Blogging 101…

12 10 2009

Today’s guest is UncleCrappy. He is one of the first friends I made “in real life” when I first entered the blogosphere. Since then, he and his wife, @MrsCrappy, have become very, very good friends.

I really can’t even put into words what their friendship means to me.

Without UncleCrappy’s involvement, I would never have become a Polar Bear, I wouldn’t have had my birthday Mokah (and two spares in the fridge!) and the coolest hat in the world would not exist.

Without the both of them, the Angels wouldn’t have two awesome frequent spectators, I wouldn’t have two new sweet OSU tshirts, and without a doubt, my last night at My Living Room would have been significantly less enjoyable. Besides, they are the only two people I currently know who appreciate a tshirt with this on it:

cats eye

When I set out to ask people to guest post for my blogversary, I asked people who are my friends or family outside of blogging. And I’m glad to include UncleCrappy & MrsCrappy in that group.

(excuse the timing thing. PodCamp was Oct. 10-11. I wasn’t able to post this until now.)

I sincerely hope that UncleCrappy had a wonderful birthday yesterday, and that he & MrsCrappy enjoyed seeing Wilco. Again. 🙂

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At Podcamp Pittsburgh on Saturday, I’ll be leading a discussion about blogging 101 — the basics about getting started, why you would want to do such a thing and what the potential benefits are.

(I’m still not quite certain how I got roped into this, by the way. It was very early when @pgha contacted me, and she promised rum balls. A moment of weakness, certainly…)

I have lots to say to whomever shows up to my session. I plan on being honest, and I will disclose that if you’re into blogging for the long haul, it’s going to be aggravating as hell once in a while. If you’re trying to come up with regular posts, you’re bound to hit the wall, over and over and over.

But the other side is the rewards. For me, the biggest is a group of friends I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet if I hadn’t been involved with social media. And that group includes AAA.

AAA first showed up on my blog just before OU played at Ohio State last fall; she mentioned that her football loyalties were similar to those of Mrs. Crappy and me — proud Ohio University graduates who have the good sense to follow Ohio State football instead. We started talking a couple weeks later, mostly on Plurk, about her beer festival, which was coming up in November. She was kind enough to set aside a pair of tickets for Mrs. Crappy and me, and on the night of the festival, we headed over to Station Square.

(To be honest, UncleCrappy won his tickets on BurghBaby’s site for her 911 raffle!)

Let me be honest. After listening to AAA rant about the festival and the agony of putting it together for a full month beforehand, I was expecting to be confronted by crazed woman, twitching and barking orders, when we arrived. Instead, I found someone who, although busy, was calm, relaxed and pleased with how things were going. She also seemed very happy to be meeting some of the people she had been talking to online for the first time.

That portended well for what was to come. As I read through this blog, I kept coming across references to a person I couldn’t quite see. Shy? Maybe. A loner who had trouble trusting others? Hm — maybe at some point in the past, but that wasn’t the person I was getting to know.

It’s occurred to me since then that I’ve been able to witness a pretty significant change in AAA. Maybe that was the person I met last November at Station Square, and maybe, through Twitter, Plurk and this blog, she was discovering a great group of people around Pittsburgh who were willing to accept her. After all, that’s what happened to me.
Here’s the point — all this stuff we do online has the potential to be powerful and, in fact, life-changing. And I don’t think I know anyone who’s benefited more from having a blog than AAA. The person I’ve come to know in the last year isn’t the person I was reading about last fall and this blog is what led to the change. That’s good for her, for me and for the rest of us.

Also, I got the coolest hat ever out of the deal. So there’s that, too.

Congratulations, AAA. Hope you stick around for many more.





Music is My Guest’s Muse

12 10 2009

Today’s guest is my good friend, the PghRugbyRef. This guy and I, we go way back. Well, like 7-8 years or so… I first met him when I joined the club and helped out at Coopers Lake. Shortly after that he became a dad. Some background story:

One day, in My Living Room, I offered to hold his son, The Nugget, in his carrier so that PghRugbyRef could eat and socialize.

It was terrifying. I think The Nugget was maybe 6 months old. First baby I’d held in years. But me & The Nugget? We became super friends. For the next year or so, I tried to help PghRugbyRef out when he had to ref, and I showed up to random matches to entertain The Nugget.

