Category Archives: Matt Lamanna

Long overdue Random n’at


1. [taps microphone] Is this thing on?

Whew! It’s been a hell of a January. I mean, it was New Year’s Eve, I blinked at midnight and BOOM. January 17.

I’m still here. Still writing. Still wishing Portland to suck it.

Lots to cover, so get your clicky finger ready.

2. Russell Crowe is reportedly returning to the Burgh to film a new movie. As you recall, when Mr. Crowe last filmed in Pittsburgh, he loved it so much he would take miles and miles of bike rides through the city.

Stalk-o-meter calibrated to “Stun and Throw Your Body In Front of His Bike Forcing Him to Render Aid Unto You While Speaking With an Adorable Aussie Accent.”

Amanda Seyfried and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul will co-star.

I’ve never seen a single episode of Breaking Bad and it’s very rude how judgy you’re looking at me right now.

3. Fourteen minutes of goalies flipping out. 

Hee. Apparently these guys missed the first part of the “carry a big stick” saying.

4. David Conrad. Still loves Pittsburgh. 

“I love how sweet my homeland is. Sweet eyes. Sweet beer. Sweet hills and valleys stuffed with trees. Walking out of the airport and into a summer night, breathing in the green, sodden air for the first time in months…it’s practically pornographic. I want to drink it, lap it. I want it on me.  I love her, love her Pittsburgh.”

5. National Geographic Traveller. Still loves Pittsburgh.

(h/t PopCity)

6. Speaking of dinosaurs, did I tell you that I finally met my self-united husband Matt Lamanna? He is awesome, adorable, smart, and we are best friends forever.

I’ll be writing that story up for the magazine soon. It’s a good one.

7. Bill Cowher claimed to 93.7 The Fan that all NFL coaches try to steal signals, not just Bill Belichick, who he says simply got overly arrogant by filming it.

Colin Dunlap has feels about this.

8. Is this the best episode of Pittsburgh Dad ever?

Joe DeNardo gets the Chuck Norris treatment. Genius.

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9. Thanks to Fukuda (NOT pronounced “f–k you da”) for finding these sweatshirts at Walgreens.


Gotta love that at no point from design to production to delivery to store stocking did anyone notice that independent was misspelled.

Also, someone oughta tell the sweatshirt designer that that bell is in Philadelphia, not Pittsburgh.

[golf clap]

10.  Luke Ravenstahl, NOT “Taking Care of Business” anymore.

Mr. Peduto said his name will not be “printed, painted or engraved on any long-term city property.”

“City property should not be used to campaign for political office,” he said in a statement issued with the order on Thursday. “The City’s physical assets are owned by the taxpayers. Under my administration, these assets will be marked only with basic identifying information and the City seal.”

You guys. We MAY actually have a real mayor.



Somewhere, Luke Ravenstahl wakes up:


Random n’at

1. My cell phone wouldn’t charge on Wednesday and that meant leaving my phone at the Sprint store for a day and I went without a cell phone for more than 36 hours and I tell you this because I deserve a cookie for not shriveling up and dying from the withdrawal.

[runs to get a cookie]

It got so bad at one point that I grabbed my husband’s iPhone and I was all, “I just want to smell it.”

2. It occurs to me that I have yet to name my EVO (Android, son!), but my old phone had a name (Saucy Carmiesha Juicy).

I wonder what would happen if I plugged “Saucy Carmiesha Juicy” into some random online name generators?

Stripper name: Sapphire Glitzsizzle Lustytower.

Pirate name: Frownin’ Gertrude Straw

Gangsta name: Butt-Jugglin Forty Sippa

Hobbit name: Ruby Brownlock of Overhill, which I think has a decidedly fancy cat name feel to it.

Viking name: Osk Madhawk

Sexy Christmas Name: Baby Doll the Sexy Reindeer (hmm. How are reindeer sexy?)

Star Wars name: Nightrider Salk a Jedi Knight from Fondor [awkward lightsaber moves]

Rapper name: Slo Saucy J Fresh Curves a.k.a. Serious Momma

Mexican Wrestler name: El Vigilante sin Pantalones

I’m leaning toward the Star Wars name or Butt-Jugglin’ Forty Sippa.

What do you think?

