Monthly Archives: October 2012

#happythanksgiving, @mayorluke!

Last night had the potential to bring a great deal of devastation to our area with Superstorm Sandy threatening to dump enough rain on us to completely saturate the ground, and when the ground is saturated, bad things happen.

However, it appears that outside of some without power, downed trees, downed wires, and other moderate issues, Pittsburgh sat in the sweet spot between the feet of snow in WV and the feet of water to our east.

Throughout what actually turned out to be the storm of the century for New York and New Jersey, the City of Pittsburgh and the County of Allegheny took very different tacks in keeping their constituents informed.

Here’s the entirety of the City of Pittsburgh’s tweeting last night:

Allegheny County and Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald? It’s a miracle they weren’t put in Twitter jail for how much they were tweeting “as it happens” updates regarding downed wires, signals out at which exact intersections, rock slides, etc.

The @allegheny_co account tweeted almost 140 updates from the time Fitzgerald declared a state of emergency up until right now. They tweeted everything from the speed of wind gusts measured, amount of rain that fell, roads to avoid and more. Those updates were also simulcast on their Facebook page.

City of Pittsburgh’s Facebook page?



[tumbleweave] (tm some genius)

Last night people began to notice this jarring difference between the two and started talking about it on Twitter, and wouldn’t you know it, the City noticed too because this morning?:

[golf clap]

But then again, for all we know the City could have been updating the SHIT out of their Plurk last night.


Never forget.

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Frankenstorm reading

Did you batten down your hatches yet, Pittsburgh? I would if I knew what the hell that meant.

I’m mostly worried about my Halloween decorations becoming missiles that pierce the siding of my neighbors’ homes. Or a random pumpkin crashing into my living room. I’ve heard we might have up to 70 mph wind gusts. In Pittsburgh?! What in the crap even?!  This feels like a SyFy movie where somehow a category five hurricane of snow forms over a midwest state. They’d call it Hurricaginormous Rex or something. It would star Lorenzo Lamas and Pamela Anderson as hurricane chasers. It would have dialogue like:

Pamela: “We’ve got to get out of this storm before we both die!”

Lorenzo: “There’s a storm in my pants, girl.”

Why doesn’t SyFy hire me?

Where was I?

While you’re waiting to find out just how destructive this “unprecedented weather event” is going to be, here’s a few things for you to read:

1. Me versus David Conrad.

I’ve loved his love of Pittsburgh forever, ever since he was on Relativity (My sisters still call him Leo) and still showed up at Burghy events to support good causes. Then in the past few years we’ve become acquaintances which is exactly how I envisioned my ten-year plan to become his best friend would unfold.

David has been vocal about the St. Nick’s church’s demise, so he and I decided to have a little chat about it. This interview is a result of my chat over breakfast at the Square Cafe with the star of the newly announced Lifetime series “The Secret Lives of Wives.”

We talk about the church, the Civic Arena, why he moved to Braddock, unions, Henry Clay Frick, and more. A snippet:

David sees the colorful Twitter interface on my laptop screen and immediately shields his eyes as if we’re in an Indiana Jones movie and I’m opening the Ark of the Covenant. He has clearly eschewed social media and here I am trying to show him the light. As I close my laptop, I make a mental note to one day convert him to the Church of Social Media, but for now, I need a carb-loaded apple maple crepe and a healthy dose of decaf.


Henry Clay Frick leads us down a path toward the merit of unions, and I tell David what makes me angry. For instance, when turnpike toll takers are fighting for astronomical wages considering the struggle of the average American worker in this recession. Or when a unionized worker who has done something vile is suspended with pay.

But David is a strong union supporter, and I know that about him. He fights back, defending the unions as a whole, contrasting their wages to the salaries of the management that own and run the companies. He defends the people in the unions, calling most of them good people who work hard and who deserve to be at the table when decisions about their jobs are made.  

“People died to bring us unions,” he says. “They died.” Each syllable pronounced. They. Died.

I can’t not look that in the eye.

And by “astronomical wages” I mean for what their job entails. I’ve complained about this on here before. You know that about me.

Go have a read and to see his answer to my question of, “Why do you care?”

And I can tell you this … with his ability to quote books on Pittsburgh’s history, to name exact years of obscure Pittsburgh events, and the things he does behind the scenes here … he really does care.

2. AND!

My column about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and on whether or not it’s doing a good job of staying true to the legacy of Fred Rogers.

A snippet:

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” is not about collecting dancing stars from bridge trolls or flying on a hastily crafted-together boat made of marker caps and popsicle sticks in order to rescue a half-witted pigeon that got stuck on the Statue of Liberty’s nose. Instead, Daniel learns about going to the doctor, having a picnic, being nervous about school, getting mad and, most importantly, how crayons are made.

Have a read!

And batten down the hatches!

Do we need to stock up on milk and toiletpaper for hurricanes?


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Fun with Google’s “Visually Similar Images”

I worship at the church of Google Image.  If it exists on the vast expanse of Internet, Google Image can find it. Lately I’ve noticed that Google Image will provide you with “visually similar images” to the one you’re searching for.

Ending sentences in prepositions is the new black.

This is how it’s supposed to work: Sometimes Google nails it and sometimes … it doesn’t.

1. Steely McBeam Similar to everything from SpongeBob to … well … YOU figure out what all the rest of that shit is. Speaking of mascots, let’s try …

2. The Pirate Parrot: Parrot. Parrot. Rose. Parrot. Parrot.

Makes sense.

