11 02 2011

I just got home from the beginning of Chachiplays. Things were going great when I left, and Chachi was well into hour three of his 24 hours playing video games.

I originally gave $25 towards the cause, but then I found out if you gave $50, you could play a game with Chachi for an hour. So I gave an extra $25.

But what game would we play? I’m not a big gamer! So I thought about games I played in the past, that I don’t own and the few that I do… I originally wanted something fun, so Pikmin it was.

And then I started thinking of other games. Especially for one where I might have an advantage… And I came up with one… EA Sports RUGBY!

Chachi has been a great friend, and has come to watch a rugby match or two since I’ve known him. However, he still doesn’t understand the play of the game and the rules. And, well, rugby has been my life for nearly 10 years, so I got that all taken care of.

But there was a problem… Rugby isn’t exactly a popular video game, let alone common sport. It’s not like I can wander into a used game store and expect to find a used copy… So I sent a message out on Facebook and to the rugby folks. And I found someone with the game! And they are willing to let me stop by in the morning and pick it up!

I have no idea what buttons to push to make things happen, but we have an hour, so I’ll figure it out eventually. I should also point out that the last time I played this game? Probably 1996. Yeah. Maybe it’s not so much of an advantage for me.

But it sure will be fun. My time slot is 11am. You can watch me play live at

Music is My Muse

29 01 2011

Remember when I did these posts? Music is My Muse? Yeah, me neither. It’s been a while. But here we go again…

Today, I woke up, and seeing as how I never leave home except to go to work lately, I decided I wanted – no NEEDED – to do something this evening. Cue Chachi and Gwenix having the perfect combo of suggestion and offering.

Gwen was offering a ticket to see Jonathan Coulton at the Rex. Chachi said he was going and that I should try to get the ticket. He said I’d like it… I did as I was told, got said ticket, and met Gwenix, her hubby Shadow and their friends for dinner at Piper’s Pub….

Dinner was awesome, (thank you Dave America and Piper’s!!!!) and I saw some of my regulars from My Living Room who work at Piper’s, but often hang out at my place of semi-employment.

When we got to the show, I chose to sit with Chachi, Sorgatron and TheSilentNinja. Gwen chose to sit at the bar. Shadow was up front. No complaints, all around.

The only complaint I have? Is that when I showed up, the announced the no-chair policy, and we had to put the chairs the nice men had saved for us away… They pulled chairs off of the hangers, set them out for us, in a great spot (off to the right side of the stage, by the wall) but then they announced it was a “floor” show. Chairs had to go back. Booo!!!!!!

However, I was determined to see at least most/part of the show from these musicians. I love me some music. And Twitter people have never let me down on live music (see @UncleCrappy and my post on the Carolina Chocolate Drops.) LOVE!

And this performance, Paul and Storm AND Jonathan Coulton, did NOT disappoint.

For your review… Paul and Storm

And then, Jonathan Coulton… (can’t find a good video on you tube to share… sorry)

Gotta be honest… At first, I felt like I was looking at a lighter-haired version of a friend of mine. I got over it pretty quick, and I dig it…. I WILL see Jonathan Coulton (and Paul and Storm) when they are in Pgh again….

The show he played this eve, he said we had to deal with 2 and 2…. Two old known songs, and then two new songs. I LOVED ALL OF THEM. Granted, I was not a fan earlier, and apparently he was acoustic earlier in his reign, but ZOMG, tonight’s show? AMAZING. I loved it. I will see this man play live again. And, from me, that is saying a LOT.

I am a music nerd, and a live music FREAK. There are musicians I prefer live, and then those I prefer otherwise… No rules… But just my preference…

Really, I’m done if it doesn’t grab me… And I’ll be honest, tonight’s show? Both bands? THEY GRABBED ME!!!!!!

Thank you, Gwen, Shadow, Chachi, Sorg, and TheSilentNinja.

I had a WONDERFUL night seeing musicians I never even imagined.

I love you for it.


(I’m already downloading both on iTunes…)

See also #luckytohaveamazingfriends

Pretty sure I win today for that.

Thanks, friends. 🙂

Super Bowl

7 02 2010

Ok, so this is where I’m going to tell you something that will be bad. Prepare yo’ selves.

I don’t think I’ve watched an entire Super Bowl in a kagillion years. Every Steelers Super Bowl appearance as of late, I worked at My Living Room and left early so I could make it to work the next day.

