I Down – 1 to Go

I was scheduled to get my 1st Covid shot next week. Late yesterday I was called by the clinic and asked if it were possible for me to come in today. Luckily, I did not have training and accepted the change of schedule with a definitive “Is Amos famous?”. My best friend and I scheduled together so she had received the call as well. We both were free.

This morning we arrived at a little before the appointed time because I know there’s paperwork. Best laid plans, my best friend was fine, but no one could find my name. Long story made short about twenty minutes later one of the assistants had started his shift amidst the kerfuffle. It turned out he was the one who made the call and remembered speaking with me because of the silly Famous Amos comment and I was finally given the paperwork and received my shot.

Since I had now taken the day off work to have the shot – because I did not know how I would feel, I now had a free day. Before the schedule change, my bestie and I were going to go to Michael’s, a craft store, after my work shift. All I wanted one thing: a couple of cans of Mod Podge. Go there get it and come home. We were both feeling fine, so we decided to go ahead with the shopping plan.

Neither of us knew the Michael’s in that mall had closed. Well, what are two gals at a mall going to do? Some nearly $200 a piece at Target later, none of which contained Mod or Podge, answers that question. All was fine until I got home, put everything away and laid down because I felt sleepy.

Guess who just woke up about twenty minutes ago? Guess who put it down to side effect of the shot? Guess who still needs Mod Podge? And guess who just remembered to slice?

1 down was not supposed to be me!

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It’s Been One Year Since You’ve Looked At Me…

At 4pm one year ago today, I walked out of my place of employment without a clue as to when I would return. My boss literally said the words “Don’t come back here tomorrow.” The pandemic had hit, we went into emergency mode and my unit was one that would be working from home. My agency is twenty-four hours. There were/are units that continue to come in. There was no way around it, some services must be handled in person, even in the midst of a pandemic.

That translated to even though the City quarantined, and masks, hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing became de rigueur, on occasion my work wife and I would have to come to the office. It was part necessity and part breaking up what had quickly become the monotony of being cooped home. However, as the weather got cold, every couple of weeks became, once a month and once a month became we have not stepped foot in my office since the very first week of January.

We knew we were entering a ghost town with the barest amount of personnel, so dressing for ‘work’ had fallen by the wayside for my work-wife. I would not wear a full out suit, but I wore slacks and blouses, in my mind it’s the office. Still, we may have visited the office a maximum of fifteen times in this past year. It has dawned to me, now that people are being vaccinated, I suspect my office may reopen by the end of spring. Whether it will return to a full week or some split schedule is undetermined as of yet, as the City as a whole is excruciatingly, but definitely emerging into a new semblance of normal.

I’ve lived in mostly jeans and t-shirts. My wardrobe, work or otherwise, has barely been used in the past year; that is going to change. I know there are clothes in my closet that have not seen the light since Winter 2019. I am not going to lie, I have gained the Covid 20+ and I am not looking forward to going through some of my clothes. And while I admit to the retail therapy I’ve done in the interim, it’s not going to be pretty for some of my wardrobe. Not to mention, 0I have not worn proper shoes in over a year. Can I even walk in my low work heels anymore?

After a year of various levels of quarantine, I am looking forward to regularly seeing friends and (certain), colleagues again, dining in restaurants, going to concerts and movies and Broadway! Above all, I am looking forward to travelling again. Other than a weekend jaunt to Philadelphia last November, I have not left my fair City since I returned from Cuba in spring of 2019. In the words of Lenny Kravitz: I want to get away – I want to fly away – yeah – yeah- yeah

Still, I find myself conflicted. Am I ready for real clothes, five days a week again? After a year of pretty much living in Hermitsville, am I ready for the noise… the people(!)? As much as I am looking forward to being out and about once more am I ready for the world again?

More important is it ready for me?

PS: !! Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!

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Sudoku Who?

