Nov 252023

I am having a pretty good day and I hope you are too. (Look at me being positive and nice!) The past week was pretty good too aside from some weird work anxieties – nothing major but I think I am just very on edge lately since OMG CHANGES IN MY LIFE. I just really don’t adjust to change all that well. The best way I can describe the last month-and-a-half is by comparing it to the time middle school was on vacation with my grandparents. I think we were gone for nearly 3 weeks, just long enough for me to really experience homesickness. I was happy to come home to my dogs (mm probably not the rest of my family though LOL savage) and the familiarity of my bedroom. EXCEPT THAT MY MOTHER CHOSE TO REARRANGE MY ROOM WHILE I WAS GONE.

Kevin, excuse me but do you know how disorienting that is??

I think that’s similar to how I have been feeling lately. To be honest, I don’t think I really got back into the groove since we came back from vacation. That was a long time ago at this point. I just feel so uncomfortable every day? Nothing feels right? And then the new neighbor situation has really fucked me up and I can’t explain why. Yes, it’s been sort of stressful, but I think it’s more of the fact that my routine was bulldozed for weeks and I just can’t get back into it. I’m trying to start up my exercise routine again because that was totally ruined and my diet was fucked, all of this PLUS the stress causing me to gain weight and you know the underlying theme of my life is WEIGHT OBSESSION / FOOD PHOBIA etc. so god bless my neighbors for sending over plates of delicious food and homemade bread, but I know associate them as a whole unit with WEIGHT GAIN and I am to the point where I am almost hiding from them and that’s so fucked up. I am fucked up. Do I need therapy, you think? Here are these people just trying to be nice neighbors by feeding us and I’m over here developing an aversity to them because I’m fucking neurotic. I hate myself.

Anyway, all of that aside, some nice things happened over the past week to get me out of the house and talking to people aside from online chatting with my work friends (not knocking that AT ALL but sometimes I need some IRL conversing).

I had brunch plans last Saturday with my friend Lindsay and I was reallllly looking forward to it. It’s only our second time hanging out but, at least on my end, it feels like she is an old friend (I mean, she *is* Internet-wise!) and the nerves are not there at all, which I really appreciate. Henry drove me though because Chooch had his gaming class at Pitt right before that and it was convenient for us to drop him off together so that we could then go to Home Depot and pick up paint for our current project. There is this one person I used to follow in IG who would drop little bread crumbs about her latest project and then say I CAN’T WAIT TO SHOW YOU WHAT IT IS and half the time she never would. I will not be like and just tell you that we (LOL *WE*) are redoing the twin to the current beverage buffet we have and we are doing it in a garish clown theme. No big secret to reveal later, unless you want me to assign it a gender and have a dramatic announcement when it’s done.

OK so the whole point in me telling you this is because we had the best cashier ever, this super personable older black woman who first initiated conversation by saying that she liked my hamburger purse and then she started asking me questions about it like is it wagyu I don’t fucking know and I was like, “Oh, I just bought it because I thought it was funny since I’m a vegetarian” and she was like, “Oh ok. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? What are you cooking?”

I laughed, like a really hard staccato HA! and said, “Nothing!” She looked at me like I was FUCKING CRAZY. “Trust me, no one wants me cooking!”

Henry was off to the side making grunts of agreeance. Then he said he does all the cooking and she was like, “WHY YOU DON’T YOU TEACH HER??”

“Oh trust me, we’ve been together over 20 years. There is no teaching her.” And I added, “It’s true. He has tried and I get so distracted and start looking up at the ceiling.”

She was dying. Then I told her about the time I tried to make Chooch pierogies and didn’t realize that I had melted the spatula on it until I saw him about to shove a forkful of pierogi and spatula tendril into his mouth.

We had actually already finished checking out and were still standing there talking about this and it was one of the rare times lately where the small talk felt so real and natural?? It reminded me of how I used to be before the world and texting and the Internet ruined my knack for verbal communication. I forgot that I used to be really good at it and would have good chats with people everywhere I went! I kind of feel inspired to do that again??

Then it was time for brunch with Lindsay at Scratch!! First of all, it was so awesome to see her again and eat what were quite possibly the best donuts I’ve had in Pittsburgh? My friend Wendi was raving about them to me, and I can confirm that they were worth the hype!

The avocado toast was also totally filling and also beautiful – look at it up there! I can be kind of bratty about avocado toast because trends also annoy me but sometimes a good avocado toast can be so satisfying.

Then one of the waiters interrupted us to tell Lindsay that she has the best laugh and I totally second that! But then it was kind of awkward because I wasn’t sure if he was going to ask to join us….? He just sort of lingered there and then eventually offered to take our order because our original server was busy with a large party, but honestly, I kind of felt like he was he interested in Lindsay and then lost his nerve and tried to play it off by taking our order?! LINDSAY IF YOU’RE READING THIS, DID YOU GET THAT VIBE FROM HIM?

We overstayed our 90 minute welcome window and were asked (politely!) to leave, lol. I mean, the host did offer to move us to the bar area, to be fair! I can’t believe how fast that 90 minutes flew by though! It was so fun to catch up, complain about Pgh’s food scene (eff you, Oak Hill Post!!), and tell her the Coaster Crew trip deep cuts.

I totally forgot to ask someone to take our picture!

My Coaster Crew friend Pam is in town this weekend for an event at Kennywood (it’s being held by a different coaster club) but she made time to see me after she got into town yesterday! We met at Yinz Coffee (owned by the former owner of Crazy Mocha which was the ONLY cafe in Pgh that had a good chai latte and I’m happy to report that Yinz Coffee uses the same recipe thank god) and had a wonderful catch-up sesh! Kind of surreal seeing her here in Pgh and not out in the wild of some Scandinavian amusement park. #tears

Henry came in toward the end and Pam was like, “IT’S HENRY!” Ugh, Henry! Henry! Henry! Henry barely even talked to anyone on that trip and I guarantee he’s still the one people would remember the most!

That was really fun, and it made me want to have a reunion with everyone from that trip so I posted on Instagram that we should have a Phantom’s Revenge marathon party next year and then everyone can stay at my house and Jean (!!!) commented and said, “Let’s do it!” and Henry was like, “DO THEY KNOW HOW SMALL OUR HOUSE IS?!?!” But if we wait until Chooch goes to college, we’ll technically have two spare rooms to fill with beds and sleeping bags?!

Or we could be grown-ups and buy a house.

I was really thinking a lot last night about our Coaster Crew friends and it made me wonder if any of them were at the Coastin’ By the Ocean event we did in 2022 – it was technically an event held by Morey’s Piers but you had to be a card-carrying member of a coaster group to be able to register, so we were able to do it as Coaster Crew members. Of course, we had never done a Coaster Crew event before that so we had no idea if anyone from that group was there.

I looked up the group picture and literally SCREAMED:

FREAKING DAWN AND ROBERT, TWO OF OUR FAVORITE PEOPLE WHO WE ALSO RAN INTO IN FINLAND?? (Spoiler – I haven’t written about that yet, oh well!) And they were RIGHT IN FRONT OF US? I am shook. Honestly, the world is so small sometimes. It’s humbling.

Today, Chooch and I met Janna, her sister Julie and bro-in-law Marcus and their son August at Eat n Park so that they could talk to Chooch about his college plans, tell him about their experience at CMU, answer questions for him, etc. It was really informative and interesting even for me, the big stoop at the table. It also occurred to me on the drive there* that I don’t think I have seen Julie since high school??

*(You’ll be shocked to know that I actually drove Chooch and myself there and here’s why I did: I knew I would be able to park there; if I am going somewhere with street parking, Henry better drop what he’s doing because I will have an anxiety attack before I even grab my purse, requiring him to drive me and drop me off like I’m fucking Miss Daisy or a 4-year-old going to preschool.)

Anyway, I really really really appreciate that Julie and Marcus took time out from their holiday visit to meet with Chooch and I don’t know how he’s feeling about it because he never tells me this shit, but I know that I for one felt a bit better and less stressed about it by the time we left.

The college process in general I think (OK I  know) is another reason why this fall has felt so alien to me. Most nights, I lie in bed with such anxiety, that I can feel my blood rushing even in my gums. Like a sizzle/tingle along my teeth. I know, I know, “this too shall pass,” but I am having such a hard time calming down. I need one of those sweaters that dog’s wear to keep them calm during thunderstorms. Maybe the human version of that is a hug? I don’t know.

Oct 062023

You’ll never believe this, but in between furiously recapping my vacation that is now from over 2 months ago, I have actually been living a modest social life as well.

FIRST, Kara invited me to Moulin Rouge with her last Thursday night. Now, I’m not a musical bitch by any stretch of the imagination which is silly when you think about it because I, like most people with pets who double as their best friends/co-workers/children/spiritual guides/therapists, turn every last basic statement into a jingle all the livelong day. Can I sing along to songs on the radio? Give me a FUCK NO, Mindy. Do I sing Happy Birthday to anyone other than my son? Not without LipSynch Mode activated. But will I take a sentence and blow so much operatic gusto up its proverbial asshole that a Tony Award starts simping in my Instagram comments? YOU BETCHER BOTTOM DOLLAR, MOTHERFUCKA.

This is my way of saying that I don’t go out of the way to attend real life musicals, but once you get me there, I am usually moderately to sufficiently entertained.

First, Kara and I met at The Warren for a small pre-show dinner and MULES OF THE DAY (blackberry). It was nice. The vibe was a bit too Late Friday Night for me (maybe I’m just officially an Elder, but the music was SO LOUD for 6pm on a Thursday when all I wanted to do was talk to my friend), but the aesthetic was so my style. The blue walls kept my inner-Karen (CAN YOU TURN THIS RACKET DOWN??) at bay.

Kara wanted to take my picture in front of this but I got stage fright and said NO.

Then I had to ask her if I would die if I drank wine after a Moscow mule. She said NO.

So I got a sippy cup of pinot grigio and did not expire. Meanwhile, Kara was very close to ditching me for the super chatty old man in line behind her for refreshments and honestly, it would have been an upgrade. I’m not too proud to admit that openly to the Internet.

Immediately I was like, “OK. Sold. Here for it.” when we first saw the stage (after Kara was schooled on the subject of “This is your left. THAT is your right” by one of the no-nonsense ushers. She was here to help you find your seat, not provide any extra coddling.).

Kara and I don’t have very many selfies together, I feel like!! She was boxed in by this point so she had no choice.

Anyway, wow – Moulin Rouge was magical! I know OF the movie, I know the Lady Marmalade remake, but that was the extent. I didn’t know the actual plot, really. I didn’t know the characters, just that Nicole Kidman was in the movie. So this was almost like going into it blind. I think the reason why I never bothered to watch the movie was because, 1) well, it’s a musical; 2) not a big fan of Nicole Kidman honestly; 3) I really didn’t like that Lady Marmalade remake primarily because I never liked Christina Aguilera and that song was EVERYWHERE back then.

But now, after watching this…I might give the movie a try!

Then Henry went into Uber mode and drove Kara home even though she’s always finding random and weird things that she knows we need to have around the house and Henry always mumbles, “Thanks, Kara” like when she sent me an auction link for a bumper car when she knew I was looking for one to use as a couch.

(We did not get it, sadly/obviously. SOME DAY. YOU WAIT.)

The next night, Janna and I went to the first haunt of the season! It was Valley of Terror haunted hayride and it’s crazy because I have been seeing ads for this one probably since high school and occasionally even put it on my list, but never made it  to this one until this year!

First off, we had a very uncomfortable experience at the ticket booth, which wasn’t open yet even though it was 7pm, nor was there a sign on the window with any information. So we walked around to the other side where some lady YELLED IN A HOSTILE MANNER, “Can I help you!?!?” like we were fucking Jehovahs Witnesses tossing around pamphlets willy nilly. I was like, “We’re here for the hayride” like le duh, do you not know who we are? And she was like THE TICKET WINDOW IS BACK THERE IT WILL BE OPEN SOON!! And we did the walk of shame back to the window, where she opened the screen 3 minutes later and said, cheerfully, “HELLO AGAIN!” and was suddenly so fucking nice to us like she hadn’t just hollered at us (we were in a rural area where you get hollered at, which is different from regular yelling which is generally what takes place in the city).

