Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh



Every now and then, it’s fun to be a tourist in your own city.

On Friday, a friend and I went on a little tour of downtown, Station Square and Mt. Washington. It was really neat watching the sun set over the city in an area of the city where you’ve never really seen. (Well, seen when I’ve been sober.)

All of these pics are from my phone — an Incredible 4G.





Playing with filters…



Da fallaht

So, I’ve been getting a little flak for my Philly/Jersey posts recently.

And this is even AFTER I took the criticisms to heart and have been calling the upcoming wedding “The Jersey Wedding” instead of “The Philly Wedding.” And yet, those jagoffs from aht East still keep on razzin’ me abaht my geographical apathy.

Bitter much, Eastbies?

I mean, I even went to a small tweet-up event (watching @burghseyeview’s son play … err, stand on the sideline due to injury while his football team played CMU) and got bashed. I was talking about the upcoming event when I mentioned “The Jersey Wedding” (correctly), and @Beth910 piped in with a “Don’t you mean the PHILLY wedding?” And because I didn’t quite hear her the first time, she hit me with it a second time. Just my luck, she was from North Philly, and had all kinds of connections to Jersey. And she had obviously read the post. I played it off as well as I could, but secretly, I feared she’d grab a plastic butter knife and come after me with it. (I learned the lesson a long time ago … don’t mess with Philly chicks … they WILL cut you.)

Obviously, I pressed a couple buttons. Apparently, Philly don’t like ta be confused with Jersey and vice versa. But they’re all more than happy to come together like the goddam UN to bash me for bashing them.

So, to keep up with the button pressing, I advise all the Eastbies who got their skirts all up in a tizzie to watch this Greg and Donny video (starting at abaht the 1:53 mark), because Gina sums up how I feel perfectly:

Brace yinzselves. We’re comin’ aht, and we ain’t takin’ no prisoners.

(Greg, Donny and Gina — yinz guys rule n’at.)


New Jersey: The Portugal of Philly

My buddy, @AngrierFish on Twitter, has jumped into the fray that I started with yesterday’s post. He tried to tell @ChrissieC that for us, everything east of Harrisburg is Philly. And, to boot, on Facebook, he posted a map — tagging me at one end, and the NJ crew on the other.

I’ve taken that map and expounded on it a bit. So here you go: How “aht East” is seen by those of us on the West side of the militarized zone:

Do you get it now, New Jersey?

(I shoulda totally added ‘WaWa’ out there for NJ. Oh well…)


Location, location, location

As some of you know, I have a wedding coming up in October. No no, I’m not getting married … but one of my best friends is. Corey, who I’ve known since my junior year of college, will be having a pretty kick-ass wedding. She’s marrying Jimo, who is also a fantastically fun guy, in what could be a wedding of the ages: the reception will be at the Triumph Brewery in Princeton, NJ. If I remember correctly, it will feature live music (allegedly, the band will play metal), and I will finally get to meet a bunch of Corey’s friends from “aht East,” as we already chat and abuse the crap out of each other on Facebook and Twitter.

So, yes, this will be an epic wedding. Make no mistake about it.

Which leads me to a tweet I threw out the other night …

Which led to Aht East crew member Chrissie busting my stones …

Which led to …

Now, flash back about 15 years ago, when I was living down in Florida. I had picked up a second job to pay the bills and save up a little cash so I could move back to Pittsburgh. I was working at a country club gym in Boca Raton, where the vast majority of members were from NYC and New Jersey. They would ask where I was from, I’d say Pittsburgh, talk of the Steelers would ensue, and life was good.

However, later on down the road, we’d be talking and they’d say, “Oh, but you’re from Philly.” I would get an incredulous look on my face. I mean, if this was the era of dueling, I would have slapped them with a glove and it would be on. “PHILLY?! No. I’m from Pittsburgh.” They’d brush it off with a “Oh, same thing.”

No. No no no no no. Not even remotely close to the same thing. We don’t have Rocky. We don’t have the Liberty Bell. Ben Franklin? Not from Pittsburgh. We have an accent, but we can pronounce “water” properly. We’ve also never pelted Santa Claus with snowballs, and our quarterback has only been ACCUSED of crimes, not found guilty. See, big differences. I think it’s safe to say that while we share the same state, no one from Philly wants to be confused with being a Pittsburgher, and vice-versa.

