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{the week} it’s 7:27, and it is dark.

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the week:
Boring week, no? And totally depressing with this whole darkness-too-early thing. Regardless of how much you love fall and hate summer, THAT part is the worst of the transition.

Happy Birthday, Joe!

weekend:
Tonight is our first night playing in our new bowling league. *snort* The boyfriend and I aren’t even on the same team (weird, right?), but we’re playing against one another. So, this should be an interesting evening in NO, YOU’RE NOT HAVING THE SEX TONIGHT. Also, I have to bowl with my wrist guard. I PUT THE F IN FUN… in bed.

Also tonight: Dixie Doc is playing at the Elk’s. If you’re already a fan of Banjo Night, you’ll love this.

This weekend marks the seasonal opening of Scarehouse. I HAVE to visit this year!

Not sure if I’ll make it to my spinning class in the morning, but it’s for a good cause. Err, for the kitties… and doggies… and bunnies!

But I’ll definitely be chowing down on some GOOD FOOD at the Lebanese Food Festival in Scott Township. Runs today through Sunday.

seven things, seven days:
1. Did you read part one of my Finger Lakes adventure?
2. BETA open for Stress Free Recipes. THIS is totally up my alley, and I can’t wait to get my invite.
3. So honored to be asked to be part of a Bridal Brigade for my friend here in Pittsburgh. All the fun parts of weddings, without all the bridesmaids duties. We’re on to something, ladies!
4. Randomly came across THIS POST from 2008. You know what’s significant about that horoscope? THE DAY I QUIT SMOKING. Huh.
5. We decided not to plant anything for fall and winter in our garden plot. So, I’m considering buying into a Penn Corner Winter CSA. Thoughts from anyone?
6. Good luck to friends and skaters participating in WESTERN REGIONALS!
7. Go read this blog post from Burgh Baby. Seriously. GO NOW.

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{the week} I am exceptionally organized; yet, exceptionally unmotivated.

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the week:
The plight of a writer: when inspiration and creativity hit, it’s often at the “wrong time” or far past a deadline (not proud). But you roll with with the motivation when it strikes. I just wish I could have my muse at all times at the ready.

With that, I’m finally proud of an article I wrote. It’s probably been a year that I’ve completed something that didn’t leave a feeling of worthlessness; it’s all too humbling, and I struggle with these emotions endlessly. So, naturally, I hope everyone else likes the piece. But I really need to work on my confidence.

weekend:
Many, many things! Friday night a certain someone is celebrating his birthday at Toonseum and it’s also the opening reception for A Matter of Convenience at Future Tenant. I will probably end the evening with some pink underwear hunting at the champagne bar.

Saturday is my first spinning class. If the bone in my vagina makes it, I’ll be heading to the fundraiser for Colin Albright at OTB, then to the EatPGH Book Party (and likely, a bar crawl of Larryville).

I WILL ALSO BE WATCHING LIVE, STREAMING NORTH CENTRAL REGIONALS! WOOT!

seven things, seven days:
1. {do good} Received my first Love With Food: a monthly subscription box filled with FOOD samples. And the organization gives back.
2. {recovery} Finally hit my milestone 50 push-ups again. It’s been too long, old friend… err, wrist.
3. {sports} We joined a bowling league. Stupid excited. I mostly suck, but sucking is so much fun when you get to play with balls… WAIT A MINUTE!
4. {impatient} Already organized my closet for Fall and put away all the summer things. TIME FOR LAYERING!
5. {OCD} And the Fall comforter set is on the bed already too. Yes, I am THAT person.
6. {shoe envy} These boots from Hunter. MINE.
7. {pride} Good luck to friends and skaters competing in the Thrill of the Spill this weekend!

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Two Years in Pittsburgh: the best is yet to come.

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Some days it’s really hard to grasp that it’s been two years since we relocated. Some days it feels like forever… others, I have fresh nightmare-like relapses of the anxiety of movers and boxes and finding an apartment and getting lost amidst the glass structures of the PPG campus. But as time passes, I feel more-and-more out of touch with Cleveland: the city and its development and new restaurant openings… and, sadly, its friendships. While we still have no firm commitment of how long we’ll be staying in Pittsburgh (and, no, we will not be going back to Cleveland), the purchase of a house this past year makes the decision to be here a bit more permanent than temporary (who can even believe that it’s already coming up on a year since we bought the damn thing!).

For now, remaining in Pittsburgh remains a part of our short-term plan.

First things first, my first year review of being a ‘Burgher. Many of these aspects, I can still relate. I really love it here; I don’t think I’ll ever wrap my head around how other transplants have “issues” with things like: finding stuff to do (or finding things, in general) or “fitting in.”

After two years:

I almost know my way around. Even if I still get turned around in the east end and the south hills. And missed the memo on the West End Bridge being closed after Steelers games. But I finally know of at least one or two neighborhoods in the West End. And what the West End Circle is. I can finally spell Monongahela without looking. Shit… maybe not. I’ll work on that. I learned the bus and T system. I can usually find my way home without checking Google Maps.

