Monday, July 25, 2016

25

Twenty-five thoughts and ideas on the twenty-fifth of July (or on "Christmas in July" if you are one of those people)...
  1. Dear everyone who comes to my pool, You are not fish. You are seemingly potty trained humans. You are not swimming in a lake, an ocean, a river, a stream, or an aquarium. You are IN FACT swimming in a delicately balanced body of water and chemicals that are monitored to keep patrons safe. Thus, please, please, PLEASE, for the love of all things aquatic and summer and for my mental stability and overall well-being, STOP using my pool as your toilet. Sincerely, Management 
  2. I thought I may have just lost this post because Mojito jumped on the laptop and the screen went black. Honestly, who raised that kid? 
  3. Why is everyone selling leggings? It was much easier to ignore you when everyone was selling Mary Kay.   
  4. I am finally going to make it to Everything But The Book (Club) tonight for the first time in many months. And I even managed to read the book (Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld). 
  5. I recently learned about the issues surrounding palm oil and I am now trying to avoid products that contain it, which is actually harder than one might think. This information from the World Wildlife Federation is helpful: Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil? 
  6. I have discovered that I spend less money at Target if I get a hot dog in the snack bar before doing my food shopping. 
  7. Today is my Aunt and Uncle's eighteenth wedding anniversary, and it remains one of the best weddings I've ever attended (and trust me, I know weddings better than most). Check out Linden Hall if you're on the hunt for a great venue. 
  8. All of the back-to-school merchandise is only depressing to me because I know that once it's gone, it will be all things prematurely pumpkin. 
  9. Dear instagram users, Please discover the art of making photo collages; or better yet, please learn to select one great photograph that captures the moment effectively. AND POST ONLY THAT. My feed is inundated with your barrage of overzealous sharing. Less is more. Sincerely, Your Follower (for now)
  10. I watched Tombstone for the first time and I am all, "How have I never seen this movie?" #VeryCosmopolitan 
  11. Am I the only one who couldn't care any less about Woody Allen movies?  
  12. I binge-watched Animal Kingdom (TNT) last night and I am hooked. Ellen Barkin is fierce.  
  13. I am also totally into American Gothic (CBS). Seriously, who is the damn Silver Bells Killer? Everyone knows I cannot handle suspense.  
  14. Aida is playing at the Pittsburgh CLO this week. Billy Mason is in it. Go.  
  15. Dear Parents, Please stop posting information about your child's potty training progress. Furthermore, do not post a picture of your child naked on the toilet with a heart emoji on their [insert whatever you call private parts here]. You're ridiculous and you should have your internet privileges revoked. Sincerely, Yours Truly  
  16. I have come to the realization that as much as I do not like cucumbers, I do love pickles and cucumbers infused into adult beverages.  
  17. If I get one more email from a random dude that tells me how I am so "intriguing," I am going do something really, really not intriguing just to prove them wrong. Suggestions are welcome. 
  18. Who wants to help me experience some fleeting moments of truth? Because those my friends, are everything I'm looking for these days.  
  19. Recently I witnessed a battle between two people (strangers) in a bar overriding each other's plays on a juke box from their phones. There needs to be a reality show about this called Juke Box Wars or Homie Don't Play That or 800 Ways to Waste Money In Bars Besides Buying Shots
  20. Skinny jeans do not make for good cut-off jorts.  
  21. Pittsburgh Restaurant Week is coming up. I'll be away. This might actually benefit my waistline.  
  22. I will be on the judging panel again this year at Savor Pittsburgh! Get your tickets here for this amazing event at Stage AE on August 25. Join me and Parmesan Princess! We are pretty fun. 
  23. There are eight days until Harry Potter and the Cursed Child arrives on my doorstep. When that happens, prepare for me to be as unreachable as a prisoner in Azkaban.  
  24. Have I really been able to make a list this long? If you made it to here, congratulations!  
  25. Last weekend, I witnessed a woman taking a serious REM-level nap in the middle of the Children's Museum. I monitored her sleeping for over a half an hour. Yes, she was breathing. I checked. After I took her picture. But really? REALLY?!?!?! 


