The Week in Tweets – April 29, 2016

It’s Pittsburgh Marathon weekend and that means I’ll be spending the majority of my Friday and Saturday praying for good weather when I line up at the start line 7:00am Sunday morning. Currently the forecast is calling for 52⁰ and thunderstorms, which really sucks big donkey balls. Oh well, at least I’m only running the half this year so I’ll only be tortured half as much…

Alright, enough complaining, it’s time for an all-new, um, wait a sec, uh, actually I’m not done with complaining. There’s a clusterf*ck of road/tunnel/bridge construction going on right now in Pittsburgh. Therefore it’s going to take forever-ever to get downtown Saturday afternoon to pick up my race packet and then again Sunday morning for the actual event. I’ll probably end up running the 13.1 miles of my race faster than it will take me to drive the 9.8 miles to get downtown. #SMH

Now that I’m truly done with whining, let’s get on to an all-new, all-different Week in Tweets!

8) Nels (@NelsonIER)

I hate when patients rate their pain a 9 and yet they are just chilling. If your pain is a 9 I want to see some tears and the fetal position

I think that assessing pain on a 1-10 scale is just too broad and subjective. I’d eschew numbers altogether and just ask the patient which Kardashian best describes their discomfort. If they respond with anything other than “Rob”, they’re A-ok…

7) Captain Antagonist (@AnOrangeSNES)

The Baha Man never did find out who let the dogs out and yet everyone is pretending everything is okay.

I’m also concerned that Haddaway still doesn’t know what love is…

6 -tie) Salamingia (@salamingia)

Her: so what do you do for fun?

Me: *roars like chewbacca.

Kalvin (@KalvinMacleod)

Adulthood is just seeing how much you can get done while tired.

At this point in my life if someone asked me “What do you do for fun?” I would definitely have to respond with “sleep”.

5) aly (@WElRDAL)

Deliver to me a banana milkshake       

I believe that the full homily is: And lead us not into gas stations, but deliver us a banana milkshake…

4) neckless troglodyte (@boodjaboodja)

my feelings taste like frosted cherry pop tarts

Below is my Pop-Tart feels-o-meter:

Depressed – Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon
Disappointed – Unfrosted Blueberry
Indifferent – Strawberry
Satisfied – Blueberry
Surprised – Confetti Cupcake
Content – Chocolate Fudge
Overjoyed – S’mores

3 – tie) Mrs. Fitz (@PFitzpa)

Changing the setting on my camera to portrait to better capture the personality of this cheese.

lauren ashley bishop (@sbellelauren)

*eats a healthy meal*

good job let’s celebrate

*eats an entire block of cheese*

I once ate an 8oz block of HeluvaGood mozzarella cheese seven years ago and it still ranks as both my proudest and most regrettable achievement.

2) Lawyer Thoughts (@lawyerthoughts)

court: that was beautiful counsel.

me: thank you your honor, that was from Gladiator.

If I was a defense lawyer, I would just keep repeating “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” and “You can’t handle the truth” over and over again until my client was found innocent.

1-tie) Jackie Bouvier (@jackiembouvier)

I just stretched so hard I time traveled.

Saucy Kensington (@Book_Krazy)

Fitness instructor: Did you stretch?

*flashback to me struggling to reach the chips on the top shelf at the Mini Mart* “yes”

Along with reaching for chips, I also count putting on my socks, dabbing to Beyoncé’s Lemonade and wiping as acceptable stretches as well!

Below is a picture of Oscar looking stoic af. Have a wonderful weekend everybody and don’t forget to cheer me on Sunday morning in the race! #GoAlexGo

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The Village Melt – Sewickley Borough

Restaurant: The Village Melt

Location: The intersection of Beaver and Walnut Streets (aka Beav’nut Corner).

Atmosphere: The chalkboard menu, seat-yourself dining area and illuminated marquee created a relaxing space that promoted fun over formality.

Menu: A multitude of “melts” that covered everything from fancy grilled cheeses (w/ Fontina, Gruyere, etc.) to classic sammiches (Reuben, BLT) to custom hamburger creations.

Melt

Food: Though politically I consider myself “liberal af”, when it comes to grilled cheese, I’m less progressive than the Governor of North Carolina. Therefore I scanned over the surfeit of creative melts looking for the most basic one I could find. I settled on The Lola. It arrived ten minutes later, and it was definitely love at first sight.

