Sunday, January 30, 2011

Things I've learned over the years, down the stretch to Signing Day...

Things I've learned over the years, down the stretch to Signing Day...

College Football Recruiting Musings, courtesy of my pal Brandon Huffman of

That kid who decommitted from a fan's school has no character, lacks integrity and can't keep his word...

The kid who just committed to a fan's school but decommitted from another, made a good, thoughtful and well-meaning decision...

The 5-11 quarterback that a fan's school just got is the next Drew Brees or Doug Flutie...

The 5-11 quarterback that a fan's rival school got sucks because he's too short...

The kid who's committed to a fan's school but takes visits elsewhere is a headcase who can't make up his mind and is not loyal...

The kid who's committed to a fan's school, takes other official visits, but sticks with his original commit made a good, thoughtful decision...

Fans hate when kids hold press conferences...But fans love when kids hold press conferences and they announce for their school...

Fans find the hat game tired...unless their hat is the one the kid pulls on...

A fan's schools commits are always underrated...their rivals are always overrated...

A fan's commits are never ranked too high. They are always ranked too low. Same with a parent's kid...

17-year old kids should know what they want when they commit to a school. They aren't allowed to change their minds...

When a kid picks a fan school because of the parents, the parents showed great guidance, council and wisdom...

When a kid picks another school because of parents, the parents need to stop interfering and let their kids make the decision...

When a kid picks the hometown school, he's a hometown hero...when he picks another school, he's a pariah...

When a kid picks another school, the fan's school ALWAYS "pulled the offer"...

And of course, the most common line- when a kid spurns a fans school, WDWHA...

When a kid commits as a Junior in the hopes of scaring off a Senior commit then later decommits he is public enemy #1...

Kids that commit as freshman or sophomore, are mature beyond their years...when said kid decommits, he's immature...

When a school doesn't give all it's scholies because guys are turning them down, the school wanted to hold them for next year anyway...

A fan can tell a lot about a kid from his picture...despite never talking to him...

True fact- more adults have their hearts broken by the choice of a 17 year old, than they did when they were a 17-year old themselves.

And there you have it!

It's almost here ... Signing day is this Wednesday, February 2nd! And then on February 3rd it starts ... All. Over. Again.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Retro Friday ... Today

Happy Friday to you all! Today's Retro Friday features the song "Today" ... and the band The Smashing Pumpkins!

The Smashing Pumpkins probably fall on the tail end of what I would consider "retro" music, but they are a band that means a lot to me. And the story goes like this ...

The girls that I met at my first job out of college are still some of the closest friends I have. In fact, one of these girls, "K", went with me on the retreat that I attended two weeks ago. Here we are ... almost 20 years later ... and we are still the best of friends.

These girls turned me on to the band The Smashing Pumpkins, and what a great band they were. They had some fantastic songs during the early 90's including ... Today, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Tonight Tonight, Zero, Disarm, and 1979. I would definitely say the soundtrack of that year of my life has to be filled with a lot of Smashing Pumpkins songs. And whenever I hear a Smashing Pumpkins song, the first thing I think of is them and that period in our lives.

Now when "K" got married a few years later, I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. It was a beautiful wedding. She got married in this historic log cabin church in Illinois. We went to downtown St. Louis to take wedding pictures in this historic neighborhood. And the reception was one of the best I've ever been to, especially because it included all of our best friends.

When the DJ played the song "Today" ... we all formed a circle on the dance floor, locked arms and started swaying and dancing and singing the song. That was our song. I know that there were probably many people there that were thinking ... "what are they doing?" But we didn't care. It was our song ... it was "K's" day ... and we were living life to the fullest.

When we were on retreat a couple of weeks ago, she repeated that story to me. It's funny how one song can bring back such specific memories.

Okay "K" ... this is for you! Today is the greatest day I've ever known ...

Enjoy "Today" by the Smashing Pumpkins!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pittsburghese Part 2

Yesterday, in honor of my hometown, Pittsburgh Steelers making the Super Bowl once again … I highlighted a few nouns from the Pittsburghese vernacular.

