Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday Favorites

The first week back after a vacation always feels so rough to me, and this one feels especially strange knowing that I'll be heading to Ohio in a few weeks for Ms. Wheelchair USA! I've got a lot to do before then, so it's looking like it's going to be a busy time.
I have more videos than usual for you this week - like I said, it's been rough!


  • Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke
    I mean, I love all of the videos in the carpool karaoke series, but this one is obviously an instant classic. There's a lot more than just karaoke in it - there's also a lot of Beatles history - and it's definitely worth a watch.

  • A "How She Gets It Done" Article
    I love these peeks into other people's lives, and how they get things done while also balancing their personal lives and other commitments. I thought this one was an especially fun read, but you should check out the whole series, too.

  • Crosswalk the Musical
    Another late-night sketch that I always love - the Crosswalk the Musical segments. This one has a guest appearance by Andrew Lloyd Webber, so I had to watch! My sister and I, plus my friend and my friend's sister, had a period of time where we were OBSESSED with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, so I was extra excited to hear that song included!

  • Post-Gazette Article about Straw Bans
    It wouldn't be right if I didn't include this article that I was interviewed for about the straw bans sweeping the nation. I know that I've already shared my thoughts on this topic on the blog, but I was really glad to be able to take part in the conversation for the article, and wanted to share.

  • Expanding Access to Opioid Addiction Treatment
    This article in The New York Times is a really important read about the current state of access to opioid addiction treatment. Currently, it's easier to get opioids than to get treatment for addiction, and it's easier for a doctor to write a prescription for opioids than to write a prescription for medications that can help treat addiction. That's a huge issue, and the crisis isn't going to get better until we fix that imbalance.

  • Anastasia duet
    Ending on a lighter note - this duet between the actresses who voice(d) Anastasia on stage and screen made me so happy! I have every word to this song memorized, and it's amazing to see past and present collide. As an added bonus, the harmonizing that goes on is so good!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Vote for Me - The Invacare People's Choice Award

I cannot believe how quickly the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant is coming up! I'm getting really excited, but also trying to get everything in order - not just attire-wise, but also making sure I know all my talking points, I'm prepared for interview questions, things like that. Now that I'm home from my trip to Orlando, the trip to Ohio for the pageant is the next big thing on my travel agenda.

In addition to the selection that will be done by the judges during the pageant, there's an vote being held for "The Invacare People's Choice Award." The voting is all done online, and you can vote as many times as you want! Each vote costs $5, and the money all goes towards Project Elf.

What is Project Elf? Each year, the Dane Foundation (the non-profit that runs the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant) runs Project Elf to help provide individuals with disabilities, or families of individuals with disabilities, with Christmas gifts during the holiday season.

I'd be honored if you would vote for me, and you can rest assured that your money is going to a great cause. You can click here to vote - I really appreciate your support!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Staying at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort in Orlando

My family is obviously a Disney family (after two Make-A-Wish trips to Disney World, yours would be, too!), but this trip to Orlando, we wanted to relax a little bit more than we get to on a typical Disney trip. We also wanted to spend a day at Universal, so we decided to stay outside of a Disney resort.

Finding an accessible hotel room isn't the easiest, especially when you need more than just a single room. For week-long stays, since there are four of us traveling (and since there are two of us using wheelchairs), we need space, and we need two bathrooms. Most accessible rooms in hotels are not in suites, and they're almost always a single room with a king-sized bed. This makes very little sense to me, since many people who use wheelchairs also have to travel with a "companion" (in my case, my parents) to help them, and they don't really want to share a bed with a companion. But no one is asking me for hotel design insight (yet...) so it is what it is.

