Random n’at.

(from ListentoMelinda.com)

1. My son has this really endearing/annoying habit of memorizing commercials for As Seen on TV products like that upside down tomato plant thing or something he calls the Shark Vac which he assures me would “suck that bag of goldfish crackers right up, no problem.” He often says things to me like, “You need an EZ Cracker for that egg” or “Call now; they’ll double the offer.”

He’s been telling me for weeks we need some gadget that we can stick our toothbrushes into and toothpaste will magically squirt out.

Then I finally saw the commercial for the contraption, in which a woman, or a giant box of rocks wearing a woman costume, is trying to squeeze toothpaste out of a tube the regular old way and she is confused and can’t do it and tries to punch it and oh, gosh, she squirted the whole tube out, because apparently putting toothpaste on a toothbrush is harder than threading a needle while riding the space shuttle side-saddle during reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

She throws the tube down in exasperation.

I turn the television off and tell my kid he’s not allowed to watch the commercials during SpongeBob anymore.

2. PopCity has a feature on Burgh singer Melinda Colaizzi, who I now love.

First, she’s beautiful. Second, she can SANG.

Read about why she moved back to Pittsburgh and then go listen to “Long as I Can See the Light,” which is my favorite from her EP.

(h/t Jon)

3. Detroit … is sad, and scary. From everything I read, it has become a burnt out shell of its former self. Here’s a Next Page in the Post-Gazette that I just recently found time to read, in which Burgher Ben Schmitt recounts his “escape” from Detroit after a particularly terrifying night.

It’s a must read not only so you can understand what Detroit is like right now, but also so you can appreciate what we have here in Pittsburgh.

4. I love this. The Superhero Run here in Pittsburgh will take place on April 30th and it benefits CASA. You can register now and you are encouraged to … ready? RUN IN THE COSTUME OF YOUR FAVORITE SUPERHERO!

Can you imagine if someone was driving along, unaware that this event was taking place, when suddenly a throng of superheroes goes racing past. He’d be all, “Shit. Something is UP.”

If I could run any distance without my lungs bleeding and my legs quitting, I’d run this race dressed as PigeonKilling Girl.

Guess what my super power would be. You’ll never guess!

5.  Reader Brian in Virginia sent me a picture of his and his wife’s license plates.

It’s not every day you see a Lincoln with a Yinzer plate.

6.  Dear reader Katie with a Juno email address. I tried to email you back, but your address was wrong. Just wanted to say thanks for what you wrote.

7.  TMZ has a picture of the shirts that we all would be wearing had the Steelers won the Super Bowl and it sucks because you guys, that black one is kinda badass:

Say it with me.


[kicks the dead horse]


  1. Magnus Patris
    February 10, 2011 6:29 pm

    I’m one of the idiots who bought the stupid toothpaste thing. It sucks. Makes way more of a mess than the two kids did before we had it. Maybe I should cancel the order for the thing that’s shocks your stomach so that I can have six pack abs without exercise.

  2. BeauJacques
    February 10, 2011 7:36 pm

    Has he memorized my fave from the Tidy Bowl yet?

    It’s the Teleflora one with Faith Hill helping the awkward, shy
    guy compose his Valentine note, and she says “speak from your heart,” and he says:

    “Your rack is unreal” :-)

  3. bluzdude
    February 10, 2011 8:41 pm

    The bright side of the Stillers losing is that it saved me about $200 on SBXLV swag. I would have had both of those shirts, plus the hat and a bunch of 7X stuff.

  4. Holly
    February 10, 2011 8:51 pm

    Sounds like my house. My kids (11, 8, & 6) have been asking for the “touch and brush” for months, but my own personal fave is the commercial for pajama jeans. I crack up every single time I see it.

  5. Trish
    February 10, 2011 9:05 pm

    I’ve seen the YINZER 1 license plate–this is in Richmond, where there’s a load of Steelers fans. One of my coworkers, originally from the Burgh, has (I’m sorry, it was before everything happened) NFL BEN7 as her license plate–personalized license plates are dirt cheap in Virginia so roughly about 60% of Commonwealth cars have them–and many, MANY cars have some sort of Steelers paraphernalia on them. The Burgh is represented well here in the Capitol of the Confederacy!

  6. don
    February 10, 2011 9:54 pm

    I used to live in Troy Michigan. A suburb of Detroit.

    Detroit has been a festering sore for decades and has little chance of recovery. The tax base has been decimated, the schools are a disaster, crime continues to rise and people with questionable character continue to be elected.

  7. SpudMom
    February 10, 2011 10:08 pm

    don –

    “questionable character” is an understatement. Kwame was just the most egregious and most recent. Although, I do believe that Archer was earnest in wanting to change things and was stuck in a morass of entrenched corruption.

    If you’re wondering, yes, I grew up in MI. A bit further north on 75 from Troy but I know the area well and my parents still live and run a business there.

  8. BeauJacques
    February 10, 2011 10:44 pm

    Comparing Pittsburgh to Detroit as to somehow elevate our sorry (and hurtling to sorrier) ruinous state of affairs fiscally
    is nothing but whistling in the graveyard!

