A little more help?

First, you’ll notice the Make Room for Kids thermometer is gone and the reason for that is I took it down ALL BY MYSELF using HTML and widgets and microtechythingamabobiggities and I didn’t break anything.

Hashtag Jedi knight.

Second, yesterday I spent a few hours at the Mario Lemieux Foundation offices in an effort to stalk Mario and steal stuff get the shopping done for this year’s Make Room for Kids phase.

We shopped and shopped and bought and made Amazon Prime smoke a little. On and on we went until we totaled it all up and the adding machine displayed ,”JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL!”

The issue is that we like to do maintenance. That is we go to the cancer kids and the transplant kids and the other units we’ve already outfitted and we say, “How you doin’? What do you need?”

And they responded. They asked for some new games, because keep in mind the transplant kids are using games that are now four years old. That’s  ARCHAIC in technology years. The cancer kids asked for more games that girls would like to play. The adolescent medicine unit was hoping for some specific Lego games and some extra controllers.

We did our best to fulfill all technology requests from every unit, and we did a pretty good job. But we need a few more things.

– Movies. I already personally purchased a box of movies for the units, but we need lots more and I’m hoping you’ll buy one or two. They will be divided between every unit, because I’d like to get some newer movies for the cancer, transplant, and frequent flier kids too.

– The transplant kids requested a Leap Pad 2 for the younger transplant patients. We took care of that. But we need some games for these kiddos to play, so I’ve put those on the Wish List too.

Maybe you couldn’t donate before. Maybe you hate PayPal but worship at the altar of Amazon Prime. If you want to pitch in, just click here to be taken to the Wish List. Your purchases from the Wish List will be shipped directly to the Mario Lemieux Foundation. They’ll unpack ‘em, kiss ‘em, virtually hug you, and then hand them off to the kiddos on install day in April.

Thanks, guys! I can always count on you to help us help our city’s sick kids.

Group hug.





Random n’at

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1. I’ll be taking the thermometer down tomorrow, but you can still donate if you want to be part of this year’s effort to bring gaming to three units within Children’s Hospital.  After tomorrow, I’ll tell Woy, “Hey. I tried to take the thermometer off the sidebar and I think I screwed something up with [fingerquotes] widgets because I accidentally deleted my blog.”

Also, it was reader Brian who won the Pirates prize pack. I’m delivering it to him today!

2. Speaking of the Pirates, they are doing just fantastic this preseason because this is the year, and you’re like, “Last year was the year, Ginny.” And I’m all, “Last year was the year for a winning season. This year is the year for the … WORLD SERIES.”

Let me believe, you dream crusher and spirit squasher and hope hater.

3. Found by the P-G’s fantastic Andrew McGill, Pittsburgh as a Tolkien-esque map print, for sale on Etsy:

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Probably for sure 100% maybe going in this year’s Yinzer Holiday Gift Guide.

4. Also, Andrew pointed out that Bill Peduto had a scheduled 30-minute phone call with Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller not too long ago.

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Because why not?

5. This happened way back on Christmas and I forgot to post it, but I must. A photo of a driver fleeing a Parkway East crash.

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Men of Earth, pull up your pants.

6. My self-united bestie Matt Lamanna discovered a new dinosaur, called it “the chicken from hell” and the national media is enthralled.

For a Tyrannosaurus rex looking for a snack, nothing might have tasted quite like the “chicken from hell.”

That’s one way Matt Lamanna describes Anzu wyliei, the species of dinosaur that he and fellow paleontologists unveiled Wednesday.

It’s not the only way, though. Feathered demon also works, which is why Anzu — derived from Sumerian mythology — was chosen as a name. Or you could characterize it, as Lamanna also told CNN, as a 600-pound cross between an ostrich and a velociraptor. And it’s “pretty damn close” to looking like the 6-foot-tall turkey a child famously referred to in the movie “Jurassic Park,” except a lot stranger and meaner looking.

Sounds cuddly.

7. Pittsburghers text while driving more than any other city in Pennsylvania, including those bastards suffering their lives away in Philadelphia.

I’m just going to say this to you if you feel you must send a text while driving:

“Siri, send a message to [name].”

“What would you like to say to [name]?”

“I’m on my way be there in five minutes.”

“Would you like me to send the message now?”

“Read it to me.”

“Your message to [name] says, ‘I’m on my way. Be there in five minutes.’ Would you like me to send it?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. I sent your message.”

You honestly never need to look at your phone while driving if you have an iPhone. Just talk to Siri.

