Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rain, Rain, Rain

30-D POD: 12

Up and down wet scaffolding all day, briskly walked home from work and now off to Crunch gym; No candy for this boy this Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


30-D POD: 11

I signed up at the gym today hoping for one of these bags as a welcome gift… I didn't but I'm still excited for the next months at Crunch Gym!

Monday, October 29, 2012


30-D POD: 10

Today, Jenna and I volunteered with Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers by spending many many hours in a kitchen preparing and steaming hundreds of tamales for their Day of the Dead fundraiser (nearly $1,500 raised)!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


30-D POD: 9

My roommate, Jenna learned on Pinterest (an iPhone app I have yet to embark on) that by placing the roots of your chives in a bit of water, the herb regenerates! (This is our buddy's 3rd life!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012


30-D POD: 7

I'm heading out of Alabama this morning realizing how shocked I am about lessons I learned, people I met, friends I made and experiences I had in just 5 short days.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


30-D POD: 6

2008 US Olympic silver medalist, fencer Tim Morehouse came to give a motivational speech to all of the Habit AmeriCorps members at our closing plenary… and I got to wear his metal.

Own Me (Revisited and Revised)

In honor of "Throw-back Thursdays,"
here is a poem, strongly revised, that in just a couple weeks turns 6 years old
but still burns in passionate skies.

Sunrise In November Sky

It’s pouring outside, come dance with me in the rain.
Stay close because it’s cold
and if you stray too far I may loose you in the fog.
I’ll take you by your hips and spin you around as the drops pelt this cold empty parking lot.
The white lines uniform the wet-with-black pavement.
White doesn’t look clean and sharp when there is no light to make it glow.
The grey clouds loom above the gutted-out maze and cast Sunday shadows on the vacant buildings.
Everyone has gone home to their warm beds for the morning…
that is where I want to be.

I want to burrow into your covers and lay flat beside you on your left.
I want feel our skin slide smooth together,
let our legs mingle and our hands wander.
Let the warmth between us heat up the frost bit room and melt away the ice sculptures of our pasts.
They’ll form bodies of water that reflect our future like a crystal ball.
Should I strain my gaze to penetrate the mirror-like surface and ruin the surprise?
I can't stand too close to the edge for if I fell in with a splash, I’d drown.
Could you revive me?
If you make time slow down, I’ll stay with you here in your place.

I’ll sit on the edge of your bed if you kiss my back.
I want to feel the irregular elevation of your heart bang inside your chest against mine
and to feel your breath on my neck as I draw you up closer to me.
Let me hold you up, up high on a pedestal.
We will make the sun rise.
I’ll let you run your finger tips down my sides if you wrap your arms around me.
Don’t let go; hold me as if I was being pulled away from you, out of your arms,
by the suns nearing appearance.

Hold me.
I’m yours.
Own me.

Own me like the first steps on the moon; lay your flag down on me.
Own me like a front row seat at one of my favorite shows; can you feel the power of sound?
Own me like the road owns the leaves as they fly around my car when I drive up North to lay with you.
If I knew I could stay forever in your eyes
and forever here in your bed,
I know I could let you own me in the morning lit skies.
Face to face, I look into your bottomless eyes.
I know you can taste my smile on the tip of your tongue,
when you press your lips against mine.
I will not let you go until the sun has reached it peak in the mid-day sky.
Hydrate me with your love
and let the beams burn though the blanket and into our minds.
May hands of light descend from above to deem dark's demise.

Though, this morning is a lonely one and only the pelting rain will hydrate me now.
I'll let it seep into my pores and replenish my life.
I’ll walk into the middle of this paring lot,
raise my arms at my sides and sway slowly.
Starting to spin, I'll gaze up at the shades of gray lifeless clouds above me,
let the beads of water burn my eyes,
drip down my cheeks
and collect in the part of my lips.

