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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} … 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} I see your true colors shining through… but that’s why I love you.

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{the week} I see your true colors shining through… but that’s why I love you.

Mistakes: we all make them. But being called out on them really puts my panties in a bunch (as well as a high-set of eyeball rollbacks and a distinguishing grimace on my face). I attempt to be diplomatic in my responses to this type of situation, but is it ultimately just my uncanny ability to NEVER BE WRONG that makes making mistakes so… personally wrenching? Gah. I FUCK UP TOO, PEOPLE. I’M LEARNING! BE NICER!

Moving on…

the week:
Have you ever done True Colors training at your job? It’s similar to Myers-Briggs, but simpler. I’m an orange, which feels all sort of… wrong, especially given it’s a workplace team-building exercise, and the “dislikes” section of my color tells of such wonderful traits as “hates authority and rules.” But in talking about reframing, I learned that I’m actually an AWESOME employee because I’m not afraid to take risks — I naturally promote motivation, excitement and action. So, thankfully, there’s that (and soe other oranges within the organization).

But the lesson ultimately teaches you how to work with the different color personalities (and I happened to learn a lot about what makes me tick… which was as refreshing as it was confirming), and how some of us can change colors depending on the situation. Green is my secondary color, but it’s a distant second. I’m exceptionally orange. I should go spray-tanning.

Don't put me in a box!

weekend:
What a weekend to be traveling — there’s so much to do in Pittsburgh (Keg Ride, Art All Night, Gallery Crawl, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, Dr. Sketchy pajama party at the ToonSeum, Pyrotopia, Dutchman at Bricolage). Like, the WORST weekend to be NOT in Pittsburgh. Alas, we’ll be traveling back “home” to Cleveland for a wedding and some necessary catching up with a few friends and new restaurants… and the best cupcakes ever.

Sidenote: in going to new social situations — in this case a wedding, where I only know the groom — it’s especially “interesting” being a derby skater. Thankfully, with the unseasonably cold temperatures (or, just Cleveland), I’ll have most of my bruises covered up to hopefully avoid the quizzical looks and questions about my banged-up arms and shins.

seven things, seven days:
1. {breathe} What a hectic week! I’m so grateful that I have an outlet for my frustrations.
2. {nostalgia} Practicing with some of my old teammates this weekend!
3. {ouch} Yep, still having some wrist pain. Ortho visit scheduled for next week.
4. {sticky situations} Also still allergic to adhesive. Why do I always forget until the tape is already on me?!
5. {publish} The Sewickley Patch reprinted one of my Craft Pittsburgh: Unfiltered columns for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week.
6. {home improvement #1} Small kitchen remodel has begun: the doors are all off the top cabinets (exposing such a mess), and the frames have their first coat of white. Hopefully the boyfriend finishes this project next week when I’m OUT OF TOWN AGAIN.
7. {home improvement #2} The original color I picked for the kitchen walls reminds me of painter’s tape once it was sampled (and definitely not the sky and seas of the Mediterranean). So, we’re back to square one with finding a wall paint that works in our overtly-brown cooking area. *puke*

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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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{the week} on the road again…

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{the week} on the road again…

the week:
I never thought that we’d go back to Indiana, after our friends moved away from the dreadful state last year (visiting them in Charleston, SC is SO much better). But here it is: another year, another annual road trip to the Most Boring State on the Map. At least we can grab some Alpha King for our troubles…

My (upward) view from my patio: nice, eh?

Practice, practice, practice! Besides practices, the only eventful, “for fun” portion of my weekend was grabbing a quick beer at Penn Brewery AFTER practice on Thursday. While I sadly missed my friend performing, at least I got the chance to say “hello” and give him a sweaty hug. Heh.

weekend:
On the road to Indianapolis for derby. Oh, did I mention that? Stopping midway to visit friends in Columbus (you know, the couple who “saved” me from the douchebags, albeit for a few minutes), then onto The Battle Against Naptown.

