Monday, March 30, 2015

Trippin' the Burgh

I should probably start by apologizing for the last post.  Who knew that the day after I wrote a funny post about an incident on a plane, that some other plane would be deliberately crashed into a mountain?  Pretty sure there was no hummus involved with that one.

So onward to much lighter fare…  Last weekend, I took a road-trip out to Pittsburgh with Sitcom Kelly and her Sitcom Sister, for a Penguins game against the Phoenix Coyotes.  I was pretty excited about it on several levels, not least because this was my first chance to get the new car out on the open road for more than 5-6 miles.  She handled beautifully.  (The car, not Sitcom Kelly.)

Also, this was my first extended chance to use my iPhone and the Google Maps app, for GPS navigation.  I loved that, except every so often when the app would just drop out, I assume because of a cellular dead spot. 

We left Friday morning, and the trip was fine, once we got past the car fire that shut down I-70 just a couple miles out of town.

Naturally, I ended up behind two trucks, so I couldn’t see squat.  Luckily, it didn’t last very long; just ten minutes.  Could have been a lot worse.

Anyway, we got into the Doubletree about 2:30, and adjourned to our own rooms.  I was stoked because I ended up with a suite, with a separate bedroom and a mini-fridge.  The mini-fridge would have been perfect, had Sitcom Kelly not talked me out of bringing some beer with me.

Why would we take the trouble to go to Pittsburgh if we’re just going to sit around and drink beer in a hotel room?

I had to remind her of that, when she told me, “I thought you were bringing beer…”

We had plans to meet up with my Burgh blogging buddies at 6:30, so we had a few hours to kill.  The sisters decided to take naps, and I was going to have one too, but I wasn’t quite ready yet.  So I decided to further test my Google Maps app and ask for walking directions to a liquor store.

We got off to a shaky start.  I hate it when they start off with, “Go Southeast on Chatham St.

I mean, what am I, a Boy Scout?  How the fuck do I know which way is southeast?  You know where I am, Google, just tell me to go right or left! 

So because I started off in the wrong direction, I had to find my way around the block first, before making a 5 minute walk in 15 minutes.  It would have been fun, if it hadn’t been so cold out.

Because I didn’t want to look like a complete maroon, I had my earphones on, so that when the Google app spoke, only I heard it.  I suppose everyone that saw me just figured I was talking back and swearing at the music they thought I was listening to.

And then I had to re-adjust again because, as I learned, liquor stores in Pennsylvania don’t sell beer, only wine and liquor.  But the clerk sent me down to a bar, who could sell me a 6-pack for the room.

This time, I made it back via a more direct route, and was able to surprise the Sitcom Sisters with some beer, before we, you know… went out to drink more beer.

Our plans were to meet up with Cassie, Facie, and Tom the Carpetbagger at a place called Sharp Edge, on Penn Ave.  I was pretty sure I could get us there, but just to be safe, I thought I’d use the iPhone/earphone trick again.  Sitcom Kelly was not amused.

OK, actually, she was amused, because now she thinks I want to date my Google Maps girl, like Joaquin Phoenix in the movie “Her.”  (And if she sounded like Scarlett Johansson, I totally would!)  We spent some time over the next few days, trying to come up with a name for her. 

It had to be just right, so I wasn’t going to jump on anything right away.  I finally came up with the perfect name, by the end of the trip:  “Honey.”  Or more formally, “Honey Google.”  As in “Here Comes Honey Google.”

Or on the other hand, I should just call her “Scarlett.”

We got to Sharp Edge about 45 minutes early, which was perfect for me, because for the first time ever, I wanted to get someplace before Cassie.  Score!

It also gave me time to get familiar with the beer menu.  As you may recall, I am by no means any kind of beer connoisseur.  I’m perfectly happy with my wimpy American light beer, thankyouverymuch.  So I had Yuengling, which was fine because I’ve Yuengled before.