I don’t remember the commercials from any year what-so-ever.

This year is different. I don’t have cable, so I am watching the game. And the ads.

And I don’t think it’s ever happened before, but my favorite song EVER made it into a Super Bowl ad… Boys & Girls, I give you Ravel’s Bolero and Coca-Cola. Two of my most fave things ever:

I swear God opened heaven and the sun shined (shone? I dunno) down on me while I watched that ad…

And then I returned to Twitter. And to two new Tweeps telling me about this:

I know I’m snowed in, and nearly killed someone with my shoulder earlier today, but that’s just in the past few days, so how in the name of all-things-under-the-sun, and my super love of Bolero did I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?! Blast!? Doing Bolero? My inner band-geek self’s dream? Who do I blame about this? Taking suggestions now on who to blame, BTW.

and these? My inner band dork is going to hurt someone….

Also, I’d like to point out that while @Chachisays was NOT behind this ad, I might have been the first to question his involvement. Everyone I know on Twitter suspects his anti-pants obsession is behind it.

As of this post, there have been no fewer than FOUR, yes 4, anti-pants ads on TV. I swear that the ad peeps are secretly watching @Chachisays and his tweets.

Happy 2009!

1 01 2009

I spent New Year’s Eve in a most unusual way for me… I got off of work at 3pm. Ran a few errands and was home by 3:45. I then spent the next 3 hours or so playing PS2 Lego Star Wars II. I have a new addiction, folks… seriously… I’m playing it now. I only paused to blog. Big problem.

I left my place around 7:45 to meet Anthony for dinner. Pastrami on Rye. YUM!!!! I am almost always a turkey on toast or bagel with mayo girl. I swear. But you present me with a restaurant that offers hot pastrami on rye and I’m all set. Give me some mustard… no cheese, thankyouverymuch. And I’m happy!!!

Anthony, thank you for a great dinner, letting me talk my face off and seriously a great New Year’s Eve dinner. I wasn’t feeling so great earlier in the day, but goodness, was that sandwich good. I saved half so that I can have the other one tomorrow. And, seriously? I can’t wait. Yummm. Pastrami on Rye.

I then literally high-tailed it to my Walgreens. Forgot to pick up a prescription. Oops. Made it just in time… At that point, I decided to forego My Living Room and head to the Sorg’s. And I’m happy I did. It was full of calm, and ridiculousness. Rock Band, Marvel Monopoly (I was the banker,who didn’t pay much attention)… good times. We watched the crazy Dick Clark crap and spread all kinds of paper cracker crap all over Missy’s floor (I’m sorry, I should have stayed to help clean that up!!). We then went to taunt the neighbors on the back porch. Chach has a voice that carries… I’m just sayin’… Holy crap…

I’ve asked the Yinz Team folk to wake me up tomorrow to do this ridic plunge in the Mon. I really want to jump in that river, but when I walk out my front door and see snow? I’m reconsidering. DjLunchbox and Chachi are so into it that it makes me want to just take pictures with the GOOD camera… however, Lunch made me promise no pics… But I know V_Rock will be there with her digital…

God love the Viking cause he said I can go to My Living Room (where the heck else would I want to go) and warm up with coffee and food, before they are really “open.”

No matter what I decide, I wish you and yours a very happy New Year. I hope that you get all that you want out of it.  You can share, if you want, but it’s not a requirement. I thank those of you who read my written garbage two times over. This has been a very rewarding experience for me.

Personally I hope that 2009 brings me a healthy, happy niece or nephew. Do I care which? Heck, NO!!!! I want a happy, healthy baby. And knowing my sister, that’s exactly what we’ll get. And it will have a fan-freaking-tastic quilt to be wrapped up in or lay on or play on, or hang on the wall… I really don’t care. I’m just happy for my sister and NE (and god help them… next year is the Super Bowl AND the All Star game at Dolphin Stadium) They apparently want to ruin the marriages of everyone who works there… Just sayin’

For me, I’m gonna keep to my true self, which is still bringing it self out, thanks to my Yinz Team friends… But I’m still gonna be the hoodie/track jacket, jeans and Crocs or Converse girl that you all know and love… I may pull out those heels every once in a while, but I know where my heart is…

To all of you I’ve met this year, you have made me a better person, and for that I thank you. All of you!!

