Monthly Archives: May 2012

Try the veal! And the bacon!

There was a pig on the Parkway!

And now all you Fayette County-ers are going to get all flustered and blustery and indignant, but before you do that, go check your pig’s room.

BAZINGA!





Blame Mister Rogers … and a giveaway.

Things I’ve been contemplating since I pulled back on my blogging here at That’s Church:

1. Is it possible to truly cancel a birthday? I’d like to neuralyze that date out of my entire family’s brains if possible because mine is hereby canceled on account of all I want for my birthday is the opportunity to kick Father Time in his saggy sack of nuts. I’m sick of how fast time is going. I’m sick of notching ever higher on my children’s growth charts. Flattening their hair with gel and a comb and telling them to slouch before measuring just isn’t working anymore. They’re on to me. I’m considering cutting their milk supply. I assume calcium helps kids grow or what were all those “… I’m drinking milk and before you know it I’ll be turning the heads of your friends, and I won’t even acknowledge you’re my brother!” commercials for when we were growing up?

2. If Oreck could harness the power of Nate McLouth’s suck, they could probably invent a vacuum capable of sucking up an entire newspaper.

3. I’d like to punch this Dan guy in the throat. If he’s your professor, punch him in the throat for me. I’ll bail you out.

4. I should probably get therapy for violence. But I’m afraid it will dilute my pigeon hate.

5. What would Mister Rogers do?

I meant it when I told you that watching the Mister Rogers & Me documentary changed how I look at my life. In fact, watching it, learning about who Fred was and what he believed in and the impact he had on people’s lives is one of the things that helped me make the decision to pull back from this site a bit — to take some time to figure out how my time writing could be best spent. Is it on this site picking nits in a shallow way, or is there a more meaningful, deeper story in me?

Not that I don’t love picking nits and that I won’t continue to pick certain nits that deserve to have their nits picked, Dr. Suess. If a nitpick could pick nits, how much nits should a nitpick pick if a nitpick could, is the question though.

It was MTV producer Benjamin Wagner’s look at his friend Fred Rogers that really made me look at myself and I tell you that so if you want to blame someone, you can go find Mister Rogers’ grave and give it a good long what for.

I had the great fortune of interviewing Benjamin Wagner for my Pittsburgh Magazine blog and I wanted to encourage you to take a look at it so that you can learn what you didn’t know about Fred Rogers. That he was once overweight. Bullied. Sad. Different. And how that made him into the Mister Rogers we knew and how it affected how he treated people — every single one the same. Every single one the most important person on the Earth.

And learn how in his seventies he struck up an unlikely friendship with then 30-year-old Benjamin Wagner.

Here are the questions I asked Benjamin:

1. That first time you went to Mister Rogers’ cottage in Nantucket, you brought your guitar with you. Why?
2. As each interview progressed, I noticed that every person said similar things about Mister Rogers. Common themes seemed to come out in each one. Deepness. Simplicity. Bringing the inner person to the outside. Goodness. It’s okay to be who you are. Being present in the moment, etc. As you were conducting the interviews, did you notice that too, and if so, what did that mean to you?  
3. I never realized how many deep and absolutely profound things Mister Rogers said in his life. Other than the “deep and simple” quote, what’s your favorite thing Mister Rogers ever said?
4. Did you relate at all to Mister Rogers using music as a child to soothe the hurts of his life? Crying through his fingers, I think is how it was put.
5. While filming this documentary, did you learn anything about Mister Rogers that you didn’t already know?

Have a read!

If you want to watch the documentary, you can buy it on DVD or iTunes or you can win a Benjamin Wagner- signed copy of the DVD right now! 

To enter, just leave a comment and so you have something to say, tell me what you remember most about Mister Rogers — a fond memory, a certain episode, meeting Mister McFeely, the terrifying Lady Elaine Fairchilde — anything.

My favorite memory is simply anything he did in his kitchen. I cannot explain the appeal, but the way he comported himself in there whether he was decorating a cake for “YOU!” or showing us different sizes of batteries, it was a comforting place where his soft, slow words taught so much and held so much weight.  Contrast that with my kitchen which regularly is a place of confusion, chaos, silent profanity, flour clouds and intervallic screaming smoke alarms.

