Category Archives: Awesome Burghers
1. It’s all fun and games until the tarantula food escapes.
That’s going on my gravestone.
2. So remember that topless protest I wrote about, in which I told you there are perfectly good reasons to keep boobies covered up? Well, the protest took place over the weekend.
Here’s the AP’s take:
Pittsburgh topless rally winds up anything but
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh rally planned by a group hoping to Celebrate Women’s Equality Day by having women march topless alongside men in bikinis turned out to be anything but.
Fewer than a dozen protesters showed up Sunday, and none of the women bared their tops — though a handful of men did.
PUNCH ALL THE MEDIA THINGS.
For future reference, WTAE, when a throng of thousands of angry people overrun downtown like biblical locusts to the point traffic is clogged, businesses are plundered and looted, and chaos runs rampant, that’s when you pull out your “take over Pittsburgh” headline.
Not for eight covered boobies walking slowly to the Point.
The next time Occupy Pittsburgh does their thing, I fully expect the WTAE headline to read, “Armageddon nigh. World all but over.”
3. An ex-pat Burgher wrote for ChicagoNow.com the six things she misses most about Pittsburgh, then followed it up with “Six real reasons not to move to Pittsburgh” and it was the most goat-getting thing I’ve read about the Burgh in a while. So I wrote about it for my Pittsburgh Magazine blog:
3. Lack of plentiful public transportation has resulted in a culture of drunk driving in Pittsburgh.
Rebuttal: My goat is dead.
Yes, public transportation needs to be fixed. It’s a black eye. But this is a terrible accusation, one that I can refute with facts.
Kids grow up knowing they’re low on the totem pole. Choices are limited. Freedom to just be is tempered by cultural restraints. They’re placed in boxes: “You are a girl. You will like pink, purple and these three aisles in Target. You will get the ‘girl toy’ at the drive-thru. Get in this box that I have bedazzled for you; it’s filled with Barbie dolls and Hello Kitty press-on nails. And you are a boy. You will like sports, NERF guns and armpit farts. Here is a box of dirt and worms. I buried some Matchbox cars and G.I. Joes in there. Hop in.”
But what about the girl who wants to play with dirt instead of Barbies? Or the boy who wants to play the violin instead of third base? They’re special, too, and that’s what Mister Rogers was telling us as children. He was saying, “Screw the box!” Jump out of its cookie-cutter confines and run free to whatever your heart loves because doing that is what will make you special — embracing and accepting you.
5. Jamie and Ali McMutrie’s Haitian Families First is at it again with a new year of #46in46 where they try to get 46 of their Haitian kids funded for school this year.
Reminder: In Haiti, kids don’t HAVE to go to school; they GET to go to school. It’s a privilege for those who can afford it and Jamie and Ali are working to make sure their kids can afford it.
Last year I sponsored this angel Ylionise, and it was extra meaningful to me because Jamie and Ali worked so hard to bring her to the US for life-saving heart surgery. Now she’s healthy and back in Haiti getting an education thanks to them.
Get a group of your friends together and adopt one of their kids’ educations!
6. The staff and residents at Asbury Heights nursing home, who probably have pretty clear memories of Roberto’s career, show their Bucco spirit (click for embiggen):
7. Genre’s Kids with Cancer run/walk is happening next month, a whole block from my house. I’ll be there … not running. BUT I’LL BE THERE AND THAT’S WHAT COUNTS.
8. Also, why not run the Mario Lemieux Foundation 6.6K run/family walk in this its inaugural year. I mean, if you’re a loony who loves to run, why not run for sick kids?
Can you tell I quit that whole running business? Because, you guys, I hate running.
Back to low-carb diet/Jillian Michaels/praying for wasting disease for me.
9. David Conrad. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
10. Soup to Nutz’s annual tribute cartoon strip for Roberto Clemente’s birthday.
11. Finally, I shared this on Twitter, but it really needs to be seen.
On a scale of 1 to Roid-Raging Mike Tyson, how punchy does this sign make you?
