Mar 202024
 

A bunch of us law firm lovers of Barb got together at DiBlasio’s (a certified Barb approved restauran) for a memorial dinner. I was even part of the “party planning committee” lol: Wendy was in charge of reservations/restaurant-related logistics, Jeannie handled the official email invite and kept track of RSVPs, I was on decoration duty, and Aaron…oversaw this I guess lol.

I made prayer cards since that apparently is my fall-back if I ever decide to leave the law firm. The nuns at the church where we had my aunt Sharon’s memorial service went ape shit over my DIY prayer cards and kept asking, “where did you have these made??” My…dining room? Lol.

Sue even took some extra prayer cards to give to some of Barb’s friends <3

Anyway, I made a regular version with like, Mary on it or something but then I made a Barb-version using this picture that Tyler took of her YEARS ago at work:

I was lowkey nervous that some people might find it inappropriate but they collectively proved me wrong!

The attendees were, in addition the Party Planning Committee: Sue, Rachel (who wanted to talk about college things since she had twins who are also waiting to hear back and I was like I AM SO STRESSED CAN WE NOT), Nate, Lucas, Ethan, Lauren, Amber and Tracey who I haven’t talked to in years because she left our dept for another dept years and years ago, so that was really nice and I forgot how effing funny she is.

Anyway, I was sitting with Tracey and all of the directors of our dept and totally felt like the kid who snuck over to the Grown Up Table at Christmas, lol.

But yeah, it was reallllly nice sharing Barb stories, reminiscing about the dept in general (I love hearing stories from the Pre-EK days too and there was plenty of that last night!), laughing uproariously a multitude of times (our table definitely had the most fun!), and eating good food at a place Barb loved.

And it was also nice to talk about my marriage plans for next week which actually relieved some stress, especially at the end of the night when everyone was hugging me (ugh but also aw) and telling me they were excited for me, that things would work out, to post lots on Instagram, etc. I have felt kind of lonely & insane during this not-wedding planning process because there’s a part of me that feels stupid talking about it, I know it’s dumb but I am so bothered by the fact that it has taken this many years and I’m kind of embarrassed? So anytime I get excited about something, I sort of just sit on it. But these last few weeks my friends at work (not work friends – just friends) have made me feel really special and seen. These people are like family to me, honestly and actually. But I am so sad and upset that Barb isn’t here for this. She was one of the biggest advocators of the “Get Erin Hitched” movement! It’s just that I have made so many amazing friendships through work and Barb was at the heart of it all. Barb was one of the people who interviewed me for that job! And she was the reason I stuck it out in the beginning when I wasn’t sure if I liked it, if anyone liked me, if I would ever fit in. There are layers of emotions and issues here that I still need to work through. Losing Barb was one of the worst things ever and the ensuing grief has proven to be more complex than I imagine.

In the parking lot, Sue returned some of the paintings I made for Barb over the years which were found during the house-cleaning process. It was bittersweet. I’m happy to have them back and to keep them in Barb’s honor but also just sad and depressed about it. It still doesn’t feel real?! Like, today I had the urge to text her and tell her some of the things we gossiped about last night and then, with my hand hovering over my phone, I said, “Oh. Right.” Grief is so weird.

Mar 162024
 

Chooch actually joined Henry and me at the cemetery today, but only because it was some Pokemon Go event and I guess that still exists?! So it was actually him that suggested we go for a walk which was wild but you better believe I took him up on it.

Here he is, about to walk past one of his Pokemon Go friends? Enemies? How does that work? I don’t know, but the cemetery was rife with mindless walkers today.

Anyway, I have had not a damn thing to “talk” about on her that isn’t completely negative, so please just enjoy some photos of a nice early spring day in March while I go back to panicking about our trip/mission/expedition/elopement whatever you want to call it.

It’s me, here I am.

This is one of my favorite sections of Homewood Cemetery because it gives me Wonderland vibes a little bit.

Meanwhile, Chooch was being super argumentative and snarky so I yelled I CAN’T BELIEVE I RAISED SOMEONE SO BITCHY AND SURLY and Chooch goes REALLY? I CAN.

Earlier in the day, I did a trial run to make sure I can actually walk in the CHILD-SIZED boots I got on clearance at Target because I thought they would look cute with my not-wedding dress, and they are fine, thankfully!

This just feels so fake, lol.

