Biohazard Butchery

photo credit: huffington post

London’s first “human butchery,” Wesker & Son, is set to open September 28

If you’re aren’t happy with your local butchery, look no further than Wesker & Son, serving human hands, sexual deviant’s offal, and athlete’s torsos starting September 28, 2012.

London residents can find Capcom’s pop-up “human butchery” in the famous Smithfield’s meat market.  The video game company set up this faux-shop to promote it’s sixth installment of the survival horror series, Resident Evil, set for release on October 2.  Edible treats such as peppered human & lemon sausages and J’avo-Caught Human Thigh Steak will be available for purchase until 6 P.M. September 29th.  The best part about this stunt is all the proceeds from Wesker & Son will be donated to the Limbless Association, who provide information and support for the limb-loss community.

photo credit: huffington post

Offal offerings at Capcom’s pop-up butchery located in Smithfield’s meat market.

The stand is sickening, in the best way possible.  The meat-shaped “human hands” and the offal bits are outstanding, and the sight of human limbs among whole hogs hanging on meat hooks is a fantastic, haunting image.  The sense of humor is brilliant, and will win major points with fans of the popular series, but may fall short for regular market shoppers.  Looking at a severed human penis prop is probably not the best way to start your grocery trip.

photo credit: huffington post

A human torso hangs among whole hogs.

It’s hard not to admire all the geeky details this booth.  The nod to Wesker, the series’ antagonist, in the shop’s name and the ability to purchase red and green herbs, the source of health for the game, would make any U.S. fan want to take a transatlantic flight straight into the Smithfield market, promptly followed by a trip to the nearest retailer to purchase their copy of Resident Evil 6.


New Route

It’s 2:45 A.M. and I’m thinking about my imaginary blog.

I consider myself a Pittsburgh resident, first and foremost.  I identify myself as a loving and understanding partner to my significant other, and loyal as Ned Stark to my family.  I’m a proud member of the service industry, and love my job, even when it’s tough.  I think of myself as a lot of things, but a college student is always on the bottom of my list.

It’s not because I dislike school.  On the contrary, I fought to go back to school.  After my two year run at Kent State, I chose to take a gap year.  During this time, I got involved in the Pittsburgh restaurant scene and decided my career path should be in public relations.  I worked to get back into school, and I knew Point Park University was where I needed to be.

I realize that I need to be more proud of what I want to do.  I need to start investing in my future.  I started by going back to school, but it can’t stop there.  I created this blog with the intention of regular posts and fun updates.  I should of recognized this as a stretch, especially when I haven’t been in the habit of daily writing since 2008. Also, I chickened out.  It’s hard to put out your writing, especially with an opinion attached to it, on the blogosphere.  I need to break this insecurity, and just focus on writing more regularly about current events relating to public relations, marketing and the going on’s of my city:  Pittsburgh.

So this is my new route.  I need to write regularly before I find a focus.  I can’t just create one.  I need to let it come to me.  So here’s hoping it comes.

New Beginnings

Over a year ago, I promised to keep a blog.  It seemed like a simple promise at the time, because I kept a personal blog for over six years until 2008.  You can see how that turned out (or I’ll save you the detective work and tell you it went really poorly.)  I underestimated how much things have changed since then, especially how much I’ve changed in the past four years.

Last Fall, I made one of the best decisions of my life: to go back to school.  I did a lot of soul searching during my time off from college.  I worked long hours at multiple jobs and took some time to learn what I really wanted in the long term.

Today, I finished my first year back in school.  I exited my first year with a 3.9 GPA, Dean’s List for Fall of 2011, and projected Dean’s List for Spring of 2012.  I successfully worked roughly 30-40 hours a week as a manager at the local Pittsburgh bakery, Dozen Bake Shop.  I honestly have no idea how I kept my sanity, but I’m happy I did it all.

This summer already feels different.  The majority of my friends have completed their undergraduate degrees, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.  I wish I could be a part of their excitement, but I also understand it’s my time to put in the hard work.  Sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone for new opportunities.

I’ve resigned from my manager position at Dozen last week, and have been finishing my last few shifts.  I’m sad to say goodbye to a job that I’ve grown so much from.  It’s been almost two years since I accepted the Front of House position and a very different Amanda Carto is coming out of this bakery.  Sure it sounds cliche and goofy, but I’ll miss the cupcakes, working Sunday brunch, and especially the people.  Dozen is incredible lucky to have such a friendly, dedicated team, and it was a pleasure working with every one at both locations.

