Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Finding a sunny attitude on a winter day

Having a sunny outlook

January 31, 2014

People always ask me, “Why did you move from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh?”

It’s pretty clear I didn’t move back for the weather. I never want to hear the words “polar” and “vortex” in the same sentence. I can go a long, long while before I ever hear the words “wind chill factor” again.

I have spent the last few wintry days pondering, “Why did I move from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh?”

It is cold, you guys. It’s been colder than normal. It’s been too cold to ski, sled and snow tube – the only reasons to have winter in the first place.

It’s been a long winter already and it started earlier than ever.

Frankly, I don’t know what I will do if/when Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. Once that crazy varmint retreats into his hidey-hole, I don’t want to be held accountable for my actions. I may book passage on a Merchant Marine ship on its way to Costa Rica. I will gladly pick bananas in El Salvador just to be in the sun again.

I don’t like having to put on more clothes than Sandra Bullock does to fly around in space. Every time I go outside, I feel like I’m suiting up to fix the Hubble.

The other day, I couldn’t find the ice scraper in my car (it was in the back seat for some reason), and I used a CD case to scrape ice off my car. Ironically, the CD was on the power of positive thinking. I wasn’t feeling very positive at the time, but, to be fair, the CD wasn’t playing. The case isn’t responsible for the contents. When I did get in the car, I found that blasting the heater worked better than “thinking warm thoughts.”

Sidebar: I still have a temporary crown and I am not allowed to let my teeth chatter. I fear the front tooth will come out if my teeth click together too violently.

I do miss palm trees, beaches and that glowing yellow orb in the sky. We used to call it the sun. You might not be familiar with it.

So, why Pittsburgh? Why not chuck it all and go back to building sandcastles in September?

Here’s the deal. I love the people here. I have made some great new friends and I still have a lot of the old ones. In Pittsburgh, there is a certain type of person here that I rarely met in Los Angeles.

I meet more “I’ll-pick-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-because-your-car-broke-down” kinda people in Pennsylvania. In LA, we call that person AAA. I had a few reliable friends in Southern California, but there is a greater abundance of them here. I would still call AAA if I broke down, but it’s nice knowing that there’s a plethora of people who would help me here if I needed them; people so glad to pitch in they even do it with a smile on their face.

Who knew you’d find the more positive people with the sunny dispositions in Pittsburgh? Apparently, you don’t need the sun to have a sunny outlook.

Let’s harness the power of positive people. I may not even need that CD. Keep your heads up (but covered), and we will get through this winter together.



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