But I've found Marriott hotels/resorts to be excellent in terms of offering a variety of accessible rooms, so I was really excited to find out that there was a Marriott resort right outside of Orlando - the Grande Vista Resort!
We were able to get a two bedroom, two bathroom villa with a roll-in shower, which was exactly what we wanted. They even e-mailed ahead of time to ask our preferences as to villa location, and were extremely accommodating and responsive. Our villa was perfect - there was space to move around, a full kitchen, two balconies/porches... one of the porches was screened-in, which is perfect for dealing with Florida heat and bugs, and was accessible, too! Porches/balconies that are accessible (which means they have regular doors, and not sliding doors that have the "lip" that my wheelchair can't get over) are something I've only seen at Marriott hotels and at Disney resorts, and I know it's a small thing, but it makes a huge difference.
Plus, the resort itself was amazing - check out this view! It had multiple pools, walking paths, boat rentals, a restaurant and a more casual Marketplace (with Starbucks coffee, a must for me), and an amazing spa. We didn't have to drive more than 20 minutes to get to any of the theme parks, and there was a stand-alone Starbucks and lots of restaurants only 5 minutes away.
Honestly, I'm really appreciative that Marriott makes things so seamlessly accessible, in a way that works for people both with and without disabilities. I'm more than happy to keep staying in their hotels and resorts, and to know that when I do, they'll be accommodating to me and my needs.

Monday, June 25, 2018

My Carry-On Essentials

I'm back! I was on vacation last week in Orlando, and had every intention of blogging while I was there... clearly, that didn't happen. Honestly, it was nice to take the time off and enjoy vacation, and there were also a few vacation mishaps (a common theme whenever I travel...) that made things a bit more hectic and left me with less "free" time. But that's it's own post for later this week!

I'm easing myself back into real life this week, and I thought I'd share some of my carry-on must-haves. I have written before about traveling while in a wheelchair, and the amount of medical equipment and bags and bins that we have to bring (see this post here). But today's post isn't about wheelchair necessities (some of which also come with me on the plane, so they don't get lost), just my own personal favorite things to have with my on the plane.
My bag
I haven't yet found my perfect carry-on bag... I like to bring some sort of tote, so that it's easy to get things out of, and I love outside/inside pockets, because things can get lost so easily in a tote. This one is a few years old from Target, but this one is similar, and this one is a sleeker version!

My iPad Mini
I have had my iPad mini for years now, and I still love it just as much as I did when I got it. I love to read on planes, and reading on this is perfect because I have multiple books (or magazines, if that's more your thing!) at my disposal. When I was little, I would bring 10 books with me on car trips... clearly, you can't bring multiple physical books with you on a plane, so this is the perfect solution. Plus, it's so much lighter, which is especially a plus for me, and you can also watch TV on it or listen to music.

My AirPods
I wrote a post specifically about my AirPods that you can check out here, but I'm happy to report that they also worked perfectly on the plane. I had a pair of wireless Beats headphones that I tried on a plane a few years ago, but they kept dropping the signal, and I kept having to reconnect every 10 minutes. They stayed connected the whole time, had more than enough charge, and I could happily listen to music while I read. And I love this silicone rubber case with the little strap attached to it - it makes me so much less nervous that I'm going to lose them.

A Travel Wrap
Dressing for a flight is rough, because the temperature of wherever you're coming from might be wildly different than where you're landing, and planes are usually freezing! So my solution is a lightweight, easy-to-pack wrap. I got mine a few years ago during one of Nordstrom's Anniversary sales, and it was honestly one of my best-ever purchases. It's a lightweight cashmere, so it's warm and cozy but not too heavy, and it doesn't wrinkle when I throw it into my carry-on. They don't sell the exact one anymore, but this one is similar.

Laptop Case
I don't usually use my laptop on a flight, but I like to have it in my carry-on rather than in my checked luggage. I found this laptop case recently on Amazon, and I think it's genius. It has zipper pockets on the outside for your cables/chargers, so that all your cords are together in the same place. No more searching through your duffel/purse for a phone charger! I bought this one right before my trip and I couldn't be happier.

Travel Pillow
I realize that most people probably use their pillow to sleep comfortably on the plane, but I actually have to use it to sit comfortably. Airplane seats aren't the most comfortable for anyone to sit on, but they're especially uncomfortable when you usually rely on your wheelchair to keep you stable and supported. After one particularly uncomfortable and difficult flight to Disney, my sister spotted these pillows in a gift shop in the Magic Kingdom. Certainly, any pillow this size/shape would work, but these have the added bonus of sentimentality to them, and they work perfectly to keep me (slightly) more comfortable during my flight.

What are your in-flight essentials? Let me know - I love adding to my travel list! 

(This post contains affiliate links that may earn me a commission for any clicks/purchases.)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Favorites

We had some cloudy and rainy days this week that were a bit of a downer, but the sun poked back out yesterday and it made such a difference. I got in some more outdoor reading and finished another book!
I'm going to get right to the favorites this week, because one of my favorites really did make my week. Sometimes you just have to let yourself get excited over something relatively inconsequential!

