Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Beach

I still do poetry every now and again, usually I don't share it, but I pounded this one out today and I like it. It's called "The Beach"

I look out into the ocean, at about noon or so.
I'm not sure if it's raining or it's just the wind blowing the water on my face.
I am alone on the beach.
I'm standing and yet I wish I were swimming,
it's not that I can't swim, it's that I don't know how.
People have told me how to swim, and oh boy have I tried, but when it comes down to it, the water keeps pushing me out. Walking, Running, Sprinting, even crawling

Always I end up back on the beach

So I turn around, and I try to leave the beach, I reach the sidewalk
my foot is inches away


Facing the ocean, water in my face.
I decided to make a home on the beach.
I built the biggest sandcastle that there could be.
Since I can't go ahead and I can't fall behind I must stay inside.
But I didn't account for the tide, and my house is left in shambles.
Sand becomes one again with the beach.
And so I start to swim. I feel the water on all sides.
And I love it.

I love the water.

I want to stay with it, but the waves keep pushing me back to the beach.

Men walk past me, they tell me of times they knew to swim when the sea was calm but passed it up. I look to the ocean and find it calm, so I run as fast as I can and when I hit the water.


A bottle washes ashore. Message inside, "On awesome island, wish you were here." Handwriting familiar yet distant.

So I try and I try and I try like waves crashing on the beach. Always ahead into them. Hoping one day I will make it past and towards the island.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Curious about where I live?

Well it turns out the house I live in has a wikipedia article. It looks a lot better then the picture though. But yes, I live in the basement in a residence apartment.

Shirley Eustis House

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Whoa Nelly, Public Transportation!

Each day that I go into work I take about four buses to make it into work. I take four because even though it's four different buses it's faster then some of the ways which only take two. I have about a one hour commute in the night and morning taking four buses. When you take the bus you tend to see all kinds of different people, but for some reason when I'm on the 28 bus from Dudley Station to Mattapan Station, there are a more interesting cast of characters then any other bus. Let me explain with two instances in the past week.

The first comes from sunday night, I was on the phone with my good friend Freda, and I walked onto the bus, I was sitting down as a mexican man roughly 25 years of age bumped into me and started rambling in spanish very loudly. I sat down and put my feet up on the next chair so that he couldn't sit next to me but he sat in the chair across the walkway. As the bus was going he was staring at me the entire time and was non stop talking in Spanish. I mean this guy didn't take time to breathe. After a while I knew I had to do something because he was staring right at me the entire time. Finally I told Freda to hold on, I put my phone down and I looked at the man and said, "No Habla Espanol." His eyes widened, and he looked as if I had taken his entire family heritage and had desecrated it for all to see. His speech became about three times louder, he started pointing his finger at me and his face looked like he was ready to pull out a knife. I slowly got to my feet and got to the other side of the bus but the guy would not stop talking and he kept looking back at me and pointing. Finally at some stop he got off the bus, still talking and yelling, he never stopped talking except for the split second after I told him I didn't speak Spanish.

Today while waiting for the bus this guy passed me as I was sitting down, he was listening to his cd player and dancing all over the street. We got on the bus and I sat near the back when this guy came over and started singing along to his cd player, almost yelling it he said, "Pimps and Hoes, Back up yo!" Well while this is happening this lady is sitting across from me, she laughs at him doing this and then looks at me seriously, I've got my headphones on and I wasn't really paying any attention. Well she suddenly opens up her wallet and pulls out a dollar bill and extends it to me, I shake my head no but she looks insistent that I take it, so I do, then she goes back into her wallet, pulls out four pennies and gives those to me too. Then that was her stop and she got off the bus, I still have no idea why she gave me the money. So back to the man with the cd player, he takes her spot on the bus and looks at me and says, "Hey you look like Larry Bird." Thanks I say, then he goes back to his song, and sings along again, the best part was when he pulled out his beer in a bag, drank it, put it back then sang, "I'm fryin' my dough and puttin' it on the grill." Then he made motions of himself taking meat and putting it on the grill and he made sizzling sounds. He kept singing to his songs which had some very interesting lyrics from what i could tell of what he was singing.