One comment per valid email address! You have until next Friday, June 1 at noon to enter at which time Random.org will pick the lucky winner and I’ll put that DVD in the mail and maybe I’ll throw another surprise in the envelope for you. I promise no baked goods.

Good luck!





50 Shades of BDSM

How’s THAT for a title? My spam is going to be off the charts with terrifying awesomeness in about ten seconds with incredible offers to enlarge my penis to help me make big boom in bedroom during super happy sexy fun time!

Also, my butler and good friend Woy has come up with the best word in the world to describe terrifying awesomeness. Ready?

FUNSTURBING!

I’ll use it in a sentence. “The magnitude of my baby’s farts is positively funsturbing.”

Here’s a word my brother-in-law Ginny Slims (as his wife Tina Fey calls him on her blog) made up years ago for a bodily function that to this day in 2012 has no associated word. Ready?

Agillitation: The bowels’ sometimes growling, groaning, bubbling, gurgling process of forming feces.

In a sentence. “We need to hurry home. I’m agillitating something.”

Isn’t that perfect? Not quite yet to the point where you need to poop, but your body is flicking the warning switches that things are really solidifying down there and you might want to get near a human waste receptacle at your earliest convenience.

All that to say this. WHAT IN THE EVER-LOVING HECK IS FIFTY SHADES OF GREY?!

A text from my sister who shall remain nameless but her name is Princess Aurora of Wexfordshire.

PA: Okay. Don’t judge. But have been reading Fifty Shades of Grey … AND LOVE IT!!!! Can’t put it down! Get the sample and tell me you don’t want to continue to read!!! I have had a smile on my face all day just thinking about the book.

Tina Fey: I’m judging. I’m judging so hard I can feel my temple vein throbbing with a near stroke.

Do you see what a worry wart she is? It’s comical. I bet she Googled, “Am I having a stroke?” not three minutes after she typed that and then she determined that she did indeed suffer a mini-stroke and then she probably ate a hundred mini-Three Musketeers bars to comfort herself.

Princess: REALLY?! You didn’t like it?

Tina: Are you kidding!!!!???? Did you not read my blog review of the sample? I wanted someone to kill both characters. I HATED IT! You need to read my post about it. I wanted someone to pay me for the 45 minutes of my life I wasted reading it!

Princess: I love it! Like a crazy soap!

Tina: I’ll forgive you since you were not an English major who learned to appreciate things like character development and believable dialogue. 

Princess: I have a lesser class taste for literature. I’m not as cultured as ya. I like the mommy porn. ;) Also, who do you know is into that????? As I read it, I think, “Who in their right mind would agree to that!?” But I still can’t put it down!!

Tina: [Name redacted] She’s a big ole BDSM junkie.

Pens Fan: Princess is addicted to Mommy Porn!?

Princess: Pens Fan, you will love it!!! Muchacho will thank me that I gotcha to read it!!!! Many steamy nights ahead for ya, girl!!!!

Let me pause here so that I can find some more question marks and exclamation points because they’ve used so many that all I’ve got left are some schwas and half an ampersand.

Tina: How are we related?

Pens Fan: Princess, I have no clue what you are talking about. I probably wouldn’t understand any of it.

Princess: Tina, it’s like wine. I can drink two buck chuck and love it whereas a wine aficionado (yea took me 2 min to spell correct word) would think it is crap. That is crazy about your friend! I had to wiki what BDSM even was.

Pens Fan: Princess and I have simple literary minds. We aren’t smart like you and Ginny. :)

Tina: You are smart. You just have hideously crappy taste in literature.

Princess: Pens Fan, read it. TRUST ME!!!!

Pens Fan: K. I will.

Tina: I’m hanging my head in sorrow.

Somewhere, my poor father’s brain just exploded and he has fifty shades of grey matter on his computer screen.

Somewhere, Tina Fey is Googling “Could my head literally just explode without warning?”

P.S. As I won’t be posting as often, you can subscribe via email using that subscribe box in the sidebar. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I’ll be sharing smaller tidbits there and will also link to my new posts as well.





Changes.

Good Monday morning, Pittsburgh! Has it been raining for seven hundred years or does it just feel that way?

