Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movies and Peanuts

At dinner a couple of weeks ago, Mr. RK asked, "Who would star in the movie of your life?"

And I replied, "Snoopy."

That popped into my head because Mr. RK says of all of the Peanuts characters, I am the most like Snoopy, in temperament.  (I'm guessing this is because I'm verbal and cute enough that I get away with it, as opposed to having long furry ears.) I think he is most like Schroeder: clever, a musician, aloof to interruptions (including people) that would drive most of us nuts.

So I asked him, "Who would star in your movie?"
And he replied, "Christopher Walken.   Pause. "Now I'm picturing Snoopy having sex with Christopher Walken."

Me: "I am now scarred for life."

I won't put in a picture of him here, because I don't want any of you to be scarred in a similar way!

Who would star in the movie of your life, and why? And which Peanuts character best fits you?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Just call me Scrooge

Things I will not miss about the Christmas season:

1. Two of the radio stations I rely on for cheesy 80s music playing the same 10 Christmas songs over and over. And over. Come on, people! For the past 6 weeks I haven't been able to get a Chicago or Toto fix. I mean, come on.

2. Hearing those same 10 songs freaking EVERYWHERE I GO. Hasn't anyone besides Mariah Carey come up with anything new since, say, Jingle Bell Rock? What the fuck does "fa la la la la" mean, anyway?

3. Hearing the next verses of those 10 songs in my head because I had to learn them for choir as a kid. Mind you, we also had to learn such lovely tunes as "The Old Folks at Home," "Deep in the Heart of Texas," and others whose sadistic keys were meant never to leave your memory. I must hum this stuff in my nightmares.

4. People driving like assholes in parking lots even more than they normally do, which is saying something. The last couple of weeks in particular, it has become a fucking free for all to see who can park the closest to the entrance because a) it is sprinkling and b) they don't want to drag their 26 kids through the parking lot.

5. Apologizing to people whose cards the post office failed to deliver. (Mind you, I only send cards to out-of-towners, so it pisses me off twice as much when they don't arrive.)

6. Insisting to said people that I really DID send a card, when I explain and they say, "Oh, don't worry about a card..." Translation: "I sent you one, and so clearly I am more thoughtful than you."

7. Hearing from my family in California about how they're walking around outside. If I walked around outside here, I think I would drown after freezing.

8. Having routine trips to the grocery store turn into a 31,000-person nightmare. Every. Single. Time. Come on, fuckers! You bump into me with your fucking carts like you're in that Toys R Us contest from the 1980s. You remember that one, right? Where a kid gets 60 seconds to grab whatever s/he wants in the store as if his or her life depended on that? Meanwhile, I just want some fucking cilantro.

9. Being tempted to spend money I don't have in the spice store (the spice store!), where I have gone only because I can't find one spice anywhere else, because everything is sooooooo neatly tied with gorgeous ribbon and smells so damn good. What can I say? It appeals to my OCD.

10. People asking if I had a tofurki for Christmas. Hmm, let's see. I didn't have one for Thanksgiving. I wouldn't eat one unless I risked starvation. Do the math ;)

But can I say as a postscript...Tartar Sauce the Grumpy Cat, you are my reason for living!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I can has customer servez?

The other day, Mr. RK and I were talking about how some things should require IQ tests first - or should I say common sense tests. You know, gun licenses, driving licenses, reproduction.

After an experience at a work dinner Friday night, I am going to add being a waiter/waitress to the list.

As you know, I've been doing a vegan diet for the past few months. Now, this is pretty easy to do here, as I live near a city whose motto is "Keep Portland Weird!" (No, I'm not kidding. And yes, it really is like Portlandia.) There are entire restaurants and grocery stores that are vegan-only.

I called this restaurant ahead of time as the only vegan item on their menu was an appetizer salad. They said no problem, they could make any pasta or risotto without eggs or dairy.

I confirmed this with the waitress at a dinner with my boss, husband, co-worker, and his wife.

Then I attempted to order.

"The almonds are toasted in a little bit of butter, is that OK?"

No. No dairy whatsoever. (For those of you who might think I'm just being picky, I discovered that dairy not only made my blood sugar a lot higher, so now I can take a lot less medication, but that it also made me ache. A lot.)