I’ve deepened my friendships and made new ones. I’ve lost friends. I’ve blocked people-who-probably-should-never-be-my-friends. I have friends to text when I want a margarita. And a favorite place for margaritas. I have friends to call to gossip over brunch. And a favorite Thai place. And a favorite place for cupcakes. I know at least three local skating rinks and their times for open skates. I have connections when I need help with events, marketing, charity, social media, writing, job search or suggestions for the best damn place in tahn. I started working part time with a wonderful local non-profit. I became a chairperson in a local professional organization. I took the role of Head of Marketing in another. I volunteer. I flyer. I adopted another cat…

Gratuitous Cat Photo!

I have a favorite date place with AB. We also have a favorite happy hour. I have a favorite view. I have a quiet, tranquil space just steps outside a bustling downtown. I volunteer. I work sometimes from coffee shops. I have a museum membership, season tickets, favorite annual events and fundraiser parties — and places to shop for just the perfect outfit. We have a local farmers market — we even grow our own produce in a community garden plot within our neighborhood! I finally have a dentist, aesthetician, hairdresser and doctor that I trust, respect and recommend. We recognize our local news people. We know the names of local “celebrities” and can finally be “in” on the local jokes. We can even commiserate over “that other team” with fellow transplants (heh).

Yet, I proudly wear my Black and Gold.

I’ve developed a deep connection with my new city. Well, I suppose it’s not so “new” anymore. I want to shout about it, promote it, be involved… shoot people down when they dismiss how awesome it is here (or at least shoot them a dirty look). I continue to be absolutely in LOVE with Pittsburgh. I love it even more now that we’re part of a close-knit neighborhood with stoop-party-friendly neighbors.

Does two years in officially make me a Pittsburgher? Eh, maybe?
But belonging here isn’t something I need to prove anymore.

Happy Yinzerversary!

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{the week} WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE BRIDGE IS CLOSED?! And other shit.

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This weekend unofficially signifies the “end of summer.” There’s always more that I wish I could’ve done throughout a season: more stooping, more kayaking (stupid cast!), more outdoor date nights, more bike riding (err, it hasn’t moved from the basement since we moved here… that’s dumb.), more gardening, more home improvement projects… ha! NOT!

I’m have a total love for Fall though, and I can’t wait for all it brings (um, hello pumpkin everything!).

But, um, I hope I actually get to DO some of those things that I’m anticipating.

{the week}
Has this been the longest week ever? I mean, way to go with making the last week of summer do some work, but… oof.

By the way, that bridge is closed.

{weekend}
TONIGHT! Derby, the photography exhibit by Rob Larson, is opening at 6pm at 709 Gallery downtown. You should be there. (And then join us for drinkies and enchiladas afterward at Las Velas!)

{seven things, seven days}
1. Back into a serious obsession with Yoga. I love how it makes me feel so strong, yet relaxed. Especially when I am discouraged at certain skills that don’t come easy with derby. It’s a good mental-slash-physcical reminder of how far I’m come in a year.
2. Planning — and looking forward to — a trip to the Finger Lakes. Oh, all that wine and cheese and nature. Downright giddy.
3. I think I’ve paid the last of the medical bills for my wrist injury. Man, that feels something of an accomplishment, all things considered. Now, to start hammering away at the credit card balances.
4. And then I received an invoice this week from Planned Parenthood for an in-office pregnancy test from 2011. Way to go, Billing! An explanation on THAT probably deserves its own TMI post. Or I can just make you wonder.
5. My first “taste” of fall: pumpkin spice granola bars from Kashi. YUM!
6. Wake up and watch live streaming derby Saturday morning! My teammate is playing with Team USA in Helsinki. How amazing is that?! Check out the bouts vs. Sweden (11am US EST) and vs. Finland (1pm).
7. Currently hating: detours. *honk*

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{the week} healing and sweating and summer is the best-worst

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{the week} healing and sweating and summer is the best-worst

the week:
This week is provided to you by BILLZ! and work. The latter helps the former, of course, but I’m a little overwhelmed… and then I got hit in the face so hard that I split my lip open. *shakes fist at universe* A non-casted fist, mind you.

Yep, today is Cast Off Dance Off Day! Just in time to “enjoy” 100-degree summer temperatures. Blech.

Doctor’s Rendering of my injury.

Healing went well. Considering the location of the ligament tear, surgery wasn’t suggested (phew!). I might need a steroid injection if I experience any discomfort in the next few weeks and could probably benefit from an exo-cast for derby, but otherwise, prognosis is good.

weekend:
Have a derby tournament, Ruckus in the Rust Belt, in Youngstown all day Saturday. A customer appreciation day of comics-and-meat in Cranberry. Then, some Big Butts or something to see in Butler. Or was that mullets? Regardless, there will be carnival food.

seven things, seven days:
Err, more like fourteen days…
1. My neighborhood hosts a monthly get-together for its female residents — what a wonderful evening to meet some wonderful women! I feel as though I’m part of some special society now or something.
2. Speaking of neighborhood, the North Side got itself a new playground, courtesy of Kaboom! and about 200 volunteers.
3. Took my first excursion on the Gateway Clipper fleet. Such a perfect night to be on the water (and it was a helluva lot cooler than on land).
4. This article from Pop City made me smile, Pittsburgh.
5. Pancakes for lunch! Homemade pancakes for lunch.
6. My new brace (yes, I still have to wear a brace for a while, but at least it’s REMOVABLE!!!) is neutral/beige in color. This makes my internal fashionista very pleased.
7. Our kitchen is finally all white! I am happy with the results. Mostly because I was right. It looks open and bright (even with the brown tiled floor), and I can’t wait for the new counters to be installed some time next week. Hopefully the boyfriend can keep it clean.

