4 02 2011

Things are so different for me now…. A year and a half after I lost my FT job, I’m just realizing it.

I used to be so regimented. I did rugby work, at work (sorry) and then did it at home. I WAS ON TOP OF THINGS!!!! Even though I gave up most of my social life to do rugby work….

Now that I don’t have a day job and just work at My Living Room here & there? Rugby work is really last minute. At the end of my rope kind of thing… And I forget a lot of stuff I said I’d do… (Which, for big events, is when I do my best work. Truly.)

Not only do I have most days free, work some nights, and not have a big event… I fail….

It’s not just the job. It is the winter. And the recent sick… I’m always a running into a major fail in the winter. I hate winter. I need sun. The happiest I can remember being in the past ten years? This past summer, when I spent so much time in the sun.

Everything I’ve done since the middle of January for rugby has failed. FAIL.

Add that to lack of sun, missing my family and whatever else I encounter? I’m miserable, but lucky I’m strong of heart and soul and can make it to My Living Room and put on a smile.

Sometimes I show up, at My Living Room, not wanting to smile, not even knowing if I can. But, you know what? I always do. I ALWAYS DO. Someone always comes in and makes me smile like a crazy lady. I love it.

Something is different this time around, and I love My Living Room, especially the regulars – day and night – much more. They make me smile so much. And enjoy my time there.

The rugby players who don’t “get” the regulars? They’d never understand this. This makes me sad… There are good people at My Living Room, day in and day out…. And they make our world go ’round…

This weekend will be my first time working a Super Bowl Sunday NIGHT shift… I’m interested to see what happens, since I’ve always worked the day shift for the Super Bowl and gone home at half time….

Here’s hoping for happy.

Ruggers, please just accept the people who inhabit your ‘clubhouse’ the rest of the time, while they watch the game…

And Regulars, please just accept the rugby players. They aren’t there often.

Both, just be peaceful. Watch the game, cheer, and give HIGH FIVES!!

I love me many HIGH FIVES!!!!

Thank you, and goodnight.

Sad news.

28 05 2010

I was at Birthday Girl & Giggles’s place tonight for a cookout and got a phone call from Dilbert. He was relaying a message with some sad news.

Zotter the Potter, a long-standing regular at My Living Room passed away today.


Zotter’s studio and home was across the street from My Living Room. He was such a nice guy. And an incredibly talented potter. His gifts were purchased by many people, all over the world. I bought his wedding crock for a friend’s wedding and my sister and her husband.

One Christmas, he made all of the female employees at My Living Room tiny little versions of the wedding crock. I loved mine. I took it into work and used it as a pen holder on my desk.

It’s going to be very strange to walk into My Living Room again and know there’s no chance of Zotter being there.

Zotter, we’ll miss you.

Didn’t believe it.

17 12 2009

So I wake up earlier today and check Twitter and I see a RT via @GoBobbo or @JimLokay – I can’t find it – but it said that Fred Honsberger had died.


I checked Twitter on my phone again… and there were no other Tweets about it… So in an on-going text convo with my friend Chachi, I asked what was up. He confirmed.

WHAT? The Honzman died?

Not that many people read this blog, but don’t send me any ugly comments. Here’s why:

1) I grew up on KDKA Radio. Between that and KQV, it’s the only things The GrandPa allowed on the radio at home & in the car. Besides, this was pre-interwebz. How else were we going to find out if school was cancelled? Answer: KDKA Radio.  (Yes, I have been known in the past to also still listen to KQV. So there.)

2) I don’t do politics*.

But really peeps, this guy will be, and should be missed. No matter your political tendencies, you probably didn’t always agree with him, but my goodness, he was good at his job.

I know Fred was set in his ways. And I know there were times he pissed me off back when he was on during the drive home and I said out loud, “Oh, Fred…” and changed my radio station. I just won’t listen to certain things. And when he moved to the noon – 3pm slot, I was kind of bummed out. I wouldn’t get to hear whatever he said, good or bad. I couldn’t get KDKA on the radio in my office. Ever.

All afternoon I was sort of in shock… And then, while driving to, through & from Monroeville, yes, listening to KDKA (because I still didn’t accept it), I heard the thing that made it real. Ken Rice and Jennifer Antkowiak talking about the “Short Show” on Fred’s show from a few years back. I loved that segment of Fred’s show. I can’t really tell you why… I don’t really watch TV news… But I really enjoyed it. And I’m pretty sure it was on Fred’s “Short Show” where I first heard Jen say she was leaving KDKA in 2006.

