Showing posts from August, 2008

And This One Belongs to the Reds

Happy Birthday to Mom
from College Girl

Hopefully Coming Soon to a City Near You

We went today to the exhibit, FLOODWALL, a Katrina Memorial by Jana Napoli in its midwest debut here in CinCity. If you get the opportunity come on up to the Clifton Cultural Arts Center(August 28-September 14)or see it when it comes to your town.

In Miss Jana's words, "I wanted to take this intimate and homely detritus out of this sodden world. I wanted to take the wrenching cry of grief and transform it into a wailing wall where all of us could mourn. This emotional response quickly grew into a sculptural and historical work that would allow the people of New Orleans to speak, to talk about what they value and why. Anyone who sees the drawers is drawn to them in a very personal way because it is such a familiar object. They think of their own lives, their own drawers and what they hold to be precious and sacred."

It's quite moving to see the wall of empty drawers, or in some cases, the flotsam left behind--pages of phone numbers, an old photo--hopefully not to be re…

Good Times Ahead

Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate. This has become a hell of a lot more interesting horse race. Am really looking forward to reading and hearing more. I have my bias--I mean look at me, I've worked with the indigent population and the marginalized my entire working life. I have my leanings. But we've got some smart,educated, articulate, experienced people running this year and I have no doubt at all that they love our country. I say, let the games begin.

Don't Blink

"I was glued to my tv
when it looked like he looked at me and said
'Best start putting first things first.'
Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can't flip it over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it's worth
Don't Blink
Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap and you
Wake up and you're twenty-five and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife Don't blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads next thing you know your 'better half'
Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years goes faster than you think
So don't blink" --Kenny Chesney

My honey haired girl surprised me tonight at dinner when she began talking about how sad she felt about growing up and that it was all going by so fast. "Next year I'll be going into senior year, then going to college, and then I'll b…

Basketball by G.E.Johnson

Once after dinner a woman and I walked past
An empty basketball court and she says,
"I played on a team my junior year in Belfast,"
And I say "Want to shoot some?" She says "Yes,"
Though she was wearing a long black dinner dress.
She kicked off her high heels and she caught
My pass and with great finesse
Drove to the baseline, jumped and shot
Swish. Two points. We played for awhile,
Man in a black suit, woman in a long black gown,
I loved her quickness and her heads-up style,
Her cool hand as she beat me hands down —
Her jumpiness, like a blackbird in the night—
Her steady eye, her feet about to take flight.


Two more days in Neurodramaville and I've been thinking a lot about courage. I actually think about courage quite often due to the nature of my work, and I'll get back to that aspect in a moment, but reading Lydia's post from the weekend (please see below) brought the broader, more political and social aspects of bravery and acts of courage to mind.

Acts of courage, to me, are small everyday occurrences that may go unnoticed, but never feel small to the person doing them. Daily I am painfully aware of how difficult it is to come to any hospital's ICU and see the person you love lost and unrecognizable by the residue of trauma or disease. Hell, it's hard for me to come in day after day to the barrage of bad news and worse outcomes and I get to escape home to my own life, laundry, and grocery lists.

It requires courage to drive in everyday and walk through those automatic sliding glass doors with a threadbare wrapping of hope wrapped tightly around your shoulders, new…

" people ...can find unity in what is right."

Please, please, please leave this spot immediately and click over to read Lydia's post about a Forty Year Old Salute and from there on to Kevin's blog posting dated October 22, 2006 about those same summer Olympics in 1968. I didn't know the back story to that photo though I remember the events clearly.
I would actually put the photo here, but I have irritated my own computer somehow and honey haired girl is not here to help me with hers. It seems somehow naked without a photo for the garnish factor.

Oh, yes. She's home!

Goldfinches by Mary Oliver

Some goldfinches were having a melodious argument
at the edge of a puddle. The birds wanted to bathe, or
perhaps just to dip their heads and look at themselves,
and they were having trouble with who should be
first, and so on. So they discussed it while I stood in
the distance, listening. Perhaps in Tibet, in the old
holy places, they also have such fragile bells. Or are
these birds really just that, bells come to us--come to
this road in America--let us bow our heads and
remember now how we used to do it, say a prayer.
Meanwhile the birds bathe and splash and have a
good time. Then they fly off, their dark wings opening
from their bright, yellow bodies; their tiny feet,
all washed, clasping the air.