I somehow came to own this huge yellow inflated ball that had a big smiley face on two sides of it. It was the perfect small kid toy. The Nugget and I have spent countless hours at Boyce Park kicking, pushing and throwing that ball around.

I hadn’t seen My Nugget in a while until a year or two ago, and when PghRugbyRef pointed me out? I was immediately taken my the hand and asked to play trains. *love* *melt*

Since then, PghRugbyRef has become a father a second time, to the adorable Q. He’s a charmer, that one. I showed up recently to a rugby match with Chick-Fil-A leftovers… Q immediately spotted it, and PghRugbyRef told him to ask if he could have something. I offered him all of my fries. He was very thankful, and only took one waffle fry each time (granted once or twice they were way too big for his little mouth!)

Q and I aren’t as good of buddies as The Nugget and I are, but I haven’t been around, and I hope to fix that. Because these boys are sweethearts. Good mannered, adorable, kind. PghRugbyRef has done a great job raising these little men!!

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AA,

I know you gave me a deadline of last Monday morning and I apologize for not meeting it.

Things as a single father can be hectic, I’m never caught up. I think I need to take a vacation day to get my house in order (but if I do, I probably just sit on the couch and play video games; I’d better take a vacation week).

When you first asked me to write something for you, I had planned on “A Week in the Life” story. I even started it on Saturday. It is in no way ready for publication.

I tried to appease you with Q’s “Spoonful of Mustard” but I understand the limitations. Don’t worry about uploading the movies, I will. This whole thing has made me create two new email addresses* to go along with the five I already have.

Ed Note: I wanted to post the “Spoonful of Mustard,” believe me. But I can’t figure out how to on WordPress w/o using YouTube! It’s seriously adorable!!

*I don’t have a YouTube account, so I made a new hotmail account for that purpose. When I tried to make the YouTube account, I saw it was tied in with Google, so I whipped up a new Gmail email address instead. I hope I can remember all these passwords (and no, they’re not all the same).

I got your reminder text tonight on the way home from The Nugget’s soccer practice; in fact, we were in the drive thru line. The rest of the way home I was thinking of what I could do on short notice (not your fault, mine entirely; I had plenty of time to create the post for you, but I’m a procrastinator).

I give to you Music is My Muse.

We get home, finished dinner and I started searching YouTube. I got so wrapped up, the boys were each an hour late getting to bed, and since I’m still writing, I’ll probably be three hours late myself.

The first song you get I stumbled upon again a couple of days ago, from a guy called The Parody Rapper (www.parodyrapper.com) It’s one of those “Literal Videos”, hilarious…

I could spend hours YouTubeing literal videos, well, not hours, at least a good half hour. {Never mind, I just got sucked in again, hours…}

Next, a band that I have been a huge fan of since my youth, They Might Be Giants (www.theymightbegiants.com). Their music is upbeat (like me), happy (also like me) and sometimes a little silly (coincidence I like them?). If you remember the show Malcolm in the Middle, the theme song “Life is Unfair” is one of theirs, as well as the theme for Higgleytown Heros (you’ve got to have kids a certain age to remember that one, I don’t even know if it’s still on the air).

Over the past half decade, they have created some children’s albums, including Here Comes the ABCs, Here Come the 123s and most recently Here Comes Science. All of the sets come with interactive DVDs. Amazing stuff. What I give you next is The Nugget’s favorite, “E Eats Everything”.

The nature of the last song, and the fruit on the counter, got my next search underway. A song that brings back memories of The Hobo that lived on my couch after college. (He really did live on our couch at at least two different apartments; we gave him the closet to keep his stuff and I don’t remember him ever paying rent…) {I hear he has an apartment down the street from ~Your~ Living Room and now frequents the place.}

There are lots of songs that I could have played from Folk Hero Harry Chapin. Lots. This one is a favorite (see above) but also because it’s one where you get your money’s worth in a jukebox. From his Story of a Life album it runs a whopping eleven minutes. I also like to play “In-A-Godda-Da-Vida” (a seventeen minute number) when I feel cheap at the jukebox.

The next one I wanted to find wasn’t on YouTube, but I do have an MP3 of it. More happy upbeat music, this time from Bred’n Buddha

http://www.myspace.com/brednbuddha

They claim to be “A delicious combination of down-and-dirty funk rhythms and bluesy guitar stylings, with enough in-the pocket grooves for anyone to get their boogie on.” I agree. I love jamming out to their album (yeah, it’s only one) on camping trips, around the fire, long drives, well, anytime. My favorite song (and The Nugget’s) is Sid’s Soliloquy. It’s there for your listening pleasure on their MySpace page and it’s seven minutes long (not to shabby for those juke box penny pinchers, although I have yet to find it on any jukebox {including the internet type}).