Yeah, yeah ... I'm back at it again! Today I'm going to take a look at some of the verbs and key phrases of Pittsburghese! Sure, it's all English, but trust me ... if you hear one of these phrases come out of some one's mouth, you are sure to know they are from Pittsburgh!

My list will show how it’s pronounced, and then the actual word/definition.


Heat ups: Left overs.
Hit the bricks: Leave. Get lost.
How's abaht: How about, with feeling.
Inna: In the.
Ize: I was.
Jimminy Chrismas!: Term used by old fogies when something goes wrong.
Kimm'awn: Come on.
Living Daylights: Referring to a beating.
Morrenat: More than that.
Nunya: None of your.
Open da light: To turn on a lighting fixture in the room.
Go redd the table: Go set the table
I redd the house: I cleaned the house.
See yas!: Words for goodbye.
Sick'n tard: Sick and tired.
Sposda: Supposed to.
That's it, Fort Pitt: That's right or it's all over.
Took a heart attach: Had a heart attack.
Yer-in-yer-aht!: You are in, and then, you are out.


Axst: Asked.
Dethaw: Defrost.
Dickerin': To bargain.
Divvy up: To divide or separate.
Git: Get.
Loaf: To hang out.
Member: Remember.
Ooglin': Staring.
Rasslin: Wrestling.
Redd off: Clear off.
Redd up: To tidy up.
Roon, Roont, or Rooned Ruin, and its variations: Root'n Searching, Looking
Scootch: Move over.
Scroonrahnd: Screwing around.
Shinny: Climb.
Slepin: Overslept.
Stop up: Come over.
Worsh: Wash.
Yar: You Are.

The funniest thing to me about this Pittsburgh vernacular, is that if you are from Pittsburgh, and are anywhere in the world ... you'd recognize another Pittsburgher instantly! But that is a story for tomorrow!

Until then ... Cheers!

Monday, January 24, 2011


In honor of the Steelers making the Super Bowl once again, and my hometown of Pittsburgh PA … I’m going to spend a couple days this week telling Pittsburgh stories.

Today, I’m going to start a multiple-part series on the idea of Pittsburghese.

If you are not from Pittsburgh, or have never been to Pittsburgh, you may be thinking, what the heck is Pittsburghese?

Well, Pittsburghese is the language used by the natives of Pittsburgh. Now you’re thinking to yourself … what?? Don’t these people speak English like the rest of us? Yes, yes they do … but they have their own special twist on the English language.

Today I’m going to highlight a few Nouns of the Pittsburghese vernacular. And tomorrow I’ll take a look at some verbs and key phrases!

My list will show how it’s pronounced, and then the actual word/definition.

Arn: Iron. Pittsburghers usually pump or drink theirs.
Babushka: Scarf worn on head to keep out the chill.
Beyoura: Bureau (chest of drawers, dresser).
Bitzle: A piece of dirt on the floor.
Blinkers: Turn signals.
Buggy: Shopping Cart.
Burm: Side of the road, shoulder.
Canipshun: To have a fit or get upset.
Cellar: Basement.
Church key: Bottle Opener.
Clodhoppers: Work boots.
Cubbord: Cupboard.
Cut: Slice of Pizza.
Dahntahn: Downtown, the Golden Triangle.
Davenport: Sofa or couch.
Dinggy: Small boat or dinghy.
Doohickey: Object you can’t name at the present time.
Dupa: Your back side.
Face Rag: Wash cloth.
Fridgedare: Refrigerator.
Galumbki: Stuffed Cabbages.
Gumband: Rubber bands.
Hankerin: Need or want.
Hanky: Handkerchief.
Haus Kote: House coat or short robe.
Hizzy: Extreme emotional outbreak.
Hoagie: A big sandwich.
Icebox: Refrigerator.
Igl: Eagle.
Imp ‘n Arn: Iron City beer and a shot of Imperial Whiskey.
Jumbo: Bologna.
Kranz: Crayons.
Lickin’: Spanking.
Meer/Mirra: Mirror.
Minced Ham: Bologna.
Monongehela Highball: Glass of tap water. (Yuck … don’t drink … ever! Haha)
Mum: Mom.
Mush Ball: Softball.
Oleo: Margarine.
Pahr: Power.
Picksburgh: Pittsburgh.
Pie-anna: Piano.
Pigs in a blanket: Stuffed cabbage.
Potata: Potato.
Progie: Pierogi, a case of dough filled with a savory filling (as of meat, cheese, or vegetables) and cooked by boiling and then panfrying.
Spiket: Water tap.
Still Mills: Steel Mills.
Stoop: Concrete steps in front of your Northside house where a porch should be.
Stree Car: Street Car/Trolley.
Tahl: Towel.
Tahr: Tire.
Windas: Windows.
Worsh Rag: Wash cloth.
Yinzer: A Pittsburgh native who talks right.

