Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Youth by W. S. Merwin

Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for

or what to call you I think I did not
even know I was looking how would I

have known you when I saw you as I did
time after time when you appeared to me

as you did naked offering yourself
entirely at that moment and you let

me breathe you touch you taste you knowing
no more than I did and only when I

began to think of losing you did I
recognize you when you were already

part memory part distance remaining
mine in the ways that I learn to miss you

from what we cannot hold the stars are made

Also quite lovely in paragraph form...

“Through all of youth, I was looking for you without knowing what I was looking for or what to call you. I think I did not even know I was looking. How would I have known you when I saw you - as I did time after time when you appeared to me as you did, naked, offering yourself entirely at that moment, and you let me breathe you, touch you, taste you, knowing no more than I did. And only when I began to think of losing you did I recognize you - when you were already part memory, part distance, remaining mine in the ways that I learn to miss you. From what we cannot hold, the stars are made.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

Simply a Quiet Thought

You don't have to look far to see hundreds of thousands of people who have had to deal with very bad news. The Susan G. Komen Walk for Breast Cancer as shown by Rudee for instance.

Being around people who have been delivered bad news is not new to me. I was talking with my patient, Ms. M., this weekend. She was supposed to have been in the middle of a cross-country road trip with her husband, destination northern California. Instead, she was lying in a hospital bed, paraplegic after falling from her horse. I was asking about how her family was handling all this and I asked about her horses-who was caring for them?

Her horse's name is Ephraim. "I was going to change it, but after a while it grew on me and seemed to fit him. He's a sweet, sweet boy. So gentle. Goofy. A big galumph."
I said that I bet he missed her.

"My daughter went down to the barn the next morning to feed him. When she got there he just lowered his head and buried it in her chest." My patient and I were quiet for a moment, and we wept.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

To Marriages That Last and Those That Didn't

excerpt from The Blue Robe

How joyful to be together, alone
as when we first were joined
in our little house by the river
long ago, except that now we know

each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong to one story
that the two, joining, made. And now

we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves:

art by Sarah Faragher

Friday, September 26, 2008


...and I'm paraphrasing because I was driving and not taking notes. "If they don't pass the bailout package soon it will be a calamity."

Except for the word "calamity." Haven't heard that word since grade school and I am loving it. If ever we needed a song it is now. Bring it on, Doris.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Let's Drop the Big One, There'll Be No One Left to Blame Us"


The economy is "cratering" according to Senator McCain and life seems very uncertain these days. We certainly are heading for a depression, although I think with the modern semantics it's called something else. I doubt that I'm alone in wondering how this will affect my family specifically. I'm guessing there will still be sick people who need hospital care so job security is less of an issue for us than others. If the Republicans get into office I am concerned about the talk I hear about running healthcare as a free-market business. That has worked wonders for the airline and the banking industries. And anyone who doesn't think the government isn't already determining how healthcare is provided is not aware of all the minutiae of paperwork by CMS(Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services). It rivals Peter Sellers in absurdity.

The girls will still get through college. We'll have to look harder for grants and scholarships for HoneyHaired girl than we did for her sister, but they'll get through. I worry a lot about the debt that we're leaving behind for all of our children. What a dungfest. And, although I am in the Baby Boomer generation that is now being blamed for this "financial disaster"--I call it larceny--and I am not fabulously agile with a checkbook, I promise I didn't do this or benefit from it. I will be paying for it though like a stuck pig, sans lipstick. No way to dress this one up, even with a hot looking hockey mom in glasses.

Sighhhhh...I'm going to go walk the dog and pick up poo. It's something I'm good at.
Here's a little something in defense of our country--

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just Saw the Prez...


Could someone please remind me about the party? Am not remembering any frivolities.

The memories are a bit grainy, much like this video, but sounds like it was fabulous fun for a select few. And after all, the piper must be paid. Damn pipers. I knew I should have stayed in band.

