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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Random Acts Of Friendship (And Family)

Okay, so full disclosure, I've had this skeletal piece of prose languishing on deck in the dusty bowels of Blogspot for oh, I don't know... five months now. Poor Baby's been left in the corner to fester and rot while I grappled with an inability to finish a post, a paragraph, a prime rib.

Oh wait. Prime rib I CAN finish... with flourish, boy howdy! The others... meh.

Aaaaaanywho, it's 2015 and DAMMIT, it's time to get on with it and clean out the closet. So let's hit the reset button and put this turkey on the table, shall we? Why am I suddenly hungry?

Aaaaand.... GO!

pre binge drinking/snacking/toking

beach fest provisions
just add sunshine
and sand in your crack

Okay, so my Special K bud, Beets and I chucked our family responsibilities and Thelma and Louised it to the Jersey shore. Strangely I didn't take any photos of our revelry (besides the ones above…shut up), but instead snapped a few shots from the I-will-kill-you-in-your-sleep collection being proffered at the antique fair by a creepy cat I just know is a serial killer in the making. I mean, HOLYGOODGODJESUSCHRIST!!! WHAT THE SERIOUS FUCK!

Don't make eye contact
Don't make eye contact
Don't make eye contact...

is this really the most sought after part
of stuffed vermin?
isn't killing small animals the
first sign that you might be
a serial killer?

you just knew this fucker was into clowns
definite serial killer

He definitely has young women chained in a well somewhere in a farmhouse in middle Jersey. Other than that nightmare, a sun-filled, snack-fueled, inebriated fun time was had by all.

the guuuurlfriends kitten club
with our pussy shirts...
and ob tampon, muthafucka!
long story. don't ask

You know how it's not as easy to connect with people the older you get? Adult humanoids can be more guarded as they age, not willing to let their protective force fields down long enough to really become close friends. Well, I have been #BLESSED (as the Twitters say) to have made not one, but three---I said THREE MUTHAFUCKA!-- new kick-ass girlfriends to dine, drink and dish with. Not to mention dangle GD prepositions.

babes at the WYEP birthday bash
billy joe, bobby joe and a double shot of betty joe
(i'm carbon dating myself with that Petticoat Junction reference)
(look it up, wiseass. it took place in HOOTERVILLE. 'nough said)

Abby, Suzanne and Denise are the veritable BOMB, y'all! We hit it off immediately. We are all on the same page. Oversharing is encouraged and no topic is off limits. The force fields are down, waaaaay down. I laugh so much when I'm with my Kitty Bitches. (That's the moniker we've given our posse. It stems from one of our conversations, but for the love of coconut coffee, I cannot fucking remember why. I blame vodka.) They are a gift from the Guuurl Gods. Seriously. They are the real deal. Love their asses!!

phone in one hand, wine in the other, surrounded by friends
yep, my happy place

the picture of elegance

DeDe photo bombed by Pirates manager, Clint Hurdle

Abby's hubs
honorary gurlfriend subjected to tmi talk

Besides general carousing, we four took in the Riverlife celebration in September. Held on the north shore in front of the casino, Riverlife is a swanky-ass, gilded affair with fancy foods, signature cocktails, dancing, a riverboat cruise and demure behaviors from society folks.

I know, right? How'd we get in there?

Fortunately, frivolity was encouraged. And we frivoled the fuck outta that joint, especially the photo booth.

lovable asshats
coincidentally WEARING hats

Suzanne wore this knock-out vintage gold number that was straight out of the chifferobe of the impossibly curvaceous Joan from Mad Men. She was henceforth referred to as Joan. #Raaaawr



super model fan dancing 
All in all, we brought an understated elegance to the entire affair. Yeah, we did.

Moving on...

One of the events I look forward to every year is Savor Pittsburgh. It's a charity event in which up to 30 local restaurants vie for best entrĂ©e, appetizer and/or dessert. There's a live band, silent auction and OHMIGODTHEFOOD!! So very much amazing food! Gobs and gobs of it. All in bite size servings. All uncerimoniously shoved into my maw by the graceless fistful.