Oh well, bye.

Mar 092024
 

Checking in from the tail end of the weekend! It’s been an OK one but the weather was so shitty. It rained ALL DAY yesterday but I was still able to take a few walks because I’m a psycho, and then Henry and I did some shopping for our trip which he keeps referring to as “vacation” and I correct him every time because this is in no way a “vacation,” this is a “MISSION.”

I can’t even put into words about how stressed I am about this. “Oh, let’s elope, it will be less stressful than planning a wedding.” Remember when you said that, Erin? Remember?

We leave in less than two weeks. I’m freaking out, man.

I did get one thing off of my to-do list that has been weighing on me: some of us arranged to have a memorial dinner for Barb, for past and present law firm people to come and share stories and laughs in Barb’s honor. Jeannie assigned herself the task of sending out the email and keeping track of the RSVPs, Wendy was in charge of locking down the reservations, Aaron is the….token bro? And I assigned myself the task of “decorations,” if you will. I knew that I wanted to make prayer cards since there wasn’t an actual funeral service or visitation, and I thought I’d also make a photo board to display photos of Barb around the office. But then in secret I thought, “What if I try to paint a portrait of Barb?” I haven’t painted in years. Truthfully, I never thought I would again. And the notion of “coming out of retirement” had been weighing heavily on me for weeks but I FINALLY pulled out the paints yesterday and committed to at least TRYING.

It was pretty gnarly at first. I asked Chooch if he knew who it was supposed to be and he said, “Barb, right?” So that was good, but then I stupidly asked, “Does it look bad though?” and he goes, “I mean I thought that was just your style…?”

LOL, bro.

Anyway, I worked on it some more today and I think I’m OK with how it turned out! The dinner is next week so to be continued…

The weather today wasn’t any better, just a different form of “wet.”

“I didn’t know it was supposed to snow today!” I cried, and Henry was like, “It was all over the weather forecast, so…”

Not the one on my phone! It just had the squiggle lines which I think means “WIND.” I don’t know.

We thought there was supposed to be a long enough reprieve to run out for some Yinz coffee and take a cem stroll, but SURPRISE! SNOW SQUALL!

I got this coat on major end of the season sale from Dolls Kill (it’s Delia*s brand!!) and didn’t think I’d have a chance to wear it this year but, Pittsburgh weather yo.

This is my “Drink Yinz Coffee” ad, before the snow.

And then, the snow.

Mausoleum Selfie.

This dick.

Then we came home and I watched some more One Day episodes which I have been pleasantly surprised how much I like it.

And now it’s almost time to put another weekend to bed and start a new work week. Hamster Wheel City. :/

 

 

Mar 082024
 

Chooch and Henry were just in the kitchen half-arguing about something probably when Chooch stormed out and yelled, “WHY DO YOU DO THAT?! You just evacuated the whole kitchen!” And then to me he goes, “We were mid-conversation and he just shoved one of those crackers in his mouth while talking!” Here is the part where Chooch took the liberty to imitate Henry talking with his mouth full before retreated back to his lair.

Chooch cannot be in the same room while Henry chews. To be honest, it’s hard for me as well.

I’m going to miss these interactions when he’s in college, savor every moment, etc.

In other news I have been so stressed that I worry I’m going to crack my teeth so this was a nice, much-needed laugh, thank you Strained Relationship Between Chooch & Henry.

I don’t really have anything else to say. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not!

Mar 052024
 

Because doofus Henry made a terrible decision in the 90s, he needs a certified copy of his divorce decree thing in order for us to get married. We knew this months ago when we first started researching “can foreigners get married in South Korea” and I asked, “you have that, right?” It’s one of the things we need to have with us at the US Embassy.

“Yeah it’s here somewhere,” he said, buffeting “somewhere” in a cough.

He was oh-so-sure it was in the attic closet, that he saw it last year when we were cleaning the room out pre-Chooch’s lounge but then put off looking for it until THIS PAST WEEKEND.

Hi, we leave for Korea on March 22nd let’s wait a few more weeks, why don’t we. Jesus Christ.

And guess what? As expected, he couldn’t find it. So he figured he would just have to go through the county and get a new one.

Except that he couldn’t find it that way either.

“I mean, you did get divorced, right? She married someone else, so I hope the divorce was legit?!” I asked.

