Some SOL Company

When I encounter friends, colleagues, countrymen, hell perfect strangers, who were raised with civility and make the mistake of asking “How are you?” one would presume being a woman raised by Sothern Belles one would think I was equally brought up with such manners that would have me politely respond with some variant of “I’m fine.”

But nah, my NYC mouth blithely shuts down all such social convention as I almost always reply with “Insane as usual. And you?” {Hey at least I’m housed trained enough to ask – mostly I’m tired of my southern Grandma reaching up from beyond to Gibbs SlapTM me upside the head – but I digress.] This is almost always met with a chuckle that ranges from exaggerated eyerolls [those that know me very well], through amused head shaking [those that know me somewhat], to nervous smiles [those who are not entirely sure if I’m joking].

Today I took it one step further. Having had the above exchange with a colleague in the ladies earlier, I pass her office a while later.

“You know how I said that I was insane?”

She knows me just well enough that she starts smiling, “Yeah?”

“I can prove it….”

The smile turns into a I already regret letting her in grin, “How?”

“Please explain to me why I cannot get the bass line, not the melody, not the lyrics, but specifically the dang bass line to DuckTales out of my damn head?”

She blinks a few times getting the reference and asks the pertinent question: “When is the last time you’ve even seen DuckTales?”

“My youngest is thirty-eight, so-decades!”

For those who don’t know DuckTales is an animated TV series produced by Disney. The original cartoon series premiered in the late-80s and ran for several years. The show featured Scrooge McDuck, his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (yes, the nephews of Disney’s Donald Duck), and others, on various adventures. It was part of the afternoon line-up my boys watched after school. Thus, I was not exactly kidding when I said decades.

It had a very catchy theme song, with a pretty groovy bass line, which I heard five days a week for several years. And for some reason it was now stuck in my bird brain.

After stating she how she concurred with my self-assessment, I was informed I was SOL because she couldn’t help me and laughingly ordered me to get away from her immediately before I infected her. Another colleague was passing and made the mistake of inquiring what shenanigans were I causing now. I do have a slight reputation for such – slight.

Long story-short: going by my burning ears, there are at least five colleagues cussin’ out my name for the bass line likely still running through their minds.

I mean we all know adage Misery loves… Well I’ve had that miserable bass line in my head most of the day – so guess who’s joining me? For those of you reading this who know theme in question, and now are equally infected, I would say I’m sorry, but we’d all know I’d be lying.

That SOL in the title doesn’t stand for Slice of Life today.


Let’s see how others are slicing it out this Tuesday…

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Glad I Didn’t Wait…

  1. I love jalapenos and had them in my salad for dinner. Uncouth and greedy idiot I am, did not use utensils, but fingers to consume said jalapenos.

  2. On way to the loo to wash my grubby jalapeno scented talons, I run into a friend I have not seen in a while who was leaving the restaurant. My mind said wash your hands it can wait. But my mouth had already called out to her. No choice now but to have the chat I garnered her attention for in the first place.

  3. Typical of me, hands forgotten, the chat devolves into silly conversation that soon has me wiping tears of laughter from my eyes. People – please review 1 and 2 above. It was a bit not good as I am quickly shown the error of my ways. Eyes now beginning to sting I hear a familiar motor sound approaching me.

  4. Another patron in a motorized chair is coming down the hall. When I politely step out the way as she passes -I don’t always apply them, but Grandmama taught me manners(!)-, I hear another very familiar sound, that is soon followed by cold wetness through my blouse.

  5. I turn in surprise realizing I backed into the automated hand sanitizer dispenser, that did its job and dispensed itself – on my back. The friend I was conversing with saw the stain and lost it, making a reference to a scene in the James Spader/Maggie Gyllenhaal movie “Secretary”. It was a reference I got, which sent me completely over the giggle edge. [Either you know the scene or you do not, I am NOT explaining it. Just know that it is sexual in nature and let your very dirty mind -if you have one- extrapolate from there.] I make it to the ladies room at last and she goes on her way.

  6. Now imagine walking into the ladies room to find a female at the sink, make-up ruined, seemingly trying not to cry while tears stream down her face, holding copious amounts of paper towels trying to blot dry a blouse spotted with suspicious looking stains down her back, without taking it off. Only when I saw the horror stricken look on her face as she slowly approached me in genuine concern and gently asked asked if I wanted to call someone did I get the enormity of how it looked from an unknowing eye.

