Monthly Archives: June 2011

It was never my ear

So many of you have written and expressed concern over my health that I wanted to give you a quick update for now.

After 14 hours spent in the ER this past weekend during which time I explained that the noise in my head was unbearable and vibrating, the resident ruled out several possibilities and then on a whim, decided to do a CT scan to rule out anything vascular setting off the noise.

In “ruling out” they “found.” They didn’t see it at first, but upon closer look, my Dr. House found it.

Possibly a result from my car accident back in November, there is a tear in the artery in my neck which has clotted and blocked that artery 65%.

I’m a medical mystery on several fronts. The surgeon is baffled that the resident even thought to check a healthy, young-ish person with no symptoms and no medical history for a vascular issue. Why is the artery causing the noise? They don’t know. But thank God it did, because with me showing no other symptoms other than that noise, it is the roaring and the bubbling and the jet engine and the motorcycle and the helicopter in my brain that allowed them to find the blockage before it became too late and I had a stroke.

I am currently under treatment with medicine to hopefully clear the clot and allow the tear in the artery to heal. In six weeks, I will undergo a new CT scan to see if the blockage has improved. If it has not or gotten worse, surgery might be necessary to repair the tear.

For now, I have to take it easy. Take care of myself. Get better.

Hopefully, each day the noise will become a bit less intrusive and I’ll get my whole quality of life back to where it was. For now, I’ll remain on medical hiatus, but I’ll be around via my magazine blog and column, Facebook, and Twitter.

I truly appreciate the kind thoughts and all the prayers. I feel them every day.

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Medical Leave.

I’ll be starting now with a leave of indeterminate time as the noise in my head has grown to something much louder and more deafening, 24/7. While the doctors work to figure out the cause and the treatment, you can imagine how little sleep I’m operating on and how hard it is to concentrate much on anything as this has been going on for three weeks now.

Right now, I need to focus all of my energy on staying positive and getting better. I don’t know yet how long that will be because my doctors don’t know yet what’s going on.

I’ll still be writing my monthly column and weekly blog over at the mag. I just don’t have the motivation, desire, or concentration level right now to maintain That’s Church.

I hope to be back soon.

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A lifetime commitment to the Beard

There are honestly only two things I can imagine having tattooed on my body because I know I’ll love them forever.

The Pittsburgh skyline.

Calvin and Hobbes.

This dude featured on Deadspin went and declared his love for the Steelers and Brett Keisel in a big, possibly someday regretful way:

It seems a bit … much.

But it’s certainly not the most ridiculous Steelers tattoo we’ve ever seen. Remember this one?

Someday a little kid is going to accidentally see that image skewed and stretched out on his grandma’s butt and ask, “Is that the Kraken?”

(h/t Charles)


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Grab a chair and let’s chat about fair-weather fans

Those Who I Am Not Allowed to Speak Of won last night and are above … you know … and that’s a big deal.

This city, as I knew it would, has embraced the team. Those who were boycotting are starting to give themselves benchmarks. “If they’re playing well in August, I will allow myself to attend a game.”

Twitter is crazy with tweets of “RAISE IT!!!!!!!” after every game.

People are creating hashtags like #electricstuff.

My bandwagon is full, but you’re welcome to the roof until those with the flimsiest of constitutions fling themselves off when the team loses three in a row.

I’m seeing more Pirates shirts and caps out and about.

Internet, there are a great number of people in this city who now know the names of like six players on the team. This is huge progress.

Right now, we aren’t sitting under the great burdensome weight of shame and embarrassment of having a ball club that sucks likes it’s their job.

And that means the diehard fans are NOT VERY HAPPY. At least some of them. They hate the bandwagon fans. They’re not REAL fans. They’re fair-weather fans.

And some of those diehard fans look down on the fair-weather fans. Wish they’d stay away. They’re making too much noise. They don’t understand what slugging average is. They scream things like “HIT THE BALL!”  — or the really, really drunk and clueless, “SHOOT IT!”

Stupid fair-weather bandwagon fans messing up your enjoyment of the team and the game.


Oh, pah-leeeeeeze.

Please, Pittsburgh, for the love of Ronny Cedeno’s socks, don’t be like that.

I wrote a column for the magazine over a year ago in which I admitted I’m a bit of a fair-weather fan (can’t find it online right now). I went long stretches not caring about the Penguins because they sucked and I remember once posting that I didn’t want to get too close to a Pens jersey lest I get some of the suck on me. Suck is hard to get out.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t care about the game or the players or the team. It just meant why torture myself by watching a consistently losing team? What fun is spending money to watch suck?

Those that hate the fair-weather fans, those diehards of you shaking your head at the new “fans,” I ask you, if your most favorite band in the whole world suddenly started releasing shit albums — terrible song after terrible song — would you continue to buy tickets to the concerts? Would you continue to buy the shit albums full of shit songs like “Where is My Chocolate Covered Monkey?” Would you be in the front row after shelling out $100, wearing your band t-shirt, scream-singing along at the top of your lungs, “I LOST MY CHOCOLATE COVERED MONKEY OH WHERE COULD HE BE!? I THINK I SAW HIM HUMPING A ZEBRA COVERED IN HON-EY! I LOST MY FREAKING CHOCOLATE MONKEY …”

Really? Or would you continue to follow the band, but maybe not go to the concerts so much and refuse to buy the albums full of shit songs until such a time as they start behaving and performing like the band you first loved? Would you finally get fed up enough after an album called “My Poop Was Green and the Corn Was Red” to actually voice your displeasure?

