Saturday, March 31, 2018

SOLSC: Fifty Years Ago Today...


            This slice happened on this day, but 50 years ago.
            Jack and I had just bought our first television—he was writing short profiles for the New York Post of TV actors, and without our own television, he had no idea who they were.
            Radio news was reporting that the president was going to give an address to the nation this evening. We thought it probably had something to do with the Vietnam War, and since we’d been demonstrating against the war for years, we decided to boycott LBJ’s speech. But we weren’t going to just ignore it. No, we had to make a statement.
            We turned on the TV, but turned off the sound. And we made love, not war on the living room floor in front of the TV.
            Not until the next morning, when we bought the paper on the way to work, did we learn that LBJ had announced he was not going to run for re-election. We antiwar protesters had chased him out, we thought, though it was more likely the New Hampshire primary three weeks earlier, when Eugene McCarthy had gotten 42% to LBJ’s 49%. I recorded the Announcement in my datebook, and two days later, in the Wisconsin primary, McCarthy got 57%, LBJ 35%, and Bobby Kennedy got a write-in vote of 6%.
-------------------------------------
 I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 31 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Friday, March 30, 2018

SOLSC: Tax Day


            Today I met with my tax accountant at H&R Block. I brought all my documents and notes on expenses. TA methodically went through all my 401(k), pension, and freelance forms, and I must have had everything because he didn’t have to ask me for anything, like he did a couple of years ago, when a former employer had failed to inform the new 401(k) administrating company that one former employee (me) was required to take the minimum distribution. (That was a hassle and a half.)
            This time everything went smoothly, if slowly. I had to decide whether I wanted my state
refund direct deposited or sent to me as a check. There was a small penalty deducted from my also small federal refund, and TA spent quite a while trying to figure out what the penalty was for. If he found out, he didn’t tell me, and I didn’t ask. (I wanted to be done.)
            Finally, he printed out the whole return, still to be submitted electronically, as well as the vouchers for my estimated taxes and the address slips. He picked up scissors and announced, “I will now use a skill I learned in kindergarten.” Which meant he cut off all the excess paper from the address slips and vouchers, and placed each set in an envelope—so I wouldn’t have to do that myself.
            We had a brief conversation about how useful kindergarten is, not only for teaching how to use scissors but also for socializing and teaching how to work well with others. I said, “When I was in kindergarten, my teacher wanted me to tell the boy who sat next to me not to stand on his chair to look out the window.” She was trying to socialize me into the feminine role of making others obey the rules.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 30 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Thursday, March 29, 2018

SOLSC: Baseball!

-->
            The baseball season opened today—oddly, in the middle of the week, and in late March, not Monday or Sunday night in the first week of April.
            I watched the New York Mets single and double against the St. Louis Cardinals, beating them 9-4. Not one home run, and that’s a good thing. Noah Syndergaard did give up two home runs, but he also struck out 10, including striking out the side in the third inning, which was part of a five-strikeout string.
            It’s not unheard of for the Mets to win on opening day. The team lost its opener its first eight years; in fact, the Mets won the World Series, in 1969, before it won an opening day game. But since 1969, the team has won 35 and lost only 12 of its openers.
            I loved watching all the old familiar players (Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Asdrubel Cabrera), young guys (Brendon Nimmo, Amed Rosario), and new ones (Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier) play well together and produce. I do wish they hadn’t left so many runners on base, but they certainly scored enough runs. I’m looking forward to spring, summer, and fall—the long season.
            Are you a baseball fan? Do you go to games?
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 10th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 29 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SOLSC: Weird Things


            While I was in New Orleans early this month, I visited Faulkner House Books. It’s located in a building that was a rooming house in the 1920s, and William Faulkner actually lived there when he wrote his first novel, Soldier’s Pay.
            Of course, I had to buy a book. When I saw Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, I had to have it. My daughter is a librarian, and customers (that’s what they’re called in libraries these days, not patrons) in libraries also say weird things.
            Here are a couple of weird things customers have said in bookstores.
            1. “Can I return this book? I’m allergic to ink.”
            2, “My best friend came in here last weekend and bought a book, and she really loved it. Do you have another copy? I don’t remember the title.”
            3. “Did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?”
            Then there was the customer who wanted to know what the second title in the Harry Potter series was because he (or she) had found that first books in a series took a while to get into and she (or he) didn’t want to waste time on the “useless introductory stuff.” After buying the second title, the customer came in a week later to complain that this book was far too confusing and how could children be expected to understand it.
            Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores was put together by Jen Campbell, a bookseller in England, who started posting these weird things on her blog (jen-campbell.blogspot.com). Once Neil Gaiman found it and posted about it, she got lots more comments from other booksellers, as well as interest from a U.K. publisher. Overlook Press has published it in the U.S. If you want a copy, go to your local independent bookstore—please.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 28 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SOLSC: Russian Mammogram


