Sunday, August 30, 2009

The planet of honest people

Did you ever see the Saturday Night Live skit called "The Planet of Honest People"? It was hilarious! (Yes, I know, but after the 1970s, SNL *was* funny in bits and pieces, trust me.)

My boss and I were discussing, awhile back, how great it would be if we could tell everyone exactly what we thought. After spending way too long on the phone with one of our notoriously whiny, time-wasting committee members (why do those traits go hand in hand?), he said he really needed to sit down with her and say, "You know what? You're smart, and you have a good background for the work we do- but you are FUCKING DIFFICULT!" (You see why I like working for this man, don't you?)

"Well, I wouldn't say it exactly like that - but you get the point," he said.

Wouldn't it be great if we all did that? Or would the earth blow up with the release of tension?

I am an honest person, and though I am diplomatic with people I don't care for, unfortunately, I have a poker face. I'm sure they figure it out!

One of our board members, who is a dirty old man and a major pain in the ass, was grilling me over the phone last week (when my boss is on vacation he acts like he's the boss, even though he's a senile old fuck), and finally he said, "Oh, I'm just trying to get to you."

My reply: "It's working!"

However, while I am very honest with most people, I wish I could tell him the following: You are a nasty, dirty-minded old fuck and I can't believe you got four people to marry you, let alone not kill you. I have a hard enough time sitting through a one-hour meeting with you, or a five-minute phone call, and seeing that you have five or six children, I can't believe one of THEM hasn't strangled you by now, either!

I hope you get every nasty, terrible discomfort that can come with old age, and also permanent laryngitis.

Then my job will be much easier.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I have gotten my ass kicked this week via workouts. Wait, let me rephrase that - I have kicked my own ass because of said workouts.

I have been exercising about 5 times a week since I was in junior high. Swim, run, walk, what have you - I'm not a fanatic, but it makes me feel good. Apparently you're supposed to "surprise" your muscles now and then, so I got a boxing workout book. Mind you, this book deviously had the words "boxing" and "workout" in the title.

Silly as it may seem, I like boxing as a sport. I even used to have a punching bag and gloves. Mind you, I have no desire to hit anyone, but it's a good workout and a good release of energy.

As it turns out, some of the moves in the book are meant for women who really do want to box. As in, hit other people in a ring with gloves on.

I found this out when I read some of the text that accompanied the illustrations. As in, "this will help build up XX muscles, which will make it easier when you get hit in the solar plexus," and also, "this will help strengthen XX, which will make it easier to rebound when you get hit in the face."

EEEEEEP! I don't want to get hit ANYWHERE, thank you very much.

Still, the exercises are good, right?

Mistake #1: I did the workout with ankle weights, which made them more difficult. Text: "Do 20 straight reps." Me: "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Mistake #2: I did the workout twice in three days. After my muscles complained, I took a day off, then I figured I'd tough it out and do it again on the third day. Big mistake.

Mistake #3: I determined that I did not need ibuprofen before going to sleep. Ha! I took it at 4 a.m.

Revelation: I have muscles that I have apparently never used before, and they are not happy. And they are letting me know about it. They are especially unhappy that I did said exercises twice in 72 hours.

So tonight, while Mr. RK is out with a buddy doing boy stuff, I am taking a long bubble bath, reading, and not working out. In fact, I see dessert in my (near) future.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The piggie literary challenge, chapter 2

Thank you, Fireblossom! Now mind you, normally I'd ask you all to post on your own blogs so we can get as many people pulled into the piggie literary challenge as possible, but I suspect that once again, her blog is much too elegant for this.

How great is this?! Now PLEASE, pretty please, someone pick up with chapter 3...