I look forward to more fun and growth in 20o9! It will be a much better year than 2008, I am sure!

(Oh, and I managed, thanks to everyone at the Sorg’s to not CRY about Echo… I was sure I would… And I didn’t even think about it. And even now, I’m okay (somewhat, but I’m not crying!!!!) and that means good things ahead!!!)

Sunday afternoon = WIN!

10 11 2008

There are a zillion things I need to spend more time doing… But, this is what was important to me tonight.

My friend Pseudo-Twin (PT) loves to have people over. So we have dinners for Steelers games (BYOM: Bring-Your-Own-Meat; sides provided all around), and parties for holidays and random Sundays… I have been very busy, so I’ve only attended two other Steelers games before tonite. The first one, there was maybe 5 of us. The second, there were three… Tonite, there were 10+: Dilbert, KRL, Pseudo-Twin (PT), Short Bus (SB), Responsible, Jr. (RJ), Go Getter (GG) and Brawler, Dennis, Giggles, Mechanical Engineer, and me.

I showed up with some of my nerd work I’ve been slaving away on the past two days… Scissors and tiny little papers… and a craft 6 pack from My Living Room. Only 3 of us or so were drinking, (Dilbert, PT and myself) but we were doing a good job of it by the time most of the others arrived. By the time the rest of them got there, we were knee deep in an argument over the Annual Meeting, but with laughing all around.

I have to admit, I don’t laugh much around the rugby folk. Even when I’m drinking my face off. But lately, my mood and attitude have let me do so. And I swear they are scared sometimes. Because sometimes, things come up or are said that are just too much for me to process. And I’ve decided to take a different attack at it: I’m now laughing my ass off at it all.

Dilbert and I wnt on grill duty. I had a my steak, two chicken kebobs and a ton of asparagus to tend to. He was on the rest of the steaks and some pork loin. It’s amazing how adding 5 people multiples the need for space on the grill by, oh, at least 10…

But, eventually, all the steak, asparagus, pork loin and chicken was done. And we retired to the game. To more laughs and discussions. It was a great time had by all. Granted the Steelers didn’t win, but honestly, it was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I will wake up tomorrow with a good outlook on the coming week and with a smile on my face. All due to the rugby people! Amazing!

And I got stuff done. A LOT of stuff. And had people volunteering to help! But I didn’t bring enough to spread it around! Dang!!!!

The next time I consider not attending a BYOM Sunday, someone needs to smack me upside the head… Please.

Good day. Hoping for a great week, potentially topped off by my agreeing to dress up and wear heels on Friday night. All depends on my counterpart in the agreement! We’ll see how this goes…

What the Reanissance Woman posts add up to…

6 11 2008

… is me or at least what I some day hope I can be. For some reason, when I heard that term, Renaissance Man, or Woman (which is what the teacher said), I thought of my parents. And I’ve tried to live my life to be that kind of person. And dang if Echo doesn’t figure into this somehow, you’ll see… I’m not perfect. In any way whatsoever. But I’m sort of okay with that. Not entirely, but I am working on it. I don’t think I’d be myself if I thought I was doing everything right at this point. I’m a work in progress. I hope I always will be… And that’s what I’m okay with. We all have issues we have to work with. Some of them are dang difficult and seem insurmountable, but I believe we all end up okay.

Two days ago, I came up with the Renaissance Woman idea because I had just been to the bar – which will now be known as “My Living Room” – on Sunday afternoon. And did a bunch of things that made me think:

  • Every time I go to the bar on the weekends during the day, I try to do some fix up work. Fix the bar stools, repair a door, whatever needs to be done. I have a huge toolbox that I keep in my car just so I can do these things.(I’ve upgraded from no toolbox, to mini-toolbox #1 to the current, giant toolbox #2)
  • So I made a quick swing through the bar to do that, and then I sat down and started to pin the apron I was planning to sew. Sewing in preparation for a big-ass project that I’m sure I can get done, but it’s going to be a JOB. A big freaking job. But it’s for a good thing… Who sews in a bar? Me, when I’m in My Living Room. duh.
  • All the while, we were planning the “Family Dinner” that my co-workers (at the least, myself and Viking… sometimes Peaches, sometimes the Drummer, Lion, D…) and I try to do every week on Saturday or Sunday. It’s fun. Sometimes it involves Mimosas, sometimes it involves power tools. We’re all big fans. Of late, dinner has been steak. With all kinds of sides. Delicious. I started the trend a couple of years ago, making meals that I loved but were too much for me to eat, even with leftovers forever. This week, we all contributed to the idea. We had so many options… But we settled on Beer Can Chicken with potatoes cooked in herbs and bacon and gravy that I swear God sent to us specifically. I can’t even tell you how long it seemed to take that meal to cook. But, was it delicious when it was done. Wow.