Then I’ll whisper your name and it will ring sweet and deep in a halo around my head.
I won't let it echo past my ears so that only I can hear it.
I’ll press closed my eyes again and be back in your bed,
owning you,
until the mid-day sun has reached it peak
in the damp,
November sky.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


30-D POD: 5

Someday, I will travel out of the country to build again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


30-D POD 4

This conference center is so big, Jenna and I just hitched a ride on the back of a golf cart, provided by staff!

Monday, October 22, 2012


30-D POD 3

Talladega Bowling Center welcomed us with open arms; they must know AmeriCorps likes to... go bolwing.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


30-D POD: 2

I used my Walgreen's "free 8x10 print" coupon on a photo of Green 7!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Now that I have your attention, I am going to try something simple and new to keep my blog interesting.

30-D POD.

30-Day Photo of the Day.

For the next 30 days! I'll post a picture with a one sentence caption and titled the first word that comes to mind when I see the photograph.

Day 1:

"Some people go to an office every day. I come here."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Throw-back Thursdays

In honor of "Throw-Back Thursdays,"
I present to you a poem, aging and unleashed to the world.

Shameless (May 2011)

When you pulled me in and we started to kiss,
I could not stop myself.
Torn between the soul of the blues and the rock of the roll,
I loved the way your lips parted without hesitation.
This one, lone, star found the heart of Texas.
Astonished and surrounded by moon towers and taxis,
I traced the bone of your jaw with my fingers
to the lids of your eyes,
unveiled from glass,
that brightend up the sky
long after we'd vacated the coverage of the trees in bloom.

Then, watching as you slept on air of ample respect,
I was committed to the heft of your breath.
Beads of sweat swelled on your brow
and I listened for the familiarity behind your breast.
Each heavy exhale was a desire
reflected off of the walls of a concrete, nervous laugh.
I had sprung crisp, involuntary
and clean inhalation of southern air
that pruned me down to sleep
through a pounding in my head
as I remembered how we held
hard-working hands
long after you'd placed them in your pockets for a day's deed done.

You are in the lead of a packed crowd like the Pied Piper
and I follow in the manor of a riskless city rodent.
The walk wasn't long for these boots to two-step,
twirling in the night of flesh
and the friends we are capable
of offering the world to
without fear.

I could have kissed you all night,
in my sleep,
with opened eyes,
wearing but a smile behind those locked doors,
as the skulking skin
of intoxicating boundaries vanished
as soon as they astablished
but be left
with but an empty wallet at day break.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ten and Two

In 2006, when I was in college, focusing mainly on my creative writing courses, I wrote a very choppy poem entitled, "Indistinct Daylight." At the time, most of my love-themed pros took on a poetic license of their own but this particular poem focused on my memories of being young during my Mom's coming to terms with her alcoholism. It was only read by a selected few. I never did much with the piece until last Christmas, on holiday break when I received an email-list update from Coyote Grace, a folk band I'd seen live a few times. I was shocked but very proud to hear the news that Joe, the lead guitarist was facing his addiction problems, seeking help and taking a hiatus. I was provoked to share my own experiences with him to provide emotional support, so I quickly pulled out my MacBook and typed in a search for my choppy poem "Indistinct Daylight" and from there, it took form as the finished product poured out of me.

September marked my Mom's 18th year of sobriety.

Ten and Two 2011

I am 24 years old. 25 in April. I am an only-child, a stubborn, yet well-grounded, earthly Taurus.

My grandfather died in 2007. He had emphysema, among other health issues. Throughout his life, he was a businessman. He owned a newspaper. He met my grandmother, married her, granted her with five precious children and eventually left her in the early 1960s'. My grandfather eventually had two other wives. He was a good man but my grandfather was an alcoholic. In the early 1990's when he was in his early 60's, he made the choice to sober up. He met Gail in AA and they remained sober together for about 15 years. My grandfather made changes in his life and remained a good man, a businessman, until the day he died.

My mother is a saint. She may still be a smoker but is still alive. She is a nurse, pediatrics but took care of my grandmother, who was not an alcoholic, who my grandfather left in the early 1960's, as her kidneys deteriorated for the past six years until my grandmother suddenly passed away, three months ago. I am still grieving but am reminded that a little extra life lives on in each and everyone of us.