The next song I found will have to wait (I have saved them as “Favorites” and I have over a dozen of them for you). It’s only two hours past my bedtime [after final editing, it’s now three hours past], but I’m done, the alarm goes off at six a.m.

I hope that these make you (and your readers) happy {or at least kill a half hour of their time}.

I know how much work I had to do for The Organization to run the first few BrewFests and what you have done is amazing. The way that it has grown is all because of you. Thank You AA! Thank You and Good Night!

A.

P.S.  Perhaps beer is my muse. I’ve had a few while I was writing this…

Tuesday, I was taking the boys to the grocery store and saw a sign at the beer distributor for Schlitz “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous”; I had to grab a case. Not because I’m particularly fond of it, but because it reminds me of a poem I read in a book that my maternal grandparents had, a book called “Graffiti of the Big 10”. The authors of the book visited various schools of higher learning and recorded the words they found on the bathroom walls, things like “There’s no need to stand on the seat, OSU crabs can jump three feet”. There was one particular poem that I remember. One that I have edited to make as The Great Guinness Toast, but tonight I give to you the original version…

I think that I shall never hear,
A poem lovely as a beer.
That good old brew tastes best on tap,
With its golden base and snowy cap.
That lovely stuff I drink all day,
Until my memory melts away.
Poems are writ by fools I fear,
But only Schlitz can make a beer.

Good Night!

A.





She rolled over!

11 10 2009

Today’s guest is my wonderful sister, Lili. What can I say? I love her. I also respect her, her opinion and her input. Truly. She has become one of my best friends in the world (which is amazing, considering the way we used to fight…). Lili and her husband, NE, gave me the incredible honor of being Little C’s godmother, the impact of which is something I think about before every decision I make lately.

When I asked Lili if she’d like to write a guest post, I didn’t think she’d accept, as I know she’s very busy taking care of Little C. She accepted and I told her she could write about anything… I’m honored that she found some time to write this for me, and given what she could have written about me, maybe I’m glad she didn’t have the time… (just kidding!)

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The first 6 weeks of my daughter’s life is kind of a blur.  From exhaustion from not sleeping well to getting a full body infection, things flew by so quickly.  I’m happy to have photos from those first couple weeks as a memory.  But wow, starting at 6 weeks, thing start to become vivid and the memories bring warm fuzzies to my heart It was around that time that she started smiling.  She didn’t really know she was doing it, but it was such a great reward for me, her mommy!  From that point on, the enjoyment of being a mom really set in and the joy and excitement of seeing my daughter progress day by day became greater.  Random smiles became intentional smiles.  Then the smiles became focused on faces, mine especially.  There is nothing better than your little baby smiling every time you come near!!

From smiles, things progressed to holding her head up for long periods of time to moving her arms and legs wildly when there is music playing.  I think we have a little dancer on our hands!  She then started pulling herself up so that her little shoulder blades are off the floor and her legs are off the floor too.  She has become what every woman wants to be.  The girl who has rock hard abs and can hold that crazy Pilates hold for several minutes!!  Finally, after weeks of pulling her feet up to her face and rolling over to the side, we kicked it up a notch and rolled over last week!!  I realize that it is only one way, from back to belly, but she did it!  She practiced and practiced and did it!  I was so, so proud of her when she finally got that arm out of the way and made it.  As a parent, I knew that I would always want the best for my daughter.  I wasn’t expecting the inner turmoil of being so proud and excited as she develops and grows and also being a little sad that my little baby is already growing up.  I guess this is something that all parents go through.  On the outside we are super happy and proud and on the inside, a bit of sorrow is creeping up from your little baby becoming a big girl.  I’m only 5 months in…

Ed. Note: Aunt AnnoyedAngel is incredibly proud of Little C for rolling over! And incredibly sad I can’t be there to see it for myself! Lili, you are a great mommy. And I know I’m supposed to spoil and you & NE are supposed to be the rules & regulations committee here, but when Little C is whatever age and mad at her mom, and comes to me, I will NOT hesitate to tell her what a great mommy you are.