Apparently yesterday he was trawling my blog looking for when he got divorced because he couldn’t remember the date? (Long Time Readers may remember that this was the thorn in my side for the first half of our relationship – he and Thing just being “legally separated” and not legit divorced, which USED to be the reason why we were never married, which then just turned into complacency I guess, wow our love story is really one for the ages.)

“Omg is that why my stats were so high yesterday?” I cried. Ugh, I was so excited thinking people were actually visiting this wasteland.

“Yeah, and let me tell you, that was fun seeing how much you torture me on your blog,” he huffed. “I should get hazard pay.”

OK calm down, sweaty betty.

Anyway, I asked him if he found out the date or year from my blog and he said no, to which I said, “Yeah no shit – I never wrote about it because I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to write about ‘her’ remember?” Even though she dragged my name through the mud every fucking chance she got. (My favorite is still that I was some internet dominatrix and my blog was just one big sex channel.)

God!

So today, he called me like a real American hero and excitedly panted that he found where it was filed. “I thought to myself, ‘what would she have done’ so I googled HOW TO GET THE CHEAPEST DIVORCE IN PENNSYLVANIA.” Apparently, some county three hours away came up, so he called and bam, they have it. So now he’s out getting a money order and a priority envelope so that he can send them $10 and get this shit sent to him ASAP.

I guess he thought I was going to swoon at the manly-man-man way he handled this but instead I said, “Wow, terrific, too bad you didn’t do this back in DECEMBER when I first started ‘nagging’ you about it. Wait a little longer next time, jackass.”

“In case you were wondering, it was 2011 when I got divorced,” Henry said, and I fake-snapped my fingers. “That’s right! I knew I was sitting in this one particular desk at work when it happened, but it was a desk that I sat in on two separate seat-change rotations so I couldn’t remember which time.”

Henry just stared at me. “Wow, if it’s not where you were sitting at work, it’s what song was playing,” he said, clearly just jealous at my personally-tailored mnemonic devices.

I’m still not fully convinced that this is going to happen, but I guess only time will tell. There’s still the chance that I’ll come home from Korea married to someone else, lol.

Feb 282024
 

Tonight drained me – it was chaotic, ridiculous, careless, surprising, ended with a studio audience chorus of “awwww.” It had some night walking in it too so here’s Ten’s Nightwalker and now I’m going to bed in hopes that tomorrow is boring.

Feb 212024
 

A few months ago, someone asked the Pittsburgh subreddit to give them some good places around the city to use as family portrait locales. Of course you got all the standard “Mt Washington!” and “Randyland!” sincere answers.

But then some asshole (and I do mean that in the best way, like, totally my kind of asshole) had to go and say, “The Fruitopia machine next to the fire station in Brookline.”

You guys, the way this made me do the laughing version of the Slow Clap. Of course I walk past this fucking machine every single day too so now I look at it in a whole new light now.

Clearly I need to do a photo shoot there sometime early in the morning when there is less idiot foot traffic and Mike the Greek isn’t loitering on the bench next to it, with his stack of newspapers.

Feb 162024
 

Another boring-ass week of February. Let’s see if I can scrounge up five things from my extremely uneventful life.

1. RetroWaving from Pgh

“Hey Erin, what are you listening to when you’re not kpopping?” asks no one.

Well, No One! I’m so glad you asked because for the last year or two, my runner-up has been retrowave. It’s better than the next best thing to 80s synth because it sounds like it *is* 80s synth, but it fell through the cracks. It is reminiscent of the music that would pad the soundtracks of 80s movies like Better Off Dead, etc. – it sounds like it COULD have been played on the radio yet it never was and you never heard of it ever again.

That’s retrowave. It triggers memories of summer pool parties and seeing your crush at the roller rink on a Friday night, yet these songs didn’t exist back then. And this is my current favorite one, which has made me spontaneously cry on numerous occasions.

2. Baby Carat’s First SVT Album

Henry came home from work in Valentine’s Day with a hot pink gift bag full of Kpop! My cat Drew and I have recently become huge Carats after years of just liking them on the fringe and Henry is along for the ride. I didn’t even ask for this, or the NCT127 winter single! #blessed

I pulled my bias Jaehyun from the NCT album (on his birthday, no less!) and I got S.Coups, Jun, and DK in the Seventeen unboxing. I have joint SVT biases right now – Seungkwan and Jeonghan (remember this, Janna!!) – but there is so much to love about all of the 13 members so a Carat really can’t be disappointed. (As Drew paws away a tear triggered not pulling her bias The8, lol.)

