Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Second Day With My Camera

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I began my journey at the West End Overlook, which has one of the best skyline views of Pittsburgh.  It was really cold, even though the sun was out, so I took as many pictures as my little fingers could handle.

Then I went for a walk at an unofficial dog park not too far from my home.  There were people out with their dogs, but I wasn’t too sure how to approach them to see if I could take pictures of them and their pets, so I pretty much kept to myself and got some cool pictures of the scenery.  I better figure out how to talk to people though if I eventually want to get in to portrait/candid photography.  lol

{Not sure why, but I feel less confident in my abilities as a photographer when I’m snapping photos of just landscape.  I feel as if I never do any of it any justice.}

These were just a few of the pictures I took.  I probably saved only 20 or so out of 60-70..

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?  ANY PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS/ADVANCED AMATEURS/OR JUST SOMEONE WHO LOVES PHOTOGRAPHY CARE TO COMMENT?

It’s amazing how self-conscious I feel putting these pictures up.. just waiting for the world to judge the view through my lens.

Treasure Hunting for Adults..

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Remember when you were little and you would spend sun-up to sun-down (or at least until the street lights came on); hiking through the woods, splashing through creeks, climbing up trees, walking on train tracks, building tree forts, and playing games, such as hide-and-seek, ghost in the graveyard, red light-green light, simon says?

Remember when your imagination would keep you occupied for hours and hours, while you were skipping through secret gardens, swinging from rope vines in tropical jungles, or racing through obstacle courses? Even the occasional hot/cold game would keep you entertained. “You’re getting hotter! Oh, now you’re getting colder. Ah, you’re on fire! You found it”!

Well now, you can bring your childhood back! Or you can give your own children a completely new set of mysteries for their imaginations to discover.

What am I talking about? READ ON my friends..

Geocaching! If you don’t know what it is, but you have a love for adventure, enjoy being outside, and have a passion for sightseeing….

YOU SHOULD TOTALLY CHECK IT OUT!!

It’s much easier if you use the phone application (costs 10 bucks), but that’s really the only expense you’ll have for hours and hours of fun. 

Ok here’s what it is:  Officially from www.geocaching.com, Geocaching is a treasure hunting game where you use a GPS to hide and seek containers with other participants in the activity. 

There are millions of caches all around THE WORLD! 

In fact, my roomie and I just found one a couple of days ago. Don’t mind my disheveled appearance please. =)

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To begin our treasure hunt, we first had to find a secret park, located only 2 minutes away from the city (Pittsburgh)!  How cool is that?  Woods all around you, and the city is right there!   Most yinzers (Pittsburgh slang… gotta love it) don’t even know it exists. 

Once we found the park we had to go thuough a short dark tunnel–this is when the adventure begins!  My cellphone was our GPS and helped track the coordinates provided.

The cache was buried inside a hollow tree about half a mile from our starting point and on top of a large hill.  Our treasure was really a large plastic supplement jar, but inside we found a Travel Bug attached to a hocky puck! 

“What’s a TravellBug?” you say…

Well, www.geocaching.com states that a Travel Bug is a Trackable that moves from place to place, picking up stories along the way. 

Our travel bug that we encountered came from a 10-year-old hockey fan who lives in Germany. The Current Goal is for the hockey puck “to meet ice-hockey friends all over the world”. My roomie and I have to find jerseys so we can take a picture with it and upload it for the kid to see it’s made its way to Pittsburgh. I’ll update once we get the picture taken.

Cool little FYI, the “Travel Puck”, as it’s been dubbed has already traveled 5326.6 miles!

So far, I have 6 caches under my belt, but I am expecting more to come this weekend!

I’ve kept my geocaching hikes from this past week a secret from my boyfriend so I can take him out on a surprise geocaching date on Sunday. I don’t think he’s ever really even heard of it. What a Muggle! (That’s a term of endearment for people who don’t know what geocaching is). I’ll let you know how that goes.. LOL!

Ahh! My shed!

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So I go out to my shed the other night to grab my wet sawfor a neighbor and realize something is not right.  Mind you it’s night time so it’s kind of hard to see anything, let alone this….

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Luckily… the tree is NOT on my property AND is rotted.  Another plus is that the property the tree is on, is owned by a company and not an actual neighbor. 

Thank God, exchanging information and having their
insurance company send a claims adjustor to check it out was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Yes!  For once.. lol

Hello my blogging friends

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So many things have been happening! And it’s not that I haven’t felt like writing it’s just that I have not had a computer! I still don’t have one, but I am able to use my work’s computer to write this out. So shhh.. It’ll be our secret.

First of all I would like to say I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving.