    And me, being me, continue to be a child at a most inappropriate time, told her “Mr. E. Edward Grey!” referencing James Spader’s character in the above mentioned “Secretary.”

  7. Still giggling like the twelve-year-old I am mentally, I finally finished washing my hands and face as I assured her the only assault was from the automated hand sanitizer dispenser whose motion sensor I had accidentally set off. Much to the woman’s relief, and momentary blush, I also explained about the movie and that I refer to the Spader character as the original Mr. Grey, where I believe the author of the 50 Shades series of books/movies may have taken the surname inspiration.

  8. I had to wear my blazer with paper towels between my blouse and my back until the wet spots dried. But so worth the unexpected laughter. Yes, speaking to the my friend, instead of immediately washing my hands, could have waited, but I’m glad I didn’t.


    I also now have a mental bet with myself that the woman from the ladies room will be watching a certain movie before the week is out. It’s a Schrodinger’s bet, but I’ll wager it’s in my favor.

    And since I’m still in a puerile mood, I feel obligated to remind you dear readers May is National Masturbation Month – handle that information however you will.

Let’s see how others are slicing it out this first Tuesday in the merry, merry month of May…

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Drop It Like It’s Con

I spent the weekend in Atlanta at 221BCon. It’s an annual fan convention celebrating Sherlock Holmes. It started out, and it’s primary focus is, BBC’s “Sherlock”, fanfiction writers and readers, and now includes Sherlock Holmes in all the varying incarnations of television, film, radio, books and of course the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Over the years it has given nods to Good Omens and other fandoms with similar esthetics. OFMD fans anyone? (Either you know, or you do not –so not explaining it.)

In the months, weeks, days, hours leading up to it were its own type of agony as enthusiasm mounted. Twitter groups for the event were active nearly 24 hours in the final couple pf days leading up to hit. But it’s these last couple of days after that are my focus.

I made it home late Sunday night.  I should have taken Monday off. Overworking arse that I am did not, and around 2pm I was reminded of why. I had been in since 7:30, my usual Monday busy little bee when it hit me. This overwhelming exhaustion and complete sense of loss. I did not want to be there. It took a moment to realize what hit me.

Convention Drop.

Also known as Vacation Drop. It’s something that happens after you get home from a vacation, convention, bash any multi-day fun event, especially one where you had to travel. It was the moment my heart, mind, soul, and body came completely down from the massive adrenaline high of the previous days of fun at the convention.

It hit hard.

I wanted to be back in Atlanta. I wanted to be back at the convention. I wanted to attend another panel. Go up to the writers room. Hang out and chat with fellow writers. Play another round of “Sherlock Against Humanity”, a customized BBC “Sherlock” themed version of Cards Against Humanity, that is just as hilarious for all the right, yet wrong, reasons. I wanted to eat some more of the oh so good food discovered at Tom, Dick and Hank’s restaurant. I wanted to meet and chat with other fellow fic writers whose work I’ve admired for years. To be in the room where it happened with people who immediately get the jokes and snark references that pepper some of my conversation. Because for all of the people I have seen this weekend, I am learning I have missed crossing paths with others who were there and dammit I wanted to go back and meet them!

I was sitting at my desk at work and the longing for Con and to be with my Sherlock tribe again was so deep it made me want to cry. That’s how hard it hit. I knew of the phenomenon, but it had never happen to me before. Not even after travelling to Dubai or Antarctica. Those are two trips where it certainly should have hit, but no. Having it hit after only three days in Atlanta showed me just how much being around so many like-minded lunatics meant to me, that the loss of it was one hell of a shock to my system. That was when I remembered why I usually take the day after such events off. I need the time to reset myself across the board, do laundry and have a day to ease back into my normal insane life.

I’m fine now. Already have next year’s convention in my calendar with a couple of days before so I can tour a little of Atlanta, but most important, that much needed day off after.

The game is on!


Let’s see how others are slicing it out this Tuesday…

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But Soft What Spring Through Lovely April Breaks

Arise sweet spring for signs of you have sprung

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I get to enjoy the sight of Venus in the late-winter, early spring mornings on my walk to the train station for work. It the very first sign of spring for me, but there are others.

