Tuesday, January 30, 2007

RE: August 28, 2006

The woman who assaulted me, Melissa Ching, is a doctor, from Honolulu. No kidding. She had to fly all that way for court. I figure our weather today, 26 (feels like 15) and snowing, is almost sufficient punnishment. It's 79 in Honolulu today.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm a Kitty Kat!

Today, most of my office did the Tim-Tam suck. Also, most of my office was involved in some amount of sexual harassment (except for the boss). And most importantly, we were all involved in this Sunday’s Post-Gazette feature, The Next Page. That’s me in my cartoon debut. Actually, we’re all in there somewhere. So you should check it out on Sunday. (That ad is from the PG website, advertising US!!)

Tomorrow is the big day – the Steel City Derby Demons exhibition bout and it’s sold out. I’m so glad I bought my ticket in advance. If you aren’t going, you are sooo missing out.

Sunday is an official LUPEC meeting. Sigh. It’s so nice to be with the lady friends. The meeting is animal themed, so I’ll probably be wearing the barra-coat-a. (Coat so named after a drunken night at the South Side Primanti’s when I was wearing a vintage leopard print coat and some very drunk frat guy asked me if I was a barracuda, after which he stole my hot sauce and I proceeded to kick him in the shins until he gave it back, saying that a barracuda is a fish, now gimme back my hot sauce.)

And, if I don’t get to post before then, my court date is TUESDAY. She has postponed it twice now and, from what I’ve been told, can’t do it again. Like 20 degree weather will keep me from coming to court. No way. She’s gonna pay.

And, even though it’s kind of old, you should all chek this out because I’m in love with it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'm Classy

Went to the Port Authority hearing. Went to the protest/march before. Stayed the entire time. By the time I got to speak, my story was really nothing. I’m not blind and will have to walk 2 miles down Route 28. I’m not elderly and have to walk a mile through the neighborhood where I had been mugged previously. I’ll just have an extra hour a day of commute time. But I did get to yell at Mr.white-male-privilege-republican who felt that he was allowed to take more than his allotted three minutes at the podium. “YOUR TIME IS UP. SIT DOWN. WE’VE HEARD ENOUGH.” He thought the cuts and hikes were just fine and we should all just suck it up. I also got to heckle and later flip-off another guy-in-a-suit who agreed with them. He called me “classy.” I should have tripped him. Neither of them looked like they take the bus. I was also surprised to the point of having no words when someone who I had always thought was decent and fair-minded said something greedy and incredibly short-sighted.

Last night I played Rachel Maddow’s State of the Union drinking game. Two beers in about 40 minutes. Good thing I made this beforehand! (Basmati rice with lentils, saffron onions and a pita crust.) And I can't get that photo to be any bigger.

And some bad news. After much deliberation, I have decided to not try out for roller derby. I do too many things and really don’t have the time to commit to practice 2-3 times a week. It would rock, but I just can’t do it. Alternately, I’ve decided to support them whenever I can. I know a handful of the girls and I think it’s a worthwhile thing. Went to their fundraiser at the Lava Lounge last Wednesday and am going to the bout on Saturday. I already have my ticket!

Directly after work on Monday, LUPEC was interviewed for Pittsburgh Magazine. Look for us to be in there in March.

Later that night, I met up with TW, P and O. It was a rockin’ good night – stayed out until 2 when I left the rest of the crew who proceeded to after hours – I didn’t even know there WAS after hours on Monday night.

A few of us got together on Friday night to hang out at K’s place where I got to meet her daughter and her two sweet dogs – Frank the mastiff and – oh I can’t remember the retriever’s name. It was a nice mellow night, necessary after doing far too much during the preceding weeks.

Tonight I’m meeting A at the co-op for dinner and then heading to Free Ride. I hope, hope, hope that their heat has been fixed. If not, I’m out.

Friday, January 19, 2007

BC Reunion

I’ve not been writing basically because I’ve been so into my job while at work. No, really.

On Saturday morning, I got up kind of early – I mean 11:00 am IS early when you’ve been out until 5:30 the night before – to head to the Strip District with M and his brother and his girlfriend, in from out of town. We shopped, bought much cheese and a gigantic head of cauliflower (yum) and went to brunch at Enrico’s. I got to briefly hang out with A. (who works there) for a bit, hearing some really good stories.