My Turkey Day was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I hosted dinner this year AND made my first turkey ever. And guess what? It came out wonderfully! Really! It was delicious. One of the guys I work with used to be a professional chef, so he gave me some good hints. What was really nice about this whole experience is that a good friend of mine, Sammy, helped me make pretty much everything. It was so fun working in the kitchen with one another while our guys sat in the living room watching football. I kinda liked the feeling of cooking for others… ahh growing up, what a feeling.

To make our wonderful turkey we did two things (after taking the nasty organs out and washing it-that was quite an experience by the way). We first stuffed the turkey with oranges, apples, and garlic cloves. Then we took a cheese cloth, soaked it in butter and white wine, and draped it over the turkey. Every 30 minutes we would baste the turkey and cheese cloth. We did this for the first 3 hours. We then took the cheese cloth off (it was starting to get too brown) and we covered the turkey with foil and continued basting, but only every hour after that.

We made stuffing, which I’m not a big fan of, but I made it the way my mom makes it (with sausage, craisins, and slivered almonds) so I knew I wouldn’t mind it too much. I also made my delicious candied yams. We had green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and corn also. Oh! And can’t forget the crescent rolls!

What made this holiday more special was the fact that this was Sammy’s first American Thanksgiving. She’s Lebanese and normally does her own culture’s way of Thanksgiving with her family, but it’s normally with Arabic food.

It was so nice being surrounded by people I love and just enjoying some awesome food and good times.

My mother did get upset with me that I didn’t come home for Thanksgiving. She will swear up and down that she thinks I’m lying or as she put it “fudging” the truth. I told her over a month ago that I had to work on Thanksgiving day, which I was scheduled to do. So my friends and I made plans to do something later on Thanksgiving night so I could still have a turkey day. Well later on, I found out that we had enough people working, so I could take off work if I wanted to, and because I had so much cooking to do, I decided I would take it off. And since I already made plans with my friends, bought the turkey, and all the food since Thanksgiving was only a few days away at this point, it’s not like I could cancel with all my friends, waste the food, and go home to see her. So this created her calling me, yelling at me every day, putting the guilt trip on me about how we don’t spend enough time with each other and it’s all my fault, blah, blah, frickin blah de dahhh. Then the icing on the cake, is yesterday I get an email on facebook from her going on and on about how she was so hurt that I lied to her. I love you mom, but please drop it, you’re making me sound like a broken record apologizing over and over and over AND over again. There’s nothing that can do be done about it now.

Pissed Off at Selfish People

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I know it’s been a few days since I’ve put any posts up.. THAT is because my computer is shot.  So now I have to wait until Black Friday and (fingers crossed) can find an awesome deal on a laptop.

Before I go on.. I just want to give you readers a warning..

I’M ABOUT TO GO ON A RANT.  ABOUT HOW OUR SOCIETY IS GOING DOWN THE DRAIN. 

Ok, if you’ve been following my blog, you may have read my post titled, “Court Subpoena”. 

And if you haven’t and are too lazy (don’t blame ya, cuz I’m pretty lazy myself) to click the link to see what it’s all about.. I’ll give you a short summary.  Basically I came upon an accident with a bunch of kids in the middle of the night and I stopped.  Turned out I stopped and got myself involved right into a crime scene, where I became a witness.  Now after going through the PAIN in the ass process of being a witness (read, “Dear City of Pittsburgh” ) I understand why most people don’t stop to help others, but COME THE FUCK ON PEOPLE. 

Get over your selfish and tiny pathetic selves and realize the world is so much bigger than you.  And if you see someone hurt, or in trouble, then FUCKING help.  Atleast call the cops.  No one’s asking you to be a super hero, but to be a good citizen, or just a decent FUCKING person, you could ask if they’re ok.  Just showing that someone else is there and cares, helps. 

What’s bringing this on is this:

 I’m on my way home from the gym, going downhill around a bend, the sun has already set.  Pieces of glass shine off my headlights in the middle of the road, I hear the crunch under my tires, and see a dark figure standing off to the side of the road next to a car that has been completely smashed in from the back.  Seriously, tail lights gone; bumper is now an innie.  I pull up and see it’s a woman around my mom’s age.  You can tell she’s in shock.  I ask if she’s ok and if she’s called the police.  She says she’s just shook up and that she doesn’t have a phone.  

I pull over to the side of the road, call the police, and get out to make sure she’s ok.  As we’re waiting for the police, 35 cars pass, and only three!, THREE!!, 3!!! cars stop to see if we’re ok.  It’s pretty fucking obvious there’s been an accident and only 3 people stop to see if help is needed.  Plus, it doesn’t help that it took the cops twenty minutes to respond.  I had to call back and mention that it was a hit and run and that we were in a perfect position to cause another accident (the ladies car wouldn’t start to move it out of the way).

