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!