Monthly Archives: August 2012

Me: 0 , The Universe: A kajillion to the power of a trillion

UPDATE: Share your most embarrassing moment in the comments. I’ll pick the best one to win this extra Dunkin’ Donuts mug I grabbed today. They’re hard to find!


It all started on Monday when I fell off the sidewalk.

I wasn’t wearing particularly high heels or new shoes whose inner workings and bad habits I hadn’t yet learned. It wasn’t raining or slippery. I wasn’t walking through a slick of oil. I was walking with purpose to a meeting, heading from Market Square to Warner Center via Forbes Avenue when I had to step off of the sidewalk to get around a construction zone.

And instead of stepping off the sidewalk, I tripped off of it. Surrounded by other pedestrians, I did my best to stop what I knew was happening. I tightened my grip on my MacBook. I clutched my coffee desperately. I tried to use the Force. I yelped.

And I landed on one knee and one elbow right there on Forbes Avenue.

Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than your grandma’s lipstick. I picked myself up and hurried the rest of the way up to the Warner Center praying that no one saw me fall. That every single person was simultaneously looking up at the sky the moment the girl in jeans and heels biffed it on Forbes right in front of some construction workers.

I assume they catcalled to me things like, “[wolf whistle] Hey baby, you want some pumpkin spice coffee with that fall?”

Then on Tuesday I was again heading up Forbes from Market Square to the Warner Center for another meeting when a yinzer approached me. Not a nutty yinzer. Not a homeless yinzer. Just a normal Pittsburgh guy sporting a Zoltan shirt. He looked at me, dressed in jeans and a black and white striped shirt, and he did a double take before approaching me very excitedly.

“EXCUSE ME, MA’AM! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE KHLOE KARDASHIAN! People must tell you that all the time!”

Not the Kim. Not Kourtney, Kendall or Kylie. Or Kstacey.

But Khloe, the one who, for lack of a better word, looks like a wildebeest. Like a female Sasquatch with mannish features.

I worked my mouth trying to find a response to being told I looked like the baby of Chewbacca and Bigfoot. Then I gave up and walked away.

Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than the cherry in your Sonic diet cherry limeade.

Then on Tuesday late afternoon I was standing on the corner workin’ my tricks —

HAH! The look on my father’s face.

I was standing on the corner near my house waiting for my kids’ bus to arrive. I was wearing new jeans. Jeans that I bought because they were comfy and would be perfect for the Pirates game I was heading to an hour later. I arrived at the stop. Said hello to the other parents. And I stood there and waited as car after car stopped at the stop sign right beside me.

Five minutes later, still waiting, I hear, “Excuse me, ma’am? Ma’am?”

I turn around to see a woman calling to me from her car window.

“Yes?” I asked with a smile. She probably needed directions.

“You have a size sticker stuck to the back of your jeans.”

Not just a sticker. One of those gosh darn sticker strips they put on clothing these days.

Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than Conan’s hair. I reached behind myself to rip the foot-long white sticker from my pants, rolled it into a ball and shoved it in my pocket.

Fast forward to two hours later. I’ve parked my car at the lot near Forbes. I’ve walked through crowded Market Square to get cash from the ATM. I’ve walked all the way to the Roberto Clemente bridge. There I waited for the signal to cross the street when I hear from behind me, “Ma’am? Excuse me, ma’am?”


“You’ve got a size sticker stuck to the back of your jeans.”

Yeah. Apparently I ripped a foot of the sticker off, but those tricky bastards made the sticker a foot and a half long.

She reached down for me and pulled another six inches of sticker from the back of my jeans and handed it to me.

Embarrassed. Humbled. Redder than the incline, I took it from her, thanked her, and gave up.

I give up, Universe.

You win.

I’m a dork. A big dork. I’ll always be that dork. I’ll never stop being that dork as long as you’re there constantly kicking me in the ass like this.

