This weekend I was B.U.S.Y. It all started Friday when Paul escaped from his cage – again. We captured him, THANK GOD – and now he is in solitary confinement with his cage taped shut until he can learn how to better behave. Sorry buddy, but that’s what happens when you can’t follow the rules.
Fast forward to Saturday and Sunday, which really did feel like was in double time. My boyfriend, mom and dad all worked their butts off to scrape down the paint on the front of my house (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!). The paint was, in my mom’s words, “alligatoring” (not sure that’s really a word, but the woman gets things done so she can make up as many words as she wants) like crazy, and had about a billion layers of paint either stuck on really really good, or completely flaking off. Needless to say, was absolutely brutal to take off in the 85-90 degree heat and sun! We got the majority of the scraping off on Saturday and Sunday we were able to prime by Sunday afteroon. With only that done, and still needing to actually put the real paint on, it already looks a million times better!
After we finished that project for the day on Sunday, for some ingenious reason I decided it would be a good idea to continue with a million yard chores. I transplanted some monster Hostas, weeded my gardens, put down the rest of the mulch, sprayed my patio with weed killer, and just for the fun of it, cleaned out my garage. While I’m thrilled that I crossed so many things off my never-ending list of busywork, you can only imagine that I was exhausted by the end. (So exhausted, in fact, that I cracked a beer and never even took one sip of it – and if you know me, that’s out of the norm.)
Now for the reason of this post: So after I finished I have a bunch of things at the road for Trash Day, which is Monday. I had a couple tube TVs out there, the old vanity mirrors from my bathrooms, some leave bags and my regular garbage. About 30 feet away, I have my car parked, and next to my car on the curb, leaning up against my car – not visible from the street unless you’re really looking, and clearly not with my pile of trash I have 3-4 bags of empty bottles and cans, a couple boxes of bottles and cans and a big plastic garbage can full of, you guessed it, bottles and cans. I’m guessing this could easily be around 500 bottles and can as it was the past 6-8 months of bottles and cans from me and my roommates and the parties we’ve thrown.
Anyways, I’m in my house and something catches my eye. Its an old beat up pick up truck with a bunch of sh*t in the back. I glance out the window and see if this person is taking one of my TVs or vanities – hey, you know “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. To my disbelief, this stranger was actually parked in front of my trash, but walking over to my car and stealing all my recyclables. In fact, by the time I got to my door she already had all the bags in her truck and had her grubby hands on the (non-disposable) garbage can as though she was going to throw that in the back of her truck too! I don’t know if it was the heat, my exhaustion or my pure disbelief of what was going on, but the whole situation instantly infuriated me. Enough, in fact, that I stooped down to her WT level and opened my front door and yelled at her. I’m sorry, petty as it may be, I worked my ass off all weekend – I’m at least going to get $25 for it.
Listen, I’m the queen of up-cycling. I have absolutely no shame when it comes to taking things off people’s front yards. Truth be told I have gotten tons of things from outdoor furniture, to kitchen table chairs, to mirrors, to a dresser and even a nice desk that I’ve gotten completely for free. The difference, however, is that these items either had a sign that said “FREE” or if I was unsure, I knocked on the owner’s door and asked (hey, I said I have no shame), unlike this scoundrel. Let this be a lesson to you all…unless you are absolutely certain that they are being given away, or don’t care if some crazy lady comes out and yells at you – don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Peace, Love & Yardwork xo!
A few weeks ago, I enthusiastically expanded my family. #blessed. On this specific day, I spent the first half of the morning playing on a playscape with a 4 year old and 2 year old, and the second half of the morning watching the most adorable 2 year old laugh and holding a newborn. Needless to say, by the time we were eating lunch, the only thing I could think about is the fact that there is no way I could live my life another day without something cute to play with at my own house. So, I took the necessary measures and $14 and 2 hours later, meet Paul McNibbler.
Immediately after Paul got home, I knew he was the perfect fit. First off, we have a lot of the same hobbies.
Paul, like me, loves chips. It’s literally his most favorite snack. He tries to save some for later (don’t we all) by putting them in his food bowl when he’s done, but that never lasts long. You know what they say – once you pop, the fun don’t stop. And once he’s done snacking he licks his teeny tiny little fingers. I. die. everytime. We’re (me and Paul, that is) trying to lay off the chips, though, because he’s really started to pack on the grams and I’m starting to get concerned about him fitting through his tunnels.
