Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ending with a laugh

A lot of really crap things happened in 2011, both in our lives and in the lives of friends. So I'm hoping for a better 2012. Never have I looked forward to a new calendar year so much!

However, that's not to say that there haven't been fun times and funny times. I spent probably an hour laughing my ass off with my friend's teenage boys over this book this afternoon. And we may or may not have used one of the stickers to temporarily vandalize a sign at the mall.

I will wrap this up with a memory inspired by Granny Annie, who asked in a post awhile back about our favorite holiday memory.

I don't think I've ever written about my late godfather Irwin. He was one of the strangest and most loveable people I've ever met. One of the qualities I prized was his sense of humor and ability to laugh at himself. He closely resembled Boris from the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. No joke!

One year we all headed to San Antonio for Thanksgiving, and during dinner he gave this impassioned speech about the valor of the soldiers at the Alamo. His crescendo (picture this in a thick Bronx accent): "And that was the cry...Remember the Alimony!" He said this by mistake, of course, and all of us just stared. Then we all roared. It was a family joke for years.

I hope 2012 is a great year for all of you, and that you laugh long and frequently, like no one's watching.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Then something went BOOM!

Do you remember that line in The Cat in the Hat, "Then something went BOOM!" ?

That about sums up my morning.

Never again will I take a week off and then return as the lone employee in the office.

I get in - early! - no one there to see it. This, after a week and a half prior to vacation where there was a fucking car accident or stall every single day on the way in or the way home.

We have 10 voicemail messages. About half of them are from someone who my boss says "has issues," but who is sane enough to hang up on us if we answer the phone, and leave profane, abusive messages to no one in particular over voicemail.

Another message from someone who called yesterday (a holiday) yet claimed she called and left a message "four or five days ago." (You forget, madam, that we are in the digital age.)

A few minutes into this, and in the space of about 30 seconds, my volunteer calls saying 1) she won't be in, 2) something about her cat attacking her, 3) something about how her doctor is an asshole, 4) she will be in, 5) something involving the word "urinary." TMI, folks, TMI!!

Then the lights go out.

Then my friend texts saying his wife left him.

Then my boss walks in to do payroll and he's all kinds of tired and grumpy, coming in during his vacation.

And the day just went downhill from there.

I had more calls today than I typically have in a week.

A couple of samples:

"I have (a certain type of) illness, and you work at a place that helps people with (this type of) illness, and I'm starting a national web site. So you should send out some press releases for me."

"I'm in a graduate program studying (topic.) So I want to come in and watch a group session of (topic.)" I explain that we are not a service provider. I explain what it is that we do.
"So you don't have groups on this topic? So what is it that you do?"

And mind you, I'm running on four or five crappy hours of sleep, since I stayed up late during vacation.

Oh, while I'm venting - I am sick of seeing stories about Newt Gingrich being an insensitive, egotistical prick. That's news?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This song cracked me up when I was little because my brother's name is Nik. Also, because it was done by Muppets.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ants in your pants? How about caffeine?

You know that we have become the laziest, dumbest society ever when something like this is invented.

Mr. RK first told me about caffeinated pants last night. Yes, you read that right: caffeine in your pants, claims at least one company, will make you lose weight. Forget about eating healthier, eating less, and exercising; you can supposedly get slimmer by the equivalent of wearing a cup of coffee on your bottom. And sadly, this means market research preceding the production of said pants means that statistically, there are a hell of a lot of dumb people out there.

"Even if my head is asleep, my ass is awake!" said Mr. RK. Because the caffeinated pants are exercise pants, so the coffee is on your ass.

And legs. And crotch region. Come to think of it, there could be people that would purchase this product for perverted reasons. So if you'll excuse me...

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I'm stealing a Christmas meme from WIGSF. The lovely Claire also posted one, but this one is shorter and there are more opportunities for snark...

