29 09 2010

In my posts here and on Facebook, and heck, even via email, I have received an overwhelming response of support for my return to My Living Room.

Friends will be there! Friends with kiddos and friends who do not have kiddos.

Friends are putting babies to bed, and then showing up. Other friends are potentially hiring sitters for their kiddos, and stopping by.

Knowing that I love all those kiddos and babies, and seeing that these parents, and also my non-child-having friends have put this on their calendar? I’m shocked, and so lucky to know them all. And lucky they know this is important to me. It is, to be honest. I love My Living Room. I always have. And I always will love it.

I’ve been thinking about this bar thing all week long.

And it will be fine… I, myself, will be FINE.

I will work my a** off, and work with my former co-workers and have a great time.

The nerves are subsiding, and the excitement is building. Wish I could find the shoes I planned to wear though. They seem to be missing. Erm…

Where are my shoes!?


28 09 2010

So I don’t remember dreams much. I’m pretty sure I’ve addressed that here.

But the past two nights I’ve had a storm of dreams.

One that involved my Little C. Where we are (we being, I guess, The Nana and Lili and I) trying to get a good picture of me looking at Little C.

It was, in the dream, a battle. Not just Little C, but me, as well. Which is confusing, because I would gladly gaze at my small lady every second of the day.

But, I know where this comes from. Some of my fave pics of me and My Little C are ones where I hold her, and gaze in amazement at her. It’s quite awesome.

Because she is obviously, quite awesome.

And, my favorite picture from my last trip, I’m holding my lovely lady girl, and my head is directed towards her, yet I’m looking at our photographers (Lili and The Nana.) The Nana and I had many discussions about this photograph.

I declared it an ok photo. Even though I can seriously see my eyes turned another way. In my heart, I know I’m enjoying the moment, and just making sure the “paparazzi” that Little C and I had were capturing the moment. And they did. And they did it well.

So what if it isn’t perfect? She’s a toddler. I’m me. Not perfect is quite right there, am I wrong?

Little C and I often have many paparazzi around us. We’re awesome, and lucky that way.

And my fave pics of us together are truly the ones where one or the other of us is gazing at the other, or back when she was small, when she tried to eat my face off in a series of photos. That was pretty special. Ever had a baby try to gnaw your face off? No? You’re missing out.

That was pretty awesome.

Lili, do you mind me sharing those pics? Because I’m sure the folks who visit here would LOVE to see my lovely, Little C, try to eat my face.

(It was pretty much a fun time, to be honest… besides my exclamation of “Help! I think she’s trying to eat me!”) No, really, I said that, or something of the sort, out loud.

If you want, I can make my lovely’s face unrecognizable. Just let me know.


27 09 2010

I like to think that when certain situations come up, I have nerves of steel. I am pretty sure I do. I’ve never freaked out before a rugby match. Never, ever. Many of my teammates have. What do I know?

I have things that will set me off… I’ll cry at the drop of a hat. Immediately. But I also know I’m better than that, and I’m a woman, so I deal with it. I used to have a short fuse to get angry… not so much anymore. Really. But I’ll banter with you and try to make you see where I am.

But because of  my friends, The GrandPa and The Nana and Lili, and more recently, My Little C…. my fuse went from 1 inch to about 50,000 feet. I’m super happy, and love it. Because of those people? I know I can do anything that comes into my path… I will meet it, greet it, and do it.

Yet, I’m nervous for this shift at My Living Room this weekend… I worked there for 7 years. SEVEN YEARS, you guys…

I hung the pictures on the walls. I fixed stuff there. Why am I nervous? Heck, my face, legs and body are on the walls of My Living Room.

I feel like it is – and it is – the place I’ve worked forever. I remember the first night I worked there, like it was yesterday, and I remember the first time I stopped working at My Living Room, many years ago, because I went and played rugby and basically broke my knee… And then going back. It was like I had never left. This time, it’s different.

I feel like this time I left? I forgot everything a bartender needs to know. The second I walked out the door, I deleted it all.

Can I still pour a perfect draft? I don’t know… Do I remember how to make a Pineapple Upside Down Cake shot? (no!) And do they still have my little box of drinks available for me to cheat? (probably not.)

Do I need to do research on the new, crazy shots someone is going to ask me for?

What do I wear? I know there’s a new dress code. I’ve heard about it, and the new rules (which I’m not fully aware of) many times. The new dress code is different, and takes away all of the “gifts” I have which made my job back then easier. I don’t hate the new “code” but it’s strange for me.

Can I do this? I’m old now. I feel older. I didn’t feel my age back then. But I do now. Maybe it’s the non-rugby player talking, I don’t know.

