Spring? Says Who?

The two major buzzwords this weekend> “Spring” and “Snow”. Since Thursday a lot of conversations wrapped around the hope of the First Day of Spring on Sunday and the despair that it was predicted to snow a few inches on Sunday here in New York City. I understand those who have only lived in New York City a few years to not get the weather patterns. Less than ten years? Okay, the weather my still surprise you. But if you have fifteen or mote adult years here, snow in late March is not something unusual, let alone new. For those with twenty-plus years as an adult here have no excuse.

It snowed on the first day of spring two years ago, I have the video. There was not the  amount of complaints on the day of the snow then as there were in the anticipation of it now. For some reason this year many folks were all in a titter and I don’t understand it.

All things considered we’ve had a decent winter this go around, this past winter. But yes, winter is winter and we’re all sick of the cold and were really spoiled by those 70 degree days we had a week ago. I recall times, not ‘the time’ – times, when it snowed in mid-April. Now that is unusual and worthy of grousing.  However, it’s MARCH, this is what happens in March. I’ve found the everything just shy of actual wailing and gnashing of teeth over this impending snow to be simultaneously amusing and enraging.  Enough that I posted the following on my Facebook:


This morning was all blue skies and sunshine, as I walked in the door this evening the snow was just starting. It’s expected to snow throughout the night. I’m mentally preparing my world’s smallest violin motion for all the griping I know will occur tomorrow.  The Lion is certainly winning the bout this weekend, sorry Lamb.


Hopefully my fellow slicers have had more grinning and less griping this weekend:


Day 20 of the 9th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!  


Just Enough

Because I over book myself on occasion and this is one of them, I know if I do not post now it will not happen and that will have to be just enough…

I pray you have just enough sun
        to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the  day  may appear.
I pray you have just enough rain
        to appreciate the  sun  even more.
I pray you have  just enough happiness
        to keep your spirit  alive and everlasting.
I pray you have  just enough pain
        so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear  bigger.
I pray you have  just enough gain
        to satisfy your  wanting.
I pray you have  just enough loss
        to appreciate  all  that  you possess.
I pray you have  just enough hellos
        to get  you  through  the final good-bye.
I pray you have  just enough of everything you need
        so you never know the feeling of having nothing.


I pray you have more than enough of an enjoyable weekend!


Slice of Life Writing Challenge Day 18 – Two Writing Teachers


With today being St. Patrick’s Day all seasoned New York evening commuters understand the shenanigans entailed with such. We smile and tolerate the over friendly, over inebriated, but otherwise harmless over-celebrants who cross out paths. Sometimes we may have to cuss out those who are not so friendly drunks. On occasion we may snap a picture of the drooling drunk out cold. We get it. I get it.  But no one deserved to get this…

Rush hour coming home on the subway. It’s a little more crowded than usual, and that is saying something, because it’s Saint Patrick’s Day and remnants of celebrants are loudly finding their way home. I am sharing what is typically considered a four person seat, with another woman and a guy who has chosen to sit akimbo, aka “manspreading” so the seat is only holding three people. The largest space is between the manspreader and I, still it is not a lot a space. Only a child or a someone really slim might be comfortable there.

As I am reading my book and listening to my iPod, I notice a shadow crosses my page. I look up and a man stands there, using hand gestures that he wants to sit. I am already up against the sidebar of the seat nearest the door; there is no place for me to move. I look at the space, I look at the manspreader, I look at this guy who clearly cannot fit in that spot, shrug and go back to my book. A moment later I am suddenly squeezed further into the sidebar, he reeked of alcohol and clearly needed the seat as the man has decided he is going to sit in that space, whether he can actually fit or not. Emphasis is fully on the or not in this case as the manspreader lets out an expletive and readjusts the angle of his spreading by some minuscule amount, but does not get up and neither do I. I do not know how the woman on the other side of the manspeader was faring, but this guy could not possibly have been comfortable so squashed in the space, with his arms overlaying ours, totally invading what little sense of personal space possible in such a setting. Knowing my commute, the odds were that I would be on the train long after he left, so I was all set to stand, well sit, my ground when Manspreader started yelling.

