Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fair Observations

I know, I said I'd do a liveblog. But I forgot.

Every year, the fair brings out some princesses on Facebook who post statuses about how the fair is gross and full of rednecks and terrible people. They will absolutely not be attending, thank you very much. While all of those things about the fair are basically true, no one is actually above the fair. No one is actually above Fayette County, either, even though every person in this county could do better. So, princesses, here's what you missed out on.
  • The greatest people-watching of your life. I saw a man with an epic braid and massive, shiny silver belt buckle and a man with a corn on the cob hat and matching shirt (picture to come). Would've been better if he'd drawn on a smiley face and "DUDA'S." One of my favorite sights from years past was the girl in booty shorts, a cutoff shirt, and the highest wedge lace-up heels I have ever seen. Kudos to you, chick, for braving the fair in heels.
  • Awesome food. I may have been devastated when my mom told me she couldn't find haluski, but I didn't accept that and looked at every stand's menu. I quickly found it (the Methodist church has it). I was also so hungry that I also immediately ordered a lemonade and fried dough from St. Aloysius. Then I had to stop ordering food because I ran out of cash, free hands, and people to help me carry it.
  • Fair lemonade is the best lemonade EVER.*
  • The Hubcaps draw huge crowds. They're also really good.
  • That said, the only song in an hour-long set that got Fayette County off its feet was "God Bless the USA." They also swayed with their arms in the air, and one guy threw the "rock on" symbol. I understand and appreciate patriotism, but in a set full of oldies classics and fantastic impersonations of music icons, "God Bless the USA" is the ONLY SONG that gets more than some applause? And throwing the devil horns should be reserved for rock songs.
  • My boyfriend's sister had multiple pieces place in the youth art contest, so check that out. Also check out all the nifty wood carvings because they're awesome.
*Rivaled only by Kennywood lemonade, which is probably the exact same thing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


From Twitter, posted by KDKA's TrinaOrlando. I don't know where this is, but I wish I did so I know to never go there.

Look, I don't doubt that paper towels and hand soap have been stolen. I also don't doubt they've been used to clog toilets, but on that note, are you a frat house now, Fayette County? You can't be mature enough to not clog public toilets? Resisting the urge to do so isn't hard.

Thanks for the apology for the inconvenience, but inconvenience is nothing compared to completely unsanitary practices. For real? Paper towels and hand soap are kind of crucial in personal bathroom hygiene. You can't just decide not to provide them--unless, of course, you're providing dryers or even automatic soap dispensers instead. BAM. Problem solved.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Carmike, Get With It

Oh, Laurel Mall movie theater.

At first, I thought maybe I've just been spoiled with nice theaters recently. After all, all the movies I've seen in about the past month have been in nice theaters--Greensburg's Carmike, some beastly nice place in State College, and even Uniontown's Carmike (if you disregard the bathrooms). But no. You just suck, Laurel.

Now, the staff and everything is nice. Even the tiny size is forgivable, as well as the signs outside that have to be 40 years old. If it still works, why fix it? Besides, it just preserves Fayette County's status as a real-life time warp.

Even the stories of employee sex in the projection room is okay, because at least it's away from all five of the theater's customers and you can't really blame them.

But the dirt in those theaters looks about as old as the signs out front. The backs of the seats, which are what I'm guessing would normally be a light beige, are all smeared with black. Same with the floors, but that's less of a problem because, you know, floor and all. And I get that cleaning seats in a theater probably is never really a priority, but at this point, something needs done. Even the upholstery seems dirty, but that might just be because my mom pointed out how do the plastic parts of the seats were and I got nervous.

"All they need is a magic eraser," my mom said. I disagreed. They need more than magic erasers. They need all-out disinfectant.

Carmike, the seats look gross enough that I'm willing to come in and clean them myself for free, perhaps minus the cost of supplies because that would bankrupt me.*

*After testing cleaners on a seat first to ensure they can, in fact, be cleaned and are not permanently stained.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fine Dining: Nguyen

You know how they say you should never go grocery shopping when you're hungry, and by "they" I mostly mean my relatives because I come from a long line of women buying random foods because they were hungry? You should also never drive through Fayette County when you're hungry because all it takes is one Fat Angelo's sign, and all of a sudden you find yourself fantasizing about where to get take-out or who will deliver. Or maybe that's just me. After all, my boyfriend did recently tell me that my train of thought usually loops back around to food.

This is how a trip home ended in picking up food from Nguyen, the new-ish Vietnamese place that gets nothing but love.

Somehow, Nguyen always gets compared to Shogun, the new-ish Japenese hibachi place. I blame this on similar menus and prices--or the fact that everyone who's been to both just likes to say Nguyen is better. They would be correct.