Amen I say, Amen

"Don't ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Howard Thurman

Wise words found on sparkletopia by way of womanwandering. Very crafty of them to find this quote and post it. Thanks.

Two Girls. Two Choices To Make

We have two girls. Two girls who are rapidly growing into women. So the option of a vaccine that could deter cervical cancer was very welcome news to me, their mother. Now the New England Journal of Medicine is kinda shaking things up a little with their less than robust opinion of the
HPV vaccine and telling us all to slow our rush to judgement and vaccinations. Slow down and wait and see?? That I can do. Keep my two girls in a bubble and keep them from growing up and out...that I cannot do.

For anyone else out there who might be interested, take a look at the NEJM article and see what you think., in case I failed again at link=word, but I think I might have gotten it :>). If so, gonna call it a night.

When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats

When you are old and gray and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face among a crowd of stars.

Pilgrims by G.E. Johnson

Out of the flat dry country where I seem to be
Stuck these days I'd like to sail up the West Coast
On a cruise ship with strangers and you and me
Lying in bed, feeling the engines vibrate far below.
We'd dress up for dinner in the grand salon
And dine on champagne and oysters like tycoons
And when the ship comes to port, we'd stay on
Board and walk the decks and hear old tunes
Drift across the water as we promenade
Like "If I Had You" which Bucky Weil played
So beautifully.
God rest his elegant spirit.
And here we are, so lucky to be able to hear it:
We are pilgrims afforded room and board.
And each day, my darling, is its own reward.

So, uhmmmmm, Happy Monday To You, Too

...he cannot be found in noise and restlessness

We need to find God,
and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature -
trees, flowers, grass-
grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun,
how they move in silence...
We need silence to be able to touch souls.

Mother Teresa

Lives were lost. Hearts are broken. And the world keeps spinning.

Lifesaver For One Please

A trend we had started noticing in Neurodramaville--increase in patients with head injuries as a result of motorcycle collisions. With rising gas prices more folks are riding motorcycles. Unfortunately, they are not wearing helmets.

Head injuries--if survived--are catastrophic. Neurologically, physically, financially, and emotionally devastating.

With the base daily rate of an ICU bed at $2500/day a person can't afford not to wear a helmet. And the rest of us need to share the road and play well with others.
Below is The New York Times article with more facts and figures:

(Honey-haired girl showed me once how to make a link = word, but I can't figure it out again.)

How To Play Night Baseball by Jonathan Holden

A pasture is best, freshly mown so that by the time a grounder's plowed through all that chewed, spit-out grass to reach you, the ball will be bruised with green kisses. Start in the evening. Come with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine, water still crackling in your ears. Play until the ball is khaki— a movable piece of the twilight— the girls' bare arms in the bleachers are pale, and heat lightning jumps in the west. Play until you can only see pop-ups, and routine grounders get lost in the sweet grass for extra bases.

Bugs Can Be Pretty Too

The cause of such consternation in Neurodramaville. Going in tomorrow to start another 24 hours after a day off. Hope your weekends are glorious. And bug-free.

ALERT: New Name For Work


You would think that in an ICU where there are stories aplenty about the human condition--the split second changes that have the power to destroy a life or a family--the nurses and docs would get enough drama in a day without having to create it over daily worklife nothingness. But alas, no, that is not to be.
It's enough to drive a person to write bad literature. And, so I shall.

Puzzle of the Abandoned Picnic Basket4."Evelyn? Are you there? Can you hear me? Are you girls still awake? I can never get the time difference down there straight.""Yes, Mrs. Guiliani, I'm up," I replied. Mrs. Guiliani had been our next door neighbor for only a few years, ever since Good Samaritan bought up all the land surrounding the ever growing medical complex, which included the house where Mrs. G. had lived as a new bride in the 50's, raised her family and lived as a widow. The hospital' s Alumni Foundation bought the house next to us, did a little pain…

"Dancers are the athletes of God."--Albert Einstein

Just a couple of minutes in between shifts at Neuroramaville, but I read this quote at and fell in love with it. I've never been one to have dreams of flying, but I have had dreams of ballet jumps that felt just as free. Thanks, Lydia.