The landscapers for The Commons around my job arrived last week. Gone are the winter evergreens, and the first shoots of the annual tulips are breaking through the ground. In another week or so the area will be awash in the reds, oranges, and yellows of tulips in the garden beds. With the addition of daffodils and lillies, the white blossoms of the dogwoods and always the pinks of the cherry blossoms the next few weeks will be awash springs bright colors. I will love it as I always do, but surprisingly, or not, for all the visual beauty that is the coming spring, it is not my favorite part.

My favorite part is aural.

The blocks I walk are tree-lined and have begun to bud in their own markers of spring, but it’s their occupants that hold sway for me. I step out my building, cross the street and there it is, a sweet trilling; the first calls of the day. Birdsong. For the next couple of week, my walk to the train station will time with the waking of the local flocks of pigeons and quarrels of sparrows. And as the mornings become brighter, if I’m lucky,I am also treated to flashes of robin and cardinal reds or the less frequently seen blue of a jay.

And yes, even the occasional caws of murdering crows and the conspiracy of ravens have greeted my mornings.

Oh, I am in no way, shape or form, an ornithologist. It is the decades of living in different NYC neighborhoods, and my penchant to look up, that have made me observant of more than just the people and pets that share the sidewalks with me.

The chirping of birds in my mornings is also a harbinger of the coming winter when their waking and my walking will again align, but we shan’t speak of such ill things right now. No. No. No.

This is the time for the most vernal of thoughts and I am here for it.


Let’s see how others are slicing it out this first Tuesday of April…

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My Human Nature Deja Vu All Over Again

*🎼 excuse me while I take a momentary interlude to hum a few notes from the chorus of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” 🎶*

Oh, okay I’m back. The moment I thought of the title for today’s slice the music moment happened in my mind. I imagine quite a few of you familiar with the song, had a similar musical Pavlovian response reading, but I digress.

I remembered it is Tuesday and I need to post today as I have not done a slice in a couple of weeks. At the beginning of the year I did say my One Little Word is Persistence. I did promise myself I would persist in being more regular in my blogging. Human nature that while my regular posting is not where I want to be, yet accept it is better than it was.

Only now as I started typing today did it hit me that today is also March 1st aka the first day of the Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. How lovely and fitting it is that this year, the 15th Anniversary of Slice of Life Story Challenge starts on a Tuesday! I’ve been a participant for over half its existence. Oh boy!

Make that an infrequent participant. One where I’ve missed a year or two, but most often do not complete a full month. Like last year where I fell asleep and missed completion by ONE DAY. Oh hell!

Now here am I – I, who has been letting Life! Liberty! and persistent pursuit of simply Living! has trouble remembering to post once a week, has once again signed up with a promise to post every single day for the next 31 days. How’s that for self-gluttony for self-punishment? Yet I cannot help/resist enjoying the challenge each year.

I will dub this the Pursuit of Persistence 2022.

See ya tomorrow.


Come see how the rest of us are sharing slices of our lives!

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15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

I’m Baaaaack!

Yesterday was my first official day back in the office. I am one of the first people on the floor and it was lovely to see one of the other early birds whom I have not laid eyes on in over a year. After the pre-requisite elbow touching in place of a hug, the first few minutes are spent catching up. It was a routine repeated as others came in. I spent the day in a bubble of working, reconnecting and organizing as we also make ready for a floor wide restructuring.

Some of it was very familiar: Coming in early, jumping into work, plugging up to my music to focus, not taking a proper break for a few hours; rolling my eyes at the one colleague who insists on wearing ill-fitting shoes that squish and clomp noisily as they pass my desk, staying late to work with a client having an issue, even the extra-long commute home was an annoying comfort of the familiar.

Still, for all its familiarity something about yesterday that felt off and I could not identify it until today.

Yesterday… 🎵 Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so fa… 🎵  

Huh? Oh, wait sorry, sorry… brain wandered off for a musical moment, I’m back.

Yesterday, because I was distracted by several things, I had not taken my mid-morning coffee run.

Today I remembered. So off went I to my home away from home, away from home.

While the trip itself was done by almost by rote, it was once I was back at my desk and sipped that did it.

My Starbucks special order, the one thing I cannot get in my neighborhood, was in my grubby little talons once more.

There was a new staff from when I was there last; no familiar faces at all. I handed my phone to the barista and watched her face as she glanced from the phone to the register to place the order and then gave me a silent but definitive are you fucking serious(?) look as she handed the phone back. I especially enjoyed the look of resigned yet annoyed belief when I informed her of the irony that it was a former Starbucks barista who worked at that location, which gave me the recipe.