This is not “Steel City chic:”
That’s “Yinzer-Ho Barbie.”
(h/t @moxiebestos on Twitter)
Before we head into the weekend, gotta tell you guys that if you don’t have anything to do tomorrow, you’re going to want to spend five bucks to attend the Great American Water Balloon Fight taking place at Highmark Stadium at Station Square.
Listen to this:
– Matt Cooke will be there. THE. COOKIE.
– Team Captains (you can join a team if you want to partake in the war):
– You can choose to buy some water balloons to whip at the teams from the stands, meaning you get to inflict damage without getting wet yourself. That’s pretty badass.
– Jeff Jimerson is singing the National Anthem and spreading his awesomeness all over the place.
– Food vendors!
– Kids area full of fun!
– CODY SIMPSON WILL BE THERE. I HAVE NO IDEA WHO CODY SIMPSON IS BUT HE WILL BE THERE AND YOUR TWELVE-YEAR-OLD IS GOING TO FREAK BECAUSE HE IS SUPER FAMOUS APPARENTLY!
I asked my 13-year-old niece to show me a picture of him on her iPhone and the picture she showed me was the most blingee-ed-out bedazzled animated sparkle unicorn exploding heart gif you’ve ever seen.
I guess he’s a big deal.
Anyway, all this is for Haiti. HAITI. Pittsburgh loves Haiti and we’ll always do anything we can for the people of Haiti.
This might be the most fun you’ll ever have helping people in need.
Just be careful if you choose to join the battle. I hear those mothers can HURT.
At 8:55 a.m. yesterday, April 24, I stood at the entrance of The Children’s Home with my friends from the Mario Lemieux Foundation and Microsoft, and watched as the caravan pulled in with SUVs full of $20,000 in technology upgrades designed to give both the patients and their families a few distractions from life-threatening illnesses.
Luke Sossi, who spearheads the regional MR4K fundraising efforts at Microsoft, pulled in at exactly 9:00 a.m. looking SUPER HAPPY FUN TIMES READY!
Terrible white balance on my part. Still figuring out this photography biznass.
Time to unload!
Printers and laptops:
Let’s get organized!
This is from my phone, because I forgot to take a picture of all the stuff with my good camera. That’s not even all of it. That’s just some of it.
Instructions from Luke before teams break up to head to various parts of the home and family center to start the installs:
Right there, Luke is saying, “Keep an eye on Ginny. She steals things.”
Everything is planned out before we ever step foot in the Home for installs. Luke and his people are amazing at coordinating everything so that they can move in and out of patient rooms in five minutes flat. XBOX mounts are purchased and sent ahead of time so that maintenance can get them up before we arrive.
I don’t know what’s in there but it better shoot confetti and glitter at me and tell me I’m beautiful when I open it:
We’ve also got some of these to allow for Skype-ing at various places throughout the home.
And they’re off:
We even put XBOXes in the infant rooms which house the most critical babies in the city. Why put XBOXes in rooms with tiny patients who can’t use them? Because this way their siblings and parents have a way to pass some time! I spent a bit of time with this little girl as they installed one in her room.
She was like, “What is that even? I’m trying to watch Sprout here.” She was Mckayla Maroney-unimpressed with my attempts to make her smile.
But her family is REALLY going to appreciate the new XBOX in the room.
We didn’t stop at XBOXes. We also bought four In-One desktop computers that were installed throughout the home, along with customized home screens that Microsoft designed to include easy access to various apps the patients and families might use.
Hi, Nancy (Mario Lemieux Foundation executive director) and Pam (Children’s Home CEO)!
We didn’t stop at XBOXes and desktops, we also purchased FIVE flat screen TVs. Yes. FIVE. They are scattered through the home where they were needed, with this one in the Child’s Way special-needs daycare being the largest at 55-inches.
That unit has an XBOX and Kinect so the kids that spend the day there can get some movement going.
I got to test out the Skype capabilities that are now available on the three Skype units, the four desktops and the six Ideapads.
Nobody puts me in a corner, Skype.