            Today was my annual mammogram. Julia, the technician, was, of course, Russian. Not that all radiology technicians at this clinic are Russian, but many are.
            Julia admired my pink bangs, then marveled that I didn’t look 75. “Good genes” is my usual response, and I added, “and oily skin.” She had an accent, so I asked if she was from Russia (years ago, I helped start a nonprofit supporting women activists in the former communist countries, so aware of different east European accents). Yes, she said, from St. Petersburg. Julia still has cousins there, and they are doing very well. Not everyone in Russia is poor, she added. She sounded proud of that, so I didn’t ask what she or her relatives thought of Putin.
            I mentioned that my grandparents all came from what was then Russia. Julia was impressed, then asked hesitantly if I was Jewish; she wasn’t sure because I had fair skin and light (green) eyes. Julia had brown hair and brown eyes, and said her mother was Jewish and had married a Jewish man, but her mother’s sister married a Russian and her cousins were blond and blue-eyed. And, Julia said, she’d been discriminated against because she didn’t look “Russian.”
            She’d had a Russian boyfriend here in the States who’d wanted her to dye her hair blonde, and she had refused. “If I wanted to do that, I’d do it,” she emphasized, “but I wasn’t going to do it for him.” And she gleefully reported that this ex-boyfriend brought back from Russia a blonde woman who proceeded to “screw” him legally and financially. We both agreed that the “dumb blonde” stereotype was a stupid stereotype. Her mother was blonde who’d been an engineer and supervised 1,000 men, so clearly, the stereotype did not apply.
            I enjoy this kind of conversations when having to go through the intimate, and also very uncomfortable, experience of the mammogram. The choreography of squeezing my breasts flat, positioning one arm just so, keeping my chin up, and holding my breath feels like a bit of stationary dance.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 27 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Monday, March 26, 2018

SOLSC: The West End Redux

             The West End, famed as a hangout by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and other beat generation pas, is no longer. When my Jack first came to New York, still in his drinking days, and came to this bar, he fell in love with it. He was on a first-name basis with several of its bartenders and owners. One of the reasons we moved to the apartment where I still live was its proximity to the West End.
          One record-breaking hot day in July back in the 1960s, Jack and our friend Gerald wanted to walk to the West End. We lived at 85th Street then, and the West End was at 114th. It was 104 degrees. We did it, but I thought I would die. If Jack were still alive, I could ask him if we stopped at any watering holes along the way, to get cool inside as well as skinside.
            Back to the West End. It opened in 1911 and became a popular place for students. Video arcade games came in the 1970s. A new owner took over a neighboring space, where there was sometimes jazz, and poetry readings on Sunday; the owner once said to Jack, “Boy, those poets can drink.”
            In 2006, it was sold to a chain of restaurants; it became Havana Central at the West End, but that lasted only eight years. Its next owner was a local brewery, Bernheim & Schwartz, which dropped the West End name entirely. Since last year it’s been closed, with a sign advertising that it’s available for private parties.
            Meanwhile, other local drinkeries have latched onto the Name. A bar/music/comedy club at 107th and Broadway calls itself the West End Lounge, while a bigger bar, on Broadway south of 106th Street takes the name West End Hall. Whether Columbia or Barnard students or the next beat generation will hang out there, Jack will never know.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 26 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!
-->

Sunday, March 25, 2018

SOLSC: Rescheduling

            My plan today was to go to the gym, meet a friend to see Three Billboards, and be home in time to watch Stormy Daniels on 60 Minutes. But my friend was still not over her flu.
            Plan B was to go to the gym, then see a different movie, Claire’s Camera. But finishing up a freelance project too more time than expected.
            On to Plan C: walk from 112th Street to 96th to the subway, see Claire’s Camera, and return home for 60 Minutes.
            Claire’s Camera was just over an hour, much shorter than I expected. So Plan C got an addendum: I was still able to go to the gym after the movie. And once home, I discovered that 60 Minutes would be delayed because the NCAA final eight were still playing. Kansas (my husband’s home state) was just a point behind Duke shortly before 7, so I rooted on his behalf, and Kansas pulled out an 85-81 overtime win. And I watched Stormy Daniels, who I mostly believe. Plus reading this profile of her in the New York Times today.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 25 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!



