Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Body Found in Yough...Again

This happens a lot, doesn't it? Except this time, it isn't someone who drowned, which is good--except that it's actually kind of worse because the woman was beaten to death and dumped there. Awesome.
Police have charged two men with strangling and sexually assaulting a woman whose body was found by a troop of Boy Scouts in the Youghiogheny River.
Found by Boy Scouts? Seriously? This is really gonna be one of those stories that just keeps getting worse, isn't it?
In a criminal complaint, investigators said witnesses reported Paul Bannasch asked bar patrons where Kriek lived. When customers said they were going to report him to bar security, Bannasch said, "If they see him on any fliers or on a wanted sign, to say that they didn't see him or didn't know him," according to the complaint.
Because there's nothing suspicious or anything about some dude going around asking where a woman lives and telling people to lie about him asking. Pro tip: next time this happens, Connellsville, either lie, call the cops, warn the possible intended victim, or all of the above. Seriously. Sometimes, things happen because no one stops them from happening, and we need to turn that around.

Bannasch and another man, Craig Rugg, were both arrested in connection with the murder. No word on why the hell they did it, though, but I'm sure it's a real zinger.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Themed Parties

For those of you who don't know, my cousins live on what was once a farm. An old barn on the property houses Judy's Dresses and Gowns (where I got all my dresses for formal dances and plan to get my wedding dress for my currently nonexistent wedding), and a little shed was converted into a bar. The shed is where we hold parties, and we're huge fans of themed parties. The shed has also made appearances before.

When a long-time friend leaves the Nam for Arizona, the sensible thing to do is hold a themed going-away party, right? And the most obvious theme is America/Fayettenam, right?

I haven't gotten around to uploading all my pictures, plus I don't want to post things people may not want me to (even though they're all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but whatever), but let's just say costume highlights included pregnant women drinking, mullets, pajamas, and Connellsville's own mayoral candidate Josh DeWitt. I wore a tube top with a plaid shirt over it because that top was tiny, along with shorts and some glorious cowboy boots. Sadly, I never got a full-body picture.

As if by fate, Sherwood's was open for a rare night, so some of us ventured down. Sis made the smoothest margarita I have ever tasted. And we were dressed up.

So here's a taste of that.
Clicking the link will take you to one of the contenders for least until DeWitt and the pregnant girls showed up, then they were tied.
For more, consult my Instagram!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Atkins Music Center

First of all, Atkins is where I got my first electric guitar--a pink and white Johnson that has been neglected for so long that my heart aches right now just thinking about it. And yes, "first electric guitar" does mean I have more than one guitar and more than one electric guitar. But to the point.

The trouble started with a stray cat Atkins' owner/employees that was hanging around the store that they started feeding. Apparently, this didn't sit too well with a certain politician, and Atkins took to their Facebook page for a political Connellsville rant that was right on Fr. Bob's level.

But cats at Atkins cannot be left alone, as today, Atkins revealed one is being a bird.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Greensburg Is Better

I'm always curious as to what spawns these posts. Is it just being home from college for longer than a weekend, or did something happen?

The grass is always greener.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Sorry, guys, we have a ton of little things to catch up on/announce/discuss.

  • An opera about Frank Lloyd Wright is currently playing in Pittsburgh and recently played at Fallingwater. Remember, kids, we have the honor of having two Frank Lloyd Wright structures in our county. Some argue we should stop citing this when we talk about Fayette County because it's irrelevant to the current state of the county, which is true, but they're still two gorgeous pieces of architecture and give you something to do/see on a nice, summer weekend. You just have to go up the mountain. Also, you can vote for it as the 8th wonder of the world, which has to count for something.
  • Artist and mastermind behind Coffee on Crawford and Cross Worlds Nexus has designed the art for a new online game, Apocalypse Defense. We discussed this at the last Steel City Con. We also discussed my vacation last year to Mexico.
  • Fiesta Azteca wins social-media marketing with their take on a meme. Also, I had some sort of shrimp dish with spinach and cheese that was amazing the last time I was there, and my boyfriend and I praise their banana margaritas to anyone who will listen. I know how weird a banana margarita sounds and how gross you think it is, but you're wrong.
  • Fayette Friends of Animals has been holding a Tabby Tuesday, where you can adopt a tabby cat for just $20.
  • The Italian Festival will be held at the fairgrounds August 23-25. They're giving away a red Camaro!

