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View Article  Riveting Rosies Rock

UPDATE:  See You Tube link at the end ...


Here's one suggestion for a perfect summer evening:  spend a few balmy hours out on the patio of a local coffeehouse in the company of friends (and your lover) while you listen to some of Pittsburgh's talented chica singer-songwriters, collectively known as the Riveting Rosies.

I was feeling rather nosy

so I thought that I would go see

the most Riveting of Rosies

the stage was kind of cozy

There's more than one singer of these lyrics that keeping running through my mind.

The most I seek my music locally the closer I am to fine ...

Better keep my day job, huh? 

Seven women filled the stage with more than an evening's worth of melody, harmony and memory.  The Rosie's include:

Tracy Drach - after a few bars of her first song, I immediately thought of that perfect moment in the morning when you caress your first cup of coffee -- rich and strong with just a hint of cream.  The kind of java that you need to drink so it can sustain you through the rest of the day.  That's what I thought about.  I also thought that Tracy's voice is exactly how I sound in my head when I belt out my favorite tunes. 

Stacy Mates - She sang this really unique love song about hating Ohio.  It worked.  Here's what I noticed about Stacy -- she sang harmony on just about every song the others performed and she was really good.  Good as in transforming a good song into a really great performance. 

Patty Spinner - I kept thinking I knew her songs or maybe I just should know them.  I wrote in my notes (yes, I carry a notepad with me to capture bloggable moments) "fuses good rhythmic guitar with interesting lyrics."  She's moving away which is a pity b/c she has this whole package of good songs, good instrumentation (is that the right word?) and a good voice.  Plus, she played the washboard.  How cool is that?

Heather Kropf - Heather played the keyboard at the back of the stage, so she was sort of this mysterious goddess voice speaking from the midst of the Rosies.  She had a really rich and polished voice.  She also was incredibly gracious about lifting up her talented friends.  I bought one of her CDs.  I expect it to be good.

Janet Ingram - Janet had a great dress on.  I know that seems like a shallow thing to observe, but I just had to put that out there.  Janet was wry and funny.  She writes some cool stuff, especially a great song about actually liking Pittsburgh.  That alone gives her a kajillion bonus points in my book.  I would love a copy of that song.

Sue Gartland - Another irrelevant note:  Sue has an uncanny resumblance to my sister-in-law Candace.  So I was disposed to really like her from the get go.  She did not disappoint.  She has a rich, charismatic voice and really delightful lyrics.  She had a super fun song about fast food that really transported me right to my childhood.  I was disappointed that she didn't have a CD. 

And, finally, there's Eve Goodman.  You may recall that we really like Eve's music. It has just been a little over a year since we met her and her also very cool significant other.  We've had the good fortune to get to know them a bit which just adds to the pleasure of listening to her perform.  What struck me the most last night was what a wicked guitar player she is.  She played the entire evening and the other performers gave her multiple shout outs for her improvisations.  She is seriously really good. Really.  The other thing that struck me was how much she was enjoying herself. 

My only wish would have been for the performers to reconstruct an unexpected song, much like Mary Chapin Carpenter and friends during their "Singer-Songwriter" tour a few years ago.  I think her group did a folk take on a boy band song.  As I was composing this, Blondie comes on the radio.  I'd love to hear Dreaming or maybe I Love Rock and Roll or even I Wanna Be Sedated.  Maybe I'm weird, but I think it would be fun.  (Please no Beatle songs.  Thank you.)

It was a really nice evening.  The weather was great.  The crowd was mellow.  Yes, there were a few less than perfect moments.  The menu was really limited which was a bummer because we had to get there super early to get a seat.  The opening act (Prickly Pear?) was just so-so, but drew this really large group of people with toddlers and preschoolers.  It was like a conference of yuppies with poor parenting skills.  The kids were cute, but unruly.  Their parents were not so cute, especially those who were actually pouting because they couldn't find a seat.  One woman plopped her toddler down on the pathway between the kitchen and the patio, taking umbrage when the chef politely asked her to move. Jesus. 

Plus, this is the second venue we've been to where the hummus is not accompanied by pita or anything crispy.  Just veggies.  Ironically, the Quiet Storm (veggie heaven) does serve pita. What's up with that?

The Riveting Rosie's are definitely worth an evening of your time.  Or two.  You'll have a good time.  And you'll support local music.  Do it.

UPDATE:  I found an excerpt of the Mary Chapin Carpenter Singer/Songwriters Tour.  And, yes, it includes a few moments of their rendition of "I Want It That Way."  So without further ado ...


