Monday, April 29, 2013

Fine Dining: My Take on Fiesta Azteca

My brother already talked about Fiesta Azteca for me, but let's be honest, we need my opinion, right?

I finally tried it out with my boyfriend Saturday, and while we both agreed it was a great decision, he's declared the place his new favorite. If you understood how monumental a statement that is coming from him, you'd stop reading this and go to Fiesta Azteca now.

We were there for lunch. He got some lunch special. I'm not exactly sure what it was, but I know it involved a pepper and came with a little salad and taco. In the meantime, he downed two margaritas. Mango is obviously delicious, but who knew a banana margarita would be so good? They also make a good mojito, but so far, Olive Garden seems to do them the best in the Nam. Outside the Nam, the best one I ever had was in Mexico.

Unsurprisingly, the best Mexican food I ever had was also in Mexico, but Fiesta Azteca is a very close second. I had a shrimp enchilada burrito, which was an almost perfect portion for me and included rice. The cheese it was covered in was probably my favorite, but this is coming from the girl who semi-recently praised how good cheese is to her aforementioned boyfriend.

Fiesta Azteca is so good that people who have also tried Uniontown's El Patron, which is right down the road, say that Fiesta Azteca is definitely better. They have a huge menu with good prices--that lunch special was around $5, and they often have margarita specials. So check it out.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


  • Neaubauer's will be on KDKA tomorrow starting at 9 a.m. to preview their Mother's Day gifts. Personally, I think your mom would be fine with their gorgeous flowers, but whatever.
  • Reminder that Rob Hensley is reading and signing April 29.
  • Check out the Cross World Nexus archives!
  • Sports Collectors Universe, home of new Magic the Gathering tournaments and therefore the new nerd mecca, is bringing back Pack Attack. I don't know what that means, but tickets are $50.
  • Rabies clinic at Uniontown Tractor Supply on May 4 from 12:30-3:30. $10, preregistration required.
  • Basket raffle at Ohiopyle Saturday, April 27 6-9 p.m. $5 admission, includes spaghetti dinner and chances for door prizes
  • Bike for Books for the library on June 1! I don't know what that means, either, but I'm gonna guess it doesn't mean they will give me all of the books if I ride a bike.
  • The social event of the summer--PowerWalk!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Eugenics

Well, you know this is gonna be a gem.

Like most Facebook posts, things started off well enough with a legitimately nice and potentially useful discussion of city cleanups. And then...

Man, our streets would totally be cleaner if we could just get our politicians on board with eugenics. As long as forming coherent sentences isn't a problem, of course.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Music from Fayettenam: Sammy Brooks Band

I write about music all the time, but I almost never get to write about music in the Nam, so today is a good day.

First of all, brace yourselves: we have a Cultural Trust.

With that out of the way, Sammy Brooks Band is nice, light jazzy music. You might've seen them around 30 East Main. You can also see the May 24 at the newly renovated Porter Theater in Connellsville, along with that fancy Cultural Trust of ours. Party on.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fine Dining: Uniontown Is Getting Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt, So I'm Losing My Mind

State College is what made me a frozen yogurt fan. My boyfriend discovered this place (Kiwi) and declared I will love it based on flavors and tons of toppings, so we went when I visited, which he probably regretted because I take my frozen yogurt very seriously. As in I cover it with a bizarre combination of sprinkles, fruit, and cheesecake chunks, which gets expensive by yogurt standards when you pay by the weight.

Self-serve frozen yogurt is something I've wanted the Nam to get for a while now, along with a reincarnated Coffee on Crawford. At least one of those dreams is coming true.

It is Sweet Frog, and it will be on Walnut Hill Road. And I am really excited.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Great Job, Spring

I heard it was snowing in Dawson yesterday. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Nam on Tumblr: Perspective

Not a whole lot of people talk about Fayette County on blogs, especially not positively. So sometimes it's interesting to hear what other people are saying when it pops up. A lot of posts are similar, but sometimes, they remind of you the good here. And there's a lot, and I think we all need more of it.

So enjoy this. I find it to be a pretty accurate description of all sides of the Nam.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Proper Attire

True story. Stay classy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Nam on Tumblr

The Nam on social media is an interesting beast. Usually, it's residents complaining, sometimes in an entertaining manner.

In case I was ever stumped for blog content--and I usually find something--I started tracking Tumblr tags for Fayette County mentions. And Fayettenamese Tumblr users are way more artsy than their Twitter and Facebook counterparts. Sorry, Instagram users--you're doing a good job, but you're not on Tumblr level yet.

There are some legitimately nice pictures of Uniontown with a legitimately nice description of their purpose. The tags are also normal enough--even the 724, because as those of us who are so UT know, 24/7, we're 724. But the end...

Guys, we may not be the best place ever, but we're not a ghetto. Come on.

