Random n’at

1. My sister Pens Fan, and even the doctor’s wife Princess Aurora, and actually, also Ta-Ta the Grand Poobah, we are the thrifty sistahs in the family.

Tina Fey is not. She will comment to this post that she is indeed thrifty, but there is a giant $700 Banzai slide in her yard that would tell a different story.

I’m not nearly as thrifty as my father, but I definitely have my moments as a coupon-clipping, bargain-hunting master.

I will spend money when things deserve my money. That includes splurging for Cotija cheese even though Giant Eagle charges $10 for a tiny chunk of it. That includes butt-slimming jeans. That includes a $10 spicy drink at Embury in the Strip (although on Saturday, Jonathan Wander treated me.) That includes $21 eye-liner that won’t run. That includes just about anything at IKEA.

And there are certain things that I refuse to spend a lot of money on. $1.50 avocados and $.85 limes make me want to choke a bitch.  Another thing that I refuse to spend a lot of money on? Laundry detergent.

Who the hell does Tide think it is charging as much as they do for soap? Are there gold crystals in Tide now?

I don’t need super-duper, extra-long-lasting fresh-linen and happy sunshine-scented, extra-concentrated, Downy-laced, Febreeze-infused laundry detergent. I just need soap to clean my clothes.

So when I saw this post over at Tall Tales from a Small Town, I was all, “A-HA!”

So I’m going to stick it to the man and try this myself. I already snagged the Fels Naptha bar and the Borax at Giant Eagle and this afternoon I’m heading to Ace Hardware for the Super Washing Powder.

I’ll let you know how it works, but all the reviews I’ve found online are that this stuff works just as good as the super-duper, extra-long-lasting fresh-linen and happy sunshine scented, extra-concentrated … you get the picture. And it costs mere cents per load.

Suck it, Tide.

2. Secret Agent L, whose identity I’ve known since last November (I am a vault), revealed herself on Saturday to be Laura from With Love From Pittsburgh, and the model from my $3,000 Worth of Fug post. She is also the Most High Priestess of Stickers, as well as the Eyetique girl! When does she sleep?

Also, when Laura was introduced, she expertly and confidently sauntered down the middle of the Firehouse lounge, to music, through a sea of people watching her, and I was all, “You know, add a pigeon or two and that would be my hell.”

She is a brave girl.

3. This is a part of a fantastic email I received today by reader Sam, in response to my Burgher Kings and Queens article in the mag:

I suggest that Iron City Beer no longer be deemed a “Pittsburgh” beer, given that it is brewed in Latrobe. (A more than adequate replacement for Rolling Rock, if you ask me.) And nor may Kennywood Park be called a “Pittsburgh” amusement park, as it is in West Mifflin. And Pittsburgh International Airport, yes, should rebrand itself. Truth in advertising. You know.

In addition, all that steel that was produced during the 1800s and 1900s shall no longer be considered “Pittsburgh” steel, as much of it wouldn’t have been possible without the entrepreneurialism of H.C. Frick, founder of H.C. Frick Coal & Coke Co. Frick was a native of the Connellsville, Fayette County area and much of the coal he mined came from mines in Westmoreland and Fayette counties.

Moreover, Pittsburghers also may no longer lay claim to the following: Fred Rogers (Latrobe, and we want his statue returned forthwith), Joe Namath (Beaver Falls, Beaver County), Joe Montana (New Eagle, Washington County), Michael Keaton (Coraopolis), Perry Como (Canonsburg, Washington County, but Pittsburghers may keep his statue and the always-on loop recording of his music, too), Dave Wannstedt (Baldwin, and with family ties to Westmoreland County), and Mike Ditka (Carnegie). And lastly, if the Steelers even so much as think about wind sprinting across the county line at the end of this week, the Rooneys shall be deemed to have forfeited all rights and ownership, whereupon Westmoreland County shall retain the authority to seize and dispose of said assets.


4. If you’ve ever been to a Pittsburgh roller derby bout (actually, not Pittsburgh; they have their bouts in the Romp n’ Roll in Glenshaw, so really, how dare they call themselves the Steel City Derby Demons?) and want to buy a gift for the derby girls, here’s your chance. Go see what a three or ten dollar donation would buy for the team.

Here’s the info on their last home bout of the season!

(h/t Mel)

5. Pittsburgh is now on Facebook. Love that the email from Lukey’s Joanna, in which she talks about how Pittsburgh is embracing social media, includes no link to the facebook page or even just the URL (http://www.facebook.com/city.of.pittsburgh) and instead says:

Search City of Pittsburgh – we are identified as a government organization. We have a picture of the City with a banner which includes a City seal.

BRB. Going to create a new facebook page called “City of Pgh” with a profile picture of the city with a banner which includes a city seal. Just to confuse the hell out of people.


(h/t Charles)

6. Since I posted that Kings of Leon post? Twenty-two more emails, tweets and facebook messages/wall posts telling me about it.

