Random n’at.

1. I’m warning you now that beginning this Friday and going all the way through the next week, the chances that there will be any posting are about as good as the chances that the Rooney’s will own the Steelers come September.

Not good.

I’m currently working on hunting down the best beach read for me. You might recall the one year I read the book about the girl that fell in love with an angel and actually had sex with an angel in the forest while surrounded by singing sprites, and you might recall how I was all [eyeroll] [gag] [stab] about that.

Last summer, I know I read a book at the beach, but it must not have been very memorable because beats the crap out of me what it was.

This year, I’m tossing around David Sedaris maybe, or one of the many good recommendations made by my Twitter friends (I can’t say “followers” because then I sound like a cult leader — The Cult of Chokin’ Bitches.). My request is something funny, not loin-clothish, certainly no Danielle Steel because bitch can’t write, and the cover cannot contain any of the following:

  • Fabio or any sketched male model
  • Heaving bosoms
  • Bursting bosom stitches
  • The words “Al Gore”
  • Fabio holding Al Gore whose bosom is heaving and about to burst its stitches.

The City Paper was kind enough to tell me all the summer books I should read and all the books I should throw under — relationsnip.

It will be online tomorrow, but it’s on the newsstands today. And the cover artwork is divine!

2. I just realized today that the Carbolic was kind enough to include me on the links page of their new online fake newspaper, which is a great honor because they’re really aiming for the national market now. So I wanted to publicly give them a big fat YOU ROCK! Thanks for not relationsnipping me.

Yeah, that word is NEVER going to catch on. I tried, yo!

3. In response to my post about the ewness of going paperless, a local blogger wrote:

I was thinking about how to comment on this Post-Gazette article I read online this morning and Pitt Girl beat me to it. If you don’t know, Pitt Girl is an anonymous Pittsburgher who writes a VERY popular blog called The Burgh Blog. I read it for a laugh every now and then, though it’s not family fare; it’s often crude. But often really funny.

You know, when I write my stuff, I write fast. There’s very little planning. I don’t know what I’m going to write until my fingers start moving. Like type-ity type-ity clickity clack click click [proofread] delete delete delete [retype diarrhea] “publish” BAM! and I never intend to be crude but it always seems to come out.

Yet in real life, and you can ask Woy this, I’m the least crude person I know. Odd. Schizo.

4. I am going to see Jeff Dunham at the Civic Arena (!) this fall and I am going to be so close that Achmed the Dead Terrorist might actually spit on me when he screams, “Silence! I kill you.” This awesome seat hookup is thanks to my good virtual friend Dom at ineedtwo.com. Dom also informs me that there might be Steelers tickets giveaways in The Burgh Blog’s future. Yay! (Please note, I am not being paid one cent by ineedtwo. I actually use the site and pay for the tickets.)

5. Mondesi’s House has recast the Pittsburgh Pirates Movie and I gotta say, the casting for Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Doumit is evilgenius.

6. From the PG:

Federal investigators have started asking questions about a range of city of Pittsburgh and city authority dealings related to Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Pat Ford, who is on paid leave pending a State Ethics Commission review of his receipt of gifts.

Wait. WHAT? Pat Ford has been paid to not work since April?! APRIL?! He’s being paid his full salary? And he’s not doing a single wittle bitty thing except maybe smoking cigars and hanging out with his wife who obligingly calls him “Our Hero”?

When did I get distracted from my new life’s goal of getting hired by the City just so I can be put on paid leave for a long period of time? Must recommit to becoming a public servant.

7. We’ve seen Craigslist men looking for women with foot-fetishes or sub/dom-fetishes or tickle-fetishes. Here’s a new one. He’s looking for his nylon/spandex obsessed princess!

Has he tried calling Jeff Reed yet?



  1. Lyon Advocate
    July 16, 2008 3:25 pm

    Though David Sedaris is a bit of a fraud (http://www.slate.com/id/2193363/) and not really telling true stories, he is a gifted story teller … just wish he’d come clean that his stories lean more towards fiction than non-fiction. Also, don’t count on Carbolic going “national” … people outside of Pittsburgh (hell, even some in Pittsburgh) tend to like their comedy, you know, funny.