I am the first person to admit, while I do well enough at English – I am a writer, poet and blogger after all – my skill in mathematics leaves MUCH to be desired. I never cared about my X and don’t you dare ask me about Y I’m that way. Surprisingly, geometry and I got along. Acute, obtuse, isosceles, squares, and pretty much any dang thing that suffixed in “-agon” were good buddies of mine because it was shapes – my artist brain understood those type of figures. Other than that? Fuhgettaboutit! I get confused looking at math problems in TV and movies. “Good Will Hunting” became a foreign language every time Matt Damon’s character, the eponymous Will, stepped to the black board. Hell, a depiction of high school Trigonometry would have been/still remains out of my depth of comprehension.

Suffice it to say when Sudoku became a ‘thing’, I saw numbers, heard you have to do math and promptly said “Uh… noPe.” To be fair, over the years I have looked at a game or two, tried to fathom it out, but the (il)logic behind them seemed as variable and numerous as, well, numbers. I am not a fan.

Thus, I am not quite sure how on earth THIS happened last night…

Sudoku game finished
A messy win, is a win nonetheless.

A friend online mentioned sudoku and yesterday became one of those weird times where I thought to myself, Meh, why not? I googled “easy” sudoku games, hit a random link and printed one out. I assumed by easy it meant I could complete it in about 30 minutes. HAH! Did I say HAH! ? What I meant was *snort-chortle-snigger-HAH!*. That nonsense took nearly 90 minutes, and as you see from the various scratch outs and overlays; I did not have an easy time at all. However, unlike every other game I attempted in the past, for once I saw the pattern. I had more than half the game done within the first hour. It’s the most I had ever done and it made me determined to complete this miracle. The remainder was correcting my mistakes in order to figure out the rest of the game.

I did not find this fun or relaxing. I still do not understand the appeal. It will likely be a few more years before I am thus intrigued to try again. Still, I was so stunned that I had finally, Finally, FINALLY completed my first sudoku game I took a picture for prosperity. A memory I get to share now, with no plans to try it again in the immediate future.

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+ Energy –

It’s a Monday and it feels as though my energy reserves are all over the place today.


  • COFFEE and drinking it out an oversized mug shaped like a skull
  • Silliness with my best friend this morning
  • Able to get a series of work related items that were on the back burner, completed by noon
  • Muse giving me inspiration for a story
  • Knowing the official start of spring is just mere days away


  • Realizing the day was passing quickly and I had yet to post
  • A couple of work related calls that were just *aarrghh-ravating*
  • Received incorrect package that took over an hour with customer service to resolve
  • Ol’ Man Winter reminding who’s still in charge with another massive drop in temps today
  • Knowing the feel of spring itself is still a couple of weeks away


I need to slow down take a moment and at least stand at the window to notice the day, I’m clearly down with winter’s chill and I am looking very forward to spring.

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Vegetation Station

Remember yesterday when I turned into Domestic Goddess and lost my dang mind cleaning? Remember that I declared today would be a day of vegetation? Remember?

Yeah…about that…

To be fair I didn’t exactly lie. Some vegetation was done by me. Fine, let me start from the beginning. I woke up 7am and remembered we sprang forward into daylight savings. The only time telling devices that advance automatically are my computer, my TV and my phone. All other clocks and my watches are manual. Meh, I already lost an hour, what’s another one right? I lounged around in my bed reading until each time I glanced at the clock in my bedroom with its one-hour off time annoyed me enough to do something about it. So first job of the day around 10am was to go through the place and set everything that needs setting. That was fine until I reached the living room I saved for last because I was going to vegetate there for a bit. That’s where I once again encountered the three 16qt bags of soil I had purchased to repot my plants. The bags annoyed me yesterday as I had to pick up bags of dirt in order to clean under said bags and put the dirt back on the floor. The irony was not lost and now they blocked the way to the living room clock. Okay that’s it, this needs be handled, now.

See those five pots of plants below? There were only two this morning.

Five potted peace lily plants.

Because I knew this was going to be a mess I was prepared. I had enough sheets of plastic on the floor and nearby furnishings to make Dexter proud. If you don’t get the reference let’s just say I could dismember a body and not get a drop of blood on anything. Soil however is not as cooperative. It takes a surprising amount of time to take what was in two pots and split them into five. And in spite of my best efforts, some soil found the one chink in dirt blocking armor and took advantage of it that yes, I had to sweep and mop the floor again when done.

