Pittsburgh Does Weird Things to You

As most of you have come to find out about me (and some have come to really dislike about me), I very rarely spend the weekend in Boston. Like a 5-year old, I can’t sit still, and hey, I have a lot of friends that need visiting.

So last weekend I decided a trip to Pittsburgh was in order. Miss Audrey Marks has recently moved back there, I had never been, and I’ve heard nothing but awesome things. Also, they’re filming the latest installment of Batman in the city. Um, when Christian Bale is in town, you go to there.

Audrey picked me up from the airport (FYI, the flight is less than two hours from Boston, so get on that), and we immediately went to a site so famous that I couldn’t believe my very own eyes: Target. Not the new Target, mind you, but a Target nonetheless. I then lost my Ikea virginity (don’t worry, there will be a separate post; there are just so many things!) and headed to the liquor store and Jo-Ann’s Fabric. Yes, my friends. Drinking Rumple Minze and buying buttons. This is Pittsburgh.

After offloading my stuff at Audrey’s house, which actually belongs to her friend Nick and quite frankly is one of the coolest houses ever, she then drove me to the stacks (Black and Yellow style) and force-fed me a cheeseburger with a fried egg on top, which my stomach hated. We drove home past Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, all the bars, restaurants and Jewish bookstores. Then my body shut down. Which kind of happens anytime I do something to it it doesn’t like (such as consuming a lifetime of cholesterol in one meal), and it’s pretty scary considering I could be close to death and my body will want nothing to do with fighting it off. Anyway, if we’re keeping a running tally,

Trips to Target: 1
Cheeseburgers with fried egg: 1
Cool houses: 1
Brushes with death: 1

The next morning I woke up feeling better, and after a few cups of coffee Audrey and I went to feed her friend’s cat that only has three legs. I can’t even go into this. We headed to the grocery store to buy all the ingredients for fruit salad (um, just fruit, actually) and headed back home to shower and change for Audrey’s friend’s baby shower. On the way however, we saw a vaguely racist Canadian UHaul advertisement. I mean, how many times in your life are you going to say that? While I understand the intended message, I’m not sure that the side of a UHaul is really the time or the place and I feel like this needs to be investigated. Anyway, when we got back I watched the episode of West Wing where they nominate Mendoza for the open Supreme Court justice seat. And cried. Guys, the theme music alone is a tear-jerker.

Trips to Target: 1
Cats with three legs: 1
Brushes with death: 1
Racist Canadians: at least 3 plus their furniture
Episodes of West Wing: 2-plus

At the baby shower, which was possibly the best one I’ve ever been to, I downed two John Daly’s (alcoholic Arnold Palmer’s), ate a bag of lime-flavored Tostitos, washed those down with some fried chicken and then made an attempt at a toasted almond cupcake. I don’t know if it was the food overload, my alcohol intake, or the site of all the plastic naked babies strewn about the table, but this time it took my body about two hours to admit defeat, and when it finally did it was terrible. I made Audrey take me home, and again fell asleep in her bed in 2.5 seconds. I am seriously, the worst house guest ever.

Trips to Target: 1
Cholesterol intake: limitless
Cool houses: 2
Brushes with death: 2
Naked plastic babies: dozens

Sunday morning I woke up before everyone else and watched Real Housewives of New Jersey. Thank you Jeeeeesus! I was feeling better and ready to make my last day count. Audrey’s friend Nick came home from a weekend of almost dying while white water rafting and finding murder weapons in the woods to take us to Target again. I feel like Target should be part of the United Nations. It’s something everyone can agree on. It can be neutral soil. If you’re in a Target you can seek asylum. Maybe get a Starbucks latte or two. These are just ideas.

We had to flee Target for fear of embarrassment after Nick tried to steal some man’s cart, with his walking cane inside of it, and after a few more hours catching up with Audrey, it was sadly time to head to the airport. However, Audrey apparently didn’t think she’d had enough time with me, and she tried to hold me hostage at the Robinson Panera Bread. As I kept nervously checking the time, she kept telling me I had plenty more minutes to spare. When she dropped me off at the airport 40 minutes before my flight, that looked less likely.

It was questionable whether or not my bag was going to make it onto my plane, as the kiosk was blinking at an alarming rate and telling me I was too late for check-in. When I asked the woman at the counter whether or not my bag was definitely going to make it to Boston on the 5:40, she said “absolutely. We almost always get them on.” Dear Lady, Almost and always are not the same. Love, Kelly.

