Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Nam in My Inbox: Airport Incident

Sometimes, readers have some interesting stories they like to send my way, which gives a lot of interesting insight into things going on in the county that either I can't keep up with or might not hear about otherwise. And by the way, I love hearing from readers, so feel free to send something my way!

Now, apparently, some shady business went down at the airport after April's commissioners' meeting.

See, Ambrosini was considering using the airport's hangars as a temporary women's annex (and I'm no expert, but using airport hangars to house humans just seems stupid to me). So this reader/informant decided to check out these hangars the next day. Now, she hasn't been to the airport in awhile, but she pulled over at what she thought were the hangars and snapped a few pictures. As she sat in her car reviewing them, some dude came up and "thrust" his head into the open passenger-side window. And let me tell you, as a woman, I'd be terrified if some random dude invited his head into my car. Random dudes outside of my car can make me nervous as it is.

But then he started yelling, asking her what she was doing but also saying, "I know who you are!" Now, my informant assumes he may have been security, although security typically is a little bit nicer when they want you the hell off of property, even though there were no indications that my informant was trespassing. He also didn't identify himself. Still, she explained she was looking for the hangars, at which point he laughed and replied, "Those ain't hangars. Them is warehouses," which I hope to God is a direct quote because nothing demonstrates professionalism (other than laughter and yelling) and a man's right to be asking her questions like that winning grammar.

The man went on to keep saying he knows who she is and did, in fact, recognize her from meetings. Sounds like a creep. And he rambled for awhile and might be one of the only people in the county who supports this new jail but doesn't support higher education--color me shocked--because when my informant asked why we even need said jail, he asked why we need a new college. Um, maybe so citizens in the county can at least be harassed with proper grammar?

He also claims businesses are leaving the area because the airport isn't big enough, because you know the first thing everyone wants to know before they decide to open or relocate a business is how big the local airport is. I mean, I'm sure the fact that most people decided to leave the black hole of depression that is Fayette County is irrelevant here.

The only explanation here is that he's a Man in Black and the hangars/warehouses are storing aliens, Bigfoot, and/or the Yough Ness Monster.

Or, you know, corruption and creepy dudes run rampant because turns out the dude was involved in the 1988 disappearance of a woman in Florida.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Connellsville vs. Uniontown

Last week, the mayor of Connellsville told a story on his Facebook page of preparing for a visit from one of the candidates running for governor. In the end, the unnamed candidate skipped Connellsville--I suspect it wasn't solely his decision, though--and went to Uniontown instead, and while there's no hard feelings, the mayor is understandably frustrated by preferential treatment of Uniontown.

When you compare the two as they stand now, Uniontown is the clear winner, mostly because of a large number of varied businesses and activities like farmer's markets and shows. Connellsville has a much more limited range of things to do/offer, and the places/things it does have get criticized. More than once now in the past few weeks when I've mentioned Lynn's to natives in conversation, they've said things like, "Everyone who goes there is on drugs." Even Connellsville residents are unhappy with the place, with one commenter saying--and this is copied and pasted as-is--"sorry but nothing good about connellsville, i want to sell my house and leave."

But Connellsville does have potential, and there are some--including the mayor, punk priest Fr. Bob, and some of those Facebook commenters--who do see that. It's just that for some reason, actually getting things moving and improved seems to be difficult. I suspect it's a combination of people with the passion not having the resources and the people with the resources not having the passion. And here's the thing--I think Connellsville has so much potential that it could actually rise above Uniontown and be a nicer, better place.

Now, naturally, Connellsville isn't immune to some of the bigger problems that plague the rest of the county, drugs being the biggest one, and shining up some old buildings and introducing new activities isn't going to fix everything, but it's certainly a start. And when you look at some of what Connellsville has to offer, it's pretty promising.

Sure, Uniontown has proximity to the mountains and its fancy businesses and things and Joe Hardy helping to shine it up, but Connellsville's got just as much if not more. There's the Mighty Yough. There's the bike trails. There's the train station. There's the theater. There's the parks.

And there's been a lot of effort to take advantage of these gems and make Connellsville as great as it can be, as great as it once was. This past winter saw an attempt to bring in an outdoor skating rink.

With summer upon us, there's rafting, biking, and tons of events--St. Rita's parish festival, the farmer's market, Art on the Yough, the summer concert series, reading programs, movie screenings in East Park, and the Geranium Festival (which starts this weekend). That's not even covering other ongoing efforts to improve Connellsville, like the recent efforts to help bring concerts to East Park, Sustainable Connellsville, and volleyball games at Cat's Court.

But change and improvement isn't all up to people in charge. All it takes to start making a difference--and this goes for the entire county--is to care and take an active role in your community. Buy local. Attend events. Donate money, goods, or services as you can where they're needed. Be the change!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Might Want to Think Twice Before Helping

A Fayette County man was robbed after pulling over to help apparent stranded motorists, so I guess being a nice person is dangerous now.

Police haven't caught the men yet, so be safe. And please, if you know anything, contact police.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Nam on Facebook: Circle K Cocksuckers

Stolen from a Facebook friend. It was captioned, "Look what this grimey couple from trotter did to the cashier at circle k , all because their access card was declined."

While I agree that it's a classless, immature thing to do--though expected around here--the comments calling them "relief bums" and "fucking bums" aren't much better. Can we please stop making assumptions about why people are in certain financial situations, and can we also please stop equating financial standing with quality of character? This would be just as unacceptable coming from a millionaire.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Things you probably shouldn't say on Facebook when you own a business

This is a straight-up nerd fight, y'all! And I say that as a self-proclaimed nerd.