    Detroit is a great, and exact preview of what’s coming here if there isn’t a quantum political/ fiscal wake up!!

    Looking at Detroit is the same as watching Intervention and Hoarders for
    a phony “I’m not that bad yet…” fake feel-good shot.

  9. red pen mama
    February 10, 2011 10:53 pm

    My daughter and your son should get together and talk about commercials. Flora is always saying, “You should get that, Mom.” When she said it during the snap-on smile commercial, I grounded her until all her adult teeth come in.

  10. Aileen
    February 10, 2011 11:05 pm

    If I do the Super Heroes Run, can I dress up as Max Talbot’s self-united wife? Max is a Super Hero, he qualifies.

    By the way, the only Super Hero who may put a damper on things is Bono’s Spiderman. I’ve read that Bono and the Edge have taken a financial hit the size of a Pittsburgh pothole.

    I told my husband (the real one) that don’t be surprised if U2 is playing “Renegade” at the Steeler games this fall.

  11. mis
    February 11, 2011 12:11 am

    @trish where do you live in Richmond? I’m here too, and totally agree about all the Steeler license plates around here! My favorite will always be a Bigben 7 plate I saw during Ben’s first year, like a minute after he started playing, was like wow that was quick for living in VA!

  12. Brian
    February 11, 2011 4:53 am

    Hottness all around in your blog this edition. Melinda is hott. Those license plates, hott. And those black tees, hott!

  13. Trish
    February 11, 2011 7:27 am

    @mis–my address is Richmond but I’m in Chesterfield County. Had to laugh the week before the Super Bowl because everyone cranked things up–I saw a car whose owner literally upholstered it in Terrible Towels.

  14. TracyinSC
    February 11, 2011 8:29 am

    Your comment on running in the Superhero Run reminded me of what has become my favorite quote:

    “You have the heart of a champion and the legs of spectator.”

    -Cross country coach to Sue Heck on “The Middle”.

  15. Butcher's Dog
    February 11, 2011 9:33 am

    @empirechick: This is from several posts ago, but the “buttery cabernet” I mentioned is Liberty Creek. I’m no wine snob, so you might not like it as well as I do (assuming more refined taste on your part, not snobbery). Two main advantages from my view: it only comes in 1.5 liter bottles and it’s cheap. List price in December (before I went all snow-bird) was $8.99. Down here in SC, of course, it’s $5.99. Thank you, state-run system!

    I recommended this to a friend in the Philly area who’s not much of a wine drinker and he loved it. What I told him would apply in your case as well; if you try it and hate it, it still makes a great marinade for beef and you’re only out around 10 bucks. If you do try it, please post your response either way.

    New guys made immediate impact last night. Go, Pens!

  16. Libby
    February 11, 2011 9:44 am

    Touch N Brush! Classic. My 5-year-old has been making a case for us to get it for months. She even went so far as to say to me, “Mom, aren’t you tired of screwing the cap back onto the toothpaste?” She’s a walking infomercial. Damn you SpongeBob!

  17. Ann
    February 11, 2011 10:00 am

    I grew up outside the Detroit city limits, but both my parents worked in the city while raising me. I lived in Pittsburgh for two years and now live in DC. Whenever people find out I’m from Detroit I always get asked, “Is it really that bad?” And I always say no. Because yes, there are horror stories, and yes unfortunately it feels like a disaster area sometimes, but to me, it’s my home. I will never be ashamed of Detroit and hope to eventually be able to find a job back in my hometown. Even as much as I enjoyed living in Pittsburgh, and living in DC, I miss Detroit, and that’s the truth.

  18. Andy Van Slick
    February 11, 2011 10:11 am

    I live in Virginia (Alexandria) and my plates are: SB40.

  19. Dave
    February 11, 2011 10:22 am

    Might check into getting those plates here in NC. That would be pretty sweet though I am sure they are already around.

    I went to Detroit about 7 years ago and it was a shell then before the economy crumble. Can only imagine what it is like now.

    Love the shirts, you know they go to people in need of clothes in Africa. So maybe we should all see if the in need families trade them to us for some Ralph Lauren clothing?

  20. Old Dutchman
    February 11, 2011 11:13 am

    Surprised you didn’t pick the shot of Melinda in her Steelers shirt: http://listentomelinda.com/wp-content/gallery/candid/vocal2_0.jpg

    My five year-old now likes to refer to people as “ya’ jack-wagon!” thanks to the Geico commercial. It cracks me up every time. I just wish he’d stop telling me to trot on over to mamby-pamby land.

  21. CrashJK
    February 11, 2011 11:21 am

    SWEET ! Hot chicks with guitars…almost better than Penguin’s hockey to me (I’m a guitar playing idiot myself)….nice way to start a Friday…thanks for the linky Ginny…listening to Melina now.

    This pic with her 72 thinline rawks !!!


    Let’s Go BABY Pens….

