Monday, January 26, 2015

Desperate times call for Welsh TV

I think this is the longest time I've gone without blogging since I was super sick a few years ago.

In short, things have been busy as fuck at work.

This is the conversation I had with my boss last week:

Me: "I'm feeling overwhelmed, for X, Y and Z reasons. I don't want to drop the ball on anything."
Boss: "You haven't dropped the ball on anything. If you do, we'll talk about it."
Me: "I'm talking about it now so it doesn't happen."
Boss: "Well, just tell me if you start feeling overwhelmed."
I'm not making it up! As my board president frequently reminds me, it must be pure magic being married to him, so at least I'm not.

There are a number of things I do to prevent myself from spontaneously combusting. These include baking, working out, reading about things that happen in crematoriums (yes, really, I have a fascination with the funeral industry), and watching/reading murder mysteries. By the way, the book is amazing. Highly recommend it.

Last week we watched a new one from BBC (which thankfully got its contracts with Netflix settled) that was filmed in Wales.

After 10 minutes of trying to read lips, I turned to Mr. RK and said, "Can you understand any of this?" Quickly we agreed to turn on the subtitles. (I can hear you laughing, but consider this: the title of the show in English is Hinterland. The title in Welsh is Y Gwyll. So much for the part of our roots that come from the UK.)

I have to say, I got so focused on trying to figure out what people were saying that I forgot all about the stuff that was stressing me out. As a decompression method, I highly recommend it.

And randomly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Paddington is a fucking hilarious movie. I love the books and as you know, movies tend to make ruins of them, but not this one.There are many grownup jokes, and Peter Capaldi steals the show.
No, he doesn't stab anyone. I'll give you a hint: there are a few lines of Lionel Richie!

What's not to love?

Monday, January 12, 2015

An open (whiny) letter to (the bastards at) Netflix

Dear (bastards at) Netflix,

One of my younger brothers sent me a news item today stating that your contracts with the BBC were about to expire, and unless you got your shit together in a major hurry, there would be no more BBC for me.

I protest on behalf of the millions of Anglophiles, both public and closeted, who rely on this service to watch shows that are both intelligent and free of the crappy commercials that plague regular TV. How can you deprive me thus?
To whit - perhaps you (bastards) have never seen an American television show. You don't know how hopelessly least-common-denominator they are. I don't know what's more insulting to the intelligence of anyone who has any; the shows themselves and the commercials are probably running a dead heat in the appeal to idiocy competition that U.S. commercial television networks have been running for at least several decades now.

I mean, come on. We don't have murder mysteries that don't resemble something out of the Friday the 13th or Saw series of movies, or have multi-syllabic dialogue.

We don't have the same 12 actors appearing in everything, thus creating a fun, steady brainteaser of, "Where have we seen her before?", resulting in much puzzling and the eventual give-up move of using IMDB.

We don't show men's asses nearly as much. At least not the ones we would want to see.

We don't have characters that agonize for seasons at a time over whether or not they should ask each other out on dates. Come on, people! Some of us need that thrill of sitting on the edge of the couch yelling, "Just kiss him already!!"

We don't have any actors that are allowed to age like real people. We have to turn to Europe for that.

Besides...Matthew Rhys. Julian Rhind-Tutt. Well, forget about eye candy. Jean and Lionel! Hyacinth Bucket!

Not enough? OK, two words: Dr. Who.

So, I am forced to cry, and look for alternatives that I never would have considered before - namely, your rivals. Who may or may not be user friendly.

I'm asking you please, please, please, from the bottom of my spotted dick-loving heart, keep Britain in America! Until then, I'm pissed (as in American pissed - angry, not drunk.)


Riot Kitty

Monday, January 05, 2015

Things I think loudly

One of Mr. RK's most endearing traits is that he comes up with adorable things to say. Clever and cute at the same time.

One of them is, "I didn't say it - I just thought it really loudly," which is usually preceded by an amazingly clever insult. (Although another one of his lovable traits is his ability to insult people without them knowing it.)

For better or for worse, I am in charge of an additional event every other year which involves setting up meetings between legislators and our members. You know me: I am organized. I put the "O" in OCD! I plan ahead. Has that stopped the idiots from coloring outside of the lines? Of course not.

Here is the stock email I have been sending to our local chapters since registration for the event opened:

Please help us get the word out to membership as soon as possible, as the registration deadline is Jan. 18, and legislators' calendars fill quickly.

Actual email I received today from an employee of one of said chapters:

Hello, RK! I wanted to let you know that we're doing two informational sessions in preparation for your event. The first one will be on Jan. 17, where we'll inform people and help them register.

I shit you not. I wrote back:

You will want to have people register much earlier - we'll more than likely be full by that date.

I thought very loudly:

Two informational sessions to prepare for one half-day event - which includes an informational session? Wow, you must be burning with brilliance to have to do that much prep! Seriously, it's a gathering at the state capitol. Not a rocket launch. And letting people know the day before? How exactly do you manage to tie your shoes in the morning?
This person wrote back:

Oh, we're having that event to inform people who don't know about the organization, and get them registered.

I thought loudly:

Brilliance strikes again! Rather than rally our current members, somehow you plan to attract complete strangers and sign them up for our event. That is quite clever. Why don't we just invite another advocacy group and make appointments for them to argue their cause?

Then there is the lobbyist who hasn't been a member for eight years who registered.

Loud thought: Seriously? Isn't that your fucking job, to meet with legislators? You get paid for that already, right? So you shouldn't have to sign up to have a nonprofit do it for you?