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Snuggling with the furries.

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Snuggling with the furries.

This picture: priceless. And not just because I have an open container in downtown. Whatever, it’s lemonade.

Anthrocon makes for one of the most fun weekends on the books in Pittsburgh, as a thousand of the human-like animals come into downtown from all over the world to bring some lovable snuggles to passers-by.

Furry-watching is a sport at Tonic — just down the street from where all the action happens at the Convention Center. They’re just like us! Only, more cuddly.

I’d love to have the Furries here year-round.

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{pittsburgh parties} …and so do I!

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{pittsburgh parties} …and so do I!

Taken at last weekend’s awesomely-fun Urban Garden Party at the Mattress Factory. We will definitely be attending this event next year (though, probably not at the VIP level) in addition to our already-favorite parties: the Dirty Ball and Cosmo Party. Supporting a venue and fundraiser for the better of our neighborhood makes those petit fours extra sweet (and why we’ll also be supporting the Aviary’s Night in the Tropics this year).

And, seriously, who can beat a three-minute walk home?!

OK.

Not afraid of color!

Best photo bomb ever? Or best photo bomb EVER.

Side note: look what that cast is doing to my arm! It’s a ripped beast!

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{the week} moving on… with my skates and dancing shoes at the ready.

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{the week} moving on… with my skates and dancing shoes at the ready.

the week:
I returned to derby contact practices with Cast #2 this week. So, SO happy to be back. Being off-skates and on leave really gave me perspective on what kind of derby player I want to be and the motivation and drive to go all-in, kicking ass (and hopefully not gaining any casted forearm penalties). I know I’ve got some work to do, but I feel I’m in a really good place right now.

Stupid injury.

from WTAE.com

weekend:
Furries! Yes, Anthrocon is in town! You’ve probably already noticed some ears-and-tails crawling around downtown as convention-goers started arriving this week. I’m hoping to catch the parade of the furries Saturday afternoon.

Tonight is Bowler Derby fundraiser for SCRD. Unlimited bowling for $15 (plus yer shoes!) from 6-9pm.

Friday is also the Mattress Factory’s wildly popular Urban Garden Party. North siders, park your cars and leave ‘em NOW!

Saturday, tailgating and Pahr game, naturally. We’ll see you in our favorite spot.

Sunday, I’ll be working at my part-time job, so Happy Father’s Day!

seven things, seven days:
1. {fun} Cards Against Humanity. A disturbingly funny card game (spun from Apples to Apples, it seems) that will likely provoke an upcoming game night. Soon.
2. {music} Banjo Night at the Elks Lodge every Wednesday! Super fun. If you want a table, definitely make a reservation.
3. {uninspired} struggling with the creative side of my brain this last week. Which is obviously a bad thing when you’re a writer for a living. Hopefully, this passes soon.
4. {green thumb} We have red and white raspberries, but lost our cantaloupe. I wish that strawberry season would last forever though.
5. {nom} Pittsburgh has a taco truck! More food trucks in Pittsburgh, please!
6. {nebby} My street (and by extension, my courtyard) was the unexpected place for a random news crew to show up this week. No breaking news happening here… but I’ll be keeping my eye on upcoming teasers. And my lovely neighborhood as the backdrop
7. {wants & needs} Desperately need a haircut.

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{the week} … and a half.

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{the week} … and a half.

the week:

I’m counting down the last few days until my ortho follow-up on Friday. Please to Heavenly Catz and fresh banana bread, this cast comes off and that I’m cleared for contact.

weekend:

The boyfriend and I attempted a date night last Friday to the Three Rivers Arts Festival. IN THE RAIN THAT I CANNOT BE IN BECAUSE I HAVE A CAST ON MY ARM. So, I had multiple instances of “fun” in the raining-sideways-and-super-windy weather amidst adventures on public transportation and fixing upside-down umbrellas in building alcoves where downtown workers could give two-fucks-and-a-half that you have a CAST ON YOUR ARM… and OH BETSY, this sentence is so much a run-on. I’m done.

When it rains... you should wear a cast condom.

