Sunday, November 29, 2015

The chirp

    I never thought I'd have a new car. It never seemed like even a remote possibility. Being poor with bad credit cemented that in my mind. So, when I did get one, by some miracle, I was beyond thrilled. She's been named "Grease Monkey" by V, but she's far from it. This car is doted on. Its a far cry from my last car. Here's just a few things that were wrong with it when I traded it in- no heat/air conditioning, broken wiper blades, bald tires, my gearshift broke off and I had to push in an orange button, my back window was glued shut, and it was constantly overheating. There's  more, but I won't go on. I think one can get how pathethic this car was. A co-worker joked that I had a car PTSD from it breaking down too much. I do freak out in drive thrus. It tended to overheat in line. One time, it died at McDonald's and we had to coast out of line. That was a fine day. Almost as sweet as when it broke down near Greentree by the Fort Pitt tunnels. Apparently, a tow driver had been hit and  killed there the year before helping someone and no one wanted to help me. 
  Being rid of that car is the best thing ever. It was nicknamed "deathtrap". Pretty self explanatory. 
  The beauty of a new car is that you don't have to worry about breakdowns as much. But, its always at the back of your mind. Which is why, when I started hearing a strange noise, I freaked. 
  The child was staying with relatives in WV and I was on my way to get him. The day was sunny, I was in a good mood. Life was good. As I was cruising down the road, listening to a podcast, I notice a chirping noise. Panic set in. 
  "What the shit! Is that my breaks? No, no, it's constant. Shit! It must be a belt or something! Oh, God, why?" My internal monologue continued on like this for awhile. My usual car panic set in. I started looking at road signs so I could potentially tell a tow driver where I was located. The car seemed to be running fine, however. It was odd. Yet, the noise continued. I got very close to my destination when I was stopped at a red light. I decided to turn down the podcast to listen to the noise in more detail. Suddenly, no chirp. I turn it back on and the chirping commenced. I shut it off  and it was gone again. Here, I recall at the beginning of the podcast, Greg Fitzsimmons mentioning he was recording in Jay Mohr's basement. He made a joke about a cricket being there and that if the jokes didn't go over, you'd really hear the cricket. Duh! I didn't even think of the cricket. It was so loud. On my behalf, it didn't sound like a regular cricket. To be honest, I think I am scarred by my previous car. In the end, I was so relieved. I'd rather feel like a dumbass than be on the side of the road. I love this car so much, but I don't think I'll ever get over the imbedded fear of car breakdowns. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inside Edition

  After work every night, I like to come home and decompress. For me, that means sitting in front of the tv and watching Inside Edition. 
  If you've never seen the show, do yourself a favor and watch one episode. It's the bastard son of news, entertainment and weirdness. Thirty minutes of hilarity. It's been on since the late eighties. At one point, Bill O'Reilly hosted. This was before he was a political asshole and just a regular asshole. I think it's where the infamous "Play us out" clip came from. 
  Take tonight's episode- It started out with Donald Trump and his totally uncoraborated story that he saw people celebrating during 9/11. Jump to a story on how to spot possible terrorists (check for bad body odor, excessive fidgeting and face touching, similar outfits, etc. By their definition, most toddlers are terrorists.)
  The most interesting story was of a woman who had her nose bit off by her boyfriend. However, my child didn't want to watch it. Now, I have no idea what transpired between these two people to cause a nose loss. Usually, at this point, I turn to the child and make him promise not to do said thing to me. I recall a recent story about two siblings that beat and robbed their parents. They were seemingly good kids and gave no indication of trouble. 
  "Promise me you'll never beat me and rob me." I said to V. 
  "Didn't you listen to that 911 call? They beat the shit out of their mother."
  That's usually how it goes. But, it goes both ways. I've promised to never leave him in a hot car in the summertime and to not drown him in the bathtub. Later, I'm sure I'll promise not to sleep with his teenage friends. 
  The cat, unbeknownst to him, has pledged to never start a fire in the apartment. Very possible scenario. There was a dog on video starting one with chemicals. I once had a dog accidentally rent porn by pawing the remote control, so anything is possible. 
  I've learned not to inject cooking oil into my face as a substitute for plastic surgery (although this fell into the realm of what I thought was common sense.) I also leaned that sucking on a bottle to try to get plump lips like Kylie Jenner is a big mistake. Most recently, I've become aware that the man who voiced Charlie Brown is batshit crazy and has threatened to kill people. Where else would I learn this vital information? 
  The world is a scary place. Thank goodness we have Inside Edition to keep us on the right track. Right? 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Curious Incident of the Shit in the Urinal

