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Friday, November 8, 2013

Everything Dies Baby That's A Fact...

Well now, everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in atlantic city
- Bruce Springsteen

As soon as I saw my sister's face pop up on my cellphone, I knew my brother-in-law was gone.

It's so weird how you just... know.

After struggling with various health issues, my brother-in-law, Art passed away peacefully in his sleep next to his lover, his friend, his favorite person on this spinning blue planet. He and my sister, Toni shared 24 wonderful years together. He was the love of my sister's life. They brought out the best in each other.

They met later in life in the wake of their respective divorces. It's a good thing, too because if they had met in their 20s, they would never have been together. They were two opposite extremes. The newly born-again Toni would have run away from Art's younger, bad-boy self. Art had a somewhat checkered past, which is not to say he was criminal, just a little wild in his early years. Okay, more than a little. Believe me, he had some vivid stories from back then that would have scared the bejesus out of her.

But they met at the perfect time. The Universe crossed their paths at the ideal moment. The maturing process had smoothed their respective edges, bringing each closer to a middle ground. Their love story was meant to be. Living proof that good things DO come to those who wait.

In life, timing is everything.

Not formally educated beyond high school, Art was one of the most well-educated individuals I have ever known. He could weigh in intelligently about any subject with anyone. Unlike the rest of us Pelinos, he wasn't excessively chatty, but when he did speak, he spoke articulately and with great eloquence.

Much like my father, he was street-smart which made him a terrific reader of people. Art had the ability to assess someones personality, good or bad, and accept that person for who he was without judgement. That skill also made him an excellent gambler which he LOVED to do, successfully shooting craps and playing blackjack on cruise ships and local casinos.

When he fell seriously ill seven years ago, his mortality became tangible. Ever the pragmatist, Art knew he was living on borrowed time. He would always say how he had lived a rich, full life and this (the present) was gravy. He packed as much life as was possible in his final trips around the sun, booking multiple cruises per year, logging sunny days on the river on his best friend's boat, and spending as much time as possible with my sister.

My brother-in-law was a complicated man. He was not perfect by any stretch. No one is. He was flawed, and those flaws made him human. But in the end, he was a good man. He called my sister his savior. She brought him out of the darkness of his past transgressions into the light. Her effervescent nature filled him with indescribable joy. He felt blessed to be with her, surrounded by her energy. He adored her, and she him. He was a colorful man, and our family will miss his hues. 

The above chorus to Springsteen's Atlantic City has been running through my head the entire time I've struggled to write this post. I think it's the mater-of-fact, practical approach to life and death in the song that I associate with my sweet sister's husband. I can hear Art uttering these words as he scoops Toni up and takes her on another adventure knowing their time together is short. A"Fuck it. Let's go for it and live while we can" attitude.

He told Toni over and over again not to feel sorry for him and his inevitable end. Comforting her by saying his best years were with her, and perhaps giving her the biggest gift of all...the permission to live her life fully after he passed, without guilt or regret. 

I will always be grateful to Art for loving my sister implicitly and making her happier than she ever dreamed possible. He was the partner she always deserved. His heart may have given out, but he will always and forever remain in hers and ours. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

End Of Summer Funfest

Preamble mini-ramble: There's been a fair amount of sadness lately. Okay, more than a fair amount, but I'll probably pen that tough tale later for therapeutic reasons more than anything else. Sometimes life is completely unfair. And hard. And a right-royal bitch face. No matter how prepared you think you are, truth is, you're never prepared. Anywho, for now I want to focus on the positive times and fun excursions that occurred over the past few months, and basically try to clean up a few (hundred) loose ends. And for whatever reason, this post has been sitting here for weeks, taunting me with its unfinished bidnez showing. It has become the bane of my creative existence. It's become a fucking yoke of anxiety. Even if it turns out to be a steaming pile of horse poo, I have to finish it and move on. Rip it off like a GD piece of duct tape on my simian arm. I have no idea what my problem is with this particular post. This was a super fun trip! Whatever, Psyche. Get a grip. Here goes...

