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Nothing Says Forever Like the Cold November Rain

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The early edition of this blog idea started in November 2002 (sadly, those archives are long gone) – capturing my hilarious and shameful exploits of being single and living it up as a 20-something in Cleveland. That means that I’ve been blogging about the life, liberty and pursuit of your boyfriend (and sometimes, husbands) for ten years. TEN YEARS.

It’s been a long fucking decade.

Obviously, the last few years of this blog have morphed from one of loneliness and drunkenness to that of happy companionship and pictures of my cats. Writing from any-and-all of those angles has been eye-opening (especially when going back to read said archives), cringe-worthy, life affirming and fulfilling — on both a personal and creative level. Blogging is what provoked me to pursue a passion of writing professionally full time (that, too, has its own ups-and-downs) — I even named my company after my identity here. Blogging has made me invaluable friendships and connections. It has also been the source of some really awesome life experiences. Hey, I even made some money out of the deal!

It’s seen three different platforms, some 2000+ posts, and an immeasurable number of pictures. There’s been So.Many.FuckUps., two European adventures, at least eight jobs, an engagement, a canceled wedding, the acceptance of my sexual identity, a reconciliation with a high school boyfriend, three baseball players (and one coach!) and an irreplaceable Arrogant Bastard.

But just like some of those heartbreaking downfalls of Relationships Past, I’ve made the wrenching decision to Pancake my blog. At least I’m TELLING YOU FIRST INSTEAD OF HAVING YOU GUESS WHAT HAPPENED FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS. It’s me, not you. I’m bored. I grew up; you didn’t. I’m just not that into you. And… there’s somebody else, err, a new project, that is. You’ll find it soon enough if you’re looking, I suppose.

I’ve tried walking away from this blog so many times, but I could never stay away. But I think I’m ready now. Ten years was a good run for POYB. Even in the embarrassment all those penises, I’m proud of it.

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{crazy cat lady} OH THE CUTENESS OF THE FURRIES!

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{crazy cat lady} OH THE CUTENESS OF THE FURRIES!

Oh, I forgot. Another of my resolutions was “Adopt a new cat.”

Here she is:

Currently named Zira. Soon-to-be-renamed as Bessie. I think. Because her back spots look like a cow. Get it? Bessie the Cow?! BUT A CAT!

And yes, the felines now outnumber the humans in this house. I LOVE IT.

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{my first year} in Pittsburgh: a delayed post, as much as a recap one — perfect for end-of-the year

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{my first year} in Pittsburgh: a delayed post, as much as a recap one — perfect for end-of-the year

My first year anniversary of living in Pittsburgh was Labor Day weekend (and here we are already approaching Christmas… I need to check my drafts for lingering content more often). November also marked the EIGHTH year that I’ve been blogging (which I apparently love missing out on blog anniversaries too). EIGHT. YEARS. I won’t even attempt to talk about the changes in my life since I started writing about pursuing boyfriends and such. THERE’S ARCHIVES FOR A REASON.

Regardless, here’s a brief 365+ recap with some random pics from throughout this year.

We spent our first year (and some months) living in downtown, which we adored and were naturally attached to — I mean, did you SEE our apartment? It was ah-maz-ing. I would recommend for anyone relocating to Pittsburgh to be as close to city center as possible. The past year has been something of a renaissance for downtown dining and living, and it was so awesome to watch all these fantastic establishments open ALL WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE. Also, nothing is better than brunch at Meat & Potatoes… NOTHING.

Sadly, our building was sold to a new management company as the end of our lease was approaching, and we got a vibe that things were changing (along with an increase in rent). The evident (and unfortunate) transitions provoked us to start thinking (and looking) at new housing options.

Then — almost serendipitous in nature — on our way to a party, our cab driver got turned around in the North Side. And we fell in love in a whole new way for a vibrant neighborhood filled with East Coast-like Victorian rowhouses. Within a month we bought a place. Obviously, we like the city well enough to stick around a few years. Well, that’s putting it mildly… we LOVE it here! Enough so to make Pittsburgh our home.

And the rest, as you know, is adventures-in-homeownership history.

Last January, we found a new furry friend for Rudy at Pittsburgh’s Animal Rescue League. Chelsea has continued to make our family a hilarious cat-crazy adventure. Orange tabby style. For almost a YEAR. Where does time go, seriously?

But enough about CATS, let’s talk about people — you ‘Burghers are an awesome bunch. And yinz have been so warm and welcoming. Last September, during our first month of residency, I attended PodCamp. And that’s where I’m happy to say that I met so many wonderful people who have become my friends over this past year. This most recent PodCamp meet-up was something of a reunion for me — and much less stressful going in — knowing that I’d actually KNOW people. And that people know me.

