some of that stuff last time, but ever since that duck boat tragedy last summer, I have been determined to boycott those motherfuckers so all I had to say was, “No, Ripley’s killed people” and then Chooch said, “Oh, I didn’t know” and NEVER ASKED AGAIN.

It was wonderful.

We walked by Christ in the Smokeys and I got a picture of Christ all dressed up in twinkle lights for Christmas to send to our friend Bill, who I dragged there along with us last time, but he admitted it was a real diamond in the rough. Of course it was!

Just in case I ever started to forget that we were in the south, we’d walk past a souvenir shop that had several pro-Trump novelty shirt hanging in the window. Yup. Cool fucking story.

MELLOW MUSHROOM!

We ate at the Pigeon Forge location twice last time we were there and all I could remember was that I had something with tempeh, so I wanted to go back because tempeh is one of my favorite vegetarian foods and also, we were in the South and my veg options were slim.

Admittedly, it wasn’t as great as I remembered, but it was still a nice dinner. Henry got the Holy Shiitake mushroom pizza so I could have a slice, Chooch got something with two different kinds of tomatoes and then remembered he doesn’t like tomatoes so he had to pick them off but supposedly liked whatever remained, and I got that tempeh sandwich thing which was great but not like, “OH SHIT I HAVE TO WRITE SEVERAL PARAGRAPHS IN MY BLOG ABOUT THIS” great.

I had a beer and I normally don’t drink very often anymore so I was pretty much plastered. Henry asked me what I ordered and I honestly have no idea, it was whatever the waiter recommended when I told him I only really like wheat beers. It was OK! I drank the whole glass! But it wasn’t very big, so….

We found the fountain where Bill almost actually drowned Chooch when he was pretending to drown him, lol.

(I know I’m referencing our last trip here so much but you have to understand that it was an epic time, and Chooch and Bill even have a commemorative book for it.)

Right after this, we walked past a bunch of small kids who were singing some song, that went like, “I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N” and passers-by were straight charmed by this Flanders-esque display of religion, but not us. We were gagging and trying to push our horns back into our scalps. There’s only one thing worse than kids and it’s RELIGIOUS kids.

We watched this guy poop out taffy logs from a machine. I also bought Ole Smoky moonshine taffy at some other candy store for work and Henry was pissed because my work always gets all the candy.

JURASSIC JUNGLE OAT RIDE!

After walking off our dinner, we went back to Pigeon Forge so that Chooch and I go on the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride!

Or, Oat Ride, I guess.

Now look, you don’t need to read the reviews to know that this is going to be a hokey trip through a glorified warehouse, but I NEEDED TO DO THIS. Henry kept saying it was going to be a rip-off, but he still handed over the credit card to the bored teenager working the ticket booth, and then he promptly went back and sat in the car while Chooch and I boarded a boat, or oat, with another family of suckers tourists.

That one dummy looks like a psycho Nick Jonas.

Sooooo…..it was actually pretty horrific in that I felt like we could have potentially been murdered in there. It was so dark (except for the jackass dad’s phone flashlight that he had turned on for THE ENTIRE RIDE because he was recording THE ENTIRE RIDE. Bro, that shit’s already on YouTube, don’t re-do it.) Chooch and I were especially terrified of the larger-than-life, extremely and inexplicably buff pterodactyl that was perched in anger above us.

We had so many questions.

I mean, I’m no dinosaur expert, but many things in there did not add up.

Overall, IT WAS FUCKING GREAT! Chooch started applauding sarcastically at the end, so then the mom of the family in front of us turned around and also started clapping but I think she actually meant it.

But yeah, if you’re into supremely tacky tourist shit from the 1970s, then this will be the jam to your peanut buttered travel itinerary.

I might still be drunk from that beer.

WHEN CHOOCH DIVORCED HIMSELF FROM THE FAMILY

We went back to the hotel after the Jurassic thing so we could drop the car off and just walk to play mini golf — HENRY’S IDEA! He must have been having so much fun hemorrhaging money on family time.

But it was hard to cross the big bad Pigeon Forge tourist highway so we couldn’t go to the mini golf place that Chooch originally chose and had to pick one of the dozens of places on the side we were already on.