“Oh hell no! You have to get up off of me!” Manspreader exclaimed and pushed the guy’s arm off. I quickly looked at my arm. This guys was sweating so much, that in the less than two minutes in which he sat there, his sweat was dripping unto us.


I had on a jacket so I didn’t feel anything, but I could see it. I pulled a tissue out of my bag and wiped my arm. Yup, there was sweat on the tissue and it was not mine. It was only slightly better than Manspreader who had a clear stain on his shirt sleeve that was going to dry there.

Ewww, gross! 

Okay, it is one thing when on the subway and your arm is raised grabbing a pole and everyone can see the sweat stains through your shirt. It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’s par the oft times odious course of mass transit in summer weather. Still there is an implicit code of keep your sweat to yourself. This guy clearly did not get the memo. Sweaty Guy glanced at Manspreader, his lips pressed together as if to keep from speaking, then he looked at me, his body did a sort of jerk move.  I don’t know why, but I stood.

“Don’t give up your seat to this sweating pig!  Why the hell would you squeeze your ass into a spot you know you can’t fit putting your dripping sweat, directly upon complete strangers?  That’s fucking disgusting!” Manspreader was pissed!  Sweaty guy would not respond and that just ticked Manspreader off more as he continued berating the man.

Now here’s a subway fact: I don’t care how packed as a sardine can a subway car may be, when someone starts yelling the way Manspreader was yelling out Sweaty Guy, it’s a Christmas Miracle how space suddenly opens up around you. I was now standing off to the side, more in front of Manspreader than Sweaty Guy, as the train pulled into a station with a sharp jerk.  I saw the Sweaty Guy’s face and knew.

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Oh no! Noooooo! 

Everything in my body said “MOVE!”  I grabbed Manspreader by the front of his shirt, yanking him out of his seat while trying to shove backwards through the understandably upset crowd.

And there he blows!

I suddenly had no trouble making space as Sweaty Guy started tossing a couple of factories’ worth of cookies. While I just barely saved Manspreader; regrettably the poor woman who had sat on the other side of Manspreader wasn’t so lucky. The momentum of my pulling Manspreader up caused the two of them to lean into each other’s directions. By the time registered what was happening, she could not move out of the way fast enough as he slide sideways on the seat into her.  She started screaming and those of us closest were backing away from the both of them. One would have thought a murder scene was commencing the way people reacted, running out of the line of fire.

Those by the door closest to Sweaty Guy started running off the train itself as the doors opened, plowing into those trying to get on. Some brave souls in the further corners of the subway car away from Sweaty Guy  were going to stick it out and stayed where they were. Other passengers entering the car, seeing, and smelling, the mess then immediately exiting added to the chaos. Were it not so foul, especially for Sweaty Guy, all that missing was the accompaniment of “Yakety Sax“.

The subway car had to empty out once it became evident Sweaty Guy had purged from everywhere possible.  I will spare you further details other than to say it was not pretty. Worse we were at a station without transfer points. That means nothing else was coming up that track  until Sweaty Guy was taken care of.  I’m still a good half hour away from home. What to do:

  • Do I go back downtown to transfer to a train on another line, which would likely add another hour?
  • Do I exit the train and take the bus uptown, which would likely add another hour?
  • Do I take a cab?
  • Do I wait it out?

The poor woman who caught Sweaty Guy’s cookies ran out of the station. Manspreader was standing at the door switching between berating Sweaty Guy or general bitching about the situation. Other passengers who were stuck were either debating their options or complaining about Sweaty Guy with each other or on their cell phones. Because that’s what people do when in such a situation.

Yes, it’s St. Paddy’s day and it’s all part and parcel  of being a mass transit commuter. Still, on any day grown people allowing themselves to get that drunk, and thus that sick, to then get on the sometimes slightly less jostling than bumper cars, that is a ride on a NYC subway is a recipe for disaster guaranteed to generate a less than stellar moment in one’s life and be the cause of the following notification email…

MTA - sick

n/b 2 and 3 trains are running with delays, due to a sick passenger at ——. Allow additional travel time.

