Friday, March 28, 2014

Dear Deer Diet

     My mother always calls me "dear". So, what? That's a normal, sweet motherly thing to do. But the other day she actually called me a DEER.....Yes.....She said I remind her of a deer.

    After being startled by what I thought was an insult, my first instinct was to flee but instead I remained still. MD went on to explain that her comment was meant as a compliment.

    " But, dear," she said," a deer is a beautiful and graceful creature. Think about it. They have a lithe body, long legs and a cute, small head. Your fur, I mean, hair is similar in color, shiny and smooth. You love to run. And, look at your plate, dear,.... you eat like a deer."
    Hmmmmm...I also have hit my share of cars and I do try to avoid most, other than the small head thing, maybe she has a point. And, maybe, it's not such a bad thing that my doppelganger is a doe.
    As I sat there grazing on my plate of undressed spring greens, mushrooms, blueberries, blackberries and nuts, perhaps MD is onto something here. Could eating like a deer make one deer-like?

    Could  I buck the crazy fad diet trends out there, like the Paleo Diet(eat like a caveman), the Baby Food Diet(self-explanatory), the Werewolf Diet (based on the cycles of the moon) and cash in on a get-slim-quick scheme with  The Deer Diet & Doe-tox ?

The Deer Diet & Doe-tox
   *trademark pending
   *book currently in pre-production
   *my fav shark, +Mark Cuban is considering investing
   *not a +Dr. Oz recommended diet
   *not associated with +The Biggest Loser 
   *not recommended for students at +Mt Lebanon School District  or residents of Mt. Lebanon

+Bravo  +Andy Cohen +Pittsburgh Post-Gazette +Pittsburgh City Paper +WHIRL Magazine +Maniac Magazine +Pittsburgh Tribune-Review & +Pittsburgh Magazine

Friday, March 21, 2014

Barbie does The Urban Tap


     It's been a rough couple months for +Mattel Barbie. Her appearance in +Sports Illustrated +Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue got blasted. Then the +Girl Scouts ILM 3681 had groups petitioning them to end their partnership with her.  In fact, The Western Pa. chapter said they will not promote any affiliation with her! Also, a new study was released claiming that girls who play more with Mrs. Potato Head than with Barbie have more career aspirations. To make matters worse, Barbie had to deal with questions surrounding the campaign promoting +Lammily, with her realistic proportions, as the new "it" doll. Gosh, how much can one fabulous gal take before she breaks!

    Oh, yeah, there is one more thing.....Barbie just had her 55th birthday.  Yikes, she's older than my mom! So, can anyone really blame Barbie for just wanting to cut loose for a night and let
her synthetic fiber hair down?

    I had to do, I grabbed Barbie & a few of the most fabulous forty-somethings I know and headed down to the South Side.  I took them to one of my fav bars, The Urban Tap. Although the place was packed, the handsome bartender was attentive as well as efficient with our drink orders while we waited for a table. Since it was a Friday night during Lent, us good Catholic girls just ordered the Grilled Romaine Salads(nicely grilled n warm) and the Short Rib Nachos sans short ribs( having had them before with the meat, I liked them better without!)

       I guess we were all having so much fun at The Urban Tap that none of us noticed how much Barbie was actually drinking because, well, let's just say that Ken was not too happy with her the next day. Even though we all enjoyed our night out with Barbie, maybe the petitioners have a point and she's not the best role model for the Girl Scouts......... But I don't really give a hoot, I was never a Girl Scout ; )
Waiting for our table with a round of Coors Lights.

Long Island Barbie

Hey! Where did Barbie get the cute St. Patty Hat?
She's so full of surprises!
Doll's gone wild!

One of many dudes trying to hit on Barbie.

The Pens really do hang out at The Urban Tap!

The Urban Tap is smoke-free and so am I...

When we told her she would have to go outside, she threw a mini fit
and headed out and up Carson St to Dee's.

On her way, Barbie stopped to hang with the hippest cat on Carson, Price Bennett, beating the beat
on the SoSide Friday & Saturday nites. He's a real deal drummer.
Check him out on  Facebook.


Barbie is so funny when tipsy...she asked the SoSide
Flame thrower for a light!!

    To the two living dolls who were our servers that night, thanks for playing along!  You're the best!
The Urban Tap on Urbanspoon  

The Urban Tap is located at 1209 East Carson St.

+Bravo +Pittsburgh Penguins +Pittsburgh City Paper +Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, March 14, 2014