So we chose Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure, where Chooch finally realized after all this time that he sucks at mini golf.

I was so giddy by this point of the night, and spent most of the time doubled over in laughter while Chooch was practically roid-raging over his inability to get the ball in the hole in less than 9 strokes while Henry was looking up flights for one from Knoxville to Pittsburgh.

I sincerely don’t know how we didn’t get kicked out.

But most importantly, I won! Taemin’s wife always wins!

Somehow we missed an entire hole, Chooch lost his ball right at the end which resulted in him having a major psychiatric break and so he stormed off back to the hotel ahead of us, I nearly laughed myself to death because I’m a great mom, and Henry kept mumbling about wanting ice cream but then he never got ice cream.

We made it back to the hotel and almost immediately crashed. It’s amazing that we managed to mostly get along so well!

(Although, there was one time earlier that day when Chooch was trying to make a video for Instagram and got mad later when he realized you could hear Henry and me arguing in the background. I asked him what we were saying and he said we were arguing about where something was and then he imitated me saying, “That’s literally what I just said” and I said that he made me sound like a sassy teenage girl. “Yeah. That’s because that’s what you sound like,” he said in a way that implied it was NOT a compliment. Rude.)

Nov 192022
 

Henry and I were working on house projects all morning and then took a break in the afternoon to try out a new-ish bakery in my old turf, Jefferson Hills. It’s called Sabatello’s and it’s billed as Pgh’s first goth bakery so it had been on my radar since I used to be a fake goth from 1998-2001.

Actually, we were on our way to Michael’s for spray paint when I started whining about needing a treat, fucking mutt that I am, so that’s how this happened.

First of all, they have a purple door which I immediately embraced, and the interior is black and white stripes with purple accents and Halloween decorations sprinkled throughout.

The owner came out immediately to greet us and tel us about their offerings and she was the fucking cutest goth and SO FRIENDLY – I love friendly bakery people which you would think would be a prerequisite but I have walked out of Potomac Bakery numerous times with a SOUR TASTE IN MY MOUTH.

Can I just say that before delving into the descriptions of her baked goods, she took a moment to gush, “Your hair color is STUNNING.”

Girl. THANK YOU. I go to Bad Apple and Carly is an artist, I swear.

Ok anyway!! We bought an array of goods but I need to tell you about the cheesecakes, posing here in front of the Cure wall in honor of their goth roots.

Egg nog & white chocolate cranberry, good lord. The white chocolate cranberry one is my favorite. They were both so light and melt-in-your-mouth-y.

I’m going to make a habit of visiting regularly so that I can ingratiate myself into a friendship while eating my way through all of the cheesecake flavors.

Then we came home to Chooch taking a shower and all the water pouring out of the dining room ceiling so that was cool considering the waterfall was directly above one of the walls we’re repainting. Anyway, the slumlord is allegedly sending “Cliff” over, whoever the fuck that is, because the leaking pipe we have been reporting to him over and over for like 2 decades has finally rusted itself into oblivion so now we can’t use the shower/tub until “Cliff” fixes it.

It’s fine. Everything is fine. But if you don’t hear from me for a while, assume that I drowned in the creek I was attempting to bathe in.

Nov 122022
 

I have been super energized lately on the home project tip! We decided to have a small, casual Christmas party this December so I made a list of all the things I want to get done before then and Henry, in the robotic season of his life, has methodically gone along with this. I practically sprung out of bed this morning because I knew I was going to get to use THE HEAT GUN on one of the projects today – Henry has the audacity to say that he was going to end up taking over but guess who finished the whole thing?? Me. Truly.

That particular project is redoing an old, small coffee table to use over in the church pew section of the living room. We never had a need for one before because no one has really been here since we bought the church pew two years ago.

Anyway, I’m really excited about this table!

Also this weekend I will be repainting the cat-head wall. It’s time. I was never in love with that wall, really, and I am working on new memorial art for my Original Four Cats that I am going to use as replacements for the pictures that are currently hanging there. I require oval frames for this project though so we went to Fleatique today to see if anything stood out to me.