  1. What do you really want for Christmas but you know nobody will get it for you?
    World peace
  2. What do you not want for Christmas but you know that somebody will get it for you?
    A religious card
  3. When do you open your gifts (Christmas Eve or Christmas morning)?
  4. Do you prefer gifts wrapped or in gift bags?
    I don't like wrapping paper - it seems environmentally unfriendly. However, Mr. RK usually does all kinds of obnoxious things when wrapping presents, presumably to ensure that the recipient doesn't open it easily. In past years, his family tells me this has included glue, sewing, etc.
  5. Did you re-gift anything this year?
    No. When I re-gift, I say it's a re-gift and it's an extra.
  6. What’s your favourite Christmas movie
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
  7. What’s your favourite Christmas TV special?
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  8. Do you like eggnog?
    In a word: yuck. (That means no.)
  9. Real tree or fake tree, which do you prefer?
    Neither, because my cats like to eat them both. Ask me about one year's 24-hour-emergency vet bill when the Fluffy White Fuck was alive.
  10. Would you actually use one of those fireplace DVDs if you don’t have a fireplace?
    What is a fireplace DVD? Inquiring minds want to know!
  11. Are you sick of Christmas music yet?
    See earlier post. In two words: fuck yes! I was sick of it before it started. Why? Same 12 songs every year, and most of them are annoying.
  12. Are you getting up early to wait in line to do some Boxing Day shopping (Canada’s equivalent to Black Friday)
    No, because I don't live in Canada. Also I hate shopping.
  13. When was the last time you sat on Santa’s lap?
    I have actually never sat on Santa's lap. My parents told us growing up that Santa was not real*, so why would I want to sit on the lap of some stranger in a funny red suit? We were, of course, sworn to secrecy, but guess who went to school and told all of her kindergarten friends that Santa was a fake?

*Ditto for the Easter Bunny. But I was allowed to believe in the tooth fairy until the fourth grade! Go figure. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Does my car make me a jerk?

I've always had small cars, even though I've always wanted a muscle car.

Some funny stuff has happened since I got the Mustang:

1. Far fewer people are rude to me in traffic.

2. A few people now seem to go out of their way to be rude in traffic...presumably because of the Red Menace. Like tonight, this idiot in a Toyota actually sped up to prevent me from merging. I had nowhere to go. Had I been in the Saturn, I'd have had to slam on the brakes and panic, but - hahaha - who was he kidding? He was not going to beat me. As Mr. RK put it, "Vroom vroom and fuck you ;)"

3. I feel like I have to make it clear that I got a good deal on the car, because I'm kind of embarrassed to have a car that makes people say, "Wow! Nice car!" So even though technically it cost the same as a Toyota Corolla, I wonder: Does my car make me a jerk?

Awhile back, WIGSF wrote a blog and mentioned that what people drive can make statements about them (yes, if you drive an SUV big enough to house a small nation, you are probably a prick.) So I wonder, what does the car say - or seem to say - about me?

A. I like fast cars (true.)
B. I have penis envy (not true.)
C. I am flashy (not true, but one of my friends made a joke about it since it's a red car.)

FYI, one of the lunch ladies at my high school cafeteria, who was probably in her late 60s at the time, had a 5.0 Mustang. How's that for defying stereotypes?

I've just changed the car, not me. But it's interesting to see how that one small change can stir things up. And if you'll pardon me, now I'm going to go envy some penis.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Muppets!

My brother sent me "The Muppets Family Christmas" - I had never seen it in its entirety, and it is pure awesome! Well worth watching, if you enjoy laughing.

Here is a little preview.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

No hipsters here!

Mr. RK read a story that said my alma mater, New York University, was ranked the #1 college for producing hipsters. That's only slightly better than, say, the #1 college for producing neocons...

So today, I defied the stereotype. How? I bought a bright red muscle car.

Seriously, I had my other car for 8 1/2 years and wasn't in a hurry to get another one. But I have wanted a Mustang since high school and finally aged out of the expensive insurance bracket. I was thinking about getting one in a few months and then this week a good friend's car blew up. She had no means to get another one, and I had taken very good care of my car, so I gave it to her and got this little beauty.

Mr. RK spent a couple of hours shopping around online and negotiating prices. We got a great deal - believe it or not, it was about the same price as a Toyota commuter car. Apparently they only run into the big bucks when Mr. Empty Pants types come in and want to supe them up.

It was pretty funny seeing the slight surprise when the guys (there were no women) at the dealership found out it was for me...not quite so funny when I couldn't figure out how to get it into reverse, because reverse is IN THE FRONT and you have to push down first. I nearly hit my friend's apartment building!

(Seriously, reverse in the front? Isn't that like having a penis on your backside? Anywho...)

It's gray and freezing here, so I like to think driving this down the street is contributing to the general holiday cheer.

I was going to put my NYU license plate frame on, but the dealership we bought the car from is called Dick's. So just because I'm immature, I think I'll leave that on for awhile.

Lastly, the plate ends in the letters "FJW." My first thought was, "Who is JW?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Dead or in prison? You can still give us money...

