Sunday, October 23, 2011

[Permanent?] Hiatus

Hi fans. It is with mixed emotions that I report the official hiatus of OTV as I consolidate my efforts to focus on the "Demystifying My Depression" project. Who knows, though, my travels may bring me back full-circle to revive OTV again in the future.

Additionally, I'll keep this blog around as an archive, since it seems like some of the posts are still popular with daily visitors... especially my "I Heart Constructivism (Part 2 - Contemporary)", "Soviet-Era Propaganda Posters" + "Lessons from Siberia" articles. It warms my heart to know that folks are still discovering + enjoying them:)

If you'd like to keep up with my current short-form ramblings, you can still follow me on Twitter (srexroth). In addition to the mental health stuff, I also tweet about design, Pgh, yoga, music, Russia, human rights, crafting, Roma + animal cuteness. Ya know, important junk.

Of course, you can find me writing regularly at

Many thanks for all the fun times!

Monday, May 9, 2011

{Only in Pgh} Fleeting Pages reclaims their Borders

In essence, Fleeting Pages
is the mashup of written self-expression
+ community

— Me:)

Check Only in Pittsburgh for a 'Dispatch from OTV' on Fleeting Pages -- visit them this month in the East End at the former Borders near Whole Foods for great local work, events, workshops + more.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Milestones: Liberation Day

Yesterday, May 7th, marked 18 months since I left my full-time job to start OTV!

Many of those months were perilous... namely, the recession hit full-force only a month or two into my 'new life' as a freelancer. I crashed + burned right along with it. Thus, yesterday was also the 6 month mark since I left my the full-time 'in-between job' that I had taken to weather the recession last year.

Liberation is Sweet
In spite of all the times I fell flat on my face over the last 18 months (there were many of them + there will surely be many, many more), I wouldn't change a thing about my decision. I love setting my own schedule, pace + rules, such as:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

{Demystifying Depression} Tell Me Pgh

Everybody deals with this stuff...
— Me:)

I had the pleasure of sharing my story of depression at The Pittsburgh Foundation's "Tell Me Pgh: Hard To Love Storytelling Event" at Bricolage last Tuesday, April 26th.

It wasn't all doom + gloom... I was able to also share my passion + vision for Demystifying Depression to break the silence.

Check out the blog post for more details + to watch the video of my talk.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

{Demystifying Depression} PKN Presentation

In the end, it doesn't matter
that everything's in pieces,
it's how you carry them.

—Garret Freyman-Weyr, via TWLOHA

New post on Demystifying Depression recaps my recent slideshow for the first public presentation to 'break the silence to dispel the myths + misconceptions of mental illness.'

The response... awesome:) Silence broken. Viva la revolution!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

{re:Hashing History} Recap of World Theatre Day

It is therefore a travesty
to keep quiet in times like ours...
—Jessica A. Kaahwa, Uganda

Head over to re:Hashing History to read my recap of Bricolage's Fifth Wall Celebrates World Theatre Day:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

3/27/11: Fifth Wall celebrates World Theatre Day

For all my internationally-minded friends, block out your calendars and join me for World Theatre Day on Sunday 03/27 at Bricolage!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Be the Forest and the Trees

Photo by Stephanie Rexroth:

The Forest and the Trees
Stephanie Rexroth

See the forest through the trees;
Hear the forest through the trees;
Feel the forest through the trees;
Be the forest and the trees.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Immigrada immigraniada-da

Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello, image courtesy of

Remember always, that all of us, especially
you + I, are descended from immigrants...

-- Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Mosey on over to re:Hashing History for a great song + video by Gogol Bordello that serves as a nice social commentary on the current crackdown on immigration. Some things change, some things stay the same...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vision for 5th OTV Publication: re:Hashing History

Da, da, da... I know, ANOTHER blog? Yes, another blog, Fb page + #tag.

It has become apparent over the last several weeks that I needed to separate out the ├╝ber political from OTV: Agents of Change, maintaining it's intent as a series of stories of everyday people effective positive change.

Thus, I present to you, OTV: re:Hashing History (subtitle forthcoming).

See the vision outlined here. If you're in... light up the comments or send me an email:


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fever-Induced Delirium = One Helluva Story

Yaaayayay hey hey HAAAAHHAHAH... **gasp, deep breath in, sniff, sniff, sigh, deep breath** The Madwomen like my article (+ therefore me... they really like me, I mean it).

See my first successful article that lays the foundation for OTV: Demystifying Depression... all thanks to a killer burst of creativity (think poor Picasso) via a killer virus and its near schizo-paranoia, delirium-inducing fever of 103 yesterday.

Thankfully, it was completely written in my head so that it only took 2 hrs before class to type + print. I was only 15 mins late for the workshop to present... yay, Northland Public Library!.

Check it here and let me know if you're on board:)


Monday, February 7, 2011


Just a quick post to provide a few details of family history + genealogical discoveries + other promising developments. First, pics of the NYC experience... reminiscent of grandma's (not a surprise, since it's her sister, Mary's former place).

