Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of the blog 2015

Ah, New Year's. It's hard to believe another year is just over four hours away. Why am I blogging on New Year's? Because most of the people I party with moved away and I'd quite like a nice evening in for once. But rest assured--I have some of Christian Clay's Summit Mist wine in me. I intended to try to drink a whole bottle with my boyfriend, but one glass in and I realized I don't think I can physically fit that much wine in my body.

So 2015. As always, things were interesting from the Nam, from some cool stuff to some astoundingly dumb stuff. Honestly, I'd love to do a recap of the year's most popular posts, but unfortunately, Blogger either doesn't have that feature or I haven't figured out how to work it. So instead, I'm picking my personal favorites.

So here it is! The best--and by "best," I do occasionally mean "worst"--of the Nam in 2015, mostly in chronological order.

And if you're interested in my writing away from this blog, 2015 saw a lot more of that--I had my first essay published on The Billfold, followed by two more on Neutrons Protons. I also regularly wrote about "Harry Potter" for Examiner, debuted two articles for CBS (1, 2), and had a photo appear on Pittsburgh blog Ya Jagoff. It's been a good year!

Here's to 2016! Mark smart decisions!

Did you have a favorite moment/post that I missed?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Blast from the past

One of the cool things about Facebook is pages dedicated to sharing Fayette County history, as well as all the random local pages that share the posts. I don't know what it is lately, but there have been more and more of these posts--maybe it's the coming New Year leaving everybody nostalgic. But because not everyone is on Facebook, here's a look at what you're missing.

Photo from John Beeson
This one from 1946 shows the spot where the 911 building now stands in downtown Uniontown--as well as a different Uniontown. Sometimes, photos like this are a sad reminder of what this entire county used to be, but they're also a reminder of the potential we have.

The old Pechins cafeteria

This is my personal favorite--Scottdale used to have a bottling company!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More of me elsewhere

I have appeared elsewhere yet again! This time, a photo of mine from Instagram was featured over on Pittsburgh blog Ya Jagoff.

And if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, please do! Just don't expect much more than my dog and concert pictures. Wouldn't want to get unfollowed after a concert-pic binge. Again.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sme other stuff I've been writing

I always try to make it a point to highlights writing and exciting stuff from other locals, but I forgot to mention my own latest endeavor. Oops.

About a month ago, I started writing articles on basically a freelance basis for Pittsburgh's CBS site, and the first went up about a week ago. You can check it out here--it's about the best local winter  beers, in case you're looking for an alcoholic pick-me-up winding down after Christmas and gearing up for New Year's.

Speaking of New Year's, my second article, which went up today, is a guide to spending the holiday in Pittsburgh.

And yes, I'm writing about Pittsburgh now, but don't worry--I haven't abandoned you, Fayettenam.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas--or whatever holiday, religious or otherwise, you celebrate--and have a fantastic New Year. Make smart decisions!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Community donates plenty in food drive

I wish I would've gotten a chance to post about this food drive while it was happening and maybe give it a bit of a signal boost, but alas, the holidays are a very busy time, so here we are.

Check out the results--three cars full of food to benefit the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry.

Good job, guys, and since this is probably the last you'll hear from me until after the holiday, merry Christmas! Make smart decisions!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Uniontown Mall Santa knows sign language, is awesome

If your Facebook news feed looks anything like mine right now, you're seeing the occasional touching story trickle in about a mall Santa that goes that little extra mile to make a child happy, whether it be a Santa interacting with an autistic child or a Santa signing to a deaf child. Uniontown has its very own special Santa.

In a post shared to the mall's Facebook page, a parent praised Santa for signing to his son Asher. And what did Santa say? He asked if Asher would leave milk and cookies out, of course!

It's a nice reminder of all the good people we have in Fayette County.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Stone House adding new menu features

If you've never been to the Stone House up the mountain, you should go because it's delicious. I mean, I haven't been there in I think a year, possibly two, but good food. And they're adding more weeknight features, in case you need more incentive than my recommendation to go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Man decorates with Santa hanging from noose, makes Kiss Freak Show

It's been a while since we made the Freak Show!

A man along Route 40 decorated his house with a Santa hung from noose to make a statement about the commercialization of Christmas, and to be honest, I get that and I respect the point he's trying to make. With Black Friday sales starting before Thanksgiving has even ended and Christmas events starting before Thanksgiving has even started, it's starting to look more and more like the meaning of Christmas is getting lost.

That said, I don't know that a dead Santa hung from a noose is the best or most appropriate way to comment on that, and I get why people are upset about it--especially if kids saw it. It's one thing to talk to your kid about the meaning of Christmas, but it's another to have to explain a dead, hanging Santa.

Of course, this made local news, and they got opinions on both sides. But Barb from West Virginia kicks things up a notch by saying she thought the decoration was great. Okay, fine--as someone who just said they appreciated the intent, I get that. But then she goes a little farther and says people need to stop "blowing smoke up their kids' ass."

Look, I obviously think the commercialization of Christmas is unfortunate and we need to remember the point of the holiday and traditions, but to suggest that parents are "blowing smoke up their kids' ass" is a bit extreme. In fact, I blame the commercialization of Christmas on businesses, not people--sure, people go along with it and don't help, but it's the retailers who push the sales and decorate in October. How we as people and families celebrate Christmas is up to us, and I think it would be hard to argue parents in general are part of the problem.

Barb goes on to say, "Life sucks, deal with it," and even laughs. And I get that sentiment, too. It's just...I don't know that making that point to kids during the Christmas season is appropriate, either. Life is full of opportunities for us all to learn and be reminded that life isn't perfect and we have to deal with that. Do we really need that lesson pushed over Christmas? Sure, not everyone has a great Christmas, and for some people, the holidays can be really difficult for various reasons, but it is supposed to be a joyful, positive time. Kids can learn life's hard lessons later. Let them enjoy the holidays while they're young and life is (usually) relatively easy.

It also strikes me as a callous statement in this context, with little thought for why this might be troublesome for a child to see. I don't think for a second the man responsible intended to upset anyone--shock, probably, yeah. I think he intended to make a statement and maybe didn't consider how kids would feel about seeing it, so at worst he's a little inconsiderate here. But let's say he did intend to offend. That doesn't validate Barb's "life sucks, deal with it" attitude. It's not okay to intentionally offend children and then say, "This is how life is, kid, better get used to it." You teach them to handle things as they come or prepare them best you can, not say, "Ah, screw it" to teach them a lesson. It's kind of rude, really, and it's the kind of rudeness people like to disguise as blunt honesty.

Of course, Kiss FM's Morning Freak Show got ahold of the clip and sees more humor in it. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Three people killed in Nemacolin plane crash

A third man has died from injuries sustained in a small plane crash at Nemacolin on Friday afternoon.