One of the things I hate most about being under the umbrella of a national organization is that the national organization often fucks things up.

Until very recently, it was impossible for us to get a current membership list, so we used old lists and purged them as necessary.

Somehow, that didn't stop us from sending a fundraising letter to two people who have been dead for years, and someone who is a member, but currently in prison.

So next year, when we do this again, I should start with a disclaimer: "We apologize if you have received this letter in error. If you are deceased or incarcerated, please feel free to return it."

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Animals vs. humans

Granny Annie lost one of her animals recently, and wrote a really thought-provoking post about her relationships to her pets. When her neighbor, whose dog killed the animal, offered to financially compensate her, she found herself wondering how to explain the loss to someone who really did not understand.

Had I not met Mr. RK, there is a real possibility that I would have turned into crazy cat lady. And I would have been just fine with that! I love family and friends, but I love my cats more than most people.

Animals don't disappoint me like humans do - and our furry little guys are just wonderful.
(They seem to know when we need them most: for a week after Mr. RK's mom died last summer, they both slept right by his pillow.)

Pets don't lie to you. They are always happy to see you. They will let you know what they want or need without playing games. If they're irritated at each other, they'll wap each other and wrestle until they get it out of their systems (try doing that at work!) And they are super loyal.

They won't secretly be irritated at you if you get them the wrong kind of birthday present, or fail to return their call as soon as they would like you to.

Me - I am direct. But not everyone wants to be direct, or wants other people to be direct. I've run into problems with family and family-in-law when people talk behind each others' backs instead of being upfront. Repeatedly, I have asked, "Why don't you just tell him/her what you think?" (Or, in some cases, "Why would you have a problem if I told him/her what I think?")

And again and again, the answer is, "Oh, I can't do that because..."

I spend a lot of time wondering what humans need or want, trying to deconstruct what makes them tick, etc. Yes, part of this is my fault because I am an inquisitive person and a sociologist/social worker at heart; however, sometimes I wonder if the ability to speak a language has really tripped us up as a species. I'd rather someone just wap me with their tail if they are irriated.

How about you?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Moo and Oink

It's already Thursday in the UK, home of the darling Claire, who posts "Things I like Thursday." I'm unable to stay awake for another 90 minutes until it's truly Thursday here, so I'm going on Greenwich Mean Time.

Something I like quite a lot, as you may have noticed, is laughing. I love laughing and I love making people laugh - usually I only manage to do this by self-deprecating means - but I really do think it heals and helps in trying times as well.

So if you need a laugh today, or just *want* a laugh today, watch this short commercial from the 80s. My friend K, who is from Chicago, found this for me - it's a real commercial from a real store in Chicago! Check out the bad 80s clothes and hair, and rapping with giant farm animals! (Yes, we're all nuts out here in the Northwest.)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Making presents

Every year for Christmas, instead of buying presents (with the exception being the relatives under 18 - because I don't want to die yet), we make things and donate money to charities that we like.

That said, the presents are never boring.

I have painted ornaments...

Cross-stitched bookmarks...

and made custom signs.

And I've made more traditional ornaments for my more conservative relatives.

Mr. RK tried to make an ornament hanger, but it looked a bit funny:

Anyone want to come make presents with us this year? :)

PS This was, coincidentally, post #666.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things I like Thursday - Muppets!

I love the Muppets. Tonight we went to see the Muppet movie! No kids in the theater, since it was a 10 pm showing. Just a bunch of us masquerading as adults.

I was talking to the guy at the theater tonight and we agreed that The Muppet Show needed to go on the air again.

"A whole generation is missing out!" he said, and I agreed. The movie even had a pointed scene mentioning how crap kids' shows are today compared to what we got to watch.

One of the reasons I love Mr. RK is because he'll go see these kinds of movies with me. We didn't even have to bring a kid as a decoy.

I am thankful for Muppets, how about you?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Did *you* pick up 2,000 condoms for work yesterday?


That would be a pretty fun question for a meme, wouldn't it?

Once again, my work is partnering with several other nonprofits to put together gift bags to distribute to shelters. They have toiletries, a warm item of clothing, and small gifts (like a journal or deck of cards.) And they also have - surprise! - condoms.

As if it wasn't hard enough not having a permanent place to live, homeless individuals also have among the highest rates of STDs...hence the donation of condoms from the county health department.

So even though we are all supposed to be professionals (or at least look like them), none of us have been able to stop laughing about this.

Cue to my entrance at the health department.

