Tag Archives: pittsburgh events

Social Media and Imaginary Friendships

4 Feb

Does social media make you feel more connected or more isolated?

For me, it’s hard to tell.  I’ve made some in-real-life friendships that were started by social media.  I can even thank social media for my marriage– a mutual friend introduced Mr. Beez to my blog, and he got to know me well online before we met in person (single ladies, take note: if he’s interested in you, he should be reading what you write.  If he doesn’t care to read what you have to say, move on!)  I’ve learned about so many cool events and creative people online, without the internet I’d have a much quieter existence.

In contrast, there are times when social media makes me feel very alone.  When I see friends post fun events they’re at online, and I’m not there, I feel a twinge of exclusion (even despite the rational part of my brain saying that you can’t be invited to everything, all the time, by everybody).  Or sometimes, when I meet a blogger I’ve been reading for a while in real life, and assume they know as much about me as I know about them, only to learn they’ve never heard of my blog (how can I even expect to know that I’m there, if I’m not leaving a comment).  Although such minor occurrences, they’re a splash of cold water reminding me that there is a difference between life online and life out in life, and the interactions between the two aren’t the same.

The most surreal online/real life dichotomy I experienced was when I made the mistake of reading internet messageboards on pregnancy and parenting issues.  There is only one thing more absolutely insane than the comments sections on local news sites, and those are pregnancy/parenting messageboards.  The shrieking hysteria of those boards quickly convinced me that my family and friends were all judging me fiercely, were out to derail all of my best efforts about my child, and that if strayed from the learned advice of those messageboards and succumbed to the foolish persuasion of my family or those know-nothing doctors, then I wasn’t acting in my baby’s best interests (this is why now I offer my pregnant friends this sage advice: DO NOT READ THE INTERNET WHILE PREGNANT.)  To put it mildly, while pregnant, the internet made me crazy and at times drove a wedge between me and my not-as-crazy husband.  This, for sure, was isolating.

If yinz internet friends are up for some in-real-life hanging out, I’ve got these cool events on my calendar this week:

February’s DoughRaiser and TweetUp at Uno’s Chicago Grill, benefiting Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank  Grab a slice of pizza, chat with some tweeps, and raise some cash for the Food Bank.  What’s not to love?

After Hours @ the Library!  (this event has sold out, but there’s another one coming up in May)  Cocktails and snacks and music in the library? Sign me up!

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Creative Mornings Pittsburgh’s breakfast talk with Mike Capsambelis of Awesome Pittsburgh This breakfast talk series has been a smashing success. The tickets go FAST, so you need to get to your computer quickly when they become available. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to chat with energetic and creative people, and is a bright way to kick off a Friday morning.

So where do you weigh in? Does social media make you feel more connected? Or does it make you feel isolated?

Party Night that Just Won’t Stop with @HaitianFam1st and @GracePotter

1 Feb

What a NIGHT last night was.  I spent most of the day making the final preparations for the much-anticipated Haitian Families First Back to School Party.  The sponsors, food, drink and prizes came together perfectly! The Standard Band totally rocked the house.  Bill Peduto even found a minute in his nonstop mayoral campaign to stop by!

I felt especially honored by all the awesome support of my friends.  The members of The Standard Band all have day jobs, and that means they took several hours out of their workdays to do all the setup and prep for their performance.  I am so grateful that they could do that!  (PS– they are an awesome fun band, and are playing March 15 at Jergel’s!) My friends also came together to donate huge wine basket and other great things for the auction.

We all had a great time and raised a whole heap of cash for this truly grassroots organization that is doing great work.

Of course, the night didn’t stop there! After the party, my friend @nncypttr and I enjoyed an evening with the divine Grace Potter.

I knew of course that Grace has unparalleled pipes, but didn’t know that her musical talent goes far beyond singing.  She showed herself to be a jane-of-all-trades with all things musical, mastering the drums, guitar and more throughout the show.  She is quite the musical powerhouse, and had such cheerful energy.  What a show!

Today! Today! Today! Party time with .@HaitianFam1st !!

31 Jan

Today is the day! It’s the Haitian Families First Back to School Party!
I’m excited for all this to come together. Great sponsors have stepped up, we’ll be rockin out with The Standard Band and we’ve got really awesome gift baskets to raffle off. I feel especially blessed to have AWESOME friends who put together a HUGE wine basket (16 bottles!!) for the raffle auction!
Now I just have to tie up a few loose ends, and shuttle like 3 car loads worth of stuff to Bricolage, and then it’s time to PARTY!! See yinz all tonight!!