The melt consisted of fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula and pesto sandwiched between two huge slices of buttery bread. A generous helping of fries on the side guaranteed that my pants top button would be put to the test for the rest of the day.

Unsurprisingly, everything was mighty delicious. I mean, its grilled cheese and French fries so the bar is pretty low since it’s almost impossible to screw those two things up*., but regardless errthang was scrumptious!

* Unless you’re me. I once dumped an old bag of frozen French fries into a deep fryer and I almost ended up looking like Deadpool.

Service: It took me about two minutes to order and pay so there really wasn’t much time to build much of a relationship with the guy behind the counter. I guess he seemed ok enough.

Final Call: The only thing that could make The Village Melt a better lunchtime destination is if they were located in my neighboring cube. Highly recommended!

The Village Melt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Week in Tweets – April 22, 2016

Today’s dreary weather and the recent passing of Prince has quelled most of my “Hooray for Friday” excitement. Along with MJ and Madonna, his music left an indelible mark on me as I navigated my way through childhood in the 1980s. I was five when the Little Red Corvette video began heavy rotation on MTV in 1982 and I instantly loved it.

I stayed a pretty big fan of his music up until My Name Is Prince in the early nineties. After that my tastes strayed more towards his R&B progeny (Shai, Boyz II Men and Silk) and hip-hop (The Chronic et al).

Though I hadn’t listened much to his prolific output over the past twenty years, his influence has always been a constant. This continues today more than ever, with artists such as Young Thug, The Weeknd and Chvrches vividly displaying his imprint.

Prince has and will remain a paragon of American culture due to his unparalleled combination of musicianship, showmanship and genre-and-gender bending sex appeal. Whenever you’re done reading through this all-new, all-different Week in Tweets, I implore you to listen to as much Prince music as possible*.

* And don’t forget to check out this classic Chappelle skit that hilariously added to his reputation as an otherworldly badass. Game, blouses…

9) Momo (@pickledino)

Kids can literally poop anywhere and people still keep them around. That’s fucking power.

Not only that, but they’re also uproariously lauded whenever they actually sh*t where they’re supposed to. I mean, how hard is it to sit down and poop in a toilet? No one gives a round of applause after I drop a deuce. In fact, my wife often gets mad at me if I do it in our bathroom before she showers because she says that the steam and the stink combine to form a toxic poo-cloud. Being an adult sucks…

8) peaceful nice dude (@nerddeterrent)

I even hate the things I like

I only hate three things – 1) people with dissimilar views than mine, 2) people with views too similar to mine and 3) omelets.

7) Geeka (@Geeka)

Yay for forgotten purse baklava.

“Forgotten Purse Baklava” is my new favorite phrase. It works just as well as an indie band name (coming to Mr. Smalls this Saturday – Deerhunter with Forgotten Purse Baklava), as it does in a book title (Harry Potter and the Forgotten Purse Baklava). Heck, it evens works as a euphemism for an elderly person’s private parts…

6) Ashley Austrew (@ashleyaustrew)

All these moms in Build-A-Bear keep looking at me like my flask is a bad thing.

As long as it’s not YOU actually building the bear, I think that a little alcohol is perfectly alright!

5) Lauren (@yinzersosmart)

My cat does this cute thing where she drinks too much water then barfs it all up on my bathroom floor.

“Water Barf” is also a wholly believable indie band name!

4) J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling)

I wish I could just favourite emails instead of answering them.

Ditto for voice mails, text messages and any other form of human communication!

3) Julia Gulia (@JRobb773)

My resting face is disgusted yet resigned, like a Law & Order detective who finds another dead body just before the commercial break.

My resting b*tch face is disgusted yet amused, like when Lauren finds a puddle of her cat’s water barf.

2) BrassyLibrarian (@BrassyLibrarian)

Would it be wrong if I just made a bunch of garlic bread tonight and ate it all by myself?

Only if you don’t share it with me!!!

1) Tim (@Playing_Dad)

I have not seen this kind of outpouring of sympathy for a celebrity dying since the last celebrity died

mexican u not (@mrzenitram)

cannot wait for hollywood to cast a white guy as Prince in a movie about his life

If it’s got to be a white guy, my vote is for Channing Tatum. At least he could pull off the assless chaps!

