Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Home

I'm sure my friend (real friend, too, not just Facebook friend) didn't consider this when she posted this status, but this kind of accurately sums up the way most of us feel about the county in a sentence, doesn't it? It still sucks, but it's home, too.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Preach It, Fr. Bob!

From Fr. Bob's Facebook:
I was just at the Porter Theatre last eve for the Conn-Area musical dress rehearsal. The city has this BEAUTIFUL resource and sems to be dead set against capitalizing on it/ WHY O WHY????

I could see such much going on there. Imagine the concerts! The Carnegie Library in Homestead has become a venue for a lot of bands of national note. WHY can't we do that with the Porter. Bring in PEOPLE. They need to EAT and DRINK. Voilà. An opportunity for new restaurants. I LOVE the eateries we have here. But I also want VARIETY! Just because new places open doesn't mean I would stop patronizing my faves. But perhaps I could eat more in town instead of going Utown, or Gburg, or THE BURGH when I want variety. And bring PEOPLE in and they might want to SHOP. Voilà again. MORE business opportunities!

Make the town more attractive instead of looking like the slums. Who could argue with that?! Well, apparently those in power! The city looks like CRAP! BETTER LOOKING city=PEOPLE choosing to live here=MORE BUSINESS=A city RISING LIKE THE PHOENIX from the ashes!!!
I haven't been to the Porter Theater in a while--at least 2-3 years ago for a production of The Nutcracker, where some male patrons were decked out in camo and bright-orange hunting caps--but it seriously is a pretty place with tons of potential. Get on it, Connellsville! And on that note, while the State Theater is gorgeous, Geibel should probably using Porter for its musicals. It just makes a lot more sense.

This accurately sums up--albeit somewhat oversimplified--a lot of the problems not just in Connellsville but county-wide. We have lots of excellent resources from a rich history to nature to neat places to even people that could do a lot of good for the community and the economy, but those resources don't have the support they need to flourish. The reasons for that are likely very complicated, but examining just one place like the Porter Theater opens up a bunch of potential uses, which brings with it lots of potential revenue and positivity in general. Local politicians are always going on about the county's bad reputation and have a tendency to put band-aids on the problems by doing stupid things like putting pretty pictures on trucks without fixing real, huge problems like poverty rather than actually working to capitalize on what we already have.

Fayette County was once very, very prosperous, and we just haven't figured out how to recover. Some people have good ideas and lots of thoughts and opinions without much of a way to execute them. Others have more pull but don't listen or don't try as hard as perhaps they could. And then there's the fact that a lot of great people who could do wonders for the area leave.

The fixes aren't always obvious or easy--I mean, we all know Connellsville is broke and literally falling apart--but I'm a firm believer that a little can go a long way. So let's try!

This has sparked lots of good discussion, which is always good to see. Some of that discussion also focused on the importance of supporting small businesses, and which is what motivates a lot of small-business-oriented posts on this blog and even the Fine Dining posts. I haven't highlighted one in a while, but I was certainly promoting lots of stuff around Christmas. Christmas may be over, but those businesses--and even people just selling artwork on the side--are still here, and they still have lots of cool stuff for your buying pleasure. But a lot of local businesses still struggle, and it's hard to say whether that's because people don't care about them or because they don't know about them. For that matter, one of the coolest and most informative things that turned people on to small businesses was a scavenger hunt a few years back. I can't remember who sponsored it or what the point was, but the clues led to various local businesses, and I did discover some neat little places I'd love to check out when I'm in the area. I know there's a committee dedicated to small businesses, so come summertime, get on this! I'll come in for the weekend and do it myself and spend my monies. I'll blog about it. It'll be fun, beneficial times for all.

The bottom line is people want change and improvement. They're opinionated and angry, and they very well should be. We just need to make things happen.

The most common sentiment, though? Fr. Bob for mayor! (and Pope)

Saturday, February 23, 2013


  • Like the Fayette Friends of Animals Facebook page. And remember, I'm a stickler for adopting shelter animals. Geary Veterinary Services is also on there, and remember that the blog Facebook page reposts anything regarding lost or found animals in the county. Geary is also offering free heartworm screenings when you buy a full year's worth of heartworm-prevention medicine.
  • Know of any writer's groups in the area? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • Anyone notice all the county meme sites are very shortlived? Meanwhile, here I am, bringing you hard-hitting news and commentary. Just an observation.
  • Lady Luck, Nemacolin's incoming casino, is holding open recruitment this Thursday, March 7.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Candidate in Race for Connellsville Mayor

A political newcomer is aiming to be mayor, and he sounds like a righteous dude, so I'm all for it. Even though I don't live in Connellsville or Fayette County anymore.

He's 39-year-old George Lincoln of Connellsville, and he's served on the city's Parks and Recreation board. Sorry, guys--I haven't gotten around to Parks and Recreation yet in my TV adventures, so no relevant memes of GIFs on this one.