While cleaning I remembered I needed to go to the bank and after the bank was a few errands since I was already out there and when I came back I needed to make dinner and after dinner was made I played tech support over the phone to someone having a computer issue. [Let’s not talk about that – just no.] When I was done, the last thing I wanted to see was a computer, totally forgetting I need to slice. I ate my dinner, Italian sausage and peppers over linguini with a side salad for the curious, and then I remembered I wanted to start on an art project for my bestie. I swear I do know how to relax, I really do!

Incomplete art project: black silhouette of a seated woman against an abstract purple, gold and white background
incomplete art project

I stopped when my 11pm alarm went off reminding me to get ready for bed, I have work in the morning. I also got peckish, so I went to the fridge and took out an orange. Want to guess what that orange reminded me to do?

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What Had Happened Was…

Now mind you, every other day I pick a room or two and clean. At times it’s a quick sweep and dust. At times it’s a full out clean. I’m in a two bedroom apartment. Within any seven days, I’ve cleaned at least at two-thirds of the place, so it’s never really dirty. However, every now and the the stars align on a sunny day – it’s always a sunny day, never an overcast or rainy one – and my mind, without any consent from the rest of me that had other (non)plans, goes into domestic goddess mode. Today turned into one of those days.

I woke up at 9am. I lollygagged a bit and rose at a 9:15am with the intent to shower and have a nice relaxing day where I’ll figure out a slice for today and then some vegetating, because gosh darn it I deserve a mindless day. I reached to get clothes from the dresser before I shower, when I touched the top and it felt a little sticky. Oh right, a squirt of the lotion I used yesterday had landed there. I had wiped it away, but a slight residue remained. Well, that just feels gross, let me clean it properly.

Go to the kitchen to get proper cleaning materials and see the cereal bowl I left in the sink before I went to bed. That’s a no-no, let me wash this, but hey, I haven’t had breakfast let me do that, wash everything and be done with it. Okay, get myself some French toast and sausage, check emails, scroll Facebook, and call my bestie while I eat, then return to kitchen to clean dishes. Sink hose starts to slip and in my rush to not let it recoil, squeezed harshly wetting the dishes, the sink and the floor. Sigh, finish the dishes, get the mop and clean up the water.

The wet kitchen floor turned into the floor looks dull, turned into full clean of sink, stove, fridge, mop floor and then mop-n-glo the floor to appropriate shine. That turned into the bathroom being scoured and the linen closet being reorganized, turned into the sheets being changed, the bedroom being mopped and shined, turned into…turned into… turned… You get point.

Now over twelve hours later, the apartment has been cleaned aft to bow, port to stern. I’ve even taken out meat to defrost so I can cook tomorrow. Want to guess what haven’t I done?

Showered. Dressed. Sliced. Or vegetated.

I’ve got to shower before I go to bed, because the dirtiest thing in my apartment now is me. I’ll be switching from one set of PJs to another and I’m slicing now. So much for what I deserve today, huh?

Let’s see what vegetation tomorrow brings with one less hour to do it (dang, I think I may have just jinxed myself).

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“She Was Just Walking Home”

On March 3rd, Sarah Everard, 33 of Clampham, south London, UK left the home of her friends to walk home. She never made it. Police confirmed that the remains found in a woodland area yesterday was hers.

“She was just walking home.”

I remember it was an early summer afternoon, a school day. I was on my way home from the public library; book bag slung over one shoulder, wearing dark jeans, sneakers, a white t-shirt under a red, white and blue plaid with tiny silver metallic threads shirt. I was standing at the curb, under the elevated train tracks, waiting for the traffic signal to change. I noted the car slowly creeping forward as some drivers do when impatiently waiting for a light to change. I was not in the way, I paid no attention to it when I heard a male voice.
“You so pretty, bet you’d be even prettier naked. You should let me see.”
This was from a man, not a peer – not some boy around my age being horrible, but a man. A grown man who in no way could have thought I was an adult. I had not developed boobs yet. There was something about him. Yes, it was broad daylight, but I was at the corner by myself. There nearest person was a half block away in the opposite direction. I remember worrying: Do I wait until he drives off? Is he going to follow me? Do I need to change directions? What if he gets out of that car?