View Article  Priory Fine Pastries: Cupcakes = Good, Lack of Napkins = Not so good

Ok, this is really bugging me so I have to post to get off my chest. As a Northsider, I am a frequent flier at the best little bakeshop over here, Priory Fine Pastries on East Ohio Street.  I stop in to pick up bread, muffins for weekends breakfasts and the occasional pie/cake for a dinner party.  I usually get cookies, too.  Yum.

Last week, I picked up some PMS cookies and heard the staff person tell a woman at the coffee station that they were out of napkins as she handed her a paper towel.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  I have 45 minutes to kill before my car is ready so I trot in here for coffee and a snack (and access to an outlet.)  When I pour my coffee, I realize I need a napkin so I ask the very cheerful young woman behind the counter.  She tells me they are now out of both napkins and paper towels.  In disbelief, I say "You have no paper towels in the store."  She shrugs and nods.  Apparently, the distributor has not provided them. 

So as I sip my coffee, I begin to wonder what that means.  No paper towels in the staff restroom?  No paper towels to clean up spills and messes?  No paper towels even though the Cedar Avenue Giant Eagle is probably a 3 minute drive from here?  You can't send a smiling staff member trotting down the street to pick up a few rolls of Bounty to tide you over?

I'm sorry, but 99% of baked goods require some sort of dabbing materials upon consumption.  There are flakes and crumbs.  There is powdered sugar, jimmies and finely chopped nuts to contend with when you eat baked goods.  It is not a pretty sight.  If you want neat and tidy, eat carrots.

Especially, if you are eating PMS cookies. 

So, now I have this nice little bag of bakery treats that I cannot eat b/c I have visions of bakery staff wiping their post-bathroom hands on their aprons and trotting up front. I'm sure they have bathroom paper towels or something, but still ...

I should have gone to Beleza

View Article  Class Reunion

Yesterday, it finally arrived.  It being a very preliminary announcement of my 20th class reunion in the summer of 2008.  I have been out of high school nearly 20 years.  Wow.

To be honest, my recollection of high school is somewhat hazy.  Sometimes I'll think of a person from my past and not remember if I knew them in high school or college ... people sort of blur together when you lose touch.  Certainly, I remember my old friends as well as the folks who made high school less than pleasant.  But there's an entire circle of folks that meld into this outer ring of "that short guy/girl who wore red lipstick/guy in the back of math class" status.  Those are probably the ones making the most money and living the happiest lives now.  :-)

I volunteered to set up an email list for the planning group (1 person thus far) and several folks have joined.  None of my old friends, but at least I do recognize most of their names.  I'm a bit gunshy about reconnecting.  Sometimes, you run into someone and really hit it off as adults ... that happened with my friend Amy who I met at age 4 and reconnected with about 5 or 6 years ago.  Sometimes, you run into someone who seems really cool in their adult persona, but things never move beyond the parking lot chatter at the Giant Eagle.  And, to be honest, sometimes you run into people and hope they lose your email address.  What sucks is when you don't have reunion parity --- I might think they are really cool adult persona types and they think I'm lose the email address type.  Or vice versa.  It is all very complicated.  I learned this after moving back to my hometown of West Mifflin at the age of 27.  Apparently, I look just like I did in high school (just fatter)  so I constantly ran into people from back in the day.  Literally, b/c they would stop short and say my name, while I was hoping they weren't going to jump in line ahead of me.  No clue as to who they were.  Fortunately, I'm adept at bluffing.

And, of course, there's the whole thing about coming out to another 200 or so people.  I know for a fact that there is one other lesbian from my graduating class.  I'm inclined to believe there are plenty more gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons lurking amongst the alumni.  And that's what I'm looking to know -- who turned out gay?  It is shallow and silly, I know.  But I'm curious.  I'm also curious as to who will be freaked out, shocked or appalled (hello quasi-Christians).  I should add that Ledcat is decidedly not excited about attending my reunion and is only slightly mollified that my friend Amy and her husband Sean are going to be there.  We mutually decided to try and determine whether the lesbians or the biracial couple get more attention. 

I'm really hoping people will pleasantly surprise me.  Really.  In spite of my bluster, there is something precious about reconnecting with someone from your childhood or youth.  I don't believe in reliving the glory days and I'm certainly not a proponent that people reach their peak at age 16, but it can be nice to be transported back to less complicated times.  Don't get me wrong -- my childhood was not something I would ever willingly relive, but there were moments ...

I'd like to get to know some of the grownup versions of my high school chums.  I bet they turned out to be really neat people.  And I'd like the chance to clear up some of the hazy memories with modern interactions. 


View Article  Dyke March - Pittsburgh Style


It is the most dykeable time of the year!