Above all, the one thing that my friends, and being jobless and looking for work has given me, is a new sense of happy. I have no idea where this came from. I may not have a job, I may hate being in my apartment 24/7. But good grief, I’ve been very pleasant lately. Willing to dress up, go out, be around friends. I love it. Truly, I love it. Even to just hang out, and see my friends… Especially as a DD lately… Means I’m not drinking and driving a friend, or friends around. I like that.

And I love more than anything that I’m happy. I love the pleasant, happy me. I LOVE IT.

Can I walk in there, go behind the bar, and not let every memory that made me the angry bartender come back? Can I still be the pleasant person I have become?

I certainly hope so. Because I love this opportunity, to be a new ME behind the bar. Am I worried and scared? You bet your ass I am. (there’s a rugby song in there… who gets it?)

But I’m incredibly happy to get behind the bar again at My Living Room.

I’m back, and definitely a kinder, gentler soul. I promise to be pleasant. And relish every second back behind the bar.

Please try to come and see me there. I’d totally appreciate it. And it will, in fact, make me smile.


26 09 2010

A lot of things are going on right now.

First of all, is to wish my parents a Happy Anniversary. We all know I love my parents, and today was their anniversary. I had all kinds of plans to call them, but my schedule interfered, and when I did call, they didn’t answer. Um. Okay. Well, my #AussieRelatives are visiting, so I just assume they are out with them.

Then, hours later, Lili sends me a text, “You know The Nana and The GrandPa are here, right?” Um, no. I had no idea. No wonder they didn’t answer & didn’t call me back!  So, I ended up calling my parents at Lili’s house. I know my parents are busy with the relatives, but geez did I miss talking to The Nana… (Side note, I didn’t hear her accent AT ALL while talking to her. This is strange.)

I had a fun day running touch yesterday for PghRugbyRef at my boys’ D3 game. The ref society has this new thing where you have headsets to listen to the ref’s calls. Wow, was that confusing. You can also talk to the ref. Let’s just say me and that talk button did not get along… And unfortunately, my boys lost. And two of them got hurt.

However the two who were hurt where pretty hilarious later that night.

And last in this bizarro world of things is a thing I’d never ever think I’d be announcing here…

I’m working at My Living Room again. Not any regular days, just when I’m needed here or there, I think. My first night is this coming Saturday from 6-close.

I have promised to be pleasant. And I will be.

Stink bugs?

25 09 2010

As if you didn’t know already, but Pittsburgh apparently has been invaded my approximately ellebentybillion stink bugs. They apparently are everywhere.

And they are stupid, dumb and have no brain (this is not a scientific thought, just my observations. We’ll get there.) However, this story is from BEFORE we all here in the ‘Burgh knew they were just an annoying presence, and NOT something that would kill you, and all zombie-like, eat you brain.

And, no, I will not give you a picture of one of those nasty bugs. Google them and figure it out on your own. I’m not even sure they’re mommies love them, they’re so ugly and dumb.

At the time of these little stories below, I had no idea they were, in fact, “stink bugs” – I swear to god I worried about my abilities to clean my apartment….

Months ago. Many, many months ago, I was working on a baby quilt. I was working on the binding on said quilt, and I went to my sewing table to grab said quilt and I saw a bug. A big, ugly bug. Just chillin’ on my table. Far enough away from the quilt, but way too dang close for me. And the quilt.

I freaked, started screaming and shaking. Grabbed my cutting mat big-ass ruler and managed to flush said bug down the toilet.

Barf. Eventually, I stopped shaking.

Three or so weeks later. Maybe early summer. I hear this buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

What the heck? I’m just sitting here, with my netbook watching TV… What’s all this buzz about?

I look over my right shoulder to the wall behind me and see a freaking bug hanging out precious inches away from one of my favorite Kandinsky calendar pictures I have on my wall above the couch.

And no, you are not welcome, bug or human, to come near my favorite Kandinsky things. So I went after it with a newspaper, smacked it, and it fell into my lamp. I have yet to clean out the lamp. I was terrified. I didn’t know what it was….

Then a few weeks later.  Watching TV, imagine that. And I hear AND see a bug above my TV on the wall. Now, I’m convinced I have a terribly maintained apartment, and near tears.

But then the bug walks along the wall. And she/he tries to fly, fails, falls over into a freaking teacup from MY GrandPa I have on my mantle, minutes later it climbs out and walks on the wall again. (See again, these bugs terrified me and I was not going to investigate. See also, I probably need a manly-man boyfriend or something to deal with these things.)

This time, I’m all like, I’m going to kill you, bug, and you and your two friends will regret the day you came into the angry lady’s house… So I grab him with a paper towel and flush him…

*wipes hands in success*

No more ugly bugs for me.