So we bought our overpriced tickets and then walked around to the area where we were previously hollered at, only for some lady at the snack bar to holler at us this time?!?

“Can I help you??” she cried, and I was like, “What? Oh! No, no. We’re just looking.” Because we were considering our options even though it was CASH ONLY and I didn’t have any left because Henry only gave me the exact amount because he didn’t want me to have any spendin’ money left over, god forbid, I might run away with it.

And then she yelled at again, more accusatorily this time!? Now I was truly taken aback, feeling fully affronted. Again, I said, “No, we’re just waiting—”

“THE TICKET BOOTH IS OVER THERE!” she interrupted, pointing back to the way we came.

I waved my ticket in the air and yelled back, “We already have our tickets.”

Please keep in mind that we weren’t even standing close to the snack bar while this scene was going down all disjointed and awkward like a shitty middle school play rehearsal. So we were both legit shouting to each other across several picnic tables.

“Oh! I didn’t realize they were already selling tickets, I’m sorry!” she laughed, and that’s when I realized that she was LITERALLY asking us “CAN I HELP YOU” as a passive way of saying, “You aren’t meant to be here. Trespassers!” Here I thought she was just aggressively trying to get us to buy hot chocolate and a pretzel. I didn’t fucking know what was going on.

So that’s how the night started –  a right hillbilly hollerin’, and two of ’em to boot!

It was the HARVEST MOON night which I never would have known if not for Wendi telling us in group chat at work. Group chat is where I learn a lot of important life stuff.  She was like DON’T MISS THE HARVEST MOON TONIGHT which is how I knew to look for it.

I gotta save the deets for the HAUNTED HOUSE JOURNAL but the hayride was just “meh,” while the actual haunted walk-thru was YEAH BOY. Janna will tell you. I screamed lots. There were two chainsaw guys that attacked me bigly.

However, as I’m sitting here writing this now, the thing that stands out the most is sitting at a picnic table near the bonfire and talking about the time Janna and I both worked at St Clair Hospital doing FILING and the only thing I vividly remember is wearing WHITE PANTS one day and of course my period started, so I spent my whole shift trotting to the bathroom to check for leaks.

But while I was recalling this to Janna, I realized immediately afterward that I was talking VERY LOUDLY and as I tossed a casual glance over my shoulder, I made hard eye contact with the couple sitting behind us, listening intently to my rejected IT HAPPENED TO ME story for Jane Magazine.

Actually, the scariest part of the night was tied between when the ticket taker for the haunted house just could NOT figure out how to punch the hole in the ticket and then bragged about how the haunt has been running for over 30 years and I was like, “OK, but is this the first year they implemented a hole puncher then?” and when we got lost on the way home almost immediately after and had to turn around on a really scary backwoods-yet-residential road while a very old and skinny man in an undershirt, boxers, and knee socks shambled across the street to his house and did the super quick jump-scare head turn at the last minute to look DIRECTLY INTO OUR SOULS.

“He looks like if John Waters hadn’t become John Waters,” I cried, white-knuckling the steering wheel and grandma-driving the fuck out of there.

“Somehow, I understand what you mean,” Janna said.

Then on Sunday, I met Amber, Lauren, Sandy and Nate at the Abbey for brunch!! Lauren and Sandy are ex-Law Firmers, so I was very happy to get the chance to see them while eating good foods in one of my favorite places that I sincerely do not eat at often enough.

It’s us! Fun fact: Sandy, Nate and I (+ Mitch) were all hired the same year, but now Nate and I are the only ’10-liners left. :(

It was my idea to have the waiter take our picture but I told Amber, “You do it. You ask him” because not only am I great idea person, I’m a highly adept delegator.

Well guys, that was pretty much the whole ass recap of last week’s “I Saw Friends” happenings. I have more haunted houses on tap, and a dinner with some current and past work friends next week so maybe another recap will be forthcoming!? It can’t all be amusement park posts, right?!

Jul 282023

Ugh, my inner Karen is at it again, you guys. Henry and I were walking to the post office on Saturday and when we rounded the corner to get onto the Brookline Blvd sidewalk, we were met by SURPRISE CONSTRUCTION.

I don’t know why we were SURPRISED though considering that Brookline has been a construction workers’ playground for like 2 solid years at this point, and I’m starting to wonder if they’re purposely damaging shit just to use for training purposes?? Is Brookline a training center?!!?

OK, so here we were, coming ’round the mountain aka CVS, stepping out of the parking lot and onto the sidewalk, when we see that it’s being actively paved. We are not dum-dum idiot heads. We clearly saw that there were approx. 5 men in neon yellow pouring cement or whatever it was that they were doing. So we stopped walking (OBVIOUSLY) and were assessing which way to go when all of the men yelled HO HO HO HO!!!! (and not in a jolly Santa way like it was Xmas in July) with their arms  jutting out to stop us from…what? We weren’t walking toward to them!

So then some BITCH traffic flagger yelled, “YOU CAN’T GO THAT WAY!”


You guys, I lost my mind and started shouting about these dicks passive aggressively into the air, things like THEY THINK THEY’RE SO FUCKING COOL, OH OK COOL GUYS, KEEP DISRUPTING OUR LIVES! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD! I’M SO SICK OF THIS SHIT!

And just then! One of their douchebag trucks farted past us.

OH, LINDY PAVING IS IT?? I screamed that out loud and the guy driving the truck looked at me nervously.

“I’m fucking calling them,” I said and Henry was like, “Um, Ok….probably no one will answer since it’s Saturday.” Like that’s going to deter me? “Oh wow, thanks for that Henry. Maybe I’ll just wait until—OH HOLD ON IT’S RINGING.”

Come on, like I was going to wait until Monday?

AND THEN SOMEONE ANSWERED!! Some stupid man because it’s always stupid men who are trying to upend my damn life. So I go, in a fake friendly BUT AGGRESSIVE SHOUT, “HI LINDY PAVING!!!! CAN YOU TELL YOUR WORKERS ON BROOKLINE BLVD TO STOP BEING ASSHOLES TO PEDESTRIANS THANK YOU” and then I hung up on his ass.

We were walking home when this happened so there were probably people walking nearby who heard this but you know what? I was having a rage blackout so I really didn’t notice.

“Wow,” Henry said. “Feel better?”

You know what? I really fucking did.

Stupid assholes.

I hate being YELLED AT by MEN. Also, their fucking neon yellow triggers me every time! AND APPARENTLY, IT’S A THING:

So, that happened and then Henry had to go to a different post office because at that point I refused to take a detour to go to the one on the Blvd, so way to go LINDY PAVING, now everyone has to suffer because of you.

Then I met Debby, Mar, and Megan at the Speckled Egg for brunch (I mean, it was 1:30 so can’t we just call it lunch and move on?). It’s the Union Trust building downtown and you know what? I don’t believe I have ever been in there!

The location and the company were the highlights.

The stafff was kind of….spacey and the other patrons were all basically influencers it seemed like.

I got whatever this is, which was delicious – stewed tomatoes with Moroccan spices, poached eggs, and mushrooms that were like those crispy onion things people put on top of casseroles in the 90s. Really delicious but I was immediately hungry afterward.

Megan told me I would love the bathroom so I went in even though I didn’t have to go, and she was right!

Anyway, I felt a lot calmer at this point of the day, and I got to tell Mar and Debby about the engagement (I actually saw Debby a few weeks ago when she came to my house to drop off a purse she made for me and it took everything in my power not to tell her then!) so that was fun! Megan of course already knew so she had to sit through the story again – sorry I exist!

I love that we meet up semi-regularly. I was so sad when they both retired, so it’s really nice that we get to see them actually more now than we had since the pandemic started, really!

OK, it’s really hot in my house and I need to stick my head in the freezer. Bye.

Jun 262023

Ever since our department had an after-work party at Shorty’s in early May, I have been wanting to DRINK BEER. You might remember that I have a long and troubled relationship with beer, as in, there is no relationship. I have tried several times over the years to acquire a taste for it but it never sticks. Wine? Fine. Cider? Even better.

Anyway, my sister Amy and I are always doing the “we gotta hang out!” song and dance but then life gets in the way and nothing is ever finalized. But this time, motivated by BEER, I was determined to schedule something and I know that she and her husband Dick are into breweries, so we picked one in Heidelberg called…I forget already. Oh wait! insurrection something. Originally we were going to just meet for breakfast but I’m a dumbass and forgot that I had a hair appt that morning. Anyway, they live in Ohio, about an hour away, but said they wanted to come out way. However, it was the TAYLOR “VANILLA” SWIFT weekend here so we decided to steer clear of all that hoopla and find somewhere outside of the city, and less far for them.

It turned out to be pretty decent! I mean, our waiter couldn’t have had less personality than if he were actually Taylor Swift, but it was a cozy little place with actually veg options on the menu. I got a bbq cauliflower sandwich and it was wonderful!!

I also drank TWO baby 5 ounce beer things and was sufficiently drunk, which was endlessly hilarious to Henry. But that was good for me! Two different beers, one was one of those dark bastards that Henry said I 100% wouldn’t like but guess what motherfucker, your girl drank that bitch UP.

I mean, it took about an hour’s worth of sips, but I crossed that finish line, Brenda.

Anyway, every time I hang out with Amy and Dick, I ask myself, “Queen Dorkchuck, why don’t you do this more often?” And of course, I have no answer because I’m busy dorking chucks or whatever. I am determined to do this more often though and Amy already has the next venue in mind, so let’s gooooo.

Also, this was the first time we got to tell THE PROPOSAL STORY to anyone in person so that was fun even though our bland paper bag of a server kept trying to interrupt and we were like OK BLAINE CALM DOWN WE WILL SEND YOU A SIGNAL WHEN WE’RE READY. GOD.

I can’t remember what his name was IRL but it really was something like Blaine or Brody, who gives a shit, he was not very memorable (unlike the guy who took our group picture – he was soooo happy to oblige!).

May 212023

My friend Rachel’s daughter is currently playing Mimi in a local production of Rent. She texted me the info to me the other day in case I was looking for something to do this weekend, and you know what? I was actually. And also, it was timely because there was a Rent question in Trivial Pursuit when we were playing on the night of Chooch’s belated birthday cake celebration and he was so pissed that I got it right without having ever seen it. I don’t really like musicals, ok??

But what I do like is supporting local theater and my friends’ kids, plus I recently found out that Janna is some kind of Queen Rent Head so I figured it would be something for us to do together that was a change for her coming to my house and being hostilely quizzed on the 23* members of NCT.

*(Actually, it’s 22 now. Lucas officially announced his departure from WayV & NCT. DO NOT GET ME STARTED.)

The ComTra Theater is in Cranberry, which is like 35 minutes away, but all I know is that the whole time I kept thinking, “When did Cranberry get so far away? Has it always been this far away??” It really felt like it took for-fucking-ever to get there. And then as soon as we walked in, I was like, “OH SHIT” because it was much smaller than I thought, and very hot. I almost immediately started to sweat through my shirt so I can only imagine what it must have been like for the performers.


PRE-SHOW SELFIE. I liked Janna’s shirt a lot!

Anyway, she immediately asked me to switch seats with her so she could be on the end and I was like “UGH FINE” but then she ended up having the stage partially obscured by a pillar so who’s laughing now?! A dad and his young daughter filled the last two seats in our row, and the people in front of us were normal. No one sat behind us. I was content with our section.

The show started around 2pm and I thought it was really cute! (Is that weird? I mean, the subject matter isn’t “cute” and I’m sure the teens performing in it would not appreciate being called “cute”- BUT THEY FUCKING WERE!)  I mean, I had almost NO idea what was going on for most of it because I couldn’t hear a lot of the lyrics (the house band was WAY TOO LOUD) and also I was getting v. antsy. Intermission didn’t happen until 3:30 (!!!) and I said, “Isn’t this supposed to be over at 4? Will they be able to get the rest done in 30 minutes?” and Janna goes, “Oh, there’s still an entire other half. There is no way this is over at 4pm.”