So take note, Internet. The next time you see me, I’ll probably have a booger the size of a nickel hanging from my nose, a live cricket lodged in my teeth, half a donut in my hair, Kennywood will be WIDE open, and there’s a good chance I’ll have completely forgotten to put a shirt on.

I just ask one thing. When you’re telling me what stupid dorky thing I’ve done now, just please don’t start your sentence with, “Ma’am? Excuse me, ma’am?”

And if you’re going to tell me I look like a Kardashian, please be wearing running shoes.

Because I will beat the shit out of you.

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Random n’at

1. A conversation with Princess Aurora of Cincinnatishire ne Wexfordhampsminstershire and Pens Fan this morning over Dunkin Donuts pumpkin coffee and donuts in Pens Fan’s kitchen:

Princess: “You guys need to come visit us in Cincinnati. They have THE best zoo! You walk around and there are workers everywhere holding reptiles and things so you can get up close, and in the children’s area there’s like all these cute animals you can touch and there’s a baby wallaby just hopping around and –“

Pens Fan: “Did you need to see a man about a wallaby?”

Me: [falls off of chair laughing]

If you’ve never seen Nemo, you are all, “Did she have a seizure? Is that why she fell out of her chair?”


And for good measure … BITCHEZZZZ!

3. This is the funniest post I have read in a long time and it’s over at Act Classy which is written by some hilarious Burghers. It’s about that botched Jesus painting restoration that happened over in Spain when a little old lady decided to try to restore a priceless painting of Jesus all by herself and the results are … [falls down laughing again].

Act Classy presents the Life of Botched Jesus and it is so funny that I’m pretty sure my minister father is going to be all, “Oh, I am going to HELL for laughing so hard at this. I gotta go repent. ”

Boom! There’s wine now!

4. 130 Years of Pirates Pride is an awesome infographic. 

5. When they first talked about raising the roof (holla!) of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel by just inches, I was like, “Yeah, that’ll make a difference.” And I said it in my NOT! voice. But then I saw what they meant and HOLY BOXED WINE!

That’s a good view of the old ceiling against the newly exposed one.

6. Burgher Zack was a Make-A-Wish kid when he was 5, and now he’s 12 and held a walk to raise money for someone else’s wish. The walk took place last week. His goal was to raise $3,900–he raised over $23,000.

THAT is an Awesome Burgher!

(h/t Laura)

7. Last night I was invited by Markowitz Communications to see How To Train Your Dragon Live at the CONSOL, so I grabbed Pens Fan and her son to join me and my son, and I am not going to spoil it for you so I will just say this: It was easily the most visually stunning live show I have ever seen. I was absolutely flabbergasted at the things I was seeing happen before me.

At one point, the lead character is basically running up a wall to make it look like he’s running through a forest, and up mountains, and across treacherous bridges and it looks so real that my sister and I were stunned and kept saying, “That is amazing.”

To which my son leaned over to me and whispered, “Mom. He is on a rope.”

Debbie Downer!

Anyway, go see it with your kids (I’d say 6 and older because it can be scary for little kids) and try to get seats either at the corners or straight-on to get the full effect of the virtual movement that is happening throughout the show.

You’ll thank me.

8. Time is running out to win season tickets to the Pens, Pirates, Steelers and more. Buy a Golden Ticket to support Junior Achievement and ONE lucky winner gets:

A Pair of Tickets For a Full Season of Home Games:

  • -Pittsburgh Steelers!
  • -Pittsburgh Penguins!
  • -Pittsburgh Pirates! (VIP Experience & 10 Game Package of Luxury Seats)
  • -Pitt Men’s Basketball!
  • -Pitt Panthers Football!
  • -Duquesne Men’s Basketball!
  • -Penn State Football! (With Parking!!)
  • -2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship “Frozen Four” At the CONSOL Energy Center

Good luck! Take me with you!

