Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today is Thanksgiving. I think the thing that I am most thankful for is that I still have my Mom. Mom has been through a lot and even though she isn't really the same, I am thankful that she is still here.

Riley and I went to visit her today. We took her a piece of pumpkin pie, which she loved. Riley gets so excited when he goes there. He just loves her. He got lots of attention from a number of nurses and residents. The highlight of my day was just seeing my Mom's face light up when she saw him.

When leaving, like normal, I ran into the long, white, haired woman with the mad, red eyes that was always spewing hateful words. I was amazed to see her melt and turn into the sweetest lady while petting Riley and telling him what a good boy he is. Animals truly do touch your heart. I witnessed that today. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The many careers of Fonda Bruises

Recently, in my research for Reuben's Grave, I blogged about being a cemetery memorial designer. Burgh Baby left me a comment that said:
How exactly does one evolve from gravestone designer to nail goddess? You must explain this!

To do this, I must start from the beginning. After graduating with a degree in accounting and computer programming, I took a job at Papercraft in Pittsburgh. It was a company that sold everything to do with Christmas. We sold Christmas trees, wreaths, wrapping paper, you name it. Funny thing was, it was a Jewish owned business. It was Christmas 24/7/365 and probably explains my hate for the season.

Papercraft also owned a subsidiary known as Knomark. Knomark manufactured Kiwi Shoe Polish and Snuggle Fabric Softener. I was the accounts payable clerk for Snuggle. I was miserable and hated that bear something fierce. I secretly fantasized about ripping his head off and pulling all of his stuffing out and hanging his unstuffed carcass from the antenna on my car.

I applied for every administrative assistant or accounting job I could find. On a whim, I applied for a job at a local monument shop that was looking for someone with artistic ability and computer skills. I went for the interview with a stuffy man in a suit in a funeral home. I didn't get the job.

About six months later, I either quit my Snuggle job or got fired, I don't remember at this point. I spent a week at home, doing nothing and I mean nothing.

I got a call from the memorial shop owner asking me to come in for another interview. At this point, I am pissed with life and ask him if it matters how I come dressed because I don't have any clean clothes. He said come as you are and I agreed to go right in.

People, let me tell you. I hadn't showered in days. I had sweats on. I looked like a bag lady, but you know what? I didn't care. I was so sick and tired of getting dressed up, putting panty hose on and interviewing for jobs that I was so qualified for and not getting the job. There was no way in hell I was going to shower and get dressed up for a job that I knew I had no qualifications for other that I had "artistic ability and computer skills".

I went on that interview and this time, I was interviewed by a working man, not a man in a suit. I was sat at a computer, with a madonna on the screen minus a nose. I was asked to draw her a nose using a digitizing board. I did and I must have passed, because I got hired and worked there nearly nine years.

I quickly learned computer aided drafting (CAD) on my own and soon, I was not only digitizing new designs and designing memorials, I was running the entire office and the sales room. I was a one woman show.

I also started freelancing in Pittsburgh at Carlini Brothers on Saturdays. Carlini's was located on Beechwood Boulevard in Pittsburgh across from Calvary Cemetery. I worked there many years after I moved on from designing memorials 9-5 due to the sheer love of the craft. I worked there until the owner passed away.

I left the local monument shop for personal reasons after about nine years. I got hired at a local credit union as a "Special Accounts Rep", which is a polite way of saying bill collector/repo woman. I did my job, and did it well to the point that I collected debt and worked my way out of a job. After a stint as a Consumer Loan Officer, I ended up being the Marketing Coordinator for the credit union.

After about six years, I was miserable working there. I got tired of a lot of things, especially now that I was in management. At dinner, on a Friday night, Mr. Bruises asked my why I didn't quit, that I didn't need the job. At that time, I was very active as a Stampin' Up Demonstrator and was living off of that money and banking my credit union salary. He was right and I quit that job on June 1, 2001.

By August, I was bored. I kept seeing ads for the local beauty school and their nail program. I called and went to tour the school, but I still wasn't sure. I called my former nail tech and asked her what she thought. She said that when I first came to her, years ago, that I mentioned that I would love to do this for a living. After talking to my mother, who reminded me that I had been doing nail art since I was five, I decided to go for it.

I graduated in late September and started working immediately in a local salon. I stayed there until June 1, 2004 when I opened my own salon. Notice the date. Three years to the day, I went from being a miserable marketing director to being a happy salon owner.

I guess the moral of the story is, do what makes you happy. You spend so much time at work, it helps to do something that you love. I hope that answers your question Burgh Baby!

