Big plans. On a Tuesday.

3 07 2012

Today, I had BIG PLANS.

I was going to haul myself, and my car, up to Wexford to get an oil change. When my parents lived in Cranberry, it didn’t seem like such a long and far drive. Now that the ‘rents are solidly in Florida? And I’m firmly in the city? Going to Wexford is like the worst thing ever. But I like my car, and my oil changes are paid for through my car payment, so it was Wexford, pay way too much for an oil change that I can’t afford, or lose my car. So Wexford it was.

It just so happened that a few things collided nicely:

  1. I would be in the North Hills.
  2. I wanted to see Brave.
  3. PghRugbyRef wanted to take his boys, D & Q, to see Brave.
  4. I love hanging out with PghRugbyRef and D and Q!
  5. PghRugbyRef was on a vacation week! Movie it is!
  6. I wanted to swim.
  7. PghRugbyRef wanted to take the boys to swim.
  8. I love to swim. Duh.

So plans were set. I’d get my oil change. I’d meet them at the theater. We’d see Brave. We’d go to North Park pool and swim and slide until they kicked us out!

Woooooo! It was going to be the best day.

It ended up a great day, but not the way we planned, unfortunately.

Thankfully, my oil change was relatively painless, in that it was done way earlier than I expected. (BTW, have you seen the new digs at Baierl Chevrolet? ALL OF IT? It’s pretty freaking nice. The tech guys you see when you check-in are now in AC in a nice little room with the cashier. And the waiting room? All I can say is fancy. At least in comparison from last time…)

Anywho, I had some time… So, I went to Target and the mall… Had lunch. (Went to see a friend who doesn’t have a name here, but who happens to work at the mall… Randomly I chose to look in the window, and there she was! Yay!)

Then went to meet the boys.

We got our refreshments (Holy CATS, $4.75 for a *medium* Sprite?) and went into the theater. The theater we went to is the one I went to for my ENTIRE  youngster life. I saw ET there. I know that for sure… And so many other movies that I can’t even remember.

We got our seats, annoying people who wouldn’t be quiet sat behind us, and they kept getting up and pulling on D & my chairs. Annoying. But whatever. We enjoyed the movie. D was quite good at sharing the popcorn with me, and even hit my arm and handed me a tasty piece of Starburst candy! Yay!

And I’ve heard a lot of people not happy with Brave… I’m not entirely sure why. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the movie. I won’t give ANYTHING away.

What was extremely strange for me? The Scottish accent. I still don’t hear it when my mother speaks to me. (I still hear it in the videos, like I’ve said before.) But I LOOVE that accent. And pick it up in a second, it seems… But  I have not been to Scotland, in, OMG, 24+ years? Maybe more. That was the last time I heard SOOOO many people speaking with a Scottish accent… Until this movie. OMG I love to hear it… So, yeah, I loved that part… Agh. And Aye. Oh! and “I dinnae.”

And so much more.I do wish that Merida would have said “Mum” rather than “Mom.” Because my mom called her mother Mum and that’s what I call mine when I remember to…. She’s my Mum.

So, after our fun at the movie, we got up and started talking about all the fun we’d have at the pool. Until we got outside. It looked like there would be a storm coming. But we still drove to North Park…

When we got to the pool, people were heading out. No lifeguards in the seats. No one in the pool. TOTAL SAD FACE.

So anyway, when we realized the pool was closed? We went to the playground!

And it was raining. Whatever. A little bit of water never hurt anyone. Nor did it hurt us….

North Park, near the pool, is not just ONE Playground! It’s like 3 or 4. Which worked for us. We swung on the swings, D & I. Played X&O’s with Q (he won every time!!!) Encouraged D to try the “monkey ovals” again & again!

And had a generally good time.

The guys I was with, all 3 of them? GOOD GUYS! I had such a great day!

I need to re-schedule the pool time with PghRugbyRef, because he’s a good dude, and holy cats, are his boys GOOD BOYS. I can’t even begin to tell you.

It was a great day. Just wait for pics from when we finally go swimming. I have no doubt D & Q will do things that are photo worthy.

Tomorrow, attending a wedding.

22 06 2012

It’s summer. It’s the season of weddings. I don’t often get invited to attend a wedding with a friend or on my own…

But a few weeks ago, I got an email from PghRugbyRef, who comments here often, when, and if I post… And asked me to attend a wedding with him tomorrow.

