The post in which you never look at me the same again.

When the thermometer hit $10,000, the first phone call I took was from my mother who said, AND I QUOTE, “I can’t believe you did it.  I’m so proud of you. You need to post that picture so get over here and look at these dorky pictures I found.”

So I stalled a bit and she called again.

“Are you on your way?! I found some really, really dorky pictures!  Glasses and everything.”

“I’m glad you’re so enjoying this.  I’ll be there in 15 minutes and I ONLY NEED THE NASA PICTURE.”

So I arrived at my mother’s house and she has spread out on her kitchen table every dorky picture she could find.  And she was positively giddy, all, “I’m so glad I took the time last year to sort every picture I have of the five of you! Look at you here.  HAHAH! Look at your glasses! Look at your hair!  Look at your shoes!  HAHAH!”

She’s a gem.

So, first, the story.  Most of my childhood, all of my teen years, and probably the first year of college, I was space-obsessed.  I wanted to be an astronaut more than anything and I honestly don’t know why.  Maybe that Space Camp movie? My bedroom was ridiculous, basically wallpapered in posters of space shuttles and F-15s and F-16s and it was filled with model rockets and model space shuttles.  I read books on space and remember touring space museums in Florida I think it was.  So when it came time to get my senior picture done, the photographer really loved the NASA idea and well, as you’ll see, he really took over the control panel and hit the “Launch” button six times with a sledgehammer.

Burghers, I give you The Princess of Fug and the Duchess of Gross. Me at 17.


I’m going to give you a moment to regain control of your bodily functions.

Now, let me save you the effort.

First, please notice my sexy mustache.  Hot. The first week I was in college, my sister and her friend strapped me to a chair all, “This won’t do,” and proceeded to deal with not only THAT but also my rockin’ Ken Rice eyebrows. Those are hot too.

Please notice my sweet fake gold earrings, link bracelet, and “pearl HAHAH” bracelet and also a band on my wedding finger. WTF?  That’s not jewelry overload at all.  I should have worn a tiara to bring the eyes up and away from all the mismatched jewelry.

Please notice that I have buttoned that shoulder-padded shirt so damn high you can’t even see my throat.  That’s the minister’s daughter in me right there.  You ain’t ready for this jelly.

Finally, the hair.  THE HAIR!  It’s not a mullet because it is pinned back, but it SURE LOOKS LIKE A MULLET.

Also, if you’re wondering what I’m scribbling on that there very important and official-looking NASA legal pad, it is probably, “I’M GOING TO REALLY REGRET THIS SOMEDAY.”

And I do.

Except that it’s for sick kids, and that makes it all okay.

You can still donate.


  1. frank
    December 4, 2009 2:28 pm

    we have three things in common, you drink zimas, you drink dunkin donuts coffee and you live in my dream city.everything else is debateable.

  2. Kimly
    December 4, 2009 2:34 pm

    Aw, that photo is adorable. We all had our Aqua Net addictions in the 80s.

  3. Jtown
    December 4, 2009 2:35 pm

    “The post in which you never look at me the same again.”

    At least you’re not talking about 13 year old girls period panties again..

  4. butcher's dog
    December 4, 2009 2:36 pm

    The hair looks like Locks of Love just waitin’ for you to walk in the door. Seriously.

    And really…so you weren’t as hot then as you are now. So what? You must have been warming up back in the day.

    Many kudos on raising the money. And if UMPsee jumps in here, I’ll be more than happy to taser him/her verbally once again.

  5. Sooska
    December 4, 2009 2:36 pm

    I love the details, like the glasses that give you the serious and studious air. As an woman and an engineer, I should be offended.

    Congrats on the $10k in such a short time. Burghers. wow.

  6. Karyn
    December 4, 2009 2:36 pm

    I’m shocked you didn’t mention those glasses sitting on the table!

  7. Jeremy
    December 4, 2009 2:36 pm

    what i absolutely love about this is how your “profile pic” (for lack of a better term) in the top right corner is looking down on the 18 year old you in that nasa themed pic… too funny –

  8. Monty
    December 4, 2009 2:37 pm

    Nice job mocking yourself and stealing all the jokes. You stole that from the end of 8 Mile when Rabbit pulled it on Papa Doc.

