Don’t call it a comeback n’at

1. Somewhere, Brett Favre just sat up all, “DID SOMEONE SAY COMEBACK?!”

That grandpa needs to get to whittlin’ and/or fresh dong pictures and leave the football to the whippersnappers.

2. Listen up. The Pirates are in first place, five games above .500 ball, and while I continue to see lots of debate, even in the national media, about “bandwagon fans” and a bit of complaining from a few diehards that affordable tickets are harder to come by now that you bandwagoners have started attending games, I’m still happy you’re here on the bandwagon with me.

I love you new people who last year would rather have been mercifully run over by the bandwagon than set a single toenail on the scurvy-riddled caravan of delusional rose-colored-glasses-sporting yinzers who were drunk on margaritas and Bob Nutting Kool-Aid.

Have you noticed my bandwagon is a cross between a debauched pirate ship and a rickety horse-drawn wagon? I don’t get it either. I’m pretty sure I spotted Jack Sparrow in the back. He’s confused too.

Regardless, welcome aboard, new blood. Maybe this is the year I drive this bitch all the way to October.

3. I have a new column up at Pittsburgh Magazine and those of you who have scolded me for years about the HORSE PISS I choose to drink (Zima, Bud Light Lime, etc.) are going to be thrilled to read that I have discovered craft beer. A snippet from my column from the August edition:

If craft beer were the Mercedes of alcoholic drinks, and Bud Light the Yugo, Zima would be the three-legged, geriatric mule with one good eye. Don’t flaunt it in the street; hide it in your garage, and pray no one ever sees you near it.

I was never ashamed of my love of Zima, but one person’s purchasing power cannot effectively keep an alcoholic beverage on the market. So when it was announced a few years ago that Zima would cease production, I threw a little funeral for my soon-to-be deceased three-legged mule.

I talk a bit about horse pee, too. Go have a read!

4. Remember Tassy? Now that he’s on his way to complete health, back in the states for the final surgeries, Team Tassy has set their sights on a new Haitian to help, this one younger. I can’t reveal many details about the new “Tassy” mostly because I haven’t been given that many yet! The time to learn about him or her (okay, I at least know the gender, but I’M NOT TELLING), will be at A Night for Tassy 2.

I’m telling you this for three reasons.

  1. Mark your calendars and buy tickets. It is going to be a fun yet inspiring night as we meet the new “Tassy” and also enjoy the witty banter of hosts Sally Wiggin and Randy Baumann, to whom I plan to shout “OH, JUST HAVE SEX ALREADY!”  It will be very appropriate.  You’ll notice that when you go to purchase tickets, you’ll need to choose Team Sally or Team Randy. They’re having a little wager, you see, so choose wisely. I’d tell you which team I’m on, but I’m not stupid.
  2. Cookie table! There will be a cookie table! I love cookie tables so much I can’t even stand it. I even offered to bake cookies! I will be sure they are clearly marked so you can avoid them on account of my #cookingwithginny tweets.  EVERYONE FINDS WORMS IN THEIR FRUIT COBBLERS ON OCCASION SHUT UP.
  3. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, there is contact info on the link. It’s such a great cause. One of the most rewarding I’ve ever known.

See you there. I’ll be the curly-haired chick shouting completely appropriate things at Sally and Randy.

5. I have some incredible friends and nothing has made me realize that more than a little thing called THAT GIANT JERK-FACED FIRE.

That jerk-face has been in my life for almost eight months now, and this Wednesday I get to officially kick its jerk-faced face to the curb when my husband reopens Las Velas for a soft opening, followed by a celebration complete with live music on Friday evening.

The restaurant is beautiful and completely renovated. It’s same, but very different, you’ll see.

But, I was talking about my friends. Look what my friends did without me knowing. They created shirts and sold them for Las Velas.

(photo by Jonathan Wander)

Internet, that’s the first time ever in my life I’ve made a pointing gesture in a picture. It will never happen again. I’m so sorry. Next time, I’ll either do nothing or go balls-out and throw signs like Hizzoner Master Lukey.

Shit. I’m already making the EXACT SAME GESTURE AS HIM. Where do I turn in my cool card?

Oh who am I kidding? I lost my cool card the day I drank Zima and said, “Now THIS is a classy alcoholic beverage.”

Anyway, I’m told my good friend Jonathan Wander (who hooked us up with Goldie Z. Ostrow’s Z Brand Communications to redesign our menus. They’re gorgeous.) came up with the “Viva Las Velas” idea while my good friend and butler Mike Woycheck (pictured. No, not the black guy.) made it happen by bringing illustrator Rachel Sager on board. Rachel also designed my blog header and the Make Room for Kids logo, you might recall. She and I shared a worm-free peach cobbler just two weeks ago and she never let out a peep about the shirts. Sneaky friends.

This journey from December 1 until now hasn’t been easy. It’s been terrifying at times. Knee-knockingly scary. There have been speed bumps the size of the Great Wall of China and potholes that felt deeper than the Grand Canyon, or, you know, a pothole on Penn Avenue. I’ve definitely grown a few new gray hairs. But my family and friends have stepped up in a big way and so have so many of you who have taken time to email me.

The bracelet I’m wearing in that picture was a get well gift from my good friends at CASA of Allegheny County. I love it so much. It’s my constant reminder to smile and count my blessings no matter what kind of poop this monkey we call Life flings at us.

And that’s what I’ll raise my non-alcoholic margarita to at the restaurant on Friday. Surviving the poop.

With help from my friends.



  1. Scottie
    July 30, 2011 7:09 am

    Glad to see you up and about. I was there last night, and was going to say hi, but didn’t want to interrupt what seemed like a great family celebration.

    I was having my own little celebration by blowing my diet through 2 baskets of chips & salsa, guac, beans, and a burrito…I even stole some of my bf’s papas off of his plate. There are plenty of mexican joints around that I enjoy, but none can hold a candle to that. I was on that plate like, well, pittgirl on a zima ;-).

    Oh, and did I mention the two giant margaritas — weee!


  2. Dan (Not Onarato)
    August 1, 2011 12:56 pm

    Well regardless if he did or did not make the correct call. At least it was in the middle of the season and not a deciding game of the playoffs or world series.

  3. Cassie
    August 1, 2011 10:21 pm


  4. Megs
    August 3, 2011 3:22 pm

    Soooo happy about the re-opening! Congrats to you all! We have fond memories of monthly to-go orders from Las Velas, then eating while our son played in the fountains. We look forward to more of those memories (and great food) :)

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