We did discover a new favorite downtown spot for after-work drinks and food while waiting out the storm: Papa J’s. Seriously, this place is fantastic. More-than-fantastic, even. And it’s located in one of the oldest buildings in Pittsburgh — a brothel. A haunted brothel, at that. With a spirit who apparently won’t let us keep forks in our hands for too long.

seven things, seven days:
1. {family} I’M GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE SMELL AGAIN!!!
2. {snacking} Newly obsessed with yogurt-covered raisins, thanks to a nut mix from Planters. Naturally, the yogurt-covered raisins were the first thing to “disappear” in the mix. Next time, a package of just those, please.
3. {disappoint} My last Foodzie was a bust — literally — and I’m sad to read that the cool, quirky founding company has been acquired. No more surprise Tasting Boxes.
4. {home improvement} No matter how awesome new kitchen counters are, it sucks when you think of all the fun things you used to do with $3,800. *sigh*
5. {money pit} likewise, having to hire a brick mason to repoint walls and fix holes in your house is downright depressing.
6. {alarm clock} …and for the record, waking me up at 7am on a Wednesday is maddening.
7. {gardening} welp, the rhubarb is gone (without nary a pie) — replaced with blueberry bushes (!!!). This pleases me greatly, as neither of us could figure out how or when to cultivate the veggie-fruit. And frankly, it’s a prime space to have taken over by two of these ugly plants. Regardless of how delicious.

Nice knowing ya, Rhubarb!

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{the week} time to start wearing white pants, people!

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{the week} time to start wearing white pants, people!

the week:

We’ve begun the season of entertaining out-of-town guests at our new place; in the last month, we’ve welcomed: the boyfriend’s mom, my dad and his girlfriend… and this weekend, we’re taking the boyfriend’s dad around tahn. Mostly to do beer hunting and BBQ eating. When my dad visited, we took him on the touristy trail: inclines, Strip District, Allegheny Commons, North Side/Shore, etc. There’s really on so much you can do in an afternoon without wanting to jump off of Mount Washington in a fit of exhaustion.

Duquesne incline, for me, went something like: FREAKING DISASTER MULTI-PLEX IN 3-D WHILE INSIDE THE TRAIN. How people ride this rickety thing daily for public transportation, I have no idea. I’ve been atop Mount Washington before — the look-out point from atop the other incline, which I drove to the top of — but the view from the Duquesne point is remarkable.

I do love this city.

weekend:
Hey, hey, get your street partying on this Sunday from 5-11pm at Kayafest — the best outdoor festival in the Strip! Bands, pig roast, tropical drinkage, dancing in ze streets!

And OF COURSE this city would have a Pyro Festival. Seemingly an all-day line-up of events is planned for Saturday at Homewood Acres of the all-things-fireworks variety and the ‘Burghers who love them… and then the Sky will ‘Gasm.

seven things, seven days:
1. {nom} Klayvon’s gets a triple-nom salute with their butterscotch and marshmallow toppings available on their vanilla sundaes.
2. {happy} Doctor’s note: clear to skate non-contact! I’ll be back working on my endurance next week.
3. {workout} Currently in love with Pilates after my first session this week… more to come on that.
4. {sugar high} Maple candies and maple pancake mix from Grandma Z’s Maple Haus at the PPM (yum!)
5. {gardening} We’re on our 2nd attempt at growing our own veggies. Since I currently have a casted green thumb, I haven’t been able to do much of anything – especially so in the garden – so some of our attempts at vegetable gardening have suffered. And by that, I mean, the seeds must have suffocated underground. This time, we’re trying plants.
6. {pamper} Enjoyed an afternoon at the spa and got my first facial in, like, 5 years, Friday afternoon. My face desperately needs some help, and this was my first step in getting my skin under control. And yes, the service is every bit as indulgent and relaxing… I’m worth it.
7. {useful} Must have this Mercado produce bag. Will be especially useful for carrying veggies three blocks home from our community plot and for farmers market excursions.

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{the week} runners, skaters and more road trips

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{the week} runners, skaters and more road trips

Do you have favorite road trip foods? Mine have always been Nilla Wafers and 50/50. But since I’m becoming a LOT more annoying conscious about what I put into my body… well, frankly, both of those things SUCK. Also, why the hell can’t I find REAL ginger ale?! I did find some moderately healthy ginger cookies (which have an ingredient list that I can read and understand), but how do I replace my fizzy goodness? Meh.

I can't promise that I won't buy one of these if I see one.

the week:
I haven’t had cereal in over a week. Hold me.

weekend:
Good Luck to my friends who are running the Pittsburgh Marathon this weekend! How I would love to be on the sidelines cheering for you, but I’m off on another roller derby road trip to Lancaster. I’m SUPER excited about some highlights in the reviews for my hotel: all the crime scene, without all that pesky yellow tape and chalk tracings. o_O

If you stick around Pittsburgh this weekend, take advantage of Free Comic Book Day at your favorite local shop (ahem, New Dimension Comics), the Toonseum AND the Power game.

seven things, seven days:
1. {perky} My friend B from Florida home-roasted me some coffee beans and shipped them to me this week. Can’t WAIT to brew the awesomeness.
2. {therapy} OK, shopping therapy. I was initially looking for a pair of hot pink skinny jeans, but then I saw a pair of bright teal ones. MINE!
3. {obsession} Currently coveting SO MANY THINGS on NastyGal. Remembering that I’d like a new bathroom some time this year…
4. {bonding} Was fun to host some of my skating friends this week for an after-practice strategy session.
5. {melting} I hate the humidity. I try my best to adjust and be happy, but my hormones just won’t allow it.
6. {wrong way} One day I will learn how to navigate the east end of this city and remember its pervasive “no left turns” signs. One day.
7. {countdown} Officially counting down the days ON ONE HAND until my birthday. Excuse me while I do some impulsive online shopping to numb the pain.