Shortly after the plane took off from the resort's private airstrip, one of the doors malfunctioned, came off, and hit the plane's wing, causing the crash about a half mile away.

All three men were from Maryland. Two died in the crash, while the third died in the hospital Sunday morning. Because of the fatalities, the FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.

The coroner, police, and a Nemacolin spokeswoman have not commented further at this time, although Nemacolin did release a statement.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the men.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Porter Theatre to hold second annual Connellsville's Got Talent

Now's your chance to shine, talented Connellsvillians!

The Porter Theatre is holding their second-annual Connellsville's Got Talent competition on Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. All types of talent are welcome.

Winners will be awarded cash prizes--$300 for first, $150 for second, and $100 for third, plus a $50 prize for audience choice. The winner will also open for a tribute to Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis on Feb. 13 at the Porter Theater, which is a really cool prize and opportunity.

Entry fee is $10. You can print entry forms here. The deadline to enter is Jan. 16.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Buy Local Holidays 2015: West Side Jewelry

I firmly believe in buying local--it helps the local economy and creates local jobs. I also firmly believe that Fayette County businesses have a lot to offer. That's why this holiday season up until Christmas, I'll be doing my best to showcase local businesses.

Every holiday season, my Facebook feed gets a new influx of engaged ladies showing off sparkling rings. Want your lady to be among them this year? West Side Jewelry has you covered.

Located in Connellsville on W. Crawford Ave., West Side Jewelry is open 10-6, 11-5 on Sundays.

They have financing options available, as well as free gift wrapping.

But West Side Jewelry is worth keeping in mind for any jewelry gifts, not just engagement rings. Need something for a special woman in your life, like a mother or sister? Try these neat Mariana Guardian Angel necklaces, $56.

If they're not all sold out already, you could get a red limited-edition Lokai bracelet. $1 of each sale goes to Save the Children. Or you could check out their stock of Pandora jewelry, or maybe Bella Ryann. They have something for everyone, no matter their taste.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Memes from Fayettenam: Not Safe

When my parents were concerned about the safety of the neighborhood where I lived, I thought, "Come on, I grew up in Fayette County." In fact, I raised this point in an essay on the subject published earlier this year.

And granted, while I don't think Fayette County is all that unsafe and perpetuating stereotypes is part of the county's problem, this meme gave me a chuckle.

I am having a hard time getting over the lack of punctuation, though.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday 2015 events masterpost

Look, I'm one of those people who chooses not to even think about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. But I run a Fayette County blog, and the reality is event planning and promotion has to extend beyond just the Christmas seasons. And I don't want people to miss out on something out of some silly, selfish insistence of mine that Christmas shouldn't enter people's heads until December. So I'll spend the next month compiling a list of upcoming Christmas-related events, updating as needed with new stuff--as well as any other holiday events that get on my radar.

New events will be added in bold, and I'll try to strike out any events that have already happened.

So here you go, kids--happy holidays! If you have an event you'd like me to include, please just pass it along and I'll add it.

  • City Chapel in Uniontown will be serving free Thanksgiving dinners on Thanksgiving day from noon until 3 p.m.
  • Uniontown is getting in the game really early with their "Home for the Holidays" parade sponsored by the Titlow on Thursday, Nov. 19. at 5:30 p.m. from the Courthouse to George C. Marshall plaza. Activities will follow on Main Street, such as the acknowledgement of sponsors and the lighting of the city tree, a visit with Santa, the opportunity for children to write a letter to Santa, tree-ornament making, local school and church carolers, the VFW band, free hot chocolate and cookies, and free wagon rides, cookies sold by local nonprofits. Local businesses Vintage Antiques and Pepperberries will also be offering reindeer food and cookies, respectively.
  • Uniontown Hospital's annual Festival of Trees is ongoing. For all available trees and their sponsors, visit the hospital's website. My mom won the Snoopy tree years ago.
  • A "Ringing in the Holidays" vendor and craft show will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 and at the McClellandtown VFC Social Hall from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • The Mozart Club of Connellsville will present its 88th annual festival of choirs, featuring students from Geibel, on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church. I sang in this festival once! All are welcome to attend, regardless of religious affiliation.
  • The Greater Scottdale Area Choral Society will hold a concert, "Coming Home for the Holidays," at the Porter Theater on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but donations benefitting the Choral Society's scholarship fund will be accepted.
  • Share the Spirit will be held on Friday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre. Guests are encouraged to make a donation, which they can designate to one of the events' non-profit partners.
  • The city of Connellsville will host "It's a Connellsville Christmas" on Saturday, Dec. 5. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events will include live entertainment, a visit from Santa, a cookie tour, church tours, childrens' activities at the train station, historic tours, a live nativity from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Christmas markets at the library, community center, and Trinity Lutheran church.
  • The 19th Hole in Uniontown will host a Christmas concert and pool tournament on Saturday, Dec. 5. Doors open at 3 p.m., the tournament starts at 4, and the bands play at 5. Admission is $6 or a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. There will also be a 50/50 and silent auction. Must be 21+ to attend.
  • The annual Magic & Mistletoe event will be held at the Courthouse on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature live entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and a visit from Santa. The event is also currently looking for sponsors. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for adults, while children ages 6-12 are $10 and children 5 and under are free.
  • Uniontown's VFW band will hold their fourth-annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. at the State Theatre. Those attending are asked to bring donations of either non-perishable items for the food bank or new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Monetary gifts to support the band will also be accepted.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Man's month of living homeless comes to an end

Over the past few weeks, I think we've all noticed posts on social media regarding the Syrian refugee crisis and how we should be focusing on helping our homeless veterans instead. As much as I disagree with the idea that we can only do one or the other and not both, I do agree that taking care of our homeless veterans is important. But I find it incredibly disheartening that the issue of veteran care and veteran homelessness has only been brought up recently in the midst of other issues--I saw people all of a sudden posting about how we need to take care of our veterans who had seemingly never cared before. This isn't a new issue I've noticed. Multiple times now, I've noticed occasions where people only recognize our veterans when it's convenient or when they're using veterans' issues to complain about or outright ignore other important issues. Quite frankly, it disgusts me, and it disgusts me even more when in the midst of all of this, a man in our community was voluntarily living homeless to raise money and awareness for veteran homelessness. He announced the project months ago and had already been living on the streets of Uniontown for a couple weeks when the social-media uproar happened.

I urge you to listen to Brandon Rumbaugh's story and his motivation in his own words, but I also urge you to donate to his cause. While I don't now how much he collected in person, a quick glance at the GoFundMe page indicates only 71 people have donated a total of just over $4,000, far below the campaign's $50,000 goal. With all this talk of how we need to be taking care of our veterans, this is pitiful. Fayette County, we can do better to support Rumbaugh and the homeless veterans he's trying to help. If you were one of those people sharing those posts on social media, this is your chance to actually do something, to be a part of a campaign that can help people, and I urge you to take it.