  • Drake's video for I'm Upset
    I used to be OBSESSED with Degrassi. Liz (of the nutrition posts!) actually brought the season 1 DVD over one year that she was joining our family on a summer vacation, and she, my sister, and I stayed up way too late because we just wanted to watch "one more episode." Every episode was so dramatic, and they really covered so many issues that other TV shows weren't touching. And Drake played Jimmy in the show - before he was a famous rapper, he played a character who got shot at school and was paralyzed. Now, in his latest music video, he staged a Degrassi High School reunion. If you ever watched the show, you need to check out this video!
 
  • The Bold Type is back!
    I mentioned my love of the The Bold Type last summer, when it was in it's first season. I'm so glad that it's back this summer! This interview shows how close the actresses are in real life - read the interview and then watch the show if you don't already!
 
  • Suicide as a public health crisis
    I know this isn't an uplifting article, but it's an important one. Because there's so much stigma around mental health and suicide and depression, a lot of people may not realize that it's become such an important public health issue. It's certainly not a simple one - we talked about it a bit in my classes that focused on the opioid epidemic, because there seems to be a relation between the two. Opioids numb the pain and despair that many seem to be feeling, but lead to many hundreds of thousands addicted. This article goes into the many facets of the issue, showing how complex it really is.
 
  • The Parkland choir at the Tony Awards
    I'm obviously a huge musical fan, so I love watching the Tony's each year. Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban were amazing hosts, but by far, the most standout and touching moment was when the Parkland choir sang "Seasons of Love." I read on Twitter that it was a surprise performance - they hadn't done it during rehearsals - and I can't imagine there were many dry eyes in the room while they sang.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Representation Matters

I talk all the time on here about how we need to increase inclusion and representation of people with disabilities - in the media, in the community, in politics. While it's easy to say, it's not quite that easy to do. There are all kinds of barriers that exist that keep the status quo from changing. And even though I've been living with my disability for almost 30 years now, there are some barriers that even I don't realize exist.

Last week, there was a post in a Facebook group I'm part of for the blog The Work Edit (which I love and you should check out!) sharing a petition titled "Allow Candidates with Special Needs the Use of Campaign Funds to Pay for Caregivers." Obviously this interested me, so I clicked to find out more.

So, finances for people with disabilities are a tricky thing, and I can and should write a whole post about it. There's a real incentive to keep your income low - if you make more than the predetermined limits, you can lose your benefits like funds that pay for nursing and attendant care. But paying for these services out-of-pocket would exhaust anyone's funds within a matter of months, if not sooner.

Having representation of people who use these services is key to getting them fixed. But what if the barrier exists when you're trying to run for office? I'll be honest - this is something that I've never thought of; I don't really have any experience in fundraising for office. But campaigning requires traveling all over, and for someone with a disability, that means you need a caregiver to help you. Those expenses can add up really quickly, and you're expected to pay for that yourself.

Earlier this year, campaign laws were amended to allow candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare expenses, and this petition is asking for support so that the laws can be amended, in the same vein, to allow campaign funds to pay for caregiver expenses.

Having diverse representatives benefit everyone. We should be doing everything that we can to help diversity along, and even the playing field to the extent that it's possible. I really encourage you to check out this petition, and sign and share!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Summer Getaways

I don't know about you, but I love traveling in the summer. Going on trips is not always easy (see this post), but there's nothing like going somewhere and just getting away. To me, it doesn't matter if it's just a long weekend in a different city or a week spent lounging somewhere - it's just the act of getting away that I look forward to.
No matter where I go, there are certain things that I look for on all my vacations - the things that I get excited about.

  • New Restaurants
    One of my absolute favorite things to do on vacation is find amazing local restaurants. I'm a bit of a foodie, and I love trying out restaurants in different cities. I try to stay away from chains (as much as I do love Cheesecake Factory!) and see what else is out there. I usually use Yelp to find places, but if I know anyone who lives where I'm traveling, one of the first things I ask them is where I should eat. When I went to DC, one of my cousins suggested Zaytinya, and now I pass on that recommendation to every single person I know who is going to DC. There's just something about a new restaurant find that makes me feel like I'm really enjoying myself!