Also, I have no idea how the Mexican Wrestler Name Generator knew that Saucy is a huge slut.

3. Dear KDKA, write your headlines more better-er-er:

Bold move to do drugs right in front of a judge.

4. The Pirates are so cursed it’s not even funny anymore.

Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a fractured right orbital bone.

There is no immediate timetable for Burnett’s return.

I hate that phrase so much, you just don’t even know.

UPDATE: The timetable is now set: 8 to 12 weeks. Gross.

5. The police have released a composite sketch of the man who allegedly attacked a South Side woman in her shower:

Well, this has been SUPER DUPER HELPFUL and doesn’t look at all like every fourth person on the planet.

That could be anyone from my female bank teller to my mail carrier to YOUR MOM.

6. Well!

I hope it was ravioli, because that’s just how we roll in Pittsburgh.

7. Headline:



I hate concussions.

8. Luke Sossi of Microsoft sent this picture of the first of the Mario Lemieux Foundation Make Room for Kids XBOXes that have arrived for installation in the cancer unit at Children’s Hospital and the pediatric unit at Allegheny General Hospital. These XBOXes were made possible by donations from Microsoft employees and corporate matches from Microsoft:

We are going to have a really good day come mid-April, you guys.

9. Thanks to a bunch of readers who sent this to me, “Personality Test” with my smartest self-united husband Matt Lamanna!

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Woody, the cowboy from the “Toy Story” movies, because many members of my family think I look like him.


Step off.

10. The owner of DiFiore’s Ice Cream and the Grand Brew coffee shop has a big milestone coming up:

He will mark 2000th consecutive day at work on May 3rd.

“Twelve to 16 hours a day, actually comes to 13.75 years of 40-hour weeks.”

I didn’t check the math on account of MATH IZ HARD, but 2,000 days of work in a row? No day off for being sick or to head to the beach?!

As a person who fully believes in “mental health days” and “personal I have my period and it has made me beyond bitchy and emotional days” and “It’s the Buccos’ Opening Day days,” I just can’t fathom this.

Is there an award for eating 2,000 days in a row, or sleeping 2,000 days in a row? Because I would win that shit.

My hug wish list

This is not satire. This is not a fake news story. This is not The Onion. This is REAL:

Pittsburgh, the World’s Most Huggable City

The City of Pittsburgh has  been voted the most liveable (sic) city, the top ten Best in the World for tourism among many awards  and now (sic) and Pittsburgh City Council have teamed up to prove that Pittsburgh is the Most Loveable, Most Huggable City!  Using the model of the international phenomenon of the “Free Hug Campaign” plans to create a spectacular event on September 6, 2012 with preview events leading up to it.   The goal is to create an event that brings attention and prominence to “Pittsburgh’s best asset, the friendliness of its citizens.”

What’s Happening When and Where!

  • February 14th Proclamation declaring September 6th as Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh Day.  There will also be a group hug with City Council Members.
  • Hug Ambassador Events are open auditions to be huggers at the Hug-A-Thon Events of September 6th.
  • Hug Ambassador Auditions will be held in the City Council Districts of Darlene Harris, William Peduto, and Theresa Smith.
  • Hug Auditions scheduled during the months of March, May, July and August
  • Hug Ambassador Categories will include, but aren’t limited to: Best Granny Hugger, Best EMS Hugger, Best Sports Hugger, Best Entertainment and Media Hugger
The Hug Ambassador Event Winners will be determined by Facebook contributions and donations raised at the event for four area charities.  Hug Auditions are scheduled during the months of March, May, July and August.  These will be preview events to the September 6,  Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh™
September 6, 2012 Outdoor Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh Event and Gala

  • The outdoor event will be held in five locations in downtown Pittsburgh.  These Hug locations are the City County Building, Market Square, Katz Plaza, underneath Macy’s Clock, and the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.
  • Times to get a “free” hug and make your optional donations:  2:30 PM to 5:30 PM at these locations
  • There will be signage and entertainment to draw attention to the Huggers.
  • The hugs will be free.  Donations will be accepted and the donations will benefit four local charities.
  • The Presenting Sponsor is Wyndham Grand Downtown and the first official Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh Gala will be held in the Wyndham Grand Ballroom. Celebrity Hug Stations will be set up around the room.  Celebrities will include local sports figures, media personalities, and entertainers. Local musical and variety entertainment has been engaged for both the lobby of the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown and the ballroom from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

“I am proud to be a part of this great campaign and to show how much Pittsburgh cares about its local charities.  Pittsburgh is hands-down the World’s Most Lovable City!” Bill Peduto.


