Tag Archives: pittsburgh

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Happy Pittsburgh Light Up Night weekend!

If you know me IRL or have followed me anywhere on social media, you might know I like the holiday season a little bit.

I may or may not have a website dedicated to all things the holidays.

If you live in the Western Pennsylvania region, be sure to check out the site for all sorts of holiday events. This holiday calendar lists so many things. Here are some featured events.

This weekend is Pittsburgh Light Up Night.

Even if you’re not in the holiday spirit just yet, it’s never too early to scan events. December does go by very quickly. And if it’s not your thing, I bet someone you know (besides me, obv) would enjoy it!

Taylor Swift tix

Were you able to get Taylor Swift tickets? Somehow, I lucked into tickets. I am still pretty shocked. A friend organized a group, so I’ll actually be going to both Pittsburgh shows.

If you did not get tickets, Ticketmaster says you likely won’t.

John Aniston dies

John Aniston was a stalwart “Days of our Lives” cast member. The legendary actor died Nov. 11, his daughter, Jennifer Aniston, announced Monday.

Of course, we know him as Victor Kiriakis, a mafia leader with Greek and Italian ties who butted heads with Stefano DiMera and other villains in the fictitious town of Salem.

But few people know that Aniston’s ties to “Days of our Lives” actually began in 1970 when he portrayed Eric Richards.

Anyhow, here are a few things I’ve read this week:

  • Why Everything in Tech Seems to Be Collapsing at Once (The Atlantic)
  • CVS and Walgreens became fixtures of 21st century city life. Their time may be up. (Slate)
  • Gen Z announces itself in midterms with Democratic boost, historic wins (WaPo)
  • Trump called a protest. No one showed. Why GOP efforts to cry foul fizzled this time. (WaPo)

Twitter’s demise leaves users in disarray

How about Twitter these days?

I’ve always enjoyed social media and the information sharing, community building and friendships that has come with it.

Before we knew what “social media” was, I was connecting via blog writing and AOL chat rooms. In the early 2000s, I made digital friends via blogging. Then MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter.

As a journalist and community builder, finding ways to engage, build relationships and share information runs central to who I am.

Twitter, by far, has had the most impact on my digital life and, quite honestly, my real life.

I used to enjoy saying, “Most of my friends are from Twitter.” And it was true!

Before most journalists knew what Twitter was, I was already finding sources and searching for story ideas via tweets. Over the course of several years, I taught fellow journalists to use Twitter.

As time went on and more people began using Twitter, the social media site went from a thoughtful cafe to a rowdy bar. I still found community, but finding and keeping those strong connections took more effort — like trying to move through a crowded bar and shout, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” each time your friend says something. You know the scene.

From a news perspective, Twitter has been nothing more than a vacuum of people whose thoughts and words mean very little off the platform.

But with the real-time demise of Twitter, people are jumping ship and seeking new places to set up digital residences.

I dusted off my Reddit and Discord accounts; I tried navigating my way into an account on Mastodon; I opened accounts on Tribel, Cohost, and counter.social; and even considered giving LinkedIn more of a shot.

I’m not sure what my end game is — except that I plan on using Twitter less often.

I may go retro and blog more (here or maybe on Substack).

Perhaps you’ll consider following along. Find all the links here.

Send letters from Santa to support the American Cancer Society

Back again is a fundraising effort I just love!

For a minimum $5 donation per letter, you can have Santa send a personalized letter to someone you love! Think of all of those kids from 1 to 92 who would love a letter from Santa!

Money raised supports the American Cancer Society!

Get all of the details here.

Help fund HOPE: Support the American Cancer Society

Let’s fund RESEARCH to SAVE LIVES!

Let’s fund PROGRAMS to provide SUPPORT.

Let’s fund HOPE to show LOVE.

Will you join me in providing much-needed donations to help fight back against cancer?

tl;dr: I’m raising funds to help support American Cancer Society research, programs and services. Make a $20 donation here.

Have more time? Keep reading?

COVID-19 and cancer

COVID-19 safety measures kept millions of us safer during the height of uncertainty over the last few years. But the ripple effect on cancer screenings is alarming, according to a recent American Cancer Society study.

In the survey conducted between 2018 and 2020, past-year breast and cervical cancer screening prevalence declined by 6% and 11%, respectively.

“The study is the first of its kind and confirms that breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings dropped during the pandemic with millions of screenings missing in 2020,” the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association wrote in its story.