Fantasy Football

10 10 2009

Today’s guest is @Calipanthergrl. She is one of my closest friends, and I love her for putting up with all of my situations, rugby and non. Calipanthergrl also joined me in my first few forays into Tweetups and the Yinz Team. She had no idea what she was getting into, and neither did I. But I am pretty sure both of our lives are slightly more entertaining because of it! I would also like to note that besides my family, Calipanthergrl is the ONLY person I willingly talk to on the phone. Ever. For hours on end sometimes.

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“I didn’t know they gave out rings at the Holocaust.”

‑ The Hangover (2009)

The other day, I was browsing the cards created by the fine folks at Someecards.com and came across this one:

ecard

Hilarious, right?  Sadly, the only person I could think to send it to was … myself.

I love coming up with ridiculous names for my fantasy football teams.  Past years have yielded “Sugar and Spice” (I was the only girl … had to rub it in), “Mischievous Badgers” (As in, “I like to imagine Jesus as a mischievous badger …”) and “Bluegrass Princess” (Hey … I was the only girl again).  And I’m usually pretty good.  I even have the trophies on my Yahoo profile to prove it … look it up.  I’ll wait.  (Ironically, in spite of my love for MCBB, my performance in NCAA basketball brackets has been quite dismal … don’t judge!)

Unfortunately, this year’s fantasy football team ‑ My Grandmthr’s Holocaust Ring … gold star to me for coming up with that one, btw ‑ is currently 1-3 with little to no hope of improving.  And we’re not talking, “Oh, I’ve lost a couple of close ones” bad.  We’re talking 1-3, blown out of the water, suck.  And to be perfectly frank, I didn’t see this coming.

How much of a departure is this from my previous history?  Well, right after our draft, I had the opportunity to catch up with an old law school classmate and good friend.  Over the course of the conversation, he said, “I told my wife you were on your way to your FFB draft [when you called last night] and she asked why you weren’t in the same league as me.  I told her it was because you always beat us.”  I kid you not.  That happened.

The other reason I’m taking this particularly hard is that I had the first pick of the draft.  I’m going to let that sink in for a second … THE FIRST PICK!!!!  Yes, I retardedly passed on Adrian Peterson to make the only homer pick I’ve ever made – Lfitz – but I primarily blame the 90 second limit on draft selections.

90 seconds.  That’s all.  The upside?  We finished a 10 team, 16 round draft in just under an hour.  If you’ve played FFB before, you know that’s unprecedented.  The downside?  Everyone essentially just takes the best player available because there’s no time to analyze everyone else’s picks, block moves by other managers or even assess your own team’s roster as you move through the draft.  So now, I have a team that by all accounts excelled in 2008, but has been a veritable no-show in 2009.  Would I be undefeated had I selected Peterson?  If I had had more time to talk myself into stupid picks?  If half of my roster hadn’t gotten hurt in the pre-season? Maybe.  Maybe not.  All I know is that I’m sitting here with the same record as the Detroit Lions and with virtually no hope of making the playoffs.

With apologies to Jim Mora … “PLAYOFFS??!?!  Don’t talk to me about playoffs!  Are you kidding me?? I just hope [I] can win a game!”

*Sigh*  I guess in fantasy football even the best players have off years… that’s certainly the case for my FFB roster.

*Author Note: My lone win came in week 4.  So, after a perfectly abysmal start, things might finally be looking up after some tweaking to the roster.  Given the way things are going, though, I’m not taking my hand of the panic button quite yet.

B-T-dub: I would like to thank AA for inviting me to write my very first blog post.  I’m so glad you shared your blog with me and that you’ve introduced me to the Pittsburgh social media crowd.  Here’s to many more years of writing about rugby, Little C and whatever else comes your way!   ~CPG





I’m not here today…

24 08 2009

Instead, I’m over here. Enjoy.





HowIMetYourRugger and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

28 04 2009

Allow me to introduce myself as someone you may have met, and if you follow this space have heard referenced of by the endearing if not ENTIRELY ACCURATE “Fashion Forward”.  (Also all apologies for the lowered bar exhibited by the Green Lantern getup, my wardrobe assistant failed me that day with the green on green pinstripe suit (now in my possession and being saved for the proper occasion) and apparently you cant find a good reasonably priced track suit in the south side, which is a shame) And now, for the main event :

This was going to be a post about how to make the most of your wardrobe. A beginners guide to flair without care, if you will but instead I think this will be far more humorous (for the reader at least) and right now is the reason that finds me at 10 AM on a Monday sitting in the drivers seat of my car in my driveway drinking a pint of Criminally Bad Elf  (my final one, and the perfect remedy for what ails you).

