π In The Sky

So today  is March 14th; or as beloved by most math and food geeks National Pi/π/Pie Day. What is that? some may ask –

Pi Day - fruit pie with some of the mathematical numbers of π as its crust - Google.

Pi Day – fruit pie with some of the mathematical numbers of π as its crust – Google.

*clears throat and dons  instructor’s cap*
March 14 is Pi Day. It is a day to celebrate the mathematical constant pi (π) and to eat lots of pie. Celebrated in countries that follow the month/day (m/dd) date format, because the digits in the date, March 14 or 3/14, are the first three digits of π (3.14), Pi Day was founded by Physicist Larry Shaw in 1988.
*class dismissed – tosses instructor’s cap*

With my usual burst of planning ahead, I had the brilliant idea last night to go to the supermarket and get what I need to make a pie to bring to work in honor of  the day. This would be fine on a normal day, however, yesterday was anything but normal.

I had completely forgotten that the City was preparing for Winter Storm Stella. Predicted to possibly dump upwards of two feet of snow in the Northeast within a less than twenty-four hour timespan, it was going to be a big one, and we humans (mis?)behaved accordingly. Why is it whenever the word snowstorm appears in the forecast, people in the City raid their local market as though it is the end of the world? I understand those who live in further reaches where getting to the local store involves just shy of a snow mobile and when honestly could be days before you can did yourselves out to restock. I’m questioning the City dwellers like myself where most businesses are back in business, if they even close at all, within 24 to 48 max of a storm’s start.

People stock up stormy weather essentials. This almost always includes what my fellow blogger Arjeah humorously calls a French Toast Alert. The trifecta of bread, milk, eggs that is almost always the first things to fly off the shelves.

Empty shelves from the bread section of a supermarket - Flickr.

Empty shelves from the bread section of a supermarket – Flickr.

As I joked later, add cheese to the list and one could have French Toast in the morning, grilled cheese in the afternoon and, depending on what’s already in the fridge, make a frittata later. All of which is a semi moot point to my being at the market at the moment – after all I wanted were ingredients to make a pie, right? Right.

I walked into the supermarket and saw the lines at check-out stretching nearly the length of the store. That should have been a deterrent right there, but I am stubborn. It took a full half hour to navigate through the store to learn other than butter and milk, the two things I did not need to make a pie, everything else was g-o-n-e. No sweet potatoes, no apples, no cherries – fresh or *shudders* canned – could be found to save my life. I repeated this at two other supermarkets to no avail. I mean seriously people! Did half of the City decide to make pie on their expected snow day too? Alas, no pie to be made last night.

So here I sit, on National Pi/π/Pie Day – currently still without pie – but the day is yet young, I’ve time to remedy this.


Let’s see how others are slicing up their Pi/π/Pie Day:



10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 14

Cold As

Hung out last night for dinner and drinks with friends. On my way home this happened:

Male Friend I ran into on train: Have you been drinking?
Me: Yup.
MF: You’re drunk?
Me: Nope. Inebriated.
MF: What’s the difference?
Me: A) I can still pronounce it easily. B) I can still spell it slowly. C) You’re attractive, but not nearly enough for me to have illicit thoughts. D) I actually thought the words “illicit thoughts”.
MF: Damn. Even inebriated you’re cold.
Me: Yup.

For the record, even when sober, I spell inebriated slowly.




Let’s see how other’s are slicing it up this Saturday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 11

As Old As

Killing time before class starts, my students and I are shooting the breeze about music. One mentions she will be attending Metallica’s upcoming concert in NJ, which I will attending as well. It segues into first album purchased (Micheal Jackson’s “Off the Wall”) and first concert attended, which for me was The Spinners with an appearance by Dionne Warwick. Only one student, not much older than I, knew of the group. Way to feel ancient Rai – geesh, but I guess it was better than none of them knowing, right? Right.

The student who knew of the Spinners sings out  “I’m sitting all alone by the telephone, waiting for your call..”

Not missing a beat I join in singing “…when you don’t call at all. It’s a shame, sha-ame.”