Didn’t find any frames but OH BABY I found something better and it came home the fiddly-fuck home with me. (Henry didn’t even try to resist. Just handed over the cash, lol.)

It’s already on display with my other Jesus art in the bathroom. I love this so much!! I hope it’s haunted!

And I hope that everyone who comes to my XMAS party (probably like, 3 ppl let’s be honest) will have to use the bathroom at some point so they admire this piece of fine art.

Nov 082022
 

I voted today in my accidentally, horrifically Republican looking Six Flags sweatshirt. When we were walking past all the canvassers who were loitering in front of our polling place, I loudly said, “UGH I HATE THAT THIS SHIRT MAKES ME LOOK LIKE A REPUBLICAN” to which Henry mumbled, “ok” in his Calm DownTM tone.

Then I opened the door to the church gymnasium and it slapped back on me while I was walking through and it startled me into a jump, at which point I overcorrected myself while I was in the air and SPRAINED MY BACK. The whole thing happened so fast that I can’t even really understand how it happened at all except that it was somehow Henry’s fault. And I had an AUDIENCE and it was so embarrassing – I hope they weren’t there trolling for OZ, that would have been even worse.

As usual, I didn’t understand what the trick question was at the end of the ballot and I was openly panicking, like not even trying to be discreet about my confusion, so Henry calmly nodded his head as he walked past me after submitting his ballot.

Whew.

I still have no idea if I answered that correctly.

Then I had to walk by all those people again and I was so UGH about it until I realized that the people coming out of the polling place have a DIRECT VIEW of the pink neon on our carouselfie wall! Henry was like, “oh boy.”

Anyway. I hope all my US pals voted today. Super nervous about it. :/

My fucking back hurts so bad. But, at least I broke it for DEMOCRACY.

Nov 072022
 

Hey Sam, hey Lucy. Here are some songs I have been super stoked on lately.

I’m sorry, YG as an agency may have fallen out of grace years ago at this point, but to me everything they put out is perfection. Treasure is an excellent example. Also, my fave Kpop cardio YouTuber has a fantastic, super energetic routine for this that I was so into earlier today, I may have sprained my back.

PVRIS is one of the very few non-Korean groups I still have interest in. Lynn Gvnn is just insanely brilliant, a true artist in every sense. I love that their sound has evolved and matured since their early Warped Tour days, but you can still tell that it’s PVRIS. That signature sound is still embedded deep into the background, and Lynn’s voice is so distinct.  This new release has sent me head-first into a massive PVRIS deep-dive and the nostalgia has been so soothing!

Do you even need any more evidence to support my claim that Ten is my ult bias of the NCT Universe? (Tied with Haechan, don’t forget!) Earlier this year, Ten was a judge on a Chinese dance competition show and he performed this on there – I remember thinking, “SM, if you don’t allow Ten to officially record this song and film an MV for it, you are out of your goddamn minds.” Thankfully, SM heard me, I guess!

Ugh this gives me major summer in the 90s vibes. Like I can imagine lounging in my grandparent’s pool and this coming on the radio right after Shaggy’s Bombastic. This song is my head quite often lately.

And then let’s throw it back even further into the past with the disco vibes in this one!

Ciao for now!

Oct 302022
 


Dear Sunday Lovers,

Today, Henry and I spent the day at Cedar Point. It was the last day of the season for them and I was sad when I realized that we only once this year! Anyway, I’ll get to that another time.

The point of this is that CP was lacking in treat department. Everything in the bakery was 50% so there were two long-ass lines out the building. I’m sorry but their baked goods aren’t that good. All the Halloween-themed treats seemed to only be available once the haunt stuff started later in the evening and we wanted to leave by 5 since it’s approx. a 3-hour drive home.

So I suggested that we just get A TREAT outside of the park and screamed THAT ONE RESTAURANT WE LIKE WITH THE PIES! Of course, neither of us could remember the name. I dunno what method Henry was using to find it, but I searched “Cedar Point butterscotch” in my blog and immediately found the post from last May where I had DELECTABLE post-Cedar Point butterscotch pie at a place called Dianna’s (omg I almost put Gianna’s and had to scroll up to check the menu in that picture up there – will we ever remember this damn restaurant’s name??).

