I have dozens of recipes saved from social media that caught my attention over time. Mind you, when I say I have dozens, I do mean DOZENS. Of those dozens of oh so tasty looking culinary concoctions, perhaps a grand total of five have come from faves to fruition in my kitchen. I just re-read the previous sentence – good good – between the alliteration and slat rhyme I know Muse is grimacing. Forgive me, girl. But I digress… Usually months (more like *cough* years *cough*), after the initial save, I get around to actually trying a recipe. This is not on of those times.
A friend shared a Facebook post about Dalgona or “Whipped Coffee.” Coffee lover that I am I was instantly drawn it. The end result truly looked like an upside down cappuccino. Just don’t ask my why after a surprisingly busy day of working by remote access and at the then 10:30-something at night when I knew I still had a slice to do that I felt I just had to this thing and do it NOW.
There was no recipe given in the video, but it seemed simple straight forward enough. Here is my take on it…
Unlike 11pm at night when I rushed it because I had a slice to write, I’ve since googled to get the proper recipe. I was right and had much more water than the 1:1:1 (1 part coffee, 1 part sugar and 1 part water), of the instructions. Mine was more foamy, than creamy, but I loved it. I am definitely want to do this again, with a few modifications.
This is a heart dump. I need to get this out before the rage I feel right now threatens to choke the humanity in me as much as I want to choke some of the beings that call themselves human right now.
A friend had the shit beat of her simply because she loves the same sex as her own. She is one of the the craziest, yet nicest people I know. She was beaten simply because of how she is wired to love and did not feel the need to hide it, to fear for it. She was beaten badly. Badly enough that we, her friends – fought to convince her, if she did not want to go to the police, to at least go to the hospital and have herself properly checked out.
“Live and let live is what they say right? She was lucky she was let live…” a now former…someone…(because I refuse to grant them the honorific of friend) of hers, quipped. It was said in such a way that we who heard it understood where their sympathies lay. It was not with the woman finally going to the ER.
*Seeing Red* did not begin to describe the backlash that occurred from the rest of us when that gem was dropped. There was almost another person headed to the ER.
Yes, “Live and let live” includes the words live. It does NOT include the carte blanche to whip someone’s arse because that someone will live through it.
We take take all these steps forward as humans and then shit like this happens and we are forced to acknowledge how many, many, many more steps there are to go.
Life is hard enough for us all right now. How the fuck is this still happening?
Every now and then an inspired soul will randomly graffiti a sidewalk, or wall; tack a note to a tree; stick a note in a flowerbed etc. with a message that resonates with me. I call them messages from the universe. I saw this lovely message graffitied on a landing of my train station on the way to work this morning and had to post it to my facebook page.
What I liked most about this simple message was its location. In order to see this you would have, presumably, paid your fare and be on the way up the stairs to the train platform level. That means the decision to get up, go through whatever your morning routine may be and then go where you have to go, to do what you have to do has already been made and put into motion.
That’s already a step in a good direction.
I mean no one purposely sets out to have a bad day. At least I hope not. I fully admit I am not a morning person. Yes, I get up bright and surly every weekday morning, but no, I do not get up with the thought that the day will be a lousy one and I am going to do everything I can to keep it so. I presume it is the same for most people.
That we do this out of habit, necessity, or boss’ orders is especially noteworthy in today’s climate where that decision to step outside your home means contact with others who have made that same decision. We are now hyper sensitive to what that can mean.
We have gone through mad cow, e-coli, bird flu and other medical scares. I am fully cognizant that this is a more virulent and wide spread strain of anything we’ve seen before, but as a species, we have survived and we will continue to. Some have sequestered or been quarantined in various levels before, but what we have not done is stop living.
COVID-19 has hit hard in Italy, among other places. Still, no one can deny the joie de vivre in the videos of Italians singing during quarantine. They are quarantined, not knowing what the next day will bring. Yet they sing. Why? Because they are alive, but above all they have not stopped living.
