Saturday, July 31, 2010

Favorite Concert Photos

I've been feeling nostalgic lately. I spent today looking at pictures on my flickr page and I got to thinking, that in the past few years of blogging I've come along way in my technological life. I acquired a digital camera and I've taken loads of concert photos. I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures with you.

Some of the artists I've seen in concert over the last 7  years include, Peter Noone, Davy Jones, The Moody Blues, Elvis Costello, Rockapella, The ReBeats, The Buckinghams, The Grass Roots, The Turtles, Lady Antebellum and Sarah Marince.

I think the best shows that I've seen weren't in big venues, but in smaller places, like The Palace Theater in Greensburg or The State Theater in Uniontown.

Gordon Lightfoot The Palace Theater 6/16/2010

Rockapella The Palace Theater 11/18/2008

Peter Noone Wheeling Island 8/29/2008

Lady Antebellum Show 147
Lady Antebellum Fayette County Fair 8/2/2008

Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith Byham Theater 4/27/2008

Davy Jones Falconi Field 7/29/2006

Gary Puckett Hershey Park 6/4/2006

The Moody Blues Borgata 6/16/2006

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vampires Suck

I don't usually go for movies that are totally stupid, however when the mindless movie takes pot shots at Twilight, well then it is a movie that I definitely have to see.

Take a look at the trailer for Vampires Suck.

Oh and the scenes with the werewolves are priceless! I hope that the rest of the movie is just as funny.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Really Want To Read This Book

I've heard so much about this book, well the whole series actually, and I really want to read it, but lordy, I'm so sick of trilogies and sagas etc


Because when it comes to stuff like this I want to read them together, one right after the other. By the time I finish the books, I'll be totally burned out on the author and I probably won't enjoy the stories half as much as I would have if I would have discovered the book when it first came out.

It is kind of like Twilight. I wish I could have read the books before the movies started. My image of the characters is tainted by the casting directors bad choices. (Really bad in some cases..cough...Bella)

So the question is, should I read these and get totally involved in these three books, or just let them pass me by?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Album Review: Pamela Sunshine - Growing Up Green

Pamela Sunshine has created a fun album of environmentally-conscious songs for children of all ages. Growing Up Green was born in 1992, when the first Earth Summit was held. Pamela was invited to perform at an environmental assembly at a school in Norfolk. When she was there she noticed that many of the children were wearing badges that read “Growing Up Green.” The rest, as they say, is history.

The album’s subject matter is serious, but Pamela tackles the recycling and conservation, among many other issues, in a way that isn’t condescending or childish. All of the songs on Growing Up Green are easy to listen to, as well as infectious, thanks to Pamela’s perky singing and Gordon Maxwell’s excellent harmony vocals. This is an album that can appeal to the child in everybody.

Pamela’s musical style is very folksy, much like Peter, Paul and Mary with the childlike innocence of Shari Lewis. From the opening bars of the song “Growing Up Green,” you know that you are in for a enjoyable listen; toes will be tapping, heads will be bobbing and there will be a lot of singing along. There’s an extra bonus to giving this album a listen. You and your children might learn something.

“Garbage Free Sea” will strike a chord with most listeners. It reminds us of how important it is for the waters to remain free of garbage and other things. It’s not just the sea that she’s worried about. She tackles recycling and litter in the song “Litter Matters.” Once the song ends, you’ll think twice before tossing a candy wrapper carelessly to the ground. She also reminds us to conserve water on “Turn Off The Tap.”

Pamela delivers her message sweetly in each song no matter what style she sings it in, from a fun reggae tune, to an upbeat country sounding tune, to a fun spoken-word song. That spoken-word track is “Ten Empty Bottle Cans,” which has a double message. It reminds us that littering is bad and recycling is good, and this message comes via a fun little rhyme that the kiddies will be reciting for hours after listening to it.

