Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I've been wondering what to write for my last post of 2009, and it just fell into my lap. Or rather, into my e-mail.

The e-mail below came from a friend who runs the local county affiliate of my work organization. They have a clothing bank and I also gave her a set of Christmas blocks that I had gotten as a present from elderly relatives - I wanted to cry when I got them because they have very little money and it cost $12 just to ship them. Then who knows how much they spent on the blocks (yes, blocks.)

I wanted to let you know that the clothes you donated went to the girl who was hit by a car with our volunteers. The girl, N, had two pairs of pants, 3 or 4 shirts and one pair of shoes. One of each of these was destroyed when she was hit by the car. J, our volunteer and the other two’s mom, asked if we had any clothes in the clothing closet that may fit her and explained the situation. The clothes you donated were cool for a teen and were the right size.

Also, the holiday blocks. I gave them to P and told her that all the work she had done with the holiday season was so appreciated that an anonymous person asked me to give her a special gift. She not only organized all the Christmas bags and gifts for the adults at two group homes, but she also planned the Christmas Potluck at the center. You should have seen her face. She was so thrilled to have someone do something like that for her. She is just getting back to work after years of not being able to work because of anxiety so be recognized that way was a brand new experience. :o)

So there are your good thoughts for the day of how your donations impacted two peoples' lives.

This made my day! How many times have we all donated extra stuff we had laying around and given it little or no thought afterwards? But with a thoughtful person (like my friend), little things can make a big difference, sometimes.

Happy New Year!

- RK

PS Mr. RK took this picture outside of our place last night.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And here is the fucking joke of the day

We got a couple of inches of snow, and, being unprepared as fuck all like we normally are in Oregon - despite the fact that we get snow every year, and blizzards every four or five years - guess what? Gridlock. Ice. Snow. Plows coming out several hours AFTER it started and there were already wrecks. People driving STUPIDLY and crashes everywhere.

It took me four and a half hours to get home 11 miles. And I am claustrophobic.

But guess what?

The forecast reads (still!!):



You've got to love meteorologists. It's not like they get fired if they call it wrong.

Elsewhere in the country, you should definitely be laughing at us, because all of this was caused by two inches of snow. TWO INCHES!!! Who says size doesn't matter?

Monday, December 28, 2009

All that glitters

Is sending holiday cards a dying art? I seem to be getting fewer each year. (Thank you, btw, to those of you who sent cards. I have them up on the bookcase.)

I found what I thought were sweet, nondenominational cards that I could send to friends and family that celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, Festivus...OK I'm kidding, but you get the point.

The only trouble was that there was much more glitter coming off of the cards than staying on them. I feel like the Tinkerbell of Hallmark.

There was glitter on my table, on the floor, on me - even in my coffee at work. And my boss somehow got it on his face (I didn't volunteer where it might have come from.)

My friend's husband opened their card and got it all over the front of his pants. "Now I have glittery balls for Christmas!" he reportedly told her.

Another friend, who works at a nonprofit where we made a donation this year, wrote me a personal thank-you note that was inscribed, "What? No glitter came with your check? I'm so disappointed!"

I e-mailed a colleague ahead of time, letting him know about the glitter and that it didn't come from anyone exotic, just little me.

His reply: "Being single with no prospects, anything that resembles a woman or an adult dancer is great!"

Um. How do you reply to an e-mail like that?

"Better luck in 2010!"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ghosts of presents past

One of the great things about kids is their honesty.

Mr. RK's nephew opening his first present from us: "I have this one already."

Thank God for gift receipts...although he decided to take it to his dad's house and have one of each at each house. He seemed to like his other presents a lot.

Don't you wish you could have a moment of unpunished honesty when you get presents that are not of your liking?

For years, my grandparents sent the most god-awful presents - mainly from the Avon catalog - and one year, my dad and my uncle realized my grandmother had gotten them both the same dog-on-the-moon thermal drink holder. (I'm not making this up. Avon has a special, detailed ugliness that only Avon can have.)

Some of the gifts were downright hilarious though - especially the ones from the grandmother whom we all refer to as "Grandma Flippy." Grandma Flippy has sent me things such as a size 3XL shirt with a bear on it (I am a petite, 5'3" person); athletic knee socks that came up to mid-thigh (sports kink, anyone?); a gold nugget on a chain; and this year, a huge glittery snowflake necklace (chain tangled) that might be appropriate if I was still eight. Bonus: two holes in the box where earrings were - except Grandma Flippy removed them and presumably gave them to someone else!

When I was a reporter, I wrote a column about this one year, hoping to inspire Dave Barry-like laughs. I got five nasty letters to the editor, from people threatening to adopt my grandparents. I'm not making this up. Some people have no sense of humor.

If I added up all of the Christmas presents I gave passed on to Goodwill over the years, I'd probably have enough deductions to interest the IRS.

I could care less about the actual physical getting of presents. What I really enjoy is the thought that is put into them. Mr. RK's mom, for instance, put God knows how many hours into making a gorgeous cloth Christmas book with pictures of our kitties. She is very talented and could sell this stuff for lots of money, but I am the beneficiary!

And in addition to my Debbie Harry Ladies of the 80s doll, Mr. RK got me a Charlie Brown DVD that I had apparently mentioned a year and a half ago (!!)

"We were looking at a list of Charlie Brown specials online," he reminded me, "and you said you hadn't seen that one. So I checked every few months until it was available."

That makes up for the years of kinky knee socks, methinks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy your holidays and hopefully some laughs.

If you can't play the video, go to this link:

Monday, December 21, 2009

A constant

I've had a hard time putting anything into words today. Shock at a friend's terrible news that her mom, a sweet lady, has been hit hard and fast by cancer and is in hospice. Anger or hurt, I'm not sure which, about two so-called "friends" who seem to have fallen off of the globe. Who knows? Perhaps the world is flat after all - or people are more shallow than I thought.

Reflecting at year's end and not believing it's going to be 2010. Doesn't that seem like it should be some far-off futuristic year? Decade?

Which brings the subject of changes - some things, however, and some people, are a constant.

I'd like to think that some things are meant to happen, that some people are meant to meet.

Nearly 12 years ago I spent a weekend in Washington, D.C., apartment hunting. I had been planning to move there. Over the course of the weekend I changed my plans but I also met a slightly shy, funny, sweet guy named Mike D.

We have never lived in the same place - not even close. But we became friends just about instantly and we are friends still. We have been friends through good times, tough times, VERY tough times, and in-between times, through relationships, good and bad, and lots and lots of letters, e-mails, books and Aerosmith music.

Who says the constants in our lives are boring? Not this guy. I wish he just lived down the street.

Mike D, I miss you! I hope you are staying warm in that snowstorm and that it hasn't carried off any cows.*

*A reference to a cow that was tipped over by a tornado in his hometown of Ellington, CT.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Customer service 101

I apparently caught the ick that my parents were coming down with when I left Saturday. This is irritating not just because I can't work out, cook, or stay at work for very long, but also because I am so foggy that my brain is having trouble processing things.

Nevertheless, I know asinine behavior when I see it (is there such a noun as asinism? If not, there should be.)