…which I received while still standing on the platform waiting for Sweaty Guy to be attended.

Throughout this Sweaty Guy is lying on the floor in his own filth, dry heaving and sobbing.


I actually felt a little sorry for him. But only just a little. As my cousin is wont to say “You brought this on yourself!”

Yeah, I’m done waiting – it’s taxi time.

End scene…



Slice of Life Writing Challenge Day 17 – Two Writing Teachers

Where? There!

As I run amok in my home town I am wont to randomly photograph any architecture and various works of art, that capture my attention. On occasion they are easily recognizable icons of New York City – the Empire State Building, the Prometheus sculpture at Rockefeller Center. Mostly, I like to capture items the even fellow denizens may not be aware exist unless they frequent the area.

The rules, such they’re not, are simple enough. Anything under “Where’s Raivenne?” is somewhere in New York City. I post the picture and you guess the location.  The first person to guess the correct location generally wins. A more exact location, even if it appears after a correct response, will trump a more generic description.  For example this photo:

Where's Raivenne

Click for larger image

The person who responded with the lyrics to the song “Downtown” was technically correct. I was in downtown NYC. She won my heart because I do love that song, but “downtown” is too vague to win the game.  Two people responded with the correct answer – City hall Park. the person who responded first “won”. The only answer that would have trumped it is if someone had said answered something like”The fountain at City Hall Park facing Park Row”.

The rules are very loose and winners receive nothing more than the accolade of knowing they’ve guessed correctly.

Some guess more than others, some get them right more than others, some of my of fellow denizens get none of them right.  I also give extra points for creative answers, that are blatantly wrong, but make me laugh. Sometimes I even stump myself. Such as when I once  I posted a picture while I was drunk and had no idea where I was the next day. It took two years and pure happenstance that I walked past the exact place again to answer my own query.

Every now and then I toss out technicalities just to mess with people. Hey, my games – my rules, but it’s all in fun.

I post them on my Facebook page under the heading of “Where’s Raivenne?” The tagline to the album states:

You may not know where I’m going, but you might know where I’ve been…


Let’s see where my fellow slicers are taking us today in the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 16 – Two Writing Teachers

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries:I Said Duck!

If you’ve read my About Raivenne page then you know of my proclivity to drop a salty word or two. If not let me say it in plain language, it’s my blog and every now and then I will fucking cuss if I feel like it.  That being said, if you have followed this blog for a while then you also know, I really don’t curse all that much. At least not here. Everyplace else however is a different story. Suffice it to say my auto-correct, whether on my computer, my tablet or my phone gets quite the work out in changing all the french I speak, which has nothing to do with the lovely language spoken in France.  (Why do we call that -cursing-  speaking french anyway?) Thus when a friend posted the following on Facebook I was highly amused:

duck it


My comment and true story:

Oh my autocorrect must have become annoyed at my always correcting its tendency to offer a more feathered suggestion when I am demanding a more carnal one. I swear the one time I was actually texting duck confit, it switched it to the cuss word in revenge.

I probably should make more of an effort to curtail the fowl language – then again, duck it.


We are officially at the halfway point! Whoo-hooo! Let’s see how others are slicing through this Tuesday and 15th day of the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 15 – Two Writing Teachers



I’ve a problem people…


I’ve got the travel bug.

No, really it’s bad.

I have one vacation set for the end of July, another vacation set for mid October.  For the past couple of weeks I have perusing travel sites to plot a weekend in London this year. I’ve also been laying out a plan to visit a couple of far off  lands for 2017. And because -why the hell not? – I’m plotting flights, for a grand excursion in 2018 for my 55th birthday.

I mean seriously, people – we’re not even out of March of 2016!!!!

I’ve held a baby crocodile in the Bayou, wrapped my self with a constrictor in the Caribbean, rode a camel in the desert of Dubai (trust me that last is not as impressive as it sounds, but I did it, so it counts). And yet all I can think is – what’s next?

The 52 year old me finds myself in a position the fifteen year old me could never have fathomed –  I have friends and acquaintances in several countries – and I want to visit all of them!