We trade lyrics and singers from the late 60s, early 70s for a bit. Clearly, I was familiar enough with the music of that time to have not just heard it from my parents collection. I am accused of that often enough that I just shrug it off for the compliment it accidentally gives. Meanwhile I can see the numbers crunching in his head as he looked hard at my face, which is never a good way to judge my vintage, by the way.

“How the hell old are you?” He baldly asks the burning question at last.

“Damn dude!” Exclaimed another student “You don’t do that!”

Without batting an eye, me – being me, answered in true me fashion.

“Let’s just say I was a cougar to Methuselah.”

There was a most awkward pause before some of them got it and laughed. While Methuselah had to be explained to the rest. It amused me immensely that I, the self-proclaimed resident heathen, made a biblical reference that went over nearly everyone’s head.

And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”
–Genesis 5:27 King James Version (KJV)




Let’s see how other’s are rapping up their slices:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 10

Careful What You Look For



I am a born and bred New Yorker and a daily mass transit commuter. Part and parcel of this are the mornings when I may encounter a group of police officers performing random searches of bags. This happens at my local station several times a year, while I have witnessed others randomly selected to have their bags searched I myself had not been stopped before. Until the day I really, really should not have been. Oh, the deities do love to laugh at us mortals, no?

When the officer signaled me, my first instinct was to balk. I mean seriously? Of all days to be selected! Please note the situation: me – a fat black woman, clearly dressed for work, carrying a leather cross body bag with embossed skull adornment and a zipped leopard print shopping bag, certainly looks as though I am in possession of potential bomb making materials, to transport via the subway nonetheless- staring down several gun-toting NYPD officers who indeed looked friendly enough, but let’s not get it twisted, I am most certainly offering my bags for inspection. I huffed at the inconvenience of a missed train, but then I remembered exactly what I was carrying.

In my mind I could hear a Greek chorus of certain friends yelling “Rai BEHAVE!”

However, my ever-present demon did Olympic worthy somersaults on my shoulder as I bit down the urge to grin while I handed my bags over and took a step back from the table.

“But of course officers, here you go.”

Oh, this is going to be such FUN! 

A younger friend of mine, slowly coming into her sexuality, wanted to go “toy” shopping. As she was new to this, instead of randomly buying things online, I had suggested we go to a brick and mortar store where she can actually see and touch a few things.  Let’s just say that after an hour or so the end result was my friend, and a couple of others – who overheard me explaining certain things and wound up in our conversation, spent a lovely amount of dollars there and the salesgirls wanted to recruit me. Which was all well and good until I got home I realized I had her purchases with me because in spite of it all she was still too shy to be in the street carrying a bag with the store’s logo emblazoned on the side, announcing to the world where she’d been. We agreed to meet in the morning at a station downtown to drop it off. I placed the items in the leopard print bag to be nice to her. I now watched as an officer slowly unzipped the bag and took a peek inside.

I knew the first thing he saw was the brand spanking new dildo, still in its package sitting at the top. His mouth dropped as he gasped, turned all manner of persimmon and looked up at me.  Of course this got the attention of the three other officers working with him who naturally had to take a look. It seemed as almost one they all slowly looked from the bag to me in expressions ranging from What kind of shit is this? to Oh my God! to Well, hello there!

“That’s not mine. Would you believe, it’s for a friend?” I teased, Maxwell Smart coming to mind as I shrugged a shoulder, knowing damn well what they believed.

It took everything I had to keep a straight face as a different officer took a pen, moved the dildo over to look further into the bag only to remove his hand and look up at me anew. I suspect he saw the – well never mind what he saw.

“Now, that one is mine.” placidity was my name as I arched a brow at him. He grinned. It was lethal. It was beautiful. I reminded him he was married, to the amusement of his comrades as the first officer quickly zipped the leopard print bag and handed both bags back to me.

“Enjoy yourself.” Officer Smiley’s grin was divine as, per protocol, he held the emergency door open for me to go through as I earn a free train ride as payment for the inconvenience of being detained.