It was the first time I felt danger from a man. I was twelve.

In my twenties I was married with two sons. I went to the laundry every Saturday morning. One Saturday a man entered and decided he wanted to chat. I decided I did not want to. He insisted in asking for my name. I insisted I was married and not interested, so knowing my name was not any of his – good-bye. He showed up again the following Saturday. Clearly this was my neighborhood. I was pissed-offed, but not entirely surprised he suddenly showed up in my local market. I informed my husband, but naturally my wannabe Lothario was no where about the next Saturday at the laundry. As it turned out within the following week, as I was heading toward my building, a friend spotted me and started yelling my name to get my attention. Naturally, I ignored him because I HATE that, worse – guess who I spotted within hearing distance? However, the damage was done as the friend had reached me and it was clear he was yelling for me. The only saving grace was that Bill was exiting the building as I was busy cursing-out the friend out for being an asshole and why. Bill came up from behind, putting his arms around me, and yelled at our friend
“Why the fuck are you screaming out my wife’s name in the middle of the street like that? Have you lost your damn mind?”
At that point Bill saw the guy. He looked me, he looked at guy, he looked at me and I tapped the arm that held me in our code we had for problems. He let go of me and headed in the guy’s direction. Suffice it to say the guy was already backing away at the confirmation that I had a husband and said husband was not an exactly a small guy. I never saw him again. While relieved, it pissed me off anew that the asshole did not accept my rejection. He had followed me. He had my address and because of my asshole friend, had my name. It took seeing my husband’s physical presence before he stopped. I had to wonder were I in fact a single woman how long before I may have been attacked. I wondered if he moved on to another woman who was not as fortunate.

When portable music players became a thing, CDs first, then MP3 players, I learned to keep headphones on my head when so I could pretend I did not hear the nonsense thrown at me when in the street. But I never, ever have music playing in case I needed to deal with someone more aggressive who would not take the hint of simply being ignored. But that does not always help.

In my thirties, I texted my husband to meet me at the train station late one evening after hanging out with friends because of the way a man kept staring at me on the train. I had never contacted my husband with such a request before in all the time we were married. The man had exited the train when I had. He was about to follow me down the stairs when Bill appeared at the foot of them and greeted me. I heard as the man turned and went back up the stairs. Neither of us saw him come down the other side, as far as we could tell, before the stairs were out of sight. But we knew, he was going to follow me.

Twice as a widow in my mid-forties I have gotten off the train and jumped in a cab to ride the four blocks to my home because of that feeling. I will say both times, when I explained the situation, both drivers refused to take my money. All in the name of safety.

Many girls learn from a young age to change their behavior in order to try to feel safe when walking alone, because there are going to be times we will be walking alone. That onus is not on boys as such. Personal safety is a constant self-awareness in our daily lives. One we modify constantly. All in the name of safety.

Do I wear a dress or slacks? Do I wear heels or flats? If I wear heels, do I need to switch to a bigger purse to carry my flats? Questions I must ask each time I go out, in case I have to run. All in the name of safety.

Now in my fifties I don’t go out alone if I think I won’t be home before midnight unless I have taxi money. That also curtails where I go because a late night taxi ride across the City can run me up to $70 on top of whatever expenditures incurred while hanging out. All in the name of safety.

Once, I was meeting my husband for dinner at a friend’s apartment after work. I exited the train and headed towards my destination when I heard whistling behind me. I ignored it and continued walking. It became clear that the whistling was directed at me, coming from someone in a car on the street. I refused to look, because that can be seen as an invitation. A car suddenly turned the corner in front of me and I realized it was my husband and he was pissed I had not responded to him.
“Why didn’t you answer me when I whistled?”
“Do you have ANY idea how often I am whistled at? I can’t afford to so much as look!”
That took him aback.
For even the men that love us, that care about us, that know us, just do not understand, because the constant harassment rarely happens in their presence.