But by far the best part about Savor Pittsburgh is hanging with my favorite Burgher in Beantown, Jimmy McParkway. Together we down too many small plates, consume a wee too much liquor and dance like Elaine Benes. Okay, so this year he would NOT get up to dance because he was being a puss-face tool, but we DID serial photobomb patrons in our pretty, grown-up clothes.

how to be a jerk in public

YAAAAASSS!!!!! Photobomb perfection!!

Jimmy, master of the interwebs managed to find this gem on instagram. And isn't the sad truth about photobombing that one rarely ever sees ones handiwork. A Goddamn shame.

I miss him every. damn. day.

this view never gets old

Fortunately it's just a short plane hop to visit him in his new zip code. Last October I invaded his personal space for a few days. After a sizable flight delay due to a helacious storm of biblical proportion, I dropped in Boston just in time to race off to the fancy theater to see David Sedaris and his man culottes.

swanky venue for the cultured

We had pretty much explored Boston the prior year, and since it was fall, we opted to hop a train to Providence, Rhode Island to do a little leaf peeping and rummage around the capital.

fall leaves from the speeding train
Claude Monet would be jealous

And act like a jackhole. And assault public art like a boss.

is that a pole in your pocket...

Providence is a lovely little metropolis. It is the home of Water Fire festival in which torches are set up all along the riverwalk (and in the river), artisans set up booths and live music plays all weekend. A small river town north of Pittsburgh has tapped into this Water Fire festival notion the last two years.

providence, ri
permanent bowls for Water Fire festival
After we sullied the ship sculpture, it started raining. A little at first, then gobs and gobs of it. Nothing left to do but have a cocktail or three, and wait for the next train back. True to his technological bent, Jimmy summoned an Uber driver to pick up our sopping frames. I swear when I visit, he and I take every single mode of transport--save boat--to tool around. Next time we're getting on GD a boat.

one rainy-ass mofo day

jimmy is very proud of the tv hat he is wearing

in case you didn't get the idea that it rained

Anywho, this car was the polar opposite of the one we took the night before. Sweet Baby Jesus! That nightmare on wheels was outrageous, and not in a good way. The driver was very sweet, but Holy CATZ there was barely room for Jimmy to sit in the back because this guy's entire life was in the car with us. And then he had like, a thousand pine tree fresheners dangling from his mirror to, I don't know, mask the rotting road kill in the way back of his Hobomobile? I have no idea, but there was a nasty funk burning a hole through our nostrils.

No. Just...NO.

Fast forward to Rhode Island…a pristine, white cadillac with supple Corinthian leather interior and soothing jazz music… Aaaaaa…

Luxury Limo >CraCra Jeep Dude any day of the week.

Funny story: When Jim went to work the next morning, his co-anchor asked what we did the day before. When he told her we hopped a train to look at leaves, she said "What? Is she FIFTY??!?"

No, Motherfucker. I'm 54.

Okay, to be honest, I laughed my ass off imagining her utter disdain. Surely fifty year olds have hunched backs, hammer toes and Hoverounds to shuffle their twisted bodies to Early Bird specials. To his credit, he shaved a year off my age and defended my fun-loving spirit. I still have some life left in me… Bitch. You're on my list.

I kid.


slow down there, grandma! you'll break a hip.

And then we ate...

breakfast of champions

the station diner's industrial-ish interior

get your shit together, diner.
go heinz or go home!

severed hand is the new black

or is it?

who wouldn't get a lady boner?

Now that Big Mar is in her 90s, the siblings are making the trek home every September to celebrate her latest circle around the sun. It's been great having everybody together for her.

big mar, her brood and some strays who love her

sure. make the old lady blow out a zillion candles.