Hell, the only reason I’m not  going anywhere between now and July is time and money.  Actually, it’s just money. I have plenty of vacation time, in which to feed the travel bug, just not the funds to satiate it’s hunger. I mean have given up my Starbucks from time to time for travel. Put back that oh-so-fab suit for an extra hotel night, and really I can Netflix tonight to real life another night – right? Right!

But a girl can only deal with so much ramen noodles and there’s no Netflix without electricity – so priorities.

* spies a travel deal online * Hey, that bed-and-breakfast weekend in….

* spies utility bill on table * Le sigh….

Oh this travel bug has sunk its teeth in DEEP.


Let’s see how other’s are slicing through this 14th day of the challenge.


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 14 – Two Writing Teachers



Saw this posted on Facebook…


I feel this also applies to just about any and everyone in the creative field, but especially the writers.

We creative types give many, many thanks to our respective muses, imaginations, inspirations or whatever we choose to call that which guides us to create in whatever medium. And while everything we do is a piece of our truths, it’s not always our personal stories we convey.  A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess,  Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote are first person stories told from the viewpoints of a fifteen year old boy who probably has Asperger, and a flighty young woman in 1940’s New York City, respectively.  Suffice it to say neither tale was told from the first person view of the author. We as readers seem to innately understand this when it comes to novels, without introductions, forwards or some other advance notice to clue us in. Yet not so much with poems. Unless the reader already knows, or knows of, the writer, the first person view-point is general taken as, well, personal.

While my drawings and paintings leave a lot to be desired, I do feel I have a fair hand at the written word, specifically my poetry.  Still, just because my writes are in first person singular, don’t always make them my first hand account.I mostly write in the first person, as in 95% of what I pen is from that perspective, and considering  some of the poems I have written, let’s just say be damned grateful those writes are pure imagination, okay?

Though I cannot help it if it is not read, I now make a point of adding a footnote at the end of my writes if I think there may be even the slightest confusion. At least now, if a comment is given under misunderstood information, I know it’s not because I didn’t let the reader know.

I write, you read, and if the correct words come together enough for you to feel something, then I feel I’ve done my job well as communicator. I’m not going to lie, it makes me feel good when I read that the things I write touch people.  If I manage to evoke a laugh, a quiet reflection, visceral anger or have your heart-break just a little, I am grateful. Just not a former sharecropper, or an unborn child, or a cutter or getting murdered or… or…


Let’s see how others are communicating with what’s left of this lovely Sunday:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 13 – Two Writing Teachers


Timing Is Everything – And It Sucks

It was 7:30 am  when the sun’s warmth, a chirping bird, and yes, my bladder, wake me.  I rise and am actually shining and raring to go.  I told I was going to be productive today.

I promised myself today was indoor chore day.

You know the day. The today is the day I am finally going to <- fill in the boring-time-consuming-put off for too long – have no choice chore – here -> day. Today I have three of them to be done and I promised myself they will  be done today.


There’s only one sliiiight problem…

The weather was gorgeous today.  A beautiful early spring day here in New York City.The sun is out, the temperatures are wonderful. Of course it is.


Yes, I could probably leave this until tomorrow when it’s overcast and not as pretty, but I know me. Dreary days never make me want to do housework. Besides, it really has to be done today because I actually felt like doing it. Goodness only knows when I am going feel like being domestically productive like this again. (I think the last time was around Thanksgiving.) I told myself I could not leave t go to the store, because once I’m out the door that’s it, I’m not coming back to do anything. I even told myself I am not allowed to post today until at least two of those things were completed.

Not started.
Not partially done.

The first one, the hardest one, was checked-off by 11:30am. Yes!

I look at my computer. Touch a key to wake it. The blank page awaiting a post stares at me. I almost sat down, but then I remembered it had to be two things. I had only done one.


And naturally there were the texts and calls with their oh so tempting invitations trying hard to lure from my appointed goals. One friend flat out laughed at me, but I held fast.

You know I mean business!