Okay ... I could go on forever with this ... but there is a taste of some of the Pittsburghese nouns!
Until tomorrow ...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Retro Friday ... Dead Man's Party

Geesh, I almost let another Friday get away from me. But alas, it's still Friday, and so here it is!!

Today's Retro Friday features the song "Dead Man's Party" ... and the band Oingo Boingo!

When I lived in Los Angeles, back when I was in High School, our radio station of choice was KROQ ... ROQ of the 80's. And every Fall they sponsored this Halloween Concert/Bash at Irvine Meadows which featured the band Oingo Boingo. The theme of these Halloween concerts was "Dia de los muertos," and the shows were always memorable, to say the least. And the favorite song of the night during the Halloween Shows was "Dead Man's Party."

There's not a Halloween that goes by that I don't call some radio station and request "Dead Man's Party." They sometimes play it, but often times not ... but Halloween isn't Halloween to me without Oingo Boingo and "Dead Man's Party. It's just one of those songs that makes me smile!

To me, Oingo Boingo was one of the quintessential 80's bands. After their final Halloween show at Irvine Meadows in 1993, they were called the best KROQ band of the 80's, and for me they truly were!

I hear there is a tribute band in L.A. called Dead Man's Party, and I'd love to check them out the next time I'm in L.A.!

Okay, enough of my blabbering!! Enjoy a little "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joy Comes from Unexpected Places

We often think that we know what will make us, or those around us happy; but often times joy comes from very unexpected places!

One of my daughter's very good friends got two mice about six months ago ... and ever since this girl got these mice my daughter has been DYING to get mice of her own. Mice?? Really?? As if our house is not enough of a zoo already. We have two dogs, one cat (used to be two until recently), an aquarium full of sea creatures (including a shark and an eel) ... and now she wants to add two MICE to the mix. Ughh.

I just really wasn't too sure about this mouse thing. My nieces had a couple of mice a while back, and my youngest niece had been bitten by one of the mice and contracted some rare illness which landed her in the local children's hospital for quite some time, and so you can understand my trepidation of the whole mouse idea.

But after WEEKS of my daughter pestering us RELENTLESSLY, we finally gave in. She had saved all of the money to buy the cage, the food, the toys, the mice... the whole nine yards. She even had money to spare to purchase future food, and plain and simple we were running out of stalling tactics. So last weekend my husband took her to the pet store to get her pet mice.

I was on a retreat all weekend with my church, so when I got home on Sunday, the mice were all moved in and comfy in my daughter's room, but apparently they were still a bit skittish, and every time she put her hand in the cage to pick them up they would hide. I kept teasing her by going "here kitty, kitty, kitty" every time I'd go in her room ... threatening to show the cat her new mice, but of course I was kidding. (It was just too funny to see her reaction though!!)

So last night, my daughter's friend (from whom the mice idea originated) came over to play and see the new mice. And lo and behold, she puts her hand in the cage, and the mice come to her right away. So she gets the mice out, and lets my daughter hold them and have them get used to her scent, and now all is good! She can get the mice out by herself, no problem, and she is the happiest kid in the world. And her friend will forever be the "mouse whisperer!"

She was SO happy last night. After her friend left, and after we had eaten dinner, she gave me a big hug and said, "Mom, I love you so much. Thank you so much for letting me buy the mice. I love them SO much."

Who knew two mice would bring my child that much joy! Well, there you have it ... joy does come from very unexpected places!

Where has your joy come from today?


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ... Social Media Fun

Wordless Wednesday

Social Media ads designed after my favorite TV show. Can you guess what it is?