  I rarely write about work. If I were self-employed, I'd be all about it. However, I'm not, so I try to keep professional and never mention it. But, a few weeks ago, something happened that has haunted me (and my appetite) since.
  First, if you're squeamish- STOP READING NOW! For real.
  It was a Saturday morning. A regular customer came up to inform me that the men's room urinal was overflowing and all over the floor. At this time, I was the manager on duty. The other manager was in a dog costume for storytime. So, I grab the only other male employee available and head to the men's room. I'm thinking it's no big deal. Most of the time, guys stuff paper towels into the urinal and it overflows. That was not the case. Someone has actually shit in the urinal. Anytime it flushed, water overflowed onto the floor. My idea was to glove up, grab the shit, toss it into the toilet and free the urinal. Easier said than done. I immediately started to retch when I got close. I've seen many a gross thing in my time. This one topped them all. Seeing my struggle, my fellow employee and friend in the trenches offered to do the deed. God bless. He got close, but began retching also.
  "I don't want to throw up in front of my boss" he said, apologetically.
  "I don't want that either. Neither one of us can do this."
  At that point, I decided to put an out of order sign on it and call it a day. The other manager finished with the story time and we agreed to let it go.
  Since then, anyone that hears the story feels the need to tell me their story that they think beats mine. Listen, this isn't a contest. And, believe me, I've seen some gross stuff. At my former work place, a woman emerged from the restroom informing me that I need to clean it up because she had "explosive diarrhea" and her sister came in to help and threw up in the sink. I cleaned up that mess. That sink didn't drain well.  So, I've seen gross. I've also pulled a cotton ball out of a dog's ass. Once, I accidentally ate dirt off the floor thinking it was a potato chip. That same summer, a fly flew directly into my mouth and I swallowed it. I'm a mother, too. I've seen some things go down. But, until you've seen shit floating in a urinal, shut the hell up.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Reading Challenge

   At the beginning of the year, I made a goal to read 52 books by the end of the year. I checked my status-I'm at 37. To reach my goal, I'd have to read 12 books each month for the remaining year (sadly, I had to do this math on a calculator). The irony is that I work in a bookstore. I'm physically around books more than I can read them. After an 8 hour day, feeding my child & doing homework, there's little time for reading. Well, I watch Inside Edition and peruse Buzzfeed immediately after getting inside the apartment. Then, comes the homework. After that, I barely have time for anything. Plus, I try to give my child my undivided attention. When he's telling me about his modifications to his latest Transformer he made with Sharpies, he gets my rapt gaze. Admittedly, I sometimes ask if we can talk about something other than Transformers and, if not, I definitely think about something else. Anyway, time is not on my side. I have to rush about and then it's time for bed. 
  I'd love to be one of these people that read on their lunch break. Again, I blame Buzzfeed. Instead, I take a quiz to find out what Hollywood hunk is my soulmate ( Its generally Tom Hardy or Ryan Gosling, in case you're wondering). I, also, have this horrible habit of falling asleep when I read. Many factors against me. 
  I did read one book that was well over 700 pages. That is like reading two or three. I could read a ton of very short books for the remaining duration. Would that be cheating? This is what happens when you try to set goals. 

Monday, September 21, 2015


  I was shopping & noticed this really chubby kid wearing a t-shirt. It said some enthusiastic shit like "Do it! Burn it!", or something to the effect of a rallying cry to an avid exerciser. It's right on par with me wearing my Crunch fitness t-shirt to take V to school. Me & this kid could be considered frauds. We're not models of the fitness our shirts represent. We just slapped some shirts on our bodies, laughing in the face of their messages. I feel like a bad representative when I wear that shirt. Not only is it covered in cat hair, but I haven't stepped foot in that gym on two weeks. Who knows about the kid. He may grow up to be a Jerry O'Connell (chubby kid in Stand By Me). Regardless, we should both pick different attire.
  Some people think lots of things that you can do is like fraud. I remember texting with a guy from Tinder, who thought the only time you saw a "real" version of someone was when they first woke up in the morning. Bullshit. I may do many things, such as color my hair and wear makeup, but it's me. The real me. Waking up Erin is some nightmare bear hybrid that's close to mauling someone, only to be soothed by coffee. I was miffed that he insinuated that women were deceiving men by all the things they do for and to their looks. He was upset because I wouldn't send him a picture of myself. I said I had taken off my makeup and was ready for bed. He went into a rant about how women didn't show their "true" selves by all the steps they took throughout their daily ritual. If halitosis, crusty eye and insane hair are the real me, I'd rather be fake. I'm not a natural beauty like some girls. I can't roll out of bed & go to work. Everything I do in the morning is to get away from being who I am when I wake up. I love the makeup, Spanx, eyeliner, red lipstick, underwire bra, curlers, etc. I love doing the transformation. What is wrong with that? Just putting on clothes could be considered fraud. We're born naked. Granted, I wear as many layers as Marie Antoinette, but who gives a shit? I feel most like "myself" wearing a dress and makeup. If I wear pants and go with the natural look, then, I feel like a fake. But, to prove that I can, I've posted a picture sans makeup, with the ever-fabulous, Harrison. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Uncle Jerry