Okay, so what could be better than being on vacation? Being on vacation with Geo.

Even though he has worked all of his adult life, he only has three weeks of paid time off compared to my seven. And before you get all cranky and crazy, bellyaching how it's not fair that I have so much time off...shut the hell up.

I've toiled at the Special K for 30 years (my entire youth, people!) entitling me to five weeks vacation plus two in lieu of holidays. Longevity has its advantages. So does being in a union. So think of my tired ass, up at zero-dark-butt-crack, schlepping a camera around on New Year's morning while you all are sitting around in your fucking PJs in a haze, drinking coffee, and nursing a hangover.

So... again, SHUT THE HELL UP.

Anywho, one of the weeks my ever-lovin' and I get to spend together is Labor Day Week. Generally, we take advantage of my sister's good graces and spend nine glorious days at their adorable little place on Long Beach Island.

the long walk to the water

even "working women" enjoy a day on the bay

this is my serenity

you're on your own at the end of the season


morning java on the lagoon

This year was no exception, except the blue-eyed lovely, Mr. Miller scheduled a solo date in our favorite club in our favorite city on the first day of our vacation.

How incredibly thoughtful of him. *MUAH*

I'm sure you know what happened next. We packed up Rita, and headed east to Manhattan. For several years, Geo and I had this great run where both of our musical loves, Francis Dunnery and Rhett Miller, would be playing in succession during our time off. Many times they would play back-to-back. One amazing evening they played on the SAME BILL!! Oh, Mama!

Sadly, that has not happened for a while. (insert Sad Panda face here. now insert finger down your throat because that was gag-worthy right there. blech) Aaaaaaanyway, (and I will effort not to sound too douchey) we were invited to stop at Francis and Erica's house on the way to the city. Eeeeeeeee! Ever since we hosted a house concert, Francis has been kind enough to invite us to his home in a small town near the Poconos. We finally were able to make our schedules mesh.

small town 'Merica + college population = ...
makes sense to me
(plus there is the greatest cupcake shop on this street)

The two of them could not have been more warm and welcoming. Their daughter, Elsie is almost three. She is a beautiful, spirited little girl. We visited, noshed and played a little ping pong. Okay, Elsie and I batted the balls around a bit. Neither Geo nor I wanted to challenge Francis' mad skillz. No one needs that kind of humiliation. He invited us into his basement recording studio to listen to many of the tracks to his upcoming album, Monster a prog rock production of his late brother's work. The thing I appreciate about Mr. D is he's always moving forward even when it seems he's moving backwards musically.

Francis, singing vocals, grinding his electric along to the recorded tracks, in his studio... TOO FUCKING COOL! He's streaming some cuts on his presale page here.

Seriously, what a super cool, unexpected honor. He even played the song he wrote for his daughter, at Elsie's insistence of course.

Aaand, naturally that's the time my iPhone decided it was full and stopped recording part way through. Thanks, you Hydro-electric Asshat.

With a huge bear hug and big thanks for a lovely evening, we set off for our next stop, Manhattan!

geo gives me grief about stopping to
snap photos, but c'mon...
this is too funny to pass up

Everytime we go into Manhattan, it's a different experience. The cost for our normal hotel in Soho was Cra-CRA, so we booked at the Wyndam Garden in the Flatiron district on 24th. The room was small, but updated and very clean. The service was exemplary. Plus the bellhop dug my hair. A lot. I highly recommend this lovely little hotel in a great location, especially if you're a redhead.