Lets start by saying that I have a jaundiced view of the anniversary of my birth.  Not what you think, no childhood issues bubbling to the surface, no familial issues. In fact the few of you that really know me know that my family is great.  I consider myself pretty lucky in that department and they go out of their way for me.  No, this jaundiced view comes from years now of ominous and unfortunate events, miraculously occurring in the time frame of said anniversary.  The ominous birthday curse.

(Ed. Note: At this point we will set aside any debate on the scientific basis for the occult, curses, paranormal activity et. al, and just go with it.  We will also set aside any occasion bias, or the want of the mind to attribute bad activities to a certain day based on having a specific “day” in mind, rather than having nothing special to attribute it to.  Also, any debate as to the random odds of any said bad event happening within the week before or after a specific day (2/52) and the seemingly high odds thereof will be tabled to allow the story to continue unharmed.)

It would seem that something enjoys toying with my right around this day.  Now, I’m not a big one for birthdays much myself, and as for that I’m not really much for a fuss being made for me.  I have more of a concerned host personality and my general want when I’m out is for everyone around to be having the best possible time.   Be it conversation, drinks or all around tomfoolery, I like to be one of the little cogs that helps the entertainment flow smoothly and extend to all, and of course usher everyone home safe.  Which is why on more than a few occasions I have remained the designated driver so that those around me can imbibe freely without worry.  Which is what I was doing a few years back.  Roomie and I have celebrated our birthdays with each other for years, even though we haven’t been roomies for many of them.  So this particular birthday found me with a brand new (to me) car, my first one I bought straight up in cash (which is much easier if you have very lax taste in transportation and love to haggle).  So Roomie and I decide to go see a show, moe. I believe, both being fans and deciding that this was the best way for us to cut loose.  I decided Roomie could drink and I would chauffeur in the new chariot.  After witnessing a decent show we depart and begin our travels home.  Nearing our destination we missed the exit so we turned around and got back to the bridge that will live in infamy.  Driving in a construction zone,  we come to a red light and stop, with workers blazing away on the concrete in the closed lane next to us.  I begin to make a right turn on red, when Roomie’s hawk eyes spot the “No Turn On Red” sign mine had missed, amongst the temporary international airstrip they had setup in Neon signs, flashers, reflectors, cones,  et al.  So we stop and wait…forever. Then we began to move.  No the light hadn’t turned red, and unfortunately the movement was as much vertical as horizontal, which I realized in that brief moment I was weightless at the apex of our brief flight.  Apparently the driver approaching behind us did not see the red light, or the car in front of them, or the million signs pointing right at us.  Upon arriving the officer asked my my license plate number, which being new I had not committed to memory.  I had to retrieve this information, along with my bumper, from the middle of the next lane.  (Lets not go into how this was the 2nd time this same construction zone already at a complete stop accident thing has happened to me)

No big deal, car gets fixed, no one’s hurt, things move on.

There was the year I had a nearly season ending knee injury from tripping and falling, which also involved me accidentally getting loopy on the pain medication I was given for it at work while on a conference call (with the president of the company beside me) (the very nice president, who understood, being a sportsman himself who has gone through a few knee reconstructions).

More than one long term relationship has decided to end its course, or terminate itself, on that day,  including one that will probably appear as a rumination at a later time for its sheer shock and awe humor value.

All being said I look forward to the birthday now with as much fervor as a colonoscopy.

So I mentioned to a certain  Angel  that we had such a good time last year at the Harris Grill  (which I will now proclaim as my flat out favorite eatery in the burgh) that we should do it again, on a more casual flair this year.  I suggested a brew and bacon birthday fiesta.   Anyone welcome, the more the merrier, a few drinks with some friends, old and new, and some lighthearted fun on a weeknight.  I thought this would fit the bill perfectly, and I don’t get down there nearly as much as I would like since the move.  The weather had warmed up and even with the threat of rain I advanced with a jovial gait heretofore unseen in recent years.

