Category Archives: Make Room for Kids
1. The other night, while listening to my son read his book-report book aloud (if I don’t make him read it aloud, he’ll skip chunks of pages at a time on account of laziness), he got to a part where one kid calls another kid a jackass. The look of pure joy on his face as he, without getting yelled at, uttered the word jackass three times … well, that’s the true meaning of Christmas.
I’m kidding, Dad. I know what the true meaning of Christmas is.
PRESENTS! DIAMONDS! CASH DOLLAH BILLZ! [makes it rain on the strippers]
And my phone will be ringing in three, two–
2. The winner of the Yinzer Gift Guide giveaway was notified and has accepted the prize. Shop the guide here!
3. It drives me insane — PURPLE MINION INSANE — when people refer to the Roberto Clemente Bridge as the Sixth Street Bridge, so I wrote about it for Pittsburgh Magazine, hoping to convince these lazy butts to stop being such jerkfaces:
This is not Snoop Lion Doggy Dogg Hedgehog Owl changing his name every time he moves his bowels. This is not the year of our Lord changing its name every 365 days. This is an iconic bridge whose name was changed once more than a decade ago. At this point, if you’re still calling it the Sixth Street Bridge, you’re just stubbornly refusing to put forth the same effort you do when writing the correct year on a check in early January.
4. Barebones Productions has to be having a hell of a time advertising this play in the local media:
“Things are starting to look up for recovering alcoholic Jackie and his girlfriend Veronica…until Jackie spots another man’s hat in their apartment and embarks on a sublimely incompetent quest for vengeance.”
I’m a big Patrick Jordan fan.
Can’t wait to see it. Tickets here.
I kinda love ‘em. Gonna do a giveaway of them soon.
(Not a paid ad.)
6. Interactive map of Pittsburgh’s lost inclines! Historygasm.
7. Community Human Services Holiday Gift Card drive is underway. It’s so easy to just buy a few gift cards for those in our city who need them the most. Check it out here.
I’m going to try to get my butt to the Hough’s party again this year.
8. Just me, putting a bug in your ear that in early February I’ll be begging you for some of your dollars to donate to the next phase of Make Room for Kids with the Mario Lemieux Foundation and local Microsoft folks. We are going to be outfitting two units at CHP with gaming and other tech distractions … the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and the Trauma Unit. More soon on that. Just do me a favor and set a few bucks aside for it. LOVE YOU!
9. Shut up! Fallingwater has a satellite holiday gift store downtown for the holiday shopping season!
I’m so there.
I like this one too:
11. Let’s check in with Jeff Reed on Twitter:
12. Has anyone heard from Shaun Suisham lately? Did he get the trash I left for him on his lawn?
Not at all.
- April 26, 2013
- filed under City Council, Local media, Make Room for Kids, Mayor Ravenstahl, Penguins, Pirates, The Damn Pigeons, Yarone Zober
- 11 comments
1. If you haven’t yet, please scroll down or click here to see pictures of the $20,000 in technology upgrades we dropped off and installed at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh this week.
2. Reader Kathleen is running the Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon for Genre’s Kids With Cancer Fund.
If you’re looking for a charitable place to spread some good karma today, go throw in a few dollars for her? She only needs about $240 more to reach her goal!
For sick kids!
3. The Bucs are in second place. Half game out of first. They’ve won 12 of their last 16, I think. The best team in baseball, Atlanta, has only lost 6 games all season, and three of those were to the Pirates.
I’M JUST SAYING.
4. Did you know you can buy Yinzer Bingo at Wildcard and another store that sells them, but I lost the name? There’s a K in the name? Anyone? Anyone? Zober?
These are created by John the Craftist, who is actually a woman. Look at some of the other amazing stuff she creates, many of which are greeting cards:
I’m kind of in love with all of this and I wonder if there’s a Gemini one that says, “Witty. Passionate. Batshit Crazy.”
Anyway, I’ll be in Wildcard very soon to buy all the things.
5. Pigeons are assholes. And they smoke too. Look at this news photo from a 1989 edition of the Post-Gazette.
Click to embiggen and then read the caption.