  2. heretic
    July 16, 2008 4:06 pm

    RE: The Steelers–I don’t give a crap who does or doesn’t own them, and leave it to the WSJ to turn a sports-franchise fracas into a tax rant. Yeah, you better vote McCain, or the Steelers will wind up in Hoboken! Not.

    For anyone wondering, I grew up here up during the Steel Dynasty years and yet, no, I don’t care. I’ve met Lynn Swann and Franco Harris. Great guys. Football skills? Irrelevant. If this town is ever going to get on the upswing again, it’s gotta stop pinning its collective self-esteem on sports teams and start focusing on the new industries incubating here.

    RE: Summer reads. Immodest Acts. A lesbian mother superior who held lesbian orgies at her convent and held off church authorities by claiming to have visions, one of which was of Jesus marrying her and using his circumsized foreskin as the wedding band. True story.

  3. bucdaddy
    July 16, 2008 4:08 pm

    Wow, do I root for some fugly ballplayers.

  4. Kat
    July 16, 2008 4:23 pm

    just wish he’d come clean that his stories lean more towards fiction than non-fiction.

    He does. Here’s a quote from a recent EW interview: “As he’s strip-mined his own North Carolina upbringing and subsequent adulthood, how much has Sedaris himself made up? Plenty, he has frequently and cheerfully confessed…Responds Sedaris: ‘I’ve said a thousand times I exaggerate.’

  5. chrys
    July 16, 2008 4:56 pm

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.. couldn’t put it down..

  6. Nel
    July 16, 2008 5:06 pm

    Try the Tom Lipinski books, Fun to read if you grew up in Pittsburgh.
    I grew up with him. Great guy.
    He the the L in the Rick Sebak, Pittsburgh A-Z show on QED.

  7. Pittsburgh Tom (in NJ)
    July 16, 2008 5:28 pm

    What exactly makes a good beach book, anyway?

    I’m thinking it’s gotta be a fun book. Not too serious. You don’t want to think about the world’s problems (famine, genocide, pigeons, etc.) while relaxing on the beach.

    Physically, it can’t be too big. It shouldn’t be heavier than the beer cooler or wide/tall enough to use as shade. It should fix in the side pocket of a bag, even if it sticks out somewhat. This would eliminate most hardcover editions of books.

    I’ll throw in that it shouldn’t have anything that PittGirl forbids in the list in the post above.

    And finally, it has to be a good book in general. A crappy book at home is still crappy at beach, probably more so.

    Did I get this right? Miss anything?

  8. Chad
    July 16, 2008 6:54 pm

    Lyon Advocate:

    You’ll forgive us if we consider it a badge of honor to have been dismissed as unfunny by someone who, just last month on his own scintillating blog, dismissed George Carlin as “unfunny and certainly not an innovator.”

    Unfunny is, of course, open to personal taste and interpretation. To each his (or her) own. But you’d have to be an ignoramus — or at least a contrarian — of elephantine proportions to deny that Carlin was an innovator.

    That he was is a fact. That you claim he was not is a farce.

  9. Colleen
    July 16, 2008 7:54 pm

    we saw Jeff Dunham a couple years ago here in DC at the Improv and laughed.our.butts.off! There is so much that they edit out of those Comedy Central specials. We all got to submit questions to Walter and he will pick on folks in the audience and really plays to the audience response. We were essentially in the 2nd row. Hope you enjoy him as much (or more) that we did!

  10. gatorpez
    July 16, 2008 8:09 pm

    Re: beach books – I have to agree with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Since they’re pretty popular, you might be able to find them cheap in used bookstores.

    Re: Jeff Dunham – love him! I remember when I first saw him on TV, A&E At the Improv, back in the late 80s/early 90s. He’s got some great characters in his act.

  11. Katie
    July 16, 2008 10:20 pm

    You should take a Chuck Klosterman book with you. He was my beach read last summer and I totally <3 his books. All of them are good but if you read Fargo Rock City, you’ll probably enjoy it more if you listen to the bands he writes about in there. I liked it but there were times I thought I would have laughed harder had I known all the songs or circumstances he talked about. Start with IV or Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs. I promise you’ll like them :-)

  12. Gumbygirl
    July 16, 2008 10:31 pm

    BobM, I love Tom Robbins too, but my favorite is Still Life With Woodpecker.Trust me on this one Pittgirl. I love Janet Evanovich, and if you like Stephanie Plum, you’ll love a great nonfiction book by Jancee Dunn called But Enough About Me. She’s a geeky Jersey girl who somehow landed a dream job at Rolling Stone magazine. It’s really funny, and she dishes dirt on rock stars.Perfect for the beach! Have fun, don’t forget the sunscreen.