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{the week} Ain’t no mountain high enough… wait, is that a 4-20 reference?

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{the week} Ain’t no mountain high enough… wait, is that a 4-20 reference?

the week:
This week has been filled with highs… and unfortunately, some lows. But through the smiles and tears (and uncomfortable talks), I discover my strengths and faults. With that realization, I need to make some changes in various parts of my life to achieve my goals. And I know this paragraph is worse than your old college friend VagueBooking, but there are some things that I’m just not ready to talk about. You can read that all over my eyes that are swollen with tears of disappointment, awareness and heart.

But it was all worth it to hear from the boyfriend: to me, you have no faults.
I know, he’s a total bullshitter! And in the same breath, he pointed out actual faults (because I wanted to hear them). But it’s all constructive because some days he seems to know me better than I know myself.

weekend:
So, this weekend, I’m going to rock the shit out of it.
Tonight, a Pirates game.
Tomorrow, roller derby.
Sunday, Pittsburgh ComiCon. And yes, I’ll be there in costume.

And I hear there’s some kinda of hockey game or something…

seven things, seven days:
1. {work} I interviewed and was offered a position at a local non-profit this week. Part-time (which still allows me to freelance)… but full-time excited over here.
2. {nom} More enchiladas at Las Velas, please. Tonight before the game? Boyfriend, you’re the bestest.
3. {cheers} Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week starts today! Actually, at 7 this morning. WHERE WERE YOU?!
4. {do good} A few days ago, I met Randy of Randyland local fame (pictures above). What an amazing human being. I could listen to him talk about his passions and his art for hours.
5. {energy} Barre — a real food bar — is developed by two local dancers and made in Pittsburgh!
6. {dance} Coppelia at the Pittsburgh Ballet was every bit as memorable as the performances that I held dear from childhood.
7. {wishes} And yes, I want to be a ballerina again. I can pretend with adult beginner classes. You bet that I’m seriously considering it!

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An impromptu date night with Bill Maher

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An impromptu date night with Bill Maher

I tried to get tickets to Bill Maher for the boyfriend for our anniversary, but I was seemingly the LAST LIBERAL IN PITTSBURGH to hear about him coming to town. It was sold out.

Then, at happy hour dinner on Friday (at Las Velas, naturally), we were trying to figure out our plan of action for the evening. I saw a tweet about the Power game, but couldn’t remember why it wasn’t on my calendar (you know I don’t miss that shit, unless it’s for derby)… oh, because “Bill Maher” was in its place. I pouted, then turned toward a friend sitting beside me at the bar (who also happens to “know some people”) and asked about the possibility of any tickets being available last minute. She made some calls, and at that very minute, two were released for sale. Naturally, we snagged them.

Yeah, he was hilarious. Totally worth it.

Bonus: the Byham sells sippie cups (mine has wine) to take into the theater, which makes the evening even more hilarious.

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{the week} my new hobby would be day drinking on the patio, if I didn’t have things to do. And there were no bugs.

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{the week} my new hobby would be day drinking on the patio, if I didn’t have things to do. And there were no bugs.

the week:
We have patio furniture!

Do you know how tedious this type of adventure is? Most patio furniture sucks — and is super uncomfortable. And when you find something you kind of like, what the hell, is it expensive. But since I’ve moved my work outdoors for the season (or at least, temporarily, says Local Weather Guy) and my doctor says I need some Vitamin D, I need places to sit and get attacked by bees and ants and mosquitos. Or enjoy the weather and the piss-smell of those blooming trees or something. And seemingly, our neighborhood outdoor cat is in love with the cozy sleeping space. Based on how many times I’ve already caught him slumbering on the cushions.

Regardless, WE HAVE PLACES TO SIT and entertain our guests and neighbors (and warm thanks to friends and neighbors who let us borrow a couple furniture items while we waited for delivery). And a place to entertain semi-homeless and outdoor cats, for that matter. This makes the missing of downtown living lessen… like, a lot. Except for the stupid bugs.

Also, how awesome is sleeping with windows open… in March? Answer = the best. This is also the time of year that I start thinking about tattoos.

weekend:
I’ve got my power bolts ready — the Pittsburgh Power home opener is tonight! (likely followed by many margaritas at Las Velas).

10th Annual Pond Skim & Meltdown Party, in all its hilarity, is happening at 7 Springs Saturday morning (starts at 11am). Really wish I could get out there for this fun event. Say hey to my buddy, “celebrity judge,” Scott Harbaugh if you go (and scold him for making upcoming Easter week so chilly).

weekly reading wrap-up:
You guys? Hunger Games? No. Most definitely not my thing. I read about six chapters on the boat, and I am most definitely not hooked. In fact, the entire time I was reading it, I thought: this is just fucked up. (also, why am I thinking about the short story “The Lottery” so much). But since I’m conflicted about purchasing all three damn books for my Kindle, I might finish them if I’m bored this summer. But seriously… post-apocalyptic teen fiction? It may as well have been about vampires. I’m moving on to “Bossypants.”

