Monday, May 26, 2008

Spirit speaks through the love between a man and a bald eagle

Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer. She came in as
a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all
the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She's my baby.


When Freedom came in she could not stand. Both wings were broken, her left wing in 4 places. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet's office.

From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes.

We also had to tube feed her for weeks.This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week.

You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone. Yahoo!

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power coarse through his body. I have so many stories like that.

I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom's.

Hope you enjoy this.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

~~Charles Bukowski~~

nobody but you

nobody can save you but
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and /or die quietly

nobody can save you but
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don't, don't, don't.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?

nobody can save you but
and you're worth saving.
it's a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.

think about it.
think about saving your self.
your spiritual self.
your gut self.
your singing magical self and
your beautiful self.
save it.
don't join the dead-in-spirit.

maintain your self
with humor and grace
and finally
if necessary
wager your self as you struggle,
damn the odds, damn
the price.

only you can save your

do it! do it!

then you'll know exactly what
I am talking about.

~~Charles Bukowski~~

Charles is my favorite author. I have almost everyone of his books. His poetry and short stories touch me deeply. He was a chronic alcoholic. He lived in the mean streets. He has helped me with my life and my job. I just wanted to do a post on him. I lift my glass of wine and I toast to the greatest writer that ever lived.

Birthday: August 16, 1920

Birthplace: Andernach, Germany

Real Name: Henry Charles Bukowski

Parents: Henry Charles and Katharina [Fett] Bukowski

Description of Father: "[A] cruel shiny bastard with bad
breath . . ."

Education: Attended Los Angeles City College, 1939-41

Work History: Manual worker in a dog biscuit factory,
slaughterhouse, potato chip warehouse and various
other dead-end jobs; Postal Carrier; Postal Clerk; Drunk

Medical History: Suffered from Acne Vulgaris,
Hemorrhoids, Acute Alcoholism

Literary Influences: Conrad Aiken, Louis Ferdinand Celine
(Journey to the End of the Night), Catullus, Fyodor
Dostoevsky (Notes from the Underground), John Fante,
Knut Hamsun (Hunger), Ernest Hemingway (early writings),
Robinson Jeffers (long poems), James Thurber

Nonliterary Influence: Red Strange (aka Kid Red),
a mentally ill tramp and derelict friend of Bukowski who
wandered the highways and byways of America.
Bukowski often plied Red with beer and encouraged
him to relate his wildest stories, many of which ended
up in Bukowski's own poems and short stories.

Interests: Horse playing, classical music, fat whores

Alter Ego: Henry "Hank" Chinaski

Drug of Choice: Alcohol

Long-time Publisher: Black Sparrow Press (defunct)

On Solitude: "I was a man who thrived on solitude;
without it I was like another man without food or water.
Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride
in my solitude; but I was dependent on it.
The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me."
[Factotum, 1975]

On Work: "It was true that I didn't have much ambition,
but there ought to be a place for people without ambition,
I mean a better place than the one usually reserved.
How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at
6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress,
force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair,
and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially
you made lots of money for somebody else and
were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?"
[Factotum, 1975]

On Skid Row: "Those guys down there [in skid row] had
no problems with women, income tax, landlords,
burial expenses, dentists, time payments, car repairs,
or with climbing into a voting booth and pulling the
curtain closed." [Factotum, 1975]

On Rejection Slips: "And rejections are no hazard; they
are better than gold. Just think what type of miserable
cancer you would be today if all your works had been
[Letter to Jory Sherman, April 1, 1960, included in
Screams from the Balcony, 1993]

First Published Short Story: "Aftermath of a Lengthy
Rejection Slip," March-April issue of Story magazine, 1944

On Short Stories: "I do not believe in writing a short story
unless it crawls out of the walls. I watch the walls daily but
very little happens." [Letter to Ann Bauman, May 21, 1962,
in Screams from the Balcony, 1993]

On Hemingway: "Hem had style and genius that went
with it, for a little while, then he tottered, rotted,
but was man enough, finally, and had style enough,
finally." [Letter to Neeli Cherry, 1962, in Screams
from the Balcony
, 1993]

On The Beat Generation: "Now, the original Beats, as
much as they were knocked, had the Idea. But they were
flanked and overwhelmed by fakes, guys with nicely
clipped beards,lonely-hearts looking for free ass,
limelighters, rhyming poets, homosexuals, bums,
sightseers - the same thing that killed the Village.
Art can't operate in Crowds. Art does not belong
at parties, nor does it belong at Inauguration Speeches."
[Letter to Jon Webb, 1962, in Screams from the Balcony,

First Book of Poetry: Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail, 1960
(shortly after the publication of this chapbook, Bukowski
attempted suicide by gassing himself in his room, but
quickly changed his mind . . .)

