Calendar Girl

It seem a number of people either in real life or here among slicers are all talking about their schedules. With St. Paddy’s Day on Saturday and a birthday celebration on Sunday, I figure I should take a look at mine.

Now, everyone who knows well enough knows – I make no promises to attend anything without consulting my calendar first. Especially after the fiasco a few years back where I did not just double, but triple booked myself for events within the same five-hour time frame. I am very conscientious of managing my time better now.

That being said, I realize now that I have something planned for the next seven weekends and a smattering of weekday events tossed in for good measure. Between birthday parties, a house-warming, movies, Paint Nites, concerts and art galleries and The 24 Hour Project and brunches and friends visiting and posting slices… and… and… and…

And yeah, I’m now exhausted just looking at my calendar.

And yeah, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(See you April 7th GirlGriot!)


Today is Day 13 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Not Exactly What I Meant

When I told someone I need to chill this is not exactly what I meant…

tulip buds in snow
…Though it is very representative of my mood right now.

Frosted over, but trying to push through the madness. I seriously chose the wrong year to give up coffee for Lent.


Today is Day 8 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Let’s how other are slicing and hopefully doing a better job of chilling out today…

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It Catches Up…

Mr. Sandman has chased Ms. Insomnia around the mulberry bush for three days.  I may have slept a total of ten hours twixt these three days.

Maybe it’s all the snow that has fallen on my fair city these past few hours, I don’t know. When Insomnia stopped to take a gander at the pristine snowy city streets Sandman finally caught up to the elusive chick. They are battling still, but I feel she’s losing this round – rapidly and I couldn’t be happier.

My head feels like the marionette string has been cut, I can barely keep my head up. The result being one yawn filled slice before the hay hits me <— not a typo.

G’nite y’all.


Today is Day 7 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.

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Sometimes You Fail Non Stop

I write. I write documentation at work. I write creatively every where else I can. For instance this is me, during my cruise working on a story while waiting to dock.

Writing during down time while cruzing

In the Broadway show “Hamilton: An American Musical”, at the end of Act I there’s a number called Non Stop in which the friends and family of Alexander Hamilton both praise and bemoan the prolific wordsmith.

“How do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive?
How do you write like you need it to survive?
How do you write ev’ry second you’re alive?
Ev’ry second you’re alive? Ev’ry second you’re alive?”

This is me to a smaller degree, but not by much depending on who you ask.

If I have an idea I write  or at least try to write a note to myself to revisit an idea later. Trains. Boats. Planes. At a bar. In the middle of a party wherever I am.

However the downside of that is on occasions like today, where I find myself writing so much about the whole fruit, I forget I need to be writing about – you guessed it – the slice.

So for the second day  -er- night  in a  row. I skate in just under the midnight hour.


Today is Day 6 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.

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Stepping Up!

One of the interesting things about my daily commute is the hill. New York City is not known for its hills. There’s a reason we have an area call Flatlands in Brooklyn and the magical phenomenon called Manhattanhenge which occurs a couple of times a year.. Then you travel north to upper Manhattan where there are inclines that can rival San Francisco. The train station where I exit my evening commute home just happens to be halfway to the bottom of one. There is even a simple marker in the park near one end of the station that notes the area as the highest natural elevation on Manhattan.

Suffice to say at over 400 feet deep it’s a long climb from the subway platform to the street level. Essentially, we are talking a five story tenement building climb.

Normally this is not an issue as there are escalators to help. Two going up and one down, plus a standard flights of stairs. A week ago the usual escalator that goes down went out of service for major repairs, scheduled to be back in service, I hope, next week.  As a result, one of the usually two escalators going up, was switched to a down escalator. There was a reason for there being two escalators that went up. This station is a busy station. Two are needed for the volume of ridership that disembark at the station. Down to only one working up escalator the inevitable happened. It gave its all – and died. So this evening after a long day of work, I exit the train and just know by the number or people walking to the right instead of left that the up escalator is broken. This has happened no less than five times last year that I can recall.

Granted, I could walk to the other end of the station and take the elevator, (yes the station also has elevators), but then I would have to walk that same distance back to continue home. What I save in convenience and accessibility, I loose in time. I don’t consider the trade-off worth it, so I climb the steps.