  • Coffee Shops
    My dad's side of the family has a thing about coffee - we're all major caffeine addicts - and we always make sure to check out the coffee shops whenever we travel anywhere. Sometimes, this might be a Starbucks, but other times it's a locally-owned shop. Not only does this help satisfy my caffeine cravings, but it also forces me to check out places I otherwise wouldn't think to stop at.

  • Animals
    I don't know if it's clear yet how much I love animals, but I really really love animals. Not just my own, and not just pets - I love wild animals too. When my family traveled to LA a few years ago, I made sure that we also road tripped to San Diego so that I could see the (incredible!) zoo. The best parts of these trips have been when I've actually gotten to interact with the animals - two years ago, I got to visit the amazing McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary in Palm Beach and hold a kinkajou. Things like this really make the trips unforgettable!

Monday, June 11, 2018

First Official Ms. Wheelchair PA USA Appearance

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to make my first-ever official experience as Ms. Wheelchair PA USA at the Community Transportation Expo. Though the Expo started Sunday and will run through the middle of the week, I got to be part of what I imagine to be the most fun part - the Roadeo.
The CTAA (Community Transportation Association of America) works to make sure that everyone has access to transportation - they believe that mobility is a basic human right. Since my platform for Ms. Wheelchair USA focuses on increasing inclusion for people with disabilities into their communities, and having access to transportation is a key part of this, this seemed like a perfect fit for me to make an appearance.
The Roadeo was so cool - it was basically an obstacle course for ACCESS vehicles and accessible minivans. There were cones set up all over the room in the convention center, and drivers were evaluated for all these different components - stopping/starting smoothly, getting close enough to a fake "curb" for a simulated drop-off of a person in a wheelchair, maneuvering through turns. They also had a whole section about proper loading and tying down a wheelchair in a vehicle so it's secure during driving. Many of the drivers had won local driving competitions in their own states, and had traveled to Pittsburgh to compete in the national competition!

Everyone I met was so friendly and welcoming, and it was so incredible to see how everyone was so excited about accessible transportation! While it seems like it should be a given, it's not something that people think about all the time, so I'm glad to know that organizations like CTAA are working to keep this in people's minds, and so happy they were willing to let me spend some time with them!

If you haven't donated to my Ms. Wheelchair USA campaign yet, it's not too late! Just click here and select "Sponsor HEATHER TOMKO - Pennsylvania."

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Favorites

The weekend is here again! I can't believe it's already June - May seems to have gone so quickly. I'm really looking forward to some traveling this month, and then my trip to Ohio for Ms. Wheelchair USA next month. Exciting things coming up!
I have a fun mix of favorites this week - some serious, and some less so.

  • Dealing with group chats
    Group text message chains can be great when you want to keep in touch with a group of people from a certain time in your life, or when you're making plans, but we've all been in the group chat where the notifications start to get out of control. This has some great tips for ways to minimize the notifications without hurting your friends' feelings!

  • United Shades of America
    United Shades of America is a TV series on CNN hosted by W. Kamau Bell, and in late May, one of the episodes focused on the disability community. I don't have a link to the episode itself (though I think it's on demand), but this article goes along with it and talks about the issues with disability representation in the media. It's a fantastic read and echoes a lot of my own feelings!

  • Posing for Photographs
    Maybe this one is just for me? In the age of Instagram (shameless plug to follow me here!), we all want to take pictures where we look our best. This has some helpful hints, plus a reminder that we don't need to worry about hiding our flaws.

  • Panic Button App
    I think this app idea is genius. It's a panic button that you can press, which will send an alert to people you've pre-selected, telling them you're not okay, and sending your GPS location. It was originally designed with depression and mental health in mind, but it could definitely be used for physical issues, as well! I had an issue in college where I fell forward in my chair and didn't get help for a few hours... I now have one of those "I've fallen and I can't get up!" buttons, but this sounds like an amazing alternative.

  • Karlie Kloss and STEM/STEAM
    This last one is a long interview, but it's worth it! I love the work Karlie Kloss has done through her "Kode with Klossy" initiative to introduce more girls to coding and STEM career paths. I'm sure I've mentioned before than I studied Mechanical Engineering as an undergrad, and I was one of maybe 8 girls in a class of about 100 in most of my MechE classes. The interview is a conversation between Karlie and a teenager who founded a non-profit called ThinkSTEAM, and it's a great reminder that STEM fields can fit in with all career types, including arts/humanities.




