I took a Wednesday off from work earlier in the month so I could run around downtown Pittsburgh for the day with friends Mindy and Michelle, plus Michelle’s beautiful daughter, Alexis. The photo above was from our first stop, The Pennsylvanian (gorgeous historic landmark…old train station converted into office space and spectacular apartments located at the intersection of Grant and Liberty 15222). I used to work in the building and being inside again made me long for seeing such architectural beauty daily.
My favorite picture from our time at The Pennsylvanian occurred when we were outside and I flopped down on the ground to take a few photos looking up. Just as I clicked to take a picture like the one at the top of this post, a pretty little face photobombed my efforts…
Anyhow, after the first stop we just started walking. We knew that lunch at Las Velas was desired by all in our party so Market Square became our destination, but other than that we were flexible as to route. We were walking down Grant to 7th, enjoying the Federal Building, Federal Courthouse, Federal Reserve, and Gulf Tower, when I fussed about wanting to stop at the cemetery between the two churches on 6th. Eager agreements were quick; easiest group to hang out with, I swear.
How cool is it that right in the heart of dahntahn Picksburgh we have a cemetery sandwiched between two stunning churches? VERY.
This cemetery has some major historical figures buried here, too. Chief Red Pole (Shawnee), Dr. Bedford (Pittsburgh’s first physician…help found the University of Pittsburgh), Several Revolutionary War soldiers, and many others. This is the only cemetery that I have ever been in that actually makes me almost giddy with excitement while providing an incredible sense of peace at the same time. Difficult to explain my emotions, but I love being here.
We even ducked inside the First Presbyterian Church (the ground was deeded to the congregation by the heirs of William Penn) to gawk at the Gothic marvel of the place.
It was here that Alexis brought tears to my eyes with her sweet, young voice singing “Jesus Loves Me” in Chinese. Yes, you read that right. Chinese. She had been singing to herself while us adults were oooohing and aaaaahing over a variety of things and when we realized what she was singing I asked her to sing it again so that I could pay closer attention. I squatted down to her six year old level and right there in the back of the church she gifted me with the most beautiful song I have heard in ages, all without breaking eye contact and without missing a beat. Might have been a quick song, but it was a moment I’ll never forget.
Soon after we inhaled all the food that Las Velas had to offer we decided to hit the Water Feature at PPG Plaza. While the short person made quick work of getting herself into the pulses of water shooting into the air, us three taller women parked our butts on a bench to relax a bit before more exploring of the city. Didn’t take Alexis long to decide she needed one of us to play with, but Mindy wasn’t thrilled about the idea of wet tennis shoes for the rest of the day and Michelle didn’t exactly jump for joy at the idea of getting drenched. It was when she looked at me and and uttered the words “I dare you” that I was off my ass screaming, “OH IT IS ON!”
I don’t have any photos of that because I was too busy playing in the water [Michelle posted a few], but after I got out I decided to use the mirrored effect of one of the PPG buildings to take my own picture and happened to make a new friend for the minute:
(Hey nice guy who works down there, I didn’t put this on Facebook, just like I promised!)
We probably could have stayed at PPG all damn day, but made the tough call to continue our exploration of dahntahn by making our way over to the sister bridges. Several impromptu modeling sessions popped up before we decided to make S.W. Randall’s our next stop. Wandering past the Renaissance Hotel brought my cell phone camera out for a photo of the dragons decorating the sign out front when the bell hops started teasing each other about wanting their photos taken. Of course it didn’t take me long to face that camera towards the front and wha-la, a photo with another new friend for the minute:
I had read about the Cell Phone Disco, but as many adventures as I have had in tahn, I had never made the effort to find the alley it was in. Changed that as we all held true to being up for anything. I even called Mindy to make the lights dance, even though she was right next to me. Pretty damn cool for an alley.
I could go on and on about what a great day I had, and man, toy shopping in Randall’s really should be a post of its own, but this post is long and boring enough. Just wanted to try to get back into the habit of writing here and there.
The familiar alert that a new text had arrived interrupted my cooking so I ignored it a while. (Come on, your shock at the fact that I was attempting to cook should make you understand that there was no way I could break concentration, right? Moving on.)