Do you know me? I hate sitting. Even when I am being entertained! So, while I was enjoying the show very much because those kids were insanely talented, I also was ready for it be over. It’s who I am, OK? I am also like this during pretty much every movie I go to see in a theater, slyly checking the time on my FitBit.

One of the guys looked so much like Judd Nelson specifically in his Breakfast Club role that it was all I could see throughout the whole entire show. It was crazy. I saw him up close afterward and while the resemblance was less uncanny, it was still there. I hope to god that is his next role.

My other thought was that the one main kid looked like the spitting image of Janna’s high school boyfriend Matt which amplified his annoyance to me. I’m not sure if his character was meant to be annoying but I definitely kind of zoned out whenever it was one of his songs, sorry kid.

BUT THEN DURING INTERMISSION, JANNA GOES, “That kid that plays <striped sweater guy / I could not keep track of the characters’ names> is sooooo cute!” and I died. Honestly.

I didn’t tell her until afterward when we were walking to my car that he reminded me of MATT so it was not shocking to me that she basically imprinted on him as soon as the lights went down. She was like, “O M F G” and then tried to say she only thought he was cute because he had floppy hair.


Overall, it was an enjoyable afternoon! I was happy to support Rachel and her daughter, who is a freaking powerhouse. Girl can perform her ass off! The only downside was that the theater’s website lists all of kinds of ADULT BEVS but all they had was WATER and SOFT DRINKS so I guess the HARD WETS are for evening shows only?! I was going to treat myself to a White Claw (the website had approx. 12 varieties of tastes listed) but it was probably for the best considering I was driving and the journey home was fraught with missed exits and merging mayhem. Anytime I have to drive on BIG ROADS, I’m screaming like Pee Wee driving over a hillside, thanks to Henry conditioning me to being a perma-passenger and hardly-ever-driver.

When I wasn’t emitting battle cries every time I had to merge, I asked Janna lots of questions about Rent and she seemed happy to answer them because this was like her time to shine, you know? For example, I texted her just a bit ago and asked what the fuck was the significance to the drywall bucket that kept popping up in some scenes and she explained that one of the characters was using it as a drum in the beginning and then they were using it to panhandle later. Those were the examples she gave me, but I SAW IT POP UP MORE THAN TWO OCCASIONS so I was wondering if there was an INSIDE JOKE or something that someone who pays her rent wouldn’t understand. It just felt like someone was always carrying it like maybe it was the stage pet or the communal security blanket, I dunno.

Also, I still don’t understand why that Joanne person was on the phone so much. Who was she talking to? Out of all the actors, she was the one I could hear the least and I feel like I missed a lot. Maybe I should watch the movie. (I will probably never watch the movie.)

And that concludes my once-every-four-years attempt to be cultural! It was an enjoyable afternoon which left me swearing that I will do these things more often but…we know how that goes!

May 132023

Here we will look at pictures of the going away party I threw for one of my longest and favorite work pals. I was shocked to hear that Lauren was leaving the firm, but!! I know that she is on to bigger and better things. As I’m sitting here thinking of all the memories I made with Lauren over the years, I realize that I was remiss in not including a pot of mulch as a centerpiece. :/

Earlier that day, Drew started to become V.AWARE that people were going to come over. Here, you can see her eye-balling the banner I had strung up. Anytime I string shit up from the ceiling – she KNOWS.

Taemin was ready!

Speaking of Kpop idols, Lauren was one of the only people in the department who supported my k-lifestyle from its inception. She never made fun of me; she always welcomed the gossip; and she not only watched the music videos I would send the group, but she always had comments afterward. That is a true friend!

Marlene had said she was coming that night so I pulled out her FAVORITE artifact from my collection, the Fiji mermaid. SHE LOVES HER SO MUCH. (She really doesn’t.)

(Also, LOL ever heard of WINDEX, Erin? For God’s sake, clean that damn fishbowl.)

Fruit spread!

When I first became social media friends with Megan after she joined our department, one of the first things I learned about her was that, wow, homie loves to make themed cheese balls. And now this is the second Megan-created cheese ball that I got to serve at my house! I told her this that night and she was like, “Aw” but also I think she was waiting for me to tack on some awkward statement to kill the heartwarming friendship moment.

Anyway, isn’t this cute?!!? (The M&Ms were just for decoration but now I kind of wish I had tried a bite of both…)

You guys, I can’t believe I got Marlene to come to my house, it was amazing!

Lauren, Nate, Marlene!

YOU GUYS I CAN’T BELIEVE I GOT GLENN TO COME TO MY HOUSE. Let me back up here: I had originally sent an email to my old group/Lauren’s current group at the time of her departure, and invited them over. Only two people couldn’t come, but Glenn had not answered. I messaged him in CAPSLOCK on Jabber and he said “shouldn’t be a problem, let me check with the boss.” Well, that was basically where the conversation rolled over and died. Luckily, I am also friends with Glenn’s wife (a nightmare situation for him, truly) so I texted her and said, “Did Glenn tell you about the going away party I invited you guys to?” and her answer, as expected, was, “LOL no!”

So then I had to give her the deets, go on Jabber and yell at Glenn in CAPSLOCK again, at which point he forwarded my party email to her.

Ugh, men!!

Sandy!!! You guys, our department still is smartin’ (I have literally never used that word before and the other day, I called someone a chump because I couldn’t think of anything else to say and Henry was like, ‘DID YOU GO BACK TO THE 50??” OMG what if?!) from her departure nearly a year ago now. Sandy, Nate and I were all hired in 2010, along with another guy, Mitch. Now, Nate and I are the only people left from the ’10 line. :(

(In Kpop, idols are sometimes referred to by the year they were born, so you could say like, “Oh, Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin and Renjun are ’00 liners.)

Anyway, look how precious Lauren looks in that picture!!

The PARTNERS. These guys stuck together a lot because they didn’t want to hear our boring work stories.

At one point, someone asked, “Don’t you have cats?” which made me laugh because even though I thought I picked up all the cat toys, you can see a bunch under the wheelchair that I forgot, plus some cat houses are just always out in the open. But no one ever gets to see my cats because they are soooooo anti-people. Drew fled before anyone even arrived, and it turned out that Penelope was actually in one of her  cat beds under the church pew almost the entire night, and slowly crept out around 11, stretched, looked around, and then went back under the church pew.

NON-FIRM guys sticking together, now in a different room. I’m glad Henry found chat-mates in Tony and Eric, I was worried he was going to feel like the hired help all night, lol.

Amber said the greatest thing about my house that night, that even though there is so much going on and so much to see, there is a flow to it, it makes sense, and it’s curated. THANK YOU! I know this joint isn’t for everyone, but I feel so comfortable here ever since we finally started redecorating everything all those years ago. She had never actually been here before, but had seen it in pictures and in video meetings. She said that it wasn’t the same as actually being in here though and I appreciated that!

Behind Marlene, you can see the clown doll that she immediately turned around so it wouldn’t be looking at her, lol. Amanda was also not thrilled being the clown house but they both persevered!

Marlene’s drinking the MEXICAN SANGRIA I made, which I actually had to refill TWICE. Yo, usually when I make punch for my parties, there is much left over and it’s such a waste. But these fiesta folk came to DRINK. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of the beverage buffet!

There’s a study* that says that pinatas are the best ways to dull the pain of saying goodbye to one of the best people you’ve ever worked with!

*(That study may have been conducted by me for the OHE University that night.)

Did I already mention that Lauren taught me so much at work? Because she really did. I’ll always be grateful for the years we were on the same team, and will NEVER FORGET when Amber was on maternity leave and Lauren and I had to train the girl who was hired at that same time and it was so fucking stressful and burdensome and for the first time in my life, I had to ask to leave work because I had period cramps so hard that I couldn’t sit up and Lauren was like, “IT’S BECAUSE OF THE STRESS” and she was 100% right. Anyway, we really leaned on each other a lot during that time and I have felt bonded to her ever since.


A bunch of group photos were inevitable.

You guys, I was pretty drunk. Ever since I had THREE GOOD BEERS at Shorty’s, I have been on this kick where I think that I am suddenly a beer drinker. Henry kept trying to buy cider and shandy for the festivities, but I kept shouting, “NO, BEER.” So he got some cider and a variety pack of some kind of beer, but then he and Megan kept trying to get me to drink cider all night and I was getting so indignant. Megan put her hands up at one point and said, “Oh sorry, I forgot – you’re only drinking BEER.”

There was this one kind that everyone kept saying I wouldn’t like so I was like “I’LL SHOW THEM.” I nursed it for a good long while but I did finish it!

“Did you like it?” Megan asked.

“No,” I said, free of hesitation.



Amanda and Glenn! Did you guys know that Glenn SORT OF helped to facilitate my Trudy acquisition?

I can’t believe this was Nate’s first time meeting Trudy! Sandy was like, “Pfft, we’ve met before.”

I love that people can just hang out in the kitchen like way back when I first moved in and it served as a natural spill-over for party people. I never want to go back to the years of being ashamed of my home, you guys. Never.

NATE CLEANING UP THE CAKE HE DROPPED. By the way, Henry served literal ice cube-sized pieces of cake to everyone and I kept saying, “Why are you cutting it like this, you fucking cake miser?!” It was the only lowpoint of the night for me, Henry embarrassing me with his stingy cake-serving.

“EVERYONE GOT A PIECE, DIDN’T THEY? AND MOST PEOPLE EVEN TOOK SOME HOME, DIDN’T THEY? IT’S FINE!” Henry shouted on our walk home from Pita Land today, when I brough up Cake Gate once again.

I GOT TO HAVE A BE REAL DO OVER and Amber was like, “Oh…that’s all this is?” lol.

Yeah, you can tell I’m trashed.

Eric, Megan, Lauren, Tony, and Nate ended up staying until pretty late – I feel like it was after midnight which is actually way later than I anticipated this lasted but trust me – I was happy about that. I AM PEOPLE-STARVED. I was getting pretty obnoxious and giddy by then so it was probably a good thing that it ended before I suggested ding-dong-ditching HNC or something.

To summarize: I hate that Lauren left, but Nate and I really wanted to do some type of gesture to show her that she matters, we care, and she will be fucking missed forever.

May 042023

Sometime back in March, Margie sent out an email about an upcoming social event in May at a RETRO ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENT called Shorty’s and I was like, “Yes, this is something I will attend.” So right away, I RSVP’d because everything about me is knee jerk. I then set about to strong-arm several of my work-bros to also RSVP. Some were hesitant but I said, “NO, JUST DO IT. IT WILL BE FUN. I WILL BE THERE.”

And then the day came (Tuesday) and it was cold and rainy and I had a headache and I RULLY wanted to bail. I truly did. Erin of Yesteryear most definitely would have. MOSDEF. But I had talked other people into going and what a bitch move that would be, not to mention I know that final headcounts matter when it comes to planning these things and I couldn’t do that to Sue and Margie. It would be different if I had a legit reason, but considering my alternative would be, you know, loafing at home…Look, I’m really trying to retrain myself into being the social butterfly I was in the….early ’00s.


I can’t even blame covid for my awkwardness!

Henry drove me so I could drink irresponsibly. I walked in like a scared baby deer, knock-kneed and hiding behind a curtain of hair. There were other people there and my eyes are bad, so I was heavy-squinting, trying to see if I could recognize anyone considering I never see work people IRL anymore and we have new people hired during and post-covid that I haven’t seen before!  There could have been a whole table of our department already there and I wouldn’t haven’t know. Then a hostess smelled my social anxierty and asked, “Are you here for the party?”

I said yes, and OF FUCKING COURSE I was the first one to arrive. She took me back to the totally empty area reserved for us and on the way, said, “I love your sweater!” As I was saying thanks, she cut me off to add, “AND YOUR PURSE OMG!” It was my “make your own luck” duster from La La and my hamburger purse that I bought at some yoga studio in….Scranton, PA last year.

