Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Need a Wax?

The lovely Rob, of Leo's Love Story, and former column and Ballet Lafayette makeup fame, is back in town for Christmas doing what he does best--beauty! He'll be at Draybella Salon from 3 to 4 doing brows and such. He did mine once, for my very first time. There's nothing like have like half the amount of brow and noting what a difference it makes in your face.

I also went in with my cousin once when she wanted a Brazilian. We all gabbed while she had it done. Sometimes, I embody all the weird things that make this place the Nam.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Nam on Twitter and in Dreams (Or Nightmares)

Can we please get someone to read all Fayette County news stories as Oprah? I mean, they don't really need the added ridiculousness, but who cares?

That's not such a bad dream, though. The last time I had a memorable dream about Fayette County, it was about a sniper on the rooftops of Uniontown. I think I was on prescription decongestants at the time. Thank you, Fayettenamese drug lords, for not stealing them!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

C'ville Clap

First of all, the "So UT" creator is apparently from  Hopwood, not Uniontown. I feel as though I've been lied to. Couldn't he be so HP, or is that not thug enough?

I was also directed to the "C'ville Clap." Poorly named. Makes everyone think of STDs, much like Fayette County itself. However, I must admit that the silly chorus aside--paired with the fact that it's hard to take songs about this area seriously--it's much more well-done than "So UT." You know, it's missing the, "let's borrow Dad's video camera and visit his tire store" feel. And it's actually kind of catchy. I just can't tell what the verses are. I just know I hear "fuck" a lot. My mom, I'm sure, is pleased with having to hear as she sits nearby.

Although I don't get the barber shop thing. The basketball, though, is apparently a thing. I wouldn't know, because I never played basketball, but I do have friends that spent time on those courts. Meanwhile, I was in the nearby library, also featured, taking out Nancy Drew books. I was always so cool.

Like "So UT," it also gets some nice shots in of the town. Or at least as nice as you can get, seeing as so many of Connellsville's buildings are falling down or abandoned.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

County Crime Round-Up

File most of these under, "Wait, didn't that already happen recently?"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vehicle + House

This morning, a truck crashed into a Connellsville house.

Man, what a crazy, uncommon thing!

I mean, this almost never happens. Like, a pickup didn't crash into a house just in September in Dunbar, sending the driver fleeing on foot.

I know it happened a few times, at least, over my childhood. I remember my grandfather driving me to school once and explaining to me that a house on the way there was all kinds of a mess because someone crashed into it.

As for other interesting crashes, there's also the recent Walmart crash. The driver drunkenly crashed into a steel storage unit then ran into the Wallie World store and barricaded himself in the bathroom. They'd never get him there!

My favorite, though, is probably the drunk driver who crashed into my elementary school playground late one night and took out our fence and some monkey bars. Always prepared for a teaching moment--except for when it came to teaching me math and science when I was clearly struggling, therefore leaving me disadvantaged basically ever since--the nuns cleverly turned the incident into a lesson about drunk driving. We even had an anti-drunk driving a poster contest. I was disadvantaged there, too, since I can't draw. Montessori had a way of flaunting my deficiencies. I'm a blogger for a reason, guys.

I hope those nuns screamed at the drunk driver when they found him with the same gusto they used to scream at me when my brain wouldn't absorb the information that wasn't adequately explained to me in the first place.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I've hinted at this a few times now, but I haven't actually posted it. And with a lack of dead deer or the funny yet miserable ramblings of my Facebook friends who are doomed to abandon me when they realize I use them for material, I figured now is as good a time as any to resurrect the wondrous gem that went viral in the Nam long ago--"I'm so UT."

Let's break this down, shall we?

  •  None of these locations are particularly "gangster."
  • The shots of downtown Uniontown are actually kind of nice. Look at George Marshall, being a boss. And the star of this video trying to be just as boss.
  • Are they in some sort of auto store? Whose dad owns this place and let his kid and his friends go in and make a rap video about how badass Uniontown is?
  • "24/7 I'm 724." Sherwood's creepers, if you ever ask for a phone number, you're getting this line. Assuming Sis doesn't kick you out first.
  • Pretty sure they were like, "What can we do to make this a convincing video? CARS. AND HUBCAPS."
  • "Uniontown" is too long to spell in a song. I would've fallen asleep in the middle if it wasn't for those hardcore shiny hubcaps. 
  • Bummed the street I used to live on didn't get name-dropped. I'm trying to rep my street. Help me out, dudes. I can't really complain about my current residence, though, as it's not in Uniontown. Which means the greatest of all tragedies is that I am, in fact, not so UT.
  • Abrupt shift to nighttime? OH, SHIT'S GOING DOWN. WE'RE IN TROUBLE NOW.
And best of all, THEY SELL THOSE SHIRTS. Only $15. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Nam on Facebook: Christmas Deer

I don't know about anyone else, but this is unsurprising to me.

Let me tell you a story--a story I've told many times in many ways. I wrote about it twice in college and am still working on the final piece. By "still working on" I mean "revisit occasionally" when I have time.

Like any college kid, I attended my fair share of parties, especially over winter break. Those of us in the area know all too well what deer season is like. After all, we see dead ones splattered all over the roads. Just recently, I even had the pleasure of passing a dead-deer-collecting truck on my way to work. I also saw one as a child. It never gets any less horrifying.

So when someone leaving one such party hit a deer on his way home from my cousins' party, it wasn't really surprising. It wasn't even surprising when one of those cousins -- the one that likes to hunt, who was involved in the picture above -- departed with fellow hunter friends in a trunk to go shoot the injured deer.

From what we were told later, a cop was down there and only asked for a permit for the gun. So they shot the deer and brought it back.

This was quite the spectacle, since guests were still partying. We walked outside to see the deer in person.

I'm a vegetarian, but I'm okay with hunters. I don't agree with them, but the ones I know do put the meat to good use. Still, dead deer are dead deer. Normally, I would've probably walked out and just kind of stood on the porch. But I was drunk, so when they suggested a photo opportunity with all of us with our new guest, I agreed. I not only agreed, but I can be seen in that photo on Facebook to this day grinning. At least my poor, drunken decisions only involve minor moral dilemmas of the dietary kind.

My cousins live on an old farm. One of the old sheds has been converted into almost a party house, with a bar and pool table and everything. It's not terribly fancy and there was already and old sheet in there since one cousin's now ex-boyfriend's head had been shaved earlier, so the deer came inside to meet its final fate--skinning.

Even the non-vegetarians were put off, but not enough. I responded by drinking more, determined to make it more tolerable if I couldn't make it forgettable. I failed at both, as we were out of alcohol by that point. Meanwhile, my cousin responded by saying things like, "That's sick" then snapping a picture. Some claimed it smelled horrible. I can only assume my senses were dulled, because I didn't smell a thing.

By the end of the night, the guts were dumped into the woods. One of the shed's couches also has a nice new fur cover. Guess where that came from!

P.S. This house is also the home of Rupert.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Music of the Nam

The Nam has spawned much music. I don't know how successful most of our musical endeavors have been--not counting Fabian, The Clarks, Povertyneck Hillbillies, and the unfounded rumors that John (Cougar) Mellencamp and Alice Cooper are from the area. I use the word "rumors" loosely, as I've only ever heard either of those statements from my dad, and, well, you know how dads like to tell stories.