Manhattan: always dispensing
with the advice

Anywho, the first order of business, as always, was brunch, so we hoofed the four avenue blocks west past the famed Chelsea Hotel to our favorite diner, Moonstrucks. Our mouths watering with each step, running through the menu in our heads, deciding which delectable breakfast treat we'd savor....when this happened



It felt like a punch in the gut. We couldn't believe it. We had to go across the street to touch the building permit sign. We felt lost. Weird how disoriented you get when a life-long institution disappears. Through Yelp! we found a new place called The Dish which offered not one, but TWO bloody marys with brunch. Gotta tell you, after two of those heavy-handed pours, I was feeling no pain and Moonstruck was a fond memory.

Side Note: probably not the best idea to read a large carousel of irreverent greeting cards while "medicated". One tends to A) laugh a little too loudly, scaring the surrounding small chillins and/or Asian tourists B) single-handily boost the economy by buying a shit-ton of inappropriate cards (friends be forewarned) and C) tinkle a little in your pantaloons. Or so my friend tells me happened to her in a similar situation. I wouldn't know first hand. Shhhh...just play along, jerk.

AAAAAaaaaanyway, back at the City Winery...

As my regular reader (singular) knows by now, I am a lover of all things Rhett Miller, especially his solo shows. He's always entertaining and unpredictable. The setlist this evening was Old 97's heavy with only a half dozen or so solo songs. Personally, I prefer a list top-heavy with solo works and a smattering of 97's rarities, sprinkled with his witty banter/storytelling. But then again, any time I get to sit in a darkened room and watch him play is a grand day, especially if Geo is with me.

The crowd was unusual that night. Normally the audience is comprised of 85% devotees, 15% newcomers, but that evening there seemed to be a large portion of patrons who were only marginally familiar with Rhett's extensive oeuvre, 97's or otherwise. Having seen him perform innumerable times (don't roll your eyes, it's unbecoming and they could get trapped back there forever), we just sing along without even thinking twice about his cleverly penned lyrics anymore. It was so refreshing to hear the people throughout the venue laughing at the punchlines of Another Girlfriend, Eyes for You and The Other Shoe. Like being shaken awake to a renewed appreciation for how fun his songwriting is. The man himself seemed pleasantly surprised and energized by the response of the crowd and fed off of their vibe.

Once again EVERYONE, including Geo, joined in for the Barrier Reef and Big Brown Eyes sing-alongs. I can't even imagine how satisfying and fucking cool it is to hear a room of 500+ sing your words back to you. That's what it's about, BABY! Unconditional love barreling back to you in a big ass wave of warmth.

Props to Geo for joining in. He doesn't know a lot of the lyrics, but the ones he does he sings out freely. Hearing him sing, full-out alongside me is my secret joy.

I don't know if it was planned, but we were treated to not one, not two, but THREE encores!


A great way to erase the bittersweet taste of the final chord of Time Bomb. I have a love/hate relationship with that song. Love the pure energy of that tune. Hate that it signifies the end of the evening. Except for this night. This night continued after Time Bomb. :)

For the first encore, Rhett invited opening act, David Wax Museum on stage to sing Wish The Worst and rift about Susie's pregnancy boobs. And you wonder why I get jazzed by his banter.

He is adorable.

The penultimate encore was Coversville: the beautiful California Stars followed by a hard-charging Over the Cliff. After stepping off stage a brief minute, Rhett returned to sing Broadway, effortlessly hitting the high C as if it was the third song of the evening. Amazing. Doreen ended the show with all the windmills, vigorous, sweat-flinging head bobs and energy he had left.

And then he was done. I swear he could perform for a full three hours, and I still wouldn't be ready to call it a night. There is no performer like him. Seriously, y'all need to go see him. It's church.

Usually I fly in one day for the show, then out the next, but Geo and I planned a two-day stint. The second day was filled with museums, a super fun happy hour with our friend, Marcy at a cool bar near Columbus Circle appropriately called Ivy (...gotta boyfriend problem. Old 97's reference, yo) and dinner with our recently engaged nephew, Zach and Kelly at the greatest kabob joint around, Afghan Kabobs.

Two days extremely well spent, and the perfect lead-in to a relaxing week at the shore where we spent less money in five days than the weekend in New York. Go figure.