Man, I love this place so much. There’s not many veg options on the menu & they definitely cater to the nursing home crowd, but their pies are memorable to the point where the last time we were there, I said it should be our post-park tradition. If only we could remember the damn name.

I just wanted pie but Henry was like I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD ORDER FRIES OR SOMETHING FIRST so then I felt obligated to also order a non-pie but I wasn’t hungry for a meal. I was delighted to see that they had a fruit and cottage cheese combo called the FRESH FRUIT FANTASIA. This appealed greatly to my inner Elder! Sadly, the waitress came back to tell me that they were out of the raisin bread (!!!) it normally comes with and asked if an English Muffin would suffice as a substitute. I said yes and was honestly just relieved that this was the only issue and not that the entire food item had been removed from the menu on account of it no longer being the year 1958.

Meanwhile, Henry ordered a GRILLED CHEESE??!! Have I ever known him to order a GRILLED CHEESE (outside of an insane/gourmet grilled cheese establishment like Melt)?! I think not! This was a shocking turn of events.

My Fantasia was such a gargantuan portion that I had to ask for a box because sorry fruit, I needed to save room for the PIE.

YES SIR. Man, butterscotch is so underrated. I haven’t changed my stance in that this isn’t as good as my mom’s (hers is not pudding-y) but it does make the octogenarian side of my soul sing.

Hopefully Chooch sticks me in a nursing home with good butterscotch pudding. And if they have that pistachio fluff shit like Eat n Park offers on their salad bar, I will happily let that be my last meal.

Henry got a slice of coconut cream pie so we shared both slices. Originally, I tried to take half of his coconut cream and then proceeded to start eating my whole slide, hoping he wouldn’t notice. But he did. :(

Anyway, the day started out with me in a MOOD but ended on a very lovely note.

Oct 182022
 

While I’m still over here processing my emotions/feels/thoughts, here is a video from Thursday’s concert where NCT127 opened with Henry’s all time favorite NCT127 song, Kick It.

(Not my video!)

I know, you think I’m being facetious. “LOL like Henry would have a favorite Kpop song.” But I cannot stress enough the fact that he genuinely likes (almost all) Kpop and the whole NCT universe particularly is god tier for him. (He just said “maybe.” But I don’t think he understands what god tier means, so.)

Speaking of Henry though, I need to get him to sit down and collab with me on my next concert post because he had a very different experience than me, lol.

Meanwhile, he went to Target tonight with Chooch and brought home the Target exclusive of their new album! What a sweetheart. Drew came over to see who I pulled:

Haechan! (And also Jungwoo, Henry’s former bias.) Haechan is my ult NCT bias so I was happy. :)

Chooch was mad that Drew that was interested in this.

Ok 잘 자요 여러분.

(I WILL NEVER GET OVER THIS NIGHT BTW OMG UGH.)

Oct 172022
 

Here are some terrible photos of the mini cakes we scooped up from Vegan Treats last Friday. They got a little roughed up in the car on the drive home but they still tasted delightful.

Semi-related, I was ranting about how I was a fat kid in the 90s because my family stocked the kitchen with so many economy-sized boxes of snacks. You would never go hungry between a meal at the Kelly house: Cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, ice cream, Klondikes, a wide variety of chips, pretzels, what seemed to be a self-replenishing stock of Pizza Rolls, actual vintage pop machines in the garage. We were the Processed Palace.

“It was probably different for you people in the 60s and 70s,” I said to Henry.

“‘You people’…?” he murmured.

“Yeah, you people wanted a snack back then, you had, what? An apple. Ants on a log, maybe.”

Henry, in a sad whisper, “We weren’t PIONEERS…”

Ok fine, and JELLO.

Anyway my point is that I learned the hard way that I can’t eat stuff like cakes everyday, so it’s a good thing Vegan Treats is like, 3 hours away.

Oct 132022
 

9:25am: hola, we have been on the road for nearly an hour and have only just gotten on the turnpike somehow. Had to stop at Sheetz in Monroeville but nothing eventful happened. I was mad because the old bitch making my latte stopped to have a conversation with one of the guys back there with her and I was furiously tapping my foot but then it somehow ended up being one of the better lattes Sheetz has ever served me. (I mean, it’s Sheetz, so…)

Last night, NCT announced that there is going to be a preshow merch opportunity starting at noon which is way earlier than we will be arriving in shitty Newark and I dunno for how long this thing will be open so of course I’m in a bad mood about this because panic and anxiety make me project onto Henry.