I request the mushroom risotto without parmesan.

"You might not like the risotto without the cheese."

Don't. Want. Cheese! Remember, because I am a vegan and that means I can't have dairy.

"Oh. Hey, can you have bacon?"

Pork is not, as Mr. RK noted, a vegan food.

I am not making this up. In fucking PORTLAND, no less. Now mind you, Hawthorne Street in SE Portland is like weird central, or as close as you can get to being in Berkeley. Across the street from the restaurant is a pizza place where you can get pizza that is vegan, gluten-free, etc., and any combination thereof. By the slice.

She told me that I really wouldn't like the risotto, so they'd make me a vegan pasta.

Then she came back and said they were making me a vegan risotto.

Which was actually quite good, but at this point I was just embarrassed at being the center of so much unwanted attention and also probably shooting daggers at her through my eyeballs.

The best part: at the bottom of the menu, it read, "Please let your server know if you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. We are happy to accommodate you!"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best. Present. Ever! (Friday funny)

My friend K. always gets awesome presents - she is one of the wittiest people I know (and yes, I hope she is reading this) and this pack of awesome pens was among my Christmas presents. The idea is to let someone borrow your pen and let the fun begin!

Which one should I leave on my boss's desk? (Really. Vote. I'll do it.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

A party for Slim! (Or a shameless plug for blog friends.)

I love dry wit, and I love to laugh - hence, I love my buddies over at A Beer for the Shower. I also love to give shout-outs to writers who deserve to be, well, shouted about. These guys are, I'm convinced, going to be rich and famous one day, and then we can say, "I bought your e-book back then..."

So their newest e-tome concerns Slim Dyson, specifically his sensationally absurd life and times (doesn't that description alone make you want to read the book?)  For more about Slim and the book, visit this post.

Where this post comes in? Our buddies at ABFTS are having a contest/challenge, inviting fellow bloggers to describe the kind of bash they'd throw for Slim.

And I would ... drum roll...

Oh come on now!

You knew this was coming.

Slim would meet lots of pussy. Pussy CATS, you perverts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The only thing I can think to post right now

The past few days have sucked for me, as I am guessing they have for most of you. I can't post anything I'm feeling without being full of sadness and here's this instead.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A bit of cheer

I wrote a whole blog about the shooting that happened a few miles from work, and then decided it was too depressing for this page. I know two people who were there and thank God they are OK.

So! In lieu of that, I've stolen a lovely cartoon from Claire:

I'm going to be stirring things up with my little brother B for the next week or so. I'll try to visit your blogs as much as possible, or possibly post here if the vegan mocking gets too intense!

Claire is all about Christmas, and her cheery posts inspired me to share this picture with you.

The backstory: my friend who is ill has been extra stressed because his wife is temporarily in a nursing facility. His one Christmas request was that she have a good Christmas - she is really into Christmas, and usually they put up a huge lights display and an 8-foot tree. Some people from his church came over and did the lights - complete with Manheim Steamroller music playing! - and he and I got this tree for her room at the health center. It was his idea to decorate it with teddy bears - when their son was alive, he used to collect them and deliver them to children's hospitals, which became a family tradition.

She loved the tree and I think it does look rather lovely, considering that us amateurs put it together!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Laughter is a random act of kindness

I am always amazed at how people going through terrible times are still able to maintain a sense of humor.

One of our volunteers at work had the week from hell and shared this picture of something her teenage son created...

Is he referring to the Mayan apocalypse, or the last sheet of toilet paper? (Hint: it's not the first one.)

I had lunch with our friend who is very ill yesterday. He said, "RK, I am going to try my hardest to make the most of the time I have left. There's no point in pouting."

I felt ashamed, as I've been pouting (read: ranting, raving and driving Mr. RK nuts) about medication ups and downs. Mr. RK reminded me that I was lucky (blessed really) to be here, upright, to complain.

Then our friend (who is a pastor) told me this joke:

Three guys die go to heaven on Christmas Eve. St. Peter tells them that because it's close to Christmas, they need to give him a present on the way in.
The first guy gives him a candy cane. The second guy gives him a charm he has on his key chain.