Monday, June 17, 2013


  • A bunch of new job listings went up, so check them out at PA Career Link if you need a job. Also, try to be able to pass a drug test if you apply.
  • I have a box of Colebrook black raspberry chocolates on my coffee table as an early birthday present from my boyfriend. Or at least I did until I started typing this and went to eat them. By the way, I turn 24 on Friday. Now accepting more chocolates, Sweet Frog gift cards, and drinks at my Shogun birthday dinner.
  • Or maybe I should celebrate with the State Theatre's Classic Film Series. They're showing E.T. the Extra-terrestrial at 2 and 7 p.m., $5 for adults and $3 for seniors, students, and children.
  • Why are construction signs popping up on 119 again? I've been enjoying the construction-free highway since they finished everything up a few years ago, and it's too soon to give it up.
  • Debating a new series called "Preach It, Fr. Bob!" featuring his Facebook rants about local politics that are always spot-on. Is it too late to get him on the mayoral ballot? How about commissioner?
  • We have a Planet Fitness in Uniontown. We're moving up in the world. First frozen yogurt, now this!?
  • Check out the St. Rita Parish Festival Facebook page, and then when the festival starts, check that out, too, for the fried dough if nothing else. 
  • Speaking of fried food, I can't wait to eat my way across the fair next month. Liveblog, anyone?

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Competing with Beaver County

Uniontown's angry fire chief made the Freak Show yesterday, making it the eighth time the Nam made the show. Then this morning, Beaver County made the show and tied. It's a county showdown.

Not only is there not a prize for winning, but winning probably isn't a good thing. Yet for some reason, I still want us to win, and not just because it makes for an easy blog post.

We can make this happen, Fayette County. It's only June. With the whole summer ahead of us, you can cause lots of trouble and get us on the radio.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Mr. Tire

Now, this is a bit problematic in itself. Men, women aren't idiots you can make some fast money off of because you think they'll agree with whatever you say and let you do whatever you want to their car (or not do it and charge anyway). And honestly, if it were just this complaint, I might throw this up here, make some brief commentary on sexism, and call it a day. But a discussion ensued, and apparently, Mr. Tire is horrible.

Ruh roh. This doesn't sound good at all.

Multiple stories about the same shop insisting on unnecessary expensive repairs? Fantastic. This doesn't even count the texts the original poster received after this about this place, presumably saying very similar things. Not to mention the oil change and tire rotation they had advertised at $17.99 ending up costing over $25.

By the way, I go to the Pennzoil place or whatever by K-Mart. They change my oil quickly, are nice, and unless all of Fayette County needs an oil change at the same time, they're fast. In fact, I'm due for an oil change, and I'm gonna even splurge on fancy new windshield wipers. Funny how you get business by not being shady and sexist.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Uniontown Fire Chief Goes Kinda Viral

This video started making the Facebook rounds today.

Basically, it's the fire chief (and basketball coach) saying "fuck" more than I do and yelling and generally being difficult and possibly threatening physical violence, which are all admittedly bad things to do if you're the fire chief. But we have no idea what happened before this footage was shot.

Without knowing context, it's really difficult to definitively say either way that this guy is completely out of line or he's just doing his job. But it isn't hard to determine--based on phrases and the way the video starts--that some words had already been exchanged. And it sounds like what happened is the guy filming was told to move before and either didn't or went right back to where he was when he thought someone wasn't looking, and the fire chief noticed.

Here's the deal, dudes: I'm all for filming people when situations get heated, especially if they're acting in a morally or legally questionable manner. This fire chief probably should've chosen some different words, but if the cops and fire chief are working--and YouTube comments suggest this was a bomb threat--and they yell at you, you're either in their way, putting yourself in danger, or both. And when a fire chief tells you to get out of the way and shut up, you should probably just do it rather than whip out your video camera so you can piss him off even more, film it, post it on YouTube, and start a campaign to demand his resignation. Phone numbers have been posted multiple times on YouTube.

The internet and ability to expose questionable behavior doesn't make this a free-for-all. You can't just do whatever you want and cry abuse. The world doesn't work that way. Consider me a middle man: settle down, fire chief, and rethink your words. Get out of the way, dude, and don't antagonize people.