Unreal. If today’s pigeons get wind of this, it is going to RAIN FIRE.
6. If you’re around Market Square next Friday morning …
Light of Life Rescue Mission is presenting former MLB player Sean Casey with the 3rd annual Locker Room Leadership Award at 9:30 a.m. Sean is a former all-star baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians. Dennis Bowman will emcee, introducing former Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley who will present Sean with the award.
I’ll be there hanging out for sure. Sean does amazing things for the homeless via Light of Life.
7. This is old, but shut up.
Suck it, Portland.
Also, people are STILL commenting on my pharmacy rant. My God.
That sounds right.
10. Pretty sure the P-G is going to endorse Wagner after reading this article. Why? Just scroll down and read the comment left by Matt Barron. The P-G very conveniently left out some HUGE names that endorsed Bill Peduto yesterday.
11. Headline: “Penguins Drop Second Straight.”
Seriously. Two losses in a row. NBD.
12. The fountain is almost ready to go!
Here’s an image from today via Point Park TV’s twitter account:
Cannot wait until I can take my kids for a stroll around the fountain again.
Also unreal? That WTAE used FOUR anchors to intro it. Hah!
But seriously … amazing video.
14. Mother’s Day!
Our conversations about the latest episode of “Greatest American Hero” turned to hushed whispers. There was no whining about elbows in ribs or bothersome jelly-shoe blisters. While we painfully swallowed our sneezes, our mom drove with her chin hovering 3 inches above the steering wheel and her hands locked in a death-grip. She’d hold this position until the wagon was safely parked — which is when she’d exhale and revoke the sacred Writ of Silentium Absolutus.
I didn’t appreciate it then, but I can see it now for what it was: My mother was doing something far outside of her comfort zone so that her girls could have nice clothes (that didn’t scream, “Five kids. One job. Hills is where the toys are.”).
And I also put together a Burghy Mother’s Day gift guide for you. Everything from Burgh-made jewelry, to an awesome Pirates iPhone case, to BYOB painting classes where Mom can paint her own Pittsburgh skyline, and LOTS more.
I mean, the Confluence necklace pictured up top of this post? Holy moly.
15. Finally, your amazing tweets:
this commercial says we start losing muscle at age 40. haha joke’s on you I never had any muscle
— James Foreman (@jamesforeman) April 25, 2013
*achoo* <<pause>> Oh god. #thingsyoudontwanttohear
— Terra McBride (@spicymeatball) April 25, 2013
BRB buying like 100 cars from Debbie Flaherty
— Jim Shireman (@shireman) April 25, 2013
Pittsburgh Poetry! vine.co/v/bPpK0tYUr2u
— Pittsburgh Dad (@Pittsburgh_Dad) April 24, 2013
if I die in my sleep, that last show I’ve watched was Ready for Love, so
— Jordan Valinsky (@jordan327) April 24, 2013
Welcome to Pittsburgh, where (evidently) any vehicle making a left turn has the right of way!
— Steve Norcup (@snorcup) April 23, 2013
Have to submit a reimbursement request on this form created entirely with comic sans. Perhaps the check will be signed by the Animaniacs.
— Tim Hindes (@thindes) April 20, 2013
Flash Bang: a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform unusual sex acts for a brief time, then quickly disperse.
— Bill Crawford (@dveBillCrawford) April 20, 2013
Speculation is the new news.
— mindbling (@mindbling) April 19, 2013
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]
- March 21, 2013
- filed under Evgeni Malkin, Make Room for Kids, Mayor Ravenstahl, Penguins, Random, Steelers, The Damn Pigeons
- 10 comments
1. First, a giant thank you to every single one of you who donated, tweeted, retweeted, Facebooked, or in any way helped with the Make Room for Kids fundraising effort this year.
The Amazon wish list is empty, which helped close the funding gap we were dealing with. The kids at The Children’s Home will get their computers and XBOXes and movies and games and printers and TVs, while the kids in the units we’ve already outfitted at Children’s Hospital will get the extra games they requested as well as the extra XBOX controllers.
Everyone will be happy!
