Monthly Archives: February 2008

missing myron

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It’s a sad day in the ‘Burgh.

Myron Cope is a fucken legend of broadcasting, sports writing, and general local colour in Pittsburgh, my hometizzy. His voice is a Pittsburgh trademark and something that I’ve often Googled when homesick. He speaks a dense, frantic Pittsburghese and his raspy voice represents all that is haggard and yellowing about the city – even though he’s had it since he was young. I know of no one who could get more validation for making up words for shit than Myron, and I can just imagine those words being uttered over col’beers and scrawled on posterboard hung in shop windows in the Steel City in the days following his death. I know it’s cheesy, but I wish I was there to be with the fellow mourners – this is one of those things you can’t possibly explain to a non-Pittsburgher.

Cope is best known in the ‘Burgh as the colour analyst on Steelers radio broadcasts, and generations of Pittsburghers have a hard time separating that from their experience of Stiller Sundays and weeknight radio analyses. My dad had a special method for watching Steeler games, which involved turning the volume right down on the teevee, tuning the radio to KDKA 1020, and blasting it through stereo speakers. I didn’t understand this at the time, but now it makes perfect sense – Cope made you feel like you were right there at the game, screaming with the rest of those crazy fucks wearing nothing but black and gold body paint in the middle of winter. I remember being in my living room in McKees Rocks, watching my dad watch the game. Snow on the ground outside, dad in moccasin slippers, plaid shorts, and a NASCAR t-shirt, going out to the back porch between plays to turn the wings on the grill or get some more crinkle cut potato chips. He used to drape a Terrible Towel over the top of the television and place a mock-up Steelers helmet on top of that, building a Sunday Shrine to Steel Curtain. Before I was old enough to stay up for a whole night game, I could hear him downstairs yowling along with Myron over every Stiller success. None of this would have had as much of an impression upon me if not for Cope and everything he brought to the experience of being a Steelers fan.

In 2006, for my 22nd birthday, my dad sent me a copy of Cope’s autobiography Double Yoi, titled after one of his many catch-phrases used to describe football and life in general. In the inscription dad predicted a Super Bowl win for the Stillers. They won that year, just a year after Myron had retired from the booth. It’s honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read, and if you are from Pittsburgh or want to properly understand your Pittsburgher friends, you really need to read it. The only thing better than reading Double Yoi would be to listen to it as an audiobook read by the author, which unfortunately won’t come to pass, either because Myron died or because it would be a very difficult thing to propose to a publisher. There is a certain breed of person who can tolerate that voice for more than a few minutes, and nearly all members of this breed live in the Pittsburgh metro.

Well, Myron, I hope you and Mildred keep your afterlife radios tuned to 1020, Terrible Towels in hand. I know I will be, and I’m in Australia, which is heaps further away than the afterlife.

xo
bs

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wild card

I’d like to be the bestest, most reliable blogger I can be. Sometime soon.

All this talk about domesticity made me think about getting a new one, and somehow I (we) did – packing up life again next weekend and moving it over to where they serve Bees’ Knees on tap. So there is much frenzy around this, but when I come back round the other side, there will be photos of tiny cupcakes I have made in my new oven. Fuck yeah.

In the meantime, consider the following, which I also have considered but do not have time to write about right this second:

  • For me, the hotness of sexual imagery made before 1978 is intensified manifold by the sheer fact that it was made before 1978. Why?
  • Do you have spaces of warmth and cold in your house? I had some in mine. The whole struggle with this most recent nest was how to keep it from going cold.
  • If you had to put an ad for some personal desire on gumtree, what would it look like, and what would it be?
  • I Can Has Cheezburger?
  • What’s the prettiest gay porno you’ve ever seen?

And since everything’s better with pictures, more dead shit:

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this one time i got robbed

My house got robbed. It was an adventure!

On Friday night I rocked up to my front door at around midnight. Walking my bike up the footpath to my front porch, I got a bit distracted by a light left on in the house, but there’s a fair bit of traffic coming through my house from day to day so it’s not an aberration for lights to be left on accidentally. As I sometimes have the attention span of a five-year-old riding a pony with a balloon in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other, I was distracted from the lights by a rather sizable web that had been built across my verandah by a huntsman spider (who packed up in the frenzy of post-robbery recovery and moved itself to the power lines above the footpath). I headed into the house to get my camera so I could take pictures of the spider and any possibly dead things which were caught in its web – right through the front door which I hadn’t had to unlock myself. The front loungeroom was torn apart – cushions pulled off of couches, cabinets and shelves stripped of the objects they stored, drawers open and their contents spilled out onto the floor. My first four thoughts were as follows:

1. I have an enemy I don’t know about and s/he is looking for incriminating documents (of which I have many).

2. Richard left the lights on…and accidentally overturned everything else in the house.

3. There was an earthquake.

4. Somebody I know knows where I live and came and took my stuff.

It did not occur to me that perhaps I had been randomly robbed. Most of this was probably because my computer was still on my desk, the only thing in the room that was still in its right place. Someone (a conscientious, considerate robber) must have known that I spend more time with my computer than with any other person or activity in my life and that to lose it would be a small death.

But mostly it was just cos they saw the camera, took it, and bolted. In a move of underdog bravery, the camera sacrificed itself for the better good. My stuff acts in solidarity.

So of course there was the frantic calling of friends whilst standing alone on the street across from the park spinning round in circles so that no one could take me by surprise and steal me too. And then friends showing up and letting me talk rapidly and nervously and make bad jokes to distract myself from feeling violated and sick and other such things. And then police showing up and being tall and lovely and looking through the house to make sure it hadn’t suddenly turned into a junkie squat. And then Ilana riding her bike from St Kilda and being disappointed that she hadn’t beaten the police to the task of securing the premises. And then a big fucken photo shoot of my robbedness.

Good times were had by all. Including the cop who came to photograph the scene of the crime – he didn’t so much care for my cabinet of sex toys which had been opened and ransacked, and chose to close the top door of the cabinet for his photos. I suppose he found the sparkly pink dildos to be extraneous to the required evidence.

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I am an avid nester and my relationships to domesticity are very active and intentional constructions. My current abode was the thing that started to make me feel rooted here in Australia, that gave me some consistency and some personal connection to space. That was really safe for me, and nothing ever really called me to question that feeling of security until someone kicked open the door and made off with something shiny. It’s amazing how much that changed my relationship to the space – I felt completely alienated from all of the familiar routes and habits I made through that house over the last few months when I finally went in to check out the ruckus.

As much as we want to separate the private from the public by building walls and delineating spaces, those boundaries are arbitrary and penetrable. While of course I’m going to continue to try to develop my relationship to that space – even photographing and cleaning up the whole ordeal adusted my sense of what had gone on – I think I’ll have greater consideration for the fact that walls are built and taken down everywhere, all the time, and that the value I assign to my personal space does not necessarily apply to the reality of kicked-in doors or broken windows.

My current four thoughts are as follows:

1. I feel blind without my camera. Abby Winters, here I come.

2. I need some curtains.

3. There was an earthquake.

4. ‘Domestic’ is not tantamount to ‘safe’. But most of the time, it’s damned close.

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xo
bs