Put your money where your mouth is, Fayette County. Donate to help homeless veterans today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Geibel grad joins Ohio Bobcats swim team

One of the latest swimmers added to the Ohio Bobcats is Geibel graduate Emily Zimcosky.
“We are extremely thrilled to have Emily as a Bobcat next year,” [head coach] Komisarz-Baugh said. “Emily is one of the best sprint prospects in the country and we are eager to see her excel in the Bobcat program. She will be an invaluable asset to our team and will be a key player for the future success of our relays.”
Best of luck to Emily!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Farmington among most beautiful small towns in Pennsylvania

It's no secret that my boyfriend and I love the mountains and head up that way any chance we get--when it's warm. If we didn't both work over an hour away and wouldn't have to brave traveling up and down the mountain in the snow to work, we'd probably live up there. In fact, when we accomplish our shared goal of being millionaire writers, maybe we'll move up to the mountain. You know, because then we'll be able to afford one of those really nice houses and we won't actually have to come down if we don't want to.

So I wasn't surprised to hear that Farmington was ranked #7 on a list of the most beautiful small towns in the state with Fort Necessity and Fallingwater cited as nearby tourist attractions.

It is the only Fayette County town on the list, but nearby Ligonier made it on, too, as well as a few other towns outside of Pittsburgh.

If you're looking for another blogger's take on weekend mountain getaways, check out my friend Rachael's recent post about her B&B stay and trip to Ophiopyle. Tell her I sent you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Gallatin Avenue Barbie

I honestly don't know what to say about this, in part because I don't actually think it's very funny for various reasons.

I think I'd feel better about it if it didn't have the joke about "baby daddies"...and if a Facebook comment didn't make light of domestic violence--which we all know is a serious problem, and not just in Fayette County--by saying she'd have two black eyes if she didn't listen the first time. Not cool.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dog found

This guy was technically found in Washington County, but I thought I'd share anyway just in case his family or someone who knows them is in the area and sees this.

He was found at the intersection of 481 and 70. He is not microchipped or neutered.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The newly renovated and reopened Aaron's Building looks gorgeous!

There was a time when I don't think anyone would've believed that Connellsville's Aaron's Building would still be standing, let alone become a beautiful event venue. But thanks to some people who saw potential and wanted to bring about a positive change in the community, the building has come to impress.

They're hosting their first wedding in the building tomorrow, and from the Facebook photos they've shared of some of the decor, they've done a fabulous job. I'm sure they'll have a very happy couple tomorrow, and I'm sure they'll get the attention of many more couples looking for a great wedding venue. Fayettenam couples in the midst of wedding planning, you might want to jump on this now.

I sincerely hope that the work Aaron's has done inspires others to act and change this county for the better. People are doing great, beautiful things, and in the midst of the negativity we have, we shouldn't forget that. And we should never stop striving to make ourselves better, and we should always support the people and businesses that are already trying.

Thanks for your hard work and hope, Aaron's, and of course, best wishes to the couple celebrating their marriage tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An Open Letter from My Brother to a Man (Probably) Pretending to Be Military

People misrepresenting themselves or lying about who they are or what they have accomplished is unfortunately not new or rare, and people posing as military is no exception. In fact, there are laws against it and entire websites devoting to outing and shaming people who do it. We notably saw someone pose as military last year, when a man traveled to local schools pretending to be military and claiming he wanted to speak to kids--and then got arrested. While many businesses made it a point to honor veterans today, Veterans' Day, with free things or discounts, some people see this as an opportunity to lie about who they are for personal gain. Perhaps they're struggling financially and need the help--I sincerely hope this is the case, as the greedy alternative is far worse--but that doesn't change the fact that this is a crime that disrespects those who have served. While my brother was out and about in Uniontown this morning, he saw a possible case of what's called "stolen valor" and wanted to pen an open letter. He and I both are surrounded by military. We come from a military family, with great-grandgathers, grandfathers, and uncles who have served, not to mention close friends. Our dad was even injured in Iraq, and between the two of us, we probably know someone in every single branch. He recently made the decision to join the National Guard himself and finished his training over the summer, and this combined with our own personal ties makes it unsurprising that he had something to say. As a reminder to everyone else, please don't be afraid to question the way someone is presenting themselves if something seems off, and don't be afraid to ask for proper military I.D. before honoring a discount.

This morning, at the Sheetz along route 51 near Uniontown, I saw what I can only best describe as "possible stolen valor." The individual in question I saw--although it may only been for a few seconds--was wearing an Air Force dress uniform but was clearly out of regulation in two areas. He had no cover (hat), and his hair was longer than regulation allows it (imagine Moe from "The Three Stooges"). And I am fairly certain the Air Force does not authorize blonde highlight. Moreover, what really caught my eye was the enormous amount of "chest candy" (awards and decorations) which adorned his dress uniform, a common trait in cases of stolen valor. That alone made me very suspicious of this individual’s intent and supposed military service. How can I best describe his chest candy? Imagine if someone put superglue on his chest and decided to belly-flop straight into a giant pool of LEGO bricks. Now, he could have been a "Super Soldier" or "Super Airman," but I highly doubt a super cadet would allow him or herself to even be caught dead like that. Not to mention a super soldier would be unlikely to be without his cover and his hair not within standard.

Although an area high school does have an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program and the individual in question could have been a cadet, I find that unlikely for a few reasons. Even for a cadet in high school, I highly doubt an individual would allow him or herself to wear the uniform in such a manner. The proper wearing of the uniform is probably lesson number one on day number one, and incorrectly wearing the uniform as such still shows a great amount of disrespect. It especially brings a great amount of disrespect to the branch of service the program is affiliated with, as well as the school, the cadre, the program, and anyone enrolled.

To this individual--and in case anyone may not know--The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 reads as such: 
"The law amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for a person to fraudulently claim having received any of a series of particular military decorations and awards with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit from convincing someone that he or she rightfully did receive that award."
What you may see as a victimless crime or an opportunity to cash in on free items is a crime. You attempted to, and possibly succeed in, obtaining free items for Veterans' Day you did not rightfully deserve. Moreover, what you did was highly and utterly disrespectful to say the least to anyone who has ever worn the uniform of any branch. Millions and millions of individuals have decided to sacrifice so much just to do something good for their country or to be part of something bigger than themselves, and you decided to make a mockery of all of them and cash in on what they have sacrificed. We should never forget those who did not come home and made the ultimate sacrifice. Moreover, an area veteran is doing an honorable deed to help honor veterans. Marine Corps Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh is currently living homeless to help raise awareness for homeless veterans in our country. The fact that you decided to commit stolen valor on this day and to do it while a local veteran, who lost limbs while deployed overseas, is doing something to raise awareness to a national issue makes me even more upset and disgusted. It truly shows how little honor, integrity, and respect you have as an individual.