seven things, seven days:
1. A combination of my trainer appointment (and follow-up, at-home workouts) and 7.5 hours of skating and roller derby has kicked my ass this week. My ass, my hips, my thighs, my arms… the bridge of my nose.
2. Six month dental cleaning appointment: no new cavities, but still a couple things to take care of before Adult Braces of 2012 happens.
3. Tis the season: breaking out the pastel nail polishes. Going to attempt this fun twist on a french manicure.
4. Oh, it’s also hairball season, if your cat hasn’t told you several times over already, in the form of hairy balls of puke underneath the bed.
5. I finally smelled the stench of a stinkbug. It’s not entirely offensive, but distinct, nonetheless. I still cannot go near the fuckers. They creep me out.
6. I purchased new slippers, after perusing three different Target locations over the last month or two (the first two didn’t have any slippers, WTF?). But I soon realized the mistake of buying flip-flop, soft terry slippers in a house with TOO MANY STAIRS (read: trip & fall down or up the steps). These are perfect for after showers, but NOT for walking around the house. Back to Square #1.
7. Yeah, I think I’m going to take advantage of some day drinking now. TGIF!

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{the week} animal, vegetable or alcohol?

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{the week} animal, vegetable or alcohol?

the week:
We “officially” got into our community garden plot since returning from vacation and talked to the old owner about what’s already planted — and it comes pre-planted with a lot of useful items: asparagus, rhubarb, lots of berries and greens, among others. Oh, and some herbs! Rhubarb is already good for us to pull too, which I’m looking forward to using (mmmmm, rhubarb pie!). I’m hoping to get some potatoes, sprouts and maybe some carrots in the ground soon. I’ll wait another month or so to do tomatoes. What luck do you have growing vegetables in Pittsburgh? Regardless, this is so much more exciting than doing a CSA! I think.

weekend:
ROLLER DERBY! Thanks to everyone who bought tickets — and can’t wait to watch this bout against Bleeding Heartland!

Saturday is also our anniversary. We won’t be able to do our yearly traditional dinner at Toast! But hopefully we can get in a nice couple date some time this week. SOME time around my crazy practice schedule.

Also, we’re finally buying some patio furniture (goodbye, trusty camping chair!). Which means it will probably rain or hail or snow for the next 30 days. Scott Harbaugh… I’m warning you. Working outside on my patio is my new favorite thing.

seven things, seven days:
1. I applied to go back to school. Pending turn-around time of my transcripts, it may/not be Fall admission.
2. The weather. THE WEATHER! What a wonderful thing to come home to. That, and the cats. Life = bliss.
3. Bocktown for Friday Happy Hour! I need to seriously nom on some french fries and BBQ.
4. Rudy the Cat seems to be his old self again. I woke up to his fat ass propped up atop the headboard. He didn’t last long like that. But his voice has changed since his cold. It’s so strange.
5. You know what else are strange? SQUIRRELS. Where the hell do they get all these random shelled peanuts? And why are they hiding them in my landscaping? Why do they chirp so loudly?
6. I’m pretty stoked to see one of my clients’ products in this month’s Women’s Health magazine.
7. Disappointed to realize that customs seems to have confiscated the hinged-head coconut “bank” from AB’s luggage that I wanted to use for a toilet paper holder in our Tiki-themed bathroom. WTH?! Not even a letter saying they went in the bags! Totally sad. It was such a rad idea. And it was carved with the words “Have fun!”

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{the week} vacation on the brain

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{the week} vacation on the brain

As much as I want to enjoy a stress-free vacation, I’m already stressing out about HOW WILL I RELAX?! I swear that every trip shaves another year off my life. Also, I realized that my Xanax prescription is from 2002. That translates to: INEFFECTIVE. Looks like I’ll be making a traveling care package of varied mini bottles…

SCRATCH THAT! Easy-peasy call to the doctor, and I have one spanking new bottle of Security Blanket.

the week:
asdfjaskld;fjhgha;
That’s what your brain sounds like the week before vacation.

weekend:
Oh man, if I weren’t planning my leave, I would totally be participating in the Mac & Cheese Taste-off Competition on Saturday… alas, I’ve got some, um, packing to do.

And then I’m taking a self-defense class. And then I have a league meeting. And then I need to find some earplugs… where the hell do you buy earplugs?! And then I need to do some flyering. And create a newsletter to post while I’m gone.

How does my schedule get so busy nearest to departure?

weekly reading wrap-up:
Loading up the Kindle with some vacation reads to read ocean side. What, you didn’t think my travels would include an ocean? Psssh. Seems that everyone-and-their-librarian is reading the Hunger Games. Suppose I’ll line up in lemming fashion. If it’s about vampires, I’m going to kick all of your asses.

seven things, seven days:
1. My scoop article on Lucky Page #13 in March’s issue of Pittsburgh Magazine, featuring a wonderful local animal-loving company Paws ‘N Claws Eyewear.
2. love, love, LOVE the live music nights at Andy’s. While most weeks it’s jazz, this Wednesday was a special treat with opera from Anna Singer.
3. waking up sick and sinusy before vacation blows big donkey balls
4. drinking hot toddies makes it all better
5. Birchbox! Every time I consider canceling you, you do something awesome… like send me a sponsored box of products from Vichy. Best. Eye Makeup Remover. EVER.
6. first lunch service for Meat & Potatoes today… of COURSE I’ll be there.
7. One last time before I go to vacation: help me reach my goal for Bowl for Kids’ Sake! (your small donation of just $5 sincerely helps!)