I need to start drawing again!

I've always loved to draw and paint. I will admit, it's been years since I've done anything on paper. My outlet is usually on nails these days.

Yesterday, I was plugging in a lamp and I stood there and admired a couple of drawings that I have hanging in the living room. It made me want to draw again.

I took a drawing class, years ago, and the final was for us to draw a portrait. I've always loved the photo that my mother in law had hanging in her hallway of Mr. Bruises when he was two years old. I asked her if I could borrow it for my final. She was a little skeptical since it was the only print she had. I assured her I would guard it with my life and I did and returned it to her in perfect condition.

After I completed Mr. Bruises' portrait, I decided to do one of mine. Even though we are two years apart in age, we are the exact same age in these drawings. Remembering how much I enjoyed drawing them makes me want to do it again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hidden Treasure

I recently wrote about the demolition of the large building in Ford City that burned last month. I was told by my friend, Deanna, that as the demolition crew was chipping away at the plaster on a building that is connected and is staying, they discovered something wonderful. There seems to be advertisements painted on the building.

One of the advertisements is a very old Mail Pouch ad. We've all seen the ones on various barns through the years. This one is different. It actually features a mail pouch. There is also a Zenith logo, which makes sense since the building used to house Dale's TV.

I hope that the owner of the building decides to keep the artwork on the building. If anything, the Mail Pouch ad should be preserved.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chip runs on his wheel!

Here is a funny video I took of Chip running on his wheel. He runs so fast that hey flies out of it. He loves this wheel and gives it a daily workout. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Picture Day

Friday, we had our first snowfall. I was hoping to get a good photo of the boys so that I could order our picture cards for the holidays. They would not cooperate. Let me rephrase that, Travis wouldn't cooperate. Please enjoy these photos and my narration of what I think they would have been saying if they could talk.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The walls come tumbling down!

Well, they started tearing down the building in Ford City that burnt down last month. My salon was almost located in that building. It would have been on the other side of the walls that you see in the photo. Luckily, the owner wasn't able to rent to me because he promised his parents they could open an auto parts store. He didn't realize they were serious until he told them I was signing a lease and they flipped. The auto parts store was open six months tops. Many other tenants have been in there since.

I am not sure what they are going to do with the property. Word is they are making it a parking lot. If that is true, that's sad. Wonder what they did with the half finished mural of Gus Frerotte that was on the building?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Try a Little Kindness

I conducted a social experiment yesterday. I've always been a friendly person. I grew up in a town where everyone knows everyone. Everyone always greets everyone, usually by name. I've come to the realization that maybe my community is another planet when it comes to this area.

When I head out to the city for a sporting event, concert or amusement park, my goal usually was to make anyone who made eye contact with me smile. My friends usually make fun of me, but I am almost always successful. People genuinely smile back. A few, smile back, with the look that says they think I am crazy, but they smile back.

Yesterday, I decided, I wasn't feeling like being the World's Greeter. Instead, I opted to just give a smile to people I know and see what happens. Sadly, nine out of ten times, I was ignored. I was ignored by people who are supposed to be acquaintances. I can't really call them friends, now can I? Friends would never do that. How is it that I can make a perfect stranger smile back at me, but I can't get people I know to acknowledge me unless I do it first?

The whole experience made me feel very insignificant. It was almost like I didn't exist. It was sad.

I hope that today, when I return to being the World's Greeter, that I make you feel significant when I greet you, by name and give you my smile. It's called kindness and respect and it's something that is lacking.

I want everyone to join me and become World Greeters. Make someone smile. Make them feel special. Spread a little love. Try a little kindness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's a SAD day!

One of my favorite blogs is no more. The Burgh Blog has come to an end. I am shocked, saddened and I am going to miss this blog terribly. It's been a part of my morning rountine for over two years now. Best wishes, PittGirl!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Bathroom Tour

I seem to be finding myself in interesting bathrooms lately. You will recall a past post, which featured a photo of The Beehive's bathroom. Sunday, I entered the most awesome public bathroom of all at Trader Joes! It looks like you are in a submarine.

When I came out of the bathroom, my BFF Jill asked me if I took a picture in there. Of course, she KNEW I did! I think I should photograph all the great bathrooms of America and make a coffee table book!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Zip Car

On Sunday, my BFF Jill and I went to The Handmade Arcade in Shadyside. It was a really, cool craft show. They had a Zip Car there that you could write on. There were signatures and tags all over this car.

I found a nice spot inside the headlight to write my line.

Jill then found a spot.