Starbucks cup
Yes, I erased my insane recipe from the image.
It’s MY recipe! 😝

I have a Keurig with Starbucks k-pods at home, and I love it, but it’s still not quite the same thing because I have that ridiculous order. Yes, my favorite order is one of those orders. When I cannot mobile order, I amuse myself by watching every new barista I hand my phone read the order and then tries, but inevitably fails, to not make a face as they re-read it a couple of times before they make it.

Whether it’s the fancier machines or their precise measurements for the base, it’s just something that I cannot duplicate in my kitchen.

As that first sip slid past my palette and settled oh so warmly in my tummy, I felt it. It’s a small thing, but a needed one.

Ah yessssssssssss! I was back…


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

Come see how others are slicing it up today.

Got It Write This Time

For the past near sixty-one days, I have blogged every single day. Last month for Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Writing challenge was arduous enough. That self-promise of thirty-one days straight of blogging, especially when I had posted barely a couple dozen times from all of May 2020 to March of 2021, was truly diving off the deep end to see if I can swim. [I actually did that dived into a 16 foot deep pool without knowing how to swim.] No, I still cannot swim – don’t ask. Luckily I was much better at following through on immersing myself into regularly blogging again.

Because it is following right behind the March challenge, April is its own war as it is all about poetry. Each year for National Poetry Month I look around and enjoy the work of other poets. Each day I also post original work of my own, honoring National Poetry Writing Month. At least I’ve tried to. I admit I in previous years I have been a spotty poster during April at best. If a dozen new works happen it was a good year. C’est la vie.

As I had naught else to do, I also challenged my self to try more of a poetry form I was not fond of the Villanelle. I absolutely knew I could not do thirty days of them, but I have managed one new one per week, the most recent as of today which I published this morning. Which means I now have five villanelles in my poetry portfolio. Having written four more it is better than the single one that has existed for nearly decade by itself, so that is a huge win in my book.

2021 is the only year in which I have participated in National Poetry Writing Month where not only have I not bailed halfway through the month from writing exhaustion. Granted some were posted late, like yesterday’s coming in at nearly 11:30pm, but I will have thirty new poems under my belt, including four new villanelles! With the finish line a mere three days from now, I am confident I will complete it. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for this!


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers

Unimited Funds and Instant Travel….

A year in quarantine has squashed my poor travel bug which is as antsy as a jumping bean right now. Reminiscing/Lamenting past travels brought good conversation and a good question.

Question:

If you had unlimited funds, and instant travelling with you and anyone you want to bring along at your disposal, what would your perfect day (24 hours, live it up) look like?

My Response:

Teleportation and some serious Red Bull/5 Hour Power would be likely needed, but I would bounce around the world.

This is a rough estimate timeline as I have no idea of sunrise/sunset times are for most of the places listed and would have to adjust my schedule accordingly.

* 9am – Breakfast on the Nile, with a tour of the Pyramids and camel riding included.

* Noon – Zip over to Antarctica for an hour of up close wildlife watching because I just have to step foot on that continent, not just see it from a cruise ship.

* 1pm – Warm up on Ireland and Scotland coasts mid-afternoon; I want to personally see the beautiful vistas and at least one of the ancient castles I’ve only seen in movies.

* 3pm – since we’re so close, a quickie bite at the Eiffel Tower (and perhaps a different sort of quickie afterward should I have a S/O by then).

* 5pm – New Zealand, The amazing forest shown in Lord of the Rings I believe was shot there.

* 6pm – Machu Picchu – for the amazing history.

* 7pm – Rio, Brazil, Statue of Jesus and the divers – self explanatory.

* 8pm – Sunset dinner in the Potala Palace is in Lhasa, Tibet. Can you imagine how glorious a sunset that must be at one of the most amazing architecturally impressive structures and at one of the highest points in the world!

* 10pm – Tokyo, Japan – Just to see the only place brighter than Vegas at night – lol.

* Midnight – Tromsø, Norway, Aurora Borealis – self-explanatory.

* 2am – Dubai (UAE) – for some serious late-night night life in an unexpected place, gotta get my partay on!

* Twilight/Dawn – Tonga Island – one of the closest places to the International Date Line – to be on the cusp of yesterday and tomorrow simultaneously.