The third guy hands him a pair of women's underwear.

Shocked, St. Peter blurts out, "What is THIS?"

The guy replies, "They're Carol's."

See if you can make someone laugh today. It'll probably help more than you know.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Conversations with my little brother

I can't wait for the 12th. That's when my little brother B comes to visit.

I haven't taken any vacations since February, since I missed so much time when I was sick and then while I was recovering, so it will be nice to have a week off.

B is 16 going on 40, by the way.

We talk on the phone sometimes, but most of our conversations are over text.

The other day, we had this exchange:

Me: Do you have a list of things you want to do when you're here?
B: 1. Consume coffee. 2. Mock vegans. (The backstory: I have been following a vegan diet for almost two months. He likes $4 mochas.)

Me: What happens when the vegan is buying the coffee? Or are you treating? :)
B: Vegans being mocked can still treat.
Me: Ha! I disagree.
B:  Vegans being mocked can change their mind.

We'll see.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I think he got out of jury duty

I had to report for jury duty this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

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

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

How about with a complete stranger?

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

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

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

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

Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, November 23, 2012

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

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

1. There are adulterers and swingers everywhere.

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

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

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

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

6. No one seems to know about contraception.

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

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

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

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

Obviously, living in the country makes you nuts.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Things I have learned watching BBC murder mysteries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There's your guide. Happy watching!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shameless plug for a writer friend!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sex scandals are so old hat

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

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

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

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The difference between men and women

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

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

If you want to slap someone...

A real conversation in my office today...

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

I sent that to a few colleagues.

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

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

Monday, November 05, 2012

Vasil P. McNut's presidential platform

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

A profile picture.

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

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

2. Catnip will be legalized for all.

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

 Showing my sweet side.

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

5. I'm a handsome devil.

6. I do a wicked Jabba the Hut impression.

 "Bring me Solo and the Wookie!"

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

Showing my playful side.

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

Friday, November 02, 2012

Kitty politics

Courtesy of Henri the existential cat!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My little brothers and the mail man

So tonight I'm talking with my littler little brother (16), B, and he says, "I got a membership offer from the NRA."


I kid you not. The kid's first solicitation letter, and it's from the NRA. (I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. My late godfather's cat got a piece of mail once, and the cat's name was Oreo. You'd think they'd check these things. Who sold his name? The groomer?)

Me: "What, did they tell you that because it's so close to the election that they need your money to protect you from the liberals who want to pull the guns out of their cold, dead hands?"
Him: "Pretty much."

Don't you have to be legally adult to get solicitations from membership organizations? More to the point, how the hell did they get his name? The only organizations he has belonged to so far in his life are Cub Scouts and a comic book store.

He has a funny history with the mail, though. Every time he visits, BOOM! Victoria's Secret soft core porn comes in the mail. Perversely, getting the mail is one of the small chores we ask him to do when he visits, in between episodes of massive spoiling.
Did I mention that B and my bigger little brother, N (33) both have experiences with Playboy?

Apparently my parents' neighbor get Playboy, and on at least one occasion, their mail man brought it to the wrong house. Without looking at the name on the plastic cover, my dad put it in my stepmom's pile of mail. Without looking at the same name just referenced, she opened it. B lamented, "I didn't even get to see it!"

To paraphrase the Beastie Boys, his mom threw away his best porno mag.

Which reminded me of another story about Playboy and the mail. When N was in high school, somehow he and his best friend got it into their heads that they were going to win the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. They thought it would be hilarious to have Playboy delivered on national television (you know how the winner gets the first magazine of the subscription delivered with their prize?) Not thinking they'd actually get a bill and perhaps NOT win, guess which high school senior started receiving the magazine? Guess whose mother got the bill? (Hint: she's my mother also.)

How about you? Anything good in the mail lately (or previously)?

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Sorry for the absence - a friend of ours got some horrible news and it has just interfered with my day-to-day functioning for the past few days.

No one wants to read depressing stuff, and I don't particularly want to write about it. I've tried to think of funny stuff to write, but am in and out of this funk at the moment and it's just not possible today.