Below is a picture of Oscar from a couple years ago looking fresh af after just getting a haircut. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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My Mixtape Monday – April 18, 2016

First Name: Zain
Twitter: @Insane_Zain
Sex: Once 6 years ago. Oh, I mean Male.
Age: 25

Occupation: Mindless-Job Worker/Comedian

Mixtape Name: The Brown Album

Liner Notes: There are 2 genres of music have had a huge impact in my life: hip-hop and angsty rock. I appreciate hip-hop for the motivation and clever lyrical ability, and I appreciate angsty rock for the MSN statuses it provided me. I decided to devote each side to one of those genres (using each artist only once), to give you guys my very own musical masterpiece. Here is the mixtape that critics everywhere are calling “can you please stop emailing me your shitty song list?”

Side A
1) Hiiipower by Kendrick Lamar
This was the first Kendrick Lamar song I ever listened to, and still is probably my favourite one. It is weird looking back now at how he’s always been that one guy who has more to say than you would expect on a song. It’s produced by J. Cole too so it’s like a 2-for-1 special. Also, it is a perfect segway to the 2nd song.
2) Killers by J. Cole
It took me longer than I care to admit to finally pick just 1 J. Cole song. 99% of his songs are amazing; he’s like the Heisenberg of the rap game. I had to pick the one that best shows just how great J. Cole is. On Killers he sounds like Nas and Tupac did the DBZ fusion dance and made a song immediately after.
3) Hate Me Now by Nas feat Puff Daddy
I’m no historian, but I’m pretty sure the first gym was built after this song was released. It’s impossible to not be pumped up and motivated when listening to this song. Nas gives you great lyrics on a beat that doesn’t even need it, and Puff Daddy (Diddy/P.Diddy/Puffy/Drake-Slapper) provides a hook that inspired douchebags everywhere.
4) The Way I Am by Eminem
Every brown person has a special place in their heart for Eminem. Just the passion in every line of this song is so impossible to ignore. I can’t help but feel like I’m having problems with record labels and critics myself whenever I hear it. He’s another guy that has so many good songs that it’s virtually pointless to just pick 1.
5) Diamonds From Sierra Leone (Remix) by Kanye West ft Jay-Z
My personal favourite collaboration from “The Throne” is this classic from Kanye’s 2nd album. We get the best version of Yeezy on this with lyrics focused on social issues, personal guilt, and clever takes on a very serious topic. This is the Kanye that probably made Kanye fall in love with Kanye. Jay-Z pops up for an iconic 2nd verse. That businessman line increased the amount of entrepreneurs everywhere by roughly 300% (give or take 299%). I also got to see them perform this live during the Watch The Throne tour (#humblebrag), and it felt like a religious experience, so I may be biased.
6) Something You Forgot by Lil Wayne
This guy absolutely dominated my iPod in High School. This song specifically hit hard for every guy who believed that one Grade 9 break-up would be their biggest regret in life. He samples the classic “What is Love” by Heart (that’s not a joke btw) and gave the world the first Drake sounding hip-hop song. Lil Wayne might barely be able to speak now, but damn did he have an amazing way with words in his good old days.

Side B

7) The Scientist by Coldplay
What better way to start off the angsty rock side than with the least angsty song of all-time. This song is just too great to not have on here. The piano hits you with every note, and Chris Martin makes me jealous of his vocals with every line. It also had one of the cooler music videos that I’ve seen, and major props to him for memorizing the entire song backwards for it. No lie, he actually did that.
8) Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit might be the catchiest angry song of all-time, and Cobain’s voice is so haunting and perfect on every line that it really makes you wish he could have been alive for longer. I think the only thing more unfortunate than Cobain’s early death is that people use this song to mix with house music.
9) In The End by Linkin Park
If you were a foreign kid in North America in the early 2000’s, chances are that Linkin Park was your favourite band. They’re the Eminem of Rock music. This song is great for people who love being reminded about how pointless life is, and I’m almost positive was ghost-written by Vegeta (that’s TWO DBZ references!). Mike Shinoda was my first favourite rapper, and Chester has such an amazing screaming voice that his kids probably get in trouble on purpose.
10) Talk Show Host by Radiohead
I could listen to just the guitar from this song for the rest of my life and I think I’d be happy. Well, maybe “happy” isn’t the right word to describe how it makes me feel. Really you can place any Radiohead on to this mixtape and I wouldn’t be mad at you. This song also gets bonus points for being on the soundtrack for the great 1996 Shakespeare-inspired movie, Leonardo DiCaprio & Juliet.
11) Time Is Running Out by Muse
I heard of Muse for the first time when I visited England as a child in 2004, and this song made me a fan immediately. I remember coming back to Toronto and telling all my friends about this song, so I’m pretty sure I deserve SOME credit for it being their first top-10 hit.
12) Pieces by Sum 41
Being a Toronto kid, I had to throw some Sum 41 into this mixtape. They were one of my favourite bands growing up, and not just because their guitarist looked exactly like me. This song still gives me chills when I hear it, and reminds me about how unnecessarily depressed I must have been at a young age. Also, after 5 insanely popular and iconic bands, I had to throw a random curveball in here to keep it fresh.