I can’t win!

7. This Pennsylvania Guys parody of Katy Perry’s California Gurls song is priceless:

YouTube Preview Image

But they mention Iron City as a Pittsburgh beer. That’s not right.

It’s a LATROBE beer.

(h/t Charles)

8. Troy Polamalu is on twitter now.

Can’t wait for his first DM fail all, “And then I was all, ‘LOL. ALL YOU BITCHES TAKE MY SHOTS.'”

I kid.

A DM fail from Troysus would probably be more, “I can’t make it. I’m praying for the next three hours and then I have church and then I have some sick kids to visit.”

9. I went to Giant Eagle yesterday (for the Fels Naptha and Borax) after having spent the day cleaning Las Velas, then dinner at Hard Rock, then a trip up and down the incline. By the time I hit the Iggle at 7:30 p.m. my hair was all EEK, my face was all EFF, and my clothes were all GAG. So of course the person behind me in line was a reader who happened to recognize me.

Sexy. I has it.

10. It has been forever, but, Burghers, DRINK!

From the Mayor’s office:

Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that they have partnered with Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the City of Pittsburgh and the Student Conservation Association to compete for the opportunity to receive a $200,000 grant from Pepsi that will move the community forward as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Thanks, Joanna!

Oh, and I missed this one from June 15!

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that the City and developers have closed the public-private financing package necessary to secure Target’s final commitment to move forward with their store which will border Penn Ave.,

I think Joanna might have a crush on me.

Or she’s hoping I’ll drink myself into a stupor and shut the hell up.

If it’s the former, if she really loves me, she’ll work the Jackpot Phrase into a press release — “Looking forward to moving forward.”

I could pickle my liver.


  1. Charissa
    July 26, 2010 2:16 pm

    I’ve been making my own laundry detergent with soap, washing soda and borax for about a year now and I flipping LOVE it. Tide may also kiss my behind. :)

  2. Melissa
    July 26, 2010 2:22 pm

    I am about to make my own laundry detergent today too! I’m not using Fels-Naptha though, I’m going to try Peppermint Dr. Bronners, borax, washing soda, and baking soda. I hope it works because I have enough supplies to make approximately three years worth of it. The cost for that much is equivalent to ONE bottle of Tide! Plus if you are like my crazy eco friendly grandmother-in-law it is way better for you because it doesn’t contain all sorts of chemicals.

  3. BeauJacques
    July 26, 2010 2:31 pm

    Laundry soap?

    I get the disposable 72-packs sox & underwear @ Wallyworld
    disposable T’s from Goodwill, Sally’s

    done and done! :-)

  4. Tiffany
    July 26, 2010 2:34 pm

    You can really use any soap you want. The first time I made it, I used Dove, and it worked really well. I would just be careful of any overly perfumey soaps, as the oils in them may leave spots on the clothes.

  5. Kathleen
    July 26, 2010 2:39 pm

    Isn’t it ironic that the mayor wants to tax soft drinks, but is trying to get a grant from Pepsi?

  6. BeauJacques
    July 26, 2010 2:52 pm

    I realize kids change laundry picture!

    FYI, that “California Girl” hype was bullshit when the Beach Boys
    did it, and still is! (exception: Hef’s house)

    Pittsburgh has the most beautiful women! imho

  7. Dana
    July 26, 2010 2:58 pm

    This is random (appropriate for the post), but I was at the new Dunkin Donuts in Oakland earlier and saw that they have Secret Agent L donuts. I was a little too excited. Of course I bought one. Chocolate with sprinkles…it was awesome.

  8. Dana
    July 26, 2010 3:00 pm

    P.S. Tell me more about this eyeliner that doesn’t run. Brand/where can I buy it?

  9. spoon
    July 26, 2010 3:09 pm

    “Pittsburgh is embracing social media”.

    Someone might wanna let them know Podcamp Pittsburgh 5 is this Sept 18/19 and hey mayor, ITS FREE!

    We’re not just embracing social media, we set the standards.

  10. BeauJacques
    July 26, 2010 3:28 pm

    Yeah, non-running eyeliner???

    Need it!

  11. Joe K.
    July 26, 2010 3:42 pm

    Re: #3, excellent e-mail from reader Sam.

    I used to drive through New Eagle on the way to a previous job. I could never figure out where Old Eagle was . . .

  12. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    July 26, 2010 3:54 pm

    I hope the City’s facebook page looks better than the page link to the press release. Sloppy alignment of that webpage.

    I’m not sure the mayor knows what irony is, @Kathleen. I thought the same thing.

  13. SpudMom
    July 26, 2010 4:17 pm

    How did I not know that the Roller Derby was held just minutes from my house?! I think it may be a moral imperative that I attend.

    Reader Sam deserves and Awesome Burgher for that.

