Sunday, August 28, 2016

The First World Problems of HGB & MAB cont.

There have been forty-four 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, does not mean that they are MAB's or mine. Or does it? You decide.
  • I can never get my granola to pour from the bag into my bowl in a good way. 
  • I have so many flights on my calendar that I actually cannot keep track of them. 
  • I found adorable shoes that I want on sale at Nordstrom but they are Ivanka Trump and I CANNOT. 
  • I am legitimately upset that P.F. Chang's no longer makes Garlic Noodles. 
  • I don't think I have ever played a full game of Clue or Monopoly. Am I inadequate? 
  • Receipts from restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores contain high amounts of the cancer-inducing BPA. 
  • Paint primer has got to be one of the worst smells in the world. 
  • After having a butler for a week on vacation, I cannot adjust to real life. 
  • My new stapler doesn't open wide enough to staple stuff to bulletin boards. 
  • Forget gluten-free, GMO-free, etc. Every Mexican restaurant, Chipotle especially, needs to offer cilantro-free rice and salsa options. Just the worst. 
  • So my mom thought she was being helpful by doing my laundry. But my fitbit was in one of the pockets so... 
  • I ordered flatware from Macy's but received four Fiestaware wine glasses instead. Apparently they think I drink more than I eat. And THEN, when I got the "corrected" box from Macy's, I got three sets of forks and one set of spoons instead of two and two. 
  • I just lost a beautiful pork chop because I didn't know that you cannot broil with Pyrex. Stay safe, friends. 
  • My outfit for the first day of school was already picked out and I even got my armpits waxed in anticipation of wearing sleeveless. Then my boss revealed that the entire staff was going to wear polyester golf shirts with the Maryland flag on them. 
  • Can we have a moment of silence for my favorite bra? This morning the underwire finally poked out. 
  • I tried to explain Bachelor in Paradise to my husband. As it turns out, some things just cannot be explained. 
  • KFC's new Extra Crispy Sunscreen is not edible. 
  • I am trying to catch up on the Real Housewives of Orange County but the landscapers are making way too much noise cutting the grass and cleaning said grass from the deck. 
  • I cannot decide if I want to swim in my pool or go to the beach, which is five miles from my house. 
  • My wine foil cutter went missing in my recent move. I had to peel the foil off of the bottle like a poor college student. I felt like I was in 2000 all over again. 
  • Ryan Lochte and his big white lies. 
  • When your GPS tell you to drive up a set of Pittsburgh city steps. 
  • I had 9,762 steps on my fitbit but I had to go to Diner en Blanc, and you're not allowed to where anything but white; clearly this means that I was unable to get to my daily 10,000 step goal despite the fact that Diner en Blanc is an event with significant walking involved. 
  • I got my appendix removed four days ago, which resulted in some soreness in my abdomen. Wearing pants is painful. However, I wanted to wear my white pants one more time before Labor Day. So I did.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Twenty thoughts and ideas on the twentieth of August...

Lake Erie | August 2016 | photo by me, taken on an old iPhone 5s | no filter

  1. There are few instances that provide more solace and peace than taking the time to watch a beautiful sunset.
  2. It's been eleven days since I wrote anything that wasn't work-related. Clearly that's too long, which brings us to this post. 
  3. I added a spicy hot pepper jam from a farmers' market to Isaly's Original Barbecue sauce and used it to make a chipped chopped ham bbq sandwich. Goodness gracious. I licked my plate. 
  4. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a well-written novel, and a quick "beach" read. If you're going away on a late-summer trip, I recommend checking it out.  
  5. Speaking of The Woman in Cabin 10, Ware uses the word avuncular twice, which I now know means "of or relating to an uncle." Finally I have a word for all of those instances when I want to describe someone as an uncle. Ha. 
  6. The Sonia Kashuk Brow Definer (Target, $5.99) is the best that I've found for a rather reasonable price. Thanks to LKM for the recommendation!  
  7. I am two episodes into Stranger Things (Netflix) and I am on the bandwagon, which is significant only because y'all know I don't tolerate suspense ever. Winona Ryder is perfect. The opening credits are brilliant. 
  8. Bad Moms was hilarious; it was also perfectly cast. SPOILER ALERT: the whole bit about the bake sales is funny because it's true. 
  9. I love naps.  
  10. Whatchamacallit candy bars are underrated and my favorite.  
  11. Sour Patch Kids have come out with bags of ALL red strawberry sour candies. THIS IS AMAZING.  
  12. The Run Around the Square is next Saturday (08/27). I expect to see fans cheering for Mojito and myself in the 1.5 mile run! Not sure if my hips will cooperate, but we will finish for sure!
  13. Ryan Lochte is an asshat.  
  14. So is the Donald.  
  15. So are all of the people who say hateful things about Gabby Douglas. 
  16. I watched Anchorman 2 again and it didn't get any better. I think it actually got worse. BUT, I still lost my mind over the scene where Champ refers to bats as "chicken of the cave." 
  17. I am going to say this even though it shouldn't have to be said. Please do not send me unwarranted facebook messages that suggest we go on a date. Also, however I choose to handle your message, whether it's directly replying or indirectly replying through a mutual friend, is my call. You put me on the spot. You get what you get.   
  18. This is a great (albeit short) opinion piece from The Washington Post, "Teachers are not the problem, poverty is." It is in response to the Post's August 12 piece "Gates Foundation to 'stay the course' as it seeks to help shape education policies." 
  19. Also, I love The Washington Post. I would sweep their floors just to say I worked for the Post.  
  20. This song. Is everything. Just listen. Ruth B is a goddess. She speaks my language. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August 9, 1990

In this life of uncertainty, my sister is one person that's certain in my life.