So tomorrow we are off to a wedding at the Phipps Conservatory. And then to a movie, Rock of Ages (since there is so much time between the wedding & reception,) and then to the reception, at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

I’m pretty sure we’ll have a blast. I’m looking forward to it!

DJ Cannonball

28 04 2012

Oy my. This was hard. I tried it from so many directions. So many angles. How to write it. But this is it. A great friend of mine is leaving Pittsburgh. And I’m seriously crying over it. I can’t imagine my life without him.

JB has been an amazing friend and supporter and, duh, DJ, for me… How can we live without him?

He was one of my regulars back in the day when I worked on Sundays. And a fave to play 7s with at practice…

Tonight is JB’s going away party at My Living Room, and I’m not going to be there, since I worked all day and am still trying to recover from the sick-fest I experienced this past week… And I work tomorrow, too. Ugh.

But I have to say good bye, in my own way… So here we go…

I don’t remember the actual day I met JB… It was so many years ago. But we were immediate friends, I know that. How can you NOT love him?

Good grief. Pittsburgh is losing a great human being. I will miss you so much, JB.

Anyway, JB, I want you to know these things:

You can ALWAYS make me smile. Not many people can do that. That’s truth.

Thank you for being such a great friend.

Thank you for apologizing to me the one and ONLY time you ever had to. I appreciated that, very much so.

Thank you for somehow making people back in the day to apologize to me when they needed to. I still have no idea how you did that, but I appreciate it to this day.

Thank you for visiting me on Sundays back in the day at My Living Room. There were days you were the only customer.

Thank you for the “Nice Hustle” x one million. Pretty sure that’s an accurate count. Right?

Thank you for the “What’s wrong, Clairebear?”

Thank you for my wrestling belt and DJ’ing my “Last night at My Living Room.” I cherish that belt, btw.

Thank you for your cheesy (aka gorgeous) smile that I got to see not only on TV, but in person, many times. Thank you for not hating me when I teased you about the “cheesy smile.” And for knowing it was honestly a compliment. I will miss said smile. So. Much.

Thank you for calling me Clairbear when you see me. (apparently I like when you call me that. You’re the only person allowed to. Just saying.)

Thank you for being such a strong person and having faith. It makes those of us who know you stronger. Truly.

Thank you for being you, JB. You are an amazing person. I am blessed to have known you for these ten or so years.

You’ve made me a better person, Jon. I love you for that. I will miss you so much.

You should probably thank me now no pictures in  this post… I WISH I had a scanner!

Nashville is lucky to have you. I hope they realize that, quickly. You are good at what you do.

I may call you. If I do, you know I need to hear “Clairbear, what’s wrong?” there’s your warning.

Good luck, sir. I love you so much.

Love Changes Everything…

14 07 2011

I totally believe this to be true… But this isn’t a post about love.

It’s a post about the CLO show, Love Changes Everything. I posted after Christmas this year, that The Nana and The Papa bought me 3 shows at the CLO as a present, on the recommendation of Kells Bells… Tonight was the first one…

KB, thank you so much for the suggestion! I loved last night! Even if I sat alone! (I managed to not cry, though I thought I might during Memory…)

If you can mange to see this show, and especially if you like Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, DO IT. DO IT NOW.

It was amazing. I LOOOOOVE my seats for all the shows I’m going to see (same seats, each show) first row of the top tier. No looking over people’s heads to see the stage. (looking over heads isn’t really a problem at the Benedum, but I’m happy I have 1st row seats in that section) I was so excited tonight when the lovely usher showed me to my seat… I can’t wait to see Jesus Christ Superstar and Wicked later this summer….

Love Changes Everything is an experience of all Andrew Lloyd Webber’s amazing songs from his Broadway shows.  The shows featured were:

Amazing.  I wish The Nana was still in town so we could have gone together! I’ve already told her to see Love Changes Everything if it comes near her or Lili…

They featured shows I haven’t even seen and ones I have, and love.  Ones I’ve seen? Phantom and Cats. I haven’t seen a large number of them, but I’ll add Jesus Christ Superstar to my list of seen in August!