Say It Ain't Over So Soon

The honey-haired girl started back to school today; "attendance in Homeroom at 7:30 am sharp." She's only been working on her summer assignments ALL SUMMER long. At least the summer that was left to her. It's not even the middle of August yet, there's plenty of dog days ahead.

If there were a Magpie-ian calendar, I would drag summer by the tips of its flip-flops into October. Couple weeks of autumn and Indian summer, Happy Halloween, couple more weeks of autumn foliage descending leave by gorgeous leave to soften the hard edges of concrete walkways, moving on to give full attention to Thanksgiving, then--and only then--Christmas revelry. New Years. Couple of months of morbid depression while the sun never shines and it rains every day, then you get allergy season. Some call it spring, but they're probably hopped up on pseudoephedrine. And again, back round to summer, the most blissful time imaginable.

Late Afternoon, St. John

by Linda Pastan

A little blue heron h…

"...I Have Only Slipped Away Into the Next Room"

You are sorely missed.

I May Not Be A Rock Star, But I'm A Damn Fine Back-Up Band**

If, by some miracle or fairy godmother, you were a rock star who would you be??The one and only, the irreplacable, the incomparable...ladies and gentlemen, I present to you-- The Funk Brothers
**idea stolen from . Sorry, never said I would be Mother Theresa or Ghandi.

Secret of the Puzzling Picnic Basket...Part 3

3. Days went by without any word from The Parents and no further clues to solve The Secret of the Puzzling Picnic Basket. We had three more cottages filled with families and the restaurant and bar were getting a decent amount of business from the neighboring native Bon Secourians and the RV park down the road. Bridge and I might be able to make enough money to pay for our tuition AND books by the time the fall session of school started. It had been an especially long week. I was looking forward to being off duty and sleeping in tomorrow morning. Maybe some shopping up at the outlet mall in Foley. I was wondering the exact time the Shoe Warehouse opened when Chandra's voice filled the air.
"You could call the police." I snorted a mouthful of beer back into the bottle, onto my Tshirt and laughed. "I think if the words drunk and walking aren't involved our Sheriff Taylor won't be interested."
Yes, we have our own Sheriff Taylor here in Bon Secour. Christopher …

Hey...The Song Says, "She Works HARD For The Money"

Sad to report, below is the headline ofthismorning's newspaper. Apparently there was no other news IN THE WHOLE WIDE UNIVERSE.

'Body rubs' leads to arrests.

"...According to Detective Jim Nesbit, detectives found that those women were linked to Web sites such as and, as well as publications such as Yellowbook and CityBeat, where they were advertising their services for massages and escort-type services.
'Prostitution has always been around in different ways,' Nesbit said. '(Customers) used to have to go to a seedier outlet, like a street corner.
'But online, they can do it in their own home, in a protected setting.'"

You know, back in the day hookers had to walk 5 miles to work, all uphill, in a snowstorm, and hang out on the corner of Liberty and Vine by the old White Castle's where they could get beaten and robbed and arrested. Let's get back to some good old-fashioned values, Sharonville, and crack the whip …

"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."

The Olympic Version

Had heard whisperings in the air of this You Tube video, but I had not yet seen it or gotten the full story. Viewed it this morning, courtesy of Writerquake ( ), and maybe because the sun is shining, the planets are in alignment, the hormones are balanced, there's a full pot of coffee in the kitchen and/or it's a luscious summer day in CinCity something makes me feel hopeful. In need of a little hope and balance right about now. This past week in Neuroramaville was full of sad endings for many, many families and their friends. As a witness in the midst of such constant loss, it helps me to remember that life remains, and as life, is it whole.

Very apropos to the Olympics because this is very much a Greek story of the blessings the gods can bestow on mere mortals.

