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2014 in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

More Reasons to Read



The M Word


This past June I turned the big four oh. Yes 40. Take note for I will only mention this once and never again. 


Alright, so it was not scary, rather unsettling. That is until my physician dared to mention the big M word. Nope… not marriage [sigh] but… MAMMOGRAM!

How… unsatisfying…

The word generally sends women into a hysterical panic. Not only does it seem intimidating but it also conjures images of a medieval torture device that no person in her right mind would volunteer for, no matter the price.

The stories alone are horrifying. Imagine a plump, perky, stunning breast being squeezed within an inch of its beautiful life, literally. Perhaps not an inch – rather a two-inch thick pancake.

Still doesn’t make me feel better.
Still a horrifying thought.

I grudgingly accept my doctor’s referral paperwork and tell him “I’ll think about it.” I tend to be honest with my doctors.
To convince me to voluntarily agree to this torture session, he reminds me that two years ago I was diagnosed with and had a lump removed from my right breast. If I wasn’t going to do it because of my advanced age, I should at least consider it a follow-up to the lumpectomy.

Fuck me! Way to convince me with logic doc.

After sitting on the paperwork for a couple of weeks, I decide, what the hell… one time won’t kill me. My boobs might fall off, but it won’t kill me. I literally imagined my nipple rolling on the floor as the two ten inch thick metal steel plates released my breast from its ice-cold, menacing clutches.

I have quite an imagination. I’m also humble.

I call and make my appointment. The imagined unimaginable pain makes me take the day off from school.

I get to the “medical dungeon” and with great trepidation, I follow the nurse. I am instructed to remove my upper body clothing and put on a gown. The sterile smell of the hospital gown makes me nauseous, but that’s another story. I remove my top and underwire and put on the gown. The thing is like a puzzle piece. It has three armholes. Crap!

I may not be bright all the time, but I know I have only two arms. What the fuck am I supposed to do with that third hole? Put a boob through it? That doesn’t make sense. I finally realize it’s sort of like a wrap. After ten minutes, I conquer the origami puzzle gown and go into the waiting room. I am the first one there.

I expect to hear screams of agony at any moment.

As I am waiting, other women walk in, all at least ten years older than I am; all with a look of horror on their faces. They’re not fooled by the elegant furniture, lined water bottles, snacks and large flat screen television on the wall. They too know what is about to happen. We all make eye contact and silently pass on the sad knowledge that we’re all here for the same punishment.

After about ten minutes or so, a radiology tech shows up and calls my name. As I get up, I don’t rush. There’s no look of satisfaction given to the other women that I have been chosen first. Instead, every woman looks at me with pity. I know how they feel.

I am ushered into another room, the dungeon where all the painful action happens. It’s quite typical and completely unintimidating. Fuck, that’s disappointing! I worked myself into frenzy for nothing.

The tech begins to ask me health related questions when I notice a rather large tattoo on her arm. Impolitely I interrupt her to ask about the tattoo. Tattoos intrigue me and I generally stop anyone and start touching, admiring, and asking about them. Why should this time be any different!
I am surprised to find out that her tattoo artist is my tattoo artist. Small world.

Back to the boobie talk.

She explains how the torture device works and then asks me to remove my gown.

I am not the type of girl who get embarrassed. At least not easily. After three children, two c-sections, one stomach surgery, and cancer which consisted of an internal, yes INTERNAL ultrasound performed by a young man in his twenties (who apologized profusely every time he moved the rather large dic… I mean ultrasound wand inside of me) I no longer get embarrassed.

I remove my gown without a trace of self-consciousness and my breasts literally fall and swing as heavy bags of wet sand. Pretty picture, right?

The tech comes behind me (oh baby) and lifts up my breast to position it onto the cold steel metal tray. She tells me to not move. I am terrified as she pushes a button and the top of the machine begins to move down toward my breast, its intention clear: to squish me into oblivion.
I cringe and close my eyes but the machine stops as soon as it reaches the top of my breast. I hear a click and it begins to move away.

I open one eye, look down and ask, “That’s all?”
“That is all,” comes the amused reply.

After this experience, I am no longer afraid of the word or the procedure (assuming I always go to the same hospital and have the same radiology tech).

I did spend the rest of the day at home. No sense in going back to school even though the pain was imagined. Might as well celebrate the pain free boobie squishing.


Silent Shadows


I’ve stumbled through life, never finding my way
Looked at the world through lenses of grey.
The monsters I claim, from under my bed
Are now nestled tight and close in my head.

They whisper things and have me believe
I’m not here for joy, but only to grieve.
The noise in my head echoes unbroken,
The door to my heart, they left it wide open.

For darkness to crawl in and find a nice place,
Where tears are constant, devoid of all grace.
They filled it with sorrow ingrained in a crown
So heavy to wear, I fight not to drown.

Happiness tries to fight its way in
To find an illusion; constant shadow within.
It turns on the light to chase it away –
The darkness’ assault pulls it quick in the fray.

This shadow my monsters have cast over me,
Keeps me wrapped tight, can’t seem to get free.
The fight to evict them, to push them away
Is silent and vast – can’t keep them at bay.

Shaped by our minds, we become what we think,
They try us or tie us in knots ‘til we sink.
When the candle was lit, my shadow was cast,
With each breath I do ask how much longer I’ll last.

© Copyright 2014 Olivia G. Owens. All rights reserved.




In the light of what we know
Words can be hard or light like snow.
Unmerciful, callous, and daring,
They can caress you or be blaring.

Words are the building blocks of life
For they can slice you like a knife.
They scar you more than you will think,
And they can push you to the brink.

Words – echoes of eternity
Planting the seed of sweet serenity.
The power to impress the mind,
Becomes the sword that slices blind.

Words are a prison or escape,
An outlook can be reshaped.
They’ll build you up or cut you down,
And stomp you right into the ground.

Be mindful of the words you choose,
Taste them for they become your muse.
Your gracious words can save a life,
Or end a bitter tasting strife.

© Copyright 2014 Olivia G. Owens. All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of


Beautiful Friend


This poem is dedicated to my stepfather. This would not have been possible without you.

Here’s to you…

Hate will consume your life, they all say,
Hate is a burden that looks for a prey.
Darkness will slowly envelop your soul,
An easy rhythm of fear and control.

Hate is a burden far too great to bear,
A certainty more revealing than glare.
An incurable wound without any bounds,
As wretched and tragic a word as it sounds.

My hatred’s alive, it keeps going strong.
Forgiveness is earned, forgetting is wrong.
It’s easy to hate you for all you have done.
Forgiving, forgetting feels just like a gun.

A gun to your head devoid of all favor;
Torment charged bullets that only I savor.
A gun that shoots constant horror and pain,
Two gifts from me – your woe keeps me sane.

Hatred of you makes me happy, fulfilled,
Makes me work harder for the life that I’ve built.
A life full of love, endurance, and joy,
Something you want that you’ll only destroy.

It’s easy to hate, you’ve infected my life,
Unbearable cuts you made like a knife.
I am not ashamed and I’ll scream ’til the end,
My hatred of you – a beautiful friend.

© Copyright 2014 Olivia G. Owens. All rights reserved.


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