Finally, the cops arrived.  I made sure the lady was ok, she asked for a hug; made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and then I left.

It just makes me so upset thinking that all those people drove by and less than 10% stopped.  I keep thinking, what if that was my mom?  I just hope that if that were to ever happen to me (I pray it doesn’t obviously), SOMEONE would stop. 

Not gonna lie.  If they do find the guy who hit this lady and drove off, and it now becomes a crime, I REALLY, REALLY hope I don’t have to be a witness again.  I would rather get punched in the face, or pee my pants in public, or get hot sauce in my eyes…. you get the picture..

Well thanks for listening to my rant.

I feel much better.

Dear City of Pittsburgh

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Dear City of Pittsburgh,

Being a witness to a crime, I have to say you’ve made my experience so enjoyable that I really wish to continue these heroic efforts in the future.

I loved, no really, LOVED, being woken up at 1 o’clock in the morning, especially having to wake up for work only a few hours later.  To me, there’s nothing better than getting broken sleep, so I truly thank you for all my yawns and dark circles people commented on the next day.   Plus, waking up to pounding on my front door BY THE POLICE–scaring the shit out of me (literally–well maybe not, that’s kinda gross, but you get the point), heart pounding, palms sweating–Can’t go back to sleep now–just to be served a court subpoena???  It’s better than waking up for sex..ha! 

Oh, my family thanks you for waking them up as well.  Don’t worry they don’t need their sleep either.     

Now, the fact that the subpoena was dated 26 August, 2011, but I didn’t receive it until 17 October, 2011, and my court date was on 1 November, 2011 is pretty awesome.  I really like how the city respects their witness’s schedules.  In fact, the city gives us SO MUCH time to prepare and rearrange our schedules (some people had a 3-DAY notice!) that most people had to miss a day’s worth of pay or in my case, a really important secret squirrel meeting. 

Leaving my house at 7:30am (an hour before I had to be at the courthouse) when I only live 10 minutes away, just so I can get through rush hour and make it there on time–I don’t want to be penalized with a fee or imprisonment as was promised on my subpoena–was a great way to start my morning.  Just sayin..

And parking?  You guys are SO SELFLESS!  The Mother Theresa of Parking Matters.  Parking was $16 (OR MORE), but YOU–YOU give us back $5.  How thoughtful!   

I think my favorite part about this whole serving my community and protecting humanity bit though, was the fact that I sat there for almost 4 hours; quietly and calmly; unlike other witnesses, just to be sent back home because the defendant pled GUILTY

You couldn’t have figured this out before you wasted my sleep, my gas, my secret squirrel meeting, my morning, my money, and just my time in general, with nothing more than $5 to cover it all??

And people wonder why most “look the other way“.  It’s no wonder the government has to force people to report crimes.  Didn’t know that?? Look up  misprision of a felony.  YIKES! 

Well, I just want to thank you once more.  But don’t worry, I’m here for you.   Let me know what else I can do for you.  How far do you want me to bend over.. things of that nature.  

 

 

Signed,

Yours Truly Because It’s the Law,

Faithful Citizen 

 

Flash Mobs, Proposals, and the JK Wedding Entrance Dance..

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I don’t know what it is about flash mobs, but I am FASCINATED by them; moved even. 

It’s almost impossible for me to articulate how amazing it is to watch a group of strangers come together; all different ages, races, sexes, and be a part of something bigger than anything at that moment, even if it lasts for 4 minutes–it just amazes me.

So.. because I have this weird… I’ll call it, obsession, AND the fact that focusing at work can be challenging, I was searching for flash mobs on YouTube and stumbled across this video.  The fact that it takes place in downtown Pittsburgh back in April are just added bonuses.  Plus who doesn’t love surprises and happy endings? 

PS  Not going to lie.. I would love to be in a flash mob.  Just once.  lol

Also, since it’s in the same category as “proposals” I thought I would share this other YouTube video with you.  If you’re a sucker for romance like I am then you’ll definitely appreciate the time and effort this guy put into it. 

And one more if you’re bored and have nothing to do… This one is just awesome.  You can just feel the love!

Enjoy.  Let me know what you think ORRRR if you have any videos that are similar to these.. share them with me!  =)

Homeless Veteran’s Day Program

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Today was an awesome day. Four of us from my unit went to the Veteran’s Place in Pittsburgh, PA and volunteered for the Homeless Veterans Day Program.