  13. joe
    July 17, 2008 12:39 am

    Try *The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,* by Michael Chabon.

  14. jenn
    July 17, 2008 8:42 am

    I just finished Stiff by Mary Roach. It’s subtitle is “The Curious Lives of Human Cadaver”. The writing is excellent and quite humourous despite the topic. Her newest book is apparently titled, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.

    Other suggestions:
    The Sex Lives of Cannibals
    Hedonism Handbook

  15. Lyon Advocate
    July 17, 2008 10:32 am


    I stand corrected (http://carbolicsmoke.com/2008/07/17/where-to-maam/) … hilarious!! You are as unfunny, sanctimonious and willfully ignorant as Carlin. Happy? Forget that I asked, a curmudgeon like you will never be happy.

  16. lovesthenorthside
    July 17, 2008 10:40 am

    pg — if you go with chelsea handler, do read her first book, my horizontal life. funny, funny. her second book, are you there, vodka, it’s me chelsea — not so much.

    i also have to agree with the laurie notaro suggestions — great little essays to crack up at on the beach.

    other suggestions: elisabeth robinson’s the true and outstanding adventures of the hunt sisters; and an autobiography: devil in the details: scenes from an obsessive girlhood by jennifer traig; and finally, dave barry’s book of bad songs.

  17. Chicklit
    July 17, 2008 12:17 pm

    First…Outlander is a great book, Twilight is a good and fast read…kind of enjoyable…Me talk Pretty One Day hilarious

    Also..to add to the list…Undead and Unwed…very beachy

    Second…JEFF DUNHAM IS COMING HERE??!??? how could I have missed this????? I have followed him for many many years!!! I need someone to hook me up with great seats!

  18. Krista
    July 17, 2008 12:45 pm

    I strongly recommend anything by Sara Vowell. She’s a regular contributer to This American Life, and if you’re familiar with her voice you can’t help put hear it when you read, making her funny/brilliant prose all the more fantastic.

    I’ve read The Partly Cloudy Patriot, which is a collection of essays about American history, but am positive that Assassination Vacation is equally as impressive.

    You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll appreciate her talent for social commentary. And since it’s short essays, it’s totally perfect for the beach.

  19. LaBaum
    July 17, 2008 7:17 pm

    Great funny book of memoirs written by a funny new writer in NY:

    I Was Told There’s Be Cake by Sloane Crosley.

    Amazon recommended it to me b/c I liked David Sedaris.

    It’s perfect for beach reading. Check it out!

  20. gunnlino
    July 17, 2008 7:27 pm

    I’m late to the party again, but I’m lovin’ that most everyone, or so it seems, is reading. Dosen’t matter what their taste, at least they’re reading.
    Almost a lost pleasure these days, if you believe all that’s said.
    Thank you for allowing my mini rant.

  21. bucdaddy
    July 17, 2008 8:30 pm

    Carl Hiaasen
    Kinky Friedman
    T.R. Pearson (“Polar” and “Blue Ridge”)
    That should keep you busy.

  22. sunshine
    July 18, 2008 8:40 am

    Good Stuff to read at the beach… Jackie Collins…lovers and gamblers.. it has a little of EVERYTHING in it!!!

  23. pghgirl
    July 18, 2008 11:36 am

    New David Sedaris = awesome. couldn’t put it down.

  24. Pensrule
    July 19, 2008 8:23 am


    Great book. At first I resisted since I am not a “girlfriend” type and it was circulated amongst my “girlfriends” always = unimaginative and expected.
    I was pleasantly surprised while enjoying it thoroughly.

    Not to worry about the Steelers. You’ll see.

  25. jason
    July 21, 2008 7:56 am

    the thought of the steelers leaving pittsburgh leaves me with no desire to read.

  26. NC Burgher
    July 21, 2008 11:12 am

    I moved to FL from Greensburg and love Carl Hiaasen. They are very funny books about Florida and all of the quirky people who live there. I saw one other person mention him and they are really great, fun reads.