When I got home, I took a two-hour nap before going back out with the same crew (and some others) to the Fajita Grill for dinner. I’m not so impressed with the Fajita Grill, although everyone else seems to love it. My veggies and tofu burrito was only okay.

After dinner I ran home to change and head to the 31st Street Pub for the big Battered Citizens reunion show, with Shape of Rage reuniting as well. Again, I got to see so many old friends, people who I haven’t seen in forever, there was lots of love, lots of kisses and hugs and lots of whiskey. I couldn’t stop saying how unbelievable the whole night was. It was seriously like a high school reunion – only just with friends. It was so overwhelming at times that I almost cried. Ridiculous at the 31st Pub, I know. But being out with TW again was really great. (Photo swiped from K. because the camera on my cell is too dark.)

Funny story. Some guy at the bar was looking at me and I thought that I must not recognize him. He started a conversation and no, I did not know him. I asked him what brought him out that night and he said his friend, J. Off the top of my head, I couldn’t remember a J from back then, so I asked who J was in the crowd. He pointed to a blonde-ish guy with glasses. Oh. Right. So, I broke the news that he was there with my old boyfriend. This story is SOOO much better when I’m telling it instead of typing it.

I also got to find a new secret parking space for the Pub. Nope, I’m not telling.

I skipped the after-party and got in at about 2:30-ish and slept very, very late. Everyone else at my place slept late too, so late that we missed brunch. So we settled on Fuel and Fuddle. I do not recommend their coffee.

Monday night antics to come. Other things I found to be interesting from the week to come as well. Maybe. I’ll try.

Just as a heads up, look for my debut in the Post-Gazette on Friday, in cartoon form.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Seemed like a good idea at the time . . .

Shout out to all my sisters from the 60s who used to pin their skirts! (And the catholic school girls who continue the tradition.) My gray wool thrift-store skirt was too long to wear with knee socks, so I rolled it and pinned it. Perfect. Thanks girls.

The heat wasn’t on at Free Ride. I stayed for over an hour. Until my fingers hurt from the cold. The gate was pulled (almost) shut when I went to leave so J came out and helped me push it back in. She couldn’t do it herself either, so I don’t feel like too much of a wuss.

Bugs in my pasta. I’d bitch about it more but M called the company and they are sending coupons for replacement pasta. But it’s unsettling to see little brown things floating in your pasta water. And frustrating when it’s 9:00 and you still haven’t eaten dinner and now you have to wait for water to boil AGAIN.

Friday was probably the most fun I’ve had in YEARS. TW was in from LA. M and I picked her up and headed to Kelly’s where we met up with O and hung out with a few more people neither of us had seen in a while. I slid into the booth next to a blonde woman I didn’t know and introduced myself, thinking that she knew O. Um, no. She abruptly got up and left to – from what we were told later – show off the goods to the people at the bar. Before we left, I saw her making out with some guy in the back hallway. If you know Kelly’s at all, you’ll know that it’s not the kind of place where that type of thing usually happens.

We then moved on to The Smiling Moose where we met yet more long un-seen friends. More whiskey was consumed. This photo was taken in the ladies room.

I thought M would want to bail on after hours, but no! We were all off to the White Eagle and more fun and socializing and drinking. It was so great to see so many people who I like and don’t get to see oft
en enough. I even met a few new people, including a friend of the groom (remember, I’m gonna be the best man) and we made fantastic plans for the bachelor party and talked a bit of rugby. After three whiskeys, a Yuengling and abundant encouragement (one of the toughest girls I know implying that I am tough – wow!), I was promising to try out for roller derby. My cousin is a personal trainer, I may need his help. Not sure if I can get out of it this time. Too many people heard me.

Good thing Tom’s Diner was in the cards – grilled cheese, water and coffee – exactly what a long night of drinking needs! Next up, the thrilling and amazing Saturday story!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Yesterday and Today

On Saturday morning, the bakery at my favorite coffee shop was dark and empty. When I asked the barista what was going on (thinking that they might be on an extended holiday vacation) she told me that the owner had had a heart attack and things weren’t looking good. I left shocked and sad. Also, glad that I had repeatedly told him that he made the best pizza ever, which is true. He died last night. He was only 57. I guess I didn’t really know him, but I saw him every Saturday, occasionally exchanged pleasantries, etc., but he was nice and I liked him.