“You saw what was in the bag; you know I will.”  I purred as I went through. The officer’s laughter followed me as I went down the escalator.

I was on the train, pulling out my iPod, when it amused me to realize that in the surprise of the toys found in the leopard print bag, none of them actually checked my purse.

To paraphrase a classic: be careful what you seek, you might find something unexpected instead.


10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!DAY 2

The Distance

I cringe at the horizon that gives me pause as I sit on a crescent ledge and stew over the possibilities. There be giant monsters here.  I only need to travel a short distance, but the terrain from when I last visited this place has changed. The comfort of the familiar, now replaced by the exotic of a new clime.  Longanimity among my kind has made me tough, but cautious. I know how dangerous it can be, but I will not let fear be the pasty jailer that holds me back. Belatedly, I remember I was out in the open while my mind filtered through various strategies when the world vibrates in sound and a rapidly approaching darkness looms over head.

I’ve been seen by one of the giants that roam here. Death is all but a certainty when afflatus strikes and I make a run across the emerald landscape for the crevice ahead. The blast of air that propels me toward my goal is only equal in terror to the noise of the impact narrowly missing where I just stood.  I skitter into the narrow space between counter and the oven, hearing the giant bellow in frustration as I drop out of reach.



Yes, this from the view of the cockroach.
I fully bless (blame?) the Wordle graphic for the inspiration.


Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #145

Crescent, Exotic, Ledge, Longanimity, Filter, Stew, Pasty, Afflatus, Emerald, Jailer, Cringe, Noise

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

Soulmates? II

I covered this before, but considering today I’d like to bring it up again.

I have a special person in my life.

I love him immensely. When we’re together there is much laughter, very heated discussions, tears and yes love. When I completely lost my mind last year and had to face up to the reality of my actions, he was my first call for drinks and discussion. The words were never spoken, but there is no question if one calls, the other will answer because we don’t do so lightly.

He is my soulmate.

Luckily, his wife knows I am not a threat to her and is completely supportive of our friendship.

Betcha didn’t quite see that one coming did ya?

Let me begin where I ended the last time I broached the subject of Soulmates…


“Nearly, everyone says and thinks of a soul-mate as the all-encompassing, be all and end all romantic type of love.

I propose a person can have more than one soul-mate and while a soul-mate is always, someone you want to share the rest of your days with, a soul-mate is not necessarily or solely the person you also want to share your bed with for the rest of your days.

But that thought is a blog for another day”

It is now another day…

The concepts of soulmates arose from mythology, Greek if I remember correctly. According to the story, our ancestors once had 2 heads, 4 arms and 4 legs. These ancestors did something to piss off one of the gods so bad that the deity punished them by splitting them down the middle, resulting in the creation of humans. To add insult to injury, we humans are now condemned to spend our lives searching for the other half of ourselves, our soulmates.

You’d think the gods would’ve gotten bored watching us run around pell-mell trying to find the ever elusive One, but nooooo. Here we humans are, a few millennium later, still soul-searching.

As Shakespeare had Puck say in A Midsummer’s Night Dream “Lord what fools these mortals be!”
Indeed, Puck-a-rooni, indeed!

I mean think about it, unless these two-headed, four-armed beings were asexual and/or hermaphroditic and/or aromantic, they were loving each other just fine without the concept of The One, but I digress…

My mileage dictates a soulmate is a person who connects with your soul in a way that changes you and that can happen on various levels.

Temporary Souls: A teacher who intentionally or not provides a valuable life lesson. The complete stranger or barely known acquaintance who unexpectedly reaches out to you at a time when you really need it. They are the people that we encounter throughout our lives, who come, touch our souls for a moment and are gone. Whether or not they have any idea that they touched our souls, we know they did and they will always be a part of us. Think of all the nth amount of people you have encountered in your life, outside of your family, yet of all these people only a select few have somehow made it in to the very core of you however briefly. For that brief moment – soulmates.