When I got home (with leftovers of course, and it was just as delicious the next day… need more!), I thought about what had happened over my weekend… I carved a pumpkin that won “Most Bootiful,” I took pictures that I’m sure (when I develop the film) will be awesome, I judged a costume contest, I made an announcement (costume winner) at My Living Room that was NOT last call!, I fixed stuff at the bar, I contributed to the “Family Dinner,” and I sewed. And then, when I got home, I listened to my iTunes. And I realized…

Everything my parents taught me, whether or not I realize or use it daily… is me. I love all the things my parents gave me. More travel to Canada and especially Scotland than any other young person has EVER experienced… Ice skating, cooking, power tools!, sewing!, art, craftiness, intelligence, MUSIC of every shape and sort, and caring for others… I am the “Den Mother” to The Organization. And I’m okay with it now. It’s part of who I am.

I’m a jumble of mixed up things and incompatible hobbies and ideas. I’m a super duper band nerd who now plays rugby. And here is where my current situation adds on to my upbringing to make me what I want to be… My friends range from what the everyday person would call “nerd” to the rugby folk, to people who would be called perhaps “scary” or “punk” or “rock” or something else I don’t really get, but some of them are tattooed all over or have piercings most people would raise an eyebrow to. I don’t even see any of that. I don’t even notice it. I see that person, for what they are. For what they mean to me. On top of what I learned as a kid, and I am hesitant to say it, but here goes: the unconditional love of that dang cat, Echo, and bartending has taught me to accept people no matter what. If you are a good, true person, you will have my acceptance and help forever. If you come to my bar and you don’t disrespect me and act like a person who has morals and values, you’re good to go.

I enjoy the fact that I need to regularly check websites to see what’s up… and I check the Pittsburgh Cultural District sites to see what’s coming up… (FAVORITE SONG EVER COMING UP NEXT YEAR. CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I check band sites to see where they are playing… because I’ll go sometimes on my own if no one wants to go. Because I intend to at the very least remain the person I am right now. I might expand what I watch, see and do… but I’m not willing to scale it back. At all.

And I’m cool with it. I am a Renaissance Woman. Or at least a work in progress to get there..

There’s more I want to experience… and I plan to ask a certain person to help me with something he thinks is super “nerdy” but I want to know… And if you don’t agree, go ahead and tell me….

Bring it!

Renaissance Woman, Part 2

5 11 2008

Mom, I’m sorry if get these details wrong, but I have a zillion memories and had to tack them down somewhere.

My mom is a pretty awesome, I’m not going to lie. She is courageous, strong, intelligent and talented. She’s also a saint. About 35 thousand times along my lifeline, I’ve managed to be a major, major FAIL in life, school, money, work, my basic existence. And I know that disappoints my mom. She doesn’t even have to tell me. I just know. She’s that voice of conscience on my shoulder that I more often than not have listened to my entire life. All I can say is that I keep trying. I keep improving, and one day I’ll get most of it right.

My mom was born in Glasgow, Scotland. When she was in her early 20’s, she did something I can’t even imagine doing. Ever. Even now, when I’m old. But not only did she leave her parents’ home. But she left her home town and EVERY SINGLE THING familiar to her… She left the entire country of Scotland… And moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Personally, I can’t even imagine leaving where I live to go so far away. But she did it, and she was successful.

She lived with her cousin in a small apartment and had a job at an insurance agency. It was there that she met my father. I’m sure they were both beautiful people then as they are now, so of course they found one another. But there was a problem… My dad was slightly older and didn’t want to get married. My mom, she won him over. 🙂 She and my father were married and soon after transferred to New Jersey. Welcome to America!! They have been married now for 34 years. How many people know a married couple that has been married that long? Not many. And they are totally adorable and retired in Florida.

Anyway, New Jersey was not nice to my parents at first. Their apartment was broken into through the ceiling. But they stuck through it and eventually they and my eldest brother set up house there. And that’s where I was born. And I think they were there for approximately 4 months afterward. By December 1975, my parents had moved to Pittsburgh.