Saturday, March 24, 2018

SOLSC: March for Our Lives


            I met up with some friends from our Take Back the Future group (that’s another story) near the start of Manhattan’s march for sensible gun laws and safe schools. When seven of us had gathered, we texted others that we were setting out to join the mass of people at Central Park West. And pretty soon our group split up as well, as younger people were willing to hike 14 blocks to where the police were now directing would-be marchers. The rest of us played the
“old people” card, and we ,were able to join the “march” at 72nd Street, which at this point meant standing in a “police pen” and listening to the rally being broadcast out to the street.
            That took up half an hour. Then the mass of people in the next block were allowed to join us—but the people in front of us were not moving. As our block filled up, it became increasingly uncomfortable for those of us over 80, so I forged a path through the crowd to get to the nearest corner where we could leave the march. My older friends took the subway home, while I stopped at my local gym, fortunately nearby, to use the bathroom, watched some of the march speakers in D.C., and went back out to rejoin the march.
            Thousands and thousands of people were now moving fairly quickly along Central Park West, 59th Street, and down Sixth Avenue. A lot of derisive chants were directed at the Trump Hotel at Columbus Circle, as well as Fox News headquarters, but largely the signs and people were not partisan. There was even one lone man on the sidewalk with a sign reading: “This hunter wants AR15s banned.”
            Many young people, including young children, but very mixed in terms of age, but also mostly white, which may be more representative of Manhattan than of the rest of the city. Signs were very imaginative, and here are some of my favorites.






-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 24 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


-->

Friday, March 23, 2018

SOLSC: Random Family Facts


            I’ve been using Facebook’s On This Day feature to download my Facebook posts to my computer, and it’s been illuminating. The past couple of days, I came across five-year-old posts that I had labeled “Random Family Facts.” My parents had died in 2010 and 2012, and going through their papers I’d come across information that I had not known.
            For instance, when my maternal grandfather died, in 1974, he’d left small bequests (he’d never had much money) to organizations that revealed his interests and his political tendencies. a Yiddish newspaper founded by the American Communist Party (defunct since 1985); the Daily World, the English-language CP paper (defunct since 2010); Jewish Currents, a magazine whose tagline is "activist politics and art," founded in 1946 and still publishing, with an interesting Web site; the Yiddisher Kultur Farband (Jewish Cultural Association), an international organization, initially Communist-oriented, for writers, artists, musicians (the U.S. branch closed in 2006); the Jewish Folk Chorus of Greater Miami, founded in 1943, but no longer existing; and the Emma Lazarus Federation of Jewish Women’s Clubs, which started as the women's section of the Jewish section of the International Workers' Order (a Communist-leaning fraternal order that died during the McCarthy era) and disbanded in 1989 as membership declined.
For example, the Morning Freiheit,
            Another Random Fact: when my mother was small and lived above a candy store in New York City, there was a fire in the story. She was carried to an apartment next door over the fire escape. The smoke and noise frightened her so much that decades later she couldn’t watch a fire in a building in San Francisco when she was visiting there, and when she moved to an assisted living facility, she didn’t want to be above the seventh floor because she’d heard that was as high as fire department ladders went.
            I posted these little stories to Facebook. Are there any random family facts you’ve found or remembered that your kids or grandkids or other family members might not know and you’ve thought of passing on?
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 23 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

SOLSC: Memory Stutter-step


            Yesterday I had lunch with a friend, who reported the latest in a soap opera occurring in her university department. That reminded me of a Facebook post I’d seen recently about a more theoretical discussion of departmental hiring, which I tried to recount to my friend. But my account wasn’t very clear, my friend said she’d need to see it, so I said I’d ask the poster’s permission to send it to her.
            On returning home, I promptly forgot that I was going to do any of the above.
            This morning as I was getting dressed, I remembered the conversation with my friend, and what I’d offered to send her.
            This lapse of many hours between my knowing something and remembering to do that something is not a function of age. It’s been true of how my mind words for many, many years. It used to drive my husband crazy that I’d have a conversation with our daughter one day, and tell him about some piece of information I’d learned from her the next day because I had “just remembered it.” He could not understand how that could be true. But that is just how my mind works.
            How does your mind and memory work? Do you notice odd quirks about yourself that don’t seem normal, but are normal for you?
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 22 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

