Category Archives: Random

Merry Christmas, you guys.

Merry Christmas, Pittsburgh!

Celebrate what you’re going to celebrate, love who you love, do some good, be a good neighbor, be real, be you, be happy.

Print this out and stick it in your stack of Christmas cards; they’ll all feel inferior.

Because yelling out “BOOYAH! My Christmas card just punched yours right in the nose!” is the true meaning of Christmas.


Group hug!

Believing in Braddock

(photo from Superior Motors Kickstarter page)

Famed Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa is good at a lot of things, but one thing he’s really good at is taking risks.

Pricey cutting-edge “I have no idea what any of these ingredients even are” cuisine in East Liberty? Success.

Showing up at Pittsburgh Magazine‘s Best Restaurants Party with boxes of grocery store bread and butter? Success. Even though for a solid hour people were walking around all OMG KEVIN SOUSA BROUGHT BREAD AND BUTTER. HE MUST BE DOWN TO HIS LAST FIVE CASH DOLLAH BILLZ.

Hot dogs? Success.

Barbecue and fried chicken? Success.

And then he decided to move his family to Braddock and everyone was like, “Kevin Sousa is a couple sausagemeats short of an encornets farcis, if you knowwhaddamean.”

Braddock has become a darling to Levi Strauss, to Kevin Sousa, and to actor David Conrad — you recall when I sat down with David to interview him about St. Nick’s Church, my first question was  why the heck he moved to Braddock — because sometimes you have to just take a second to confirm that people haven’t lost every single one of their sanity-maintaining marbles.

David and Kevin and Mayor Fetterman believe in Braddock and its chances to experience its own renaissance. Fetterman believes in it enough to fight for UPMC’s nonprofit status. David believes in it enough to hang a hat there. Kevin believes in it enough to plan to open a new 3,000 square-foot community restaurant in Braddock — a restaurant with its very own farm, art gallery, performance venue, apiary, and trainee housing.

It is hugely ambitious and clearly risky. He’s hoping to raise $250,000 via Kickstarter to make it happen.

He’s sitting at $92,000 raised with 17 days to go to raise the rest.

If you believe in Braddock too, click here to help.

Random n’at

PittGirl Pirates

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.

Have a read.

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. 

5. Check these out:

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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.

10. Ten of the funniest Mike Tomlin memes from his Thanksgiving day dance partay.

I like this one too:


11. Let’s check in with Jeff Reed on Twitter:

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.51.13 AM Still amazing.

12. Has anyone heard from Shaun Suisham lately? Did he get the trash I left for him on his lawn?




Not at all.




2013 Yinzer Holiday Gift Guide GIVEAWAY!

UPDATED to include three new items donated by their respective shops: The Xmittens, the Alternate Histories print, and the Yinz mug!


It’s here, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here!

The 2013 Yinzer Gift Guide is up at Pittsburgh Magazine and look at all these gorgeous things I’ve hunted down for you. Affordable Burgh-made or Burgh-inspired gifts guaranteed to earn you some serious hugs and smooches this holiday season.  Click the picture to be taken to the list, or scroll down to see which items I’m giving away because I love yinz like pigeons love pooping.


I’m giving away a few items from the official list, and one from the UN-listed list.

One lucky winner will receive:

– Heinz Christmas Pickle ornament, $15, paid for with my own moolah. Give this to pretty much anyone in your life:


– Heinz Ketchup ornament, $15, paid for with my own moolah.


– Moop Tiny Clutch No. 1 in charcoal and blue, $31, donated by Moop AFTER I picked them to be on the list. Perfect for moms, wives, sisters, friends and the like.


– Moop Tiny Clutch No. 2 in grey and orange $31, donated by Moop AFTER, etc.



– Fear the Beard socks $10, donated by Fresh Factory AFTER. Perfect for a Steeler fan:


 – Penguins earrings from Perfectly Simple, $8, donated by Perfectly Simple AFTER. Pens fans will love!


– SmallTower Pittsburgh Skyline Print, $30, donated AFTER:



–Alternate Histories Monongahela Monster Print, $20


– Pittsburgh Pottery Yinz Mug, $20



– The wildly popular Xmittens, $35.  You may receive a different color than that pictured.


