Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Whiling away so many hours lamenting how behind the curve we Pittsburghers are, sometimes we overlook that special moment when we did it first. Here is one such instance -- a mayoral debate that aired in March on the "It's Alive!" show on WBGN.

The debate was orchestrated by Judge Rufus Peckham (aka Tim Murray) of Carbolic Smoke Ball and company, and Professor Emcee Square of Pittsburgh Filmmakers and his crew graciously gave us some studio time and lent their unique talents to what will surely go down in the annals of local history as one of the best political debates ever.

I finally had the chance to play the role I was born for: Sophie Masloff. I had a blast. Waiting for the red dye to wash out for three months? Not so fun. On the drive to the Melwood Avenue studios in North Oakland, I laughed as people looked at this bizarre "old" woman driving this sports car in traffic -- my hair was so red, and so teased -- and I was talking to myself to practice that voice. I had even kept in one big sponge curler for "effect." Bob Haas of CSB said it would have been fun if I'd have used a soup can. Why didn't I think of that?

Calling all techies!

Iwas meandering through the Pittsburgh cyberworld when I came across a group by the name of Refresh Pittsburgh. The description on their website reads:

"New Beginnings

After a bit of downtime, we’re back up and running.

As you may know, The goal of Refresh Pittsburgh is to create a open community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of Internet developers in the Pittsburgh area."

Refresh Pittsburgh Website

--Agent Ska--

Pittsburgh Podcamp 2

Podcamp Pittsburgh 2: August 18-19, 2007 at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh!

Submitted by Mike on July 16, 2007 - 6:27pm. :: Announcements

In case you haven't heard, PodCamp Pittsburgh is coming back for a SECOND great year!

WHAT: PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 (or PCPGH2)
WHEN: August 18-19, 2007@ 9 AM - 5 PM
WHERE: The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (420 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh PA 15219)

Meet social media creators -- and fellow viewers / listeners / readers!

Exchange tips, build contacts and launch new ideas!

Learn how to integrate (or improve) podcasting, blogging and social networking into YOUR

Questions? Sponsorships? Registration?

For more information, please visit our website:


You can also add us at Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcpgh

Looking forward to seeing everyone in August!

Blogger Schindig!

Blogfest 11: August 9th, 2007 from 5:30 to 9:30 and beyond!

Submitted by Mike on July 24, 2007 - 9:23pm. :: Announcements

And now for number 11!

WHAT: Pittsburgh Blogfest 11
WHEN: Thursday, August 9th, 2007, 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM and beyond!
WHERE: Finnegan's Wake (near PNC Park, 20 General Robinson St., North Shore, 412-325-2601), in the Pub Room
WHO: All local bloggers (and their friends!)
AND: Ephemera Ephemerae , Inner Bitch, My Brilliant Mistakes, and Have a Good Sandwich.

As always, if you plan to attend, please send an e-mail to blogfest AT closkey.com.

Job Opening!

Dear RBR [Run, Baby, Run],

Any interest? Please circulate widely.


The Central Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation (ALF) Field Staff works under the supervision of the Area Labor Federation Chairperson and the Executive Board and with the National AFL-CIO and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO to advance labor’s agenda in the jurisdiction. The position is based in Harrisburg, PA. Long hours and regular travel within the Central Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation jurisdiction are required.

1. GROWTH RESPONSIBILITIES. Working under the direction of the Area Labor Federation Chairperson and Secretary/Treasurer, the Field Staff will plan and assist in increasing affiliation to the Area Labor Federation. The Field Staff may be asked to support the maintenance of the per-capita structure and the financial system.
2. BUILDING PARTICIPATION IN ALL ALF PRIORITY PROGRAMS. Working with Central Labor Councils, local unions, and community allies, the Central Pennsylvania ALF Field Staff will develop a communication and mobilization system that increases participation and expands labor’s ability to create strategic programs.
3. BUILDING A STRONG POLITICAL PROGRAM. Under the direction of the ALF leadership and consistent with the PA AFL-CIO and the National AFL-CIO goals the Field Staff will assist in developing and implementing a plan that builds and exercises labor’s political power. The Field Staff will develop workplace and other communications systems with affiliates to better educate and activate union members in support of issue campaigns and endorsed candidates.
4. BUILDING SUPPORT FOR AFFILIATE ORGANIZING. The Field Staff will assist area unions wherever possible in achieving their organizing assistance plan. This may include creation of an organizer’s roundtable, development of political and community leverage, facilitating sharing of resources for home visits, creation of a pool of multi-language organizers, as well as activities that show support to the affected workers.
5. PRESS AND PUBLICATIONS. The Field Staff may work with leaders to make sure that columns and letters to the editor are written and published, radio and TV interviews granted, arranging for interviews and enlisting appropriate leaders during various struggles and activities.
6. BUILDING COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIP AND COALITION. The Field Staff will facilitate the development of closer ties and effective working relationship between labor leadership and like-minded community and religious organizations.