I blame myself. I bought my kids an outdoor trampoline and we can’t erect it until the rain stops. So the rain won’t stop until probably September. Merry Christmas!

Let’s talk about my blog a little bit because there’s going to be a change in how this blog will work starting today, and it’s important to me that I let you know about it because without you reading over the last seven years, this blog wouldn’t have accomplished the things it has, especially since my identity was revealed.

When I started this site in 2005, I had just turned thirty-one a few months prior. I was a whippersnapper with a little three-year-old son and a full time job. Right now, I’ve got a kid turning ten this fall and another turning six this December. Right now, I’m on the verge of turning thirty-eight in two weeks and forty is right there. Do you see it? Right there? Staring at me? Making its presence known with the grey hairs that grow 3,000 times faster and coarser than regular hairs? Defiant white screaming scraggly tree trunks rising among a field of whispered soft brown smoothness? Those hairs are giant assholes. If it wouldn’t burn my face off, I would kill them with fire.

A lot changes for a woman from the time she’s 31 to the time she’s so close to forty she could reach out and bitchslap that mother and then knee her in the face when she keels over. Priorities change. Personality changes. Life in general changes. My violent nature remains unchanged.

At 31 I was a snarky semi-bitch who would gleefully and anonymously take to my keyboard to tear down anyone in my way who I felt deserved to be torn down with the wrecking ball of my words. I don’t regret that, but that’s not who I am anymore.

Nearing forty, I don’t feel like tearing down anymore for the sake of tearing down. I don’t think I need to be perusing the newspapers daily simply trying to find something to write about. Something ridiculous. Something I can point at and laugh at.

My passion for that has waned dramatically since January and I honestly think I started feeling the subtle shift in me after the earthquake in Haiti. That experience changed me so deep to the core, it’s permanent. Daily posting just for the sake of posting holds no attraction for me. It’s a burden now whereas it used to be a joyous addiction, and I promised myself that when I was half-assing this thing, I would walk away.

But I’m not walking away. Not completely. What I’m saying is that I’m not going to post for the sake of posting anymore. I’m only going to post when I am driven to. When hilarity has ensued. When the story can’t be ignored. When something is threatening to explode out of my brain if I don’t unleash it. When Lukey does something so extraordinary or extraordinarily stupid. When my mother calls me to ask me what an “apple cloud” is. When the Pirates play a particularly thrilling game. When Ben and Coach Haley get into a screaming match on the sidelines (you know it’s coming).

That might be once every other day. That might be once a week.

My efforts on this site have been abysmal at best since January and you can tell and you deserve better. The great thing about the evolution of social media since I started in 2005 at the cusp of the boom is that there are now so many places for you to get the fun news on an hourly basis. You have Randy’s awesome Facebook page and Twitter account, and Mikey and Big Bob‘s as well. They’re paid to do that and they do it fast and timely, whereas I have three jobs besides writing for this site, four if you count being a stay-at-home mom. I’m spread thinner than the paint on a Bob Ross happy little tree. And who gives a crap what I think about something that happened two days ago and that I’m just now getting around to writing about? I certainly don’t. You shouldn’t either.

So I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m not going to give you the worst mediocrity of me 10 to 15 times a week. I’m going to give you the best of me maybe once or twice a week.

And we’ll see how that goes. Where it take us. I’ve evolved since I was 31. It’s time for this site to evolve too.

I hope you understand. I’m still me. I’m still here. I’m still driving the bandwagon. I still want to kill all the pigeons. I’m still passionately in love with Pittsburgh and it’s that love the motivates me to be more and be better and to grow and change and see where the road leads.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

P.S. I’m going to close the comments on this for a few reasons. First, because if your response is going to be “PLEASE, DON’T!” it won’t change my mind. If your response is going to be, “You’re awesome and I support you and you’re awesome and you rock and you’re awesome,” I thank you for that, but my ego isn’t looking for that. That’s not why I’m doing this — so I can read nice things about myself. And finally, if your response is going to be, “Yeah, you’ve kinda sucked since January and even before that,” I already know that, thank you.

We don’t need to discuss how awesome I am or how much I suck. We can just let things be, John Lennon.