Last night was 63B girls’ night out. D’s as usual, but they now have an expanded food menu. I tried the pop-eye pizza with lots of cheese and spinach and was pleasantly surprised. They have some sort of “tiger sauce” for dipping, which came along with the fried zucchini and was amazingly good and amazingly bad for me. I should have taken some photos. I’m still not used to this whole thing I guess.

Tonight I’m headed to Free Ride. Maybe I’ll try to take a photo of my sad, pathetic bike, but I’m pretty sure that it will be too dark.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Bad stuff from Sunday, good stuff from last night

So, we fought a war to establish a new government that would pass this piece of shit to allow US and British companies to literally take all the oil. Now we know that the war is indeed just for oil and why all of the excuses to get into it were so weak. As per usual, I am embarrassed by my government and my country.

In better news, dinner at Casbah last night was amazing. Lots of good wine and tasty cheese for happy hour and risotto with cauliflower (my fav!), maytag blue cheese and TRUFFLES. I’ve realized lately just how much I absolutely love truffles. They are up there with saffron and fresh basil. Of course M and I went to the Beehive for some coffee after, but we skipped Dee’s.

Monday, January 8, 2007


Friday consisted of a lot of bitching about transit at Kelly’s over some drinks, some beer and most importantly some mac-n-cheese. There seems to be popular support for M’s analogy between our transit and an abused spouse. Maybe if I loose 10 more pounds he’ll love me. Maybe if I just get dinner on the table 5 minutes earlier, he'll understand how much I love him. Maybe if I just cut a few more bus lines, the rest of the state will love me. Maybe if I just leave a few more people without transportation, Harrisburg (and etc.) will see how much I care.

And, sadly, I missed the art.

Saturday I was luck
y enough to run into my friends, T & C while at brunch at Enrico’s. They invited me out to the Evergreen later, around 5:00. So I hung out with them drinking Yuengling for a few hours. The Evergreen is exactly how I want ALL bars to be. Most people seemed to know each other, at least peripherally, people joked and yelled across the bar, bought each other drinks, laughed at and with each other. I haven’t spent much time with T lately, as she had been working full time and attending school full time, so it was fantastic to hang out with her again. We were up to our old tricks and had her fiancé laughing almost all night.

Later it was off to Mad Mex with M for half price late night food where we got some rock-star seating treatment thanks to our favorite server, J-A.

Sunday morning (ahem, afternoon) brunch at the Gypsy Café was a little bit tearful, as I congratulated my friends on their engagement and personally accepted my role of best man. Sunday afternoon at CostCo was a meat-fest and was really disgusting. The entire back corner smelled like sausage and even the cheese section was full of meat samples. And what do you think they were demo-ing to drink? MILK!!! Groooossss. But I did get the cutest ever little Naked Juices.

This morning my boss took this pic of me. If you were parking at the Mon Wharf around 8:45, you should now be the proud owner of a nice pot-o-gold.

One year ago today I had a six-hour date . . .

Friday, January 5, 2007

Too Sad for Much of a Post

This morning I asked the 501 driver what we can do about the transit situation. He said to write and call. I did. You should too. This whole thing is really depressing. It's making me feel helpless, frustrated, angry and sad. I can't think of any way to win, to just break even, or to get to work in June. I can see the crumbling of the infrastructure of my city. It's all downhill from here. For the first time ever I truly want out.

Quote from a fellow bus rider: "Without the city, the suburbs are nothing."