Why is this relevant? The American Cancer Society focuses efforts on screening education and outreach. Supporting the American Cancer Society will help more people get screened and educated on the risks of cancer and preventative measures.

18 million cancer survivors

A new American Cancer Society report shows 18 million Americans with a history of cancer were living in the United States as of Jan. 1.

That’s great news!

But, that means more research is needed to better understand and support people living with cancer.

“As the population of cancer survivors continues to grow and age, there is an increased need for guidance for health professionals, caregivers, and patients on how to manage late and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment, maintain healthy behaviors and limit financial toxicity,” said Kimberly Miller, scientist, surveillance and health equity science at the ACS, and lead author of the study. “In addition, the survivor population is increasingly diverse, and further resources are needed to ensure equitable access to survivorship care.”

Study: Racial disparities in cancer treatment and survival suggest large inequalities in access to care

That same American Cancer Society study found that there are substantial racial disparities in treatment.

For example, according to the study, receipt of surgery is substantially lower among Black patients than white patients with non-small cell lung cancer, 49% versus 55% for stages I-II and 16% versus 22% for stage III, according to the American Cancer Society.

One of the largest racial disparities occurs in the treatment of rectal cancer, where 41% of Black patients with stage I disease receive proctectomy or proctocolectomy compared to 66% of white patients, according to the American Cancer Society.

Treatment disparities are exacerbated by later-stage diagnosis in Black people than in white people for most cancers, with one of the largest disparities for uterine corpus cancer (59% vs. 73% diagnosed with stage I disease, respectively).

“More evidence-based strategies and equitable access to available resources are needed to mitigate disparities for communities of color,” Miller said.

So, what can you do? What can WE do?

With YOUR support, the American Cancer Society is making a difference in the fight against cancer through research grants that help to uncover better ways to treat cancer, find cancer and help people with cancer live better lives.

With YOUR support, the American Cancer Society is helping to fund programs and services that provide support to cancer patients, their families and, really, all of us.

Among these programs includes the organization’s 24/7 cancer support line, which offers a live human available any hour of the day to answer any questions you might have about cancer. You can call 1-800-227-2345.

See you Saturday in Erie!

Visit the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Erie County between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. June 25 at Liberty Park in Erie, Pennsylvania!

See the events schedule!

WHY I RELAY…

This year marks my 26th year as a participant, supporter and volunteer with the American Cancer Society. What began as a way to celebrate and remember the life of my grandmother has grown to celebrate, remember and honor far too many other people who have been impacted by cancer.

Your support will help fund research, programs, services, information — and it will help fund hope.

My 2021 in 21 Instagram posts

While I spent much of the year navigating the pandemic, I still got to experience so many things. Every year is filled with love and loss and great memories. Here’s a slice of what my 2021 looked like.

Kicked off 2021 with … cold brew coffee

This was the first cold brew coffee of 2021. The first of many!

Presque Isle Lighthouse in snow

I don’t know if I had ever walked to the lakeshore side when there was snow on the ground.

I walked on (frozen) water

This was my first time walking on Presque Isle Bay from the Presque Isle side! I watched people ice fishing, playing hockey and doing other ice-related activities.

I got vaxxed

Doing the neighborly thing.

Visited the Erie Zoo!

This little baby orangutan is adorable!

I visited Wawa. (Twice)

We all make mistakes.

Saw the White House

Pennsylvania Avenue was closed, so this was the closest I could get.

Swam in this natural spring pool

My first visit to Bedford Springs! I had this pool to myself for at least 90 minutes.

Got to see this Gulf station!

Finally! I’d wanted to see this building ever since WQED’s Rick Sebak shared it on a history program.

Visited the United 93 crash site

I was here a week shy of the 20th anniversary.

Our beloved rescue Kaci died

❤️

Visited Ellicottville

Took a stroll to see old buildings, sites in Ellicottville

Selfied with world’s largest pickle

It’s a big dill.

Watched fireworks be lit off of Pittsburgh’s City-County Building

That had never been done before!

I got to see NYC decorated for Christmas

This was such a highlight of my life!

Saw Macy’s Christmas windows!

Hello, Tiptoe!

Saw the Rockettes!

What a great show!

Made new friends

Best NYC tour guide!

Saw old friends!

I love these guys.

Saw Erie history light up!

The Warner Theatre marquee had not been lit in more than 40 years.

Rode the Jack Rabbit on Christmas Eve

In the 101-year history of Kennywood Park’s Jack Rabbit, it had never operated in December. I got to ride it on Dec. 24! I also ate Potato Patch fries on Christmas Eve. Yinzplosion!