Saturday, October 30, 2010


Ms. Pittsburgh has hit the road!  I am currently in Colorado, doing an artist residency, taking in the majestic Rocky Mountain sites, and experiencing the local Pittsburgh diaspora / Steelers Nation culture.  Today I visited Manitou Springs, a small mountain town just outside of Colorado Springs for the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race.  The event was basically a big pre-Halloween whole-town party with more than a few great surprises.  After yelling "Go Steelers" to this fella on the sidewalk, he raised his #43 jersey to reveal the following real world Yinz Yang:

These were our real outfits!!!  Motörhead over Polamalu and Polamalu over Motörhead!!!!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sound of crash = sound of ca$h


The moment I heard the dull crashing sound of James Harrison's now infamous tackle of Mohammed Massaquoi, I thought/said "He's gonna get fined for that".   Not because I think it's right, just cause I know that's how the NFL rolls.  I know of no other institution that fines its members for doing things that are legal and just thinking about a contradiction like that makes my head spin.  How's this guy supposed to play football?  How's anyone supposed to play defense anymore?  How can James Harrison simultaneously be paid and fined for doing the same thing?

Props to Hines Ward, the blocking-est receiver in the league, for coming out and acknowledging that some of the burden in this lies on the offensive players and that there's good and bad ways of taking tackles.  I don't know how any offensive player coming into the NHL from college is in anyway prepared for players like Harrison as there doesn't seem to be any defense in college football.  I genuinely hope that players will be coached to play in ways that protect themselves from major injury and the game from being watered down into a useless, boring puddle of fines and contradictions.

Pittsburgh Pirates: "HURTIN FEELINZ" since 1990somethin'

To the author of this window decal:

I'm not sure if this message is solely addressing the damage the Pirates have done to us over the last 18 years, but whatever the case, well done.

Ms. Pittsburgh

Quotes from Big Ben's Big Day Back on 10/17/10

Hey everyone,

Sorry this is a bit late; I misplaced my camera for about a week with all my images for my posts.  Lets get to it now...

I figured all responsible parties would be doing their darnedest to make Big Ben look like an upright guy on the day of his big return to NFL play in the Steelers' Week 6 game against the Cleveland Brownies.

Did anyone else out there in TV land notice the overcompensation on part of the network in depicting B.B. as a resurrected hero?

Did anyone else notice that the commentators' reverent praise also had an unintended ulterior dimension of interpretation...?  As in the kind of innuendo that reminds of you of Ben's off-season follies rather than having you forget about them?

Here are the quotes that I managed to write down while watching the game:

"You ask what R brings to the this 'bout an explosive weapon"

"Ben's pump fake makes his receivers open and extends the play"

"He already has pushed it to the edge.  He continues to live on the edge."

"Talk about QBs being smart enough to say the play is over..."

"R is one of the best QBs in the NFL and his return makes the Steelers all the more dangerous"

"The slippery Roethlisberger" (after evading a pass rush)

After a incompletion thrown well over the head of Heinz Ward (the intended receiver), the commentators said that Heinz didn't move vertically enough, resulting in the incompletion.

After two consecutive bad passes the commentators comment on how consistent he is.

Best quote of the day came from R himself: "I have to learn to live to fight another day and not expose the ball".  Yep, that's Life 101 dude.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sweet Onion: To Die For

Ms. Pittsburgh here.  How's fall treating everyone???

I can go no further without addressing the single most important short coming Pittsburgh presents as I transition to living here again...The problem is one of supply.  I wonder if it is also one of demand.

Specifically the problem is one of chip supply.  Potato chips.  Kettle chips.  My favorite chips.

While living with my cousin Evan in NYC, our evening diets became gradually rooted in the delicious, mildly onion-riffic taste of the 'Sweet Onion' variety of Kettle Chips made by the company with the solid color bags.  The more hockey we watched the more serious the addiction became because there wasn't enough time to prepare dinner before a 7:07 faceoff; I'd get off the train directly from work at 6:45, turn the corner to the store and grab a bag (or two) of chips, and head home for the game.  We'd go through bags of these things like they were going out of style, and the problem is: maybe they are?!

Other popular Kettle Chip varieties include 'Spicy Thai', 'Yogurt and Green Onion', 'Sea Salt and Vinegar'.  I can't find a consistent source of Sweet Onion Kettle Chips anywhere in the burgh.  The Co-op and Giant Eagle NEVER carry them.  The Food Whole carries them ON OCCASION (notably when there's a promotion).

A recent trip to NYC presented troubling findings: All of Evan's sources are now dry!  He can no longer get them at our corner store,  C-Town (the equivalent of a shrunken Kuhn's or Shur-Save).  Looks like our original plan to order Sweet Onion by the case may be in order.

Check your local purveyor for Sweet Onion Kettle Chips.  You'll know them first by their deep burgundy colored bag, second by their amazing flavor and crunchy texture, third by the surprising bevy of intense seasoning found on the chip shrapnel that inevitably gathers at the at the bottom of each bag.

If you find Sweet Onion please try them and spread the good word so we'll amp up demand, and hopefully amp up supply.  WOW!  I never imagined I'd make an internet appeal to grassroots support of a commercial food product, let alone a potato chip, but here we are.  This is 2010--wierder things have happened this year alone.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

TV Shopping

Why Dick's, Why?

WTFdoweneedtheseoutoftownjerseysinSteelerCountry?  Seriously,whowouldbuyoneofthese?

Various Forms of Bootleg

A recent journey through Millvale (the town formerly known as "The gateway to the North Hills") produced the following:

Really nice homemade hand-painted fence signage.   This sighting made me recall how excited I was to learn to draw the new version of the Penguins' logo as seen above when it was unveiled in 1992.  I'd guess that this sign was originally painted around then and has been maintained throughout the years.

What visit to Millvale would be complete without some goodies from the Jean-Marc bakery?
That's where I found these black and gold bootleg smiley-face cookies.  An interesting spin on two home town staples, the Eat n' Park smiley cookies and of course everything B n' G.  Leave it to a Frenchman!

Later I showed the photo to my friend Rob, who provided his own bootleg version of his favorite 'moody' cookie face, as seen here:

That evening, in making my way back through Millvale after a trip to the North Hills, I found this:

This painting which appears to be in progress is on the back side of a sports bar called Sidelines.  I love it in its current state because with very limited geometric/color information it is able to convey exactly who and what it is intending to represent.  Also it is interesting that the person most articulated in this painting is Heath Miller, who is not usually the first in the who's who among Pittsburgh football and hockey personnel.  I also love that the triangles on the two hockey players, presumably Fleury and Crosby, hearken back to the 1990's version of the Penguins logo, as seen in the above fence painting.  I eagerly anticipate the completion of this painting (will the receiver on the right be a super-muscely Hines Ward?!?  Will the passer be ID'd as Roethlisberger?!) and/or it's ongoing incompletion.