Sports people doing stuff n’at

Lots of stuff happening in Pittsburgh sports today, so let’s discuss that over coffee and these sugar-free York Peppermint Patties I bought that taste like actual mint-flavored poop, and please keep in mind that I have inadvertently tasted my baby’s poop, so I have an inkling of what mint-flavored poop would taste like.

This has gotten awkward.

Ahem.

1. You remember Jeremy Bloom, right? The Olympic skier/fashion model/Pittsburgh Steeler? The ladies of Pittsburgh loved to look at his abs and his face and we liked to shake cute little threatening fists at the Steelers should they consider cutting him from the team, and then we went all [awkward kung fu moves] when they did cut him from the team before any of us had a chance to self-unite to him.

Jeremy is more than a face because he has this amazing nonprofit he started Wish of a Lifetime, which is kind of like Make-A-Wish for the elderly — helping them fulfill their lifelong dreams before their time runs out.

Not only is Jeremy a really good egg packed in a perfect perfect perfect outer shell, he’s also single and therefore will be on a summer reality dating show called The Choice, hosted by the super leggy Cat Deeley:

Reality stars DJ Pauly D and Rob Kardashian, model Tyson Beckford, pro football superstars Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh, singer Joe Jonas and actors Carmen Electra and Dean Cain are among the celebrities who will vie for love on the hottest summer dating show, THE CHOICE, which debuts Thursday, June 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Hosted by Cat Deeley, THE CHOICE is the ultimate blind date for celebrity bachelors and bachelorettes competing for the hearts of attractive singles—they can’t see.

Ndamukong Suh? Did someone have their fingers placed incorrectly on the keyboard before typing that?

Which, my God, that’d be a great way for George Lucas to come up with Star Wars names. Let me try it.

Hsr Hsr Vubjd.

The Dark Lord Hsr Hsr Vubjd.

Brill.

Also:

2. Hines Ward took batting practice with Clint Hurdle.

 The guy pitching batting practice early Thursday in PNC Park to Hines Ward, and gregariously enjoying it, was Clint Hurdle. Unlike some others who maybe couldn’t ignore their athletic-challenge DNAs against the recently retired NFL and Steelers great, the Bucs manager figured he’d be good for teeing up some cookies.

“I tried to throw it where he’s swinging, trying to find his happy spot,” Hurdle said. “Hey, he’s a top-of-the-lineup guy. He can really run. Like I tell our young players, if they can run and hit fly balls, there’s a job for them: It’s at WalMart.”

Is there a sign-up form somewhere at PNC Park or do only retired athletes get to do this?

Lucky.

3. The Duke of Fug is still whining about Haley. At least that’s how I read this:

“That one’s a little harder than the Miami ones I was doing,” Roethlisberger said after he left another of Haley’s classes Wednesday at the Steelers facility on the South Side. “I joke and say that my final paper for Miami on Tibet was a lot easier than the Rosetta Stone we’re doing now here.”

“Right now, we’re practicing the pass because it’s more complicated,” Roethlisberger said. “Steelers fans and coach Tomlin and the Rooneys apparently thought B.A. was throwing the ball too much. But yesterday in coach Haley’s office, we were talking about using the no-huddle and throwing the ball and how much we have to use our weapons.”

That sounds like Ben is saying the Steelers claimed to get rid of Bruce Arians because he was passing too much, but that Haley is all about the pass too. Which to me sounds a lot like whining.

You?

I mean, I love Bruce Arians, but shut up about Bruce Arians, Ben.

4.  A Murrysville girl who has officially been dubbed the Freaking Luckiest Girl Alive by me, won the opportunity to take father-of-four Pascal Dupuis to school!

How come I never had or have this kind of luck? I’ve never won anything by chance. I’ve never once gotten through on the radio to win a contest. The busy signal is my earworm. I’ve never won more than a buck off of a scratch off. I’ve never even found a bag of money on my doorstep. WHAT GIVES, UNIVERSE?!

5. The Pittsburgh Passion have begun that thing where they decimate their opponents by 49-0 as they did recently to Cleveland.

They’re 3-0 for the season so far.

[snap] You go, goils. [snap snap] [head swivel]

Check out their commercials. All kinds of awesome:

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

6. And so we make sure we hit all the professional sports teams in Pittsburgh … The Power still exist.

There you go.