Chapter 2

Monique, the red hot and risque raccoon
Made a bee line for Fred when she walked in the room
She said, "don't be a bumble-headed country dork!
What this place needs is some good pulled pork!
Some Cajun blues and some zydeco, too
Will bring them from near and far, to you.
Some fritters and frankfurters and pommes des terre,
And especially some barbequed Pierre!"
Fred stared.
His jaw hit the bar.
The hens were scared.
The foxes ran far.
"Boy, what a dump!"
Said Monique the raccoon.
She mascara-ed her mask
And walked out of the room.
Monique went to Hollywood
And became a star
With heavy eye make up
She's a big raccoon star,
The foxes came back
And the hens in a bunch...
And our hero Pierre
Was not served for lunch.
But then....
Something made a big thump on the roof....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

Joey initiated this...and I'm following :)

Here are ten things that made me laugh today:

1. We went to the Tillamook Creamery and took these ridiculous pictures...

2. Pheromone Girl got me a great book of postcards called "Grandma's Dead" that has sadistic expressions coupled with baby animals:
Does this prompt anyone to take up the piggy literary challenge? Hmm? The good news is that Fireblossom will write the second chapter of this gripping saga.

3. Speaking of that darling girl, she sent me the first card that I've ever received that came with a disclaimer: "Please note that this ecard has been sent from a website that caters to gay women. If you feel you've been sent this by mistake or as a prank- view it at your own discretion. This website, the owners and its company are NOT responsible or liable for any of its content, written or otherwise."

4. We went out to lunch and it was $33, and I am 33 today. Yes, the universe is laughing at me...

5. My friend J sent me an e-mail: "Happy birthday! I wish I could jump out of a cake for you." Good thing, because I can't jump in ;)

6. Making my little brother giggle on the phone. He is 13 going on 40, but he still giggles like a little kid if you are funny enough.

7. Earl Grey, one of our kitties, jumped up and gave me a bunch of ass-kissing purrs, until Mr. RK offered him treats. Then he ran away and gave Mr. RK the same ass-kissing purrs. True loyalty to be sure.
8. In the gift shop at the creamery, in the midst of screaming brats and a mother who let them run around in the midst of breakable things, Mr. RK says really loudly, "I'm going to create a new bumper sticker that says, "Breeders Ruin Everything!"

9. Mr. RK got me a birthday card from the kitties that said, "We will share tuna...but just for today."

I can't come up with anything for #10, but surely 9 is enough to hold you all for now...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Endearing yourself to your postal carrier

This is courtesy of my friend Fireblossom, who, awhile back, came up with something similar for a meme I started here (which I sadly cannot find, because my normal Virgo organizational skills have gone right out the window today), but withdrew it because she thought it was too negative for her blog. Seeing as how her blog is full of beautiful poetry, and mine is made mostly of sarcastic tripe, I invited her to post it here!

I included this picture of Candyland to sweeten it up.

