It's that day again...

I don't know if it was a conscious decision or not, but all day I have buried myself in busyness. About 30 minutes ago, I stopped being busy and all sorts of feelings came bubbling up to the surface. If you've been a regular of my blog for at least a year, then you know what today is. If not, well, my big brother Steve died 11 years ago today. Unreal, but true.

So in the spirit of keeping him alive in spirit, here are some great memories of me & my brother Steve:

Steve, me, Scott

Classic summertime fun in the backyard

This is a picture of Steve and my little sister Katie. He was in the Navy when she was born and was so excited to come home and meet his new little bundle of sister! Note the age difference... my parents sure know how to space 'em out ;)

Classic summer roadtrips in the family truckster - Griswald style!

Steve & Katie - 2 peas in a pod

Our Family circa 1985 - note the wood panel walls and crazy red couch. Stylin'!

Our family portrait looks different these days; I'm married to Jay, Scott's married to Kimberly, Katie is no longer bald nor is she a newborn, in fact she just graduated college, Mom and Dad are older, wiser and grayer, and Steve is, well, Steve is eternally 29.

Stephen T. Carmody
11.28.67 - 9.27.97
Until we meet again, shine on brother!




I'm feelin' a little shy. Whenever I don't blog for a week I tend to feel shy and like I have to stand up in front of the class and introduce myself. So here I am, totally exposed and exhausted from this new and busy life I'm leading but wanting to say hi and check in with my cyber-peeps.

I'm very sleep-deprived these days, dehydrated, short-tempered, a little (or a lot) overwhelmed, and in the process of getting sick. But hey, I signed up for all of it and just like the little engine that could, I know I can make it! Not only can I make it; I can thrive!

So that's what's doin' with me, what about you? How are you feeling? Are you sleep deprived and dehydrated too? Or are you one of those sleep indulged, hydrated types who only work two days a week? If so, you need a slap-down! ooops, there goes my temper. Guess I better go to bed and get my daily "nap" in. lovins...

bitter with the sweet


I had a client who, when asked "how're you doing", would always smile and say, "I'm pretty good, ya know, you gotta take the bitter with the sweet". I recently had to part ways with this particular gentleman, but I find myself hearing his catch-phrase in my mind pretty frequently these days.

In a nutshell, I've been given some fantastic opportunities (the sweet), but they require a very hectic and intense lifestyle (the bitter) for the next 8-9 months. These opportunities are both highly concentrated in the area of social work, specifically the realms I am interested in (poverty and policy) and therefore I am fully committed and up for the challenges. BUT, I am also very interested in and committed to the pursuit of leisure and having a social life! But between school, my job, my internship at The Center for Social Policy & Community Development (opportunity #1) and my new job working for the Director of the Social Work (bachelor) program at Temple University (opportunity #2), I have no free time!

So that's where I'm at; I'm trying to balance the busyness with some down-time, and not just down-time but fun-time! It's hard though... so please bear with me as I try to navigate this new lifestyle. You all know how much I love to chill, yet these next few months will be anything but chill. Challenging, stimulating and exhausting -yes; chill? NO.

But, like my old client used to say, I just gotta smile, be grateful, and take the bitter with the sweet.

comic relief




The moon is nothing short of amazing.

I just went outside and sat on the porch and couldn't help but notice the overwhelming beauty of the full moon. I was born under a full moon and my mom's water broke as she was walking on the beach alongside the ocean, so I am a total lunar baby. As much as I love the sun, the moon makes me feel something that I can't quite put my finger on; something deep, all-encompassing and spiritual.

Tonight's moon is especially beautiful because it's a balmy summer night here in Philadelphia and the moon is bright, and that combo creates a spectacular aura around the moon that casts a magical glow on the neighborhood. I'm not much of a howler, but I feel a howl comin' on. Aa-uuuuuuuu!

I think tomorrow night is the official full moon, so if you get a chance, step outside, bask in the glow, and if you feel so inclined, join with me in a hearty howl ;)


intimacy & tension on the 23


As much as I dread the long bus ride home from school through the pot-hole laden streets of north philly, I kinda love it.