Days Off

Fishing On The Susquehanna In July
by Billie Collins

I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.
Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure — if it is a pleasure —
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one —
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table —
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia,

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandana

sitting in a small green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

art by moldychum.typepad

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Helmets. Now That's What I'm Talking About, Baby.

Please accept the deep and heartfelt thanks from all those who work in all the Neurodramavilles everywhere.

And, It's back... I've been waiting.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Little Poetry, A Little Local Politics/Stalker Alert, A Little Rambling on This Last day of Summer

The Hungry Gap-Time
by Thomas Lux

late August, before the harvest, every one of us worn down
by the plow, the hoe, rake,
and worry over rain.

Chicken Coop confiscated by the rats and the raptors
with nary a mouse to hunt. The corn's too green and hard,
and the larder's down
to dried apples
and double-corned cod. We lie on our backs
and stare at the blue;
our work is done, our bellies flat.
The mold on the wheat killed hardly a sheaf.
The lambs fatten on the grass, our pigs we set
to forage on their own-they'll be back
when they whiff the first shucked ears
of corn. Albert's counting
bushels in his head
to see if there's enough to ask Harriet's father
for her hand. Harriet's father
is thinking about Harriet's mother's bread
pudding. The boys and girls
splash in the creek,
which is low but cold. Soon, soon
there will be food
again, and from what our hands have done
we shall live another year here
by the river
in the valley
above the fault line
beneath the mountain

art by gracie's(away)--http://www.flickr.com/photos/alreadygrace/


This is the person I called first when I read an article in PEOPLE magazine years ago about Safe Harbor locations to leave unwanted babies. There had been two dead infants found recently at that time in our very own River City. I called Mr. Portune. I called the chief nursing exec at our hospital. I gave out phone numbers and copies of the magazine piece, and voila--the right folks got in touch with one another and a program was up and running in a matter of weeks.

Todd Portune has been a huge advocate for nurses and patients, and for that, I LOVE him. I have not yet begun stalking, but you just never know when the impulse control will snap, and then Bob's-your-uncle, there I'll be sitting in a non-descript rental car outside his campaign headquarters with a life-size cardboard likeness of the man sitting next to me in the passenger's seat and the police knocking on my window. Again. My poor frontal lobe has an enormous amount of work to do every day trying to keep me coloring inside the lines. It's a damn dirty job.

And on this, the last day of summer, I still have my flip-flops by the front door and refuse to acknowledge the black wooly caterpillar on our porch mat. The words "end of summer" I find morbidly depressing and prefer to stay in a state of denial as long as possible, which in the past has involved snow. Nothing good can possibly come from shorter periods of sunlight and colder temperatures, except it also happens to be the beginning of the new seasons for the Playhouse in the Park and the Ballet. We have now been to both--

Jane Austen's Emma, which is frothy and darling, involves singing and dancing about, and mutton chops on handsome men. What's not to love?

And New Works at the ballet with six premiers of newly choreographed ballets.

They are ballets without a storyline which is refreshing and mind opening. Looking at movement in terms of lines and open spaces and synchronicity and harmony. Have very little idea what the choreographers wanted to convey, although I imagine that they would be happy to hear that we have our own thoughts on the fleeting, impermanent images set before us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lights On. Nobody's Home.

The Wordsworth Effect by Joyce Sutphen

Is when you return to a place
and it's not nearly as amazing
as you once thought it was,

or when you remember how you felt
about something (or someone) but you know
you'll never feel that way again.

It's when you notice someone has turned
down the volume, and you realize
it was you; when you have the

suspicion that you've met the enemy
and you are it, or when you get
your best ideas from your sister's journal.

Is also-to be fair-the thing that enables
you to walk for miles and miles chanting to
yourself in iambic pentameter

and to travel through Europe with
only a clean shirt, a change of
underwear, a notebook and a pen.

And yes: is when you stretch out
on your couch and summon up ten thousand
daffodils, all dancing in the breeze.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yes We Can. And If We Don't, Shame On Us.