  22. bucdaddy
    February 11, 2011 11:43 am

    Someone’s gotta say it:

    That shirt on the right is ugly. Waaaaay too much visual clutter. The one on the left sort of has the right idea, KISS.

  23. Ben
    February 11, 2011 11:43 am

    I didn’t write the piece to bash Detroit. I just wanted to share my experience of living in the city with children. There are great, dedicated people up there and still some viable suburbs. And I fear the same thing may happen here in Pittsburgh. We have to be careful. Driving through Wilkinsburg reminds me of many boarded-up Detroit neighborhoods.

  24. LaReina
    February 11, 2011 11:59 am

    I didn’t read Ben’s story as bashing Detroit in any way. It was a sad account of the decline of a formerly great city and, as he said, a foretaste of what could happen here (and may be starting unless we and our “leaders” – oh my, am I talking about Lukey? – wake up).

  25. unsatisfied
    February 11, 2011 12:03 pm

    melinda = rowwwwwwwr.

    those steelers shirts = I hope those kids in africa enjoy wearing them.

  26. T
    February 11, 2011 12:44 pm

    Sad story about Detroit..

    That black shirt is fantastic… and I was just getting over my depression from Sunday.

  27. CrashJK
    February 11, 2011 12:53 pm

    maybe the Steeler shirts should be sent to DETROIT !!!! Bwahahahahaha…..

  28. Erin
    February 11, 2011 1:25 pm

    “a giant box of rocks wearing a woman costume” – HAAAAAAAA

  29. Ann
    February 11, 2011 1:25 pm

    Ben, I didn’t think you were writing to specifically bash Detroit, I just wanted people to know that there are people out there that love Detroit and call it their home!!

  30. Kim
    February 11, 2011 2:22 pm

    The toothpaste thing need to be added to this video. “As Seen on TV – A Tribute to Doing it Wrong” Funny stuff:

  31. JennyMoon
    February 11, 2011 2:31 pm

    Just a thought..Edgewood next to Swissvale. Swissvale = not so good.

  32. julie
    February 11, 2011 7:17 pm

    i read this blog daily but never made a comment but really felt like i should after reading this piece and comments about detroit. the city is not all sad and scary. sure, like any city, there are bad areas but downtown still has a lot to offer. at least one commenter here hasn’t been to the city in 7 years and while it may have been bad then, if you haven’t been back why do you assume it’s worse off now? could it use improvement? heck yes, the city is a long way from being as great as it used to be but it is not this empty shell people are imagining. i have family in pittsburgh, all of my family members now living in the detroit area were born in pittsburgh and i love the city. but pittsburgh has areas i would not want to be in, just like detroit. we’re not living in a war zone here. there are great spots in the city, midtown, greektown, the new center area just to name a few. i’m not trying to get all preachy, but maybe people should visit the city and see what great things it has to offer instead of just assuming it’s a wasteland.

  33. Noelle
    February 11, 2011 7:26 pm

    I too am from Detroit. For all it’s mess, I miss it terribly. I love the people there; so wonderful, funny, and down-to-earth.

    I just have one more thing to add. What is Melinda wearing? Is that a spandex tube top OVER a studded wife-beater? I missed that trend but hey, more power to her.

  34. mis
    February 11, 2011 10:20 pm

    @Trish – I’m in Chesterfield too! And yea, TONS of Steelers stuff all over cars down here, it was so amazing to me when I first moved here! When the Steelers games aren’t on TV here we go to Sideline Cafe to watch. You ever go there to see any games?

  35. Ya Jagoff
    February 12, 2011 9:48 am

    So they send these shirts to the third world countries? How many people there will fit into a James Harrison/Brett Keisel 5x t-shirt? NOTE:not makin’ fun of the unfortunate – I’m sure they are glad to have the clothing. Just picturing them in the shirts)

  36. tim
    February 12, 2011 9:03 pm

    Ginny, after doing the Presidential cleaning (alone) moments after the game i avoided all contact with any media . . . internet . . . tv . . .radio for over a day and checked your blog for a “thinking” post before i could approach anything else. Thank You. Spot on! I bring this up because . . . POOP! I love the black one too. Funny thing my son and I did not talk to each other until the second evening and he broke the ice with a “we should of this” and I said “and we should of that” comment. Subject was immediately dropped. No one else i know has brought up or will bring up the subject. Even my 86 year old Mom who i took to the dentist on Friday. We both saw the SI issue there . . . she put on the bottom of the pile and gave me a Peoples Mag and walked back with cane in hand to get teeth pulled and new ones put in. We don’t talk about or acknowledge that day. POOP. The only thing i got was a email from a friend in Cleveland. Iyt read “Welcome to Mudville”

  37. Aileen
    February 12, 2011 10:08 pm

    We steered clear of ESPN in our house for a few days. I’m not sure which of the steps we were on – I know we were past denial – when the weekly issue of SI came.


  38. Dan (Not Onorato)
    February 14, 2011 11:43 am

    Not that it matters but I would have gone with the white one on the left….black one was too busy for my taste.

    Enjoy the t-shirts Haiti!