Major Works:

Post Office (1971)
Erections, Ejaculations and General Tales of
Ordinary Madness (1972)
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame (1974)
Factotum (1975)
Love is a Dog from Hell (1977)
Women (1978)
Dangling in the Tournefortia (1981)
Ham on Rye (1982)
War All the Time (1984)
Hollywood (1989)

On Drinking: "Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what
a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep
himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank.
When you drank the world was still out there,
but for the moment it didn't have you by the throat."
[Factotum, 1975]

On Personal Hygiene: "Nothing is worse than to finish
a good shit, then reach over and find the toilet paper
container empty. Even the most horrible human being
on earth deserves to wipe his ass." [Factotum, 1975]

Films Based on Work:

Tales of Ordinary Madness (1983 - Italian) - Director:
Marco Ferreri. Starring: Ben Gazzara, Ornella Muti,
Susan Tyrell, Tanya Lopert, Roy Brocksmith.
Gazzara is severely miscast in this debacle based
loosely on "The Most Beautiful Woman in Town."
Barfly (1987) - Director: Barbet Schroeder. Starring:
Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Alice Krige, Jack
"Eraserhead" Nance, J.C. Quinn,
Frank Stallone. Bukowski wrote the screenplay for
this cult classic based on his early experiences in skid
row. He even appears in a cameo as one of the barflies.
Love is a Dog from Hell (1987 - Belgium) - Director:
Dominique Deruddere. Starring: Geert Hunaerts,
Josse De Pauw. Adapted
from Bukowski short stories, mainly "The Copulating
Mermaidof Venice, California." Bukowski considered
it the most faithful adaptation of his work.
Walls in the City (1995) - Director: Jim Sikora.
Starring: David Yow, Michael James, Tony Fitzpatrick,
Paula Killen, Bill Cusack.
Three short films based on Bukowski short stories
about assorted barflies.

On Movies: "Want me to name [my favorite films]?
'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'
'Elephant Man,' 'Eraserhead,'
'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' - that's a classic.
[Akira] Kurosawa and those great battle scenes.
And all those great samurai films where guys
are chopping heads off." (Film Comment interview, 1987)

On Barfly: "Mickey Rourke is a real human guy,
on and off the set.
And in 'Barfly' he really came through with the acting.
I felt his enjoyment and inventiveness.
Faye Dunaway just can't match his talent or
his humanness but she filled her role."
[Film Threat interview, 1987]

On Television: "We got cable TV here, and the
first thing we switched on happened to be
'Eraserhead.' I said, 'Oh,
this cable TV has opened up a whole new world. We're
gonna be sitting in front of this thing for centuries.
What next?' So starting with Eraserhead we sit here,
click, click, click - nothing."
(Film Comment interview, 1987)

On Politics: "I used to lean slightly toward the liberal left
but the crew that's involved, in spite of the ideas, are
a thin & grafted-like type of human, blank-eyed
and throwing wordslike vomit." [Letter to Tom McNamara,
July 14, 1965,
in Screams from the Balcony, 1993]

On Luck: "I'm one of those who doesn't think there
is much difference/between an atomic scientist and
a man who cleans the crappers/except for the luck
of the draw - /parents with enough money to point
you toward a more/generous death./of course,
some come through brilliantly, but/there are thousands,
millions of others, bottled up, kept/from even the
most minute chance to realize their potential."
["Horsemeat" in War All the Time, 1984]

On Death: "I want to die with my head down on
this/machine/3 lines from the bottom of the/
page/burnt-out cigarette in my/fingers, radio
still/playing/I just want to write/
just well enough to/end like/that."
["suggestion for an arrangement" in
War All the Time, 1984]

Cause of Death: Leukemia

Date of Death: March 9, 1994

Final Resting Place: Green Hills Memorial Park,
Palos Verdes, California

Epitaph: "Don't Try"

A Few Poems by me

Between Loss And Reality

There is a space between loss and reality,
days with empty pages; reminding
you of the inexplicable way you
harmonized in reality and dreams
with the one who left.