“I’m secretly still 16,” I stage-whispered because sometimes I’m me again, and she laughed and said she loved it and OH how I wish Chooch had been there to witness it. He hates when I get to flaunt my INDIVIDUALITY.

Then a waitress and some guy came flocking over to me. ‘ARE YOU MARGIE OR SUE?” the waitress asked and when I said no, her faced fell and she said, “Oh.”


J/K she was fantastic actually although I think I was starting to get on her nerves as the night progressed because I am a stupid drinker. I forget what her name was now but when she told me, I cheerfully said, “Oh OK, I’m Erin!” and she looked at me like, “Bitch we ain’t friends now.”


Then Margie finally arrived after I festered on a stool by myself for a solid 3 minutes.

Margie gave me my TWO drink tickets and then asked me to hold the stack and I felt equal parts important and anxious. It felt like too much to be accountable for, especially once people started arriving and I had to dole out the rations.

My table originally consisted of Wendi [I need to say that I am so depressed that she started at the firm AFTER we all moved to fulltime WFH because we have so much in common, especially musically (um, she has seen Dance Gavin Dance and knows Emarosa, etc etc)], Megan, Joy, Amber and Lucas – a solid line-up. But as the progressed, people started mingling more but Megan, Wendi and I were like, “No, people can come to us.” AND THEY DID. So, we ended up with Nate, Margie, Jill, Sharon, Regina, Rachel and Aaron at various points and you know what? I am so glad I didn’t punk out. I really miss seeing these guys every day.

Even #UghLou.

I was so excited to play shuffleboard, which I haven’t done since I was underage and sneaking in (LOL there wasn’t much sneaking involved, actually) to Tim’s Corner Bar in West Elizabeth where I quickly became a shuffleboard shark. And there was supposed to be an interactive photo booth, whatever that means, which Nate and I were fixated on when Margie sent out the email a while back.



In fact, I forgot all about it until the next day, and Margie admitted that she did think of it when we were there but she couldn’t find it! IF I HAD THOUGHT OF IT, I WOULD HAVE ASKED MY WAITRESS FRIEND. She LOVED it when I would beckon her to me, only to say, “Wait….what did I want?” to Wendi, who was basically ordering all of my beers for me.

<3 these guys!

One of my favorite parts was when I was one beer in (and already slurring) and screamed, “OMG I HAVE TO DO MY BE REAL. YOU GUYS CAN BE IN MY BE REAL!” and Amber and Wendi were like “the fuck is be real” and I had to explain it that it’s basically an app FOR THE KIDS but I started using it (much to Chooch’s chagrin) because one of my favorite YouTubers uses it and to be honest, it’s so dumb for someone like me to have because I’m home 90% of the time when I get the notification that it’s Be Real time.

I explained to them that while I take a selfie, it will also take an outward facing picture so  that they can be in too and I made a big production of getting them to pose…

…but my drunk ass wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and this is how it came out lol. They were like, “Wow. Cool. Thanks for letting us….be in your Be Real. I guess.”

My other favorite part was when Sue was looking at my photo card holder attached to my purse and softly exclaimed, “Oh Erin, when did this happen??” and I was very confused, like was she asking me when did my NCT bias change to Renjun? “He’s gotten so old!” she said, so then I was like, “Oh wow, does Sue follow NCT Dream and she’s now realizing that they’re not the same little kids from the Chewing Gum era anymore?

NO. SHE THOUGHT IT WAS A PICTURE OF CHOOCH! Oh my god, it was so funny! Granted, it *was* pretty dark in there and most people would assume that if most grown ass ladies had a photo hanging off her purse, it must be her child.



My other other other favorite part was when I was psyching myself up to leave the house and I said, “I will stay for 30 minutes, maybe an hour. Make an appearance. Be mysterious, say something awkward, then leave.” The “event area” was only booked from 6-8 so it wasn’t like people would be staying that long anyway.

But then it was 7 and I was like, “Well, I might as well at least stay and finish this second beer that Wendi chose for me,” and then it was 7:30 and Sue was leaving and gave some of us a third drink ticket, which I greedily accepted.

And then it was 8:30 and the waitress was giving us strong side eye.

And then it was nearly 10 and I was leaving with the last of us still standing after all the food was taken away and there were no more free drinks. I think it was me, Nate, Amber, Sharon, and Rachel at that point. Megan had left RIGHT before us because she was being stubborn and called an Uber instead of letting Henri the Chauffeur take her home.

I’m really glad that I went, I’m super appreciative of Margie and Sue for planning this to help boost morale and give us all a reason to crawl out of our holes and interact outside of Jabber. Also, this was the first time I have Joy IRL and not via WebEx video since before the pandemic!

I will admit that we had a events committee who tried very hard to get people to engage socially during the pandemic, but it was all virtual, obviously, and let’s be real: I’m not trying to log back on after work hours to play trivia on WebEx. I don’t care if there are prizes. Once I log off, I’m done until morning! No offense to the people who were on that team, I give them a lot of credit for trying to come up with new and creative ways to get people to talk to each other. But even though it might sometimes be a drag for me to leave the house initially, I definitely prefer IN REAL LIFE social engagements like this one!

Apr 042023

I recently had this urge to dye Easter eggs after realizing that possibly the last time I dyed eggs was when Kara came over with her kids probably back in…2017?? Hold on, let me check the blog archives.

OMG yes, it was 2017, pre-Calvin, I hadn’t even been to Korea yet, and Chooch got impaled by a toothpick! Um, I can’t believe how little Chooch, Harland, and Theo were back then, even neighbor Markey was here?! I must have imbibed lots of soju that night because I have no recollection of him being here.

So, I texted Kara to see if she had any interest. I hadn’t seen her since the PIE PARTY which I’m LOLing at right now because that is also a line from the linked 2017 Easter Egg blog post. Anyway, Kara was on board and I was so happy because I barely got to talk to her at the aforementioned pie party and it was definitely pre-covid before that! I need to do better. I am trying! FRIENDS ARE LIKE SEA MONKEYS AND WILL DIE WITHOUT ATTENTION BUT WILL ALSO DIE IF YOU PUT TOO MUCH POWDERED FOOD IN THEIR WEIRD SPACE-Y AQUARIUM. Remember that, Erin.

Remember that.

I was so excited to have company so I made Henry prepare for us a snack spread of Asian market produce and Korean banchan (he made the lotus root and it was so delicious, I love braised lotus root so much! My friend Jiyong even commented on this photo on Instagram and said it looked great!).

Kara brought wine and Pittsburgh Popcorn Co. peanut butter popcorn! I haven’t had their popcorn since back when I was still working in the office. Actually, I feel like the downtown location may have even closed prior to the pandemic?! To this day, they still have the best cheddar popcorn I’ve ever had in my life – I actually never really liked cheesy popcorn until I had theirs!

Anyway, it was so great to sit back and catch up with Kara while effing around with egg dye! Henry didn’t dye any, but he obediently prepared everything for us and then loomed over us like some fucking Paas warden.

OMG and Mr. Bum Knee sat with us the whole time and EVEN REGALED US WITH SCHOOL STORIES, a lot of them I had never heard before like the time he got in school suspension when he was in 3rd or 4th grade for being overheard calling a kindergarten teacher a predator because she had her students put pins on a street map to show where they live and this was apparently displayed in the hallway?! No one ever told me about this but um, I don’t blame Chooch for thinking that was kind of weird?!

He also started blabbing about colleges he’s interested in which hello, I can barely get any serious info out of him so clearly Kara needs to come over more often so I can know more about my son’s life!

While all of this was going on, I was being SUPER SECRETIVE about my eggs and kept screaming at everyone not to look. Chooch was getting super irritated about this and then when I finally realized my masterpiece ovo-trio, he rolled his eyes and sneered, “First of all, everyone knew what you were doing and second of all, it’s not that great.”


I ran upstairs to get my lightstick to use as a prop and this really sent Chooch.

“SHOULD I ALSO GET SOME OF MY NCT ALBUMS TOO? OK, I WILL HOLD ON!” I yelled without waiting for an answer.

I think Kara was in the middle of offering her condolences to Henry, lol.

I only dyed one other egg after this, lol. Egg dyeing is only fun for me for a few minutes.

That olive-ish one with the blue and pink squiggles is one of Kara’s and I was obsessed with it.

And then this was my happy accident! I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing because I was too busy talking my voice away – literally, by the end of the evening, my voice was half-zapped. I clearly had a lot to say!

One of the highlights I think was when Chooch called me out as a gaslighter and when I said that’s not true, he told Kara, “She even tried to gaslight me about the definition of gaslighting!” He had me in literal tears at one point from laughing so hard – he was on fire! It was definitely Throw Mama Under the Bus night at the Pioneer Avenue Whacky Shack. He’s going to have a lot of childhood stories to tell people when he grows up, I think. Either that or he’s going to be like, “Eh, my childhood wasn’t very memorable,” because I can see him doing that, too, lol.

What a great night, though! I missed Kara tons and drinking wine and dyeing eggs was pretty much the best way to catch up!

Apr 012023

Last Friday, I was in a group chat at work when the oblig “what’s everyone doing this weekend” question came up. I excitedly divulged that I was finally, after like 20 years, meeting a friend that I had made on LiveJournal back in the golden days. I can’t remember exactly how or when Lindsey and I friended each other over there but it was definitely well before Chooch came into existence and also back when I was still in the mix CD game because I’m 99% sure I made her one. #dorkalert!

Neither of us still use LJ, but we have continued our online friendship through Instagram and Twitter, which, you know, say what you want about social media, but it does have some perks!

“Do you know where she lives? Where she works? You should tell your husband where you’re going to be, so he knows,” a concerned new-er coworker said who truly does not know that my lifestyle is based solely on tempting fate and dancing on the edge of sanity. Also, lol my “husband” was the one driving me to get axe-murdered!

Anyway, how this happened was that we have both suggested meeting up here and there over the years but we have never actually solidified it, you know how life goes.

And Lindsey has really been so complimentary about the changes in decor we’ve done around the house, so I always want to be like YOU SHOULD COME OVER but is that weird?! I dunno, I feel like when I was younger I would have asked and not thought twice about it but I’m a little more socially conscious (lol am I though) the older I get so I thought maybe we should have lunch so it doesn’t appear that I am luring her into my psychedelic lair. I DMd her on Instagram and said, “OK we gotta get something scheduled” because it just felt like the time was right! We picked a date (which I then had to switch up on her because the WILL SIGNING thing ended up being redcheduled for the original date we chose, of fucking course it would be!) and then Lindsey provided some restaurant suggestions which I appreciated because I am way out of the loop with the Pgh restaurant scene.

The first place I looked up was 40 North and immediately saw spaetzel on the menu. That was all I needed to see. We agreed on it, made a reservation, and then my “husband” dropped me off with nary a “good luck / be careful / don’t embarrass yourself.” I don’t even think he fully brought the car to a stop, now that I think about it.

OK can I just say that meeting people is so hard for me but I felt so relaxed from beginning to end because Lindsey had such a chill and calming vibe about her! I know we’ve e-known each other for quite some time, but that doesn’t always translate well in real life. But this felt like we had already gotten the first meet-up out of the way and now we were just catching up. So weird how things work out that way sometimes!

(Obviously I’m speaking for myself, so I hope Lindsey wasn’t actually physically clawing at her skin, dying for me to STFU and finish my lunch so she could leave!)

Sometimes I forget how nice it is to have a conversation face-to-face with someone!

The food was excellent, my drink was so smoky, gingery, and delicious (the smokiness caught me off guard but hello, it was called Tindersticks so…), and there were no uncomfortable lulls like I experienced the day before at Station 4. I didn’t even realize that we had been there for 2 hours! The only weird thing about the entire lunch was our waiter’s penchant for whispering; I kept trying to read his lips for clues but he had a bushy beard so then I was just guessing what my answers to his whispers should be.

Seriously, I will never stop talking about the LiveJournal days because of moments like this. I hope we do this again before another 20ish years pass by! (Even though she doesn’t like Phil Collins!)