YouTube Playlist Link: The Brown Album

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The Week in Tweets – April 15, 2016

It’s Friday and you know what that means – it’s time for pinot noir, caviar, Myanmar and midsized car! The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is back with its second season on Netflix and I for one am extremely excited to start binge watching it.

And by “binge watching”, I mean watching an episode and a half tonight before I fall asleep at 10:15pm, then getting back to it sometime in June since my life is jam-packed af. Sh*t, I still haven’t finished Making a Murderer. It’s looking like it’s going to take me longer to watch the series than it took Steve Avery to get out of jail for that first murder!

Therefore, let’s not waste any time and get to an all-new Week in Tweets so I can get back to my Netflix queue!

7) Stephen Harkleroad (@americancrank)

“Why does it have to be so complicated?” overheard talking about the Sheetz touchscreen. This person will probably vote in two weeks.

I would definitely much rather see a Sheetz MTO sandwich become president than any one of the Republican candidates…

6 – tie) Abby Heugel (@AbbyHasIssues)

It turns out being an adult is mostly just Googling symptoms.

Amy Dillon (@amydillon)

70% of parenting is calling someone “buddy” in an increasingly agitated tone.

Wade (@TheWadest)

“Pardon me while I slip into something more comfortable.”

*slips into bathtub filled with mac & cheese*

Aimee Helene (@AimeeHelene1)

*climbs in wheel barrel*

OK…let’s go!

(me after every meal)

The ~80 hours of “free-time” I have every week are consumed by the following:

  • Eating large amounts of pizza and/or mac & cheese (20%).
  • Complaining that I ate too much pizza and/or mac& cheese (15%).
  • Yelling at my son to stop and listen to me (40%).
  • Punishing my son for not stopping and listening to me when I told him to (15%).
  • Googling ways to get my son to stop and listen to me other than by yelling at him (10%).

5) Dad and Buried (@DadandBuried)

My new gym shorts are so comfortable I’m making the other guys in the weight room uncomfortable.

Whenever I go to the gym before work, the locker room is always hella full of naked old dudes chatting about the day’s news. I’ve never been able to determine if they’ve just finished working out or are getting ready to work out, but I do know that they’re completely naked and they’re in there when I show up and when I leave. Then again, maybe they count walking around with their sacks swingin’ low around their knees as a workout. It’s like kettlebell training without the kettlebell!

4) Christopher O (@ChristopherOhhh)

Man. There is so much pizza here

I’m assuming that this tweet came from heaven…

3) Britt Reints (@missbritt)

If I’ve learned anything from Netflix today it’s that I need to wear more black leather.

I’ll add that to my “Things I’ve Learned from Netflix” list:

  • Wear more black leather.
  • Don’t be f*ckin’ with Harry Potter.
  • Stay out of Medellin, Columbia.
  • Always remember to clear your search history, especially after you searched for “big boobs and butts”.
  • Stay out of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

2) Simon Holland (@simoncholland)

They say time heals all wounds but I’m still pretty upset about green apple Skittles.

I feel the same way about the The Matrix Reloaded. Thirteen years later and I still consider it the worst thing to ever happen to me*.

* Second worst thing to happen to me is when my wife discovered that I was searching Netflix for “Showgirls”.

1) Gian D’Oh (@GianDoh)

Patronize small businesses by calling them cute.