But you know what is a free-for-all? YouTube comments.
He brings two fat fucks with him like they gonna do something you guy r all homos
Most of those in power here are drunks. Fayette County hasn't had a sober District Attorney in 30 years or more. Put a breathalyzer at the entrance to the courthouse and no one in a suit could get in the building. I've never seen Mr. Coldren before that I know of, so I can't comment on his drinking habits...but you're shock here if that were the case.
Nothing says "informed opinion" like "I don't know this dude, but he's probably a drunk like everyone else I don't know!" 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Nam on Facebook: Craigslist Ads

The full ad is this:

So the short answer is yes, the pay does cover molestation. The long answer is read David Sedaris' essay "Blood Work." And someone remind me to check Craigslist more often because I know I'm missing some glorious gems.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fine Dining: Sweet Frog

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know how I've been spending the past couple weekends, which also means you know how this post is gonna go.

I got hooked on frozen yogurt when I was visiting my boyfriend in State College. Unfortunately, since it was almost the end of his last summer there, I think we only went once, but my love of food makes a self-serve ice-cream like treat with a toppings bar where you pay by weight perfect for me. When they tell you frozen yogurt is good for you, they mean if you get a reasonable serving size with some fruit and maybe a tiny serving of junk, not the behemoth cup I got yesterday with Reese cups, cheesecake bites, some sprinkles, and a little fruit.

Contrary to my pictures and weekly Forusquare check-ins, though, Sweet Frog is not a perfect place. The flavor selection seems small, especially compared to State College's Kiwi, although this could be because we had to first gauge if the Nam was ready for self-serve frozen yogurt--and trust me, it is. It's been packed since opening day. I hear there are few hours where they aren't busy on a weekend, but I've only witnessed this once. Most of the flavors I've tried are actually a little week, except for the mango, which most people find too tangy but I like. I'm not a fan of the red velvet cake, strangely, but that may be because I prefer my cake to be in actual cake form. I also gravitate more towards fruit flavors, which I find most satisfying and refreshing, and I've declared peach to be the winner here, but you can't go wrong with any of them.

Still, though, I do love it. It's the best option for my sweet tooth, though it's only a matter of time before I meander back to Vinny's or Sonic--where they also serve fried food. There's a reason I don't believe in dieting, guys.

Best of all, unless the novelty wears off immensely or lots of people decide they don't like Sweet Frog, it's probably gonna be around for a while. Unless they keep playing Radio Disney in there, no matter how much I like that new Selena Gomez song.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Stepford Yogurt

He's half right. The Sweet Frog mascots are adorable, perky frogs. I think they're cute, but 22-year-old, cynical men typically don't. But even so, the employees do not share the frogs' enthusiasm for frozen yogurt--nor mine, for that matter. I'm averaging two trips per weekend in the Nam.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fine Dining: Stone House

Where do you go for dinner with your mom's friend visiting from New York? I have no idea, so it's a good thing my mom's other friend suggested The Stone House.

Technically, I was there once when I was little and my brother needed my dad to stop so he could go potty. So I've never actually eaten there, but I hear good things. And I guess their menu has changed somewhat recently, but I wouldn't know.

It's a pretty nice place. They had some kind of cookout going on outside on an unfortunately unusually cold day, but we ate in the restaurant inside. Everyone enjoyed their meals, but I forget what everyone ate because this is old news already. Life interfered with blogging. Sorry, guys. But I do remember I had alfredo! They didn't have any strictly vegetarian options, but as long as you're willing to be that weird kid who orders chicken alfredo without the chicken, it's fine.

The flavor wasn't strong, but that's kind of a good thing. I suspect it might've been homemade, or almost homemade, because it also definitely wasn't, say, your Olive Garden alfredo. We're talking authentic alfredo.

I was also a big fan of their dinner rolls but had the sense to not eat too many before my dinner. Not that it mattered since, as usual, I took a box of leftovers home.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fine Dining: Shogun Revisited

What do you do when your brother and dad go out of town, leaving your mom home alone with an adorable beagle a week before Mother's Day, when you'll be on vacation (and will end up with a stomach virus)? You go home to the Nam for a mother/daughter bonding weekend and fall asleep petting the beagle, of course!

