Monthly Archives: November 2012

Random n’at

1. I don’t know what I miss more. Troy Polamalu or Penguins hockey.

If Troysus straps on ice skates, I’d probably shoot confetti out of my ears right before I fart a rainbow.

That’s sexy.

2. If you think the rest of the world looks at wedding cookie tables the same way we do here in Pittsburgh …

Pittsburgh is the original home of the cookie table and I have done some exhaustive, factisidual, truthy research to prove just that for my latest column in Pittsburgh Magazine.

P.S. If you’re from Youngstown, don’t click on that link.  If you do? “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” Besides, I can’t take people who live in Ohio seriously.

3. If you’re shopping the Yinzer Gift Guide, we have our first official sell-out and that is the Light of Life Grace Ornament from Wendell August Forge. If you’re still hoping for a WAF ornament, this “Skating at PPG” was the first runner up:


4. Speaking of Christmas shopping, you’ve got to check out the new Christkindlmarket in Market Square. Adorable huts filled with handmade treasures with an Eurpoean flair. Not only that, FREE pictures with Santa in Santa’s House! If you want to make a memory, take your kids or your loved one to ice skating at PPG, then walk over to the Christkindlmarket to shop, then take your purchases and head to one of the many restaurants in Market Square to eat and warm up while watching the Market Square light show. I like Las Velas, but that’s just because I’m sleeping with the owner.

I’m such a slut.

5. Only I would go from “MAKE A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS MEMORY!” to “slut.”

[takes a bow]

6. Further proof Pittsburgh is the new Hollywood, the Jack Reacher US premiere, featuring the personal attendance of none other than Tom Cruise, will be held right here in Pittsburgh, with a red carpet, paparazzi and more.

You can’t buy tickets, so your only hope is to either win them somehow or to crash the party like Snoop Mayor Ravey Rave is probably going to do. He’ll be the one photobombing Tom while clutching an autograph book.

Related: There’s a new series filming here with Chloe Sevigny. 

7. I realize they were already printed and probably at great cost and that some where distributed before the incident, but if I was running the zoo, no WAY would I mail out a calendar featuring the dogs that just three weeks ago mauled a little boy to death. 

[lobs ball over the net]


8. Local blog “My Very Last Nerve” has some advice for parenting a teenager and it is hilarious:

Are you the parent of a teen? If so, you can disregard this, because you already know and are probably drunk right now. But for those of you whose little angels haven’t reached the teen years (or really, the pre-teen years – because that’s when it starts), prepare yourself.

So – you have a teen. Congratulations – you are now stupid. You are the stupidest stupidhead that ever was stupid. It’s a miracle that you have managed to keep yourself alive for 40-smrthrgfrt years as stupid as you are. No really. Stupid.

In addition to you being stupid – your teen is smart. No just smart, but all-knowing. There is nothing – NOTHING – you can tell them that they don’t already know.  Make sure you lock the door on the way out: “I know, Mom.”  Don’t forget your homework: “I know, Mom.” Your hair’s on fire: “I KNOOOOOW, Mom.” Do not – I repeat – DO NOT try to tell them anything – they already know.

Go read the rest.

I need to remember this for when my son turns 13 and I become exceptionally stupid.







(h/t Charles)

10.  Just looking at this picture is making me break out in a cold sweat. 

If you don’t understand, you can vacate my lawn.

11. A local woman has agreed to pay the adoption fees, and transportation for the dog will be provided if someone chooses to adopt four-year-old Trigger who has spent three years in a shelter. 

Poor doggie.  That’s his picture up top.

12.  Pet photography benefiting Animal Friends at a special discounted rate!

13. Local organization Global Links is seeking to donate 500 filled baby bags to maternity wards in third-world countries including Haiti. Read about what they need donated and how you can help!


That’s how we’re saying it from now on.


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This whole episode cracked me up.  “A few of these and I’m not gonna care WHAT color day it is.”

15. Ahiapahl.

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Yinzer Gift Guide giveaway winner!

Congrats to Steeler Tom at comment #53 who claimed the prize for the giveaway.

My favorite Christmas memory, was remembering the excitement as a child of all the gifts, the colors of the lights, attending Christmas eve pagents at the United Methodist Church, I can’t seem to recapture those memories…… sigh

Well, now you have some Christmas magic in your life, Tom!

If you didn’t win, be sure to check out the entire gift guide over at Pittsburgh Magazine to start your Burghy holiday shopping. 


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‘Tis the season n’at, yinz guys. Giveaway!

I start thinking about my Yinzer Gift Guide in the late summer. It’s a bazillion degrees out, my eyeballs are sweating, my hair looks like someone electrocuted Cousin It, and I begin to pine for a cool breeze and a cute scarf.