Love the Olympics and despite reservations about China hosting the Summer Games this year, I appreciate the still noble intention of peaceful…

Migration by Tony Hoagland

This year Marie drives back and forth
from the hospital room of her dying friend

to the office of the adoption agency.
I bet sometimes she doesn't know
What threshold she is waiting at—

the hand of her sick friend, hot with fever;
the theoretical baby just a lot of paperwork so far.

But next year she might be standing by a grave,
wearing black with a splash of
banana vomit on it,

the little girl just starting to say Sesame Street
and Cappuccino latte grand Mommy.

The future ours for a while to hold, with its heaviness—
and hope moving from one location to another
like the holy ghost that it is.

For The Weekend Warriors...Get Those Helmets Ready


Thanks muchly

Thank you to David, from Down Under, ( for naming me as one of his "Post of the Day" recipients. I appreciate anyone actually reading anything I write here, let alone enjoying it, so again, thank you very much.
David has beautifully fabulous photos on his blogsite--which allows me some vicarious living outside of the hospital corridors and the local IGA grocery store I wander--as well as a tribe of very interesting and creative souls who visit him. Try'll like it :>)
PS. I work with an Aussie nurse who loves, loves, loves to hear tales from home. She is one homesick little Kookaburra.

Secret of the Puzzling Picnic Basket...Part 2


Bridget leaned over the faded and stained oak bar and asked the back of the bartender again, "Oh,come on, Chandra. You haven't seen anybody carrying this picnic basket around? Some mysterious stranger wandering by?"

He stopped stocking the glasses to turn all 5 feet 6 inches of swarthy head and belly around to look at her and the picnic basket in question, both sitting next to a half eaten plate of pizza rolls and watery glass of soda floating in a pool of its own sweat.
"I haven't seen anybody but the regulars, you two run-abouts, and the couple in room 12 from Corbin, Kentucky--your piece of country," as he pointed a crooked finger in my direction. "This place has been dead. And, if there were any fingerprints on that card you've worn them down to a nub now."
Bridget dropped the business card she'd been turning over and over in her hand like it was a lit match.

"Look, why don't you just call your mum and dad?" Chandra asked.


Two Rough Days In Neuroramaville: 2 GSW's to the head, multiple teens in MVC's with head trauma, and 1 head bleed after ETOH and a kick to the skull.

The Latest Injury by Sharon Olds

When my son comes home from the weekend trip where he
stood up into a piece of steel in the
ceiling of a car and cut open his head and
had the wound shaved and sprayed
and stitches taken, he comes up to me
grinning with pride and fear and slowly
bows his head, as if to the god of trauma,
and there it is, his scalp blue-grey as the
skin of a corpse, the surface cold and
gelatinous, the long split
straight as if deliberate, the
sutures on either side like terrible
marks of human will. I say
Amazing, I press his head to my stomach
gently, the naked skin on top
quivering like the skin on boiled milk and
bluish as the epidermis of a monkey
drawn out of his mother dead, the
faint growth of fine hair like a
promise. I rock his brain in my arms as I
once rocked his whole body,
delivered, and the wound area glows
grey and translucent as a fledgling's head when it
teeters on the edge of the nest, the cut a
midline down the skull, the flesh
jelly, the stitches black, the slit saying

Secret of the Puzzling Picnic Basket

"A-tisket a-tasket A green and yellow basket I wrote a letter to my love And on the way I dropped it"

Is that how it went? The song kept repeating in my head while I walked across the burning stretch of sand past the line of empty lounge chairs to check out the large picnic basket that had been left sitting out all day. Well, at least since earlier this morning when we'd gone for a run. I guess it could have been there all night. Looks like a nice one--saw it in the Crate and Barrel catalogue when I was searching frantically for a Father’s day gift last summer. As I remember, they were pricey…can’t imagine why someone would leave it here. It’s not like it’s a small thing you would forget about once you're finished eating.
Bridget told me not to come down here to check it out. She’s standing back on the boardwalk with her cell phone talking to one of her connected-at-the-ears sorority sisters from Ohio State and shouting down to me, "What is it? What is it?" She …