It's fair to assume that we've only contributed country to the mix, but this is false. We've contributed bad rap videos that need their own post. We've also contributed indie. Case in point: The Lay Jains, which includes a middle-school classmate of mine. And they have a free Christmas song out for your enjoyment! Download now!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Boulders

If you've ever wanted to stalk me, you're halfway there. Not only is the house I used to live in featured in the Herald-Standard, but I wrote the piece. Check it.

Fun stuff that didn't make the final cut:

  • I always used to feel like I was being watched, and the third floor horrified me.
  • We had this massive coat rack that also kind of served as a bench-like thing. It's arms were carved into lions. It scared me as a child. Now, it's totally badass.
  • That hill was the biggest pain in the winter. My plastic Spice Girls lunchbox in fourth grade didn't survive a winter of me falling and banging it on ice while making my way to the car to go to school.
  • The huge tree in the yard is still my favorite.
  • The apple trees were boss but messy.
  • It attracted squirrels and bats like you wouldn't believe.
  • My pet fish, Blinky, is buried in a Clinique make-up box on the bank next to the driveway.
  • The fountain made an excellent snow fort.
  • My mom claims my grandfather added the sidewalk so we could ride our bikes on an even surface that wasn't several feet of driveway. I scraped me knee horribly on that sidewalk once.
  • I used to sit on the wooden radiator covers, because that was warmer than anything else. My radiator in my room leaked water everywhere and soaked my carpet and the floors.
  • My grandfather let me decorate my room when I was six. The result was pink people and stars made with sponge patterns in paint that were placed at random, only a few feet off the ground, and frequently had drips of the pink paint trailing from them.
  • A huge chunk of plaster fell from the ceiling in my brother's room once. Fortunately, it was while we were eating dinner and not while he was sleeping or playing in its path.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"The Onion" Inspiration

It's kind of surprising that a website as well-known as The Onion would get inspiration from the area, and at the same time it's not. I mean, really. The posts on this blog alone are often a chronicle of stupidity and ridiculousness. The Herald-Standard crime section often reads like The Onion. Related: I most unfortunately had to turn down a position doing crime reporting over there. That was really upsetting.

For the past six years, The Onion has been getting hints of Southwestern Pennsylvania thrown into it thanks to new head writer and 2001 Connellsville graduate Seth Reiss.

Among Reiss' contributions?

...tales like the Uniontown Area High School history teacher who has silly answer options on his multiple-choice tests. In Reiss' 2008 story, the teacher delights in saying he included comedian Billy Crystal in a question about Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride."
Brownsville, Connellsville, and Mill Run have been featured, as well as fake quotes from Uniontown mayor Ed Fike.

As for Reiss himself, he has a pretty impressive resume that includes internships with "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

I shouldn't be as surprised as I am that this area has spawned so many writers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Meanwhile, in Politics...

We still don't have all our commissioners, y'all.

When we last heard from our illustrious politicians, Ambrosini and Zapotosky secured two of the spots. Lohr and Zimmerlink are still battling for the third, and were separated by only 12 votes.

Not only are the votes being recounted, but they're also making sure to account for all absentee ballots received by the deadline and six additional provisional ballots. All in all, an additional 44 ballots could be counted.

And then there's the fact that officials were only expecting something like a 30% county-wide voter turnout. They got something like 25% instead.

Good job, guys. Way to care about the people making decisions for this county.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Strange Encounters of the Sherwood's Kind

A recap of some recent visits to Sherwood's, the best bar ever.

  • A dude bought a homosexual friend of mine a shot. This was so rare and shocking that I wondered if it was an evil setup.
  • The same night, a regular talked to us about former gay bar Illusions. Her story included the glorious quotes, "Chased a woman. Where did it get me? The fucking sticks" and "When life gives you lemons, I get beer."
  • The best margaritas ever. Still.
  • Ask for the Swedish fish shot. Even though they've been making them so strong lately that they don't even taste like Swedish fish and burn going down.
  • They often run out of sours. Just a warning.
  • Got bought a round of drinks from a nice old man that told us dirty jokes. He started to get a little creepy, though, considered we're all in our early 20s.
  • Got approached by two guys, one who told us the friend with him "has the biggest cock in Vanderbilt." So big, in fact, that it goes halfway down Vanderbilt Road.
  • We happen to know that he actually likes to fight people by jumping them from behind.
  • Got approached by two more guys. The first wanted to karaoke some country music with an attractive friend of mine. The second just wanted to make out and grope her against her will, didn't back off when told to by three people, and only listened to the owner when she yelled that they needed to leave.
  • Old dude, Vanderbilt Cock, and Groper all approached us the same night in the span of maybe a half hour.
  • Sis, the owner, is the most amazing person ever. She made us popcorn and gives us hugs and cheek kisses and saved us from further creepy interactions.
  • Homemade potato chips.
  • Vanderbilt Cock and Groper almost got into fight. Unclear if it was over the groping and Vanderbilt Cock trying to get us to leave with him or money owed to someone. Either way, Sis wasn't having it, I swear I heard someone yell, "I've been to prison and I'm not afraid to go back," and we picked up our purses and box of popcorn, linked arms, ran like hell out of there, and gunned it out of the parking lot.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Colebrook Chocolate

One of the Nams's candy companies has a new home!

Colebrook Chocolate has a nice, pretty new story in Connellsville up by Martin's. Stop in, get some candy, get some candy for me, and say hi to my friend/former Geibel substitute Spanish teacher Leah.

But most importantly...


Sunday, November 13, 2011

More on the Zack Nelson Bracelets

Apparently, the Zack Nelson bracelets come in two colors--black and pink for girls, black and green for guys. And I believe the green ones are also sized a little bit bigger.

Again, if anyone is interested, I can help you out. They're $5 and are going to The Nelson Foundation to raise awareness against distracted driving.

Meanwhile, Trish Nelson has been doing some related speaking arrangements at schools and there have been various other commemorations in his memory.

Drive safe, kids.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

County Crime Round-Up

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zack Nelson Bracelets

In memory of Zack Nelson, who was killed in a car accident almost two months ago, bracelets are now being sold to benefit the newly established Nelson Foundation. The goal is to raise money for billboards and programs to warn against the dangers of distracted driving. The foundation is also supporting organ donor awareness (I'm an organ donor!).

The bracelets cost $5 and are the typical rubber bracelets that you see in support of plenty of other causes, just a little bit bigger. They're black and red with his name, a little dove, and the saying, "Live fully in the present."If you want one, let me know and I'll get in touch with someone to get them. Or, if you're a student at Uniontown High School, you could probably ask around and get one.

There's also an RIP Zack Nelson Facebook page.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kate Gosselin

That's right. Kate Gosselin's coming to town.

At this point, I, like I'm sure much of America, have a love/hate relationship with her. I think she had a cute show that she ran into the ground by being cranky, annoying, and eventually exploitative. But hey! Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it'll be different when she tells her story to Penn State.

First of all, everyone knows her story. Come on now, Kate. Second, there's a meet and greet. If only I could justify adjusting my work schedule that day! But I did so last weekend, and I'd probably hate myself for screwing with an entire day for her, especially because she'll inevitably say something that would make me angry. Best of all, she and Fayette County probably can't handle each other. We're too much of a hot mess for her, and she's too much of a hot mess for us. This also adds to the campus' record of famous people coming to chill. By that, I mean Hillary Clinton and countless Clarks performances.

It's free and open to the public, but due to her popularity -- if you want to call it that -- interested people are recommended to call 724-430-4248 to make reservations.