So yes, be safe. Take ALL the precautions: avoid unnecessary contact with others and yourself; sneeze and cough into a tissue or not partially above or partially under – but directly into the crook of your elbows; use sanitizers every where you can; and for God’s sake, please wash your hands!
Remember people that you are alive, so live! And in spite of it all…
Listening to my iTunes, Non-Stop from the Original Broadway Cast recording of “Hamilton” is playing. It’s fitting as I have been on my computer for the past couple of week writing “like you’re running out of time” either for work or personal projects.
Loving that I am writing voraciously. Muse has been nearly excessively generous of late and I hope that I, her obedient servant, am in fact serving her well. She is wicked when takes away her gifts for lack of or improper use. I do not want to incur her wrath again.
Drinking nearly a gallon of water a day on average. I have done so for the past few weeks and I have to admit, other than the increased bathroom runs, it has been beneficial. My complexion is clearer and I actually feel hydrated.
Thinking about Love in the Time of CoViD-19. I was preparing to attend my cousin’s wedding in Boston at the end of the month. As I started writing this slice the word came down that while the wedding/marriage itself, now shrunk down to immediate family only will still happen, the reception afterwards has been officially cancelled. I know it was a hard decision to come to and not made lightly as there are family members, especially the international ones who, like me, now have to scramble to cancel hotel and travel arrangements.
Wondering now whether my trip to Atlanta for 221BCon in April will happen with the Corona Virus scare. I check the event’s social media pages daily. As of this morning the event has not been, nor look like it’s going to be cancelled – yet…
Wanting to behave like an adult. I have plenty of clothes. I don’t need to buy anything for the convention should it happen. I really should choose among the plenty I already have, but I’m also a girl at times and I saw this fabulous outfit online… Le Sigh!
Needing a vacation. We’re in the long period between President’s Day in February and Memorial Day at the end of May, with no government holidays between them. The convention in Atlanta, if it happens, would be a nice break, but it is an extended weekend at best. I want a full out week of vacation at the minimum and no, being quarantined is not a vacation.
Worrying about various friends who are each facing a major surgery over the next few weeks. Two will be close where I can be of help. The others are far in a way that I can’t even pretend about it. All I can do is send good healing vibes, well wishes and prayers.
Procrastinating ironing clothes. I can’t stand ironing. I have clothes in a bag to be ironed from the last time I did laundry a month ago and it’s time to do laundry again, meaning the bag is going to have new additions. I like wrinkle-free clothing, I just don’t like the process of ironing itself. Had I the funds, I would happily pay to have someone come to my home just to iron. Did I mention I. Abhor. Ironing? Maybe later this evening…
Anticipating with much hope that my trip to London, England for my birthday will happen! I’m scheduled to be a panel speaker at the inaugural HolmesCon 2020 and I’m so looking forward to it. Just thinking about it makes me have a banana almost to my to ears.
Reading other slices and later on some fanfiction to take my mind off the above mentioned worry for friends and disappointment of the cancelled wedding. And yes, I’m still procrastinating on ironing clothes. Maybe tomorrow…
And Thanking aggiekesler for this cool format I have used for today’s slice. It’s one I am sure I will turn to again.
08:35: Okay Raivenne, shower, make breakfast, change your sheets, do your slice, get finish the Project B you had wanted done by Thursday evening. but was a much larger mess than anticipated and it’s now Saturday morning. Then review, before you start Project C.
09: 47: Okay Raivenne, you’re showered, the sheets are changed. You’ve responded to the necessary emails. Eat breakfast, do your slice, finish B, review, slice and start C.
14:06: (Two phone calls, a visit from my bestie, and unexpected company – later). Idiot! You have a headache because you have yet to have breakfast and it’s now lunch. Stop and eat.
15:22: (Received all system go response on Project A after email delivery the completed Project B.) 2nd review of Project A. Uh, who approved that addition to Project A – that was not what was agreed upon. Check the SLA.