You might not see it that way, but those of us who tend to support the home teams in times of winning are looking at it that way. Why support crap? The Pirates have sucked harder than red-corn-sprinkled green poop, is what I’m telling you. They have recorded historic numbers of losses.

Why cheer for crap?

That goes against the laws of the universe. YAY, CRAP!

Diehards, embrace the new fans! Good for you for sticking with the team during bad times, but the new fans are pouring money into the team that desperately needs to spend more money on more talent or to keep the talent we have. They’ll slowly gain a better understanding and appreciation of what’s happening on the field. They’ll learn the players. The rules. The love of the sound of a satisfying thwack to the bleachers. They might just become a diehard like you.  New fans are new blood and new money. I guarantee every ballplayer on the team would rather play in a stadium filled to the top with screaming, cheering fans of all kinds, than a mostly-empty stadium dotted with the diehards who never left.

Who knows where the team is going from here. Maybe the string of terrible albums is finally ending and we can celebrate them for the true rock stars we’ve wanted them to be all these years.

Maybe their next album will amaze and win awards. Or maybe it will be called “My Nipple Hair Tickles” and the fair-weather fans will leave and you’ll be left in the front row scream-singing, “OH THE TINY TICKLES, HOW THEY EX-CITE ME! I AM SO GLAD MY NIPPLES AREN’T HAIR-FREEEEEEE!”

We don’t know.

All I know is this, I love the new fans this year. And this is the year I finally understand what the hell a slugging average is.

Let’s go, … you know.

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Random n’at

1. “A spoonful of Nutella helps the Nutella go down,” will be the fifth chapter in my forthcoming book I Have My Deepest Thoughts While Licking the Inside of the Nutella Jar.

Pre-order now at all the fake book webstores!

2. Someone needs to tell these people that there is another choice between kill or keep. It’s not often that I read an article that makes me choke down bile. This one did it.

God bless all you parents out there trying to conceive.

3. The Wall Street Journal brands Pittsburgh as the Steal City and it’s not because we’re a city of thieves!

Pittsburgh, once written off as a dying steel town, has turned into one of the most resilient office-rental markets in the U.S., prompting a flurry of building sales as some longtime owners take profits.

It’s a good look at the good and bad in Pittsburgh right now, and as always, I find that the good in Pittsburgh always outweighs the bad.

4. I have been asked not to write about Those Who We Shall Not Discuss until they are above … you know, now that they’re once again at … you know … the first time they’ve been there this late in the season since 1999. 12 years.

Apparently some of you think I’m a curse.

Kiss my grits, n’at, but I shall test out your theory and shut up until … you know.

Can I at least just warn you that space on my bandwagon is filling up fast? I only have room for like two more saucy wenches and three more drunk yinzers.

Also, can I just point out that Ronny Cedeno isn’t sucking too hard anymore? And that our new catcher isn’t too hard on the eyes?

Let’s go, … you know!

5. Things I tried at McDonalds!

Rolo McFlurry: Meh.

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade: Meh.

Sad panda. Happy cottage cheese butt.

6. I saw a sign that Englebert Humperdinck would be performing in Greensburg and I was all, “You mean like from The Princess Bride?!”

7. The Pirates Charities are raising money for Prader-Willi Syndrome, the disease Clint Hurdle’s young daughter suffers. Pledge per wins and if you pledge enough, receive autographed gifts by players and/or coaches.

(h/t Natalie)

8. The New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys are in town for their concert and one Jonathan Knight is certainly enjoying himself:

Don’t ask me to explain the Pitt vs. Burgh line. I think he’s on drugs or something.  Or really really stupid.

I fully expect his next tweet to be, “Crazy tall skinny chick chasing me down on foot. Send help.”

(h/t @lisamh77)

9. The Golden Ticket Raffle benefiting Junior Achievement is back and woo-wee. Lookit the prize:

* full season of Pittsburgh Steelers games (if there is a season)
* full season of Pittsburgh Penguins games
* full season of Pitt Panthers Football games
* full season of Pitt Panthers Men’s Basketball games
* full season of Duquesne Men’s Basketball games
* full season of Penn State Football home games (4 tickets)
* tickets to the 2nd and 3rd round NCAA Division I 2012 Men’s Basketball Tournament games at CONSOL Energy Center

Tickets are $50 here, each with four chances to win! Scroll down and click on the Golden Ticket logo.

10. If you’re not reading the comments from The Duke of Fug’s minions over at this post, you’re missing out. So much awesome as they defend his doughy flesh, call out my cottage cheese ass (‘allo, Gov’nah! I’m not a professional athlete. Take my shot, bitch.), and defy us to play football with a broken foot and nose. They forgot to mention his ouchie thumb.

Also, shout out to the guys on the thread just aghast that we women would dare make a comment about Ben’s fleshy physical fitness.

Oh, come cry to me when Christina Aguilera or any female celebrity not a size zero isn’t considered a giant fat ass and then we’ll talk. He’s a professional athlete. His physical form is fair game, I think.

11. Finally, a new post up at Pittsburgh Magazine, this one checking in on the status of those New Year’s resolutions I made in January.

I’ve knocked a few off the list. Failed at others thus far. Drank lots of tequila. Hate boats.

Plus, any post that features an Arrested Development clip and jetpacks is a must-read.


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