Eventually stuff on the stovetop no longer needed constant attention so washed my hands and checked the beloved EVO’s messages. (I just realized that my phone doesn’t have a name. How the fuck could I have gone for almost a year and a half with no name for my phone? Eek! Suggestions?) ( Ok, where was I? I really need to write here more often in an effort to help lose some of this scattered brain. Sheesh.) My high school best friend had sent me a “Just found this pic of you and E at the zoo” message with this photo attached:
First of all, at first I didn’t even remember going to the zoo with little dude. Secondly, I am not even certain that I ever looked like that. And lastly, the child in that photo turned 14 this past March. FOUR FUCKING TEEN! (translation: I am old!)
Back and fourth our texts flew, mostly about how times have changed and all, but then she sent two more pictures from a long ago trip to South Park (I think it was South Park):
I was flabbergasted. Basically I have it in my head that I have always looked the way that I do now while somehow thinking that I still look exactly like I did then. I forget sometimes that I am 40 and was young once. (And apparently was at least 75 pounds lighter than I actually am.) My head has an awesome mashup of me and I kinda like it.
Anyhow, I asked how old she thought I was in the two images of me alone and when the reply was “22″ I just couldn’t believe it. Not that she has any reason to lie, but wow. 22.
Might have to pull out the old photo albums. Was fun flashing back for a few minutes while dinner cooked. Kinda wanna check out the “reality” of pictures as opposed to trusting my memory. If I find anything fun perhaps I’ll slap it up here. Really has been too long. Don’t like neglecting this blog. I think I sorta miss writing here…
First person to comment on my shades or Steelers shirt gets spanked. Same for the fact that I look like Yinzer Secret Service Agent or something. Also, commenting on the tight jeans with penny loafers and a t-shirt (and a scrunchie around the wrist!) shall result in spankings as well. Then again, I still have about a dozen white t-shirts that I live in and I don’t have a lick of fashion sense now so I guess not having it then is no surprise…
A friend wanted to go to the museum and I was oh so excited to join her. LOVE This town’s museums. Pittsburgh is truly blessed to have had Andrew Carnegie love this place enough to present to us quality museums. His gifts to the city bring me great joy. (Say “great joy” out loud. Does it make you smile the way I do EVERY time I say it?)
This trip was a quick one, though. The gold medal hockey game started at three so we picked the top “must sees” and wasted no time getting to them. (I know, I know…it was like picking your favorite child or meal: damn difficult.) We saw the “new” dinosaurs, the whale exhibit from New Zealand, the Egypt exhibit, the birds, the North American mammals, the Hall of Sculptures and the Hall of Architecture and Casts. I’ll have more photos later, but I wanted to show you something.
Yes, I went to the museum and what am I sharing with you? A photo of my red hair that no one believes is redder than before. You have to be able to see it in that photo, right?
And yes, I was totally horizontal on the floor of the Hall of Sculpture. The ceiling is cool and I was trying to get a decent photo. Finn would have walked away with spectacular images. Me? I failed. Exhibit A:
Failure Exhibit B:
All the photographers of the world breathe a sigh of relief that I am not out to take their jobs. Yeah, I know I suck, but at least I have fun with it. Like laying on my belly and taking this shot:
Photo might not be great, but damn did I enjoy taking all of these from the floor, even if my friends did think I was crazy, laying there and taking pictures of myself. And perhaps giggling a bit.
I usually carry a Swiss Army knife in my purse. Another is in my makeup bag (such a joke since I rarely wear make up, but that doesn’t stop me from packing up that fucker and schlepping it along when I travel). My SUV’s glove box has one hell of a utility knife.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not into cutting or bleeding or whatever people do to harm themselves. I just like to have a knife handy. Whether a box needs to be opened, fake tattoos simply must be cut apart, my Volvo’s air compressor belt must be immediately removed because I’m alone in bumper to bumper traffic and the fucking compressor seized up causing my little car to smoke while bouncing and bucking, a package of those Cheese on Wheat cracker thingies simply must be opened without braking a fingernail and opened right the fuck now, whatever…it is just so often handy to have a sharp knife around.
Especially if the knife is cute. While Christmas shopping in 2008 I found the cutest little knife made out of a bullet. Just a little thirty-aught-six (.30-06) with a single small blade that folds out. Cute, unique and only like $11 or something equally budget friendly considering it was a Christmas present from me, to me. It travels with me in my make up case and has really come in handy when I am in a hotel room and need a sharp object. Look, sometimes I just don’t want to break a nail and a knife opens things quickly. I realize these are not personal protection devices, I just find them helpful. And cute.