But now the tables were turned. I was being accused of confusing New Jersey with Philly. I was the one brushing it off as “same thing.” So, I wanted to take a little time to share all that I know about New Jersey:

  • It’s a place where douchebags go to contract STDs from other douchebags on the oceanfront.
  • The Sopranos tend to dispose of bodies there.
  • It’s literally a “mob rule” kind of state.
  • It’s like 10 miles x 30 miles. That’s it.
  • Newark is a scary spot. Don’t stop there. Ever.
  • The Jersey Devil lives somewhere outside of Newark, but is likely from there.
  • That warm feeling you get when you enter New Jersey? That’s from all the toxic waste buried there.
  • Kevin Smith is from there, which is pretty cool.
  • I hate NJ’s hockey team with a passion.

So, in other words, I know nothing about New Jersey, and I owe everyone an apology. My tweet should have read “I need to go suit shopping for my friend’s NJ wedding, which is coming up fast. While there, I will likely be eating human flesh and drinking delicious beer (which I’ve heard radiant reports about), and as I stumble into the glowing parking lot to hook up with the staff bimbo, I will likely be killed by a mythical creature.”

Sure, it would have gone way past Twitter’s 140 character limit, but now I feel a lot better, as should you.

(And let’s hope people from New Jersey have a sense of humor….)


The Podcamp experience

Quite honestly, I never intended to go to podcamp.

I had the rare Saturday off, and I fully intended to go the Kecksburg UFOfest … not so much because I believe in any of that stuff, but more because I’m a peoplewatcher. And let’s face it, a UFOfest is right up there with Trek conventions if you are a peoplewatcher.

But Kecksburg decided to combine 2 different festivals into one: Old Time Days and UFO Festival were rolled into one, with the majority of UFO-related events slated for Sunday. I only had Saturday off, so, in a phrase, I was boned.

But podcamp was going on, and I decided to go. Now here began an little odyssey that I wasn’t expecting.

Now, last year’s podcamp hit maximum capacity — I know this because I had opted to go, again, at the last minute — but I only found out that it was sold out right before leaving. So, I figured this time that the same thing had happened, and asked on Twitter if someone could get me in. @Dwightspaulding had an extra registration, so we made plans to meet and he could get me in. Now, I only know Dwight from some brief conversations here and there … so it was kinda weird to have someone lend a hand to someone else who was just a voice on the internet. Weird, but awesome.

So, I woke up after 4 hours and headed on down in a zombie-like state. Upon entering The Art Institute, I immediately ran into @Wormy from Bitchburg. Now, I’ve been meaning to meet Wormy and crew for a long time, having already bumped into @Mindbling at Jack’s a few years ago. It took her a few to figure out who I was (as did Mindbling, because she only saw me with a beard), but as soon as she did, she gave me a big hug, and we chatted like we were old friends. And that feeling was something that ran throughout the podcamp … meeting people for the first time, and yet having it feel like you had been friends forever.

I found out that I could register at the door, and so I did. However, I waited for Dwight so I could meet him in person and thank him, because, again, that was exceptionally cool of him to offer to help me out.


At first I didn’t go with a name badge. I don’t know, I just kinda hate them. But as I wandered through, I realized that that was the only way I could recognize a lot of people was through that little tag. So, I went and got one. And that’s where the fun began.

See, I know my blog isn’t huge. I know that I don’t have a billion followers on Twitter. But the fact that folks recognized my handle and said, “Oh my God!” and introduced themselves to me or hugged me — it’s completely weird and awesome all at once. I’ll never be a celebrity in my life, but man, for those brief seconds, I felt like one.

And it was especially funny when people who were more celebrity-esque (maybe “recognizable” would be a better word) in the ‘burghosphere recognized me. I mean, yeah, I walked up to them to introduce myself, but they spoke like it was an honor to meet me, not vice-versa. Again, awesome and weird all at once.

I am a little mad that I wasn’t more awake to really take advantage of the day. I missed out on so many inappropriate jokes (like when women said, “I love your tweets!” — I didn’t say, “Well, yours are pretty sweet, too!”), and so many chances to just introduce myself to other people. I mean, I knew I was tired when I was chatting with @TallCathy about movies, and I couldn’t remember names of specific movies and actors that, ordinarily, I could rattle off in succession and not even blink. I had 2 beers, and quite honestly, I was ready to fall asleep. So I cut my socializing off early and headed home. Normally I’d try and tough it out because I hate that feeling of regret when I mis something that’s obviously awesome. But, with construction on Rt. 28 and a 40 minute drive ahead, I knew it was time to end the day.