This week, I started two new jobs:  a hostess position at Salt of the Earth, and an internship with the Girl Scouts Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Sure, starting a new job kind of feels like being the new kid at school.  However, in a weird way, I’m ready to be the new kid.

My life is changing too fast not to keep track of it.  Also, at the risk of sounding completely full of myself, I’m doing some pretty amazing things, traveling to some pretty amazing places and hanging out with some pretty amazing people.  So here’s to summer 2k12, and the all of the changes it’ll bring.

New Year’s Resolutions

A whole year has gone by since I’ve last touched Steel City Socialite.  I know a lot can happen in a year.  2011 was quiet for me, however it became one of my more formative years.  I feel as if I became a more complete and happy version of myself, a feat I never thought quite possible.

One of my greatest accomplishments this year was my return to college.  After taking a year off from university, I still wasn’t sure if I was meant for higher education.  However, after a life-changing trip to Boston for PAXEast last spring, I suddenly had direction.

At PAXEast ’11, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) organized several panels open to the public interested in one day working for the video game industry.  For one weekend, I took a crash course on several different avenues a communications background can offer.  Video games, a lifelong activity for me, ultimately sparked my passion to get back into school.

I began looking at schools as soon as I returned.  Point Park University immediately popped out to me.  The location, school size and program was completely ideal for everything I needed out of a university.  I’ve never felt so comfortable and happy with a school experience.  I finished my first semester with a 3.9 and can’t wait to begin my spring schedule.

2011 produced a clear path that has allowed me to take time and focus on myself.  The future is still foggy, as it should remain, but at least I am working on a degree and happy with the person I am today.

So as one year passes by and another one begins, what will 2012 bring?  La fin du monde? Probably not (unless it’s the very tasty beverage,) but I hope it brings me a year closer to my degree and a little more wisdom.

As I said a year ago, I’m not one for resolutions, but I do have some goals I’ve decided to work towards that I can benefit from for a lifetime.  Drink more water, stretch daily, and use the internet to my benefit.

After a week, I can say I am doing well with stretching, thanks to the yoga tapes from my Aunt Judi, and not-so-well with the water thanks to my coffee addiction.  However, as I take a sip from my fourth glass of water today, I hope that this entry will be the beginning of a healthy relationship with writing (almost) daily that will ultimately help develop my voice and opinion over the next year.

So here’s to 2012.  Stay tuned.

Happy New Year with Machinarium!

Oh, hello again.  I suppose it is time for my monthly post apologizing for how busy my life is.  However, I can’t really use that excuse this time.  It’s been a pretty slow month spent with family, friends and enjoying some well-deserved time off as the holidays passed by and we entered the New Year.

I’m not one to make resolutions.  I think those sort of decisions shouldn’t rely on whether a new year is afoot or not.  I know I have some silly goals I’ve been working on, like trying to get in the habit of writing more, getting out of the habit of biting my nails and returning to my nerdy roots.

About a month ago, I paid-what-I-wanted for the Humble Indie Bundle Pack which included five independently developed web-based games.  I guess I was smart in my decision, because two weeks later they added 5 more independent games.  What’s great about the Humble Bundle is you could control if you wanted your money to go to the game developers or two great causes, Child’s Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  I urge you to look into both foundations if you have an extra five seconds to aimlessly surf the internet, which I’m sure you do.

Amanita Design contributed Machinarium, the next in their line of challenging point-and-click puzzle games.  A world inhabited by robots, your mission is to break past city walls and save your robot girlfriend from the villains who have taken over your town.
I had a grand time with it.  I played on and off for a few days and finally finished it this evening.  You’ll certainly feel a little more clever after it’s all over.  I felt that cleverness go away, though, when I saw that Amanita was also behind another click-and-point with a very similar formula that I played a years ago called Samorost.

Is there really anything wrong with that though?  I love point-and-click puzzle games like how some people really love crossword puzzles or sudoku.  You can pick them up when you’re bored, but can leave them for a break if you’re a little stumped.  It’s definitely a genre I hope to see more developers exploring, especially with today’s touchscreen technology.

So, even if gaming isn’t your thing, please try Machinarium.  The first level is free on their website and if you really love it, don’t hesitate to buy it.  It’s completely worth the money and you’ll have a fuzzy, happy feeling inside of you when you know you’re supporting an independent game developer.