Then, to Ohio for a mini-Easter. I’M COMING FOR ALL OF YOUR HRUDKA! And keep those damn pickled beets away from me.

seven things, seven days:
1. {energy} Sport Beans: better than your average jelly beans. And better than that funky Gatorade film on your teeth.
2. {sweets} But I’m pretty excited about the Jelly Belly beans that I’m about to get this weekend. Hopefully, I don’t eat one that tastes like puke again. Yes, PUKE.
3. {nom} Käse Kugel from Penn Brewery: my newest, favorite way to kill my caloric intake for the day
4. {tech & diet} Speaking of calorie tracking, the Lose It iPhone app’s barcode scan function has made me more diligent about tracking what I eat each day. And I love dissecting the nutrients feature to see where I can do a little better with my nutrition (um, definitely need to cut out some sugar).
5. {catz} Rudy picked this Cat Lounger out for his birthday. This new “toy” is going over VERY well in this household (maybe he can stop ripping apart my work papers and notebook now in the middle of the night)
6. {sports} Hooray for mlb.tv and being able to watch the Indians’ home opener yesterday!
7. {work} Grateful for client referrals.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Huge Group of Girls: battle of the XX chromosomes

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This weekend I had a couple nights out with two distinctively different groups of women who were “new to me.” As in, never met them before. And since I was in Columbus visiting, I was invited to join them on subsequent nights out as an invitee of my college friend (who I’ve known now for over 15 years). Hooray, girls night!

(and, um, I guess the guy that you’re dating too)

The first group/night out (9 of us at sushi dinner and then a Studio 54 dress-up/dance party at the same restaurant): the women were fun, warm, inviting — and all beautiful. So nice. Cared more about dancing then anything/anyone else around them.

The second (10 or so of us at an over-crowded douchebag bar to watch the Buckeyes final four game): fake, cruel, catty … and kinda whore-ish. Ugh. Just… UGH.

Both interesting and completely different dynamics, but with one common element: my college friend. Both also containing women at various stages of relationship status. But guess at which I rolled my eyes more? (not to mention, *sigh* douchebag bars… why won’t you grow out of this, 30-something Columbus-ans?!). But I digress…

I tried my best at engaging both groups in mutual friendship and conversation, since it was in the best interest of my friend and my weekend. And the sake of my eyeballs. I walked away with some new friends this weekend as a result, but definitively from that first group. They were friendly, responsive and welcomed me with open arms… and open hugs upon the end of the evening. The second group of girls? Openly dismissive. Mean. One chick, who I can only hope “forgot” that I was part of her “clique” that night (but that’s probably giving her too much credit), continually turned her back towards me, flipping her long blonde hair constantly into my face (and my drink) while I stood at the bar near her. Oh, and when that didn’t get me to move, she started hitting me with her shoulder bag each time she moved with frequent animation. WTF. A few of the others outright ignored me (whatever). And yet, more of the girls would act interested, then WALK AWAY in the middle of a conversation. Oh, yeah… because of stupid boys.

I wish I was joking or even exaggerating in the slightest.

I knew there would be drama once everyone started pointing out that each had her own “ex” in the bar that night. But they were intent on showing off, feverishly hooking up and/or making out publicly with the next “flavor of the week” to make themselves feel better or something. It was just… gross. Fucking girls night, my ass. I had a small glimmer of hope, when a couple (who AB and I are friends with because of Pittsburgh) came to the bar to say hi. They attempted to drag me out somewhere else more suited to what I like, but I stuck around because I DON’T LEAVE MY FRIENDS.

To be honest, I was mortified that my friend considered the second group to be her “better” friends. These are girls who are out for themselves and themselves only — and wouldn’t think TWICE at leaving your ass at the bar once they met a guy. And if you’re wondering, I told her exactly that. And if you’re wondering if I’m a total bitch for thinking or saying so — well, if you consider honesty “bitchy,” then yes, I am a TOTAL BITCH. To each his or her own. Does that make me better than these girls? Nope. Different. Yep. At least I tried to make friends and was nice to everyone and DIDN’T INTENTIONALLY HIT ANYONE WITH MY PURSE. I shrugged off all the bad behavior because THANK GOD, I don’t have to do that every weekend.

I guess the point of this post is that I’m happy that I have genuine people to rely on, depend on, and ultimately trust that my ass makes it home alongside them. And that they can give up hooking up FOR ONE FREAKING NIGHT when I visit or want to have a girls night. And that my friends are not friends like hers. Thanks for being YOU, friends. I treasure you.

