Monday, August 31, 2009

I recently discovered that there is a pizza place located within walking distance (and driving distance) from my condo that specializes in big, New York style slices in various combinations of toppings. And they're opened late. I do not think that it would be an exaggeration to say that this discovery has changed my life.
I watched the movie "Adventureland" last night. Not usually my kind of movie, but someone had recommended it to me a while back, and it was filmed in Pittsburgh and at Kennywood Park. And there really wasn't much else that interested me at my neighborhood Blockbuster. I was surprised to find that the main character was played by an actor named Jesse Eisenberg, who looks remarkably like my friend Jim, especially when he was in college. Even his facial expressions and mannerisms. Google him.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We must be getting close to the official start of the Steelers' season.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I saw "Crazy Steve" today. You know, the man who has been walking around the streets of Pittsburgh's East End for many years. His hair used to be blond, but it turned completely gray in recent years. He doesn't walk as quickly as he used to. But who does? Well, today when I saw him, he was hunched over, and he was walking with a slight limp. I don't know why he has been walking the streets of Pittsburgh for all these years. But now he looks worn down by it all. The energy he possessed is seemingly gone. And his gaze is downward at the sidewalk rather than straight at the path ahead.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

DAVE: My mother made me go through three boxes of my old stuff last night. It was painful. Now, I've got a bunch of books and nowhere to put them.

JIM: All of my books are in boxes in the garage.

DAVE: Are you one of those families with a garage that you use for storage while the cars sit in the driveway?

JIM: Isn't everyone?

It is funny you ask that question, because the day we moved into our house (12 years ago?), I wanted to park my car in the garage, just for a minute, because I knew that it would never fit in there again. But I wasn't allowed to.

And, to this day, I have never parked a car in my garage. And I most likely never will.

DAVE: Very funny. Was there ever a time when Kathy wasn't in charge?

JIM: 1992.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Good-bye. And thank you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When I joined Facebook yesterday, right away I was shown an extensive list of people who the website suggested as potential friends, with which I'm sure you veteran Facebook users are already familiar. Anyway, one of those suggested friends was my Aunt Betty, who passed away last year. That was weird and a little bit eerie and kind of sad. I guess after someone dies, there is no one to remove profiles from networking sites like Facebook.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Maybe it was yesterday's cool temperatures and dark clouds in the afternoon. Maybe it was the realization that football season is almost upon us. Maybe it was the change in the energy around the East End because of the recent return of so many of the students who reside there. Maybe it was the start of classes for many high school and college students today. But all of those things combined foretold of the impending arrival of Fall. And a sense of renewal. Of beginning. And so, with only these things to blame for my behavior, I did something today that I vowed that I would never do. Something that represents so much of what I hate about the ubiquitous presence of technology in our lives. Something that three friends had previously invited me to do. I joined Facebook.

Hell freezing over is sure to follow.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

JIM: My wife got me tickets for my birthday for all of us to go see the Phillies-Braves on August 30. It was supposed to be a Sunday afternoon game, but I told her right away that it would probably end up getting changed by ESPN and the kids' first day of school is the next day.

We found out yesterday that ESPN picked up the game and the time was changed to 8:05. She doesn't want to go now because we don't want the kids out that late the night before their first day of school. I looked to see if we could exchange the tickets for another game, but every home game the rest of the season that we could possibly go to is either sold out or only has standing room only tickets left.

Looks like the compromise is that we are still going to go to the game, but I have to leave by 10:00 at the latest. Bummer.

DAVE: The Pirates never have their Sunday afternoon games changed to night games for ESPN. Although inconvenient, you are experiencing what it's like to have winning baseball. Damn you.

JIM: Don't hate me because my team is beautiful.

DAVE: Nice retort.