While I can't be positive, I can, however say I think what I saw was indeed some sort of stolen valor because the individual was so "ate up" (unkempt and poorly dressed). And why else would someone go into Sheetz, in uniform, on Veterans’ Day when they are offering free items to veterans?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pechin's robbery goes awry

So, a guy tried to rob Pechin's and got stuck on the roof.

As someone on Facebook noted, if he'd have tried this at the old Pechin's building, he probably would've just fallen through a hole. Instead, he got stuck trying to break through an air-conditioning vent, and an employee called police when she saw his legs hanging from the vent. She should be glad he's not one Eugene Victor Tooms.

When arrested, the man claimed he'd been up there sleeping. It's a pretty good excuse, but not as good as the guy who said he was "adjusting himself" when he got caught masturbating in the middle of Sheetz.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Updated 11/7 to include even more activities!

In case you don't already, make sure you like my Facebook page for more frequent and up-to-date posts about local events. But in case you're not on Facebook...

  • The State Theatre is holding a benefit concert featuring Moriah Peters with special guest DJ Sean Nice on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Lillian's Legacy Fund.
  • Abundant Life Church will be hosting a free creamed turkey and biscuit dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 12:30 to 5:00 at the Uniontown Adult Recreational Building. The meal will also include green beans, mashed potatoes, a cookie, and a drink.
  • A former Cherokee chief will speak at Penn State Fayette on Nov. 9. The event is free and open to the public.
  • Santa will be at the Uniontown Mall on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m., because Christmas is a commercialized joke and no one can wait until Thanksgiving is over to do this shit.
  • Not strictly Fayette County, but neighboring Westmoreland that could benefit Fayette Countians, too--First Energy will pay for tuition, books, and lab fees for qualified students who attend WCCC for a two-year degree in Electric Utility Technology. Visit WCCC on Nov. 14 between 10 a.m. and noon to learn more, or call 1-800-829-6801.
  • Also on Saturday, Nov. 14, check out Dean Martin Night at the Perryopolis Sons and Daughters of Italy. Doors open at 6:15, show is from 7 to 9. A DJ will follow. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and also include appetizers and one free bar beverage. For tickets, call 412-760-8518.
  • There will be a fire-prevention class for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the Perry Township Fire Hall. RSVP to Sharon at 412-281-1375 by Nov. 13. The first 40 people to RSVP will receive a free flashing smoke detector, limited to one per family. The event is also open to residents of Westmoreland County, so spread the word!
  • A little more reasonably timed, celebrate Christmas at the Connellsville train station on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature tons of activities, including snacks, a Chinese auction, and a visit from "Frozen" princesses Ana and Elsa.
Have an event you'd like to spread the word about? Pass it my way!

Oh, by the way, this blog has officially passed 100,000 views.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Pole workers parking

On first glance, one might think that Laurel Highlands Middle School has parking just for strippers--well, that and maybe that this is Photoshopped, but I've had confirmation that it's actually not. It's actually designating where poll workers should park. You know, the people out working yesterday, Election Day, not strippers.

It's not quite as good, but it should definitely go down in the same infamy as the Super Bowel.

I had the great pleasure of seeing this one in person, though I did not take this picture.
Kids, the next time you make fun of that bookworm in school or someone studying English in college, remember that we (usually) don't make these mistakes. And as a bonus? "Workers" needs an apostrophe at the end.

If anyone needs a copyeditor, I'm available. Please, don't all offer me jobs at once.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Nam on Tumblr: View from the top

While I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed, I happened across a really neat picture of Pittsburgh taken from the mountains. Turns out it is by Jon Dawson.

Photo by Jon Dawson

I love this. It's an older shot from December 2008, but with November having just rolled in, this is such a great shot that captures the season and the view from the mountain.

Check out Dawson's Flickr page, including more from around Fayette County.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A PSA of sorts

It may shock you to learn that keeping this blog isn't exactly a positive, enjoy experience most of the time. It's why updates have become somewhat infrequent--yes, overtime at work is a factor, but sourcing content to post is just...not enjoyable. Not everything that happens here is bad, but it's disheartening to be scrolling through news items and see articles about child abuse, for example.

Almost none of us need reminding of the numerous problem plaguing Fayette County. We see it every day. Some of us live it. Others don't and are fortunate enough to have come from good, loving homes free from issues like drug addiction, abuse, or poverty.

I'm not perfect, but I try not to make fun or pass judgment beyond specific incidents. I don't think it's right or appropriate, and that attitude isn't limited to my own words and actions--I believe all people deserve respect and should be mature enough to show it. I believe one of the county's major problems is the inability to do so paired with the attitude that some people in the county are better than others.

I expect people who comment on posts on my Facebook page (and here, but let's be honest, Facebook is a cesspool), to be respectful. I was disgusted by a comment left on a news article I shared, and I immediately deleted it--and then I immediately regretted it, only because it meant I didn't have it preserved verbatim to discuss it now.

The comment was on an article about a spay and neuter clinic for pets. Someone who thought they were clever--and this is paraphrased, of course--said they hoped the clinic was for women who had children to multiple fathers to get welfare money. I can't say for sure because this was over a week or so ago now, but I believe the actual word used was "whores."

Let me be clear, just in case I haven't already--I absolutely will not tolerate anyone saying such things on my page. I don't think it's ever okay to call a woman a "whore," for starters, or any variation of that word, and it's especially disgusting to compare women to animals and to suggest some should be sterilized, especially when that's a very real thing done to women around the world. I don't think it's ever okay to make assumptions about a woman's children, their father(s), or why those children were brought into this world, especially if you're trying to suggest a woman is intentionally procreating to get more money from the government. If you don't know someone, it's not your place to comment.

You think you're somehow above people on welfare? You're wrong. You think you're above people who are struggling? You're wrong. You think making these statements doesn't make you part of Fayette County's problems? You're wrong.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Nam on Twitter: Jackson Farms

I swear I tweet about Jackson Farms every time I buy their milk. Whatever.
Unfortunately, he only bought a quart. It's just barely made it through 24 hours in this apartment.

Also, that tweet went vastly under-appreciated.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Sonic

I once ordered a sub at Sheetz as an MTO that was supposed to be an Italian sub, but I added extra cheese and Italian dressing. Apparently, the employee thought that meant I only wanted cheese and Italian dressing, so I essentially got a cheese sandwich on a six-inch sub. So this problem isn't unique to Sonic.

That said, it's also highly likely that the employee was erring on the side of caution, because we all know there are people out there who would order a bacon cheeseburger but without bacon and cheese and pickles only. I mean, I'm a vegetarian who's known to go to restaurants that serve, say, chicken alfredo and ask for it without the chicken.