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Awesome or Flawsome: Ghostbusters (2016)

First of all, I have to express that I am a true Ghostbusters fan. It's in my top ten favorite things from the 1980s (that's a blog post waiting to happen), I was a Ghostbuster for Halloween in 2010 (Egon Spangler), and I still can rap Bobby Brown's "On Our Own" like it is the summer of 1989. 


Ghostbusters 

This latest Ghostbusters movie comes thirty-two years after the 1984 original, and is a reboot rather than a sequel. The story line is reminiscent of its predecessors without being too repetitive or overly nostalgic. While not a children's movie by any means, this version might be great for tweens, providing they have a sense of humor and can understand that women can carry a movie as well as they carry their proton packs. Some of my favorite aspects:
  • The cameos! Wait for them. 
  • There are so many quotable lines... especially involving wonton soup!  
  • The casting is damn near superb.   
  • Kate McKinnon steals the show. My goodness is she talented. And I would do just about anything to hang out with her. 
  • There is room for more installments to come! 
Ghostbusters is officially awesome.


Limited Edition Key Lime Slime Twinkies
I bought these with the intent of sneaking them into the theater to epitomize the "when in Rome" mantra. So yeah, I was the girl who pulled Twinkies out of her purse right before the opening credits rolled. Because that's how I roll.
  • Despite being "Key Lime Slime" flavored, the icing is a putrid shade of green that looks more like guacamole than slime.
  • While Twinkies might be two chemicals away from being plastic, it's understood that when you are eating one, you can taste the fake. This version tastes even faker than fake. 
Key Lime Slime Twinkies are officially flawsome.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The First World Problems of HGB & MAB cont.

There have been forty-three posts of this nature; not surprisingly I continue to accumulate many contributions from family and friends in addition to the ones that MAB and me experience on our own. It all begs the question: Is life in the first world getting to be too hard for us? Well, yes. Yes it is.