Greetings from (my visit to) Asbury Park, NJ

       In 1973, Bruce Springsteen released his debut album,  Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.; 40 years later, I made my first visit to Asbury Park, NJ.
      Alright, alright, alright.......I was exploring the boardwalk when I found a gray, long sleeve sweatshirt (with "Greetings from Asbury Park" printed on it) hanging on a rack in the front of this little joint. The inside of the store was dimly lit, but I finally found the cash register way in the back of the store.......... that's when I realized it was a "smoke shop".  The guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted the shirt "Jersey-style."  I admit I was a bit dazed and confused about what this meant; but, I wanted to seem dope.  So, I said, "Heck, yeah!"  He then pulled out a pair of very large scissors and cut off the sleeves and the bottom of the sweatshirt.  I bit my lip, paid for what was left of the shirt and then split with my bag.  I don't know if the dude was just stoned or if I just got torched. But you know what?  I don't care because I think it does have Jersey Shore swag & I'm gonna spark it up here in Pittsburgh!  'cause sometimes "you just gotta keep livin', man.     L-I-V-I-N."
Rebuilt Asbury Park Convention Center/Boardwalk post- Super storm Sandy makes me think of, "4th of July, Asbury Park(Sandy)", from Springsteen's Album, The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.....
 Springsteen wrote the song as his goodbye to this town and starting a new life.
"for me this boardwalk life is through, babe
you ought to quit this scene too"
Wonder Bar: Story has it that, in 1971, Clarence Clemons was playing at Wonder Bar and,
 during a break, he went down the street to another venue to see Springsteen play
 "and the big man joined the band". The song "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" is the story of this infamous encounter.

Part of the Casino and Carousel House where
 "the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open like Latin lovers on the shore"

The Stone Pony, where Springsteen played many times over the years, starting in the 70's...
"she was  dressed like a star in one of them cheap little seaside bars"
I read that this is where Springsteen first met his wife, Patty Scialfa!


"Did you hear the cops finally busted Madam Marie for tellin' fortunes better than they do"
Madam Marie passed on in 2008 at the age of 93.


+Bravo +Pittsburgh City Paper +Pittsburgh Post-Gazette +WHIRL Magazine +Pittsburgh Magazine +Springsteen 


Friday, March 7, 2014

For Pete's sake, don't say that!

Oh, Andy! I'm not a yinzer!!
     I guess that's why it's called "Watch What Happens Live"( +Bravo ) because something horrible happened when I was watching it live. +Pete Wentz, from the band, +Fall Out Boy, was the guest and he was asked a question from a caller from Pittsburgh. Cool, right?...... Wrong! Mr.Wentz prefaced his answer by saying something like, "How yinz doing?" Then explaining to a puzzled +Andy Cohen, the host of the show, that it is a Pittsburgh "colloquialism".

    Maybe Mr. Cohen was perplexed that Mr. Wentz used such a big word (that means a "local or regional expression" "used in everyday, informal speech"). Or my worst nightmare, maybe +Andy Cohen was dumbfounded by the possible existence of a people that would use such a word.

    Why would this dude, Wentz, originally from Illinois now living in LA, perpetuate grammatical profiling of our fair city & light us all up as "yinzers" to the cool, hip world of +Bravo watchers? Is this what Mr. Cohen is going to think of me when I am a guest on his show someday? In his segment called "Teach Me Your Talent!", will he ask me to teach him to speak "yinzer"?

     For the record, Pete, my family & I are Pittsburghers, born & raised. I live on the South Side. And I can swear to you that we never, ever use the word "yinz" in our everyday speech...never. In fact, I don't know anyone who does. The times I do hear the "y" word are when someone intentionally uses it for comedic purposes( and, these incidents usually involve Steelers games & beer or +Chris Benson at ); and, on the occasions when I go into Crafton Beer Express and the guy that works the counter will say," How yinz dah'in?"  I'm Stump ed.

     Maybe the shade shouldn't be directed at us at all, but rather towards Pete himself. Maybe the better question for him from us next time should be, " Where the heck are you hanging out in Pittsburgh & with whom?"


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

not now, I've got a Fat Head-ache

      Fat Tuesday...... 7pm with +Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon or 10pm with Mario's, South Side? I always have a good time with these two and I didn't want to hurt feelings by choosing one over the other. Neither one of them needed to know about the other, right? That little devil on my shoulder nudged me to do it. So, I double-booked myself for Mardi Gras.
     When the hostess told us the wait would be "at least an hour", A Smart Head as well as a Fat Head, by using the  +NoWait App, we were able to stroll around Carson while keeping tabs on our table wait.
      While I tend to avoid all things "fat", I decided to indulge a little bit as my last hurrah! before Lent.

Pedro's Nachos(made with homemade potato chips)
and The Deluxe Veggie Burger(topped with sautéed
Portobello, roasted red peppers, spicy onion rings, goat
 cheese, and chipotle-mayo)
     Fat Heads was leading me down a greasy, caloric-laced path of celebration...borderline gluttony for me... so irresistibly good yet bad at the same time. Fortunately, my IPhone shook me out of  his spell. It was 9:45pm and Mario's was waiting for me.
     As I left Fat Heads behind, my consumption of over-sized portions of yummy food had my tummy aching. I had no other choice but to bail last minute on Mario's. It was an awkward & uncomfortable exchange of texts....causing me to have a social malady as well.
     Under the weather and under the covers, I was consoled by the thought of the beginning of the Lenten season and to a much needed fast. My penitence will be giving up double-sized portions and double-stacking dates.  
Fat Head's Saloon on Urbanspoon

+Fat Heads +Pittsburgh Post-Gazette +Pittsburgh Tribune-Review & +WHIRL Magazine +Pittsburgh City Paper +WTAE-TV Pittsburgh +Food Network +WPXI News +Pittsburgh Magazine