Alas, it is now after 5pm. The sun is on the other side of my home from when I started this morning. I have only minutes of daylight left.

Now you know when I put my mind to indoor chore day a) it’s serious and now that I sit here at last to post b) I’ve checked three items off the list!

Yeah you read that right. The thirds job was the easiest one. I decided to just buckle down and “git ‘er done.”

I now have the rest of the evening and all day tomorrow free. Go me!


Let’s see how productive my fellow slicers are this 12th day of the challenge!


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 12 – Two Writing Teachers


Telling Tales

On the train this morning, I overhear a father reading “Little Red Riding Hood” to his daughter.  I admit I was happy to see a father reading to his child, especially on the train. Regrettably, it is still just enough of a rarity to be noted and appreciated when seen.  I was even impressed to see that it was a classic fairy tale and not something from Disney.  I smiled because it was a beautiful thing to see, but then it hit me.

This is where it starts.

Every little girl grows up with fairy tales. The classics of Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty. Not to mention the several other Disney princesses, added to the classic mix. We females are just shy of programmed from toddlerhood to yearn for romantic bliss before we even know what hell romantic bliss is. This is where little girls first start getting the notions of a handsome prince, on a white horse, who will sweep them off their feet and they will live happily ever after.

Right here.

We feed our children these fairy tales, especially our girl children, that covertly, or not so covertly, start to define roles. And then wonder why romantic expectations are not reality based when they are older. Yes, we have the princesses who have on their big girl panties, but they are still princesses or princess types that perhaps with the the exceptions of Merida of Brave and Elsa from Frozen, nearly all wind up with some prince (or princely substitute Flynn Rider – Tangled, Dimitri – Anastasia), rescuing them from -fill in the blank-  and who is going fall in love with them and to make sure nothing bad happens to her ever again. Because heaven forbid a Disney princess be responsible for her own happiness independent of a man.

How do we empower our young girls with tales of strong girls who are not or will not be princesses and that’s okay? How do we empower our boys with tales of strong girls who are not or will not be princesses and are not a threat to their strengths? There has to be tales out there that show realistic yet loving relationships long after the dragon/evil witch/bad guy is taken care of. Where are those stories?

I’m thinking I need start researching this and stocking up on them in case I ever have a grand-child.  Yes, I will read them fairy tales, but I am definitely throwing in some realistic tales in between.

Editing to Add:

Ask the universe and it will provide – this morning a good friend of mine posted the following link. Talk about serendipity! Now I know where to start my collection.

12 Empowering Children’s Books to Add to Little Girls Bookshelves


Let’s see what tales are being told this Day 11 of the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 11 – Two Writing Teachers

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries – As Cute Does

“I bet you think you’re cute.”

This coming from a young woman in her late twenties to me because I, a grown-ass woman almost twice her age, beat her to a seat on the subway.  I’m sure she only said it because she saw I had earbuds on and likely thought I could not hear her. Wrong.

Let’s see…

I.  I’m in a bodycon dress where this body is throwing all kinds of conscious attitude, the boots are cute, the mane with it’s deep purple highlights is shining and glorious, the gold mirrored, clear trim sunglasses are fierce and the face is done.

II. A woman does not step out of her home looking the way I looked  and don’t know she’s got it going on – no apologies or *bleeps*  given.

III. Oh dear Lord, it’s 2016 – catty females still say “she think she cute”? I thought that was as played out as “jive turkey”. So disappointing.

Being called out on cuteness traditionally is supposed to tear a female down. It’s a chastisement. Because heaven forbid she should own her beauty. She should be modest and demur, respond with something along this lines of “Oh no, I don’t think I’m cute”

Pssshht! This is me we’re talking about – addressing someone who is likely ten years the junior of my own children. Modest? Demur? Me?–Never going to happen.

“Let me explain it to you this way – both of my parents brought nothing but beautiful children into this world and I’m an only child.”

She said nothing else to me, but from the murderous look that crossed her face, I think she got the point.

N’est-ce pas?


Let’s see how others are getting through this 10th day  of the challenge:


Slice of Life Writing Challenge – Day 10 – Two Writing Teachers