  My Uncle Jerry died the week before last. I say died rather than passed away. Passed away indicates that you were sick or old. He was neither. A sudden stroke took his life, robbing the world of a great man.
  My uncle was many things, but the two that stick out are intelligent and funny. At his funeral, the pastor that gave his eulogy mentioned these two things. He knew my uncle and it came through in his words. It was a very good service. I normally hate weddings and funerals because the person speaking usually has no idea of the people they're speaking of. This time, it was done very well. My uncle was very smart. One of the smartest people I've had the pleasure of knowing. But, if you knew him, you knew about his sense of humor. It was dry and methodical. A joke was a story with meaning:not just a one liner. He had a way of telling a story. There was no rush. He had thoughtful pauses and a sense of cadence. When the end of the joke or story was revealed, it had more impact. This also made him a good preacher. People felt comfortable with him. He was a great listener as well as a great speaker. If he knew you were troubled, he always lent a shoulder and an ear.
  I always remember my mom talking about when my uncle first started dating my Aunt Sally. "He was so weird," she said. "He had these huge blowup pictures of rats on his wall." How funny is that? I thought that was the coolest. He walked his own beat. He was a great dad and husband. My heart is broken for my aunt. Watching her say goodbye to him at the funeral was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. They were married for well over forty years. They were always a model for me of what a good relationship is. The last time I saw him was at Bob's funeral. His presence was enough to comfort me. But, he went above and beyond by talking to me and trying to provide some solace. My aunt gave me an envelope with money. Money that kept me and V afloat and on our feet until we got things figured out. That's something I'll never forget. That's my aunt and uncle- huge hearts. They raised two tough kids. It's hard seeing them in pain. I know neither of them want to show it. They're very strong. I would give anything to take away the pain for them. My poor aunt. This is such a devastating blow. I worry so much about how they're all doing everyday. I'll never process my own grief because I'm too worried about them. However, when my cousin, Jeri, called and told me he died, I cried so hard. V comforted me. "Mom, you were there for me, I'm here for you." he said. It was so sweet. A child should never have any idea about grief, but he does.
  I can't put into words what a cool guy he was. He was a lifetime father figure to me. He was the rock to the McClure family. Their beautiful hearts are shattered without him. If you had the pleasure of knowing him, you are blessed. Miss you, Uncle Jerry.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Genie Hour Glass

  I'm normally not one to make rash purchases, but I purchased something before the commercial was even finished- the Genie Hour Glass waist training belt. It's basically a poor man's corset. Waist training corsets run from $200 and up, so this was a steal. As of now, I have very mixed feelings about the GHG. 
  Of course it's not comfortable, but it's not supposed to be. The beauty of it is that you can get it really tight, looking like you've lost ten pounds instantly. The downside is your decreased mobility. You can't bend over. If something falls onto the floor, you're picking it up like you're doing the teapot move in the I'm a Little Teapot song. I think the Tinman in Wizard of Oz had more flexibility. My main problem is my major fat isn't on my waist but closer to my stomach and hips. So, I had to crazily adjust my GHG. If not, I have this sleek hourglass with a bump at the bottom. The adjustment left me with severe red marks on my body and a crinkling noise when I moved. But, damn, my waist gets thin. 
  The first day I wore it, my child was in stitches. I sat down in the car and it sounded like I was opening a bag of chips. This is only due to my attempt to cover my belly fat. I've had better success in more recent attempts at wearing it. Today, I made no attempt to cover my little pouch and it wasn't bad at all. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Porky's 5

  I've been going to the gym more frequently. Something has to give here. I'm also eating a lot better. So far, I've lost two pounds and I've noticed some gradual shaping up. In hopes of some good advice, I checked out Joe Man..., shit, I can never remember his last name. Alcide from True Blood's book. He's making a ton of mean workout faces in his pictures. The workout advice is actually very motivating. So motivating that I put his picture on my phone screen saver. My boyfriend said it's because he's hot. I said that's beside the point. I found the meanest face picture. It says to me "Get up and go work out, lazy!"
  I walked into the women's locker room yesterday and it was like I walked into an eighties teen movie. I could smell a cocktail of perfume, shampoo, and hairspray. Standing in front of the big mirrors was a young lady, clad only in underwear, her hair wrapped in a towel. I've never seen anything like this in the locker room. I've seen women in various states of undress, but never this teen movie-ish. I felt like I was in a scene from Porky's. I swear she was dancing, but that might have been my imagination. Her confidence was striking. She didn't give two shits who was there. I quickly washed my pale hands, her tanned body bopping in the background. It was a fascinating scene.
  Otherwise, my gym is pretty regular. There are a lot of older people. In fact, I remember seeing a little old lady on the treadmill, purse on her arm. It was adorable. The weirdest was a girl wearing jeans on the treadmill. It seemed counterproductive. I imagine she's thinking something like "They'll rip these jeans off my cold, dead body." She was committed to those jeans. I finally got real workout clothing. Before that, I wore what I think were pajama pants and an old man t-shirt. All black, of course, like a gothic refugee.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Betty White Time Travel Machine

  When I my marriage broke up, I started dating younger guys. It wasn't an intentional move. The guys my age were boring and unattractive, so I went younger. Normally, it's not an issue at all. That's most likely a testament to my immaturity. Only twice has it sincerely bummed me out. Both situations were very similar- I had my boyfriend at the time say "I wish I could go back in time and meet the 20 year old you." My current boyfriend spoke these words the other night. He's a total sweetheart but this bummed my shit out. I've now had two men say this to me. It baffles me. What the hell does it mean? Oh, used up, raggedy Erin, I wish I could meet the young, supple you. Do you think Betty White hears that same thing a lot? Oh, I bet you were a looker in your day, Betty. I mean, I feel like Keith Richards when guys say this to me. My current boyfriend did say the younger me wouldn't be as cool. This is so true. I told him she would roll her eyes at him. Then, I went to bed. It really bothered me. I know he didn't mean it as an insult, but how else could you take that? What, I'm supposed to be flattered that you'd rather meet a younger me? I can't imagine saying this to a someone. If time travel is invented, there going to be a couple of guys trying to bone a young Erin. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Warm fuzzy feelings