  14. Still A, Fan
    July 26, 2010 4:36 pm


  15. Kathleen
    July 26, 2010 4:48 pm

    Did someone say “non-running eyeliner”? :)

  16. MrsGJG
    July 26, 2010 6:40 pm

    Yay for homemade laundry soap! I spent last night making a whole cabinet full of homemade cleaning products from this cool recipe book. I can’t believe how well this stuff works, AND it doesn’t poison you to breathe it AND eat your hands while you use it.

    Does Ace really have the washing soda? I have tried every single store I can think of and still can’t find that stuff. Even Whole Foods didn’t have it.

  17. Jackie
    July 26, 2010 6:48 pm

    Now I’m all homesick, even though that video was clearly biased toward the eastern half of the state.

    Arn isn’t a Pittsburgh beer anymore (and it kind of was always a crap beer– and I don’t like Iron City for running out on the city anyway), but Penn Brewery and East End Brewing sure make some great and *authentically* Pittsburgh beer.

  18. Jaime
    July 26, 2010 7:47 pm

    There was so much in that random n’at! I’m with the other ladies – non-running eyeliner? If you tell me they have non-clumping, won’t make you look like Tammy Faye mascara I will run naked down Forbes Avenue!

  19. YinzerInExile
    July 26, 2010 8:32 pm

    Urban Decay 24/7 liner — stays where it’s put. But the best is Guerlain Kohl. It does not move. It’s like, not to be applied unless you’re pretty sure you want some diminishing capacity of eyeliner on for the next three days. But it’s probably ill-suited to those people who change their eye makeup out every couple months, because one vial will last most of your life. I’ve been using the same one for almost 3 years. I think I’ve used 1/26th of it, and no eye infections to speak of so I’ma keep pressing my luck.

  20. Tiffany
    July 26, 2010 9:04 pm

    MrsGJG, I found it at Foodland, but sometimes Ace has it, or they will order it for you.

  21. empirechick
    July 26, 2010 9:46 pm

    MrsGJG – what cool recipe book?

    I had no luck finding the washing soda at Target, Tractor Supply, Warehouse Sales, or Foodland (in the Mars/Gibsonia area).

    The Ace website says it will ship the soda to your local store for free – I’m going to check the Wexford one tomorrow to see if it’s in stock. I’m so excited to make this!

  22. Stellabella
    July 26, 2010 10:33 pm

    Trader Horn has the washing soda. It’s always in stock there.

    We’ve made our own laundry soap in the past, but it was not working too well with our hard water (we’re on a well). But it is easy to make and very cheap.

  23. MrsGJG
    July 26, 2010 10:43 pm

    Here’s the link to the book on Amazon:


    I checked it out of the library. There are lots of other recipes in there too – everything from food to beauty supplies and pet food. And of course the cleaning products.

  24. WI Pitt Fan
    July 27, 2010 8:39 am

    Love, love, love the video. Had to show it to my non-Burgher husband for nothing more than the jacked up Gremlin (we once owned one in a lovely baby blue shade- like 30 years ago) He got a big laugh out of it.

  25. DrOlaf
    July 27, 2010 9:48 am

    Washing soda is simply a chemical called sodium carbonate. It’s also called soda ash, and you can always get it at a swimming pool store as it is used to balance the chemistry of the pool water. It’s usually called something like “pH rise”, but check the label and make sure that you get sodium carbonate, not sodium bicarbonate. The second one is baking soda, and that’s also used in swimming pool maintenance.

  26. Cassie
    July 27, 2010 10:06 am

    I use baking soda to scour the tub, diluted vinegar to disinfect, vodka to keep my cut flowers alive just a little bit longer and I get extremely pissed off that the majority (actually MORE THAN) of laundry detergent is merely water.

  27. Eric Williams
    July 27, 2010 11:08 am

    “Since I posted that Kings of Leon post? Twenty-two more emails, tweets and facebook messages/wall posts telling me about it.”

    Guilty. Sorry.

  28. SusanV
    July 27, 2010 12:26 pm

    Can you use the homemade laundry soap on an HE machine? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  29. Sherry
    July 27, 2010 2:35 pm

    My Pap Miller was a coal miner near Ebensburg, and my Pap Jones was a milkman in Bloomfield. Loved the “Pennsylvania Guys” video — passing it along to my parents!

  30. Schuyler
    July 27, 2010 4:00 pm

    Kuhns in Ingomar had the Washing Soap … other Kuhns might as well?

  31. Cassie
    July 27, 2010 8:22 pm

    @SusanV: according to http://www.tipnut.com

    Can You Safely Use Homemade Laundry Detergents With A High Efficiency Washer (HE Machine)?
    I have no experience with this but there are lots of comments that say it’s fine to use. Be aware that using anything other than what your machine manufacturer recommends may void your warranty.
    Go through the comments in the original post and you will also find several recipes offered and recommended for HE machines.
    Homemade detergent is low sudsing which is important for HE machines.