Thursday, June 7, 2018

Trying Out a New Schedule

Since I just hit my one year "blogaversary" (see this post!), I've been thinking a lot about how often I want to put up new posts. When I started blogging, I originally posted three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday), but that only lasted about a week or two. I was so excited and had so many things that I wanted to talk about that I quickly moved to a Monday through Friday schedule. And I've stuck to that, more or less, with just a few breaks for holidays and stressful times.

I think that part of the reason I wanted to do a post every weekday is so that people don't forget about me! I know that there are so many different blogs that you could be reading, and I don't want you to come back, see an old post, and forget to come back the next day. But quality vs. quantity is always important, too. I don't want you to stop checking in because my posts aren't interesting anymore, either!

All of this is to say that I'm going to be trying out a new posting schedule. I'll be posting Monday through Wednesday, and then come back on Friday for my weekly Friday Favorites. I think this will be a good move, and will make sure that I can put the time in to write the kinds of posts that you really want to read!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Talking to People with Disabilities

I want to be careful in this post, because I don't want to offend or insult anyone, but a variation of this has happened to me so many times that I think it's worth addressing.
Last summer, I wrote a post (here) about my pet peeves of how people interact with me - staring, jumping out of the way when I'm nearby, talking to the person I'm with instead of directly to me. But sometimes, when people do talk directly to me, it's not much better.

If you've ever been to an arena/stadium concert, you know that it's basically pure chaos when the show ends. Thousands of people are all trying to get out at the same time, and it's a huge crush of slowly-moving crowds. This can make finding the elevators hard - especially if you have to cut across a huge line of people to get to the other side of the hallway - so I'm always really appreciative of anyone who tries to help, like a man did after the Justin Timberlake concert last week.

And when he stopped to chat for a minute after pointing out the elevator to me and my friend, I know he had only the best of intentions in mind, and I do appreciate that (and I also don't think he was 100% sober). He told me that his mom had been in a wheelchair but passed away a few years ago, and that he was really glad that I was able to get out and about, and that he was proud of me for being at the show.

Now, I think it's great that he felt a connection with me and wanted to share his memory of his mom. But I do think it's a problem, societally, that he was impressed and proud to see someone in a wheelchair enjoying a JT concert. While I'll joke about "wheelchair perks" sometimes with my friends, there really was nothing different about me than any of the other thousands of fans at the concert that night. I wasn't doing it to make a statement, or a point - I just wanted to enjoy JT's amazing performance. And it's a bit awkward and uncomfortable when someone who knows absolutely nothing about you other than the fact that you're in a wheelchair tells you that they're proud of you - especially when they're proud of you for doing something like going to a concert.

Maybe if there were more accessible seats in the arena, if there were more accessible transportation options, and if it weren't such a hassle to buy accessible tickets, you'd see more people with disabilities at concerts, or in other public places. We need to think hard about why it's currently the exception, and "impressive," rather than the norm.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

NARS Orgasm lip balm and lip gloss
When I was in middle school (and even high school), girls didn't know how to do makeup the way that they do today. There were no YouTube tutorials, and there definitely wasn't any contouring or highlighting. There was, however, a lot of blue eyeshadow.

Mostly, I wore lipgloss, lots of body glitter, and maybe some mascara if I wanted to be fancy. This means that I had a ton of lip glosses - Bonnie Bell, Lipsmacker, and Wet'n'Wild were the popular brands. Maybe a Lancome Juicy Tubes if you were upscale (I was not).

But I did have a favorite Wet'n'Wild lip gloss, one that I loved so much I can still picture to this day! It was a coppery, pinky metallic shimmer gloss, and I bought multiple tubes until they discontinued it. After that, I searched for the perfect dupe for at least a year, and never could really find what I wanted. And then liquid lipsticks and matte lipsticks started getting popular, and lip glosses weren't around as much.

I'm not much of a lipstick person, even if my makeup drawer or purse might tell you otherwise. I like it for the first five minutes or so, but then it gets on my teeth, or my coffee cup, or smears and fades. So I was excited when more companies started making lip glosses and tinted balms again - they're much more my style. And then I saw an Instagram ad for Nars' line of Orgasm products - including both a tinted balm AND a gloss, and I knew that I had to have them.