Mar 102023

Last Saturday, I finally invited some peeps over to eat pizza and chill in the attic/game room/lounge/ WHAT SHOULD I CALL THIS ROOM. Chooch has basically rejected it so I guess it’s mine now and I can call it whatever I want! But no, please help me.

Anyway, Corey and Janna came over AND THEN WE HAD EXTRA SPECIAL GUESTS: CHRONICA!! Do you guys know how long it’s been since I have hung out with them? Definitely since before the pandy.

I shouldn’t have called it that. Why did I call it that.

Anyway, we ate so-so pizza (from fucking ANTONIO’S – I should have went with my gut and stuck with my ride-or-die Giovanni), talked x 100, and then played some trivia game. Well, everyone played the game but me because only 6 could play (according to Chooch) and I didn’t feel like it anyway SO THERE. Instead, I fucked around with my Party!Party! app, literally the only good thing that those A Beautiful Mess bitches ever produced.

So please, be enjoying some pictures of people in my [ATTIC TBD ROOM]!

First of all, it was delivered at less than room temp. It was NOT GOOD.

Henry has suddenly decided he wants to drink wine and bought a bunch of super sweet candy wine which is kind of cute because you know, Henry looks like he should be drinking port out of a tin can.


That trivia game was hilarious from a spectator’s POV. Janna had to read the questions for Chooch’s turns and he was getting SO MAD at her for not doing it fast enough. At one point, Janna cried, “OK YOU GUYS! I ACTUALLY AM SMART, YOU KNOW!”

Corey was waiting all week for this shot lol.

Chooch looking surly either because Janna was reading the questions or because his gimp knee had him trapped up there with a bunch of mildly-blitzed adults. OH DID I FORGET TO TELL YOU THAT CHRONICA BROUGHT POST MALONE WINE?!

Henry couldn’t see the card every time it was his turn to read the questions to Janna because I refused to turn the overhead light on (IT WOULD KILL THE MOOD). During one of the final rounds, Janna was prepared and held the flashlight of her phone over the card for him. She did it with such a heavy sigh, too!

One of my favorite parts of the night was when Janna calmly said, “My sister had a baby last week…’s NOT cute.” Classic Janna!

What a perfectly chaotic evening!!! We gotta do this again.

Here’s our Party!Party! reel lol:

Dec 232022

Baby’s First Xmas Party since 2019! I only invited a handful of friends because this was the first time in years having people over and I was lowkey kind of nervous about it?!

First punches since…well, maybe even BEFORE 2019 because that was the Xmas party where I had a hot chocolate bar instead of punch! It was fun gussying up the beverage buffet like old times,  that’s for sure.

Punch on the left is “Tree-Trimming Punch” and the one on the right is a kid-friendly apple cider party punch for Chooch and his friends Zakk and Haojie, who hung out on the backporch (it’s a 3 season room with a concrete floor, so…not very winter-friendly) after I went through great lengths to clean it during the week and had numerous convos with Henry afterward about putting the kerosene heater back there and then the day of the party, I brought it up again and he acted like this was the first he was hearing of it, which is tres typical of Gaslighter Guy, let me just say. So we had a fight of course and then he had to go to BUSY BEAVER at the last minute to buy kerosene which is a thing that could have happened much earlier in the week had he fucking HEARD ME.

And the whole ass time, he kept rubbing his lips together about how IT WASN’T EVEN NECESSARY, IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THAT COLD, TEENAGE BOYS DON’T CARE and I was having to astral project my fist to a meditation camp on a planet ruled by Korean unicorns  in an effort to keep it from smashing into Henry’s face instead.

We will…revisit this later. It will come up again, I promise.

I had to pick Chooch’s ass from work at 6 (the party started at 7!!!) so I was severely running behind on setting everything up. Because of this, not everything was put out, I didn’t make labels, the kitchen was in final form. I was a mess, as usual. Haojie was the first to arrive and he brought a platter of vegetable lo mein from his family’s restaurant (Tong Garden in Brookline, it’s fantastic!) which I thought was so sweet! Who knew teenagers could be thoughtful?! Well, I’m sure his parents had a lot to do with that.

Then Janna came around 7:05 after saying she was going to come EARLY because she had to “use [our] broiler,” whatever that meant. She made really delicious sweet potato rounds with melted ricotta cheese and craisins and WALNOOTS that she had to borrow from my squirrels, ugh. (Don’t worry – I opened a fresh bag for her, I didn’t take them from the squirrels’ food bowl outside, lol.) Also, it was hilarious when she asked Henry if he had any walnuts, because he frowned, sighed, and said, “Ask your friend.” When she asked me, I whipped open the doors of the beverage buffet to reveal the squirrels’ stash, lol.

Do I have walnuts. Ha!

The only thing I sort of made was a gingerbread dip, but that entailed me walking away as Henry was setting up all the ingredients for me and then never returning until it was time to “fold” in the Cool Whip. I thought I could handle that part so I wrenched the spatula from him.

“What are you doing?” he cried.

“I’m folding it,” I said, like, le duh.

“That’s not folding, that’s punching!” and then I was dismissed.

Also, in the back you can see the kimbap that Henry made which I asked him to stack in the shape of the Xmas tree and he clearly didn’t understand the assignment. It’s fine. At least they tasted good.

Megan’s “thing” is making super creative cheese balls for parties and I was so honored to have one of her creations on my party table! OMG it was so good but no one wanted to be the first one to dive in so she made me do it. I went straight for the head.

Holiday booze.

I wasn’t paying attention but this coffee table party spread was devoured and I never had a chance to replenish it because I was so caught up in telling terrible stories about myself and showing Picasso-esque nude portraits painted of me and Henry by death row pen pals.

Dude you guys, I saw a YouTube video for gochujang caramel cookies and knew Henry had to make them. They were fucking AMAZING. Maybe I’m the only one who thought that (although there was only one left) but I was obsessed and can’t wait for the next opportunity when “I” have to bake cookies for something because it will be these. If you don’t know what gochujang is because you’re not all about Korea like me, it’s a fermented spicy red pepper paste that is used in a LOT of Korean dishes. It has a very distinct and unique taste and I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, but it’s like a delicious, moist sugar cookie with ribbons of a sweet gochujang caramel swirled throughout. It doesn’t hit you until the end when the heat creeps in. I love these so much. I love gochujang in general though! I put heaping dollops of it on my bibimbap.

Now I want bibimbap.

Gochujang Girl. Also, not me wearing a shirt to my party that I only just bought that day.

There were only 14 people (including us and Chooch’s friends) there that night but it got REALLY LOUD at one point (Henry said it was mostly because of me and Corey). Blake, who lives next door, was out for part of the night and there was a babysitter over there, so I’m sure that was awesome for whoever it was, maybe Henry’s ex-wife LOLOL.


I spent the whole evening sitting on the church pew in the “new corner” of the living room and I have to say – it was more cozy than I expected and it was fun to get a new vantage point since I’m 99.9% of the time sitting on the couch.

Lori posing with Trudy.

Law Firm Squad!

This was the first time I REALLY got to talk to Wonka’s wife, Jess, and it was excellent. We need to have a couples night because literally the only time I ever see them is during one of my chaotic gatherings.

The vacant wheelchair tells me that this was around the time we lost Wonka and Corey to the back porch, where they decided to try and hang with the teens. It was around this time when I noticed Henry lighting the kerosene heater, so I got REALLY obnoxious at this point, yelling, “OH HO HO LOOK WHO’S LIGHTING THE KEROSENE HEATER EVEN THOUGH IT’S NOT GOING TO BE COLD OUT THERE!”

Henry just frowned deeper into his mustache, while Wonka said, “No, it’s REALLY cold back here!”

“I told you it wouldn’t be a problem until the adults went back there,” Henry mumbled. Apparently Corey was trying to turn on the heater himself and Henry had to intervene which is even funnier to me because Corey is just the boy version of me. We have very little life skills.

I loved that all of my friends inter-mingled with each other. I have always prided myself on having totally inclusive gatherings where everyone is introduced to each other and ends up with new friends. I have been to two of Megan’s parties so far and hers are the same – totally chill and not awkward which says a lot because my social skills bend just far enough backward to where I can create awkwardness in almost any sitch.

Although lately, I feel like I’m starting to get a bit of the old me back. I’m a Leo for Christ’s sake but only the people super close to me would know it. In the past, I used to present ALL LEO TRAITS to everyone I met. Loud, outgoing, maybe even a little bitchy…bring that Erin back, please.

Megan tried to leave at 11 and I held her hostage for another hour. It’s what I do.

When I was showing Megan and Eric my Cure wall upstairs, Eric said he felt like he was at the Mattress Factory and that was top tier compliment, honestly. I love the Mattress Factory and most of their exhibits are totally my aesthetic.

There was one point where Corey innocently asked, “Did you get a ring yet?” and I felt so triggered that I snapped, “WHAT? WHAT RING???”

“Oh my god,” he murmured, backing away from me slightly. Then he held out his phone and showed me the feed from his Ring security camera and I laughed, “OH! HAHA, THAT RING.”

I sincerely thought he meant an engagement ring, not that that’s something that has been on the forefront of my mind for 20+ years or anything.


Megan and I “jabber” all day long at work, so it’s been nice to see her more out in the real world lately! Three times in a little over a week this month alone!

I billed this party as a “casual Xmas get-together” and I think it lived up to the description. It was super caj.

Until Chooch hijacked it and turned it into game night. Janna was visibly anguished when she saw Chooch pull out Scattergories. I am a real treat to play that one with! Jess escaped the madness and hung out with Henry, Ricky, and Dawn in the dining room for this portion of the night and I don’t blame her. It got so rowdy, especially with Corey’s bombastic laugh and me screaming at Janna lol.

P was the letter for one of the rounds and I answered PUNK ASS BITCH for “something in the room” and pointed emphatically at Janna when I screamed it. GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS!

Corey answered 9/11 for “Something made out of metal” and I still don’t understand it, but it felt very dark. He was taking this game to some sinister places, that’s for sure.

I don’t know what was going on here, but Chooch looked like a bookie and was acting totally manic.


(LOL, j/k Janna!)

At some point, it had started snowing really bad?! I felt pretty awful about that.

Wonka wanted a picture of the three of us sitting on the couch like old times and I was happy to oblige! We used to have so much fun here back in the day, with the exception of a few bad seeds who used to hang around. It was really fun to reminisce about some of those random Internet people who I lured over here to hang out (THAT IS HOW I MET WONKA!!!!).

Then I wanted to do one where we were all “Doing Something,” which is how I pulled something in my side and then Jess said it’s actually possible to break a rib by doing stupid, minimal movements so then that sent my hypochondriac mind into a tailspin.

Jess & Wonka!

Dawn and Ricky! I love it when I get to hang out with them outside of the Castle but I didn’t get to talk to them much because Henry stole them!!! But, a bunch of are making plans to go to Castle Blood for the St. Patrick’s Day event that they’re having and I’m excited because I love going to the Castle but I especially love bringing fresh blood with me!

From the moment Corey set foot in the house, he homed in on the Feliz Navidad balloons and said, “I need my picture taken there before I leave.” I Think he said it like 4x!

I love this one because Taemin is part of it!

I would leave those balloons up forever if they’d stay a’puff.

Then Corey accidentally knocked over an ice cream cone planter I got at South of the Border and was so upset about it but it’s totally fine and can easily be glued back together – he is seriously obsessing over it though and even texted me about it again today!

I made those cookies. They’re just the Nestle Toll House ones though where the dough is pre-made and you just break it off and cook it haha. I added Xmas sprinkles though and everyone said they were delectable.

So there.

Anyway, the party came to end around 2am, and I can’t remember the last time I had a party that went on this late! It was so much fun, so great to bullshit with old friends and new friends, while drinking punch and pigging it out on party food.

Chooch is already planning the next party (a game night, I have passed the torch to him) so I’m looking forward to more chaos in the future!

Dec 122022

Another weekend full of fucking house shit. OK I guess I’m making it sound like this joint is in shambles, like we’re over here living in squalor or whatever. Honestly, the only thing that ACTUALLY needed to get done was that hole. All the other things are DIY projects that don’t matter but I wanted them to be done before the Xmas party because I am sooooo fucking Type A about this shit.

