Random n’at

1. I’ve been running. And not from monsters or falling buildings or rampaging howler monkeys or any of the other things that I’ve previously said would be the only motivators that could ever get me to put any kind of urgency into my gait.

I’ve been running because I’ll be forty in 2014 and excuse me while I go scream-cry in the shower over that.

But when I turn 40, I want to be in the best shape of my life — not just pear-shaped.

So I’ve been running. And I’ve been running in the cold weather. At night sometimes. All through my neighborhood. Three days a week. And I love it and I don’t even know who I am anymore.

My goal is to be able to run three straight miles without looking like a newly born crack-baby-giraffe.

Wish me luck and no whammies.

2. Pittsburgh has the nation’s highest percentage of homeowners who outright own their homes. 


I don’t honestly know what that means, but it felt right.

3. How to make eye contact.

Man, I love Jessie Landis-Eigsti and not just because he has a super cool name.

4. The diocese said it would accept a $300,000 offer from the URA for St. Nick’s but then changed its mind and now St. Nick’s, and all of its glorious history … is gone. 

Something smells rotten in the state of Denmark.

5. One of the most detailed posts ever on how to make good old fashioned Burghy pierogi without those newfangled “pierogi cutters,” if that is your real name.

Put a babushka on and get to cooking!


6. That’s right. I just hashtagged a blog post.

7. And we have a third contender in the Pittsburgh mayoral race in Michael Lamb, and you know the math.

Lukey vs. Peduto = Likely Peduto win

Lukey vs. Peduto vs. Lamb = Split vote, Ravenstahl win

Get used to Hizzoner Master Snoop Ravey Rave.

8. The Wall Street Journal’s house of the day is in Pittsburgh and IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.  I am stunned.

Mark Frankovitch for mayor!

Anyone know who Mark Frankovitch is?

9. If you’re looking for something to do before the Pens game next Wednesday, then you can join me at AVA Lounge for a social media Power Hour from Get Involved!Inc. I’ll be on a casual panel to talk about social media and then I’ll be heading over to the Pens game to lose my shit over hockey.

Good times!

10. I’ll also be at this event, Haitian Families First Back to School Party at Bricolage on January 31 featuring the Standard Band.


11. Pennsylvania Style.

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(h/t H)

12. Pittsburgh Dad has a commercial and it’s not just a commercial, it’s a 1980s style commercial complete with hilarious modem noises, jabs at their own laugh track, and just general awesomeness.

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I have but one question.


13. Awesome tweets:


  1. Scott
    January 17, 2013 11:33 am

    Two comments.

    First, the commercial actor in #6 is hilarious…in every ad he appears in. Bridgestone ad “Giddyup Dieon”…etc. Hilarious. Who is he?

    Second, the “tragedy” of St. Nick’s church is possibly the biggest farce of the past year in this town. The story is long, but basically the entities portraying themselves as the “good guys” in this saga are full of crap and have held that poor, tiny congregation over a barrel for years by forcing them to foot a nearly $2000/month bill every month that eyesore remained standing. Preservation Pittsburgh, and the groups aligned with them to preserve the building had no plan, no money and generally made a mess of the entire situation. They held up the Rt. 28 project, cost taxpayers money and nearly bankrupt the St. Nick’s congregation, which was the victim in this whole affair. It is BS that everyone keeps pointing the finger at the congregation for this, when they are the last people to blame. The demolition is long overdue and finally gets that tiny church in Millvale off the hook, financially. The good guys came out on top in the end here, and those portraying themselves as the “good guys” are, in fact, the villains. Preservation is a key part of Pittsburgh, but not when it is shoved down unwilling throats haphazardly.

    • jack
      January 17, 2013 1:09 pm

      Hi Scott – Some facts – in 2004 the preservation community offered to pay $50,000 to put a new furnace in the Northside church, and a state of the art security system, and pay the gas and electric costs. Until that church was closed in 2004 they had paid all the costs for that property 100%. They offered to pay $350,000 to buy the church which up to then had cost the Millvale St. Nicholas no money. The preservation groups also paid for all the maintenance of boarding up the windows and doors to protect the buildings from vandals for years. It is the Bishop who is the sole trustee that had nixed all efforts to help Millvale and help Pittsburgh keep that unique Northside building and develop it as a mid-sized National Immigrant Cultural Center. The pastor and people in Millvale have spent no money on upkeep maintenance or utilities or taxes. The Bishop charges them about $60,000 a year for insurance while surrounding churches are charged only about $12,000 by the bishop’s insurance agency. The extortion is that the people in Millvale have no vote, no choice but to go along or have their church closed. The preservation groups also offered a plan to the people of Millvale that would include them and help raise money for their church…but they were not permitted to accept the plan because the bishop would not approve. This battle was all about the bishop fearing to lose power over the people and his getting money for his insurance group and his other needs. The Millvale church will close because the people are dying and the young people not attending; the preservation community wanted to help preserve that building and its murals and take that burden off the backs of those old folks forever. Unfortunately, the newspapers would not print a lot of plans presented by preservation people because the newspapers wanted only “hot news” and not to be part of proactive good planning. Jack