Class lets out around 8:20pm and I stand on an interesting corner that perfectly illustrates the dichotomy between the have's & the have-nots. On one corner stands the gateway to academia, full of promise and bright futures for all who enter. On the opposing corner stands a shoddy and run-down public housing complex, full of feral cats and litter. I wonder what it's like to live so close to a major university, yet so far away...

As I wait for the bus, I roll a token between my fingers and suss out the oncoming headlights to see if the bus is anywhere in the distance. Some nights I happen to meet the bus as it rolls up to the corner; some nights I wait, and wait, and wait. Every night, the bus is packed and I can hardly get on. Remember my blog about personal space? Personal space does not exist on the bus; only intimacy and tension exist on the bus, and I find it such an interesting combo.

People breathe, sneeze and cough all over one another; people step on, sit on and fall on one another; people stare at each other with suspicion, curiosity and malice, but most of all, and despite all of the above, people HELP one another. It's such a fascinating dynamic. It's like were all a group of strangers lurching through the city streets in a gigantic tin can, kind of suspicious and curious about each other, but as soon as someone needs help, we come together like a family on Thanksgiving.

If someone is trying to exit through the back door and the door won't open, we all yell "BACK DOOR" to the driver to alert her/him and help the rider exit safely. If someone is trying to get to the back of the bus to find their kids, we all yield. If someone sneezes, it usually lands on at least 5 other people, and those 5 people are the first ones to "bless" the sneezer. The other day a woman boarded the packed bus and in loud voice said, "Hello everyone, how's everyone doin'?" And everyone acknowledged her with a "just fine and y'self?" I love this kind of stuff; I love the dynamic of people shoved up against one another in an anonymous yet intimate setting. It can suck, don't get me wrong, but more often than not, something priceless happens that leaves me with a smile... then suspicion, then a smile, and so on...

Sunday = Funday


Today we went to a Mets Game at Shea Stadium in NY. My brother Scott, who lives in CT and is a Mets fan, had two extra tickets and offered them to Jay & I because it was a Mets v. Phillies game. So we made the trek up to New York and this is what we saw:

Shea Stadium's days are numbered... it will soon be nothing more than a memory, and a parking lot.

My brother Scott and his wife Kimberley
. He's a Mets fan; she's a Yankees fan. Opposites attract ;)

This was a beligerent Phillies fan provoking Mets fans and trying to start sh*t. A fight almost broke out and I couldn't help but photograpgh what I think is a ridiculous phenomenon: grown men acting like angst-ridden teenagers all in the name of a sports team. It's a game people!

We had excellent seats and I loved taking "up close & personal" photos of the players.

It was a gorgeous day - this was the only cloud in the sky.

Brooklyn Bridge in all its glory.

This is a man-made waterfall, one of four in the New York Harbour. They're part of a public art project and will be up until mid-October. It was pretty eye-catching during the day, and I imagine pretty amazing at night, as they become illuminated when the sun goes down. It was a neat to stumble upon it and then come home and realize that it wasn't just some random structure spilling water but a thoughtful artistic expression meant to provoke thought and rouse curiosity. It worked.

And finally, as we were driving over the Goethals Bridge, I leaned out the window and snapped this picture as the plane flew directly overhead. It's one of my favorites from the day.

So that is our day in a nutshell: some baseball, a roadtrip, time with family, bridges, art, airplanes and pictures. What more could a girl want?

to do - part duex


As you can tell from my "to do" list, I had some pretty lofty goals for today, and I am pleased to announce that I am making great strides to accomplish each task.

I have chilled.
I have chilled some more.
I went to the sto' for some 'sentials (went to the store for some essentials)
I, er, we have snuggled.
I have relaxed.
I have read.
I have blogged, twice now and the night is young.
I have chilled.
And a personal favorite, I have splashed around in the rain.