Health department worker: "So! We have a mix of condoms - lube, non-lube, tuxedos, and skins."
Me (looking like a deer in the headlights): "Um. I've been married forever. What are tuxedos?"
Health department worker: "Black ones."
Me: "And skins?"
Health department worker: "Those are the thin ones that aren't made of latex, because some people have allergies."

OH, baby. Can you think of a more terrible way to find out you have a latex allergy? (If you can, don't tell me.)

And lastly:

Health department worker: "By the way, they're all standard size."

What, exactly, am I supposed to do with that information? Is anyone going to go to the shelter managers and demand an exchange because they are too big or too small? I can just imagine the conversations...actually, my blog buddies at A Beer for the Shower could do a hilarious cartoon about that conversation!

I got back to work and told my boss that I never thought I'd have 2,000 condoms in my trunk for work.

His reply: "Oh, SURE, they're for work!"

Last year it was even funnier - they had my colleague's name on the boxes, which were deposited in the lobby of her building during a training. Where everyone saw them when the training was over.

What is the strangest or funniest thing you have had to do for work?

And no, the LOLcat has nothing to do with this post. I just liked it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thoughts on upcoming holidays

Mind you, I like Christmas. Unlike some of the nuts in this country, I do not think it is endangered.

But I do not understand why not one, but two, of my local radio stations have decided to start playing nothing but Christmas music before Thanksgiving and through the duration of 2011.

I mean, there are only so many times you can hear "Jingle Bells" or "Feliz Navidad" without wanting to bump yourself off, right? Or is it just me?

It must not just be me because another local station has started running in-house ads that say, "We think holiday music should be played when the holidays arrive. Not before."

I have to say, however, that each year the thing I truly relish the most about the holidays - second to the mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, biscuits and pumpkin pie - is the fact that, being an adult (biologically, if not intellectually), I get to decide who I spend the holidays with.

Didn't you hate that as a kid? There was always some relative who was cranky, or someone who toldyou that you had to wait to eat dessert until long past the time you were dying to go home.

Not in my house! We invite whoever we want, don't invite the people we dislike, and eat dessert whenever we damn well please.

That usually makes for happy holidays.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Pardon our (dis)appearance

It's been a hectic week with visitors, preparing for an event for work this weekend, etc.

But in the meantime, does this remind you of anyone you know? (Hint: he is going to be 16 in January, and then life will end as we know it.)

My dad went up to visit my grandfather, who is 86 now, and lives about five hours north of us. He is declining, which is hard for my dad to see. But in some ways, he's still got it.

At the assisted living facility where he has an apartment, they have a communal lunch and dinner. My grandfather wears his Notre Dame hat everywhere he goes (he went to school there.) One day at dinner, another resident said, "My mom told us as boys that we shouldn't wear caps at the table."

My grandfather replied, "Well, we're not in your mom's house, are we?"

The apple doesn't fall that far from the grandapple tree.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Probably a dumb question, but why is my noodle boot so shrivelled?

That sounds perverted, but according to Mr. RK, it isn't.

A noodle boot is, I am assured by him, the technical term for part of a bicycle's braking system.

I am obviously just a pervert. Really, I thought to myself this morning, I should be here writing about the Occupy protests or something socially important. Then I thought, "Nah, innuendo is always good."

Is it just me? Yesterday during a training about social services, the trainer (who is also my friend and also a pervert) said, "It's all about finding the right package." Believe it or not, I did not giggle.

When we started by doing introductions, we thought about using an icebreaker exercise that involves sharing your "guilty pleasure." We decided not to, since the last time my friend did a training and used that exercise, one of the participants said, "I like to go smoke lots of pot!" Great.

So I said, "How about we share our name and an innocent pleasure?"

She shot back, "Do you have any?"

Speaking of innuendo, one of the most challenging work situations I ran into happened back when I was working in PR. A client whose first language was not English hired us to redo her web site - and there was a part on the site that said how much they enjoyed servicing their customers.


I told my boss, "I'll let you handle that one."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween 2.0

Too many funny things happened yesterday not to write about them. Also because I'm feeling rather grumpy, as today was much less funny, so here is an effort to un-grump.

First of all, how awesome was it that Ghostbusters was in the theater again for one night? There was no advertising about it here, I just happened to hear about it on the radio a couple of weeks ago, search it out and get tickets. The theater was only about two-thirds full - full of die-hard 80s dorks like myself and Mr. RK. (And yes, they really are releasing Ghostbusters 3 next year!)

