Archive for May, 2009

Good morning

It almost seems like it was all a dream. Like I just woke up from a 3 year dream in which I lived in Texas to find myself driving through the Fort Pitt Tunnel in a thunderstorm. So much more is the same than is different, most of all how I feel. It’s as if the last 3 years just fell away and left the same simple girl who walked to her neighborhood bar for wings and beer and the Stanley Cup playoffs, and all was right with the world.

Yesterday evening I manufactured a reason to drive around town, listening to the music I listened to the last time I lived here, and it truly felt as if no time had passed at all. When you leave a place, it is frozen in that moment for you – how painful it must be to return to a beloved place and find that it has left behind that home of memory and is all but unrecognizable. I don’t think that can ever happen to Pittsburgh. Even when it’s different, it’s the same.

And I realize something else. I’m not sure who I am now, in the context of this blog. I had this whole identity centered on being far away, and being back sort of takes the wind out of those sails. Sure, I can probably get some more mileage out of the whole, “Wow, everything looks the same except that new Qdoba near my house!” thing, but the fact is that I never really wanted to say too much about me and my actual life experiences. I planned to talk more about what it means to be part of the diaspora, how to remember and honor the place where you come from. I don’t want to become a metaphor – the enthusiastic, outward-focused, cheerleading, all-too-brief O’Connor era gives way to the selfish, childish, mind-numbingly unhelpful Ravenstahl era. No one wants to read an index of all the banal stuff I do now that I’m back in Pittsburgh, any more than they want to read someone’s name on garbage cans.

But I don’t know yet how I’m going to keep this blog from becoming a garbage can. I don’t know where I fit. Who am I, now that I’m no longer Out of the ‘Burgh?


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Been waiting to say…


Toto, we’re home. Home! And this is my room, and you’re all here. And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and – oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home!

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The final countdown

Tomorrow I leave Austin, TX, forever.

Things that I will miss: Nephew and his parents, PF’s, Tex-Mex food.

Things that I will not miss: Everything else.

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PGHSometimes, it takes fresh eyes to see something obvious. Like when Mr. TR’s friend VO, who drove up in the UHaul with the hubby, asked if Pittsburghers get issued the Steelers, OBX, and Sunoco stickers when we buy a car, or if we have to wait until we get the title.


But he’s right, there’s a small trifecta of pretty standard bumper stickers in Pittsburgh that might not mean anything to outsiders – and sometimes barely mean anything to me!

First – sports. This is pretty self explanatory. Some form of logo for the Steelers, Bucs, or Pens is de rigeur – my Steelers sticker graces the car I purchased in Texas and has never yet been in Pittsburgh.






penguins logo

Second, OBX. This one is probably pretty obscure if you’re not from the east coast. If you live anywhere in the eastern third of the U.S., especially the land-locked, cold Great Lakes and Appalachian areas, “OBX” calls to mind warm sandy beaches and idyllic lighthouses. Considering the Outer Banks are the nicest vacation spot within easy driving distance of Pittsburgh, it’s no surprise how many people advertise on their cars that they like to go there:


And finally, we come to the one that stumped me. Honestly, I never even noticed that probably a quarter of the cars in the ‘Burgh have a Sunoco sticker plastered on them. Or if I noticed, I never really thought about it. There’s a GetGo and a Shell station in my neighborhood that both generally had cheaper gas, so I rarely went into Sunoco, and I don’t listen to enough radio to know about the long-since-ended contest in which Sunoco planned to give away a few thousand bucks’ worth of gas to someone sporting their sticker:


So, how ’bout it? Be honest – what’s on your car?

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Courtesy Millvale Blog

Courtesy Millvale Blog

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How could it be in springtime? Knowing how in spring I’m bewitched by you so?


Oh no, not in springtime, summer, winter, or fall! 

No, never could I leave you at all.

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Hey Texas, find your mind


NOT in Pittsburgh

Yes, I’m back in Texas. I don’t want to talk about it.

But at least I can go back to being entertained by the H1N1 flu sideshow that is running amok in the streets of Oz-tin. When I hugged a friend’s child this afternoon, his mom asked me if anyone had coughed on me on the plane (probably, but I was sleeping so I can’t be sure) and if there were any swine flu cases in Pennsylvania (I don’t care).

Like I need to tell Pittsburghers to be practical, but let me just personally exhort you to remain calm, even if the case count in PA (which I did finally look up) exceeds one.

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