However, this work inspired him to run for office.
“After volunteering my time on the city's Parks and Recreation Board, I have been able to see the truths of what is occurring in our city and feel that we all deserve better. Change is needed in order for Connellsville to prosper, and I want to be part of that change,” Lincoln said.
I think we can all agree. Connellsville gets ignored while Uniontown gets all the fancy things like Olive Garden. Hell, the city is literally falling apart, and someone needs to fix things somewhere.
“I feel like I would be a great mayor because I have a vision of what Connellsville can be, and I have the passion and energy to make that vision a reality,” said Lincoln.
He'd focus on community service. Might be a good way to help the Geibel kids get their service hours. He also wants to see the parks thrive. Now, I haven't been in a Connellsville park in quite a long time and some have come quite a long way, but that progress needs maintained at the very least.

But Lincoln is also aware the city's broke.
“The No. 1 issue addressing the city right now is its finances,” Lincoln said. “The City of Connellsville is in financial distress, and the citizens need to know what is occurring. The city had to take out a second loan of $650,000 in order to stay afloat and to help pay off the $450,000 loan from the prior year. They continue to take on additional financial burdens, not knowing how much they will collect in taxes, and I promise to never pass a budget that inflates revenue just to get it approved."
“ I would also work to promote our city outside of the local area to attract new businesses here. New business will increase our tax base ,which the city so desperately needs and provide additional employment opportunities for our citizens,” Lincoln said.

Like I said--literally falling apart, pretty/fun things in Uniontown. Or other counties.

Connellsville does have a lot of potential--seriously. And aside from the new wannabe mayor in town, no one knows that better than our own resident punk priest, Fr. Bob.

Fr. Bob for mayor! And pope! But that's another post for another day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brownsville Students Suspended for "Harlem Shake" Video

First of all, I may be but a babe at the tender age of 23, but I'm quite out of touch with pop culture's shenanigans. I don't even have cable, guys--willingly. I'm in danger of becoming Harold Weird, my love of loud rock music aside.

My point is I just figured out what the hell "Harlem Shake" is, like, yesterday. And just in time, too! Because 13 Brownsville High School students are suspended for two days after making their own video of it.

Seems a bit harsh, especially for a dance video. I'm sorry, but I didn't realize Footloose was based on Brownsville High School.

Kevin Bacon, come liberate the children!

In case you haven't noticed, I only know one Footloose.
Okay, maybe the kids shouldn't be making dance videos in class. But it was photography class. Now, I'm not discounting the arts here, but you know what I did in photography class? While the teacher was in the dark room helping students develop film, the rest of us were supervised by a teacher during their prep period. My friends and I did homework on occasion, but usually we watched Freaks and Geeks on a portable DVD player or played board games. I bet most of those kids signed up for photography hoping for a blow-off class anyway. And this was done with the approval of a substitute teacher! Surely a verbal reprimand would've been sufficient, even for just the "graphic" parts of the video. Although if you think that's graphic, you've never seen a high-school dance, and you've especially never seen a Catholic high-school dance. Best of all, the kids haven't actually been told why they're being suspended, and administration won't say.

Even the Morning Freak Show weighed in.

What's the deal with Brownsville these days, anyway? First they punish a girl for not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance--which is he prerogative to do--and now this. Get it together! Prioritize! Fight real battles! I'm with Mikey and Big Bob--the kids just wanted to dance, and we should let them.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Pechin's Firehouse

This was originally supposed to be included in my post about the Firehouse, but it got lost in the abyss of my desktop, which is almost exclusively screenshots of tweets and Facebook posts waiting for their 15 minutes of Fayettenamese fame.

But I wasn't kidding when I said my cousin Adam loves the Firehouse.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Not Even the Deer Give a Fuck

But the best part of these things is when one crazy story leads to another.

Man, I don't even know what else to say.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fine Dining: Pechins Firehouse

This ain't your mama's Pechin's cafeteria.

Obviously, my cousin Adam is a big fan. Pechin's praise on his Facebook is actually pretty common, but then again, anyone who's been there can and should agree with him.

Pechin's is known for its dirt-cheap cafeteria (among other things), but that was lost in the move from Old Pechin's to what was once a Shop 'N' Save. I think. Its residency was so short-lived, I can't be sure. But the point is that Shop 'N' Save couldn't compete with Pechin's and Wal-Mart, so when it left, Pechin's took the empty building. But instead of the cafeteria, we got the Firehouse restaurant.

Not only is the Firehouse nothing at all like Pechin's famous cafeteria, but it's actually one of the Connellsville/Dunbar area's nicest places. For once, Uniontown doesn't have everything.

True to form, I can't comment too much on the food because I order pasta everywhere I go. I can tell you that I enjoy their catering and I wasn't thrilled with their alfredo for some reason--I had that over a year ago, so I don't remember why--but their gnocchi is pretty great. Now, it's not on Meloni's level--Meloni's has achieved a level of perfection most can only aspire to--but it's probably your best bet if you're not venturing into Uniontown.