And then a few weeks later, I’m at the pool with Shellrenee and Burghseyewife and various kiddos. And I see this thing on the lane marker. Same dang bug. I mention it to Shellrenee, and she’s like, “It’s just a stink bug, ignore it.”

Okay then…

But lately, it seems these bugs have invaded the ‘Burgh. And I’m all like “just ignore them!” (Granted, thus far, my apartment is free of said bugs, so I’m calm, and not shaking like a leaf.)

Until this evening, while babysitting. Oh, crap.

The soon-to-be 3yo said, “Um, there’s a bug.” And pointed to the blinds. While I’m holding a 4 month old. A 4 month old who would not stop crying and would not be his normal happy self. I see the bug and I instantly tell her it’s all good, it can’t hurt you. It’s just hanging out. And I suggest she comes to sit on the couch with me and her brother.

The dad stops home, sees the bug, and tries to eradicate it from the house. Fail.

I’ve never seen a bug move so fast away from a very large dude, who reached the bug, at approximately 8 feet from the floor. That bug said “Oh, heck no. That angry lady is here, and I’m going to torment her all. night. long.”

We then discuss ways I’ve heard of to remove said bugs.

Dad and friends left.

And guess what? I got the 3yo to go to bed. Success. I got the 4 month old to go to bed – after hours of wailing. Long-time coming success.

I sit down. All I hear is buzz. Buzz. Buzz… I look to the corner lamp. Sucker is hanging out. He tries to fly, he fails. He head-butts himself into the wall, eight times, ,lands on the floor. Dead bug, right? Job done, right? NO. That stupid bug was still there, buzzing about when mom came home to relieve me of my duties.

And mom? That lady? She somehow caught him, in her HAND, yo! And walked me out and threw that sucker as far as she could.

Serves you right, bug. Don’t mess with my Angels. (In case you didn’t make the connection, I was babysitting for a rugby family this evening.)

Those bugs should never mess with ruggers. We’ll tackle you, obviously.

Go away, bugs. Also, glad to know my apartment isn’t the gross place I once thought it was. Whew.


23 09 2010

My mom, The Nana, if you’re new here, is straight off the boat/plane/whatever from Scotland. She’s cute, adorable, and you should love her as much as I do, of course. She is all kinds of awesome.

And she’s been here for more years than I’ve been alive, maybe, (I am not doing the math.) but either way, she’s been here a WHILE.

But what I never understood, as a child, and adolescent, a teen, a college kid and even afterward was WHY DON’T PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHEN THE NANA SPEAKS! To the point that, mid-college, it made me mad when The Nana ordered at dinner, and the server had to ask her to repeat her order. I knew what she ordered… Why couldn’t they????

I know, The Nana is ORIGINALLY a foreigner. But her accent is not that hard that you need a dang interpreter… She doesn’t speak an entire different language, people.

I’m well aware that because she is my mom, The Nana’s accent to me is not apparent. Believe me, I know this.

But where does this accent issue come from, you guys??? I have been asked SO MANY TIMES, “Oh, your mom is from Scotland, why don’t you have that accent?”

Well, smarty pants you a) do not inherit accents. However b) put me in listening distance of a Scottish or Irish person, and give me an hour, and I develop a brogue. It’s kind of bizarre.

But really, mom is my mom. And I will always hear and see her from the viewpoint of being her daughter, and probably nothing else… I love where she is from, it’s gorgeous, beautiful, and I was incredibly blessed as a child to visit Scotland MANY times. I super puffy pink heart love her.

But to me, she has never had an accent. Ever. (In all my ahem 29 years.)

Until now…

I haven’t spoken much to my mom, The Nana, since January, until my visit to them last month.

And when I first saw her, she still had no accent. (POI: I was kinda happy to see The Nana again.. Full on honest here… I ran across the area to hug her… busy crying and hugging said mom, being so happy to see her in person… She could have spoke German to me, and I’d still have hugged her and been happy…)

However, when she talks to Little C? Woo boy. Her accent is FULL and back and in effect. Little C seems to understand her Nana. And Little C loves her Nana like a crazy little lady, so it’s all good.

But when I watch the 70 or so videos I took, most of them of Little C showing her Nana something or performing something for her Nana? WOW, I finally hear the accent.

Not that I give anyone who never understood her a moment of reprieve. I don’t. This is the first time I’ve ever heard it. I swear to you.

And I love it.

Not just because I love my mom, but because when she talks? I hear her voice the same as I remember MY and Lili’s Nana back in the day.

And it reminds me, every note of your voice, why I love you as my mother.


22 09 2010

Dear Cricket,

Well, you don’t suck too much… Not so much, that you shut my stuff down.

And granted, I pay you only $40 or so a month to access the interwebz.