10:09am: The Korean version of Highway to Heaven was just on and I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer and Henry was like “Omg” and I wailed, “I don’t know if I can do this, Haechan is going to make me cryyyyy.” I hope whoever is sitting next to me is cool because I am going to need someone to lean on lol.

10:49am: Henry finally got his concert ticket! Well, I got it for him while he was driving. He’s really mad because he wants to go but doesn’t want to sit alone with a bunch of screaming girls but he’s in like the very last section, second to last row so maybe there will be other parents back there with him??!!

Bathroom selfie now that I’m starting to not be as sullen lol.

11:25am:

Love/hate these. Sometimes (like now) they taste like I’ve been heavily SOBBING on a fainting couch for 5 hours. You know, that awful taste of tears needing an alternate outlet so they start flowing down your sinuses and into the back of your throat? Yeah, that taste (which I clearly know well).

Chasing that bitch with a lemon drop. That’s how we do it up in the Lee Jinki (THAT’S MY CAR’S NAME IN CASE YOU DIDNT KNOW).

2:34pm: BREAKING: Henry changed his NCT bias from Jungwoo to Yuta.

We’re about 40 minutes from Newark. This ride has been beyond boring. It rained heavily for a lot of it and that slowed us down a lot. Ugh. We’re supposedly still going straight to the venue to see if the early merch pop-up is still happening. Then we’re getting take out from Urban Vegan and taking it back to the hotel where I will proceed to be sick because NERVES.

3:40pm: Hate you so much, Newark.

Anyway that early merch thing was happening but the line was pretty long and Henry was like IF YOU GET IN THAT LINE YOU MIGHT AS WELL PLAN ON JUST STAYING DOWN HERE UNTIL IT STARTS AT 8 and look Linda, I’m already going to be standing in a line to get in, I’ll take my chances and wait to get merch tonight ugh.

Also Henry is being such AN ASSHOLE DRIVER ever since we entered the hell hole that is Newark. He keeps snapping at me and I’m like alright brother, I’ll remember this.

I HATE YOU.

(He just asked why I took his picture and I told him it was for my blog wherein I declared my hatred for him and he said “oh it wasn’t on Insta so it doesn’t matter” and I said, “wow thanks for the reminder that no one reads my blog, guy.”)

3:56pm: Mark Lee in this outside of Urban Vegan!

I originally saw it from pretty far away and yelled IS THAT MARK so I guess my shitty eyes really do just wanna see what they wanna see.

4:19pm: at least our room is ok.

5:17pm: I just did laps around the hotel because I’ve been sitting in the car all day and need to hit my step goal! Now Henry is napping and I’m bored so here are pictures of me with my NCT light stick:

Also! Pictures of our delicious Urban Vegan füdz that we ate in the room while watching the tail end of What Lies Beneath*:

Literally Henry turned on the TV and I saw a .0006 second glimpse of Michelle Pfeiffer on a staircase and I said, “is this What Lies Beneath??” As if this was a flick I watched religiously back in the day and not one (1) time when I rented it from Hollywood Video (probably).

I pulled the curtain shut so I live over on this side now. Henry can go to hell over there.

6:29pm: In Uber on why to Prudential Center. Posting this now but might be back!

11:59pm: On our way back to the hotel where I will proceed to cry my ugly face off because that was SO MUCH on my heart. SO MUCH.

Oct 102022
 

Cemeteries in October are my favorite places…

…even when I’m a walking obstacle while Henry is teaching Chooch how to drive :0

This past weekend wasn’t particularly extraordinary for any specific reason but it was just NICE. And sometimes NICE is more than we can ever hope for, right?

I’m off all week for my annual Hallocation – I took it earlier this year because we’re going to Newark on Thursday – Friday for the NCT127 concert (literally can’t type that without feeling weak in the knees) so I figured I’d just declare this my week of October lovin’.