Taking a Daily Pause

I went on a Ladies Retreat this past weekend with my church, and as always ... learned a lot about myself, as well as about my faith.

One of the things that we discussed this weekend was about how journaling can enrich your spiritual life. And though at times I do use this blog as *that* kind of a journal, I think I am also going to start a written one as well. I have volumes of journals that I kept in High School and College ... but when I got married and had kids, journaling kind of fell by the wayside.

Another thing that we discussed this weekend was about taking a daily, "Holy" pause ... also known as meditation. I already do this pretty well, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded every now and then of the need for this daily quiet time.

So I have a dear relative, who I view as more of a friend than as a relative, that has gotten into the habit of texting me (and others I presume) a daily bible verse ... which I happen to enjoy. So yesterday I decided to share my "Holy Pause" with her, that I found in this spiritual book for women.

Faith Flourishes in the Dark

Trials, temptations, spiritual dryness and suffering are all opportunities for our faith to grow stronger. We can, of course, neglect these opportunities and allow our faith to wither and die. But those who praise God in life's difficulties will experience the opposite effect.

— from Real Women, Real Saints

I thought it was a nice little reading, and I was excited to share it with her, thinking that she'd like it as well.

To which her response was ... "And?"


So I respond to her ... Just sharing a "Holy Pause."

And she responded ... "hmmm."


I'm not really quite sure how to take that. I was really excited about sharing this with her, and her response was not exactly what I was expecting. I guess that's not to say that she did not like it. Maybe she is in such a place in her life that this reading was not as moving or meaningful to her as it was to me? Here I was trying to share something nice with her ... do something good in return for all of the wonderful passages that she's sent me ... and all I ended up was being stressed out that I had somehow hurt her feelings or offended her. Aghh.

Which brings me to the next thing that I was reminded of over the weekend, which I need to work on being much better at, because quite honestly I suck at this.

Let go, let God.

I have such a hard time letting go of things. I am the A number 1 worrier. I worry about everything ... regardless of whether it is in my control or not. And I truly need to make a conscious effort to let go of the little things that I cannot control ... and only worry about the stuff where I can truly make a difference.

Which calls to mind my favorite prayer of all!

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Have a wonderful day, where every you are ... and remember ... Let Go. Let God!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Music Rewind ... Jane Says!

(Last Friday just totally got away from me ... so last week's Retro Friday is appearing today as Monday Music Rewind!)

Today's Monday Music Rewind features the song Jane Says ... and the band Jane's Addiction.

I remember being really, really into Jane's Addiction my senior year in High school, and like most High School things, it revolved around a boy!

There was this boy that I had this HUGE crush on, and he was the epitome of cool. Black leather jacket. Black boots. Long-ish dark hair. Motorcycle. Football player (defense, not the QB). Really, he couldn't have been much cooler. He was all into reading these Clive Barker books ... which then of course meant that I liked those Clive Barker books. And I remember him being into the band Jane's Addiction. So I ran out and bought the cassette tape (yeah, as if that doesn't date me!), and the cover art on this particular album was controversial, to say the least, and I remember having to hide it from my parents!

To this day, I LOVE Jane's Addiction. And every time I hear one of their songs from this particular album, it really brings me back to my Senior year. Good times!

The story about the boy doesn't have a happy ending though. He had a tragic string of events occur to him, and instead of becoming the famed, brooding writer that I was sure he'd be, he's serving time. But I digress!

Here's a little Jane's Addiction for you listening pleasure! Jane Says:

And one more ... Been Caught Stealing:


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day!

I'm not sure which is more exciting ... the anticipation you have that there *may* be a snow day the next day ... or waking up in the morning to find out there actually *is* a snow day. Probably the latter, but either way, what is better than a snow day??

And if you are lucky ... you'll have a big test on your snow day, and that means you get one more day to cram information into your head. Which is what happened to my daughter today! She was half-heartedly studying last night for her Social Studies test today, as I'm sure in the back of her mind she was hoping that today would be a snow day. I, however, was not so optimistic, so I made her study all the same ... but sure enough, the phone rang at 6:00am this morning, announcing that all of the schools in our district had cancelled classes today! Woo hoo!!!!!