      • Scott
        January 17, 2013 1:34 pm

        Hi Jack. Thanks for the information, but I think you’re only telling part of the story. Whilie I’m sure the current St. Nick’s is under financial strain like most churches these days, I have seen nothing to indicate that it is closing. It is plainly obvious from comments related to this story that a large percentage of people incorrectly believe that the murals are in the Rt. 28 St. Nick’s, rather than in the active St. Nicks’ church in Millvale. I believe, as do many others, that those murals hold significantly more historical value than the Rt. 28 building does. They should be, and are being, preserved. But we do agree on one point: the congregation was being held over a barrel. Whether by PP or the diocese, it matters little. They have put up with misplaced blame for years, and none of this is their fault. The demolition of the Rt. 28 church is a good thing for everyone involved, including the greater Pittsburgh community. Some structures, many even, are worth saving. This was not one of them. Time to move on and move forward.

        • Scott
          January 17, 2013 1:36 pm

          BTW, I mean comments tied to regular news articles, not this blog post by Ginny. Thanks.

          • Sheila
            January 17, 2013 2:58 pm

            The sad thing is most of the parishoners of St Nicks Northside won’t support St Nicks Millvale. Its like one big fued, where Millvale had to pay for North Side’s insurance and costs since it was closed, and yet no one from Northside was pitching in b/c they go to other churches now. I know my mother in law (longtime Millvale parishioner) breathed a large sigh of relief when the demolition started.

            • Suzie-Q
              January 17, 2013 7:59 pm

              I can tell you….the only idea the church will listen to is money. Church members protested the closing of their Mon Valley Church with one man holding a sign that said “Close my church I close my checkbook.”

              The church he was referring to was St. Anthony in Monongahela. It was slated to close…..upon further review…it is staying open…..because donations had dropped substantially.

              • jack
                January 17, 2013 8:06 pm

                The other day I was at a meeting and people were talking about ST. Nicholas’ demolition and everyone said in their own way and quite angrily that the Catholic Church would never get one more cent from them. the think the bishop is a liar and cannot be trusted with a building and certainly not with their hard-earned money. So we agree with you. The people are the Church. The buildings are the major “tool” we have to work with…but we can work without the largest tool and with less expense. What is sad is seeing the art in those buildings destroyed or sent out of the Diocese – and that includes the “queen of the arts” the architecture. ..and all those gold chalices, etc. that the ethnic people donated.

  2. bucdaddy
    January 17, 2013 11:34 am

    1. You’ll shoot your knees out, kid.

    8. Wait … those exterior shots are all the same house?

    9. I could get on board with hockey more if it had a, what, 48 game season every year, starting in January? (Same with the NBA, and baseball’s regular season is a bit too long as well, and so are the college football and basketball seasons, for that matter). The fact the NHL can hold such a shortened season and still consider the Cup winner to be a legitimate champion clearly shows that all the games in October, November, December and half of January are a pure cash grab, completely unnecessary except to line the pockets of the owners and players. You will actually get to see what the playoffs would look like every year if the players weren’t already on their last legs from the 82-game grind and THEN had to drag themselves up and down the ice every other day for two months. But I know it’s not in the nature of sports leagues or their TV masters ever ever ever to shrink schedules, they have to keep expanding them to suck more money out of more people’s pockets. *sigh* The longer I live, the more I think death won’t be so bad.

  3. Magus Patris
    January 17, 2013 1:01 pm

    I swear I saw that house in the Penguins/Capitals 24-7 on HBO. If I remember, it was where Max Talbot was living. Does anyone else remember that or am I crazy? (The last part is rhetorical, because I know I am crazy)

  4. Pensgirl
    January 17, 2013 1:28 pm

    11. All that video (or the ~2 mins I watched before quitting) made me do was hate eastern PA more than I already did. I was unable to identify with anything other than PennDOT and snow. Wawa and “wudder” and scrapple and Jersey references are not a “PA” experience. I don’t go around acting like it’s all “PA” to drink Ahrn an’ ride inclines an’ stahp at Sheetz onna way t’Ahia fer fahrwerks n’at. Screw those assholes.

