We did not make ourselves is one thing
I keep singing into my hands
while falling

for just a second

before I have to get up and turn on all the lights in the house, one after the
  other, like opening an Advent calendar

My brain opening
the chemical miracles in my brain
switching on

I can hear

dogs barking
some trees
last stars

You think you'll be missed
it won't last long
I promise


I'm not dead but I am
standing very still
in the back yard
staring at the maple
thirty years ago
a tiny kid waiting on the ground
alone in heaven
in the world
in white sneakers

I'm having a good time humming along to everything I can still remember
  back there

How we're born

Made to look up at everything we didn't make

We didn't
make grass, mosquitos
or breast cancer

We didn't make yellow jackets

or sunlight



I didn't make my brain
but I'm helping
to finish it

Carefully stacking up everything I made next to everything I ruined in broad
  daylight in bright

This morning I killed a fly
and didn't lie down
next to the body
like we're supposed to

We're supposed to

Soon I'm going to wake up


There is only this world and this world

What a relief

over and over.

-Michael Dickman


In the words of Tiny Tim...

Merry Christmas! Wishing you and yours a lovely laughter, family and peace filled holiday.



It's been snowing in Portland.  The snow started on Sunday, while I was at work, and though I was an anxious wreck because of the possibility of being snowed in, I couldn't help but marvel about how beautiful snow truly is.  It blanketed the city with a lovely layer of sparkling white and everything got very quiet and peaceful.  

However, Portland does not handle snow well at all.  The city is essentially in a panic.  No, scratch that, the news media are doing their very best to send the city into a widespread panic.  They're calling this little snowstorm an "Arctic Blast" and advising people to not only stock up on all the essentials, get chains for their cars, and school has been cancelled all week.  Internet, there is not even an inch of snow on the ground, and it's mostly on the grass.  The streets are bare and it's not a problem getting anywhere.  Well, except for out of my apartment complex.  The managers seem to have taken the disaster mode to heart and instead of plowing the driveway and clearing the sidewalks, they are simply closing the driveway out and letting us handle the sidewalks ourselves.  This irritates me. Massively.  The snow/ice on the driveway has melted into a slush which is now so thick that my car cannot make it out.  I'm essentially stuck here unless I want to take the bus everywhere.  Gah!  Snow is not the end of the freaking world!!!!!

Okay. Rant over.  Here is a picture of snow from the University of Idaho campus.  Oh Moscow, how I love you and your ability to handle inclement weather.


baby toes

Anyone who spends any time with me, or watches me interact with children for any amount of time knows that I'm not particularly child friendly.  It's not that I'm kid hater or refuse to spend time with them, it's just that they make me uncomfortable if one is forced to spend more than 30 minutes with them.  Plus kids don't understand sarcasm, and I speak mostly sarcasm.  

I could continue with the litany of why I don't enjoy children, but it's making me feel particularly Grinch-like, and I don't like that.

Much to my mother's disappointment, I have not yet experienced the urge to bring a child into the world.  I spent several hours (approx 150) in the labor and delivery ward during nursing school, and let me tell you, if I ever do become pregnant they'd better come up with a new way to get the baby out.  Seriously. I have no doubt that at some point this desire will grab hold of me, and I will likely respond with a very loud "what the F*$*!?!?!?"  

Anyway, my dear friend, J, had a baby on the 2nd.  She's probably my favorite person to work with, she's very laid back, has a fantastic sense of humor and is really just a wonderful person.  I went to see her and the little baby today and it was wonderful.  Babies are so inherently sweet.  You can't help but want to cuddle them.  And I did.  For almost an hour and a half.  I loved his little teeny toes, and little tiny fingers and his faux-hawk. Mostly I love how babies look like little concerned old men, little frogs and peanuts all wrapped up in one.  Watching her interact with her baby kind of made me understand how wonderful it would be to have one.  

But I do really enjoy my sleep and virtually responsibility free lifestyle.  I guess my point is that, I like knowing that I have that capacity in me.  Sometimes I feel like I let the snark, sarcasm and general pessimistic worldview take me over, and it's nice to know that all it takes is holding a sweet tiny baby to make me melt.


Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with a muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the necks of the public doves,
Let traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-W.H. Auden


oh the guilt...

I don't know what to say, and I don't know how to say it. 

There are such sensitive ethical dilemmas that are an inherent part of nursing that I don't deal with like I should.  Instead of letting my self truly explore and understand how I feel about a certain situation, I tend to shut it out.  I don't let my self think about it, put it from my mind and think my pretty pink and blue thoughts.   This is not unusual, this is how I tend to deal with most emotion.  I usually don't let my self truly feel things until the dam breaks, and then any and all emotions come rushing out at once.

This is how I feel right now.

One of the most ethically complicated patients that I've ever dealt with died last night.  And now I'm feeling every emotion that I've been suppressing since June.  And I'm sitting in a coffee shop.  I just keep replaying the last interaction I had with him over and over in my head.  I think the guilt is going to overwhelm me.


first time for everything

Let's talk about hugging.  Yesterday, a remarkable thing happened.  My roommate, K, and I have been BFFs for close to 14 years, and yesterday was the first time we hugged. 

I know.

I feel I must preface this with the fact that neither of us are particularly touchy people.  In fact, our other roommate, A, frequently tells us that we need to open up with our body language.  Whatever.  I have seen K hug other people, and I certainly hug other people.  But never each other.  Never. Never. Not even when we graduated from high school, had our first heartbreaks (at the same time, mind you...sorry Dave), graduated from college, moved in as roommates.  Never. Sure there are scattered pictures through the years of us with our arms around each other, but that doesn't count as a real hug.  Especially since we tend to make ridiculous faces when the camera is pointed at us.  

I don't even know why we hugged yesterday.  I think maybe this was another step in the ever escalating game of trying to make each other profoundly uncomfortable.  Never played this game? You should try, it's tons of fun.  Especially in public.  Anyway, there we were, hugging, and it dawned on us that it was the very first time.  How sweet.  

It's not that I don't enjoy hugging.  I do.  I love it.  One of my ex-boyfriends gave the best hugs in the entire world.  They were lovely.  My grandpas were also excellent huggers.  I like to hug people.  Well unless you're a stranger, or K.


Year in Review

So, it's only the second day of December, but I feel I am in the mood to review 2008. What a weird year. 
1 Who kisse​d you on new years​?​​
Nobody did.  I spent my New Years at work, and then at a party with a bunch of people from work.

2 Did you have a New Year'​​s Resol​ution​ this year?​​
Most likely.  I don't remember what it was though.

3 Does it snow where​ you live?​​
Yes. But it doesn't last.

4 Do you like hot choco​late?​​
I do.

5 Have you ever been to Times​ Squar​e to watch​ the ball drop?​​
Never. And I don't think I've ever watched the ball drop on tv either.​

1 Who was your Valen​tine?​​
Nobody. Yay.

2 When you were littl​e,​​ did you buy Valen​tine'​​s for the whole​ class​?​​
I did. Except for one year when I decided I would make them all.  I got bored with the project after 5, but still had something like 20 to make.  Sad.

3 Do you care if the groun​dhog sees its shado​w or not?

1 Are you irish​?​​
I am!

2 Do you like corne​d beef and cabba​ge?​​
I like the cabbage.

3 What did you do for St Patri​ck'​​s Day?
Nothing special.

4 Are you happy​ when winte​r is prett​y much over?​​
Yes. Last winter sucked.

5 Do you get tons of candy​ for Easte​r?​​
No. But my mom totally sent me an Easter basket in the mail.


1 Do you like the rain?​​
I tolerate the rain.  

2 Did you play an April​ fool'​​s joke on anyon​e this year?​​
Possibly.  It seems like something I would do.

3 Do you celeb​rate 4/​​20?​​
Not even a little.

4 Do you love the month​ of April​?​​

5 Your birth​day is in April​,​​ isn'​​t it?
It sure isn't. Try February.


1 What is your favor​ite flowe​r?​​

2 Finis​h the phras​e "​​April​ showe​rs…"​​
bring May flowers.

3 Do you celeb​rate May 16th:​​ Natio​nal Pierc​ing Day?
I do not.

4 Is May anyth​ing speci​al to you?
My momma and grandpa celebrate their birthdays this month.  Oh and Ren Faire happens, which is always a lot of fun.