And if any of you guys go, I want my inbox to be flooded with real-time photos, video, everything.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Emails from Zimmerlink

Somehow, I started getting emails from Angela Zimmerlink that look like they're mailing list-type things, except for the lack of any kind of "unsubscribe" feature and the fact that I never signed up for any Zimmerlink updates. There are two explanations as to how I got them:
  1.  My dad signed me up for them as a joke, but he likes Lohr, so why he'd sign me up for Zimmerlink updates is beyond me.
  2. She's onto me.
I lean towards the latter because: 
  1. My old Zimmerlink post from the primaries is the most popular post of the week.
  2. The first email includes the line, "Fed up with those blogs that post without knowing the facts?"
Wait, what? Obviously, not all people potentially receiving this email are bloggers, but that's not going to make us like you. Which brings up another point: what blogs are spewing loads of mistruths? As far as I can tell, there are like three people blogging about Fayette County on a regular basis (not counting silly crime stories that pop up everywhere, because really, why shouldn't they?), and while the Fayette Patch Hunky is admittedly full of angst (sometimes rightfully so), my Zimmerlink content is mostly along the lines of, "She's suing two other commissioners, it's stupid, this one time I went to a commissioner meeting and she yelled the whole time and was generally annoying and cranky, and Ambrosini has pretty signs." Also, none of us has made her Correcting the Spin page, so we're obviously not stirring up legitimate trouble.

Maybe she'll like my Facebook page?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bridal Brawl

Always classy.

Police had to break up a brawl between wedding parties that apparently started when members of one wedding party mingled with the other's guests and the bride threw them out.

Weddings are at least supposed to be beautiful celebrations, so why not enjoy the fact that someone else shares your wedding day? The bigger the party, the better.

And look, just because you're a bride doesn't mean you get to be a huge bitch to everyone on your wedding day. The day isn't solely yours, you know. I mean, there's this dude sharing it with you called your husband.

But the bride wasn't the only cranky one -- rival bridesmaids started arguing and then it got physical and a 14-year-old got punched.

Seriously? Way to just eff up TWO weddings, folks.

The usual ridiculous, petty drama we're know for.

P.S. The Facebook page is slowly but surely growing. "Like" that shit.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Penn State Pink Out

I'm pretty sure everyone is aware of breast cancer at this point, but power to good causes!

Penn State's nursing students have been selling shirts all month, and they've sold over 500 shirts and will be donating over $1000. They'll be having a campus pink out on Friday.

Rock on, good causes!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On the Commissioner Race

It's been a while since we heard from the commissioner candidates, but I could tell the race was getting underway when all the signs started popping up all over the county. A little bit after the signs for Haunted Hills Estate started popping up.

I stand by my previous statements that Ambrosini's are the prettiest. New observation: Whoever put up Lohr's signs is obnoxious. Do you really need a full army of them in fields and lining roads? I get that it gets the name out and the 20 Lohr signs overpower the single signs from other candidates, but still. Come on, now.

The candidates all insist they're campaigning alone. No secret alliances here. Meanwhile, Zimmerlink is still sung Vicites and Zapotosky, and I still think it's stupid.

The candidates all also sat down with to talk about issues. We'll break that down later.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More from Local Writers

Well, sort of local. You see, Rob Hensley ditched us for Los Angeles. Twice. After I let him cut and dye my hair in experimental ways and hung out backstage at Ballet Lafayette. You may remember him from a column he did for on fashion and all that jazz. He pretty much works as a make-up artist, runs a blog related to that, includes me every Friday on Twitter in his #FollowFriday, and generally does cool stuff. He even has an IMDB page, ya'll!

His latest cool endeavor: a young-adult novella that's part sci-fi and part LGBT with aliens and homosexual love stories. I'll post more details when I get around to buying and reading it, but I'm sure it's well-done and awesome. It's called Leo's Love Story. Check it out now!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

County Crime Round-Up

Stay classy, Fayettenam.

I will never be able to move out of this place fast enough.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween in the Nam

While I wait on information on that damn ghost tour, here's what else is going down so far for Halloween:

  • Haunted Hills Estate is back up and running. I went there once in high school the year it opened. It was a good time. Seemed a little pricey for me at the time, but that's probably because I had to ask my mom for money and I had probably asked her for money the weekend before. That said, it was really neat and interactive, with little challenges you had to complete and awesome-looking zombies wandering the massive grounds. And at the end, you got chased by a dude with a chainsaw. Who doesn't love that? Oh, yeah. My friend with a huge chainsaw phobia who ran away in pure terror, accidentally right into thorn bushes.
  • Paranormal Research at Carnegie Free Library. October 27 from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Prizes and a search for the library ghost. I think I remember hearing a story about the library being haunted in my youth, but that might be wishful paranormal thinking. Regardless, I'm all in if this has anything to do with Ghostbusters. Seriously, if that doesn't immediately come to mind when you hear "library ghost," you need to get out. You do have to be 18, though. Are they carding at the door? Is the library ghost that scary, or is putting in chances to win a spooky basket considered gambling? If that's the case, I know many Chinese auction participants in big trouble.
  • Praying Bigfoot decides to come through again soon. Actually, I want this to happen at all times, it's just that Halloween is and appropriate time for me to come up with excuses to bring it up.
  • If you come to trick-or-treat for my neighbor's designated trick-or-treat and you're not from my neighborhood, you're in trouble. Seriously, I'm on to you hoodlums. Last year, we totally gave out way more candy than there are children in here. Who spilled the beans on the upper-middle class trick-or-treat that's so suburban it hurts and we make our own trick-or-treat and mow our lawns in polo shirts? ...How do we even exist in this county?
  • If you come to trick-or-treat for my neighborhood's designated trick-or-treat and you're dressed as any Wizard of Oz character, I'll give you my best candy. To the little girl who came through as Dorothy last year: you're welcome.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ghost Tours

As if Fayette County isn't spooky enough, someone had the grand idea to do ghost tours for Halloween. And I don't mean that sarcastically--I seriously think this is an awesome thing. I'm a total nerd for the supernatural. The X-Files has been my favorite show since I was too young to be watching The X-Files. I think I want "I WANT TO BELIEVE" on my headstone when I die.

The problem is, information is hard to come by. Despite being featured in a article, I can't find anything online, which sucks A) for the purposes of this blog and B) because I want to go, and how am I supposed to harass my loved ones to go if I know nothing about it?

Come on, Fayette County. Get your shit together. It's Halloween. Let's do this.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pseudo Signs

Some things just don't make sense to me. Take, for example, those signs that people like to put at the start of their driveways that look like street signs. Don't get it. I don't see them as cute or clever. I see them and file them away in the part of my brain that is "Stuff to Never Do or Get When I'm Married with Children" (also included there: those little stick figure windows things of the families or Kidz Bop or anything that spells "kids" with a "z").

I can't decide if the one I saw tonight makes me hate them more or suddenly love them.

Snyder Mobilhome.

Now, I'm not saying people shouldn't be proud of their mobile homes. Pride in your residence is an important thing. They may not be glamorous, but they're still home to some. The thing is, I'm not really sure why this needs stated, or if it was done out of pride or clarification or if the Snyders thought that this was the best way to rock the faux street signs: state your last name, then the structure you live in. I thought that was only acceptable with castles.