Now all I have to do is take it easy and chill. Wish me luck! I hope all of you are enjoying an equally relaxing and enjoyable Saturday. xoxo

to do...

yoga no go


Last night I had a yoga class at 6:15 in the middle of the city, at 16th & Walnut. The train schedule is, well, not as convenient as I'd like, and the bus takes forever (!), so I decided to hop in my car and leave 45 minutes early, even though it only takes me 15 minutes. I made great time; I whizzed straight down Lincoln Drive and opted to take Kelly Drive over the always-congested-even-at-3AM Schuylkill Expressway. I was feelin' good and was downtown in no time, but then everything came to an abrupt halt right around where the picturesque meandering Drives (Lincoln, Kelly, the Parkway) meet the grid, right around 19th & the Parkway.

Despite the mind-numbing stop & go pattern in the grid, I still had ample time to find a parking spot and get to class on-time... or so I thought. YUP! I had driven around for almost a half hour looking for a spot when I finally found one. By the time I parked, grabbed my stuff and locked my car, it was 6:15, and I had to run if I wanted to get into the class. But first I had to feed the meter, so I grabbed some quarters and as I went to put them in, I saw a flashing "NO PARKING" sign on the electronic display of the meter.


In that moment, pure frustration and anger boiled up from the depths of my being. The realization that I couldn't park there gave birth to two other equally frustrating realizations:

1. I'm gonna miss the class. By the time I get back in the car and find another spot, it will be too late to get into the class.

2. I can't just chalk it up to a "whoopsy daisy" moment and go home; I have to wait. My friend Signe is in that class and I'm her ride home. Sh*t.

So in the middle of an oppressively hot city, I sat on the hood of my even hotter car in my illegal space and weighed out my options. I knew I had to stay in the city until 7:30 because I was committed to Signe and I didn't want to leave her high & dry, so I thought, "ok self, I can either be here and be negative or I can be here and see the humor in the situation and just enjoy this unexpected snafu in my schedule". I chose the latter.

I got in my car and decided to find a real spot with a working meter and walk around until 7:30, but finding parking in the city is like finding glaciers in the Caribbean; it just isn't happening. Every spot I found turned out to be "out of order", seriously, I found three spots in a row, totally legal, where the meters were broken. Way to go PPA! Once I got over the frustration of missing the class, it was hysterical -- I felt like I was being punked. Finally, around 6:50 I found a REAL spot at 18th & Locust. I did a little window shopping, did a little people watching, and before I knew it, it was 7:40 and I went up to the yoga studio to find my friend.

All in all it was a night I won't soon forget. Despite the frustrations and missing the class (that I pre-paid for, by the way), it was a good opportunity for me to get out of my head (thinking about school, work, etc.) and just to be in the moment. After all, that's what yoga is all about ;)

goodbye summer


personal space

What's the story with people not respecting the boundries of personal space? Isn't there some unwritten, unspoken rule about not invading another person's buffer zone?

On the beach this summer, we encounter
ed one too many people creepin' up onto our space, to the point of utter ridiculousness! A few weeks ago, we were chillin' at the beach at Cape Henlopen park in Lewes, Delaware, when out of nowhere this family of 5 comes rollin' up right next to us and set up a canopy tent! First of all, a canopy tent? Are you kidding me... it's the beach, not a wedding. I could have reached my arm into their tent, grabbed a drink from their cooler and high-fived all 5 people - that's how close they were to us. It was ridiculous! So we moved over to maintain the appropriate buffer zone.

Then, this past week I was at the Philadelphia Museum of
Art and was taken aback by the lack of ettiquette displayed by my fellow museum-goers. I would be standing in front of a painting, admiring the work, when someone would stick their bulbous head in front of mine to get a closer look or to read the description. That, or they would stand way too close, right in my personal space zone. Just give me a foot or two people, jeez!

I swear, I think more and more people are becoming self-centered, to the point where they forget how much their actions affect other people. The next time someone invades my personal space, I think I'll move closer just to give the
m a taste of their own medicine.