For The Last Time

*SIGH* I’m in a mood today…

It’s funny what things you remember

“I didn’t give you permission to go anywhere, young lady.” Me – 40 to a 71 year old. She left anyway.

“Don’t give me that look! If you don’t make it to fifty, whenever I catch up with you, I’m gonna make you SO sorry you married me!” He didn’t – jury is still out on whether I keep my end of the bargain – only time will tell.

“Man, I haven’t won a pot in two years. You fixing the scores or something. At least let a sista win a box or two, cuz! Or else!” Never won another pot or a box at least not in that specific football pool.

“Oh please! You better come to my birthday this year or I am not going to any of yours ever again!” As of last Saturday I know she won’t make it. The rest is now a given…

Because of the latest one I am remembering how I was just me, being me, leaving them laughing. Not knowing they would soon be leaving me, reminiscing on this earthly plane.

It is a silver lining. A faint silver lining. One feeling a little tarnished right now.

It’s funny what things you rememberit’s tragic what things you wish you could forget.


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

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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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And Press “Pause”

Today is the finish line for the 15th Year Slice of Life Story. It’s been a great run. I have not missed a day, and while I have definitely pants it close a couple of times this month, this is the first year I was never in danger of missing a post for 2022. I must say, that’s a pretty good feeling. Alas, another 31 days and flavors is in the books. Off to the next big thing, right. Hmmmm, not exactly.

Usually I go straight from the Slice of Life Writing Challenge straight into National Poetry Writing Month as I have done for the past several years.  

However, there are 18 items sitting in draft mode here on WordPress alone. Some are partially done poems needing tweaking, some essay ideas to be fleshed out, three are nothing more than a couple of lines of an idea I want to work with at some point. There’s a book I’ve been working with off and on for a couple of years. There’s my fanfiction. And let’s not talk about the literal pages of ever multiplying plot bunnies clamoring to be fleshed out into something more. Thus, I know it is not because I do not have anything to say. Because in spite of Muses best efforts to get as much out of me and onto paper, canvas and pixels, it’s all bottle-necked. I don’t like that for all my output, the things I want out the most are not getting out there. And I don’t know why.

I don’t like not knowing.

I do consider myself a decent story-teller, and yes, it pleases me that some want to hear/read what I have to say whether in poem, prose, essay, blog or my Verbal Diarrhea Diaries, but I also feel something of a responsibility to that which will remain behind in these pixels long after I am gone. Because one edict I did have is this: if I felt strongly enough about something to put it out there, even if I must apologize later [and as a Virgo who abhors being -gasp- wrong, believe me, I avoid being in that situation like it’s plague], I may edit or tone it down, but I do not take it back.

Noticed that did in there?

It is that responsibility, where I have increasingly found myself thinking of better ways to express a thought coherently only after I hit ‘publish’, which has me galled to no end. Between the bottleneck mentioned above, and this lexical lethargy has become increasingly worrisome and hit its head earlier this week. La Impostrata, a personification of the Imposter Syndrome coined by fellow blogger and real life friend GirlGriot, struck big time and for the first time ever I trashed something I wrote. No, I did not return it to draft mode to be pondered over and reworked for another time – I trashed it. And then trashed the trash can in my perturbment. I can all but hear writer friends of mine gasp in the horror at this cardinal writing sin. I know, I KNOW! I sincerely apologize to you for that horrid lapse in judgement. But mostly I apologize to myself because as a person who has files with snippets of discarded writings in the belief it will be used elsewhere later, I damn sure know better. I am ashamed of myself. Something has to give.

So rather than submit myself to another month of more writing pressure, I’m choosing to press pause on challenges for now. I’m going to step back and sit out this year’s National Poetry Writing Month.

Oh, I will still write and post poems in April, fret not (not that those who know me were). There is no way Calliope, Erato or Melpomene are easing up on me. It just won’t be for the next thirty days straight. Naturally, I’ll be here on Tuesdays for our weekly slices.

I want to feel comfortable in what I write, whether it is poems, blogs, short stories, flash and fan fiction. That the something I say that makes sense. Sometimes I need to write because I feel confident that what I say that will inform or entertain others and sometimes I need to read so that I can be better informed and entertained myself. What I will always need regardless, are times when no matter what is going on in my life I pick up my pen.

I’m simply allowing myself the grace to ease up on the writing pressures I put on myself.


We made it! Day 31 of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out this final day of the challenge.

