Category Archives: Awesome Burghers

Alpha Geekgasm

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Or is it nerdgasm?

Is it the geeks or nerds who love comic books?



Yes, I am all of those, because I purchased the six-issue Alpha comic book series from Marvel because it is Marvel’s first superhero comic series set in Pittsburgh and as I said, geeknerddorkdweebgasm!

Alpha is the story of teen Andy McGuire who Peter Parker accidentally turned into a superhero who can only use one power at a time. Andy moves to Pittsburgh with his mom and becomes, as he calls himself, “the protector of Pittsburgh.”

Batman who?

He attends the fictional John Forbes High School and spends a few panels inside the “University of Pittsburgh Medical Center” and also while standing in front of “Eat and Park.”

Here are a few of my favorite Burghy panels:

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You can purchase the digital editions right here at only $2.99 each and have a geeknerddorkdweebgasm of your own.



Random n’at


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.

So WTAE’s headline?

Topless protestors take over Pittsburgh   Allegheny Co. News   WTAE Home


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 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.

Go read the facts I found, and see all the amazing goat gifs!

4. I also wrote about the crazies at FoxNews who called Mister Rogers “an evil, evil man.”


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.

Have a read here.

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.


You can read about the campaign and donate here!

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):


That photo was shared on their Twitter account and I love it. 

(h/t @jonathanebel)

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.

Register here.

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.

The S stands for Squeee.

10. Soup to Nutz’s annual tribute cartoon strip for Roberto Clemente’s birthday.

(h/t Bill)

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?



Dear Earth,

This is not “Steel City chic:”

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That’s “Yinzer-Ho Barbie.”

This is Steel City chic:



(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.

– There will be concerts! Gypsy and His Band of GhostsRed Hands, and Young Fox, then at noon, the headliner will be Jimbo and the Soupbones.

– Jeff Jimerson is singing the National Anthem and spreading his awesomeness all over the place.


– Food vendors!

– Kids area full of fun!



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.


A really good day at The Children’s Home

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.

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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.

[throws signs]

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.

[high five]

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? 

Group hug!


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