He also loves running. In fact, his pure athleticism has inspired me to lace up my old kicks and get back out there. My fear, however, is that the combination of his constant carbo-loading and cardio-training has not only increased his curiosity about my homes’ nooks and crannies – specifically the nook of the couch and the cranny of everything inside the couch – but is also giving him olympic-level training.
Sweet Paul has already escaped TWICE. I will admit that the first time he got loose there is a possibility that it may have been because I left his cage open (jury is still out on that one), but this last time…it was really a doozy. Paul escaped sometime after 10PM on Friday from a cage that looked completely closed. By the time I realized his absence it was Saturday morning and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find him until Sunday because he doesnt normally get up until 8PM and I would be out at a concert by then (priorities). When i got home from the concert I put his cage on the floor and opened the door and put a chip (what else!?) in there. I guess I just figured that after a while he’d want to go home, and once he was home and saw his favorite treat he’d want to snack on it in bed with his eyes closed like I do and then go right to sleep…i mean….he’d have the decency to just stay there. I was wrong. Sunday morning comes and the chip is gone; unfortunately, still is the hamster. What a little rascal. So now I know this rodent is just playing me…but at least I now know he’s still kickin around somewhere.
Later in the day I’m watching TV when I hear something – yep, it was Paul…inside my couch. So I do what anyone would do, I flip the couch over and rip the lining of the bottom of the couch – perfectly logical. perfectly efficient. After all, I have been without Paul now for approximately 36 hours, which in hamster time is about 3 months – let’s be realistic people, he’s not going to live forever and I need to make sure I am able to spend the best years of his life w him. I got my wits about me and did the only thing i knew how – bribe him with food. 1 cheese-it and 2 lightly salted lays later (He was so cute for the first cheese-it and chip that I couldn’t get it together quick enough to capture him) I was able to lure him out of the depths of my sofa. I gave him a long talking to about how misbehaved he was and let him know that next time his punishment wouldn’t be so lenient.
There’s so many more adventures to share with you, but not today. Today I’m exhausted. No one ever told me how hard this parenting gig really got.
Stay tuned for more adventures with Paul and other random thoughts.
Peace, Love and Hamsters! xo
Dear teenage boy who literally stopped driving today to tell me I’m beautiful while I was out for my run,
Thank you. You made my whole day.
☮xo – Erin
PS- driving by a second time and giving me a thumbs up was a nice touch. 😉
I’ve never had much luck in the dating world. No, seriously. It all started with my first boyfriend when I was in middle school. I was pretty sure we would be together forever and get married, have 4 kids, have a house in CT and also a log cabin in ME on a lake (obviously where we’d vacation) and live a picture perfect life, but then he hooked up with my (ex)best-friend. Cool. Back then it didn’t take much time to get over guys. A couple hundred phone calls (remember this was long before the days of cell phone and text messages) to his parents house and a dramatic bike ride over to his house to drop off a “box of his things” pretty much did the trick. From then on there was a series of high school drops outs, drug addicts, and down right boring guys-I mean I’m an independent, smart, fun girl, why wouldn’t I go that route. It really only makes sense, right? Don’t they say opposites attract…?
Now, being in my late twenties, most of my friends are married, engaged, in super-boring-super-serious-super-longterm relationships, or busy chasing their rug rats around Target. I did something I never wanted to, I’m embarrassed that I did, and I can confidently say I will never do again. I entered the online dating world. Some of my friends (and family) tell me I’m picky, judgmental, or not willing to try – my other friends, and the general public, is just too nice to say that to my face-or maybe they just don’t know me well enough. I like those people.
Anyways, back to online dating…how does that saying go? Oh yea, I came, I saw, I
conquered threw up in my mouth a little bit. I was out to dinner with a friend of mine not too long ago and she, newly single, mentioned considering online dating. I gave her the best advice in the world: DON’T. DO. IT. Why? Well because people who online date, in my experience, do it for a reason. Ya, ya, ya, your sister met her husband on plenty-of-fish and he’s a ‘real catch’, your cousin met his girlfriend on ‘match’ and they really hit it off, your grandma met her lova on “Our Time” and they are having the time of their life. I get it. There are fairy tale endings out there, but I’m no princess so that shit just ain’t for me. Just so you can really taste it, let me tell you about my favorite 10 guys I’ve met online and you can tell me if I was too quick to judge or if I saw where it was going and was able to make it to safe room before the tornado.