“This show is about using your brain to develop an opinion. My opinion, your opinion. We don’t have to agree. Just get to the truth. Things you don’t hear in the mainstream media. No talking points here.”

I refuse to discuss politics anywhere and everywhere. But I kind of did that quote from the You Tube video. Goes back to something I heard a long time ago. Form your own opinions. I love when people use their own brain to develop their own opinions. No lemmings** for me, thank you very much.

And I might be cranky about this later, but I know I’ve heard every single one of these on the actual radio, but I’m old. Shut it.

Honzman Jingle

And, if I could have found the audio clips, I’d have posted them here, but who didn’t love:

“I don’t want your damn turkey, and you know what you can do with it.”

or back in the day? the “Honzman mugs” for movie reviews?


I’ll miss you on my radio, Mr. Honsberger, truly.

* I say I don’t drink beer. I will admit it here. (UncleCrappy PAY ATTENTION) I DRINK BEER. There are 5 or so that I’ll gladly drink. However, I DO NOT discuss or venture into politics. EVER. Never have, and God help me, I never will.

** Lemmings – definition from TheFreeDictionary.com:

Any of various small, thickset rodents, especially of the genus Lemmus, inhabiting northern regions and known for periodic mass migrations that sometimes end in drowning.

(I should also add that THIS was a question on a biology exam in HS that I failed… “What is in the comic above?” Stupid Lemmings… Now I know what they are, what they do, and I tend to find that ruggers are sorta like Lemmings. Just saying.)

Again, I’ll miss you Fred Honsberger. My love and prayers go out to your wife and your sons. You rocked, sir.

not missing…

23 09 2009

I’m not MIA folks. I promise. I’m just not feeling like myself this week. At. All.

And there are some things that are weighing on my mind that need more explanation from other parties. I hope to have these explanations & clarifications over the next week or so. Hopefully.

And there is Brewfest burning a trail right for me.

And there are things that are making me sad and not things I’m willing to talk about here. But most things will end up okay.

And there is a zillion things I should be sewing that I’m not.

And I miss my Little C. Especially the giggles caused by this:


Just a random “raspberry” to her tummy… See where her left hand is? Holding my thumb?? Vice grip. Important…. You’ve seen vague appearances of her chubbiness. How could I not want to snuggle/cause giggles all the time? And then you have this:

after raspberries

Besides a big old Little C grin, that you can’t see – and making me smile bigger than ever, she’s also going to hold my left thumb – see it in the pic? I’m pretty sure that the vice grip thumb holding is one of the best things ever. NE would agree. When he holds her a certain way, she goes right for his thumb and holds on tight. It’s the cutest and most reassuring thing in the world that Little C loves you, at least in my opinion.

Wow do I miss that little girl. Wow.

Good thing blogging is free…

24 03 2009

You all know I work at My Living Room and have done so for the better part of nearly 8 years. I work there because I don’t live paycheck to paycheck from my “real” job – I live paycheck to tips to paycheck to make ends meet. I NEED that job.

And then today I get a phone call. From Asshat of all people. I call him back and long story short, I have ONE shift left and then I’m basically fired. Apparently my shitty Saturday shift is “great.” And there are others there who deserve my shift. Excuse me? I’ve worked there for nearly 8 years. I’ve been treated like crap, never given a raise, dealt with all of Asshat’s issues that the management doesn’t know about… and they do this to me???

Well guess what? Shit’s hitting the fans kids. Not only am I making all hell break loose in my own way (more on that in a week or two or three), but my last night will be a rugby, social media and Living Room train-wreck-crazy-ass-drunken-dowhatyouwant-circus. You want to throw me away? Go right ahead. I’ll make you regret it. Because I intend to have NOTHING to do with that place after that night.That Mug Club? Whoever takes it over? Good luck figuring that shit out. It’s a damn mess. But not my problem anymore.

I’ve said it before, I was so welcomed by the Yinz Team and everyone I’ve met online and in person through social media things. And I’ve taken them to My Living Room and made sure they felt welcome so that they would come back again and again. And many of them have. Even when I haven’t been there! Many of the Yinz Teamers have also welcomed my rugby teammates that they have met. With open arms and minds. LOVE IT!! And tonight when I sent a rant to Twitter, I immediately received a few replies and a few DM’s… I explained what happened and the response? Overwhelming that my friends would all be there for my last night. And also that some of them wouldn’t go there if I wasn’t there.