(photo courtesy of Jeff Andrea, @TheCaptain11)

I remember during the second semester of my Senior Year at Notre Dame ... I had my classes scheduled as such. I had ONE class on M-W-F, and FOUR classes on TU-TH. This made Tuesdays and Thursdays a marathon day, but the "sprint" it created on Monday-Wednesday-Friday was heavenly!!

So this particular weekend, a big snow was predicted. They were always predicting *big* snows in South Bend, but South Bend is always prepared for *big* snows (hello, Lake Effect snow), that we never had classes cancelled due to weather. Never. Not even once in the three and a half years that I had thus far been at Notre Dame.

The snow began to fall on Sunday ... it snowed all day and all night on Sunday. Kept snowing on Monday. And when we woke up on Tuesday there was FOUR FEET of snow on the ground. I kid you not. The doors to our dorm opened OUT, and there was so much snow that had accumulated overnight, that someone ended up jumping out of a second story window (into a cushion of fluffy snow) to dig us out!!

This had to have been the most beautiful day in South Bend that I have ever seen! The campus was covered in the most beautiful layer of snow. I took an entire roll of film (yes, roll of film!!) that day, and I've never seen the campus so pretty since. Not even on the perfect fall day. This was amazing.

And then we proceeded to steal trays out of the dining hall (shh!) and go sledding on Holy Cross hill. Absolutely the perfect day.

These days the perfect day pretty much consists of sitting in my comfy chair with my coffee and looking out at the snow ... knowing that I don't have to drive in it ... but that was pretty much the perfect college snow day! And to top it off ... I missed FOUR CLASSES that day. Rad.

Okay ... I hope where ever you are ... you are having the perfect snow day as well!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Mad Food Game

My friend E and I have a lot in common. We are both from California. We both love sports ... Football in particular. We both work in the Marketing field. And we both have "Mad Food Game" as she likes to call it. I have to be careful with my "Mad Food Game" though, or these days it turns into "Mad Weight Gain!"

Well ... last week was a "Mad Food Game" week, no doubt! Hubby and the kids were on a road trip to visit his Mother for a week, and it seems as though all I did last week was eat!!

Thursday night ... dinner with my two Social Media Goddess friends J and A.

Friday night ... dinner and a movie with my bestie S.

Saturday night ... dinner and drinks with my long time pal M.

Sunday ... brunch and shopping with two ladies that I've known for almost 20 years (wow.)

So basically I ate my way through the week, but damn was it fun. Lots of laughing. Lots of reminiscing. Lots of story sharing. Lots of venting. Oh, and did I mention shopping? Great times, indeed!

Now it's back to reality. Crabby/sleepy kids ... homework ... Mom taxi. I love it, don't get me wrong. But it sure was fun eating my way through last week!

I usually do a great job at snapping pics of my "Mad Food Game" but somehow I only have two pics from last week ... but here they are!

These are from Thursday night's adventure at 1111 Mississippi ...

The first dish is this Wild Mushroom and Polenta dish (YUM)

And for dessert ... a St. Louis favorite ... Gooey Butter Cake (OMG)

Okay ... back to reality ... and counting calories! lol


Friday, January 7, 2011

Retro Fridays ... Sweet Soul Sister

It's time again for another edition of Retro Friday! Today's featured song/artist is Sweet Soul Sister by The Cult.

I believe it was my Senior year at Notre Dame when The Cult, and a hot new artist Lenny Kravitz came in concert to South Bend. They played in the basketball arena, and there really is not a bad seat in the house.

(The Girls circa 1993)

The Cult opened for Lenny Kravitz, and while The Cult was performing, Lenny came out on stage behind them wearing nothing but a feather boa. Wow. Then, when Lenny came out on stage to do his set, The Cult came out behind him holding up these big signs that read ... "suck my big black ........"

Well, you can fill in the blank there.

I have NO idea how they got away with that at Notre Dame, of all places, but apparently they did.

It was an awesome concert, and I still to this day love The Cult.

If you're a youngin' and have not heard The Cult before ... definitely check them out!

Some of my favorites are:

Sweet Soul Sister

Fire Woman

She Sells Sanctuary