Note: this is unrelated to the clever naming of places on Foursquare. I fully accept that. I have friends whose homes are compounds or palaces. The only exception is someone putting in their place of employment or in-laws' house as "Hell." Because that's original.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Tidbits

  • Volunteer day at Ohiopyle Saturday.
  • Fr. Bob's homily from this week.
  • Fr. Bob's homily last week.
  • Yes, this list was made from my Facebook news feed.
  • Speaking of Fr. Bob and Facebook, he posts a lot of pictures of foodstuffs, frequently that he cooked himself. Makes me wish I had the patience for cooking. I just want to eat, not put effort into it! 
  • Something about extras for a Disney movie filming in October 5 in Dawson? Can I go? Will it be warm enough to raft so that they see me emerging from the water like a true river rat, looking a hot, Youghy mess? For legitimate details, though, I can hook you up with my contact.
  • Anyone want to make a zombie movie with me that involves zombie river rats ascending from the banks of the Yough?
  • The Connellsville library has a bunch of teen events lined up for fall. I'm amazed--and glad--that they're still in business. I don't know where else I would've gotten so many Nancy Drew books as a child otherwise.
  • The Ice Mine also has a schedule up regarding skating times and hockey business. Is there a lady team?
  • In Control writers are hoping for a Pittsburgh show after some rewrites next year. So am I, since I missed the premiere.
  • Gladys has announced its Holiday Dream Stars.
  • Have I mentioned Tee Minus 24 stole my heart?
  • Fayette Friends of Animals is holding a Cash Bash.
  • I didn't win anything at the calendar party. Story of my life.
  • Convenient list now, substance later.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On Bears, NPR, and Bears on NPR

Fayette County, never settle for anything less than greatness. You know we're often the stars of local news and radio shows, but we need something bigger. Sure, we've made Jimmy Fallon before, and God only knows what other late-night talk shows made fun of us before I started spending time musing about all of this business. But now, Fayettenamese--now we're on NPR.

Thanks to reader Randi for emailing this to me (and reading, of course!). And remember, if you want me to know and therefore talk about something, send it on over. As if I lack for material.

So, to the point: some dudes stole a professionally mounted bear from a bar. They've since returned it, I believe.

At first my reaction was...non-reaction. Honestly, I react to everything in this county lately by not reacting at all because seriously, when you live here for 22 years and blog about it for even just a few months, even the biggest, most ridiculous stories--and admittedly, this falls somewhere in the middle--don't do much to you except make you want to move away even more than you already did. But then you start thinking a little more about these things...

Deep Thoughts on the Stolen Bear:
  1. I'd question why they did this, why they thought it would be a good idea, why they need a mounted bear, but it's just no use...
  2. ...but, wait, why do they need a professionally mounted bear? Okay, so maybe they don't need it. Maybe they just wanted it. But then why not just go shoot one and have it mounted like normal Fayettecong? Maybe they're not hunters. But they probably knows some.
  3. Do they sell mounted bears? Like, if you wanted one but didn't hunt, are there fancy taxidermy stores where you can just roll up and be all, "Gimme one of them there bears"?
  4. No wonder bears sometimes eat people.
  5. Bear City.
  6. If Bear City were real, bears would hunt and mount people, and then a few frat bears would steal them from their bear bars. No, not that kind of bear bar.
  7. Guard your mounted bears, folks.
  8. This isn't the only interesting story I know about bears. One time, my cousin bought a bear costume at a Salvation Army, put it on, and drunkenly went for a walk in it in Pittsburgh. I'd say it's a miracle that no one stole her, but I don't think anyone up on Mt. Washington that night was too interested--especially the couple whose romantic date was ruined. But someone did tell she looked pretty vicious.
And finally, I'm really kind of impressed that they pulled this off. I mean, my uncle has a bear mounted in his house, and my cousins have one too. As one might expect of a bear, they're quite large. And seeing a big stuffed bear in the middle of the room for the first time is an interesting experience. My favorite?

The one at my cousin's: Rupert, who has watched over many a drunk sleeping on the couch he towers over.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fine Dining: Vinny's (Fall Edition)

As fall creeps closer and closer, Vinny's closing time creeps earlier and earlier. Such a bummer, because that means summer is ending and Vinny's will be closing for the winter soon enough. But there's a bright side to everything.


Fact: I gushed about these to my boyfriend and he laughed at me and probably said something about how I can carry on and on about food items like they're the second coming of Christ (my words, not his).

I mean, these things taste EXACTLY like pumpkin pie. Now, if you're like him, you're going, "Duh, Janelle. 'Pumpkin pie' means they taste like pumpkin pie." But how many places carry dessert items that allegedly taste like something and you eat it and you're like, "Yeah, kinda." Not here, friends. I was expecting orange-ish ice cream with a little bit of spice to it, but instead I got pure pumpkin flavor so intense that my tastebuds were totally confused as to why they weren't feeling the soft texture of pie but rather cold, creamy soft-serve. And there's graham cracker pie crust chunks in it.

Too bad those bitches aren't open in November. I'd buy that shit in bulk and eat it with my pumpkin pie. Overkill? Absolutely. The best idea ever? Absolutely.

Vinny's Drive Inn on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 22, 2011

From the Depths of My Inbox

First of all, tons of thanks once again to the amazing That's Church for the ridiculous spike in hits. If you came here from there and are sticking around for the wacky fun, welcome! P.S. Go like the Facebook page.

Second, it's not too terribly wacky around here lately, because my mom's coworker's 17-year-old son died in a car accident, his funeral was Tuesday, and it's kind of bringing us all down. A friend of his wrote a song for his family that was allegedly on YouTube, but I couldn't find it, which is probably for the best because I cry super easily with these things. I'd elaborate, but the list of movies I've shed tears in is embarrassing.

And then I got this email a while back about gas drilling and since it's actually a local, I figured I'd share (a paraphrased version) of her story.

She lives right outside Point Marion, and unfortunately feels like people don't care about what's happening to her and her family, who have been getting sick for the past two years. The impression I'm getting is that for some reason, she also believes the DEP's "in the industry's pocket," and who knows? Apparently, they haven't helped matters. They've spent tons of money trying to get help and answers, they've sought legal action, and aren't able to move away.

So there you have it, Fayettenamese, from someone who's living it rather than from some crazy hippie who saw a documentary in a political class.

The good news? She no longer feels alone thanks to the blog. Aww.

As for sending me emails, I greatly encourage it. In fact, if there's something you want me to know or pretty much want to guarantee getting a post on something, send me an email about it. I'll hit it eventually, I promise! One of these days, I'll also get around to posting the pictures I've snapped on my phone. Gems.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Random Tidbits, or Things That Don't Need Their Own Posts

  • A Geibel alumnus (and former classmate of mine) is doing a photoshoot for ModCloth. Cool stuff. She also runs a fashion blog that's pretty successful.
  • Speaking of Geibel, they have some sort of fancy newfangled media center that has wireless internet and stuff. Why do high school kids need wireless internet at school? Back in my day, there were no laptops of smart phones. We came home, went on MySpace without our parents knowing on our desktop computers--maybe using dial-up--and we marveled at the wonders of technology!
  • More Geibel news: if you want the email newsletter for alumni, get Mrs. Cadwallader your email address.
  • The Nemacolin crash victims still need prayers. Check out the Facebook event for Paige. Even though Zack has passed, I'm keeping up with the novena I started the night after the accident.
  • Neubauer's is having some kind of Vera Bradley launch party, or something. I'm not a fan of Vera Bradley but lots of other people are, so okay.
  • Ohipyle has a newsletter out about vacation rentals. Definitely something to look into if you don't have the luxury of being a 20-minute drive away.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Zack Nelson

I hate to report this, but Zack Nelson died last night from injuries in the car accident near Nemacolin last weekend.

