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Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30

A quick guide to the rain in Pittsburgh:

If it starts to sprinkle, that's fair warning. You have approximately ten minutes to take cover before the deluge. It's never the case that it sprinkles and then stops. If it's sprinkling, you're about to get soaked. (I've been caught in more apocalyptic downpours this summer than you would think possible.)

The rain will rain all day once it starts. It's like a tap stuck in the "on" position. There's no half-sunny, half-rainy day. If it's raining, it will stay that way, perhaps for a week.

Always always always take your umbrella with you, even if you think you don't need it. I have a little tiny one that fits into my purse. I never leave home without it.

Yesterday evening after work I was walking to the bus stop through a torrential downpour (under my teensy umbrella, which I had prudently brought with me.) At the corner was a guy with a tremendous umbrella--you could have parked a car under the thing. Then three sopping wet girls without umbrellas came to the corner. He took one look at them and raised the umbrella so they could take cover.

Here's a bird pretending to be Mondrian:

A sign on an office at work:

And finally, I'll have only spotty internet access until Sunday evening, so here's a little something in honor of my last full day in Pittsburgh. I've had a lovely time, and I'll miss it, but I'm ready to go home now.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To get to Squirrel Hill, I get on the 64A Bus at the corner of 5th Ave & Highland. At this corner is a grotto type of thing with these fixtures inside.

Turns out they're not urinals. Rather, it's where people used to water their horses.

Just up the street is Chatham College, one of the first women's colleges in the US, where they used to chain themselves to ballot boxes and that sort of thing. It's very parklike. I got a brilliant sunburn on the back of my neck reading a book there Sunday morning.

I felt I should visit Homestead, the site of the infamous Homestead Massacre. Here is how they've memorialized it:

Seriously, it's Target, the Gap, and Pier One as far as the eye can see. As if to make it clear how utterly the Union was defeated.

Last night we attempted to go to the Pirates/Brewers baseball game. We started with a sandwich at Primanti Brothers, which was everything Sam said it would be and more. Here's what a sandwich looks like. With typical Pittsburgh practicality and efficiency, they just pile the french fries and coleslaw right on to the sandwich. It's all going to end up in the same place anyway, right?

Here's Amanda, Andrew, and Bob enjoying their sandwiches.

After dinner we walked across the bridge, which was blocked off to traffic, to PNC Park.

It's cool because the ball park is right on the Allegheny so you can look across and see the city from a different angle. We looked across and saw storm clouds lowering.

The geese were not concerned about the rain, which steadily intensified.

After standing there for an hour, during which a thunderstorm came through, we decided they couldn't possibly play a ball game and went home, hoping to catch the make-up on Wednesday. This morning we found out that after all that, they played, and they won.

Nevertheless, my co-workers got me into a baseball park, and I didn't have a terrible time there, even with the $4.25 soda. And the experience was consummately Pittsburghian: it rained, our plans went down the tubes, we enjoyed ourselves anyway.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 4 and beyond

July 4 started when Joe & Di (Chris's brother and sister in law) very kindly came and rescued me from the big city! I got to stay at their farm all weekend and hang out with them and their kids & grandkids.

Here's one of my grandnieces, whose mom makes adorable clothes & bows for her. She is a cherub.

Here's her little brother, also a cherub.

We were at a 4th of July party. Water balloons were thrown. Threats were made. I escaped un-dampened.

Here's Joe with either Solo or Panzer, I can't remember which. Don't be fooled by the scary exterior; underneath is a complete teddy bear. (The dog is friendly, too.)

Labrador Puppies! Maybe some of these are related to Marley, who came from Joe & Di's business.

But wait, there's more!

Spaniel puppies!

More spaniel puppies!

The real reason I haven't posted lately--my arm was eaten off by puppies!

Here's a puppy running to eat my arm off.

So that's what I did for 4th of July. When I got back, I dove into the project that has eaten up my time and brain power for the past week. We sent off the letter yesterday and I now have a writing sample that will hopefully maybe help me get jobs.

Note to Sam: I have been meaning to tell you, there's a Primanti brothers right around the corner from where I work. I keep trying to go there, but it's jam-packed with business people every day for lunch! So I'm going to try to get there some weekend when I don't have to fight my way through the suits. Thank you for the tip!


Monday, July 13, 2009

While you wait

Have a look at the link my brother sent me:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pictures of July 4 Coming Soon

But not before I finish this Position Letter (i.e. Brief for the Regional Counsel, viz., one buttload of work.)