16:57: Research issue with Project A, intersects with information for Project C, needed but could have waited – fell down rabbit hole.
18:18: Project A satisfied on all parties? Excellent! Now I can do my sli… Wait… WTF! (phone calls and emails ensue)
21:29: (phone calls and more emails later) Come on people! How is Project C missing entire sections? Did someone from 1-800-junk came by and someone accidentally pointed at the files? Is there something a pixel divining rod to find it? FML
22:04: Oh gee, thanks. You lost the day, you’ll get it Wednesday – maybe.
23:28: Guess what is finally being done now? Hell, I didn’t even get to comment on Pi Day! Well, I have now.
Yesterday afternoon, Calliope and Erato went missing.
I was on the main floor about to leave my office building when I realized the two were gone. My right- and left-hand girls were not there! That initial wave of panic set in at the discovery. I blinked looking around stupidly. Of course, they would not be right in front of me, dammit! The girls wouldn’t be lost anymore if they were!
Calliope is a prankster. This will be the second time she’s pulled a disappearing act on me. The first time was bad enough. I thought I was more vigilant, but this time she’s taken her sister with her as well.
Okay Raivenne, breathe, you know the drill.
Step one: retrace my steps. I immediately do an about face, head for the lifts and back to my office. I search the ladies room. They are big girls. Noise would have been made had I dropped them off them there, I innately know this, but still I look. Obviously, I am not surprised to see they are not there. I look to the carpeted floor knowing it for the fruitless labor it will be. Had the girls been seen alone someone would have told me. Pretty much everyone knows those are my girls or knows someone who does know they are mine.
I make my way back to my desk and my work-wife sees my face.
“Calliope and Erato are gone.” I say the words before she can even ask what’s wrong?, all the while hoping beyond hope that by saying them out loud I have not given them veracity.
Calliope has been with me for five over years, Erato has been mine for nearly a year and a half. The two have been near inseparable since Erato joined the family. They have been to Canada, Cuba, Dubai and even Antarctica with me. She understands how I feel.
“Have you dumped y…” She stops speaking seeing I have already begun to do just that as I methodically empty my purse of its contents. I check my trouser pockets, I check my coat pockets. The girls are not there. I know I did not drop them, they are heavy and make noise. Erato once slipped from my finger and I still heard her amidst the din of a crowded street in Manhattan.
“They are gone.” I say forlornly.
She looks at me knowingly, but not having the attachment I do, gives me clarity.
They are not gone, stop looking for the girls and they will appear.
I take a deep breath, put everything back in my bag and head for home.
Because I am the person who occasionally puts things down but does not always remember to pick them back up; especially when in a state. I am patting myself down to make sure I have my metro card and especially my house keys before I get on the subway. As I pat myself down I feel two familiar lumps under my wool coat.
Yes, I checked my purse. Yes, I checked my trousers. Yes, I checked my coat. What I did not check were the pockets of the jacket I wore under my coat.
THAT’S where you two miscreants went!
What? It was completely their fault! No one told them to wind up in the wrong pockets when I took them off as I went to the loo because they love to trap water.
Relieved, I put the girls back on my fingers where they belong, happily text my work-wife of their recovery and finally head home.
Yes, I named my raven head rings Calliope (pink eyes) and Erato (purple eyes) after two muses of poetry from Greek mythology. Calliope is the muse of epic poetry and Erato is the muse of – well, you can guess what kind given her name.
As usual I let my laundry pile up, so now I’m doing laundry at a public laundromat to just be done with it all at once. Like commuting, when you go to the same place around the same time on a semi-regular basis, you start seeing familiar faces. Faces that you at minimum will nod your head to in acknowledgement and/or greeting. So when I say male neighbor here, I only mean someone who lives in my neighborhood, but not in my building with whom the following conversation happened:
Male Neighbor (from a country in Africa): Where are you from?
Me: Born and raised American. My family has been American for several generations for obvious reasons.