Anyway, this song can be my reciprocal Valentine gift to Henry, I guess.

3. PITTSBURGH PAM?

YOU GUYS OMG. Pam from our Coaster Crew trip called me yesterday after work and said that she is thinking of moving to Pittsburgh and asked if I know any realtors!! OH BOY, DO I! I happily gave her my brother’s contact info and he is so hyped to help her look for a house here! I’m also very smug about this because after the Coaster Crew portion of our vacation ended in August and I was in my “I MISS PAM” feels, Chooch sniped, “You know she’s never think about you again, right?”

In your FACE, Chooch.

4. Henry Being Annoying

 He’s been on a kick using these dumb emoji things and Chooch and I hate it. Tell him to stop.

5. It’s paczki time in Brookline

Yo I took this picture at one of the bakeries in Brookline Blvd back when I was into using toy cameras in 2008, wow I was so cool, what a hipster photog.

Anyway, it’s paczki season, bigly. Every five years or so I get the urge (I hate the word hankering btw) to have one but I’m always so underwhelmed. Like, it just tastes like a jelly donut to me? I saw a reddit subthread recently where the overwhelming majority said that Party Cake was the reigning champs of paczki. Well guys if that is the case, then maybe I’m just not the targeted audience for paczki because that is where I have gotten all my past paczki.

Thoughts? If you are local to Pittsburgh, do you like paczki and where do you get it?

If you are not local, is this a thing where you live too?

Could I Google “paczki regions”? Sure probably. But am I trying to bait people to comment? Absolutely.

*****

Well, that’s all I got. I’m so bored!! It’s snowing, I’m doing an intermittent fast so I can’t distract myself with snacks, and I’m mindlessly watching travel vlogs on YouTube. What a Friday.

Feb 152024
 

I was reunited with these memories the other day when I was scouring my blog for vintage Barb stories and wanted to repost because I miss when Chooch was this age (10 or something who knows ask his mother) and October is always so nostalgic in general (and also my brain is on hiatus so I have nothing new to say but maybe tomorrow I will depending on how many cells regenerate during slumber.
*******

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This past weekend was one of those weekends where nothing super major happened, but it was just so pleasant and fulfilling that I want to remember it forever. So walk with me, and I’ll tell you all about it. If you feel a pain in your leg, that’s just me kicking you because you fell asleep.

FIRST, we went to lunch at the Interchange with my mom and brother Ryan. I was really excited because this was the first fall day that was chilly enough to have Henry and Chooch running for their flannels and beanies, and you guys — that’s my favorite version of them! We walked out of the house and I had a strong urge to go on a hayride or stir a cauldron of white privileged male blood under a full moon. TAKE ME, AUTUMNAL EQUINOX.

Anyway, lunch was great! I quit going over to my grandparents’ house near the end of August because I admittedly couldn’t handle it anymore (I was literally losing hair over it, no joke), so I’m glad that I still get to see my mom outside of that situation. And my brother Ryan! I have no idea why we don’t hang out more often, but every time I see him, I’m reminded of how awesome he is. We reminisced about all the haunted houses we went to as kids, and the time I took him and some of his friends to the USS Nightmare when I was 19 and they were all jerky middle schoolers. While we were in line, one of them pulled out a laser pointer and started shining it into the windows of the Marriott we were standing next to, and then some hotel guest picked up his LAMP and started shining it back at us.

“I guess you had to be there,” I said to Henry, who rolled his eyes as usual.

And then my vegetarian kid (holding strong since July with zero pressure applied from me, I swear!) ordered the vegetarian burger which was basically just a portabello mushroom, and told the waitress, “But I don’t want the onions, or the lettuce, or the tomatoes…..or the mushroom.”

“So, you want a bun, basically,” I sighed and told him to pick something else.

“Then I’ll have the veggie hoagie, but I don’t want….” and before he could finish un-ordering every single vegetable that came on it, I interjected and said, “JUST GET THE GRILLED CHEESE.”

So he got the grilled cheese.

Over lunch, I was telling Ryan and Val about how Chooch called Henry from the gifted school because he needed to know where Henry’s ancestors are from because they were doing a project in his multi-cultural elective.