When I got to the security check-point, I realized my luggage was going to be the least of my worries as my eyes gazed upon the lines that were at the time reaching out the door. It would be at least an hour’s wait. So I approached a TSA worker, codename: Whitman. “I can’t possibly stand in this line.” I told him. Obviously he looked at me cockeyed. “Ma’am, everyone has to go through security.” I explained to Whitman that my flight was currently boarding, and there was no way I was going to make it home if I had to wait. “I can’t tell you to do this,” he whispered, “but they won’t stop you if you go through the First Class line.” Great advice. Until the person standing in front of me was, what else, an Air Marshal.

Trips to Target: 2
Cholesterol intake: limitless
Cool houses: 2
Brushes with death: 3
Terrorist Acts: 1

We’ll call him Air Marshal Bob. He seemed a nice enough man, as he tried to pretend he was just a regular first class passenger taking off his shoes and pulling his laptop out of his briefcase. But AMB didn’t know that I grew up in a Marine Corps family, and I can spot a high and tight haircut from a mile away. “You ever have one of those days,” he asked me while we waited to push our bags through the X-ray machine. Honestly, if this were a movie, I’d be staring down the barrel of his gun as he said that line. “Having one right now,” I said, as calmly as possible. Air Marshal Bob looked me up and down. He assessed the ticket sitting in my bin, and my license, all very covertly. At some point he must have decided I was not a terrorist, and that I actually was just really late for my flight. He let it go. And, well, let’s just say if you’ve never had an Air Marshal escort you to your gate you really should try it sometime.

Trips to Target: 2
Lost luggage: uncertain
Cool houses: 2
Brushes with death: 3
Air Marshal escorts: 1

Thankfully, my flight to Boston was uneventful. Oh no wait. It was not. So, I drank a gallon of Pepsi and had to use the laboratory lavatory. I hate doing this on planes because after sitting for a while I’m not steady on my feet and I always feel like I’m going to fall into someone’s lap. If my life were a romantic comedy, that would be a meet cute, but I can assure you, my life is not and I’d probably get put on some kind of “sexual predators in the skies” watch list. Anyway, I had noticed that one of the flight attendants was a jolly man in his late 40s who was rather large. I had made note of him because I was certain the other flight attendant was drunk and at some point I was probably going to have to notify someone.

So I safely make it to the back of the plane and at first, patiently wait for the bathroom to become vacant. After standing there for about 10 minutes, I start to get antsy. I can hear movement in there. I know someone’s in the bathroom. But what the eff could they possibly be doing in there? And then it happened. The door opened up and the jolly old flight attendant came bounding out, rolled up newspaper in his hands. Oh dear lord.

“It’s ALLLLLLLL yours,” he said. He might as well have been holding his nose and waving his hand in front of his face. It was not a good time.

Back in Boston, I thought I had had all I could possibly stand for one weekend. There had been just so many things going on, and with my body shutting down and everything I was nervous that there was very little I could still withstand. So obviously, when I got down to baggage claim, Massachusetts state troopers had surrounded a suspicious shopping bag that had apparently been left unattended for some time. It turned out to be nothing, except heightened American materialism which leaves us with so many purchases we can’t even remember how much we have, which some may say is a terrorist act in itself, but that’s a lot of politics and philosophizing that I just can’t get into today. Crisis averted, for now at least.

So thank you to Audrey for a great weekend. I think it may have taken years off my life, but it was worth it. And if we’re totaling up the tally for the three days, I think it should look something like this:

Trips to Target: 2
Cholesterol intake: limitless
Cheeseburgers with fried egg: 1
Lost luggage: 0
Cool houses: 2
Brushes with death: 4
Terrorist Acts: 2
Racist Canadians: who knows
Episodes of West Wing: it’s just so good!
Air Marshal escorts: 1
Naked plastic babies: dozens

5 Comments

Filed under BEST Things Ever, The Crazy People I Call My Own

5 responses to “Pittsburgh Does Weird Things to You

  1. C.

    Hey! You look cute in glasses. I never knew.

  2. Vivian

    Hahahaha “it’s alllllll yours”!!! too funny

  3. Sound’s like quite a trip, wow!

  4. Johnnie LeFebvre

    Welcome to my stomping grounds. 🙂 Lived there for 3 years. Southside is awesome on top of Robinson Township. Don’t forget the Waterfront. Lived in Allegheny Center. Went to the Art Institute of Pitt on BLVD of the Allies. Hope all is well. -J

  5. Pingback: PLL Questions: An Inaugural Missive | NoMad Blogger

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