Then yesterday happened : Going into it the weekend was going well.  Saturday was a beautiful day, capped with 2 wins.  I played well in both games,  fulfilling my role and then some (even getting to add my own flair with a penalty and a near dustup).  The ride back was long and as I drifted off to sleep, the next day offered no warning to its dastardly plans.

(Ed. note: All respect to the friend I mention later.  I realized that I live life along the lines Jason Stratham in crank.  I always have a to-do list a mile long and am trying to please at least a dozen masters.  I have been told I’m a little busier than the average bear, and I would agree so, probably a holdover from the childhood of yore when having an extracurricular activity every night was a plus, and exacerbated by the fact that my main extracurricular activity (the sport that stole my heart) could really be considered a part time job, if only we were to get paid.  (It definitely takes up more time than some relationships… [yes, I see the problem with this statement too])

I woke up and promised a good friend of mine that we’d do dinner.  This is one of those birthday fanatics.  The cake, the card, the whole deal, must be on the exact day, etc. Great friend to have, but as neurotic as they come, for reasons we won’t go into here.  Now, we go back a ways and they have nothing but good intentions, but they know my loathing and don’t grant it any credence.  I had a security install to do so I woke up, chatted with them and setup an rough time, and off to work it was.  As is the habit with my life, work takes MUCH longer than expected.  Pops (one of my closest and longest friends) and I installed the new camera system for his new business venture.  Which means he played with the web portal side and carried on about why my method wouldn’t work, showing absolutely no knowledge of the engineering degree he slaved so long and hard for.  I on the other hand was up ladders, crawling around ceilings, and generally contorting my ailing body into unnatural positions guiding cable in and around rafters, vents and piping.  All in all a fun time and welcome respite to the daily kloc’s I submit myself to.  And in the end (a little more than 3X as long as expected) we had live and working feeds and a time was set for the dinner and I was off.  I return home (for the first time in days, as is the usual) (Ed note : since owning my own house I have spent, on average 2.3 nights home a week, and on average, no more than 15 min a day. Old habits die hard, and I am an old school sofa surfing, living out of the car and doing it well, nomad.   Besides, its not as bad writing code when you are on a free wireless feed and sipping beverages, caffeinated and otherwise and there are actual real human beings wandering around, let alone talking to you.)  and prepare for the evening, loading up the car with some goodies.   I notice the grass has shot up like Dikembe Mutombo in the past 3 days, and seeing as how it takes a total of 10 min to mow the yard I decide to tackle it now, knowing that the next time I’ll see home in the daylight is likely the following Sunday.

It’s at this point I see my sweet neighbor who is exceedingly pleasant, and due to my migratory nature I haven’t seen since, oh, mid October.  Sweet as she is, she was worried I might be sick (due to the growing plantation) so we chatted for a few minutes, and then a few more, then she showed me her garden for this year and we discussed some joint topiary strategies we are going to employ.  A good while later, I return to the yard with a few more to-do’s and crank up the sedentary steel beast, which at this point has what appears to the onlooker as a few joints reconstructed with duct tape.  This is to say, not unlike me these days.  This beast has served well but is truly over the hill and needs some TLC.   In fact, I was surprised I was able to will it to life without McGuyvering anything out of a straw, some chewing gum and a VW spark plug.  I take the beast and together we saunter down the side yard, taking the first swipes of victory against our foiliage foe.  At which point the harbinger starts to rear its head.  I had been gone for a few days and in that time apparently a dervish hit my mailbox, spreading some postal love across my porch, or so I thought.  My airborne assailant had decided to leave me a present in the bushes as well.  What could it be? A nice letter? A refund check? I park my trusty steed and procure my entitlement.  And what am I entitled to? I am entitled to pay the city of Pittsburgh $97.50 for apparently at some point in the recent past infringing on a intersection of theirs.  Very nice.  Putting this out of mind my steed and I continue to mow down the opposition, quite literally and after laying waste to our prey I go to return my steed to the stable.  For this I need the stable key, which is on my keyring, which is in my pocket.  Check that, WAS in my pocket.  But wait, it was there when I started, which means it has to be somewhere in the path of my travels.