Likewise, the Twitters and Yelp and Pahr Section 216 and roller derby have also brought like-minded, fun people into my life, which has made my living in Pittsburgh all the more rich and awesome of an experience. Some will say that making friends can be difficult as an adult, but I haven’t found that to be true here. Seriously, heart all of you.

Roller derby was a huge part of my life this past year and will continue to be going forward into 2012. I love how this sport instantly brought 60+ women of similar interests and personalities into my world who regularly challenge, inspire and bruise me (heh). I made it through my first full Fresh Meat season, trained through a fast track program to get drafted early, got drafted to B-Unit AND played in my first bout before the end of the season (thank you, friends, for your support in coming to see me skate). And then, at the encouraging of some of our vet skaters, I tried out for our A team… which I made! As a rookie! And it’s all because of a league full of awesome Pittsburgh roller derby ladies. Having a passion that is so supported locally makes living in Pittsburgh all the more fantastic.

Relocating was easy, as far as work was concerned; the boyfriend’s job was what brought us here, and he’s since moved on to a new company (thankfully, keeping us in Pittsburgh). I continue to grow professionally, now as a Pittsburgh freelancer and look forward to connecting and networking with other local businesses and freelancers again this year. While most of my work and clients are online, I was published several times over this past year in magazine format. That was one of my big goals for 2011, and I was happy to cross that success off my list.

I also went from brunette-to-blonde for the first time in almost a decade. I’ll be soon returning to my roots… while planting some new ones. Wait. Does that sound like I’ll be planting something in my head? Because, weird. I signed up to be part of our local community garden — I’ll plant some tomatoes for you. Here’s to another year of bloggy randomness!

My favorite local places, organizations and bloggers are listed here – and I love that Pittsburgh is so vibrant that I am consistently adding to it. Pittsburgh is such an awesome place, n’at. And I’m happy to call it home.

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{pursuit} of a new place to live

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{pursuit} of a new place to live

Oh, EXCUSE my absence… but, like, I moved.

Moving isn’t something that my mind/body/soul typically enjoys, yet I managed my stress SO MUCH MORE than when moving to Pittsburgh last year. I definitely think interstate moves take a small part of your soul every time you update an address. Thank the derby gods for having a stress release. But I digress.

AB & I spent our first year (and a couple months) living/eating/breathing downtown Pittsburgh. And now we get to discover a new neighborhood all over again. Aside from figuring out how to drive everywhere (again), I’m super excited about our new digs and new ‘hood. Alas, there are parts of me that will miss downtown. And other parts of me that will religiously curse the constant noise of picketers and neighbors of shared walls blasting the Metallica Black album and garbage trucks at ungodly hours. And the elevators.

Is it funny how much we change over the course of one year, five years… a decade? When we lived in downtown (even when still in Cleveland), we swore we wouldn’t (couldn’t?) live anywhere else. And I loved every part it (and we’re still close enough to frequent our favorite places). But the many varied “things” that we loved about being in an urban center, we found just a hair outside the city. Something that we could own; make ours. And more space; less cost = happy, responsible, comfortable life for this couple.

I’m excited to be in an different neighborhood, especially one not filled with so many transients (what we experienced a lot of in our apartment building). But couples, families… friends — people who have put down some roots, much like we’re doing in Pittsburgh. Also: this move fulfills my goal of wanting to live in another neighborhood while we’re living in Pittsburgh.

The purchase of a (super cute) home, of course, keeps us here indefinitely. And that I couldn’t be more excited about.

Top credit: Miso Funky – Custom cross-stitched gifts

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{pursuit} of Pittsburgh

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{pursuit} of Pittsburgh

Happy Friday, Pursuit-ers! How yinz doin? Getting out much and enjoying this great summer? Will I see any of you at the Toonseum Blogger Blast II tonight? Drink any good beers lately?

Ahem…

This Day in Pittsburgh was VERY cold. Today it is not.

When living in Cleveland, I created a List of 43 Things, and it was a really cool experience to find new, adventurous things in a city that I (thought I) already knew very well. And yes, there are several things not crossed off the list that I wish I could have completed before moving. Now that I’m quickly approaching my one-year anniversary of relocating, I want to do the same for Pittsburgh. You know, since I’m sticking around these parts for a while.

{/end vague surprise news}

What would you suggest for my Bucket List of “things to do” in Pittsburgh?

Photo by: Angie Candell (she’s awesome, n’at)

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