But the real star here is Benjamin. He knows what's up.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Check out my parents' bathroom remodel

My parents had their bathroom remodeled over the summer, and for some dumb reason, I didn't think to blog about it until now. I mean, it was done by the local Buckel Remodeling--which, full disclosure, is my boyfriend's dad.

The pictures are ones my mom took and put on her Pinterest. I wish I had before pictures to show you as a comparison, but picture yellow walls with a ladybug and vines on one side and pretty plain features elsewhere--plan white linoleum floor, plain white tub and countertop, plain wood cabinetry. Not only does the new bathroom look nicer and more high-end, but it actually looks and feels bigger, too.

One of my mom's favorite features is the built-in shelves in the shower.

Another favorite is the soft-close cabinets.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Nam on Twitter: Just Married

To be fair, I'd probably do this. Might've needed some ice cream, ya know? Or maybe it was their driver. Or maybe they just never washed "just married" off their car.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Nam on Twitter: Commissioner Debate

I might've mentioned this before, but I'm not the greatest with keeping up with local politics. Having to work a lot of overtime lately hasn't helped, either. So I didn't know had a commissioner debate a few nights ago, and I don't know who's running--aside from the usual suspects--or what they plan to do. But I do know that I can fully get behind what little I've heard about Jack Cole.
For one, I'm also an Independent. But more importantly, he seems to understand what one of Fayette County's biggest problems is. I'm a firm believe that if you start with addressing the drug problem, everything else will turn around, even if it's in baby steps and even it takes a long time. People need help, and they aren't getting enough of it.

So at least for now, Musings from Fayettenam endorses Jack Cole for commissioner. Because, you know, I'm sure he'd be totally thrilled to know that.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Errybody gettin' raided

  • The U.S. Attorney's office filed a forfeiture complaint against about $900,000 seized from Joseph Croftcheck, believed to be generated through selling cocaine at Croftcheck Auto Sales.
  • A shopping plaza was raided by agents representing multiple government agencies, including the DEA, though investigators would not say if anything was found or removed.
  • A methadone clinic was raided, though investigators wouldn't say why.
Y'all better start implementing legal business practices. Who's next?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fine Dining: The Titlow

I've only ever eaten at The Titlow in Uniontown once before, and I don't even remember when it was or why, other than the fact that I was in a group. Honestly, it's got Meloni's next door working against it for me. Meloni's is my favorite. Like, I once got really excited about going to a baby shower almost exclusively because it was at Meloni's. But this post isn't about Meloni's.

A friend of my mom's is visiting from New York (and y'all should check out her Instagram--she recently took a bunch of nice shots around the area, captioned with historical facts, which like no one does here) and the two of them got together, plus my mom's best friend and me, for dinner Monday night. After some suggestions and learning that first choice Caporella's is closed on Mondays, we settled on The Titlow.

Naturally, of all nights to get stuck at work for an extra hour, I got stuck Monday night. So I can't speak much for the experience before I arrived, but I'm told they had some trouble getting good service. Granted, this may be because they were waiting on me and passed the time mostly by drinking and talking. They were fans of their drinks, though, and I myself enjoyed their Hawaii 5-0.

For dinner, I had the pasta primavera, which wasn't particularly impressive but was still good, albeit with slightly undercooked noodles for my taste. My mom enjoyed the night's special, a trio of eggplant, chicken, and I believe veal parmesan. It's worth noting she was only able to eat about half of eat and boxed up the rest, and while that's something I usually end up doing at restaurants, I actually found I had a perfect portion, including my starter salad. That said, it's a dicey discussion for me--there's a very good chance I was just really, really hungry after working an extra hour, driving an hour, and then circling the area trying to find parking, which is rare for Uniontown. But it was a busy night for The Titlow.

FYI--if you're going somewhere other than Meloni's, don't park at Meloni's. They will tow you. They're not just making that up.

Our other two dining companions both ordered the tuna, and they were unfortunately disappointed in its size, including its side of broccoli. But they did say it tasted really good, despite one not being prepared the way it had been requested.

All but my mom got dessert. I sprung for one of my favorites, cannoli, and you really can't go wrong there.

In the end, it wasn't a bad night at The Titlow, but it was certainly an off night. I won't entirely fault them for it and I won't avoid the place, but they're gonna have a hard time luring me away from, you guessed it, Meloni's.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Scenes from Ohiopyle

The fall foliage isn't at its peak right now, but damn if the mountains aren't getting pretty.
A photo posted by Janelle (@littlejanelle) on

And if you go on the bike trail then take the Kentuck trail off to the right and wander back a ways, you get to this little baby waterfall.

A photo posted by Janelle (@littlejanelle) on
And of course, there's the big falls.

A photo posted by Janelle (@littlejanelle) on
We ended the night at Fiesta Azteca, my boyfriend's favorite, where he tried the special, Pollo Relleno. It was chicken covered in a mango sauce served over spinach and mushrooms with mashed potatoes and rice. The mashed potatoes tasted a lot like tacos, which is to say delicious, and I loved the mango sauce--but I may be partial since mango is my favorite fruit. My boyfriend said it was the best thing he's ever had there but admitted it's not his favorite. That honor still goes to pork carnitas.

Hope you had a good weekend, guys! I promise, more posts forthcoming. You'd be surprised how working a mere hour of overtime a night can kill your usual evening routine.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Nam on Twitter: First Weekend of the Month

Much as I hate to comment on welfare in Fayette County sometimes because those discussions turn nasty very quickly, I can't deny that there are noticeable crowds in the county at the start of every month. My trip into town yesterday was no different. Long line at the movies--which can also be attributed to the closing of the Laurel Mall's theater and the fact that Uniontown only ever has one cashier working at a time--long line at Wendy's, all out crowd in FYE at the mall. Reminded me of how the only time people shopped at the late Borders was when it was closing and everything was half off.

On that note, go see "The Martian," guys.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Albert Gallatin school evacuated last week, reason why still unclear

About a week ago, I was lounging around my parents' house the day after seeing Echo and the Bunnymen with my mom, an Albert Gallatin district employee, when my brother looked at a notification on his phone and was like, "Huh, students and teachers from an Albert Gallatin school went to the hospital for breathing issues." And we were like, "Great day to take the day off, Mom!"

The school was Albert Gallatin North Middle School, which ultimately had an early dismissal due to the issue, and a Hazmat team was called in. It was called an "isolated incident" that took place in the school's library. Maybe old-book fumes were getting to people? (In all seriousness, I'm the only bookworm on the planet that doesn't like the smell of books, and I have a friend whose migraines can be triggered by it, so, I mean...)

Hazmat found nothing--all air-quality tests came back normal, as did tests run on those hospitalized (12 kids, two staff)--and staff checked the building over the weekend, so school resumed as normal the following Monday. 'Tis a mystery.