Twin Heart Souls: Think your best and/or closest friends. The ones who help you bury the body or at the very least know the right thing to say to you at three in the morning when you’re losing it, to keep there from being a body to to be buried in the first place. The one/s you really click with pretty much from the moment you meet. Those who believe in reincarnation, say it is because you have already met in a past life, and in this life you are continuing the relationship. My best friend of over thirty years and I have a saying of our relationship. Where we are opposite we are polar opposite, but where we are alike we are twins. If we both point at something in a store window – say a piece of jewelry and we both love it, without even looking at each other, we immediately know two things. 1) It’s a classic piece that can work with various styles and 2) it is likely to be considerably out of our price range and to keep on walking. From the moment I butted into her conversation with someone else back in high school, unto this day – we were soulmates. YMMV

Twin Flame Souls: This is the what most people refer to when speaking of the soulmate. If we follow the edicts of the mythology I mentioned earlier, there is only one twin flame soulmate for each of us. Like Twin Heart Souls, in reincarnation beliefs, Twin Flame Souls have spent several lifetimes together in past lives. The chemistry and attraction towards each other is undeniable. They burn with passionate fire for only each other. To go all Jerry McGuire here, they “complete” each other and only a very lucky few are able to find their twin flame soulmate.

If I go by that edict, that would mean my late-husband was my twin flame soulmate. Does this then mean if I happen to fall in love again, this person will only be second best? Considering I tend to lean toward the very self-confident to borderline arrogant types, I’m somehow guessing my potential paramour would not take kindly to that option. In addition, many people change as they grow older. If Twin Flame Souls find each other and grow together that’s perfect and as it purportedly should be. However, for most of us, the soulmate that would have been perfect for us in high school, may not exactly be as acceptable in later years, unless they too have somehow continued to follow a congruent path in life, so then what?

That thin thread of hope the deities tossed out at us, that there’s always a possibility that we will find and connect with our perfect soulmates becomes ever more threadbare when one considers after all these eons, our Twin Flames Souls may be on the other side of the freaking planet. Hell, if Richard Branson has his way, that soulmate could be on Virgin Galactic heading to a galaxy far, far away in the really not too distant future.

Just as your heart has more than one way to love, so can your soul have more than one way to share. It is one of the many reasons why I find the Highlanderish “There can be only one” soulmate bullshit, well — bullshit.

To those of you who have found your Twin Flame Souls enjoy your Valentine’s Day. For the rest of us, lets grab our Twin Heart Souls, hit a bar and and hope Branson does not get his galactic wheels up anytime soon and give us earthlings a chance.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Editing to add: Thanks to my Sweet friend, I am reminded that Aristophanes’ speech from Plato’s Symposium is the Greek mythology I was trying to remember and any one who saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, knows the myth was best explained in the Origin of Love.

Writing Our Lives #52essays2017 challenge – Week 7
A year-long weekly personal essay/memoir/creative nonfiction writing challenge. To learn more about this challenge or to participate, check out Vanessa Martir’s website and learn about it.

Saturday Mix – Silly Soliloquy

footsteps in snow
Caught in Ol’ Man Winters blow,
It was not far I walked  in this snow
And the masses shy from my harried face,
Ignore how I pace, my steps retrace
For what was mine, now gone, I cannot glean
From whence the place it was last seen,
Oh how its lack makes my heart wrench
When I thought I spied it ‘pon you bench
But it was a trick of the sun’s glare
To make me think it could be there
In defeat, to bathroom I go to silently bawl
And find it still there by the stall
Some thought it’s trite how I bemoan
But it was not they who lost their phone!

For the MLMM Saturday Mix Bastet  invites us to write a short soliloquy. I find my self in a silly mood, thus a silly soliloquy. Willie Shakes has nothing to fear from the likes of me.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix – February 11, 2017 – Bastet

MLMM’s Wordle #141 – Brained

With his latest exploit leaving him temporarily unable to yell, his adroit digits fly over the keyboard. It almost seemed diabolist as the more he typed the more the words accelerated across the page in a desperate attempt to catch up with the seething mess of thoughts as they escaped the confines of his synapses. Drowning in his rage he pulled no punches. No he would not be polite in this, there will be no form of tact to soften the blows. Otherwise silent, only the rapid staccato of key strikes gave testament to his diatribe.

