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Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28

It's been a quiet week in Lake Duquesne...

I did find out that there's a Trader Joe's Store very near my house, which I'm told is a good thing. I went to check it out and came out with the silliest bottle of Pink Lemonade I think I have ever seen:

The weather has been fickle, almost like Kansas. Here's what it looks like downtown when it's about to storm:

I didn't have anything to do this afternoon so I went to the Mellon Park to read. It's an odd mixture of grandeur and dilapidation:

I walked by a horse truck and peeked inside to find donkeys, goats, and cows. I think they were a petting zoo.

Here's an old adding machine. I don't know why it was in the park or why someone decided to stick it on the balustrade. I imagine it was once hurled at the head of an unlucky clerk or secretary by an angry Mellon.

Maybe it was put there by this chipmunk, who was decidedly disgusted with my encroachment on his little Eden:

Then it started to rain (you can't see it in the picture, but trust me, it's there.)

I stayed dry under some thick trees & my umbrella. When it let up I came home. As soon as I got inside, the sun came out and it's been shining ever since. I don't mind; rain here isn't ferocious like rain in Kansas. It sort of pelts down gently and then says "there, there" and moves on. Everything is cool and still and quiet now.

Happy Anniversary, Jon!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

July 21

My dad's in town this weekend. Happy Father's Day!

Yesterday we rented bikes and biked on the Eliza Furnace Trail which goes along the Monongahela River, both sides (you bike across a couple bridges). We stopped and had a picnic, and then biked by some abandoned barges with trees growing in them.

Today we took a Just Ducky Tour on a refurbished amphibious vehicle from WWII. Yes, amphibious means it goes on land and on water. It was pretty cool. Here's Dad on the duck boat:

The best part was seeing downtown from the water. I got a good shot of the USW building (it's the one that looks like a waffle iron.)

When the tour was over, we were right there so we went up the Monongahela Incline, which is a funicular that goes straight up the southern bluffs. Not the most calming experience for an acrophobe. I made it though.

Once you get up there the view's pretty spectacular - that's why all the postcard pictures are from up there.

Here's a shot of me with the USW building in the background.

Here's what the fountain at the point looks like from far away:

Remember my first day when I took a picture of that church up on top of Duquesne Heights from downtown? Well here's what it looks like up close:

We're getting up really super early tomorrow to get Dad on his plane. It's been awful fun having him here, and now I know some really cool things to do when you come visit!


Monday, June 15, 2009

When I get on the bus in the morning I stare at these rooftops and wonder if they did it on purpose.

If you were a preschooler in a city, your school might look like this:

Here's a cool bridge that you can walk across if you're brave:

Sunday afternoon my boss gave us interns some of his season tickets to the Pittsburgh Symphony. They were playing Mahler's Resurrection with the Mendelssohn Choir. So off I went.

There was a ton of traffic because they had a lot going on downtown - the Arts Festival, the Gay Pride Festival, and a bunch of other stuff. So some folks had been waiting for the bus a long time.

I noticed the lady in front of me kind of lolling about, but the woman sitting next to me seemed to be supporting her. Then the supporting lady got off the bus and the lolling lady started lolling a lot worse, and I realized she was having some kind of seizure. It looked like she might bang her head so I jumped up and held her head. Somebody else got the bus driver to call the paramedics. We ended up getting her on her side on the floor of the bus with her bag under her head for a pillow. A few of us stuck around until the paramedics showed up. She was about my age and still had on a hospital bracelet -- someone had just let her out of the hospital. Luckily there was a guy there who said his mom had epilepsy and he just kept holding her hand and saying "It's ok Tammy, help is on the way."

When the paramedics got there I got off the bus (luckily just a few blocks from Heinz Hall) and called my co-workers to let them know I was on my way. Luckily I'd left early (I always do because you never know whether the buses will be running on time) so I got there in plenty of time. I was pretty depressed and a little disoriented and stopped in at the CVS across the street to get Advil and some water. Then I headed into the hall.