  It's been a month since I've been back with the Russian. I'm very happy. It's such a weird feeling. It all started when my friend said he saw him at a store one day. I bombarded him with questions.
  "Did he look good? What did his hair look like? Was  he tan? He gets really tan in the summer?"
  After that, I couldn't stop thinking about him. So, I texted him. The rest is history. We desperately missed each other. Our reasons for splitting weren't really valid. I felt we didn't see each other enough. Now, I'm quite fine with it. I like my time to myself. I felt we didn't have much in common, but I find it actually makes our conversations more interesting.
  We split not long after Bob died. I was in a very bad place. I think I pushed the world away from myself. I felt like we wouldn't last, so why not  end it. He had the same weird philosophy. He felt we may break up in the future, so he thought it better to split.
  The odds are probably stacked against us. We're very opposite  - He's tall, lean and dark, I'm short, hefty and pale. There's quite an age difference. But, it works. We're enamored with each other. He treats me so well. Every time we meet, he brings me a cute card with some sweet message inside. This  is accompanied  by chocolate or something  yummy to eat. I've never had anyone compliment me so much. He's constantly  telling me I'm beautiful. No one I've ever dated before  has done that. I feel good about myself with him. What an impossible thing to happen. A man that can make that happen is a miracle worker.
  I won't lie, he's damn easy on the eyes. Plus, our chemistry is undeniable. When we're together, we smile at each other like fools. We're disgustingly happy around each other. It may not last. Hell, the world may end tomorrow. I say let us enjoy it while it's here. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It's back

  My cable and Internet are back on. That night, after work, I soaked it all in. I was literally simultaneously watching True Detective on a tablet, the running of the bulls on TV and reading Buzzfeed on my phone. I was like a mutant superhero that gets its power from electricity. Silence is for Buddhist monks. Give me noise. V thinks he bonded with the cat over our three days of missing media. I only bonded with the pits of despair. 
  When I'm fighting through something physically rough, like a workout at the gym or a visit to the dentist, I think of the Hobbits traveling to Mordor. It helps me get through it. When I can't fall asleep at night, I envision my own episode of Supernatural with myself inserted as a character. My own fan fiction, I suppose (although fan fiction is creepy to me). Needless to say, I'm not a nature girl. Camping would be torture for me. I like watching these goof-ass reality shows where people must make it on their own in some remote location. There is a monetary reward if they make it. There is no amount of money that would make me take that challenge. You could even throw in a night with Tom Hardy. Give me a room with air conditioning, books, TV and a smart phone. Thoreau would shake his head at me. But, I'm much better off than this guy on tv who realized he drank unpurified water. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Comcast, let's make up

  We've been without cable for three days now. I know, first world problems. The Internet is also out. My child and I are total media whores, so this has been an unforgiving experience. Our box is defective, meaning we lost all 500 episodes of Ninjago he had saved. I sleep with the tv on. It's very comforting. I grew up in a very small, one level house with my grandparents. After I went to bed, I'd sneak back out and sit under the kitchen table, secretly watching tv. When I finally got tired, I loved hearing it in the other room. It was comfort. My grandparents were there and I felt safe. Sleeping to it in my adult life is my equivalent of a blanket or sucking my thumb. Being without it has jostled my world. Sleep is sporadic and difficult. The Russian joked that I could enjoy the silence. He hates the TV at night.  When he stays over, I wake up to both the TV and the air conditioner being turned off. It's endearing for five seconds and then I want to harm him. Give me noise and cold. This is the same man that has a plank of wood under his own mattress so he doesn't sleep too comfortably. This is what happens when you pare a lazy American with a serious Russian. 
  Right now, I'm missing True Detective 2. My soul aches. The only noise in the apartment is my child rifling through his Lego bins. He's handling it well. Except, when I go to read (the only entertainment I have) he incessantly interrupts me. Boys hate being ignored at any age. 
  The cat is cool with it. He's getting a lot more attention. Plus, his shows aren't on until the fall season. 
  Hopefully, the Comcast guy will fix it tomorrow. If not, there may be tears. My tears. I'm sure a grown repairman does not want to see that. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Somber thinking

  I'm having one of those nights where my solitude is my enemy. Rather than be productive, I'm sitting here thinking about so many things. My forethought is whether or not people are good for each other. How do we know? What if you weren't good for someone? How do you know? I wondered this about Bob. Was it good for him to have me in his life? What if my being in it, shortened his? I think its stemming from a lot of anger I have felt this past couple of weeks. He wasn't there for his sister's wedding or his son's birthday. I get so angry at life, at the universe. When I'm at these celebrations, I feel so guilty. He should be there. I feel angry that he's not. I get so mad that Viggo doesn't have him. He has me. It's so unfair. It's like a universe without the sun or moon.
  I feel like such a failure to him. We were married and supposed to have this unbreakable pact. I feel like I didn't give enough to him or try hard enough. I crawled into a shell when things went sour rather than fight. I didn't try hard enough. Why? We had a child together. A life. Why didn't I fight for us? We were together for so long. We never fought. It was so symbiotic. When life set in and boredom or whatever arose, why didn't we both kick it in the ass? I should've made him happier. That is truly my biggest regret in life.
  Regardless of any of that, we created an amazing boy. Just amazing. A little ball of genius, a weird sense of humor, a new little sun in the universe. Whether or not we made a good or bad impact in each other's lives, we made him. Everyday, he makes me laugh. There's elements of both of us in him, but, at the same time, he's a distinct individual. I wish Bob could see him now. His brain never stops. It's all my weirdness and all Bob's intelligence wrapped up in this tiny, little body.
  I often wonder how my relationship with Bob would've been. Would we have just remained friends? Would we have gotten to a point where we realized we were being ridiculous and find ourselves back together? It doesn't matter. In the end, I always just wanted him to be happy. If that were with me or anyone else. Thankfully, he knew that. I told him quite a few times. I'm glad we stayed friends after the split. All crosses were buried and hurts put in the past. The boy was our number one focus. So, I should just continue that strategy, I suppose. I can't lament what occurred. It doesn't help anything. I always worry about messing up other people's lives, though. How do you make sure you're a benign influence and not some malevolent presence in someone's heart and soul?