So I’ve been hunting for months for the perfect gifts to suggest to you for the Burgh-lover in your life, or even yourself. My requirements are gifts that either feature Pittsburgh, are made in Pittsburgh, or are made elsewhere by former Pittsburghers. I don’t think any made the list from that last category this year as all 13 gifts on the list are Burgh-made or feature the Burgh. Some do both.

Gifts range in price from $12 to $198, with almost all of them coming in at or below $50. 

As you click through the slideshow, you will need to scroll down on some picture captions to read the entirety of them.

And it wasn’t easy to pick the list, so here are the others ideas that would make awesome gifts as well:

—  The “Jagoffs Make Me Stabby” and “I Brake for Tunnels” shirts from Fresh Factory, with proceeds going to Genre’s Kids With Cancer Fund.

— Anything from Believe Merch or Commonwealth Press.

— BYOB painting fun at Paint Monkey! 

— LOVE these handmade holiday cards designed and produced right here in the Burgh by a Burgher.

JP Diroll Pittsburgh Photography or Uprooted Photographer Photography.

— Anything from Sapling Press or Garbella.

— Or go to Wildcard and just go nuts.

Check them out if there’s nothing on the Yinzer Gift Guide that floats your coal barge down the Mon.

Now, let’s give some of the list items away!

Here’s what you will get, and due to the fragile nature of two of these items, I’m going to ask that the winner make arrangements to personally retrieve the items from me or my husband at Las Velas in Market Square.  If you live out of state, you hopefully have some close friends or relatives who can run downtown and get these picked up for you until such a time as you can get to the Burgh. Or make arrangements for that friend to have the items CAREFULLY shipped to you. (I just typed “shitted to you” and then had to stop writing and chuckle for twenty seconds).

What: One lucky randomly-selected winner will receive the following, all valued at a total of more than $160:

  • Pittsburgh Love pottery made at the Zotter the Potter studios in Pittsburgh. Perfect kitchen utensil holder.
  • One You and Who Pittsburgh T-shirt in size X-Large.
  • One Light of Life GLORY ornament forged at Wendell August Forge.
  • One professionally matted and framed “HOME” print in which the H is an ornamental railing overlooking Mt. Washington, the O is the Kaufmann’s clock, the M is the arches on Carnegie Music Hall and the E is an ornamental iron design on the door to Heinz Chapel. If you haven’t gone to the site to check out the amazing Burghy ways you can spell anything you desire, you must. And each picture is taken in the Burgh. I had a hard time choosing the perfect Burghy M for this HOME print I designed just for one of you. Imagine your friend or brother or sister who no longer lives in Pittsburgh being able to hang this in their house to show where home really is.

To enter: You have until next Monday to enter and all you need to do is leave a comment, one comment per valid email address. And so you have something to say, either tell me a gift you think should have made the list or tell me what your favorite holiday memory is. You can be as brief or as wordy as you like. I’d love to read some funny stories about cats in Christmas trees, the time you and your husband bought each other the same gift, or the funny thing your kid shouted out at church.

My favorite holiday memory is the time my mother made my father his favorite fruity cranberry jello dessert for Thanksgiving, I mean, he LOVES this stuff and she only makes it once a year. She took it out of the oven. She let it set. She continued to cook and bake delicious things. And then she absentmindedly put it back in the oven and returned it to its formerly liquid state, and then upon realizing her mistake minutes later, she frantically tried to take it out of the oven causing the liquid to slosh all over the inside of the hot stove, filling my sister’s Wexfordhampsminstershire home with cranberry-flavored smoke. My father was an understanding but very sad panda.

Tell me yours! will select the lucky winner next Monday, November 26 at noon. If your comment goes to spam, I’ll fish it out for you. No worries. The winner and I will then make arrangements for me to hand over the loot.

Good luck!

And go check out the Yinzer Gift Guide!

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Fed up.

It all started over the summer as I crossed 7th Street near Penn Avenue. It was evening and the walk signal was lit.

As I stepped onto the curb on the other side of the street, a BMW with a man driving and a woman in the passenger seat prepared to make a turn from Penn onto 7th, but first there were four women in the crosswalk, talking and laughing and walking at a normal speed. They had the walk sign. They were walking. They weren’t dawdling or lumbering or otherwise attempting to take their time. As they cleared the street and stepped, laughing, onto the curb, the woman in the BMW lowered her window. She was a classy looking woman in her 40s. Short blonde hair. Business suit. Her husband/significant other was in a suit. They looked like they could be your bosses. As the car rounded the corner, the “classy” woman stuck her head out the window and angrily shouted to the group of women, “Do you bitches think you could move any fucking slower?!?!”