    You rule, so don’t get offended by this, but separated at birth?

  9. Virginia
    December 4, 2009 2:39 pm

    Oh, Monty. You should see how hard I laughed at that. Awesome find!

  10. Jason (from Cranberry)
    December 4, 2009 2:39 pm

    This is the greatest thing I have ever seen.

  11. Jagoff
    December 4, 2009 2:39 pm

    Totally worth every penny. The only thing that could make that photo better is if you had those glasses on.

  12. Alex
    December 4, 2009 2:42 pm

    I can’t decide what I’m more proud of – that I donated to the effort to help the kids, or that I donated to the effort to share that pic with the world. Way to go, Ginny!

  13. Jaime
    December 4, 2009 2:53 pm

    Agreed – TOTALLY worth it! BTW, I think I had those same glasses!!

  14. Pens Fan
    December 4, 2009 2:54 pm

    Gin you kind of hair out of Big Love! Ha. Congrats on raising the money. Love ya sister!

  15. Dana
    December 4, 2009 2:55 pm

    Honestly, this is not as bad as I expected. I was expecting to scroll down and be all OMG MY EYEBALLS GIVE ME A SPOON SO I CAN SCRAPE THEM OUT THEY BURNNNN. If I may ask, what made you opt out of a space-related career?

  16. Jaime
    December 4, 2009 2:58 pm

    I just send a link to the blog to the Post-Gazette saying that in the spirit of the holiday season that I think that they should shine a light on all of the good in our community.

  17. Woy
    December 4, 2009 2:58 pm

    I think this is what everyone always envisioned when they imagined what you looked like.

  18. rickh
    December 4, 2009 2:58 pm

    To infinity and beyond!

  19. PittinDC
    December 4, 2009 3:00 pm

    I would just like to say, I’m glad I graduated in 2000, when shoulder pads and poofy hair were long gone :) Still though, that picture is not NEARLY as bad as you made it out to be!

    December 4, 2009 3:01 pm

    That photo isn’t bad at all. And I have seen some SERIOUSLY heinous photos, some of which have been my own over the years. And there is nothing with a space obsession. My room was very similar with all the space paraphanalia.

  21. GoBobbo
    December 4, 2009 3:01 pm

    “Houston, we have a problem.”

    Damn, this might become my new wallpaper!!!!!!!!! :)

  22. Moe the Dog
    December 4, 2009 3:02 pm

    So what do we get for the $15,000 mark?

  23. Uncle Crappy
    December 4, 2009 3:03 pm

    I’m with Dana. Given all the griping you’ve done, I was expecting much, MUCH worse.

  24. Tinare
    December 4, 2009 3:03 pm

    Seriously, it’s not that bad. I’d say you’d should see my photos from that age, but they’ve all been destroyed. Seriously.

  25. Rachel
    December 4, 2009 3:05 pm

    In the realm of high school pics, it could have been way worse.

    At least it was an honorable pursuit like NASA. It could have been Lisa Frank unicorns.

  26. Magnus Patris
    December 4, 2009 3:06 pm

    This picture is H – A – W …… aw, nevermind.

  27. psumommy
    December 4, 2009 3:07 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I wanted to look JUST LIKE THIS when I was this age.

    Congratulations on raising so much money! You are awesome!

  28. tat2dsteelergal
    December 4, 2009 3:08 pm

    OMG you should have put on the gigantic Joe Paterno/Hubble Telescope glasses that are sitting on the desk… *sigh* I had similar ones, they were purple… That picture alone is worth a donation…

  29. Three
    December 4, 2009 3:10 pm

    I don’t think it’s that bad. Mine was much worse. Aviator glasses, a classic mullet, the ‘stache that I had been growing since 8th grade and a clip-on tie. My photographer didn’t even have themes. It pains me to think about.

  30. Burgh Baby
    December 4, 2009 3:11 pm

    I have to say, if that exact picture of you had a plain white background and no NASA props, it wouldn’t be even slightly amusing. It’s actually a decent picture of someone at that age and at that time. A GOOD picture, even. It’s the background and props that have me completely kerfluffled.