The gloss isn't exactly the same color as my favorite Wet'n'Wild, but it's the closest that I'm going to get! It's a subtle shimmer, and a little bit of color, too, but not too much - you can put it on without a mirror and not have to worry. The tinted balm has just the tiniest bit of a tint, nice shine, and feels so nice and moisturizing. They've both made it into my purse and are in my everyday rotation. If you're looking for a super pigmented product, these aren't going to be for you. But if you want something you can wear every day, definitely check these out!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Weekend Recap

After a three day weekend, regular weekends seem so short! Sometimes it feels like there's never enough time to do everything I need to do plus everything I want to do. This weekend, the balance definitely tipped towards what I wanted to do rather than what I needed to, but I'm more than okay with that.

The weekend started off in the best way possible - with a Justin Timberlake concert! I love seeing JT in concert - he always puts on the most amazing show. I actually once convinced my family to take a trip to Hershey so I could go see JT and Jay-Z together in concert. I have no regrets - I wasn't even a huge Jay-Z fan, but seeing the two of them together was such an incredible experience. The show was so good, in fact, that two days after I got home, I saw that Justin announced he'd be stopping in Pittsburgh as part of the next leg of his tour, and bought tickets immediately. The energy he puts into his show is so impressive - every song felt like it could be the finale.
Saturday I made my first trip down to the Three Rivers Arts Festival. I wrote about it here last year - it's one of my favorite summer activities each year! My friend Katie has a fantastic booth each year - this year, she's working on a larger than life PB&J that makes everyone crave one whenever they see it. I'm so proud to have such amazingly talented friends - you can check out her website here if you're in need of any artwork!

The Arts Fest puts on free concerts each day, and Saturday night's concert was the band Everything Everything - one of my sister's favorite groups - so we had to go check it out. The concerts are at The Point, where Pittsburgh's three rivers converge, so not only are you treated to some great live music, you also have one of the city's prettiest views as the backdrop.
I was also really happy to see that they had a sign language interpreter up on stage with the band! She was so good - totally getting into the music - and the band also interacted with her throughout the set, making her seem like part of the show rather than just someone one the sidelines. 

It was such a fun night, and we got to say hi to the band after, which is always fun! Plus, I ended my night with funnel cake, so there really isn't anything better.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friday Favorites

This four day week really threw me - I could not keep straight what day it was! For the first time in my time working, I missed a meeting because I didn't know what day it was.
But I have a fun weekend planned - I'm seeing Justin Timberlake tonight, and then checking out the Three Rivers Arts Festival over the weekend - one of my favorite things in the city each year.

I've got some great things to share with you that I've loved this week.

  • The #Hamildrop
    What would a Friday Favorites be without a Hamilton reference? I shared last month's #Hamildrop here (and I have still been listening to it at near-obsessive levels), so of course I had to share this month's! Totally different genre, but equally great. It reminds me of my time spent listening to the Freaky Friday soundtrack on repeat.
  • The importance of public health
    How could I not share this article from The New York Times about the importance of public health? The article does a great job explaining what public health is, what it's done for the health of the public, and the issues with funding public health. We've talked about this in some of my classes - it's difficult to get funding for programs whose benefits aren't seen immediately, but will only be realized years in the future. Increasingly, we're a society that wants things NOW (imagine that being said in Veruca Salt's voice...) and public health often doesn't operate on this schedule.
  • The woman who faked her life
    This deep-dive in New York Magazine is a fascinating read on Anna Delvey, a woman who fabricated her background and convinced many of New York City's wealthy and elite that she was one of them. These kind of long con stories always intrigue me - I wonder if, at some point, she started to believe her own lies?
  • Mr. Rogers documentary
    I wouldn't be a real Pittsburgher if I didn't mention this article about the Mr. Rogers documentary that's coming out. Mr. Rogers is a Pittsburgh icon - a local theme park has a section devoted to him, and his show was filmed right next to CMU's campus in Oakland. Once, years ago, I met Mr. McFeeley after my sister and I were in the "Celebrate the Seasons" parade. This article does a great job explaining Mr. Rogers - his show, and his life.