Archive for drink


Chemical Dependency

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Nectar of the Moms mug
Nectar of the Moms by hdowney
Design photo coffee mugs with zazzle
I have a quite serious addiction. To coffee. It’s gotten to the point where I NEED it to function. Let me tell you a little bit about what happened yesterday.
I woke up yesterday and had about ten minutes of quiet time to myself. I checked the email and vegged on the couch before my ‘little angels’ came down the stairs. This was pre-coffee. As expected, they came down and asked for something to drink. As I brewed the coffee, I got a cup for Becca to have some water. She likes LOTS of ice in her water. I head to the ice maker, press the cup against the lever and…..nothing. Just lots of noise. I figure it’s jammed, so I open the door and attempt to lift the container of ice off the door. Frozen. Stuck. I wiggle, I press buttons. I finally get up on my tippy toes, grab the container with both hands and pull. Hard. Just so happens that my head was ABOVE the container, and I was looking down into the container. It came up, and the edge jammed right into my face. Right between my upper lip and my nose. As the pain shot through my face, I imagined a bruise. It would be a thin line of a bruise that would look like one cheesy mustache. :::sigh:::
Luckily, the bruise never appeared. But it reinforced into my brain that I simply CANNOT do much before coffee. The kids know this. They know that I can’t make pancakes until I have a cup 0f coffee. (Tried that…it wasn’t pretty). I’ve put stuff that belongs in the pantry into the fridge. I’ve put stuff that belongs in the fridge into the pantry. I’ve tried writing a blog post before I had a few good ‘glugs’ of coffee. It was like I just learned the English language.
It doesn’t just happen in the morning, either. I need those two cups to get going, to be my positive, sparkly self (did you hear the sarcasm?) in the morning. But I also need my drug in the afternoon. Usually about 3:30. I can always tell when 3:30 is nearing. My body gets drained, and I just want to close my eyes. Two cups in the afternoon will keep me going the rest of the day. Well, a nap would probably do the trick, too. But I’ve only gotten the chance to try that once in the last six years.
So, I love me some coffee. Other sources of caffeine just won’t do it. Soda, tea, energy drinks…blech. They don’t give me the right jolt. Thank you, God, for coffee.
Categories : drink, life, motherhood
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Rats and Birthday Cake

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I have very mixed feelings about Chuckie Cheese.

Strictly as an entrepreneur and business woman, I think it’s great. There’s always money in entertaining kids. Especially when it’s mixed with giving parents a little break.

As a mom? That’s where my mixed feelings come in. I don’t really mind going to Chuckie Cheese during the week. In the afternoon. When other parents are at their regular jobs, and it’s nice and slow. It’s not a bad place when the weather is crappy and you have a bit of cabin fever. When it’s slow. Every game is only 1 token. That’s cool. And there are things that the kids can actually do on their own. Cool.

We had a bad experience with germs at Chuckie Cheese. A couple of years ago, everybody we know (including us) got sick after going to Chuckie Cheese. EVERYBODY. I blame it on the tube/slide. We all got a horrible stomach flu. Becca was 3. Chloe? 18 months. Becca got it first, and it plowed through the family. It was utterly and completely terrible. Becca was in the slide the day before she got sick. It was a Saturday. I have since found out that they clean that slide on Saturday nights (Well, at least at our Chuckie Cheese). We go early in the week now.

We also bring a VERY LARGE bottle of hand sanitizer. I am constantly putting it on their hands. When we get there (so we don’t spread any germs we might already have). Before we eat. After we eat. When we’re done playing. Again in the car. We haven’t gotten sick since that one time. But I am VERY afraid to go there in the winter – the middle of sick season.

What motivated me to write this post? Well, let me tell ya. We went to a birthday party on Sunday at ‘The Cheese.’ It was at noon. The place was completely insane. We had to wait in line to even get in. It was the longest two hours of my life. There were screaming children everywhere. When we gathered for the ‘birthday’ part, we were jammed into a corner. We ate some cardboard pizza. The kids didn’t want to sit. They wanted to play some more. It was loud. Very loud. It was a birthday party for a neighbor kid (who is very sweet, and a cutie!). But being in the middle of 8 different birthday parties all happening at the same time was just too much for me.

Sorry, kids. You’re not having your party there.

I got home, popped two Advil and considered having an adult beverage. Some days, this motherhood gig just doesn’t pay enough.

I was rejuvenated later in the evening, when Tony took the girls outside to play. Did I relax and give myself some ‘me’ time? Nah. I popped the MP3 player on, cleaned up the house and put away laundry (singing at the top of my lungs). All better. That’s all I need. Just a half an hour of escape every day or two.