The great thing about the Skype capabilities is that not only can patients and their families keep in touch with their relatives from out of town, but what we’ve essentially done is give the doctors and nurses telemedicine capabilities! Patients can confer with their doctors over Skype, rather than having to leave the home for a face-to-face visit every time. The nurses can also use it to confer with off-site doctors regarding patient treatment.
That is freaking awesome, you guys. Look how we made things better for them! Pulled them out of the dark ages and just made things BETTER and EASIER and MORE COWBELL-Y.
We didn’t stop at XBOXes and desktops and TVs and Skype units. We also donated six Lenovo Yoga IdeaPad combos! Remember, before yesterday all of the families were sharing ONE old laptop.
These things rock because of their ability to flip into tablets:
Where’d the keyboard go? [swishes cape] Magic! [jazz hands]
Jazz hands are in magic shows, right?
That picture gives you a good look at the customized home screen Microsoft put on every laptop and desktop unit.
I tried one out:
I pwnd that game.
Circle gets the square.
And finally, games and movies by the crap ton. THE. CRAP. TON.
Crap ton. Since I was the one responsible for which movies were donated, you know there’s some Goonies, Princess Bride, Napoleon Dynamite, Anne of Green Gables, and Pride and Prejudice in there.
It was a great day. So great. I wanted to squeeze all the babies, but I think that’s frowned upon. :(
I spent most of my time on the third floor, where the babies are. Because, babies. Poor little sick babies. You talk to them and they can’t take their eyes off of you for one second. You tell them mom and dad will be back and they coo at you all, “You better be serious, lady, because you are a stranger to me.”
Babies don’t take crap from anyone.
The family center is more private, as families live there, so I didn’t intrude to take pictures there. But trust me that parents are thrilled with the donations for the patients, their siblings, and themselves.
Huge thanks go to the Microsoft employees for their donations and to Microsoft corporate for matching them. Also, to the Mario Lemieux Foundation for nurturing this program the way they have under Austin’s Playroom Project … putting their time into it and their name behind it. And thank you to YOU. To each of you who donated or tweeted or shared on Facebook what we were trying to do. To everyone who purchased a Scarehouse Shake at Burgatory last October. All of you. It’s a team effort and you’re part of that team. Someday a child you know may be admitted to The Children’s Home and you’ll see the stickers on the XBOXes and laptops and know that you had a part in alleviating some of the stress that goes along with being sick or having a sick child.
Since Make Room for Kids was born, we’ve taken care of the oncology kids, the transplant kids, the “Frequent-fliers,” the entire pediatric unit at AGH, and now, every patient and family at The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center. That’s amazing.
Next week we’ll be visiting Children’s Hospital to update their Live subscriptions, do maintenance, and drop off some new games and controllers for the kids. I’ll be sure to share some pictures from that.
I can’t thank you guys enough for your generosity.
Also, this is the only thing I stole from Luke:
You covet it madly, don’t you?
- April 3, 2013
- filed under Awesome Burghers, Make Room for Kids, Mayor Ravenstahl, Penguins, Pirates
- 12 comments
1. Things look a little different on the blog this morning. First, I’ve taken down the Make Room For Kids thermometer, which was sitting over there so long on account of my laziness, natch. [eats a cookie]
You’ll also notice that the three featured posts are gone from just below the header. That is because apparently the widgets all got in a fight and started disabling each other with vicious bitchslaps.
My blog designer, Jennifer of Inksplash, is due to deliver a baby at … any … moment, and therefore, she won’t be able to tinker with it for a bit of time.
And why don’t I just tinker with it and fix it myself? LOL. You’d be surprised how very very little I know about WordPress and HTML and mothereffing widgets. In fact, when people email me to ask me for help with the techy stuff on their blogs, my response is, “LOL! SOMETHING SOMETHING VEAL!”
All that to say … the blog looks different! It’s not just you!
I’m wordy today.
Wordiness is my co-pilot.
(h/t Randy Baumann)
3. How ’bout ‘dem Pens? I was glad they lost because they can’t never not lose again (triple negative, baby!) and I need them to lose now and not during the playoffs, eh?