And this behavior came from - surprise! - someone in customer service at the cell phone company. I am tolerant of their fuck-ups to a certain extent because they're a nonprofit and donate to the charities their members (me) vote on. However, sometimes they're a little grassroots in their organizational skills (or lack of them.)

Don't think I am unsympathetic to the hell that is customer service, because both Mr. RK and I have worked in it and during that time, I think we both wanted to make quite a few voo doo dolls.

I pay my bills online, because 1) it's convenient and 2) I want to save paper. And, 3) because there were a couple of times that I have not received my bills in the mail and I like to pay them on time.

With the cell phone company, occasionally I don't get an e-mail bill, either. This has happened several times and I always get the same form response: "Please check your spam filter, contact your internet provider," etc.

Hello! I grew up in Silicon Valley. I know how to check the spam filter.

This time, when I realized I hadn't gotten a bill for awhile, I e-mailed the cell phone people and wrote, "Please don't tell me to check the spam filter or contact my internet company - I've done both many times and this problem is on your end."

Reply e-mail:

"Dear Ms. RK,
I am very sorry but I am not able assist you this information via email. I do not have an email address on file for you to verify if you are in fact this member.

Would you please give us a call at the number below to add your email address to your account or set up a password? We now require this information to release information on the account via email. This is for security purposes and for your protection."

Apparently the fact that she is E-MAILING ME TO MY E-MAIL ADDRESS is lost on her. I replied,

"My e-mail address IS on file and I do have an account with a password. Why would I be e-mailing you, pretending to be someone else to pay someone else's bill?"

A valid question, no?

So today I got an e-mail apologizing from a supervisor and someone is going to contact me. Ha. If the e-mail arrives, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The apple doesn't fall that far...

We have what people have started calling a "blended" family. Personally, I think this is hilarious - what are we, a smoothie? A milkshake? An iced coffee drink?

Anyway, I probably relate to my "stepbrother" - my dad adopted him when he was 1 1/2 and I just think of him as my brother - better than I relate to most people. He's 13 going on 40.

He loves books, coffee and chocolate. For years we have secretly believed that we somehow share DNA. And when I sent him this adorable picture of my cats cuddling, this is what he sent back.

There's no doubt now!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You asked for it!

Here is my favorite chapter from my (as of yet unpublished) book, illustrated by my brother Nik. By the way, congratulate him! He now has an agent!

All work copyright if any of you darlings would steal it :) The web site is a work in progress at this point. Thank you, Mr. RK and Mike D for the work so far!

The book is a series of vignettes in the life of Antonia Elizabeth Jones, a sassy six-year-old who has "changed" her name to Black Jack Pepper. She lives in Minnesota with her three-year-old brother, Will, their dad, and their cat, Rocco, who likes to eat pancakes.

Lucky the Blue Lobster

"Hey, dad!" Black Jack Pepper called. "Can we get a lobster?"

"To eat?" he asked.

"No, for a pet," she said. "Come and look."

Her dad walked over from the cat toy aisle, shaking his head. She pointed to the tank with an Australian blue lobster, which was about 4 inches long.

"You said we could get any kind we want," she reminded him. "And besides, he looks kind of lonely."

Her dad sighed.

"OK," he said. "You can get the lobster. Just be sure to ask the lady behind the counter what kind of food he eats."

"French toast?" asked Black Jack Pepper.

"No," her dad replied, "I don't think you can feed him French toast."

"Oh good," she said. "Then Rocco won't get jealous."

Black Jack Pepper, Will and their dad bought an aquarium, food for the lobster, the lobster itself, and a book about how to take care of it.

"Is it a him or a her?" Black Jack Pepper asked.

"I'm not really sure," her dad replied.

"Is there a way we can find out?" she asked.

"I don't think so," her dad said.

"Well, I think it's him, because he's bigger than the other ones," she said.

"Him!" Will said gleefully.

"It could just mean that he's older," their dad said. "But OK. We'll just assume that it's a boy lobster."

"What's his name?" Black Jack Pepper asked. "Did the people at the pet store name him?"

"No, they don't name the lobsters," her dad said. "We do. Do you have a name in mind?"

"Not really," she said.

"Do you, Will?" he asked.

"No," Will said.

"Well, let's go home and get this aquarium set up, and you two can think about it," their dad said.

Once they got home, Black Jack Pepper and Will decorated the empty aquarium with colorful rocks on the bottom, and a small castle on top of them. They added small plants and watched their dad fill it with water.

"Is that lobster grass?" Black Jack Pepper asked.

"It came with the aquarium," her dad said. "It's probably just for decoration."

"Does he eat it?" she asked.

"I don't think so," her dad said. "In nature, they eat small fish, algae or shrimp. We bought him some food pellets with a mixture of those things."

"Yuck!" Black Jack Pepper said. "That would be even worse than eating grass."

"Yuck," agreed Will.

Their dad winked.

"Just be glad you're not a lobster," he said.

When everything was set up and the lobster was in the tank, their dad told them he was going outside to work in the garden.

"Can we stay here and watch the lobster?" Black Jack Pepper asked. "Maybe we can come up with a name for him."

"Sure," her dad said. "Just don't tap on the tank, because it will give him a headache."

He went outside, and Black Jack Pepper and Will continued staring at the lobster.

"He isn't doing much," Black Jack Pepper said. "Shouldn't he be swimming around, or eating or something?"

Will shrugged his shoulders.

"Any why is he blue?" Black Jack Pepper asked. "Aren't lobsters supposed to be red?"

"He's cold," said Will.

"Aha! I think you're right," Black Jack Pepper said, jumping to her feet. "We need to warm him up, and then he'll be a red lobster."

She opened the blinds to that the sun was shining directly onto the lobster tank.

She and Will sat and waited for a few minutes, but nothing happened.

"He's still blue," Black Jack Pepper said. "His tank is too heavy to put in the microwave. How else can we warm up the water?"

She and Will both thought for a moment.

"I've got it! Follow me," she said, leading the way downstairs to the basement.

She opened up a box labeled "CAMPING" and found a portable stove.

"This should work," she said. "Come on, Will, let's go warm up the lobster."

As they were coming back upstairs, their dad was coming in to check on them and to get a glass of water.

"Where are you going with that stove?" he asked.

"We're going to warm up the lobster," she explained. "He's blue because he's cold. So we thought if we warmed him up, he'd turn red."

"Do you want to eat him?" their dad asked.

"Yuck! No way, Dad!" Black Jack Pepper said, making a face. "What made you think that?"

"Because lobsters don't turn red," he replied, "until they're cooked."

Black Jack Pepper and Will each let out a small shriek.

"Oh no! You mean if we heat up the lobster's tank, we'll cook him?" Black Jack Pepper asked.

"Yes," her dad said. "And you are not allowed to use the stove anyway, remember?"

"No cook!" Will said.

"No way! Black Jack Pepper said. "I'll put the stove back."

She ran down to the basement, put it back in the box, and came back.

"Wow, Dad, you came in just in time," she said.

"Just make sure you don't do anything to the lobster's tank from now on," he said.

"OK," they said.

"And there's one more thing," he said. "I think I came up with a name for the lobster."

"What are you going to call him?" Black Jack Pepper asked.

"I think, under the circumstances," her dad said, "his name should be Lucky."