Time capsule – I call him this for two reasons. 1. because I feel like I talked to him for an eternity and 2. because on our first date – literally the first time we ever met, he made me look at over 1,000 photos on his iphone of cruise he went on with his parents. Somewhere around 1,500 I said “lets save the rest for next time”. Spoiler alert – there was no next time. Seriously, I saw more pictures of his parents than I’ve seen of my own parents-in my whole entire life. I love pictures and will have absolutely no problem making you look at the scrapbooks I made in high school, but this was intense, even for me.
Hey Girl Heyyyyyy – So this guy was…different. I’m not sure if he was trying to convince himself or convince me, but he definitely checked some wrong boxes on that dating site. He loved hot coacoa, “hangin out with the girls”, and his alcoholic drink of choice – mudslides. “Um dirty martini over here please!” <–that was literally what I said as I snapped my fingers for the waiter mid-meal on our LUNCH date. Hey alcohol doesn’t solve problems, but neither does water or milk, am I right?
The Alcoholic – This guy seemed really nice. Actually, I thought he might actually be someone that I could hang out with, but I found out sooner (thank god) than later that he really just wanted to get drunk. Literally- he told me he wasn’t interested in eating because “then he wouldn’t be able to drink as much”, and when I said, well it sound like you just want to get wasted, he said “well I do, I really wanted to get drunk last night but I didn’t” Yea, that date never even happened. Oh, and for kickers, he was actually going to pick me up. Luckily I found his intents before I got into the death chair. He was later known to text me in the middle of the night inquiring why we couldn’t even be friends.
The Petri Dish – OK, feel free to judge me if you want to, but this poor kid’s face was like a petri dish incubating as the perfect temperature. More and more white heads grew in the period of time it took me to choke down a burger and a beer…and if you’re really thinking about what i’m saying and picturing it, that was not a long time.
Siri – Only it wasn’t Siri, it was whatever question-answering thing those huge ass Galaxy phones have. The entire time we were out, in a restaurant mind you, he was talking to her. And by her I do not mean me. And by her I do not mean another person. We’d be mid conversation and get to a point where we’d try to remember someone’s name “Oh it had that guy that was in the Big Bang Theory…what’s his name? <says to his phone> ‘what actor plays Leonard on the Big Bang Theory’ ” Yep, that really happened…at least 15 times.
Too Hot To Trot – This is the guy that is really good looking, but he knows he’s really good looking, which makes him not good looking. This guy literally spent the first half of the date telling me how everyone always tells him how hot he is. According to him, his ex-girlfriends’ sister put the moves on him, his ex-girlfriends’ mother “was totally into him” and he even went as far as to tell ME, the person he’s on a date with, that the waitress was totally into him, he “could tell”.
The Mentalist – This guy “knows your nervous by the way you tilt your head” and knows that you chose blue cheese instead of ranch because the female brain has some extra sensor in the frontal lobeblahblahblah…..omg get over yourself. I can’t even. So you took a psychology class in your undergrad studies, congratulations, so did I. Maybe that’s how I can tell you’re a complete douche.
Full disclosure, the last three guys were all the same guy, all on the same date. He was a diamond in the rough…it got to a point where I was more interested in seeing what bullshit would come out of his mouth next than anything else. It was seriously like a comedy show, and I had a front row seat.
The Lamb – I call him this because he was feeble, like a baby lamb. We went out once. It was fine. He texted me the next day, I texted him back, it was fine. He then texted me the next day…at 6AM…TELLING ME that he was coming over that night. Um…no pal, you’re not. 1. that’s pretty short notice, and lets face it, I book up quick. 2. I’m pretty much all set with having you enclosed in my apartment-I’ve spent all of 3 hours with you. I don’t even know your last name. When I politely told him I was busy that night but maybe we could meet somewhere in the middle over the weekend, he basically started crying. I could feel the tears through the text messages. “He knew I didn’t like him.” “No one ever wants to wait until the weekend unless they dont like the guy”. “best of luck, you were really cool”. uh, yea dude, you were cool too…till you freaked out. No offense, but There’s no way that I’m going to try to convince a guy I’ve known for 3 hours that I’m “really into you”. Ya blew it. bubye!
