Out like a … ram.

It’s the 31st of March, birthday of my wonderful Aries sister, Fox (Aries, the ram, hence this post’s title). She is my best-beloved, baby sister, my forever best friend, my voice-of-reason sounding board, and my cheering section. I have known her for her whole life and all but a short five and a half years of mine.

We don’t live close, which is still hard for me despite the fact that it’s been true for more than 20 years. She is always a call, email, or text away, but it’s not the same as having her in the next room. Not the same as meeting her early-early on Saturday mornings for a long walk in Prospect Park. Not the same as going with her to parties and concerts. Alas.

But we’re together for this weekend, and that’s all the way fantastic! We have laughed and shared stories and silliness, and we have a whole other day together tomorrow. So happy birthday to one of my most favorite people in the multiverse!!

It’s the final day of the 11th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! As the badge below proclaims, I am an original slicer. This challenge and my blog started the same year. My first blog post was January 28, 2008, and somehow I found Two Writing Teachers in time to sign on for Slice of Life only a few weeks later. And for all the time I don’t spend posting here during the year, I always come back for March. Always. Hope to see the slicing community grow even larger next year!

When all else fails … blue-footed boobies.

Again with the too-tired-to-think. In lieu of thinking, I will string together random, unrelated things, call it a pot pourri post and be done. Given how tired I’ve been this month, it’s a wonder there haven’t been more of these! Here goes:

Today, someone tried to goad me into an argument, and I was a) able to see that fairly quickly, and b) frustrate them by refusing to rise to the bait. I need to remember this — and remember how to do it — in the future.

Because of some silliness a friend posted on FB, I realized that my name — when the letters are alphabetized — is Aceist. For some reason, this pleased me. I like the idea of it, like I’m really into aces. This nonsense is less clever-feeling with my middle name, which turns into AAIICPRT and sounds not at all like a name, or a title, or something with actual meaning.

I am in my mom’s house (because tomorrow is Fox’s birthday, so I’ve come down to celebrate!), and the World Wildlife Fund calendar in front of me has for this month a picture of a Blue-Footed Booby in the midst of the bow-curtsy move they make when trying to attract mates.

And seeing that picture of the Booby inspired me to go look up Blue-Footed Boobies, which meant I went down the rabbit hole of watching video after video of this cuties, which is why I know that the photo is of the mating ritual. I watched a silly video about Boobies and now I’m a bona fide expert.

Tonight, instead of Boobies, I have my mother’s dog and my brother’s dog to keep me company. I miss my cats, but it’s always nice to have some dog time.

I think that’s all I can manage. Enjoy the Boobies. They’ve got a lot more to offer tonight than I do!

Image result for blue-footed booby

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

Totally Predictable

Utterly exhausted … again … still. I’ve started three different slices and can’t focus enough to make it through any of them. Instead, I’ve turned to poetry practice. April is breathing down my neck, and I’m not yet sure-sure about my choice of news-sourced erasure poems for the month. So I tried another one tonight.

Totally Predicatable
(An erasure of an article about Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s latest craptastic nonsense.)

Laura Ingraham apologized for her show,
rejected and whining.
Companies pulled advertising,
boycotts began.
Personal remarks went too far,
these statements cross the line,
are not consistent
with open dialogue and debate,
with our values.
A series of controversies
ignited a firestorm.
There’s going to be consequences,
as someone once said.

I’m not particularly encouraged by the fact that this one was harder to write than the previous two … but I’m going to say that’s because I’m so tired tonight. I was pretty pleased with getting to pull that first line by way of strategic erasures, however, and that kind of makes the whole poem for me.

Despite my trepidation, I think this poem is sealing the deal for me: I’m going to go for a 30/30 that’s all erasure poems taken from news articles. I’ve got two days to sleep and get my brain ready!

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

One for you, nineteen for me …

I’ve been making and postponing appointments with my tax man for six weeks now. I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down and sort through my mess receipts. But I finally bit that unsavory bullet, and headed off to see Bobby, my tax preparer. Just getting home from that adventure now.

Bobby is maybe three to five years older than I am. He’s Bangladeshi and has a small shop in the garment district. Tax preparation is his side hustle, and he likes to think that tax prep for creatives and freelancers is his niche — writers, artists, musicians, models, actors. (This is the first time I’ve ever been lumped into a category with actors and models. I find it funny, but I also like it.)

I was referred to Bobby last year. I suddenly found myself without a tax man, as it seemed the ancient little man who’d done my taxes since 2013 had passed away. A writer friend recommended Bobby, so I went.

He worried me at first, was dismissive of my work as a writer because it wasn’t supporting me even a little. The beginning of our first conversation was almost contentious. And then it became mansplain-y, with Bobby needing to tell me all the things I should do if I had any hope of being a “real” writer.

That theme continued tonight. Clearly, Bobby likes to mansplain my life and career and give me instruction on the choices I should be making. And writing is absolutely his favorite area of faux expertise. My writing doesn’t pay the bills, and he can’t understand why I don’t change that.

“You should really think about getting published,” he said to me tonight after he submitted my taxes. “Just go to talk with a publisher and get a book deal.”

Friends, did you realize that was how to do it? I have been wasting a lot of time, clearly. Should have been marched my no-manuscript-having butt into Houghton Mifflin and scooped up my contract already!

Despite this annoying behavior, I’ve decided that I like Bobby. Most importantly, he does a great job on my taxes. But equally important (kind of?) we have really interesting conversations — earlier tonight we talked about the slave trade, talked about why we like to travel, talked about birth order and our siblings.