Both of those occurred on the same bus, however I do have one more story which did not happen on that bus but which does have to do with crazy people I encounter. I was near Harvard looking for this bus that apparently goes from Harvard to Dudley Station which is near my apartment, people had told me it only takes 20 minutes (which it does, it's super fast). But I first needed to find the stop, the madam in the station told me it had to be moved to the corner of brattle and evans. So I went up top and found the end of brattle but I couldn't find this evans. So i decided I needed to ask some people, the first guy who passed looked almost bug eyed but I asked him anyways I said, "Excuse me, do you know the area?" He didn't reply, "Look if you know where Evans street is just point the way. He looked up and stared at me as he passed. He was a puny little guy so I didn't feel like complaining would do me any harm so I said, "Hey thanks, the whole not talking really helped." So I turned back to see if anyone else was passing by when the same guy circled around me staring at me without saying anything, I gave him a weird look and then he circled me again, and I said, "You need anything?" and then he stopped circling me and walked off. Really, there have been some interesting people I've met out here, and all while riding the ol' public transportation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh Yeah, that's why I work there.

I was having a particularly tough day at work the other day, the kids were tough, my coworkers were especially nosy that day and I was given all the paperwork to do by myself. I had been doing a project which was taking 2 hours to finish and with just ten minutes to go the link broke and I had to start over again. I was feeling close to throwing up and I was not in a good mood. So imagine how miffed I was when I got the call when the kids woke up that they were moving me to another division, one in which I had never worked in before. I am sent there and when I arrive the other two quickly give me my group and without telling me their names or anything I need to know about them they tell me to get to work. So I try to figure out their names and get them going but clearly two of them aren't moving and I still have to handle the other two at the same time. Somehow I'm able to survive until I am told that two of the kids need constant physical attention and to somehow keep an eye on the other two. Once Breakfast rolls around none of the chores are done and I was just able to get them clothed enough to go to Breakfast. We get there, and I am contemplating calling in sick the next day and on the verge of tears. I've been given one of the hardest groups in the school without even knowing their names and left alone to do it all. I finish my breakfast and they seem to be pretty capable of eating themselves so I put my hands in my face and breathe a big sigh trying not to break out in tears. When suddenly I get tapped on my hand by another hand, I look to see it's one of the kids, he's tapped my hand and is giving me this big smile and looking at me as if he wants me to smile. I do and he smiles even bigger and claps and then goes back to eating. Now I'm trying not to cry out of joy for this kid who could see I was troubled and wanted me to be happy. Suddenly the rest of the morning with those kids was fine, we took it slow and steady and I kept a smile on my face and the kids all responded well.

I've worked with autistic kids for so long I had forgotten how sweet they can be when you least expect it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oh Landlord

My landlord lately has been doing some funny things. For those that don't know, we turned my room from a living room into an actual room, all that was required was putting in a fourth wall. My landlord who is not versed in the ways of home building has been trying to be the authoritarian on the subject. I too don't know many things on making a home, but I do know some simple rules, rules in which my landlord seems to want to break. The guy came in today to put in the door to my room, he came in with a perplexed look and said, the landlord wanted the door to swing into the room towards the bulk of the room and not towards the wall. Have you ever seen a door not swing towards the wall but swing into the middle of the room? I told the guy that didn't make any sense and he agreed with me, but said the Landlord was the boss. After talking with him for another 5 minutes on why it would be the worst idea to follow the landlord, he decided to instead do it the way I wanted and swing it outwards in the hall and to the wall. Hopefully my landlord doesn't create a huge fit. But now I finally got something in ways of the wall the way I wanted. Hooray!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Maine: This past weekend

As I was driving along the Maine turnpike I looked to the side of the road and saw a car stopped with it's emergency lights on. The passenger side door was open and just a little ways down the road was a man with a paper bag puppet on his hand, speaking to the puppet.

I was able to go back to Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for the first time in 4-5 years this past weekend. I spent three days up there. I first headed to my Derry New Hampshire where I filled the car up with gas. Then I continued on to Vermont. I stayed there a couple of hours then drove to Ellsworth Maine where I stayed with my friend Terry for two days, and then on the last day I visited a couple of people in Machias and surrounding cities and then drove home. Overall it was a fun trip, it was interesting as I would see things which would bring back memories I had forgotten. For instance...

I took exit eight in Vermont and suddenly remembered the last time I had taken exit 8. There were six missionaries in the car at the time, I was in the back seat. We had just attended a zone conference and as we were getting off exit 8 we noticed a man with a full beard and his pants down peeing on the side of the road. We all had a hearty chuckle when one of the guys called out, "Find a bathroom" at which point the old codger flipped us off.

Good weird memories came flooding back. Ones which you wouldn't remember unless a specific part of the road made you remember or perhaps a gas station in Derry New Hampshire in which you remember the clerk looking at you and clearly saying.

"Jesus is my Dog Yo!"

Overall it was a good trip and there were some beautiful sites to see. In fact here are some pictures.