1. I can find the minutes to the meeting, but I cannot find any pictures of the February 14th City Council group hug session! THIS IS A FIRST-WORLD TRAVESTY! What if there is a picture of Lukey hugging Bill Peduto?!

2. I’m happy it’s for charity because otherwise this would be the most ridiculous thing since Gus the Groundhog’s birth.

3. How does one judge a hug audition? Too much squeeze? Limp squeeze? Too much breast pressure? Not enough breast pressure? Too handsy? Not handsy enough? Too much butt grabbage? Would it be like American Idol auditions? “I’ve had five-week old lettuce firmer than your hugs.” Would it be like Dirty Dancing with Johnny? “Look at your arms — Spaghetti arms. You gotta hold your frame.”

4. I miss Patrick Swayze.

5. This event is BurghBaby‘s worst nightmare. That girl HATES hugs.

6. My celebrity wish list for hugs … David Conrad, Mike Wallace, Randy Baumann, Jim Krenn, Daniel Sepulveda, AJ Burnett, Wendy Bell, Sally Wiggin, Matt Lamanna, Mike Tomlin, DAN BYLSMA, DAN BYLSMA, DAN BYLSMA, Sexhair, Sexgoal, Gina Cerilli, Elena LaQuatra, Patrick Jordan, Mario, Fort McKenry, Troysus and DAN BYLSMA.

What? Tell me you don’t believe Dan Bylsma would give the best hugs ever.

We won’t know until we try. To grab his butt.

(h/t Summer)

Random n’at

1. So I had a thought and I’m going to share it with you. Ready?

I was watching a boxing match on HBO this weekend and I wondered why other one-on-one sports don’t do the whole pre-bout hooplah that professional boxing does. For instance, wouldn’t it be awesome if there were player introductions in professional tennis matches? The announcer would be all, “In this court, playing out of Melbourne, Australia and weighing in at 185 pounds with a blistering serve of 142 miles per hour …” and the whole time this is going on, the player’s entourage, all wearing matching Evian shirts or Rolex shirts, are standing behind the player nodding very seriously into the camera while making the “we’re number one” finger point, maybe hoisting the player’s most recent trophy for all to see. Rubbing the player’s shoulders. Pumping him or her up.

Genius, yes?

2. I didn’t know this until reader Zachary pointed it out to me, but they remade Ice Castles in 2010?! I hope the ghost of Collen Dewhurst terrorized the shit out of those involved in this sacrilegious travesty.

3. If you haven’t seen this yet, Pittsburgh photographer Aaron Hobson has combed through, gosh, probably thousands and thousands of miles of Google Street View images and discovered that there is beauty to be found in the space between the boring grey cement.  Here’s just a snip of one, but you must click and see the rest.


(h/t Jennifer)

4. This doesn’t have anything to do with Pittsburgh but I’m sharing it because 1. reader Aubrey who sent it to me directed her email to Mrs. Self United Conrad-Lamanna-Sepulveda-Manganiello and 2. I really wish someone in Pittsburgh would do this because it is AWESOME and 3. I’m just going to say this — 1:08. 1:08. 1:08. ONE MINUTES AND EIGHT SECONDS IN IS WHEN THE CRAZY HAPPENS!

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5. Would Mrs. Conrad-Lamanna-Sepulveda-Manganiello-Montanez be too presumptuous of a personalized stationery?

6. [Adds “Mrs. Conrad-Lamanna-Sepulveda-Manganiello-Montanez stationery” to Christmas wish list]

7. If you’re in Eat n’ Park anytime soon, you’ll want to purchase a $2 raffle ticket to win a new Ford Focus (Hey, husband! Say “focus” for me!) with all proceeds going to the Caring for Kids Campaign which raises money for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. SICK KIDS!

8. I love Pittsburgh Dad so much. Here’s the latest episode, a special Thanksgiving treat!

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True story, my father spent a good portion of his life in those glasses and has been known to tuck a sweater into jeans.