  31. Elle C.
    December 4, 2009 3:12 pm

    Your hair is very ‘Elaine from Seinfeld’ in that pic. Love.

    Congratulations on a job well done!! :)

  32. MarkECib
    December 4, 2009 3:14 pm

    Really it’s all the NASA stuff that cracks me up. For some reason the NASA hardhat is the best because it makes no sense to me, and the rocket background is really cheesy. But it was all for a good cause years later.

  33. red pen mama
    December 4, 2009 3:16 pm

    I pretty much agree with @burghbaby: dorky background choice, but completely representative of the era of senior pictures.

    Please excuse me; I have to go schedule a waxing appointment for myself.


  34. pghgeorge
    December 4, 2009 3:19 pm


  35. Rich
    December 4, 2009 3:21 pm

    Everything I need to know about being cool I learned at Space Camp.

  36. DisplacedFromPitt
    December 4, 2009 3:22 pm

    Now you look like you are from Pittsburgh!

  37. pghgeorge
    December 4, 2009 3:23 pm

    okay. now here’s something awesome. This may be the only chance we get to see that NASA picture and Troysus on the same page. You have the same freakin’ hair!

  38. Jess
    December 4, 2009 3:32 pm

    and to think you did that hair without a bumpit.

  39. sleepgh
    December 4, 2009 3:33 pm

    Congrats on the fundraiser. Brings tears to my eyes how wonderful this city is. So glad I never left like so many others.
    Also, love the pic – I think one of my senior pics has me sitting on my Camaro hood! I’d rather have the NASA background…

  40. wckdcll
    December 4, 2009 3:35 pm

    Ummm Ginny? Is that some sort of mullet-ish type thing you have going there? I beg to differ, I didn’t even use hairspray in the 80’s and trust me, I was there for all of that!!!

  41. spoon
    December 4, 2009 3:36 pm

    what’s the next level to reach for us to get more snazzy pics?

  42. Clair
    December 4, 2009 3:39 pm

    hey, we all have photos like that, or worse! but not all of us would be willing to share them with the world :)

  43. Pensgirl
    December 4, 2009 3:43 pm

    1. I have always been so in love with the idea of being an astronaut that somewhere along the line I forgot it was actually a real thing that people actually do, and I didn’t become one. Therefore,

    2. I am jealous you had space-themed backgrounds as an option because I would TOTALLY have done that; and

    3. I would go into space right now even if I knew for a fact I wouldn’t make it back.

    So I say, Rock On, Space Princess!

  44. Pa-pop
    December 4, 2009 3:47 pm

    Give yourself some credit – you still give great face! Not nearly as bad as I anticipated and far superior to my own senior high school “portrait” which looked like a very bad passport photo found in a puddle of bleach. Yish.

    With bursting thermometers and with that rocket in the background, I have to admit I’m having…

    It’ So to speak.

    Great work and congratulations!

  45. Bram R
    December 4, 2009 3:47 pm

    “Hi. I know the Space Shuttle is taking off about 20 yards from my window, and as you can tell by my hardhat I work for NASA — but I won’t turn around to watch the launch. I’m too busy doing important work on this NASA clipboard. After I’m done, I’m off to mentor young Julie Bologna.”

  46. Carpetbagger
    December 4, 2009 3:47 pm

    First of all, “You’re never too old for spacecamp!”

    Second… Holy Selena, Batman! Beam me up, Scottie. That’s 1980s Freaks and Geeks hot! Bow-chick-bow-bow. I’ll bet you had all the astronauts driving across the country wearing adult diapers to get them some a that!

  47. Bob M
    December 4, 2009 3:47 pm

    So your Mom has MORE pictures? Excellent.

  48. Laura
    December 4, 2009 3:48 pm

    I didn’t know that astronauts wore hard hats. Did the photographer already have a hard hat that said “Nasa” on it or did he have to stencil that himself? I’m not sure which scenario would be more amusing.

  49. Michelle
    December 4, 2009 3:51 pm

    Hey now, I don’t think it’s that bad! And, even more important, I just freaked out about 300 times because you and I had something in common! (a space obsession) Only difference is that I wanted to be the one CONTROLLING the astronauts. :-P

    Anyway, minus the big glasses, I think you got through the 80’s pretty unscathed :)