Monday, September 29, 2008

PhotoHunt: Wild

i'm kind of backtracking, because i just started the photo hunt. this is the theme from the week of september 13th, 2008. WILD. this is my wild shiba inu, akira. okay, he's really yawning, but he looks fierce!

Photo Hunt: View

This is a view of the Black Sea through one of the church ruins in Old Nessebar, Bulgaria

Photohunt: Road

This is my first Photohunt- go to to find out more

This is a shot from inside the car on the road from Koprivshitsa, Bulgaria

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Post AmeriCorps Service

The AmeriCorps Pledge

I will get things done for America -
to make our people safer,
smarter, and healthier.

I will bring Americans together
to strengthen our communities.

Faced with apathy,
I will take action.

Faced with conflict,
I will seek common ground.

Faced with adversity,
I will persevere.

I will carry this commitment
with me this year and beyond.

I am an AmeriCorps member,
and I will get things done.

In the oath we took at the beginning of my AmeriCorps service, I committed myself to a lifetime of service, beyond my years in AmeriCorps. Time to put my money where my mouth is, and since I don't have any money, that's my hands :). I volunteered today in Braddock doing light renovation on a future foster home and planting an orchard with peach, plum, apple, and pear trees. I was contacted to do this through AmeriCorps Alums. The majority of people there were currently in AmeriCorps keys, but there was also a Vista alum who served in Seattle and currently works at Reed Smith in Pittsburgh, and some of his coworkers who also volunteered. Mayor John also actively participated in the project. We cleared all debris out and around of a house under renovation, and then moved to the orchard site. The ground was so hard and full of rocks and brick that even using a pick axe was hard going. So the Braddock fire department gave us a little help softening up the ground by spraying it down. It was hard work, and my back is feeling it now, but I got to run under the fire cannon water, play in the mud, and use a firehose, so over all, pretty good time!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate Tonight

the debate is supposedly on tonite after mccain tried to back out...9 pm eastern time, 8 pm there... i'm going to watch it on pbs because jim lehrer is moderating...

new blog

dont worry i'm still posting here, but i'm divvying things up a bit. this blog will be about personal stuff, service, education, politics, and marketing, and misc. the new one will focus on art, literature, language, philosophy, religion, and culture....anyhow excelsior vol 2 is located at

Friday, September 19, 2008

Two Sides of the Same Page

i did these in colored pencil blended with water on a q-tip in bulgaria

Back to the Drawing Board (Literally)

I've just had a really strong urge to draw lately. I am not very skilled at it, having mostly given it up in the 8th grade after I got bad marks for not being able to draw straight lines... I used to love love love to draw, I had my own drawing table and got these giant sketch pads. My Dad would buy me 2 or 3 of the good colored pencils (rexworth) every time he had a class at youngstown state, and I gradually built up my colors. I had Indian ink and a gummy eraser, and water colors, and it was pure joy for me to make art. I feel bad that I let grades deter me, because it's something I really enjoyed. I continued doodling in the margins of notes, but that's about it. Then a few years ago, I started doing sumi-e, more recently I've been working on mixed media collages, and now I'm back to the drawing board, sketching. So they're not great, and they probably won't be for a while, but I am having a lot of fun, and getting out some creative energy. I thought I'd share a few with you. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah's Project, Day 1

I started work on refinishing a side table this evening. The table reminds me of the old telephone tables, where it has a shelf on the top to put the phone, then space below for a phone book. i don't have a phone, so it makes a good side table by my couch. Anyways, I found it in an alley way along with some other furniture and a sign that said Free Take. I carried it home about 3 or 4 blocks. I realized too late that I should have taken a before picture, but I didn't so I'll describe the state it was in. It had stain on it, but was scratched, faded, scraped in places and had cup rings. So I started sanding it today. First I roughed it up with a 60 grain sand paper by hand, and then I used the electric sander. I only have 80 grain for that, so it's slow going but it's working, just have to spend more time and add more pressure. I cleaned up some of what I did with a 100 grain, and i have 120 and 150 to use when I'm done. I bought a red oak stain. I only spent 2 hours on it this evening because my neighbors were all getting home from work and I was making a lot of noise in our basement. Hopefully, will finish the sanding tomorrow, and apply the stain the next day.... Stay Posted!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

First Steeler's Game

North Shore and Side were full of people tailgating, hawking tickets and parking spaces, and generally walking around in black and gold. I tried to take a few pics on my cell phone without being obvious.. :0)