But while you are slightly slower than AT&T access, at least you don’t die on my one day, which is teh suck…. You just get slower, which as I see now, you cannot get any slower. Good grief, Cricket, I’m trying to download ONE ALBUM on iTunes!

Good grief. Just download my random country and opposite rap songs as I choose. Do it. Do it. Do it.

Else you’re gonna make me angry. And we all know that isn’t good.

In that event, there’s a tornado coming to Cricket , named Claire.  Sorry folks.

A dog, a cat and a DUCK.

19 09 2010

So yesterday, I received an email from The Nana, telling me that my aunt and uncle from Australia were arriving that evening, not this coming Tuesday as we originally believed.

I decided to do something a little different, and ask my Twitter friends to welcome my #AussieRelatives to the US of A – not that they haven’t been here before, they have, many times – but I thought this would be fun.

And to encourage my Tweeps to participate, I offered up two tickets to the Pittsburgh Brewfest to a randomly selected person who included the #AussieRelatives hash tag (that’s what the little pound sign means on Twitter, FYI.) and copied me (I’m @PghRugbyAngel on Twitter, in case you cared) during the day today.

Below is a sampling of the responses, which I am asking The Nana to show her brother and sister-in-law… My uncle is a pretty hilarious guy, and I think he’d totally get a kick out of my doing this.

Also, I totally love my Uncle T and Aunt A from Australia, and wish my visit two weeks ago coincided with their visit… I hope you guys enjoy this.

Funniest part… There’s a CAT, a DOG and a DUCK who entered. No, I’m not kidding… Um…. My friends are a little strange, but they’re all hoping you have a great visit with The Nana and The GrandPa. Also, please give Little C a big hug and kiss from her Aunt. Thank you!

(These are in no particular order, by the way!)

The cat.

The dog…

And good grief, even a duck…

So, how did I get a winner? I took each Twitter friend’s name and made a list from the first one to the last one and numbered them as they came in. And yes, even the dog, the cat and the duck. (I had no idea my friend owned a duck, by the way.)

There were 23, including the animals, and elebentybillion from a certain UncleCrappy (who also sent in the Mr. Miles cat one) since I did not specify whether or not you could enter from multiple accounts. Whoops.

And the winner? Message #10. From one @JMWander. Congratulations! Your tickets will be at the Will Call area, unless you want to DM me and send me your address. Your choice!

And THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH to everyone who participated and helped me send my very own special method of welcoming my Aunt & Uncle for their visit. I love my friends. You guys rock.

Dear Podcamp…

19 09 2010

I love you. I really do.  Thanks for being friends with me.

Saturday was so much fun. I even woke up at the crack o’ dawn (normal waking hours for most of you) to make it there. I spent many $$$ on Starbucks coffee so I wouldn’t be cranky in the AM even! (You’re welcome. I was bright, pleasant and perhaps even funny. SURPRISE!)

I managed to tell my buddy from Commonwealth Press to go to the wrong place, but I scored the t-shirt I’ve seriously be coveting for EVER. The city of Pittsburgh one, where they have the names of the ‘hoods? Yeah, I have one now. In my size. I love you too, Commonwealth Press.

Yeah, this t-shirt.


Each time I hang out with the group of friends Twitter and this blog have given me, I feel so lucky. And the truth is, I am lucky.

I’m so glad I finally attended Podcamp. I can’t wait for next year. And I can’t wait to get a little more involved with the whole thing.


17 09 2010

It’s tomorrow! And I’m going! Yays!

And tonight was the meet & greet. Great time. Wonderful friends.

Do you all remember when I was shy and awkward, and made Calipanthergrl go to my first event with me? Because I was painfully SHY? And I think the only person I spoke to was Jennie… and CPG. I am such a dork!!

Never in my wildest dreams back then, did I imagine that I would now know so many people and could introduce two of my friends to so many people tonight. It made me so happy that I know all of these people. I’m so lucky. So. Lucky.

Twitter and the online community rocks, you guys. Most ruggers joke around with me about “twetting” things that happen, but the Tweeps I have rock, and tonight was another reminder. An un-needed one, but still, I loved it.

And to all of you who complimented me on my appearance tonight, thank you, again. I like to surprise you guys every once in a while and show up all fancy, just so you don’t think I’m always in rugby or softball or grungy stuff all the time. But really, thank you. I appreciate the compliments more than I can tell you. Again, my TWEEPS ROCK!

I cannot wait for tomorrow!

(PS: For The Nana and Lili: I wore the fancy, strappy shoes this evening. They were gloriously comfy. Not kidding. I was standing/walking all night long!! I was entirely correct when I saw them in the mirror and fell in love… I think they love me back!)