That’s a retail value of $217 bucks saved on your gift list! If any other vendors from the list offer up a few goodies, I’ll update this post and the same winner will receive those items too.

To enter: Leave a comment, one comment per valid email address, and so you have something to say, you can do any of the following in your comment:

1. Shout out which item on the 2013 Yinzer Gift Guide is your favorite.

2. Shout out a locally-made or Burgh-inspired gift not on the list that you think I should consider for next year’s list.

3. Leave a generic comment, preferably one in which you say nice things about me.


4. Type the word “toot.” You’ll understand why when you go read the list. 

You have until next Friday, November 29 at noon to enter, at which time will pick the winning comment number. Since none of the items are too big or heavy, guess what? If you’re not living in the Pittsburgh area, I’ll mail the prize pack to any of the contiguous 48 states.

If you live in Portland, I’ll probably include a little handwritten note that says “SUCK IT.”

[swishes cape and runs off in dramatic fashion]

The unlisted list of Yinzer Holiday Gifts

My 2013 Yinzer Holiday Gift Guide will be up this week over at, giving you plenty of time to get orders in to be delivered in time for the holidays.

This year’s list was especially hard to compile what with so many great Burghy gifts entering the market since last year. As you know, the goal of the list is to show you gifts that are either made BY Burghers, ABOUT Pittsburgh, or IN Pittsburgh.

Suck it, China. And for the hell of it, you too, Portland.

While these items didn’t make the list this year for one reason or another, I still wanted to share them with you because they’re all worthy gifts:

1. Slaterzorn apparel

Category: ABOUT Pittsburgh

Why it’s not on the list: Holy pricey, Batman! I have trouble recommending you spend $80 on a pair of socks unless those socks have a 50 dollar bill inside of them.

Why it’s awesome: Most black and gold gear looks like Steely McBeam either puked or died on it. Not at Slaterzorn where classy, upscale team-themed apparel is available to gift to the people in your life who love the Steelers, Pens, and/or Bucs, but who wouldn’t wear a bedazzled hypocycloid even if you threatened to take away their country club membership.

Here’s a sampling of the pricey, but oh so gorgeous gear for men and women:

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.03.13 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.03.22 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.06.20 AM Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.06.27 AM

Want. I don’t know. I might include the scarves on the official list. But still … $85?! Wah.

2. Go Down on Me Incline Shirt

Category: ABOUT Pittsburgh, BY Burghers

Why it’s not on the list: It’s a PG-rated magazine.

Why it’s awesome: [snicker]

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.08.32 AM

3. Perfectly Simple earrings

Category: ABOUT, BY, and IN

Why it’s not on the list: I chose different jewelry to feature on the list …

Why it’s awesome: … but these are funky and adorable and come in a crazy cute variety. The mustache ones are just knocking my socks off.

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 8.12.32 AM

4. Light of Life Ornament by Wendell August Forge

Category: ABOUT, BY, and IN

Why it’s not on the list: I featured their 2012 fundraising ornament last year, and wanted to put a different non-profit-benefiting gift on the list this year.

Why it’s awesome: This ornament, like last year’s, was designed by one of their program members. There are only 500 available, so get one while you can for a suggested donation of $20. $25 if you want them to mail it to you.



5. Kobold Watches

Category:  BY Burghers, IN Pittsburgh

Why it’s not on the list: ALL. OF. THE. DOLLARS.

Why it’s awesome: I was hunting for a watch made in Pittsburgh (I feel like some Burgher somewhere should be Kickstarting a line of steel watches or something. Get on that.) These watches are local and they are incredible. AND ALL OF THE DOLLARS! So if your middle name is McMoneyBags, these are for you, ranging in price from a bit over $2,000 to ALL OF THE DOLLARS:

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Seriously gorgeous. Seriously out of my budget.

Now I’m off to spend my day at the History Center, the Incline gift shop, Wildcard, and possibly the Pittsburgh Public Market for one final hunt for cute Burghy gifts that I might have missed, and then the Yinzer Gift Guide will be ready to go.

Be prepared to repent of covetousness.

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