Here comes the steep decline into chaos.  As I retrace my steps I see no signs of the object of my desire.  Not in the yard, nor the door, nor the car, nor the porch.  Its only when I dig deeper I see a glimmer of hope.  Hark, what light from yonder crabgrass breaks.  And a break it was.  About 73 in all (which is quite amazing seeing the minute number of keys and key fob thingies).  My car key was now in a smaller more convenient size.  Unfortunately my car wasn’t as receptive to the convenience.  Nor my house, nor my garage, nor the keyless entry fob for the car, nor the RFID tag for work.  (I didn’t know this but it turns out that tiny tag makes a really nice 78 piece jigsaw puzzle) Nothing survived, nothing… not even the built for the nuclear holocaust Harpoon bottle opener from our quest this past year.   It now looked like a 6th grader that had been on the receiving end of a Terry Tate Office Linebacker beat down. Now, mind you, when I finished the yard I was running about 10 min late, not bad, but now I have no transportation, no place to store my steed and most importantly no way to access my exquisite selection of magic elixirs to drown out the evening.   I instantaneously alert my companion (or more accurately their voice mail) to the dilemma and to the fact that they (thanks to their pups brief stay at the De La Casa Tapas and Kennel Club) have the extra key.  So keys, no house, no brew, big problem.

When out of nowhere the heavens part and an answer to the dilemma arises! Doesn’t OnStar offer a door unlock service which they tout to the masses?!  Why yes they do!! And don’t I still have the trial subscription, why golly…this might not be so bad after all (ed. note :who am I kidding, this sucks, need krampus) Now all I do is call the number….   well, maybe its here… nope, maybe back here… Of all the stickers touting the safety, the features, the restraints, just about everything to do with this automobile, the ONE STICKER they don’t stick on the @#$ car is the one that has the PHONE NUMBER FOR WHEN YOU NEED HELP UNLOCKING YOUR CAR!!! Yes the number IS in the glove box…which is great if a) you can reach it or b) are telepathic [see orig. ed. note].   After taking way too long to come up with the number and to obtain help, I was able to get into the car, not that I can do anything but the mental victory seemed important.  They can also send someone right out to me with a new key all the need is the VIN…oh, wait, not that VIN, we don’t have the info for that one! Go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, but that’s probably what you’ll need when you’ll see the dealer tomorrow.  KThanksBye.

A full hour and 15 min later my friend calls me, not to aid in my dilemma, but to begin a scathing dissertation on the state of our friendship and how busy I am and how I can forget about dinner because they already ate.  (Haha: jokes on you, I’m on the email list, that means Sunday becomes free Kristy’s big sister velvet burrito night with my coupon…or it would IF I COULD DRIVE THE 6 MILES THERE) (Yes, I realize its worth the jog but its already late) I am able to laugh at the situation when they inform me that, no, they didn’t get my messages due to the fact that they were too busy to check them.  The irony is lost on them.   So after a brow beating that went on WAY too long for my taste, I get my key and access to my kingdom again.  Needless to say this friend declined to join us for bacon.  That’s good ’cause at this point I’m kind of hungry!!   Now I did not take the time to mention to this friend that the kind of brow beating I got is the kind usually reserved for your own spawn, and since I did not come from them, and since we’re not married – assuming the state we are in would allow us to be – they might want to reconsider their stance on what was becoming a rapidly creepy take on our friendship.

I drift off to sleep thinking that at least the curse is fulfilled… I can now go on and celebrate without hesitation.  I awake, procure a key and fob, and return to program my key.  I then take care of a few other details from the incident and grab some charcuterie for good measure.  And return home to sit and catalog the incident for my angelic friend for her amusement… when out of the corner of my eye I catch a shadow.  Craning my neck I peer at the ceiling at the corner of my living room and I realize that its never truly over… You know the little bubbles, the ones that form in latex paint, specifically when the latex paint is forced away from the wall, or ceiling as the case may be, by, well, pick a liquid, any liquid, lets say water.  That’s right…at some point in recent history ceiling decided it was parched and needed a drink, luckily there was a pipe running right above it.  How convenient…

This my friends is how it goes.  I can’t guarantee I’ll be in one piece. I can’t guarantee I’ll be coherent. I can’t even guarantee I’ll be able to drive myself to the darn place, but a few of us are venturing forth after practice tomorrow night to the mecca of all things swine (except the flu of course).  Thats right, the Harris Grill.  We may not look pretty, we may be limping, but we’re usually good conversation and a downright entertaining time.  So, if you are so inclined, join some ruggers and some tweeters and swing by Harris Grill around 9:30ish tomorrow night. (It would be earlier, but that damn rugby,  allegedly it’s ruining my life again…)