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.

 





55 Comments


  1. empirechick
    July 25, 2011 5:50 pm

    Yep, Randy and Sally have a very Sam & Diane thing going on…

    Congrats on the reopening and your continued recovery!!



  2. Biggeorge
    July 25, 2011 5:57 pm

    Where can I get the shirt?



  3. Sam's Dog
    July 25, 2011 6:09 pm

    Ginny, so glad to hear of your continuing recovery.
    Having been down that knee-knocking road myself, I can attest to the powerful lift you can get from friends and family. Never got a bracelet, but continue to look for and enjoy life’s little gifts. Congrats on the restaurant’s re-opening, your newfound appreciation of good beer, and the success of the Pirates.
    Go Bucs!



  4. Z
    July 25, 2011 6:15 pm

    Ginny,

    Welcome back. You’ve been missed. Glad to know you’re feeling well enough to blog again. Congratulations on the reopening of Las Velos. Hope to have lunch or dinner there soon.



  5. Rachel
    July 25, 2011 6:53 pm

    So glad to have you back!

    Speaking of Hizzoner, a friend of mine’s husband worked the Ben wedding as a valet and said Lukey came out of the reception flashing peace signs to everyone and anyone

    Again welcome back! :)



  6. Amy
    July 25, 2011 6:53 pm

    This is perfect timing! My boyfriend is coming home from Philly for the weekend and I’ve been trying to think of someplace awesome we can go for dinner. Las Velas it is! Hope you’ll have a table open on Saturday!

    Congratulations on all of the wonderful developments, Ginny!



  7. Rachel
    July 25, 2011 6:54 pm

    btw… can’t wait to have lunch at Las Velas



  8. Sarah
    July 25, 2011 7:24 pm

    Where can we buy the shirts?



  9. WIMom
    July 25, 2011 8:42 pm

    Welcome Home, Ginny, welcome home!

    Pirates in first place, Steelers heading to training camp, Las Velas opening, Ginny back to blogging. Ahhhh– all is right with the world!!



  10. bluzdude
    July 25, 2011 9:01 pm

    Bandwagon or not, I love to see butts in the seats at PNC. Let’s go Buccos!

    Love the T-shirt idea… It’s one of those that make me go, “Geez, why didn’t I think of that?”

    Glad to see you back on your game and blogging again!



  11. ShannonSharpe
    July 25, 2011 9:33 pm

    Ginny, you look great, glad to have you back!



  12. steeler_tom
    July 25, 2011 11:45 pm

    I hope you’ve healed. glad to see you back.
    Answer the questions please you have a group of friends who want t-shirts. I wish we could be there for the opening….. :-(



  13. Michele
    July 26, 2011 8:30 am

    So happy to see you back and you look wonderful! Now where can we get those shirts? I am a loyal out-of-town reader but I will be in town Labor Day weekend looking forward to a Viva Las Velas Margarita.



  14. Jen
    July 26, 2011 8:58 am

    So excited for you guys and thrilled that things are maybe FINALLY looking up for you all. What a year you’ve had! I can’t wait to come to Las Velas for our first time :) :)



  15. Butcher's Dog
    July 26, 2011 9:24 am

    Welcome back. We’ve all missed you, of course. Save some of the left-over margarita salt for the Pirates non-believers to pound up their collected asses, please. And continue to stay well; we all need you too much to endure long breaks like the last one.



  16. AngryMongo
    July 26, 2011 9:54 am

    And here I was thinking of doing a, “Not tonight, I have a torn carotid artery” shirt.

    Glad you’re doing well. Just lock Sally and Randy in a closet for seven minutes in heaven and love the shirts. That’s Church.



  17. Liz (In Life)
    July 26, 2011 9:55 am

    A) Congrats to you- next time I’m in the area I’ll have to come and eat at Las Velas! Also, nice opening line about Favre. Unfortunately, someone at ESPN will probably see it and declare Favrewatch 2011 on like Donkey Kong. Sigh.

    B) Hi, I’m a bandwagoner. In my lame defense, I left the PGH as a wee one and barely remember the good days. Part of the reason why I stopped rooting for the Pirates was because I was tired of DCers, who didn’t even HAVE a baseball team, making fun of Elementary School Liz for her Pirates hat. I’m happy to call myself a bandwagoner because that means that I can go dig out that Pirates hat from wherever it ended up. Right? Right?
    Please don’t kill me, anyone. I promise to be a very good bandwagoner and I’ll wear the hat around Baltimore just to piss off O’s fans!