I don't play Magic the Gathering (I told you this was nerdy), but I know people who do. And I know them well enough that whether I like it or not (I don't), I hear plenty about it. Being uninterested, I retain very little, but for the past few months, I've been hearing some complaints about resident Magic the Gathering store Gaming Universe--mostly little things, starting with my brother hearing the owner complain about friends of his because they go in and trade cards, not buy. Now, the way I see it, you shouldn't be complaining about a legitimate business transaction, especially one you enter into willingly, but okay.

But then the complaints have just started adding up--the wait to play is too long, the store-credit prize isn't very useful due to small inventory, a guy known for cheating who was banned elsewhere is still allowed to play.

And for those reasons, my Magic-playing acquaintances have, for the most part, gone elsewhere--most notably Four Horsemen in Morgantown and The Gaming Dungeon in Washington. Non-Nam interlude! If you're in the Washington area and prefer comic books and graphic novels to Magic the Gathering, like me, definitely hit up The Gaming Dungeon on Main Street. The owner, Anthony, is great, and my boyfriend and I are regular customers.

Now, one of those pesky complaints I've heard about is the owner's tendency to imply his store is superior to others, which is a complaint I haven't heard about those other stores. In fact, I haven't heard any complaints about those other stores. It's one thing to try to create more business and have competition between certain businesses, but I find it hard to believe these stores are direct rivals when they're so spread out--the one exception being Morgantown isn't to far from Uniontown--and on top of that, it's another thing entirely to start badmouthing other stores--and players who don't come to your store--on Facebook. Because that's when people start to get put off and say, "Wow, this is really unprofessional." Observe, from comments on their Facebook group:
"Everyone knows I have the best Prize support for every tournament, yet not everyone plays at Gaming Universe. Do guys just want to play Magic and don't care about prizes?? Maybe I should just payout the same ridiculously low prizes every other store does, I would make a lot more money??"
In short: yes, some of them don't care about prizes. For the long answer, reread this entire post. And for an added bonus, you're not entitled to customers just because they like something you sell, and if you keep losing money despite your amazing prizes, perhaps you should rethink your approach.

Basically, getting nerds to spend money in your store is way more complicated than just prize incentives, and now you've just made it worse by sounding obnoxious.

Monday, May 12, 2014


So, months ago, a brochure showed up in the mail for the State Theatre's theatrical season. As a theatre fan, I was interested. And then I spotted Hair, which I've seen before and loved, and was amazed that of all musicals, Hair was the one making an appearance. I wasn't concerned about a sell-out show and ordering tickets as soon as they go on sale the way I am when a show is in Pittsburgh. I figured citizens of the Nam wouldn't exactly be scrambling to get their tickets, so I made a mental note to order closer to the show.

I was thinking it was in March, so when I consulted my brochure and saw I had the wrong "m" month and it was May, I filed it away again.

And then I was scrolling through Facebook in traffic Thursday and saw the theater's ad for it for the following night, and I made some frantic calls to my brother to plan.

Now, like I said, I didn't expect Fayettenam to be all about a hippie musical dedicated in part to protesting Vietnam, but I didn't want to worry about getting tickets at the door, either, so I stopped at the box office to take care of it in advance and because my brother's a broke college student who was like, "I have no money" when I asked him to call while I was at work earlier in the day. Thinking we'd get floor seats for sure, I was surprised when I was told the best I could get was the mezzanine (not that mezzanine is bad, by any means) for three tickets--I was third wheel to my brother and his girlfriend since my boyfriend isn't into musicals about hippies and drugs.

For you theater-loving students, the State Theatre does a student rush three hours before showtime where tickets are $5, which is ridiculously cheap as it is, but for Hair, the price of my ticket was $36 to give a comparison for how much money you're saving and what you're getting.

And so a few hours later, I arrived in a flowered dress with my long, natural curls flowing on their last night of freedom before ironically getting chopped off the next morning--and appropriately without having shaved in at least a few days, maybe a week or longer--to find I had accurately predicated that the turnout would be most old hippies, and we even ran into a woman who used to go to our church, back when I still went to church and before most of the Nam's churches closed.

I was surprised, though, that the production was actually the national tour brought to the theater thanks to a generous donation, so much love to the people whose generosity allowed me to see one of my favorite musicals on a professional level so close to home and at an affordable price.

I was still sure Hair wouldn't be particularly beloved despite the crowd...and then they ended up being a very enthusiastic crowd, clapping and laughing at even the most crude of sexual jokes. Sure, some people left at intermission, which is standard for Hair when people fail to familiarize themselves with a show before seeing it, even though you'd think the note on the theater's website stating this version would be performed without nudity would send up some red flags. Pro tip: nudity-free doesn't mean child-friendly, but it wouldn't be Fayettenam without kids in a show no child should see. Shout out to the preteen behind us who shielded her eyes after witnessing one too many pelvic thrusts.

Fayettenam did seem shocked at times, mainly upon realizing most of the female cast had nice, bushy armpit hair and during a scene that's an acid trip in which Abraham Lincoln is a black woman. All in all, though, the crowd loved the show--the cast got a standing ovation almost immediately, which very rarely happens around here. Even the girl who had been averting her eyes stood.

So, Fayettenam, I underestimated you Friday night. But as my best friend pointed out, "Seems like something they'd love. Drugs, sex, and walking around naked."