Unless you’re my husband, whose accent Siri just cannot figure out.

“Siri, send a message.”

“David, say focus for me.”

8. This is so cool. Reader Zachary discovered that if you do street view on Market Square and then drop yourself right in the center of the Square, Google Maps will go from present day Market Square to the old Market Square when the road went right down the middle.

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I had fun poking around.

9. Here’s another cool pic, sent by Jarrett Rathke, taken by his father Bob Rathke in 1960. Derailed incline:

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STUFF. OF. NIGHTMARES.

10. I wrote a bunch of stuff:

“Five Words We Should Never Use Again. Literally.”

“In fact, a quick search of social media has users describing their coffee, hair and “day at school” as epic. You know what? Unless Barack Obama, Bono and Justin Timberlake were there to lead your trig class in the Funky Chicken before handing out giant bags of cash, I promise your school day wasn’t even in the same hemisphere as epic.”

 ”Shock. Horror. A Few People Accidentally Got Parking Tickets Downtown.”

They used “about half a dozen” to mean five because no one cares about five cars, but you can fool people into caring if it’s “about half a dozen” cars. For the same reason, you’re more likely to pay $19.99 than you are to pay $20 for something. For the same reason you won’t say, “I ate about half a dozen cookies” but will instead say, “I ate only five cookies.” It’s psychology. Or persuasive semantics. Or a sick cookie addiction brought on by those enablers at the Girl Scouts of America.

“The Story Behind Google’s Mysterious Happy Birthday Window.”

Perhaps you recognize it as the corner window from the second story of the old Wallace Building in East Liberty that recently was transformed into residential space. It’s painted with “Happy B-Day, Julia” — a sentiment that remained on the window for almost 10 years and became a sort of a public art display for those who strolled past.

That post. You gotta read the comments. Bunch of people lost their shit. And not in the good way. One chick on Twitter was so unhappy with me, she even posted that she would “stab that bitch.”

Happy reading!





Throwback Thursday AKA You’ll never look at me the same again

In honor of once again reaching the Make Room for Kids goal, and surpassing it by a whopping $600 this year, it’s time for me to reveal an embarrassing picture from my sordid past as a Supremely Awkward Being.

I’m still a Supremely Awkward Being, but I’ve learned to internalize it under a candy-coated shell of hair, makeup, drugstore product, and Target clothes.

Underneath, inside, deep down, I’m awkward, shy, weird, odd, uncomfortable … I’m this:

Ginny Tammy Terri

I … I’m sorry. I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself.

I don’t know where to start. Is this Photoshop? Did I really look like this? Dress like this? Believe this to be an acceptable appearance even if it was the 90s?

Yes, 1995. I can’t even use the excuse that I was a teenager. I was 21 in this picture. Drinking age. Maybe I was drunk?

I wasn’t drunk. I’ve only been drunk two times in my life, and this wasn’t one of them.

Maybe it was Halloween and I was going as Slash going as Harry Potter if Harry Potter were in a Mexican street gang? I mean, why is my shirt buttoned all the way up? Why am I wearing a bandana over my ridiculously large hair that right this moment Troy Polamalu is looking at and going, “It’s a bit … much, yes? Maybe some Moroccan hair oils could help?”

Look at my twin sisters. They look so normal. Then look at me. Now look at them. Now back to me. We look about as blood related as you and your dog.

Am I grunge? Am I a Crip? A Hogwart? A Shark? Am I packing a Nirvana cassette, a sawed off shotgun, a broomstick, or a vicious set of musical finger snaps in my belt?

We’ll never know. But we know this for sure … there’s pretty much nothing I won’t do for sick kids.

Thank you for donating, retweeting, sharing, and everything else you all did to make the $10,000 happen.

I can’t wait to show you in April what your donations made possible for Pittsburgh’s sick kids.

Group hug!





One last push …

… I suddenly had childbirth PTSD.

Shudder. That shit is not fun. (And some of you moms are all, “LITERALLY!”)

The Internet is hard these days.

It’s loud. It’s crowded. Everyone and every brand is using their voice and sometimes it is hard to be heard from within that noise.

You’ve got Facebook just LITTERED with ridiculous game requests all “PLEASE HELP ME EARN MORE FEED FOR MY HEADLESS CHICKENS SO THEY CAN GROW HEADS ALTHOUGH I’M NOT REALLY SURE HOW MY HEADLESS CHICKEN IS GOING TO EAT THE FEED WITHOUT A HEAD.”