When this happens I dubbed them my “Rocky” steps. For climbing them is very reminiscent of the Philadelphia Art Museum Steps the titular character had trouble climbing. For like Rocky and his steps at the beginning, I have yet to make it up the entire flight of steps without stopping at least twice. I’m faster than a couple of people, much more are faster than I, leaving my in the smoke of their speed. I have no shame, when I need to stop and catch my breath for a moment for a moment, I stop and wheeze and pant. As I stood at the bottom step and looked up at the daunting task ahead of me, I figured today was going to be no different.

Or so I thought…

Today, I plugged in my iPod grabbed a banister and started to climb. It was Drowning Pool and I trudging up the stairs. I didn’t look I simply climbed.  I felt my first twinge telling me I was going to need to stop. I looked up and to my surprise I was more than three-quarters up the stairs!!

But… but… But How?!?!?  

I had never made it that far up without stopping, I was not going to stop now! I continued climbing. My knees started complaining. I looked up and could have counted the steps if I stopped. I wasn’t stopping. I could easily count I had about a dozen steps left when my lungs started their wheeze.

Are you kidding me? Less than a dozen. Not so easy, let alone peasey, but…

Oh! My! God! I! Did! It!

No, I did not jump up and down like Rocky Balboa. 1- I was too out of breath and 2- while I’m sure many would have gotten the reference, 3 – I would have looked absolutely ridiculous in my suit and winter coat jumping up an down on the pavement.

I climb the steps without stopping! That’s not to say I am going to be able to do the same tomorrow if they’re still down. That’s not so say I will not pray that the escalator is working tomorrow.

But today – today….?

Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly!!!!


Today is Day 5 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Wake Up, Shake Up

My eyes opened on the alarm clock blinking at me.

Huh? Blinking?  Crap!

Apparently the power had tripped some three plus hours ago. Luckily my circadian system still works and that’s what woke me. I glance at the burgeoning dawn outside my window, grab my cell phone and see I have roughly forty minutes to get it together and catch the bus.

You can do this, shake a tail feather, Raivenne!

Please note, I am not a morning At. All. So I am still not quite awake as I haul arse out of bed and head to the bathroom for my morning ablutions. I am under the shower when my brain starts to come online at last.


Why didn’t the alarms on my mobile wake me, even if the clock radio didn’t? 

Oh for fuck’s sake! It’s bloody Sunday!

Sigh – I’m wide awake now, in annoyance.

On the plus side – I’ve changed my sheets, completed the Sunday Whirl, posted the story that sprang from it, checked my emails and now have an easy slice to submit today.

Even better –  once I post this I’m off to brunch!


Today is Day 4 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Walk. Chew. Rinse. Repeat.

I’m on the subway, iPod plugged in with rock music. My cell phone in hand as I scroll through Facebook trying to not laugh out loud at some of the silliness my friends have posted overnight in response to Astroglide <– see yesterday’s SOL18 post for that explanation, if you don’t get the reference – among other things, when I feel a gentle, but definitive tap on my shoulder.

I was deep into my personal Lip Sync Battle, giving Steven Tyler a run for his money on that high note in Aerosmith’s “Dream On” and did not appreciate the interruption. Somehow managing to not sigh loudly, I turn to a fellow commuter with a questioning look.

“Hi, I’m sorry, but I have to ask: how do you do that?”

I, of course, do not have a clue as to what the hell “that” is I am doing and state such.

Apparently, I have the ability to not just listen to my music, also but lip sync with it while simultaneously reading Facebook posts and clearly laugh at them.

Really? She’s honestly asking this, non-facetiously? I’m equally impressed and appalled at her single-mindedness that thinks this is norm.

“Multitasking?” I shrug, not getting why I am being disturbed for such drivel.

Rai, be nice to the people, don’t be a Mean Girl – I hear my work wife kvetching at me in my mind. Fine!

“No, you’re reading, laughing at what you’re reading, while lip syncing to the song and still manage to hit repeat on your iPod barely missing a beat as far as I can tell.” She states emphatically.

Uh, just how long has this women been observing me? 

I am a little confused at first, but then I get it that she cannot do those things – simultaneously.

Soooo? I care because…

“If I tried that I’d either be singing the words I’m reading out loud or have to stop either lip syncing or reading.” She continued confirming my thought.

