Strip-District

This morning, I went in to CMU for a couple hours, and then drove to the  Strip-District to meet up with my cousin’s friend. She was interested in perhaps working in athletes and was wondering what my thoughts were, and if I could possibly share my network. I wanted to meet up with her first before I gave her my contacts.

When I arrived to the Strip District, parking was a nightmare. I was looking for that one street, I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s where they filmed a scene from Mission Impossible 3. There for a fact is parking usually up and down that street. However, it was in the evening, when I remembered there being parking, not in the afternoon on Friday! Instead of battling for street parking. I parked in parking lot on 23rd street. It was going to be $10. I didn’t care. It was better than fighting the other cars. I walked towards the coffee shop where I was to meet Lauren, but I texted her and asked if she wanted to meet for lunch instead. She suggested a restaurant, that was around 21st street. It was half way to her work. I went to the restaurant, and it was jam packed. There would probably not be anywhere for us to sit and it would take longer to get our food. I went to the sushi and soup restaurant next door and it was mostly empty. I texted her and told her where I was and how it wasn’t crowded at all and it would be easier to have conversation there.

While I waited for Lauren, I ordered a huge bowl of Chicken noodle soup.
IMG_3178.jpg I have never seen anything like this before. I drove right in. I texted her and told her I ordered some soup already. She said, not a problem and she was 5 minutes away.

When she arrived, I stood up and shook her hand. She thanked me for meeting her. She sat down and ordered her soup. This was her first time there as well. We chatted about athletics, and her background.  She was a student-athlete and is more interested on the events side of athletics and game day operations. I told her how I might be able to able her. I told her I could send an e-mail e-introducing her to who I know. The rest would be up to her and my contacts. I am so grateful to the people who have helped me along the way, and if i can do the same for someone else. I am happy to pay it forward.

After lunch, I wondered in and out of the shops in the strip district. I got my father-in-law his Christmas gift. When I saw it, I immediately thought of him. Then, I bought a Burberry type looking scarf. It’s not a real one, but it looks just like it!

When I got home from the strip district, I got to work on editing our final paper for assessment class. After the edits, I downloaded the paper from the google doc to check over the formatting one last time, and then I submitted it to Max for our group. The waiting game for the grade to appear began! I completed the online evaluations for my group members. The semester was officially over!

Phantom Fright Nights

Phantom Fright Nights

Every year, Andrew and my best friends Anthony and Dylan try to attend a haunted house together or several. Anthony is all about roller coasters. I could take ’em or leave ’em, but Kennywood has this event called Phantom Fright Nights. At night, they have people dressed in costumes, who walk around and try to scare you, there are haunted houses, haze everywhere, and everything is lit up, and accompanied by spooky music.

The very first thing we did, when we arrived was ride the Steel Curtain. It is Kennywood’s new coaster. Anthony was so excited to ride it with me. He has been on it several times, but he wanted to ride with me since it was my first time. The Steel Coaster was pretty awesome. I am glad we did it when we first entered the park, because the lines were going to be long to ride it later on at night.

After the steel curtain, we grabbed something to eat at the End Zone cafe, then we took a flight on the skycoaster. Last time we all attended Phantom Fright Nights, Anthony and I were the only ones who did the Skycoaster. This time it was Me, Anthony, and Dylan.  Dylan had to pull the rope. I did not want to pull the rope, but I love soaring through the air. Andrew took a video of us. We are the three best friends that anyone could have.

After the Skycoaster, we walked through a haunted house, and then rode the Phantom’s Revenge.  I rode with Drew this time. Anthony and Dylan rode together.  We walked through one more haunted house, and then we left. It was time to go home. I had so much fun. Anthony and I planned the next events which is a Friendsgiving at his house and a Friends Christmas Dinner at mine.

 

The Great Gatsby Ballet

The Great Gatsby Ballet

Drew and I met up with my friend Jenna from work, and her husband Mattaeo at the Speakeasy in the Omni William Penn Hotel. It was so cool. The atmosphere was dimly lit and it was red and gold decor. It definitely reminded me of prohibition. The drink menus were leatherbound and made to look secretive.

When Jenna and Mattaeo arrived, we placed our order. I had a mint julep. Andrew had a John Collins. Jenna had prosecco, and Mattaeo had soda water. They are not big drinkers. We chatted about the ballet and how excited were to see it. We talked about how Drew and I started dating and how Jenna and Mattaeo met and started dating. It was cute their love story. They met while she was studying aboard in Italy.

After drinks, we cashed out and got ready to make the walk to the Benedum. It was so cold outside, and we both were in dresses and heels.  I couldn’t wait for this ballet. Once inside we said our goodbyes to Jenna and Mattaeo they were sitting in a different section.

