Category Archives: Celebrity sightings

The night I ninja-jumped Sulu

Last Friday night was one of those nights you think back on even a few years later and say, “That night was perfect.”

Perfect friends. Perfect experience. Perfect weather. Perfect beer.


It started with me draining the battery on my husband’s new used Mazda CX-7, which I drove around the entire day not realizing I never actually turned the car completely off. It has one of those newfangled gosh-darn tootin’ keyless starter thingamajiggies and how was I to know that the reason the navigation wasn’t turning off after I shut the car off and the reason the car was beeping and hooting and hollerin’ at me every time I walked away from it was because I had to turn the keyless non-key thingamajiggie even further back than I was?

Technology can kiss my grits so hard.

Having to wait for a jump from my brother-in-law Muchacho put me behind schedule fifteen minutes to meet my friends for the game.

No matter. I didn’t let it phase me.

I met up with besties Mike Woycheck AKA The Butler AKA Woy and Jonathan Wander to enjoy the Buccos taking on the Tigers at beautiful PNC Park.

We drank beer. We ate Crab Fries AKA Crack in a Cup with a side of Liquid Crack in a Littler Cup. We laughed as Rod Barajas slid into home where “slid” means “plopped.” It registered 1.5 on the Richter Scale.

The Buccos won.


After the game Mike and I bid farewell to Jonathan at the end of the Roberto Clemente bridge and then the two of us continued on. On past the Byham. On past the Renaissance. On past Bally’s, we walked. Chatting and laughing and wait.


I made eye contact with a man — a wee man of Asian descent as he and another man rushed past us in the opposite direction. They held playbills in their hands. For that split second that we made eye contact, it registered in his eyes that I recognized him and also because I said, “Waaaaaaaait. Is that..?” just as he passed by.

I grabbed Woy’s arm, my eyes as big as your grandma’s pierogies and for a second we simply spoke telepathically via mindmeld.

Then Woy, once a huge Star Trek fan, said breathlessly, “Was that … George Takei?”

“It was.”

We stood motionless, staring at each other for one long moment and then I said, “Mike! GO!”

We were off, chasing George Takei down like snarling dogs after a Snausage-covered cat.

We dodged the oncoming onslaught of foot traffic like the Starship Enterprise avoiding an asteroid storm.

We jumped this way and hopped that way, spun out of the way of a garbage can, possibly hurdled a flower cart — I can’t be sure. We were Riggs and Murtaugh getting closer and closer to our perp until finally he was right in front of me and had made the terrible mistake of slowing his pace down just one tiny bit.

That was all I needed.

Have you ever waited around the corner to scare someone and you leap out from behind the wall, land in front of them while ever so slightly hunched over, your hands held up like the claws of an angry bear? As Woy is my witness, that’s what I did to George Takei. I leaped in front of him from behind, spinning 180 degrees while in air, landed directly in his path like a lethal ninja and said, “Hi! Can I PLEASE PLEASE get a picture? [SCARY DESPERATE TEETHY SMILE]”

And he smiled widely and said, “Sure!”

Woy snapped the photo and then George continued on his way probably all, “Red alert! Batshit crazy yinzer-ninja!”

Whatever. I’m a delight.

P.S. You too might spot George in town. He’s here in the New Hollywood filming a Nickelodeon series called Supah Ninjas. I can’t believe he didn’t just cast me on the spot. [awkward kung fu moves]

Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/75660/domains/ on line 46

Random n’at

1. In addition to not being able to drink alcohol or caffeine (I went from five caffeinated beverages a day to zero, cold turkey. Pretty sure I hallucinated Elvis at one point during withdrawal), I recently decided that eight months of comfort-eating was plenty, smacked myself around a bit, and then put myself on a low-carb diet.

Not being able to eat chocolate or sugar or bread or fruit or PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING GOD CREATED THAT IS DELICIOUS is making me a little stabby and a whole lot punchy.

You’ve been warned, pidgees.

2. Speaking of pigeons, they are incapable of forgetting a face.

This explains why when they see me they’re all, “Hey, you, bitch, with the face.”

The fact that the pigeons appeared to know that clothing colour was not a good way of telling humans apart suggests that the birds have developed abilities to discriminate between humans in particular. 

Future work will focus on identifying whether pigeons learn that humans often change clothes…

Oh, how these scientists are underestimating pigeons. Of course they know humans change clothes!