  18. Cindy T.
    July 26, 2011 9:55 am

    Glad you are having some great things happen — I just got a new “Prayers with Purpose for Women” and the first page I flipped to was “Joy Despite Trials”. I happened to be on your site at the time. Check out James 1: 2-5 if you get a minute. Take care and many blessings to you and your family.



  19. bucdaddy
    July 26, 2011 10:41 am

    *intently studies photo for even a single gray hair*

    Lying liar. Why do I still love you when you LIE like that?

    Anyhoo, now that you have come around, I will expect much better beer on the Las Velas menu than Modelo and Corona and Dos Equis.



  20. Ginny's Dad
    July 26, 2011 1:22 pm

    Gin

    Here’s an idea from your old-fashioned Dad.

    Elvis made a movie in 1964 called “Viva Las Vegas” and sang a song by the same title. Maybe you could play it at the grand re-opening and we can pretend he is singing “Viva Las Velas”. Perhaps if you invited Ann-Margaret, she would come and join the celebration. Elvis already left the building, so don’t worry about inviting him.

    Have a listen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPuKoqu6kMk



  21. Rich D
    July 26, 2011 1:34 pm

    I hope you followed all that craft beer with a bocktown burger!



  22. red pen mama
    July 26, 2011 2:34 pm

    It’s nice to see a post from you! YAY! Viva la Ginny!

    or something.

    add me to the list of people who would like to buy shirts. And the way my life is going, I’ll be at Las Velas for my next birthday. In January. But it will still be awesome!



  23. spoon
    July 26, 2011 2:52 pm

    I wish I had taken video of when Ginny drank Rock Bottom Breakman’s Stout with Kahlua-Soaked Oak Chips and Vanilla Bean. 1 word, beer-gasm



  24. Padzman
    July 26, 2011 4:08 pm

    So glad you’re back! God bless!
    And welcome to the wondeful world of good beer!



  25. Woy
    July 26, 2011 10:31 pm

    It was Rachel’s idea for doing a shirt – I just pulled in Jonathan’s idea and coordinated the logistics. TEAM EFFORT.

    And – let me see what we can do about t-shirts. We got a limited run and I have a few left. I need to see what’s spoken for and I’ll contact people in order of the comments about them.



  26. LuAnn
    July 26, 2011 11:13 pm

    Welcome back, Ginny and Las Velas!

    Count me in for a shirt, if there are any left.



  27. Marlene
    July 26, 2011 11:38 pm

    Welcome back! Missed you.

    BTW, Ginny’s Dad I always thought it was called Viva Las Vegas.



  28. Sue
    July 27, 2011 9:08 am

    So so so happy that things in your life are looking up. Missed you terribly on here. Glad that you’re feeling better.



  29. Butcher's Dog
    July 27, 2011 10:47 am

    This morning around 1:50: Worst. Call. Ever. As usual, just sayin’.



  30. Ono
    July 27, 2011 11:12 am

    Hi ginny,

    Sooooo glad to have you back. You help the work day go by a little faster. You also make me feel like I may be a little ‘hipper” than I really am when I can discuss the That’s Church blog. Looking forward to many more postings.



  31. AngryMongo
    July 27, 2011 11:23 am

    @Butcher’s Dog Worse than say, “Hi Dad, I’m calling you from jail.”

    Agreed, though. I think I’ll swim right after eating. After all, Jerry says it’s safe.



  32. Julia
    July 27, 2011 12:48 pm

    I wanted to come by Las Velas for lunch today so badly, but then my afternoon got really busy with meetings that I am still in the process of preparing for. We’ll be down for lunch and happy hour in the next week, for sure.



  33. Noelle
    July 27, 2011 3:09 pm

    Does anyone know what’s going in under Las Velas? Lots of work happening on a patio roof and windows n’at.



  34. USCMike
    July 27, 2011 5:39 pm

    @Noelle, that’s Ginny’s secret Zima bar!!



  35. Judi B
    July 27, 2011 6:31 pm

    So happy that you’re back!
    So happy that Las Velas is back!
    So happy that you’ve discovered real beer!



  36. Craig
    July 27, 2011 6:50 pm

    Team Las Velas! Way to persevere through the smoke and flames!



  37. Butcher's Dog
    July 28, 2011 8:23 am

    @AngryMongo: at least there’s a chance that “Dad, I’m calling from jail” has some basis in fact or was merited. Unlike the call at home plate.



  38. bucdaddy
    July 28, 2011 10:37 am

    Pix of new Las Velas or it didn’t happen.