Here's a fun anecdote, though: some woman commented on one of the Facebook posts on this by the local news and was like, "If they don't know the cause, why even report on it?" Which indicates to me that this woman doesn't understand how the news even works, or why children being evacuated even when they don't know the cause is important. I mean, it is kind of a big deal and a potentially serious issue, which got me plenty of likes when I pointed it out.

Speaking of Facebook, things got interesting over on the district's page, where most people were applauding the school for how it was handled but others were complaining that the updates didn't indicate whether or not parents of sick kids were notified. Because, you know, that's totally your business, although I understand concerns about text alerts not being sent in a timely fashion. That said, when school officials are trying to handle 15 sick people, evacuating a school, and a Hazmat team, their first thought probably isn't, "Oh, hot damn, let me send some texts right quick." Students themselves are happy with how it was handled. In fact, Facebook updates asked parents not to call the school, as it was jamming their phone lines. And then there are the people saying it shouldn't have been posted on Facebook at all, because, you know, it's not like it's important to address or anything. Not like people who don't have kids there want to know what's going on. Nope.

All in all, though, glad all is well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Uniontown man arrested for assaulting infant

A Uniontown man was arrested the other day after causing "significant injuries" to a five-month-old's face.
Police said Shallenberger admitted striking the child in the face and head Friday because he would not stop crying. 
Because, you know, aside from being cruel and abusive, hitting a kid to stop crying is also super effective!

Stay classy, Fayettenam parents.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Baby thrown off quad

On today's episode of "I hope your child is removed from your custody," an 18-month-old was ejected from a quad at the Laurel Mall yesterday.

A couple was drunkenly driving an ATV in the parking lot--with is a sketchy death trap for cars, let alone quads--when the cops showed up...and they tried to flee into the fields behind Rural King. Then hit a bump, which ejected their child from the vehicle.

Between the quad, Laurel Mall, Pechins Beer Distributor, and Rural King, this is, like, the most Fayette County story ever.
Both are charged with endangering the welfare of a child, fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault and DUI. Both were arraigned before District Judge Mike Defino Jr. and lodged in Fayette County Jail on $75,000 bail.  
They were both given 17 criminal charges, plus a bonus charge for the woman, presumably the baby's mother. The man, Eric Ritenour, is already on probation for drunk-driving and drug-possession charges and has also pled guilty in the past to traffic and hunting violations.

For her part, Hall has been previously charged with drug possession and has pled guilty to harassment and and public drunkenness.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Concert tonight!

If you see this post within the next couple hours and are looking for something to do, get down to Storey Square in Uniontown by 5:30 to see Polish Six Pack play, well, polka, with food and refreshments supplied by Hot Diggity Dogs.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fall Festivals

Looking for fun stuff to do this fall? We have festivals galore, especially if you want to venture out of the Nam and into a neighboring county.

  • Sept. 20 - Laurel Highlands Harvest Festival & Chili Cook-Off @ Christian Klay Winery, up the mountain in Chalk Hill.
  • Ohiopyle's annual Buckwheat Pancake event should be coming up in October.

Friday, September 11, 2015

New TV show filming

A TV show is filming in town!

Sadly, it's not the long-ago pitched crime reality show, but it's a scripted show called "Outsiders" scheduled to premiere next year.

The crew filmed Wednesday at Joe Hardy's airport.
“Outsiders” is a 13-episode, hour-long drama series that tells the story of the Farrell clan, a family of renegades who’ve been in the hills of Kentucky since before anyone can remember. Living off the grid and above the law on their mountaintop homestead, they’ll protect their world and defend their way of life using any means necessary, according to show information provided by Mahon.
I mean, that's not gonna reinforce the "Pennsyltucky" stereotype or anything. Also, why do people pronounce/spell it as "Pennsatucky"? That doesn't make any damn sense. We live in Pennsylvania, not Pennsavania.

The crew chose this area, though, for its look. You know, woods and run-down houses and stuff, presumably.

The cast includes a bunch of people I've never heard of before and notably hottie Joe Anderson. I mean, he was in Across the Universe, a gorgeous musical structured around Beatles songs. It's basically amazing, in case you don't already know.

God, I don't watch that movie nearly as often as I should.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Restaurant Real Estate

If anyone's in the market for a restaurant--especially Double Dragon--you might make my cousin very happy.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Confederate Flags on 119

This is an old post I saw in my Facebook feed, but thanks to unruly computers not wanting to install Flash updates, here it is!

Look, I'm willing to grant the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe someone moved up here from the south or that maybe they support the more southern defenses of the Confederate flag, but I do see the point of this status. The heritage defense up here only makes sense in pretty specific circumstances.

That said, I don't think the heritage defense of the Confederate flag is a strong one. It still ignores a major part of the cause of the Confederacy--slavery. And it's possible to be proud of one's heritage without supporting the uglier aspects of it, which the Confederacy certainly was for the south. It's like loving your racist grandpa while acknowledging that he says some things that aren't okay.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Upcoming Connellsville Events

Here are some things to keep you busy and enrich your life.

  • Sunday--tomorrow--Unity of Connellsville is hosting on event about setting healthy boundaries with your parents.
  • St. Rita's Christian Mothers are holding a Nationality Day on Friday, September 11, from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Bucci Social Hall, featuring many of what I'm sure will be delicious Italian foods. Take-out will be available.
  • On Saturday, September 19, Carnegie Free Library will be holding a yard sale from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. It will be held in the basement and will benefit the library.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ewan McGregor visited Fallingwater and no one told me

You may know Ewan McGregor as Christian from Moulin Rouge or a young Obi-Wan Kenobi from the Star Wars prequels. Or maybe from The Island or Trainspotting or Velvet Goldmine. He also did some voice work in Robots. His new movie is Last Days in the Desert, in which he plays both Jesus and Satan. I've also been pretty much in love with him since puberty. Hey, I was a young aspiring writer and he was gorgeous, sensitive, and loving. What can I say?

He visited Fallingwater over the weekend and took a gorgeous selfie and called the house "beautiful." Because, I mean, it is.

Hope he also went to Pechin's and rafting down the Yough.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Singer Violet Rose releases new video

Here you go, hard workers--singer Violet Rose has released a new, nifty sci-fi music video for single "Working Hard." Check it out!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Connellsville man sings with Idina Menzel, nails it

You may know Broadway star Idina Menzel from her work in musicals like Rent, Wicked, or the more recent If/Then, but it's more likely you know her as Elsa from Frozen.

She recently played a show in Pittsburgh, and during "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent, she goes into the audience and chooses some lucky fans to continue the duet with her. And one such lucky fan just happened to be from Connellsville. The entire video is really cool and sweet, especially for Idina fans. I always love seeing stars interact with their fans this way. But Corey first comes in around the 9-minute mark.