I’ve been trying to get the wife to patronize my small business all month but at this point I think I’d actually be fine with her just calling it “cute”…

Below is a pic of Rachel chillaxing on my son’s Marshmallow Mickey Mouse Flip-Open Sofa. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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My Mixtape Monday – The Best of Grunge

My main objective when putting together this playlist was to avoid curating a hackneyed list of omnipresent hits from the grunge era (i.e. Smells like Teen Spirit, Jeremy, etc.). However, I also didn’t want to catalog a pretentious “deep dive” collection of influential but ultimately vestigial music from the scene’s pioneers (i.e. Mother Love Bone, Tad et al).

Hopefully what I arrived at is a nice selection of songs from the seminal artists that defined the time period, along with some unpolished gems of early nineties alternative rock. Now let’s throw on our flannel shirts and start choppin’!

Mixtape Name: Alternative Nations

Side A
1) Drain You by Nirvana (1991)
Infectious (literally) lyrics, an equally catchy guitar riff and a rubber ducky solo infuse this song with a playfulness missing from most of Nevermind’s gloomy Side B.
2) Release by Pearl Jam (1991)
With lyrics that play out like poetry, Release captured Eddie Vedder’s songwriting and singing at their cathartic best.
3) Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog (1991)
More classic baritone beltings from Eddie Vedder, this time with Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell assisting with his soulful high register.
4) Nearly Lost You by Screaming Trees (1992)
This Singles Soundtrack highlight nails the three hallmarks of grunge: gruff vocals, yearning lyrics and crunchy guitars.
5) 100% by Sonic Youth (1992)
Sonic Youth possessed an avant-garde aesthetic that did not fit wholly under the umbrella of grunge. Regardless, the bouncy punk strains of 100% sounds quite nice nestled into this mix and reflect a similar spirit of relentlessness.
6) Would? By Alice in Chains (1992)
To me, grunge was the intersection of a Venn diagram made up of punk rock, indie rock and heavy metal. Along with Soundgarden, Alice in Chains embodied the sludgy, dark side of grunge and Would? captured them at gritty best.

Side B
7) Plush (Acoustic from Headbangers Ball) by Stone Temple Pilots (1992)
STP’s music added a pop-inspired veneer to grunge music that was controversial at the time and caused many journalists to label them as derivative poseurs. Retrospectively, the strength of their catalog now finds them inarguably one of the most talented bands of the grunge era and the undeniable Plush is a shining example of their melodic song craft.
8) Start Choppin’ by Dinosaur Jr. (1993)
#JMascisIsGod
9) Accelerator by Gumball (1993)
10) Under My Skin by Dandelion (1993)
Though these East Coast bands did not achieve the breakthrough success of their Seattle brethren, both of these songs are perfect examples of guitar-driven grunge rock.
11) Rocket by Smashing Pumpkins (1993)
Just try to not sing along with Billy Corgan as he triumphantly repeats “I shall be free!”
12) Violet by Hole (1994)
Fitting that we end this playlist with an artist some regard as being responsible for the death of the era’s spokesman Kurt Cobain. Regardless of your opinion of Courtney Love, the quiet-to-loud grunge ethos are on full display here along with a feminine fury that seems just as vital today as it was in 1993.

YouTube Playlist Link: Alternative Nations

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The Week in Tweets – April 8, 2016

Welcome to an all-new Week in Tweets, the first in over a month! Organizing the Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event and training for the half marathon has left me with very little free time lately to write anything other than my Target shopping list. Today’s post isn’t exactly a Dickensian masterpiece, but at least I got it finished! Let’s get to it!

5) mark (@TheCatWhisprer)

I may have accepted your meeting invite in Outlook but I declined it in my heart.

Along with its out-of-office notifications, I think that it’d be extremely useful if Outlook added an “in-office but extremely disinterested” auto-reply as well…

4) four-one-six (@CityAndFlair)

Replace my blood with coffee!!!

Replacing blood with coffee >>> replacing coffee with blood…

3) Justine R (@RussoJustineA)

I must be psychic because I see a big sandwich in my future

I’m a pessimist and a psychic because I see a half-eaten sandwich in my future!

2) He Made Anime Real (@ughesq)

3:00 is a good time to poop because of how close you get to 4:30 by the time you are done.