SOLSC: Winter Storm Redux


            Today the fourth winter storm in March, so far. I missed the first one, being in New Orleans, but was welcomed back to New York with the second one. The third mostly missed the city, but left considerable snow in the northern and western suburbs.
        Today’s storm postponed my women’s group, FOR THE SECOND TIME. We normally meet the first Wednesday of the month, but that was the day of the second storm. So we changed our meeting to two weeks later (I had my writers’ group at my house on the second Wednesday), which is today. Snow again in the forecast, so we decided to scratch March entirely.
            Now it CANNOT snow on April 4. It Can Not.
            I’d been planning to bring a rotisserie chicken to my women’s group—which functions also as a potluck. So I bought the rotisserie chicken for myself. There will be chicken salad tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 21 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

SOLSC: Mansplaining?


            On the subway home from my book group today, I was sitting next to a young woman. She was with a young man who was standing in front of her. They were speaking Spanish.
            That is, he was speaking Spanish. In the almost 10 minutes I was on the train, he spoke almost constantly, while she sat, hands in her coat pockets, sometimes nodding her head. Once she asked a question. Otherwise, she said nothing.
            I don’t understand Spanish so have no idea what he was ranting about. From his tone of voice, it did sound like a rant. What was she thinking? I wondered. (Was he mansplaining? I really should learn Spanish, if I’m going to eavesdrop on subway conversations, or monologues.)
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 18 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Saturday, March 17, 2018

SOLSC: Baseball Season Starts Soon


            Today is St. Patrick’s Day, but no St. Pat’s activities for me. Instead, it’s my annual Mets fan gathering at Cask Republic, a craft brew bar in South Norwalk, Connecticut. I’m not a beer fan, so this year I got a glass of malbec to go with my burger and fries. Interestingly, most everyone else—all men—had salads.
            We generally talk baseball, with not much personal chit-chat. There was the continuing argument over who’s eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame: does taking steroids disqualify a player, or not? There were logical claims pro and con the steroid-takers. On one side, it’s an artificial substance, so a form of cheating, and since players are paid so much, of some do it, it puts at a disadvantage those who would prefer not to damage their bodies in this way. On the other side, aat the time some players used steroids, they were not a banned substance in the major leagues, and players will, and have, always used substances to improve their performance—who knows what players used in the past?
            This argument bores me. The games has changed so much over the decades that it seems to me players of one era aren’t comparable: there are new criteria and sabermetrics has created new stats. One person even argued that some of those voted into the Hall in the early years wouldn’t have been eligible today; maybe some could be voted out, or put into a separate category. Maybe it’s time to say, “You’ve been in the Hall for 75 years. Now it’s time to move you out.”
            The high point of the gathering is the trivia contest. Our group’s convenor makes up the contest, which several years he’s offered in a Jeopardy format, with several categories varying in value from 100 to 500 points. Today’s categories:
            Players who’ve been on 3 of the 4 New York teams (Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, Giants)
            Between the wars (I and II) Hall of Famers
            ERAs under 2
            Mets managers
            3,000+ hits and 500+ stolen bases
            Expansion teams’ first year
            Players of the 2000s
There was also a "batting practice" category, which the quiz creator admits is frankly sexist—it’s super easy, and only available to me. It’s a point of honor for me not to choose any of these questions.
            I no longer remember the question, but at my first chance, my answer was Casey Stengel, and I got admiring glances from the others. Another one I got right that stumped the others: which Mets manager won the World Series with another team not in New York? (Answer: Dallas Green) And another question I got right: what National League East pitcher in 1985 had an ERA of 1.54? (Answer: Doc Gooden) On the other hand, a question I should have gotten right—what player was with the Mets 1983-1990, the Dodgers 1991-1993, and the Yankees 1995-1999?—I just couldn’t dredge from memory. Mets fans out there, do you know?
            I used to write down as many questions as I could so I could tell Jack when I got home. He enjoyed testing himself, though he often thought the questions were too obscure to be fun.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 17 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Friday, March 16, 2018