I bit back the urge of my Sarcastic Siren in me that wanted to inquire if she were capable of efficient forward motion in the midst of the consumption of  Wrigley’s Doublemint. Hey, I said I bit her back, but it was a close call.

“I don’t think about it, I just do it.” I replied honestly, “Anything else?”

She shook her head in the negative and we returned to our individual, in my case multiple, pursuits. A couple of train stops later, I felt I was being stared upon. Sure enough it’s her.


“Are you even aware that you added toe and finger tapping to everything else? I mean how?”

What is with this chick? Did she not get enough attention as a child? Was she given too much?

Seriously, Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.????

At this point I most emphatically regret having given up coffee for Lent as I am on my way to work and it’s much too early for alcohol, not to mention it’s kind of – you know- frowned upon.

“Have you ever been to a live music concert?” I asked through near gritted teeth.

“Of course!” She seemed offended that such a thing -her having never attended a live concert- could be the case. I could not have cared less if she were.

“Ever notice how a drummer can play two different rhythms on each hand) with his sticks, as his feet strike a different beat on the base drum, while he take cues from – or give cues as the group lead and sings at the same time?”

Side note to say Thank you To the amazing Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters for popping into mind and being the inspiration for this impromptu object lesson. Some of you will get the reference. Hopefully, all of you will understand the example.

“Yeah..” She nods in the affirmative, but still looks a tad confused.

“Same principle. I have no idea how drummers can do that, they just can.I have no idea why you cannot, but you can’t. I’m not special because I can. You’re not less than because you can’t. It just is. Capiche?” ” I finish.

“My dad says capiche when I’m annoying him. I’m annoying you aren’t I?”

“Why nooooooooo! Don’t let the fact that I’m about to plug back into my iPod and ignore you for the rest of my ride mean anything. It’s nothing personal, honey. Scouts Honor! Capiche?”

I bet you’ve already figured out I was never a scout, haven’t you, dear readers?

So okay – yeah, the Sarcastic Siren mode came out with that one. Enough that a guy sitting on the other side of her snorted, loudly.

I went back to what I was doing and I’ll be damned if I didn’t notice her trying to multitask a few minutes later. I shake my head sadly and ignore her.

The guy on the other side of her catches my eye and smirks in sympathy – at least I think that’s what it is– as he exits. I’m just grateful I exit in a few more stops and I can leave her to work it out for herself.


Today is Day 2 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge.
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Oh, For Crying Out Loud!

My commute is such that while all of my subway ride is underground, various stations along the route are equipped with free WiFi. The thirty to forty-five seconds spent at each station is usually just enough time for my smartphone to pick up a signal and perhaps update texts and/or an app or two. As such I was having something of a textation, a texting conversation, with a friend. As we each were on different trains, with anything between two to seven minutes between stations, we innately accepted the stop and go nature of it.

At one pointed she texted something that caught me completely off-guard. I just was not expecting such words to come from her and it touched me in a way I was not prepared to handle. There I was, on the subway, choking with feeling. I was so completely overcome by it. I felt my face contort, tears I could not control were about to fall. It was made all the worse when the man sitting next to me touched my trembling shoulder asking if I were okay. I immediately put my head in my lap unable to answer. Unable to stop the ragged gasping that fell from my lips. I was just short of keening as I desperately tried to suppress my emotions.


It started with her asking me about a -how shall I say this? stranger than usual- Facebook post and the snark started. I wish I could share, but the comments started in the gutter and went downhill fast, even by my prurient standards. Taken on its own, it would not have been as amusing, but in context of the randomness of the texts coming in, some out of order, the time of morning, the picking on of a mutual friend and the simple lack of that life giving thing called coffee, it was all the more funny than it ever should have been to disastrous results.  That emotion I was choking on? Pure unhinged laughter.

I was was not just crying with laughter, I trying with all of my might not to howl with it. And that was my mistake.

I should have learned my lesson from the last time this happened and just let it out to begin with.  This happened to me years ago at work, where several of my colleagues, and my boss, thought I was distraught over something as I was literally sobbing with suppressed laughter for a solid ten minutes because my cubicle mate at the time and I got into a case of the giggles and completely lost it. When it happened back then, I went off the floor to the ladies room and let it all out – much to the amusement of the one colleague who witnessed the transition from presumably distraught to dying of laughter as I could barely breath for it.  The memory of that last time combined with this one. And. Did. Not. Help. At. All.  Apparently, laughing hysterically and sobbing hysterically share many properties, thus why the word hysteria exists. The poor caring -and bless their souls- folks on the train simply could not tell at first.  It was a good two stations until I could finally lift my tear stained face and unmistakably guffaw at their expressions, letting those near me on the train know I was clearly crazy as a loon, but otherwise fine.