As always, you should know that anything posted on facebook and Twitter is totally fair game. It's just too easy for me to pluck your first world problems from there and drop them here on The Steel Trap. I have screen shots for days. Note: Just because these are written in first person point of view, doesn't mean that they are MAB's or mine. Or does it? You decide.
  • Amazon Prime Day had the worst deals online since last year's Amazon Prime Day. 
  • The batteries died in my remote control after I had managed to turn on the television with that very remote. Because I was unable to get any further than the home screen, I had to get up off of the couch, walk all the way over to the television console, and replace the batteries before I could watch anything. It was exhausting. 
  • I didn't wear my fitbit to work today and lost out on over 6000 steps, thus rendering my day meaningless. 
  • Anything involving Pokémon is actually the worst thing ever. Not only has this shit clogged my facebook and twitter newsfeeds, but it's all over instagram and snapchat. It is also distracting people (like me) from being all political and all #______________livesmatter and I have no idea whether to be depressed, annoyed, shocked, horrified, or amused by it all.  
  • I don't have an outgoing mailbox so I have to go to the actual box across the major crossroad like a filthy casual.  
  • I would have made it to work ten minutes earlier, but "Black Betty" came on the radio. 
  • I've gotten so used to getting checks in the mail for the wedding as it's happened four days in a row. It's now the fifth day and I have no checks. I feel neglected. 
  • A guy in the seat directly behind me at the baseball game caught a fly ball and OMG it was scary. 
  • I can see my facebook notifications in Iceland but I can't actually see them because the internet is so slow.
  • I had to wait at the White House for three hours to meet the President and I wasn't allowed to bring my cell phone. 
  • Sharing your Netflix password is now a federal crime. 
  • I wanted to get a free Slurpee on Free Slurpee Day at 7-11, but the closest 7-11 to me gets robbed once a week. 
  • Apparently there are not enough avocados in the industry right now to supply the demand for avocados.  
  • I've been so sick because of pregnancy that I broke down in the urgent care crying about why women put themselves through this. 
  • With my cold, my ear is filled with so much fluid that I have to watch my television with closed caption turned on. 
  • Communal work fridges. 
  • I was so sick because of pregnancy that I projectile vomited and simultaneously peed my pants. This has happened to me twice now. I had also just peed.
  • I find random lip glosses in bags and think, "Geez, I didn't even know that I had that!" It's actually stressful. 
  • I was so sick because of pregnancy that I ran into the house from the car and didn't even get a chance to pet my dogs before I puked into the toilet. 
  • There are 8,546,721 people at LA Fitness. I've never had so much annoyance and anxiety while working out. 
  • I almost choked to death while gnawing on a block of Parmesan yesterday. So there's that. 
  • So it turns out that you're not able to catch a Pokémon on the Megabus as you travel 60 mph past them. 
  • Facebook was kind enough to remind me today that the last documented happy "moment" with my ex-husband happened three years ago today. 
  • I gained nine pounds in my first trimester and my doctor told me I can't gain anymore. I literally have to lose weight while pregnant.
  • I didn't get a pickle with my Tasty Turkey sandwich at Einstein's today AND they were out of potato bagels as well! 
  • This woman at Trader Joe's is choosing a bundle of asparagus more carefully than I chose my husband. 
  • I was so excited to wear my new shoes until I realized that I bought two right feet. 
  • Fortune cookies do not have a bunch of money in them, making them the most disappointingly named cookie ever. 
  • All I can think about and pregnancy crave is this strawberry water that tastes like rich people spa water that I found in Copenhagen. It's not available in the United States and they won't ship any to me. 
  • The electricity went out for too long and my Rocky Road Klondikes melted. 
  • I wasn't hungry before I started cooking dinner, but now I'm so hungry and it's all gone. I'm also pregnant.
  • I hate sunflower seeds and for some reason bagel makers like to include it in "everything bagels." Thought I got a bag without them only to find out they were just hiding in there!
  • My brain cannot even wrap around the idea of so many people in this world having time to walk about playing a game where you capture imaginary creatures with your phone. 
  • I HAVE to share this first world problem with you, but it is way too involved for a tweet: I am currently with three lady friends for a "girls weekend" of glamping at Firelight Camps in Ithaca. To give you the context of what "glamping" means, there is a spa in walking distance, they have wifi, we ordered Thai delivery last night, they have a bar with bartender, and I attached a picture of what their complimentary breakfast spread entails. ANYWAY, we are eating our Thai Takeout last night and playing trivial pursuit when this family comes in to the main "lobby" tent. They have two kids, like eight and eleven, and this place is about as kid friendly as a winery, meaning not entirely kid inappropriate, but not fun at all for kids, but they were well behaved so whatever who cares. The mother goes up to the manager guy, and starts complaining. They have checked in to their tent, and apparently it is unsatisfactory, BECAUSE THEY CAN STILL SEE BUILDINGS AND LIGHTS FROM THEIR TENTS. They are from NYC and see buildings and lights all the time. When they made a reservation she claims they were assured that they would NOT see any buildings and tents. There are only like eighteen tents here, all of which are booked up, so there isn't anywhere to move this city family, who is apparently DISSATISFIED THAT THEIR GLAMPING EXPERIENCE IS NOT RUSTIC ENOUGH. Also, a drunk Brooklynite bachelorette party attendee stopped my friend Kim on the way to the bathroom last night and asked her, desperately, "WHAT is that sound?!?! Are we SAFE?" The sound was bullfrogs.

Monday, July 11, 2016

11

Eleven thoughts and ideas on the eleventh of July...

  1. Holy hell. It's the eleventh of July.
  2. GUN VIOLENCE. I HAVE NO WORDS. 
  3. My Birkenstock and fitbit tan lines might be my greatest accomplishment of the past month. 
  4. I just finished the first and second seasons of the Netflix series Grace and Frankie. Thanks to ESD for the recommendation. The character Brianna is my soulmate. Now I have to wait until 2017 for the third season. WTH. 
  5. I will never understand casinos. And believe me, I've tried. 
  6. Also, I will never understand "heavy duty" mayonnaise. As opposed to what, you ask? "Light duty" mayonnaise? My point exactly.   
  7. On this day in 1804, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton. RIP to the the biggest posthumous crush that I've ever had. Sorry, Lincoln. You are still my #2 though.   
  8. Speaking of Alexander Hamilton, you may have missed my facebook proclamation a few weeks ago that alerted over 2000 of my closest friends that MAB and I will be going to see Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway in 2017. I feel compelled to add that whenever I am having a lousy moment, I simply remind myself that we will be "in the room where it happened," and all is well.  
  9. Mojito has discovered that my window sills are a rather nice vantage point from which to watch people and things and stuff. Of course he isn't big enough to jump up on them himself, so he has resorted to running into the wall repeatedly until I move a chair or ottoman for him to use as a jumping point. This was especially fun this morning at four a.m. 
  10. Interesting read in the New York Times: "Childless Women to Marketers: We Buy Things Too."   
  11. For the love of all things photographed, enough with the snapchat filters already. 
  12. This is everything. One of the comments on the video states, "My soul needed this." Damn right. Me too, me too. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Housekeeping