The album closes with the frolicking “Very Green Song.” It really doesn’t get much greener than this tune, as she sings “Green, green green green. Green green green green. This is a very green song.” Now that’s a lot of green! Its message is simple, “We can make a change, if we’re all green.”

It is wonderful when children’s music can accomplish more than just the basic entertainment purpose, and Pamela Sunshine’s Growing Up Green serves two purposes: to entertain and to educate. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world could listen to these sweet and simple tunes, take the message that each song contains, and put that message to use in their lives? It would make the world a better place.

Pamela makes being green fun, with her songs that teach why we need to be good to our planet. Now who was it that said, “It isn’t easy being green”?

The One Thing That Always Takes Me To My Happy Place

What is it about Mika that just always makes me happy? I haven't figured it out yet, but there are a few things I think might cause the smiles.

1. Those big beautiful brown puppy dog eyes.

2. That damn catchy pop music that he sings so well.

3. Have I mentioned that he's as cute as a button?

I almost feel dirty lusting after him, even though he's in his mid twenties! He looks like a little kid, albeit a very sexy little kid.

See what I mean. I sound dirty.

Damn you Mika! Damn you for being so cute and innocent looking.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Once Again I'm Annoyed

There's a commercial for Budget Cars airing here in the Burgh. Its a local auto mall type place with all cars under $10,000.00.

Some budget! But that's another rant.

The thing that annoys me about the ad is that the spokesperson for the dealer is one of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Erm, like a NFL player ever has to buy a budget car? I'm sure even second string players are well compensated on the team.

Couldn't they hire an actor to do the commercial?

Why would a football player I've never heard of, convince me to make my next car purchase from these people?

Sometimes I wonder why I turn on the TV.

Oh yeah..I remember now...

For this

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Annoying Print Ads

Fruit of the Loom has a plus size line of undies and they are doing an ad celebrating the fact that some women are curvaceous. (I think that's a nice way of saying chubby)

Here are two of the ads you'll find in magazines everywhere.

There's no doubt that these women are both beautiful, however, if we are celebrating curves, why do we have to airbrush them to give them the appearance of having a flat stomach? It defeats the purpose of the ad in my eyes. Celebrate the women for being beautiful the way they are. Stop airbrushing!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Reason You Should Watch Scoundrels

I love Scoundrels. Not because it is great tv, so much as it has a lot of eye candy, and when it comes to tv the eye candy tends to be the top reason why I watch. (You know I never would have watched White Collar if Matt Bomer wasn't in the show!)

Well I have a Scoundrels hottie.

David James Elliot who plays the jailed hubby, Wolf West.

The cutie is Patrick Fleuger who plays Logan West.

Its a shame the show isn't quite as good as it could be, but it is still a fun hour of tv. I guess I'll enjoy it until ABC inevitably pulls the plug, like it will likely do with The Gates. Funny, I like The Gates, and there's really no eye candy in that show.

Monday, July 19, 2010

TV Sinks To A New Low

There's a show on ABC called Dating In The Dark. I only had to see the trailer to know that ABC has reached a new low. This kind of garbage really proves that American's will watch anything.

I don't think TV has to be all prestine and sweet a'la Donna Reed and Full House, but stuff like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and now this, proves that we can really be a disgusting bunch of individuals that will do anything for a buck, or a million bucks. (Most of the contestants don't take the trip down the aisle EVER)

But back to this new piece of garbage, which believe it or not is a show that originated in Switzerland!

The premise is interesting, contestants date in a darkroom where they have a chance to connect with members of the opposite sex without ever seeing what he/she looks like. It is a test in psychology, which tests the theory of compatibility. Listen up E-Whoremony!

And we all know that the type of people they pick for these shows are all about "SHALLOW" so if they choose to finally meet someone out of the dark room, there will be a lot of disappointment if the other person isn't sufficiently hot and this theory will be debunked in a few short episodes.

I can't believe anyone could watch this, but I feel that way about most of the reality based shows that the networks shove down our throats.