I have to say that our friend is pretty amazing. Faced with what is likely a terminal illness, he wrote, "I never knew we had so many friends! The support has been overwhelming...and I am trying to keep a sense of humor throughout this." I know I wouldn't be that graceful. I'd be mad, sad, terrified - all of the things I felt when I had already survived a life-threatening illness. During the time it was life-threatening, I was too out of it to feel any of those things. I feel terrible that Mr. RK and my family and friends did. I can't imagine any of us going through what my friend and his family are going through now.

I don't care if you are religious, spiritual, or neither, would you please say prayers for him and his family or just keep them in your thoughts? Because I'm at a loss for what to do or say in a situation like this. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I can very easily believe it's not butter

Well, I haven't tried the product in question, but I couldn't resist this as the title for a post about trying a vegan diet. As most of you know, I've been a vegetarian on and off since fourth grade, and completely vegetarian for the past decade. What is the difference, some people have asked? Vegan means you eat no animal products at all, including things that have milk, eggs or cheese.

I decided to try this because multiple studies have shown that many people with an illness I was recently diagnosed with who are on this diet have been able to completely stop taking medications, or at least severely reduce the medications, after a few months.

Yes, I love cheese enchiladas, but I figured this was worth a shot. I was already not drinking milk. Results so far have been great, but I have learned a few things...

1. Avocados and peanut butter are your best friends. Well hell, you've got to have something a little fattening once in awhile. Though the diet calls for not much of them.

2. No substitute will taste like butter. Believe it.

3. Most vegan veggie burgers taste like...well, it's debatable if you'd rather lick the floor, before or after wiping it down with bleach.

4.  Be prepared, even if you live near a city that closely resembles Berkeley, to have a hard time finding things to eat out if you're in a traditional "American" place, e.g. for a work meeting. "Vegan? We have a fruit plate." I'm a vegan, not a rabbit (although Mr. RK would find that statement debatable.)

5. Five words: Extra. Virgin. Olive. Oil. Popcorn. NOM!

6. Veggie broth sometimes has animals in it (WHY?!)

7. Likewise, fake cheese often contains lactose. Inquiring minds want to know: Why the hell would you buy fake cheese if you could eat the real thing? Masochism, maybe?

8. I have gotten funnier looks checking out at the grocery store lately. You try shopping for one vegan, one meat-eater who is not on a restricted diet, and two cats, and your shopping list looks a little like this: dry black beans, vegan chicken burgers, chocolate, Cosmo bad girl Kama Sutra edition, litter. (Yes, I bought that magazine. Throw everything at me.)

9. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who finds out you are doing this diet (and you're not sure how, because you're not trumpeting it everywhere), says things like, "Well, I COULD NEVER DO THAT!" (tip for the uninitiated: I don't really give a flying fuck), and "Well what do you eat?" To which I'd like to reply, "You know - salsa with napkins. That kind of thing."

10. I don't have a number 10. Insert your own funny comment here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


A huge part of my job at work is outreach, and lately we have been doing some of this at events - inviting groups that we haven't previously partnered with to our events, going to theirs, etc. It sounds simple but it seems to be making a big impact.

We went to an event this morning and had an entire table to fill, and I invited all sorts of people. One of them is a therapist at a local hospital system who also has a private practice. She and I have more in common, I learn, as I get to know her better, than I'd think at first glance - among other things, identity issues.

The breakfast was a fundraiser/get-together for a culturally-specific health care center. My colleague, who is African American but was adopted by white parents, then married a man from Ghana.

She e-mailed me afterward the event today and said, "I know some of those people, but they never invite me to anything like this. I felt like I was out of place, like I didn't belong, like somehow I was a fake."

I told her she fit in perfectly and that I was proud to know her - this is a woman who has conquered all kinds of obstacles, personally and professionally, to devote her career to helping other people. We ended up having a very interesting e-mail conversation about identity.

My family, shall we say, is the product of people hopping the fence everywhere. We are derived from Apaches, Swiss Jews, Irish Protestants, German Lutherans, and the like. (What do they all have in common? Just about all of us are nuts...but that's another story.) We have one side that swears up and down that they're 100% WASP, when in fact I have looked at the family tree going back to about the year 1500 and that is blatantly untrue; we have another side that's as admittedly mixed as the day is long.