“So Henry told him that he had ancestors from Serbia, but Chooch confused it with Siberia,” I said and everyone laughed except for Henry, who sighed, “Yeah, except that my ancestors are Syrian, not Serbian, so you’re both wrong.”

And then we laughed even harder because LOLOLOL Chooch and I are so ignorant when it comes to Henry.

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Being ignorant.

The rest of the afternoon was, in all honesty, spent listening to the new Dance Gavin Dance record because when I obsess, I obsess HARD.

Later that evening, Lisa picked me up and took me to her friends’ house in Wilkinsburg for their annual Beerstravaganza, which is kind of similar to my pie party, but everyone brings a six-pack or growler of their favorite beer to share and it’s, you know, considerably more drunken. When we got there, Lisa had a moment of panic because she had a whole box of 12 beers and only wanted to bring in the required 6 bottles, but then she was going to look dumb carrying in a half box and OMG what was she going to do. I just stood there, looking at my phone, twirling my hair, spinning in circles like I do, when it occurred to me that she was having some type of crisis, so I casually suggested that she just take out six bottles and replace it with the six bottles I was holding, and then it would just be like, “Oh look, these girls combined their beers into one box of 12. Nothing to see here.”

Lisa kept going on and on about how brilliant I am (le duh) and how she would be able to use my now-empty beer carrier thingie to put her extra 6 beers in so that they wouldn’t be rolling all around the back of her car, and don’t you worry, I took this moment to bask in my ingenuity.

The reality of the situation is that no one would have even noticed if she rolled us with a half-empty box because no one was standing over  by the kiddie pools of beer. And also, probably because it wasn’t that big of a deal!

Nevertheless, always happy to be part of the solution!

That was incredibly boring. I GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE, HENRY.

(Henry is everyone. Everyone is Henry.)

I usually get super nervous when I go to a party (which isn’t often because I usually just say no; see: the part about me getting super nervous), but Lisa is like my social crutch. I’m not sure what it is, but anytime I go anywhere with Lisa, the old Erin comes back out. The Erin who hasn’t spent the last 15 years being stifled and put in a corner. So when we were sitting around the bonfire and Lisa said, “I have to go to the bathroom, do you want to come in the house with me?” I was like, “Nah, I’m good right here.

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And that’s how I made friends with a girl named Jen (we’re having lunch on Tuesday!) and listened to Rob tell a story about peeing on OJ Simpson when he was a baby!

And I also imprinted on a guy wearing a Civil War jacket and apparently developed a taste for “sour” beers. I DRANK FOUR DIFFERENT BEERS, YOU GUYS! This is monumental. I’m not a beer-person. That’s actually how I was introducing myself to people: “Hi I’m Erin. I’m learning to like beer.” And everyone was super nice to me about it! #babysteps

Lisa came back out at one point and started to say something to me, but I was all, “Shh, I’m trying to listen to Rob’s story” and she was all, “…the fuck is Rob?”

It was a really great night and I’m glad that I went even though I’m unsure of beer and people. Thanks, Lisa!

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SUNDAY

After nearly a year, Chooch’s piano lessons resumed Sunday morning! His instructor, Cheryl, had temporarily moved to Asheville, NC (SC?) because she enrolled in some massage therapy program. We reallllly missed her and I was actually kind of worried that she was going to end up not coming back and we have to scour the city for a new instructor, and you all know how picky Chooch is. But yay, Cheryl’s back! She lives in Lawrenceville now, so after we dropped Chooch off, Henry and I killed time by strolling along Butler Street, which is his least favorite street in all of the land because hipsters.

Which is why it was so hilarious to me when he tripped TWICE on our walk, the second was so bad that he thought he broke his toe. Oh, god, how I laughed. That’s what happens when you walk with your nose all up in your phone, dumbass!

But yeah, he tripped in front of a whole gaggle of hipsters and they probably all talked about it later at their Dissecting Tame Impala Lyrics Over Cold Brew club.

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Pre-tripping.

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#thefrenchdudes

This was inexplicably stapled to a telephone pole. I’m sure there’s a reason but who cares. IT’S A GREAT READ.