Here is a helpful list of ways to endear yourself to your postal carrier!
1.Always say "no bills, just checks!" I have never heard that one before! That's so funny! Oh god, give me a minute to stop laughing! You're such a card! (actually, I lied. I've heard that one before. Today. Several times already)
2. Ask, "Hot enough (or cold enough) for ya?" No. Not until my skin turns black and I stop twitching.
3. Point out that Fred (or Jane), the old carrier, always arrived at eight o'clock in the morning and was the best carrier you ever had. Do this for the next fifty years. Make Fred a little more wonderful with each passing year.
4. Tell me all about your complaints against the government. Keep me hostage to your monologue as long as possible. Or, tell me your entire medical history, or about your dispute with your neighbor, who is also my customer.
5. Ask me directions. Even though i do the same route every day, ask me where that nice little Thai place across town is located. Become angry and abusive if I don't know. I am a walking GPS. (but I'm not the one who is lost.)
6. Pull up on the left side of my right hand drive vehicle, and sit there expecting me to talk to you. Never mind the tray filled with mail between me and the left window. Never mind that the crank (yes, crank, no pushbuttons!) is below tray level, which means that, to find out what you want, I have to stop what I'm doing, get out and come to you, to see what you want. If I motion you to come around to the right side, get angry and drive off in a huff. You're right. I should have come to YOU to give you directions.
7. If you see me at a light on a busy road, get out of your car as the light is turning green and dodge/block traffic to come and hand me your letter that's been on the seat of your car for three weeks as you drove past 20,304 mail boxes.
8. Don't control your dog. Say, "aw, he won't hurt you!" Everyone says that. It's mandatory. If your dog attaches himself to my leg with his teeth, stand there fluttering your hands and saying "No, Spot, no." Do not actually touch the animal...he might bite you!
9. Say, "you're late!". Oh gosh. When was my appointment?
10. Ask me if I'm new. Ask me again in a few days. Keep asking until I've been your carrier for five years.
11. Complain about me stepping on your grass. Do this on the coldest, snowiest day of the year. Come out of your toasty house where you've been watching Oprah, and let me have it but good. Do this especially if you haven't cleared your walk. Do this especially if your yard looks like an empty lot and is full of last fall's leaves, hand bills and trash.
12. Have your three year old come out to get the mail. He'll hang on to it, honest. Well, almost all of it. Well, some of it, perhaps. Then complain the next day that I dropped your mail on the ground and left it there.
13. You know that little teensy tiny mailbox that was put on the house when it was built in 1923? Never replace it. Complain about bent mail. Order lots of magazines. Don't collect the mail for a few're busy! And anyway, that box has always been good enough!
14. Build one of those cute home-made mailboxes that looks like a car or a birdhouse! It's so cute! I'm loving those metal edges, bare screw ends, and splinters!
15. If you ever knew anyone who ever worked for the postal service, anywhere on the globe, at any time from 1940-present, ask me if I know them!
16. Say, "I told the other carrier about this problem!" We're like ants. Tell one of us and we all know. Trust me on this.
17. If you receive unpleasant mail, or do not receive "good" mail, scream at me about it. I hand select all of your mail each day. I could have brought you love letters and checks, but, because i am all those things you just called me, I brought you bills and advertising instead. Hold up a letter and ask me what is in it. If you have a dispute with the sender, start screaming at me.
18. If you see me eating lunch, come up and start telling me that you've been watching me just sit there for twenty minutes and you're calling the post office! Tell them I'm having tuna salad, that will get me fired for sure.
19. Tell me you're missing your bank statement/ letter from grandma/ other item. Ask me, indignantly, where it is. Never mind that this is like asking where one particular fish is, in the ocean. Never mind that if i had it, you'd have it. Never mind that I can't possibly know where something i don't have is. Act like I'm stupid. Lazy. Willfully infuriating. I am. You're right. I had it in my pocket all the time!
20. If you don't receive an expected piece of mail, it is undoubtedly because i took it home with me/ gave it to your neighbor/ dropped it in the street/ have it hidden in my truck/ ate it or sold it. Don't waste time considering any toher possiblility. After all, they told you the check was in the mail!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Are we there yet?

Yes, I am addicted to the lolcatbuilder!

I am 944 pages into War and Peace - which means I only (only!) have 500 to go. My cat is not amused - he has actually taken a bite out of the cover. It's so big, it must be a toy, it can't possibly be something to read!

Don't get me wrong, it's a good book. And I enjoyed Anna Karenina. But man, does this guy need an editor. How many different ways can you write a battle scene?

Who chooses what makes a book a classic, I wonder?

And did you know - his wife copied his manuscripts by hand, by candlelight! Then again, they had about a dozen kids, so he must have been doing something for her.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Top Ten Thursday

Joey started the idea of a Top Ten Tuesday blog, so let's think of this as Top Ten Tuesday Plus Two. And it's going to be about - you guessed it! - the top ten things that have irritated me this week.

Sorry, I've got to vent somewhere.

1. Raging PMS. I didn't sign up for this when I was born! WTF?

2. The volunteer in some remote part of the state who kept me on the phone because she couldn't believe my office no longer had a banner that we had lent her three years ago.
Me: "If you go to your local printer-"
Her: "But really, I have a picture of it, it looked very nice."
Me: "I'm sure it did. And if you want to get another one-"
Her: "You really don't have it?"

3. This brings me to what pisses me off EVERY Tuesday, Thursday, and every other day of my life: WHY DO people ask you something twelve different ways when they already know the answer? I can picture it now: "Oh yes! The banner! Well, it turns out we actually DO still have it, because you asked me for the seventh time! Cheers!"

4. Which brings me to another one of my pet peeves: people who suck up my time with insignificant bullshit. Why are the meaningless conversations always the longest ones?

