0

Talk shop with me, @AlexanderFIV @YinzRReadin @The_Steel_Trap and @BrassyLibrarian

Are you interested in starting a blog, but don’t know where to start? Or are you just bored on a Wednesday night? Or are you always lookin’ for an opportunity to hang out with the Pittsburgh-Internet-Famous? If your answer to any of these is YES, then join us at the Greentree Library for a panel talk on Blogging in Pittsburgh.

Heck, even if your answer to all of those is a big fat NO, come hang out with us anyway! See you on Wednesday!

Advance registration is required, and you can take care of that bizness by clicking this link.

Blogging in Pittsburgh

2

Counting down– 10 to 10

January 24, 2014 will mark my 10 year blogaversary.

Ten years of sharing my thoughts with the world. Or ten years of the world being subjected to my mindless drivel. You decide.

I did not start off on this blog. I started off on LiveJournal. If you’ve been blogging a long time, you probably remember LiveJournal. Remember Friendster and Xanga and AIM, too? Yeah. My college and law school years were lived entirely on LiveJournal and AIM. All those LiveJournal entries are now hidden from public view. Simply: my writing was ridiculous. It’s not much better now. But I’ve got a better handle on the profanity at least.

To celebrate these ten crazy years, I’m going to share ten entries from the past with you. No one will be rushing a Pulitzer to my house for these, but each holds a special place in my heart. Enjoy.

10.      2 little jewish girls trekkin it through South Central

March 7, 2005

We did it! Hari & I ran the LA marathon yesterday!  And I came home to find sooo many people had im’d me that they tracked me on the website, it was so encouraging!! Thank you everyone!!!

The course was through Downtown, South Central, and some other areas. I don’t know that entire area very well at all, so it was pretty cool to get to see a part of the city I haven’t really explored before.  I grew up outside of LA, so I don’t really know much of it at all.

The marathon was rough. Really really rough. I definitely wouldn’t have gotten through it without Hari.  We ran the first 6 miles, and then did walking & running after that. Oh, and I puked in my own mouth at the 7th mile. That was pretty foul. (If I puked on the sidewalk, the cameras would have inevitably picked that up, and it woulda been broadcast all along the west coast. I wasn’t down with that, so I choked it back down…)

There were SO many people out supporting us, the crowds were amazing. There were little kids lined up all along the race course giving us high-fives!! And there were people out giving us oranges and bananas and water and ice and all sorts of good stuff! I’m talking people who supplied these things on their own, in addition to the rest stops that were officially set up. It was sooo sweet!!! It was SO hot out. Ice has never ever ever been so tasty.  At all the water stops I kept dumping cups of water on myself. There is a big difference between training in 10-30 degree weather, and running a race in 70 degrees.

We came in at 5 hours and 12 minutes. (chip time) Of course i was SO glad to be finished, and SO glad that I finished at all, that I was all choked up and practically crying when we crossed the line (maybe I was crying? I don’t really remember. I was WAY tired). We got lots of juice and water, and then sat down for a bit. I was pretty sick and exhausted and miserable.  But sooooo happy.  I’m so glad that we ran this…not so sure I’ll ever want to do it again though 😉   We’ll be running a 1/2 marathon in Cleveland, and now Hari’s saying that we’re gonna have to do the New York marathon! (Not this year! Maybe next year….)
Here are some photos I took. The course photos aren’t available yet, but you can see the official marathon photo album here.

me making our race signs in my jammies


Striking poses in front of the Staples Center. (Notice the background!!)

Waiting in the line for what turned out to be the foulest bathrooms in the history of the universe

Starting the race!!!
There will be many more photos to come, I have to wait for the race photos to be posted, and for me to develop my film (I might go do 1 hr photo today). Yaaay!

0

Good Morning

Hello. It is Saturday Morning. Well, afternoon technically. It’s 12:05. So far I have survived Baby Beez’ ballet class, got a little coffee, and got a little work done. None of this has been easy. Baby Beez is in the “Fighting about Every Darn Thing” phase which involves a lot of screaming and flailing. Plus she’s aggressively cuddly, meaning that she throws elbows and knees in a crazed race to climb into and monopolize my lap. That makes it very hard for me to any work. I got so unbelievably frustrated and irritated that I was yelling too, and had to hide up in the bedroom to get my work done.