Cassie showed up before too long, followed quickly by Facie and then Tom.  It made me very happy to get together with my great good blogging (or in Tom’s case, Facebooking) friends.

Something about the shadow from the direct overhead lighting, makes us all look like psycho killers.  Sorry guys, I should have turned on the flash.

I had decided to go with a fish sandwich and the aforementioned Yuengling.  Naturally, Cassie couldn’t leave it at that.  She made me try her Lindeman’s Raspberry beer, which I found quite tasty.  Tasted nothing like beer though… more like bubbly Hi-C.  But ordered one for myself, just to break out of my self-imposed beer bubble.
It was kind of an odd glass… like a shot glass, all stretched out.

For my meal, I was going ‘fish sandwich’ because we’d stopped at Wendy’s for lunch on the way, and I didn’t want another burger.  But then Cassie pointed out a particular item on the menu:
Behold the bottom listing.

It was a pork burger infused with bacon and topped with Gouda, called the Piggy Bac.  I called it the “Piggy Bake” when I ordered because, well… BAC-on.  But in hindsight, it’s probably called “Piggy BACK.”  Either way though, how could I possibly resist?  It was freakin’ delish.  In fact, it was gone before I even thought to take a picture.

We spent the rest of the night drinking more beers, talking and carrying on.  Or I should say, drinking beers, listening to Cassie, and carrying on.  I swear the girl talks like she has a dozen stories in her head, trying to come out all at once.  But that’s one of the things I love about her.  I don’t have to do anything, just laugh.

In fact, it was funny… once Cassie and Facie left, Tom and the Sitcom Sisters and I just sort of sat there looking at each other, going, “Well now what do we do?”

We ended up talking about Sharknado.  I thought the producers had a couple of D&D dice with weather events on one and dangerous creatures on the other, which they rolled and ran with the result.  Tom suggested that the next one up should be Jellyfish Snowstorm, which totally cracked my shit up.

Hey, up there… What’s that?”  [Blop!]  “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!”

Oh geez, somebody better pee on Jeremy…”

Get on that, will ya Syfy Channel?

My original intention was to cover the whole weekend in this post, but I’m right about at my maximum range, and only halfway through, so I’ll be back with Part 2 later this week.  Yes, I know I could have shortened this up, but where’s the fun in that?

We drove to Pittsburgh, checked into the hotel, I took a walk, Google Maps told me where to go, then we met some friends for dinner.”  That can be the Twitter version.

In the meantime, I leave you with the words and wisdom of Sitcom Kelly, from earlier Saturday: “Which is better for an upset stomach, red or white wine?

Next up: Primo seats at the Pens game.  It’s nice to have family with connections.


  1. I forgot to ask how your new ride went!

    It was great seeing you and the others after almost three years. And with Cassie around, there is no fear that the conversation will run dry! :-)

    Looking forward to reading about the rest of your adventure.

    1. I'm so glad you were able to make it out! I know you had to really make an effort to come, so I definitely appreciate it.

      Yes, conversation at any table at which Cassie is sitting, will never run out of steam. But that's part of her charm.

  2. I swear to god I didn't talk that much, you guys just stared at me waiting for something to talk about!

    1. Of course you did, Sweetie, but I wouldn't want you any other way. We eventually re-started the conversation, but first we had to shift out of auto-pilot.

      Remember, I only tease you because I can... You think your spin class students are going to bust your chops? They're afraid you'll cycle them to death.

    2. Cassie, I agree with Bluz: You have so many stores to tell. I particularly loved hearing about all those sports "celebs" and that new senior rescue. I lead a pretty boring life, so I must live vicariously through others!

  3. I wish I could have been there with you guys this time! But let's face it, I wouldn't have been able to drink anyway, except for occasional stolen sips from Cassie's raspberry beer. Maybe next time! Sounds like a great trip.

    1. I wish you could have been there too, but I know how you have a lot of balls in the air, as well as buns in the oven. But I know you'll be back up to the Burgh sooner or later...


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