Once we found our seats, which were much better than the seats we had for the Nutcracker. The lights dimmed and the curtain opened. The ballet had it’s moments where it differenced from the novel and the movie. I was able to follow, but if you didn’t know the story of The Great Gatsby, but then I can see how one may have found it difficult to follow.

At intermission, we met up with Jenna and Mattaeo. Jenna was loving it, but Mattaeo wasn’t sure how he felt about it. We didn’t see them after the ballet was over, but I was going to see Jenna at work on Monday. I couldn’t wait to recap with her.

After the ballet was over, and we made it home I went straight to bed. I was so tired. It has been a weekend!

Pitt Preseason Game

This morning, we had a chiropractor appointment, then we ate breakfast at Kings. After breakfast, we went to Walmart, then he dropped me off at home and went to to the grocery store. We are making burgers and dogs tonight.

While he was at the grocery store, I started bring up some fall decorations from the garage. I am trying to bring. It out little by little (pictures to follow).

When Drew got home, I helped him put groceries away, and sorted through my homework. I need to do some reading by next Monday. Maybe I will do some tomorrow.

Now we are watching the Pitt game. We look good. Even though it is only the first game! That’s a Pitt panther touch down! Roar!

I think I am going to start the macaroni salad. I hope everyone is having a safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend!

Spring Break Week

This week was so quiet. There was hardly anyone on campus. The students were gone and the staff was able to catch a bit of break. I was able to finish writing my paper. All I have to do now is get someone to read it over for organization and preferably punctuation. It is my first big paper of Grad school. I want to do well on it. I will be so satisfied with a “B.” I was able to complete my homework for next Monday as well. I wanted to be so a head of the game, so I could relax, and maybe elaborate more on certain points in my paper.
On Thursday, we were able to leave at 3pm. I locked up the office and went to the Cathedral to get the keys off of Drew.  We drove in today, and I just wanted to go home early! Drew gave his keys and I was on my way home. It was an easy drive home, hardly any traffic at this time of the day.
When I got home, I got ready to go to the gym. We were going to go to the gym, when he came home. I drove to the bus stop to pick him up. When he got in the car, we decided that we just wanted to stay home tonight.
On the way home, we stopped at Giant Eagle and picked up some beer, snack food, and breakfast for tomorrow. We were ready to just chill for the evening. At Giant Eagle, we ran into Iceberg. He was there to promote curbside express. We got our picture with him. Iceberg is the mascot for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

When we got home, we ordered pizza and watched more episodes of the Office. Leanne and I were texting back. She has been my friend, nail tech, and therapist for years.  She told her me her husband’s dad has stage 4 lung cancer. I felt so bad for her. I told her if there is anything she needs just to let us know. I did end up making a 11:30am nail appointment tomorrow. I need my nails done, and It would be good to see her. Life is so precious.

 

