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.