Now, I was only getting take-out, but even waiting for a few minutes to pay and wait for my straggling miso soup gave me a good idea of the atmosphere. At the time, it was quiet, though I wouldn't be surprised if they get pretty busy--my mom told me she's seen the pack numerous take-out bags during weekday lunch. It was also very pretty and nicely decorated, which makes it the nice, romantic choice as opposed to Shogun, where you go to party and maybe get drunk. Plus Nguyen's staff was excellent, even just for waiting on take-out. They made sure we'd actually been waited on and were very nice. And then we noticed the mass amounts of food you get.

My family is used to take-out. We don't do it often, but we've done everything from boxes from Vinny's and Fat Angelo's to tons of cartons from the Chinese buffet. Nguyen might've had the most food and bags of any place--three bags containing four entrees plus their sides and other little things we got. Each entree came with soup and salad, and the entrees were huge anyway.

Look at all the food and a brother ready to OM NOM NOM.
My brother got some kind of shrimp, my dad got a crab cake and fried rice, and my mom got hibachi shrimp. I went for vegetarian pad thai. Fun fact: I've only ever had microwaveable pad thai and a little taste of a friend's in Mexico. Non-vegetarian entrees come with onion soup, plus the salads are a little different. Vegetarian entrees come with miso soup. I don't know what's in miso soup aside from what I recognized as tofu, but I do know I devoured it. I also devoured a bunch of cucumber rolls, so I pretty much had a few forkfuls of my pad thai before I had to quite...and devour more cucumber rolls and the salad later. Note for the vegetarians: they have a fair number of options from entrees to rolls, and I believe any meat you'd get normally is replaced with tofu.

Nguyen's California rolls also get compared a lot to Shogun's, with the consensus being Nguyen's are better.

In the end, I was stuffed and thrilled. We ordered Saturday, and here I am on Monday, still eating leftovers--which is the only area in which Nguyen falls short, but that's not their fault. Pad thai just does not work well reheated. It's not as moist and tasty. It's kind of a tease, really. You know what it's capable of and what it once was, but it just cannot reach that former glory no matter what. But if I had some more cucumber rolls...

 Nguyen Seafood & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Nam on Twitter and Some Shameless Self-Promotion

My new life goal is to be an attraction at the Fayette County Fair. Shouldn't be hard.
7/20/12 8:46 PM

Yes, that is me (still rocking a Chichen Itza picture after almost six months). Follow me.

Anyway, for real. Think about it. The Clarks are a fair staple, along with the popcorn guy, demolition derby, and chocolate-covered bacon. I would like to reach that level of notoriety. How? I don't know. What would I do at the fair? I don't know that, either. I could heckle people. I could be like a live, in-person version of this blog. I could MC the demo derby. I could do what my cousin and a friend did and dress super redneck and just walk around. They wore things like wifebeaters, cutoffs, and in my cousin's case, a mullet wig. It's the best wig I have ever seen.

I do know what I plan to do this year, though, if I make it to the fair--live blog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Baby Steps

Albert Gallatin may have had to furlough some teachers, but four of those positions are now being reinstated.

Look, that's not a huge number, and the furloughs in general are still a sign of the times, budget, and Corbett's poor decision to cut funding for education, but it's a start. Even just one person being able to keep a job is great news. Now, if only we could keep the pattern going and save more jobs and education. Because, you know, the children are our future and all that.

Meanwhile, stay dry. There's floods everywhere. The Mighty Yough, I'm sure, will be roaring for the next few days. Use caution.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

County Crime Round-Up

It's a sad day when Fayette County's crimes are not just the same old thing as the day before but are boring, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dance for Dreams

Life is full of uncertainties. What can we be certain of? Two things: dancing is awesome, and similarly, the arts are awesome. Nevermind the fact that the two are so closely related that they could be combined into one thing.

Cue Dance for Dreams, a new dance festival with the goal of raising money for the Uniontown Arts Fellowship.
UAF's mission is to promote life, hope and healing in Uniontown and Fayette County through the continual development of the public arts center, The Phoenix, where the community, as well as our underserved youth, can participate, at a low cost or free of charge, in music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. Through the celebration of dance, D4D aspires to bring art, culture, and enrichment to our community.
No one should be shocked that I 100% love this. I'm always complaining about a lack of the arts in the Nam. Aside from being a lover of the arts (I mean, I'm a writer. DUH.), I do believe a heavier presence of it in the Nam really will benefit everyone in the long run in many ways, from providing a constructive activity to something fun for people to go see on weekends to bonus business because few things go together as beautifully as theater and dinner.

It's all going down Saturday July 28 at Storey Square in Uniontown. Storey Square, by the way, is really nice. You can register to participate here or even just go watch the fun. I may be making an appearance, but that depends on whether or not I'm moving that weekend and whether or not moving ends up meaning coming back to the Nam.