• Demonstrated commitment to the labor movement and an understanding its goals.
• Experience in union, community, or political organizing and mobilization.
• Demonstrated ability to coordinate the activities of a large organization
• Demonstrated ability to work independently and exhibit sound political judgment.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills including the ability to produce basic newsletters and leaflets.
• Possession of a valid driver’s license and ability to travel within the jurisdiction on a regular basis.
• Strong computer skills including sound knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite [Access, Excel, and Word]
• Familiarity and experience with basic administrative office functions.
• Experience with web programming a plus but not required.

The Central Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation Field Staff will receive compensation in the range of $35,000 to $45,000 per annum commensurate with skills and experience. Excellent benefits package and vehicle mileage are also provided.

Send cover letter, resume, and references by August 15, 2007 to j.heh@afscme13.org or
Judi Heh
Central Pennsylvania ALF
4031 Executive Park Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17111

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dear LaMont Jones of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

Are you crazy?

I let it go when you suggested a while back that women should always wear makeup. (I completely disagree.) But to each his own. I suppose if I had to make a list of "Utopian fashion wishes," though, one of mine would be that men who need bras would wear them.

But now you're promoting this "bootie" as a fashion must-have for fall back-to-school fashion? Foot binding for freshman? I can just see my daughter (who will be a high school freshman next month) teetering up and down the stairs to class in these. It's an ankle fracture waiting to happen. Not to mention the pinched toes. And for amusement purposes, let's just finish the picture here and pair these "booties" up with a 30-pound backpack and the fact that she walks to and from school ...

How's a girl supposed to take over the world when her feet hurt?

Do you have a teenage daughter? Would you want her clunking around in these urban-cowhooker boots? Better yet -- your teenage son?

In fact, I'd love to see you wear these to the office for a day (I bet Gene Collier would enjoy it, too). Why not go all out and try them for a week and report back to us?

Gawd. My feet hurt just looking at these. Am I the only person who sees high heels (like these ones -- they're not all this horrendous) as women's torture devices?

Women's Blogging Society IN PRINT!

(Pictured: The ubiquitous-doesn't-even-begin-to-describe-him Pat Clark, the incomparable Julie Mickens, and Potter ... Chris Potter.)

Chris Potter, editor of Pittsburgh City Paper, is on vacation this week, but I know he'd be thrilled to know I am thinking of him even in his absence.

The magazine insert (A "City Guide" -- their first!) in last week's edition of CP featured a story written by Pittsburgh's own "youngest living old person," in which he mentions our blog as a resource in a piece called "Pittsburgh FAQ's," addressing this question specifically:

I want to get involved politically, but I'm afraid to leave the basement. How can I stay informed?

This is a call to action, women: we have been designated to minister to the basement dwellers. (I moved my office up from the basement a few years ago, so I no longer count. But thanks for the warm thoughts.)

Also in the guide is a lovely conversation between Chris "the Potter" and his doppelganger, Chris "Sid Spells it Wrong" Briem of Null Space.

Check it aht.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Time keeps on ticking

Regretfully, I bring you the news that the vote to schedule a Post Agenda meeting to address issues brought up during City Council's Public Hearing, has not yet been held.

Or should I say the vote has not yet been allowed to be held?

We continue to call & email, requesting both that it be scheduled & that it be televised.

Two and 1/2 weeks have gone by since we began requesting, what is usually, a simple, quick thing, done hundreds of times a year: holding a vote to schedule a PA mtg.

On a happier note, I am thrilled beyond measure to report that the issue of cat licensing has been settled by council.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Take Action - Part Deux

Today councilmembers Carlisle & Payne requested that a Post Agenda meeting be scheduled to follow up on the (standing room only) Public Hearing on the recent police promotions. It would be helpful if you'd email your council member and ask that they comply with this request. The more they hear from us, the more likely they'll be to take a good, deep look into the current process for promotions & recommend changes. A Thank You to Carlisle & Payne wouldn't hurt either.

Len Bodack, Jr. - len.bodack@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Twanda Carlisle - twanda.carlisle@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Dan Deasy - dan.deasy@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Darlene Harris – darlene.harris@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Jeff Koch – jeffrey.koch@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Jim Motznik - james.motznik@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Tonya Payne – tonya.payne@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Bill Peduto - bill.peduto@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Doug Shields - doug.shields@city.pittsburgh.pa.us

speaking of female models...

i found this "quaint" old postcard on-line.
now, i'm not going to get huffy or prudish(cause i'm neither i hope)

what i want you to do is to look at the drawings carefully and tell me what you see. o.k?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Price is Wrong

Television game show host Bob Barker may have had one of the most drawn-out and celebrated "retirements" in television history. (I use scare quotes, because we all know in the entertainment industry -- old stars never fade away, they just die.)