Since, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, my mother is an alcoholic, though has been sober for 17 years now. I don't tell her enough how proud of her I am.

My parents tried for ten years to conceive my little self. I think the alcohol had a part in preventing it from happening. Everything happens for a reason and when she quit, I was born. When I was born, she started to drink again. When my dad would go off to work for the day and when I wasn't in school, I was raised by an alcoholic.

I remember the early morning bottles in the indistinct daylight. I would ask for her fingers to dial my father's extension and I would breathe into the phone about my fright and terror.
"What If…?" lingered through the line. My mother has a seizure disorder since before she had brain surgery to remove the clotted nerves when I was 1 and though she is on medication for the writhing curse, the alcohol did not help the disorder. I knew what to do if one ever occurred but
"What if…" lay lingering on the line and I pretended to rest reassured.

I remember one day, leaving the bedroom, descending down the staircase, my mother missed a step and tumbled to the perfectly-placed beanbag, that was beneath the final few feet of collapse, waiting to grab hold of her fall and prop her back up into her fog of reality. A laugh from her. Silence from me. Luck. Grateful.

One day, the little voice from little me, standing in the corner of my bedroom, with enormous sodden eyes, arms down at my side, caused so much frustration that anger hurled metal-toothed, zippered jeans across the room to zip my lips. Little me, with enormous sodden eyes, in the corner, now stood with a hand over my mouth. She cried. She apologized. I forgave because I thought it was ordinary.

I remember being lost in stores, not because I wandered too far but because my mother would.

I remember listening from the top of the stairs to the shouting between my parents. I clutched a stuffed dog with a zipper and inside, hidden, was a family portrait of the three of us. I feared then like the the way I feared the house would someday burn down; how I would pack my "valuables" and sit by the door. It was the fear of abandonment, I suppose.

I remember dreaming. In the car, after stopping to get gas in our city in Massachusetts, while the key was at half-turn to keep the battery running, I would drift aloof, listening to my mothers favorite adult-contemporary on the radio. I was envisioning I could drive. Assuming ease. In my mind, I had my arms out, both hands on the wheel at ten and two, slightly steering and jostling the petal to the floor. I would look over to my left and it was only indistinct daylight and me. The car was moving but behind the wheel: irregular void. Fear. But with a blink, a break, a jolt and a soccer-mom-arm-save I would awake to see she had never really gone away.

I remember on a couple occasions, late at night, after recovering from a seizure, while my father was making calls, I would wonder,
"If I walked around the kitchen table enough times, would I create a furrow?" A moat around the most important place a family can sit. I knew the alcohol was not helping the writhing curse. I suppose I knew life around me wasn't ordinary. I wanted it to be "normal" but what is "normal," anyway? There is no "normal." I was lucky that things weren't worse. Grateful.

I can't remember the excuse given when I asked my father why he took me to the zoo in Maine for a weekend but I do remember the hotel room. I remember hiding Teddy, with my mothers handkerchief tied around him, in the nightstand amid the two unmade beds just incase housekeeping, dressed in black and white French maid outfits adorn with whips and chains tried to shackle him away from me.

That weekend had been the last straw. An ultimatum. A choice. My father and I or the booze?

A decision. My father and I.

I can not remember the month without my mother, when she had gone to rehab at Beach Hill but I do remember the weekend I visited her. I remember walking, talking with my father around the tennis courts and I remember being in the front lobby, seeing her walk down the ramp, down the hall from where the bedrooms were hidden. I was excited. I was scared. I forgave, because I thought it was ordinary.

After that, the soccer-mom-arm-save never stopped. She's still here, sober. She cared enough about me and about herself and with the wave of an arm, someone saved her. She woke up from an irregular void in indistinct daylight and realized she was never alone.

I am an angel, with an openness to listen. I am an angel with a passion to teach the lessons I've learned and to learn the lessons to be taught, to fill the head on my sturdy shoulders and to overcome the battles I've fought. I am an angel with ever-growing wings. I am an angel and I need you to sing.

Continue to be an inspiration, shine and triumph.