I mean, I'm not gonna go so far as to say he straight-up upstaged Idina, but...this diva needs his stage!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Man arrested for masturbating in chip aisle at Sheetz

Guys, I'm so, so behind. Life got busy, and I'm working to catch up. Note to self: we need to talk about Facebook posts about real-estate and Brownsville, the local guy who sort of upstaged Idina Menzel in Pittsburgh, and Cait Cuneo/Violet Rose's new video. And pictures from the fair. And maybe pictures from Beatlemania tonight at Penn State. 7 p.m. I'll be there.

So I know this is old news, but guys, we need to talk about the masturbator in Uniontown's Sheetz.

I mean, it's pretty self-explanatory.

Initially, he was acting suspicious and employees thought he was trying to shoplift. Until they noticed he had his dick out. And he still had it out when the cops showed up.
“A lot of people anymore do have mental health problems and you have to ask yourself why you are out at two o’clock in the morning exposing yourself in a public place?” Siple said.
Look, I do believe that mental illness is a factor in Fayette County's numerous problems, only made worse by stigma against it and difficulty in finding affordable care. But I'm not convinced one masturbates in the chip aisle at Sheetz because of mental illness. Sounds to me it was more like a perv who was aware of what he was doing, especially considering he's since very unconvincingly argued he was "adjusting" himself. Oh, okay. Sure. Because, you know, the security video from the store that cops viewed completely corroborates that, too.

Siple did make some other observations on the county, though, for which he wins an award for Understatement of the Year.
“I think it’s horrible. Unfortunately, it’s sad and a lot of this has been going on lately. Fayette County has been in the news quite a bit and it hasn’t been for good reasons."
No shit.

I mean, I try to post about good things on this blog, but y'all got to give me something to work with!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Local veteran raising awareness for homeless veterans

Local veteran Brandon Rumbaugh will be living homeless this fall to raise awareness for homeless veterans.

From October 31 through November 29, the anniversary of his injury in Afghanistan, Rumbaugh will live homeless in Uniontown.

Rumbaugh was injured by an IED in Afghanistan, causing him to break his back and lose both of his legs.

Rumbaugh also served as guest speaker for a recent fundraiser event to raise awareness about the veteran suicide rate--22 veterans commit suicide each day, according to a 2012 study by the Department of Veteran Affairs. All event donations benefitted the Active Heroes retreat in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, a retreat which aims to prevent veteran suicide through managing stress that leads to suicide
The donations are to go toward the building of four family cabins at the retreat for veterans to use to spend quality time with their families free of charge.
 The event ultimately raised over $2,000.

Rumbaugh is also collecting donations for homeless veterans. Donate now!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Buffalo Bill's house is for sale!

One of my most unrealistic life goals is to own/live in Fallingwater--it's probably more unrealistic than my other goal of being the next J.K. Rowling. But I'm willing to settle for a more attainable dream home, like Buffalo Bill's house from The Silence of the Lambs. I have fond memories of skipping church with my cousins and driving by that house and going to the Perryopolis flea market instead.

It's for sale for $300,000, which sounds a bit much to me, so I'm guessing the price factors in the naked serial killers and human suits.
The home's Hollywood ties could make it more desirable, and realtors said they wouldn't be surprised if a buyer turned it into a horror-themed bed and breakfast.
Wait, what? Sign me up! I mean, sure, it's pretty much a given that my boyfriend would refuse to go with me, but call it Bates Motel and throw a pet cemetery out back and I'm in.

Shockingly, though, the house does not come with a creepy murder pit in the basement. Who would've guessed?

There is some neat insight into the filming of the movie, though:
“They were looking for a home in which you entered the front door and had a straight line through,” Barbara Lloyd told TribLIVE. “They wanted it to look like a spider web, with Buffalo Bill drawing Jodie Foster into the foyer, into the kitchen, then into the basement.”
Goodbye, horses, indeed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Job Opportunities

Normally, when I see stuff on Facebook throughout the day, I just repost it to the blog's Facebook page and leave it at that. And then I remembered that not everyone has Facebook, and some people like me have it but try to avoid being tethered to their news feed. And on top of all that, Facebook has godawful algorithms that prevent posts from being shared to everyone who likes the page. So I figured it would probably be a good idea to make a better effort to cross-post content--especially since apparently, only 7 of my 170-ish Facebook fans saw these job listings. So here they are!

Speaking of job opportunities, if anyone's looking to hire a writer/editor, I'm your girl.

First up, Haunted Hillside in Mount Pleasant is already taking applications for this fall. See their website for more information.

Second, we're getting a Five Guys in Uniontown! Oh, and they're hiring, too. In fact, they're having a job fair of sorts next Wednesday, August 26, fom 8:30-11:00 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Woman burns stepson in "fire challenge" because she's terrible

This news is a few days old now, at least in one sense--the incident actually happened a year and a half ago and just came to light. And honestly, I kind of don't know where to start. I'm nearly speechless, but I do have a few very, very strong opinions, mostly about the kind of woman this is and what she deserves as a consequence.

You've probably heard by now, but a woman burned her stepson in a "fire challenge," although exactly what the hell kind of challenge this even is is a mystery. Personally, I think it's not so much a challenge as it is a woman finding any sadistic way she can to abuse a child, but hey.
Connie Kirby is charged with pouring rubbing alcohol on the back of the then-13-year-old boy and lighting it, causing burns to 16 percent of his body, police said in a criminal complaint. 
"Connie said, 'Tre, do you want to play a game?' And I said, 'No.' Then she was like, 'Come on, you little punk,'" Tre Kirby said. "She grabbed 100 percent alcohol. She put it on my butt and then lit it. I caught on fire."
Yeah, there's zero reason to do that other than to be an abusive piece of shit. Nothing about that is a game. Nothing about that is funny, unless you're a psychopath.

His sister extinguished the flames with a pitcher of Kool-Aid, making her the only person to actually do anything helpful or good in this situation.

The boy's dad wasn't home at the time and is being charged for failing to take the boy to a hospital, though he did want to--but Stepmommy Dearest here said, nope, she "knew how to do nursing." Which is probably code for, "Shit, no, the hospital's gonna ask questions about what the hell happened and then I'm fucked."

As for her nursing skills? Neosporin and medication. Now, I'm no nurse, but I'm pretty sure that's not adequate burn treatment. But again, that might not matter to someone who's probably more concerned about covering her own ass than she is helping a burned kid.