All my support and kudos has to go to his family right now, especially his parents, Danny and Trish, who are some of the nicest people I've ever met. I not only had the pleasure of knowing them through my mother, but I also had the honor of covering their annual golf outing that benefits Special Olympics for last summer. But most importantly, Danny & Trish are handling this so much better than I think many of us would. Case in point: their interview with WPXI, which they handle like total bosses. Most impressively of all, though, is not just their calm but the way they are focusing on the positives, which has to be commended. And those positives shouldn't be overlooked--despite the loss, and even though so many of us were praying very hard for a different outcome, Zack did act to protect another passenger in the car.

"Our focus is on what a hero our son was," Trish told WPXI. "Even though this was a horrible thing, we have tried to turn it and get as much good from this bad situation as we possibly can."

They also realize this could've happened to anyone.

"It could have been Zachary or anyone's son or daughter driving that car," Dan said. "Yes, that person made a mistake, but it could have been anybody and we realize that."

Like I said: BOSS. I think we can all learn something from them about not only getting through tragedy but also forgiving and not holding on to anger. 

Meanwhile, Paige Hardy has been upgraded to fair condition and the driver has been charged.

May Zack rest in peace, and may the Nelson family continue to stay strong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sometimes, We Do Cool Stuff: Cool T-Shirts Edition

First, all credit goes to HGB for this.

"This" being awesome T-shirts "for fans, nerds, geeks, and gamers" courtesy Tee Minus 24.

Now, these days I've been business casual and my tees are mostly of the musical persuasion, but I am not opposed at all to nerdery and witticisms. Or both.Which Tee Minus 24 does well, along with pop culture references.

The prices are reasonable, they look cool, and all your friends will be jealous of your bitchin' threads. Scientifically proven fact.

And, of course, all of this is done by a Fayette County couple. Much thanks to them for bringing lightness and joy to this abyss!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nemacolin Crash

Fayettenamese, a few of our own need some prayers tonight. Five teenagers were injured in a crash near Nemacolin on Wednesday night.

Owner Joe Hardy's teenage daughter was among them. I had no idea Joe Hardy had kids that young, but whatever. My cracks about that are irrelevant and unnecessary because she was seriously injured.

As a part-time journalist, I understand that her involvement is extremely newsworthy and a fair focus point for the articles. However, she's not the one in the worst condition--Zack Nelson, the child of one of my mom's co-workers, is.

Previously, Zack's brain wasn't really responding. Today, he was briefly taken off his ventilator and did take a breath on his own, so there is some hope. Not to mention the prayers--some of my mom's co-worker's said a rosary tonight, there was a vigil at the cross in Jumonville tonight (we unfortunately didn't know), and friends of his have been staying in the hospital. If you can spare a few minutes to chip in a prayer, everyone--even me, and I only met Zack one time--would appreciate it. I'm not known as a good, churchgoing Catholic, but I am a great believer in the power of prayers and started a novena.

Now, the details: the driver had been drinking, lost control of the car, and hit a tree.

Pittsburgh's WTAE got an interview with one of the girls not seriously injured. 

True, driving drunk is an incredibly terrible decision and should never, ever be done. Someone's life is always at risk, whether the driver's, his or her passengers', or other travelers out on the road. Driving drunk is not a risk worth taking, and this accident is proof. Even if all the kids are okay, who knows what complications and troubles could face them later in life? The driver has already been charged and is in a juvenile detention center. No good can come of this.

That said, the kids are all still victims, especially if--as one the girls has said--they didn't know their driver was drunk, plus it's clear from the interview above that this is not easy for them. Just because someone made a horrible mistake doesn't mean these kids should be blamed, judged, or disregarded at a time when they need prayers and support the most. The most important thing right now is that we all be considerate of what they and their loved ones are going through--not brush their needs aside because someone was drinking.

So, Fayettenamese, above all, be good to each other in tough times such as these. Learn from the support of others, and make smart decisions.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Community Theater Auditions!

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Wait, since when does Fayette County do community theater?" Well, it's hard to come by--except at the Geyer in Scottdale. And that's not Fayette County. But lots of the Nam's own have starred in their shows, and lots of the Nam's own now have the opportunity to again.

They're casting roles for a new production of Dracula. Even cooler, it was written by Nam natives Sara and Jeff Monahan. Apparently, Nam natives writing for the theater is a new trend (remember Dave Mahokey's recent In Control?)

They'll need a total of seventeen people, including adult men and women as well as children around ten years old. They're also in need of a dancers and a choreographer, although the show is not a musical. Elton John already tackled that. Unsuccessfully. Bummer.

Auditions will be held in Studio 113, adjacent to the theater. Ooh, 113. Thirteen! Spooky. Day one of auditions was today and it's over and I had no idea since I'm working my big girl job and all, but you have one more chance to get noticed on Sept. 10 from 6-9 p.m. However, if you're super into it and need a different time (or just want more information), you're encouraged to call 724-887-0887.

The show will actually premiere Oct. 27-30. Did you really think it was going to be anything but a Halloween show? This means it'll join the ranks of Ballet Lafayette's Sleepy Hollow and Frankenstein--both original Halloween productions.

Here's to hoping they find the next Academy Award winner right here!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ohiopyle Dogs UPDATE

First of all, I am alive and well and have not forgotten or abandoned you, Fayettenamese--I just started a full-time, grown-up, post-college job that requires a degree and eight hours a day and everything. It's out of the county (in Canonsburg) so add my commute to that and you have a girl who only has a few hours a night right now to unwind and tend to other commitments. My weekend excuse is a long-distance boyfriend coming home.

But here I am. And since I know you don't read the comments, because why would you, I figured I'd fill you in on some of the dogs found at Ohiopyle and other animal stuff from SPCA worker Josh.

First of all, both dogs were adopted out to good homes within 2-3 weeks of their arrival there, so hooray for a success story! Unfortunately, one ended up having to go back due to its adopter being deployed to Kuwait, but was re-adopted by someone else.

Josh also said that the SPCA has lots of other animals in need of good homes, so if you're in the market for a new family pet, by all means start with shelters. While the SPCA is not a no-kill shelter, the animals still need homes. I can promise you that between the county's shelters, one of them will have something that suits your needs--don't go to a breeder or pet store or anything. They have puppies, purebreds, gentle dogs, playful dogs, animals good for kids, and most importantly animals that need a second chance. Allegedly, rescue dogs are more affectionate because they know they were rescued. So get on that!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fine Dining: Fat Angelo's

I really need to explore local places more, but I'm a creature of habit. Until I get tired of Chinese food or don't feel like driving to pick up said Chinese food--both very rare occasions. But they do happen. That's how I got the family to order from Fat Angelo's the other night. That and pasta's the one food I never get tired of.

They have a lot, especially for a little place that's pretty much just take-out and delivery only. Pizzas, sandwiches, hoagies, salads, pastas, desserts, everything. And the pastas are baked with a pretty serious layer of cheese on top and come with breadsticks and a salad. And I like them more than Vinny's. They seem to be a tiny bit cheaper than Vinny's, too, but just as filling.

Their one catch? Delivery comes with a $2 fee and you have to have a minimum of a $10 order. I live close enough that we can convince someone to stop being lazy and drive down, but it's kind of annoying considering practically no one will deliver here.

All in all? Really good. And the staff is super nice. Even offered to carry the food out to the car for me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Butch's Rainbow

I forgot to mention this ages ago, but it deserves a mention.