Some men still do not realize we single women share our addresses – or the addresses of the bars/parks/date locations of where we’re going – with each other via text or WhatsApp, to keep ourselves safe. We set up calls with our friends. “If you haven’t heard from me by X time, call me. If I don’t answer, call the police.” It is every female’s right to not fear walking alone; it is not our reality. Being a woman is constant worry for our safety — walking with keys between our fingers, being on high alert always — it is fucking exhausting.

Photo of a female's hand with keys pointed out between fingers.
A tweet yesterday posed this question and response. Its UK based, but it is an question and response known by women globally.

When we hear/read of such attacks we each live with the susurrus that could have been me. So many women have lit up Twitter in the past few days on the many ways they have harassed and/or felt unsafe. And a constant theme throughout many of the tweets were the words “She was just walking home.”

“Not all men” attack but all women experience the fear of it. And we are so, SO DONE with being told we just need to avoid certain streets or areas, don’t be out certain at times or don’t dress a certain way. Sarah Everard was in bright colors, wearing clothes comfortable for walking the less than hour trek to her home. She was simply living her life. “She was just walking home.”

I’m sure Sarah Everard was aware #NotAllMen, also. She was on the phone talking to her boyfriend during part of her trek. She was not attacked by #NotAllMen. The only thing she did wrong was encounter #TheWrongMan. The one who could not respect one fact:

“She was just walking home.”


Fighting migraine all day. Tried to post earlier, couldn’t concentrate and crashed again; means a near literal last minute post tonight. Can’t even pretend. Going back to bed, try again tomorrow.

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Oh, Now You Tell Me…?

A bit of a under the wire whinge…

screen capture of utility bill that reads: Your electricity us is projected to be 33% higher this billing period. Compared to same time last year

Riiiiiiiight! Because nothing warms the cockles such as one’s utility company sending an email warning you they are about to empty your wallet for having dared to warm more than one’s cockles. I’m amused to see this now.*

Amuses me as we are now at the tail end of winter. By the calendar, a little over a week from the official start of spring. Yes, we have a few couple more weeks or so, of cold days, but things will be decidedly warming up in another month. I will not require as much gas/electricity to warm the apartment and can look forward to the bill finally going down. Yet, it annoys me to no end. for I have paid out ridiculous amounts these past four months for the basic privilege of not turning into a Raivenne-sicle. Well, I’m just peachy.*

The same time last year part annoys me. Until one year ago, like most of the office working world, I was not in my home Mondays through Fridays because I was at work. Thus, there was no need for my home to be heated for eleven hours out of the day. That changed almost a year ago with the onset Covid and we were quarantined. It was almost spring, thus the increase in my April utility was a little higher, as expected, but nothing egregious. It normalized after after, so I’m okay with it.*

This lovely information should have been sent in November, where it might have done some good. A little, hey customer, just a heads-up – we know it’s Covid, it’s winter and and all. And you’re home all day now. And even with wearing turtle necks and hoodies in the house to help compensate – it’s going to cost you a couple, oh fine, more than a few pennies more this winter would have slightly offset the surprise of that first bill in December. Let’s not talk about the sticker shock of my January bill once winter temps really kicked in. These past four months of being home 24/7 were an eye opener. Dropping that little tidbit in the email with my current bill four dang months too late is -well- cold, but I’m good with it.*

Even the contrasts in typeset galls me. Nice big darks letters to subtly inform me my bill is going to higher. Then, in lieu of parenthesis the, “Compared to the same time last year”, of the last line in a much smaller and lighter color font. Were we not supposed to notice this year that we’re paying more than last year? What was the point? It may be a reliable 10-15° rise in temperatures, but that is still 10-15° lower than what is presumed comfortable for most humans in NYC. Which means, unless we have an unexpected and extended warm snap (Oh pretty please Demeter(!)), I’m still going to need to heat my home for another month. So nice to understand it’s projected to cost me 33% more. I’m feeling so much better for knowing.*

*I’m really not.

Simply Speaking

We talk about wanting things to be simple, we all seem to know what it’s not, but what is simple really?


sim·ple simpəl/ adjective

1. easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
― Oscar Wilde

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
― Confucius

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.
― Mother Teresa

All that just to say, I’m having a busy day, so I’m keeping this post simple while I remember to post at all. Gotta go!