Categories : drink, humor, kids, life, motherhood
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Happy Steak and BJ Day

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Yup, that’s what today is. Steak and BJ day. You can learn more about it at their website To sum it up, it’s the male version of Valentine’s Day.

Here in Pittsburgh, it also happens to be Parade Day. This is the day, in the past (and I’m stressing IN THE PAST, because it’s different now), that I would find my husband the most inebriated. He’s Irish. Plain and simple. They would start with beer and donuts at 8:00, head to the parade, then take the bus back into Carnegie. Carnegie was a mecca for Parade Day Partiers. Lots of bars, one of them being an Irish Pub. And we lived in Carnegie. It was the perfect storm.

Me? I’ve never been to the parade. I’m not much for a) being out in the cold – and it’s usually cold on parade day and b) large crowds of drunken people. I just don’t have the patience.

So, Steak and BJ day combined with Parade Day? That’s drinking, hanging out with buddies, steak and a blow job. That’s the perfect day for most guys I know. Now my guy? He won’t be going to the parade this year. He’ll be working at Downey’s House, keeping the fun going. He will get to hang out with his buddies a bit, but he won’t be drinking. As for the steak and BJ? He might eat a steak at the restaurant.

But he doesn’t get home until 4:00 in the morning. That’s when I’m sleeping.

Sorry, babe.

Categories : Downey's House, drink, humor
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More Drink Tax Debate

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Well, there’s another court hearing regarding the drink tax today. You can read a snippet about it from the Post Gazette. In a nutshell, they (restaurant owners and a councilman – Charles McCullough) are trying to stop my most hated person, Dan Onorato, from using funds collected by the drink tax for anything other than the Port Authority. Did you know that the drink tax collected 16 million dollars more than what was needed for the Port Authority? Crazy. I’m hoping that this makes something else happen. And I wouldn’t mind it if it made Dan Onorato cry a little.

After owning the restaurant for seven months now, I have realized that there really isn’t money in this business. Don’t get me wrong, we are able to pull a salary – enough to pay our bills and the extra mortgage on the house that we got so we could buy the bar. But what’s crazy is the sheer amount of money that needs to go OUT. Our electric bill is about $2,000 a month. Gas is about the same. Payroll is crazy. Insurance? Holy crap. Liquor liability insurance is completely insane! Then there’s our health insurance! We picked some crappy tier with UPMC, and Tony has a $2500 deductible per year. I’ve been reading a lot of restaurant-owner-related-crap, and for every $1 in sales, owners are lucky to see about a nickel. That seems about right. But I really don’t think that other people realize that.

All in all, though, Tony LOVES having the restaurant. And his happiness is worth it. And we won’t be living in a van down by the river any time soon. Tony is one of the hardest working people I know, and considering the economic times, the restaurant is doing really well.

How about that for a venting session? :::takes deep breath::: I feel better now :)

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My thoughts on the changing drink tax

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Well, Dan Onorato and Allegheny County Council decided to lower the Allegheny County Drink Tax to 7%. Many thoughts enter my head. One is that it’s about time they lowered it. The drink tax has raised over 30 million dollars for a failing Port Authority. (Whose drivers, by the way, just got a raise.) However, the Port Authority hasn’t even gotten this money yet. Danny Onorato basically told them that they need to shape up before they get an money. What I’m wondering (and maybe somebody can answer this for me) is where is all the interest going that the county is making on those millions of dollars?

Now, as for the lowering of this asinine tax, 7% is better than 10%, but it’s still too much. And council even said that it was too much (basically). They said that it would be easier to lower it again if it was too much. Later. Probably another year. So, this is what I’ve decided. There’s really not too much I can do about the drink tax specifically (and there are plenty of other people trying damn hard to get it lowered even more). But I CAN try to get people not to vote for Dan when his term is up. Now, I understand that’s quite a while away. He’s only a year into his second term. And you know, I’m not normally one to hold a grudge. But I can take a few years to point out every time he screws up (and there will be many, I’m sure). I’ll make some anti-Dan t shirts, start talking politics and what not. It’s not exactly what I enjoy doing. But really, he’s ticked me off that much.

Oh, and to top it all off, he’s a bad tipper.

So, please send me any links you might have about Dan and his screw ups. I may start a whole new site.

OK, my rant is over. I’m going to finish out my night working here on the laptop while lying in bed. The lack of sleep compounded with the energy I spent writing the schedule, giving extra attention to a sick and boogery Chloe, and writing/printing a new drink menu means that I may work for an hour. Or less. 6:30 comes pretty damn quickly.

Categories : drink, onorato, Pittsburgh, tax
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