Saturday, July 4, 2015


  A text came to me from a strange number asking if I know "where to get green?" I finally got enough info to find that it was a very strange guy that I had a date with a few years ago. I will usually stay friendly with some of these dates simply because we make better friends than mates. He was one, but ended up being a little too spacey for me. Obviously, anyone who knows me well knows that "green" to me only signifies money, of which I never have much of. I'm one of the squarest people out there. It brought to mind some of the misconceptions about myself that I've encountered.
  When I first started dating Bob, he thought I was "rich and liked Whitney Houston". In reality, I was poor and liked Nirvana and Jeff Buckley. Truly mind boggling. I've no idea what gave him that impression. My co-workers, at the time, said I stuck my boobs out when he came into work. However, I just have good posture. I think they only noticed how I acted when I saw him.
  Speaking of boobs, my sister in law mentioned that her husband thought my boobs were fake. I laughed and told him I would've gone bigger if they were. I'm in possession of a great bra. When I lay down, they roll into my sides like pancakes. That's the true sign of real boobs. Fake ones stand at attention. Sometimes I lift them up to where they used to hang. My breasts are the one thing on my body that I don't hate.
  There is the ever present misconception that I'm stupid because I'm blonde. At work, it's most prevalent. That could also be because I'm a woman. I experience blatant sexism from customers. No one ever assumes that I could be a manager. One guy stood at the customer service counter, yet said he didn't need my help. My male co-worker was busy and paged for help. Once again, I asked this guy if he needed help.
  "I'm looking for a manager." he said, impatiently. That's when I get to flash my devilish grin and say "I'm a manager."  His face fell. He was inquiring about a job. I'm sure he felt like an ass. Yes, women can be managers, even blonde ones. Welcome to this century.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Not even a first date

  Unless you're in the dating world, you have no idea how emotionally draining it can be. For someone who works 40 hours per week, online dating is my best option.I messaged a guy on a site who also works at a bookstore. This took us down a rabbit hole of conversation involving books, movies, tv shows and generally feelings about life. This guy seemed like a great match. In fact, I think our match percentage was 87%. We exchanged numbers and texted everyday for a week. I invited him to a free screening of Jurassic World. He had to decline because of work. I invited him to dinner. He had plans with his dad and assured me he wasn't flaky, just busy. To quote "I dig you". We tentatively made plans for a drink after work and I haven't heard from him since. So weird since we were communicating daily. Now, nothing. Did he get my texts? Maybe he lost his phone. Did something bad happen? Creepily, I checked his Facebook. Nope, no human drama going on. I guess that answers the question of whether he died or not. So, why did he quit responding? We haven't even met, so it couldn't be my looks or personality. I sent one last text saying I enjoyed our conversation, but I was basically giving up if he didn't respond. He didn't respond. 
  This is just a typical experience in the dating world. People have a connection. Then, one member of the party inexplicably jumps ship. I'm guilty of it, too. Before we truly get to know someone, we can reject them for any number of reasons. It's a sad reality. For me, if I stop responding to someone, it's generally to spare their feelings. I should have enough balls to say that I don't want to talk anymore. I hate confrontation. So, I'm sure this guy was wrestling with the same emotions. Maybe it was the fact that I have a child? Who knows. 
  I quit responding to a guy when I found out he didn't have a job and wasn't allowed to drive due to a d.u.i. I'm sure I'm not the first woman to have this reaction to this guy. The phrase "Wanna pick me up and we can do something?" dries ladies up like the desert. No, sir, I do not. I already have a child. I think that was the main obstacle with me and the Russian. You really feel like less of a girlfriend and more of a mom when you have to drive someone everywhere. If I do meet a guy with a car and a job, they seem to be emotionally crippled. I've been on two dates with one guy I like but when the goings good, you learn not to expect much. We have great conversations, so that's all one can ask for. He has a great head of hair, sarcastic wit and is a great kisser. I'm not going to have any expectations. No expectations = no disappointment. 