Among the amazing things my mother gave me are: more class in my left pinkie finger than half the people I know; a love of books so bad it’s crazy; the ability to cook; the ability to sew; a love of ABBA, Anne Murray (yes, shut up), the Beatles, Kenny Rodgers (via an uncle) and my clarinet (thank you, mom); and the experience of Scotland as a child, which will never, ever leave my brain.

But I still have my random, wacky memories kick in. And no, mom, this is not based on pictures. It’s all locked in my brain. Anyway, I’m only doing early childhood here, because what I remember might give her a heart attack…

I remember:

  • the neighbor’s dog, Heidi, or rather, many multiple Heidi’s in my life, including our own 😦
  • my baby doll Julie
  • the neighbors we knew and were friends with. can’t include names here, but mom will get it, i think.
  • my clown halloween costume
  • 45 kagillion trips to see Santa over the years… and LP crying her face off because she was terrified. Every. Single. Time.
  • Nana and Granda coming to visit, many times, but especially right before my sister was born
  • attempting and failing at gymnastics & tap classes. major fail
  • Wonder Woman Underoos. and a sprinkler
  • my very own personal sledding track, built my dad
  • the turtle dad and rescued from 910 a very, very long time ago
  • when said turtle escaped into dad’s psychotic cucumber plants that kept trying to take over the yard
  • the front stoop when M & dad fought and M drove away. you are amazed I remember this so clearly which is why I only briefly mention it here.
  • asking for and then getting a little sister
  • so many,  many trips to Scotland that I wish I could still take every summer
  • being stuck in the airport (Prestwick, I think) for hours because the plane we were to catch had birds fly into the engine
  • in shiny satin jackets with Julie in Scotland
  • buying new shoes for each trip to Scotland
  • begging you to cut off all my hair somewhere around 2nd grade and dad being shocked
  • trying and majorly failing at Tball
  • Cabbage Patch Kids… every single Christmas. Apparently my mom has some rugby in her, because she brought home the goods every, single year!
  • a super awesome Sylvester the Cat halloween costume
  • many trips to Northway Mall – the birds, Orange Julius… North Hills Village when it had a department store
  • a zillion trips to Canada – including travelling all over for the malls you love –  wait, remember the snow storm that stranded us in Erie? I do!!
  • Marks N Spencer – what I’d do for a potato scone right now
  • Square, yes square, sausage
  • Fish n chips, even if I don’t that stuff anymore
  • My favorite comfort things: tea. my mom’s tea, specifically. With milk & sugar. And of course, Malteasers. Please send a case of them if you can find them. I have withdrawal…. Several cases. Maybe 1000??

Whether she realizes it or not, my sister and I consider her amazing. And adorable. And fantabulous. And I have no idea if she realizes that I’m just a bent, broken and recycled copy of her. I just can’t make the ends of the things I attempt meet sometimes. I try, I try really hard. This blog is part of it.

I think she is the majority of why (a small part to my dad) I’m able to be called the “den mother” for The Organization. I care. I really, really do. And so does my mom. Every person I befriend becomes someone I care about, for at least the time that I know them.

My mom is an amazing person. I’m not sure she realizes it just yet. But she is. She rocks. She is a great mom. She is a worrier, but we love her for it. But Ma, never, ever, listen to what anyone says to you. You know it…  Dad, my sister and myself, are all you should listen to should it come down to it. It’s all garbage, otherwise!!! Garbage, I tell you!!! We know you. We love you. And we know you are right. Not because you are that lady who is always right, but because you’re right because you know it’s the right thing.

And lastly, oh so very lastly, I remember and thank you for the love you developed for Echo. I appreciate that you didn’t want her at first, and you protested dad taking her in. But she just dug into your heart. It was just her way, she was that girl! I thank you for caring for her, talking to her and trying to make her your own. For putting up with her (I can never thank you enough.) But mostly, for telling me what was going on in her last months and weeks. For not being angry, but for being so concerned for her. And for being so hesitant to do what I asked… because you didn’t want to give up on her. I love you for that. And especially for accepting what Dad did when he made his decision. I’m not at work right now, mom, but I’m still trying to not cry as I write this. I hope you understand.

A great mom. A great, great mom. I love you and I swear I am working on it.