* 5am – Sunrise on Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia. For the sheer beauty and reverence of the place.

* 8am – New York, New York – because There’s No Place Like Home.


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

Wasted Time?

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Though often (mis)attibuted to John Lennon, the earliest certain source of the popular quote was by Marthe Troly-Curtin in her novel “Phrynette Married” (1912).

I used this exact opening a couple of weeks ago when I attempted to have a day vegetating. Today I use it response to a complaint.

“God! Every time I call! Why are always writing a story, or working out a poem, or you’re painting something. Pick something, ONE thing and be good, really good, perfect at it. Maybe you could make money off it and stop wasting your time.”

My pithy response: “I write and I paint because I like it and because I have no space for carpentry workshop and a kiln.”

Oh, there was so much to unpack with that loaded statement and her not understanding why I was offended by it.

What is with limiting a person to one form of expression? The whole pick one thing and be good/perfect at it nonsense, is in a word nonsense. Dion Sanders and Bo Jackson excelled in both baseball and football in their heydays. Venus and Serena Williams are both phenomenal tennis players and wonderful clothing designers. Several of Hollywood and UK actors also excel in other creative outlets. It’s Art. You know that thing like beauty is in the eye of? So who determines what’s good or God help us perfect creatively anyway? Who determines its clock value? Is the pursuit of a second passion for pleasure only limited to those those who can afford it? If it’s not making money, it is waste of time?

As I understand it Art students study other art to learn what’s good. Though they both use pointillism, no one is going to confuse a Seurat with a Lichtenstein, but they’re both good. Rembrandt, Warhol, Monet, Max, Michelangelo, Haring, Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock, are all amazing artists, not one looks like the other and none of them did what they did to be “good.” The artists painted what they wanted, the way they wanted – period. That others cottoned on and made some of them renowned during their lifetimes was a lucky bonus. Some of the names mentioned were not famous, until after their deaths. It likely wasn’t perfect, to some of them. It may not have even been “good” to them, but you know what it was? Good enough to make them happy or they tried again until they were. They did it for they were inspired, because it pleased them. I am 10,000 percent sure someone had said to each them at some point “stop wasting time.”

Why must damn near everything in life sans breathing, and bathroom functions, can only be considered worthy of one’s time if it can also potentially line one’s wallet? Stop that nonsense! Elizabeth Barret Browning, Alex Haley, e.e. cummings, Arthur Conan Doyle, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, Octavia Butler, Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, Andrew Wilmot, Amanda Gorman: none of them wrote their very first stories and poems, because they were out to make money, they wrote because they had stories to tell. It just so turned out that eventually others liked the stories as well. The rest is the luck, ill or otherwise, of the draw. But we know their names in the first place solely because they had a story they needed to tell. The story got told. It was not a waste of time.

We blog, and some of have regular followers, but the mass majority of us are not, nor have any intent to be “influencers.” Still, we blog because we have stories to tell, in words or in art or both.

I create because it pleases ME. The moment it becomes something I have to do to make money, it becomes a job. And knowing me – it will no longer be something I enjoy. I create the ways I do because I want to. I’m not trying to be good, I am having fun. That others enjoy it is wonderful, but is never the impetus for me to type out pixels or pick up my pencil or brush. It is always time well spent, even if I hate the result. On the outside I am an adult exuberantly expressing my creativity through mixed media. On the inside I’m a four-year-old happily making a mess scribbling and finger painting. Ask any preschooler…

…That is never a waste of time.


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Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

This Time Together…

I spent most of this day wondering how I would close this month out. March has, as it does each year, dragged and flew. At the beginning of the month I knew I would make it to the end. Granted, I also knew there would be some very late night close encounters, which there were. And 2021 will forever hold the asterisk for when I published yet fell asleep before I could post as hubris, but I did it.

Most of all WE made it!

Whether you made all the way through all the slices, or missed a slice or two, or more, as always…

🎵 I’m so glad we had this time together… 🎶

* tugs on ear * [Some of you will get this]

We have survived an entire year of Life in the Times of Covid! It has not been an easy year for any of us. But with the vaccinations happening slowly but surely we can finally see the better days coming ahead. I imagine next year’s challenges will be sprinkled with the things we get to do again compared to now and it will be great.

Being that today is Tuesday, it seems fitting as we know return to our usual Tuesday slices.

It’s Day 31 of the 2021 Slice of Life Writing Challenge. And then there were none.

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