I’ll see yinz on the flip side… or in ten days or so.

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{the week} I like wine with my wine, thankyouverymuch!

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{the week} I like wine with my wine, thankyouverymuch!

And my wine with my vodka. But not really, because I’M OLD AND CANNOT HANDLE THE HANGOVERS. Ahem.

the week: Valentine’s Day was this week… you know, that holiday that I poo-poo’d. We kept on the tradition I started last year of having fondue (celebrated on Sunday, since Tuesday was a practice night for me). It was delicious. And reaffirms all I need is him and cheese and bread and wine and my cats to be happy forever and ever amen. The boyfriend got me a card, which happens… never. Naturally, in my current whack-a-doodle hormonal state, I cried.

He also got me this:

…which is still in mail purgatory. But, SQUEE! You know what’s better than love? Finding someone who knows you SO well.
*swoon*

Err, I meant *puke*

And then on Monday, I had cheese for dinner AGAIN. It definitely was not as delicious as the melty, dippy goodness.

I also got this month’s Foodzie box — which was the Date Night Box. It included: durum wheat Mohawk pasta, Fig & Port Vinaigrette, roasted salted pecans, Mendocino sea salt and a Port wine caramel chocolate bar.

Animals humping on that wrapper, by the way!

That chocolate bar is from Sweeteeth in Charleston, SC. Did you read that it’s filled with port wine and caramel? And I’m having it with my wine for dinner.

PS: who’s already looking forward to Anthrocon this summer?

weekend:
We’re hosting a small bottleshare gathering with some friends this weekend, which means I’ll be spending my Friday night lint-rolling every sitting surface in my house. While drinking a bottle from my new wine club delivery. And that chocolate bar.

We also have a fun Elite party to attend at Penn Brewery, courtesy of Yelp!

Which totally reminded me about that time when I told a waiter “no thanks” in response to taking home my leftover lunch by actually saying, “No. I’m having vodka for dinner.” That time was this week.

For all you pudding lovers: Saturday is the Valentine’s Day Pudding Massacre (aka: PUDDING WRESTLING). Be at Belvedere’s.

weekly reading wrap-up: Still on the same book as last week… I need to get in a few short ones this month before vacation.

seven things, seven days
1. cheese plate and giant heart-shaped red velvet cake at Sonoma Grille… with some of AB’s coworkers. I’m crashing this consultant party!
2. I painted my nails twice in two weeks. WHO AM I?
3. Turntable Kitchen was not worth the monthly subscription. Meh. Definitely sticking with Foodzie.
4. Birchbox was ridiculous this month too — not “lip tattoos” ridiculous, sadly. Regardless, I’m ready to unsubscribe.
5. Arsenal Plum Cider. Yum!
6. handwritten notes from bloggers are awesome. (thanks, Rachel!)
7. vacation countdown has begun!

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{the week} so many exclamations!!! AND SHOUTING!

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{the week} so many exclamations!!! AND SHOUTING!

the week: all three of my cats had vet appointments. I had my annual vag tune-up. Everything is furry, tested and in working condition. WAAAAAAIIIIIIITTTT A MINUTE…

I had a Friend Date for Billy Elliot this week, which started with drinks at Andy’s and dinner at Habitat (I give good date). The musical, I adored. Oh how I laughed and squeed! For most of the production, I was high in my seat with a goofy grin on my face — I felt as though I was discovering something AMAZING. Truly. I knew NOTHING about the musical, other than I MUST SEE IT! I also did not know that Sir Elton John is behind the beautiful music. My favorite acts were “Expressing Yourself” and “Once We Were Kings.” Although I am conflicted over liking or wincing at the “Angry Dance” act… perhaps that’s how I was supposed to feel? Billy Elliot was inspiring, heartwarming and so… BROADWAY. Side note: we had freaking fantastic seats. I’m definitely budgeting for lower level seats more often.

weekend: Chachi Plays & & the Twitterers Tetris Tournament tonight! I’m also excited for pre-gaming at Las Velas. Margaritas make both twitter and tetris more fun.

Also, I’ve been practicing.