Friendly Angry Giant – I met this guy one time for coffee. ONE TIME. We then made plans to meet up with some of his friends the next weekend. Something came up, and I wasn’t able to make it. Ok, nothing came up, but I just really would have rather read the Dictionary than meet up with him again. Instead of doing what a normal person would do, such as say “ok maybe another time”, Jolly Green turns King Kong in 2.5 seconds and starts spewing off about what a crazy bitch I am. Now I might just be a crazy bitch, but I’d really appreciate it if you’d get to know me a little better before you start throwing that around. Wow, I’m really regretting cancelling that one…NOT.
The Textwhore – This person mine as well get an iphone implanted into their body. Trust me, if that was possible, I’d definitely consider some cosmetic surgery. I’m just as obsessed with my phone as the next guy. But when I wake up at 6:30AM and I already have a “good morning” text from you…OK, a good morning text might be ok, it’s the “how’s your morning going”, and “how’s work” that starts getting annoying. What really put me over the edge with this fellow was the “Hey! What are you up to?” at 2PM on a Tuesday. Uhhh…it’s 2PM on a Tuesday – what the fuck do you think I’m up to. I’m not even wasting my time to text you back. You’ll figure it out.
So if you’re picking up what I’m putting down here, I’m not telling you that online dating is a bad idea for you. I’m telling you that it’s a bad idea for me. Feel Free to roll the dice on your own.
So if you ask me, or one of my really good friends at work, there are two kinds of people in this world. People who love Starbucks, and People shouldn’t be allowed to talk to us people who love Starbucks. I know this statement may sound a little bit aggressive, but this is struggle of the world we live in. And, a true Starbucks lover not only loves Starbucks, but also hates Dunkin Donuts. Now I don’t want to hear any mumbo-jumbo about how DD is so much cheaper or how Starbucks is so much more pretentious because it’s just not true-so stop it.
I feel like I can say things like this because my first job, which was one of my favorite jobs ever, was working at DD. I was seriously so good at that shit. Light and sweet, no problem. Black one sweet and low, you got. So I know. I see what goes on, and I know how their burnt coffee tastes. Really, it’s insulting to your taste buds. I’d drink sitting-out-all-day-at-a-random-rest-stop-gas-station-coffee before I pulled into Dunkin. Erin does not run on Dunkin.
To really drill in my point, there as this one day, I did stop at DD on my way to work. I was at a low point. Really low. In fact, I also got a bacon, egg and cheese on a croissant, and hash browns, and the fat person inside of me gobbled that shit down and got crumbs and ketchup everywhere. Like I said, it was a low; I’m not proud. By the time I got to work I was so regretful, and quite frankly, embarrassed by this lapse in judgement I picked up multiple Starbucks coffee cups off the floor of my car and strongly considered dumping my Dunkin brew in so no one would see me this way. I couldn’t find one that I trusted enough to drink out of again, so I did what I had to do and slinked into work with my Dunkin Donuts coffee and pretended everything was normal. No joke, my coworker noted this cup on my desk and came up to me later in the day an inquired on my mental and physical health. <–this seriously happened.
Anyways, this past weekend, I went to Newport, and after a fantastic Crawfish Boil (aka a day that consisted of eating and drinking heavily) and I knew the only way I would get home would be to stop at Starbucks. So I went to Starbucks in downtown – no parking spots, fantastic. So I did what any sane person would do. I parked illegally and ran inside. OF COURSE the line was out the door (why wouldn’t it be, we are talking about Starbucks), but I waited. Sometimes a good coffee is worth risking that your car is going to be towed. After being in line 20 minutes, I made another extremely rational decision: I got not one, but two coffees. A cold one to suck down immediately, and a hot one to enjoy on my ride home. My only mistake was not buying larger coffees, or buying more coffees and asking some hipster sitting at table if they’d help me lug them all to my car. When I got back outside, my car was still there, with no ticket on it. The world was on my side that day.