Actual email to lobbyist:

Dear so-and-so, thank you for your interest in our event. To complete your registration, we'll need you to renew your membership, which lapsed in 2007. Thanks!

Sometimes I don't know how I zip my lips. Luckily I have you all to vent to.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The brain cannot function without coffee.

That's a line we heard in a BBC murder mystery last night (have you seen David Suchet as Agatha Christie's Poirot? OCD people everywhere, unite!) And I find it to be true.

I mean, espresso is a reason for living.

Since this spot is a vehicle for grumping, I thought I'd mention a few things that make me happy.

Not that there are any surprises here...

Kitties! Life is so much better with furry little guys.

Cheesecake. And the friend who made me a vegan, sugar-free version so I could actually eat some.
Painting. I can't draw to save my life, but I have a decent eye for color. Here is an ornament I painted for my BFF.
Laughing. I saw this in an antique/junk shop in Portland yesterday and it reminded me of a lewd joke my dad told us years ago. Let's just say, "I sold your thermos for $100" was the punchline.

All of you in blogland! You always cheer me up. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More grumps

I appreciate that in this part of the world, we all need a little pick-me-up to get through the dark-early, often gray and rainy days that seem to last forever.

I don't dislike Christmas. I do, however, hate how the entire month has turned into a retail free-for-all.
If I wanted an excuse to hit someone, I could find plenty. I don't need to go to Wal-Mart and fight over something on Thanksgiving evening.
So, I typically avoid 1. shopping for anything that isn't absolutely necessary and 2. being social any more than I have to be during this month.

That said, there is plenty more to annoy me. Such as:
  • People who ask, "Sooooo, finish your Christmas shopping yet?" and don't like it when I answer that we only get presents for people under the age of 18. Everything else we donate to charity. More often than not, people give me a frown and say, "Ah, that's nice of you," and change the subject. Next time, I'll stand up and yell, "Fuck you! I'm Jewish!" Some of my family is also Lutheran, but how the hell would they know?
  • People in the Portland metro area basically don't do any fucking work between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.  I know they're not all on sabbatical. What gives? Why do I get a flood of emails Jan. 2? I kid you not, it happens every year. Apparently thumb-twiddling is very popular this time of year. 
  •  People who I barely know asking, "So, what are you doing for the holidays?" I want to reply, "Having a sex toy party. Would you like to come shop?" 
And we all know that winter is a hard time for those of us who either have seasonal depression or flat-out fucked up depression like mine. Being in a workplace where we are trying to let people know it's OK to ask for help, I am tired of people saying they're depressed/anxious/etc. "but it's not a mental illness, it's different."

Tip for the unitiated: NO IT FUCKING ISN'T.  Your brain doesn't compartmentalize like that. It doesn't say, "Hey, sexy! You're going to be anxious today, but it's really coming from your liver. It's not a mental illness."

It's not all bad, though. I do make homemade gifts during this season (see above and below. I'll happily make one for you!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Social graces (where I get my grump on)

I suppose nothing ruffles my feathers as frequently as bad manners - or no manners.

And in the hierarchy of offending gestures, there is nothing more obnoxious to me than being interrupted in my own home by people purporting to save my soul. (A tip for the uninitiated: I'd rather be in whatever kind of hell your religion espouses than get saved, if I have to do it with you.)

This evening, I was expecting a friend to drop by, hence I actually answered the door during dinner.

Complete stranger, standing by another complete stranger, bundled up like they are walking door to door to spew cultish crap: "We'd like to talk to you for a couple of minutes."

Note: if you are not invited, or flashing a badge, this tactic will fail in the House of RK.

Me: "We're eating dinner." Closes door.

That is pretty good restraint, no?

Then I realized what I was wearing.

(If you want to know about this shirt, read more here.)

Other things that are annoying me this week include the fact that I have to work with mustache man on our upcoming lobby day again. I'm sure he remembers me, because I all but flustered the Yosemite Sam mustaches off of his annoying little face two years ago.

And then there is Vasil, who has recently discovered how to meow up the stairs. Yes, you read that right. He has mastered the power of the echo - at midnight, and at 5 a.m. However, he is so unbearably fucking cute that I literally can't throttle him.

You'd never know he could be such a little asshole, would you?

Lastly, the lady - scratch that, the female - who blew through a stop sign and nearly bought me a new car, or a new me. Luckily for both of us, I have really good brakes, and so does the person who was behind me. I really and truly hope that when I laid on the horn like nobody's business you shit your pants.

Monday, December 01, 2014

My house during the holidays

Once again, I will reiterate here (and to anyone who will listen) that one of the lovely things about being an adult (not to say a grownup) is that I don't have to spend time on holidays with people I don't want to see.
To wit:
  •  We don't wait to eat dessert until the powers that be say so, because we *are* the powers that be! Hooray!
  •  I don't have to eat anything I don't like "to be polite," because Mr. RK and I fucking cook it. It's impolite, methinks, to force someone to eat something they don't care for. Period. End of story.
  •  Friends are so much better than extended family. One of mine made me a vegan, sugar-free cheesecake, so I actually got to eat dessert!
  •  I don't get bored because it's my fucking house, and the people who are there were all invited by me
Mr. RK scared the shit out of me, though. He said, "My (insert relative here) texted to say Happy Thanksgiving. So I invited her over."

Dead silence.

"Just kidding!"

Because he wants to stay married, that's why.