Friday, February 4, 2011

LTD Tour Day 2.5 - 3: State College > NYC

My Trek East on I-80 to Enlightenment

Thankful to report that my drive from Lanse, PA to NYC was pleasant and without trouble. The ice made for beautiful scenery. Juxtapose the gorgeous winter wonderful-land with my soundtrack via Rage Against The Machine: Live from the Grand Olympic.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LTD Tour: Day 1 - Pgh > Cleveland > State College

Nomadic by Nature
You can tell what kind of chica I am by the way I pack. 15 mins before embarking on OTV LTD (Living the Dream) Tour, I threw a couple pair of jeans/pants and a few sweaters in my trusted little suitcase. No extra shoes, no fancy garments, no extra jackets for multiple occasion/conditions... simply the clothes/coat on my back, the skater shoes on my feet + this little bag in hand. Am I bound for the gypsy life or what?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bricolage + Belarus: Standing in Solidarity

Tami Dixon, Bricolage Producing Artist Director, opening evening with reading from BFT.

Completely moving -- possibly a defining/life-changing moment in my life as well as many of the lives of the packed theatre house --  is the best way that I can describe last night's performance: Bricolage and Belarus; Free Reading of Being Harold Pinter and Movement Excerpts from Mad Forest.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Pre-LTD Tour: Inspiring Agents of Change

Agent of Change: Lisa Krowinski | Sapling Press (Pgh)

The maiden voyage of OTV: Agents of Change begins with a recap of yesterday's studio tour of Sapling Press with Pittsburgh Craft Collective.

Read the complete story (with all my shaky-hand + low-light = blurry pics heaven) and an interview with Lisa at:

Prelude to OTV LTD (Living The Dream) Tour
I have shared that I am road-tripping to kick-start my research and be completely inspired by those I interview across the NE (ref: T-minus 1 Day & Wanderlust posts). To be honest, I have been on that journey locally, out + about Pgh, for the past two weeks.

During the pre-game show for LTD Tour, I've met several amazing people who I will be adding to Agents of Change blog in the upcoming days... to give a sneak peek:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

T Minus 1 Day: The Road Trip is On!

On The Vine nomadic tour is on!

Ref: Wanderlust. Starting on Tuesday, this goofy diamond shape will be my road-tripping path for the next 10 days. I'm so thrilled + excited; I would love for you to join me on this journey. I'm going to be blogging my trek daily with a series entitled "Living the Dream."

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bruised but Not Broken: on surving a beating by a bunch of Madwomen

Image from Sampsonia Way Magazine,
'Women Who Don't Bite their Tongues,' Jan 2011 issue, pg 28-29.

Last night was my first 'official' Madwomen in the Attic workshop... boy, did it put my ego in its place; knocking it on its (metaphorical) ass. Thankfully, my spirit, my passion and my vision have only been bruised, not broken.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wanderlust: the time has come for a road trip!

The idea occurred to me about a week ago:
to kick-start my 'new career/life', I must road trip asap.
I thought it might be broken into several parts because I have started an excellent non-fiction writing workshop, Madwomen in the Attic (check the story in Sampsonia Way, last article), that will run weekly through May. However, my instructor, Nancy Kirkwood, emailed yesterday informing me that class will be canceled on Feb 3 as she attends a conference. Thus...

Wooo-hooo, my road trip is on!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Addendum: another body of research, advocating as a voice to 'Break the Spell'

Mardo Family: Steve (grandpa), Anne (grandma), David (uncle) & Judy (mom) -- Christmas, 1956.

I have always considered myself a better listener than speaker. Beginning as a small child, I enjoyed listening to stories -- real, personal stories in oral history form; rather than fairy-tales -- shared by my grandma. Because we visited three times per week for my first 15 years, I became quite competent in that listening skill as she exhibited a touch of 'undiagnosed' Alzheimer's in her later years. She would tell the same stories over and over and over to the point where I would often fill in the details of her own life experiences (to her amazement) whenever her memory lapsed for a moment mid-story:)

Little did I know that by refining that vital skill, I was preparing for a future as an advocacy writer; capturing 1st-hand, personal stories as my research to give causes voice.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

On Metamorphisis: discovery of self, career/life passion, vision, village... (in that order)

Throughout my career, I felt an increasing need to do something more than simply impact a bottom line — something that I could be passionate about, something that empowered people, something that inspired change. In October, I hit another brick wall with my career/life pursuits, which sparked a re-evaluation out of necessity.

Long story short, I discovered that while I was in the correct arena as a creative professional, I was trying to force myself into the mold of the incorrect expression of it (as graphic designer) for 5+ years. Finally paying attention to the signals (though it took multiple head-on collisions with those brick walls for me to get the picture:), I took stock of my experiences and was able to identify my passion: giving voice to a cause; particularly one that empowers people and inspires change.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Balance Is Not a Fish You Can Catch

Balance is something we hear much about, particularly this time of year. Take a quick look at themes around the blogosphere and you'll find 'balance' often as either the main subject of a New Year's Resolution article or as an idea sprinkled throughout one. While there is certainly much ado about it, balance is a concept that is difficult to find, if not impossible to acquire.

Balance is particularly elusive in our culture. We place a high value on activity, have positive associations about it and make personal judgments from it. We make 'activity' an extreme -- the arch nemesis of balance.