And I’m happy that I don’t live in Columbus.

PS: I heart you, Mike Polk. {video above}

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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} recovery

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the week:
My week started in New Orleans. Ended in Pittsburgh. I still have a bad case of the sways. And Boat Crud. Whatever sickness I had before vacation went away long enough to resurface during our last couple days in Nola. I was that annoying dry-cougher on the entire plane ride. TAKE YOUR AIRBORNE, PASSENGERS!

Also: fucking pilots. why do they bother to even remark about how “smooth sailing” a flight will be, when IT’S NOT. Let’s just not provoke a response at all. Also, fuck you if you clap when a plane lands. It’s not funny. Neither is landing in Chicago.

weekend:
I’m bowling for the kids on Sunday. My last push to take your lunch money — DONATE HERE.

seven days, seven things:
1. I need water.
2. I need sleep.
3. I need to skate.
4. I need to eat a salad.
5. Phew. I need a shower.
6. I need to catch up on Twitter.
7. I need to start writing my vacation blog posts.

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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} 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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{the week} Cheers to good friends, good food & good health.

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{the week} Cheers to good friends, good food & good health.

the week: Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar for Pittsburgh Restaurant Week with a group of friends. I strayed off the chef’s tasting menu, and selected my own four courses. And everything was delicious — especially the beef tongue chili and CARROT CAKE BREAD PUDDING. Where did you enjoy a local meal this week?

Speaking of pudding, KEN RICE PUDDING… I haven’t stopped laughing all week.

Also, SNOW! Finger Spidey approves.

weekend: checking out new gastropub and speakeasy, James Street for Friday Happy Hour. So excited about this new addition to the North Side. What’s on your weekend agenda — somewhere new perhaps?

weekly reading wrap-up
FINALLY finishing up “Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef” — my first book pick-up for 2012. Definitely not enough sex, but the book was good. Considering Marco Pierre White was a mentor (of sorts) to both Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsey, I was intrigued.

So, yeah… I’ve already fallen behind in my 52 books goal, but I’ve not given up hope to complete that resolution. But I need to do a MUCH better job of time management. Have anything I should read this year? Welcoming suggestions. Preferably short books.

seven days, seven things:
1. sunday brunch at Meat & Potatoes is THE BEST
2. discovered a new favorite snack, thanks to Foodzie!
3. kept my weekly trainer appointment… two-a-day workouts are TOUGH.
4. drove on a pitch back for the first time. holy. crapmypants.
5. breaking in my new skates. initial feedback: love them!
6. finally replaced my black flats (that were lost in the move). Which means I’ll find the missing pair now, right?
7. woo! My friends mailed me not one, but TWO bottles of Becherovka from the Czech Republic, including the lemon-flavored, which I’ve never had. Na zdraví!

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What this weekend needs is more Missy Elliott.

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What this weekend needs is more Missy Elliott.

Can I commiserate with the sentiment that this summer is going WAY TOO FAST?! I’m pretty sure we’re booked through the end of August; myself, with a variety of events and requisite derby activities… especially now that I’ve added Monday nights to my practice schedule.

These ladies know how to party!

This past week though — at least on Thursday — I could take a (short) break from skating to join invitees (and nominees) for Pittsburgh Magazine’s Best of the Burgh party at the Mattress Factory. There were some special Photo Booth moments. And more-than-a-few delicious Local Mules. And that time I introduced myself to the “wrong Sean.” And Sally Wiggin. Oh that lady is so full of awesome. Also: remember that OTHER time when I was talking about baseball, and I thought that I was being invited to PLAY in a baseball game, rather than WATCH a professional baseball game?

See again: Local Mules.

Friday night, we had only intended to jump around the Cultural District’s Gallery Crawl (and find some grub for dinner while strolling around downtown)… But since our friends are so great, we were invited last minute to join them at the Cosmopolitan Party located in the former Bally’s gym downtown. Where we dined on fancy pork rinds. And drank cranberry-tainted vodka drinks (and a few champagne toasts to start our voyage). And danced our party balls off (the DJ was awesome, FYI — old school FTW). You know, all the things one would expect at on a cruise ship (“I’m on a boat… oh, wait. I’m in a Bally’s!”). I especially loved the high school prom-esque decor of the old gymnasium on the top floor (and the barrels upon barrels of Pittsburgh Popcorn Company product).