Friday, December 11, 2009

It is to laugh

Mr. RK has an idea for another kid's book, "Animals You Should Not Pet, and What Will Happen If You Do." What do you think?

You've all noticed, I'm sure, that I love to laugh. I also love to make other people laugh. Growing up, no one at school or church believed that the naughty jokes I heard were from him. It was sort of like growing up with Weird Al.

After telling an inappopriate joke at Sunday school: "WHO told you THAT?"
Me: "My dad."

Who was the pastor of the church.


I love that Mr. RK makes me laugh constantly as well. I wish I could be as clever.

While we're on the subject of laughing, today we went to see my little sister's school holiday "Songfest."

I was almost in the giggle loop the whole time, with my dad on one side whispering jokes in my ear and my brother doing the same on the other side. Kids are hilarious because they don't have so many social filters. I saw more scratching in inappropriate places, more signing off key and loudly - you remember the Bible verse about "making a joyful noise"?

Then they sang Hannukah songs and my brother whispers, "Why does every one of these sound like the part in Fiddler on the Roof where people are getting kicked out of their homes?"

(An aside - my own family stock is composed of Swiss Jews, Apaches, Irish and all kinds of characteres that I am only now learning about, including my dad's transvestite great Uncle Louie, who lived that way openly in Iowa with no trouble. He must have been an Executive Transvestite.*)

My dad leaned over and said, "Why is it that if it's your kid, it's the best thing in the world, but if it's someone else's, it's just god-awful?!"

That's the million dollar question, isn't it?

*If you haven't seen Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill, you really, really must.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Look up "debridement" and welcome to my dental hell. OK, I shouldn't be bitching - but I SQUIRMED and later I found out that people who have this procedure done are 1) usually given a numbing agent, and 2) sometimes sedated. Neither of those were offered to me. You know there's a problem when your dental hygienist says, "Ibuprofen is your friend!"

Despite religious toothbrushing and flossing, I have gum trouble and bone loss. God knows why. This means a hard cleaning every week in February - that's going to be a fun-month. I've already warned my boss and my husband that I'm going to be in a bitchy mood all month long.

So in between wistfully thinking of things I can't eat for a few days - things I love, like popcorn, peanuts and corn chips with salsa - I've been freaking out my teeth and driving Mr. RK nuts by asking over and over, "DO YOU THINK THEY'LL FALL OUT???!!!!"

I have anxiety to begin with. This is not a good pairing with a series of dental appointments!

Anyway - fortunately I have a few days off and I'm down in California visiting my family. It was 10 degrees when I left home (no exaggeration) and I had to laugh when I landed in San Jose (visiting family) and the pilot said it was "a bit chilly...43 degrees." Ha! That's 33 degrees warmer than it was at home.

And you should all be proud of me, not only for being so brave at the dentist but for not swearing while I was there. I didn't say "fuck" once - maybe because her hands were in my mouth.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

This has not been photoshopped!

Mr. Riot Kitty and I go to our local library's bookstore every couple of weeks. Paperbacks are 50 cents, hardbacks are a dollar, and it's volunteer-run - all proceeds go to support the library.

I saw this book in the children's section (I love kid's books and have written one as well) and burst out laughing. If I'd had more coffee this morning, I would have seriously embarrassed us both.

Of course we bought it.

So when I finally got around to reading the back of the book, I found out that "Satan" is apparently another horse. And it's a "fight to the death!"

But who thinks of this stuff for a kid's book? A bit apocalyptic, is it not? Either that or a really bad, cheesy way to present an evangelistic metaphor. I'll stick with C.S. Lewis, thank you very much.

But what do I know? I'm still trying to get my book published. Perhaps I should try some other ideas along this vein:

Horton Hears an Athiest
Little House on the Prairie of Hell
The Lion, the Witch, and the Sadist
The Cat in the Warlock's Hat
Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade...and so Sheila Became a Voodoo Priestess
Harold and the Purple Cape

How about you? Any suggestions?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Taking pictures illegally

Lynn, who always takes interesting pictures for her blog posts, took one on a tour of homes right before finding out that there would be no more picture-taking allowed.

Which reminded me of a story from a few years ago that I thought I'd share because, if you are like me, you could all use a LAUGH after this past week.

On a trip to New York (where, incidentally, I went to college), a friend and I went to the Museum of Design. It's a small museum close to "Museum Mile" on the Upper East Side. One of the exhibits had a bunch of propaganda posters for the military from WWII. Amazingly, I was able to find this online (see above), although the poster we saw also had pink, red and purple in it, so it was VERY colorful, and perhaps even more funny.

We laughed so hard we almost fell over. There was a strict no photo policy, but I *had to* have a picture of this. We even checked the gift shop first to see if we could buy prints, but no dice.

Trying to be sneaky and unobserved, I snapped a shot and my friend stood on watch for the museum guards - one of whom, of course, saw what I was up to.

"You're not allowed to take photos in the museum," she said.

"I know - but I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO have a picture of this!" I said, pointing to the poster.
The guard started laughing and said, "Go ahead - take a good one!"

I will keep that picture as long as I live! As Lynn said, it's still good advice :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Why is it...

that celebrity and political sex snafus dominate the headlines in this country?

I mean, we have 20,000 poor bastards on their way to Afghanistan, a mind-boggling national debt, massive unemployment, a record number of people who aren't getting enough to eat in this land of plenty - in other words, plenty of news - and yet every news site I go to, except for the one for our city paper, is full of the sexual stories about a certain geeky-looking golf player. (For the record, I can't imagine wanting to get into the sack with any golf player, but I suppose that's beside the point.)

Prior to that, it was a certain idiotic governor who followed his prick to Argentina while claiming to be on state business...and so on and so on.


And do you think people really want to read about this?

If so, is it because we are a sex-obsessed, still Puritanical nation, or celebrity-obsessed? All of the above?

I really want to know your opinions.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Top 10 Tuesday

Here you go, Joey!

Top 10 things I have seen recently that I wish I had not seen:

1. The preview for "Me and Orson Welles." Oh gag. This guy is probably turning in his grave to flip you off, movie producer.

2. The black leotard-clothed ass cheeks of the guy at the cafe today who was wearing his pants below them because they were so fucking tight. Buy a new pair of jeans and stay out of Cindi Lauper's closet!

3. A reference to "alternative lifestyles" in a so-called "feminist" book. Hello!

4. All of the new Barbie Ladies of the 80s dolls, because I WANT THEM ALL! Don't laugh. You know you want them all, too.

5. My cat's breakfast this morning, post-digestion. Sadly for Mr. RK, we both saw it right as I was heading out for work.

6. The blatantly stupid e-mails from my old college buddy, who is married and apparently not getting any.


8. The sixth or seventh story about a murder-suicide - in the past month - in this relatively low-crime metro area.

9. The dark sky before 5 p.m.! Winter, you suck.

10. This video, which you can play above. Oh just kidding! This is the most adorable thing ever. (Sorry, Joey, I owe you one.) But we all need a little bit of cute once in awhile.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

What to do?

One of my favorite things about being an adult is that I get to choose who I spend the holidays with.

That might be about to change.

What do you do when someone in your circle of friends and family has a significant other that you really don't care for? I'm not just talking about someone who annoys you - I mean someone who has done, in your opinion, unacceptable things to their better half? Like, say, cheat flagrantly and openly and made their partner miserable.