It was funny to watch it as an adult - I got all the innuendo this time. At least I think I did.

So if you have watched that movie even once, you'll remember the exchange about dicklessness.

And what do you think the one line was that the audience recited back to the screen last night?

"It's true. This man has no dick."

Then we all roared.

Meanwhile, across town, Mr. RK's co-worker answered the door and a man dressed as a zombie just stood there, looking stoned. Finally he recognized the zombie as a former co-worker and said (in front of other parents and kids waiting for trick-or-treating), "Hey man! Come in and have a beer!"

Quickly the word spread. "They're giving away beer?"

Happy All Saints Day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy birthday

17 years ago tonight, I went to a surprise 30th birthday for my cousin John in New York City. I've written about him here before.

I've been pondering writing a post with a letter to my 16-year-old self - I was 18 when I met John and 28 when he died.

Do you ever wish you could write someone who has left this world, now that you're older and wiser?

Miss you, big guy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things I have learned from living in the Northwest

This month has flown by so quickly that I forgot last month was my 10th anniversary of living in/near Portland. And next month, I will have lived in the Northwest 11 years.

This may be no big deal on the surface of things, but considering I have moved 20+ times in my life, this is quite a milestone for me.

I consider this a relatively quiet place compared to other places I have lived (New York, for instance.) But that's not to say it hasn't been interesting.

I will admit to having major culture shock when I first arrived. Among other things I learned really quickly:

1. Wildlife is not only in the zoo. My first constituent newsletter from my state reps had an article about "what to do if you see a wild cougar." (The cat kind, not the Real Housewives kind.)

2. Things that have cult followings like nothing I had ever seen before: college football (I just about peed my pants laughing at Ducks vs. Beavers), fishing, and food. Foodies are everywhere!  Mind you...

3. It is an utter impossibility to get a salad as an entree here. That said, there is soup everywhere, all year round. Nom! But there is a shortage of good Chinese food.

4. Sun is not just a commodity - people are visibly happy when there are "sun breaks" mid-winter. It's like everyone has an extra orgasm each.

5. Some things have funny names. A bridge can be called a trestle. A creek/run-off can be called a slough. A penis is called a ... oh wait, just kidding.

6. Driving...don't get me started.

7. There are an abundance of small towns named after other countries and global cities, but they're mispronounced. E.g. Madras ("Maadrass"), Lebanon ("Lebenen"), etc.

8. Speaking of pronunciation, nothing sounds like what it's spelled like. A few years ago, an e-mail went around the newsroom where I was working. "You know you're from the Northwest when you have no trouble pronouncing Sequim, Puyallup, Kalama..." Tip for the uninitiated: let someone else pronounce it first.

9. Cops don't always wear blue. My little brother first noticed this when my stepmom got pulled over (he was four at the time) by a sheriff (khaki green uniform) and pointed out, "He's not a real policeman, Mommy! He doesn't have a blue suit on!"

10. It will be a perfectly nice 50 degrees out, and some idiot will say, "OMG, IT'S COLD!" Don't ask what happens when it snows.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I like Thursday

If you haven't read Claire's weekly posts, they are highly recommended!

Today, I am liking:

Homemade chili. I am still under the weather and a batch of this made me feel warm and toasty.

Paul Simon. My dad and the older of my younger brothers are going to see him in concert tonight, and I am so jealous! So I have been listening to one of his CDs all day.

Meeting friends for coffee.

This bass that Mr. RK made. Isn't he talented? Technically, he says it is "almost" finished.

Joey's post about writing a letter in retrospect to his 16-year-old self. This moved me close to tears. I'll try doing one myself when I think I'm brave enough.

This awesome Nightmare Before Christmas figure set that Mr. RK got me. I think one of the reasons we get along so well is that we're both unashamedly weird.

Having my goodies returned. (You knew I had to put in something funny, didn't you?)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beauty products and engineers

What happens when you live with someone who 1) is an engineer by profession and 2) likes to build/tweak/make things: your beauty products disappear.

That's right.

Things under my side of the sink (where I keep beauty and first aid products) keep disappearing.

Me: "What happened to the nail polish remover?"
Mr. RK: "I needed it to remove (chemical/paint/product) from (thing.)"
Me: "All of it?"
Mr. RK: "Yes."

Similar items have been transformed for his project purposes.

Skin So Soft? "I used that to grease the bearings in (some machine), because it's mostly mineral oil."