Did I tell you about that time I was in a flash mob? Oh, the fun (and oh, how FAR my dancing days are behind me). Regardless of my aversion to Beyonce and all her music. There is a video somewhere online, I’m sure of it. But I’m too embarrassed to search. But that’s what I get for signing up for some random “dance class” during a cultural event.

In addition to the Dirty Ball next year (which occurs in May), the Cosmo party will DEFINITELY be on our list of events to attend.

And then on Saturday, there was derby — I was on volunteer duty for this bout — a Steel City Derby Demons double header against the Chicago Outfit. WE WON both games — w00t! Sadly, there was no room for epic after parties for this old lady. *yawn* I also needed to ensure my presence at a meeting on Sunday. If anybody remembers LAST after party, I was definitely in bed for the better of two days. Yeahhhhh.

Did you do anything fun in Pittsburgh this weekend?

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{pursuit} of clarity

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I haz the confoozed head today.

I have had this tab open to WordPress for my entire work day — clicked back-and-forth a few times — and still have nothing to say (even though my notes and drafts read otherwise). Other than that, I had a monster of a hangover Sunday (that I’m very likely still reeling from). Self-induced, naturally, after an after-bout party for the ages. This will be a long set of ages for me, if I continue to drink cheap vodka and a specialty drink called “Long Treasure Islands” (they’re delicious).

Also, I’m hungry (having only stomached some guac and chips over the course of two days).

I’ll try this again tomorrow.

Reading: “I Don’t Care About Your Band” by Julie Klausner. Finally picked this up at the used bookstore… three months ago. I’m FINALLY reading it.

Listening: “I Like That” by Static Revenger & Richard Vission ft. LUCIANA. I’ve declared this my summer song. I LOVE IT. Hard.

Cheese-ing: Rosenborg Blue Extra Creamy Loaf. NOM-tastic. And really rich.

Drinking: East End Brewing Big Hop on tap in the keg fridge. C’mon over! (but not today)

Thinking: more water, please.

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Birthday Shenanigans, AKA: I’m 34.

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Birthday Shenanigans, AKA: I’m 34.

Oh, birthdays. While I don’t really enjoy your age association, I truly love your celebration. Especially in its Weekend Bender form.

You're definitely having this much fun on your birthday, right?

Truth be told, I didn’t get much sleep this weekend. And feeling a little like I’m paying for that in the way of a sore throat and general lethargy today — but hey, it’s my MF’ing Birthday!

Friday, I rushed through my morning work schedule, so that I could walk around downtown — it was a gorgeous sunny day. I hit Franktuary for lunch, then wandered over to the Pittsburgh Public Market (for marshmallows and beer). After the boyfriend left work, I met him for a Happy Hour drink at NOLA in Market Square — totally hoping for some outdoor seating (sadly, no room on the patio) — while we discussed our night plans. Which was our first trip out to the Waterfront in Homestead, for comedy at the IMPROV (Jim Jefferies, FTW!). Then, we had WAY too much fun (think: Extreme “More Than Words”) at Sing Sing, Pittsburgh’s dueling piano bar.

Saturday: early rising to join 1,000+ “friends” for the Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride. Of course, RAIN for the 6+ mile ride from downtown to the starting line at East End Brewing Company (and oh, holy hell, Penn Avenue I hate your elevation). The ride finished off at Penn Brew on the North Side (mmmm, love that warm German Potato Salad!), with thankfully no significant rain during that trip. Afterward, I definitely needed a Disco Nap, if I was going to survive the Dirty Ball. Which was SO MUCH FUN, Pittsburgh. And not an ankle was broken in my 6-inch heels! But there was dancing… LOTS of dancing. The sequins definitely made for an impression.

Sunday was fit for a grump, as I had to wake up early AGAIN (early, at least for how much vodka I had the night before) for a sunny afternoon game with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Oh, lookie there: The Buccos won for my birthday.

The best park in baseball!

AND THEN I DID (something like) 18 LOADS OF LAUNDRY.

The end.

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Jesus Juice and Cocoa Butter

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I do not drink the juice. Unless it is whipped cream vodka. Holy crap, that stuff is good. Too bad it’s a shitty brand because I would have loved more than one drink.