Look what that Bi-otch wrote!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chip's New Home

I get asked all of the time for an update on Chip. Chip is doing well and is nearly full grown. He is showing a little aggression as he is getting older and I am told that is normal.

Chip outgrew his cage. On Monday, Mr. Bruises and I went in search of a new one for him. I originally planned on getting him a large ferret cage, but the wires were set too far apart. We opted on a very large bird cage.

I filled the cage with branches for him to crawl on and chew. Riley and Travis were all excited when I came into the house with them. They know the "No sticks in the house" rule and were excited to think that the rules had changed!

I also got a hammock. I had no idea how much Chip was going to love that hammock. He is sound asleep in it as I type.
Travis is totally amazed that he can look Chip in the eye. He just loves to sit and watch him. Riley doesn't seem to care one way or the other. Kallie, of course, is being her normal, bitchy-cat self!

All in all, I would say that Chip gives his home two paws up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Year End Banquet

Saturday night, The Steel City Derby Demon's held they end of year banquet at The Grey Box Theatre in Lawrenceville. It was a great evening to kick back and celebrate our second inter-league season.

The Hot Metal Hellions named BB Basher as our MVP. We also gave a special award to Refolio,for always being there to give skate advice, to ref our scrimmages and just be our PIMP!

We had lots of food, cocktails and dancing occurred. Maybe too many cocktails!

Formalda Heidi's boyfriend taught me the fine art of using a candy necklace as a weapon. In all my years, I never learned to shoot those beads. That, seriously, was the highlight of my night!

Congrats on a successful season, all you strong, independent, athletic derby demons!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Karli's big day!

Karli is my oldest client. Not oldest by age, oldest as in she's been my client the longest. I think it was the first month I was working as a nail tech when she first came to me. Her boyfriend got her a gift certificate.

My appointments with Karli are always so fun. All we do is laugh, usually because we are making fun of someone who totally deserves it. No one is immune to us.

Through the years, Karli has been pictured in major trade magazines with me. One magazine actually interviewed her about our long relationship.

Last year, the boyfriend proposed! We were all over the moon. There was no way I would miss her big day. Wouldn't you know, my derby banquet was scheduled on the same day as the wedding. I went to the church service, then was able to make the first part of the reception.

I snatched a photo of Karli and I before I left. I did take another one of her trying to use the restroom in all her wedding garb, but I love her too much to print that one!

Best wishes on a happy life together, Brian and Karli Myers!

Monday, November 10, 2008

DAOTW Award!

We had a bridal party in the salon on Friday. Everyone was there but one bridesmaid. She had to come the night before because her employer was giving her a hard time about taking time off. Seems they didn't want to give her Friday and Saturday off. Her boss actually asked her to get her hair done on Friday night so that she could work on Saturday morning.

Seriously. Get your hair done on Friday night? Ummmm, she's in the wedding, chances are she will be at rehearsal. Who the hell wants to sleep in wedding hair? I would tell you all what place she works at, but based on their turn over rate, it doesn't take people long to realize they are working for a DumbAss!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Reuben's Grave revisited

Well, after three leads and visiting all three cemeteries twice, Mr. Bruises finally took me to Reuben's Grave. It was the very first cemetery I went to and took a photo of in my first post.

Sadly, the monument is long gone. Mr. Bruises remembers in high school that a Kittanning boy (who will not be named) stole it and rode around with it in the trunk of his car for the longest time. He took me to the general area that he remembered and we found an old foundation and are pretty sure that spot is where the grave is. The photo isn't that exciting. Despite looking though numerous year books, I still can't find a photo of the monument.

It's funny how urban legends are. My generation heard that Reuben hung himself by putting a noose around his neck, attached to a tree, while on a horse and then kicking the horse out from under himself. Others have heard about him killing all the kids in a nearby schoolhouse then killing himself. I guess that is how urban legends are, they take on a life of their own.

Here is a picture of the old schoolhouse that is at the bottom of the road, near the farm house. The schoolhouse must still get visits because it was clearly toilet papered when we were visiting.

This is the old farm and farmhouse that is at the bottom of the hill. Legend has it that the farmer that lived their was the graveyard caretaker. Story has it that he moved the grave after too many visitors. I can't believe that, but some do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the day!

We've listened to it all for months. We've had time to do our research. Today is the day that we vote for a new president.

I am not going to tell you who to vote for. Hopefully, you have did your homework and made a decision based on what is best for you and your situation. I just hope you all vote. If not, I don't want to hear you bitch about one single thing for four years. Okay?