I want real TV damn it and this is just pathetic. I think even Mtv could do better.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Restaurant Review: Century Inn, Scenery Hill, PA

If you are driving down The National Highway in Southwestern, PA, there's a chance you'll drive through the picturesque town, Scenery Hill. This town if full of quaint little shops and one very special restaurant, Century Inn.

Century Inn has been around since 1794. Its a stunning old building and and even more stunning restaurant. It is one of the Pittsburgh area's finest. That means in some ways it is pricey, but if you come for lunch it isn't.

20100717_12The restaurant is like a trip back in time, with the decor of the days following the revolutionary war. My friend and I were seated in the back room with a stunning view of the gardens and just a hint of the glorious gazebo.

My meal consisted of a cup of vichyssoise (cold potato leek soup) which was delicious. I think I'm a fan of cold soups now.

For lunch I had a slice of ham and swiss quiche, which was truly delightful. The crust was tasty and flaky and made me dream of dessert. I'm not usually a 4 or 5 star restaurant girl so I was also totally amused at seeing my food plated.


It is definitely a place I'd recommend if you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary. It is reasonably priced for lunch but more pricey for dinners. However for a special occasion I'm sure it is worth every penny. For more pictures of the restaurant and the town click here

Century Inn on Urbanspoon

Stuff I Like Saturday

It's been a while since I've done one of these, so here's a round up of all the things I'm into right now:

  • Feeling good: the doc advised me to give up caffeine recently for health issues. While it's been a real beast to kick the habit, it's definitely helping said health issues. Guess it's a trade-off.
  • Decaf green tea: a real life saver right now
  • La Roux: awesome electropop artist. Her single "Bulletproof" is starting to get some buzz, and it's only the tip of the goodness iceberg. Check out her self-titled album.
  • D&D: yep, I'm a big enough nerd that I play Dungeons and Dragons. My friends and I have a campaign going, and I'm super pumped to meet up with them tomorrow.
  • blueberries: never though I liked them until recently. I suppose I never gave them a chance before.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot Brown Meet Turkey Devonshire

There was a recipe for a Hot Brown Sandwich in the American Profile this week. Looking at the ingredients, it reminded me of another favorite of mine, Turkey Devonshire, which I get almost every time I go to The Union Grill in Oakland.

I'm trying to figure out how different the two are, so I'm going to share some recipes.

Here's the Hot Brown that was published in the paper insert.

This rich, indulgent sandwich recipe starts with thinly sliced turkey breast arranged on white toast. A generous amount of Parmesan sauce is poured over the top so the sandwich sits in a shallow puddle. Next it’s run under a broiler to brown the top and immediately before leaving the kitchen the sandwich is decorated with bacon and tomatoes.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% low-fat milk, heated
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch coarse ground black pepper
4 slices white bread, toasted
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked turkey breast
4 slices bacon, cooked
2 small tomatoes, cut in wedges
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour. Gradually stir in milk; cook and stir over medium heat until sauce thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add egg yolk, 1/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Heat broiler. Place 1 slice of toast on each of two ovenproof serving plates. Cut remaining toasts diagonally in half and arrange 2 pieces on either size of whole pieces on plates.. Cover with turkey and pour sauce over tops. Sprinkle with paprika and remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Broil until speckled browned and bubbly. Cross 2 pieces of bacon on top of each sandwich and sprinkle with tomatoes. Serves 2.

Recipe by Jean Kressy, Ashburnham, Mass.
Nutritional Information
Per serving: 600 calories, 24g fat, 45g prot., 52g carbs., 3g fiber, 2220mg sodium.