Monday, June 15, 2015


  My birthday is coming up later this month and I'm dreading it. Pretty much after the age of twenty one, the thrill is gone. It becomes just a glaring reminder of your imminent aging and failed accomplishments. At least, it does for me. It's also one of the few times a year I really feel lonely. Most of the time, I'm ok. I like being alone and doing my own thing. But, the birthday is like a punch in the gut. If you have that significant other, then you have someone to make a big deal over you that day. Someone to give you a little present or to give you a cake. If not, it's a depressing day. I always seem to find myself very single around now, New Year's and Valentine's Day. The trifecta of loneliness to single people. The rest of the year, we're pretty good on our own. Right now, I have the enthusiasm of a grave digger. 
  I'm trying to push past it, but, I'm suffering from a cold. Basically, I've been a total maniac. Very grumpy. The other day, I walked into our cafe at work with my co-worker who goes to the gym with me. Another co-worker started discussing with her how great she looks since starting the gym. Meanwhile, the sick fatty was desperately waiting for her coffee. I was on the verge of yelling "OK, she looks great, the gym obviously hasn't had ANY effect on me, now can I get my coffee?!!!" Like I said, grumpy. Normally, I'd be chiming right in, agreeing. That day, I was like, fuck this shit. If I have this goddamned cold on my birthday, I'm going to put my fist through the wall. I keep trying to tell myself to think positive, but then, that grump kills positive Erin in a violent way-bare-handed with glee. If my mood had a noise, it would be that anguished roar the T-Rex makes in Jurassic Park as the sign falls down around it. Ugh, I have to get out of this funk. Sweet baby Jesus take the wheel. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bizarro me

  I'm the same me except I have a brand new car and I go to the gym a few days a week. That is so unlike me that I think it's giving me an identity crisis. At first, I really hated the gym. I started using the elliptical machine and hated all existence. I had to think about my go to thoughts of when I'm in pain- the Hobbits traveling to Mordor. "If they can do it, I can, too!", I tell myself. That works pretty well. I've built up my strength and can go for about 15 minutes. Then, I hit the weight machines. I'm starting to love it. Who am I?
  Today, a man told me I looked really good. Me. He was a normal man, not an octogenarian, like my normal suitors, so it was refreshing. But, first, let me paint a picture of what gym Erin looks like. I wear old sweatpants with bleach stains. This is accompanied by a shirt covered in cat hair and a sports bra pulling my boobs into my body until I'm like Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry. No make-up, glasses and disheveled hair. When I say no make-up, keep in mind my pink skin undertones that get pinker when I physically exert myself. It's like looking upon a human pig. This is what this man thought looked good. I wasn't attracted to him, but he was a decent looking, in-shape man. He almost walked into a sign looking at me. I felt like that Sex and the City episode where Miranda is wearing her old man Hanes shirt at the gym and the guy says she's sexy. How can this be possible? I can't even get guys to give me that reaction when I'm at my best. My running theory is one I read about- women send out certain pheromones during their periods, signaling to men that they're fertile. Since I've read this, I do notice men are more attentive during these times. Or maybe it's because I'm insane during my period and they're in fear. I get very feisty. Whatever it was, it was bizarre.
  At work, I found a fortune from a cookie lying on the floor directly in my path. It said "In order to stay young, one must change." That same day, I found a Tarot card for the Queen of Staves (Wands) on a shelf. I feel like these are signs. Being a Cancer, I dislike change. But, I quite like all the changes that have recently occurred in my life. If I actually get in shape like I'm always threatening to do, I will be bizarro me.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


  I haven't written in forever mainly due to the fact that I haven't been having the best of times. Our cat is dying. I thought she just had a respiratory infection, only to be informed that she has a fatal disease. Poor thing won't make it to her first birthday. Even worse, was breaking the news to the boy. He took it hard, asking "Why must everything wonderful go away?" He's too young to be jaded and destroyed by the world. I feel at fault. It was my idea to get the cat. Granted, I couldn't imagine where we'd be right now, but it was still my doing. I urged him to go ahead and continue with plans to stay with family over the weekend. I have comforted and nurtured her the best I can. Sadly, she can't have long. She's not eating. 
  Ah, enough with sadness. I feel like it consumes me. Let's now laugh. I'll revel all with gym tales. 
  I started using the eliptical machine. My friend has been using it from the start and her midsection looks amazing. Now, I must emulate her to get desired results. I hate this machine. Ten minutes is all I can muster. There's sweat and cursing. I'm seeing small results- my butt is smaller. Lady lumps, be gone! The Russian would be so sad. He loved my hips and curves. God bless. The only man to ever love that shit on me. Anyway, I was so tired after my workout that I walked into the men's locker room. Luckily, I didn't enter far nor encounter any men. What a dope. I've seen quite a few people who come into work there. You know, seeing me at my best- sweatpants, no makeup, red faced and sweating. Making great impressions. But, it's not a pageant. I'm there to suffer. 
  I've had two dates recently. One was a shit show that ended with a hug. Yes, a hug. Not a good sign. This was our third (and apparently last) date.  I drank too much and might've talked about my "grapefruit sized uterus". Just what gets every man's blood flowing. My other date was a second that that went very well. Great conversation and many laughs. We really enjoyed each other's company. Although, I forgot to turn on my porch light until he rang the buzzer. I, then, turned it on, successfully blinding him. We had a nice dinner sans alcohol, so I actually remember my night. No mention of my uterus and I got some knee-knocking kisses. It was exactly what I needed. 
  I'm hoping that Zelda holds on longer. We're not ready to lose her. She's the best cat I've ever had. She has brought much happiness to two damaged souls. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

I'm married at the gym

  My friend and I joined a gym. Me, for obvious reasons. I think she just wants to get into better shape. She's slender and a classic beauty who doesn't need a minute at the gym. We probably look like Laurel & Hardy when we enter. 