5. Which reminds me of the next one: the phone. I HATE YOU!!! You wait until my boss is gone for two weeks and all of the volunteers have gone home, and then you ring, ring, ring, and ring again. And then when I have volunteers in to answer you, you're silent. How's them pickins?

6. Kaiser (sorry, Phil.) You reschedule my doctor's appointment AGAIN, after you already rescheduled once and I waited an entire month, and now you can't find a female doctor for me unless I wait another month, and the only reason I need the appointment is to refill the damn prescription, of which no refills remain, so I can't wait another month, you fuckheads.

7. The weather. Why do you get hot when I am already cranky? Can't you see it makes me even crankier, and more in need of the justification for more DQ?

8. DQ: Why do you have to be so close and so tempting? (OK, it's only my total lack of willpower that pisses me off.)

9. Tom Ridge. Why does it take a book deal for you to have a moral reckoning? You and all of the other ex-Bushies who didn't have the moral courage or guts to speak out at the time of the scare tactics and other illegal shenanigans that went on in that clownhouse.

10. The people who are questioning the gender of superb female athlete Caster Semenya, of South Africa, because she is kicking ass. Oh wait - she's doing so well that she must not really be a girl! Go soak your heads, you sexist motherfuckers. By the way, Joey sparked a great conversation about this.

Ta ta for now! I'm going to go eat my Peanut Buster Parfait.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A tip for the uninitiated...

When sending an event planner (me) a list of invitees, to whom I am mailing invitations to an event, MAKE SURE THEY'RE ALIVE FIRST!

No, I couldn't make this up.

This really happened.

One of our local county chapters, which is actually always a problem child, sent me a list of names for an event mailing and not only were some of the addresses wrong, at least one person who received an invitation has been dead for 10 years. Ten years!! Talk about not knowing your membership!

I was mortified.

Fortunately the people who called to let us know were very kind...and got my voicemail.

Unfortunately our organization's name was on the invitation.

And far from being mortified like I was, when I contacted the staff at this chapter, they were like, "Oh, thanks. By the way, the invitations looked neat." Bloody fucking hell!

*Ninja edit: The funniest was yet to come. I e-mailed a friend who is on their board and explained what had happened. She wrote back, "Did they also send you a list of - WAAAAAAAAAIIIIIT!!!!! There might be dead people on THAT LIST, TOO!!" She subsequently made some edits and sent it to me.*

I asked my volunteers to remove my name from the invitation list if I croak off before the event.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The piggie literary challenge

Now I know during this summer era of fewer posts and some semi-retiring bloggers, this is a challenge indeed.

Mr. RK, who unbeknownst to most people comes up with funny stories spontaneously, proposes a 10-chapter challenge about piggies. Yes, the kind that go "wee wee wee" - or was that "oui! oui! oui!"? - all the way home.

I will, via Mr. RK, post the first chapter here. Then some brave soul must post chapter 2, and so on, and so forth, until we have 10. And then we shall have a most perverse, funny kind of sort of book, I hope.

Are you in?

---chapter 1: Pierre the piggie--- (By Mr RK)
Pierre was born and raised on a decrepit plantation near New Orleans. Being terminally bored with alfalfa and alfalfa related products, he decided to gather all his money and his best clothes, then follow his whims where they lead him.

Bourbon street bars are not particularly pig-friendly, Pierre soon found out. After trying to wet his snout for hours, the little piggie trundled in to Fred's Bar, which was a couple of turns off of the beaten path. At the bar Pierre squealed "A rum please!", and was given a wee glass of rum by the sympathetic looking manatee barkeep.

Pierre snorted, " I am a large pig, not a little piggie. I want a large size rum." (Pierre does not always tell the strict truth.) Fred, the manatee, (all manatees are named Fred) shook his head to be best of his ability (manatees don't have very flexible necks), and poured Pierre a large rum. The drink came in a wooden bucket, and required two creatures to serve it.

Two days later Pierre had almost finished his first large-sized rum. He was a very disheveled piggie by now, but he was also adored by all of the other patrons of the bar. They admired his courage, stamina, dexterity, and truffle knowledge. A group of hens became especially fond of him, and took him home to sleep it off.