Yet after so much adieu, Barker's still on television, hosting The Price is Right in reruns until FreMantle Media, a wing of the RTL Group, finds a replacement.

Aside from the obvious consideration -- that it's really hard to miss someone when they won't go away -- it's important when considering Barker's pop culture status not to overlook the other influence the game show has had on how women are perceived.

After 35 seasons, the show has become an American institution, and one that perpetuates the idea that women are to be seen and not heard. The show has sleathily passed on the torch of quiet oppression throughout the years (I'll save you the argument: "Oh, but we are just jealous! They are the smart women! Look how much money they make!) on to "modern" game shows such as the mindless "Deal or No Deal."

But why should we begrudge a woman for working in one of what I've read are the two highest paid professions, the other being illegal in every state but Nevada and Rhode Island. (Rhode Island? I'm still trying to figure that out, too.)

Paramount, games are supposed to be fun, right, so where's the harm in some provocatively-decorated sex kittens fondling a new washing machine?

Women hosting television game shows are rare. If asked, you'll probably be able to name only the villainous Anne Robinson from "The Weakest Link." Or maybe the Stepford-like Meredith Viera who sits at the helm of " Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" in syndication.

You may have never thought about the effect that the "game show" subculture has had, but consider this: game shows are the most male-dominated field in television, with the exception of professional football announcers.

Even if you choose to take the devil's advocate-approach and counter that game shows are only a reflection of society, one thing is for sure: in the circus world of game shows, the man is always the ringmaster, and the women are always the sideshow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

we have come a long way.
we have a long way to go still.

just mull this ad over a bit.

not politics but yet, of course it is.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Props where props are due

1. Bob Mayo's report on WTAE TV earlier this week, included film of Mayors Caliguiri, Masloff & Murphy entering public hearings, facing very angry citizens, why? Because they took their role and duties as MAYOR seriously.

If it weren't so sad it'd be funny: the clip of then-councilmember Ravenstahl in a tizz because Mayor Murphy didn't attend a public hearing to face the music on an oh-so-important parking tax issue. Mr. Ravenstahl went so far as to suggest Murphy should resign for not attending.

2. Trib's Jeremy Boren, for keeping the heat on & Mayor Masloff's statement, from today's Trib:

"I was the mayor for 24 hours a day -- that came ahead of everything else," said Masloff, who served from 1988 to 1994. "When I had appointments I couldn't keep because I went somewhere, I always said where I was, and members of the media checked up on me. That was fine."

What a concept! Masloff was mayor 24/7. Though I wasn't a supporter of Bob O'Connor's mayoral campaign, he was also mayor 24/7. He loved this city, what would he have to say about Mr. Ravenstahl's performance?

Monday, July 9, 2007

The good wife's guide

I just caught this a couple days ago, too.

Point #10: Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

nothing to say

just think about it.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Take Action

As many of you know, last week a public hearing, called for by citizens of this city, was held in Council Chambers to speak against the promotions of three officers with histories of domestic violence. The room was packed – standing room only.

The mayor had been invited to attend the hearing, both in writing by City Council and verbally, by leaders of women’s organizations. Instead he chose to golf at a two-day charity event. Cost of his participation, $9,000 - UPMC picked up the tab.

It’s up to us to keep the focus on this story, many in the administration would like to see it just go away. NOW is considering several actions to take, as I get information on any help we can offer/further actions we can take, I’ll spread the word.

In the meantime I encourage you to write letters to the editors of local papers, comment on blogs and call in the talk shows. Let them know we’re watching, we’re not happy and that we want the mayor to understand that his number 1 priority is the people of this city.

I plan to post this on the Run, Baby, Run listserv & to email to other contacts in the city, I encourage you to do likewise.

A. Letters to Editor

Pittsburgh City Paper

Editor, Chris Potter: cpotter@steelcitymedia.com

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Email: letters@post-gazette.com

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Email: opinion@tribweb.com

B. Talk Radio Call In Numbers:

KDKA (1020 AM): 412.333.5352


Marty Griffin, 9 a.m. – noon, M-F

Kevin Miller, 12:15 – 3 p.m., M - F

Chris Moore, 4 – 8:30 p.m., Sundays

WPTT (1360 AM): 412.333.1360

Host: Lynn Cullen, 9 a.m. – noon, M- F

The ZONE (93.7 FM): 412.333.9370

John McIntire, 1 -4 p.m., M - F

C. Local Political Blogs:

The Burgh Report: http://burghreport.blogspot.com

2 Political Junkies: http://2politicaljunkies.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Pittsburgh's 2nd Annual Dyke March

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Last year's event was awesome with dozens of dyke-identified queer women marching proudly through the streets of Oakland. It is hard to describe so let's take a quick look back at what we were saying last year ...
These women have done a good job creating a dyke-affirming event. The next challenge is to reach out beyond their circles of genderqueer women to all those dykes who didn't attend, didn't hear about it and are pretty much mainstream. Their voices should be part of the dialogue because they too are being disregarded by those in power. There are lots and lots of suburban dykes in Pittsburgh complete with minivans, car seats and years of misogeny on their backs.
They reached out to Ledcat and myself. Come out that evening and join the march.