I take my Tetris very seriously.

everybody loves you… has some weekend dinner plans for you. And your various stages of relationship status. CAT LADY APPROVED! And if you haven’t already made reservations, you’re probably fucked. Move directly to Papa John’s delivery & RedTube status.

lululemon in Shadyside is holding an All You Need is Love yoga event on Sunday:

Feb. 12, 6-7:15pm — food & fun until 8pm

Join us for the lululemon athletica Shadyside’s All You Need Is Love Yoga Event on February 12th, taught by Stacey Vespaziani, owner and instructor at South Hills Power Yoga! We’re going to have a blast with a heart-opening vinyasa flow class and a few partner poses in between. Lover is out of town? There are always alternative postures for anyone who’s flying solo that night!

weekly reading wrap-up: finished “I Don’t Care About Your Band!” — on to “About My Life And The Kept Women: A Memoir” by John Rechy (which has been sitting on my nightstand unread, since, well… since I got a nightstand). Thinking I need to make a Google Spreadsheet to track books & notes.

seven things, seven days:
1. the boyfriend went to NYC. And his hotel was overlooking Times Square. And I drooled at pictures from afar, here, in Pittsburgh. WHAT A BASTARD!
2. alas, vacation is so close I CAN SMELL THE BEIGNETS.
3. we’re next on the waiting list for our community garden plot! PS: does anyone know if you can grow sprouts in Pittsburgh?
4. have I mentioned: three cats, three vet appointments. One with a cold. Another with a chronic eye condition. Two overweight. Update: Kitty #2 lost an entire POUND! ALL THREE TERRIFIED OF THEIR CARRIERS. Oy.
5. in one week, I’ve had two phantom occurrences of things-plugged-in randomly turning on (the bedroom TV, which is on a timer & the coffee maker). Those cats are most definitely fucking with me.
6. I need to do a better job of giving directions from the passenger seat. For serious. It’s like I have a synapse missing where the bridge connects downtown to the north side. THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY A METAPHOR! And also why I usually just take the bus.
7. have you visited That’s Church & donated to the kids yet? IT’S FOR THE KIDS!

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{the week} january is over & this week is almost all about food and drinking

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{the week} january is over & this week is almost all about food and drinking

the week: oh, that pesky Phil saw his shadow, which means SIX MORE WEEKS of this awesome winter weather. Glass half full, guys.

It’s Friday, so here’s a cute cat picture:

Curious, this one, about EVERYTHING.

Like I am about 30 WAYS & DAYS OF MAC N’ CHEESE. Every time I think there isn’t a God…

weekend: duh, derby! Come to the Sweetheart Valentine’s Bout & Open Skate on Sunday! And if you go (and stick around for open session), I promise to hold hands with you during couples skate.

weekly reading wrap-up: Unsurprisingly (I suppose), I started reading a book about a girl who dates drunken rock stars. Or something. A guilty pleasure: I Don’t Care About Your Band (among your other professions and passions).

seven days, seven things:
1. last night’s pulled pork is tonight’s pork enchiladas, aka: our new mission of actually USING our leftovers. Have you ever had pulled pork enchiladas? You are missing out on one of the best things I ever put in my mouth.
2. New sunglasses. Word. But seriously, how many pairs of cheapies did I have to break to realize I needed to make a little investment in my eyewear. But definitely not a PRADA-size investment. I balked the shit out of the price on those things, thinking of all the ways I would break or lose them on the bus.
3. Wednesday afternoons need more mini bottles of sparkling rose.
4. WINE INFUSED WHIPPED CREAM!
5. GRAND OPENING: Station Street is now serving hot dogs again in the East End. That bahn mi dog is ALL MINE.
6. casual wine (and cheese!) tastings at Dreadnought in The Strip. This might be my new favorite thing-to-do every 1st & 3rd Friday.
7. I won the “I love you, blogs & coffee” print (that I’ve been seriously wanting for about a year now) from Rachel at It’s a Hero. My response to winning the print by Made By Girl went something like this: ASdjklds;fsadjfkl;ghadsf!!!

You, blogs and coffee. They truly are my three favorite things.

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{the week} my plate is full… of awesome!

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{the week} my plate is full… of awesome!

the week: do you know what it’s like to exercise for 3.5 hours straight? How about that length of time for continuous play of roller derby? I can already tell that my endurance is improving — one of my goals for the season. But if you see me limping around like an old lady, showing off arms-full of bruises, YOU KNOW WHY.

*sigh* And I love every minute of it.

Underwear Afternoons?

And how was YOUR afternoon?

Have you heard the awesome news of the development of the Garden Theater block in my ‘hood? I’m excited to take a tour of the Masonic Hall on Monday morning. The mayor will be there… perhaps I’ll bring Finger Spidey along for the adventure.

weekend: Friday night’s Gallery Crawl has been overshadowed by homeowner DIY. But, BUT! Boyfriend is my DD Saturday night, so I can enjoy my wine to the fullest at a friend’s Wine & Board Games party (toting along Smart Ass & my bottle of Climax)

weekly reading wrap-up: um, does People StyleWatch count?

seven days, seven things:
1. voted in as the Community Involvement Chair for Pittsburgh Young Professionals. Looking forward to this leadership position — and the opportunity to bring non-profits and PYP members together for the good of Pittsburgh (and email me if you have an upcoming potential event for our group!).
2. newly-appointed as marketing head and stepping up involvement in sponsorship committee for derby
3. raising funds for our Bowl for Kids’ Sake team, in support for BBBS Pittsburgh
4. Astroglide is awesome. The end.
5. friday morning americanos at espresso a mano — I might make this a regular habit.
6. wunderlist – yes, the boyfriend & I can now be THAT annoying couple and sync our grocery and to-do lists. NEED MORE TAMPONS, BOYFRIEND!
7. dripping faucets and leaky shut-off valves on toilets and fuck my life

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