After an hour of leisurely strolling, we went back to Cheryl’s and I was prepared for her to say, “Hey, I could totally tell that this kid hasn’t plugged in his keyboard since his last lesson with me in 2015” because he totally hasn’t, that lazy bastard. But because it’s CHOOCH, GOLDEN CHOOCH, she was all, “Somehow, I think he’s gotten even better!?” and proceeded to praise his “natural ability” while Chooch stood smugly at her side.

Ugh, I’m so jealous of my own kid.

But seeing Cheryl again was a huge upside to the weekend!

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After lessons, we went to lunch at the Abbey, which is across from the Allegheny Cemetery and used to be a funeral home, so basically, a sanctuary for Erin R. Kelly.

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My favorite part though wasn’t even the food. We had just walked inside and the hostess asked Henry how many he had in his party. Right when he said three—and I swear this wasn’t planned—Chooch and I casually popped out from behind him.

The hostess started cracking up.

“Oh my god, I don’t know how you guys did that, but it was awesome!”

I’ll tell you how: it’s because Chooch and I are like Henry’s lemmings. We walk so close behind him that if he stops abruptly, we cause a complete human pile-up, like a G-rated Human Centipede. This is why he hates grocery shopping with us because anytime he turns around, he runs right into us and then loses his mind over it.

I can only imagine how circus-y it must have looked from the hostess’s vantage. MAYBE THIS SHOULD BE OUR NEW SIGNATURE ENTRANCE. Chooch and I can wear sequined gloves and pop out from behind Henry with jazz hands and deranged clown-smiles.

I’m into this.

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We all got the brunch buffet (actually, Henry assumed this was what I wanted and ordered it for me when I wasn’t paying attention, but whatever). It was fine. I’m not a huge fan of buffets to begin with but the ambiance of the Abbey and the fact that the hostess saw us for the bright, shining stars that we are was enough to keep me from cyber-bullying them on social media.

Henry and I took longer at the buffet than Chooch did (because I require so much assistance), and when we rejoined him at the table, he was lazily sipping on OJ that he ordered on his own because he doesn’t need parents, and I don’t know why, but this image made me lose it. He just shrugged and took another sip.

Interestingly, one of the items on the buffet was vegetarian sausage gravy and biscuits which was amazing timing because at the bonfire the night before, they had real sausage gravy and biscuits which I could not partake in obviously so I just ate biscuits instead while wishing there was meatless gravy.

(OMG I forgot to mention that someone had made some BOMB PUMPKIN PIE OMG TAKE ME BACK.

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)

(I had to get Lisa to cut me a slice though, because knives.)

During my second and final trip to the buffet (these things are huge wastes of money for me),  Andy Gibb’s “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” was playing overhead. Behind me, a man said (to his friend, not to me, shockingly), “I love this song, but I don’t know who sings it.”

Before Henry had a chance to clamp down on my arm, I whipped my head around and yelled, “Andy Gibb!” in such a way that it sounded like I was in a race to be the first say it.

Which, I was.

His friend laughed, and said, “Yep, it is” and then Henry stuffed me back under his thumb. He hates it so much when I butt into the conversations of strangers with ALL OF THE ANSWERS.

I can’t help it. If people are talking about music, my dog-ears activate.
LATER THAT AFTERNOON:

We had just returned from a disappointing visit to Dave’s Music Mine, who did not have the new Balance and Composure on vinyl. I was standing around idly in the driveway while Henry cleaned out the car and as I went to walk away, he tried to give me some garbage to take with me.

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“Take that with you!” he yelled as I let it fall to the ground.

“Nope!” I yelled back as I pranced toward the house. (Really, I pranced just to accentuate the fact that I’m too much of a princess to TAKE GARBAGE* INTO THE HOUSE.)

“TAKE IT WITH YOU!” he cried again.

“I don’t want to!” I yelled back, and then I noticed a guy walking down the sidewalk, laughing at us. You’re welcome for the free show, I guess.

*(Actually, it was the sign I made for the pie party — I didn’t want to carry that shit!)

The end. Classic sign-off. Killing this blog game.

Feb 092024
 

Another month-long work week has come to an end! For this installment of Friday Five, let’s give our eyebulps (that’s how my cats say it) a rest, put a moratorium on the excessive words, and just look at five pictures from my phone with brief captions I guess.

See Chooch, on the phone with the bank after having to cancel his debit card for the third time since December. It was very entertaining for me because I have decided that I just don’t care.

Henry made “salmon” from tofu and it was delectable!


