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.





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.





Kiwanis Pool

7 06 2011

It’s that time again. Summer. Pool time. And we’re starting Pool Tour 2011 already. I don’t know that I’ll make a lot of new places this year due to working day shifts and still trying to save money for school and bills. But we’ll see what happens.

I wanted to get out of the house last weekend, so on Saturday, I met Burghseyewife and Shellrenee at Avonworth Pool. We’ve been there before, and we like it. They haven’t changed anything, but the water was freezing! I think I’d up the grade I gave them last year to a B.

On Sunday, I wasn’t sure where to go since most of my pool friends were busy. I checked Facebook and saw that Denise was looking for something to do. We agreed to meet at a pool I haven’t been to before. Here’s my review.

Crawford Pool – Kiwanis Park – Shaler

Cost: $8 for adults; $6 for ages 0-17 and over 62. Prices are reduced by $1 after 6:30pm.

Hours: Monday – Saturday noon – 8:30pm; Sunday noon – 7:30pm

This pool is pretty big. There is a separate section for diving and laps, and they have a pretty decent slide. The slide closed around 5pm on Sunday for some reason.

The prices I listed above are for non-residents. I think charging $6 for a 2 year old is a bit much, but if you’re a resident, it’s free for kids under 5. And a few bucks cheaper for the other age ranges. But I doubt many of my pool friends will want to meet up there, considering most of them have at least one kid, if not two or four. It’s way to pricey.

Speaking of kids, they do have a separate kids pool area. I totally forgot to go take a look.

At the top of every hour, a whistle blows and the kids have to leave the pool for adult swim. That was nice because there were a lot of kids there on Sunday.

They have a separated concession area also. You aren’t supposed to remove any food from that area, but we did see people doing it. The menu is quite extensive as compared to other pools I’ve been to, and the prices are relatively low. You can also bring in coolers, but you’re supposed to take whatever food you have into the concession area to eat.

The strangest thing I saw about this pool is that as you enter, and on their website it states, “Swimmers must wear commercially manufactured swimming suits.” Which makes me wonder what the heck someone tried to swim in in the past to warrant such a statement.

I’d probably go back if I had something to do in the North Hills, that was nearby, but not on a random day as the admission and distance are a little much to get over.

Overall Grade: C (mostly due to the admission price being the highest I’ve encountered thus far.)





Culture.

30 12 2010

We all need some culture in our lives right?? Thankfully my parents gave me a love of music and Broadway!

This fall I attended a CLO performance of South Pacific with some rugby girls. We had a great time.  I hadn’t been to a show since Cats or Phantom of the Opera… Approximately 16 or so years…

While out to see South Pacific, KellsBells told me her parents buy her a subscription for 3 summer shows as a Christmas gift.  And so when The Nana emailed me before Christmas asking for a few gift ideas, I added the CLO subscription to the mix.

And much to my surprise, The Nana and The GrandPa agreed to buy me said subscription!

So what am I going to see, you ask?

First off, in July:

From the CLO website:

Love Changes Everything, a song and dance celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music, is directed and choreographed by Arlene Phillips. This dynamic new musical features a large and magnificent orchestra and a full company of singers and dancers. Experience the entire spectrum of human emotion through the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber featuring some of the most successful theatrical works of our time, including, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita and Variations, the breathtaking dance sequence featured in Song and Dance, and much more.

This show is going to be AWESOME! Andrew Lloyd Webber is amazing.

Next, in August:

Also from the CLO website:

An Andrew Lloyd Webber Masterpiece! Take an emotional journey through the final days of Jesus Christ in this powerful rock opera. This stirring musical chronicles Jesus’ meteor-like rise and ultimate death through the troubled eyes of his betrayer Judas. Both thought-provoking and tender, Jesus Christ Superstar illuminates the awe-inspiring power of the human spirit with a passion that goes straight to the heart. The stirring and contemporary score will hold you spellbound: “Everything’s Alright,” “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” and “Superstar.”

I’ve always wanted to see Jesus Christ Superstar… So glad I can finally see it here in Pittsburgh!

And finally, in September:

Again from the CLO website:

Book by Winnie Holzman
Based on the novel “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West ” by Gregory Maguire
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One – born with emerald green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete – and completely satisfying – new musical in a long time” (USA Today).

On Broadway and around the world, WICKED has worked its magic on critics and audiences alike. Winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards®, WICKED is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” and “the defining musical of the decade” (The New York Times).

I’ve heard such wonderful things about Wicked. Many friends have seen it the last time it was here, so I’m happy to get to see it!

To say I’m excited about these three shows would be an extreme understatement.

Thank you, The Nana and The GrandPa for this! The only way it could be better is if The Nana still lived up here and could go with me!





Brewfest & rugby practice.

20 08 2010

Brewfest. It’s on. December 3rd. OMG

So much work to do.

And today? A distributor guy who totally rocks my Brewfest with double digit numbers of brewers every year sent me a spreadsheet of the beers they represent. Not just one spreadsheet. But a 6-tab spreadsheet. My Netbook cried out loud! when I tried to view the beer list.

Oh, and even better? He said, “We will take as many tables as we can for the
event.”

Um, hi, I love you. Especially after not being able to really see the 6-tab spreadsheet. Good grief.

I gotta print those suckers out to take on my “vacation” to Florida as “required reading.”

Required reading. On my vacation. Yep.

Also on the “required” list, and before that reading thingy? JOB.

I went to rugby tonight. To be a “body.” The Angels numbers are craptastic. I would love to know why… We’re awesome… But I don’t have insurance, so I can’t do much.

