Archive for onorato


Stray Lint

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Just a few thoughts I’m going to share with you today:

  • I can’t stop eating frozen Reese’s Cups.  I think I need a 12 step program.
  • I’m so ecstatic that Dan Onorato lost.  There’s your Drink Tax karma, Danny boy.  Bite it.
  • I haven’t gotten the massive flock of evil birds at my house.  Yet.
  • I’m determined to get my Christmas shopping done by December first.  Dammit.
  • My 93 year old Grandmother is awesome.  Healthy as a horse. Very content.
  • I have two more papers to write for my English 102 class.  Then I will never write another paper again in my life.
  • I should have written that statement about 20 years ago.
  • Little girls can be mean…and I’m too big to kick their ass.  I realize that they are only kids, but I hope that Becca gets the satisfaction of seeing karma catch up with this girl when she is older.
  • I like karma.
  • Hold on…gotta get a Reese’s.
  • I am officially a Girl Scout.  And we’re all going to day camp on Saturday.  In the snow.
  • Did you hear?  It’s going to snow.
  • Stink bugs are still evil.  Tony was cleaning up the deck at the restaurant, and a brought a bunch of hibernating stink bugs into the restaurant.  They woke up.  Tip:  If you find hibernating stink bugs outside, get ‘em in some water and flush them.  Immediately.

OK, that’s it.  Happy day :-)

Categories : brainlint, life, onorato
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I Was Craving Some Brain Candy!

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Well, I feel a little better now. Last night (after falling asleep with Becca in her room) I watched a new episode of 30 Rock that got DVR-ed (OK, I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I’m going with it). It’s been a few weeks since I watched some new television. I’m surprised how much I missed the little escape it brings me from the millions of thoughts bouncing around in my head.

I really don’t watch too much tv. I’ll watch True Blood when it comes back (I think in the Summer). I watch How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory on Monday nights and The Office and 30 Rock on Thursdays. If I happen to watch live, I’ll get up and clean while the commercials are on. And I’m usually doing something on the laptop at the same time.

On to other things, Becca is going to a little cheer leading camp tomorrow. It’s a fundraiser for the High School cheerleaders. They take kids K-5 (K and First in the A.M. and 2-5 in the afternoon) teach them a cheer and give them a t shirt. Then they get to perform their cheer all together at a basketball game this week. For $30, I thought she would have some fun. I’m interested to see how it all goes.

Oh, and to get back to some boring, serious, political stuff…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that a judge told Dan Onorato that he couldn’t use the money from the drink tax for anything other than mass transit. Finally, Score one for the restaurant owners! Of course, he’s going to be a big ol’ weenie about lowering it down below 7%. Which irks me. He just can’t seem to be a big enough person to just admit that he screwed up and fix it. In fact, if he did just admit to his screw up and fix it, he may win back some votes later on down the road. But because of his pride (or male ego, or stubbornness…whatever) he won’t. So now his budget is screwed, and it looks something like this:


Well, enjoy the snow that they’re calling for this weekend! If you live in Pittsburgh, I’m sure you already made your mad dash for your milk and bread ‘cuz you’ll be stuck in your house for a whole whopping 24 hours.

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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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2008 – Looking Back

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Well, my brain is too fried to think about a topic, so I’m taking the (sort of) easy way out, and answering the following questions. Dawn from Because I Said So did the same questions, so I’m a copycat (although my answers are different).

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Wow, lots. But it mostly has to do with buying the restaurant. So, bought a bar/restaurant.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Well, I don’t really make New Years’ resolutions. But I did have goals for the year. Not to be redundant, but one goal was to get the restaurant. The other was to make $1,000 a month online. Some months I hit that one, some months I didn’t.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nobody super close. An old friend did give birth last month.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Lots of funerals this year (but nobody in the immediate family)

5. What countries did you visit?
Um, I don’t even think I left Allegheny County this year. Scratch that. I went to Washington County. And Somerset County. But no COUNTRIES.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
More family time

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
May 27th – 2 days after my youngest’s birthday, 2 days before my oldest’s birthday, and our first official day of business at Downey’s House.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I didn’t collapse and stay in the fetal position in tears.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Keeping up on my house. It’s terrible.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope :) (OK, everybody knock on some wood for me. I just did.)

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My laptop

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Chloe’s, because right after January 1, 2008 I felt confident enough to leave the house without her in a pull-up.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Nobody specific, but lots of politicians. (Hello Dan Onorato and Allegheny County Council!)

14. Where did most of your money go?
ALL of our money went to the restaurant. Um, the money’s still there.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I know that ‘the restaurant’ is the short answer. But it was REALLY seeing Tony realize his dreams, and having all those ideas that were stuck in our heads really come to life.

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008?
Nothing really specific here, but I did have fun picking out the ‘alcohol themed’ songs on our myspace page.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier/sadder,thinner/heavier,richer/poorer?
happier, poorer and about the same weight. Well, OK, maybe a couple of pounds heavier.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas Eve with the Downeys and Christmas Day afternoon with the Sarnowskis!

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Tony, because we’re really not together all that much

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Uh, no.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
Um, none. But I do have a night stand. There are milk stains on it and it’s covered with dust.

24. What was your favourite TV program?
Stuck between ‘The Office’ and ‘True Blood’

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Dan Onorato

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
I’m trying to think if I actually read a book this year. Well, an adult book. I don’t think I did, but I have been reading the Junie B Jones series to Becca. They’re very cute.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Um, yeeeaaaahhh. I discovered that I still remember some of the words to songs you learn in preschool.

28. What did you want and get?

29. What did you want and not get?
Peace and quiet

30. What were your favourite films of this year?
The only one that I really watched. Sex and the City

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I don’t really remember what I did on my birthday. I do remember that I turned 38.

32. What’s one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I’m pretty satisfied.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
21st century comfortable mom

34. What kept you sane?
The nights that the kids went to bed by 8:00 and I stayed up and had time to myself.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still think John Krasinski is adorable

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
That damn drink tax

37. Who did you miss?
My grandmother. I thought about her a lot this year.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Can’t pick just one, but I love my employees.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Realizing your dream isn’t really a ‘happy ending.’ It’s more like a ‘new beginning.’

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
‘I’m so-o-o tired. I haven’t slept a wink” – The Beatles

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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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