Now here's the recipe for Turkey Devonshire


o 1 slice toast
o 3 slices crisp bacon
o 5 thin slices cooked turkey breast
o 1/2 cup butter
o 1 cup flour
o 1/4 lb grated cheddar cheese
o 1 pint chicken broth
o 1 pint hot milk
o 1 teaspoon salt
o 1 to taste parmesan cheese
o 1 to taste paprika


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Fry bacon and remove from pan.
3. Drain.
4. Set aside.
5. Melt ¾ stick butter in deep pan and add flour, stirring constantly.
6. Add chicken broth.
7. Stir.
8. Add hot milk.
9. Stir.
10. Add cheese and salt.
11. Bring to boil.
12. Reduce heat.
13. Cook slowly for 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
14. Cool to lukewarm.
15. Whip cheese sauce with wire beater until smooth.
16. Place 1 slice toast in a casserole dish and top with 3 slices bacon.
17. Add 5 slices turkey.
18. Cover with the whipped cheese sauce.
19. Sprinkle with a little melted butter, Parmesan cheese, and paprika.
20. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

I'm pretty sure the Devonshire I had at the Union Grill had tomato, which made it a Hot Devonshire perhaps?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Must Watch Summer TV

I love the summer/winter seasons on the telly. There's so much on right now that I'm really not missing my regular season shows.

So what's on the Tube now?

White Collar the show with the hunky Matt Bomer. You can see it on USA @ 9 pm EST. Ladies, bring your drool buckets.

How can you not love that face?

Psych retuns Wednesday @ 10. This dramady is too good for mere words. It's starting its fifth season this week. Can I get a Squee for that?

~ gratuitous James Roday picture

Next up is Friday night's Eureka @ 9 on Syfy. Ah fuck it, its Sci-fi. Will someone please inform the asshats at the network that. This is one of two awesome shows on this otherwise blah network. Plus Carter is awesome

Syfy also has the darker drama, Warehouse 13 on Tuesday at 9, which is up against White Collar. Bad Bad Bad. Its a good thing Syfy airs all their shows over and over, because this one really isn't to be missed. It is so freaking ODD!

If that's not enough, Sunday has The Gates and Scoundrels, both shows I highly recommend when it comes to fluff tv. Scoundrels is the better of the two shows but The Gates is really amusing in the vampires, mummies and things that go bump in the night.

So grab some popcorn and sit down in front of the telly, cos there's some great tv on this summer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Restaurant Review: Indigo Joe's Triadelphia, WV

Yesterday I made a second stop to Indigo Joe's in Triadelphia, WV. It is a small franchise restaurant, a little like Chili's or Damon's. The place has a very bright friendly atmosphere and the food is really quite good.

They are currently running a special where you get an appetizer (spinach artichoke dip w/chips) and a choice of 2 entrees out of 5 and a small plate of cheesecake minis all for $20.00.

The choices aren't as great as places like Applebee's who have offered similar specials but the food is really good. If you like ribs, chicken parmigiana, chicken tenders, steak salad or salmon, you'll do well to order the special.

I got the ribs and Mmmm they are so good. They are served with either a baked potato or fries and steamed veggies (so you can pretend like you had something healthy.)

The meat was fall of the bone tender and the sauce just the right amount of spicy not to offend a finicky pallet. The real star was the fries. Oh they were so good. Not too thin and not to thick with a touch of seasoning. Mmmm mmm nommy.

Then there was dessert. A bit skimpy yes, but not on flavor. Four little cheesecake bites and some whipped creme and a cherry.

Gorgeous and tasty! The only problem was sharing those little cheesecake bites. They were too good to give away! This is definitely a great quick place to stop and eat. (especially if you can't get into Cheddar's Casual Cafe down the road)

Indigo Joe's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Movie Review: Despicable Me

If you are thinking that Despicable Me is just another 3-D animated film that you can live without seeing, think again.

This is one of the first animated film that really makes you feel good the whole way through. There's no guilty feelings attached, or at least not a whole mess of guilty feelings.

Sure Gru's mom doesn't quite show him the love he deserves. (That's the only bit of sad feelings you have in the movie) Gru incidentally is played by Steve Carell.

Gru is trying to be one of the greatest evil people on the planet, but things just don't seem to be going his way. There's a new evil dude in town, "Vector" who has managed to steal a pyramid and replace it with an inflatable replica!
This gets Gru going. He assembles his minions, which really are too cute to be minions, to help me steal the moon. However Vector's father is president of the Bank of Evil and cuts Gru off and he has to find funding for his evil-doings on his own.