The orchestra was up on stage, and holy crap did I wish I went through with my HS dream of playing music for movies or live music… I was so jealous, and kept an eye on the clarinet player the whole show… That man played the clarinet, the bass clarinet, the flute, the sax and other things I couldn’t see through the piped-in fog… So. Jealous. (I couldn’t see the Euphonium player from my seat… I know he was there, because I could hear it, but OMG live orchestra or symphony makes me so sad I didn’t follow through!!! I’ll keep going though!)

I saw Phantom in Toronto with my family. With the original cast. Sara Brightman and Michael Crawford… It was different hearing other people sing what they did. The woman who sang tonight did it beautifully. They guy wasn’t the same as Crawford, but hot damn, did he do great with Music of the Night…

The songs from Cats were great as well… Memory was amazing!!! (Pseudo-Twin and I talked about the show tonight, and we both thought Memory was the best!!!)

I really wish they had included Mr. Mistofeles… And All I Ask of You… And a few others.

Overall, I think this one show was well worth the money my parents spent to give me this gift… I really, really loved it… And I cannot wait for the next one…

I’m probably going to ask for this gift of CLO Broadway for this Christmas as well. I love it… That or Pittsburgh Symphony tix. Or both.

Band nerd, reporting for duty, and proud of it…

The only thing that disappointed me was one dancer/singer who really just didn’t seem to be into it. She was the red-head, and in one number, she just seemed to NOT. CARE. At all.

And I got to one song I’ll hear at the show in August.


2 05 2011

I’m still here, people. I just have had a lot of stuff going on in my life that I either can’t, or am not sure if I can, post about. And I’ve just been too busy to figure out or ask.

I worked a ton last weekend. A ton. Like a half marathon in bartending hours at My Living Room. In one day. Seriously. I wonder if I can put one of those little half marathon “13.1” stickers on my car since I spent more than that time on my feet.

If the sticker doesn’t work, it’s okay… I’ve already claimed the Viking’s new baby boy as my nephew.  New baby, you guys! And he’s so cute.

And I’ve been busy with school paperwork, which I can post about, but have been running around like crazy trying to get it done on time.

So that’s all. I’m not even tagging or categorizing this post. I’m too lazy. I’m going back to watching tv and trying not to think very much.

I’ll be back soon to our regularly randomly scheduled postings.

Awesome vacation.

11 04 2011

This is well overdue… I went to Florida in March. I was yelled at by friends on Saturday who read this blog, about not posting much. So here you go…

In this post, “last week,” was March 9-15th.

My vacation last week was awesome. Not only because I saw my parents, Lili and NE, but also because I got some awesome one-on-one time with My Little C.

On Wednesday, I ended up being delayed two hours in Atlanta on my way down, so NE had to pick me up from the airport instead of Lili and Little C. When we got home and into the house, I barely had time to put my carry-on down before Little C told me to “come.” She showed me all kinds of fun toys in her play area. (This was great because I was a little afraid she would be shy or not remember me. Clearly I was wrong to worry, as she yelled my name when I walked in the door!)

On Thursday, we had a Little C and me day, as Little C had a bit of a cold still and stayed home from daycare with me. We went to the neighborhood playground, had peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch, and watched some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV.

Thursday night, Little C ended up hitting me in the face and had to go to time out. I fail at time out, people. Little C had to sit on the stairs while NE talked to her about what she did. All of a sudden, unprompted to do so, she looks up at me and says, “I sowwy Cawe. I sowwy.” I immediately started crying, because it was so sweet of her. NOT the right thing to do when imposing punishment, Aunt Claire. Sigh. I was kinda yelled at by Lili, and it was totally warranted. I’m just not used to this time out thing with kids.

On Friday, Lili and I dropped Little C off at “school” and I got to see her classroom and meet her favorite teacher. I also got a tour of the play area from Little C. She loves it there.

After school, I picked up Lili and we picked up Little C and headed to The Nana and GrandPa’s house. It was great to see my parents, and sort of surprise my mom (she had an idea I was planning a trip, and I called her on Thursday and had Little C tell her “Cawe here.”)

We had fun playing at Nana and GrandPa’s all weekend.  Little C and I showed Nana our “silly dance.” I wish I had gotten video of both of us or just her doing the silly dance… (I can’t tell you the whole thing, but it involves dancing and waving your arms, jumping, and ends with a few spins. We’re fancy with our silliness, Little C and I.) Nana gave Little C a “Big Like Me” Elmo floor puzzle that she loved using as a bed to lay on and as a desk to draw on. It was pretty cool, the big like me puzzle.