I let Henry have a break that night by permitting him to accompany me to a Home Alone-themed Christmas party at my friend Megan’s. It was just what I needed.




I would usually have anxiety in the hours leading up to any type of social event, but I felt strangely calm. Is old me really back after since ROBERT OPENED THE FRONT DOOR?

Look at this detail!

Funfetti cheese ball shaped like the hot doorbell!

I haven’t seen Home Alone probably since I was a teenager so all these little details sparked some memories for me and now I want to give this a decent rewatch soon. The only movies I ever watch over and over and over are horror movies so when people want to talk about their favorite Christmas flicks, I’m like a bump on a log.

Is that what that means??

Here is Henry refilling my snack plate for me. Megan had a festive party spread, but I lowkey was wishing he was filling my plate with Korean snacks.




I mean…CLEARS THROAT…deok, Choco Pies, kimbap.

One of my favorite parts was when Henry went into the kitchen to get another bev and then didn’t come back for a solid 10 minutes. Someone mentioned something about him fixing something in there and I was like, “Haha, yeah ok” but then he came striding out of the kitchen like a smug Schneider, this repulsive hero-smirk twitching ‘neath his mustache, flexing about how he was in there fixing the fridge BUT COME TO FIND OUT* that he is the one who broke it in the first place, so….

*(Henry used to always say this when we first got together but I was like, “Stop saying that, it’s lame” and so he retired it from his arsenal of Dumb Old White Man sayings.)

April and Nate!! I haven’t seen April in a REALLY long time. We were trying to figure it out and we think MAYBE as far back as the Chronica Nuptials???

Nate and I Jabber every day at work so it feels like I must hang out with him all of the time but in actuality, I think we have only seen each other 2 or 3 times this past year?? The pie party and one day we both randomly were in the office one day. We supposed to sign WILLS FOR VETERANS as WITNESSES one day in October through the Pro Bono committee thingie at work, but the event got canceled because apparently not enough veterans wanted to have their wills done for free. I was bummed too because if there is one thing I am totally fucking great at in life, it’s SIGNING MY NAME OVER AND OVER FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

Like, even when I told Henry I had volunteered for it, he said, “Wow that is perfect for you.”


Megan is the cutest and the coolest hostess!

You guys, I got Henry to unpack his other flannels!

Law Firm Frenz!

That was totally a fun time – I always think I’m a shell of who I used to be but then when I actually leave the house and go to where the people are, I suddenly remember how to carry on a conversation. I think it also helps having good friends who have other good friends! Literally every one of Megan’s friends I have met so far has been so lovely.

Then came Sunday. Did some shopping, picked up some ice cream from Sugar Spell, Henry mostly almost finished epoxying the coffee table!

I can’t wait to take pictures of it once it’s 100% complete! It should be totally cured by tomorrow or Wednesday, so he can out the table back together and it will be ready to be used by Saturday. The only thing I won’t have in time is the pink skeleton key drawer handle I bought for it because it’s coming from Canada and hasn’t even been shipped yet. (Ignore the fabric on the outer edges because that’s just the spill-over and will get cut off.)

But yeah, I had wanted to redo the G-Dragon table for a while because it wasn’t done properly so the image that Henry had Modpodged wasn’t able to withstand water-spillage, etc. I’m planning on making coasters out of various G-Dragon heads though for this table, so the G-Dragon theme will still live on in a way.

Then I did a really small bit of Xmas decorating. It’s a start, lol.

Anyway, I’m starting to get excited now for our Christmas Comeback Party. I used to love having these little holiday hangs at my house pre-Covid, even when our house was a total dumpster. We used to have so many game nights here too! I also just realized that this will be the first IN YEARS, MORE THAN A DECADE EVEN, that I will be able to leave the kitchen door open and use it as an extra room for people to mingle in. I’m so excited about that! That room used to be the biggest pit of all time, and now it’s the best room in the whole house.




Nov 252022

(Hello, I recommend reading this post first because I will be referencing people and incidents from that!)

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, around 9:30 and we were doing fuck all. In fact, I had just curled up on the couch with a book while Henry was working on something at the computer in the other room. Chooch was in his room playing dumb games with his friends.

I hadn’t even had a chance to open my book yet, when suddenly…

The front door opens.

I had about .25 seconds to run through the probability of this being either Henry or Chooch. Did one of them go outside through the basement, perhaps? And now they were coming back in?

But now there was a stranger standing in the doorway. He quietly closed the door behind him, then turned back into the room.

We locked eyes.

My mental People Rolodex is flipping at warped speed: WHO IS THIS MAN. DO I KNOW THIS MAN.

Now the man’s eyes are flicking around my house. “Oh…shit. I walked into the wrong house.”

“Yes,” I managed to whisper, half-paralyzed, not quite with fear but surprise. Shock.

This happened so quietly and calmly, that even Henry had a delayed reaction at the computer, not quite sure what is happening.

“Wow, this house is….I should go,” the man said, and turned to leave. Now I could hear Chooch creeping on the steps. He apparently thought it was Blake dropping off Starbucks for him after work and was shocked to see that, no this was not Blake.

“Yes, you should go,” I agreed, and now it clicked where I had seen this face before: he is one of the people moving in with Rob (please refer to previous post!) and he had also come over to Ruth’s on Monday to make sure was OK. Plus, I had seen him several times over the weekend moving stuff into the house.

So a stranger, but also a neighbor. But still a stranger.

“Do you mind if I just stand here and look around for a minute?” he asked.

Now here is the point where my constant need for praise and attention drop-kicked any remaining supply of rationality out of my cranial trap door. Since the pandemic, we have barely had anyone over here aside from family, Verizon guys, and plumbers. So I was kind of like, “YES, YOU MAY” which I know pissed Henry off, but hello I would like to note for the log that Henry was the last one in the house and didn’t shut the door all the way, so this is a very BLAME HENRY situation we have on our hands here. Also, passive Henry never once attempted to intervene.

Also, this guy was fucking high. Imagine walking into my house for the first time, incapacitated. This was around the time he finally introduced himself as Robert, the boyfriend of the girl also moving in with Rob who Rob said was his daughter but GET THIS: she is actually the ex-gf of Rob’s son, Brandon!? That is…weird? Right? That she’s living with her ex-bf’s dad and her new bf?

“Do you get high?” he asked, to which I immediately said no. “Oh, well do you mind if we smoke pot over there?” he asked, and I said that I didn’t care what he did as long as it wasn’t in my house (??) and he goes, “No, I mean, you can’t smell it through the walls, right?” I had to explain to him that he didn’t just walk into the wrong SIDE of his new house, he walked into the wrong house entirely.

“Well, we don’t share any walls since you’re all the way over there, so no, we can’t smell it,” I explained and then in my head, thought, “LOL that’s Ruth’s problem.”

Man, this guy (who was born in 1988, a fact I will never forget because he told me like 1,988 times and I wanted to be like, “THAT’S WHEN G-DRAGON WAS BORN!” but you know, we just met) had questions about everything. First, he asked if everything in here was for sale, like he thought this was a lighting store or something?

He’s still standing at this point, and I’m sitting on the couch wondering how much longer this was going to last before I had to tell him to leave. He was very quiet, calm, polite, totally high though. Henry wanted no part of this at all and LET ME DEAL WITH IT?! He told me later, “Oh, you seemed to have it under control. I assessed the situation and he didn’t appear to be a threat.” WOW, way to be the man of the house. Not to white Knight Henry, but imagine a petite Seth Rogen and that’s basically what walked into our house.

But then Robert started talking about the drama that happened the other day. “What the hell was up with that??” he asked, and I was like, “Buckle up, Robert, I’m an expert at Pioneer Ave information.” So now Robert is sitting on the couch and we’re chatting like old broads at tea time. I forgot that I used to be good at conversationing and peopling! Anyway, the irony was not lost on him that he essentially did the same thing as Johnny Cash, just in a much less sinister context.

You guys, he LET ME TALK ABOUT KOREA and that is all I ever want, truly.

I would also like to memorialize the fact that prior to this, I had put on a YouTube video about various things to do in the Smoky Mountains, nature-wise, and another extremely boring video had started playing with a super old man narrating in in a dry voice, like something you’d have watched in school on a day when you have a sub and they have nothing else to give you, work-wise. I desperately wanted to change it but the remote was on the other side of Robert. So I let the boring ass video play on like in some old bitch living in a wood-paneled RV.

I mean, that seems like the type of TV someone like that would watch.

About 30 minutes in, he mentioned that he was born in Romania and I almost lunged at him in excitement.

“I AM OBSESSED WITH ROMANIA,” I said in a very serious fashion, and he was caught off guard by this.

I will say it was frustrating though because he couldn’t remember anything and asked me numerous times what my name is and how long I’ve been living here. Henry said he texted Chooch at one point and said, “It’s like a revolving convo.” I demanded a screenshot of these texts for journalistic purposes:

Typical Chooch, only cares about his drink, zero concern for Mum’s safety.

Apparently during other parts, Chooch was hovering on the steps listening in and he and Henry were communicating through facial expressions. I wish I could have seen their faces when ROMANIA came up because I’m sure Henry closed his eyes in defeat and Chooch gave his fists a “NOW SHE WILL NEVER LET HIM LEAVE” shake.

So yeah, Robert moved to the States with his parents from Romania when he was 7 but he still speaks Romanian fluently and was just there this year to visit family! HE TAUGHT  ME HOW TO SAY HELLO HOW ARE YOU IN ROMANIAN BUT I ALREADY FORGOT.

Anyway, he stayed for an hour and then we wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving, he apologized again, and that was that. I got up and immediately locked the door behind him.

I immediately texted my brother, Corey, because he is so invested in the Pioneer drama.

Truly! That was not how I saw the night going. Look, I am clearly starved for conversation! I knew this was filling a void when I abandoned all of my filters and started giddily telling Robert about the squirrels. “And they love grapes, but they call them by the Korean word, podo!” (Henry texted Chooch at this point like, “great, now she’s talking about the squirrels.”)

Anyway, Corey and I are now exclusively referring to Robert as Vlad so as not to confuse him with Rob.

Chooch cautiously came downstairs a few minutes later. “OMG did he finally leave?” he asked, and then gave me a very disappointed head shake. Turns out he wasn’t worried that this guy was going to murder me, he was just annoyed because Blake had left his Starbucks in a bag on the porch and Chooch didn’t want to have to walk past Robert. He apparently texted Blake said he couldn’t get it right away because some guy was in the house.

Blake goes, “Who, dad’s new boyfriend?” (When Henry heard about this he mockingly laughed and said, “wow you guys are all so funny.”)

Chooch said, “No, some guy living with Rob. He just walked into our house.”

And Blake said, “Oh cool.”


“I just can’t believe this happened two nights after you were telling me about the other time someone walked into the house,” Chooch said, and my mind is also a little blown about that too. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! (Aside from us needing to triple-check that the door is locked.)


“Wow, you wanna talk about someone who can talk…” Henry sighed, after Robert left.

“Oh I know right, I didn’t think he was ever going to leave!” I said.

“I was talking about you,” Henry frowned.


I bet Vlad doesn’t even remember being here.

Oct 052022

Yo, let’s spend this entire post talking about the decorations and people who came to eat pie and whatever else I decide is worth being chronicled. I’m admittedly still recovering from this day. It was a lot of socializing but it also kind of invigorated me in a way, too, and made me remember how much I love(d) having get togethers. Now I want to have a Christmas gathering at my house! Possibly! I think so!

First of all, I want to say that when we decided to bring back this “event” back in June, my plans were bigly. Oh, I was going to buy all new decorations! I was going to have games for the CHILDREN! I was going to have disposable cameras on all of the tables because that is something people sometimes do at wedding receptions and this is the closes to THAT I’ll ever get!

But then — roadtrips and rollercoasters, man. All summer long. A bitch had no room in her heart or mind to be caring about pie decor. I mean, we still had some stuff left from previous years, but things like the giant sequined PIE PARTY sign and the rustic burlap tablecloths have seen better days, son. Most of our DIY pie pedestals were still intact (though one broke AT THE PIE PARTY before I even had a chance to put it on the table) but man…I just really shit the bed with the aesthetics this time around.