Cats suddenly realizing that they can burrow under the blanket on the church pew and acting super weird about it afterward.


The unseasonably balmy weather has allowed the cats to hang out in their favorite room of the house – the back porch!

Trudy being a saucy dish.

***

That’s all for me. Back to watching travel vlogs on YouTube because I have no attention span for anything more in depth.

Jan 312024
 

Ok after I told the story of Idiot Son and his slippery debit card that resides in his buttery wallet, I definitely realized that I’m not one to talk because I am forever misplacing my wallet. To be fair it’s usually in my purse but WHICH purse is the question because I have soooo many and swap them out constantly! In fact, I was almost late go breakfast on Saturday bc I couldn’t find it in ANY of my purses but then Henry found it in one of my also many winter jackets and I yelled “Oh yeah! From when Chooch and I walked to the cafe on Monday” which is sad because now you know that I only left the house once that week lol ugh.  Sometimes I am flat out losing it but, sharing Chooch’s bizarre luck, always finding it when I actually leave it somewhere  LIKE THE PALACE OF GOLD – a Hare Krishna compound in West Virginia- they actually mailed it back to me and didn’t even try to brainwash me into moving there!

(I might have considered.)

Anyway, I recently reread this one blog post from March 2018 because I’m a loser who reads her own blog ok? It was a Friday Five: Work Edition and one of the stories was about my missing wallet! Here let’s read it together.
*****
THE LOST WALLET SAGA

I was having a pretty lowkey Friday morning when suddenly, I was nearly to work and realized that I didn’t have my work badge. So, already that’s a sucky feeling because it means you have to go to the security desk, hope they believe you when you say that you really are an employee and not just a recently-canned disgruntled employee back for revenge. But then you’re like, trapped within your department all day too, while trying to remember when you last saw it and if you should email Facilities now or later to report it lost and then be forced to pay for a new one, UGH.

But there was still hope that it was on my desk. I’ve done that many times, left my dumb badge-thing on my desk. But it wasn’t there!

So I went to the kitchen because I was on late shift the night before and I could vividly remember setting it on the table while I was washing my BIGBANG cup. BUT IT WAS NOT THERE.

Now panic was definitely setting in and here’s why: EVERYTHING IS IN THAT BADGE HOLDER. So much of my life is in there that I refer to it as my wallet but it’s not even meant to be a wallet, it’s a Pusheen ID holder and I shove all of my credit cards, my drivers license, my trolley ConnectCard….all of the shit I need everyday, in other words. And this was literally ONE DAY after I swore that I had to go back to using a real wallet after struggling to get my license out of it.

Well, good job Erin because now you’re going to have to get brand new cards to put in the wallet, I sadly thought to myself.

Todd works early on Friday so he was lucky to be there to watch my panic go from 0 to 60. And then Glenn arrived right when I was on a cleaning person-blaming tangent.

I couldn’t focus on anything. My ears were ringing and my face was flushed. Amber walked by and I blurted out that I lost my wallet.

“Oh, I’m sorry, that sucks!” she said.

“It’s OK,” I sighed, and then before she made it around the corner, I turned and shouted, “IT’S NOT OK!”

Cheryl told me to call Reception and see if anyone had turned it in. I was like “FUCK A PHONE CALL” and emailed instead, which got really fun when I reached the point of my email where I had to describe my wallet.

“It’s purple, soft, and shaped like a cat.”

It took AN HOUR for reception to email me back and say, “NO SORRY NOT YET.”

James the mailroom guy came around for the first mail delivery of the day. Before he even had a chance to say hello, I cut him off. “WHAT, DO YOU HAVE MY WALLET?”

“…..no?” he answered nervously. So then I had to fill him in and Glenn and Todd were behind me, making the same eyes at James that elderly patients probably made at Jack Kevorkian.

“Did you check your desk?” he asked, and I was like “Yes duh” even though I only checked one drawer, twice. I just knew it wasn’t in my desk, OK?

OMG why was this happening two weeks before we leave for Korea? Another thing to stress about!

Lori came over to chat about nothing in particular. I let her finish while nervously squirming in my seat, and then I shouted, “I LOST MY WALLET.”

I heard Glenn sigh behind me, but I still launched back into the same story, verbatim.

“And I thought maybe I left it on the table in the kitchen…”

Then I had a thought!