Oh hey. It's July. Cool. 
  • I'll just start this with the rough stuff. There is a person who has been making my life her/his business for over seven years. I have had less than a handful of brief interactions with this person, none of which were pleasant or comfortable. We are not from the same hometown. We did not attend college together. We have never been colleagues. We aren't even able to say that we are acquaintances, not that I would ever consider being that anyway. Last week I received information regarding yet another inquiry that this person has made about me. Sadly, I am powerless due to some complicated circumstances and if s/he happens to read this post, I just want her/him to know that I KNOW, OKAY. I KNOW. PEOPLE KNOW. 
  • I got summoned to jury duty in Fayette County. How did this happen considering that I haven't lived there since 1998, nor have I ever voted there? Let me explain. I got a divorce in Fayette County this past December. So the kind and thoughtful Jury Commissioner's Office sent a summons to me at an address where I have never lived: my former in-laws' home. Needless to say, when the plain white envelope [with no return address] containing only the summons arrived at my mother's home, there was a brief moment of confusion. And then I figured it out. Brilliant. Perfect. Tremendous. Do I need to mention how the fine folks at the Fayette County Courthouse got a lovely handwritten note from yours truly? Or did you suspect that they would?  
  • The Kenny Chesney concert situation is indeed that. A situation. I'd like for human behavior to change, but I think we all know that the likelihood of that is low.  
  • June was a nice month. I got to see the latest Cirque du Soleil show, I got to see MAB, I had some meaningful experiences with my nearest and dearest, I learned how to make a Jell-O mold, and I watched some incredible students graduate. 
  • I just finished with Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld. If you're an Austen fan you'll appreciate it. If you're not, don't even attempt to get through it. 
  • My most recent piece on Urban Cashmere was "The Summer Reading Mixtape."
  • If you have time, check out these pieces that I wrote for LOCALpittsburgh: "Fresh, Real, Smoked, and Cured"; "Bill's Bar & Burger: A Taste Test and Beer Pairing Guide"; and "The Art of the Digital Break-Up." 
  • I am pretty excited about Ghostbusters
  • Since Mojito is four years and two months old today, I will give him a little recognition on this post. Just when I thought that he couldn't surprise me with any more shenanigans, he stole three pieces of leftover pizza from the trash and hid them in several locations (in less than five minutes while I was taking a very quick shower). I later found them when I was folding laundry, laying on the couch, and getting into bed. Yup. He hid them under the pillows on the guest bed, under the throw pillows on the couch, and under the pillows on my bed. All I could do was laugh. 
  • I am writing this post from my favorite summer job at Sheldon Calvary Camp. It's quite true that a job doesn't feel like work, when it's a labor of love. True love.  
#nofilter #LakeErie 

As I have always said when ending one of these "Housekeeping" posts, thank you for reading and continuing to read The Steel Trap. June was another shockingly successful month regarding our number of hits; we surpassed 436K hits overall. We remain in the top 10 on zomato (formerly urbanspoon)! As always, thank you for "liking" The Steel Trap on facebook, following @The_Steel_Trap on Twitter, and @The_Steel_Trap on Instagram. Lastly, if anyone has anything that they would like me to cover, or a restaurant for me to review, please send me a message. I am always open to suggestions! Wait. No. I will not go to Golden Corral or to the Olive Garden to write a review. You'll meet Jesus before that happens. 

Helloooo July!
-HGB