It was so different from any soup kitchen/shelter I’ve ever worked. I don’t think it can even be classified as a soup kitchen; more like a recreational facility for homeless veterans.

We made them breakfast, served them lunch, and I even got to play pool with a Mr. Roberts.

I was told from the beginning that Mr. Roberts loves to play pool, but that he gets quite upset if he loses. Me being an avid pool player got really excited to find someone who has the same love for pool as me, so I asked him if he would like to play a couple of games.

After he won 3 times, I told him it was my turn to win.  At this point in time, I felt he and I had built up a friendly rapport–he was coaching me on how to better my game and even made me go out and get my own pool stick when I told him I carry one with me at all times (a girl never knows when she has to show someone up at billiards 😉 lol).  And you know, he was A-Okay with me winning.. even gave me a high-five. 

Mr. Roberts has found a special place in my heart.  He did try to hustle me though–that sly ole fox.  I was getting ready to leave and he tells me that he really liked my pool case and that he had a nice blue one to trade me (the one he was carrying).  I told him that I was coming back in two weeks and that if I can find one like mine, I’ll bring it for him.  I’m hoping I may find one online that won’t cost too much to get for Mr. Roberts.

A LITTLE OVERVIEW:

http://veteransplace.org/default.aspx

The Homeless Veterans Day Program provides Veterans staying in the homeless and emergency shelters with:

  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Day Room with television and a pool table
  • Computer Lab
  • Employment Assistance
  • Addiction Recovery Programming
    • AA and NA Meetings
  • We also plan to introduce other services currently in development:
    •  

      Housing Assistance

    •  Training
      • Computer Skills
      • Budgeting and Financial Literacy
      • Relationship & Life Skills

The goal of the Day Program is to provide a gateway to other services provided by Veterans Place, the Veterans Administration and other community organizations.  These services can include (but are not limited to):

  • Detox/Rehab
  • Mental Health Services
  • Housing
  • Employment Services

Screaming Pumpkin With a Side of Pum-kini

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 IF YOU’VE NEVER HAD A MICHIGAN’S BEST ‘SCREAMING PUMPKIN’ (ON THE LEFT) YOU. ARE. MISSING. OUT.

I HAD THIS MARTINI LAST NIGHT FROM SAGA SUSHI AND STEAKHOUSE..I CALL IT THE PUM-KINI.  PRETTY GOOD EVEN THOUGH JUST ONE COST THE SAME PRICE AS HALF OF OUR DINNER BILL.

Court Subpoena

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I don’t remember much.  Just bits and pieces.  I mean c’mon, it was 8 months ago. 

There are huge chunks of plastic and metal in the middle of the street.  Smell of burnt rubber.  Car in rail.  Kids running. 

I ask if anyone needs help.  The white lady says no.  I pull over and park anyway.  (I don’t listen well).  I tell Olenka to stay in the car and lock the doors.  Not the safest neighborhood. 

A young black male takes off his shoes and leaves them on the white lady’s porch. 

I ask the white lady if the police have been called, she says yes. 

As I head towards the wrecked car I see a human form laying on the ground, howling in pain.  Maybe it’s being a first responder for 8 years that kicks in and makes me stop instead of just listening to the white lady and driving off.

I start talking to the kid whose leg is broke.  His name is Cleveland.  It’s going on almost 5 minutes and there are no police.  There is no ambulance.  Where is everyone?  I call 9-1-1.  They had no idea of the car accident.  They tell me to stay on the line.   

The first thing I realize, the white lady lied to me. But why?

There’s a white boy there.  He doesn’t seem to be with them.  (Maybe he’s the white lady’s kid?) 

The “kid who’s not wearing shoes” steps on Cleveland’s leg while attempting to pull off the license plate.  The car is being cleaned out.  

The second thing I realize; I’m in the middle of an active crime scene.

The “kid who’s not wearing shoes” is the one in charge.  He’s telling another black male to grab things out from the car.  He tries to tell Cleveland to get up.  I step in.  I told him he could not move Cleveland.  It’s not safe.  Something besides his leg may be broken.  The “kid who’s not wearing shoes” agrees with me and says, “Yes, ma’am” and then runs to the white lady’s house. 

A criminal with manners?

The ambulance arrives.  The police arrive.  I tell them what I saw and ask if I will have to go to court?  They say, “Probably not”, which is good because it makes me nervous to have to be a witness to a crime that occurred a mile away from my house. 

SOOO WHY was I just woken up by the Pittsburgh Police and served a court subpoena at 1AM?  And seriously, 1 o’clock in the morning?  Really? 

I mean, it’s not like I have to be at work in a couple of hours or anything.   UGH!