Sunday, November 20, 2005


Um, I don't really like Pittsburgh. No offense to any of you Pittsburghians out there, but...well, your city sucks.

Some observations about Pittsburgh:

  • There is nothing to do in downtown Pittsburgh. Upon recommendation, we went to "The Strip" one night to enjoy some local nightlife, maybe catch some live music....but all we found was a butcher, a cigar bar, a florist, a crappy Irish pub which was patronized by no one under the age of 50, and a McDonald's.
  • People in Pittsburgh don't drive very well.
  • To buy beer in Pittsburgh, you have to go to a beer store. And, according to P-A State Law (and you have to say it like that: "P-A State Law"), it's illegal to buy a 6-pack from a beer store. It is equally as illegal to buy a 12-pack. You have to buy a CASE for your beer purchase to be legal. Yes, people - a CASE! I guess the law makers of P-A know how bad Pittsburgh sucks, and therefore enacted this law to help retain its citizens. "Make them drink MORE, I say, and then maybe they'll look upon this city with beer goggles! And then they'll stay!"
  • We saw a bumper sticker that said Ditch the Bitch...Let's go Fishin'! This is an example of self-explanatory suckiness.
  • I took eight pictures of the old Heinz ketchup factory, because it was one of the only cool things to look at.
  • Speaking of Heinz, they are currently restoring a bunch of old industrial buildings in the downtown area into a bunch of swanky residential lofts. The names of the loft buildings will be "Cereal", Meat", "Bean", and there are two more but I forget their names. I am sure they are equally bad building names, however.
  • The suburbs of Pittsburgh have the most lovely fall foliage I have ever seen (I had to get at least one "positive" in there, didn't I?)
  • Women sport some BIG HAIR in Pittsburgh.
  • Very many men sport rockin' mullets in Pittsburgh.
  • Pittsburgh seems to have a penchant for turning old churches into bars and/or breweries. Which is kind of cool, I guess. We went to one of them one night. It was called "The Church". The Church was actually pretty cool. Good food, good atmosphere, but bad beer. A colleague of mine stole a pint glass for me on our way out, after she discovered that I sometimes collect pint glasses to document my work travels. So that was a weird, cleptomaniac kind of way. Thanks, Jeanne!

Geez Louise, this was a negative, snotty post! My optimistic, happy self is feeling a little bit guilty right now, for dedicating all sorts of words to listing things I don't like about Pittsburgh. But, really, I would have no problem with not having to go back there again (hint, hint, Jay!)


About an hour into my 3-day jaunt to Colorado, I realized I had arrived 2 years to the very day after I had loaded all of my earthly belongings into my 1988 Toyota Cressida and left the state to move back home. The thought hit me as I cruised down I-25 in my crappy Kia Rio rental car, and it made me smile.

I went to Colorado to see Andy (who grew up in Colorado Springs, but now lives in Japan) perform with his taiko drumming group. They had come to Colorado to play at various high schools throughout the city, with a grand finale performance in the city's performance hall on Friday night. I was honored to have been invited, and - gee willikers - was I ever impressed! If you've never seen a taiko performance, I highly recommend that you do (someday....when the opportunity presents itself). Andy even had a big solo, which made me cry a little bit (happy tears, of course).

The sounds that taiko drumming creates are wonderful, but it is definitely a visual experience, as well.

The other highlights of my trip to Colorado included a visit to the mall (woo!), an evening at the Flying W Ranch (think Knotts Berry Farm, but cold, deserted and no rides - BUT they had a fantastic dinner hall, complete with a western music stage show by the Flying W Wranglers...classic!), an improptu party in the lobby of the hotel where Andy's (band?)mates were staying, brunch with my old boss, and a scrumptious dinner with my friends Kevin and Hailey (thanks again, guys!). All good stuff.

I didn't take many pictures when I was in Colorado. There were certainly many great photo ops, but I think sometimes when I have too many things to see and observe I find it too much of an interruption to reach into my purse and pull out my camera. (Translation: Sometimes, I am lazy). Therefore, given my lack of pictures, I will post a picture of my friend Josh playing air guitar instead. He seems to think that pictures of himself will make this blog site more interesting. You be the judge.

Rock on, Josh. Rock on.

All in all, I had a great time in Colorado.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Curse of the Hair in Three Acts

(Megan and her husband Oswaldo enter their new apartment from Stage Left)

Megan: Well, here we are in our new apartment. Isn't it nice?
Oswaldo: Yes, our new apartment is very nice.
M: What is that thing on our balcony ledge?
O: I don't know. Maybe it's a rodent.
M: I don't think so. It's not moving. I'll go take a closer look.

(Megan exits to the balcony)

M: Eeeeek! It is a big pile of human hair! I MUST REMOVE THE HAIR!
M: Huh?
O: NOOOOOOO! You can't remove the hair!
M: Why not?
O: Because it's a curse.
M: Whaaaat?
O: The pile of human hair means someone has cursed our apartment. We can't touch it, or the curse will be activated.
M: Oh.
O: This is bad.
M: I agree. I don't like the hair pile. I know! We could call your uncle Armando and ask him to remove the hair.
M: What?
O: Oh, Megan. A family member can't touch the hair, either!
M: Oh, I see. Can a friend remove the hair?
O: Yes, that would be OK.

(Megan on Stage Left in her new apartment; Annie on Stage Right in her new apartment)

The phone rings.

Annie: Hello?
Megan: Hey Roomie! What's up?
A: Roomie! Not much. What's up with you?
M: Oh, you know. The usual.
A: That's cool.
M: Yeah.
A: Kick ass.
M: There's a pile of human hair on my balcony. Will you come remove it? I can't touch it because it is a curse. Armando can't remove it either, because he is related to Oswaldo.
A: Oh...right. OK! I'll be there in 15 minutes.

(Annie enters Megan's new apartment from Stage Left)

Annie: Hi Roomie! I really like your new apartment! Your fireplace is pretty.
Megan: Thanks! Do you want to see the hair?
Annie: OK!

(Megan and Annie exit to the balcony)

A: That is gross.
M: Yes. It really is.
A: I need about 20 paper towels.
M: OK.

(Annie removes the hair in one very undramatic sweep of the arm).

***THE END***

The Cursed Hair