And the true belly laugh is the “get nice and bonkers and play a little game called ‘Which One of Us Can Break Something First.'”

Man, I rocked at that game when I was younger.

9. A little conversation with my mother:


Me: Hello.

Mom: Hey, honey! I’m thinking about the Christmas gifts for the kids and have you heard about this Cyber Day thing?

Me: Yep.

Mom: Okay. I’m on How do I do this?

Me: [headdesk]

Bunch of phone calls and minutes later


Me: Hello?

Mom: Okay, I can’t figure out how in the world I add something to my cart. You need to come over here.

Me: Mom, do you see that big yellow button that says “Add to Cart”?

Mom: Yes.

Me: Click it.

Mom: [silence] Oh! I did it!

Me: [headdesk]

Bunch of minutes and phone calls later


Me: Hello?

Mom: Can you come over here and complete this purchase for me?

Gotta love my Mom.

10. What They’re Really Thinking will be up later tonight, once I’ve digested the fact that Tyler Freaking Palko almost beat us.

Random n’at

1. The Pittsburgh fine art photo print giveaway is still active and you can enter until noon tomorrow.

In addition, the Fresh Factory giveaway was such a hit that Dan from Fresh Factory is giving my readers 20% off their shirt orders!

Simply use the code CHURCH when you checkout!

2. Over at the magazine where I’ve written about the proper and improper places you should don your Steelers gear, this comment by Anonymous has killed me. KILLED ME!

I don’t care what Pittsburghers wear; my standards in general are pretty low. However… we have a boob problem in this city — a very serious boob problem, Pittsburgh. Boobs belong front and center – not wandering off under your armpit to grab a latte. Free-roaming breasts are the scourge of Market Square… of every square. This city needs help. No child left behind? No breast left behind!

Who wrote that? I must know.

No breast left behind. Love it!

[checks her armpits for her breasts]

3. In light of a sign I saw recently at my local post office and in light of a conversation I had with Tina Fey and my eight-year-old nephew from Texas about “buggies” and “glove boxes/compartments,” I’m working on my November column for Pittsburgh Magazine and have asked via Twitter if any ex-pat Burghers out there have humorous stories to share about using Pittsburghese in their new towns only to be met with blank stares. If you have a story to share, email me at virginia[at]thatschurch[dot]com. I’d also love to hear if you’ve managed to get your non-Pittsburgh raised children to use Burghisms at all.

I gotta tell you. I’m a little disappointed in Tina Fey. Grocery carts?! Whoever heard of such a thing?

4. We’re getting a water taxi!

[raises the roof and gets jiggy with it]

5. The Burgher who coined the amazing term “gruesomely huge” (somewhere Casey Hampton’s nose started itching), Chatham professor Michael Habib is in the news again this time for his involvement with Discovery Channel’s “Dinosaur Revolution.”

Not only that, but also, THIS:

In addition to the Chatham professor, “Dinosaur Revolution” also includes commentary from another Pittsburgher: Matt Lamanna, paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

It’s no secret I have a gruesomely huge crush on Dr. Lamanna and have since the day he took the job at the Carnegie when I saw his picture in the paper and then self-united to him and wrote our names on a tree in blood. What?

I am loving this picture of Mike Habib:

(image courtesy of Chatham University)

I bet that bird has a gruesomely huge cloaca.

You can catch Mike and Matt (who should totally get their own dinosaur show on Discovery and call it The Mike and Matt Show or Mike and Matt: Dinosaur Guys or something along those completely witty lines) this Sunday from 9-11 p.m.

Just be sure to step off, n’at.


I have never wanted anything more and they’ve already been taken off the etsy shop. Sad panda.

(h/t Jason)

7. Headline: “Fatty substance spills into Mon River”

Me: “Something something Casey Hampton?”

8.  My latest post is up at Pittsburgh Magazine and it’s my Yinzer Gift Guide ’11: Steelers Edition!

You won’t believe the awesome black and gold stuff I found. Garden gnomes and tiny umbrellas and notepads and hair clips and t-shirts and even A PIMP CUP!

Show of hands if you are about to go Google pimp cup?

Have a read!