Monday, May 24, 2010

There’s always an excuse for public drunkenness

Welcome to The Pittsburgh Marathon! Er, sorry. That name isn’t corporate enough nowadays. Every social event must have a conglomerate logo attached, for publicity in advertising.

Welcome to The Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon!

(Okay, I’m a little late with making this post. The marathon happened at the beginning of May, and I meant to show everyone my day. But some stuff happened in my life that took a center stage. So you are getting this story now. Just imagine this is really May 3rd.)

On with the post . . .

I heard the marathon workers setting up the barriers to close off the side streets at 7am. Before that, I heard the church bells ring at 6am. Around that time afterward, I heard some guys shouting and a large truck backing up. By 8am, I heard loud music playing outside. At 9am, I got up as The Boss had called me in for a meeting with him on Sunday. Yet most of the bus routes had been shut down for the race. So the only way to get to our meeting was to walk. It sounded daunting, and I went online to find out how long of a walk it would take: a good 35 minutes according to Google. Since it was May, I wasn’t against trying to hoof it. This situation was way different from my snow episode where after work I was stranded downtown.

Anyhow, I took a shower, placed on my best duds, and headed out the door. Four blocks from my apartment, my cell phone rang. The Boss called. He decided to cancel our meeting.

Me (on the phone): “Oh, okay. That’s fine, The Boss, since the race has shut down all buses here because of the marathon.”

The Boss: “The race runs through your area?”

Me: “Yes, right down the main road into downtown.”

The Boss: “Oh, well, we’ll meet tomorrow at the regular time. 10:00.”

Me: “Fine.”

So I made my soggy way back to my apartment (did I mention it was pouring buckets of rain too). I changed my clothes but left my makeup on, deciding to take a stroll down the street and watch the runners.

There were more drunk people than runners out. Maybe I just missed the main body of jogging people.

This section of town made the race into a very big event. I suppose, by their thinking, since it shuts down the majority of the area for 6 hours, that everyone might as well get publicly drunk and celebrate. Music blared into the afternoon hours. They even had LIVE bands.

This one was the first I came across, although you might not be able to make it out. I didn't want to dash across the street in the path of the runners. A young pup band, playing newer Indie-type rock music. A drummer and two (or was it three) guitarists. Perhaps they threw in a bit of their original stuff. I continued up the street, waving at the DJ in a pub spinning records as music blared from outdoor speakers. He played more rhythm and blues than any other tunes. I bopped my head and came across the next band.

I don’t know to classify their music as Italian, Irish, or perhaps just Folk music. The band involved a flutist, a violinist (standing behind the flutist), a banjoist, a guitarist, and I’m not sure what you would call the person you can’t see behind the guitarist. Acoustics guy? He had a type of black machine with dials and switches. Maybe synthesizers? Old Italian/Irish/other people stood nearby tapping feet and nodding to the strange (although pleasantly different) songs. I held up my camera phone, silently asking if I can take a shot. The man strumming the guitar smiled his permission and I took the photo. I continued along my way.

This was the big band. Nobody looked a day under 40-ish, and I’m giving them justice on that end. They played all the old rock/heavy metal music. While I was walking along, I heard “Jumpin' Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones. You can see it is a motley, lively crew. Keyboard, drums, African drums and cymbals, and the two guitarists on the other side.

(I think I made the one guitarist feel jumpy. I couldn’t help myself. I’ve never seen live bands before while standing so up-close. I grinned and stared a little too long. He smiled back at first, then got unnerved and turned away. Oops!)

I continued on a bit more, but didn’t hear any more music and figured there wouldn’t be any bands playing right by the hospital. I made my way back home, emailing myself these photos from my camera phone to make into a story to share.

So ends my day watching rain-soaked marathon runners, drunk watchers before noontime, and a whole lot of different music played.


  1. That's what I miss about Texas, there is always something musical going on somewhere outside.

    As for your neighbors from hell...definitely not innocent.

  2. Other than the weather, the whole 'race ambience' thing sounds fun. . .

    Your neighbors are definitely evil. But in a comic-pathetic sort of way. . .

  3. I used to love going to watch the Boston Marathon, before it got so crowded that you had to stand shoulder to shoulder to watch it pass by. Sounds like a good time.

    Your neighbors... sound a little loose. If you don't already have a gun (maybe you do?) I'd buy one.

  4. I suspect your neighborhood is populated by evacuees from New Orleans hence the theory that drinking in public is a good thing.

  5. I had a boss who came home one Marathon day early, around lunch time, to find some strange family, sitting on his porch, grilling lunch on his grill.