9. Daniel Tiger’s son gets his own show. Long live Fred Rogers.

10. I have a new post up at the mag and it’s all about awesome Pittsburgh themed mugs. Gonna get my hands on that beer stein mug. Is she drinking beer or is she drinking coffee? Keep ’em guessing!

11. Get your gaming friends together on October 20 to game to benefit Children’s Hospital!

Details here.

12. Local band SPUDS has a song called “Jagoff” and I kinda love it!

13. I went up in the sky with the 171st Air Refueling Wing and it was easily one of the top five experiences of my life. More on it later, but for now:

And I did not shit my pants.

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“Roberto who?”

Each year, Rick Stromoski, the creator of Soup to Nutz comic strip, pays tribute to The Great One — Roberto Clemente — on Roberto’s birthday by creating a strip that includes many references to his life.

Here’s this year’s strip:

If you know Roberto’s story, you’re catching the various references in there. The Pirates hat, the Carolina Pure Cane Sugar (the Carolina, PR sugar cane fields were Roberto’s family’s livelihood at one time), the Santurces (Roberto’s team in Puerto Rico), 21 (his number).

Here’s last year’s:

The artist says, “Every year on August 18th on his birthday, I do a strip to honor my childhood hero Roberto Clemente.  He was the best ballplayer I ever saw play and he was a great humanitarian giving his life to save others.”

That is an incredible tribute to The Great One and it fills your heart with warmth and hope and love and pride and then you read the comments:

  •  wha…
  • Yea . . . me too.  Just gonna have to came back later after someone more brilliant ’splains it.
  • yup i agree wtf
  • I was hoping someone would know.
  • Seem to remember from way back in HS Spanish that feliz cumpleaños means happy birthday.


  • Roberto who?
  • Yeah, Roberto who?

[headdesk headdesk headdesk]

When I’m president, August 18 will be a national holiday — Roberto Clemente Day.

Also, the day after Daylight Savings Time begins will be National Napping Day.

Vote for me!

(h/t Bill)

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Bums on the seats.

If you watched the Pirates game yesterday late afternoon and early evening, something magical happened.

But first, let me preface that magic by saying the Pirates hit a rough patch this home stand. A real rough patch. The road went from asphalt, to gravel, to dirt, to Mars. Reports of whiplash were running rampant on the bandwagon. Emails and tweets rolled in. “You ready to take a match to your bandwagon?” “You playing with a lighter up there, Ginny?”

My mom said, “They’re falling apart.”

I said, “I’m not worried. They’ll turn it around.”

Fans were scared. The Trib said there was “no end in sight” for the tailspin, which is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. The team held a players only meeting which hinted at desperation. Was this the beginning of the dreaded second-half collapse we experienced last season? commentators bloviated. There was much virtual wringing of the hands over the Pirates’ woes.

Yesterday was a must-win game on more than just the win-loss level. More than just the wildcard level. This was a must-win game on the emotional level. This was a must win game that would decide if my bandwagon kept rocking and rolling along or if by morning light it was just me, Woy, and a half dozen people too drunk to jump off yet.

As the leader of the team, AJ Burnett got a little passionate yesterday.

He gave up a homerun to Hanley Ramirez at the top of the fourth inning. Rounding second base toward home, Ramirez did his signature eyes move to Burnett.

AJ didn’t like this. AJ watched Ramirez do this — watched him round third base and AJ had a look on his face similar to how God looks at Satan. Similar to how I look at pigeons. Garfield looks at Mondays. Lukey looks at Peduto.

Burning. Eternal. Hellfire. Hate.

Then comes the sixth inning. Pirates are up eight to four and AJ strikes Ramirez out swinging.

Ramirez starts arguing with the home plate ump.

And AJ, in an epic burst of badassery, shouts at Ramirez to “Sit the f*#k down! Sit dahn!”

YouTube Preview Image

It was glorious and inspired and life-affirming and it was more.