The boy's mom had partial custody at the time--which I'm guessing is about to change if it hasn't already--and found out recently, about a year and a half later, when she saw his scars.
Burkes said she will be taking her son to talk to a counselor about the incident. Burkes said Tre Kirby now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. 
"My dad didn't stand up for me," Tre Kirby said. "Sometimes when I think about it, it makes me sad. I'll be sad for a whole day. When I go to sleep, I'll have nightmares and stuff like that."
Absolutely good on her for getting her son counseling--this kid was the victim of a horribly abusive act, and I'm sure counseling can only help him. And I really, really feel for him. I've been in much, much less serious situations in which I was hurt by feeling like a loved one wasn't standing up for me or wasn't on my side, so to speak, and it hurts. I can't imagine how horribly amplified it must be here and how much worse that hurt must be.

All my love and good vibes to you, Tre. Seriously. I wish you nothing but the best.

But let's let Mama Bear get the final word here, shall we?
"I think it's sick, and I think they deserve to throw the book at you," Candra Burkes said.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fayette County Fair LIVEBLOG

It's the last night of the fair. I was able to connect to their WiFi. Let's liveblog!

Newest updates are at the top. 

8:57:  Well, my phone died and we're out for the night. But it was a good time. We didn't stay for Cassadee Pope's entire set, but we liked what we heard. Ended with sundaes and milkshakes. Should've kept count of the girls wearing short shorts with cowboy boots. Shout out to the poor donkey with a sign on it encouraging fair goers to vote Republican, and shout out to the poor cows across from a burger stand. I think demo derby fumes did something to my brain. Goodnight!

8:12: Wandered over to hear Cassadee Pope from "The Voice." She sounds great!

8:05: My cop car won!

7:43: Cars with Confederate flags--5

7:40: I appreciate the fact that there's a police car in this round. 

7:38: Wish I would've thought to count camo and cowboy hats earlier. 

7:31: How/why do people wear flip-flops here?

7:17: Cars with Confederate flags--4

7:15: Cars with Confederate flags--3

6:41: Guys...lawnmower demo derby is THE BEST. 

6:35: Cars flying Confederate flags--2

6:26: Just forgot I was in public and burped out loud, then remembered it doesn't matter. 

6:25: This is going to kill my phone battery and data usage, and these metal bleachers are gonna kill my back. 

6:20: Dear sir with the nice hat and polo shirt tucked into your jeans, I think you're in the wrong place. 

6:10: Mullet count--1

6:00: Overheard--"You're gonna need new shoes by the end of the night." Unclear if this is due to poor fair terrain or already deteriorating shoes. 

5:45: Best tee shirt slogan of the night is "Whoever said diamonds are a girl's best friend never had goats." Which I can't comment on because I've never had goats, but I can say I do love goats. 

5:35: Humans wearing cowboy boots--3. Humans wearing Confederate flag apparel--3. Not the same humans. Also smaller numbers than I expected, but the night is young. 

5:30: Mom has given me the rest of her smoothie. Consolation prize. 

5:27: I thought getting here an hour early for the demolition derby was a bit much, but Mom was right--the stands are already packed. 

5:25: Mom bumped my smoothie after I set it down an spilled a solid half of it 😭

5:20: Got haluski and smoothies!

5:16: Great news! The commercial building has a stand to suit all your Confederate flag needs. Just in case you still think flying that flag is appropriate. Bonus "Don't tread on me" accessories to match. 

5:12: Overheard at the fair: "We're not playing the fish game. We don't need to take home an animal."

5:10: Gettin' harassed at the midway. 

5:07: We're in!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Geibel grad now playing for Pittsburgh Passion

One of my '07 classmates, Remy Olinzock, is playing for the Pittsburgh Passion, which is pretty cool!

From a blog post about her:
Having competed in indoor women’s football in Cleveland and Toledo, Olinzock was not only one of the club’s fan favorites, but exemplified strong leadership. Earning All-Conference honors at her position, she was a beacon of optimism on a team that tried valiantly to place victories in the wins column.
The whole post is worth a read, as it talks more about her background and football, which means there's a bunch of football words I don't understand, but it definitely sounds like Remy's contributed to some big successes of teams she's played on in the past. And I'm sure that'll continue with the Passion.

It's always great to see anyone from the area accomplish something like this, but it's even better when it's a former classmate.

Good luck to Remy and the Pittsburgh Passion!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ah, Fair Season!

Oh, Fayette County. I came to visit both days this weekend, and I legitimately had a good time.

First, I went to Ohiopyle and hiked a trail to Cucumber Falls, where I followed my boyfriend across all sorts of rocks. And while I intended to hit the fair afterward for the annual Clarks performance, I was too worn out, so we went to dinner at Maywood Grill instead. And it was pretty good. I had the penne with vodka sauce, boyfriend had the shepherd's pie, and we coincidentally ran into my newly engaged brother and his fiancée. By the way, if they plan a Fayette County wedding, you can bet I'll be there blogging along the way. Anyway, I highly recommend the buckeye cake. The restaurant in general is a nice little place to grab some food up in the mountains, especially if you're trying to avoid Ohiopyle crowds. It's worth wandering out of the park area, for sure. And keep in mind I've never had a bad meal in the mountains.

I did make it to the fair Sunday, though. I'd love to do a liveblog, but my phone's data plan for the month and bad service in the arena aren't interested. If I end up back there, though, I shall try again!

It was packed Sunday night, for some reason. My mom and I ended up parked almost all the way down at the end of the field by the woods, and we took the shuttle up to the entrance, which actually made for a pretty hilarious ride. It was a good, lively crowd, and there were jokes about the shuttle being the best ride at the fair. If you use the shuttle service, though, guys, please tip your drivers!

My Maywood Grill leftovers weren't enough of a dinner for me, so of course I ate some fair food. I recommend Marilyn's Kitchen's gnocchi, Connellsville band's cheese fries, and basically anyone's lemonade. And of course, basically anyone's haluski, especially if it's made by a church or volunteer fire department.

I was there with my mom to enjoy the annual Hubcaps show, which was great as always. Tribute/cover bands aren't everyone's thing and I totally get that, but if you're up for it, they put on a really good show, and the band's truly packed with talent. I think that might get overlooked because they are a cover band, but I'll praise anyone who can do "I Will Always Love You" justice the way they can. Seriously. I don't take Whitney Houston covers lightly.

Scandals of fairs past are rearing their heads--the livestock barns now have signs up advising owners that animals should be secured for fireworks. And it seems like we can't get through a fair anymore without something tarnishing it, whether that be dirty diapers smeared on car windows or dead horses. This year, we're going strong just a few days in, and we've upgraded to hurting humans!

A fair employee--and I hope now former fair employee--is in the county jail after running over a man with a truck on Saturday.
David Lee Weaver, 55, of Cape Coral, Fl., is charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a vehicle, driving under the influence, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person after allegedly striking Ryan Anthony Graft, causeing severe head injuries and fractures.
I just hope it wasn't a shuttle driver.

Can we make it through the rest of the week without any trouble, guys? I have my heart set on a demo derby and haluski.

And remember, you can't take weapons to the fair, but you can win them there!