JIM: My pleasure. I don't often get accused of retorting.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

DAVE: So, Sassy, I've been going through all of my clothing. I mean, all of it, and giving a lot of things that I don't wear or that I don't like to Goodwill. It's been a pretty big purge for someone who doesn't like to do that sort of thing. But it feels good. Anyway, I came across an old pair of jeans in the bottom of a drawer in my dresser. They fit me. The only thing is that they are "faded" jeans. Not acid-washed, or anything like that. Just purchased faded. I don't know if these are what they call "in style", so I need to have you tell me whether I can wear them or not. I think they are fine, if you are not attempting to be dressed in the latest trends, but I need your opinion. If they're not "in" enough right now, then I'll fold them up and put them back in the drawer. Eventually, they will be in fashion again. Someday.

FF: This is f-ing hilarious. I can't wait to see your Bon Jovi jeans. That's what I call [FF's boyfriend's] faded jeans.

DAVE: They will be fashionable again. And I'll be ready for it.

FF: Yes, and will you peg them?

DAVE: Hilarious. I never did that. These aren't jeans that come up high on the waist. And they're not some sassy brand. They're Gap.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pittsburgh sure is becoming a bona fide tourist destination lately. Of course, there is the recent opening of the Rivers Casino slot machine and entertainment emporium. And now there's word that country singer Toby Keith is going to open up one of his chain restaurants at the SouthSide Works, adding Pittsburgh to other great travel destinations such as Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Mesa, Arizona. Keith's "I Love This Bar and Grill" is expected to open on the riverfront in late 2010. The 15,000-square-foot restaurant will feature live music, HDTV monitors for watching sporting events, and Southern-style cooking, including its signature fried bologna sandwich and deep-fried Twinkees. There also will be a guitar-shaped bar and VIP rooms. The signature fried bologna sandwich and VIP rooms.

I can't wait.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I recently pulled an "old" pair of jeans out of my closet and wore them. Pants have a tendency to fall in and out of favor with me. I don't know why. But for some reason this pair hadn't seen action in a while. When I put them on, I found a small plastic bag in the pocket. When Sidney was living with me, I would carry little plastic bags in the pockets of my pants and my jackets so that I would always be prepared when Sidney did his business on a walk.

Over the last few days, I have been going through clothing that I don't wear anymore and getting a pile ready for Goodwill. Today I was going through the pockets of a very old light jacket before adding it to the pile. In one of the pockets, I found a balled up piece of paper towel. I knew immediately what it was. When I had my previous dog Fritz over ten years ago, I used to carry balled up pieces of paper towel in my pockets. I guess I hadn't worn that jacket since Fritz was still alive.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It seems that ESPN is now covering Ultimate Fighting. Is Ultimate Fighting really a sport?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Pirates managed to not lose a game last night. Mercifully, they had the night off.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The purported solution to so many of our region's and our state's financial problems finally opened yesterday. Slot machines will save us all.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I know Health Care Reform is a confusing and complex issue, truly I do. But please believe me when I tell you that no matter what Republicans, Conservatives, or anyone else says or tells you, Health Care Reform is not the same thing as Socialized Medicine. It's really not. Not even close. No sirree. If Americans had a better understanding of what Socialized Medicine really is, it would be obvious to them how dramatically different it is from what Health Care Reform is proposing.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I had a very nice lunch yesterday with my old friend Michelle. We went to a new French bistro in the Shadyside area called Paris66. Also there was Joanne (Mrs. Fred) Rogers. Having grown up attending the same church in Squirrel Hill as Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, it's always nice to see Mrs. Rogers around the neighborhood.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

As long as guns of any kind are so readily available in this country (which will probably be forever, given the power, resources, and political influence of the NRA), none of us are truly ever safe. We just teach ourselves not to think about it. But sometimes I do think about it. And it scares and angers me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Very weird night. I went to the Pirate game with my father and almost saw a no-hitter pitched against the Pirates. Three yinzers and I had a bit of a disagreement in an elevator after the game, and they wanted me to fight them. And there was a terrible shooting in the Pittsburgh area.
Man, those are some wild pants. Is that the kind of thing that you're supposed to wear when you go to the Zoo these days? With your male friend?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.