Where to begin. Weekend weirdness.

To say I was accosted by bible thumpers in Public Square between the bar and home on a Friday night is a gross overstatement, but for serious… This guy — thinking he was an everyday panhandler — handed me something, which I grabbed kindly without paying much attention, but he may as well shoved it down the front of my dress. I took a step or two, recognized “those words” on the front cover and put it back on top of his pile of books.

A holy bible? Is this the tactic to get kids to church these days?

I might have said “ew” when I gave it back. And then some skater punks called me disrespectful, but whatever — at least I gave his paraphernalia back. I could have trashed it or thrown it in front of a Healthline bus. Or shredded it for cat litter.

Finding Chi. And the source of that delicious smell.

We balanced out the holy bible with Hell’s sins of drinking, food and boobies to round out our last full weekend in the Cleve: YUMM! at Mercury, cucumber margaritas and guacamole sampler at Momocho, Five on It at Touch, beers at Bier Markt and dancing with the blondes at Hustler Club and Diamond’s Mens Club. Thank. You.

And how incredibly rude of me, I never asked our girl’s name. For shame.

Best line of the night: “Is this the Applebee’s of strip clubs?” in regards to the Hustler Club. Dead on. That place is stranger than ED’s downtown. Too much fun. And without all the unnecessary glitter. Yes, my life is debaucherous. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Working on my derby ass.

I also participated in the Blood & Thunder training camp, where I developed another 18 or so bruises and scratches and new derby pals. Ten-to-twelve hours of roller derby kicked my ASS. It was a super-fun Cleveland weekend — including the two-day hangover (not). Oooof.

Nearing the end.

Five days left.

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Weekend update

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Thanks to the wonderful suggestion of the one-and-only Cleveland Bachelor in finally getting my ass over to Cinematheque (where I thought I’ve been before, but perhaps not) to see “We Live in Public” on Friday night. It was a fantastic documentary about Josh Harris — a man who should be familiar, but unfortunately is not. So, if you like social media, history on the beginnings of the internet and other amazing technologies of the online variety, check him out. The movie is gone from Cleveland, but perhaps in that being a story about an internet guru, it would find its way to downloadable status somewhere.

After our weekly trip to the West Side Market (complete with holiday music, courtesy of the  St. Ignatius band), Saturday was meant for holiday shopping.

And for any day-long festive stress fest, food fuel (and beer) are prerequisites. The Mighty Macaroni Melt from Melt (and holiday brews) did the job! The wait wasn’t horrible for lunch time on Saturday, but as always — it’s totally worth it. My mouth and stomach were at capacity at only a quarter of sandwich eaten. (And I was not hungry for the ENTIRE duration of the day). That being said, my Melt tattoo is not finished in its design phase, but I intend to revisit hopefully by February to join the melty-happy-tattoo club. 25% for life and The Goddess of Grilled Cheese is certainly a religious sacrament I can get behind.

We fortunately walked off most of those calories. I was excited to find a copy of  “Paris je’taime” DVD at the CD Exchange in Lakewood as well. And subsequently cannot WAIT until the sequel, “New York, I Love You” — coming soon.

A little further into Lakewood, a stop into my most favorite of chocolatiers – Sweet Designs — for an add-on birthday gift for AB’s mom.

Shop. Shop. Shop. Shop. Stand on line. Annoy. Annoy. Horrible Hat Head. Go broke. Get happy, happy holiday cards from that piece of shit sitting in River. Heat broken. Grrr. Fixed. Shop online.

Need more Christmas Ale.

Our end result was ne’er too merry — we still have to finish up next weekend. But the trip should prove to be a fun shopping excursion, with visits to vintage stores and kitchsy galleries and home stores. Again, more West Side.

I was wholly tuckered by ten o’clock.

Coming up this week: Tuesday is the last day to enter the Penis Tuesday giveaway, courtesy of the ever-gracious Princess Patti (and her crocheted penises). I’ll have a Gift Guide for the Male in your life. Also, a random ex-boyfriend story. New Year’s plans are set, with an upcoming vacation/road trip and then the mother of all vacations in January.

Did you catch Cold Case Sunday night, inspired by the music of the iconic Bob Seger? Tuh-die.

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