But, I scrummed at prop with the scrum machine. (Since I’m a 1-15 player!) And whoooo buddy! Is it fun to be a stand-in prop, and have those second rows hit you? WOW. Good gravy those girls propel you far. I kinda-sorta wish I was bigger and could play prop. Or second row… Dreams, we all have them… Although the “squeeze and drive” part was a bit difficult to get used to at prop. 2nd row? Got it. Flanker? Got it. 8-man? Got it. Prop & hooker screw me up.

And then I somehow got talked into being a jumper in line outs to help the lifters, leftover sunscreen covering my legs, and yeah… we’re now not lifting just via shorts. We’re lifting from the knees. (Also, when I started playing rugby? You could NOT lift… I’m old.) So every time KB or the other lovely ladies tried to lift me? Their hands slipped. Much. I nearly collapsed, 3-4 feet in the air onto KellsBells. I don’t wanna kill my KellsBells!!!

But we managed. Then I fielded kicks and other stuff and talked to the boys about the Brewfest and Name that Brewfest Beer (I have 62 submissions & I’ll talk about that later before my hug-The Nana-till-she-kills-me trip to Florida) Sorry, The Nana, you’re about to get elebenty hugs a day, and we’re going to do a felt food experiment… Surprise!!!!)

Yeah, my life is kinda full. But I’d rather have a jobby job…. And do the rest at home.

In closing, fave line out call, by Birthday Girl tonight: “Claire’s so tan. 28.”

Most of that will be lost on you regulars, but I’ll ‘splain it to you if you ask…

Text me if you need me on my vacation. Cuz I’m all about my family while I’m gone. They’re super amazing and “get” the rugby stuff, but I’m going to try to leave my Netbook and phone at the house. A. Lot. I NEED my family right now.





Sandcastle

17 08 2010

Sandcastle Water Park – Pittsburgh

Cost: $29.99 for Adults ($23.99 after 3pm) ; $19.99 riders under 48″ ($18.99 after 3pm) – you can also get discounted tickets ($23.99 adults) at Giant Eagle

Hours: Most weekdays, 11am-6pm. Weekends

Since I’ve never been to Sandcastle, and have lived here my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE, my friends Burghseyewife and Shellrenee treated me to a day at Sandcastle in return for watching the two boys one night while they get to go out. Uh…. Who wins here? Them, me or the boys? We’re still confused.

I stayed over at the BEV Lounge with everyone so that we could get up early and be there when the park opened.

I used some super duper ninja moves on the boys to make them quiet and watch one another’s movies, aka “if you don’t quiet down and watch ‘this’ movie, I won’t go to Sandcastle tomorrow.” That got them down & out pretty quick.

I’ve only been to the Sandbar at Sandcastle. At night. And it was strange. Like stranger-danger strange. I went once and never desired to (nor do I today) go back.

But we had a BLAST!! It really wasn’t crowded, surprisingly, and the wait time in line wasn’t terrible.

Unfortunately, I cannot link to each slide individually, so go here. And find what I’m talkin’ about.

We did not do the big body slides. No way you’re getting me up that high on stairs and balconies anymore. But we did go on the Boardwalk Blasters, which was fun.

We all loved, no, LOVED, the Blue Tubaluba.  It was crazy. It’s an enclosed slide for the most part. Dark. Sometimes very dark…. Then you pop out into light and get hit with a small waterfall…. Then go back to dark. And you’re slipping and sliding everywhere!!!

I went down once or twice alone, then once each with each of the boys. I got yelled at by the boys to not yell while I went into the dark. Sorry, boys.

I have no idea which one we went on first. It was either Thunder Run or Tubers Tower.  I just know I felt like the tube I was on was going to fly off the edge of the slide thingy and send me to my death. I am not kidding.

All of the tube slides were super fun… And, I’ll be honest, I really did love riding the double tubes with the boys. And I’m very happy I got to them with both boys.

We did try the wave pool, but it was too crowded and we didn’t bother to wait for the waves.

The food is decently priced. I had a cheeseburger, fries & drink for $8. And an ice cream cone that was $2.

Overall Grade: B. (Because after walking around all day on cement and that composite deck material is really painful. That and the overall price to get in.) I’d definitely go back again next summer if I can.





North Shore Water Steps

17 08 2010

North Shore Water Steps – North Side

Cost: Free!

Hours: No set hours, but I’d assume “daylight”

So on Sunday, I met Burghseyewife, Shellrenee and the boys at the North Shore Water Steps, part of the North Shore Riverfront Park. The plan was to meet there, go to the BEV Lounge and then, on Monday we were going to Sandcastle.

Of course, I’d never been to the North Shore Water Steps… Of course! Just walked by on the way to Pirate or Steelers games.

None of the adults got entirely into the water. But I’m apparently obsessed with getting my hair wet (it’s super refreshing, y’all) and stuck my head under one of the little rock waterfalls. Approximately 3,000 times. And the boys seemed to have a great time.

We then walked down towards the Carnegie Science Center, in hopes of seeing the submarine. We had a snack at the Riverview Cafe (which has no view of the river, FYI) and then walked onto the sub. And we were approximately 4 minutes before closing. Also, FYI – admission is $5 and you can just go to the sub and pay the $5.

So we walked back to the cars, and went back to the BEV Lounge to retire for the night.

North Shore Water Steps Overall Grade: B (it’s not bad, but it’s shallow, and it really is fun to walk around and dunk your head under the tiny waterfalls.)