SOLSC: West 85th Street Turned Memory Lane


            I had dinner with a friend at a Greek restaurant on Columbus Avenue tonight. To get there, I walked down 85th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus, where Jack and I lived 50 years ago.
            I passed a copy and graphics shop near Amsterdam. It was in the space that was, when we lived at the other end of the block, the Red Carpet Bar, and it achieved noteriety in 1971 when H. Rap Brown, a former head of SNCC, along with four other men, attempted armed robbery at the bar. Brown and an associate were wounded, and the other three men were arrested after a gunfight in which, according to the New York Times, “Bullets ricocheted off parked cars and building fronts on 85th Street.” Jack referred to the bar thereafter as the H. Rap Brown Memorial Bar. After it closed, the space was for a while a real estate office.
            Most of the block is brownstones, and I can’t remember how similar or different they are now from November 1970, when we moved away. Our building was 101, a red stone apartment building at least 100 years old. Once upon a time, it had large apartments, perhaps two per floor. When we lived there, the sixth floor, where we lived, had been chopped into tiny, and weirdly laid out, spaces. We had a big living room, a bedroom separated from the living room by French doors, and a kitchen that looked like it had once been a hallway. At one end it was as wide as the stove, and the sink looked like the utility sink in a garage; its drainboard was a literal piece of wood, about 14”x9”, tacked to the wall. We did have a lot of windows.
            At the Columbus end of the block, the corner of our building has seen a series of bars and restaurants. When we lived there, it was a very disreputable bar, so dodgy that even Jack wouldn’t drink there—and he drank most everywhere. After we’d moved away, it became a very upscale restaurant whose name I don’t remember. Today, it’s a country-style restaurant called Good Enough to Eat; New York magazine called it “very Vermont-farmish.”
            I like checking out those locations where I have put mental plaques on buildings, e.g., Jack and I lived here, 1967–1970.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 10th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 16 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

SOLSC: College Boosterism


            Tonight I went to a fund-raiser but also an information session about my old college. I went to Antioch College. If you’ve heard of Antioch at all, it’s either because the college was closed 10 years ago, or 25 years ago for its Sexual Offense Prevention Policy, which required consent for every step of an intimate encounter, starting with kissing.
            In fact, Antioch reopened in 2011 after the alumni bought the college from the university. (This is way too long and complicated a story to go into; here’s one version of what happened.) And the SOPP that was widely derided when it first became known at the time now seems prophetic in the age of #metoo.
            So tonight two staff people from Antioch came to talk to about 10 Antioch alums on the Upper West Side of Manhattan about what the college is doing now and how we can help. They faced tough questions about how Antioch is presenting itself, what elements of its program are really unique and how to best present those elements. Antioch’s co-operative education, in which students spend 12 weeks every year at a full-time job somewhere in the country and write a paper about their experience, is what distinguishes the school from most other. Whether that’s enough to keep the college alive remains to be seen. I want Antioch to survive, despite my own love/hate relationship with it. There has never been another college like it.
            If you know a high school student who seems out of step with her or his milieu, Antioch might be exactly the right school. Check it out here.
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 15 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

SOLSC: Busy busy busy busy busy

            Today was full of activity.
            Morning, start cleaning up the living room since writers’ group is coming this evening.
            Noon, dentist visit downtown.
            Shop for food, since I usually make a protein of some sort. Today I plan to make a miso-ginger chicken salad. I did buy the rotisserie chicken yesterday, so today I just need the white miso and some vegetables. There’s an Asian food market (and a second one opened up recently) in my neighborhood, but I had to ask for the white miso, since I didn’t even know what section to find it in.
            Back home, I have to call the bookkeeper for my physical therapy place; they sent me a
bill for several visits back to 2013, and I spent a couple of hours over the weekend researching my canceled checks so I’d be prepared to prove that I’ve paid for all but one of the visits. But once I reach the proper person, she doesn’t even know about all the earlier “charges,” and says all I have to pay is the Medicare deductible for this year. I am so annoyed at having wasted all that time, as well as the energy anticipating what I’d thought would be an argumentative phone call.
            Next, a couple of hours of free-lance copy editing work that has to be done today.
            For the chicken salad, I have to make the dressing, which takes half an hour, partly because I thought I could mix it up in the small food processor, and it turned out it needs the big one. Then I have to shred the chicken off its carcass, which takes much longer than I expected, an hour. Pulling it all together takes another 15 minutes.
            Back to the living room to finish cleaning up, which mostly involves piling all the papers together and putting them in my bedroom. Cheating, I know, but I’m running out of time.
            Finally, I print out the three pieces the writers have sent for our perusal this session. Fortunately, everyone is late so I have time to read two very good short stories, and a series of e-mail comments on a film script we discussed last month.
            And the first person arrives...
-------------------------------------
I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 14 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!