Pittsburgh's 2nd Annual Dyke March

Saturday, July 21, 2007

5 PM   Mingling time -- make a poster, make a friend


AFTER MARCH -- byob (bring your own basket) picnic location TBA

All dyke-identified women are welcome to attend.  Male and female allies are asked to march separately alongside the main contingent to show your support.

This event was awesome last year.  Dozens of women of all flavors turned out to march through Oakland with very little ensuing complications.  Ledcat has been helping with the permit/police issues (doesn't she rock, my little Ledcat?) and we are very, very excited. 

Organizer Eli thinks this event is a big step for Pittsburgh's lesbian community, an opportunity to carve out an identity separate from the white gay male driven leadership so dominant at other events.  She's not a separatist, but she does think that spending time solely in the company of lesbians has its benefits.  And there isn't a lot just lesbian oriented in Pgh, at least not activites that have a grounding in political action. 

I love the word dyke b/c it has power and that resonates with me.  I love Eli b/c she cares about political action and can coherently speak about the misogyny in the queer community. 

But this isn't a bunch of scary angry women shaking their fists at "the man" and railing against penis lovers.  It is about women coming together and feeling powerful and strong because of our queer identity. 

You should come.  Look for Ledcat 'n me.  We'll be talking with the police and arguing over who has to carry the picnic basket.

View Article  Ravenstahl to Battered Women: Let us play golf!

While over one hundred city residents packed Council Chambers to discuss issues of domestic violence and the police, Luke went golfing.  Jeremy Boren at the Trib has the story:

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl played at a celebrity golf tournament rather than face more than 100 women angered by the promotions of three police officers linked to accusations of domestic violence or disturbances in their pasts.

"I can confirm that he was there both days," said Nancy Angus, director of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, which organizes the annual Mario Lemieux Celebrity Tournament.

"He played as an amateur. He didn't play as a celebrity," Angus said Tuesday.

David at 2PJs does an excellent job skewering the hypocrisy.

Wait a sec! He was denying he was there as recently as Sunday - and it was a charitable event?? He's denied he was at a charitable event and then when it was confirmed that he was - THEN he says criticising him for it "smacks of crass politics and yellow journalism"?

Here's what I want to know more about.  According to the Mario Lemieux Foundation website, the cost for an amateur to participate in the two-day golf event is $27,000.  This includes:

  • One golf group each day (three golfers per day) of the Pro-Am at the exclusive Laurel Valley Golf Club
  • Breakfast/lunch in private dining area
  • Pro-Am gift bag
  • Team prizes awarded to 1st-3rd place teams on each day
  • Commemorative money clip
  • Evening Social for Pro-Am participants, Laurel Valley Golf Club
  • So, Luke spent $27,000 to go golfing for charity rather than attend a public hearing on police battering women. 

    Where on earth did he get the $27,000?  Maybe he can pull out that "commemorative money clip" and come up with a comparable donation for the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime, Women's Center and Shelter, and PAAR. 

    He's a despicable excuse for a leader. 

    View Article  Let Freedom Ring, Let the White Dove Sing ...

    Roll that stone away ... let the guilty pay ... it's Independence Day ....

    View Article  Santorum spokesfag goes to work for Fred Thompson

    Guess whose back in all his self-loathing glory?  Yes, that's right ... Santorum's very own spokesfag, Robert Traynham. After licking his wounds with some of the soothing corporate money vis a vis his PR consulting work, Traynham has hitched his wagon to the potential Thompson campaign as a senior advisor.

    Now it seems he's changed course and has signed on with actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson's campaign as a senior adviser.

    It's a "shrewd move," says Sharon Cobb...

    who notes Traynham brings strong qualifications to the campaign plus hiring the openly gay man could help win support of moderate Republicans.

    Just two short years ago, blogactive's Michael Rogers outed Traynham as a closeted gay man working for Santorum.  Here at Lesbian Central we choked on the hypocrisy of that match. 

    Apparently, Traynham needs to whomp on his fellow homos a bit more. Thompson on gay issues?  Hate Crimes - voted "No" twice.  Defense of Marriage Act - voted "Yes."  ENDA - voted "No." 

    As Rogers puts it "At least Robert will feel right at home." 

    Great.  Check out our previous posts on the derring do of our favorite spokesfag.

    h/t BlogActive.com

    View Article  Non-Live Blogging: Luke really knows how to throw a party

    This afternoon, I thought it might be interesting to live blog an event that the Mayor actually attends. Something critical and groundbreaking, perhaps even newsworthy.  Like, say perhaps, a "garden" party to celebrate his single-handed reclamation of a porn palace for the good citizens of Pittsburgh.  <insert applause>

    So off we toddled to West Park for the 4 PM kick-off time.  We were promised live music and refreshments, plus entertainment.  After snagging a primo parking spot on Arch Street, we thought things were going to be groovy and we were really looking forward to seeing the theater.