    Now that I’ve got that out of my system, blog-traveling back to #3, which is awesome and so true! Although, I’ve found that when I’m hyper-self-aware like that, then I’m also not terribly engaged in what’s happening. When I’m genuinely fascinated by a person/conversation, I’m too caught up to notice anything about what I’m doing.

  5. Renee and Zoe
    January 17, 2013 2:41 pm

    Yay! Good luck, Ginny! You can do it! I did the C25K program a few years ago, and while I don’t run anymore because I’m prone to shin splits, it’s one of the best things I ever did for myself. It gets you in shape and gives you confidence, peace and lung capacity.

    Also, Jesse is awesome. I can totally relate to that.

  6. Sooska
    January 17, 2013 3:16 pm

    #2 homeownership: Of course, this area has the highest percentage! A huge population of Old People who grew up in a house and either bought that house when they married (or inherited it,) or bought the house next door, down the street or across the street – either way, never moved – even across the river – is what Allegheny County and much of Western PA is all about. People who moved, just left entirely. Those who stayed, stayed put, and paid off their mortgages. We also had little of the big bad housing bubble, so few people traded up to make money cause there was none to be made here as house values are fairly stagnant (unless the County tries over andover agin to artificially create new *fake* values. Don’t get me started.)

    • bucdaddy
      January 18, 2013 1:14 am

      “artificially create *fake* values”

      You must have got reappraised recently. I’ll go ahead and get you started, because that happened down here, after about 10-12 years of the county assessor’s failure to keep property assessments up to date. When they finally got around to doing a countywide reassessment a little more than a year ago, you should have heard the howling. I never saw so many people so pissed off to find out something they own was worth double or triple what they thought it was. You’d think they’d be happy (I was, my house went from $85K to $170K; that’s GREAT, isn’t it?).

      I’d have thought people would keep their effing mouths shut about it, rather than, essentially, loudly bringing to everyone’s attention the fact that for about a decade they’d been paying far less taxes on their property than they should have been. Alas, people are stupid.

  7. Pa-pop
    January 17, 2013 6:32 pm

    Re #8, the Markovitch house: looks like a place in which Richard Castle would be very comfortable living. With Beckett.

    Re #2, Youngstown once held this title (for pretty much the reasons as decribed by Sooska) but unfortunately it did learn not how to reinvent itself as did Pittsburgh. Now a significant portion of its previously debt-free housing stock stands empty and abandoned and contributes nothing but a blight on our urban neighborhoods. It’s a cautionary tale of not having the courage to find ways to change with the times.

  8. mindybakes
    January 17, 2013 8:55 pm

    Thanks for the pierogi shout out :) Much appreciated!

  9. Jill
    January 18, 2013 4:47 am

    I called exactly what you are going through as the “Countdown to the Big 4 OhNo” and did the exact same thing. There is nothing like approaching the dreaded “middle age” (mine was in May) with a better body than people half your age – somehow it lessens the blow.

    Warning, the running itch grows and grows. Those “crazy” people running half and full marathons? It’ll be you. :)

  10. The Standard Band
    January 18, 2013 12:47 pm

    10. I’ll also be at this event, Haitian Families First Back to School Party at Bricolage on January 31 featuring the Standard Band.

    ###Lets have some fun and Raise some money for a great cause!###


  11. red pen mama
    January 18, 2013 2:03 pm

    Okay, restaurant widow and mother of two, what is your secret to finding time to run? I’m serious. (And nebby, sorry. I can’t figure out the time thing.)

    And yay hockey! I’ve been seeing a lot of hockey jerseys in my office today, and it gives me a little lift each time.

  12. Terrence
    January 20, 2013 3:04 am

    “Lukey vs Peduto, a likely Peduto win? ” Wishful thinking.

    You really don’t understand Pittsburgh politics do you? Remember when dowd went head to head with luke? It didn’t turn out so well.

    Ravenstahl would win either way unfortunately, but you’re right it would be closer if lamb didnt steal votes away. Pittsburgh elections are decided by old people and committees and party endorsements. Ravenstahl has all that in his favor. And most people think pittsburgh is doing fairly well and therefore will re-elect luke. He is the establishment candidate and will win convincingly again, unfortunately.


    • Bram R
      January 22, 2013 4:39 am

      “Remember when dowd went head to head with luke? It didn’t turn out so well.” No, but I remember when dowd went head to head to head with luke and carmen robinson. Luke Fatigue has had four more years to build, including a whole snowmaggedon failure and a big parking lease attempted sellout — neither of which, I can assure you, have sat well even with the “old people and committees”. Cheers.