Outside my window children playing.
Looking out I am surprised
that life goes on, even now in this
blank space between loss and reality.

How powerful your voice is now
that I can no longer hear it.
Remembering your laughter,
your kidding; your reasoning.
Listening now to your deafening silence,
leaves me feeling insignificant
in your eyes; otherwise how could you
have left me here had you loved me?

This cruel stubbornness like salt
between us, keeping us separate
and miserable; neither one wanting
to appear needy or weak; so we go
on alone and hurting.

Not that there haven't been times before
seconds, minutes; hours when we were
not speaking; but we always found our way
back to each other; always. Now there is
just this blank space between loss and reality.

July 17, 1999


I dance in the thunderstorm of life's turbulence,
Fueling the thirst of deserts loneliness,
Loneliness made tangible by your silence.

The fog moves silently through the valleys of thought,
Blocking my rational viewpoint.
The mist of sadness reflection unmistakable.

I go on weaving the rhythms of my breath
With each beat of my heart
Weaving, weaving, breathing, still alive.

June 24,1999

Unconditional written March 2001

My heart and soul,
I want you with my heart and soul.

I see the pain that is yours,
I want to cover you with a blanket of love
and take your hurt away.

I want to hold your face in my hands
and look into your eyes,
telling you everything will be all right.

I want to be your safe haven,
a place you can come
and be loved just for yourself.

Love is unconditional,
I would ask nothing of you.

Your sorrow's have touched me deeply.
I wrap myself up in them feeling you,
I feel your truth, honesty and integrity,
It is a code which I live by.

Our paths crossed because we mirrored
each other in thoughts and emotions.

You can be with me
and we can just be us,
no shame, no blame, we can just be,
two souls who need
the warmth of each other's love.

No expectations, no demands;
Unconditional love for you and I.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What Can I Say?

What can I say? It's been a while.

On Mothers day we took my sister-in-law Candy to the hospital. She hadn't urinated in 36 hours. She refused to go any earlier. She was admitted with a white blood count of .09, meaning almost nill for fighting off infections. The doc and nurses were having a hard time with her port. Turns out the port was infected. They could not remove it until the infection was under control. She also had a UTI. Her blood pressure dropped the next day to 83/45. She was moved to ICU. I was at her house helping her husband Brian clean it up.

Brian, Candy and I all work at the same hospital. Brian and Candy have always worked nights. I work second shift and some nights. So it was hard for Brian to take care of Candy, work nights and keep the house clean. Brian is Bruce's brother. My Mr. Bruce.

Candy is hospitalized at the hospital we work at. They didn't even call us to tell us she had been moved to ICU. I stopped by there on my way home from Brian's and when I went to her room it was empty. Well you all know what I thought had happened. I go to the Nurses desk...where is Candy? They all give me this look, you know the look...we can't tell you. You'll have to talk to her nurse. Christ we are all like family at the little hospital and here I was being treated like they don't even know me. This just pisses me off.

I call Brian who had gone to bed to try and get some sleep before coming into work. They moved Candy to ICU. What? They didn't call me. I know. Her blood pressure dropped too low and that is why they moved her. Thanks for calling me.

Candy was in ICU for a week. They moved her back on to the med surge floor on Sunday. I went to visit her. I brought her the biggest chocolate cup cake I could find. She smiled at me.

I showed her my ring from 5 years of blood sweat and tears that the hospital gave me. I asked her do you think it's too flashy trashy? She smiled and said no. I knew then she was OK. Candy loves big jewelry. This ring is flashy and trashy and just not my style.

I got the painting of a heart above, my header picture from my daughter Amy. It was her first oil painting. She sent it to me UPS. It made me cry. When I look at it I see a heart made beautiful from pain and suffering. That is the feeling it invokes in me.