Look at the Stars, Look How They Shine for Luke

It almost plays out like a formulaic episode of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond: The comic, boys-will-be-boys naif Ray is supposed to stay at home and wait for the washer repairman, but reschedules the appointment for another day and deceptively slips out for a round of golf.

When his wife Debra comes home and catches him sneaking in the back door with his golf clubs, she's furious. But hey -- Debra is a mean, domineering housewife with feminist tendencies, so what's the harm? Can we blame him?

Lest we forget the show's premise: everybody loves Raymond!

Except we're not talking about a sitcom, we're talking about the mayor of a big city doing a Dick Cheney on what many have characterized as a "group of angry women," his excuse (more like an answer from his automated-response cribs) being, "mayors almost never attend such City Council functions."


When the issue of promoting three City police officers with histories of domestic violence first began to boil around June 27, after the mayor broke his week-long silence on the matter, FOP union President James Malloy was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, saying the mayor is "getting pressure, probably from women's groups, and now he wants to crawfish and go back the other way. That's a sign of immaturity."

That statement stuck in my crawfish.

Attempting to right a wrong is not a sign of immaturity. Not admitting you made a bad in the first place is.

But back to Malloy: I don't like the way that loaded statement read (remember, I'm an angry woman). "Probably from women's groups." As though "women's groups" were all the same, just a bunch of crazy, hormonal ladies squawking about general injustice again. If he meant something else, I think a lot of us angry women would like to know exactly what.

Angry men have been lauded for centuries. In fact, just yesterday, we celebrated as victories the outcomes of the bold actions of some of the angriest men in history.

Angry women, it seems, while eventually reconciled as pioneering women, just aren't taken to as kindly. Angry takes on a different connotation when it's applied to women. It's a dirty fact, and it's unspoken, but it's not a secret.

While I can see the mighty wall of red tape the mayor is up against in having to deal with a police union, I can never condone not doing something because it's not "usually done." And I can never condone going golfing when there's work to be done.

Meantime, I hope Luke has some good elbow cream. They've got to be awfully rough after rubbing against so much Hollywood.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

America = Dixie Chicks + Football

Here's my #2 choice. My all-time favorite song is up at Pgh Lesbian. This is not only a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem, but illustrates the strange mixture of things that people lift up in our society -- a violent sport, the military, patriotic pageantry, and setting things on fire. There's also the irony of the Dixie Chicks going on to become an excellent example of the false dichotomy of free speech v patriotism.

God Bless the Dixie Chicks.

my song pick for this 4th.

Happy Independence Day!

This song always makes me cry:

People Have the Power - Patti Smith

I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people / have the power
to redeem / the work of fools
upon the meek / the graces shower
it's decreed / the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
and bending low as if to hear
and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear
and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars
exchanging visions
and laying arms
to waste / in the dust
in the form of / shining valleys
where the pure air / recognized
and my senses / newly opened
I awakened / to the cry


Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize
and the leopard
and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
god knows / a purer view
as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you


The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power ...

Sunday, July 1, 2007


july 1st. thru the 4th. is BLOG AGAINST THEOCRACY


i participated in the last one and in this one just today.
freedom of religion is one of our basic rights. it should be treasured and
guarded vigorously. it keeps all of us equal.

Kiss of the Dead

It has been over a decade
Since last you crossed my path
You took my beloved from my arms
Years I have suffered from your wrath

A decade of searching for love
A decade of looking for my best friend
A decade struggling not to be alone
What have I accomplished in the end

I am exhausted from my search
Doubtful I’ll find a lesbian wife
Alone I will wait for you
I have grown tired of the game of life

Grim Reaper old friend I fear you not
So come to me so we my embrace
Passage to the other side is sought
My lips will kiss your cold bony face

The Forsaken

You made me different
Normal I am not
I have a life of torment
Was this your angry plot

Why did you do this my lord
Why did you make me a freak
Why do my prayers you do ignore
With life I grow weak

Too many crosses I bare
I can feel myself start to fall
Why can't you answer my prayer
Into your arms I wish to crawl

God to me please atone
I grow weary of my life
Don't let me struggle alone
I can't continue with my internal strife

Please don't make life rougher
Your plan for me is mistaken
Loneliness I can no longer suffer
For I am the Forsaken