This year her birthday coincided with the quarterly gallery crawl in downtown Pittsburgh. As much as we are together as a family, we rarely go out anymore. It was a gorgeous Friday night, so SURPRISE! we actually went to town. Madness.

giant jenga

monkey shenanigans

monkey boy

the brother
and crazy, hypno eyeballs

I don't know about your family, but as a unit this one takes a while to make decisions. Eventually someone takes the lead and points everyone in a direction. Any direction. It's like wrangling feral cats. Welp, we managed to make it to one of the 30 galleries before getting caught up at the Artists Market and finally just opting for beer, booze and pizza.

i can't quit you, silly props
and i can't quit this awesome family

I adore these lovable pinheads! The logistics may be a bit trying at times, but the payoff is always ALWAYS worth it. Hey, we even managed to get out to see local band legends, The Clarks during Christmas break!! Two outings in one year… who can live at that speed?!? :)

Trains, Buses and Automobiles...

Last, but not least, my best friend from college, Dennis and I took a 24 hour road trip north to deliver a car to his son in the Hudson Valley. We haven't been on a trip by ourselves since sophomore year when we hopped on a bus to DC to "protest" something or other. I can't remember. We were only in it for the sightseeing opportunity. We were opportunistic jerks.

awwwww… ain't she adorable?
whatever happened to her?
oh wait.. she got old, fat and sweary

Anyways, we have never been in a car, alone, for a solid eight hours. It was marvelous. We have a bit of a past together. The romantic portion was short-lived and didn't end gracefully at all, but we managed to remain close friends for over 35 years. And I could not be any more thankful. The fact that he met his future wife shortly after our breakup helped. I love her, too.

our 24 hour trek began with a beauty shot out of a tunnel

Our car ride was amazing. Dennis and I discussed all the elephants that have been lurking in the room for a Stone Age. He got to ask me everything he has been holding in for decades. We rehashed snapshots from our past life. It is incredible how much I have forgotten or misremember of our brief time together and ensuing college years. I swear he's wrong on some points, but no matter. Apparently I was a lot more forthcoming with my opinions and such. Imagine that. :)

The cool thing is there was no hurt or pain, just a fondness for our past selves and the silliness of youth. We laughed. A lot. Especially over the drama of it all. It was extremely therapeutic and absolutely delightful. And we will never speak of them again. LOL

there is so much wrong with this
it's good luck to kiss this bear
no. it's not.
we just made this shit up
transporting kim kardashan's butt

One of the great things about our journey was stopping at random shit we found amusing or interesting. We had no hard and fast timetable. Dennis was game to back track for me to snap a funny sign, seek out a better view of a frozen river or eat lunch in a classic old dining car.

retro lunch

even these hoopies know enough to use heinz
seriously. get with it boston!
menu cover redo
proving middle aged white men
CAN jump

After dropping off the car with his son, we ate at another diner that was all about deco overload before we boarded a train in Poughkeepsie bound for New York City, where we had four hours to kill before hopping on the 11pm Megabus home.

'allo hudson valley

pano of the stately culinary institute

appropriate banners decorate the campus
road buddies

ever at the ready to serve up some
delicious diner fare to sooth all your hangover needs
because really, aren't drunken clientele an
all-night diner's bread and buttah
tres deco
most folks drop a deuce
this creeper drops a … pumpkin
just add this to the list of shit that weirds me out
one-take father son jump
seriously, this new iPhone camera is amazing
one shot, that's it
i may have to have people jump more just to dick with them

busting outta this rural setting for the big city

We hit up three bars between 3rd Avenue and Broadway near Union Square, photo bombing clueless, self-absorbed 20 somethings, downing craft beers/cocktails and laughing over one stupid thing or another. It's so great to know it is still so easy to hang with Dennis.

He's my buddy forever.

the majesty of grand central
no bathing your stanky ass in grand central toilets, mofos

the most beautiful building in ny
stop #2 wherein we photo bombed
a gaggle of self-absorbed 20-somethings
who probably STILL haven't noticed us in the background

someone needs to take his meds

the empire state informing us it's cold
um... yeah!

it is balooooooooon!!

flatiron building art exhibit
of war journalists
their notes are afixed to the helmets

Heartland Brewery
the third stop on our way to the megabus

disturbing things you see at the Megabus stop

sunrise to sunrise
home sweet home
where the eff's my bed?!?

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