You also wake up to, "Janelle, I need you to come with me to take the dog to the vet" because of stomach issues, but you also get a trip to Shogun in.

Now, my mom heard this theory that if you get a regular table at Shogun as opposed to hibachi, you actually get more food. I disagree with this since I actually finished all my food, but I actually prefer it that way--oriental food tends not to reheat well. I have a method to reheating my Nguyen pad thai and if I don't do it, I might as well not eat it. And that's like my body weight in noodles.

And that's how I've come to be unfaithful to my true love, Nguyen.

Now, the two places technically shouldn't be compared, as one is Japanese and the other is Vietnamese, but I've come to prefer Shogun's pad thai now. I prefer their sauce, for one thing, but I really love manageable portion sizes. So does my boyfriend. The last time we went out for dinner, he looked at my plate of Fiesta Azteca leftovers and said, "If you're waiting for me to help you, I can't." We're so cute, we finish each other's food.

And as always, their cocktails were great. Plus the food came out really fast, although it was a slow night and like I said, not hibachi. I'll be back.

Don't worry, Nguyen's. I'm still hooked on your miso soup and cucumber rolls. You may not have great cocktails, but you are BYOB!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Nam on Twitter: Sweet Frog

We'll give Sweet Frog a proper review later, but until then...

Do yourself a favor and get there! They have frequent-buyer cards now!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fine Dining: 30 East Main Closes

Obviously, it's because Joe Hardy reads my blog and knew I think it's a letdown, right!?

But yes, for I believe the third time, 30 East Main has closed its doors. After closing, reopening, allegedly being deemed not good enough and closed again, then turned into its current (former) incarnation.

Now, restaurant closures--or any business closures--aren't exactly new here. Starting a business isn't easy anyway, but I'm pretty sure starting one up in Fayette County brings more challenges than usual. And I know I'm not the only one who misses Luigi's and Coffee on Crawford. We've all seen so many places come and go--including some places that I'm not sure if they're open or not--that we could probably produce a very long list. Some places were mediocre or maybe boring or maybe had zero advertising--did anyone else notice last winter or so when Luigi's had a new owner for a hot minute?--but some places have succeeded for a long time, like Meloni's, and others are relatively new but still regularly busy, like Olive Garden, which probably made enough money to survive for a while the night of my liveblog alone.

The last time (or two) 30 East Main closed, I heard all kinds of arguments from it was just too nice a place for the Nam or too expensive or they should've let Joe Hardy have that valet parking he was fighting for. 30 East Main had a lot going for it, like live music, decent pricing, and a neat atmosphere--but what it lacked was the high-quality food it promised, and if you ask me, that was its true downfall. I would never have gone back had it stayed here longer. I didn't try the second run of 30 East Main, but I tried the first and third, and two of three ain't bad. And based on that, the first version was by far the best, with much better food quality, variety, and even much better decor. They may have been going for an Americana tavern vibe this time, but it failed, and I'm not the only one displeased. You can make all the arguments you want, but the fact is the Nam has sported some very nice eating establishments that are still sticking around. People will pay for it, even here, as long as it's good, and 30 East Main just wasn't.

Really, I wouldn't mind at all seeing them give it another go with a different cooking staff and a different menu. But for now, so long, 30 East Main. You managed to be one of just three Fayette County eating establishments I disliked.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Nam in the News: Uniontown Ninja Caught!

Rest easy, Fayettenam! The long reign of terror imposed by the Uniontown Ninja is over at last after he turned himself in.

The only news report you need to see is WTAE's. It's a classic. The neighbor of some of the ninja's victims says he's better off in jail rather than shot by his .20-gauge. And according to the ninja's mother, he was drunk when he confessed. Wouldn't it suck if it's not really him and he woke up with a hangover in jail for crimes he didn't commit? This is better than the actual "Hangover" movie franchise. Get on this, Hollywood! Or someone help me make this blog make me rich!

As an added bonus, this kid went to my high school. He was a few years ahead of me, but I believe he had a relative closer to my age. Yeah, Geibel! And if you're keeping score, Geibel grads who were most suspected to end up on the news or in jail actually aren't.

As always, Twitter had the most fun with this. Except by "Twitter" I mostly mean Mikey from the Kiss Freak Show.