Some people say “Sh*t or get off the pot” but I’m like “How about I just sit here and read my phone until it’s 5pm”…

1 – tie) John Lyon (@JohnLyonTweets)

I say don’t confirm any Supreme Court nominee unless we know how they’d rule in Batman v. Superman.

ruby (@rubyjnkie)

I feel like everybody should know exactly what they would do for a Klondike bar.

Five questions that every Supreme Court nominee should answer:

5) Who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?
4) Who’s the best MC, Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas?
3) What would you do for a Klondike bar?
2) Who does number 2 work for?
1) What’s the first rule of Fight Club?

Below is a pic of Oscar relaxing. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!

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My Mixtape Monday – April 4, 2016

First Name: Kasey
Twitter: @SMASEY
Sex: Female
Age: 23

Occupation: moonbounce cleaner. it’s a thing.

Mixtape Name: a random sampling from a playlist of all of my favorite songs which I believe at this point is nearing 800 songs

Side A
1) Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John
2) Flawless (Remix) by Beyoncé ft. Nicki Minaj
3) No Hands by Waka Flocka Flame ft. Roscoe Dash and Wale
4) Radar by Britney Spears
5) First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes
6) Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!) by Blu Cantrell

Side B
7) The Rose by Bette Midler
8) My Drink N’ My 2 Step by Cassidy
9) The Joker by Steve Miller Band
10) Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too by Say Anything
11) Santa Fe by Beirut
12) American Woman by Lenny Kravitz

Liner Notes: i simply put the playlist on shuffle and did the first twelve songs that played. it was hard to not be a snob and just put the “cool” songs but i figured this would be more fun, anyway

YouTube Playlist Link: a random sampling…

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Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event 2016

Welcome to the 4th Annual Pittsburgh Guest Blogger Event! Much like the Hunger Games of Panem, this yearly occasion is meant to entertain and provide a brief distraction from all of the world’s oppressive problems (poverty, suffering, Trump, etc.).

Today’s guest post comes to us from Jessa, the stylish and swashbuckling creator of the blog Wavy Alabaster. After reading her musical musings about the iconic Stevie Nicks, don’t forget to check out all the other participants in this year’s event by clicking on the links in the coda. Happy reading!

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Stevie Nicks is the mother of all style inspirations. The Reigning Queen of Rock n’ Roll, to no one’s surprise, is a great influence to my curated style. Before you go pulling a version of the quote from The Devil Wears Prada, “Stevie Nicks? For your style inspiration? Groundbreaking.” read me out. I too rejected Stevie’s influence at one point, actually pretty recently. I felt what every writer/creative/style-driven blogger fears most: being cliché. But, I got over myself quickly. I did not revere Stevie because it is popular to do so. The deep admiration was born from a pure space. It started with hair (It’s always starts with hair).A picture stumbled upon me while navigating the dreaded middle school years, the time of JNCO jeans, over-sized WNBA jerseys and a leather choker with a basketball pendant, basically my style low point. She saved me in the nick of time. The details of this specific moment fail to come into focus, but I distinctly remember Stevie, her style, and those locks.

Image from the late 1970s. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Image from the late 1970s. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Drawing inspiration from the legendary Stephanie Lynn Nicks was easy. Converting this influence into a tangible every day wardrobe and attitude is a bit more challenging. Below are tips n’ thoughts I’ve amassed to merge the style of an icon with that of your own.

Just try

“I am pretty fearless, and you know why? Because I don’t handle fear very well; I’m not a good terrified person.” – Stevie

When I initially was introduced to Stevie, my self-presentation was not automatically changed. As my personal style was built, experimenting with looks I now cringe over, the musician’s influence grew and eventually blossomed to the forefront. The biggest step was taking the initial leap in experimenting. The label “style icon” does not stumble upon an individual, it is built and assembled. It might not be perfect at first, but keep going. It might not be perfect at attempt ten either, but alas, keep going. When you are ready to take the leap, I would…

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Start with one.

“But time makes you bolder…”

Start with one piece. Land on a look which draws your attention and interest, and don’t limit yourself to just the clothes. Style is a form of expression and clothing is just one puzzle piece. Attitude, makeup or lack thereof, tattoos, accessories (hello hats!), hair or lack thereof all fit together to create one cohesive picture. Maybe the color palette draws your eye or the wild strand of hair dancing in the wind; whatever it may be start there. Now build from that one sliver of inspiration. Add on additional influences as you feel comfortable. However, warning to the wise, beware of…

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FIT.