I don’t really have much else planned aside from reading, going on long walks, watching some horror shows/movies. I thought about hitting up some friends with flexible schedules to get lunch/brunch but my haunted house fund is over here like “don’t feed yourself, feed me.”

Sigh.

Today, I went on two long-ass walks, read, watched an episode of Midnight Society, talked to squirrels, and took Chooch driving :/

Speaking of reading though, I’m like 90% done with Her Majesty’s Royal Coven and I am screaming. It is SO GOOD!! I checked it out of the library and then was like “why did I do that, I’m predisposed to hate books like this” (fantasy) but it is EVERYTHING I didn’t know I needed right now. Love it.

So on that note, I’mma peace out, curl up next to Drew, and get this book finished.

Oct 042022
 

Chooch informed me that today is Penelope and Drew’s 7th birthday! In case you were unaware, they are legit sisters from the same litter and we adopted them together in 2016 when they were several mths old. I do vaguely remember Sandy (who adopted their brother) telling me that their birthdate was October of 2015 but I am a terrible lady and forgot the actual day. Thank god for Chooch!

It’s kind of interesting because they usually just stay away from each other but today they were sitting on their tower at the same time and they’ve been “playing” together most of the evening almost like they’re celebrating?? By playing, I mean chasing and attacking each other though, so…

Anyway, I can’t believe they’re 7!! It seems like yesterday when we told Chooch we were taking him to his new foster home because we couldn’t afford to take care of him anymore but really we were taking him to Sandy’s friend’s parent’s house to choose a kitten to take home after living a year in a catless house after Marcy’s death and then we came home with two* which Henry said he was fully prepared for and had been bracing himself for it.

*(we actually only came home with Drew that night; I knew based on a photo that I also wanted Penelope but they couldn’t catch her that night so she was brought to our house several days later, long enough for Drew to think she had become the alpha lol.)

But yeah look how surly they look in that picture haha.

Sep 302022
 

You guys, one more day until the best, most superior month of all! It’s always October in my heart but I really can’t think of a time when I’m consistently as happy as I am from Octover 1 – October 31. Sigh. I will say it’s not AS GOOD as it was when Chooch was little and still dressing up and trick or treating, or when I was in high school and actually had friends who wanted to go to haunted houses. But, it continues to be wonderfully magnificent, just in new and different ways as I age.

Right now, I have a black cat blanket around me, Blair Witch Project on the TV behind me, getting stoked for when I log off work and go to a haunted hayride with Henry (and possibly Chooch if he feels like hanging out with his dumb parents). But in the meantime, let’s do some fiving! I thought maybe in preparation of haunted house season, we could have a jam sesh to five of my favorite horror movie theme songs?! Yeah let’s do it!

  1. Suspiria theme by Goblin

OBVIOUSLY.

2. Cry Little Sister – Lost Boys

This song truly is timeless. It’s just as epic now as it was the first time I watched this movie in 1987. Related but random: Chooch and I were at Mad Mex for dinner last month and the song from the infamous BATHTUB SCENE was playing there. I was like, CHOOCH LISTEN, and he couldn’t tell what it was at first but then it clicked for him and we bonded for .0003 seconds over The Lost Boys before he went back to complaining about his food and doing dumb shit on his phone. Anyway, this was a significant moment for me because when I was young, I was obsessed with that song and SO PISSED when I bought the soundtrack only to find that it wasn’t included! Cry Little Sister is still the best song though and let’s be real, the whole soundtrack could just be that song 12x in a row and a bitch would be happy. (Well, as long as Mummy Calls was on there as a bonus track.)

3. Dawn of the Dead theme

Sometimes I just put this one when I need to concentrate on something. It’s a mood.

4. Love Song for a Vampire – Bram Stoker’s Dracula

OK maybe not what you have in mind when you think of horror movie songs but I have always been ohhhb-sessed with this Annie Lennox Dracula classic. I used to listen to it on repeat in my bedroom and cry when I was in middle school.

5. Maypole Song – The Wicker Man

 I mean come on, this is fucking creepy and still to this day makes me ultra uncomfy.

Obviously the theme to Halloween has got to be my fave but everyone knows that jam.