By the name, Butch's Rainbow sounds like a gay bar (probably only in certain circles, but whatever). Kind of like how gay bar Club 231 just sounds like a regular place, aside from the implications of dancing the word "club" carries. Most likely, it was just your typical Fayette County dive. On that note, can most bars here be considered dives, aside from basically Bud Murphy's? Moving on. My friends and I decided to find out.

The shocking verdict? Most likely not a gay bar. I say "most likely" because it was full of men, but they were watching a fishing show or something, were very quiet, and the whole experience was very awkward.

But now we all know.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Published Book

The latest Nam book is all about it's long-lost racetracks and speedways.

Wait...what? We had those things?

Okay, so we had a speedway, but it only lasted six years: 1916-1922. But still, it's really cool. Unfortunately it's also another reminder of the booming, fun place Fayette County once was, but whatever.

The book is by Marci McGuinness, who has one other book about the Uniontown speedway already published. But it gets even cooler--she's also producing a movie based on it.

The HS article is full of other neat facts, too, like the fact that the builder of the lovely Titlow brought the first car to Uniontown and started the county's first automobile club. The film will be told from his perspective and will showcase the booming, wealthy place Uniontown once was. Kudos, McGuinness, but way to rub it in. Apparently, though, the end of the track contributed to the economic demise of the rest of this place since it had some pretty big financial backers and drew in huge crowds. You know we had to have some badass flappers hitting up the speedway pre-speakeasy night out.

McGuinness also now operates her own publishing company and is one of the area's most prominent writers. The upcoming book is her 26th in 30 years.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where's the Beef? Part 2: The Reckoning

For the record, I'm only doing posts (potential series?) on Fayette Patch Hunky because I feel that when a blog is posting questionable information, it needs addressed. Especially when I know things to be different than what they claim and can't count on my comments being published, and if they are, read by other readers. For more comprehensive disclaimer-y statements, check out the first post I did on this.

What I'm looking at this time two more attacks on The first is criticism at the new online subscriptions. The second is just...well, we'll get to it.

So, the online subscriptions thing. I thought about mentioning this myself but under a different context, but I since I knew I wanted to do another Patch Hunky post I figured I'd kill two deer with one shotgun (or car). Basically, if you sign up with an email address, you can read ten free articles per month, which really is probably not a bad deal unless you read every single thing and don't have a print subscription. And if you do have a print subscription, you get a discount, but really, who needs to pay for the same publication twice? But whatever.

If you're more of a news junkie, this does kinda suck, but so does being a newspaper in the age of the internet. They have to keep up somehow to stay in business, which is exactly what papers still are, even they do serve the community in various ways. They probably don't really stand to lose much on this, except a few cheap people, and the pay-for-online-content model isn't really new to newspapers.

Now, the second Patch Hunky point is all about schools being investigated for possible PSSA cheating. Reminds me of the nuns of Montessori walking around during the Iowa tests and making faces or disapproving sounds to let us know we'd gotten a question wrong. Anyway, Patch Hunky is complaining about some holes in HS's story, which is fair, but like I've said before, sometimes that's faulty reporting or even bad sources rather editors intentionally censoring information.

Patch Hunky is also calling for an investigation on the issue from the paper. A paper that probably doesn't have the manpower or resources to do a big investigative story, especially when it covers county-wide news.

This is all to be expected, though, and might even be fair criticisms. Until they allege that the paper ran a fake letter to the editor. Such an action is entirely possible, sure, but this is the first I've heard of it and a Google search turned up nothing more. So, we have a blog that's criticizing shoddy reporting and is making very serious allegations with zero support or even elaboration. Very nice.

The only editor's name that comes up throughout all of this? Mark O'Keefe, despite the fact that there are plenty of other editors over there. When I write for them, I don't report to O'Keefe. Not when I pitch ideas and not even when I submit articles, though there may be one or two exceptions to that in that three consecutive summers I spent writing for them. Patch Hunky's criticisms are getting to the point that I wonder if they were--or feel--somehow wrong by O'Keefe.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Shock Felt 'Round the Nam

So, who else felt the earthquake today? I was sitting on my loveseat, felt shaking, and then the apparently characteristic slight dizziness/disorientation that I attributed to the way the loveseat was shaking and not an earthquake. Until other people on Facebook mentioned it too.

Really, I'm going to let Facebook handle this post from here on.

Other notable statuses include people saying "deal with it." Okay, fine, we didn't really have injuries or damage, but this is the first time this has happened in 100 YEARS. This isn't the same thing as rain, or even Snowmageddon, which was ridiculous but handled pretty well by the Nam. This was an EARTHQUAKE. In PENNSYLVANIA. That shit is weird, no matter which way you spin it.

Mostly, though, we were trying to figure out why all our stuff was moving because let's be real, Fayette County, we didn't know what the hell was going on. My thoughts were: explosion at a gas well, robbers, or alien invasion. Apparently I'm not alone, because others assumed ghosts.

And no, God isn't displeased. This isn't a sign that we heathens need to change our ways or that it's the end of times. It's a sign of one thing and one thing only: SEISMIC WAVES.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sometimes, We're There When News Happens

You may have caught on the news Sunday a story about a bad motorcycle accident in Fayette County Saturday night. I was right down the road when it happened, at my cousin's house for an end-of-summer party.

The official story is that he lost control of his bike. And really, I know no more details than that. I do know how things unfolded, to an extent.

I don't remember hearing a bike leave the bar, but others do. With that location and a bar right there, noisy vehicles go through a lot and you kind of don't react. I do remember around 10 p.m. hearing the fire whistle, followed by loud sirens that obviously went right by us. About an hour later, a few of us left to drive a friend home, the opposite direction of the crash. As we were getting ready to leave, we heard a woman sobbing horribly in the Sherwood's parking lot, and I believe one of my cousins said he heard her say something about someone being killed in an accident up the road.

We got back around 11:30 and could see the lights from the emergency responders right up the road in front of us. A few guests were just walking back up from Sherwood's and told us what happened. A friend and I thought about walking over and asking the bartender what happened but decided against it, as there was a fair amount of chaos: lots of people going in and out and a bunch of cars left at the same time. That was the last we encountered until we found the news articles in the morning.

I can't say that he was leaving Sherwood's, but it certainly seems that way. We're usually over there on Saturdays for karaoke, so there's a chance we know who he is (we don't know anyone's names except the bartenders and owner). But I do have family that knew him and his family, and my condolences are with them all.

One small reminder, though: drive safely. Granted, any manner of things can go wrong, but still. Stay safe.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Calendar Party!

My boyfriend's sister's Facebook status has informed me that St. Mary's in Uniontown is bringing back it's Calendar Party. Sunday, Sept. 25 at 1:30 p.m. in the social hall. Tickets are $10 and they'll have food!

And since my boyfriend's family will be there hosting a Birthday Party table, I'll be there, right?

I haven't made a decision either way yet.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pretty Roses

My boyfriend doesn't read my blog and he's back in State College now anyway, otherwise I'd totally subtly request these (but only for a special occasion).


Further proof that Neubauer's has the best flowers in the Nam. They've made me and my brother's prom dates very happy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sometimes They Come Back

If there's one thing Geibel alumni is good at, it's going back to Geibel to teach. Also, insert joke about Catholic school girls here.

Okay, so maybe it's not that common, but it does happen. The beloved Mr. Stevenson was a Geibel grad, and so was priest Fr. Bob. I've had friends and acquaintances apply for openings there, and now a friend of mine is joining the ranks.