Seriously. How cute is this:
ANYhow, back in January I was in an adorable little shop, the very same one where I bought the bullet knife actually, when I found an equally affordable lipstick knife. Oh yes, a small blade concealed in a lipstick container. (And get this…the blade twists up like lipstick would. Awesome!) Perfect for me since I don’t wear lipstick and won’t confuse it in a dark movie theater or anything. Thing is, everyone who sees it thinks I am crazy for owning it and even crazier for carrying it. Like somehow I am double crazy because of this little thing:
Wait, here it is opened:
Dammit, that was all kinds of blurry. Let’s try that again:
Fuck it, I’ll never get the hang of my little Nikon CoolPix P4. And honestly, the images aren’t the point of this post. The point is I am wondering if you guys think I am crazy because I carry this little thing in my purse. So, do ya?
P.S. I just realized that in the link to Dave2′s site I’m also wearing red nail polish. Let’s not make fun of me for only wearing red nail polish, k? Especially since in his photo I was wearing “I’m Not Really a Waitress” and in all of these here I have on “An Affair in Red Square” (both by OPI, but completely different colors. No, really they are.). Maybe I shouldn’t put this post script and no one would even notice the nails but me. Hmmmm. Ah, fuck it…it is already typed.
Do you like apples? This is my 411th post. How do you like them apples?
The other day I was looking for a photo that showed me with my natural hair color. (Oh please, that collective gasp of surprise is as phony as my red hair…hush.) I found a few that I scanned for your viewing pleasure…
Me in 1988.
And around 2000.
Me in July of 2001, when I turned 30 and went red.
And me a few weeks ago.
Although this has nothing to do with hair, here is another one of me in 1988 with the body I want back:
(I know…what’s it like to want? I KNOW!)
Tito (my adorable coworker) knows how much I love this town and was kind enough to share a photo her husband (Bubba) took last night. He has the camera I covet and enjoys shooting a variety of subjects. Seems that last night they were on their way home, driving across the Hot Metal Bridge, when they saw this:
No wonder they stopped on the bridge to take photos!
Gorgeous shot, Bubba. Thanks for sharing this photo with the Internet. (Now no returning here to my site on Thursdays, k? I gotta work with your wife!)
This is the first year in all the years I have been going to Jimmy Buffett concerts that I actually remember the show. We are talking remember the tailgate, the performance, the walk back to the bus, the ride back to the hotel and even dropping my pants to moon a guy while I played Butt Bongo with my own ass. I REMEMBER ALL OF IT.
Seriously, this might be one of the first signs of the apocalypse. I mean, I never remember anything when I drink. Nothing!
I drank a bunch of beer. And many, many margaritas. Each already strong margarita was lovingly floated with another shot (or two or five) of tequila because my friends were trying to get me drunk. Just wasn’t working. Although when we actually went inside and I bought my two beers all the booze caught up with me. I laughed and danced and enjoyed the freedom of the booze. The Twitter updates began to make no fucking sense. Sorry about that.
Then on the bus back I kinda sobered back up. It was quite the strange (yet fantastic) concert experience.
Speaking of strange, check out how much shit I can cram into a little ass coconut purse:
It really is rather small… …yet I managed to fit: a Swiss army knife, dental floss, Chapstick, gum, Rolaids, metal hair clip, rubber hair band, aspirin, Advil, vitamins, lipstick, bottle opener, pen, business cards, blog cards, driver’s license, money, debit card, hand wet wipes, butt wet wipes and Band-Aids.
Anyhow, I didn’t take many real camera photos this year. Probably because I was terrified of losing yet another camera. A bunch of photos went up on Twitter, but here’s one from a big girl camera, a few moments before the drunk hit me:
And then after the drunk hit:
Here is Re, dancing with the douchebag of the night, a guy we kept calling Captain America:
He was insistent about wanting to take our photo for us. When I finally handed over the camera he hollered something about us showing him our boobs. My “it is my camera and I know what my boobs look like, douchebag” comment flowed as this photo was taken:
Anyhow, after we got back to Re’s mom’s house we stayed up a bit bullshitting. And loving on my dogs. (All day my aunt watched both of my dogs and Re’s son who is 3 1/2 years old, then let us come crash at her place. She fucking rocks.)
The next morning at the ass crack of dawn Re’s son decided to be all awake and cute. Which meant we were awake. Although I didn’t get out of my aunt’s bed even when he grabbed my camera and started taking photos of me and Reilly.
Or the back of Ludo’s head.
Hard to be mad at a cute kid who loves your dog and asks you to take his photo.