Minutes of manic typing pass before the cramp formed from being so tensely hunched over made him straighten his back and lift his head. He stopped cold as he caught sight of the furious expression of his likeness in the mirror off to the side. Still, the depth of his fury paled in comparison to the dazed and confused reflection of his partner standing off in a corner away from him. And just like that, the anger vanishes as he sighs in exulansis. With fanfare he yanks the sheet from the typewriter, balls it up and bins it.

Seeing the usual temper tantrum has once again passed, his partner smiles and happily bounces over to him expectantly.

“Gee, Brain. What are we going to do tonight?”
“The same thing we do every night, Pinky…”
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #141

Escape, Exulansis, Diabolist, Polite, Likeness, Fanfare, Seethe, Soften, Adroit, Drown, Mess, Accelerate

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

For those of you who may have no idea about those last two lines – try this:

And if you’re still flummoxed go here: Pinky & The Brain.

Verbal Diarrhea Diaries – In Lo Places

On the train this morning half not-listening to a subway sermon being held by a middle-aged, whatever that is, gentleman by the door. I generally do not listen to such at all; usually turning up my iPod on it, but apparently the Lord knew the poor soul vying for the stairway to heaven needed a little push in the right direction, even if from a heathen.

The minister* makes an exclamation that sounded strange, but I wasn’t sure and shrugged it off to having an Antoinette moment and misheard him. (Hi Antoinette!) When he repeated it and a couple of teenagers within earshot, clearly as dirty-minded as I, started giggling – it confirmed it for me.

Rai: Uh, excuse me? Sir?

He looks to see who addressed him, so I raised my hand. I think he was about to come over to me and talk shop, but takes one look at my purple hair, decides otherwise and stays by the door. Well, I darn sure was not getting out of my seat. Now, had he any sense, he would have ignored me, at least until I made a bigger pest of myself, but I was counting on his being such a man of God that he could not risk/resist turning his back on a sinner as I in such a public forum as the subway. Alas, I was right as he visibly steeled himself before acknowledging me from the door.

Minister: Yes, my sister? 

So, he wants to have this conversation out loud? Fine. By his tone he clearly expects a problem from me, which of course now made me more than happy to oblige.

Raivenne: 1. I’m not your sister and 2. You’re new at this aren’t you?

M: New?

R: New at subway preaching, or at least nervous, because you’re misquoting a saying and don’t realize it.

His look of incredulous combined with chagrin was well worth the price of admission. I truly wished I had something to drink, so I could take a sip to hide what I knew was a devilish grin starting to spread along my lips. After all how dare a purple-haired wretch such as myself question him?

M: Are you questioning the Word?

R: Never. I am questioning your word as you are misquoting His and a classic exclamation.

M: What do you mean?

R: Yes, the bible uses both lo and behold, but not together as you’re thinking. 

A woman sitting across from me starts nodding. I did not need the confirmation, but it was nice to have.

M: And what do you know of the Word?

R: Enough to know that what you’re saying, though attributed to the bible, is really a secular phrase.  It’s “lo!” as in hello or look and “behold” as in to see. Not twisted around as you’ve said it.

And because I am a person who is in for a penny-in for a pound, when it comes to being an ass, I could not resist adding…

R: Because, I seriously doubt Christ would ever say “Ho and be lowed”. Not even to Mary Magdalena.

Well, that did it!

The minister walks over to me as he flips through his Holy Bible. He flips, stops, looks, flips again – presumably in search of “lo and behold”. His whole body reads Oh, I’m about to shut you the hell up, all the way up to the point that he realized he’s not. He snapped the bible shut and glared at me.

R: Bible got your tongue?

The woman across from me snorted. I did not bother to hide my evil grin as the train pulled into a station and he left.

I did say I was an ass, no?

*I use minister here strictly in the sense of one who ministers the Word to others. I have no idea whether the gentlemen in question was ordained.