Month: January 2009

  • The Path Less Traveled

     
    The sky was full of precipitation this week. Some made our trees like fine lace. Some made the city seem quiet and clean. Some made walkways slick. This is the path that a friend and I take regularly to walk through a city park. The crusty ice provided no traction under my old sneakers!

    ||||||  lynard

  • Stillers, Here We Go, Yinz Guys!

    This pic proves that I was at the Steelers Pep Rally at Heinz Field—along with about 30,000 others! Our family braved the crowds and arrived about an hour and half before the rally. K wore her Polamalu jersey, I wore my Steeler ball cap,  L wore his Super Bowl shirt  from the last win, and Drew wore his black ‘n gold BOUND FOR GLORY t-shirt! And, of course, we swung our Terrible Towel lots.

    My favorite blue-collar band, The Clarks, rocked for an hour, and when the actual rally started, Ben Roethlisberger,  Jeff Reed, and James Harrison, among other players, showed. Ben talked!

    The mayor, who has officially changed his name for this period in time—from Ravenstahl to Steelerstahl, no lie—addressed us, as did County Executive Dan Onorato who was repeatedly booed a lot for his enactment of the alcohol “drink” tax in Allegheny County, even as he was saying “Go Steelers!”

    Pittsburghers have no shame. When they showed clips of the AFC Championship game, a bunch of guys yelled in our section, “Get the woman off the field!” when the female reporter appeared. LOL

    We were thrilled when our Steeler fan buddies showed up near the end—the Henriquezes!

    And then, as with any significant Steel City event, the sky exploded in color, over the city, over the rivers, over the stadium. We love our fireworks!

    That is friend, Jenny Au, to my left. She is wearing the PINK Steeler logo hat!

    The city seems to be adopting the phrase “Sixpack!” for the concept of getting the sixth Super Bowl ring, but I have also heard “Two for the thumb!” L suggested, “One for the nose!” I like that one best.

    ||||||  lynard

  •  
    Coupon studying and shopping have continued to be a big part of my consumer life. You can see that this week my coupon and sale savings were $91.91 at the local Giant Eagle—a bill that would have been about $235 was $144. On top of that I earned 30 cents per gallon off my gas for an accumulated savings of 70 cents per gallon. (When the tank is good and low, I will do a major “fill ‘er up!”)

    This shop included items that will feed my family over the next week or two, plus necessities that we will use over the next couple months.

    Some of the blogs that I read are:

    http://www.couponmom.com/
    http://www.moneysavingmom.com/
    http://www.thriftyfloridamama.net/

    These sites tell me what coupons to use when and even where to get things for free. Three things that I’ve learned more recently:
    1—I can usually get shampoo, dish detergent, and toothpaste for free or next-to-nothing.
    2—I should not clip coupons until I am going to use them. Web sites will tell me what issue of the weekend paper coupons to go to for finding a particular gem that matches a particular store sale. The most important thing is to date a circular and put it in a folder.
    3—With the combinations of coupons and sales, I can stock up on higher quality goods than if I just shopped at discount groceries.

    ||||||  lynard

  • Weird Things Happen to Chonda

    I particularly love the third story of Chonda’s on this clip. She never fails to make me breathe deeply and laugh heartily—must be healthy!!!

    OFF TOPIC:  The urban single mom in my Bible study wants a good definition of “fellowship.” She doesn’t understand what the word means. Do you have a relevant, 21st century definition for someone who is not very familiar with the Bible? I’ll be interested to see what you say.

    OK, here’s the true-life, screaming silliness from Chonda:

    ||||||  lynard

  • Gospel according to Gordon

    My dear, urban T being in Gospel choir at his rural, southern college is fitting. Here is one song I found on youtube.com from a concert last spring. T is in the front row. 
    ||||||  lynard

  • Bill Mallonee

    I followed Vigilantes of Love when they would do gigs in Pittsburgh long ago, and found Bill Mallonee’s lyrics provocative and satisfying. He now shuffles around from coffeehouse to backyard now with his new wife. There is no VOL. Mallonee has gone through some rough patches, and his theology has taken a trajectory that parts a bit from mine, but his lyrics still amaze me and his expression of belief still pierces my soul.

    His myspace says that the cost of his performances are heavily discounted for 2009, so this would be a good year to snag him if you have a venue that does that sort of thing. Here is a 2008 video of one of his classics:

    Blister Soul

    yeah, you got this place you go
    it's just a trip before the fall
    way past the fevered pitch
    but just a spit from the wreckin' ball.

    said you woke up this morning
    said you woke up under a curse
    I've heard the blues are bad
    but this is something worse

    and the ambulance driver
    well, he tips his hat and stares.
    and he asks you in a grave voice,
    "Can I take you anywhere?"

    Chorus:
    Yeah the thing we cannot speak of
    too painful to behold
    oh, this blister soul.
    oh, this blister soul.
    oh, this blister soul.

    there's a smaller place you go
    where there's hardly any sound
    where the deals have all gone sour
    and where the house of cards comes down.

    And the damage is costly
    is beyond all dollars and sense.
    You can't measure it with graphs and charts
    or any instruments.

    Chorus:
    yeah the thing we cannot speak of,
    the secret we all know.
    oh, this blister soul (etc...)

    yeah from the trumpet blast
    I hear the banging drum.
    yeah from once upon a time
    to the kingdom come.

    and the thing that's yours for free
    is the thing I need the most.
    stifles every boast
    stifles every boast.