    Unfortunately, Luke's partying aptitude requires a heavy dose of yinzerettes and Iron City, because this was just ... sad.

    See, the party was across the street from the Garden Theater.  But ... we weren't allowed to go in because there was a performance scheduled for later that evening.  The nice lady keeping the homeless people away from the refreshment stand told us that we could save $2.00 on admission to the show.  She also told us that the garden party was from 1 - 4 PM (it was 4:15 at the time) and refreshments would be served at 5 PM.  So, perhaps she wasn't the most reliable of reporters. 

    This is where I stop the narrative.  Why would you throw a party to celebrate reclaiming a theater and not let people see it?  What the hell?  Instead, I got to see 20 photos of the glory days and argue with a fussy gay man that, no I was not spending time at the Garden in 1974, because I was three years old and dealing with a curfew.  Thus, I could not authentically sign his Garden Theater memory book.  He seemed pissed. 

    So we milled around with the yuppies for awhile and fended off the overly eager Citi-Parks employees handing out programs, as well as some frightening giant puppet people.  There were a few artsy vendors.  I think someone drew a giant circle of protection in chalk around the whole affair to ward off people who don't pay property taxes.  <am I being too mean?  Ledcat thinks that, yes, I am.>

    Meanwhile, I thirsted.  The food lady told me that there were two whole coolers of beverages, but none for me.  I had to wait until after the Mayor spoke. Cause if you throw a summer party and invite the entire Northside, why provide beverages to slake their thirst?  Make 'em wait!  I suppose I could trot down to the corner store ... oh wait, this is the Northside.  The corner store is 17 blocks away.  Darn. 

    My thirst got the best of me.  So we trotted back to Arch Street with plans to head to see our niece and get a glass of water to boot.  With ice.  On the way, we passed a car with tags that read "Ms. Tonya" and a bumper stickers proclaiming "African-Americans for Kerry/Edwards" so I presume my City Council Rep was there.  Good for her.

    I hope she brought a bottle of water.

    Truth be told, I wasn't really going to live blog. I brought my trusty notepad and several pens.  I even wrote some stuff down until I was accosted by yet another puppet person and decided to flee for the relative sanctity of Perry Hilltop.  I did make time to stop and tell all the locals (taxpayers and otherwise) that dinner was on at 5 PM sharp.

    This was a silly little event designed for self-congratulations and the never-ceasing Mayoral commitment to throw us off the important issues.  Who throws a party and doesn't let you see the inside of the building?  If my tax dollars built the damn barn, get the friggin giant puppet the hell out of the way and let me see what I have bought.

    Maybe they should just send the giant puppets to City Council meetings and leave Luke to do the really important stuff ...  

    View Article  Speaking of the police ...

    Here's something sad and pathetic about the abuse of police pwer ...

    An officer who ordered two women to put on a "sex show" in a jail cell will be fired. 

    Norberto Cappas, 32, was found guilty by a police tribunal of conduct unbecoming an officer and lying during a departmental investigation and will lose his job following a 30-day suspension, the department said.

    Internal Affairs investigators found that Cappas ordered the two women to kiss and touch each other and expose their breasts in September 2003.

    The two had been picked up on suspicion of drug possession, but they had no drugs and were not charged with a crime.

    It took FOUR YEARS for something to happen.  And it only happened after the Philadelphia Inquirer started asking questions.  In the meantime, a civil suit was settled, but even that didn't get the police brass off their asses to do something about this "unbecoming" conduct and the idiot behind it all. 

    Sends a really good message to the entire female population of Philadelphia, the entire LGBT population and most of the heterosexual male population who probably find this repulsive. 

    What is it about police culture that attracts these sick power-mongering fucks? 

    View Article  Correspondent Covers City Council Hearing.

    I was busy today at the City Council hearing on the promotions of three police officers with domestic violence histories (or allegations).  I live blogged for the Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society.  You can start here and scroll back through nine posts.

    While local LGBT activist Billy Hileman showed up to testify, I was somewhat stunned that no other LGBT leaders were there to at least put the issue of same-sex intimate partner violence on the table.  In the usual scenario, victims of same-sex domestic violence are hesitant to contact the police for fears stemming from perceived homophobia ... they won't be believed, they won't be treated fairly, etc.  Imagine the deeper chilling effect upon LGBT couples living in Zone 2 where Commander Trosky now presides?  Or having someone show up at your door who is in the news for assaulting his own daughter? 

    So, I wonder why no one from Persad testified at this hearing? 

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