Surely I will eventually tire of Bobby’s mansplaining and need to find a new tax preparer, but it’s working for now. And tonight I can go to sleep with visions of a nice return dancing in my head. Thanks, Bobby!

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

Pour me a cold one?

Maybe I’ve been indulging in Thirst Aid Kit more than I should? I don’t know, but …

For weeks now, my PT routine has been Tuesdays with Jared and Fridays with Jeremy. Occasionally Yu-Lan has been slotted in on Fridays if Jeremy wasn’t able to see me, but mostly I’ve been Jared and Jeremy, Jared and Jeremy. (It’s been interesting working with different therapists. They have different styles, different things they do with my arm, different ways of talking about what’s going on with my arm. I feel as if I’m getting more from my sessions by having more than one therapist.)

On Tuesdays when I get to the PT gym, Jeremy is there, getting in a workout before his shift starts. He smiles and waves, sometimes salutes, as I head for the changing room, then gets back to work.

When I first wrote about Jeremy, I mentioned that, while I can see that people would find him attractive, he’s not the kind of attractive that does it for me. My favorite of the PT boys — because they are all ridiculously young — was Daniel, who turned my head by looking like Takeshi Kaneshiro. Jeremy is a little too BMOC jock dude-bro. Not a type I go for. He has a big, overtly-muscular body, also not a type I go for.

In these last weeks I’ve discovered that I am, in fact, a liar. That it’s my burning pants setting off the smoke detectors in here.

Seeing Jeremy working out has been a revelation. Seeing sweaty Jeremy post-workout on his way to shower … well … yes.

(Yes, I do feel 100 percent inappropriate!)

This morning, I discovered that I am not alone. I was sitting under a giant ice pack as one does after a session. Jeremy came down for his shower, and the woman beside me expressed disappointment that she’d have to wait for her own shower. Yu-Lan told her not to worry, that Jeremy would be quick. She looked at Jeremy for confirmation, and he nodded.

“I just need a few minutes,” he said. “I have no hair.”

And the woman — surely involuntarily, surely without thinking about how it would look to the rest of us — ran her eyes down his body. Slowly. Yu-Lan, Jeremy, and I burst out laughing.

“On my head!” Jeremy said, still laughing. “On my head! Everyone: get your minds out of the gutter!”


The woman was younger than I am, maybe in her mid-forties? After Jeremy ducked into the shower room, she shrugged. “What’s the point of filtering?” she asked. “I’ve lived long enough to see that censoring myself hasn’t gotten me  anywhere. Men  certainly don’t worry about filters!”

I nodded. Yu-Lan laughed and gave a thumbs up.

This doesn’t mean I’ll be showing up at Friday PT sessions with my nose wide open. As if. It did make for an an amusing start to my Tuesday, however. And it’s interesting to see that — given the proper circumstances — a type of guy I didn’t find attractive can suddenly look like a tasty treat!

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

A series of unsavory events …

My coworker had a birthday over the weekend. The rest of the team put our heads together last week and decided to celebrate this birthday in this morning’s staff meeting. My coworker is gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan. No problem. There’s a bakery near one team member’s house that bakes gluten-free, vegan goodies, some without nuts.

But when she arrived at work this morning and opened said bag of goodies, she discovered the perfectly wrong order: peanuts in some items, pistachios in others, gluten in all. Sad times.

We decided to pretend we weren’t acknowledging any birthday business today. We went on with our day and I let everyone but the birthday boy know that, since tonight was an early night for me, I would bake some gluten-free vegan goodness when I got home. I stopped at the grocery store and found all the things I needed. I came home and whipped up all the fixings, put them in the oven … and just opened the oven to find an even grander fail than the nutty cookies from this morning. At least those were yummy, just inappropriate for someone with allergies. What I pulled out of the oven? Really not edible at all.

I have no idea what I did wrong, but I don’t have another set of ingredients to give it a second try. And it’s too late, besides. I’m half asleep, and that’s surely no way to be while trying to bake.

Sigh. No plan for tomorrow, just lots of disappointment in my sometime-y baking skills. Super sad times. 😦

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

A Room with a View

If you look back through this blog, you’ll find any number of posts about how much I loved my old apartment and my old neighborhood. And I truly did love them, would still be living there now if I hadn’t been made to leave. I was comfortable. I had great relationships with my neighbors. I was happy.

Now I live here. I’ve been here almost exactly three months. And I haven’t talked much about my new neighborhood. And part of that is because I haven’t had much time to just wander around here, start finding the places that will be “my” places. And part of that is being distracted by my day to day and my exhaustion.

Then this happened:

Room with View_sm

I looked up from my book, and the clouds were so gorgeous. I set everything aside and sat and watched the sky change colors as the sun set.

I loved my old apartment. Except for the fact that it got almost no natural light. That is definitely not the case in my new home. When I was home during the day in my old place, I had to have lights on all the time because no room was bright enough to be workable without lights. Here, I don’t need to turn on a light until the sun is going down. It’s light all. day. long. Really and truly all. day. long. It’s crazy. And heavenly.

I took that picture standing in my living room, in one of the two windows in my living room. My windows look out over a lot of back yards, which pleases me enormously. No too-close buildings to cut off my light. No too-close buildings that make me feel as if I’m putting on a show for my neighbors when I open my shades … or that I have to avoid watching the show they put on for me.

This post is, I’m sure, only the first of many that will talk about things I love about my new place and my new nabe. Whatever other things I wind up writing, the fabulousness of the light in my rooms is always going to be the number one things that pleases me.  For this light along, the painful slog of getting myself moved it was worth it. The surprise of being awakened in the night because the moonlight is so bright through my bedroom window was worth it. Definitely starting to feel comfortable. Definitely feeling happy.

It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!