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15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
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I Don’t Wanna

From Monday morning my mind has been on GO!  It’s been pulling teeth while herding cats in the midst of putting out fires on the professional work front. Meanwhile my personal Inbox of work overfloweth. It’s the reason some of my slices have been posting really late this week. It’s been a string of “I’ll get to it in a moment as soon as I *fill in the blankety-blank-blank*”. Only I get distracted by this, then remember that and and dammit I forgot about whatever…  Next thing I know it’s after 9pm-10pm and I’m pantsing my slices. <– That somehow sounds wrong, but I don’t wanna think about it.

Oh good God, I'm exHAUSTed
Bonus points to those who know where this is from…

I’ve been mentally flying by the seat of my pants all week and I know those planes of thought -because trains of thought are too slow for my needs right now- are about to crash and burn. Sunday starts daylight saving time for most of the U.S. and I’m so tired the thought of losing that hour on Sunday has me worn out. I don’t wanna…

While the above gif is a THISCLOSE second place, this scene below is the most relatable thing to my brain’s processing capacity right now because I don’t…

At least it’s Friday, I think…right? Right.


Day 10  of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out today…

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Not My Baby Anymore

Last night I participated in a wonderful group where we got to share stories based on the subject “The Wild Unknown.” When I was invited to speak I had recently spoken with my youngest son. At some point in the conversation between the now very adult and I, I was reminded of when I realized he was not my baby anymore and what an oddly emotional blow it was.

I remember I was sitting on the front porch as my youngest son, then in his mid-teens, was walking up the block from school. I noticed his walk had changed. It used to be something of a bop, this bouncy gait as he used to just short of walk on his toes. This young person coming towards me now had what could only be called a swagger. This was not the walk of the carefree. This was a strong, measured stride with purpose. This was a man’s stride.

“Man! He walks hard!” My eldest son who was on the porch with me apparently noticed this change in his little brother brother as well. Though they are only eighteen months apart physically, there was a subtle, unspoken my baby brother is growing up touch of pride to his assessment. Yet, all I could think was…

What broke my baby?

Both of my sons are very much like me. It had been their chagrin most of their young lives that I was sometimes one-up on them, able to predict some of what could get them in trouble and put a stop to it. It was generally my chagrin when they did something I missed and though I knew exactly why it happened, because it was something I did or would have done as a kid, I had to disciple them regardless. Sometimes I let them make mistakes, because it really is the only way to learn some hard lessons. But this did not fall into one of those categories.

My eldest took it hard when my mother died. Very hard. I knew the loss of the woman that tried her best to spoil him rotten, had broke him and changed him. I saw it happen and did my best to guide him through it and he was much better by this point, but I was cognizant of that change. I felt I had dropped the ball with my youngest as I watched him approach.

How did I fail to protect him? Where the fuck was I, who saw him every single day, while whatever this was was going on that it hurt him, broke him, and changed him without my noticing? What the hell had happened in his young life that ripped his spirit, his innocence to the point it had changed his very walk? What else have I missed? Could I find out? Should I find out?

I found myself once again into the wild unknowns of parenthood. Yes, there are guides and plenty of people who can give advice, whether you asked for it or not. There are some givens we all go through as children and as adults raising them. In the end, each child is unique and wild unknown and how one raises that child will be unique to that child.

I realized, they both were of the ages where the shift in dynamics of how we relate to each other changes. They will always be my children, and though they were not yet men, they were not in fact children. It felt like just last year I was teaching them to tie their shoes and only last month we had the condom talk, not a few years ago. I was losing them into the men they were going to be, another wild unknown…

When he saw his brother and I sitting on the front porch, he broke into this beatific smile (both of my sons really do have great smiles), and greeted us. More perceptive to my moods, than I had been to his, he looks at me at questioningly for a moment.

“What?”
“You okay, Mommie?”
“I’m fine baby boy, you okay?”
“I’m GREAT! I’m having a great day!”

He then proceeds to regale us on just how great his day was. Naturally, with two teenage boys, the conversation eventually segues to video games and smack talk reigns.

I listen to and watch the both of them, but mostly my youngest for a long moment. Tall, though still a couple of years from his eventual 6’3″ height, his once high-pitched voice now very much a tenor. My silly little boy was very much still in there, but this man-child, now bounding up the stairs with his big brother, was anything and potentially everything, but he was not my baby anymore.