  Today was our second day, but I have a routine down. I do thirty minutes of cardio and thirty minutes of weight training. As I sat doing my thirty minutes on the bike, I noticed the popularity of the bike beside me. There's about a line of seven of these bikes. Plenty of personal space for all. So, why two different old men had to park it right beside me I'll never know. The first smelled like he fell down in a vat of IcyHot. The second freaking sang to himself the whole time. I'm trying to listen to Joe Rogan and read some Buzzfeed. Listen, gents, I know what you're up to. I only get hit on by old men, so I know their games. It's gross. I wear my wedding ring on my right hand. It's going to get switched to my left when these geezers are around. There are some hot guys there, but none looking my way. Story of my life. 

  Today the bike told me my weight. Thanks, bike. I needed to know that I'm ten pounds heavier than I thought I was. Instead, a punching glove should've extended from a secret compartment and punched me in the gut. I'm there and doing the work, so I guess it's the first step. I think it's boosting my metabolism because I feel like eating all of the food all of the time. Maybe in a month, I'll see some results. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


  I wish I wasn't writing this. I wish you were still here. But, you aren't and this is the only way to talk to you. 
  You're boy is doing well. You'd be so proud of him. He's done remarkably well this past year. His resilience is admirable. He has breakdowns, of course. I hold him and cry with him. Everyday, he asks me to tell him a story about me and you before he was born. I have so many funny stories. When I think of those times, I smile. 
  Your mom told me she'll never get over your loss. I told her that I understand. How could she? You were a perfect son. Your sisters are so strong. It's been so hard on them. I think Nikki cries everyday and it breaks all of our hearts. You meant so much to so many people. 
  For a long time, I felt guilt. You were the far better parent. The bond you and Viggo had was so strong. I felt guilt about mourning you, like I didn't have the right. Our relationship got so complicated. But, then I realized you were such a huge part of my life and I had every right to mourn. You were every part of my adult life. We loved each other so much, for so long.
You were my husband. 
  As you know, I'm not one to necessarily believe in the afterlife. But, when you passed, I saw signs from you. Your sisters say you communicate through music, which is so true. One day at work, I walked into our receiving room. The radio was on and I was thinking of you. The next song was Travis "Flowers in the Window", which played as we walked down the aisle after we were married. I hear songs, out of the blue, all the time, that were special to us and I know you are there. The auditorium was packed at Viggo's Christmas pageant, yet the chair beside me was never filled. You were there. You've taken such good care of us. We have a great apartment and V loves living in Pittsburgh. He's happy. You know, I'm not the best mom, but somehow, it's working. We're so close. And, you'd be so amazed at this boy. His report cards are good. He's kept his promise. He's such an amazing child. We did a good job. 
  I dream of you every night, without fail. In most dreams, we're still together and my grandparents are still alive. Happier times. 
  We love you and miss you. We talk about you everyday. We laugh at stories, and sometimes we cry. You're forever in our hearts and I know you're watching over us. You were the best man I've ever known. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tech support

  Our computer recently died. Not a huge surprise. It was old. It's time had come. We only use it for goofy Internet searches, so I bought the boy a tablet. He likes to go onto YouTube and watch videos of people making modifications to Legos and Transformers using sharpies. It was priceless when he said, "Mom, these people are adults, but they're playing with toys." I replied with "I know. They probably live in their mom's basement. Don't become one of them."
  Technology is great, sometimes amazing. Upon setting up this tablet, it synced up pictures I had saved at some point, somewhere. Of course, one being of Jon Hamm's crotch. Specifically his bulge. Jon Hamm likes to hit the town sans underwear. I know this because of the internet. I think there's a Tumblr dedicated to "little Hamm". So, one of these images was saved to some cloud and then downloaded onto his tablet. He hasn't explored all the components of his tablet, thank goodness. The problem is, I can't figure out how to delete it. I'm not tech savvy, but, by no means am I an idiot. However, I cannot find an option to delete pictures. It also downloaded a pic of me and an ex. That one needs to go away, too. We look very happy. While I look upon little Hamm with love, the same can't be said for the ex. As much as I enjoy a celebrity's exact outline of genitals in his pants, it's not something that needs to be on my child's tablet. Also, that thing is huge. He doesn't need to suffer penis envy this early in life. Quite honestly, I'm surprised that was the only salacious pic to show up. I've had many unsolicited junk pics sent to me. My girl friends can attest to this. Guys, just know that if you send one, at least 10 other girls are seeing it and giggling. While the child is away, I'm going to diligently research how to remove this pic. Let's hope I don't have to call tech support.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The force is not with me