It was more than just AJ telling Ramirez to sit his ass down on the bench —  to go put his bum in the seat, as my kids’ bus driver tells the kids. “BUMS IN SEATS!”

It was more. It was AJ showing his leadership. His passion for this team. His desire to win. How much he cares about the Pirates.

It was AJ showing how much fight the team still has left despite the rocky road they’ve traveled recently.

It was AJ looking at those of you on the bandwagon who are out of your seats, toeing the edge as pothole after pothole lurches you about and rattles your brain, as the bumpy ground rushes by and you start to think, “I don’t think I want to be here anymore.” And you stand there thinking about jumping off.

AJ’s talking to you. And he’s telling you there are games left to play and fights left to fight and that the Pirates are still willing to go to battle.

He’s telling you to sit the f*#k down.

Kindly oblige the man.

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A brand new Annoying Burgher!

There are several reactions you can have to your fourteen-year-old son stealing a Jeep from a driveway, taking it for a joyride, being pursued by police, and flipping the Jeep on the Parkway East, totaling it. The Jeep. Not the Parkway East.

I’d like to total the Parkway East. And the tunnel. And the mountain through which the tunnel runs. And replace it all with a 12-lane highway with a speed limit of 105 mph.

Why am I not yet mayor? Or the head of the URA? Or PennDot? Or America?

Where were we?



a. Anger at your son.

b. Biblical anger at your son manifest in the very bats of hell flying out of your mouth as you scream with such rage, the temperature in your house rises ten degrees and Voldemort is all, “Chill pill!”

c. Anger at the jerk who dared leave a Jeep around to be stolen by your son.

If you chose C, congratulations! You’re the next Annoying Burgher!

What? You don’t think any parent in their right mind would choose C? Think again!

“It was an opportunity that, in a 14-year-old’s eyes, was at the perfect time and at the perfect moment,” said the boy’s mother.

The boy’s mother said she’s not letting her son off the hook, but feels the owner of the vehicle should have been more responsible.

“I’m not downplaying my son’s role in taking something that didn’t belong to him, but I am saying they actually left their keys in the car and the vehicle could have been taken by anybody,” she said.

She said she also blames the Jeep owner’s boyfriend for following her son and calling police.

“He had no right to chase my son, which it could have been a situation. Maybe it could have been just a joyride down the street. Maybe he wanted to go farther than he felt like walking,” she said.

I … I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll start by picking the brain matter off of my monitor because my head just exploded.

First, he didn’t just “take something that didn’t belong to him.” He didn’t walk out of CVS with a Snickers bar he didn’t pay for. He didn’t take a bicycle from the neighbor’s porch. HE STOLE A CAR. A CAR. He is 14! He shouldn’t even be driving! And he stole a car! And led police on a high-speed chase! IN A CAR. So that right there is the pesky “downplaying” you just said you weren’t doing. Play down, playa.

Second, yes, she left her keys in her purse to run inside quickly. But the vehicle wasn’t “taken by anybody.” It was taken by your FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD SON! A THIEF!  WHO STOLE A CAR!

And the car owner’s boyfriend? Had no right to chase your son and call the police? He should have instead said, “Well, let me just stand here and watch this kid drive away in my girlfriend’s Jeep because maybe he just needs to head a mile up to the CVS to buy some milk and it’s just too far to walk, and maybe he’ll bring the car right back as soon as he’s done with his shopping. Under no circumstances should I call the police and report that A FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD KID JUST STOLE A CAR.”

Because God forbid kids these days do any sort of walking to a destination further away than their desired walking distance when there’s a perfectly good car that can be stolen. God forbid you place 100% of the blame on your son for STEALING A CAR. God forbid you hold him accountable for his crime.

So what should you say to the news media when they ask you about your14-year-old son stealing a car?

It’s a trick question! You shouldn’t be physically able to say anything on account of all THE HELL-BATS FLYING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.

You’re the next Annoying Burgher and your crown is in the mail and by “crown” I mean this gif:

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