Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!

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"You will not find wi-fi in the forest, but you will find a better connection. " - unknown

I recently read the above quote somewhere online (I love the irony) and visualized myself heaving my phone far off into the busy street.  Lately, that action has become a kind of small fantasy, but I  collect myself by picturing the act of slowly walking to retrieve my defective phone, the screen shattered, the case imprinted with gravel from my own bout of rage, all my "connections" lost,  as I pick it up, then regretting my spontaneous burst of animosity towards the way the world has lead us, into this deep ravine of lost connections, tangled phone cord chargers, and vast digital worlds of intangible life.   I am guilty.   I spend way more time looking at my phone than I should...  Way more time looking at my phone than I want to, I admit it, I am a cell phone addict.  It's a bad habit that I indulge many times a day,  I am constantly checking in on everyone else's life, sometimes more than my own.  But no matter how much time I spend emailing… checking instagram, FB, Pinterest, SnapChat, Vine, Words, and twitter I can never seem to feel caught up, ever.  It's a vicious cycle to keep up with… 

So,  what to do? What to do?  Stay on the same path that continues to throw me down the rabbit hole?  Or change my ways?!  I know it will be easier if I just stay on this path, doing what I know,  but what will I gain from that?  The older I get the more I feel like time really is slipping away and I want more, more, more.  Not more in the sense of material goods, honestly, I want/need less material things,  things aren't what interest me, it's knowledge and experiences and memories that I want and I know I won't get those by sitting alone by myself looking at my phone.  

Even though I feel tempted at times, I am not going to go cold turkey with my phone or the internet, I would have to move to the middle of the woods, way off the grid somewhere before I do that, there are many, many positive things about both that I greatly benefit from, but I am going to do some weeding of the distractions that aren't enhancing my life in one way or another. 

Books like Into the Wild,  A walk in the Woods, and Wild  make me hungry for a life away from civilization, songs like Society resonate with me more and more and I wonder if I could handle the kind of experience where you are far from the suburbs, far from art stores,  far from city libraries, and far from art museums or made to order sushi. Part of me wonders and part of me fears that kind of solitude, even though I know I would find new ways to entertain myself.  That's just it, isn't it?  Life is about finding ways to entertain ourselves while we are here, hopefully in useful ways that help ourselves and benefit others.  So for now I feel the desire to pull away from certain forms of entertainment so I can pay more attention to other things that, for now feel more nurturing and beneficial.  Next week? Who know, nobody knows, life is exciting that way.   For now drawing in the treehouse, foraging for Chanterelles in the thick of the forest, hanging out on hay bales in the afternoon sun, playing scrabble on a real life board with our neighbor, and spending long mornings in the library reading about fermentation, encaustics, and Andrew Wyeth are filling me up!  There's no app for that!  

  Ah, summer,  I love you, I love you, I love you!

Ramona, taking me for a walk.  

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Stole a little time in the studio to paint… 

What is this mess?  

Vegetarian sausage pizza and half of a seitan melt with hot sauce on a paper plate - am i dreaming?

This just happens to be the best thing in Pittsburgh,  aka -> SPAK brothers Pizza.

Recently, The New York Times came out with an article "36 hours in Pittsburgh".   The list completely left out all of my favorites, so here they are...

SPAK brothers pizza - The best grub you can sink your teeth into!  It's a take out kind of place with a few stools and a bar, we cannot wait to take it home, so we devour it right there.  

The Warhol - My most favorite place to hang out in the city!  I have grown very fond of Andy Warhol in the past year.  Just being near his work inspires me greatly.  The exhibits are wonderful, too… and so is the Chai Tea Latte at the cafe.  

Carnegie Museum Of Art - I could spend every day here and never tire of it! Plus it's connected to the  city library, a huge bonus!  

Carnegie Library -  I love it here!  Chock full of the best art books!  I love spending mornings/afternoons strolling around the aisles…  and there's a bubble tea/sushi vendor across the lawn if you grow weary.  

Dobra Tea - The perfect place to linger alone or with friends.  Take your shoes off, find a little cushioned nook, pore over the menu (book) of lovely teas + treats, & ring the bell to be served! 

Lili Cafe in Polish Hill - The best hipster place and fun neighborhood to walk around.   The soy matcha latte is dreamy and perfect accompaniment of Punk Toast! 

Franktuary - A classy little place with a great variety of franks and beer… vegan dogs and beet balls, oh my!  

Espresso A Mano - Classy little coffee stop in Lawrenceville that makes a great macchiato! Not far from the Franktuary.  It's open later than most coffee shops in Pittsburgh.  

Cathedral of Learning - This place is just amazing, educational & great for strolling around.

The Cafe at Frick & Gallery (Fancy Schmancy + worth it) -  A wonderful menu and wonderful atmosphere, but it's small inside, try to get there early.  

Mattress Factory - If you love art and interacting with art you will LOVE this place!  Check out Randyland near by - just for the fun of it. He's a cool guy with lots of stories!  :) 

Montour Trail - Perfect spot for running with headphones! Goes on for miles and miles and miles!  

El Burro - If you visit the Warhol this is the perfect place to go to afterwards for lunch/dinner!  It's far better than the generic fast food chain!  

Schenely Park (just get lost…it's the best way to explore this park) - It's hard to believe the city is surrounding you when you are wandering around in this park, that's what I love about it… hop off the trail and you are in the heart of Pittsburgh.  

Phipps - Plants, Butterflies, Chihuly art, all inside amazing greenhouses - you can't go wrong!  

Artist & Craftsman Supply Store - A really great art store loaded with all kinds of supplies you want, even though you don't need.  It's a dangerous place for your wallet!  It's close to Dobra Tea house! 

Warhol's Grave Site  - A very humble graveyard & perfect place for a picnic!  

Earth inspired salads - Only open on weekdays, a brilliant little place to grab a healthy lunch!  Take it to go and head over to Market Square for great people watching!  

Trader Jack's Flea Market - An interesting experience for sure!  Rather Ripped Records is tucked inside and by far the best record shop around!  The owner is so cool and full of knowledge and stories!  He met Patti Smith before she was a legend!  

Sushi Fuku - Sushi Burritos are going to be "the next big thing", I just know it.  YUM!  

Amazing cafe - A healthy little cafe with freshly made juices!  Pricey, but so good!