I was stunned. The girls were stunned. They looked at me, stunned. I looked at them, stunned.  And we walked our separate ways, just stunned like we lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals or ran out of Nutella.  I wondered what great thing the woman had planned to do with the five seconds she lost waiting for the pedestrians to cross the street. Cure cancer? Write a novel? Punch puppies? Pull the stick out of her butt? Puke up the piss that someone put in her Cheerios?

I shrugged it off.

Then last night I took my mother to see War Horse at the Benedum (Oh. Em. Gee!). We entered a lot not far from the theater and when I circled around a bend I found a Mercedes, lights on, running, sitting right in the thruway that allows cars to circle to the other side of the lot. It was clearly marked “No Parking” and there were lines that indicated he shouldn’t park there, so I was confused as to why he had chosen to stop there, completely blocking traffic. I sighed and put the car in reverse to back up. But now there was a car behind me waiting to make the bend as well. I moved forward again and pulled up next to the running Mercedes, with its lights on. The man behind the wheel was on his cell. He was in his late forties and wearing a business suit. I gestured to get his attention. He looked over at me and I smiled and motioned for him to move forward. He scowled and made the “BACK UP” gesture and looked away.

I looked behind me. Now there were two cars waiting to make that bend.

I sighed and tooted my horn to get his attention.

He looked at me again and once again made the “BACK UP” gesture, not realizing I couldn’t back up. I was stuck where I was.

He went back to his phone conversation. All I needed him to do was move up. His car was already running. There were several visibly open parking spaces on the other side of the lot that he could have moved his car into. But he wouldn’t acknowledge me, ignoring my waving hands trying to get his attention.

I tooted my horn with a short spurt again and lowered the passenger side window where my mother was seated and motioned for him to do the same so that I could explain the situation to him. I wasn’t angry. I was calm. My face was calm. I figured once I explained the situation to him, he would probably feel bad about it and move.

He looked at me, but he didn’t lower his window.

Instead he made a “FUCK YOU” face and he flipped me off with great gusto — holding the finger there for a solid, and — I’m sure to him — gloriously satisfying five seconds.

I was stunned. My mother was stunned.

I took a deep breath to calm my nerves and I got out of my car and walked up to his window muttering out loud, “What’s he gonna do? Shoot me?” I was going to explain to him what was going on and ask him to just move his car out of the thruway. I figured he was going to feel really badly about giving me the finger. But he didn’t give me a chance, because as soon as he lowered his window he went off on me, still on his phone, allowing whoever he was talking to to hear. “WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM?! THIS IS MY SPACE. I HAVE BEEN PARKED HERE FOR AN HOUR. THIS IS MY SPACE. GET ANOTHER SPACE. THIS IS MY SPACE.”

“Sir? You’re parked in the thruway. We can’t get through.”


“I couldn’t back up. There were three cars behind me.”


And then the rage boiled up in me. I had it. I couldn’t take his rudeness one more second and he refused to simply move his car up so that other cars could access the spaces on the other side of the lot.

I flipped out.


He looked at me, stunned, and shrank back slightly. He raised his window back up and returned to his phone conversation, still not moving his car.

I returned to my car, and by now the other cars had given up and one-by-one backed up to go to another part of the lot. I did the same. After parking the car, we got out to begin walking toward the Benedum, and the Mercedes, at that moment, exited the lot.

He wasn’t staying there. His car was running because he was getting ready to leave. And he couldn’t be bothered to get out of the thruway for the people stuck behind him.

I needed wine.

I was fed up.

But it’s not just these run-ins with absolutely maddeningly rude people that has me fed up.

There’s the biker who had his throat slashed.

The teacher who had his face punched in for no discernable reason other than he was there and he had a face and his attacker was “having a bad day.”

And now this.

Pittsburgh police are investigating after a man was assaulted on the South Side early Sunday morning.

Sgt. William Gorman in the bureau’s Zone 2 station said Dave Whaley, a local musician, was crossing at 20th and Sarah streets when a Ford Mustang went through a traffic control signal and almost hit him.

After Mr. Whaley shouted for the vehicle to slow down, Sgt. Gorman said, the car stopped and a male about 6 feet tall, and more than 200 pounds, got out of the vehicle and hit Mr. Whaley, knocking him out.

“Sounds like one punch and he fell face first to the ground,” Sgt. Gorman said.

Pittsburgh, this is not us. We are not the rude assholes who angrily punch our way through life. We are not the jerks who can’t be bothered to put others before ourselves on occasion. We are not the jagoffs who trample on anyone who gets in our path to self-satisfaction.

We are the neighbors in the neighborhoods.

And I don’t even need to tell you what that means because deep down  you know damn well what that means because it is an inherent truth you’ve got lodged in your heart and you will never be rid of it no matter how many people you flip off.

Was I a good neighbor when I lost my shit on that man? No. I wasn’t. I get that. It’s easy to lose your cool. But I’m going to do better next time. And honestly, I’m kinda proud that I didn’t punch his face in with one glorious jab.