I’m incredibly sad about the thought of not working there. So much so that I’m shocked… Partially because of the money issue. I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ve had some good ideas and opportunities sent to me. And I’ll be honest, it’s one less thing that ties me to the Burgh and used to make me not up & move to Florida… But it’s more so because this new group of people that I convinced My Living Room was OK really ended up LIKING being there…

Most of the “regulars’ at the bar disappear during rugby season. But you know what? I know a few of the Yinz Teamsers were there last weekend while 99% of the women’s team and some of the men’s team was there. Whoo boy… But they were FINE. Regulars? They leave. Yinz Teamers? They stick with it.

I really, really thank my Tweet friends and Yinz Team friends for their messages and support tonight. I didn’t need this right now… I have a huge tournament to run on Saturday. Not that Asshat cares….

You know what really sucks? Sending out this to Twitter, Plurk and my rugby Yahoo groups: Last Shift at My Living Room: Sat April 4th. BE THERE. HANG FROM THE CEILING. I WON’T CARE,  but NO fights. JUST BE THERE AND HAVE FUN.


Oh, St. Patrick’s Day…

8 03 2009

st-patricks-day-thumb1912992… how I hate you. Mostly based on my mother’s reaction to it. I just remember her saying that I was more Irish than the people who think the are “Irish” were. And for the most part, she’s 99% correct. See, my mother’s family is Irish. Not a family who arrived here oh, so long ago, and raised their family here like most “Irish” people on St. Patrick’s Day. But really Irish. As in my Nana and Granda were born there. As were my two uncles and my aunt. Shortly before my mother was born, the family picked up and moved to Glasgow, Scotland. So in reality, I am a first generation Scotch-Irish (more on the Irish) and French-Canadian (more on the Canadian) American.

And everyone who thinks they are Irish because some family member came here oh-so-many years ago, I am more Irish than you are. Believe me. How do I know? Because I despise the way people react to this one day a year.Saying you are Irish, does not mean you should or can drink as much as you weigh.

For the past 7 years, this coming Saturday will be the 8th straight, I have worked the daylight shift at My Living Room on St. Patrick’s Day Saturday. The day of the parade. We’re not busy for a while. But all of a sudden, the you-know-what hits the fan. It gets so bad that my shift, the 11am – ? shift, which usually ends around 6 or 7 pm, ends at oh, somewhere between 8 & 10pm. And we’re so busy that we can’t even reconcile a cash register drawer. We’re lucky to get out with our tips in hand and hope our drawer ends up straight.

I can’t tell you how many people come in and ask, “Are you Irish?” No, I’m not. Those green eyes and super-duper pale skin are just for FUN. And the sunburns in the summer? Also for fun. I may not be a redhead, but good lord, did I get all the Irish my mom had to pass along. My sister? Not so much.She got more of my dad when it comes to it. (However, I’m sure if the two of us were ever seen on St. Patrick’s Day by a bunch of drunkards, they’d think they stumbled into Irish heaven. Just sayin’)

Knowing my job, and how to make money at it when I need or have to… or on days like this, when it rolls in… I dress the part. So I’ll probably get a haircut Friday night, to tame my curls a bit. (And cause Florida does NOTHING for my hair. Ever.) And I’ll wear green. And if you can’t see those Irish Eyes at that point, well, you’re too drunk to wait on.

Good luck next Saturday y’all. I hope we all make it through in one piece. And of course, all of my friends are welcome to stop in and say hi. Just be sober enough to not make the nice Claire angry. Cause after this weekend, there’s no way I’m showing up at My Living Room NOT angry.

Again, Good Luck, y’all.

I only added that song for those of us who missed the show last week. And for “my” Danny, with whom I intend to share this blog with tonight. Yes, my rugby friends, I’m sharing it with him. After I saw his response to my email today about my blood issues, I think I gained a new-found respect for him supporting the bar. Love it. Thank you, Danny.

Echo – part 1

22 10 2008

I knew I should have started this blog, for my own sanity at the very least, a long time ago. And last night reinforced that for me.