Rhett's City Winery Setlist for fellow weirdos who like to keep track of such things:

Lost Without You
Melt Show
The Other Shoe
Just Like California
Champaign, IL
Another Girlfriend (big laughs for this one)
Bird in a Cage
Won't Be Home
Eyes For You
Let the Whiskey Take the Reins (best rendition we've heard yet)
Out of Love
Come Around
Dance With Me
Barrier Reef (I swear everyone was singing)
Our Love
encore #1
Wish the Worst
Big Brown Eyes (YEAH!!!)
Time Bomb

but wait! there's more!!

encore #2
California Stars
Over the Cliff

encore #3

fin :(
go home. you're drunk

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In Which A City Gets Its Wish

I don't even know where to begin.

Last night the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates accomplished what many (most) of us only dared to dream. They beat the Cincinnati Reds in a one-and-done, wild card playoff to advance to the REAL playoffs against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Again, I say, Holy HELL!

With home field advantage, word got out via Twitter from pitcher, AJ Burnett and Andrew McCutchen for the fans to stage a black aht ("out" to non-Burghers), asking everyone in attendance to wear black in the stands. All 40,000+, including the 2,000 SRO complied.

There were even hundreds, side-by-side on the Clemente Bridge listening to the game on radios-- you can't see the field from there-- just so they could be a part of Bucco baseball history.

We tuned in at 8 nervous for the outcome, but not expecting what was to come next. Geo and I knew the team would be pumped hosting PNC Park's first ever post season play, but the crowd... Holy SHIT, the crowd was ALL IN. From the first pitch to the final out, they stayed, they cheered, they rocked the HOUSE!

They were a presence not to be denied. Whoever believes the intensity of the fans isn't a factor on a game is speaking out of their ass, because these beautiful MoFos were loud and they took control from the start. I don't just mean loud... I mean shaking the TV from it's bracket LOUD. Thunderous. I realize there are extra mics set out for post season games, but this was cacophonous and constant.

It was electric.

Even in our living room we could feel it.

A deafening chant of CuuuEEEEEEtoooeeeee rattled the Cincy pitcher to his core, making him drop the ball right before he served up a beauty which Martin hit straight out of the park.

Not a factor, my ass.

My favorite comment in the entire broadcast came after that moment. The announcer said, "This is what 20 years of frustration dressed in black looks like."


There were tears. Tears all around... in our house, the field, the interwebs. Tears of pride shed at the start of game. Tears of indescribable joy at the final out--or in my case, at the highlights played over and over during the morning news.

As preeminent Pittsburgh blogger, Jane Pitt said so eloquently, "there is SO crying in baseball, Tom Hanks". Do yourself a favor and read her post. She sums up all the feelings surrounding this game better than I ever could. Plus she's funny as hell.

Back an entire generation ago in 1992, Geo and I went to game five of the playoffs against Cincinnati at Three Rivers Stadium. Van Slyke, Lavalliere, Drebek and company played their hearts out. I remember the electricity, the camaraderie, the community. We were all in it together. High-fiving, embracing each other, celebrating as one cohesive unit. One heartbeat.

That was our first, and ultimately last, playoff game. There is a sweetness to firsts. You never forget them. Your first kiss, your first love, your first post season victory. Last night's win was an entire generation's first taste of the unifying glory of baseball. Hell, most of them were zygotes or barely cognizant the last time the Pirates had a winning season.

I hope the fans present last night remember this feeling, tuck it away in their hearts to tap into during the lean years, because there really is nothing as special as the first time.

That goes for the players, too.

Congratulations, Buccos! You did it for the city, you did it for the fans and I believe you did it for Roberto. It's been a magical run. Even if you don't advance to the next round, you've done us proud. Thank you.

champagne goggle throw down
(courtesy of ian smith)

P.S.: In February, when asked how many games he expected his team to win in 2013, Clint Hurdle replied, 95. The wild card game is considered part of the regular season. That win made the Bucs final win tally... 95.