Rubbing alcohol? "I needed to mix it with (some product) to do (something.)"

Hydrogen peroxide? Cotton balls? You name it.

(TMI warning: this next is not PG, but it is not violent or graphic. But you have been warned. Click on the link, and you'll know I have sex. Oops. I blew it.)

But it really freaked me out when this went missing.

"I needed to polish a piece of plastic."

Wish I was making this up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things I like Thursday

Claire inspired me to un-grump, so here I go - some things I like:

1. Dessert. Enough said.
2. Humor. A friend told me today that he wanted to start his own green energy company. Why a green energy company? "Because I don't want to cook, and I don't want to touch anyone!"
3. Iced soy mochas. Because.
4. My kitties. One of my dear boys is recovering from eye surgery. We might get him a pirate eye patch for Halloween. Incidentally, Papa RK said it sounded very expensive to take him to a cat opthamologist...I said, "Maybe, but I like him more than most of our relatives."
5. My brother's upcoming visit. I am going to get him a new phone for his birthday. I think this makes me cool for life.
6. Flower pictures. I took some pretty neat ones in London. See below.
7. Exchanging e-mails with my great uncle, who at age 80, just went to San Francisco and had Thai food for the first time.

What are you enjoying lately?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cookies are better than greed

So Mr. RK came up with that title - and then coincidentally found this excellent picture!

He suggested I argue my statement, so here goes.

Cookies are better than greed because...

1. They don't sleep on Hermes sheets with your bailout money.
2. They don't charge you debit card fees to access your own money.
3. They have chocolate chips. Or peanut butter.
4. There are many different kinds of cookies, but only one kind of greed. (Mr. RK came up with that one.)
5. If you are selfish with greed, other people get hurt. If you are selfish with cookies, well, NOM!
6. Greed does not have frosting.
7. Greed does not have cute, furry blue monster to spoof the political issues of the day.
8. Cookies might make your ass bigger, but greed makes your heart smaller. (Mr. RK again.)
9. Cookies are made with love. Greed is made with ... well, not love.
10. Cookies are like sex: you can enjoy them by yourself or with other people. You can only enjoy greed by yourself! (Mr. RK.)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

How to lose friends and not influence people

I went to an event tonight for the local county chapter of the organization I work for. So keep this in mind - if it's an event that I am in charge of, I am fearless and can work a room or talk to anyone. Any other event with more than two people, where I have to be social, absolutely terrifies me.

So I suck it up because I want to thank someone who did the centerpieces for our big dinner at work last month. He said, "Actually, my mom was the one who designed them - here she is."

I walk up and give her a big smile and introduce myself.

"Hi, I'm Riot Kitty from (Riot Kitty's organization.) I just wanted to introduce myself and thank you, because I was in charge of the dinner and the centerpieces were wonderful!"

She replied, "Well hello! Nice to meet you! But...I didn't do the centerpieces."

Turning about 12 shades of red, I turned to the volunteer who said, "Um, my mom's at the next table."

Do not pass go! Do not collect $200! Epic fail!

(Claire: I consoled myself later with an epic nom, e.g. chocolate croissant.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Gilgamesh and Leonidas

Papa RK sent an e-mail a couple of days ago, with the subject line, "I don't know how this happened!"

My little sister was supposed to get a puppy at the shelter, but she came home with two new kitties instead. (There is already a grown-up boy cat and a bird that he consistently tries to eat. Everyone except my little sister is rooting for him.)

They had already been named by their cat foster family - Gilgamesh (orange) and Leonidas (Siamese.) I asked Papa RK who came up with them.

"Some pretentious prick," he replied.


Saturday, October 01, 2011

The ring-tailed lemur is my spirit animal

Every year, huge nonprofits send us probably half a dozen free calendars, thinking we have money to give them. (Tip for the uninitiated: I work at a nonprofit that is so grassroots we do not even have free pens. If you can afford to send me anything in the mail, you can afford to do without my donation.)

Anyhow, I am a total sucker for the animal calenders. The one we have hanging currently came from the World Wildlife Fund, which I stopped supporting when they sent me a membership renewal that read "Statement enclosed." Like they're a fucking credit card company. Right. Plus, I thought it was incredibly lame that they sued the pro wrestling outfit and made them change their name, just because they had the same initials.

Doesn't stop me from enjoying their free stuff...

Each month of the 2011 calendar features a different animal - a photo and a paragraph of info.