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It’s Day 28 of the 2020 Slice of Life Writing Challenge – come see how others are slicing it up this Saturday.

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Et tu Taxes

According to Wiki: The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to the 15th of March. It was marked by several religious observances and was notable for the Romans as a deadline for settling debts.

Friends, Romans but specifically Americans know that, with some exceptions, April 15th is Tax Day in the U.S.  Tax Day is the date in which whether you owe Uncle Sam (the anthropomorphize avatar of the US government) or Uncle Sam owes money, you grin and bare/bear it and have to have your taxes filed.

I mostly remember the Ides these days because my mother was one of those people who though having received her W-2 at the end of January, would still wait until April 14th to mail in her taxes.

In elementary school most of us learn about Julius Caesar and his infamous last words when his supposed rod dog/main bro Brutus turned coat on him and just watched him get shanked on March 15th. <– Like my revisionist history? I once made a joke that Mach 15th was the 30 day warning bell. Mommy knew she had a month to get her taxes in order. My mother would have loved that Tax Day is on April 18th this year for it would have given her two more days of procrastination.

And why all of that? Because somehow a discussion on taxes came up while attending the repast of an erstwhile colleague.

Death and Taxes – get it? Get it?

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know, bad Raivenne, bad! I’ll go bed now.

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Today is Day 15 – The Ides of March Slice Of Life Story Challenge. 
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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Say What Now?

Rant Time:

I’m beyond sick and tired of reactionary memes and posts meant to shame how some people use their social media.

For example, seeing posts criticizing others for being upset over a celebrity’s death when there are wars going on and humanitarian crises all over the place that they should take precedence. Or a meme citing how one is annoyed with people talking about the Housewives of Wherever controversy as if in discussing what happened it somehow means they aren’t paying attention to the world around them and other far more important things going on.

Don’t like what they have to say? Scroll.

To hell with social media policing those only want to post about their family, their pets, their insignificant and significant others. Let them post cute puppies and cats and pandas and zombies and… Let them share their joys in peace. This mindset that one’s head is in the clouds if they aren’t posting relentlessly about every awful blessed thing going on in the world. That doesn’t mean they’re ignoring anything;  we do not know what exists in their lives beyond their FB page. Perhaps some only want to use their social media for more lighthearted fare because they are in fact having those heavy-as-shit conversations elsewhere, with loved ones, or through messenger, or out in the real world. Let them have their joys.

Don’t like what they have to say? Scroll on.

To hell with policing those who choose to post their their hurt, their rage. Maybe it’s self care; maybe they struggle with anxiety, and curating their social media to mitigate their rage is in fact a survival mechanism. A survival mechanism which keeps them from being the example for or against gun control that’s next trending the news feed.

Don’t like what they have to say? Scroll. The. Hell. On.

My Facebook, WP blog , Instagram and Twitter pages all represent one thing and one thing only: the views of  the owner of those pages – me.

So here’s a News flash: Those pages are not a democracy.

Sometimes friends/people post things that leave me scratching my head. If I don’t understand or don’t agree, I don’t spew on their page – ever. I may private message someone if I think I am the one misunderstanding something and meaningful dialog can come from it – otherwise I scroll, scroll on.

(Giving away my vintage here: I just sang those last three words in tune to The Floaters – “Float On“, but I digress…)

Seriously, Quid Pro scroll, bro.

Raivenne posts are a monarchy and I am its Empress. 

If my posts impress, excellent, but I know sometimes they will depress. I know sometimes they will inflame. When that happens – and it will – if you don’t like it, then please scroll away, scroll away, scroll away.

(Anyone Enya guess what song went through my head just then? But I digress – again…)

I will be just fine – trust me.

Don’t like…

  • when I deleted your comment on my post because I thought it was cruelly offensive?
  • if I choose to ignore your inflammatory Xsplainin’ comment on my X-subject post because I refuse to be drawn into yet another useless argument?
  • that I’m still upset over Chester Bennington’s suicide?
  • my sarcastic answer to those stupid FB question?

It’s my page, my posts. Think about it – that Send/Post/Publish button was not pressed by accident.

The land of Raivenne is a dictatorship and I am its ruling dick. 

(Yes, I made a dick joke – a dumb one at that. Don’t let the fact that I have a vagina, lead to the falsehood that my balls aren’t bigger.)

Don’t like it? Well, you know what to do….

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Today is Day 14 of the March Slice Of Life Story Challenge. 
Come see how others are slicing it up today.
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