Last night my brother-in-law Muchacho, Pens Fan’s husband, sent me a text so angry about Dan Potash, that I still to this moment do not understand what he was saying. He was apparently keyboard smashing on an iPhone, which isn’t an easy thing to do.
You know it’s bad in the Pens locker room when Dan Potash is forced to interview the opposing players.
And you know it’s a bad game when my brother-in-law turns on Dan Potash. That’s like walking up to Jeff Jimerson and being all, “No, I don’t want to run my fingers through your silky smooth hair.”
Also, wordiness! Get a cup of coffee; I’m using all the words today.
Including this one … brobdingagian.
[takes a bow]
4. Oh my God. We’re only on number 4.
You know, if you have to drive a piece of shit car, you might as well drive an AWESOME piece of shit car.
(h/t a bunch of yinz)
7. I recently reconnected to perhaps my favorite local artist Saihou O. Njie, whose paintings just … they’re amazing. I’ve been a fan for a decade now and someday, I will own one. Do you have one you want to sell me?
Anyway, check this out. His latest exhibit “Twinning,” at Manchester Craftsman’s Guild showcases his efforts to match 100 Africans with their African American lookalikes.
I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS.
8. AreThePiratesInFirstPlace.com is exactly what it sounds like.
(via Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books)
Sean Conboy is not only my editor, he is my spirit animal.
10. Things to read, because I can’t remember if I linked you to them or not on account of my previously discussed laziness [eats another cookie]:
- I’ve been trying to learn all of my grandma’s Syrian recipes. Problem is she died a decade ago and I didn’t bother to sit her down before that. BE YE NOT SO STUPID. Go read. I talk about Ouija Boards. My father just prayed for me.
- Then go read Wayno’s post featuring the early sketches for that column and how he decided on that illustration of me inside a measuring cup. LOVE IT. Although I kind of wish I could see his finished mock-up of The Devil’s Spatula, which is what I have dubbed the baker’s version of the gardener’s black thumb.
- My previous column was about Primanti Bros. going nationwide and how I feel about that and how you feel about that.
- Did you read my post about Target Canada using the Mister Rogers theme song in a commercial? It’s aboot time you did! I MADE A FUNNY.
- Did you read my post that was my farewell to Lukey? The post that a reader read and then said I had drank the Kool-Aid and was now “smitten” with Luke Ravenstahl? SOMETHING SOMETHING VEAL!
11. “Three Things You Didn’t Know About Roberto Clemente.” Unless you are me, and then you knew all of them.
[awkward kung fu moves]
12. Tweets I love from you guys this week:
It’s supposed to snow tonight. I will angrily stand outside and punch the snow as it falls
— Pat Hanavan (@PatHanavan) March 24, 2013
Made a loaf of bread. It’s rubbery like a bouncy ball. Or gum.I’ve essentially made whole wheat gum.
— SupervillainMom (@SupervillainMom) March 22, 2013
Ray Shero could bring the olympics to Pittsburgh. I believe this statement to be 100% true.
— Mikey (@fsmikey) March 28, 2013
In related news:Penguins acquire John Tavares from the Islanders for a signed Sidney Crosby skate.
— Denis Leary (@denisleary) March 28, 2013
Hoping that Starling Marte can play up to the level of how cool he looks and how cool his name is.
— chrisfafalios (@chrisfafalios) April 1, 2013
Snow and windy, now dry and sunny. Pittsburgh weather: if you don’t like it, wait 15 minutes and it’ll change.
— marie popichak (@maripops) April 1, 2013
Really thought 2013 was going to be the year I print something, walk over to the printer, and it’s there.
— Cara Sapida (@WPXICara) April 3, 2013
@janepitt But are the people of Century III Chevrolet, Lebanon Church Road, Pittsburgh safe? As I recall it is minutes from the mall.
— Kim Z Dale (@observacious) April 3, 2013
And now you have that jingle stuck in your head.
[drops mic and walks away]