This past weekend I was invited to a crawfish boil. I’ve never been to a crawfish boil before, nor have I ever eaten crawfish, but I like shrimp and lobster, so I assumed I’d also like crawfish because they seem to be the mid-ground between the two. My friend’s husband (<– still getting used to saying that) was the boiler. From what I understand, you get the crawfish while they are still alive and have to take out any that are already dead. Then you put the live crawfish into a pot with corn, potatoes, and bunch of spices and let the magic happen. Once they are done, you just dump the whole pot onto a big table and digs in. Take a look at the pics below to get a better idea of what happens here:
The Crawfish in their final moments of life. Also known as “crawdads” or “mudbugs”.
What it looks like on the table – SO DELICIOUS!!
Mike with Lupe
Friends hanging out:
How you eat crawfish: 1. pinch 2. pull off “butt” 3. suck out delicousness…or if you are me, you can (very messily) take the meat out with your fingers and eat.
Our cook, Doug, and his attack dog:
Our host, Bryan – the Birthday Boy
Just a bunch of UConn Alum watching our team win! GO HUSKIES!!
So this is how I know I’m getting old. Back in the good old days of the early 00’s I was (somewhat) of a dare devil. I swang off rope swings into the local reservoir, went on every ride there was at amusement parks and fairs, and I rode on my friend’s motorcycle…one time…I think we almost got up to 30 mph before I threatened that I would jump off. Haha This morning while I was running on the treadmill I saw an ad for the newest ride hitting our local Six Flags and I almost threw up. I literally said out loud “NOPE”. Other people at the gym looked at me. I didn’t even mean to say it out loud, but I couldn’t help it. It was definitely NOPE-worthy.
The ride is twofold. There is the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom which is built within the Kinga Ka Coaster. So the Kinga Ka Coaster is the tallest coaster in the US at over 450 feet. You go from 0 to 128 mph in 3.5 seconds. No thanks. I prefer to keep my speed around 80, while fully encased in metal. Then there is the Zumanjaro Drop of Doom. Sorry, am I the only one that doesn’t want to go on something called the Drop of Doom?? It’s like the Tower of Terror, which I have actually been on, but over twice the size. Yes, twice the size! At over 400 feet you’re more than twice the height of Lady Liberty only to plummet back to earth, hopefully without dying. Oh, and while you’re dropping at almost 100mph you have a roller coaster coming directly at you. Sounds like a heart attack in a seatbelt if you ask me! NOPE.
I do apologize for the length of this post, but there is really no shorter way to paint you this picture. So this past weekend me and my sister traveled from Connecticut to Iowa to visit our grandparents. Because the airport in Dubuque, where they live, is smaller than most town’s local Target Super Center, we decided to fly into Chicago and rent a car to finish out the trek. Our flight got in around 11pm so we thought it best to stay in a hotel along the way. Though I do take full responsibility for the troubles outlined below, I just want to make it clear that I booked a hotel-with the mind frame of “ok we are going to get there after midnight and leave first thing to get to grandpas so let’s just go with whatever is the cheapest. Worst.Decision.Ever. In fact, as a result of this hasty decision, I have lost all future booking privileges while traveling with my sister.
Ok, so let me start by saying that I’ve been known to stay in some sketchy establishments. There was that time in Ireland where me and Stef stayed in the most sketchy “bed and breakfast” ever. Literally, I was nervous one of us (or both of us) were going to be kidnapped by the guys from New Castle in the room next to us. And then there was that time I was on a business trip in Santa Barbara and my flight got cancelled and instead of going back to the four-star hotel I was at originally, my at-the-time-boss thought it was fine if I bunked up at a motel in the ghetto right by the airport. Surprisingly, no one knocked on my door looking for crack.
Anyways, I degrees…this was much worse. Here we are in Rockland, IL, and things are looking pretty good. We see a Holiday Inn and Marriott, followed by a Kohls, Longhorn Steakhouse, and my personal fave-Starbucks. There was tons of stores and I could tell we were on the main drag. Cool. A few miles go by and more and more space lies between stores, the lights are dimmer-clearly we are driving into the depths of hell. I should have know better since the main light to the hotel was barely on. It was kind of flickering like a motel light would in a horror movie right before he main character gets murdered. But hey, what were we going to do-we did have a $42 reservation. So we go in.