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A Morning Full of Happiness with Creative Mornings .@Pittsburgh_cm

29 Jan

I don’t know what it is about today, but it’s starting out great!  I had a good workout last night, followed by a good glass of wine and a good sleep.  I woke up happy and well rested.  And even better– Baby Beez woke up in this amazingly happy and friendly mood!  She is so cheerful today, it’s awesome!  The day looks to be a great one– I’ve got lunch plans with a friend, a party tonight, and I’ve got a steady amount of work to do but not so much that I’m pulling my hair out and losing my mind.

Even though the event was a couple weeks ago, my happiness this morning made it a perfect day for my recap of the Creative Mornings Pittsburgh breakfast talk with David Newell aka Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

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The theme for the morning was “Happiness,” and it was clear that happiness is something that Mr. McFeely knows well (yes, I know that’s not his real name, but I can’t help calling him that, and I don’t think he’d mind anyway). Providence has smiled on Mr. McFeely, he found his way into his career with Mr. Rogers by a series of happy coincidences. In Mr. Rogers he then found a true inspiration, friend and mentor. Most of his talk was about Mr. McFeely’s path in life and his memories of working with Mr. Rogers. It was clear that his career and his life has been full to the brim with joy.
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Mr. McFeely was wonderfully generous with his time.  He signed autographs and took pictures with everyone after his talk, and even offered to mail out autographs to anyone who wanted one but could not stay.  He was friendly and chatty and loved meeting everyone. 

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In a world so often full of dead-end careers and disappointments, it is inspirational to hear people who have found genuine satisfaction in their paths.  The path to fulfillment is never a straight one– there are plenty of unexpected bumps and unaticipated tangents– but a positive attitude and a willingness to take a little risk here and there is a constant theme in such positive stories.

Hope you all have a happy day!

Baby’s first rave. Glowstick included.

12 Jan

Yo Gabba Gabba Live must have had some trouble getting bums in seats, because they offered half-off tickets on Groupon twice.  The full price (well over $50 per seat, and you have to buy a ticket for the little one  even if she refuses to sit in her own chair) was much more than I was willing to pay for a kids show.  But with the price lowered by Groupon, it became an option.  Baby Beez went with our good friends Sandy and Elena.  Sandy had a very rough week, and this event seemed to be just the ticket to bring all of us a little sunshine.

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The girls danced and danced and danced, and had a fantastic time.  The whole show is music and dancing.  I was totally overstimulated, but the wee ones were having a blast.

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Beats with Biz is a regular segment on the Yo Gabba Gabba show, but I didn’t expect Biz Markie to actually BE at the live show.  He was though! And did an awesome segment of Beats with Biz.

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On the way home from the show, Baby Beez kept saying “Have FUN Mommy! Have FUN!”  Everyone loved it! Yo Gabba Gabba has a much more rock concert feel than most other kids shows, so the adults have a really great time too.  I didn’t know what to expect when we went in, but we had a total blast.  If Yo Gabba Gabba came back through Pittsburgh, I’d get tickets again in a heartbeat.  This is one of the best kids events I’ve gone to.  It’s touring its way through the US right now, so if you have a little one, try to catch it if you can.

Lego KidsFest Overload (thanks to @PittsburghMag for the free tix!)

2 Dec

I was giddy to learn that I won Pittsburgh Magazine’s giveaway for tickets to the Lego KidsFest. Baby Beez is just barely on the age spectrum for this event, and while I thought it would be a lot of fun to check it out, I was not motivated to drop the $20ish per ticket. The event ended up being really cool, but also completely overstimulating for both kids and adults. It covers the whole convention center floor, and there are TONS of exhibits including massive piles of Legos for kids to play with, impressive lego sculptures, videogames, contests, plenty of Lego dioramas including an entire mini Lego city and Viking ship diorama.

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Baby Beez and her little friend did really enjoy running around and playing. We did not stay for a very long time because these kids would have simply exploded (into a screaming toddler mess) from all the excitement. The perfect age for this event is about 5 to 11. Added bonus- there are lots of chairs around the outside of the exhibits for parents to just relax while their kids go hog wild.

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I expected the event to be complete chaos, but was very pleased to find that even though the tickets went like hotcakes, it was not overcrowded. Although my kid certainly did not use it one bit, I liked that there is a “relaxation” area for kids, full of beanbags and books, where they can go to wind down. I thought the event was really cool and well managed. If Lego KidsFest comes by your city, go check it out. You’ll have a great time!

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Roaring like a dragon

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And this is where she got so overstimulated that she started JUMPING UP AND DOWN NONSTOP

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Hogwarts!

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This picture pretty much sums up the whole evening.

 

Weekend ahoy!

12 Oct

You know those weekends where it seems like every organization and entity has something going on, and you want to attend EVERYTHING!  I have those a lot.  This weekend is especially nutty.  I’m looking at my weekend plans, and I’m kind of tired already.  But these are all GREAT things I will be doing, so it will be a busy weekend but a fun one!