“I want to be age appropriate. I don’t want to be that girl you see walking away and she looks 25 and then she turns around and she looks 90.”

This three-letter word; never forget it. Stevie rocked the tight cropped tops that we swoon over from the 70’s better than anyone. The looks are tough and sexy and freeing. I’d love to strut down the Strip in this look, but a cropped top rocker will never be added to my style resume. It is not in the cards for my body type. People notice poor fit before they notice good style. Be mindful of your own body shape and how you can rework looks to fit you. Instead of a crop top, I opted for this vibrant vintage tank top with a plunging neckline from Eons or this Free People bodysuit.You and your body are the foundation so always remember…

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Don’t lose YOU

“I didn’t want to look like anyone else – like Janis Joplin or Grace Slick. That’s why I never went to any of the big designers.”

Set aside her haunting voice and mystical style, Stevie was and is unapologetically herself. Through the ups and downs served on a public platter, she maintains a fearless sense of self. If nothing else, hold onto that lesson from Stevie. Be you. Style inspiration isn’t a copy and paste process. The fun lies in creating looks that fit your lifestyle and enhance your being. After all, “it’s only right that you should play the way you feel it.”

And, if you are having difficulty merging your personal style with that of Stevie, or any other style icon for that matter, give me a shout and let’s go create together.

All good blog posts end with a shameless plug, right?

Cheers, Jessa

Wavy Alabaster links: Blog / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Jessa PghGBE 6

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Whitfield at Ace Hotel – East Liberty Neighborhood

As I get older, the title of Earl Sweatshirt’s solid sophomore album describes my life’s mantra more and more – “I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside.” I rarely get the opportunity to dine somewhere out of the south hills suburbs, and usually when I do, I just complain about how long it takes to drive into the city and how it’s ludicrous that a place can charge $16 for a hamburger when you can get a good one for half as much at Red Robin…along with bottomless fries.

Combine all that with the fact that a night on the town for my wife and I also necessitates a fifty dollar expenditure for babysitting, and you can see why I’ve become so dismissive of Pittsburgh’s surfeit of “cool” restaurants that seem to be nothing but a clichéd pastiche of Edison lights, exposed ductwork and seasonalocalartisanal comfort food.

Would a recent trip to the uber-trendy Ace Hotel’s tavern The Whitfield break my streak of underwhelment? Read ahead as I discuss my experience with my blogger-buddy HGB, who’s one of Pittsburgh’s most popular and discerning restaurant critics. Bon appetit!

AJF: Let me just start this off by patting myself on the back for making it to The Whitfield (120 S. Whitfield Street, 15206) before you. I mean, it was only by about sixteen hours, but it still counts. Now, upon first entry to the establishment, I was really surprised to find it to be so understated. I was expecting something vibrant like The Commoner at Hotel Monaco since it’s a similar endeavor, but The Whitfield stayed almost too-true to its roots as a former YMCA.

HGB: I was so concerned that I wasn’t going to be hip enough upon entering. I did wear my sunglasses that I got from the lost and found, which is hip and all pseudo-nonchalant, right? But yes, you beat me there and you are right in that it’s very much a former YMCA. After getting my bearings, I remember that I really liked the layout of The Whitfield and how it casually spilled into the hotel lobby. Also, since I went for brunch, the natural lighting was a striking feature of the interior.

AJF: I was there in the evening and also noticed how striking the lighting was, albeit it wasn’t natural since it was dark outside obvi. The bright bulbs and stark white walls just made it feel too glaringly chilling for my liking. As my age tiptoes further away from thirty and towards the big four-oh, I now greatly prefer dimly-lit spaces. That way I can use the shadows to maintain some semblance of a youthful appearance. I’m sure by the time I hit fifty, I’ll only leave my house at night like Dracula. In conclusion, I thought that the overall aesthetic was nice and trendy enough, though a little too white and austere in tone for my tastes… basically the same way I feel about Ed Sheeran music.

HGB: I have no coherent thoughts here as I am laughing about Ed Sheeran and wondering who came up with the term “strawberry blonde,” because he is that right?