My favorite, though--and I'm being serious, not sarcastic--is this.

By user Konica65

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Beer Run

In case you haven't heard, the infamous Fayettenam Facebook page is back (not to be confused with the Musings from Fayettenam Facebook page). Sure, the page received plenty of criticism, but we can certainly thank them for this post.

Their caption was, "Who doesn't do a quick beer run to Vecchiolla's using their daughters bike?"

Love it.

Monday, April 15, 2013


I was going to keep the blog quiet tonight out of respect for everyone in Boston--it seemed the only right thing to do. I'm praying for you and sending love your way, and we should all do the same.

However, Fayette County has a connection to Boston I felt worthy of reporter Nicole Lemal was running in the marathon in Boston today and finished before the explosions. She's fine, but I'll let the Twitter feed do the rest of the talking.

We would also all do well to remember Mr. Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.”

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Reminiscing About Bad Guidance Counselors

If you didn't go to Geibel, you're probably not gonna fully appreciate this, but it may give you some insight into how things work around here. Overall, I tend to think my Catholic education was a very good thing and did more for me than public school would have, but we all know some of the infamous Catholic school stories. We could all write books about everything from someone shitting on Dairy Queen's floor and the principal announcing that "someone deposited feces" on it to the demon spawn that was the class of 2008 to things like evil Italian nuns, cool African nuns that sharpened pencils with razor blades, a parking lot for a playground, and the negative associations your brain makes with certain hymns.

One of Geibel's more infamous characters was Mr. Lowney, known for teaching SAT prep, saying, "You can't do that" about lots of things but mostly career choices, and generally being unhelpful. I probably switched career paths more time the semester I took his class than I did in my first undeclared semester of college.

It all started when a fellow '07 classmate saw him in public. Seeing teachers or former teachers in public is not a rare thing.

And on that note, come out to Geibel tonight at 5 for their annual auction! I'll be there. You can eat, drink (alcohol!), and spend your money on everything from restaurant gift certificates to Pens autographs. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Laurel Mall Sex

Honestly, I'm surprised this is the first time I've heard a story like this. The Laurel Mall parking lot, in the back by the movie theater, is probably the most secluded place we have. I've also heard stories of Penn State's parking lot, not to mention infamous tales of the movie theater's projection room being used by staff. What's your favorite Fayettenam hook-up spot?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lots of Stuff Happening

It's getting warm and it's getting fun--drive-ins are opening, Vinny's is open, and there's all kinds of random activities going on, including lots of outdoorsy stuff. Maybe this will be the year I actually buy a bike like I've said I'm going to for 3-4 summers in a row now and hit them bike trails.

  • Speaking of bikes--but cool bikes, not like the Barbie bike I could use if I still had it--there's a bike run benefitting Fayette Friends of Animals on June 8 leaving from the Paint Room in Connellsville. I haven't written about the Paint Room, but it's a fun place. Think a small Bud Murphy's.
  • Connellsville Lions Club is hosting their annual rabies clinic on Saturday, April 27 from 2-4 p.m. $10 per pet done by Dr. Howard Markle. Howie happens to be my friends dad, and he is wonderful, as evidenced by the fact that we all call him Howie.
  • Cornerstone Care is having spaghetti dinner to benefit its “Dancing with a Pink Ribbon” project from 3 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 at the Salvation Army Building (second floor) in Uniontown. $7 per plate for adults, $4 per plate for children12 and under. Includes pasta, salad, bread, and dessert. Dine in or carry out. For advance tickets, contact Sheila Shea, outreach coordinator for Dancing with a Pink Ribbon, at 724-323-3537. Also known as "Ways to keep Janelle from having to cook her own damn dinner."
  • H&R Block in Uniontown recently held a two-day food drive for the Fayette County Community Action Agency, Inc (FCCAA) Food Bank. Over 720 pounds of food were donated, so great job helping out, dudes! 
  • Guided wildflower hike at Ohiopyle on Saturday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Meet at the Cucmber Falls parking lot and hike the Great Gorge trail. I'd go, but I've already planned my first ever Record Store Day pilgrimage. Unfortunately, as I know of no record stores in the Nam, I can't recommend you join me--I'm going to Pittsburgh. But I do remember when both of our malls boasted National Record Marts. And pet stores.
  • Keno's Hawaiian Shaved Ice in Uniontown is planning their season opening for the first Saturday in May. I've never been there.
  • The SPCA needs laundry detergent and disposable gloves. Help wash bedding for the puppies!
  • Rob Hensley will be reading at the library on Connellsville on April 29, followed by a discussion on bullying. I'm planning on being there!
  • The library is also hosting an event for teens on Wednesday, April 17 from 4-7:30 p.m. with refreshments,Wii Gaming, computers or BYOD (wifi-bring your own device).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: There's a Squatch in These Woods

Somehow, the Bigfoot story seems the most credible out of all of these.
It's been a few years since we've had a good Bigfoot sighting (seriously, I may pay whoever can find me that damn sketch!). I can't find any news stories on this, unfortunately, but I'm hoping we're seeing the beginnings of another string of sightings like we had before. My buddy Leah up there has a point: we have tons of sightings of Bigfoot, UFOs, etc. A local man has dedicated books to it (in fact, aside from Bigfoot, the most recent Nam activity is mysterious lights, and I once saw the mysterious black cat people speak of).

