Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Brain Probe

Sitting in Bob Evans worrying about my failing memory.  I'm always thinking about the loss of those tiny moments, small conversations, quiet spaces and the many non-earth shattering occurrences of my life. Where have they gone? Do they still hold residence in my brain? Behind doors closed with the locks of marijuana abuse and alcohol residues?

If someone, some mad scientist, inserted a mind probe and gently, please ever so gently, poked...would I be able to recall in vivid detail faded recollections from ...say the summer of 1974? What was I feeling, hoping for, dreading? Where was I in terms of self-awareness, self-destructiveness, self-esteem, self-development, self-reliance, self-examination, selfishness, selflessness?

I think of 1974 because I am drinking coffee out of a small ceramic breakfast mug and finishing off the remains of a $7.89 breakfast at Bob Evans and recalling the $0.99 plate breakfast at a little old Hole in the Wall off campus in Murray Kentucky, called the Hungry Bear.

I have vivid vague memories of the place, usually because I was in the throws of a magnificent hang-over. The diner was right across the street from the Sig-Ep house, of which I was a Little Sister and beyond that, a constant visitor. Not only the Sig-Eps hung out there, but everyone else including, but not limited to,....straights, freaks, GDI's, frat boys, jocks, hippies, do-gooders, Bolio's, grad students, professors, drunks, flunkies, Narc's, sorority chicks, bootleggers, Viet Nam vet's, ROTC, police, police wanna bes, drug addicts, Homecoming Queens, locals, barefoot, long hair, no hair, motor cycle riders, punks, pot heads, sweeties, jerks, hoods, car thieves, drug smugglers, artists, crazy people and their girlfriends, and people from New Jersey.

Besides the $0.99 cent menu the biggest attraction was the 7 foot mangy stuffed bear in the corner...a  real bear once....Complete with teeth revealing snarl and extended arms with the four inch claws!


Before it was the Hungry Bear, it was a B-B-Q place called the Saucy Pig. Considering the clientele, the name was constantly bastardized to "The Hungry Pig" or "The Saucy Bear". More often than not it was referred to as either "The Pig" or "The Bear"...as in, "Let's go to the Pig".

We'd sit bleary eyed, eating our $0.99 cent specials, drinking our bottomless coffee and staring at that stuffed bear.

The samemeal is now $7.89 at Bob Evans.

And a darn good price for 30 year old memories. Much less expensive than a brain probe from a mad scientist, more than likely an ex-customer of the Pig.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Quote from Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1877)

Several days ago I stopped at a park and enjoyed the spring time weather. There was a rather large pond made complete with at least twenty ducks and geese. No, it was made complete with two older women attending a young girl child and her small training wheeled bicycle.

Being alone, I was able to just sit and enjoy the sunshine and people watch. Besides the young girl and her custodians, there was a middle age couple desperately in love. Not that they were smooching or openly fondling each other, but very gentle and holding hands, bodies always touching. Young love in the bloom.

Another lone character who was slowly walking the perimeter of the pond. Perhaps searching for the best spot to cast a fishing line?

It was a gorgeous day and we all celebrated it in our little peaceful realms of togetherness with nature.

The couple offered the little girl a handful of soft bread from the loaf they had retrieved from the car. All walked to the small dock on the pond, perfect and intended for duck feeding.

A flood of memories poured over me as the little girl, clad in a pink jacket tossed the bread over the railing into the waiting crowd of now noisy grouped fowl crying for the crusts of bread.

Bridget must have been around two years old. The jacket she is wearing above is the jacket she was wearing that fateful day we went to Cave Hill Cemetery off Bardstown Rd.

Going to the cemetery and feeding the ducks in the murky and muck ridden pond was one of her favorite things to do. We would first go to the day old bread store and purchase for dimes several loafs of stale bread. She would be so excited on the short drive. Being winter, I would bundle her up in several layers into that blue jacket along with mittens.

She was so  excited that as I "unleashed" her from the car she began to run at full reckless two year old speed down a small hill towards the pond.  Once I realized she was out of control I went after her.

In one tiny gloved hand, outstretched towards the ducks in the pond, was a lone slice of bread.

She never slowed down.

Over the lip of the grey limestone lined rim into the pond she went! With me giving chase behind her. She was up to her waist in the muck. What relief! I had no idea how deep the pond was going to be and had no hesitation of going in after her. Instead I just grabbed her and yanked her back out.

Still with the bread outstretched in her hand.

At the time it was not funny. 23 years later it is a priceless memory.



Yesterday I had my doubts about coming up with ten things. I thought, maybe four or five. This is the magic and beauty of the exercise! Once you let your mind wander through the days of the previous week trying to focus and pinpoint the good things...guess what, not only did I unearth four or five I came up with over ten.

1)  Got a raise! Yea!! And an excellent review. They don't know me very well yet. HA!

2)  Had to go see the Doctor at the immediate care center and really lucked out! Got a woman and got in and out in under an hour. And...got good drugs. lol!!

3)  Found a terrific antique/flea market in Ft. Wayne. Spent an enjoyable lunch hour browsing through all the old photographs, books, magazines, dresses, paintings, furniture, toys...the list was endless.