I hate being so angry in response to her WANTING to be close to me. I know that the time for her cuddles is limited. And I never want her to feel like I am pushing her aside to get work done. But sometimes I just need a darn hour to revise a Complaint, and she just needs to WAIT one darn hour (watch Tangled again for goodness sake!) and she’ll get all the cuddles she wants. I am thankful for Mr. Beez running interference today. I try to be patient. But try is not always the same as succeed. And when I don’t do as well as I would wish, I’m glad he is there to help out.

So the remainder of today involves holiday parties and writing briefs. I have two very big filings at the end of the year, which is unusual because December is usually a slow month for litigation. Truth be told, I would rather work hard and bank the hours now, and have a little more room to breathe in the warmer months. Winter is not my thing and I don’t mind spending the hours in the warm indoors takin’ care of business.

I’ve been looking forward to the release of the BlogHer Food agenda, ever since BlogHer announced that the conference will take place in Miami this year.  It was released earlier this week, and after much thinking and talking with Mr. Beez and thinking some more, I have decided I am not going to go this year.  This year’s conference has a much more commercial focus than last year. Most of the sessions are tailored towards brand/blogger relations, and people who want to turn their food blogging into a career, whether through a book or company or what have you.  It focuses a lot more on the cooking side of food blogging, and has nothing on the restaurant/food enthusiast side of blogging.  This is not a criticism in the least. The conference provides a totally valuable forum for a huge number of people. It’s just not the right emphasis or approach for my interests, so I decided that my time would be better spent just picking my own weekend to visit Miami at another time. I was considering buying my ticket earlier, but now I’m glad that I held off, because I think the event would not be the right fit for me. Big Summer Potluck is still TOTALLY in the cards, and now that I see that Big Traveling Potluck is only a bit of a drive from my Mom’s house, that too is a possibility….gotta choose FAST though, because tickets go on sale Monday!

During the last few weeks I have gone a little crazy with Amazon purchases (lots of sales!), so I’ve got the following books locked and loaded: The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt). And the Mountains Echoed (Khaled Hosseini), Burial Rites (Hannah Kent), Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman), Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card), Books 2-5 of the Song of Ice And Fire (aka Game of Thrones) (George R.R. Martin). I am also 2% into Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace), but I can only hope to get that read by the end of my life, forget the end of this year.
What do yinz guys have on your nightstands?

2

Consciously Rose-Tinted

Kate at Yinzpiration published a thought provoking piece yesterday about seeking out the “real” on the internet.  The balance between publicly sharing struggles, the gritty side of life, and the defeats against the (admittedly easier) sharing of successes and joy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.  I toyed with sharing the private details of my life in a previous blog.  While it was a valued outlet at the time, and created a community of support where I thought none existed, exposing the “real” is no longer the right fit for me.

I’m surprised by the backlash against only posting the highlight reel of one’s life online.  Blogging to me is like Disneyland.  It kind of looks like life, but you really know it is fake, but it’s ok, you don’t care, and you have fun anyway.  When I publish posts about our outings and adventures, I leave out how the kid had a total meltdown at 4pm or that we got lost and Mr. Beez and I got in a big fight over directions.  I leave these things out for the sake of my own memories. This blog is my scrapbook, and when I read past entries, I want to remember the fun things, the things that made me smile.

Maybe from these posts, my life comes across as all-happy-all-the-time. It is not. No one’s life is like that. I don’t write like that to make others jealous or feel like they’re missing out.  I write like that, assuming that they know that Cinderella in her plastic wig is not a real princess.  She’s an exhausting twentysomething actress, caked in makeup looking for a break. We all know that, but we still smile and take pictures with her.

I value the bloggers who keep it real.  In my private struggles, I find meaning and support in seeing how others have similarly struggled and have overcome. I am glad they are there, I am proud for them, and I hope they keep sharing for their sake as well as the sake of their readers. But for me, sharing that struggle is outside my comfort zone.

There’s still a “real” in my rose-tinted posts.  It’s not the same “real” but it’s there.  This is by no means a criticism of Kate’s (and the bloggers she shouts to) initiative to give the full 360 of their experiences.  There is value in both, and certainly room for both in this boundless internet.