Hopefully, Unblurred on Penn Avenue will make me feel a bit better. I'll be checking out some art.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Public Transit Cuts Rant and Dessert

  1. Last night on my bus ride home a fellow passenger proposed a more militant version of something I’ve been saying for years. Putting in toll booths at the merge point of 79 to 279. (His suggestion involved guns, mine involves tire spikes.) Those bastards in the far north suburbs should pay for all the services they use in our city every day.
  2. Stop all busses past zone 2. Or start making them pay exponentially more. The price of gas, etc. necessary to bring all of those suburbanites to the city every day far exceeds their fare. The zone prices should go up by at least a dollar a zone.
  3. Stop with the fancy painted/decorated busses. Make them come in any color as long as they’re black. Or blue. Or white. I’ll even take black and gold, just stop with the extra expense.
  4. The $2.00 flat fare is infuriating. I refuse to subsidize the suburbs. I refuse to subsidize white flight. I will stop riding the bus if they institute this. And I love riding the bus.
  5. Start charging a substantial occupation tax for people living outside of the city and even more substantial for those living outside the county. Other cities do this with much success.

Specific to the 63B:
  1. There were EIGHT people boarding the bus at my stop.
  2. By the time we got to the busway, people were standing in the aisle. It is like this most mornings.
  3. If most of these people take the 61A or 61B instead (keep in mind the elimination of the 501 and 69A) we will fill the bus before it reaches Squirrel Hill inbound and Oakland outbound. This means that there will be no room for the students. If the students can’t take the busses to school, the universities will stop their funding.
The proposed changes will contribute a great deal to the downfall of the city. Young people will be more likely to leave the city for the suburbs (as one young attorney told me that he and his family will do) if they don’t have access to public transportation. There is so much more to say about this regarding being working class, being female, having to watch my city die, etc. . .

But in better news, that doesn't deserve to have to share today with Port Authority, I finally made it to Dozen Cupcakes last night and purchased the Asteroid. I'll not go into my behavior upon finally meeting James. Later, after an impromptu dinner for four (homemade pesto and soup, and some wine) it was time for dessert. I ate all the asteroids off first, then scraped off most of the icing (thanks A & S for taking care of that for me!) and the cake was yummy, yummy, yummy!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Weird

One of my best friends is getting married and has asked me to be his best man. I am so incredibly happy for him and get all teary even thinking about it. We haven’t seen much of each other in the past few years (which is what happens when all you do is work at your fabulous restaurant with your wonderful fiancé), but I think about him all the time, hope he is well and see him when I can. I love him so much and would do anything I could for him. Now that includes finding plus sized strippers. Help?

Late morning Post-Gazette headline: “Port Authority proposes hiking fares, slashing routes” More on this when I can talk about it without banging my fist on my desk.

The 63B commuter bus through my neighborhood has generated a sort of community of friends and acquaintances. This morning I actually caught it (I usually miss it and take the 501 to the busway, as I did yesterday). There were few seats left in the back. I passed a friend on the way back, did a little happy new year greeting with an acquaintance and sat down between a young-ish guy who is frequently on the bus and a teenage boy. The teenager was jamming out to something on his big headphones and had painted black fingernails, dyed black hair in his face and big silver earrings. Yes, I wanted to give him a big hug and pat him on the head.

I was getting out my ipod, preparing to listen to the rest of the This American Life episode that I had started yesterday when he bumped me. I smiled. He said “I’m sorry I bumped your bag.” I replied, “That’s okay, it’s fine.” Then he complimented my knee socks (see pic) and it was the beginning of a very strange bus conversation, his side a bit loud and animated, my side very quiet. There was much talk about harassing people on MySpace, making web pages and MySpace pages for friends’ bands (“So, that’s what you kids are using it for these days.”), Satanism, Wicca (misguided and misinterpreted, might I add), local graffiti, underage drinking and the closing of the Upstage. He was wearing a Slayer t-shirt. At one point he pulled out a Green Day cd. (WHAT???)

So, were the knee socks the give-away that I’d “get it?” (Maybe it was the German fire hose bag.) Or was it just that I was nice to him?

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Peachy First Blog

Having forgotten to buy a January bus pass, I coughed up $2.25 to ride the 501 to the busway and transfer to the 68D. Listened to part of the most recent This American Life podcast on my pretty pink ipod. Sigh. I desperately want to make myself a little pocket inside my coat for the ipod. Better yet, a little case that I can pin inside.

Who would have thought that I’d be looking forward to blue skies in Pittsburgh? Outside my window the sky is blue, the sun is shining and even the river looks pretty.

I'm wearing my new purple tie from Peach Berserk. There's a cowboy on it. When I figure out the photo thing (hopefully now) I'll post a pic.