I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can’t understand what I mean?
Well, you soon will
–“One Week” Bare Naked Ladies



Let’s see how others are losing it through the rest of this Monday:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 27

Fine Dining

Yesterday was all about Georgia O’Keeffe, but that was not all I saw while at Brooklyn Museum. Continuing its feminist vibe, the museum also has on exhibit “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago.

At some point in our lives we ask or are asked “If you could have dinner with…?” type of question. In her work “The Dinner Party” artist Judy Chicago takes that question and answers it in a magnificent way. It is a tribute of women from mythical goddesses, government leaders, wordsmiths, artists, scholars, activists and more, from historical to 20th century contemporaries.

Before you get to the table itself you pass through an entry where you are welcomed via a series of banners which hang from the ceiling. The phrases, depicted in much of the color pallet used in the main exhibit, read:

“And She Gathered All before Her”
“And She made for them A Sign to See”
“And lo They saw a Vision”
“From this day forth Like to like in All things”
“And then all that divided them merged”
“And then Everywhere was Eden Once again”

I do not know Ms. Chicago’s intention, but reading this I felt as though a powerful feminine deity looked around to see the mess that had been made of things and took action setting things right.

And then you enter “The Dinner Party”

“The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museun

“The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago at Brooklyn Museum

I had heard of the iconic, large scale project years ago. Still I was not prepared for the monumental scope of it. Chicago does not invite just one iconic woman, but what has to be nearly a thousand women in history to dinner. The lighting is intimate and inviting. You want to lean in and view each setting. About 40 who are represented by place settings at the triangular shaped table and rest via names inscribed on floor on which the table rests. Because of the flowing text and the lighting, I initially felt the table floated on tiles made to look like water. Especially in the center of the floor where the names of so many women, a representation of the ebb and flow, the fluidity of the female spirit throughout history. I thought it fitting.

Ceramics, intricately embroidered table linens sit beneath utensils and golden chalices surrounding unique porcelain plates created for each invitee, with radiating forms representing female external sexual organs. Akin to a Georgia O’Keefe flower painting in spirit, she of course is a guest at this astonishing table. I was amazed by the beauty and depth of detail of each setting.

I cannot fathom the amount of staff involved in the creation of such amazing craftwork, but I give immense praise to all who brought this to life.




Let’s see how the others are slicing their Sunday,

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 26

Georgia On My Mind

And before you start humming any more of the classic Ray Charles song, I mean Georgia O’Keeffe, the artist and one of, if not, the inventor of the American modernism genre in Art. Brooklyn Museum currently hosts an inspiring exhibit.


The exhibit, though featuring numerous pieces of her art, was more about the woman herself. Known as much for her free spirit as for her dramatic and often sensual of art, something she maintained was never intentional,  O’Keefe was a female role model in the male dominated world of abstract and fine art. Her unique style made her a standout in many ways.

It was in the 1920s, when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it. I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
–Georgia O’Keeffe


The queue to view the exhibit.

Like much of her art, when she wasn’t wearing black, she wore deep, rich hues. Preferring well-tailored, nearly mannish in her cut of clothes, instead of the more flowy, frilly styles that are a constant of women’s fashion, O’Keefe preferred a more androgynous look in her clothing style long before we started bandying the word about.

A style icon in her own right, the exhibit displays items of her clothing, and accessories -off the rack and custom made, over the years. She was also a sassy little minx as images captured her in various states of contemplation and dress – and undress- from various photographers such as Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, and others, but especially her ex-lover Alfred Stieglitz. These photographs interspersed throughout the exhibit cover decades of her life and are as much art themselves in the stories they tell of their subject.

The exhibit also included video interviews of her at different times in her long career. Seeing and hearing her adds even more dimension when combined with all these personal pieces of her.Though I have known of her work all my life, I really knew nothing of the artist’s life until this exhibit.

It was a wonderful fusion of the art and the artist. I have a new and much deeper respect of both for it.




Let’s see how the others sliced it up their Saturday,

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 25