I didn’t even had centerpieces!!!! Usually I have dumb fake flowers in autumnal colors sticking out of rando’ glass bottles from my idiot beverage collection.

One thing I did do that was new was create a stupid photo backdrop. It occurred to me on the way home from Party City that the backdrop I bought was DEFINITELY created with “gender” reveals in mind. But you know what? Fuck that antiquated bullshit! Pies can be pink and blue too. I mean, those are the first colors I think of when I think of…crust.

Corey, bless his heart, arrived early to help me decorate. I feel like every time I have a pie party, someone always asks if they can help and I’m like “Yeah come early and help me set up please” and then they come like 90 minutes into the damn thing. But Corey was reliable! And also, tall. Which is what I needed when it came to hanging shit.

I was SO PISSED when I opened the package for this damn baby shower fringe because it was in NINE PIECES. Corey and I spent approx. 2 minutes trying to figure out how to hang it before giving up and phoning a friend (aka Henry).

I dunno, I think it turned out OK in the end after Henry MacGyver’d it with twine and a SWITCHBLADE.

OK it wasn’t a switchblade, actually. Just a boxcutter I think. But then he left it open on one of the tables and people were starting to arrive so Corey and I were like WE HAVE TO CLOSE THIS BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT (that’s what you get for bringing a pie to a box-knife fight, etc etc etc). Then we were too scared (OK I was too scared and Corey just couldn’t figure out how to close it) so we had to call Henry over again to bail us out.

Did I mention that Margie and her daughter Jordan were the first guest to arrive and got to witness Corey and me, the Super Sibs, practically wrapping ourselves in twine while trying to hang decorations? Hope you enjoyed the show, Margie and Jordan!

I took the above picture with The Good Camera as a test shot and it came out fine but I didn’t feel like fucking around with lighting and settings once people arrived so I ended up just using my phone for the pie party people shots. :/

Test photo with the iPhone. It was fine!

I totally forgot that I made these “Eat Pie” buntings two pie parties ago and they haven’t gotten any easier to read. I made 3 of them for some reason?? OK Erin, calm down.

OK, I failed to get pictures of every single pie partyer in front of the dumb baby shower-y backdrop, but here are the ones I did take, starting with the Sibs: me, Amy, and Corey:

Amy’s husband Dick was also in attendance but he is the one taking this lovely photo!

Random fact of the day: I was adamant on having environmentally-friendly plates and forks, but Henry bought the smallest plates ever and people were legit outraged over this.

“They are literally dessert plates!” Henry cried defensively.

“YEAH BUT THIS IS A FUCKING PIE PARTY, WE NEED LARGE PLATES LIKE FOR A BUFFET!” I screamed back. Luckily, he had also thrown a pack of larger Dixie paper plates in the car in case we ran out of the others, so everyone just went straight for those ones. Whatever.

My work frenemy Glenn (not pictured: his wife and daughter, Amanda and Eve) and Chris, one of my oldest pals! We’ve known each other since kindergarten. Chris is the purveyor of a wonderful local honey company called Sonny Rose Ranch so if you’re in Pgh and need some honey, look for his products around town! He also makes an excellent hot honey, FYI! Anyway, Glenn and Chris know each other because they worked together at Macy’s a long time ago! Glenn tried to tell Chris that I’m the office bully but Chris did not believe him for a SECOND because he knows me to be the SWEETEST GIRL EVER.

Fun Fact of the Day #2: Henry had changed out of his “nice” shirt while he was loading everything into the car and then forgot to change back into it so instead of wearing a non-descript gray shirt to the pie party, he wore a gray shirt with the EVERFRESH JUICE LOGO on it and I was really angry about this even though no one comes to any of my events expecting Henry to be wearing a nice polo shirt and boat shoes.

Nate and Lori!!

More pie decor that I forgot about. Corey was super smitten with this one for some reason.

Fun Fact of the Day #3: The day after the pie party, Margie Jabbered me at work and thanked me, Henry and COREY for hosting such a lovely event. I texted Corey and to tell him he had somehow been promoted in people’s minds to cohost and he admitted that at one point during the day, after he had greeted the umpteenth person and taken their pie for them, he thought to himself, “Wait, what am I doing?” LOL!

Corey is a natural people-person. Hit him up if you want to buy a house and also walk away with like 87 inside jokes in the process!

Eric and Megan! They were on the tail end of action-packed wedding festivities for Megan’s brother, so the fact that they even showed up let alone were able to engage in conversations was amazing. Megan did look like she was falling asleep while holding a pie plate at one point though, don’t blame her!

Gayle and Jeffrey! Gayle brought one of Jeffrey’s photos of Pittsburgh to raffle off. I was the lucky bitch who got to pull the ticket from the can (actually we used the empty box that the Panda snacks came in lol) and it was Lauren! Congrats, Lauren!

Fun Fact #4 of the day: Gayle is actually the reason why the pie party was resurrected. She had texted me last spring and was like PLEASE CONSIDER and I was like OK I AM CONSIDERING and well, THE REST IS HISTORY.

So they say.

God, I hadn’t seen Gayle in quite some time so it was nice to see her familiar, friendly face, now framed by multi-colored fringe!

Henry and Wonka, talking about electrical / computer / welding stuff probably. It looks like there is no one there but before you get all hater hater talk talk, please note that this was in the final hour of the pie party after most of the pie eaters left and the last wave rolled in.

Lucas came with his daughter! Aside from several late shift happy hours back in the day when I actually went out after work, I don’t think I have ever actually seen Lucas at a non-work social event!? He casually mentioned at, well, CASUAL LUNCH the week before that he was coming with his daughter and I almost died. It took a decade, but I think a lot of work friends finally started to understand that the pie party was a real event and not some weird seance in the woods that I was luring people to.

Fun fact #5 (?) of the day: I think I only cut one slice of pie on my own all day and relied heavily on others for the rest. Here is Henry cutting a piece of the beastly big boy pie that came courtesy of Kara’s husband Chris.

Chooch being a test subject for the PIE BACKDROP before the party started. I needed to make sure my dumb phone was going to take ok pictures, etc. I barely saw him all day, as usual. This time, he called his friend Zakk right before the party started, but after we were already at the pavilion, and made him take the T to South Park and then was going to make him walk the 45 minutes to the pavilion. “Or I can send a random person to get you,” I overheard him saying, so I was like OMG just tell your dad to go get him!

Basically, Zakk is to Chooch as Janna is to me.

MARGIE refused to have an OFFISH PIE PARTY PIC taken so the only photographical evidence I have of her and her daughter’s attendance is this one, and also the back of Wendy who was there with her daughter Summer but left before I started forcing people to pose for me.

Fun fact #6 of the day: Wendy actually was supposed to only stay for like 30 minutes because she had to go all  the way back home for Summer’s soccer game later that afternoon and she lives pretty far away and also her husband Shawn is the coach, but she ended up staying for well over an hour and I heard her tell at least 6 people, “I have to leave now” only to find her talking to someone else 15 minutes later.

This is so VERY VERY WENDY, and if you don’t know her, now it’s basically like you do!

Me & Debby I.!

Fun Fact #7 of the day: I babysit those children sometimes. They kept trying to get me to play with them and I was like, “I can’t right now, I’m playing with *my* friends!” HAHAHAHA. I truly don’t think that they realize I’m an adult. I said this to Henry tonight after another babysitting shift and he said, “No one really does.”

Kara and Theo! It’s been so long since I’ve seen either of them that Theo didn’t even remember me :( Kara wasn’t able to make it to the last Pie Party in 2017 and I think it was the first time she ever missed one and it was really sad, so I was stoked that she could make it to this one, but unstoked that I barely had a chance to talk to her. I literally cannot function at social things. Every time I try to flashback and hover on the ceiling of the pavilion to spy on myself, I feel like I was a blubbering mess the whole day. WHAT DID I EVEN SAY TO PEOPLE?? I can’t remember! I just made grunts and whinnies, I think.

The Robbins Gang, plus Haley’s mom, and Blake’s friend Artie and his son Asher.

Fun Fact #8 of the day: Artie was at the very first pie party in 2010! I had no idea who he was, but he arrived early with Blake and proceeded to climb into the rafters of the pavilion roof and throw pennies at me while I was trying to set up. That was legit my first memory of him. Now he’s an adult with a kid and he works with Henry! He’s Henry’s work son!

Also, Haley’s mom is motherfucking goals. LOOK AT HER! Sometimes, I actually mistake her for Haley, she is so ageless.

I love this photo of Corey cutting me a piece of the Earl Grey pie! I wish I had used my “good camera” more that day, ugh. Anyway, this picture is hilarious to me because when Corey was younger (like 13 or 14?), we went to a murder mystery dinner and Henry had to cut his pork chops. Now we’ve come full circle-ish!

YOU GUYS Todd actually showed up! After trolling me year and year after when I invited him to the pie party, this time he finally showed up! I think he genuinely misses his old team! Here I am with my frenemy GLENN, Nate, Lauren, and Todd!

I’m posting two versions because I love that Nate is laughing so hard in this one! Man, we were a great team. SIGH. ALSO I JUST REALIZED THAT NATE IS WEARING CROCS. This was a really huge and important discussion we had a few mths ago in our group chat at work where Nate was like, “I FEEL LIKE I NEED TO BUY CROCS BECAUSE OF THE SUMMER ACTIVITIES I WILL BE DOING WITH MY NIECE AND NEPHEW BUT I’M SCARED” and some of us were like DO NOT but as you can see, he crossed over to the Croc side. It’s fine. Nate is the type of person who can wear Crocs without letting them define him.

I think.

No, he is. It’s cool.

They’re not as cool as my Vans though.

Here’s Nate talking to Margie probably about his Crocs.

We collected more people! In this one, we added Gayle who used to be part of our work group, and Rachel, who used to be the supervisor of our group. Henry was getting tired of taking these pictures, I think. LOL oh well.

OMG OMG OMG along with Todd, the other surprise guest of the day was Aaron and his twins!! Aaron has also trolled me for years: “Oh yeah, SURE I’ll come to the ‘pie party’ tro lolololol.” This time, he said nothing when I sent out the invite on Insta and at work. So I was really surprised when I turned around at one point that day and he was there!

And he admitted the next day that it was actually fun!

Ethan and his girlfriend! I was so happy they came out for this! Ethan is like me in some ways and is very much like “Aw that’s cute that you thought to invite me to this thing that I was most definitely not be attending” but he ended up coming! I think maybe it was also because I was giving Sandy her GOODBYE gift (she left The Law Firm last June, still very sad about this) that day and it involved him.

(I made another one of the annoying Paint Gem pictures, with Ethan’s face as the focal point. I would post it here but it is several layers of inside jokes and I’m actually only on the sidelines of said jokes so you would really probably not give a shit at all, blog reader.)

Nate, Lauren, and Lori!

Jack, Jill, and Regina came later in the day!

Fun fact #9 of the day: Chooch’s interest in driving had a revival on this day for some reason and he started taking the practice permit test on his phone again. Regina and Rachel were SUPER INTO this and shouting out their guesses.

Jess and Wonka! They GOT MARRIED since the last time I saw them! I made some snide comment while Henry was in ear shot about how we are still just UNMARRIED and Jess tried to make me feel better by saying that nothing really changes by getting married, and then asked, “Do you even really want to get married?” and before I had a chance to answer, Wonka said, “Oh yeah. She does.”


Fun fact of the day #10: I met Wonka in a local Pgh chatroom in 1999 and we are still friends somehow even though he is a Major Smart and I am le dumz0rz.

Sandy and Zoe! Not pictured: Ben and Elena because I think they had already started walking to the car when I screamed SANDY WAIT, lol.