And what if the only way you get to see everyone you *want to see* is to have to see this person as well? And what if you have a hard time keeping your opinion to yourself?

The last time I saw the person in question - the first time I met this person - this person bored me and Mr. RK to tears, talking all about itself. Mind you, if people must be talkers, why do they have to be 1) egotistical and 2) boring?

Since that occasion, this person did some things that in my book are definitely NOT OK to do in a relationship. However, the person in my extended family who is involved with this person has decided to remain involved. And apparently an upcoming holiday event will include this person.

I'd like nothing more than to come up to this person and say, "You are a worthless piece of shit and person X deserves better," and then turn to person X and say, "Have you no self respect? And have you heard of STDs?"

What to do?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Stuff I made today

For the past couple of years, Mr. RK and I have been making holiday presents for the friends and family members over 18 (the kids still get goodies from the stores), including ornaments that I paint and woodworking projects that he does.

We use the money we would have spent on presents for the adults in our lives (that sounds dirty, but I didn't mean it that way) to donate in their honor to nonprofit groups.

I put the finishing touches on these and several other ornaments today.

I also made pasta that actually tasted like pasta! This was the second try - the first one was an unmitigated bloody disaster. Why? Because the recipes all said to use "all-purpose flour." I'm sure it's fine for a number of other purposes - like throwing at others, for instance - but NOT for pasta.

If you make it at home, use only semolina for this baby:

I have to say, it was yummy, but holy cow! I had no idea how much upper body work some cooking can be. Yes, that might sound naive, but keep in mind that I didn't even have a set of pots and pans until I got married.

I actually made and rolled out this pasta dough, then rolled it over a pasta cutter. Between that and Thanksgiving, I'm hoping I get used to it - or else I'll keep gulping the ibuprofen.

Now I am off to eat dessert that I did *not* make!

PS The ornament pictures are also courtesy of Mr. RK. They were very difficult to get (I totally failed to get any good ones.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from a vegetarian (me)

I stole this from Green Tea, laughing so hard my cheeks literally hurt afterwards.

I'm posting this in between bouts of attempting to cook. Haven't burned anything...yet.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PS Here is the link if you can't make this play:

Monday, November 23, 2009

If ever there was a reason to swear

Someone recently described a web site that my friend B had sent us both as juvenile and as having "poverty of expression" because it had "the f word," as she called it.

(Well, it does have a lot of fuck words in it: See for yourself.

Anyway - I wrote her back in the e-mail I had been included in that she must think my friend B and I both had poverty of expression and were juvenile as well (although we felt that she had poverty of humor, frankly), because we both use the word "fuck" a lot. "Either that," I wrote, "or you are a snob."

I had planned to blog about how versatile that word was but something happened today that changed the course of our afternoon at work, and I challenge anyone to think we should not have used the word "fuck" after reading this.

My office is in charge of training teachers and support group leaders for the free classes and groups that we offer all over the state. It is both labor-intensive (read: we have a staff of two) and costly to put on these trainings, which can have as few as half a dozen or as many as 20 people.

We pay for all of it - our state chapters just have to send us the candidates who are willing to donate their time to do these programs. All of our programs are free, by the way, and delivered mainly by volunteers.

Nevertheless - or maybe because of the fact that it's free - people still fuck things up. They cancel at the last minute (after we have booked hotel rooms and catered lunches for them), for reasons including - I am not making this up - the fact that their workplace has been infested with swine flu, and although they personally didn't get it, well, things were busy. Right.

But today I found out about something I just couldn't believe.

A couple of weeks ago one of the people who had signed up to take a training called up and bitched at me about the fact that we were starting in the late morning. Mind you, we did that so people that were coming from an hour and a half away, like she was, wouldn't have to get up at the crack of dawn.

Not good enough. "You'll have me going through morning traffic!" she complained.

Um, lady. Try my commute every morning.

Anyhow, we did not have money - nor did we think it was reasonable - to put her up in a hotel the night before. Mind you, we paid for two nights in a hotel, all of the meals, etc., for everybody. And the training. All she had to do was show up.

But no!

Guess what the bitch does? She somehow manages to put another night at the hotel - to the tune of $120 - on our corporate card. Even though the room was reserved for her, this never should have happened because 1) her name wasn't on the card, and 2) it's THEFT.

After a long and painful phone conversation, my boss managed to get the charge removed.

After which we both said, "FUCK!!!"

I mean, who is mean enough to steal from a nonprofit, and dumb enough to think she is going to get away with it?

C U Next Tuesday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just curious

It is Mr. Riot Kitty's mom's birthday in a few days, and we were corresponding over e-mail regarding plans. I asked if she wanted to go to our favorite chocolate/dessert cafe, a craft store, or perhaps the porn store. Then I wrote, "Just kidding!" after the last one (luckily she has a sense of humor.)

I told Mr. RK, who laughed about it and probably had some perverted seed planted in his brain because of this conversation, because later in the day we had this conversation.

Him: "You know, I wonder how you get a job selling corporate porn to hotel chains."

Me: "WHAT?!"

Him: You know. I mean, how would you apply for that kind of a job? What would your resume look like? Would you sell different - um - packages to a Motel 6 versus a four-star European hotel? And what would the performance-based raises be based upon?

You've got to wonder now, don't you?

On a trip to London several years ago with a female friend, we were both offended by teaser ads (no pun intended) when we merely turned on the TV in the hotel room. There were short snippets of every channel the hotel had to offer, including one with heterosexual male-centered porn.

Now, I'm not a prude - I don't think porn should be censored if everyone is of age and it's consensual - but I don't need to see chauvenistic porn against my will, just because I'm trying to tune in to BBC. (Boy, there's a sentence that can't come up too often.)

But this memory came back because of yesterday's conversation and I wondered. Someone had to sell that porn package (haha) to that chain of hotels, right? What do these people say when - say on a date - someone asks, "So what do you do for a living?" Or worse, when their prospective in-laws ask?

It kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Usually it's hard to get good pictures of Earl Grey, because he moves or stares right at the camera and gets red eye (alien kitty.)

Mr. Riot Kitty got this adorable one a couple of days ago.

Earl Grey was a very jumpy guy when we first got him - he spent his first couple of days here hiding under the bed. Given his chewed-up ears, scarred eye and fear when he hears anything outdoors bark (even dogs that are smaller than he is), we guessed that he might have been attacked by a dog.

But little by little, in the year and a half since Earl Grey joined our household, he has been easing up, warming up. In the past few weeks he has become quite a cuddler.

This is probably a silly post but I am so happy we were able to give him and Lucky a home. They were both at the shelter for over a year - Lucky for over two years - because it's harder to adopt out older kitties than kittens. Like most of us, these two came with issues. But that did not stop us from loving them.

I may not be able to fix all the things in the world I want to fix - I may pull out my hair because of a tough call at work, or wonder why, as a society, we have the ability to end poverty, but don't - but this is one small thing that we did change for good.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How many people does it take to irritate a Riot Kitty?

Not many, if they are REALLY irritating.