She'll only be there for nine weeks until Sra. McCrory comes back. Those of us from the 07 era know her better as Ms. Cole. Teachers getting married always confuses me. We also remember finding her MySpace that had "Laffy Taffy" on it and someone requesting it and dedicating it to her at prom. Lucky for temporary replacement Leah, MySpace is dead.

Congratulations and good luck to Leah! Here's to hoping Geibel treats her well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Salem Crime Watch

I can't imagine New Salem has much crime. But maybe that's because of the neighborhood crime watch...

I only know three things about crime in New Salem: some assholes were once throwing rocks through windshields, residents think people drive on New Salem Road too fast (because they do, because growing up in Fayette County means you drive back roads LIKE A BOSS and God help anything in your way) , and that little PNC got robbed.

I'm sure we all want to keep New Salem a safe place, we just all don't live there. But if you do and you want to be its Batman, check out the neighborhood crime watch. It meets the third Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Presbyterian Church meeting room. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Also, New Salem residents, there's a Facebook group for you! And while you're over that way, like my Facebook page and spread the word.Link

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tales from Pechins

Fayette County doesn't believe in too much information (then again, neither do I--with exceptions).

One of my cashier sources had an interesting encounter with a customer who'd previously purchased a box of pads. They were sitting in her purse with their nice little paid sticker, minding their own business as she purchased other goods, when she decided to pull them out and show them to my source. Just to show she paid for them. Even though they were in her purse and not out or anything.

The box was also open.

Everyone knew what was coming next.

The rest is hazy, as my male source has supressed the albeit recent encounter, but the one thing he remembers is her saying, "I just needed these really badly" with the open box held right up to his face.

In the words of my source, "People at Pechins have no inhibitions at all."

Case in point: the story of the man who needed baby powder for his testicles, but that's another story for another day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nam Native Pens Musical

I've had a crazy couple of weeks and I'm bummed I'm missing out on this, but to the cast and crew of In Control premiering tonight in Greensburg, break a leg! Especially to writer David Mahokey, who I've known since elementary school in the hell that was Verna Montessori. We also went to Conn-Area and Geibel together.

The production is courtesy of Stage Right, an awesome community theater group that does some great stuff for you fans of the arts willing to truck it to Westmoreland County.

From the show's Facebook event page: "Pittsburgh-area twenty something Stephen Bloom is not having the best of times. His band is on the verge of breaking up, his friends are fighting and his long-time off-and-on girlfriend is on the off side. On top of that, his life-long battle with cancer may have taken a turn for the worse, causing him to experience more and more frequent hallucinations of his own (literally) personal demon. With time running out, friendships self-destructing, and the gig of a lifetime only a little while away, can Steve regain control of his life, or let his cancer control him?"

The subject is one familiar to Dave. He battled bone cancer years ago, back in middle school, if I remember right. I do know, thanks to the Trib, that his last chemo treatment was in October of 2004.

More interesting details:

  • There's a hospital ballet sequence according to Greg from Stage Right, who wrote the music with Dave.
  • The musical has 20 songs, all original (TribLive).
  • It stemmed from a one-man autobiographical piece Dave did in college and performed at parties. He and his co-writer are both college seniors, by the way, at Point Park and Seton Hill, respectively.

Check out the finale here.

The show's tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center. Ten bucks, and you can get them at the door. Go cheer them on for me!

P.S. I've noticed a spike in my pageviews lately, so first of all thanks guys! Second, comment. Third, like the Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All About Buffy

  • Buffy lives next door to a friend of mine and has become the stuff of legend.
  • Buffy lives in a tiny trailer with her siblings and I think her mom and is in her 40s or something.
  • One said sibling goes by Lovey. I forget his real name and the nicknames of her other siblings.
  • We've heard many snippets of information about Buffy over the years, but the one that stands out the most is about when Buff chased said friend's sisters down the street with knives.
  • Said friend went to Buffy's house tonight. I am beyond jealous and am waiting for the stories to pour in.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Punk Priest

Religion's a touchy subject these days and Catholicism comes under a lot of criticism, and in my opinion rightfully so (which isn't to say some opponents are always right either--which brings the fact that this is all a touchy subject full circle). And how many of us have been bored by a dry, long-winded priests? What about a young priest who sings Green Day in his homilies? That's Fr. Bob, the self-proclaimed "Punk Priest" from Perryopolis.

He even has his own website. How cool is that? It tells you everything you need to know about him, including links to his blog and videos of his masses and homilies, which are typically filmed and posted on YouTube weekly.

For those of us who aren't great fans of the Catholic church, Fr. Bob is someone who can keep us interested and someone we can relate to. When he visited my middle school ages ago, we weren't afraid to open up to him and ask him all sorts of questions, and he was up-front and honest. In high school, he kept our attention during masses by singing, being loud, and walking around the gym where we had mass rather than standing still behind a podium. Plus he's a super nice guy and he's cool.

And according to my dad, the only foodie in this house greater than me, his church had the best fish dinners during Lent. Best of all? He was back there helping the little old ladies cook it.

Here's his latest homily. It's hard not to pay attention to him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday's Vinny's Special

Just a reminder that Vinny's pizza in Uniontown has a different special every day. For Monday, it's Monday Madness: $5 large pizza, pick-up only. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scenes from Sherwood's

If someone sings "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash during karaoke, they'll set the bar on fire. AMAZING.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ohiopyle Volunteer Work

More from the Ohiopyle Facebook page: they have a "volunteer day" on Saturday, August 6. Those interested should meet at the park office at 9 am. Volunteers will be working on constructing a stage, trail work on Sugarloaf, and working on the native flower beds.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Another Dog at Ohiopyle

From their Facebook:

There is a brown and white dog (possibly pit bull mix) that has been running around the park the past couple days. Staff has been unable to catch it. No collar or tags. If you know anyone with a dog matching this description please contact the park. If not, please use caution when driving Rt 381 as not to hit it.

In the meantime, please keep an eye on your pets, guys, and always use leashes, tags or microchipping. No one wants anything bad to happen to them or for them to go home with someone else. Don't dump pets either, because that's no good. Take them to a shelter or ask around to find a good home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pizza Deal Today!

I'm assuming this applies to every Tuesday, but hey, what do I know?

Vinny's in Uniontown (the pizza place, not the drive-in ice cream) runs a special called Tasty Tuesday--two large two-topping pizzas and a free two-liter of pop all for about $20.

Order now by calling 724-438-2828.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sometimes We Start Magazines

It's common Nam knowledge that 50s rock icon Fabian lives here. He married his wife, Andrea, a prominent figure in the modeling world, at Nemacolin in 1998 and she designed their house. She recently started Gladys Magazine, which took off pretty quickly and already has national distribution.

They cover fashion, travel and inspirational stories. They even have Fayette County "secret treasures."

They wouldn't hire me, but whatever. Story of my life.

P.S.: If you're new here, like the Facebook page!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Where's the Beef?

So. Fayette Patch Hunky. They've got some issues, mainly with politics, and general cynicism.

Before I start, full disclosure: I occasionally write for and am related to someone in Albert Gallatin's administration. Neither of these facts is particularly hard to figure out, but it's relevant.

Let's start with the Patch Hunky's issues with the paper. They frequently attack the editorial staff and blame them for pretty much everything (easy and noteworthy example: their post on AG's tax increase).