I also hear good things about their burgers and pizzas. Some say their fried zucchini is among the county's best, but my heart forever lies with Bud Murphy's there. Some also say their faces break out within hours of eating the zucchini. I say that's a small price to pay. God help me if I ever need to go on a restricted diet for health reasons.

Also true to form, I've never made it to try their desserts. But this is a close second.

Instagram comment from HGB: "Enjoy those black market strawberries and contraband milk products"
They were all out of fresh mint, so I couldn't get a mojito, but this strawberry shortcake cocktail is amazing. Goes kinda weird with gnocchi, but still, amazing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fine Dining: Nguyen's Dessert (Finally!)

Okay, truth be told, I crave Nguyen's sushi at least once a month. It goes something like this: my boyfriend will ask where I want to go eat, I get what I imagine is a stupid look on my face, and he says, "Nguyen's." Sometimes I accept my appetite's limitations and just get sushi and soup, which I love, and other times I ignore it and boyfriend's pleas of "YOU WILL NEVER FINISH THAT. YOU WILL BE FULL AFTER TWO BITES" and get pad thai. Except the one time I got the Saigon shrimp, which was good, but I miss my pad thai.

The advantage to not ignoring biology and my literal voice of reason, though, is that sometimes if I stick to sushi and soup, I have room for dessert. By "sometimes" I mean "this one time."

I made my boyfriend pick because I would eat every single item on that dessert menu without hesitation. They all sound delicious. He chose mango fried ice cream, which is strangely low on my list of preferred desserts considering my love of ice cream and fried food. I mean, Bud Murphy's fried zucchini has got to be the most unhealthy in the world, but that might be why I think it's the best.

Of course, mango fried ice cream tastes amazing. But one of my favorite things about Nguyen's is how damn pretty they make everything.

And how about some bonus pretty sushi?

This was the day I decided to branch out and try a roll other than my beloved cucumber. I believe the one on the right is the veggie roll, which has all kinds of stuff in it like cream cheese, tofu, and avocado and has kind of a sweeter taste and more substance.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Creative Snowmen

Thanks to reporter Josh Krysak for this gem.

Snowman built in the bed of a pickup truck in Stewart Twp.
2/6/13 10:43 PM


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fine Dining: Fiesta Azteca

My brother went out to Fiesta Azteca the other night, and since I haven't been there yet because I crave sushi more than Mexican and am a vegetarian, I said, "Hey, kid, write a guest post on it and do my work for me." Or something like that.

I am not a huge fan of Mexican cuisine, but I must say, my opinion of it may possibly be changing.

Saturday, I went to the new Mexican restaurant in Uniontown, Fiesta Azteca, in celebration of my girlfriend’s mother’s birthday and I was delightfully pleased. When you first walk in, the décor is reminiscent of Legends of the Hidden Temple’s set (and yes, there is an Omack painted on the wall much to my approval), but it was really nice and beautifully done.

As we were being escorted to our table, I started to become vigilant--very vigilant--for potential hidden Temple Guards. What made it worse: I didn’t have ANY pendants of life. Not even a half of one. Fuck.

We made it our table safely, Temple Guard free, and our meal started out with homemade nachos and salsa dip. I enjoyed the nacho chips very much, though not a fan of salsa, but according to the company I was with, it was good though a bit spicy for some to handle. For a drink, I got Modello, a Mexican beer, which is good especially if served with lemon or lime, preferably lime.

For the main course, most of us got quesadillas. Mine was filled with cheese, Mexican sausage, and beef and came with rice and lettuce with guacamole. It was absolutely delicious and very filling. I need to go on an empty stomach so I can grab dessert next time. Deep-fried ice cream anyone?

The service was excellent. Our waiter was hilarious--well actually, the entire wait staff was funny and friendly.

I personally would love to go on Cinco de Mayo, and it may or may not be because of some awesome specialty deals they have on beer and liquor that I cannot recall exactly, but exist none the less.

I look forward to my next visit very much. Hopefully it is soon. Fiesta Azteca Mexican Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures Pt. II

Need a job? The prospect of being forced into working at Pechins got you down? Never fear! Bud Murphy's may be your saving grace. Especially if it means discounts on pizza and those beastly goblet-sized drinks.

Now, only time will tell which establishment results in the best stories of Fayette County's finest.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Behold Your King and Queen

In an interesting, coincidental turn of events, my dad and The Steel Trap's HGB were crowned Mardi Gras King and Queen.

I can only imagine the sorts of things my dad said, most likely things like, "My coworkers can't believe the stuff that happens here." Neither can Nam residents, for that matter.

PS: This blog made my dad text me while I was at work, asking for an explanation of "YOLO."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Most who work at Pechin's end up forever changed. Best of luck, job hunters. May you have better prospects.