As I said on Twitter this morning, this can only mean one thing: time to get the cast of "Finding Bigfoot" out here! Specifically, Bobo.

This is seriously the greatest show on TV.

Anyway, get them out here and I will be at those town hall meetings. In fact, nothing would motivate me to fake a Bigfoot sighting more. Or go hunting in, say, Casparis or camp out along the banks of the Mighty Yough. The weather has been warm lately, kids. Maybe that's drawn Bigfoot out, and maybe this is the perfect time to go a-huntin'.

Want more Bigfoot in the Nam? Here's the story of the sightings a few years ago and a Footedale sighting from the '70s.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Crime Stoppers!

I'm 100% down with this, especially if you can volunteer your dog to be a crime stopper. My beagle's love of sleeping, eating, and going for walks will prove invaluable to this task force.

Seriously, that dog is majestic. It looks like he's the badass, enforcer mascot of our county, and I accept this. I want that dog to be all three commissioners. It would probably solve a lot of our problems. I mean, it looks like that dog arrested that unfortunate miscreant in the cuffs himself. No crimes will happen on that dog's watch!

I hope something like this actually does go over well, but to be honest, I don't have high hopes. This county's pretty good at complaining about what sucks without doing much about what sucks, which does occasionally include letting a lot of behavior that's questionable at best and criminal at worst slide.

(For some old but interesting political reads, check out The Fayette Patch Hunky, who is way more up on real politics than I am despite their posts that are so cranky I seriously still think they were personally wronged by someone somewhere, but they've been making good points.)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Study shows Fayette County on economic upswing

A recent Brookings Institution study shows that Fayette County and neighboring Pennsylvania counties that are a part of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) have rebounded from the recession.
Well, this is certainly good news. And I'm sure the Nam saw some ill effects of the recession, but I'm curious as to what they were since there was little to no noticeable change. Restaurants and stores were still busy, especially at the beginning of the month. In the past several years, we've sprung up a few Walmarts and Uniontown has welcomed Sonic, IHOP, Applebee's, Olive Garden, TJ Maxx, the double reopening of 30 East Main, and more.

Things seemed so business-as-usual that I often joked we were recession-proof. We're even getting more fancy new stuff.

Within the past several months, the authority has announced the sale and/or lease of property within the Fayette Business Park for a new medical office and hotel and Fay-Penn Economic Development Council is nearing the groundbreaking on a new business park.
The Allegheny Conference on Community Development along with PRA presented the Brookings Institution report last week that indicates the region is one of three U.S. metropolitan areas to be deemed “fully recovered from the recession."
Well, guys, keep on keepin' on.

The catch, though? Maybe the recession didn't seem to hit as hard here because things aren't going so well here anyway. Let's not forget Connellsville is still literally falling apart. But never fear! Things can only get better. Our saving grace?

Cranmer, meanwhile, said that the completion of the Mon/Fayette Expressway will boost the county’s economic future as will the Lady Luck Nemacolin casino in Wharton Township. 
I'm not so sure about the Mon/Fayette Expressway, but if my habits the few times I've visited Rivers Casino are any indication, I'm gonna make us tons of money.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Observations on Sex Education from a College Student

Lately when I got home to the Nam every few weeks, I find things like amateur sketches of boobs and penises on the fridge. My brother had to draw them as an assignment in his Human Sexuality class at Penn State--the professor was trying to get an idea of how familiar students were with the anatomy of their own gender as well as the opposite's.

He also tells me stories of class discussions, much like my college roommate did when she was taking a Human Sexuality class (they're both studying psychology, by the way). So when my dad mentioned the county's teen pregnancy rates, I thought back to those conversations--quite frequently, my little brother was one of few kids in the class who knew information typically considered to be pretty basic. Perhaps most interesting of all is the extensive sex ed my brother and I received in Catholic school. In eighth grade, some women came in for like a three-hour talk on STDs and pregnancy. In high school, we were taught all about the human body's downstairs mixup (I had to label it on a test!) and various contraception methods. We watched things like The Miracle of Life in one class, Philadelphia in anotherWe were taught in detail about abortion procedures, too, and how terrible they are, but whatever.

