End of Summer ‘burgers

23 Aug

Disclaimer:  This is a Throwback Thursday blog post!  From August 2017

2nd Disclaimer: Sorry to disappoint, but this is not a recipe. HOWEVER, if you do have a great burger recipe to share, don’t hesitate to send it my way (it probably won’t make it into a blog post, but it’ll definitely make it into my stomach).

Now, moving onto the real topic of this post: My summer in Pittsburgh began with The Pittsburgh Speaker Series. This event was held in town, and for the first time ever, I bought tickets. For those of you who don’t know, the Speaker Series is like a local, TED Talk. They were expensive, so I’ve been flying solo, which has been pretty great.

The first speaker I saw there was Jeffrey Toobin (whom I had never heard of before but now am a really big fan of).  He is the chief legal analyst at CNN (yeah, not impressive at all). Of course, I sat in the front row (if I could’ve put an apple on his desk, I would have) and gave him a standing ovation at the end.

His taught us about the Supreme Court and how there are currently six men, three women, six Catholics, and three Jews currently serving. They hear roughly 75 cases a year, and he recommended that I go to DC to see their oral arguments.   Probably going to take him up on that.

Going to these events always makes me excited for the next one. The one coming in February is going to be extra fantastic, because I get to fangirl out over Rick Steves, the travel guide. I bought his book — hopefully he’ll sign it for me!

This summer was filled with all sorts of celebrity sightings. After the Summer Series, Colleen came to town, and I got to meet Buffy (the dog, not the vampire slayer…but still a celeb in her own right because she’s so darn cute).


Some other August standouts:

-I got to work with Brit a ton, so work was faster (and way more fun)!
-I became closer with my parents (hi, mom; hi, dad!).
-I got turned away from a local voting booth because they couldn’t find my registered card.  Went to my old voting station, they couldn’t find me either.  Went back to the original one where they had made a mistake and they found my card.  Voting took me over 3 hours because of this.
-I frequented H&R Block on the regular. Shout out to my representative, Barbara. She thinks the IRS is the American version of a terrorist. Which is hilarious. But now I’ve probably also been flagged for conspiracy.
-Joyce and I saw a rainbow.
-Ben and I celebrated a milestone at Cafe Du Jour. He also became an official ‘Burger when he signed up for a Giant Eagle card!

We also went hiking in McConnells Mills and got snow yetis! We captured them and put them in the trunk of our car. We’re planning to keep them as pets and raise them as our own. Just kidding, a snow yeti is a snow cone, and they were devoured within seconds.



Puppy day afternoon.


Speaking of devouring things in seconds, one weekend my friends Andrew and Brian, and their adorable little dog Pearl, accompanied me to my parents’ house in Findley Lake where we made some pork chops, which, yes, were also devoured within seconds #GetInMyBelly. Even though this blog isn’t about burgers, my summer was very food-centric.  At one dinner party Connie, Andrew’s grandmother, invited me and she had so many items there was an actual “menu!”  Steak, seafood, vegetables.  My stomach was very happy.


Pearl also became a big sister when A&B got new puppy Tip.



No pain, no gain…?


So in between the eating and playing with puppies, I decided to get my motorcycle license. During one of the classes, I fell (see the bruise above on my leg.  Not pictured: the one on my ego).   It was super embarrassing, and as soon as it happened, the teachers ran over to hit my kill switch. They didn’t make me get back on the bike, but they also told me that if I missed even one lesson, they were not legally allowed to pass me. If at first you don’t succeed… right? So I got on and tried again. Luckily, I only fell during an exercise. If I had fallen during the actual test, it would’ve been sayonara, license! A fall during the test = automatic fail. HOWEVER you can fall as much as you want once you get your actual license. Comforting, yes?


We look like a couple of martians meeting Earthlings for the first time.


On the actual test, though, your girl brought home the silver medal (not that it’s a competition….). Yup, that’s right. I got the second lowest score in a class of 15. And no, I’m not delusional. The lowest is actually the best when it comes to the motorcycle test. Kind of like golf…except louder.



Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation.


After my bruise healed, or sometime in between the healing process, I was invited to join my first fantasy football team! There were 14 women on the team — all super cool; all capable of accomplishing anything. I called my team Brady and the Tramp as Tom Brady was my first round draft pick!  My teams theme music was the victorious sounds of Brady Gaga. Since it was my first time on the team as well as a few other women, Emily drew us a chart on all of the positions and descriptions. The chart really helped us succeed. Thanks, Emily! *pats butt in sportsmanlike gesture.

We let Diego pick the draft order.  Helen thought this was a joke but luckily I knew it wasn’t.  #hotdogs and #bacon  And then, Helen won the entire fantasy league!!!!!


Om nom nom nom.



Summer bod going strong with these healthy meals.


Of course, this wouldn’t be a summer blog post if I didn’t create a party shoutout list. ALL the parties were incredible, but I want to make sure there are some that get memorialized via this blog:

  1. The Nolans’ — it was the most memorable memorial day we’ve ever had.
  2. The Chris D.’s party where Kevin and I took a selfie (which was his very first selfie).
  3. Matt Solter’s party. His mom remembered me from back when I went to college with his brother!

This was the summer Bel and I also learned to not apply old math to new stuff.



At the Renaissance festival getting transported back in time with the Wishing Well Wenches.

Got to see Cheese Curl and Clay and the Renaissance festival this year and meet some woman who are doing really fun work.  And did I maybe get inspired for a Halloween costume as well?! (Note: I thought I did when I wrote this… but actually, nah.  I went with Banksy.)


All about these Ted Talks. Just kidding, this is Dana Goldberg!



Smiles all around for summer!



Went to get our Mmmbop on and saw some Hansons.



A Hanson (Zach!) and a new fan-son (me!



A free concert series at Heinz Hall.


The summer was a great one, full of smiles, laughs, parties, and FOOD. Also, please send your burger recipes…writing this blog post has made me insatiably hungry.

August 2nd is my favorite,

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