They’re probably up in their coops all, “That PittGirl is wearing Target again today. This is a step up from late-90s Goodwill. Let’s go poop on her.”

3. I was honored to be invited, along with Jonathan Wander, to the adoption hearing for Fredo as Jamie and Ali McMutrie’s parents officially adopted him last week. Jamie flew in from Haiti to surprise them at the hearing.

(photos courtesy of Jonathan Wander)

It was all so touching to see things wrapped up like that, especially such happiness rising out of such tragedy.

4. Don’t forget the A Night for Tassy 2 taking place on Thursday at the Priory! I’m baking cookies!  They will not have worms in them! They will have sprinkles on them!

Other highlights:

  • Ticket price includes heavy hors d’oeuvres as well as a carving station and mashed potato bar and a cookie table.
  • The Ambridge Steel Drum Band, Jeff Jimmerson and Tassy will be the musical entertainment.
  • A silent auction, raffle prizes, 50/50 and cash-and-carry items will all be on hand. Silent auction items include sports memorabilia, art work, jewelry and more!
  • Randy Baumann and Sally Wiggin are hosting!
  • And in case you missed it up there … JEFF JIMMERSON!

Also, when I saw the picture of the new “Tassy” my heart melted into my shoes and my ovaries exploded.

True story.

Here they are:

They’re sick and they need help and we can do that.

Tickets here!

Let’s save a couple of lives, you guys.

5. Unless my words are being written on parchment paper, rolled up, sealed with wax and being delivered by a horse-riding courier to the King of England, I keep my words as straightforward as possible. “This is this. This is that. This is what needs to be done. Let’s do it. Bye.”

However, Detective Christopher Jordan of the computer crimes unit in Pittsburgh, seems to think he is in fact delivering an urgent message to the king 100 years ago, as he sent an email to Lukey about the recent rash of city employees having their identities stolen.

“Your cooperation is paramount, and I look forward to making the acquaintance of a certain few to ascertain further information germane to the case,” he said.

Someone has been taking PoliticoBot2000 lessons from Lukey. Let me put that in regular email speak: “Your help is important and I look forward to meeting you and others soon to talk about this case.”


6. A Burgher tried to carjack a plainclothes detective last week and when the detective drew his gun on him, the perp claimed they were in the Batman movie and this was in the script.

First, I did not make that up.

Second, I’m going to try this.

  • “Daniel. Please remove your shirt. It’s in the script.”
  • “David. Hurry up and take me to lunch before Christopher Nolan gets pissed at us for not following script! Also, hold my hand and laugh like I amuse you.”
  • “No, Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer. I’m SUPPOSED TO PARK THERE FOR SIX HOURS. It’s in the script! Look up there! The batsignal! [swishes cape and runs away]”
  • “But sir, lighting the pigeons on fire IS IN THE SCRIPT!”
  • “I’ll take six donuts please. They’re carb-free in the script.”

7. I think I want my next car to be a Tumbler. Just gotta figure out a way to keep WPXI’s Rich Walsh from climbing on it every time I park it.

YouTube Preview Image

8. I think this guy maybe thought he was in a movie too.

When LoCastro was told that he would be cited for public drunkenness, police said he became aggressive and screamed, “I will tear your eyes out. I’m Dino Vincent LoCastro. I’m Sicilian. You are dead. Your wife and children are dead. I’m coming after your family. You are going to pay. I’m going to bury you. I will hunt your family for the rest of my days. You can let me go and be my best friend or I will never leave you alone for the rest of your life.”

Right after, “My name is Virginia Montanez. You pooped on me. Prepare to die,” this is almost the exact thing I say to the pigeons before I kick them.


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/75660/domains/ on line 46

Your chance to perpetrate

This weekend the first Pittsburgh open casting call for The Dark Knight Rises was announced, so those of you who have “Appear in a Batman movie as a victim or perpetrator in a city besieged by crime and corruption” on your bucket lists, here’s the details!

“Magnus Rex” (“The Dark Knights Rises”)

A Warner Bros. Film requires extras to play as Victims and Perpetrators within a city besieged by crime and corruption. Take part in the urban action adventure ripping through the streets of Pittsburgh from July 28th through August 21st.

Casting Dates:

Sat. June 11th – 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm

Sun. June 12th- 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm

Sat. June 18th- 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm

Sun. June 19th- 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm

The Omni Hotel 530 William Penn Place Pittsburgh, PA 15219 in the William Penn Ballroom (ground floor/downstairs)- Use the Oliver St. Entrance, please

Men and Women ages 18 and over. ALL ethnicities!!!! No experience necessary!

