a weekend.

A perfectly relaxing Saturday morning. Handmade Arcade. Keller Williams. A road trip to Columbus for the MLS Cup final.


I didn’t take pictures of the first part of Saturday, but I don’t want to give it short shrift: Yoga class at 8 a.m., followed by my first ever acupuncture treatment; that combination, boys and girls, is pretty much unbeatable. We took a productive spin through Handmade Arcade, got in a nap … and then …

So we started with the photographic portion of the weekend as we each enjoyed a glass of Master of the Galaxy, the delicious imperial IPA by Grist House in Millvale. At least two of the last shows I’ve seen at Mr. Smalls — basically just around the corner from Grist House — have been on Sundays, so there haven’t been the same kind of pregaming opportunities we enjoyed on Saturday. And we did enjoy: a couple beers apiece, delicious dinner from the Burgh Bites truck, and a fun time talking with some folks who had driven to Pittsburgh from Cleveland to see Keller. If you haven’t been to Grist House, guys, you need to go — especially when you can then take the short walk to see your show at Mr. Smalls.

Keller LOVES Mr. Smalls — when I interviewed him for BCT a few years ago, he said that’s why he picked it to film his concert DVD. On Saturday, he opened for himself, playing a short solo set — as solo as Keller and his infinite loops ever are, anyway — before he hit the stage with the KW Trio. As he always does, he starts playing before he actually comes up on stage ; that always catches people by surprise a bit, so Mrs. Crappy and scored floor space right up by the stage for the solo set.

I mentioned trio, right? I hadn’t seen drummer Rodney Holmes before, but he has serious chops, playing jazz sessions with a host of different guys and winning Grammys playing with Carlos Santana. The bassist? That’s Rob Wasserman, Bob Weir partner in crime and original member of Ratdog. Seeing KW play with a band is always a cool, different experience, and that was definitely the case on Saturday.

Because we weren’t tired enough on Saturday, we thought driving to Columbus for the MLS Cup final sounded like a great idea. Spoiler alert: In spite of the game’s outcome — and the atrocious officiating — it was.

We met Fred and Ethel outside Mapfre Stadium, did a bit of tailgating — thanks to them, because they brought all the supplies on Sunday — and headed inside. Ethel told me what section they were sitting in when I asked about getting tickets from the match, so we scored tickets in the same section. And there might have been a little beer.

Awesome atmosphere. Loved the Nordecke tifo. The place was nuts … for about the first minute of the match. The rest of the night was awesome too, but the match itself didn’t turn out the way we wanted.

Still, I’d say it was a perfect weekend. Sure looks that way, huh?

it’s a party.

We’ve been to watching parties before, most notably outside Columbus Crew Stadium, to watch World Cup matches last year and in 2006. Those have been a blast; we weren’t there for last year’s game against Algeria, but the reaction in the tent outside the stadium for a USA goal is always something like this:

I’ve been in Pittsburgh for a bunch of Penguins’ playoff runs, but Mrs. Crappy and I had never made it into town to watch a game on the Big Screen. Sort of independently of each other, we both thought Friday would be the right time to give it a try.

For the uninitiated: For years, the Penguins have set up an enormous TV outside the Civic Arena so those not fortunate enough to have tickets to the game inside could still watch in a something pretty close to a game atmosphere*. I have friends who have watched games at the screen for a long time, and all swear by the experience, but we’d just never got around to it.

Because I was the only one not working on Friday, I loaded a cooler with sammiches, snacks and Fresca — they’re pretty tough about the drinking in the lot — and set up early a pretty good distance from the screen. Mrs. Crappy and a bunch of other friends arrived with the rest of the crowd; the empty spaces around our chairs filled in pretty quickly.

We had an awesome time. We didn’t see a lot of great hockey — the Pens managed playoff intensity for about 10 minutes in the second period — but watching Mikey and Bob work the crowd before the game and sitting with a few thousand close friends on a breezy night made it worth it nonetheless.

And yeah, when the Pens scored their only goal of the night, we got a reaction pretty close to the one in Crew Stadium.

Mrs. Crappy made some grumpy pronouncements after the game about not being able to go back because of the loss, but if I had to guess, I’d say we’ll be back.

*Unless NBC is showing the game. Dicks.


So the repair guy didn’t show up this morning, apparently because the customer service rep I spoke with told me “Wednesday” when what she meant to say was “Thursday.” If the guy shows up on Thursday he’s going to have a rough time because no one will be there to let him in except the cat, who will be too busy hiding under the futon when he hears the doorbell ring.

That actually made for a relaxing morning: watched the World Cup match — holycraplandondonovan — and not having to rush to work because I was assigned today’s scanner shift.

Which means I’m responsible for the breaking news that goes in tomorrow’s paper.

And then: