Friday, November 30, 2012

I think he got out of jury duty

I had to report for jury duty this week.

An hour late, in walks a guy that looks like The Grinch and Jimmy Hoffa had a love child.

Picture a huge biker type, steel toed boots, leather jacket, and no hair on his head except for bright green eyebrows and a bright green fu man chu. 

He was wearing a shirt that said, “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes necessary.”

He had some boring first name like Bill or Bob or something - I expected, I don't know, Helwig?

I was excused from jury duty. I'm guessing he was too. My friend said, "Maybe he was just an accountant dressed up for the occasion."

Have you been to jury duty before? Meet any interesting characters there?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Question of the week (hint: it's about sex)

Would you talk about your sex life for a $10 gift card?

How about with a complete stranger?

Mind you, some people do it for free...

I found it really amusing that people found this survey offensive, because the offending paper could easily be recycled.

But I also wonder who'd say, "Ooooh! A $10 gift card? I'll tell everything!"

It also brings to mind the question, would it depend on where the gift card was from? Would, say, a gift card for Ben & Jerry's be more successful than one for Hello Kitty?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Things I have learned from watching BBC murder mysteries, part 2

Especially if you're in a small village...

1. There are adulterers and swingers everywhere.

2. Despite the fact that there are many break-ins and burglaries, everyone's door is either open, easy to break open, or has a spare key in a conspicuous location nearby.

3. Everyone has buckets and buckets of booze around the house.

4. For a country so obsessed with gun control, everyone in the village seems to have a pistol or shotgun.

5. Every third person seems to have an illegitimate child, bringing to mind the fact that...

6. No one seems to know about contraception.

7. Archery - and death by bow and arrow - seems common. Why so many bows and arrows? Do they all fancy themselves Robinhood?

8. There's an obsession with showing actual caskets going into the ground, even after we're shown the bodies time and time again, as if to say, "See? There's been a death! Really!"

9. Men are shown "full backal" (brownie points if you get that reference) 10 times more than women are. And the asses are not that great.

10. No matter how many episodes have multiple murders, burglaries, affairs, and illegitimate children, the characters always say, "But it's always been such a quiet village until now."

Obviously, living in the country makes you nuts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Things I have learned watching BBC murder mysteries

Mr. RK and I don't watch TV, but we are addicted to several BBC series (Dr. Who, Agatha Christie, etc.) - and murder mysteries are right up there. But I can't help thinking there are some common themes, regardless of who is writing, starring or producing. We recently got hooked on a show called Midsomer Murders. By the look of it, someone in that fictional county gets whacked every week. This show is no exception to the rules, which I have outlined below.

1. Everyone who has household staff of any kind - an assistant, a cleaner, a cook, etc. - is going to get killed, probably violently. It's these poor schmucks that always, ALWAYS end up finding the bodies.

2. Every detective genius has a not-so-bright sidekick, who nevertheless ends up unexpectedly shedding light or saying something out of the blue that stimulates the detective's little gray cells and ends up - voila! - helping him solve the case.

3. Drink something caffeinated before you watch this stuff. With few exceptions, there will always be lots of "arranging matches," as Eddie Izzard puts it, before you get anywhere near the plot.

4. Invariably, if the detective is a man, he'll be a foodie, and have some kind of OCD.

5. Inevitably, some kind of secret or illicit sex relationship will be revealed. Usually it has nothing to do with who killed whom, but it helps break up the arranging of matches a bit.

6. If there is a pet involved, it will usually be more helpful to the detective, in terms of solving the murder, than the humans.

7. If the murderer used poison, s/he will be stupid enough to offer a drink or food to the detective, who will be smart enough not to drink it (even if it appears that s/he does.)

8. The motive is almost always greed, sex, or revenge, coupled with a person who has totally gone around the bend. I'd really like to see it be over something like, say, food, or a parking spot, or bad fashion choices. Like Mrs. Jones is afraid that Mrs. Smith is going to win the cupcake baking contest, so she puts arsenic in the frosting. Wendy is sick of Larry wearing ball-busting pants to work and taking her parking spot, so she pushes him down the elevator shaft and makes it look like an accident. Something interesting like that.

9. Once the detective finds out who the murder is, s/he will never just say, "Hey! You're busted. Down to the station with you." S/he will lay out a long-winded speech telling the killer exactly why s/he did it.

10. The killer won't, as you'd think, start to run away during the speech. Rather, s/he always A. denies it and B. then admits it with a gleam in their eye.

There's your guide. Happy watching!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shameless plug for a writer friend!

 As if I needed another excuse to write about sex! (See question number 3.)

What am I shamelessly plugging? My friend G.B. Miller's new book, that's what! (Links and info below.) I am always thrilled when a fellow writer has success. I am heartened when writers who have brains and use them (contrary to Stephanie Meyer, for instance) get published. So voila! Here is a Q&A with G.B.

1} Why did you start writing?
 I started writing around 2006, when I was looking for a solid and safe outlet for some personal issues I was going through. Some friends and co-workers stroked my ego just enough to prompt me to continue with this curious journey.

2} What inspired the idea for the book?
 It's funny, but no one thing inspired the idea. The idea came to me while was deciding to wake up one Sunday morning. Originally devised to be a short story about a woman in debt to a loan shark with the only out available as an adult movie actress, by the time I sat down in front of my computer, it morphed into a full length novel, complete with all kinds of intricate twists.