She's certain to share her first world problems with me... every single day.

She's certain to look adorable in all of her snapchat and instagram pictures.

She's certain to give me [warranted] constructive criticism on all things HGB.

She's certain to say "NO!" to our annual holiday card, but she's certain to indulge me eventually.

She's certain to freak out when I try to warm my perpetually cold feet under her thighs when we are sitting on the couch.

She's certain to roll her eyes after reading that.

She's certain to introduce me to all sorts of relevant things from books to music to trends to super important information about super cool stuff that we mutually appreciate.

She's certain to be better behaved in more situations than I am.

She's certain to inspire me (and so many others) in every aspect of life.

She's certain to light up any room upon entering, even one that's very well lit.

She's certain to live her life with integrity, even on the hardest of days.

She's certain to be my forever friend.

Happy 26th Birthday MAB! You are certainly loved.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Post-it Note Killer!

Once upon a time a single, thirtysomething woman lived in a secure building of a nice and quiet dog-friendly apartment complex. She liked her apartment. She felt comfortable and safe.

A man moved two doors down from her in the spring. Over time, he became friendly and courteous although he tended to appear out of nowhere a little too coincidentally, most often when she was taking out her dog. In one instance, she thought that he may have mumbled "you're beautiful" in passing, but she wasn't sure and didn't think anything of it.

Then one day she found this Post-it note on her front door.

... because capital letters suggest yelling and two exclamation points express double enthusiasm.

Cryptic and using the same sentence construction pattern as Yoda, this note was everything that she never wanted. She immediately deemed the "unsub" (unknown subject) the "Post-it Note Killer," just in case her life story was quickly becoming material for an episode of Criminal Minds or Law & Order: SVU.

Two days later, the man appeared when she was taking out her dog, and asked if she could come outside so he could talk about something with her. Thinking quickly, she looked at her fitbit like it was a watch, claimed that she had to hurry up and get ready because her [very imaginary] boyfriend was coming to pick her up, and tried to make a joke while steadily heading toward her apartment.

Her life has been without incident since that encounter, but not without consequence.

She's annoyed. She's looking over her shoulder and is on edge every time she walks in, out of, and around her building. She feels like she is being watched.

And so she goes to her blog and presents her story. She reminds folks that this is no way to treat a neighbor. She waits by the phone for her mother to call in response to this post.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


I am not thrilled about August; so much so that I procrastinated on writing this post because I am just not ready for what's to come. And I don't even feel like elaborating on that so don't ask. 

July brought some bright spots like quality visits with quality people, along with some field trips to places the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the Carnegie Museum(s) of Natural History and Art, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, the Cathedral of Learning, Bethlehem (PA), and Ripepi Winery. It also brought back the "Boy Who Lived" to me and every other Harry Potter person out there; thus, at the moment I am trying to finish Harry Potter and the Cursed Child before someone who had the time to read it in the first forty-eight hours ruins it for me. 

August brings a few noteworthy events that I should mention (at least in my mind): 
  • Birthdays (MAB, SAA, and RRM)! 
  • Savor Pittsburgh (I am a judge!): VIP tickets are still available for Savor Pittsburgh, a fundraiser featuring the city’s finest chefs competing for “Dish of the Year,” with proceeds benefiting the life-saving research of Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation (MWRIF). Savor Pittsburgh’s VIP experience begins at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 25 at Stage AE, located at 400 N. Shore Dr., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15212. VIP guests will enjoy a one-hour private party prior to the event’s general admission, featuring delicious appetizers from McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s Steakhouse, Mitchell’s Fish Market and The Grand Concourse, along with top-shelf cocktails and entertainment. Tickets can be purchased here. Savor Pittsburgh benefits MWRIF, which continues to fight the number one killer of newborns: premature birth. At Magee, dedicated physician-scientists are working tirelessly to find answers to reduce premature births and give babies and mothers a healthy start in life. It benefits people like Erin Dunn, a young girl who was born at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC on Feb. 9, 2008, weighing just a single pound. Erin spent 88 days in the hospital, fighting multiple infections and receiving nutrients through a feeding tube. Erin is now six years old and stronger than ever, thanks to the life-saving care and work provided by Magee. Though she has some development delays related to her prematurity and receives services in occupational, physical and speech therapy, her mother describes her as “the hardest, most determined worker I know!” Savor Pittsburgh is filled with appealing appetizers, entrees, delightful desserts and cocktails. A sprawling outdoor landscape with a special indoor VIP area will be constructed at the venue for an elegant evening of food, drinks and dancing, all to support the cause of ending premature births. For more information, visit
  • Diner en Blanc is on August 27. It was one of my favorite nights of 2015, and if you get the chance to go, GO! 
  • Pittsburgh Restaurant Week

As I have always said when ending one of these "Housekeeping" posts, thank you for reading and continuing to read The Steel Trap. July was another successful month regarding our number of hits; we surpassed 470K 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 August!