There's raw video of the locker room party/interviews and photos from the Trib (I know, ICK Richard Scaiffe) here.

And because there isn't enough of a cheese factor in this post, here's a highlights video found by my b-ball lovin' friend, Lizzie:

And one last mash-up of an old-school, mullet-maned 90s singer and your 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates. You Gotta Believe!!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Duck That Charmed Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh > your city.

It's a fact. Look it up.

Okay, so Pittsburgh is having a great run this year. First, the Pirates have finally vanquished the Ghost-of-Miserable-Seasons-Past by finally making the playoffs (Hallelujah! Praise Baby Jesus!), bringing long overdue positive attention to our little hamlet nestled in the rivers, and now a bigass yellow rubber ducky has invaded the three rivers to the delight of MILLIONS! Okay, not millions, but damn-near close to half a mill.

it's just so freaking happy!!

As part of the Cultural Trust's Festival of Firsts, dutch artist Florentijn Hofman brought his 40 foot rubber ducky to play in our waters. The ginormous bath toy has been displayed a number of times in international waters, but Pittsburgh is the first city in America to host Hofman's ducky.

That's right. He chose Pittsburgh. 


Suck it, haters.

I was beyond excited. Like, ridiculously geeked to see a 40 foot duck float in the river. I mean, c'mon. How adorable is this thing!

a snap of Marvin on the Allegheny from the artist himself

(watch the PG's video of ducky's birthing on the Ohio river here)

One thing you can say about Pittsburghers, we LOVE a party. And Dude, what a welcome party the Cultural peeps threw! (you see what I did there? I'm en fuego.) The only thing missing was fireworks, which is totally weird because we are utterly MENTAL for incendiary displays and this event kinda screamed for a Zambelli blow out. On second thought, it would have been totally uncool to blow up the ducky, let's call him Marvin, with a rogue firework ember on his first day in the Burgh.

Welcome, Marvin!! Now we will blow your butt to smithereens. WoooHOOOOOO!!! Oh, sorry Dutch Dude with the Swedish Chef sounding name.

Seriously. I can't be the only person who hears the Swedish Chef's voice in my head when I read that magnificent bastard's name?

And now you're doing it too, aren't you. You're welcome.


They closed the Clemente Bridge (formerly known as the Sixth Street Bridge because we love to rename shit over and over even though all of us oldsters STILL refer to aforementioned landmarks by their prior names, i.e. Macy's will alwaysalwaysALWAYS be called Kaufmann's, the Highmark building will be Horne's until the day I die and William Shatner will never stop being Captain Kirk...) .. wait, where was I?

Oh, yeah, they closed the bridge off to motor traffic, set up a big stage in the middle and food booths along the north-bound lane, allowing the minions to dance, eat and buy a crap-ton of ducky merchandise.

our friend, Carl captured Marvin from his car while stuck in traffic
he didn't even know what was going on
clearly, he lives in a vacuum

duck vs bridge

big duck, little ducks

There was an impassable mass of people at the head of the bridge, a jam for which the Squirrel Hill Tunnel would be envious. It took me 15 minutes to maneuver my way through the throng of yinzer humanity to get to the stairs leading to the shoreline.

dusk and duck

All the forced, grit-your-teeth patience it took to press through the flesh to get to the bottom was worth it once Big Ole Marvin floated into view. Gobs of excited people, young and old, lined both shore lines as well as the bridge. Marvin was greeted with exuberant cheers and chants of "Rubber Ducky" lead by Mikey and Big Bob from Kiss radio. Choruses of the Sesame Street standard, Rubber Ducky reverberated off Marvin and his flotilla.

