Tag Archives: Philadelphia

The Girl That Didn’t Win a Pulitzer Prize

16 Apr

…That’s me. I know, guys, shocking, I know. That video I posted about the penguins on an airplane at least deserved some recognition… but somehow I’ll get over it.

In all seriousness Pulitzer time has always been something I’ve admired. Even as a kid in the library my weird little mind would take me directly to Pulitzer Prize winners before anything else. When I would write short stories in class I would imagine that shiny gold sticker stamped over the corner of my story

Not mine.

about *NSYNC or Crazy Bones or whatever it was I was in love with at the time.  This year the Philadelphia Inquirer by me has had some winners of their own, which is very exciting because Philadelphia is better than everywhere else in the world.

Having winners so close to me also makes me wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to do something that monumental. I mean, it’s a big deal. It’s what every writer that has had something published aspires to earn; basically a big shiny medal that says “You Da Best.”

I hate to toot my own horn, but I know I’m pretty good at what I do. The thing that concerns me is that I don’t think I’m motivated enough to earn what these guys have earned, which I think can be the case for a lot of people in a million different careers. Entry level can kind of suck. Doing the bottom rung work all day, not earning any money for it, and not getting much credit: that’s pretty much entry level in a nutshell. And I think that kind of kills my motivation to go forward and do more. I guess that’s what makes it easy for people to settle into a career they don’t love and lose sight of bigger goals. But there’s still that little twang of jealousy every time I hear of Pulitzer Prize winners, so maybe hope isn’t completely lost.

Maybe in a few years I’ll be celebrating with my own gold sticker on my own children’s book for little nerds like my childhood self to pick up. But this year, I think I’ll just go through the pages of this blog, watching videos of talking animals and pictures of cute animals.

Try This: The Works at Mac’s

1 Mar

There is nothing better to me on a sunny day then settling in at a bar in Philadelphia, having a few beers, and watching a game on tv. Alex and I did that the other day at Mac’s Tavern in Philadelphia (yes, the same Mac’s Tavern that is owned by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s” Rob and Kait McElhenney).

After two or three (or four…or five… who’s counting?) beers Alex and I were feeling a bit starving. This is the reason I love Philadelphia. You can walk into any ordinary bar on any ordinary street and find out-of-this-world food. Unbelievably amazing, ridiculously delicious options that you never thought you would find. Mac’s is no exception. This is the second time I’ve eaten here, but people rave about certain dishes on their menu, like their meatball hoagie and lobster mac and cheese. Alex and I were feeling the buzz and needed something big, greasy and terrible for you, so we opted for The Works.

Ohhhh The Works. The Works. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. A huge plate of chunky fries smothered in the best gravy you’ve ever had, ginormous slices of steak, thick-cut bacon, onions and mushrooms, then topped with ridiculously gooey mozzarella cheese. It’s like the ultimate drunk food, but classier and better than anything you could ever make drunk.

Life doesn’t get any better than good game, a beer, some food and a bar. Wait… I take that back. It only gets better when you have the french fries of the gods. The servers and bartenders at Mac’s better prepared for me to invade their bar when baseball season starts….

*Note* I did not take a photo of these beauties while I was there, but if someone reads this and decides to share one with me I would love it!

The Dumbest Team in Baseball

4 Feb

Now you might not be able to tell from these blog posts, but I am a huge sports fan. I just figured it wouldn’t be interesting for everyone to hear my talk about how much I love Philadelphia sports so much, so I’ve refrained.

But not anymore.

One of Alex and my favorite memories is spending the weekend in Washington D.C. for the Phillies-Nationals series (I should probably phrase that Nationals-Phillies but no one actually likes the Nationals so, it’s okay). It’s a relaxing vacation in a town that you can walk everywhere to get to, the stadium has a cool outdoor bar with cornhole and a band, and the town is PACKED with Phillies fans. Seriously, the Mummers will come in and perform, everyone is dressed in their Phillies gear… Washington D.C. turns into Philadelphia.

So imagine my surprise when the Nationals decided to block anyone from outside Washington, Virginia and Maryland from buying tickets to the Phillies-Nationals series. Nationals chief operating officer Andy was quoted saying “Forget you, Philly. This is our park, this is our town, these are our fans, and it’s our time right now.” He’s called the series “Take Back the Park,” mainly because during games Phillies fans like to chant things like “Our House.” Can you blame us? We’re the only ones that actually go to Nationals games. It’s our summer house. Get over it, Feffer.

Feffer has been trying to stir up this imaginary rivalry for years and it’s such a joke. They bought Jayson Werth for an insane amount of money after we chewed him up and spit him out, now they’re coming after more of our washed up old junkers in an attempt to make us jealous or something. Now they’re trying to ban us from our mini-vacations? Please, Feffer.

The Nationals are an embarrassment of a team. They have a pile of scrub players and a terrible, nearly non-existent fan base. We are the Philadelphia Phillies. Lets be serious, if we are banned from the Nationals stadium we’ll go watch them play… anywhere else! Because any game is a good game when you’re watching the Phillies play.