3. James Harrison:

Watches, widgets (I assume that’s a widget), and a dog with a giant leaf in his mouth.

Close enough.

4. Jeff Reed:

Congratulations, Jeff. You look like old people. And what appears to be Jon Gruden?

I’m actually kinda surprised Lady Elaine Fairchilde didn’t show up in there. Which gives me an idea…

5. Lady Elaine Fairchilde Dear Mister Rogers, Google Image search has determined that your somewhat terrifying puppet is visually similar to a pierced uvula.

Make of that what you will.

Also, I don’t need to tell you, do I, that The Pierced Uvulas would make a kickass band name?

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If you missed it, the First Ever Rock n Roll Live Costume Karaoke benefiting Haitian Families First was an absolute blast, packed with guests, and full of awesome people wearing awesome costumes.

Here’s Ian Rosenberger (Claire), Laura Kelly (I believe her name was Tom), Katie O’Malley (Alfred) and friends dressed as a Guess Who? game (photos by Jonathan Wander):

Jamie and Ali’s parents dressed as Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne:

Slash, Sally Wiggin, and Axl Rose.

You notice Sally didn’t dress in costume, but her buttons did and came as horses.

Emcee Randy Baumann came as hipster Phantom of the Opera:

HAH! Just kidding! He’s Richard from Boardwalk Empire:

Who is very clearly dressed as hipster Phantom.

This girl killed Adele’s Rolling in the Deep:

Britney Spears (Ali), a cereal killer (Jonathan Wander), and a sexy cat (Jamie who came in from Haiti for the event):

Some of the HFF board members:

I didn’t last long as Slash. My hair was touching my face, the hat was giving me a headache, the leather jacket weighed a ton, and how the hell do people wear sunglasses indoors? It was stupid uncomfortable.

Beating out Bill Peduto and Sally Wiggin, because Sally Wiggin donated a crap ton of money to their box in an effort to not have to sing (I voted for Bill Peduto), the winners/losers were Mikey and Big Bob who sang a Miley Cyrus song like they were auditioning for American Idol:

And Sally Wiggin watched them like that dude in Mariah Carey’s Hero video (skip to 3:11 to see him):

Then Bob showed Gina Cerilli and I his moobs and we reacted accordingly:

Formerly of KDKA, now of Boston (patooie!), Jim Lokay was on hand to sell raffle tickets with Elena LaQuatra and Gina. He killed it at the mic:

Ali sang I Kissed a Girl with her friends:

And Laura Kelly and Katie O’Malley serenaded Randy and he enjoyed that very very much.

And on and on it went. One awesome or awesomely hilarious singer after another. It was the most fun I have had in ages, and I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning and I drank TWO gin and tonics and half a beer.

This is what I look like after two gin and tonics and half a beer (with Jonathan’s son Alex and special guest photobomber Bill Peduto):

Duck lips. I blame the alcohol. I’m so sorry.

Anyway, it was a HUGE success and I can’t wait for next year.

I’m going as a Kardashian.

I figure I’m untalented enough.

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Siri on iPhone vs. Google Maps on Android. And SALTIMBANCO!

Last night as we headed toward Oakland to attend Cirque du Soleil Saltimbanco show at the Petersen Events Center, this happened:

My husband, into his iPhone:  “Petersen Events Center.”

Siri: “I’m sorry. I can’t find any events in Peterson.”

Me: “What are you doing?”

Husband: “Trying to pull up a map around the event center. I want to see which side streets are around it and maybe find some on-street parking.”

Me: “Oh.”

Husband, into iPhone:  “Where is the Petersen Events Center?”

Siri: “I’m sorry. I can’t find that, but I did find …”

Siri went on to list a bunch of doctors and dentists named Peterson.

Husband, into phone: “Orale tu putisima –“

Siri: “I’m sorry. I don’t understand –“

Me: [taking phone from Husband] “Let me try. Maybe Siri doesn’t understand your accent. (Into phone) Siri, where is the Petersen Events Center?”

Siri: “I’m sorry. I cant find that, but I did find …”

Me: “Oh, forget it. “

I pulled out my HTC Evo 4G LTE and pressed the navigation icon.

Me, into phone: “Petersen Events Center.”

Evo: “Navigating to the Petersen Events Center.”

Me, to husband: “Bam.”

Husband: “Orale tu putisima –“

Me: “Say focus for me.”

The moral of this story is this, John Malkovich: Siri is pretty much useless.

Also, regarding Saltimbanco. It is exactly what you expect from a Cirque show:

1. The sudden feeling that you’re stuck in an Edward Scissorhands dream or a Tim Burton dream or a Tim Burton-directed Edward Scissorhands dream. So much weird stuff that doesn’t make any sense ever, but it doesn’t need to because … ART.

2. At least five spots in the show where you will sit with your jaw hanging open, unbelieving the very things you are seeing. The juggler? WHAT!?

3. At least two spots where the clowns, in this case the best mime in the world, have you in tears with laughter.

4. At least one act that starts out and for the first minute you’re like, “That’s IT?!” but then two minutes later you’re sitting there stunned with your mouth agape unbelieving the very things you are seeing.

Check the show out if you can as it’s only here through the weekend.

If you go, tell the Asian girl that balanced on her chin that I said, “WHAT?!”

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