1

Unlikely Outing for a Tuesday with @thebutterjoint burgers and @nineinchnails

Unlikely Outing for a Tuesday with @thebutterjoint burgers and @nineinchnails

We set plans for Monday to venture to The Butterjoint for burgers with good friends who also have a young daughter. When we arrived there, though, the few tables were completely full and standing around a bar isn’t a workable idea with two small children. We opted for dinner next door at Legume, which was a very lovely and delicious time.

The only downside, is that although you can order from the Legume menu in the Butterjoint, the opposite was not true.  And the very delicious chicken dish did not satisfy my craving for a juicy, buttery burger.  I had been obsessing over a Butterjoint burger ever since reading Quelcy’s write up over at With the Grains.  Mr. Beez indulged me in my crazytown food demands and we returned to the Butterjoint the very next day.  We did, after all, have a grown-up outing planned, and a meal out was much more appetizing than the leftover cauliflower soup in the fridge.

the Butterjoint

My pictures are no match for Quelcy’s but the burger was divine.  They keep it simple– a very high-quality, locally sourced burger, on a soft, buttery brioche bun, and you can either order it “fancy” (their selection of toppings for the day) or pick your own out of a few basic toppings.

the Butterjoint burger

the Butterjoint burger


I like diverse and novel toppings, but the mark of a truly excellent burger is the flavor. When you bite into the burger and everything else falls away except the amazing tastes in your mouth, then yes, the burger is perfect. This burger is perfect. I haven’t gone on a comparative burger tour of Pittsburgh, so I do not know if this is the “best” in the ‘burgh, but I can tell you I want another one right now, and could probably eat these every day and never complain.

The next event was the true purpose of our oddly timed date night– the Nine Inch Nails show at the Petersen Events Center. We saw NIN when they toured last, with Jane’s Addiction, I think in 2009 or so. That show was a double-whammy of amazing.  Likewise, at last night’s show, the performance did not disappoint.

I’ve listened to the new album, Hesitation Marks, a few times and it’s a departure from Trent Reznor’s usual style. Lets put it like this, at the show, the performances of the new songs involved back up singers and Reznor shaking a tambourine. Yes. Tambourine.  But Reznor was smart to kick off the show and also wind it down with the older, grittier fan favorites. And in an ultimate nod to giving the people what they want, the final song of the encore was Hurt.

photo(5)

NIN holds a place as a memento of my uncertainty and my growth, or better said, confusion and failure to grow. Jr High and High School were the years of leather-bottomed Jansport backpacks with band patches from Hot Topic. I had friends, but I also fixated on this idea that there were other certain kids that I longed to be friends with. I wanted them to like me and to invite me in their circle. I didn’t have any real sense of identity. I was driven by a longing toward something, but I didn’t know what, or why, or how I would know if I found it, or what I hoped to attain by getting to it.

I regret now how miserable I allowed myself to be. So desperately listening to NIN and suffering in hopes that these kids would notice our commonalities in music.  But we went to school together for years, why didn’t I just go up and talk to them. And why didn’t I better appreciate the genuine friends I did have. Why did I have this drive to align myself with virtual strangers, and mourn when I started each school day still not in their social circle?

Years later, I still find myself falling into that trap. There were points in law school where I so badly wanted to be in some particular social circle, but couldn’t explain why or what I hoped to gain from it, and also didn’t well enough appreciate the friends I did have. And sometimes now, when I go to social-media focused events, and I see all these people in real life who are so charismatic and popular online, and I just long to be friends with them. But with a lump in my throat, I let the high school clique mentality set in, and forget that people are people, and I can talk to them. I can befriend them. I don’t need anyone to “pick” me.

I’ve been working through the Lurk No More initiative in my head since Saturday.  The initiative will be good for adding depth and connection to this blog.  But even more so, through this initiative, I’ll work through these ridiculous notions of cliques and crowds. If I want to get to know someone, I can introduce myself and get to know them.  I do not need to cover myself in band patches, hope to be noticed, and pine over the friendships that never were.

I can blast NIN because i want to listen to NIN. And I can let go of needing someone to see what I’ve got spinning in my discman.