Little C, The Nana, The GrandPa and I went to a playground on Sunday morning. It was so much fun. Little C (all of 22 months) swung on the big girls’ swing, and held on tight, just like I asked her. She did such a great job! We went down some slides, rode on the tire swing – which was kinda scary, just C and I. The Nana had to stop us. I don’t like tire swings… And The GrandPa pushed her on so many swings. We loved it.

On Sunday, when we were leaving, I was helping to pack up the car when Little C and Lili came out to the garage. Little C apparently wanted to ask me something, and after a little prodding from Lili, I was asked if I would sit in the back seat with Little C on the drive home, rather than in the front seat. How cute is that? Of course, I said yes.

Little C and Me had a blast on the way home! Thanks, Lili.

On Monday, Lili started Spring Break, so we had all day for fun stuff.

We went to the playground with one of Lili’s mom friends in Florida. A mom I’ve always wanted to meet. She has a little girl around Little C’s age, and new little boy.

We had fun at the playground, save for Little C walking in front of her friend’s still swinging swing and falling down. (I felt like such a terrible Aunt…)

And I pushed the stroller for Lili’s friend on the way home. I’m pretty sure I made a new friend of her daughter, she smiled the whole way home while I talked to her. And the little boy? He’s a darling.

It was the best trip ever. Sorry it took me so long to post. I’m sure there are things I forgot, and I know there are things with Little C I won’t share, because she’s my girl.

I can’t wait for my next trip. Little C is my favorite shorty of all time.

(My fave part is my friends seeing Little C’s picture (she decided my suitcase was a great seat! She is clearly channeling the cat on that one. He loves my suitcase!) my home screen of my phone and telling me that she’s cute as pie or that “yep, she’s definitely related to you.”) Yes, she is… cute as pie and obviously related, but she’s the most pretty little lady ever.

(I may like her a little bit. Just a little.)

I felt terrible when I left though… I not only started to cry, but I confused Little C. She didn’t understand. She told me not to cry. We had taken pictures outside (she likes planes now…)

And then!


When I was in the security line, I swear on my life, the same security guy I saw the first time I cried my eyes out upon leaving Little C… When she could still be a baby burrito!!! The man who asked if I was okay, I told him no, and why, and he said I could always come visit… Over a year and a half ago… After my very first visit, when I swear she stole my heart… He was there! He greeted me, asked again if I was okay, offered me a tissue! And pleaded with me to not cry, as he would do so as well. That man? He deserves an award of some sort. If I see him again, I will stop crying and tell him what his kindness has meant to me. Really.

The folks in Ft. Lauderdale airport at security are pretty awesome.

(And yes, I cried as I wrote this… BIG SURPRISE.)

I love my sister, her husband, Little C, and even the new baby. And my mom and dad. I hate that they live so far away. I wish I could just drive up and see my parents or sister & family whenever I want.

I want to, but I can’t.

1 04 2011

I want to give you a meaningful, full blog post. But right now, for a number of reasons, I haven’t been able to.

I have sooooo many potential blog posts sitting in “draft” status. I don’t know what to do with myself… I just can’t complete them.

I haven’t been able to trap down the exact reason for it. I’m pretty sure I have five or six minor ones. All reasons I will not, or can’t blog about. And people I can and cannot blog about. And then it gets difficult… And, really, I’m okay with all of the reasons. I need to work on them. I know.

I’m more upset that I can’t seem to blog more than once a month, or twice, if I’m lucky. But it goes back to that reason – peeps I can or will not blog about, or situations I cannot blog about… I’m in a big mud puddle of the middle and I am trapped…

But if I post, I do something like I’m about to… I post a Music Is My Muse thing. Yes, I loooove me music. And part of me is okay with is. but…. the rest of the world? oh well.

Seems appropriate, since I just bought tickets to see this band, and Kenny Chesney and IDK who else for a friend I gained from my sister…

I’m only going to see Zac Brown Band. I’m seriously in love. In. LOVE.

I will share with you the other songs I love from any bands I see this summer, soon. I can’t wait.

I’m sorry, very about the purchase process and result (only one person knows what I am saying, and I hope they get it) I didn’t realize. I was blind in my wanting. I admit it.

Currently not tagging or categorizing this thing. I don’t care.