Facebook is full of hoax picture after hoax picture immediately considered as truth, stolen recipes, relentless sales pitches, political bickering, and humans trying to craft the perfect online life full of travel, money, perfect children, perfect jobs, and perfect “taken from an attractive above angle” selfie, while in reality, their crazy life and 1.5 chins are just as normal as yours.

Twitter? Well Twitter is lots of selling, promoting, link baiting, angry customer service tweets, and too much shouting and not too much listening.

Social media these days sometimes feels like you’re standing in a room full of people screaming “GET YER [FILL IN THE BLANK HERE]! [FILL IN THE BLANK] HERE! FRESH [FILL IN THE BLANK HERE]! ONLY NINETEEN NINETY FIVE PLUS TAX!” And in the center of that room, you’re whispering, “Hey, look. I have a cool thing here and it’s something you might actually care about?”

I realize how very “GET OFF MY VIRTUAL LAWN” that sounds and I will wear that orthopedic shoe in a sexy flesh color.

But I’m hoping that from within that noise, you might hear me now and help me. We are SO close to raising $10,000 for Make Room for Kids. $10,000 that will allow us, through the Mario Lemieux Foundation’s Austin’s Playroom Project and through a partnership with the regional Microsoft office, to provide a complete multimedia overhaul to THREE units within Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

We’re going to help the scoliosis kids who are undergoing painful, bed-confining spinal fusions.

Imagine for a second that someone took a flagpole, covered it in spikes, used a blow torch to rip open your back, slammed the spike-covered pole into your back, then used rusty fishing hooks to sew you back together. That’s what spinal fusion feels like.”

We’re going to help the  kids who are often required to remain mostly motionless for days in a row.

We’re going to help the kids who are using artificial hearts while they await a new heart that will give them their lives back.

We’re going to help every single heart patient that enters the doors of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

We’re going to make sure they no longer have to wait for the shared Wii to be available to them to provide some distractions from the fact that their friends are outside those windows living their lives and growing and learning and soaking up the sun while they lay there ordered not to move.

We’re going to make it better for them, but only if you pitch in the cost of your morning latte. Can you do that for them? I promise you’ll be rewarded in some fashion, because that’s what the Karma Boomerang does. It’s the only thing on the Karma Boomerang’s resume. “Reward and punish reciprocally.” That’s it. And maybe, “Excellent Microsoft Office skills.” I don’t know.

Please hear my whisper and donate via the button under the thermometer. All funds go directly to The Mario Lemieux Foundation. We’ll use that money to outfit these units and to upgrade the games of the units we’ve already outfitted over the years. The Cancer kids are just begging for some new Madden. Let’s get it to them.

I’m going to embed this video and I ONLY WANT YOU TO WATCH FROM 1:06 until the Child Life Specialist is done talking. Then you click pause and stop watching. Because otherwise, it sounds like I’m bragging and I’m not trying to do that, otherwise I would have posted this video way back in November.

I just want you to hear directly from CHP about this program.

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Group hug! I love you all.

 





Pirates Prize Pack Giveaway!

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Your Pittsburgh Pirates have generously donated to Make Room for Kids a prize pack chock full of goodies including game tickets and an autographed Pedro Alvarez baseball.

And instead of shoving these things into my closet while hissing “my preciousssssssssss,” I am going to be a good person and give the prize pack away to one lucky reader.

You can enter by commenting. I’ll keep this giveaway open until the moment the $10,000 is raised at which time random.org will pick a lucky winner who will receive:

  • Pirates Cooler bag filled with:
  • Pirates replica BP hat
  • Starling Marte Fat Head
  • Andrew McCutchen Bobblehead
  • Raise the Jolly Roger Flag
  • Pirates t-shirt
  • Pirates wine set
  • Pirates beach mat
  • Pirates Tervis Tumbler travel mug
  • 4 tickets to a Mon-Thurs game (except Opening Day)
  • Autographed Pedro Alvarez baseball

I don’t know what the value of all this stuff would be, but I’m conservatively guessing it’s about four million dollars.

Keep them all for yourself. Dish them out as gifts throughout the year. Let your kids fight like Zappalas and Ories over them.

And since I am being so kind as to give this stuff away, PLEASE PLEASE donate a few bucks so our sick kids in the CICU, trauma, and ortho units at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh can receive a multimedia overhaul that will bring them gaming and distractions.

If you donated today before we switched the contest to comment to win, no worries. You’re entered! Good luck!






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