Monday, October 05, 2015


Just when I had some time to post, we had another mass shooting tragedy - this time three hours away.

These have become so common that we weren't flooded with messages from friends and family. Another day, another body count, another group of people jumping in with politics.

How to express how we feel? Raw. Hurt. Outraged.

I work in mental health advocacy and I live with major depression. After the initial shock of hearing what happened on the radio, we had to prepare for the inevitable media idiocy.

Please question your news agencies and the information that spreads like wildfire. The fact is that study after study has shown that people living with mental illness - like me - are much more likely to be the victims of violent crime, not the perpetrators of it. When we are the perpetrators, we are overwhelmingly more likely to harm ourselves.

One of my friends said it very well: "When it's a white guy who is the perpetrator of something like this, they say it's mental illness. When it's someone of any other color, they say it's terrorism."

The definition of "mental illness" is a misnomer. The majority of the time, you won't know when someone is living with something in the DSM 5.

Someone you know - a family member, a coworker, a friend, a neighbor - lives with some type of mental illness. Does that change how you feel about them?

The same week, we had a conversation with a local high school that was producing a program called "Insanity." They had students dressing up in straightjackets and sold sweatshirts with the name of the high school that said "Psychiatric Hospital" after the name. They responded to our concerns very quickly, but it still stings that people mock and fear illness in your brain rather than illness anywhere else in your body.

We're not monsters. We're your friends, and neighbors, and right now, we are grieving. It would be nice to see some real data and real solutions offered up rather than fear mongering.

If you suspect someone you know is having mental health issues, be kind. Offer them support. It will be appreciated more than you think.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The cat ate my valium, and other tales from the pharmacy

One of my good friends works as a pharmacy technician, and she has so many fucking incredible stories that I told her she needs to blog. She hasn't started yet (she's busy studying for/applying for grad school), so I thought I would share a few of her tales from the pharmacy.

Once again, they're all true. We aren't creative enough to make this stuff up.

1. RX with my name on it for sale... The pharmacy gets a phone call from a pissed off mom whose daughter bought someone's prescription pain pills - and his name was still on the label on the bottle. This same work of brilliance was always "losing" his pills and needing more - down the sink, down the toilet, and yes, one time, he claimed his cat ate them. (Can you imagine a cat on pain pills? Don't they already sleep enough?)
2. Viagra Friday My friend says the most popular day for Viagra refills is Friday. Right before a weekend out on the town, or the bait for a Craigslist post for older guys? "Hey ladies, just picked up my Viagra...for a good time, call..."

3. Everyone in my family works out A LOT There is a family who is apparently all on muscle relaxers. Parents, kids. And lots of them. Mysteriously enough, the manufacturer is the same as Vicodin, and the size/shape/imprint on the pill are all the same as Vicodin. So my friend is guessing they're selling them like someone selling oregano as pot.

4. My boyfriend's in jail, so I'll take his Oxycontin...Someone tried to pick up a controlled substance prescription for her boyfriend. Only problem: he's in jail at the moment. (Yes, really.) Needless to say, she didn't volunteer this information - they knew already.

5. Everything's easy to keep track of except the Atavan. Our board president works for a pharmacy as well. She said when they did medication packs for group homes, people kept "losing" the Atavan. Nothing else. Even though it's all in the same pack.

How about you? Any doozies from work (or home) lately?

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I've been bitching for how long?

I realized last month that I have been blogging for 10 years. (This blog only goes back to 2006; the first one, I started in 2005 and then deleted the year after - for like a week.)

I started this as a place for political ranting, which was driving Mr. RK nuts. We're aligned on 99% of our political thoughts, which mainly come down to the fact that no one has anyone else's best interest in mind, unless you count cronies and megacorporations. I realized eventually that we agreed, so I didn't have to rant as much. Maybe I'm getting mellower, or just old! So it morphed into general ranting.

At some point I found myself inadvertently - and later, on purpose - adding humor to the grumps when I posted. This was therapeutic for me and it surprised me to hear, in a time of family crisis a few years ago, that it was therapeutic for some of you and cheered you up on shitty days as well. That was so cool to find out.