But there’s always next year’s podcamp, and you can bet that it’ll be my priority. And I think it’s safe to say that I’ll take the day off beforehand so I won’t be wandering through podcamp in such a zombiesque state. I’ll see you all next year!


For those other people

Since a bunch of my friends DON’T use Twitter (and technically, I can’t say that I blame them. I still haven’t found a real “use” for it yet), this post is for them.

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, you know about the controversy on Tuesday — we had an impending storm and no one was saying where young Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was. Well, people started throwing out ideas of where he could be, with Pittgirl jokingly saying that he was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Well, I for whatever reason, I just took the #WhereisLuke trend tag and ran with it. So, here’s what you missed, Twitter-less readers:



Now, it all turns out that the mayor was in Pittsburgh, and he was “doing work.” He said that the lack of knowledge about where he was was “meant to teach the media a lesson” that “they don’t have to know where he is all the time.”

Or, otherwise, summed up:


Cause I want to be … Santarchy

I finally was able to take part in a little Santarchy fun … well, before I had to go to work. If you have no idea of what Santarchy is, it’s basically when people get together in various Christmas costumes and just run amok and spread joy throughout the city — but in untradtional manners. For example, a reindeer named Vixen was passing out cheap DVD porn to adults as they passed us by.

So, here’s a tiny glimpse into what happened. Some of these pictures ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK, OR SAFE FOR THOSE WITHOUT A WARPED SENSE OF HUMOR.

We started off in front of the Cheesecake Factory in the South Side, but the security folks wouldn’t actually let us congregate in the little square there. So, we gathered on the street and, a little after 2pm, kicked off the shenanigans — singing dirty Christmas carols.

After we did that for a little bit, we headed off to the Hofbrau Haus. Now, having an assload of Santas, reindeer and elves pouring into an establishment is a site to behold. Even in a place like Hofbrau, we seemed to mob it.

Santarchists getting their cheer on.

Dancin', singin' and drinkin'

The reindeer are scheming.

Adolf the Reindeer

Now, Adolf the Reindeer is obviously a controversial costume. Even a few Santarchists were a bit confused by this choice. But as I found out later, he was part of a group of “8 tasteless reindeer” (or something like that) that included Vomit, Stoopid, etc. So, once that was understood, I had to get a picture of him in a bier haus. It’s just too disturbing not to.

Next we moved on to do a drive by Clausing at a book store. However, I was among a group of people that kept getting stopped for pictures. Yes, dress up and cruise around on the streets with loads of other people, and people will stop and ask you for a picture. And the vast majority say “Thank you!” after they get the picture.

This little boy was stunned by the shenanigans, but his mom had a bigger grin on her face than he did.

Also, people driving along the roads would cheer, wave and honk their horns. It was amazingly fun.

We piled into the Doublewide Grill for the next stop, which rapidly became too packed.

Fill 'er up!

Well, I’m past my “sitting in a place that’s entirely too hot and crowded” days, so I joined a bunch of people outside, where I had a little space and it was much less hot.

Deer and dogs

Gimp Santa and some porn from Vixen. As he said, "I'm comin down your chimney! Or in your chimney. Or whatever."

The Mizers having a friendly chat.

Santa Elmo. The little boy in the earlier picture didn't quite know what to make of him -- it was a mixture of "WTF" and pure Christmas glee.

I don't know why, but this picture continues to crack me up.

Adolf and Stoopid

The smoking section

And then, suddenly, things started taking a slide into the weirder side. I was taking pictures through the glass of the Doublewide, and when these guys pounded on the glass to get my attention. All of the sudden, bam! Cheetah skin and faux junk. I couldn’t stop laughing.

The disturbing Santas

Oh, the irony of finding a German Shepard and Adolf in the same spot

The nose presented some problems for some of the deer.

And then we were off to Lava Lounge. On the way, there was another Clausing of the library down there, but half of the crowd ended up going to the White Eagle. Someone apparently said, “Hey, they’ll give us free drinks if we stop in!” So naturally, we go. However, we get there and the bartender is bitter at us, there is no free drinks and well, there was more shenanigans to be held elsewhere.

We stop into Lava Lounge for a bit. It was to be my final stop, as I had to get my butt to work.

Into the pit!

My failed attempt to capture the glow from Heat Mizer's hair

By this point, I knew I had to get my stuff together and high-tail it out of there. I know more shenanigans happened, but I’ll have to link to other stories and pictures as I see them.

Until next year, folks!

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