The guy at the front desk was nice enough, but let’s remember, you don’t have to be smart to be nice. After standing at the front desk for approximately 15 minutes while he tried to figure out how run my credit card, we finally got our room key. Room 205, which ironically was in the basement. This was an obvious sign that we were walking even deeper into the depths of hell. This level smelled. It went from smoke, to mold, to another smell that I can’t really really describe, probably because my senses were being numbed at this point. You know, part of the body’s defense when it begins going into shock-I’m pretty sure that’s what was happening here. Finally, after walking by numerous doors with dogs barking in a frigid hallway we made it to our room. Phew!
Just kidding. This too only added insult to injury. There was caked on mildew on the faucet sink. So bad, in fact, that I literally felt it was a better option to not wash my hands at all than touch the sink, or the water that may (or may not) come out of it. There was cigarette ash all around the bathroom (in our supposed non-smoking room), and literally shit stains in the toilet. All of that aside, all we wanted to do was go to sleep. With a Nalgene 3/4 full of water, we figured we had enough to get through the night for the two of us if we rationed properly. So we slipped into pj’s and turned down the sheets. This is when shit got real. There was no sheet on the bed. Seriously. No.Sheet.On.The.Bed. OK, no that’s not completely fair. There was a sheet…but we had the option to sleep between the sheet and the disease-ridden comforter, or the sheet and the disease ridden mattress. Either way, I was not willing to take the risk. I’m sorry…the second I left the hotel I thought “shit I should have taken pictures!”, but seriously, I was in survival mode and the only thing I could think about was getting out alive…so you’ll have to use your imagination here…even if you think you’re letting it go wild, you’re probably not far off from what we encountered.
We couldn’t stay there. So I did what anyone would do, we put on our shoes and my sister pulled around the car while I pulled a Jo Anne. If you’re unfamiliar what this means, Jo Anne is our mom, and in the right situation, gets really angry and does something magical that results in her getting her way. It all started in a nail salon circa year 2000, but we’ll leave that story for another time. Anyways, I walked up to the front desk, rolling suitcase in hand and told the clerk we are leaving and never coming back. Though he looked extremely confused, he was nice about it, which didn’t give me the opportunity to get as angry as I wanted to, however, given the situation, you’ve gotta think this is not the first time this happened.
10 minutes later we ended up in a clean, newly renovated room at the Hilton, which we were very pleased with. Ironically, outside of our fourth floor window was a huge dumpster which we probably would have ended up in if we didn’t make the move.
I bought my first “new” car a few years ago and I’m pretty much obsessed with it. My sister openly makes fun of it and says it’s ugly and looks like a spaceship, but I don’t really care because this spaceship gets the job done. I bought a Honda Fit, and it’s amazing. I can fold the seats down and toss my dogs in there without getting fur on the seats, I can fold the seats up and 4-5 Rubbermaid bins in the back seat, I can put my bike in the back without having to remove the front wheel, and best of all I get about 40 miles to the gallon. For me, it’s great. Then a few a weeks ago, all my walls came crashing down around me. I was going about my business, I was doing fine (Jewel reference J), and a coworkers informs me that I’m driving what was rated the most unsafe car of the year. Great. Thanks for ruining my day, pal.
So I do what any girl would do in this situation – I called my dad. I guess I thought maybe he would sympathize with his eldest child and, you know, want me to be safe and not die. I thought he’d, I don’t know, give me his car or buy me a big (safe) Hummer or something. I thought wrong. “Are you seriously concerned with this?” he asks me…uh yea I’m concerned, a person with my luck (and by luck, I mean driving record) should not be driving around in a death box. “What, are you thinking about buying a new car or something?” he follows up with. Well, the thought crossed my mind!! “Just don’t get into an accident”. Great. Thanks for the advice pops. Before you said that getting into an accident was on the to-do list, but I’ll cross it off now. I proceed to tell him why my car was so unsafe and how if get into an accident apparently the steering panel is going to come into my car and smash my legs into a million little pieces. “I’m a runner dad, I can’t live my life from a wheelchair. I’ll DIE!”. It was at that point that he responded “Erin, you are ridiculous”. And hung up on me.
Nice to know I have a strong support system.