Things are up and down, as always, with work, with family, etc. But I am feeling really spoiled by friends, and that includes you. Merci!

A friend sent me this and told me it was right up my alley! He knows me too well.

It's funny how you can only know people "virtually" and feel like they know you better than many of the people you interact with every day. I am thankful for you all, as you have made my day more times than I can count, when I really felt like going out and stepping on ants.

There, that is your mushy post from me for 2015.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Save yourself! Tips for not getting bumped off in a British mystery

As you all know, I am a bit of an Anglophile, and particularly love BBC mysteries, as well as several of the "Golden Age" British mystery novelists. I have posted several times about what to expect from said BBC mysteries, but realized recently that I have neglected to forewarn about how to prevent yourself from getting bumped off on such a series.

Consider this a public service announcement, should you consider becoming a character in such a series.
1. Don't blackmail anyone. This is a universal truth: the blackmailer always gets killed. Period. End. Of. Story. (Or end of blackmailer.)

2. Especially don't blackmail the person you believe to be the murderer! Characters do this all the time. Do they think the suspected killer will suddenly have a change of heart, or a religious conversion, as well as an inclination to lighten their wallet? I'm pretty sure no one has ever had this thought: "Hmm. Mary is blackmailing me because she knows I killed Beth. I'll pay up and hope she doesn't say anything, and ignore the gun that I used to shoot Beth."

3. For that matter, don't confront the person you suspect to be the murderer on your own, without the police.  Because duh.

4. Don't arrange to meet anyone in person with a clue that's going to reveal who the murderer is, or one that's central to the case. For the love of God, tell them over the phone! Text them! Email them! Because if you arrange a meeting, you'll always get bumped off on the way there. We know this to be true.

5. If you are dealing with monsters or aliens (e.g. Dr. Who, which is essentially sci-fi mystery), DO NOT assume they are friendly. That assumption means they will eat you. The people who assume the aliens or monsters are unfriendly have a 50/50 chance of being accurate, and they are much more likely to live than the people who assume otherwise (who have a zero percent chance.)

6. This applies even if it's a cute monster or alien. Remember Adipose?
7. Get backup. You know the characters who venture out on their own, even whilst others say, "No, don't!" ? They all end up as toast.

8.  If you are working with the killer, don't double cross them. Because, once again, duh.

9. If you find out about the family secret of some old artistocratic family, just keep it to yourself. These characters tend to get rather touchy about out questionable parentage, and death is usually preferable being caught with the wrong trousers down.

10. Don't drink the scotch! If you suspect someone is a murderer, don't accept their offer of alcohol. Questions? refer to points #3 and #8.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Writer's block SUCKS

It's not that I haven't wanted to write, or haven't had things to write is the dreaded...

So I'll just give you my odds and ends.
  •  A new insult from girls' night out, for future bumper stickers to slap on the cars of exes: "He's small, AND he doesn't call!" (This was dreamed up by my single friends. I have already told Mr. RK that God forbid anything happens to him, or one day he decides that he prefers men, I'm never dating again.) 
  •  Has it occurred to anyone that Donald Trump has some serious mental health issues? I work at an advocacy agency and we were analyzing his symptoms the other day.
  • A local bakery that refused to sell a cake to a gay couple for their wedding claims they broke the law for religious reasons (never mind that Jesus said not to judge, apparently they don't read their own Bibles), but apparently they have no problems making cakes for divorce parties, a pagan solstice festival, an out-of-wedlock baby, or a stem cell research grant celebration. Oh, and they got pissed off at the newspaper that reported this. Hello, McFly! These people should buy their own island of assholity (is that a word? It is now) and open a shop called Cakes for Bigots Like Us. And then they can have their cake and eat it too!
  • One of the participants in a training I took this week pissed me off to high heaven. A friend said, "Take pity on her, for self-centered people are miserable." I said, "I can't use up pity on her!" Methinks she doth pissed me off too much.
  • I found out the reason that driving is so fucked up around here (meaning roads, not drivers - I haven't found an explanation for that): instead of being laid out on a grid, Oregon's road and street system is based on old trails. I kid you not. And you thought *your* municipality had it backwards.
  • My cats are sexist - they won't play with girls. Apparently boys are playmates and I am only fit for cuddles and feeding them. I thought they might cave while Mr. RK was on his business trip, but instead, they only played with a visiting brother.
  • My friend works in a pharmacy and has the funniest stories. My favorite one so far was from a patient picking up a prescription for Ambien: "My husband hates it when I take this, because we have sex and I never remember it!"