Look for the install day post in late April and you’ll be able to see exactly what your donated dollars were spent on, and you’ll see the smiles they will bring to the sick kids.
2. The next mayor of Pittsburgh is not Bill Peduto or Michael Lamb … It’s Rebecca De Mornay.
Rebecca De Mornay and Nick Westrate have been cast as leads in NBC’s hourlong pilot Hatfields & McCoys, a take on the infamous feud set in present-day Pittsburgh. The startling death of the McCoy patriarch re-ignites the feud between the two legendary families, unleashing decades of resentment. De Mornay will play the central character of Mary Hatfield, the Mayor of Pittsburgh and matriarch of the powerful Hatfields, who basically run the city through their development company and political connections.
I like it.
Also, I’d like to volunteer my services to the writers to help them instill some true Pittsburgh flavor into the dialogue.
Mayor De Mornay: [slams hands on desk] If this gets out, things get ugly. Put a lid on it. I don’t need every yinzer from here to Aliquippa showing up and demanding we [finger quotes] “warsh the corruption out, n’at.”
Email me, yo.
3. Pittsburgh Minecraft map. There should be a Flyers skin for all the creepers.
I know way too much about Minecraft thanks to my kids.
4. This picture. Pittsburgh at dusk. MAN.
From wmellott on Reddit.
5. The Steelers have lost James Harrison, Mike Wallace, Willie Colon, Rashard Mendenhall.
They signed Matt Spaeth and William Gay, both former Steelers.
So basically our new strategy is “out with the old; in with the old.”
6. Pittsburgh’s Miss Smiling Irish Eyes 2013 is deaf.
7. The teenaged founder and CEO of local company Simple Sugars will appear on Shark Tank on March 29. Set your DVRs.
8. The Knitting Lady sent me this pic of Geno holding her sock.
His face confuses me so much. For instance, here he is so attractive. Other times, it’s like WHOA, UGLY STICK!
9. “A very important in-depth analysis of early-90s style, featuring Jaromir Swagr” is the best thing you’ll read today.
I especially appreciate the scientific analysis of the ratio of the torso region to the leg region while he is wearing mom-jeans.
10. Amazing pictures of Pittsburgh’s skyline taken this winter by Matt Robinson.
Couldn’t pick my favorite if there was an angry pigeon to my eyeball.
(h/t my dad)
11. Chatham University is holding a FREE fun-filled family-friendly Spring carnival complete with egg hunts, Easter Bunny photos, raffles, Haitian snacks, and more! And any proceeds or donations made are going to Haitian Families First!
See you there? I’ll be the one with the little girl who is begging the balloon artist to make her a pigeon.
Mommy will POP THE SHIT OUT OF THAT THING.
[awkward kung fu moves]
12. And let’s end this post with some of my favorite tweets from awesome Burghers:
My foreign language study is made up of navigating the accidentally selected Spanish ATM menu.
— Mike Woycheck (@woy) March 13, 2013
For he so loved the world that he once looked up from his phone.
— Anthony Closkey (@anthonycloskey) March 20, 2013
Dear whole internet, don’t tell me my password must be under 10 characters. If I want heynowheyn0wdontdreamitsover as my pw, let me have it.
— Sean Collier (@seancollierpgh) March 19, 2013
William Gay back. Matt Spaeth back. You better be ready, Chidi Iwuoma. You next, homey. #Steelers
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) March 18, 2013
I am assuming Ravenstahl is resigning so that he can go back and finish high school.
— Stephen Harkleroad (@americancrank) February 28, 2013
I like my chances in an apocalyptic scenario against people that have to flavor their water in order to drink it.
— Mike Woycheck (@woy) February 25, 2013
Some day I’m going to figure out what wakes me up 12 minutes before my alarm is set to go off and I’m going to set it on fire.
— burghbaby (@burghbaby) February 22, 2013
Commercial for the Thai McBistro. I’ve now determined my new porn name.
— Mr. theMoon (@Sheepthemoon) February 16, 2013
I don’t understand how I am the only person who starred that tweet. COME ON.
Thai McBistro would also be a great rapper name.