A new internet friend, BurghBaby, recently suffered the loss of her family’s Lhasa Apso, Jasmine. And that set me back about 4 months to when my parents had to put my cat, Echo down. This wasn’t the first time that I lost a pet. The family dog, Heidi, passed away in 1998. We knew Heidi was sick, and we knew her time was coming. Soon. So we were prepared. With Echo, it just wasn’t that way.

So now, I’m going to tell her story. And it’s going to take two posts, because my bunny deserves her whole story told. And I think when you read the end, you’ll understand that my family is gonna need this nice reminder soon.

In 1995, my junior year in college I lived in an apartment with a friend. I got the idea that I wanted a cat. I don’t think I knew anyone with a cat – and I knew my mom didn’t really like cats, but still. I wanted a cat. And my boyfriend at the time searched the papers and found a local farm that had kittens free to a good home. So one day we took a drive… We went into the family’s living room and the last kitty, the runt of the litter, scattered. We tricked her into coming out – this adorable and terrified tiny white & grayish black furball.

With my new kitten on my lap, we headed home. She cried and almost immediately jumped to floor and fled under the seat. Every meow she let out, I tried to meow back. When she paused for a moment, I meowed again. And she echoed me. And thus, she was named. Echo.

That night we discovered that she had fleas. The boyfriend gave her a flea bath because I could not bear to be a part of it. Echo became an entertaining and annoying part of my life. I would sit on the couch to do work on my laptop, and she would curl up between my stomach and the laptop and sleep. And I wouldn’t move for hours for fear of waking her. I would wake in the middle of the night to a tiny kitty attacking my feet as I moved in my sleep. She was banished from the bedroom at night. I woke one morning, wandered to the bathroom to pull the shower curtain closed, only to find it in shreds. Apparently someone was climbing & sliding down. All. Night. Long. She was banished from the bathroom at all hours.

One morning, I wandered into the kitchen and noticed that the oven mitt I had hung on the freezer door (top freezer refrigerator) was on the floor. It was a Sylvester the Cat oven mitt. Newly purchased by my mom for my new apartment. It had been on a hook at least 4 feet from the ground. I hung it back up. The next morning, the same thing happened. And then I realized that tiny, little Echo was jumping up and knocking Sylvester off his hook and then fighting with him. The oven mitt was bigger than she was! But it was her FAVORITE toy for a long, long time.

As winter approached, I knew I had to go back home to Pittsburgh and the Mom who did not like cats. I tried to stay and work at school, but it didn’t work out and I was broke. I remember calling my mom and telling her I needed to come home, but that I had this little addition to the family to bring home. Mom was NOT happy, but after much discussion and yelling and crying, Mom agreed to let me bring my kitten home. And honestly, that’s where the love affair begins. My sister and my dad immediately fell in love with her. Mom, well, that took a little bit longer. Echo held her own with our poor mini schnauzer, Heidi. She would hide under the coffee table and pounce on Heidi when she passed. Heidi didn’t even care. Echo and I spent Christmas & New Years in Pittsburgh and returned to school, where she continued with her entertaining and annoying ways.

Our first summer at home, my parents took a trip, leaving my sister and I, the cat & dog at home. Not a big deal. My sister and I had gone to the mall one night and when we got home, we were unable to find Echo. Anywhere. Not in any of the wacky places she hid. My sister and I searched the house and called my parents on their trip, with Mom, sister and I in tears over the missing cat. My sister stayed inside to keep looking and I wandered outside. Walking up & down the street looking for my baby. And then I found her. On the opposite side of the house from the driveway, in the ground level, basement window well. Just sitting there, all “What took you so long?” and “It’s no big deal, I’m just chilling here.” Turns out she ripped the screen in the basement door (before we left for the mall) and snuck out that way. The very next week, Ms. Echo found herself at the vet, getting spayed & declawed. (And before anyone starts on the declawing issue, it was a bad idea, our first experience with a cat, and I’d probably never, ever do it again.)

That same summer, Mom refused to admit to it, but Echo managed to wedge herself into her heart too. Every morning, Mom would get up to make coffee or tea for my dad before work and breakfast for my sister and I. We had a little screened in porch type room off the kitchen. When Echo heard her, she would head to the kitchen and to the door to that porch. And meow until Mom opened the door. Echo would spend half the day in there. Sunning herself on the chairs and table, and watching the wildlife outside the windows.

And this is where I’m going to end Echo – Part 1. There’s more to be said, so hang on a few days…