This afternoon kicks off with the announcement of BAR EXAM RESULTS! I am so nervous and excited for all my friends who took the PA bar exam this year! Here’s to hoping that you’ll spend the afternoon sipping champagne in joy (and if not, at least tip a few back in sorrow).

This evening is the Alumni Reception for my 5 year law school reunion! 5 years! Can you believe it! Where did the time go?

HAIL TO PITT!

Tomorrow brings the much anticipated Propelle Style Summit

I’m a little nervous about picking out an outfit…what in my closet could possibly be cool enough to wear to a gathering of fashionistas?

Saturday also brings the Annual Meeting for the East End Food Co-Op.  If you’re a Co-Op member, please be sure to attend! Election results for the Board of Directors will be announced (you can vote at the meeting, if you haven’t voted yet), and they’ll be giving updates on the state of the Co-op and its plans for the upcoming year.

On Sunday, Mr. Beez and I will be venturing to the Pittsburgh Opera for Rigoletto.  Although I’m a bit of an opera nut, I’ve never seen Rigoletto before.  It has gotten rave reviews, so I’m excited for an afternoon of music and drama!

What does your weekend have in store?

 

The PittsBurgher Burger & Music Festival

30 Sep

A few weeks ago I saw advertisements for the PittsBurgher burger & music festival at the Rivers Casino, and thought “oh, that sounds fun.” Then a deal came up on LivingSocial for half off tickets, and I said “I’M IN!” Competition for the best burger in the burgh? Well yes I’d love to participate!

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Conspicuously absent from the contestants were the big names in the Pittsburgh burger scene. Tessaro’s, BRGR, Burgatory, FatHeads and most of the “usual” Pittsburgh burger places weren’t there. I don’t know if they were approached and declined, or weren’t approached at all. But without them, I’m not sure the event can really claim to seek out the “best” burger in Pittsburgh. The absence of these big names did give some lesser known restaurants a moment in the sun, so I liked the opportunity to check out the burgers from places like Bonnie & Clyde’s in Wexford and Melange Bistro, that I may have otherwise passed over if the known favorites were there.

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The Biz Burger, topped with BBQ sauce and fried onions and jalapenos

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The Classic American Cheeseburger from the River’s Casino.  I’m not a fan of caraway, so I picked that off the bun, and the burger was delicious.  I’m continually impressed by the high quality of the Rivers Casino food.  I expect it to look fancy but taste bad, and each time I’ve had it (at this event, at the Pittsburgh Best Restaurant Party, and the Afterparty for the Best Restaurant Party), it has actually been very good.  I feel like going to dinner at a steakhouse in a casino is very gaudy, but I’m tempted to try it, as I suspect it will far surpass my expectations.  The Casino also offered a dessert cheeseburger, with deep fried chocolate something or other, but I’m sorry, that did not look appealing to me.

I sampled with an open mind, but my favorite truly was the Shipwreck Burger from Wingharts Burger & Whiskey Bar. Oh man I love that burger. If you aren’t familiar with this buttery, decadent delicacy, you are missing out sorely. It’s wonderfully greasy, due to being slathered in brie, onions, and arugula. It’s so rich that it should be eaten alone (don’t get fries with it, that is simply TOO much). I felt kind of lame picking a burger I was already familiar with as my favorite, but it really really was.

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WANT TO EAT ALL THE SHIPWRECK BURGERS.

The other burgers were nothing to sneeze at. They all respectably held their own. The burger samples were generous–some places handed out sliders, others gave full sized burgers sliced in half. It was a LOT of food.

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Melange served its burgers on delicious, soft pretzel buns.   I was highly impressed by how good the bun was.  However, the patty got lost in there, and the taste of the patty itself was not memorable.  If they kicked up the quality of the patty a bit, this would be a really great burger.

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The Bonnie & Clyde burger, topped with slaw (sadly mayo based, vinegar based would be better) and a pierogi.  A pierogi is always a nice touch.  These pierogies were fried and hard, so frying to a soft consistency would be a big improvement.  However, all around, this was a pretty good burger.

I failed to take a picture of Mr. Beez’ favorite- the cheeseburger from Cain’s Saloon in Mt. Lebanon. I agreed that the burger was tasty and flavorful. It wasn’t greasy, and it was not gristly. It was a straightforward burger, but accomplished its simplicity well.

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I was SO ridiculously stuffed after the event that I didn’t eat for the rest of the day (and there were a few booths I didn’t even make it to!) For a first time event, it went pretty well. As we were getting ready to leave, the tent was getting very very full, so next time around they may need to adjust the space or setup.  We didn’t stay through the end, so I don’t know who won.  If YOU know, please do share!

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You know you’re in Pittsburgh when….