It’s nearing the holidays and I’m fed up with these stories and the interactions in my own life. Stop the road rage. Remain calm. Give the pedestrians the right of way. Watch for bicyclists. Hold the door. Hold the elevator. Let others merge. Don’t let your kids grow up to be the kind of people who punch faces in for no reason.

If you know who the Mustang-driving jagoff is who punched Mr. Whaley in the face, turn him in. 

Of course the Karma Boomerang always evens things out in the end, but there’s nothing wrong with giving it a helping hand.

Let’s all just chill out a little bit and get back to being the good people we were raised to be.

The kind of people about whom Mister Rogers would say, “I like you.

You’re a good neighbor.”

And if you REALLY get angry and feel the need to punch a face, can I suggest this one?

He is just BEGGING for it.

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Random n’at

1. Okay … this one right here, this #1 on the list is going out to probably only two of you, but where are my peeps who watched The Shield and who also now watch Burn Notice?


And with that off of my chest, let’s move on to Burghy stuff.

2. I’ve been bugging you for weeks to get me your suggestions for the 2012 Yinzer Gift Guide for Pittsburgh Magazine and you did not disappoint. I cannot wait to share the guide with you probably late next week. I’ll also be having a giveaway of several of the items on the list.

Also, buy me everything on the list. EVERY. THING.

3. I’m ridiculously excited about the Flashdance musical coming to the Burgh. That movie will always be the first thing that made me look at Pittsburgh, even as a teen, and go, “Man. I love this place.” Something about seeing it on a screen, watching her ride her bike across the bridge, seeing Vic Cianca doing his thing, the blue collariness, steaming manhole cover grittiness of it all. Pittsburgh? Fingerhearts.

Today the mayor said January 1, 2013 will be Flashdance Day in Pittsburgh. That means we all wear legwarmers and torn sweatshirts and at some point in the day, dump a bucket of water on our heads while we sit sexily in a chair. Also, remove our bras via the armholes of our shirts.

Can’t wait to see the guys try that move.

4. I meant to share this earlier, but I suck.

The UPMC CancerCenter’s entry for this year’s Pink Glove Dance Competition is all kinds of kickass and even features Charlie Batch:

YouTube Preview Image

Idea. Next year? FLASHDANCE! WHAT A FEELING! I’m serious. With special guest star Ken Rice being the one to pull a bucket of water down on himself. And then Luke Ravenstahl runs across a bridge in pink legwarmers.

I’m a genius.

Make it happen.

5. Do you have what it takes to be Pittsburgh’s next reality star? Is your life full of awesomeness that the world needs to know about? Did you give birth to fourteen babies and then decide to birth five more and form a skydiving team?  Then you’ll want to check this casting call out.

They’re already getting video auditions: one from a body builder who now impersonates Elvis, and another from a law student who has a collection of tank tops.

They’ll hold an open casting call at WQED studios in Oakland on Nov. 17.

Once they pick a winner, they’ll make a video showcasing the winner’s life, and then they’ll shop it around to various networks to see if it becomes a series.

I don’t mean to be rude, but what would a reality show built around a law student who collects tank tops look like?

I have an idea and it starts with “hot” and it ends with “mess.”

Watch that be the one who gets picked, and the show becomes a huge success, and that person becomes the next Snooki or Situation.

Oh, IDEA! Reality show about a female steelworker who dances at night and then goes on to date the owner of the mill and then he convinces her to try out for a swanky dance school and then at one point she angrily gets out of his car in the middle of a tunnel and starts walking and also, she takes her bra off via the sleeve holes of her ripped sweatshirt.  WINNER.

Also, before you discount this whole reality show casting call, please note that Carl Kurlander is behind it. THE Carl Kurlander.

Now I’ve got St. Elmo’s Fire stuck in my head.

6. The Sprout Fund is requesting proposals for up to $1,000 to connect communities in Pittsburgh. Find out how to apply here.

7. There’s a secret pinball clubhouse in Lawrenceville, and tomorrow, you can get a look inside.

I suck at pinball so badly you could base a reality show on it.

It would be called SUCK: The Life of a Pinball Loser.

8. I’m almost done writing up my column about my flight with the 171st Air Refueling Wing. Those guys and girls are amazing people.

Here’s further proof.

9. A deer crashed into a local carpet business, ran amok, and then walked out the front door like he owned that shit.

SOMEBODY is gunning for a reality show. It will be called Badass Bambi.

Is there such a thing as “Reality Show Namer?” Because I’d like to apply for that job.

10. I’d for sure watch a reality show about the Taser-Resistant Drunks.

He was tased FIVE TIMES before they got him under control.

Are we sure he’s not a supervillain?

11. How is Taser Resistant Drunks not a band name yet?

Or a reality show for that matter?

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