I told her she should start a blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Call in the goats, after we solve our dildo epidemic...

Sorry about the absence, with Mr. RK in Asia on business I've had my hands full keeping up. Luckily I have a helpful sibling staying with me. I promise I will visit your blogs soon!

After the last post about the ridiculousness of (halfassedly) legalizing marijuana here, I thought I'd offer a few other choice tidbits that you could see on an episode of Portlandia, and they'd be true!

#1 - Call in the goats! What to do with invasive plants? Click on this picture for details.
The funny thing is that this is a pretty redneck county - only in Oregon would you have rednecks calling for environmentally friendly solutions to noxious weeds. (Question for gardeners: what are non-noxious weeds?) This county has two reasonable people and three Tea party nuts (wait, that's redundant) on its board of commissioners. I had to seat two of the commissioners separately at a work event because one of them had threatened, at a public meeting, to assault the other. True story.
#2 - Portland's dildo epidemic, hanging from a power line near you.
Every week or so, I send family in other parts of the country an "only in Portland" story. You can't help but read a story whose headline is "Woman says she is responsible for hundreds of sex toys dangling from Portland power lines." Funny thing about how she got them - she says "friends" amassed about 10,000 "defective" sex toys. HOW?! AND HOW MANY FRIENDS?! Inquiring minds want to know, and the article doesn't say, damn it. You talk about irresponsible journalism.

#3 - I want my fetish title back, and I'll sue!
Ditto with a headline that reads, "Ms. Oregon State Leather, stripped of sexual fetish title, wants it back, plus $100,000." My dad said, "Well, let her prove that she deserves it! (Here's a link to the story. It's clean.) I'd love to be the attorney representing her - or at least hear the oral arguments. No pun intended.

Anything going on unique to your neck of the woods?

Monday, July 06, 2015

How to legalize drugs without making any sense (or cents)

Lo and behold, marijuana became legal in my state last week. Yet as with everything that follows a citizens' ballot initiative, the bureaucracy has to take time to catch up.

So get this (and this is all true - I don't have enough patience to invent something so nonsensical):

Marijuana is legal to possess (in certain quantities, depending on whether you're at home or in public), to smoke (in some places and if you're 21 and over), and grow (ditto on quantities and age.)

However,  you can't buy it yet, unless you've got a medical marijuana card (medical marijuana was legal for several years here before last fall's ballot measure passed, making marijuana legal. Also, it is worth noting that more people turned in votes on the measure than cast votes for governor.)
 In what other metro area would the police department post a graphic like this on Twitter? And who the hell is that little clay guy? Do I have to get stoned to figure that out?

The state's new bureau of marijuana has not yet set up a system of stores. God forbid you let private enterprise do it; all hard liquor sales are controlled by the state here - sort of like Communism, but without the bribery handshake - and they're the agency in charge of sorting out pot.

So, you think, can we drive 20 minutes and buy it legally in Washington, and smoke it there, or bring it back here? No. Because that would be trafficking, according to federal law, which still makes marijuana illegal. (You don't have to be stoned to be confused about this.)
At any rate, our local rag published a guide to the new law AND a guide to growing. I kid you not. The same company that owns this paper is opposed to raising the minimum wage, but they must instinctively know, on some level, where their bread is buttered.

So in effect what we have is a kind of de facto amnesty law. You are allowed to possess plants and the dried stuff for smoking, and the oils (I think that's what is used, but I haven't ever baked anything illegal - I have enough trouble preventing legal recipes from catching on fire) used to make food that can make you high. And how, I ask, do you get this stuff? You can get it as a gift.

Yes, really. So in essence, you have to have a friend who probably dabbles in illegal drug sales or purchasing give you legal pot.

There are some things about this state that are so fucking backward, I don't know why I'm surprised.

Maybe everyone started smoking before they wrote the new laws.