Sorry Snowflakes

Snow!!!  I woke up to dozens of mixed emotions about this morning’s snowflake greeting on the Blogosphere, Twitterverse and Facebook front.  It seems just yesterday that Pittsburgh was covered in a collage of beautiful orange, reds and yellows.  Unfortunately the trees have shed their leaves and I have to start scraping frost off of my front windshield in the morning.  It shows how fast time flies and how much I’ve neglected this blog project of mine.

It seems I got caught up in November.  I can’t even talk too much about Pittsburgh since I was barely in it for the past month.  I was constantly on the go.  I was too busy to even think about writing up about the wondrous adventures from the past 30 days!

Michigan, Ohio, Italy.  Which of these things don’t belong?  One might seem more exotic than our beloved midwest, but they were all special to me thanks to the family I was able to share those experiences with.  I can’ t wait to share more on it.

There really is too much to say for just one entry.  I feel like I’d be cheating you guys out if I crammed one month of adventure into a handful of paragraphs.  I fully intend on making at least one post about Rome.  I have a couple of projects I’m working on that aren’t Christmas gifts and I had the opportunity to try a few new restaurants around Pittsburgh that I can’t wait to talk about!  Also, my friend Anna (Small Treasures) suggested a great idea that I’m looking for volunteers to help me out with. (Anyone up for brunch this Sunday?)

So let’s try this again.  Tis the season to be merry and for me to actually keep up with this blog!  (Wish me luck.)

Happy November!

Happy First Post & First Day of November!  (Alright, second, but I started typing this on the first.)

October has a way of flying by.  How could it not?  I always get caught up in purchasing fabrics for Halloween costumes, acquiring cute pumpkin and witch decorations from my mother, attending haunted houses, watching scary movies (even the bad ones), drinking absurd amounts of apple cider and trying to get my hands on every pumpkin ale available.  Eventually I find myself actually wearing the costumes, enjoying my roasted pumpkin seeds, going to the parties my friends & I have been talking about for weeks and before I know it the date’s November 1st!  Pretty sneaky, November.

I can’t complain, though.  November is especially exciting for me this month.  I’ll be in Michigan for Thanksgiving at my Grandma & Grandpa’s house along with the rest of my father’s side of the family.  I finally get to learn some of the family recipes I’ve been dying to know and I’m actually in charge of making something for the family this year (eek, pressure!)  I’m definitely dragging my boyfriend into accompanying me to a restaurant I’ve been dying to try since they opened yet my budget wasn’t so thrilled about it until now.  What’s even more exciting is I’ll be in Rome for a week starting next Wednesday to visit my brother!

I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself.  I can’t ignore the fun I had in October.  I accomplished every Halloween activity possible.  I’m especially happy that I was able to find the time to go to Soergel’s to purchase the pinnacle of apple ciders and the perfect pumpkin.

This past Thursday, my friend (Joey) and I were completely gun-ho on carving some jack-o-lanterns.  I couldn’t wait to carve a witch out of my warty pumpkin.  The pumpkin did not share my enthusiasm.

Did you know carving a warty pumpkin is like cutting into wood?  With a very, very dull knife?  I didn’t.  I don’t even know if that’s common.  Thankfully, my workplace gave me an additional pumpkin a few days earlier and Joey offered to take the warty pumpkin since he was a far more formidable opponent against it’s tough exterior.

They didn’t turn out that bad.  Mine’s the one on the right.  The friend’s on the left.  I’m just impressed he was able to get a knife through the pumpkin.  Then again I am a very, very weak girl  (Ask anyone who has helped me move.  It’s honestly the most pathetic scene you’ll ever witness.)

I feel like I’m not being honest.  Jack-o-lanterns are pleasant, but what I really want are the pumpkin seeds.  Oh, salty delicious roasted goodness.  I can’t get enough of these delicious little morsels.  The perfect match to a delicious post jack-o-lantern carving  beer.

Joey was a fantastic pumpkin partner.  We sprinkled garlic & pretzel salt to one batch and chili powder & pretzel salt to another.  They were also cooked perfectly.  Not a single burnt seed in a sight!  A Halloween miracle!

My craving for pumpkin seeds has not been satisfied yet, though.  I definitely plan on incorporating squash & pumpkins for the sake of gaining a few more handfuls of garlic salted seeds.  Mmm.

Then again, maybe I should let October go.  Pumpkin seeds are only so good because they only come around once a year for me.  November has so much to offer and I should embrace it.  So here’s to November and all the wonderful experiences it promises.  (Yay!)