So good luck filling your seats, Nats. I’ll laugh from my comfy spot at Citizens Bank Park.

Just One More Reason to Love “30 Rock”

27 Jan

Check out my boo, the Phillie Phanatic making a PHANTASTIC appearance on last night’s episode of 30 Rock. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love every episode of 30 Rock, but with the addition of my Philly boyfriend and the mock-“Valentine’s Day” preview in the beginning, that might have been the best episode I’ve seen since the season 3 Christmas special.

Check out the (definitely pirated) video here!

Try This! Cheap Melted Crayon Stencil Art

8 Jan

I’m not going to go off on a rant of how amazing Pinterest is. It pretty much got me back into crafting, painting and being creative.

One of the most interesting things I have been watching on the site was melted crayon art. A lot of artists online had taken crayons, glued them to the top of a canvas, and melted them with a blow dryer so that they ran down and formed a big colorful rainbow. As cool as that concept was, I knew I could do more and do it better. So here’s what I did:

I used a pack of crayons, painter’s tape, a canvas, an Xacto knife or similar blade, some acrylic paint and a glue gun. You’re going to want to buy a new glue gun, as you will be running crayons through it. I got the glue gun pictured for $2.99 at A.C. Moore, and it would have lasted for another melted crayon project had my brother not blew a fuse in the middle of working and- literally- caused it to light on fire and blow up. Have you ever seen a fireball shoot out of a glue gun towards your hand? Yeah, me either. It was bloody terrifying.

This is a generally inexpensive project. Like I said, the glue gun was three bucks, a 64 pack of crayons was four dollars (make sure you use Crayola. Off brands are thicker and won’t fit into the glue gun), two dollars for the tape, blade and paint and four bucks for the canvas. You can reuse the tape, blade, glue gun and some of the crayons so it ends up being really affordable.

After painting a canvas with your desired color and allowing it to dry, cover the canvas with your artist’s tape. This will be the foundation for your stencil. For this project I decided to use Robert Indiana’s Love sign as my stencil. I was making this for my friend, Alicia, who is from the Philadelphia area like me but now lives in Ohio, so I wanted to make her something to remind her of home.

I drew my stencil onto the blue tape, then very lightly cut away the negative space. Remember that you are working on a canvas, if you cut into it too deeply it will slice through the fabric (which happened to me at one point!).  You might be thinking: why don’t I just draw and cut it elsewhere, then tape it onto the canvas? Originally that was what I did, but painter’s tape will not stick enough if you keep moving it around, it will just peel away and you need this taped down stencil to be completely sealed down.

You need a miniature glue gun because it fits the crayons perfectly, but the spring-loaded lever is thinner than the glue gun’s barrel, so the trigger has to be removed. This is super easy to do. There are several screws holding it together. When unscrewed it will pop open, and the trigger device will pretty much fall out. Screw the gun back together and you’re good to go.

Now it’s time to peel your crayons. And I’m not going to lie, it is super annoying. The easiest thing I found to do was to take your blade and run it down the paper, and it usually pops right off. While you’re doing this start heating your glue gun. Make sure you peel a lot, once you get melting things go very quickly.

Finally, the fun part! Lean your canvas upright, with paper or a drop cloth on both the floor and the background as the crayons can splatter.

Slide your crayons into the gun and allow them to melt a little bit, for about a minute before pushing them through the gun. They should run out almost like water from the top of the canvas all the way down. Push it through for a long time if you want it to run to the bottom of the canvas, but get creative! Make some trails longer and some shorter, with a lot of bright colors! One thing I did that was really successful was flip the canvas from one side to the other. That way I got an even cover on all areas.

When all of the canvas is covered and you are happy with the results, it’s time to remove the stencil. This is the hardest part of the whole process, as the crayon is very brittle and easy to chip away. This is a work of art, here people, not a toy, it should be fragile. Luckily I think I’ve found the easiest process. Either A. light a candle and keep it nearby or B. boil some water and keep that on hand. Then, take your blade and heat it up before tracing the stencil with the blade. Work as slowly as you need to, so that you avoid breaking pieces of crayon off that should remain on the painting. This is the reason I suggest using a slightly less detailed schedule, as peeling away more detailed pieces might be impossible.

Once the stencil is off, you’re done!

I wish I had better photos because I absolutely love this painting. Unfortunately my camera is getting a little old and isn’t as great as it used to be, but this is such a fun and colorful piece, yet still pretty chic. Surprisingly enough it only took me about 2 hours to complete, so I made another one for my boyfriend’s place a few days later. I found this the best method, because through the glue gun the grease and the colors don’t separate like through the blow dryer.

There are a ton of different ways to work this. You could choose one color pattern and work with that to match one specific theme for a room you have in mind, and of course you can do any stencil you want (I was thinking initials might be a really neat touch to a couple’s bedroom). Of course you could always skip the stencil, the crayons look amazing enough together and it really transforms into an interesting modern painting if hung horizontally.

I’m so excited to have a place to hang this up, whenever that is.