MN: Yes, but do you know your family roots?
Me (because I knew where this was going): What does it matter?
MN: It matters.
Me: Really? Let’s say a family from Mozambique migrated to England in the late 1800s. However, the descendants of from that lineage never returned to Mozambique and because of assimilation or for whatever reason, didn’t kept up with their “roots”. Is the family living in the Britain here in this century Mozambican or English after so much time? So I know my family tree is from this particular people in this specific country and we separated in the year of our Lord whatever. I repeat: other than as a talking point of reference and a place to visit – what does it matter? I am American.
MN: A person should always know their roots.
Me: Okay? Which side?
MN: What do you mean which side?
Me: The black side or the white side? Until you, your lineage has never left the continent so it is all African. My lineage has been in this country at very least within a decade or two or more before the Emancipation Proclamation. And let’s be honest the quote-Black-unquote blood lines on this side of the ocean have been very muddled through our history here to put it lightly.
MN: Exactly, which is why you should research, you should know.
*There’s another fifteen or so minutes of semantics in which I mention how in a weird reverse “one-drop” determination, there are some countries in my presumed Motherland that won’t even claim most Black-Americans as African at all because our blood lines are no longer “pure” even if I did know exactly whom to call family, but I will shorten it to the following:
Me: I would agree except there’s a point no one acknowledges.
MN: And what point is that?
Me: Which side? When I am asked do I know my “roots” it is always about my African roots and the query almost never comes from someone Black or African-American. Why do some Africans become so upset on what I do know or do not know, or just to piss you off, do not care to know of my quote homeland unquote? Do YOU know for a certainty that my homeland is in fact Africa and not of East Indian descent that then mixed once over here? It intrigues me that no one Caucasian has ever asked if I know my roots in reference to that end of the spectrum. Am I not equally entitled to know their side if they are also of my blood line? Is their land not also equally and potentially my “homeland”? I was born here. My parents and several generations before them were born here. Whether you like or approve it or not, and frankly I don’t care. If one was born here or in one of our territories one was American – period. An immigrant was from whatever country – unless they chose to become a full citizen and once sworn in from that moment on they were American – period. I am American. My roots are American. Because until the Late 70s – early 80s there was none of this Blank-hyphenated-American nonsense. And to swing this all the way back around to how this conversation began: other than as a lovely talking point and a place for me to visit – what does it matter right here and now in this laundry that has you in such a huff?
He left the laundry twenty minutes later. I’m still waiting for an answer.
I am sitting on the train, minding my business, reading a book when I notice a hand waving slowly to get my attention. I look up at the smiling woman standing before me.
“Hi!” “Good morning.” I return the smile. “I just wanted to say I love your outfit. It looks really nice on you.”
Before I could finish saying “Why thank you!” we hear someone just off to the side.
“You would look better if you had on heels and not sneakers.”This comes from a guy standing beside her.
“Who the hell asked you?” The woman glares at him.
“I was just paying her a compliment.”
“No you were not.” I shake my head, bookmarking my spot. Not that there is ever a good time for such nonsense, but it’s early in the morning and I haven’t had coffee yet! It’s a bit not good.
“I love your outfit is a compliment. And thank you again by the way.” I smile again at the woman, then turned back to him and continued. “You would look better if you had on heels is a completely unasked for critique designed to shame me into dressing the way YOU feel I should look for your acceptance and viewing pleasure. Neither of which I consented to. I guarantee you that when I made my clothing choices this morning my prevalent thought was not oooh let me put on some stilettos so I can be the objectified personification for some guy’s possible shoe fetish ideal of how I should look.”
Because I whisper like a fog horn, my voice carries. A few snickers verifies this, but obstinate, he presses his point, “Still, you have to admit it would look better.”
And now I’m annoyed.
“Even if I agreed with you, which I do not, do you expect me to run home and change just for you? Are you my…? Actually, wait…” I make a show of lifting my sunglasses as I look him up and down carefully assess him. “No, I’m right, you’re not.” I shake my head, having made my decision.