My first e-mail of the day at work, from a member of our walk committee:

Hi RK,
The people who put on the "Race For the Cure" have a catagory (her spelling, not mine) called "Sleep for the Cure". I thought we could have a catagory called "Sleep Walk for (our organization)" or "Sleep Walking for (our organization)" in which a person would sign up for the walk and tell their sponsors that they can't walk that day, but they are earning money by sleeping in that day (or something like that). What do you think?

*What do I think? I think you are in need of our services. What a great way to eliminate the stigma of mental illness: ask people to pay us to sleep! Or even better, to sleepwalk!*

Coming back from lunch, I almost get run over in our own parking lot by a guy who gave me an apologetic, shit-eating grin. I gave him the snake eyes, walked into my office, and said, "Some asshole almost ran me over in the parking lot."

Guess who walked in a minute later for a meeting with my boss?

During this meeting, a person who runs a support group for us - God knows how she made it through the screening, because she's irritating, a pain in the ass, a troublemaker, and convinced the world is out to get her - walked in to pick up some brochures. And sat. And sat and sat waiting, in the same room where my boss was having his private meeting, for over an hour.

Guess who wouldn't leave?
Guess who kept making stupid comments, requesting materials, and just about demanded a fucking security blanket? On the plus side, it was amusing to see her talking to (at) my boss, because he's 6'4", and she is under 5'. The little annoying shrew meets the Jolly Green Giant. He was wearing a green sweater, too.

Then we get a helpline e-mail from a couple in Ohio who have a son in Portland who is staying with their other son. He needs Medicaid, housing, and meds RIGHT NOW, and we need to figure this out for him because they can't or won't. Um, anything else? World peace? The lottery, perhaps?

I ask a colleague at one of our chapters to give a quick glance to a simple power point presentation I prepared for our volunteers to get people involved. In response, I get a 500-word, nitpicky-as-hell critique including the question - and I kid you not - "Can you use a picture of an iris instead of a picture of a daffodil on slide # 6?"


And so this is one of those days where I would love to go run all of this stuff out, but I can't because it's already pitch black out, even though it's not 6 p.m.

I'm excited, though, because my rolling pin and pasta maker are in the mail. So the next time I have a day like this I can take it out on the dough and make linguine!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Winter sucks

*I took this down because it was starting automatically every time I visited the page - so check out the link below to watch the Cowbell skit:

At the end of this month, I will have lived here in the Pacific Northwest for nine years. That is the longest time I have ever lived in one area.

And it's days like to day that make me question - what the fuck was I *thinking*? Because it's gray, dark, blah. If only it were raining, it would be worse.

I have seasonal affective disorder (appropriate acronym = SAD) and yet I live in a place that's gray 9 months of the year.

The weather is probably not nice in a lot of other places, either (especially for my friends in the UK and Scandinavia), so I'm guessing the rest of you could use a laugh, too.

Watch this SNL clip in its entirety.

If you have a straight face - hell, if you haven't almost peed your pants laughing - I'll eat my hat. Well, I have no hat, so I'll eat chocolate. That way it's a win-win.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carrie Prejean's moral universe

Can I just say that I love it when hypocrites get outed?

The former Miss California (or something like that) came out, fake boobs and all, as the poster child against same-sex marriage, because in her opinion it wasn't morally correct.

So a couple I know who have raised four children - when their mother died and their father was made incapable by grief - and have been together about 30 years are not OK in her book.

But it's totally OK to make a sex tape with your boyfriend!

Tip for the uninitiated: If you film yourself having sex with another person and you are interested in being famous, expect said tape to appear on the Internet.

Carrie Prejean, you are a twit, my boobs are real, and I am grinning.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What the hell?

Have we grown so accustomed to public shooting episodes that we don't even discuss them?

A man killed his estranged wife in a drug testing lab in a suburb 20 minutes from where I live. It made national headlines but we barely discussed it at work, and no one from anywhere else in the country asked me about it.

This story in our local paper pointed out something that made me sick to my stomach:

Homicide was the second leading cause of death on the job for women in 2000, said the private nonprofit Family Violence Prevention Fund. The organization has found that nearly one in four women experience domestic violence in their lives and that at least 24 percent of all abused women say the abuse had forced them to be late for work or to miss it altogether.

What the fuck? Why are we still in the dark ages? Why are women so undervalued that we as a society allow this kind of violence to continue? My state is one of 13 that lets abused women quit their jobs and move and get unemployment in order to flee their abusers. Why only 13? What happens to everyone else while they worry about not just their safety, but starving if they try to get away?

I'd rather be writing about bunny dicks.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Is it me...or is this just wrong?!

"Oh my gosh...I'm a perverted bunny!"

I may no longer be a reporter (and thank God for that), but I'm still a news junkie. I read stories whenever I have breaks, before work, and after work.

The most disturbing headline I've ever seen appeared on Google news today:

Researchers Regrow Functional Penis in Rabbits


I e-mailed it to my brother who wrote back, "That's just...yeow!"


Then I saw this beauty later on:

Engineered Rabbit Penises Raise Human Hopes

*Don't tell me that was an accident. These are stories, apparently, about a solution for erectile dysfunction.*

My question is - what scientist came up with this? And how many joints did s/he smoke first?

Can you imagine writing a grant proposal to get money to study...rabbit dicks?

Or putting it on a resume?

I thought not.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

More from the grocery store

*Word of warning: I recommend watching this clip with the volume OFF.*
*Ninja edit: For those of you who can't play the video, here's the link:

To everyone at Trader Joe's this morning: I HATE YOU!

I even had a rant with a sympathetic checker.

Me: "Can I offer a piece of unsolicited customer feedback?"
He: "Sure."
Me: "Whoever invented those little kid-sized grocery carts should be drug out into the street and shot."
He: Big grin.
Me (continuing): "And you know why? They run screaming with the little carts down the aisles not paying attention to anything, parents nowhere to be found - and you have narrow aisles to begin with - and guess what happens when they injure themselves? Their parents will sue! Who thought this would be good idea?"
He: "I'm sure in their cubicles it looked perfect. But the best part is when parents fight over the carts."
Me: "Really?"
He: "Yes. They'll be like, 'Hey! Your children ALREADY HAVE TWO, and MINE DON'T HAVE ANY!"
Me (laughing): I'm sorry I'm laughing. I'm sure it isn't really funny when you work here.
He: "Well, we have to laugh. Otherwise..."

When we left, he actually thanked me.

I thought this clip, which Mr. Riot Kitty found, was only too appropriate.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Basil Fawlty!

Thanks to my dad (and my brother, who helped scout out great seats), Mr. Riot Kitty and I went to see one of our comedic heroes, John Cleese, last night.

My first question, when my dad asked if we wanted tickets for a Christmas present, was, "He's coming to Portland?" I don't exactly live in the boonies but we don't get as many big name acts as, say, San Francisco.

The show was sort of an overview of behind-the-scenes stuff from his career - which he maintains essentially happened by accident - and a bit of bitching about his third ex-wife, to whom he is ordered to pay $20 million.

I'm not kidding.

I've never understood the concept of alimony for people who are physically and mentally able to support themselves financially. It just makes me fucking sick.

$20 million for sleeping with someone (or maybe not) for 16 years!

So he mapped it out with a slide show - she got about $3,650 a day. $1,200 just for waking up in the morning. $150 to go get an aspirin.