And that's where the three orphans come in. These girls first come to Gru's door to sell cookies and he sees them selling cookies to Vector and the light bulb goes off. He adopts the girls, but doesn't expect to find himself coming to love them. Though a series of ups and downs Gru ends up not being such a despicable guy after all. But I won't tell you how that happens, that would spoil things for you. You just have to go to the movies and see this one. It is well worth the $8.00 to see.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rollbacks! My Ass!

It really is hard not to shop at Walmart. I hate the store with a passion, but I really couldn't live without it. They have great prices on frozen foods, books, music, dvds and other stuff I need to survive. Much better than Giant Eagle or any of the other supermarkets.

What I hate about the store, beside the obvious (long lines, scary employees etc) is there little Rollback tactic. The way the store tells it, you would think they were lowering their prices on these items permanently, but no! That's not the case. It really is a glorified sale. It lasts longer than the typical grocery store sale, but when it is over, up go the the prices.

I love when the Rollup prices but keep them lower than the regular price so that they can say that they have the lowest.

Case in point: Pepsi and Coke 24 packs. For the last 3 months you could buy these products for $5.00. They rolled back the prices and this was a great deal too. I went to Walmart yesterday and the sign about each said $5.98 was $6.98. Ok, so last week, they took the rollback away, apparently and lowered the price to the typical sale price for Pepsi and Coke cubes.


Do they think we're stupid? I was at the store a week and a half ago and the price was $5.00. Which is why they aren't using the Rollback logo on that one, but do they really think we're nuts and won't notice that extre 98 cents they tacked on all of a sudden?

They did something similar with Purina Indoor Catfood. It's usually $12.54 for the 16.5 lb bag (WTF happened to 20 lb bags btw). They lowered and raised and lowered and raised the prices. I won't buy my catfood there anymore. At least at Giant Eagle and Petsmart I know what I'm paying before I go into the store.

This rant brought to you by the letter "R" for Ripoffs

Monday, July 5, 2010

Angry Nerds Shut Up

It's no secret that Sci-Fi (can't bring myself to call it SyFy) hasn't been too kind to its former key demographic lately. Swapping out.... well, sci-fi with WWE SmackDown! might not have been the best choice, I'll give you that. But suddenly I'm not on the side of the angry nerds now; in fact, I'm getting a little sick of them. I'm not going to break out Ye Olde Moar Important Issues!!!1! Troupe ("Omg, there's an oil spill and a war") but I still think that yesterday's Fourth of July Uproar was pretty unwarranted.

Said uproar was over the decision to swap out the annual July 4th Twilight Zone marathon with the Greatest American Hero. At first I was torn. Goodness knows I love me some Twilight Zone; it might be one of the biggest influences on my screenwriting. But from what I could remember, GAH was a decent show, right?

After yesterday, mind made up. Greatest American Hero is a fucking awesome underrated show that for some inexplicable reason hasn't been seen on national TV for 15+ years. It has the right balance of camp and unironic goodness that I dig, it's a better "superhero origin story" than a lot of what's being produced even today, William Katt was a decent looking man in that 70s/80s sitcom way, and it has the arguably best TV theme song ever* (though I'd really have to tie it with Hawaii 5-0).

And here's the thing. It's the 4th of fucking July. Why not, say, spend it with family, go on a cookout, see some fireworks? Or if that's not your thing, do some protest/political work/performance art about cultural imperialism or First Nations rights or hell, pick a cause. But chances are the people who are complaining the most planned to sit their duffs on the couch for 18 hours watching TV and/or playing Tom Clancy.