The 30s are for Paying for your Drinks

On Saturday, we went to dinner at my cousins’ in Monroeville. Angie was so excited to see us. We had carb loaded dinner. potatoes, chicken casserole, green bean casserole, rolls. It was good, but so carby. I felt so full after dinner. Mackenzie asked me what we were doing later tonight. She said, “I am trying to get out of here for a while. Want to go have a drink?” I said, “Ask Drew. he is the deciding factor.” I was hoping he would say no. He didn’t care if I wanted to go out, but I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to go.
Mackenzie drove her car back to our house in Moon. On our way back to Moon, I texted Anthony and asked if he wanted to go to Tequila Cowboy with us. He said, “Sure, I will let you know when I leave the Airport.” When he called me, he just got home. Mackenzie and I were going to drive over there to his house before we went out to pick him up. Drew was letting us take his car. Now I know I had to be extra careful. Mackenzie did my hair and put in my hair extensions. I loved wearing them.
When we got to Anthony’s, he just got out of the shower. We all hung out for a bit, then we left to go to the Northshore. Mackenzie wanted to play her rap music, but I told her no. Anthony can play his music. I already listened to her music, while we were getting ready she complained and bitched. Then she made comments about my driving. I said, well this is not my car, I need to be careful. This is Drew’s car, and people stop out of nowhere on this highway all the time, and that is how accidents happen. She is a know it all because she is 21.
When we got down to the Northshore, I parked in a lot, it was $7. I paid the lot attendant and parked. We got out of the car and walked to McFaddens. When we walked in, it was so busy. I forgot what it was like to be out again. Everyone looked either really old, cougar, or freshly 21. The freshly 21-year-olds looked 12. I looked at Anthony and he looked at me. We kind of shared glances like what did we get ourselves into. Mackenzie drank a couple cranberry and vodkas. I stuck with Coors Light. Anthony had a Coors Light. We did a Green Tea shot.
Then we went to Tequila Cowboy When we arrived, it was so packed. They all thought were in the wrong bar, because the entrance said, “Little Red Corvette.” I said, there are multiple rooms. This was the R&B and 90s room. There was a karaoke bar and a country room. The bathrooms were all in the back by the Karaoke bar. It was as so packed. The crowd was a mixture of everyone but mostly, the type that would be at Barroom and Saddle Ridge, before they tore it down. This is where everyone went now.
On our way to the bathroom, I spotted Todd the bartender, that I went on one date with back in 2009. He was a bartender at Saddle Ridge back then. I remember he used to always hook me up with free drinks. I approached the bar, on our way back from the bathroom. He noticed me, and we chatted for a bit. He asked what I was drinking and what my cousin was drinking. I told him. He didn’t charge us. He said, good seeing you again. We walked off. I was feeling so big headed, that was about to change.
When we went back to the 90s and R&B room, we were dancing and the more Mackenzie drank the more she wanted attention. She was craving attention. She wanted a guy to notice her, or approach her. She noticed that guys were looking at me and giving me attention, and I think it bothered her. If you look like you are craving it, you won’t get it. If you smile, and are confident then you get attention. She isn’t confident and I think it shows. I understand it maybe hard for some people, but it’s no one’s fault and it shouldn’t keep you from having a good time.
At one point, we went back to get a drink from my bartender friend, and he charged me! I gave him cash. I looked back at Anthony and Mackenzie, and handed them their drinks. I said, “So the Thirties are for paying for your drinks, and the 20s were for getting them for free.” They all laughed. I was a married woman now, and 30. I felt so cool there for a second.
Around 1am she wanted to go back to McFadden’s, she said, that she was hoping she would see more guys there that would notice her. Anthony and I just kept sharing glances we knew what was about to happen. It was only a matter of time. I could have stayed at Tequila Cowboy, but anyways. We went back to McFadden’s, it was closer to where the car was parked.
When we approached McFadden’s, it was a $5 cover. If I had known that, then we would have just stayed. I didn’t like the crowd there at all. Thankfully, Mackenzie paid the cover for all of us. I didn’t drink anymore. I was over it and ready to go home to my Husband. While we were at McFadden’s, Mackenzie was drinking a double vodka and cran. I am not sure how many she had at this point, but she went to a table and started to cry. I approached her and she said, “I just want someone to think I am beautiful. Someone that is my type.” I said, “You can’t go looking for attention in places like these. These guys are just looking to hit it and quit it. You are worth so much more than that.”  She is in a dark place right now. I understand that place, but I never questioned myself worth and I know what kind of men are at these bars. I had to learn the hard way. I dated one I met on my 21st Birthday; huge mistake.
After a while, I told Anthony it is time to go. We left McFadden’s and went to the Eat n Park in Moon. She cried the whole way there. She apologized and just broke down about EVERYTHING. Anthony and I did our best to listen to her and give her advice, but this was too much. When we got to Eat n Park, we sat down in a booth and then I ordered fries and cheese, Anthony ordered the sampler platter, and Mackenzie got chicken strips and zucchini. She was pretty drunk, but I was so over it at this point.
When we finally got home, I got changed, brushed my teeth, and crawled into bed with Drew. I was so happy the night was over and I found my Prince. I am so happy to have him in my life and to be the woman I am today.

One-Year Anniversary Trip to Seven Springs

One-Year Anniversary Trip to Seven Springs

Today, we had off work. We were going away for our one-year anniversary and my birthday. I was so excited to get a away and spend a much needed vacation away from the jazz seminar and Pittsburgh. We went to the gym and then got packed up. On our way to seven springs, we stopped for breakfast at Eat n Park. It was a great way to kick off our mini vacation.

The entire road trip up to seven springs, the drive was so nice, even though it did rain a bit, but it was still nice. When we arrived, we went up to our room. We were staying in the main lodge area, and it reminded me of the shining. Our room was all the way at the end of the hall. Autumn Fest started tomorrow, so there really wasn’t anyone up there that night, but Andrew and I were determined to make the most of out of it. After we got settled in our rooms, we were the only ones looking to party. We stopped in the gift shop and bought a shot glass and a wine glass,  and then we went to the bistro. We got some drinks, and met some people, who were there for a wedding that was happening that weekend. The same minster who married Tommy and Megan was there to marry this couple. We talked to the brides’ brother and his friends, and the cousin of the bride, which was a kicker for ULSC.

After a few drinks, we went to get changed for dinner. We were going to go to this place called Timbers. It was a burger joint. I had soup and salad. Andrew had a burger, and fries. It was nice to watch everyone coming and going all the families. Over dinner, we talked about my job situation since I was not the top pick during the interviews and I would have to train the new hire during the jazz seminar week, which was vastly approaching. I was looking forward to getting the hell out of the jazz studies office, but at the same time it was back to looking again.

After dinner, we wanted to keep partying so we went back to the bistro and met up with our friends, then to the club called the Matterhorn and danced for a bit, and had a couple drinks, then we decided to turn in for the night. We were so hot throughout the night, because we drank so much.