1 What year did you gradu​ate from high schoo​l?​​

2 Did you do anyth​ing fun durin​g this month​?​​
I did. General shennanigans were had.

3 Have a favor​ite baseb​all team?​​
Not really. I like going to games though.

1 What did you do on the 4th of July?​​
I worked, and then forced S. to go watch the fireworks with me.

2 Did you watch​ the firew​orks?​​
I did. They were spectacular.

3 Did you blast​ the A/C all day?
I don't have A/C.

1 What was your favor​ite summe​r memor​y of '08?
Drinking wine with the cows is up there.

2 Did you have a sunbu​rn?​​
No sunburn this year.

3 Did you go to the pool a lot?
Pretty much every day that I didn't work.

1 Are you atten​ding colle​ge/​​schoo​l?​​
No I am not.

2 Do you like fall bette​r than summe​r?​​
No. It means the rain is coming.

3 What happe​ned this month​?​​
I went to Washington D.C.

1 What was your last Hallo​ween costu​me?​​
A girl scout.

2 What is your favor​ite candy​?​​
Peanut m&ms.

3 What was your favor​ite thing​(​​s)​​ about​ this month​?​​
That it was beautiful.

1 Whose​ house​ do you go to for Thank​sgivi​ng?​​
Mike and Paula's in Palouse.

2 What are you thank​ful for?
People, mostly.

3 Do you love stuff​ing?​​
I like my momma's cornbread stuffing, not so big on the other kinds of stuffing.

4 Anyth​ing speci​al in this month​?​​
I got to go home! Yay! Oh, and I saw OCMS.

1 Do you celeb​rate Chris​tmas?​​
I do.

2 Have you ever been kisse​d under​ the mistl​e toe?

3 What do you want this year?​​
I want to go home. But that isn't going to happen. Boo. So I guess I'll settle for a teapot.

4 What do you love most about​ Decem​ber?​​
I love the holidays in general, they're so happy and twinkly.


Wagon Wheel

I love music.  I don't have an ear for it, I'm unable to tell if a song is off pitch or not, whether the beat or rhythm are correct, or if the tone or musicality are correct.  And I'm pretty tone deaf, when singing along with my favorite songs I do not sound good.  (This is why it is a good thing that I did not continue with choir.) I cannot fathom how it is possible to create music, how to compose it, how to comprehend how all of the layers of sound will work together and am very very impressed by people who have this ability.  And a little envious.  Or maybe a lot envious. 

My parents love music too.  There was always music playing at our house.  I realize that this is not unusual, that most people enjoy music and tend to share that love with their children, but I feel maybe my parents shared more than the average parents do.  We didn't have tv when I was growing up, so radio and music played a more important role than in some households.  (Well, music and reading.)  It seems there was always some new album that my parents were playing, and some concert that they were excited to go to.  From my parents I inherited not only my love of folk music, love of the Grateful Dead, the tendency to listen to one song over and over and over again, and the tendency to play "air" instruments.  Oh, and I love to dance to bluegrass.

Old Crow Medicine Show is a band that I learned of through my father.  He loves them. LOVES them.  I can't even count the times that I've come home to find him dancing around the living room pretending to be a member of the band.  The band is probably best described as an old time string band, though the labels of blue grass, Americana,  and alt-country could also be applied.  Whatever they are, they're wonderful.  We listened to them while making pies for Thanksgiving, and Mom and I couldn't resist dancing.  We are terrible dance partners, neither of us knows how to be the man.  

OCMS had a show here in Portland in November.  I bought my dad tickets for his birthday, so he came to town for three days.  The concert was amazing.  I love going to concerts.  I'm usually so excited to see live music that it doesn't matter who the band is.  But, seriously, go see OCMS.  This was the second show of theirs that I've been to, and I'd go to a hundred more.  They have a good time, they make sure the crowd has a good time, and they play forever.  Plus, they played my favorite song.  If I had to make a list of my top 10 songs in the entire world, this song would totally make it. 

Here it is!