Pierre woke to find himself sharing a large room with quite a few mothering hens and a pack of fishatarian foxes. As he wandered around the house, he glimpsed the back yard and instantly fell in love. It was nothing but mud! MUD! The hens mistake his exitement, thinking he is offended by their yard, and explain that hens and foxes are not fit for yard work. An arrangement is quicky worked out. Pierre will create and maintain the yard and garden in exchange for room, board, and a small mud (MUD!) wallow.

A routine is fallen into by all: housework by day and drinking a Fred's at night. Of course there is always time for a nice mud (MUD!) wallow.

The foxes discover that Fred the manatee is really passionate about shrimp (which is why he was disgraced and evicted from the manatee association, but that is another story.) The fishatarion foxes are eager to share recipies. The results are enjoyed by all of the patrons of Fred's.

As time goes by, the drinkers at Fred's are gradually displaced by the foodies looking for a unique shrimps experience. Pierre, exercizing his piggie cunning, has learned the joys of accountancy. (Fred's pays no taxes.) Fred is slowing down and spends his time grooming Pierre and the foxes to take control of Fred's Fine Fishes And Shrimps when he retires.

Fred's Fine Fishes And Shrimps does very well indeed with Pierre running the office and the foxes in the kitchen. The clientelle gradually grow, the waiting list lengthens, and all is rosy with the world. Then Monique walks in...

-----End chapter 1----

*WHO, I ask you, will take up the piggie literary challenge? Let me know in the comment section...*

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday funnies

Note to the marketing department: restocking the lights can REALLY make a difference when you're trying to attract hungry brother and his girlfriend saw this and had to take a picture. You can bet they didn't go through the drive-through.

Our biggest metro area newspaper ran a story about a baseball team possibly locating in the city where I live with this headline:

Paulson says Beavers will bring identity to Beaverton

Right. I'm picturing a bunch of beavers sitting around a boardroom table in business suits, discussing branding.

Having lived in the Empire State, the Golden State, the Land of Lincoln and the Lone Star State, I find it truly humiliating to live in a state where there is a fucking beaver on the flag!

So my darling friend Fireblossom made this for me:

I think I'm going to have to go on soon.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Republican that I loved dearly

No, you didn't misread that. Some of you know about my late, dear great aunt Marie, who died two years ago tomorrow. It is already the anniversary in the Eastern Time Zone, which was hers, as I type this.

Do anniversaries make you pensive? Anniversaries of deaths in particular have that effect on me.

The other day I was looking out the window at work, and the way the sunlight hit the trees reminded me, like time was pinching me, of the view from the sunroom where Aunt Marie was dying. I am happy that she was able to drift away at home, in a cheerful, cozy room, surrounded by classical music and people who loved her. I am sorry that I had to tell her my brother was not coming. I am still stunned that in May, on our way to London, she told me in a phone call that she hadn't been feeling well, and in August, she was gone.

If I can take away one lesson from her life, it is to never doubt that one person can make a difference. I have thought of her even as I fight for causes the two of us have never discussed, or ones that she would have been uncomfortable with.

She was so patient - the one virtue I know I will never have - and that extended to all of us, even during times when we (OK, me) were extremely difficult.

I asked her to tell the story of how she got engaged to "Uncle John," her late husband, at least once on every visit. We never tired of it. More than 20 years after his death, she kept his home office intact. When she died, she kept his causes in her will.

Marie was the only truly balanced, sweet, unselfish person on that side of my family. It was like she somehow got different DNA. She was the family member I turned to when all of the other ones made no sense or were cruel or unavailable. She was the one who stayed with my aunts when their babies were born; she was, in her 80s, organizing fundraisers for displaced Katrina evacuees and crocheting blankets for Lutheran World Relief.

She left this world about 12 hours after I flew home, and as it turns out - at that exact time - I woke up after having a dream that she was younger, healthy again, walking through the woods.

She has visited in dreams a few times since then. In one, we were at a dinner party, and she scolded me, "Don't sit with your ankles crossed! It's not ladylike." Very much like her.