4)  Spent all week-end in my yard gussying it up. One thing about Ft. Wayne, everybody takes pride in their yards. I planted a lot of summer bulbs in the back and have some blooms for the front. Some gladiolus in honor of my Grandmother who never smiled.

5)  I finished The Beast...a 250 page handwritten personal journal that I have laboring in for a year and a half. It was one of those experiences where at the beginning it was all exciting and stimulating and at the end it was "GOSH, will it ever end." And it did. Never again. Only those mousy 100 or 150 page deals from now on.

6)  Took a trip (work related) to upper Indiana and bought three bottles of fabulous raspberry wine from Satex Winery in Angola.

7)  I ran in the 5K Mastodon Stomp several weeks ago and signed up so late that all the T-shirts were gone! Because of my work connection with the establishment that sponsored the race I was able to receive one!! It came in the mail on Friday. Unexpectedly! The best kind of packages.

8)  Joe gave me an unexpected gift this week, a beautiful pink golf shirt/sweater. I am so lucky to have him in my life.

9)  Reality TV. I just love it. I only watch three shows on TV, two of them are reality. The other is The Soprano's...which I love too. But the Reality...geez! Amazing Race is now on at a time I can remember and stay up for. I loved the couple Lake and Michele, not sure where they are from but those Southern Accents were music to my ears. Too bad they were eliminated last week. I don't know, it just tickled me to hear them go at it with each other. Especially when he said, "Bitch, Shut-up" in that high pitched Southern Accent. You had to be there. Does not translate to the written word.

10)  The last thing is just a thought, a seed that my sister Kit planted last week at the family gathering to celebrate Easter. Seems there is a couple somewhere up north who decided to try for a year to diminish their dependency on consumerism. She is going to grow her own vegetables, only purchase clothes second hand....etc.etc.etc. They will only purchase the absolute necessities. Wine is consider a necessity. (the husband)   I find it very intriguing and wonder if I could cut my consumption in half.....could I do it?

I did give up alcohol for six weeks...except for those times the Bishop gave us Irish a dispensation.

I know I have the will power, do I have the desire??

My hit counter just got zapped. I knew it was just a matter of time because it seemed I have been the only left who had not suffered the Zap Monster. So, I just retired it. Seems like a good thing to do. Who cares  (anyway anymore.....)?

Monday, April 10, 2006


Once again!! Has a week flown by already!! Lisa has inspired me to keep track, usually in my head, the things that have made this week special.  So, here we go...

1)  Thanks to Netflix, I saw Walk the Line and CRASH. Both were really excellent movies, but CRASH...certainly the best movie I have seen in some time. If it had not won the academy award, I more than likely would have missed this superb movie.

2)  After years of resistance (why????) I am reading THE DAVINCI CODE...and can't put it down.

3)  Went to my bosses house for a barbecue on Saturday! We all sat around and watched the guys play ping-pong and ate Snickers Salad.  I got the recipe! Divine.

4)  My long lost gal pal C. sent me a belated birthday gift. Unexpected and lovely. The best kind of gifts!

5)  Found the "Where I'm From" template for writing a poem. It was moving and emotional and a terrific self-examining experience. I can not wait to share it with my family and see the poetry they come up with!

6)  Suddenly, overnight, I see yellow daffodils everywhere!!

7)  At work, we are approaching our manic period (runs till October there abouts) and I am becoming acquainted with some fun accounts! Yea!! Minor League baseball clubs, little leagues, golf courses etc. etc. etc.

8)  Went to the local comedy club, Snickerz, and had a blast! Found out I have passes at work and that means.....I can go whenever I want! Oh, how I love to laugh.

9) Finally being able to go out into the yard and do yard work!! This year, my yard is going to be a masterpiece. (hahahah!!!)

10)  Joe came home!! This was the best of the week's events. I enjoyed the quiet and peacefulness, but I missed him more. Guess I would trade all that for him!

Monday, April 3, 2006




I am from deep Irish Roots, from  the distilleries of Wild Turkey and Guinness Beer, fields of bluegrass and burrens of limestone.

I am from rolling hills and Appalachian mountains. Where the air is smitten with the smell of sour mash, the rivers flow backwards, and  horses run in fields of chicory and goldenrod.

I am from golden tobacco, brilliant white washed fences and county roads lined with rock walls, magnolia trees and white crosses.

I am from worn rosary beads and reckless drinkers. From Burkes and Henry’s to Mollie and Catherine.

I am from the compassionate and the brilliant. The honored and the abandoned.

From the rag bag man and the IRA. From the  River Liffey to the East River.

I am from  women gifted with the sight and men with revolution pounding in their blood.

I’m from the place of famine, crumbling castles,  and rocks thrown in civil disobedience. I am from the emerald where the air is heavy with watery mist and the land ends at cliffs of doom. I am from the place of leprechauns and ghosts.

From scoundrels and saints.

I am from two distinct places, the present and the past. The past lives , mounted behind glass, preserved for future generations the pictures of ancient families, guns and wedding dresses, Hurling sticks and archaic uniforms.

Those who bravely came before us, to give us the freedoms and opportunities they could only dream of.


I found this exercise at Cynthia's and had a grand time with it. She found it here.