Get on this, Fayette County, and don't ever say we can't have nice things!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

For the Doubters

You're lucky I have minions that are willing to take photos of random stuff to appease you.

I like the traffic cones. It's like they don't want anyone near it lest it become damaged again.

Truly the end of an era. How about a retrospective?

When we first met the pole, it looked like this. But soon, it received a glorious makeover.

And now, all is as it should be and Crawford Avenue is no longer a death trap. Except for the way people drive down Crawford Avenue.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh, Scottdale

I know Scottdale isn't technically the Nam, but I'm just gonna leave this right here.

UPDATE: I smell a beef.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Observations

  • Colebrook has a bunch of things centered around the local schools, like chocolate-covered pretzels & Oreos with sprinkles to match school colors.
  • Fayette County's back roads in the summer are actually really pretty for driving. Even now with this lack of rain, everything is very green.
  • Fr. Bob is extremely popular.
  • Someone is driving around Republic in what looks like a 30-year-old police car. Except it's unmarked, just has a big blue light on the top, and appeared to be involved in what we lifelong residents generally recognize as a drug deal. Two cars meet and briefly exchange pleasantries. One car speeds away shortly thereafter.
  • Connellsville has FINALLY fixed that ridiculous excuse for a telephone pole.
Things I did not observe over the weekend:
  • UFOs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Old Cases

A 30-year-old missing-persons case has been solved thanks to a resident of the Nam.

A girl went missing from Tampa in the '80s. Shortly after, another girl saw her neighbor right here in the Nam burying a large plastic bag in his yard.

This is proof that bizarre little things are worth investigating. Props to this woman for doing the right thing as an adult and hopefully setting an example to others. There's hope for us yet!

At the same time, though, I have to wonder how Discovery's ID network doesn't have programming devoted just to this county.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Really!? REALLY!?

Look, I know a lot of the people here have a really hard time being decent human beings, but can we at least try a little harder or something? Gun violence and child abuse are separately horrible things, especially when either is committed by a teenager, but you combine all those and get a teenager shooting a 7-year-old and it's just even worse.

Faith in humanity=lost.

Shooting anyone is pretty much inexcusable, but to shoot a child? What reason could a 16-year-old possibly have to shoot anyone, let alone a child? Unacceptable, Fayette County. Seriously, step up and try to stop these things from happening.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fayette Fred

Twitter did it again. Now we have Fayette Fred.

Fred's tweets read more like the average Fayettenamese citizen. An extreme caricatured version, yet still accurate. His bio, for example, reads, "Disabled. Father of 8. Hate the five-0, CYS, and my PO. Separated from Freda due to emergency PFA. Love quads, mt. dew, and being a BAD ASS."

As for the tweets?

Trying to teach my dog to steal copper.
7/10/12 7:54 AM

My water got shut off so it looks like I'll be febreezing myself.
7/10/12 7:32 AM

Busy day of taking down my Christmas decorations.
7/10/12 7:31 AM

Typically, it does a good job of being funny and accurate without getting too mean, which is easy to do when talking about Fayette County.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Close Encounter of the Third Kind

If there is intelligent life in the universe, what the hell is it doing in Fayette County?

Residents of Lemont Furnace have reported (and filmed) UFOs. I even know who people who claim to have seen it.

The video certainly is interesting. Sky lantern, as they say? Maybe. In various parts of the area over a few nights? I don't know. I'm not counting on anyone in the Nam messing with sky lanterns, although the hoax theory is completely believable.

Side note: Andrew Stockey says this got their attention. Now, Fayette County gets attention for insanity all the time, so I can only assume Andrew Stockey either cared this time or wasn't infuriated by this Nam story. Because usually Nam news should infuriate you, and if it doesn't you're probably Satan.

Now, how long until someone has an abduction story?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Burrito Fail

I can't decide if people in Fayette County think all of their complaints are worthy off legal action or if they just want attention.

A dude was recently displeased with a burrito purchase and asked police to accompany him to request a refund.

Let me rephrase my opening statement: I think people in Fayette County think all of their food-related complaints are worthy of legal action. Seriously, how many times has this happened before? We've had so many bizarre food-related incidents that the connections came to me immediately, and I only have to hunt through the archives to make sure I don't leave anything out, which will take too damn long. Anyway, we've had stolen pork chopsa woman assaulting a store employee with a hot dogmen hunting deer illegally and serving venison at Superbowl parties, the infamous fighting ice-cream truck drivers and the subsequent assault on one of the bosses, and the guy who was fined for smearing wings all over windows because they were burnt.

I guess we could just ignore them, but that's no fun. Actually, the more people who try this, the funnier it gets.

Remember, you also can't report bad weed to the cops.