by Naomi Rayman

Posts from the “Writing” Category

Muddy Waters

Posted on May 27, 2016

Mostly, we came for the music. Our Southern Music Crawl, how we pre-labeled this recent adventure, took my husband and me on a two-week expedition through Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. I now have securely cemented in my cortex both the spelling of these 3 states and their locations on the U.S. map. Prior to this adventure, both tasks were equally tedious and easily dismissed; or, shall I admit, easily handled by spell check and Google maps? Come on now. Unless your grandma lives in Friars Point, who the hell really cares where Mississippi is? The music we came to hear was not only found in the multitude of honky tonks, bars, clubs and restaurants where we wiled away our Southern evenings but also on…

I’ve Been Framed

Posted on April 29, 2016

Can I see a show of hands? Who here has been to an art museum in any city in the world, stood in line for over an hour–maybe longer if you are expecting to see that blockbuster show? I’m talking about that exhibition, you know the one: The A-listed spectacular depicted on the flamboyant screens that are hanging off the sides of light posts on the city’s streets. Banners of commercialism reminding you, at every traffic light, to get yourself some culture…quickly. Don’t miss out. Everyone is raving about the artist…wait, what’s his name, again? Maybe, as you catch sight of the mass of humanity outside the museum ahead, you quicken your pace while deliberating the advantages of joining the museum for $185/year and…

Driver’s Ed

Posted on April 15, 2016

Walk on By You can take the A train. I, however, prefer to drive. It’s part of the double helix of my DNA…the molecular structure based on growing up in California. That and the fact that except for the sporadic Saturday excursions to the miles-from-home shopping district via the local Greyhound Bus, I knew nothing first hand about public transit. She’s About a Mover What separated our suburban village from the great urban sprawl known as Oakland was a mountain, which was about two miles thick. Now this East Bay alp has 4 bores through the rock to hasten commuters from the hinterlands into the more-or-less metropolitan communities close to San Francisco. But back in my day, only two holes served up the traffic.…

Livin’ The Dream

Posted on April 1, 2016

You know how this works. You are 8 years old and have your whole life ahead of you. There is no question whatsoever that you can realize your dreams just by remaining alive and getting through third grade. Career-path fantasies like becoming a fireman or a ballet dancer if you are a boy—an astronaut or a rock star if you are a girl—seem utterly within the realm of possibilities. Bring ‘em on, in fact. Never say never, your parents say to you over dinner. You can do anything, they reinforce in the car on the way home from little league. You begin to accept parental intelligence and acknowledge that anything is possible, and the bigger your dreams the better. Then, without warning, but as…

Pop Up

Posted on March 25, 2016

My mother had a favorite dish she often made for dinner for my dad and me. She was the first to admit that domestic talents eluded and bored her. Ever a good judge of character, I must now concur with her self-assessment. She was, however, a formidable raconteur. And, at our dinner table—or over entrees set on floral-patterned metallic TV tables—she would interrupt the TV evening broadcast of Huntley and Brinkley to regale us with stories of her day spent at the small dress shop where she worked. As often as not, she would reconfigure the neighborhood news. She scooped up these morsels along with the mail as she met the housewives wafting down their driveways with nearly choreographed timing as they too gathered…

Reality Check

Posted on March 18, 2016

While I’m getting my nails done, my manicurist, Kim, whom I’ve known for 18 years, tells me that she’s just seen the movie, “The Revenant.” I don’t know why I asked her what she thought of it because her movie review will be communicated to me in heavily accented, broken English through a face mask with a background din of roiling pedicure bowls while their occupants make cell-phone calls. But, there’s nothing to watch on the TV perched above her station so I bite. Kim stitches together her review with something about the Titanic and Leonardo, a bear, and a bloody fight next to a river–guts being spilled all over the place. It’s as good a time as any to interject my standard question…

Window Dressing

Posted on March 11, 2016

I have a love-hate relationship with the 5 train. For those unfamiliar with the New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, this is the express train that runs from my frequented Brooklyn station to my usual Manhattan destination: 59th Street. Full disclosure to prevent possible eye rolling while reading this: I am a Californian and a frequent visitor to New York. Maybe that will help explain the fascination I still feel with the subway system. I love how the train drifts into the station upon arrival like it knows I’m waiting. Its attitude belies the LED screen hanging above the waiting platform that states it should have been here 2 minutes ago. D E L A Y E D But the train doesn’t care. It knows…

In Other Words

Posted on March 4, 2016

I’ve been mulling over why so many authors I’ve recently read insert a foreign word into the middle of a sentence when there are plenty of good English ones to choose from. It may speak to my choice of authors, but it seems to be a trend. One that is almost as startling to me as why I’ve decided to write a blog. But, back to my original mull: I wonder if I have the nerve to ask if you, my reader, mimic my own somewhat neurotic reading behavior. I get uneasy and prickly when I feel stupid. So, I find myself looking up the italicized (because it’s foreign!) culprit or feign knowledge of the word. I should know this word, damn it! And,…