Fun fact of the day #11: The first pie party is actually how Sandy and I went from co-workers to actual friends. She had heard some people talking about going to the pie party and she came to my desk and said, “I want to come to the pie party too” so we became Facebook friends and I sent her the Facebook event and the rest is history! I remember super vividly that she came straight from a flag football game and was still wearing a bandanna in her hair! She hated coming to South Park then, and she still hates it now, as the first thing she said to me that day was, “I hate driving to South Park SO MUCH.”

Fun Fact of the day #12: In Pittsburgh, depending on what side of The River you live on, you hate crossing the river to go anywhere on the other side. Sandy lives in the North Hills and has to come to the DREADED SOUTH HILLS for the pie party every time, so this is a testament of how great the pie party is, that she religiously chooses the anguish of crossing The River to come out for it!

Michele and her baby Mina! Not pictured: Michele’s husband and two other kids, and her visiting sister and her kids. Michele had actually emailed me a few days before the party and said that her sister was visiting from NY and asked if she could bring the whole crew, and I was like YES PLZ because at this time I was sincerely worried that barely anyone was going to show up!

Everyone is always welcome at the pie party!

Amber and Ellie! OMG this was my first time meeting Ellie and her laugh was CONTAGIOUS! I kept hearing it in the background and it was making me so happy!

Sadly, Amber left before Todd got there :(

Me, Janna, and Ivy!

Fun fact of the day #13: While Janna was peeing in the PORTAPOTTY, she had Kara holding Ivy’s leash. I guess Lily, Henry’s granddaughter, was riling Ivy up, because Ivy jumped and she and Lily bumped heads. Lili start crying hysterically, and everyone stopped and stared, and I happened to be standing right in the epicenter of it so I had to pretend like I was also concerned but honestly I had no idea what was going on. Kara kept saying really loud, “WHERE IS YOUR MOM, DOG?” and it was hilarious because the “between the lines” of that was, “THIS IS NOT MY DOG, I WAS JUST ASKED TO HOLD HER, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE.”

It ended up being fine though. Blake and Haley were totally unbothered by it because it was obvious that Ivy didn’t actually bite her – there were no marks on Lily’s face – and that’s when it was determined that they probably just bumped faces. Honestly, the scariest part to me was Kara screaming when it happened, lol!

Also not pictured: two of Janna’s friends who came toward the end of the day! Kelly and Jen, I believe.

Fun Fact of the Day #14: This was the first time ever that Chooch drove, and I thought Margie was kidding when she said, “Why is your kid getting into the driver’s side of your car, Erin?” and I was like, “Oh ho ho he must just be effing around” and then HENRY GOT IN THE PASSENGER SIDE? He just let him drive around the parking lot a little bit, but it was scary, watching my car lurch forward, poor Jinki. :(

Yeah, more on that later, lol.

Overall, it was a really successful pie party! Hopefully we’ll do this again next year so those who couldn’t be there this time can hopefully make it next time – PIE OR DIE, YO!!

Oct 022022

After a five year hiatus, I was finally worn enough by some fanatical pie-eaters and agreed to bring back the BELOVED PIE PARTY. The last one we had was in 2017 and was just really disappointing – we had a very shitty turn out and I 100% blame the fact that I left Facebook and you know, out of sight, out of mind. My invitation just didn’t have the reach that it did in years past when I was creating stupid Facebook Events for it.

This time, I posted about it on Instagram, personally texted people who aren’t on Insta, and sent a group email at work. In the beginning, my “interest check” on Insta seemed to really kick up a lot of excitement but I would say only about 1/3 of the people who said they were coming actually showed up. Somehow, even though the weather forecast was showing all day rain and storms, we had a really great turnout! I haven’t done an official headcount yet, but I want to say there were about 50 people overall. Of course, this was over the span of 6 hours. I didn’t have high expectations for this, so I was actually pleasantly pleased at the turnout, and there were some surprise appearances too!

And guess what, you guys? The weather was actually DELIGHTFUL. There was a very small window toward the end of the day where we experienced a downpour, but I swear it only lasted about 5 or 10 minutes. I will divulge all the details in another post, but I wanted to share pictures of some of the pies today, because we all know that’s what the people want.

Some of these photos are courtesy of my brother Corey since I was too distracted to take many of my own. :/

Megan and my sister Amy are definitely tied for most creative (edible) pie. Megan brought a Root Beer Float pie that was soooo refreshing! I have never heard of a root beer float pie before, leave it to Megan to find that recipe!

And Amy made a PAW PAW pie! If you don’t know, paw paws are fruits that are regional to the Ohio area. They have a big festival that I’ve always wanted to go to but never have. Thank god Amy and her husband Dick went or we wouldn’t have been treated this to! I have never actually had an actual paw paw before but I had seen a comparison between them and cherimoya, and if you know me at all, you will know that those bitches are one of my favorite fruits ever even though they look absolutely DISGUSTING. Literally like wet, white flesh with huge black seeds – it just looks like you’re eating the end game of a high school science class dissection. I can’t really explain it any other way but I have to really set aside my texture phobias in order to enjoy a fresh cherimoya. So I can confirm that the paw paw *does* taste similar based on the flavor of this pie! It’s kind of like a mild pineapple / mango flavor, without really giving off tropical vibes. If that makes sense. The texture of the pie was similar to the guts of a pecan pie. I really enjoyed this!

It was extra funny/exciting because a few weeks ago, there was a discussion about weird fruits in the Support Group Chat, which as you might remember, I am not a member of the support team anymore, though they do invite me to their chat every Friday as the “Special Guest” where I proceed to do little else than annoy Glenn. Anyway, this wasn’t a Friday but Amber quickly added me since it was in my wheelhouse. Wendi* had name-dropped paw paws which OF COURSE none of the fruit pleibs knew anything about but I did, since I am the resident weird fruit authority. Anyway, I thought it was crazy that someone actually a brought a paw paw pie!

*(Wendis a newer member of the team and so awesome! I aggressively invited her to the pie party at our recent in-office Casual Lunch. She said she had to visit her grandma that day and I practically lunged across the table and shouted, “BRING YOUR GRANDMA!” Clearly this was not something she wanted to do because neither Wendi nor her grandma showed up on Sunday but to be fair, Casual Lunch was the first time she ever met me IN REAL LIFE so that was probably a lot to digest for the time being. We did chat about the day after the pie party though and she said she definitely wants to come next year now that she knows it’s not a trap, j/k she didn’t say that last part but I’m just guessing that’s what she was thinking.)

I’m not sure who brought the lemon meringue pie but thank you, kind soul, because Chooch obsessed over it for days and insisted that out of all the leftover pies, this was the one that HAD to come home with us. I think he even caught Henry offering it to Janna at the end of the day and quickly swooped in. I was Pie Party 2022 days old when I learned that my son’s favorite pie is lemon meringue. Literally have never witnessed him ordering this at any restaurant ever but maybe it’s something WESLEY’S MOM used to bake for him when he would go to their house to play. UGH WESLEY’S MOM.

I am so pissed about this because I originally had it spelled correctly but then it got smudged and when I re-wrote it, I FUCKING SPELLED IT WRONG. FML.

Anyway, I don’t want to be like, “Hello, it is my pie party and my pie was the winner,” but everyone was like freaking out over this pie so I think it was the winner?? I mean, we don’t judge. It’s not a contest. Also, it wasn’t actually my pie – Henry baked it. HOWEVER, it was my idea AND I had him change the recipe and use a shortbread crust instead of regular crust because you know, tea and BISCUITS or whatever.

I only had a tiny slice and can’t even remember anything about it other than it was good, but all day people were like EARL GREY this and that and I was like OK I guess “Henry’s pie” was a success but I had to keep interjecting myself into convos to alert people to the fact that I found the recipe and the shortbread crust, WHICH REALLY TOOK IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL, was also my creative design.

Corey apparently posted about this on Facebook because my friend Lisa, a seasoned pie party attendee who now lives in Idaho, texted me on Friday and was like WHAT IS THIS I HEAR ABOUT AN EARL GREY PIE?? Her interest was piqued and she decided she wanted to attempt it for the her game night the next day so I had to be a recipe relayer between Henry and her and that was pretty annoying because she would ask me specific questions about the recipe and then Henry would have some answer I didn’t understand and it just went on like that until the last text I got from her said “Hard part is done!” whatever that means. I should probably ask her today how it turned out….

Haley made a shoofly pie (which as you know is a pie type that I am also obsessed with thanks to my strong ties to the Amish world) and broccoli and cheese hand pies so she won the award for “something no one else brought” because those hand pies were a great idea and it’s always so great to have some savory offerings on the table too, like Sandy’s famous corn and tomato pie which she brings every year and I think pie party OGs would revolt if she ever stopped! Kara’s husband also made a savory vegan BBQ seitan mac & cheese casserole pie which was a great addition to the lonely vegan section (it was hers and Henry’s three pies, and then literally not a single one of my vegan friends came, oh well;  thought animal-free options would bring the Vs to the park, but I guess I need to find new ways to lure them).

I *think* that pumpkin pie up there was brought by Haley’s mom; regardless of who carried it in, it was delicious! Aside from Debby’s baby pumpkin streusel bites below, I think that was the only pumpkin pie variety of the whole entire day which is actually crazy to me!

OMG these were both so good. I’m so glad Debby came with this tray of delicate little one-bites. The lemon blueberry ones had a ladylock-like crust!! Also, Corey wrote the tags and it took 4 people to tell him how to spell streusel. The pie party is more than just pie, it’s also about learning.

Henry made three other pies. A vegan banoffee pie which he is STILL angry about because he followed the recipe to a T and it turned out “FINE” but it was not what he was expecting and he keeps threatening to “comment on that video!!” I mean, I agree with him though because the whole point of the video was that it was a 5-ingredient recipe but then in the actual recipe portion, there is a SIXTH INGREDIENT!? I dunno, it was ok but just *really* rich. It was a bit too much. I know the bananas were like part of the name or whatever, but I think I would have liked it better without them.

Anyway, Henry let me decorate this one! I was watching him pipe the whipped cream around the edges and said, “OOH CAN I WRITE SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE” and he got real tense and asked, “Like what?”

“I dunno,” I shrugged. “ERIN RULZ.” Because obviously I knew the whole time.

Henry sighed and mumbled, “Whatever.”

I think this is a big reason why no one was trying the banoffee pie, because they assumed I might have baked the entire thing, lol.

The sad vegan section. Henry’s third vegan pie back there was a carrot pie and it was so delicious but no one really tried it! I kind of wonder if people were afraid of the vegan tag or if they though it was reserved for the imaginary vegans? In any case, we got to take half of it home with us and I enjoyed it throughout the week. If you don’t believe me, you can ask the scale in my bedroom.

The fourth and only non-vegan Henry made was ALSO MY IDEA. I really wanted to incorporate my beloved G-Dragon into the festivities somehow and OBVIOULSY the best way to accomplish that was a dragonfruit pie. There are actually quite a few recipes out there for this! They all call for regular dragonfruit, but I made Henry use a fire dragonfruit, since they are such a deep, bright shade of fuschia which is also a hair color GD has sported numerous times over the years. I made the GD and peaceminusone flower cut-outs from regular dragonfruit. Anyway, this was another hit! It was demolished halfway through the party so sorry to the people who came for the last half.

I was really nervous though because Henry’s granddaughter Lily kept taking my GD doll and calling him a girl and I was like “OK HE IS A MAN NAMED G-DRAGON CAN I PLEASE HAVE HIM BACK NOW OMG.” It was just a bad scene. Apparently, several people witnessed this and made fun of me about it later but COME ON, MY GD DOLL IS NOT A TOY, THANK YOU.

My work friends were neither surprised nor confused about this pie. They are fully aware of my childish obsessions.

Um I dunno who brought this pie but it was BEAUTIFUL!

I think that about does it for pie pictures, sadly. I can also tell you that two more shoofly pies arrived later, we had three key lime pies in total (!), someone brought an apple sour cream pie that I couldn’t stop eating, and there were pies galore with every type of berry you could imagine. It was such a great spread but HOO BOY am I all pie’d out.

Oh! The winner for most creative pie overall was Nate, who brought this set of Chinese dominoes:

Chooch very quickly swooped in and claimed this.