david schrott is everywhere


Posted in Uncategorized by thebreakfastdictator on 02/25/2011

Dad | Birthday 56

We celebrate the one year anniversary of the snowicane and the 56 year anniversary of my dad on the same day. Today was just as windy as a year ago, only 30 degrees warmer. The snow didn’t swirl but the power did flicker down on Wesley Road.

Things are different there now. The basement’s been gutted and my childhood bedroom has become a pile of sawn up two-by-fours and drop ceiling track. Only one drawer remains of the dresser that carried my clothing all those years and tomorrow it’ll end up where the rest of it has already gone; a dumpster perched over the basement steps in the back yard.

Nothing gold can stay.

Dad brought us there in ’87 with a bright future in mind. The twins were three months and I was about to go into second grade. The rent was fantastic and there were thirty-two mostly wooded acres for the five of us to run wild on. Twenty-three-and-a-half years later, it’s being gutted and remodeled for someone else to live in, to raise their kids, to make their memories.

Today is a hard day for me. It’s probably harder for him.

Hard times have come in the last few years and as I grow into manhood, I so much more appreciate what he and Mom were able to do for us five little brats for all those years. I think of the distant days ahead of when I might have kids and wonder how to make a go at what my parents did. Mom held down the fort while Dad slutted drywall all day, almost every day, save Sundays since early ’84. Five kids are a lot to feed and clothe. They grow fast and the pressure to perform has to be immense; not only in vocation, but at home, at play and in the community.

We sit in the kitchen over dark coffee, smoking American Spirits and reminiscing over old drywall stories — Jay Smoker stories, John Esh’s massive Amish homes, the frigid day we picked up a Toronto AM radio station in the truck, the crazy FBI agent who made us lower all the tools out of the window by a rope, and on and on.

Those were the days.

For his sake and for mine, I hope for more.

Things have been tough the past few years but only now do I appreciate what my Dad did for all those years for us mostly ungrateful little kids.

Thanks, Dad.

And Happy Birthday.


fred the snail

Posted in Uncategorized by thebreakfastdictator on 02/23/2011

I don't think words are necessary.

le petit déjeuner

Posted in breakfast by thebreakfastdictator on 02/19/2011


They say  breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is only important if you eat it out (and in good company). Since the summer of 2007, when I was actually living in Pittsburgh, Honey’s has been this place. It was highly touted by one of my first Pittsburgh friends and when I mentioned it to one of my Philly friends during a visit that summer, she quipped that it was only two blocks away and within a few minutes, we were seated at the bar (I also found my first Rosary on the walk over).

Two years later, Philly was my home and it became a regular spot to catch up with my old Pittsburgh roommate, who had also relocated east a few months before I. We mused over our love for the Steel city and our desire to be farmers. We went there the morning after the Snowicane and countless days since.

More recently, we’ve convened on Thursdays. The Presby calls it Honey Bunches of Friends. It’s a little quirky, but it’ll do.

We talk. We laugh. Sometimes we cry.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you do it right.

hello, pittsburgh (1,462 days)

Posted in Uncategorized by thebreakfastdictator on 02/17/2011

I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since I moved to Pittsburgh, 4 years since we all crammed into my tiny apartment with no heat, 4 years since we slid the GTI into a parking space on the packed snow, 4 years since I really started my adult life…

And I can’t fathom why I ever left.

anna & lyd, downtown pittsburgh

Carey Way, first weekend in Pittsburgh

super disappointment

Posted in steelers by thebreakfastdictator on 02/07/2011

Super Sunday - 2011

I’ve always loved this quote by Roger Angell:

“It is foolish and childish on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut … is understandable and almost unanswerable.

“What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring — caring deeply and passionately, really caring — which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives.

“And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail and foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete — the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazard flight of a distant ball — seems a small price to pay for such a gift.”


Congratulations, Green Bay. It’s your turn.

super sunday

Posted in Uncategorized by thebreakfastdictator on 02/06/2011

Yanna loves the Stillers

Pittsburgh fans are terribly spoiled. Since the 1992 football season, we’ve only witnessed 3 losing seasons, 8 Conference Championship Games (with 4 victories in those games), and 2 Super Bowl wins with a chance for a third this evening. Since the 1970 Merger, we’ve played in exactly 1/3 of AFC Conference Championship games. Some of the best days of my life have involved Steelers experiences (link and link). It bonds our family, and now, watching the playoffs becomes a regular family party; even my almost two year old niece sings the Steelers’ fight song.

One more win, baby.

Go Steelers.