  39. bucdaddy
    July 28, 2011 10:40 am

    B-Dog,

    I have yet to see definitive video of the play that shows a clear and unambiguous tag. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t one, doesn’t mean it wasn’t clear from some other angle. For instance, Hurdle apparently thought he had a better view from 40 feet away than the umpire standing over the play did from five feet away. But I have yet to see it.



  40. Dan (Not Onarato)
    July 28, 2011 11:31 am

    bucdaddy-

    MLB network and ESPN had several different views of it.

    Pretty clear that he was tagged on the upper leg then stood up walked another step or two then stepped on home.

    Ginny-

    Welcome back to you and Las Velas!



  41. Miles
    July 28, 2011 1:08 pm

    Glad to see you are back. Just wanted to note the coincidence between you being mum on the Bucco’s and their ascendance in the division and the .500 mark. Also Bud Light Lime is a good beer just as Miller Light Lime and Tequiza (if that one is still around). Micro brews have their place (I like the Lambic’s and lagers not so fond of the IPA’s) but on a 100 degree sweltering day if it’s not water is gotta be a light beer. Just sayin’.



  42. bucdaddy
    July 28, 2011 2:03 pm

    Dan (NO),

    I can see why it looks that way, but all of the angles I’ve seen make it pretty clear that McKenry either tagged Lugo “ever so slightly” (to use Meals’ words in his second statement on the call) on the kneecap or he didn’t tag him at all. For every angle that makes it look like he tagged Lugo “on the upper leg,” I can show you one that makes it clear he didn’t. I’ve had people tell me that McKenry also tagged Lugo on the armpit or shoulder, and that is demonstrably and indisputably incorrect, although there is an angle that makes it look that way. So if I can show you angles to prove that what people assert is absolutely what happened is wrong, I can cast doubt on any supposed evidence of a tag. I can prove McKenry DIDn’t tag Lugo on the shoulder, armpit or thigh; what I can’t prove is that he DID tag him anywhere.

    And trust me, I looked for it, because I want to see it, because outrage in baseball is so much fun. But I don’t.

    As you might guess, I’ve been arguing this for two days and so my arguments are pretty finely honed.



  43. Miles
    July 28, 2011 2:07 pm

    as much of a homer as I am I also did not see a definitive tag. and can see where the ump would have made the call he did.



  44. bucdaddy
    July 28, 2011 2:09 pm

    BTW, I’m talking strictly about the video evidence. It’s obvious now that Meals has been (it seems) bullied into admitting he was wrong, the issue is settled: McKenry made the tag and Meals blew the call. Lots and lots of people agree with this.

    However, in going strictly by what I can see with my own eyes, without trying to make psychological judgments about the way McKenry reacted (“like a guy who made a tag”) or Lugo reacted (“like a guy who knew he was out”), I must say that I cannot see the tag, from any angle.

    I, of course, did not have Meals’ and Hurdle’s angles on the play, and even so they managed to disagree about what happened maybe 40 and five feet in front of them.

    The only thing I am certain of is, this is way way far from the worst call in the history of baseball, as it’s being made out to be. Mr. Denkinger and Mr. Joyce probably wish it were so.



  45. Aileen
    July 28, 2011 2:25 pm

    I want buy a McKenry t-shirt. DEFEND THE FORT.



  46. Butcher's Dog
    July 28, 2011 3:26 pm

    @bucdaddy: Let’s look at the call in the overall context of MLB umpiring. Compared to numerous “phantom” calls at second on double plays and first basemen coming off the bag while catching throws on close plays (slow each of those down and I’m setting the over/under of missed calls at 20 percent), then Meals shouldn’t even have given it a second thought. It’s an out that’s an out that’s an out. Shoe on the other foot: if the call is, indeed, out do the Braves argue as vehemently as Hurdle did? I think not. Plus it just seemed like a pathetic, chicken-shit way to end a game that long. Just my two cents.



  47. AngryMongo
    July 28, 2011 10:38 pm

    @Aileen Is there one out there? I was working on my own today.



  48. Aileen
    July 29, 2011 9:52 am

    @Angry Mongo –

    I’ve not seen a McKenry t-shirt. I’d love to have one. Instead of “not in our house” theme, PNC Park should have a “not in our Fort” mantra – it goes with being Pirates n’at.

    I love McKenry – the kid caught a double header +1 inning the other night and still made the tag on Lugo.



  49. AngryMongo
    July 29, 2011 10:43 am

    Mine was more straight forward… “Defend the Fort” with a slightly colonial fort map design using home plates and a catcher’s mask and bats. Then faded it.



  50. Aileen
    July 29, 2011 2:08 pm

    @ Mongo –

    I love it! Love the way the guy plays – even when slides into 2nd base like a flounder.