Now, some people have very strong, differing opinions on sex ed, but I tend to think a lot of parents avoid the subject and kids need to learn somewhere. And the perfect answer may be "no sex if you don't want babies or STDs," but when was the last time telling a teenager not to do something actually worked? I say teach them to make smart, safe decisions, whether or not you agree with them.

I also said, "Hey, kid, write me up some shit about your sex class." Here's what I got.

"Growing up, I always knew sex education should be taught at a younger grade level and be more in depth as compared to what it is now. This semester, I am taking a Human Sexuality class, and after only a few weeks, my stance on early teaching should was strengthened and now I believe it should be implemented.

"Allow me to set the scene. Back when the semester began, my professor went over the syllabus and eventually asked us about previous sex education we had so she could get an idea of what we knew already. A lot of questions my professor was asking had mixed answers from us, the students. I personally surprised myself by how much I actually had even while attending catholic school up to this point (though I will admit, I am still learning things about concerning sex/sex health, even in college). Though I think the one answer that really surprised me was when the question “Was the word ‘clitoris’ ever used?” was asked. I was the only person to raise a hand in response (that I am aware of though since I sit in the first row), and remember, I went to Catholic school. Though for other questions concerning previous sex education, answers were roughly a 50/50, yes/no spilt between the class of approximately 40 students.

I know it is not the other students’ fault that they don’t know or didn’t know. But it does say a lot about how little people do know concerning sex and how much education there is. And simply put: there isn’t a lot."

Friday, April 5, 2013


  • Zumbathon Charity Event on May 19 from 1-4 p.m. at the Uniontown Social Hall to benefit Charleigh's Angels with, food, prizes, raffles, a DJ, and fun times. $10 per person.
  • Geibel's charity auction is next weekend.
  • In case I missed it before, Vinny's is open! Seems a bit early, but I don't care. Go now & get a small order of fries, which is basically a paper bag full of fries. Have fun trying to explain to bystanders that you actually ordered a small, and no, they didn't mess up--the small really is just a paper bag of fries. Also, they've done some reorganizing and the menus are bigger and easier to read instead of approximately 1,000 random posters splattered all over the windows. Still highly recommend the strawberry shortcake sundae. 
  • The library has a full April calendar with pre-school storytime Wednesdays at 11a.m., scrapbooking April 13 and April 27 at 12 (preregistration required, call Lisa at 724-323-4567 or email, The Mezz grand opening, Wed April 17 at 4 p.m., Daily Courier Connellsville Candidate Forum, Mon April 22 at 5 p.m. and Rob Hensley Bullying Presentation, Mon April 29 at 6 p.m. I'm hoping to make Rob's presentation/reading.
  • The Stone House restaurant in Farmington (up the mountain) is now hiring experienced cooks.
  • Fiddler on the Roof April 6th at 8:00 p.m. at the State Theatre Center for the Arts. Student rush tickets are available for high-school and college students for $5 the day of the show, starting at 5 p.m. Call 724-439-1360 for tickets or order online at
  • Nam-based magazine Gladys interviewed Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta's Monte. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
  • There's gonna be some Dress for Success Power Walk on May 4. I have no idea what that means, but it's to empower women toward economic independence, so I'm all about that. Ladies, we don't need no men!
  • Support local artists and check out C. Renne Designs for nifty wood-burned arts. Also, I went to high school with her and can assure you that she's cool.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Easter Bunny

At none other than Fiesta Azteca, which I still haven't eaten at personally, but sounds like it might be the most fun restaurant in the Nam.

Also, why don't you people take pictures of these things?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Man Gets Cellphone Into Prison Using Prosthetic Leg

What is it with people scamming for phones for an extended period of time?
A Uniontown man who was accused of hiding a cellphone and charger in his prosthetic leg at the Fayette County Prison told a judge he had the phone for a year before it was discovered.
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The phone was finally found in his cell during a search.
“Apparently, they picked somebody who has no sense of touch,” Wagner said of the unknown guard who searched Greer that day.

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Now, I'm sure a prison guard's first thought when searching a prisoner isn't, "Damn, better check this guy's prosthetic leg in case he's hiding a phone & charger in there," but it is their job to prevent these things. Surely they're instructed to thoroughly search. But is this a case of "no sense of touch?" What's he expected to do, grope around for a phone that he won't find anyway because it's inside the leg? Officers insist, however, that such a thing wouldn't be overlooked, so they think someone brought it to him.
Greer said he took the phone into the prison because inmates are charged about $4 per call made from the prison. He said he managed to keep the phone hidden from corrections officers for a year.
When he was later transferred to a state prison, Greer said, he was unable to take a phone with him.
“They search a lot better?” Wagner asked.
“Yeah, a lot better,” Greer replied.

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Please, hide your surprise.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Syringes

Well, this is the kind of thing everyone hopes to find near a bar.