Henry drove me to work that morning. When we were walking out of the house, I noticed that Chooch left his backpack! Luckily his school is right up the street so I told Henry I’d just jump out and run it in. Except that Henry wouldn’t come to a complete stop and I practically had to drop and roll out of the car, and in doing so, I forgot that my purse was on my lap and it fell into the middle of the street! MAYBE MY WALLET FELL OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF PIONEER?!

THAT WOULD BE MY LUCK!

I started thinking about all of the times I found and returned things lost by others: someone’s debit card at an ATM, a wallet on the sidewalk which was luckily right outside the person’s house so I didn’t have to go far, Ross’s Blackberry (technically that was Henry, so me by extension), Jeannie’s work ID!! Maybe I had collected enough Karma for someone else to return my wallet to me!?

Later that morning, Henry had enough of my crazy lady texts, so he drove home on his break and TEXTED ME A PICTURE OF MY WALLET! It was at home that whole time! I had to immediately send an email to everyone in our department who suffered through my sob story and Glenn mumbled, “When’s the movie coming out?”

Then James came down later and I yelled over to him that I found it and he said he had said a prayer for it! MY WALLET IS SO LOVED. Wendy was walking by during this exchange and looked confused, and I realized that she didn’t know about my lost-not-lost wallet so now I had a reason to tell the story again! Todd and Glenn put their earbuds in.

Lauren was working late shift from home that day so she missed this whole thing. Luckily for her, she ended up having to come into the office that afternoon so I got to fill her in. She was like, “Wow. I’m sorry I missed that.”

Whatever. YOU HAD TO BE THERE.

Jan 302024
 

 

Over the years, I have written numerous tributes to my most favorite Barb to ever Barb. From birthdays to surgery recovery thoughts to work farewells, you can find so many “best of Barb” lists and fun facts and shout outs and, well, barbs.

But I wasn’t, am not, and will never be prepared to write one last tribute. So, we’ll keep this one short because to be honest, it’s hard to see the screen when your eyes are being blurred by hot AF tears.  Just know that this woman was more than just my “work mom,” or my “office bff.” No, our relationship transcended the confines of the office. She WAS my mom in all of the most important senses of the word. She was one of my best friends – not just at work, but in life. She was my role model, my confidante, the person who could make me laugh so hard that I would have to run to the bathroom at work and shut myself into a stall so people wouldn’t see me basically ugly-crying from the laughs.

It’s crazy to think that for the first nearly-two years I worked with her, our shifts only overlapped by 90 minutes, yet we managed to form a solid friendship right off the bat. I’m not exaggerating. I felt so immediately at ease with her that I very quickly put down my walls. She was the first person I shared my blog with at work because our senses of humor were so aligned that I knew it would be OK.

There were days when she would stay past her quitting time because I was going through it and needed someone to talk to. When I say that I wouldn’t have lasted a month at the law firm if not for her, I’m not joking. She was the reason I kept going in every day, took it seriously, and now it’s nearly 14 years later and I am still here, Jabbering people like, “Remember that one time Barb said…” what seems like every day, and teaching all the post-Barb people about her magical, larger-than-life presence.

Even my non-work friends know and love Barb. Henry’s mom asks about her every time I see her. She came to all of Chooch’s birthday parties, all of my birthday parties/dinners (even when they were at the roller rink!!!), Marcy’s memorial dinner, our Christmas parties, game nights, pie parties. All of my friends considered her a friend. Barb was famous in this circle.

I just hope that she knew how loved she is and always be, and that she is at peace. And, selfishly, I hope that one day I can be a Barb Riley to someone.

Bonus picture of Chooch saying, “Ghis wasn’t on my list!” after opening a present from his frenemy Barb, and then getting pissed off when he discovered that she also gave me A present at his birthday party. Man, I loved their fake feud.

Jan 272024
 

I didn’t realize it was 127 Day until just a few minutes ago thanks to Instagram but coincidentally I wore one of my NCT127 shirts to breakfast with Wendy and Jeannie this morning!

NCT127 is currently doing various Asian concerts so they haven’t been putting out new content (honestly they should probably take a break! Maybe go on a real vacation where there is no camera crew or managers, Jesus let these boys rest), so I miss them in a way that only Kpop stans could understand lol.

Anyway, I love these guys and as usual they are brightening an otherwise gloomy and depressing day.