"You will be OK, even though I'm not there," she reassured me.

I think each of us needs an Aunt Marie.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shameless movie plug

Go see Julie and Julia. Marvin K Mooney, will you please GO NOW?!

*Ninja edit: here's a link to the review:

Seriously, go see it. Despite the fact that it was directed by Nora Ephron, this is not a chick flick. I wrote a review of this movie, which I will post a link to later when it is posted, if I'm in a good mood and no longer wish to be (semi) anonymous. As my grandmother would say, "Ha!"

I was expecting a good movie but I wasn't expecting such an interesting one. Based on two books - Julia Child's My Life in France and Julie Powell's Julie and Julia, the movie goes back and forth between the two women's lives. From post-war Paris to modern-day NYC, the two main characters are loved by amazingly supportive (and perhaps too perfect) partners, told by the outside world that they'll never succeed, and then they both do, beyond their wildest dreams.

Not just a you go girl movie - a you go people movie, if you were.

And it's fucking hilarious. I don't want to give too much away, but there is a scene that really happened where Julia compares cannelloni to "hot cocks." I kid you not!

I'm not a foodie, and I have no interest in cooking (as many of you know by now), but watching this made me want to find out more about Julia Child. She was the only woman in a cooking class in Paris, told she would never be successful (hahahaha! she must be laughing on beyond the grave) and she was turned down by Houghton Mifflin after working on her cookbook for eight years.

I bet they've been kicking themselves ever since.

What if she would have given up after that?

What if Julie Powell, who temped for several years while trying to sell a novel, had given up on writing?

It reminded me of what my grandfather always says: "Don't tell yourself no even before someone else tells you no!"

It motivated me to stop being so afraid and start sending my children's book around.

I am inviting all of you to go to Julie Powell's blog and tell her congratulations!

PS Mr. Riot Kitty will also attest to the fact that it was not a chick flick. I had ask him if I had dreamt up the "hot cocks" part, but he said I did not.

PPS For good measure, I have embedded this clip, which Julia Child purported to love so much that she showed it to friends at dinners at her home!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

And now it's time for a moment of CUTE!

Thank you, Fireblossom for making this for me! I was so excited to find out that you can make your own pictchas on So my cat Lucky is ready for his closeup...

She also made this hilarious picture, which Joey and Claire should especially like:

And speaking of cute, check out these (on Aug. 5) baby leopards! Who could think they'd grow up to be sleek, beautiful cats who could rip your head off. Hmm, that doesn't sound so bad ;)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Yes, I care about the environment...

I recycle to the point of obsessing - and things that cannot be recycled at work, I take home with me. We are power conservers. We drive as little as possible, carpool as much as possible, and try not to purchase things that create lots of garbage and/or recycling.

But. Is it just me, or are some of the people who are latching onto the green bandwagon just a teeny bit irritating?

I read something from someone in an online writers group I am a part of that sparked this post. We were doing introductions (no, I did not say, "Hi, I'm Riot Kitty! I love to use the word "fuck!") and while most people stuck to the basics (name, city, type of writing, what we do during the day to pay bills), a couple of people waxed poetic about their hobbies. Or rather, they went on very un-poetically, 'cause I couldn't give a shit.


For starters, I just *hate* that. This is supposed to be a professional group. I don't care what you eat for breakfast.

So anyhow, said writer was going on and on and on about how she "is very concerned about limiting my carbon footprint." Anyone who uses those last two words, I tell you, is some kind of idiot. Notice that the car companies manufacturing huge SUVS (I'm talking about the ones big enough to cart around an NFL team) use that lingo to justify charging several thousand dollars more for a vehicle that STILL won't get 20 mpg!

Anyway - not two sentences later, she proved my point. Among her "hobbies" is ordering things online from as far away as Canada to be delivered to her, in her current city of residence - which is in South America.

I kid you not.

Tip for the uninitiated: if you're really concerned about the environment, try not to order things that must be shipped halfway around the world. All of that burning of fossil fuels and such, sweetheart.