Now if Sci-Fi had suddenly decided, "You know what? Fuck this shit, no more Twilight Zone EVAR," then I'd see a reason to be pissed. They've explicitly said they're keeping the New Years Day marathon, which does my heart good. It seems like as much of a tradition as the New Years Eve champagne toast (and whiskey and beer and vodka and more champagne and sweet bejeebus I'm too old to do jello shots) to wake up hung over at noon and watch Rod Sterling for a few hours before mustering up the courage to venture to Waffle House.

I'm not seeing a whole lot of pro-GAH arguments out there, which is why I felt the need to even respond to the collective voice of the internet's butthurt. So you know what nerds? STFU. If you have enough of an internet connection to display said butthurt to the world, you have enough of one to torrent that shit if it's so damn important.

*My grandmother told me that she once attended a wedding that used the GAH theme. Wow. "It should've been somebody else" indeed!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Something To Ponder

I watched the 25 years of Dollywood special on Hallmark last night.

Shut up! I love Dolly, she's an awesomely sweet and talented lady, plus how can you not love someone like her? She's open and honest about herself. Good on ya Dolly!

What really got me was when Dolly did her duet with her god-daughter Miley Cyrus. They sang Jolene, and it made me rethink how I felt about Miley.

She's got a voice, but I really don't think she should be singing pop music in the vein of Britney etc. She really should stick with country pop, a'la Taylor Swift and Gloriana. When she sings that, she sounds natural.

There isn't a full clip of the performance up, but I did find an E! clip with a snippet of the duet.

Miley, give up pop and go country where you belong!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

This recipe was taken from this month's All You magazine. It is super easy, tasty and meatless. That doesn't mean its all that healthy though, unless you opt for low fat cheeses.

Ah, who cares, this stuff tastes great!! Try it!

What I do find amusing is that the picture to the left is not of ziti, but a rigatoni noodle. Can I get a LOL for an idjit that doesn't know what he's doing in the kitchen?


* 1 15-oz. container part-skim ricotta
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella
* 1 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 pound ziti (Barilla)
* 2 25-oz. jars marinara sauce (I used Giant Eagle's Market District Organic)
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves (Didn't use this as dad hates basil)


1. Combine all three cheeses and salt in a medium bowl. Rinse ziti under cold water in a colander, allowing some water to cling to pasta.

2. Mist inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place half of pasta in an even layer over bottom of cooker. Spoon half of sauce over pasta. Dot with half of cheese mixture and half of basil. Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, cheese and basil. Pour in 2/3 cup water.

3. Cover and cook on high until pasta is tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Nutritional Information

22g (sat 10g)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tubesday Top 3: Internet Music

Happy two-day belated Tubesdays, internet! I think from now on, I'm going to alternate between Tubesday and Blog Roll Day, as to avoid such lengthy gaps in posting. Anyway, onward to this edition in which folks post music on the internets.

First up is a cover of the jazz standard Summertime by a set of not-quite-teenage brothers on melodica and uke. Now I'm a sucker for anything with a melodica, but good gravy! This cover is so good it brought a tear to my eye.

Next up is a one-man multi-tracked a capella version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme. Now I don't have a complete boner for either a capella or my lost childhood of cartoons like a lot of folks my age, but I've got to give this dude props for his video ingenuity.

The last entry isn't internet music per say, but it's geeky enough to fit in. Along with the Home Movies Franz Kafka musical, this may be one of my favorite TV music moments. Earlier in the MST3K episode Pod People, the actual movie showed a similar music video with indeciferable lyrics. Here, Joel and the bots try to decipher them.

Happy Belated Tubesday, Wenches!

A Great PA Artist

I discovered Tiffany Apan on Reverbnation awhile back. She has a fantastic voice and her style crosses so many genres. She has a CD out called Poet, which I can't recommend highly enough, especially if you like to hear music that's a little bit different.

Her website describes her as being "atmospheric folk rock," whatever that may be. She's playing some dates in Northwestern PA and OH this summer and early fall, so if you are in the are in the area and you can catch her, you should. I'm sure it will be a unique experience. I only wish there was a date in there that I could catch.

You can listen to Poet streaming here

standalone player