For $20 million, he estimated that he could have married and divorced Brigitte Nielsen 3.3 times, Pam Anderson 8.5 times, and "anyone from Gresham" - a suburb of Portland - 2,000 times!

I hope he laughs all the way to the bank on this tour. I couldn't help thinking, what a bitch!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gene Simmons, I'll never fuck you. Ever.

Even if I wasn't single - and even when I was single - I can tell you with supreme confidence that no member of the band KISS could have or could lure me into bed.

Somehow, according to the band's frontman Gene Simmons, more than 4,600 women have - and continue to (despite the fact that he's married) - slept with him.

My friend Bernadette shared this NPR interview with me, where Simmons - who, by the way, is a first-rank capitalist, with a marketing company, and a reality show where he and his partner televised their facelifts - says that every (heterosexual) guy wants to be like him, fucking his way across the universe. The only thing that stops them, he says, is that they don't have as much money as he does.

"Money is the single most important thing on the planet," he says.

My first question to my friend was, "What about the makeup?!" Terry Gross asked that question in the interview, and he replied, "I wash it off."

I'd say very few of the men I have come in contact with want to be a swashbuckling asshole. Most of them want or have wanted their fair share of conquests, but I don't think they're all pigs at heart.

"If you want to welcome me with open arms," he tells her, "you have to welcome me with open legs."

What do you think?

PS Gene Simmons - I don't care how rich you are, I'll never fuck you! With or without the makeup.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Thank God it's almost Fucking Friday!! This has been a never-ending week since last Friday. Overnight in the middle of nowhere for work that day. Conference at work all day Saturday. As of tonight, my boss and I have worked 24 hours out of the past 48.

I love my job - but I need a whole weekend. Tomorrow is CHOCOLATE with Darth and Pheromone Girl and I can't wait!

But first, I need to get through another meeting...I am feeding people Subway sandwiches in the hopes that their mouths will be too full for them to cause any trouble.

And selfishly...I ordered all of the sandwiches sans the onions. People in our organization tend to whine and the last thing I need is whining + stinky breath.

Is that passive aggressive or am I just a control freak?

Happy almost Friday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Helpful is in the eye of the beholder

We had our annual conference for work last weekend (there went my weekend!) It went well but nothing exhausts me more than being around a lot of people - especially ones I don't know or don't know well. This, I read, is the mark of a true introvert, although only people who know me well believe that I'm that way.

There were 125 people who signed up, most of whom I hadn't met before. Fortunately none of the real cranks were there this year - mostly nice people and only a few irritating ones.

I was probably most surprised by a guy from the Southern part of our state who came up and introduced himself and said, "Riot Kitty! I'm J. You're wonderful! You always help me when I can't get your boss on the phone! And you helped me today the minute I walked in!"

Thanking him, I was puzzled at how I had helped, because I hadn't talked to him (so I thought) at the conference prior to that moment.

Then it dawned on me: I had shown him the way to the restroom.

Helpful is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I would have been burned as a witch.

My dad is fond of saying that if I had been born in another century, I'd have been Joan of Arc.

I'm not quite that brave - I think had I even been my age in the 1950s, though, I'd have been burned as a witch. (By the way, Peach Tart wrote an interesting post about being glad she wasn't stuck in the 1950s.)

Both of my grandmothers are married to chauvinistic jerks. I don't feel bad about saying this because none of my grandparents (and all four are still alive) have bothered about their grandchildren, so the only bits I have seen are what I observed at rare reunions and gatherings.

My grandfather on my biological mother's side is just a bastard, honestly. I had to spend two days with him and my grandmother a couple of years ago when my great aunt (my grandmother's sister) was dying. I had some choice words for him when he continually picked on my grandmother - just mean, unnecessary, bullying stuff. Thing is, he shut up when I told him to knock if off. She hasn't spoken up for herself in 55 years of marriage, so she probably doesn't realize that under that bravado varnish, he's just a coward.

He has been in the hospital with a staph infection and my dad and I were debating whether my mother would go to his funeral if he died. We both agreed that she shouldn't, because he was just a terrible father. Neither of us communicate with her, but I think he really fucked her up.

Anyway, he told me a hilarious story about one of the times we had visited my grandparents while he and bio-mom were still married. I was maybe four years old and I asked why my grandfather was served his dinner before the rest of us. (Yes, it was that kind of sexist household.)

My dad, who these days would never sit at a dinner table with this kind of shit going on, said it was out of respect.

But I wouldn't leave it, even at age four.

Me: "But why?"
Dad: "Because...he's the head of the household."
Me: "Why? Who decides that? What if we're hungrier than he is?"
My grandfather (to me): "I'm glad you don't live here."
Me: "I would never live here!"

If I would have ever had to live in that house, I think I would have been burned as a witch.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tip for the uninitiated

Now I know that people have used dead relatives as an excuse to get out of things. Someone I knew in high school, for instance, worked at the same shop that her sister had worked at previously. On her last day, her boss pulled her aside and said, "Oh, by the way. You and your sister are the only people I've employed who had three grandmothers die while they were here." You see, M and her sister had used the excuse a total of three times. Oops.

However, here's a tip for the uninitiated: if you use death as an excuse to get out of a meeting, make sure you don't kill off relatives of which you only have one, more than one time.

The board member that I hate - HATE HATE HATE HATE! - OK, I don't really hate anyone but she comes pretty damn close - the same one who is constantly criticizing everyone else, while promising the moon and yet never delivering any work - missed a meeting last night. She said her dad had died.

And then I find out that six months ago, she canceled a meeting with another person in our organization who happens to be a friend of mine, because - guess what? - she was making funeral plans. For her dad.

Does she have more than one?

I told my boss and for the first time since I met him, I saw his jaw drop.

But over a work dinner tonight (and I think he had had a few beers after work), he blurted out, "Shit! That woman is NUTS! And I put her on the board!"

Then he looked at me sheepishly, because we both work for a mental health organization, and said, "And I don't use that word lightly, because you and I are nuts, too!"

So now I am off to our conference for work this weekend...I expect more strange stuff and more laughs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Outreach for bigots

A lot of my job is becoming outreach - which is cool not just because it was my idea, but because we need to spread the word into all kinds of communities that mental illness is not a sin. Sadly, some communities still feel this way (we are told) even though having depression, say, is just as organic as having diabetes.

So I don't normally write about religion but this week the Vatican has really pissed me off. They've decided to extend a warm welcome to non-Catholics, specifically Anglicans, who are upset about progress - namely, the fact that women and GLBT people can become priests.

That's right. Want to keep female, and non-straight people of all genders in their place? So does the Vatican! Join us in celebrating heterosexual men as religious leaders! Even if we won't let them have sex, if we *did* let them have sex, their dicks would be in the right place!

It just makes me sick. The Catholic church, in my opinion, is outrageous enough - the pope has the audacity to live in a palace in robes that probably cost more than my car, but go into poor countries and tell people who can't feed the kids they already have that they shouldn't use birth control.

But this isn't the first time the Catholic church has done some marketing to gain membership - you know all of those Roman holidays? Well, they figured that it would be easier to put Christmas and Easter around those times of year to bring Pagans into the fold.

First Pagans, now bigots. Anyone who wants to join and give them more money, I suppose.