Last month's featured animal was the giant panda. I've decided this is the animal Mr. RK would be if he were not human: "Giant pandas are generally solitary animals...encounters are rare outside of the brief mating season, but they communicate often through vocalization and scent marking."

(OK, he doesn't do the scent marking and we do talk outside of mating season, but he's generally even more anti-social than I am, so you get the point.)

October's animal is the ring-tailed lemur: "Females within a troop are dominant, and if an argument breaks out between a male and a female, the female always wins."

That, my friends, is my spirit animal.

Happy October!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Epic fail = epic fall!

I totally pitched and hit the floor in front of about 40 people at the Dallas Airport tonight! Ouch...but more embarrassing than anything. (See if I say that when I wake up looking like a raccoon tomorrow.)

The trip was great and it felt like we could have stayed several more days, but that's the right time to go home, isn't it?

We did have some excitement on the first leg of the trip, where someone got arrested when we landed (tip for the uninitiated European: if you sneak your own bottle of whisky on the plane, don't get drunk on it and then get into a scuffle with a passenger, because there will be six extremely muscular policemen waiting for you on the other side of the pond.)

Even more annoying, it was like the cast of the Real Housewives of Manchester were sitting next to and behind us on the plane. (Yes, I know that show doesn't exist. You do the math.) And even though the guy who got arrested was German, she looked at her friends and said, "Don't bring me to places where this kind of thing happens!"

I will visit your blogs very soon - just need to get home to Mr. RK and the kitties, and get over the jet lag.

In the meantime, I feel totally justified eating some of the fudge I bought in the UK while I heal up, don't you think? As Claire would say, epic nom!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Europe, where the history comes from!

It's sometime after 1 am here, and I'm ready for breakfast! (Normally I don't even eat breakfast, but I've been walking my ass off here and the hotel buffet is epic nom!) Amazing considering the large dinner I had when I met the lovely Claire! She came up with "epic nom" btw. (By the way, not sure if I'm supposed to share this, but she has a slightly naughty sense of humor.) We made up all kinds of silly stories for the guy who accidentally ended up in the background. We'll call him Nigel. (My photo resizing/red-eye reducing software is not working - we're not really aliens. At least that we know of.) Wish we had more time! She is absolutely fabulous, no pun intended, and came quite a ways so we could meet up. What a lovely person! You just don't meet many people like that, who are lovely and don't mind if you say "fuck." We managed to cover politics, religion, and even a tad of sex and never stopped smiling!

By the way, we got poured on - my hair may be flat but not usually THAT flat.

I also saw my darling friend Chella, and we swore we'd meet up for longer than the typical one- or two-day visits we've been having since she moved to England 12 years ago. Hope to see her in NY in the spring!

So much history here - we went to the Templar Church today, built around 1200. The oldest stuff at home is probably something Mr. RK will have forgotten to take out of the fridge ;0 Well, you get the point.

One more day (can't believe it's gone so fast!) and then flying back home, which takes about a day altogether. I will definitely miss walking by places like this...

But I really miss Mr. RK and the kitties. I've told him he has to come back here with me at least for a couple of days when we take another trip. (He normally doesn't want to travel places more than once.)

PS My head is full of Eddie Izzard. You did catch that title reference, didn't you?

Friday, September 23, 2011

I see London...

Well, I'll just say it - YAY! Coming through Chicago was actually pretty smooth. I managed to stay up longer than I ever have in my life - about 36 hours - but our bags were waiting for us at the airport (even though they went to Dallas by mistake, some nice person rushed them on - thank you), I had the best iced mocha I'd ever had in my life at Heathrow, no traffic into London, great hotel, and nice night.

We're staying in Kensington near the V&A Museum, which I love.

We had dinner at an old standby that we found years ago because it was near the hotel where we were staying in Covent Garden. Then we went to see an Agatha Christie play that I've seen and read and still managed for forget who the killer was.

And best of all, I found my friend K's request for "the tackiest present I could find" right away, in the first shop I stopped in.

They're salt and pepper shakers and say "I Love London." The salt and pepper holes are in the heads! My friend said, "It could only be better if they were doing it!"

I told her that Mr. RK could probably arrange something like that with Fimo clay...

PS I just saw as I published the post that the netbook is still on US West Coast time. It's actually 7:45 am here Saturday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Planes, trains, and automobiles

Thus far, we have sat on planes but not actually gone anywhere - it's been much more about automobiles.

After re-routing (our bags left for Heathrow without us) a few times, we are now supposedly on the way to Heathrow via Chicago. If and when I do find my bag, I'm going to sing, "Reunited and it feels so good!"