Especially when the night before this was his lunatic momma…
Man, I can’t wait until next year. Anyone wanna come to Pittsburgh and join me for the insanity? I promise not to stay sober for as long as I did this year.
Even though it is a crappy photo, it is still magnificent.
Lord Stanley’s Cup, home in Pittsburgh:
It is funny how this town kind of gets into your blood. Even when people move far away, they still have a soft spot for the Three Rivers, still bleed Black and Gold. When I went to visit my uncle, who has lived in Hawaii for over 10 years, I jokingly took a Pittsburgh flag. He wrapped it around himself like a blankey. I couldn’t help but giggle at how a man who lives in paradise could have his face light up at such an inexpensive present.
Gawd, I love this town.
Last February I had the pleasure of an all expenses paid trip to Cabo San Lucas. It was amazing. There is plenty to tell, but instead I just want to focus on my favorite part…the swim with the dolphins. All my life I had wanted to have such an adventure, but Pittsburgh doesn’t exactly have such things readily available. When I did find myself in Florida or Hawaii, I either didn’t have the time or the money.
But in Cabo it was paid for. One of my lifelong desires, handed to me.
I smiled the entire time…to the point that my cheeks hurt about an hour after I left.
The above photo original sits on my desk at work. Wish I could get the CD that I purchased to open the other photos. I don’t mind as much because I still have the original print, but still, there were some great fun moments captured.
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Our weekend in Kentucky was so fantastic that we are already planning the next one. Yep, it looks like I am going to ConFab, Baby! Yay!
Thursday after work my cousin, Re (Twinkle Twat), and my coworker, Cinderella, jumped into my SUV and we headed to Kentucky. The drive was going well until about Cincinnati when we decided that we simply had to see the Hofbrauhaus in the area. It was midnight and we still had about 80 miles to go on the drive to Lexington, but since Re works at the one in Pittsburgh we were simply too curious to pass it up. The girls had one beer, I had one water. As soon as we got on the road the gentle hum of the engine made both Re and Cinderella pass the fuck out. Not sure how, but I managed to stay awake enough to get us to the gorgeous home of Turnbaby and Fab. Wasn’t long after that we all hit the sack.
Friday brought a tasty breakfast and the Maker’s Mark Mile. Even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits. Especially when there was so much bourbon to consume. And incredibly beautiful bartenders (I may have told one that my shoes were sexy, he may have said not as sexy as his and I might have said that his shoes would look even better under my bed. While sober. Wheee!). The ponies ran around in circles, we drank bourbon and made friends. All around great day.
Me, Re and Cinderella
We went to the party thrown by Maker’s Mark, but there were entirely too many people there so we left and headed to Shamrock’s, a cute little bar that is across the street from the hotel I stayed in last year. Fab and Turn were all lovey dovey (seems that is what newlyweds do) and my crew was all drunk (seems that is what we do).
Saturday we decided not to make our annual trek to the Maker’s Mark distillery so that we would have more time to all get tattoos together and to make a trip to the heaven on earth known as the Liquor Barn. Pennsylvania is a very controlling state when it comes to alcohol and nothing like the Liquor Barn is available around here. At the register I crossed my fingers that I would stay under $200 and I did! Yay!
My kind of shopping!
Newlyweds were still squishy and cute.
The Liquor Barn was the only place I remembered to be “artistic” with my camera. hehe
Even with hundreds of dollars worth of booze in the back of the vehicle we stayed sober and headed to Tattoo Charlie’s. They aren’t the friendliest and are a little overpriced, plus the wait was crazy so we headed a block down to the Lucky Lady tattoo parlor. They were incredibly nice and we got a much better vibe from the place so we hunkered down for the next four plus hours. Fortunately we had Pringles, chocolate covered macadamia nuts, water, pop and various snacks to sustain us. All four females got tattoos, Fabby pussed out. I mean we ran out of time. Although I can’t help but give Fab shit for not getting inked, I give him loads of credit for being supportive of Turn.
I didn’t get the love at Lucky Lady’s. Instead every damn one of those fuckers made fun of the faces I made. Some even took photos for their Facebook photo albums. sigh
Afterward we decided to stay in and party at home instead of going out. It was terrific fun and a night full of laughter. Sweet tea vodka and shots of Barenjager had me so very happy that I forgot to take pictures. Until it was pretty damn late. Then these types of images were captured.
Still lovey dovey
I may have crashed earlier than I wanted to, but I had to drive home on Sunday. Somebody had to. Those two stupid bitches that I traveled with couldn’t stay up on the drive home.