 The title itself came to me while I was doing my taxes. If you exam the 1040 tax form, line 21 is where you put an any other income that doesn't apply elsewhere.

3} Was there any part/scene/character that was difficult to write? How so?
 The characters and basic scene settings were pretty easy to write, but I would say that writing the porn movie scenes, as well as the final sexual encounter on the roof, were the hardest.

 The reason being was that although the book was about Jeannie Mitchell getting into the adult movie industry, I didn't want to simply write a porn moive. Thus, the real issue was trying to approach from a business standpoint w/o having it deteriorate into a typical porn movie. And except for the roof top scene (extra kinky with shades of BDSM), I think it came off very well.

4} I'm alway curious about what writers read. Who are some of your favorite authors?
 I'm more into genres than a particular author, although I do enjoy the scribbles of Charles Gramlich (fantasy/horror) and Edward Grainger (noir/Western) from time to time. As for genres, I enjoy all kinds of non-fiction, but I am enjoying the exploration of romance, fantasy, noir and high-end YA (geared towards 17+).

5} What kind of literature is overrated?
 Most celebrity driven fiction/non-fiction and certain kinds of YA. I will conced that there is a small sliver of celeb non-fition/fiction that is good, but most of it is highly overrated. I agree that 50 Shades is overrated, if only from what I've read written elsewhere by people who have an intimate knowledge of BDSM. "Mommy Porn" is just that.

6} What advice would you give author's looking to get published for the first time?
 Build up a body of work via the short story.
Unless your novel is the be-all to end all, having a solid body of previously published work will make you stand out from the writer who doesn't. Agents and/or publishers will have a tendency (more often than not) to focus on the writer who has publishing credits, because they will see that an editor took a chance on that particular individual.


While working as a Payroll Clerk in state government back 2006 (and with a little encouragement from friends and co-workers), G. B. decided to take up writing so as to make better use of his free time. Becoming fully immersed with his nascent second career, some six years later, he can proudly said that he is a published somebody, with two short stories, a self-pubbed chapbook and his commercial debut. G.B. currently lives in Newington, CT with his wife Joanne, his two children and his pet cat Holly. Currently he divides his time between working for the state, spending time with his family and creating written mayhem in the cyber world and the real world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sex scandals are so old hat

OK, I admit, I've been reading the latest stories about the former CIA director because 1) I'm amused that yet another guy in the upper echelons of government can't keep it in his pants, and 2) I'm wondering what a nation of dumbasses we are that adultery can get you fired from the military (where he was prior to the CIA post), and 3) Well...there's a potential spy element involved. This has the potential to be very James Bond. And...yeah. This is also the post-election, pre-holiday "dead" news time of year.

But lo and behold! If you needed any further proof that we have always been a nation obsessed with other peoples' sex lives, apparently there have been high government sex scandals dating back to the 1700s. Now, you may not have any interest in Alexander Hamilton's sex life, but who's to say this blog never gives you a history lesson?

My question is this: does dishonesty in one's personal life make the person unfit for public service? Is it assumed that an individual with that much power (read: ego) is going to screw around just because they can? Should we care or not?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The difference between men and women

Mr. RK: "I need to get a new pair of jeans at some point. It doesn't have to be right away."
Me (knowing it would take wild horses to coax Mr. RK into shopping for anything other than surplus gadgets): "Why?"
Mr. RK: "I ripped a hole in the crotch bowling yesterday."
Me: "Then you need to get some new ones NOW."
Mr. RK: "I thought I could save them for Halloween. You know, go as a naked man in pants."

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

If you want to slap someone...

A real conversation in my office today...

Volunteer: "I just read the greatest thing. It says, 'If you really want to slap someone, just do it and say there was a mosquito.'"

I sent that to a few colleagues.

One wrote back, "Yeah, but there aren't any mosquitoes this time of year. So you can't slap anyone at the event Saturday."

My volunteer replied, "Take a Sharpie and make a little black dot on your hand. Then say, 'See?'"

Monday, November 05, 2012

Vasil P. McNut's presidential platform

Hello, bloggy friends! Vasil P. McNut here. While Riot Kitty and Mr. Riot Kitty are glued to their television tomorrow night (and it's not even Dr. Who night!), watching politics in all of its glory, I will be busy plotting my 2016 presidential run.

A profile picture.

Here are a few reasons you should vote for me on the catnip ticket in 2016:

1. Tired of turkeys in politics? I'll eat them!

2. Catnip will be legalized for all.

3. Multiple naps a day will be mandatory for all humans over the age of 18. (Let's face it, they are wasted on the young.)

 Showing my sweet side.

4. I will never be caught up in a sex scandal. Fluffy left for Paris long ago. Actually, I think her name was Bruno.

5. I'm a handsome devil.

6. I do a wicked Jabba the Hut impression.

 "Bring me Solo and the Wookie!"

7.  Since Mr. RK is my slave, none of your tax dollars will go for professional photographers. Guy is silly enough to do this for free. I don't even have to ask.

Showing my playful side.

What do you mean, a top 10 list? You don't need more reasons, you silly humans! None of your current candidates can do all of these things. Vasil P. McNut in 2016!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Kitty politics

Courtesy of Henri the existential cat!