It was the perfect place to be after such a disturbing experience. I've never been much of a Mahler fan--he always seems so schlocky and post-romantic and hyper-chromatic. But they played the Resurrection Symphony (No. 2 in C minor, for anyone who wants to look it up). OH MY GOODNESS. It was magnificent! He starts off in the lower registers and gets them going to a real fever pitch, all in the first movement. Then in the second movement he does this hilarious pastorale Teutonic fantasia stuff--I kept having flashes of Bugs Bunny in drag on a fat horse. (I know, that's Wagner but same idea.) The third movement is this delightful snaky peasant dancy kind of business, and then in the fourth movement the solo contralto comes in - again, lower registers, which is frankly a relief. And of course the fifth movement he gets the whole thing going, choir, organ, tubular bells, harps, off-stage horns and drums, on-stage horns and drums--if he'd known how to write for a kitchen sink, he would have thrown that in too. If your hair isn't standing up on the back of your neck by the end of the piece, you must be comatose.

After the concert the boss said "how about a bite to eat, my treat?" So of course we accepted, and had an awfully nice time with him and his wife and another attorney and his wife. They are really cool, funny, kind, intimidatingly smart folks to work with. Then to top it all off the boss gave both of us interns a ride home, and pointed out landmarks along the way.

Today was the Penguins victory parade. They were already lined up at the barracades when I got downtown at 8:00 am, and they didn't leave until 3:00 in the afternoon. In between it was quite a hootenanny:

Random marching band:

Hockey players:

Either hockey coaches or hockey owners, I'm not sure which:

An exuberant ensemble:

Amphibious vehicles (irrelevant but no one cared):

Somebody famous:

Penguin fans that I work with:

My favorite part of the parade:

Before the parade:

During the parade:

After the parade:


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I just figured out why the ice cubes are in the shape of penguins.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

June 6

I went downtown to check out the Three Rivers Arts Festival that started this weekend. It was mostly boothes of starving artist paintings and cheesy new age jewelry but there were a couple of cool things. It was fun to watch Pittsburghiacs enjoying the sun.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, a hockey team, are playing the Detroit Wings, another hockey team, for the Stanley Cup. Everyone's gone Penguin-mad. So I got into the spirit, too.

Here's a duck who was into the spirit.

This is what Fort Pitt Tunnel looks like from the other end.

There are roses all over this city, even at the bus stops.

Because of the Stanley cup, the whole city is like a big family picnic right now, complete with jovial drunken uncles and moms yelling at their kids. It's actually pretty cute.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

June 4

This morning I looked out of my office window and saw skydivers.

I couldn't see where they landed. Here's a picture of the Alice in Wonderland park where I eat lunch sometimes.

At the point where the Allegheny and Monagahela collaborate together to make the Ohio, the French built a fort in the 18th century.

A century or two later, the Americans built a fountain.

This is my favorite spot to eat lunch. It takes about 5 minutes to walk there. Pictures don't really do it justice.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

June 3

Sometimes I look out my office window and think "Wow! I'm in a skyscraper!"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

June 2

There are a couple of empty offices at work so they called the IT guy in and had him set up computers for us. So now I have an office with windows! How cool is that?

They took us out to eat today at a restaurant attached to the Pittsburgh symphony. It's pretty cool; we ate outside next to a waterfall.

Here are some of the people I work with:

Dan, Andrew, Sasha

Katy & Dan


Monday, June 01, 2009

May 27-30

I didn't take many pictures this week - too busy just learning my way around -- the office, the city, my neighborhood, the grocery store.

I made a scrumptious thai curry last night which is easy-peasy:

Take 1 cup of light coconut milk and heat it up with 1 tbsp of red curry paste for about 10 minutes. Stir in juice from 1/2 lime.
Meanwhile, chop up 1 large or 4 baby bok choy into bite sized pieces and boil them for about 5 minutes until tender.
Saute two fish filets (I used tilapia) in 1 tsp olive oil until cooked (about 5 minutes).
Remove fish filets from skillet and cook bok choy, juice from the other 1/2 lime, and 1 cup sliced shiitakes (get 'em fresh, it's easier) until everything looks hotsy-totsy.

Put the veggies on two plates, then a fish filet each, then drizzle the curry sauce over the top. I had mine with rice.

Today I'm going to the coffee shop to take advantage of their internet connection and do research for work. This is not as onerous as it sounds; I enjoy the coffee shop and I've been hiking all over my neighborhood for the past two days. Also, I'll need the coffee as I was up late last night. Doing what, you ask?

I never claimed not to be a nerd.