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Showing posts from July, 2013

rain, gobots, and homeruns

-hey there, monday!  happy rain day!  don't know what rain day is?  well, its a famous day in the town of my birth, waynesburg, pennsylvania.  on july 29th every year they celebrate something called rain day because, according to local records, it has rained on july 29th on 113 of the last 138 years.  the radar can be as clear as a newly cleaned window, but there will always seem to be one little green dot over that corner of southwestern pennsylvania where waynesburg is nestled into the hills of greene county.  and when life gives you rain, what do you do?  well, make a festival out of it, of course.  so waynesburgians have long had a festival/carnival on july 29th, complete with games, food, a beauty pageant, live music, and anything else you can imagine.  i remember walking up high street, right through the heart of the festival, as a child, and going to a kind of general store (was it called McCrory's?), and buying my first gobots.  that's right.  a gobot.  like a

i love holidays

in case the poster i made isn't enough; in case you need me to pile up my words to demonstrate the inane level of my fanaticism, here goes: today is a holiday (literally: holy day)!  and, boy, do i love holidays!  today is the 46th year of a special annual tradition in which the football team from pittsburgh makes the drive down to latrobe, pennsylvania, and onto the campus of saint vincent college, passing the fred rogers center on the way in (yes, that mr. rogers), and making their way to rooney hall.  eventually they will all gather at chuck noll field (just listen to these's like a who's who of the historical greats) and begin to practice together in the hot august sun, another step in their quest for an unprecedented seventh lombardi trophy.  this is a sacred day.  if nothing else, it is a day of hope.  in training camp, there are no losses on the record.  there is only potential and prognostication, and depending on who you listen to, it is a day

happy 2nd birthday, Quinton!

two years ago today, our youngest son was born to the strains of grieg's "peer gynt," bent on making a dramatic entrance and then sleeping off the euphoria.  he's been dramatic ever since.  and he's been a ridiculous joy, too.  it's hard to believe its been two years since that day, but what isn't hard to believe is just how packed those years are with smiles and laughter, with uncountable kisses on the head.  these 730 days or so have been chock-full of rubbing his soft cheeks and smelling the nape of his neck and looking into his blue eyes.  and today we stop all that just long enough to say with words and song and cake and presents, just how much we rejoice that you happened to us.  happy birthday, little man!  we are full of love for you. 


i don't stay up until 2am the way i used to.  i used to be able to wake up the next day almost as if nothing had happened.  now, it takes me about 4 days to recover.  that's why i'm just getting around to writing now. yes, friday night i was in philadelphia with Shannon to see taylor swift's "red" tour, and it was, in a word, swift-tacular .  now, let's get one thing straight here: i am not a swiftie, at least not in the common vernacular.  if i was unsure about this before the concert, i am quite clear now.  there is definitely some celebrity worship going on when it comes to taylor swift: girls of nearly ever age dressing like her, professing their unabashed love, and screaming their faces off at every mention of her name.  there were even men, wearing taylor swift t-shirts, painting their faces, and generally losing their minds.  this is not me.  i can't tell you her shoe size or her hairdresser's name.  but i can tell you this: i like

hello tweenagers of philadelphia!

see you tonight, taylor.  i'll be wearing red.  oh, and the only male there over fifteen years old not there because of their children.  i'm not ashamed.  i already made my honest confession about it.  so please sing "all too well" and i'll be happy.  and voiceless.  yours truly, greg. 

what gave me goosebumps last night....


at the drive-in

last night we kicked another item off of our summer bucket list, by heading to the point drive-in theater between danville and northumberland, pa, to catch an outdoor movie.  for a very reasonable price, you actually get a double feature (although staying for the second movie would have put us home around 1am...not really a possibility for us).  since it was monday, you can bring your own bucket and they will fill it with popcorn for free.  that's right....FREE.  so we got in, parked, got our chairs and van all set up, got our popcorn (we brought our own candy and drinks), and enjoyed the fading of the daylight as we waited for despicable me 2 to begin.  i felt a little like this guy .  even quin seemed to enjoy himself, once he ate approximately 14 pounds of blueberries, and knocked over an entire bucket of popcorn into the grass.  once the movie began, we were mostly focused on the hilarity of the minions and steve carrell's hilarious voicing of an ex-evil genius

book review: the last templar

hello there!  i AM alive!  in case you had given me up for dead, i thought i would check in here at the old blogstead and verify my survival.  i was camping last weekend in the hellishly humid tropical rain forests of panama (okay, so it was really elysburg, pa), and haven't gotten my act together to write yet.  this summer has been an absolute whirlwind, as evidenced by the hundreds of pictures on my camera that need to be gone through, but shall have to wait until such a time as i can breath (also known as september).  in any case, i'm back, and here is a post about a book i read while slow-cooking in the july sun (in a tent).  there is some great secret about Jesus.  there is someone who might just be able to discover the secret, and they are on the run, being chased by those who would do anything to protect the secret.  there are twists and turns, archaeological digs and dogmatic didactics.  and i'm not even talking about a dan brown novel.  no, this book was devel

Buechner on "patriotism"

"ALL "ISMS" RUN OUT IN the end, and good riddance to most of them. Patriotism for example. If patriots are people who stand by their country right or wrong, Germans who stood by Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich should be adequate proof that we've had enough of them. If patriots are people who believe not only that anything they consider unpatriotic is wrong but that anything they consider wrong is unpatriotic, the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and his backers should be enough to make us avoid them like the plague. If patriots are people who believe things like "Better Dead Than Red," they should be shown films of Hiroshima and Nagasaki  on August 6  and 9, 1945, respectively, and then be taken off to the funny farm. The only patriots worth their salt are the ones who love their country enough to see that in a nuclear age it is not going to survive unless the world survives. True patriots are no longer champions of Democracy, Communism, or anything like that

everything i need to know i learned from star trek

when we recently subscribed to amazon prime, i was delighted to find that they had all three seasons of the original star trek for viewing.  i am not a trekkie by any stretch of the imagination (i had seen only a handful of the episodes, at that point, and have never watched the other related series), but i have long held a bit of a fascination with the original series from the late '60's.  i had seen a few episodes as reruns when i was a kid, and so there was a sort of nostalgia to it, in addition to the campiness that i have a soft spot for (the same reason i love those original batman shows with burt ward and adam west).  so i started watching.  and i just finished.  every episode.  in order.  all 79 episodes.  and it was awesome.  from time to time shannon would watch it over my shoulder, and she would mock me incessantly.  when, for example, abraham lincoln made an appearance in one episode, she not-so-subtly hinted at some drug use on the part of the show's w