Hear ya, Kiwi-grrrrl, loud and clear...

Writing By Candlelight, Living on PopTarts

Back online having camped out at home and the hospital during the blackout in CinCity. The ass end of Ike blew through town killing seven and doing some infrastructural damage.

Our neighborhood got power back late this afternoon and tonight, instead of hanging in the street talking with the neighbors, everyone is back inside with their lights on and doors shut.

We got by with showers at five in the morning by candlelight, cooked on the campsite propane stove, and charged our cell phones at the local IGA. Think I might miss the three of us( and add on 2 cats and a dog) curling up in bed with the 4 inch battery powered TV dialing to find a channel.

Right now the end of Miss Congeniality 2 is on and I am going to watch every bad minute of it with the HoneyHaired girl sitting next to me. Doesn't get much better than watching Sandra Bullock with my favorite teenager. That's life in a darkened living room in this northern town. "World peace", y'all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Got Some Good News and Some Bad News

First the good news, which is thanks to Lydia I was reviewed by DoYouDiggIT and they were very sweet and kind. It's always a bit of a surprise when someone comments on anything I've written and I have forgotten that it's out in the netherworld of the internet. Thank you, Lydia, for putting my name out there.

The bad news is that I read the following daily comment by Henry David Thoreau which was on my Google page this morning. I find it fraught with ominousity--Okay, I made that word up--but,can Henry read my blog?

"Nothing goes by luck in composition. It allows of no tricks. The best you can write will be the best you are."

That seems slightly pessimistic and perhaps a bit rashly judgemental. There's no "pull yourself together, man" and "tomorrow is another day" mentality going on here. Is that his opinion of my work so far and he thinks I should keep my day job? I know that not everything revolves around ME, but after all, this quote was on my personalized Google page. It's obviously there for a reason.

The winds of change are blowing across CinCity today shaking the windows and tearing through the trees. I wish it would just storm and stop with the prologue because it's all rather creepy. Can also hear the military jets flying over. Not sure why unless there's campaigning going on here in this "important battle state". Perhaps some of those mancake talking heads will want interviews with "the gal on the street." I'd best get to some street walking then. And speaking of Talking Heads...

"And she was lying in the grass
And she could hear the highway breathing
And she could see a nearby factory
She's making sure she is not dreaming
See the lights of a neighbors house
Now shes starting to rise
Take a minute to concentrate
And she opens up her eyes

The world was moving and she was right there with it (and she was)
The world was moving she was floating above it (and she was) and she was..."

As always, here's hoping for a fabulous week, and for all of us, safety from the storms.

Friday, September 12, 2008

As For Me...I Like Ike, And That Ain't Blowing Smoke Up Your Skirt

My hubby likes Sarah Palin. He thinks that Charlie Gibson was "too hard on her" and that "he shouldn't be asking her those kinds of questions." Say what??? Now, just for the record--and why is it that when I think anything about Miss Sarah I hear her flat, western Cincinnati-sounding accent in my head--anyway, for the record, my hubby grew up as a long haired,hitchhiking,commune-living,anti-war kind of "dude". I was an anti-war, appalled by Kent State, Crosby, Stills and Nash-loving cheerleader. It was love at first sight when we finally met and we have been stumbling merrily(albeit with differing political signs in our yard)along the cobbled stone road of life for 17 years now. He's a smart man and a good man, and I respect his opinions.

In fact, I've talked with a lot of people who like Sarah Palin and who have intellect and opinions I respect. Until this interloper. This female Svengali. What hypnotic power does she possess behind her fancy-schmancy eyewear? And does wearing glasses protect one against her strong mind altering effects? Did Charlie G. have to keep readjusting his reading glasses during the interview to block the Power of Palin?

Any actual facts about the governor of Alaska pale in comparison to the marketing and the myth of Sarah. Republicans are big, fat liars??--That's okay, it's the nature of the business. She didn't really say, "Thanks, but no thanks" to Congress??--That's okay. The money was probably already allocated and she spent it on something more important. She knows less than my cat about foreign affairs??--That's okay. Being a vice-president is really more of a ceremonial role.