I've heard complaints from people in the area about the paper and politics before. Case in point: a man complaining to me about how liberal it is while I was on assignment and comments all over the site. However, just because there's a slip-up in numbers doesn't mean that the editors have an agenda they're peddling. In fact, the mistake may have been the fault of, oh, I don't know, the writer responsible for gathering and reporting the information. We're not perfect.

As for AG's tax increase, the Patch Hunky seems to be claiming it was allowed because school board members have relatives working in the district they're trying to keep from getting furloughed. Not so, as furloughs still went out. But even better, a tax increase has been recommended for years and didn't seem like it was going to get passed this time, yet it somehow did. And it sucks for everyone living in the district, but administration had no other choice. Money's been tight for years.

The Patch Hunky also brought up the issue of AG teacher pay freezes. I'm told they were asked to take one and refused. Some administrators and principals, however, did willingly take one.

Bottom line? The Patch Hunky seems to be nitpicking about issues they're really somewhat unfamiliar with. Calling into question media sources is totally fine and really sort of commendable, but only when done realistically. Not every information gap is there because of paper politics, and not every school board decision revolves around nepotism.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Scenes from Dawson

I forgot about this gem I snapped on a rafting trip.

  1. Classy.

  2. Fayette County, we need to stop calling people fags. "Fag" or "faggot" is a slur. It's offensive. Even if you disagree with homosexuality--and there's no reason you should since it really doesn't affect you--that's no reason to go throwing around words that carry so much weight for a specific group. Consider that there is no heterosexual equivalent for "fag." No word with such a powerful connotation. So what does that tell you? It was designed to hurt and oppress.

  3. Even if Dylan is gay, who cares?

  4. Regardless of Dylan's sexual orientation, stop acting like being gay is a bad thing. It's not. Being straight doesn't make you better than anyone. Get over yourself.

  5. Get a hobby. Like, I don't know, rafting.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Steelers Sign Nam Native!

First MLB picked up one of us, and now the NFL has done the same. Free agent wide receiver Terrence McCrae from Ohio University has agreed to terms with the Steelers.

McCrae is a Vanderbilt native and Connellsville High School graduate. Congratulations to him, and remember dreams do come true!

Some blog stuff: I have a planned post refuting some of Fayette Patch Hunky's statements and their apparent witch hunt, but after that I'll be spending time on things like our glorious fair, running now until August 6, and all the various things that have popped up on my Facebook news feed. I promise gems.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Squirrel Causes Power Outage

Were you without power the other day around Uniontown? Confused as to what happened? Apparently, it was all the fault of a squirrel.

Sure, a power outage is an inconvenience, but it was restored quickly. The squirrel, however, was probably turned into what my middle school teacher Mrs. Bell would call a "crispy critter." Let's have a moment of silence for that poor squirrel.


The best part is this has happened before, in 2006.

Squirrels actually cause a fair amount of problems here. They run out in front of cars, for example, or find their way into homes. When I was young and living in Connellsville (the "Boulders" house, actually, and I have a feature coming up in on the 31 about it) they always found their way in, and rounding a corner to be face-to-face with a squirrel was a scary thing at the time. We could hear them scurrying through the walls. Some people set mouse traps, but we set squirrel traps. And perhaps best of all is the fact that a squirrel got trapped and died in a stove.

Without ruining my own upcoming article too much, the house's third floor used to be a ballroom and was turned into a full apartment, which housed two separate great-grandparents of mine. Naturally, it had a full kitchen, so we had a kitchen downstairs that was used regularly and a kitchen upstairs that, after my great-grandparents respective deaths, was used only for visiting relatives or family friends and my sleepovers (but only sometimes because seriously, that house is haunted and I need to get those ghost hunters in there. That entire floor creeped me out BAD).

The time came when our dog, Mandy, seemed to want to go up to that floor and wouldn't go up without my mom. So, the two of them ventured up together, and Mandy went right to the stove in the kitchen and kept sniffing underneath the stove. The smell was obvious to my mom and could even be detected downstairs. She and my dad lifted the stove and looked all around it, knowing something had died but thinking it was underneath. As my dad tilted the stove, he could smell death right under his nose, where the control panel was.

My mom unscrewed the top and pulled apart the panels and peered down into the stove until finally they both looked at the panel they were holding to fine a squirrel that my mother says "had been dead for quite some time." Long enough to attract a hungry worm.

Crispy critter indeed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Texts from Pechins

It's been a while. I have more than one contact in Pechins right now so I have plenty of stories, I just can't keep up. I'm also behind on Nam news. But the world deserves a new Pechins post.

Clearly this is what inspired the horror novel coming out that's set in Brownsville.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dream Big

As we travel to and from Dawson to drop off a car and then later head home when we raft, we pass the Dickerson Run post office. The Dickerson Run post office has quite an interesting window display: it's full of mannequins. Army, Navy, postal worker, etc., probably to send the message that this is America and those are all fulfilling, rewarding American careers. You can be a soldier! You can be a sailor! You can be a mailman! You can be...

...the Jolly Green Giant?

That's right, the Jolly Green Giant is part of the Dickerson Run post office display.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

All Hail

Youghiogheny rafters, behold your ruler: The River King.

He's very tan, plays music loud from what we think is just an old boom box--usually DVE but indulged in some Britney Spears and Kesha (fuck that dollar sign!) last week--has a motor for his raft, and always flies those two flags. And waves to his subjects, no matter whether or not he's seen you before.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain's Log: We Found a Boat

My good friend Marion and I went for a nice raft yesterday. Many of our loved ones were concerned and thought we'd die due to the heat, but really, it didn't feel any different than other hot days on the river and I only got a sunburn on my back, which apparently SPF 50 just cannot protect.

Anyway, we were floating along when we spied something strange in the water. As we got close, we saw what it was.

A damn boat.

I was honestly preparing myself to find a dead body in it when we realized what it was but no, it was just idly sitting there. We even yelled to make sure there wasn't someone stranded on a bank somewhere, but soon after a man floating behind us fishing with is daughter caught up and told us that it's been stuck in various parts of the river for weeks. It was once tied up, then ended up trapped in rapids, then made its way farther down. Marion pointed out that we ourselves had seen it before, but it was docked then.

Aside from being submerged and useless, it appeared to be a pretty nice boat. What a fine piece of river treasure that would've made had it been operable.

More pictures from our rafting trip yesterday to come. Mainly of the man dubbed the River King and a Jolly Green Giant mannequin in a post office window in Dickerson Run. What the hell?

And by the way, Marion's sister, Andrea, is also a blogger.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Is there something strange in your neighborhood? It's probably a druggie. But if its not and is perhaps other-wordly, you may want to look into the Fayette County Chapter of the Pittsburgh Paranormal Society. The Uniontown Ninja won't help you here. Well, he will, but it won't do much good.

They just had an investigation Sunday night but have not posted an update on it. Bummer. If you'd like to call 'em up Ghostbusters style, the number is 724-570-1180.

There are plenty of ghost stories in this area, though. They should have plenty to work with. As long as somebody doesn't start tripping on acid and call them about all the ghosts they're seeing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Nam Writer Gets Published!

And it ain't me. But I haven't been trying very hard lately.

Jacquelyn Thunfors, a "journalist-turned artist" and 1945 Uniontown High School graduate, has published a memoir all about her childhood. It's called Alternating Currents and is her third book.

As for her art, it's appeared all around the world: Greece, England, Spain, and New York. She's also taught free workshops in South Africa and China.

I'd like to read all of these books by local authors. I may find a new favorite. Plus we need to stick together and should start a workshop or something. Any takers?