Then again, she's probably one of those people who think buying "carbon credits" is OK, rather than bothering to use fewer resources to begin with. Either that, or she doesn't wear deodorant.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Jury duty!

Wish me luck tomorrow...I'll probably spend 8 hours reading War and Peace (yes, I really am bringing it! I have never read it and tomorrow I'll have time on my hands.) I figure I am too independent-minded to serve Uncle Sam in a jury kind of way. I'm planning to donate the $10 to Legal Aid of Oregon or the ACLU. I suppose there are much harder ways to make less than $1 an hour.

In the meantime, you MUST check out Zirgar's hilarious post about what it would be like if those batshit crazy birthers (oh sorry - redundant!) ran the DMV!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

You need qualifications to be a snob.

A friend of mine just took over one of the branches of our organization, and this change couldn't come too soon.

A conversation at work today reminded me just how much I can't stand this woman, although she has always been nice to my face. Key words: to my face.

Now her board forced her out of her position but she is still unable to let go, apparently, because she's still a 40-hour-a-week "volunteer" and is still on the board. (PG, aren't you kissing your toes that you didn't take this job?) Why my friend tolerates this I don't know. She is a kinder person than me.

So I have to rant somewhere, because this bitch drives me nuts. Her latest antic was to angle for - no, scratch that - demand a free ticket to our $125-a-plate fundraiser. Her excuse for not buying a ticket = she can't afford it.

I told my friend, "She's not allowed to sit with us."

Friend: "She won't want to sit with us."

Me: "Why not?"

Friend: "Because she is a snob."

A snob? She can't afford a ticket, but she's a snob? No one with such a terrible dye job (think someone trying to imitate Edith from All in the Family) can be a snob! No one who is constantly losing her teeth (I am not making this up) - and whose teeth have been found in the peanut butter jar in the fridge at work, and in her dog's mouth, among other places - can be a snob!

Am I wrong? Where is Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "bouquet") when I need her?

Anyway, I know Ms. Bitch will be all smiles at the event. Unfortunately, I won't be sitting close enough to spit in her food.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

There's a saying...

...among those of us who have been or are still in the news business: "Anyone who says they love to write isn't writing anything all that great."

Now that I'm also an editor, I have found this saying to be doubly true.

What I don't understand - and I'm sorry if this sounds bitchy, but oh well - is why people try to do something professionally, over and over again, that they're not meant to do. Something they have no talent for.

Case in point: I am not, and will never be, talented with math. Ergo, I am not an accountant.

Writing is one of the only fields where the truly untalented think they're the greatest new thing, isn't it? OK, maybe art as well, but for writing, I think it's more obvious. When I worked for a publishing company, it was always the worst writers who were 1) the most demanding, and 2) the most impressed with themselves. In my experience, the truly good (and even the great) writers I have met are not arrogant and even tend to doubt themselves. Fireblossom, who is the greatest poet I have ever read, is very modest.

So because - if I forgot to mention this - I do editing for a site as a volunteer, here are a few tips I'd LOVE to have some writers follow:

1. DO NOT send your article in with a note that says anything to the effect of, "This could use some cleaning up," or "this could use some editing." I have a feeling that within the first sentence of reading, I'll be thinking, "No shit!" I do this for free. Send me your best effort, please.

2. There is one space after each sentence. END OF STORY!

3. Don't use "Canadian English" as an excuse for not being grammatically accurate. Canadian bacon is different - not the entire language.

4. For the love of god, use spellcheck. If you know how to use a computer, surely you can figure this out.

5. Learn how to use semicolons, dashes, and commas. Correctly.

6. When the required word count is 300, don't send me 150. This is like ordering at a restaurant and having half of your food show up.

7. Learn how to use capitals correctly. Didn't you ever watch Sesame Street? Do you need a muppet to sponsor the letter of the day to figure this out?

8. Don't hand me an article with a sentence that is SO bad that it could actually be entered into a bad sentence contest, because I'll just be forced to cry.

9. Please don't use the word "whimsical" more than once in the same paragraph. It just makes me want to gag.

10. If you can't handle these simple rules, do us all a favor: quit writing, and try your luck as an accountant.