But it was nice to have a bonus night with my family. My 15-year-old brother and 11-year-old sister are still somehow convinced I am cool. I will keep plying them with Starbucks and Hello Kitty respectively to keep that status as long as I can...

So wish me luck! Bon (hopefully) voyage to us!

PS I hate to admit it, but I am getting addicted to the netbook. So I hope not to drop or otherwise break it. And...only in Silicon Valley...there is not only a station for laptop charging, but also a wheel-chair accessible one! I hail from the land of equal-opportunity geeks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

London calling!

I will won't be in blogland much over the next couple of weeks, as my Pop and I go to London. Hoping to meet up with the lovely Claire, as well as my best friend from college.

Mr. RK insists that I take the netbook with me, so cross your fingers that I don't break it or drop it or lose it, and I will blog from afar.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things I like Thursday

Swiped this from Claire.

Number one thing I like today: the event is over, YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!

Number two thing - and I like this every day - laughter. As you know if you've read even one post, I love to laugh, and to make other people laugh.

As you may also know, I work with two relatively non-communicative guys who (I think) are pretty straight-laced. (Who knows. They may be wild men on the weekends, but if they are, I don't want to know.)

So imagine how hard it was not to laugh last night when I walked up to them - they were figuring out the a/v - and heard my boss say to my co-worker, "I just wish I had a couple more inches."

Yeah, he meant inches of room for the screen, but...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WTF Wednesday (almost)

So there are three more hours in my time zone before Wednesday hits, but close enough. I stole this meme from Red (who, oddly enough, is actually a brunette now.)

I have plenty of WTFs to WTF?! about, but here are a handful from event week (there is a dinner I am in charge of tomorrow night, and I feel like the cat up here):

It's the day before the event. You suddenly want....

1) To get in touch about the emcee role you promised way back when but didn't bother to get back to the event manager about for the past few days, until someone with some influence made you call about it and recommit. Then you want two more free seats. WTF!

2) Another option for dinner. Because the meat one and the vegetarian one and the vegan one aren't enough, damn it, you want a BUFFET! Never mind that you are in a fancy hotel! WTF?!

3) To bring eight people when you said you were bringing two. And have them all sit together. WTF!

4) To not get back to the event manager about how many spots you are filling at your table, even though her nonprofit has to pay for each spot you might take. WTF!

5) To do a half-ass donation when you promised a full donation of beverages - AND you make the event manager's co-worker drive an hour each way to pick it up. WTF!

By the way...I'm the event manager.

Also - the cure for all of this is lots of ice cream. Trust me!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Epic fail!

Bear with me, as I don't want to write about 9/11 and am pissed off at Yahoo news for the story titled, "Relive 9/11 with pictures of..." Fuck off! We lived through it once already and it was bad enough the first time, assholes.

Segue -

I don't know if I am just in the wrong generation...or don't know as many perverts as the rest of my friends do...but thus far no man I know has offered to send me a naked picture. (Please note: this is not an invite.)

But anyhow. One of my friends (in her 20s) told one of her friends to piss off after he had been hitting on her.

So he does a big mea culpa. A few weeks pass. Then he starts offering to send her a picture of know.

"If you see it," he tells her, "it will change your mind!"

Tip for the uninitiated: women are not like men, in that we don't find naked pictures sexy (especially if they're just pictures of body parts with no one attached.)

PS This softcore porn (read: Victoria's Secret) postcard did arrive in this condition, with the model looking like a boobalicious vampire - probably the marks came from a mail shredder - so at least it gave us a laugh.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

OK, a few words: it's good to be a cat in our casa.

Monday, September 05, 2011

A question for Facebook users (and non-users)

Full disclosure: for a variety of reasons, I am not on Facebook. That said, I do find it useful that we have a page at my work - we post advocacy updates, events, etc., and I do not have to have my own account to do this.

Most of my friends have FB accounts, and many of you probably do as well - so I ask you, is it me? Or is it incredibly tacky to post very emotionally dramatic stuff on one's Facebook wall for all the world to see? Especially if your profile is not private? And what is the point of doing this over and over again, except maybe for attention?

For of my friends was horrified awhile back because her spouse announced their separation very publicly on Facebook, even before she could tell all of their friends. I was horrified just hearing about that.

Something similar happened recently with some extended family and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe it's just me (how many sentences start like that?), but I tend to keep my private stuff between good friends and close family.

What's your take?