I probably won't be around for a while. My surgery date is June 4th, 2008. I will be home then for a few weeks and I will try to be more active here. Can't promise. You see the depression is wanting to take over again and I'd rather stay away then bring you with me through the depression. JS knows this about me but loves me anyway. XOXOXOXOXO to all my friends.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Gift From Bruce

This week-end Bruce bought me a gift. Pictured below. It's the treadmill. He got it off of Craig's List for $75.00. We put it in my art room. I used it the first time this morning. I did the fat burning speed for 28 minutes and the sweat was pouring off of me. I took some pictures of the sweat running between my new boobs in my new black sports bra. I won't post them because you're probably tired of seeing my new boobs when you come here. :) Now I'm off to the shower and to work. I will visit you all tomorrow on my day off. This is the day, go out and be happy in it...I am.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sign, Sign , Everywhere A Sign...

I was at work when my cell phone rang, well not rang but sang. I have Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl for my ring tone. I used to have Cindy's Girls Just Want To have Fun but it seemed inappropriate for work.

Anyway I look at caller ID and see that it's work calling me. I'm at work, I've been there for 45 minutes. They leave a message. It's Dragon Lady the supervisor. This is her message..."You are scheduled to come into work today and you are not here. You really need to call and let us know if your coming in or not." And she had a bit of an attitude.

The reason I didn't answer my phone was because we are not supposed to use our cell phones at work. So I get on the hospital phone and have operator page Dragon Lady to room 308. She calls room 308 where she scheduled me to work. They put our assignments on the door when we come in as to which room we are going to.

"Hey Dragon Lady it's me Nancy and I have been working since 1/4 to 3:00pm." (Dragon Lady) "Does staff know you are there?" (me)"Unless I am now invisible, ya they know I am here." "I have helped them change this guy three times in the last 45 minutes." (Dragon Lady) "Are you sure?" (me) "Let me check...I yell out to the nurses station, hey Jane Doe RN am I here?" Jane Doe RN gives me this look like I am mental and yells back "ya, you've been here since 1/4 to 3pm." (me) " Ya I am here." (Dragon Lady) " I don't know who isn't here then." She hangs up the phone.

I kid you not that was our conversation word for word. One of the secretary's told me that Dragon Lady likes to smoke crack. I didn't believe her but after this strange conversation I am beginning to wonder.

I saw Dragon Lady later in the day, her arm was in a sling . She's an RN supervisor, the same person who harassed me about coming back to work with restrictions. I asked her so you hurt yourself? Arm in a sling. You can use only one arm? Is that a restriction? What happened to your no restrictions to come back to work?

What do I know according to her I am not even there.

The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Lamp Surprise!

See the above photo of lamp. Ain't it beautiful?

I got home from work last night about 1/4 to 12:00. I walk into the kitchen and there is this beautiful lamp lit up sitting on the kitchen counter. Bruce wanted me to see it as soon as I walked in.

The story behind the lamp is this. Bruce is a master auto tech for Chrysler Dodge. He works at Herb Chambers. If you Google Herb Chambers he owns just about all the dealerships in MA. Bruce said he flew to their store once in his helicopter, landed it right there on the lot and Mr. Bruce got to shake hands with him. When he came home and told me that story you would have thought he had met the Queen of England.

Anyway back to the lamp story. One of Bruce co-workers, well his wife died from cancer a year ago. He was just now cleaning all her stuff out, throwing most of it away. He told Bruce she ordered that lamp while she was sick, that she loved it's beauty. He was going to throw it away, but then thought about me. I guess men do talk at work. Bruce told him what I was going through. Anyway he brought the lamp to work and told Bruce to give it to me.

Some of you may think it's gaudy but I absolutely love it. It weighs a good 15 pounds. I think it's made heavy so it won't fall over and break the stained glass.

Anyway I thought it was pretty damn sweet this guy passed it on instead of throwing it out. And Bruce gets bonus points for sharing his feelings at work.

If you could see the man when I say Bruce I want to talk about my feelings, he gets this look on his face and his eyes roll up in his head, it's pretty darn funny. Sometime I do it just to get the reaction. :)