I let my shades fall back into place as I return to reading my book, mentally dismissing him.
“I’m not?” he asks, understandably confused, “I’m not what?”
The man sitting beside me face palms and shakes his head. The woman who complimented me is snickering lightly, both having gathered the point which has clearly sailed over the wannabe Project Runway‘s fashion guru Tim Gunn’s head.
“I took off my sunglasses to be sure, but I was correct in my initial assessment.” I explained with the exaggerated patience one reserves for speaking to a misbehaving child in which they are in no position to discipline. “You’re not my physician. You’re not my children. You’re not my best friend. You’re not a deity. You’re not any of my lovers.” His eyebrows rise at lovers, but I ignore him. “Not that it would necessarily change my opinions in regards to my wardrobe choices, but when it comes to the very select few whose opinions I would at least take into consideration, you’re not one of them. So sod off! But since we’re putting in opinions where not asked, let alone wanted here’s mine: you looked so much better with your mouth shut, can you go back to that look?”
I stare at him waiting for a retort. After a moment of annoyed silence from him, I don my best Billy Crystal impersonation:
“You look, MARH-velous dahling!”
I guess the next station was his stop, at least that is where he got off. It as better than my telling him where he could get off. <>==========<>
I am not going to lie, I have been relatively blessed health wise. Much to my doctor’s semi-joking chagrin I am proof that not every fat person has diabetes, hypertension or cholesterol. I am not running any marathons, but I can haul ass to catch a bus from a half block off, if so inclined, and not feel like I’m going to keel over for it. I’ve been to a hospital five times for my own health: the births of my two sons, the first time I had a migraine, when I fell down a flight of stairs and sprained my ankle and when a pharmacy misread pain medication for said sprain that had me feeling so off forty-eight hours later I went back. So yes, I’ve been blessed up until now. And that is the caveat – up until now.
I am fifty-six and I am beginning to feel the first signs of my body’s seemingly inevitable decline. I know it well. My right knee goes in and out of aches of its own accord. I can go months without a symptom, then bam! it’s back for a few weeks or so.
I went to see National Theatre’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” with James McAvoy a couple of weeks ago. It was a cold, cold, blustery a work day, which meant a long day as the event was after work. Worse it was a training day, so I was on my feet for a good portion of it. I had on my comfortable boots, and thought I was ready!!! At least I was ready until about 4pm when I felt that first twinge that told me there was going to be a problem.
Now add to that when nearly twenty ago I fell down a flight of stairs and sprained my right ankle badly. I was fine, or thought I was, until about 2012 or so when it manifested itself as arthritis in that ankle that seems to flare up only on damp days under 30 degrees. It took nearly three winters and springs for me lock down the pattern. When both aches are in active session it is a trial to simply stand some days, let alone walk or run anywhere.
At something to midnight when the event was over, my sassy strut had devolved to a sorry stumble. I took it in (painful) stride and had a great time regardless.Two days later, the pain had abated as if it never existed, but yeah it happens just like that sometimes.
I am a long way off from it, but there are days where I have taken the possibility of lack of easy mobility into consideration. Naturally, I hope, wish, and pray it does not comes to that, but I’m telling you now, I will crutch, walker and scooter, should it become necessary, and sally forth. There’s still far too much I want to do and the more things I do, the more things I find to do, so I’m going to do as many of them as I can.
And any words to the contrary will get this response:
Characters from “LOST” exclaiming “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
Because as painful as it can be sometimes to decline physically – I decline to let it stop me until it, well, stops me.
‘Rhyme Time’ focuses on the use of rhyme to build your writing piece. You will be given six rhyming words and need to use all of them (but not limited to these) in your response, which should be a poetry form of your choice.
This week’s rhyming words this week are mock, shock, stock, lock, hock, block
Muse offers a surprisingly succinct entry this challenge using internal and cross rhymes.