  If you're wondering what online dating is like, just take a look at the attached picture. It pretty much sums it up. I would say 90% of the people who contact me are people I would never date or engage in any fashion. This is not to be snobbish. I'm not saying I'm better than anyone, but these fellas are not in my wheelhouse. Some write very nice messages. But, I know what I want, or more of what I don't want. A man dressed as Darth Vader is not what I want. That's not to say that I don't get responses by attractive men who have things in common with me. I do. But, they're usually one of two types. They're either looking for a hook-up or they flake out when you want to meet them. I've been talking to one guy for months and he flakes out every time I suggest meeting up. I officially gave up on him. What's the point? It's like having a strange form of pen pal.
  I did have one date recently, but I'm sure it was a fluke. He was handsome, funny, cool. We discussed Hemingway, Kerouac and writing in general. It was a great date. So, I hold out 0% hope that there will be another one. I just can't have nice things. He'll flake. They all do. To say I'm jaded, at this point, is an understatement. I'm not even desiring that much. I just want a man to hang out with once in a while. The Russian was always concerned with marriage, saying he never wanted to be married. First, I would tell him that my experience was a great one. Then, I would remind him that I don't think I ever want to get married again. It was a moot point. Regardless, it was one of his focal points in our mutual breakup. I'm perfectly happy to "live in sin" or just hang out out whenever. I just want to kiss, snuggle and watch Netflix.
  Maybe there are too many options. Choosing a potential mate becomes very dismissive. Some people get too specific. I had one guy message me, asking if I was dominant. He said it was essential in his relationships. It made me think about arranged marriages. Those people didn't have a choice. The man couldn't demand a woman be dominant. He was probably thankful if she was the least bit attractive. I have very few stipulations-no guns, Nascar hats or extreme obesity in the profile pictures. Sadly, that cuts out about half of my options. About 20 times a day, I wonder why I'm on any of these sites and consider deleting my profiles.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sometimes you need to be called a babe

  Let me tell you how unattractive I feel lately. I've been in the same clothes for two days. These are the clothes I sleep in. I'm reaching a pathetic state. The other day, I shaved but only because I was going to the doctor. In case I had to disrobe at all, I didn't want anyone to be horrified at the sight of the hair protruding from under my arms or my sasquatch like legs. I didn't have to undress, but I did find out I most likely have kidney stones. Here, I was hoping I just had a backache and a urinary tract infection. When I questioned the doctor, he laughed and said "Oh, it's definitely your kidney", you know, because it's a laugh riot.
  It's also the worst winter I can recall. Of course, I live in a place on a huge hill with a ton of steps and I have to shovel. My downstairs neighbor and I take turns. She's young and full of energy. I shovel slower and less efficiently than my elderly neighbor. Maybe because I adopt a Groucho Marx stance as I shovel. That's why I was hoping I just had a backache. When it's not snowing, the temperature is reaching below negative degrees. At this rate, I may as well live in Iceland. There's probably better dating opportunities there anyway.
  Speaking of- there's nothing to speak of in the dating life. I have unsuccessfully tried for a third date with this one guy. We had two great ones and we get along famously. But, he's flaked out three times for the third date. The third time is not a charm. The other day, he told me he's trying to get himself together before he "brings someone else into his life". I completely respect that, however, I think it's a death note to this whole thing. It's a shame. We had chemistry and really got each other.
  I joined another dating site, more for something to do rather than truly expecting anything out of it. On the bright side, they sent an email saying that I was one of the most attractive people on the site due to clicks to my profile and reactions in their quickmatch. Great. There are a couple of good matches on there, but, I really don't hold out hope. I will say, though, that when I'm feeling down, it's nice to read a funny/complimentary message. One guy wrote that he's "never done anything like this before, but you're a babe, so I'm trying", suggesting a hook up. While I'm vehemently opposed to the idea, it was nice to be called a babe when I'm feeling gross. I'm not even sure if I'm ready to bring a man into my life. I devote my attention to my kid and I feel even that's not enough. So, if something happens, it happens. Honestly, I'm ok. It's nice to hear some compliments and be doted on. I'll take that. That never gets old.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What a night

  We had a kind of harrowing experience tonight. We were at home, relaxing on the couch. Our kitty was by the window, laying on the radiator. Suddenly, she fell over backwards, wedging herself between the wall and the radiator. It's such a tiny space that I'm baffled as to how she even got stuck there in the first place. And, she was really stuck. I quickly ran and turned the heat down. Not only was she wedged into this tiny space, I was afraid she was going to get burned by the heat. This atrocious crying started coming from her, which made Viggo panic and start crying. In the past, Bob was always the calm one. Now, I have to be the calm one. Secretly, I was totally losing my shit, but I had to calm him and the cat down. "It's ok, it's ok" was a mantra I repeated in a sing-song voice to both of them. I didn't know if or how I was going to get her out of there. I had visions of having to call the fire department, but there wasn't time. Frantically, I pulled her little arms up while Viggo pushed up her bottom half with his hockey stick. It took a few tries, but I got her out. Poor V cried so hard out of relief. I felt for him so much. It made me think of the panic and fear he must've felt when he saw his dad die. You're helplessly watching something you love suffering. It breaks my heart that he ever saw that. He's bothered by the kitty's cries, so you can imagine what else is inside his head. 
  He has thanked me countless times for "saving her life" tonight. I told him we did it together. I constantly doubt whether I'm a good mother or not. But, tonight I realized I am capable of thinking calmly in an emergency and getting things under control. I took care of this crazy cat and this boy who means more than anything to me. That counts for something. It's a crazy, silly thing that happened but it scared the shit out of me. The bad things that occur are good for the aspect of making you appreciate the little things.