So I suppose it's religious marketing 101.

Incidentally, I have been to Vatican City, which is also known as the smallest country on earth. They wouldn't let me into the Sistine Chapel because my dress showed my shoulders. But I was allowed to wait outside at the gift shop while the rest of the tour went through.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Honest to a fault

is how I'd be if I didn't try to be diplomatic in places, say, like meetings for work.

Aliceson tagged me for this meme, and I am supposed to tag 7 other people, but I've tagged the hell out of most of you, so feel free to participate or not as you see fit. I'd love to learn more about you all!

The theme: 10 honest things about yourself.

So here goes:

1. From age 13 to 26, my hair was just about every color except platinum blond: all shades of red, most shades of blond, dark brown, and even black. Then I stopped fucking with it and it's sort of a dishwater brown with a few gold bits if the sun or the light hits just right.

2. I have had (unwanted, mind you) sex dreams about every male boss I've ever had except the one I slept with. Don't worry, this was in college, and I was a freelancer. For the paper, I mean.

3. I am the only person in my family with my last name. I bought it. Meaning I paid a lawyer $500 to go to court and change it for me. Just because.

4. I am tough when I need to be, but also a somewhat sensitive person who can get hurt feelings easily. I'm working on this.

5. My cats are more appealing company to me than most of the people I know - or my extended family even.

6. It's difficult for me not to be judgmental of people that have a lot of resources - e.g. time or money - on their hands and don't use it to help other people.

7. I hate TV because until I moved in with my dad in seventh grade, the TV was always droning on in the background, because my mother wanted to do her own thing.

8. I am a closet John Denver fan.

9. I am naturally a curious person to the point where it sometimes annoys other people.

10. One day I'm afraid I'm going to go ballistic in a crowded grocery store when the 90th person bangs into my basket with her cart, tries to cut in front of me in line, won't get her ass out of the way so I can move down the aisle, or asks the checker 16 different ways if they carry an item when she has been told 18 times that they don't. I may lose it and start throwing heads of cabbage at everyone and get kicked out. I really might!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This is why you want to work in my office!

If you were a fly on the wall in my office Friday, you would have heard this:

Me (referring to a couple of bitches pulling a power play, who have made life difficult for my boss recently): You know what? Just fuck 'em both.

My boss: That's something I'd rather not do, actually.

*Howling laughter*

Me: So there are some sacrifices you aren't willing to make for the organization, eh?

My boss: That particular activity doesn't sound like it would be very much fun.

*Laughter until my cheeks hurt.*

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Over the top!

Thanks, Aliceson! And oh yes - I just realized I owe you *another* post...thanks for the blog material ;)

The challenge: answer the survey below…you can only use one word answers!

Where is your cell phone? purse

Your hair? flat

Your mother? Mars

Your father? Dear

Your favorite food? potatoes

Your dream last night? zero

Your favorite drink? mocha

Your dream/goal? book

What room are you in? study

Your hobby? activism

Your Fear? sharks

Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy

Where were you last night? bed

Something that you aren’t? flat

Muffins? blueberry

Wish list item? peace

Where did you grow up? everywhere

Last thing you did? exercise

What are you wearing? pjs

Your TV? off

Your pets? sweet!

Friends? loyal

Your life? busy~!

Your mood? tired

Missing someone? sometimes

Vehicle? burgundy

Something you’re not wearing? socks

Your favorite store? none

Your favorite color? red

When was the last time you laughed? tonight

Last time you cried? Tuesday

Your best friend? awesome!

One place that I go to over and over? California

One person who emails me regularly? Twin

Favorite place to eat? Mexican

*I'm supposed to pass this on to six other bloggers, so if you're up for it...*

Drum roll...

Word Geek

Darth Weasel

Mike D



Green Tea

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I swear I'm not becoming a foodie.

A request for the cake recipe? I'm flattered~! Here you are - and Aliceson, I haven't forgotten I owe you a blog for which I was tagged. I'm being slugly on my last day off.

I made this with homemade chocolate fudge frosting, but you can use whatever kind you like.

Yellow cake


2 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Use a little olive oil on bottom of 9 x 13 pan to prevent sticking.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk.
Mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until completely combines. Slowly add flour alternately with milk.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool before frosting.

And a tip for the uninitiated: cats don't like frosting!

*Ninja edit*

Chocolate fudge frosting

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Makes about 2 cups of frosting. (Unless you sneak some.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

The best cake!

Some of you read my previous post about learning to cook a bit. I offered to make a cake for my dad's birthday, too. Only after he had eaten it did I find out he had been skeptical! Skeptical but sweet enough to say yes, make me a cake!

(By the way, the computer I'm borrowing doesn't have image reduction software, so you'll have to wait for pics until we're back.)

He said he was reassured a bit because even though I had never made one before, Mr. RK was my taste tester, and he knew Mr. RK wouldn't blow smoke up my ass (OK, not my dad's exact words) about how it turned out.

Then I made one for my boss's surprise 40th party at work, so my dad was a little more reassured. He says it's the best cake he has ever had. He would not lie to me. That competitive part of me says, Yippee!

We had a nice, low-key kind of time but it's more tonight before we get back - he's actually opening the cards and the rest of his presents. So he got the best cake, I got the best dad.

I got a much better deal :)

PS We are going back tomorrow, so apologies in advance for another internet hiatus.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Don't hate me because it's 72 and sunny!

The drive was a couple of hours longer than it should have been, because there were literally 15 (at least) road construction projects between Portland and San Jose. All stimulus, probably...but Mr. RK is a good traveling companion and put up with my cranky nervousness when I'm not sure how things work (e.g. driving his car) or unexpected surprises come up (me driving the bit through the mountains.)

I am terrified of heights in some circumstances, but I don't let it stop me from doing most things...I've been to the Grand Canyon and looked down, been on big rollercoasters, had no fear looking out on New York City from the Empire State Building. But high cliffs and driving through mountains (or even being a passenger) is terrifying for me. I forgot to mention this to Mr. RK, and by the time we got to flatland, I practically screamed, "DO YOU WANT TO DRIVE NOW??????"

Tomorrow we're going to Muir Woods and I am not even looking, much less driving, over the higher-than-high cliff it takes to get there.

Here's a pic I took from the road.

PS I am trying to visit blogs but I haven't been online hardly at all, so if I don't stop until next Wednesday when we're back, I'm not ignoring you ;) Unless your name is Phil.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Top 10 Tuesday

Dear Joey,

It's still Tuesday here, and your own post inspired me, so here's my rant!

I love my job, and I really like most of the people I work with, and most of those who volunteer for us.

But 10% or so really get on my nerves.

Here are the top 10 things I WILL NOT miss hearing while I am on vacation:

1. After asking if my boss is in, and I reply that he isn't, "Well, maybe you can help me..." and then it takes 5 or 10 minutes to get to the fucking question, which I can't answer anyway.

2. "But are you sure?" Yes, I'm sure. I can't answer the question. Which I have already said. Multiple times.

3. "But maybe if..." This is followed by yet another version of the same question. At which point I feel like saying, "Listen up, you clueless fuck! You can ask me 12 different ways, and you'll get the same answer: I DO NOT KNOW!"