The opinion that John McCain has forsaken his good name and integrity for the tactics of Karl Rove and his minions??--That's okay. All will be well if he's elected. He's just doing this now because he's beholden to the Republican party during this campaign because they are footing the bill. He can be his own man once he's in office. Really? And he won't be "beholden" to them then??

I don't get it, but then again, I wear glasses and my hubby does not. Neither do the Pro Sarah folks at work, come to think of it. And once again, my theory is validated.

I will say, however, that Miss Sarah has given many women new confidence in the insights and knowledge of the world that we view beneath the glass ceiling. I, too, have been a member of the PTA and on the Parent Board of my daughters' elementary school. While I have not been mayor or governor, I have been in charge of a 24-bed ICU in a teaching hospital where decisions made affect life and death. And you ain't played politics until you've played them with a bunch of suit sucking nurses trying to scramble far away from the bedside and into the crisp and heady ethers of administration. Wasn't it Lincoln who said, "All politics is local?" Oh, who cares? He woulda/shoulda said it, and it's more palatable in these times coming from Lincoln than some free-spending LIBERAL like Tipp O'Neill(actually he gave credit to his father, Thomas O'Neill, Sr.).

I freely admit that I have not killed or gutted a moose, but many people have told me how much my voice reminds them of Rocky the Squirrel and he hangs out with a moose.

And, I have seen Canada in the misty distance from the shores Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie.

I have not met any heads of state, but I have met many heads of households from foreign countries including, but not limited to, Bulgaria, Turkey, Mexico, Italy, China, Nicaraga,Somalia, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Ireland, and France. I speak what words I remember from my four years of high school french and innumerable ballet classes and we get on fabulously well. There is much smiling and nodding of heads, and we generally agree on politics, especially healthcare, economic, and immigration issues.

I am thinking that I should be a shoe-in for Vice-Vice-President or Secretary of Health or Secretary of the Interior. I realize I have responsibilities to my family, but as Sarah P. thoughtfully asks, "How would a man do it?" Quite honestly, I don't know how much untidier this house could look than with my feeble and half-hearted attempts and my husband has taken to feeding our Honey Haired child White Castles for dinner the evenings of my 12-hour shifts. There's your major food groups in one tasty sandwich. Add in some fruit flavored StarBursts and you're good to go.

In preparation for my new role of service to my country I will be studying the political campaigns of yore at livingroomcandidate. Bouncing Kennedy signs, the little girl picking petals off a daisy as a nuclear bomb explodes, jingles and singing...good times and great stuff.

For those non believers of the Sarah Palinopolooza,try reading her blog.It may not be exactly written by her, but shoulda been.

Since IKE's been on our minds lately, and bless anyone and everyone in his path, I believe I would take either IKE over Miss Sarah and company any day. There'd be less destruction. Here's to more discussion about real issues and actual governmental clean-up.

I'd like to end this on a literary note, but I can't find the exact Lincoln quote that Miss Sarah referenced in her interview. I'm a little pickier about making sure my details are accurate. So, I will leave you with the thoughts of another great American spokesman:

"With God On Our Side"

...So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war. Bob Dylan

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008

"...It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln

Peace be with you.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Brake Time

Time for a break. I've been blogging for maybe 6 months, thinking that I could fit it all in. But, I'm not. And while time and the seasons are flying by I am reading and writing blog postings. I'm gonna take a rest from it. My goal is a month. Too much? Okay,a week. I must get back to my old life for one week. Wish me luck, please and have a great one.

Friday, September 5, 2008

That's Correct, Ms. Palin--You Are No Community Organizer

You were far too busy with the responsibilities involved in your job.