Okay, that bit sounds downright lame, but it wasn't really. You had to be there to get caught up in the gooberness. Who knew the sight of a four-story replica of a common childhood tub toy could bring such joy. Maybe it was the common thread to our collective innocence. Maybe it was the ridiculous scale. Maybe it was that sweet, sweet face bobbing along. Whatever. Folks were giddy.

peeping duck
seriously, how could you not smile at this?

i love this photo
marvin breaks down cultural barriers
only in 'Merica

The festivities continued into the night with the guest of honor bathed in light at the foot of the bridge.

onlookers at the nesting place
(via John Johnson)

super blurry traffic cam
just before the giant spider pounces
for location purposes only
His Yellowness will be nesting at the Point, across from PNC Park until October 26, which means he'll be front and center for the Pirates Wild Card game Tuesday.


(via the geniuses on the interwebs)
aaaaaaarg! quack

I hope someone puts an eye patch and jolly roger on him. How fun would that be? Please somebody make this happen!!

THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!
(thank you, interweb geniuses for jumping on this immediately)

Kudos to the Cultural Trust for hitting the mark. Friday's duckfest was big fun even with the clusterf**k at the head of the bridge. So many people in town enjoying a volume of activities on a beautiful night in a vibrant city. For those who complain there is nothing to do in Pittsburgh... Go home, you're drunk.

Pittsburgh rocks, MoFos!

*quack quack* n'at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In Which Sometimes In Life, Good Things Happen To Those Who Wait...And Wait...And Wait...

Okay, so you know how when something major occurs and people ask "where were you when such-and-such happened?" Well, this morning at zero-dark butt-crack, I kissed the patient-saint-who-is-my-husband goodbye, only this time he wasn't a warm mass of deep sleep. This morning he was conscious enough to break the news that the Bucs, the Heartbreak Kings of the kingdom, clinched a Wild Card playoff berth with a nail-biter of an ending against the Cubs.


They didn't make it easy on us fans either. Nosiree, Bob. It all came down to a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run blazing toward home and a bumbled field play...


Jiminey CHRISTMAS, could there have been a more dramatic way for the Bucs to make it to the playoffs?! I don't think so. I don't care. This way was one sweet, SWEET victory. I swear to the little Baby Jesus the entire Pirates Nation stood up and yelled a big, fat collective NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! at the sight of Byrd's bobble in the shallow outfield.

raising the jolly ruckus in the locker room

Aw, man, I could watch that video over and over and over, in perpetuity. It gets me a little verklempt. I admit it brought a tear or two thousand to me foggy eyes when I first saw the playback this morning at the Special K. Okay, fine. It makes me tear up EVERY time I watch it. I'm a little misty now.

I'm a sentimental sap, so sue and/or bite me.

bubbly bath
In one reasonably dry corner of the room, hitting coach Jay Bell, a link to the club's glory days in the early 1990s, smiled as he looked on.
“This is how I remember it,” Bell said, with a catch in his voice. “This is a long time coming.”
(excerpt from Tuesday's Trib)

goggles? really?
whatev. he just got into the playoffs.

the long-suffering announcers
busting out the celebratory Cohibas

I can't even describe how crazy good this feels. The city is jubilant. Good gravy we all needed this. Somebody PINCH ME!

(locker room celebration at 1:40 and 3:33)

During the celebration, Pirates Manager, Clint Hurdle was asked a question to which he answered, ab-so-bucn-lutely. Immediately it became a trending hashtag on Twitter. Almost immediately someone designed this shirt.

please let this be real

The interwebs rule, yo.

Geo and his Mom, Stancy, a devoted Pirates fan nearly her entire 87 years, have developed a sweet tradition over the last several years. Every time the Pirates win, Geo calls her. No matter where he is, either home or away, he picks up the phone and calls her. She, in turn answers with an excited "We won! We won!" Needless to say, there have been dismal years where they didn't talk much. Not this year. With 90 wins and counting, they've spoken a LOT. Stancy's endurance has definitely been tested over the past couple decades, but unlike me, she has hung tough in her die-hard devotion to the franchise. Her longevity has paid off. She has officially lived long enough to witness another winning season.