AJF: I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that if we don’t start talking about the menu soon, our readers are just gonna head over to Yelp for their restaurant recommendation needs!

HGB: As much as I love Rachel (and all of her awesome Yelp parties), I highly doubt that people would leave us to go over there. Folks are invested in this post already. You and I are the Captain and Tennille of Pittsburgh bloggers (well, the ones who actually blog anyway). But go ahead. Tell us what you drank, since drinks are really an appetizer.

AJF: My group showed up right on time for our 7:30 p.m. reservations, and were seated right away so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to hang out at the bar. After a quick glance of the impressive drink menu, I went straight to ordering a never-disappointing Fat Gary (English Brown Ale, 3.6% ABV) since I regrettably gave up hard liquor for Lent.

HGB: I didn’t give up anything for Lent. But anyway, because we were there for brunch, we were not drinking beer. We ordered Whitfield Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Almond Margaritas, and something with gin that was amazing but I cannot remember the name to save my soul. Two of the drinks were part of the brunch prix fixe menu, a concept of which I happened to enjoy very much. I know it’s a first world problem, but I sometimes struggle at brunch when trying to choose between breakfast-centric or lunch-centric items. A prix fixe menu eliminates that, especially one that includes a drink. All of our drinks were quite pleasing and refreshing; thus, all were an excellent precursor to our meal.

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AJF: Much like the revelers at Pittsburgh’s internationally renowned dance party Hot Mass, I showed up to The Whitfield with the singular goal of consuming as much meat as possible. I started off with the Butcher’s Plate ($18), which was comprised of a nice mix of charcuterie, patés and seductively sweet bacon jam. I followed that up with the hanger steak entrée (creatively titled “The Steak”, $21), which came along with fries and béarnaise sauce. Though I would have liked to seen a larger piece of meat (that’s what he said) than its 8 ounces, everything on my plate was delicious and met my high level of culinary expectations.

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HGB: I too, showed up with the goal of eating well. At age thirty-six, it’s one of the few joys that I have left in life. My group was a threesome (in numerical terms only); two of us ordered from the two course prix fixe menu for $26, including the aforementioned drinks. Our first course was Beef Tartare (grilled bread, romaine, capers, parmesan reggiano) and Bruléed Grapefruit (pomegranate), our second course was Frisee & Roasted Rapini (fried poached egg, lardons, duck fat hollandaise, pickled beets) and Ham & Jam (cranberry, egg, powdered sugar, and mixed greens).

The Beef Tartare was chilled, salty, and went well with the grilled bread and capers; the Bruléed Grapefruit is now the benchmark for how I want my grapefruit prepared for the rest of my life with it’s hardened, candy-like shell and tart, juicy core.

The Frisee & Roasted Rapini is a great option for those who want an egg, but not an omelet. The Ham & Jam is thick-cut ham sandwiched between two large pieces of french toast, with the cranberry and mixed greens providing some balance to the dominating overall sweetness; ideal for sharing, this option is worthy of being revisited on my next trip to The Whitfield for brunch.

The third person in our party went rogue and order the Three Egg Omelet ($11, smoked pepper, caramelized onion, cheddar, mixed greens); it turns out that it’s a great option for folks who want a traditional brunch dish with a hipster influence. I mean, don’t we all want a little hipster influence in our lives?

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AJF: First with the Captain and Tennille reference, now an admittance of your actual age?!?! I thought that we’re supposed to use the internet to lie about ourselves and pretend to be younger?!?! I mean, is it still alright if I falsely portray myself as a Millennial Asian Lumberjack?

HGB: (staring at the computer incredulously)

AJF: I got the Wigle Whiskey Bread Pudding ($8, candied pecans, vanilla ice cream) for dessert, and it was sublimely delicious.

HGB: We also ordered dessert because our favorite color is #YOLO; we chose the Lemon Mousse ($8, shortbread, toasted meringue). We’d order it again and again as it seemingly went along with our brunch theme of being refreshed in good company and in a good space.

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AJF: In conclusion, I’d say that The Whitfield is a fine addition to Pittsburgh’s nationally-lauded restaurant scene and a great place to check out even if you’re not a Millennial Asian Lumberjack.

HGB: Like I tell my students, AJF… using “In conclusion, is cliché!” However, The Whitfield is not.

Whitfield Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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