Some specific types we are looking for are: Prisoners/Thugs, Guards, Police Officers, Business men & women and Sports Fans- ALL types are needed!!

For more information, visit SWD Casting.


1. Would you be insulted if you went in hoping to be a victim and they cast you as a perpetrator? Are you just violent-looking then?

2. Would you be insulted if you went in hoping to be a badass perpetrator and they cast you as a sobbing, begging-for-life, pants-peeing victim?

3. In a city beseiged by crime and corruption, I will pay the Batman producers the sum of one million dollars if they manage to work a shot of a free-range diaper-wearing one-shoed toddler in there somewhere. For added Burghy-ness, tuck the corner of a Terrible Towel in the back of the diaper.

4. Other perps I’d like to see in this besieged city are the Pittsburgh-standard zombies, ninjas, taser-resistant drunks, and a meter-maid who tries to boot the Batmobile for not paying the meter after 6:00 p.m.

Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/75660/domains/ on line 46

To the Yinzermobile, n’at! There’s crime dahntahn!

One of the first emails I read when I returned to Pittsburgh was from Dawn Keezer of the Pittsburgh Film Office finally confirming that Batman will be filming in Pittsburgh this summer.

So the squeee (my God, how is that not a word yet, Mr. Merriam Spellcheck?) I let out on the plane as it taxied to the gate, coupled with the previous “OUT, DAMN SPOT!” ranting of a mother traveling by plane with small children, pretty much put the nail in my Crazy Lady coffin, as far as my planemates were concerned.

The superhero movies are, to me, the movie events of the year in all their upside down Spider Man kissing, explosion kabooming, damsel in distress-saving glory. Love them.

And to have one of them, arguably the biggest of them all, filmed right here in Pittsburgh? I will put the Taylor Lautner-stalking teeny-boppers to shame with my Batmobile stalking practices.  I’ll be all, “OMG. THERE IT IS! I THINK ITS HEADLIGHT JUST WINKED AT ME! I WANT TO TOUCH MY PRECIOUSSSSSSS.”

Christopher Nolan says he chose Pittsburgh because it’s a “beautiful city.”

E! Online says, um …

Commenters to that post say:

At least they’ll have plenty of options if they have an open-call for thug-like characters.

Pittsburg may be a nice place to live, but it definitely is in the middle of nowhere.

I say:

Yeehaw, mama, the dagnabit goat got aht the yard again. Pa’s gonna holler like a dadgum banshee. I’ma go shuck some corn, ya hear?

And last, but certainly not least, the celebrity-loving, Tiger Woods-stalking Luke Ravenstahl says:

“This is another example of the growing film industry in our community and we will be rolling out the red carpet for them.”

Let me translate:  “I am going to proclamate the dadgum shit out of this.”

Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/75660/domains/ on line 46

At last my love has come

How long ago was it that I first wrote “Pittsburgh is the new Hollywood?”

Let me check.

Here we go, April 2010.

Now that Tom Corbett has reinstated the film tax credits, and while we’re waiting for official word that Batman is coming, news today that two movies are headed to the new Hollywood.

One is called “Still I Rise” via Walden Media, whose executive Mylan Stepanovich is from McKeesport.

Leads haven’t yet been cast, but it will shoot in May.

The other is the film adaptation of “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” and while most of you are probably going to be all agog that Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame is the star, I’m more freaking out over this:

Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith will produce it via their Mr. Mudd productions banner, and John Malkovich will executive produce.

YOU GUYS!!!!!!!


I seriously love John Malkovich. I became a fan after his turn as the scientist/robot in Making Mr. Right and have stayed a fan ever since.

The man has a way of being incredibly sexy … no matter what.

I realize some of you just tried to reach through your monitor to put your hand gently on my forehead to see if I’ve indeed come down with some sort of raging, brain-eating fever that would cause me to hallucinate that John Malkovich is sexy.

I’m completely healthy. And find John Malkovich’s utter and complete surrender to whatever role he takes on to be beyond sexy.

The good news is he might be in Pittsburgh to aid and abet my stalking practices.

The better news is that I bet I’ll be the only one stalking him.

Take your Hermione. My Stalk-o-Meter is calibrated for this:

Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c05/h01/mnt/75660/domains/ on line 46