4. The question from our education committee chair, who is a nice but sometimes annoying, nitpicky person who always has a bee in her bonnet, and it's always about something unimportant: "Has C (my boss) done X, Y, or Z yet?" Even if he's been out of town for a week on a business trip in another time zone, and X, Y and Z aren't due for two weeks, and they're all relatively unnecessary.

5. From helpline callers: "Well, why doesn't your organization do this?" Hmm. Because we're a mental health nonprofit and not a service provider, a fire department, or a fast food restaurant. And we have a staff of 2.3, 0.3 of which is an accountant. I've been asked for food-related health brochures, copies of ethics laws for psychiatrists, grant information for horse physical therapy nonprofit endeavors (I am not kidding!), etc.

6. "What does (my organization) do?" If you don't know, why the hell are you calling? Oh yes - you're calling about food brochures and horse phsyical therapy grants! Just curious.

7. Hearing a family member ask, of their adult relative, "Well, isn't there a way I can make him/her take his/her medication?" In a word: NO.

8. Hearing volunteers whose chapter of our organization doesn't even have a real budget or any staff tell me we need to be on Twitter, FaceBook, etc. Get a budget first. Hire someone. Until then, be quiet!

9. Taking calls from someone who is nice but rants about the same stuff over and over. I tried to cut this short and make it positive today by asking, "How can I help?" She replied melodramatically, as she almost always does, "Just shoot me." Next time, I am going to reply, "I just might!"

10. Hearing ANYTHING AT ALL from a couple of board members who are just a pain in the ass. My boss, talking to the accountant about one of these members, said, "He is a burr in my saddle at the moment." Then he looked pointedly at me. I said, "Don't look at me! He's a burr in my saddle every morning that I wake up!"

Monday, October 05, 2009

Cool sibling Monday

Well, Tuesday for those of you on the opposite side of the world.

My brother and I both write, although we write totally different stuff. He is mostly a sci-fi/horror/mystery writer, and has been published in several anthologies. My work has chiefly been nonfiction (I used to be a reporter and I am still a freelance writer/editor), along with a children's book that I'm trying to hawk. (Any ideas?)

Anyhow, I've been nagging him forever to get a web site, and voila! Tonight it went live.

I forgot all about the picture above, which, judging from the fireplace, was taken at my late great aunt Marie's house one of the summers we visited her. Which means I took it, or she did, and amazingly, the three of us didn't collapse into fits of giggles before we got a photo.

I'm not sure he'd want to share the more graphic bits of his fiction with her, but I am sure she would be (or is, depending on your frame of mind) proud of him.

I certainly am!

So check out his site. He has some of his work posted so you can read it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I was sick as a dog today, but my adorable kitties were right here cuddling with me - and Mr. RK went out and got me an array of goodies, so I suppose I am spoiled.

That's the only thing I don't like about fall - I always manage to get sick at least once - oh wait, and I hate the days getting shorter.

Other than that, I love fall, and October is my favorite month. I love having tea and cocoa (not together), the smell of bonfires (it may be yard trimmings but don't rain on my parade!), walks over leaves that turned colors and crunch under my feet.

The kitties re-fluff and look even bigger than they do the rest of the year. It would be kind of funny if humans fluffed up in cooler weather, too, wouldn't it? Not that it's something I'd like to see...

We are going down to California to visit my family later this week, for my dad's 60th birthday. I don't know if fall will have arrived there by then or not - they call us each year on Thanksgiving and gloat about having an outdoor bbq - but it will be fun to see everyone. I can't wait to go into North Beach in San Francisco - it's my favorite time of year to go to that city, too.

Well, this is about as fluffy and sappy of a post as I've ever written, so I suppose I should close with something more Riot Kittyish...

I gave a speech last night at a dinner/fundraising hosted by one of my organization's local chapters. If it wasn't bad enough that the band was an awful (and I mean awful) 70s cover band - complete with out-of-tune guitars and a lame lead singer - those motherfuckers were talking to each other, right behind me, when I was on stage giving my speech.

So at one point I turned around and hissed, "Will you knock it off?"

They did.

I am going to make a great grumpy old lady!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I've been at my current job about a year and a half now, and among other things, it has taken that long to catch up on some - not all - of the acronyms and jargon associated with a health nonprofit.

Among them:


I wish people would just choose a language - any language! - to speak when sending out information and information requests. Take this real sentence from an e-mail from a government agency we partner with:

This RFI enables COPR to help the NIH obtain broader public input on the overall need for health information as well as on information-seeking behaviors of the various NIH consumer audiences.

Um, what?

I realized last night, when I took a friend who also works for our organization out for her, that I'm already becoming guilty of doing this myself, if only in conversation.

I said, "So the good thing is now that he'll have a case worker, he'll hopefully get on OHP and SSI or SSD..."

Blah. If I ever write like that, just shoot me.

TTFN! (Ta ta for now!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just top 1 Tuesday

My arms are too tired to do a Top 10 Tuesday (sorry, Joey!) but I'll bet this will top anything I could have come up with, in terms of laughs...and we can always use laughs, can't we?

The outfit alone sent me into fits of giggles.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Several of you - including Scarlet, who gave me these words for my meme, as well as Joey, Grannie Annie and Fireblossom, among others (and if I forgot you, don't be mad, it's tired me here) - have posted about this meme. Someone gives you five words and you muse about them...or something like that.

Here are my five:

Words are my biggest aphrodisiac. That and a British accent (before I met Mr. RK, anyway.)

Scents have always been linked to memories for me. No matter how long it has been since I have seen or thought of someone, if I smell a lotion, cologne, perfume, or other scent that I have associated with them, memories will come back.

The people who have been the biggest inspiration in my life, I just realized, have all been social activists of one kind or another: social workers, nonprofit workers, pastors.

Beauty really is on the inside. People with ugly personalities become really ugly to me.

Speaking of beauty, I finished a friend's manuscript last night, and a line from the last page really grabbed me and made me read it again:

Life is not perfect, but there are perfect moments, complete in themselves, requiring nothing more, for more would be too much, and less would be too little.

I will fight like a mama bear if I think someone I love is being treated unfairly, but I am a peaceful person at heart (this means "peace" in Spanish.) I fantasize about world peace. I wish we could somehow eliminate greed, because I think we'd eliminate about 99% of the world's problems that way.

Friday, September 25, 2009

No one in Edison, NJ is getting any.

Why else would they try two years in a row to ban a sex toy convention?

What is it with hyperconservatives going after devices that just happen to be marketing to females? Hmm? Alabama has been waging a court battle over this for over a decade.

But mind you - violence is OK.

I have never understood it, but this seems to be the prevailing attitude of some of the right-wingers in the U.S. Movies that show people getting cut up into little pieces? No problem! Two adults consensually enjoying themselves in bed? Gasp! We CAN'T stand for that!

When I was growing up, my parents were careful not to expose us to inappropriate movies, music, etc., but they were always most concerned that we not think violence was acceptable.

I'd love to see some of these right-wing idiots take a real stand against something - poverty; domestic violence; corporate greed. But no - it's easier to sound off about vibrators!

I suppose none of them have tried any of the products they're trying to ban, else they'd be changing their tune very quickly.

Put that in your pipe and fuck it, Edison, N.J.