The Quarter by Jim Harrison

Maybe the problem was that I got involved with the wrong crowd of gods
when I was seven. At first they weren't harmful and only showed
themselves as fish, birds, especially herons and loons, turtles, a bobcat and a
small bear, but not deer and rabbits who only offered themselves as food.
And maybe I spent too much time inside the water of lakes and rivers.
Underwater seemed like the safest church I could go to. And sleeping
outside that young might have seeped too much dark into my brain and
bones. It was not for me to ever recover. The other day I found a quarter in
the driveway I lost at the Mecosta State Fair in 1947 and missed out on five
rides including the Ferris wheel and the Tilt-A-Whirl. I sat in anger for hours
in the bull barn mourning my lost quarter on which the entire tragic history
of earth is written. I looked up into the holes of the bulls' massive noses and
at the brass rings puncturing their noses which allowed them to be led. It
would have been an easier life if I had allowed a ring in my nose but so
many years later I still find the spore of the gods here and there but never in
the vicinity of quarters.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Talking Head Please

Good evening. My name is Distracted By Shiny Objects and I'm a Commentatoroholic. I watch political programs waiting anxiously for a glimpse and a few words from the smart, funny,and insider-knowledge filled talking heads who are asked to speak in-between the bobbing head politicos. My last view was 37 minutes ago. I feel powerless to turn off the TV and radio. November cannot come soon enough when I'll start drinking, gambling, and hanging with Fox Mulder again. And shopping on Zappos. uhmmmmmm...shoes...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Night at the Opera

While I have my leanings and my own hopes for the future of our country and the future we leave for our children, I try very hard to keep an open mind and open ears to listen to both sides of any issue. On a pragmatic level, you can't effectively discuss a point if you don't understand the opposition's platform and thinking. You also don't know the areas of agreement or potential for compromise. And so, I remain interested in the political speeches of this week and last.

Listening to NPR yesterday while driving about CinCity I heard a segment on a 21 year old's take on the 2008 election and the hope she feels "no matter who wins." The commentator agreed that this was something he was hearing in many circles--that younger voters could see benefits to both candidates and were much less partisan in their evaluations. Good for them. Isn't that what we teach our kids?? Look at the person, not blind loyalty to a political party?

I also enjoy a night of theater and opera for the sheer high drama and grandiosity of it all. And the chance to hear old white men talk, talk, talk...now that's a night of entertainment. And by old, make no mistake--I mean older than me.

For those who like their politics more factual and less acidic here are two blogs to link to every now and again: Smart Politics and Vote Smart

Additionally, here's an interesting opinion by David Brooks about the candidates.

And if you like 'em smart, there are always available my favorite pieces of mancakeness, Jon Stewart and Michael Beschloss for their erudite and thoughtful ramblings.

"And now, on with the opera. Let joy be unconfined. Let there be dancing in the streets, drinking in the saloons, and necking in the parlor."
--Otis B. Driftwood/Groucho Marx

And let us never forget in our decision-making those who require the services right next door to the GOP convention at the Dorothy Day Center. Surely somewhere in between the mantras of "Pro-Life", "Country First" and "God Bless America" there will be some discussion of the many lives that struggle within our country, and not far away. May God bless us all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

When We Sold the Tent by Rhina P. Espaillat

When we sold the tent
we threw in the Grand Canyon
with its shawl of pines,
lap full of cones and chipmunks
and crooked seams of river.

We let them have the
parched white moonscapes of Utah,
and Colorado's
magnificat of flowers
sunbursting hill after hill.

Long gentle stretches
of Wyoming, rain outside
some sad Idaho
town where the children, giddy
with strange places, clowned all night.

Eyes like small veiled moons
circling our single light, sleek
shadows with pawprints,
all went with the outfit; and
youth, a river of campfires.

Monday, September 1, 2008

"They Laugh Alike, They Walk Alike, At Times They Even Talk Alike..."

For the love of God and country, Tina, please send Sarah P. on a crazy wild goose chase and fill in for her during the campaign. Come on...it'll be fun.

"...You can lose your mind,
When cousins are two of a kind."

Don't be coy. You know you so want to.