    As he came down the walk way, they asked him if they could help him. When he explained that it was his house, they took off, leaving him a grill full of lunch.

    Seems to me, having posted the amount you've posted already, even sans names, you've the upper hand. If anything happens, this'll pretty much lead the authorities right to them. It's like when the mobsters are about to whack you, and you say "boy, I guess this is it. Good thing I left those tapes with names in the safe deposit box at the bank, with instructions to open in two hours if I don't return."

    Not uh... not that that's ever like, happened to me or anything...

  6. Hey, Michelle, if that pesky neighbor doesn't like you flushing the john at 9:00 a.m,, I don't what to tell you to do but cut a hose-size hole in the ceiling over his bed, put a hose in the hose-size hole, put a funnel in the hose that's in the hose-size hole, and pour the piss right on in--being careful not to pour too fast and overflow the funnel. Of course, if you do more than piss, you'll obviously need (a) a bigger hole or (b) a blender used exclusively for pureeing shit.

  7. Yay for the flutist! Sounds like you had a good day even though your meeting was canceled :)

  8. Urban Cowboy: I love all types of music, but never get out much to witness live performances - even if it's just a local band at the bar. I do wish there's more outside events here.

    Strangely, those neighbors were their own judge, jury, and executioner by their continued actions. I didn't have to do much of anything but sit and listen and write it down.

    Craig: It was fun to watch, and I think the weather added more camaraderie between everyone braving the elements to support the runners. As for the neighbors, I've just given the facts. I've left it for my readers to decide on their mentality.

    Suldog: It wasn't overly crowded. I'm not sure if it was because of the rain or the fact that this was still around the midway point to reaching the finish line. Perhaps there were more people standing downtown to congratulate the winners.

    As for your suggestion... I have been previously taught on how to properly use a firearm.

    Daryl: I'm sure they would use any excuse to drink in public. You should have seen the people on Saint Patrick's Day!

    Matt: Ah, the clever one! You've discovered the gist of all my postings. And I've done even more (outside this blog) to further help the cause concerning these neighbors in case the worse ever happens.

    Don't worry. I won't rat you out to the mobsters concerning the safe deposit box ;)

    Snowbrush: I don't think the landlord would be too keen in finding a large messy hole in the floor. Not that I would be too keen in having someone looking up the tube at my bare backside. But your comment did invoke laughter from yours truly. In fact, I'm still chuckling :)

  9. Aubrie: She also sang! I've always been captivated by flutes and people who play them. During my childhood, I've often imagined myself playing the flute. Never had the chance though.

  10. Michelle, knowing how generally private you are, carefully choosing what pieces of your personal life to share in BlogLand, I had such a great time seeing the race - and the show - through your eyes...I kept thinking about both our phones/cameras and the effort to provide a window into someone else's Unknown. As for your "neighbors", I'm where I was last time we talked about this. They may be pathetic, but as long as they pose a threat to you (and I think they do), I'm uncomfortable. And I bet the rest of your blog pals feel about the same way.
    Angie at Eat Here

  11. " I don't think the landlord would be too keen in finding a large messy hole in the floor. Not that I would be too keen in having someone looking up the tube at my bare backside."

    Oh, man! It took me at least 48 hours to think of that. It was absolutely my best idea ever, and you don't like it!

    Look, I don't know what to do about item the first other than some spackling maybe when you move. As for item the second, that's easy. Don't pee in the funnel that's in the hose that in the hose-size hole. Pee in a measuring cup, and then pour THAT into the funnel.

  12. Angela: Thanks for your continued kind words about my situation and for allowing me to provide a small window into my everyday life for everyone's enjoyment. Glad I could show you a piece of my unknown :)

    Snowbrush: Wow! I give you kudos for thinking this idea out (perhaps WAAAAYYY too much). I never said I didn't like the suggestion, simply the property damage involved. I'll reconsider on your behalf.

  13. The marathon sounds terrific...the ongoing saga not!!! Still praying for be very,very careful!!! Love the photos!! You are such a wonderful communicator in every respect! Love, Janine XO

  14. We agree with Angela about the threat these neighbors are causing. Happy to know that you've been trained in the proper use of a firearm though. :o)

    Looked like a fun time at the race. Glad you were able to enjoy the festivities.

  15. Janine: Thanks! I'm surprised the photos turned out so well on my camera phone. Those things can be so persnickety.

    Ruth & Glen: It was the first marathon I've actually witnessed. I must say, it was enjoyable to watch.


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