We still have a shot at making the regular playoffs. It involves us winning, the Cards losing and the feet of a live chicken or some other voodoo mathematics, but at this point, WE'RE IN, BABY!

A wild card, one-and-done post season is not the most ideal, but hey, no one expected this team to get anywhere CLOSE to this point... except for the former GM of WYEP, Lee Ferarro who has been tweeting me one word, "PLAYOFFS!" after almost every win for the last month. I owe you a drink, buddy.

HOLY HELL!! Seriously. Somebody pinch me.

No matter what happens from here on out, no one can take away the universally felt bliss of this moment.

Buctober, Sweet Cheeks. It's happening in the 412!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"We Play For October"


After 20 long, grueling, painful years of dismal performance, on September 8th, The Pittsburgh Pirates achieved what was thought to be the impossible... A winning season.

Cutch thanking the baby jesus and all the baseball gods for the clinch
"we play for october", BABY


Let's let that sink in a little bit. Let's savor that sweet, sweet victory.

You smell that? That's the scent of hope and long overdue promise. Go ahead. Jam your proboscis right down in there. Suck it in and hold it there. Aaaaaaaaa...

It all started with this:

A heart-wrenching loss in the playoffs to the Braves back in 1992, when a former, slow-running Pirate player beat Barry Bonds' throw to the plate with this slide. Thus began the Sid Bream Curse.

For two decades--an entire freaking generation--parents have been teaching their children how to deal with disappointment by exposing them to the ineptitude of past Bucco franchises. Each Spring the forever hopeful would hold their breath, certain this would be the year the Bucs would hit 500, only to have their spirits crushed by mid season.

But that all ended on a steamy, Texas field last Sunday night, September 8, 2013 as the Pittsburgh Pirates won game #82, clinching a winning season! Pirates fans' long, national nightmare was over. The moniker of LOSER expunged from Bucco vernacular. The curse finally lifted.

And there was joy in Burghville.

"we play for october"

Have a look at the win for yourself right here.

You gotta love the Cutch-Byrd-Pie celebration jump mid-field. Pure joy. These kids are fun to watch.

Of course, it took awhile to capture #82 after hitting the 500 mark. Five days, in fact. What's baseball without a little drama. They had to test fans' fortitude with a bloody four-game losing streak before busting it open in Texas.

I blame you, Sports Illustrated. Every time you put one of our team's players on the cover, bad things happen.

Dear SI Douchebags:

Leave. Our. Teams ALONE!


Maybe we broke that curse, too. As it stands right now, the Pirates are at 84 wins, only a half game out from first-place St. Louis, with a magic number of 10 to reach the playoffs.


Holy SHIT! Reaching #82 was reason enough to warrant a big-ass parade, in my humble opinion, but DAAAAMN, we have a real shot at post-season play here.

Post-Season Play. The Bucs.

Pinch me.

how much gum do you think Clint Hurdle will chew in
post season?

I admit, enduring so many misery-ladden seasons, made me cautious with my support and hesitant to go all in again this time around. 20 years of heartache will do that, but this is too much fun. I am officially on board the bandwagon. I have Bucco fever, BABY! And it is sweet!

For once, so much positive attention is being given to our little-engine-that-could team with the amazing heart. No matter how one feels about sports, the cold truth is this team has been tremendous for our city. The seats are filled, the surrounding businesses are booming, the streets are teeming with people proudly donning Pirates gear. EVERYONE is talking about the Bucs. The excitement is palpable!

Steelers, who?

The fans have earned this moment of glory. It's been a long time coming.

Some people have an interesting theory about this season. This would have been our 21st losing record. Roberto Clemente, one of the greatest players of the game, wore #21. Some would argue, the spirit of Roberto is with this team and would not allow another loss connected to his number. I like it. Let's do this for Roberto, shall we.

What a season.


The Bucs are taking the new MLB slogan to heart.

We play for October, Muthaf**ker!