Who am I and where do I fit in? I have Native American genes but people mistake me for being white - but I'm not white enough for some relatives who don't like to talk about those lines. I have enough Jewish roots to disturb the WASP relatives, but I'm not Jewish enough for some of the more religious people I know.

I've thought about this for years tried to be more this and more that. But at some point I finally arrived at the conclusion that I'm just me. I have my own ideas about faith, roots, and family. It's all significant in its own way. I have come to the realization that blood is not thicker than water, and that Mr. RK, my close friends and stepbrother are more family than some of the people I allegedly share DNA with. (My dad thinks I have more DNA in common with a banana than one side of the family anyhow.)

In sum, a friend asked a few months back, "Well, how do you identify?"

And I replied, "I'm just me."

PS Just so you don't think I've gone all batshit serious on you, I've included a couple of lolcats - and this gem.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What? You want human?!

I may be watching too much Dr. Who, but a relative really did e-mail me this picture from London.

I think I would shudder to see the actual exhibit...

Any guesses as to what this is? I e-mailed him back try to find out...

My questions are: Who is Nando? How did he acquire a man-eating chicken? (And if Nando lived to tell the tale, does that mean he is also alien?) And does the fact that this refers to his man-eating chicken mean there are more than one? What the fuck is going on over there? Maybe all of the Dr. Who episodes about aliens coming to London are real after all...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No, you cannot has cheezburger, you stupid man.

Sorry for the delay in posting - our most recent big event at work is over, and now I am back in the land of the living.

It seemed to go over very well - no one noticed the typical behind-the-scenes funny business, such as...

- The legislator who showed up at the wrong dinner, but decided to stay (why don't we ever charge these people?)

- The person who e-mailed me when I was already at the hotel and the tables were already set up, wanting a seat...

- The board member who was arranging and rearranging tables up until a couple of hours before the event.

- The volunteer who demanded to talk to me about next month's event because "the dinner's going on now, so what's the problem?" (I am in charge of it from start to finish, including seating absent-minded legislators.)

- The honored guest who forgot he was supposed to ask people to give us money (my boss reminded him.)

And there are ALWAYS the people who know they are being a big pain in the ass - such as the person who wanted to buy a ticket 15 minutes before we left to set things up - but begin their e-mails with, "I am really sorry to ask, but..." Or, "I know this is at the last minute, but..."

You're not sorry, you know it's last minute. I'd much rather you tell me, "I'm being a pain in the ass, but I have cash and you work for a nonprofit, and you will feed me!" You know, kind of like the Sleveen, in a weird kind of way. (That didn't work for you? Oh never mind.)
Despite some circumstances out of our control (the biggest dinner in town scheduled for the same night, after we had picked ours), we filled the room. Our emcee, a local news guy, was hilarious - even more hilarious was the steady stream of middle-aged women hitting on him, when he clearly didn't shop on their side of the street! Well, wine will do that.

Funny enough, despite all kinds of accommodations (vegan, allergies, diets, etc.), enough wasn't enough for one of my sponsor's guests. Given the choice between salmon and risotto, he said, "Can't I just get a hamburger?" (At a $125-a-ticket fundraiser.)

And she replied, "No! NO, YOU CANNOT HAVE A HAMBURGER!"

But we all know it would have been better if she said something like the title, don't you think?

One person who did come through was Mr. RK, my tireless volunteer. He can has cheezburger. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Is everything recycled?

Is it me, or has it become 1983 again?

Women are wearing tight, bright pants and sweater dresses.

Movies are the same ones from the 1980s, as are many of the toys and dolls. Even Pac Man is coming back!

Political candidates blame poor people for being poor, and are outraged that people who have no insurance might have to go to the doctor, that people without enough money for groceries might have to eat, or people without enough to make their house payment might need a place to live. PBS is a bad guy once again.

(Yes, Oscar, he really is a heartless bastard. He likes Big Bird, but probably only for sexual reasons.)

Change is supposed to be the only constant, but some things just seem to get regurgitated. It seems like we're back in the 1980s with a few more bones thrown to civil rights, and a few reality shows added in.

I'd like some new stuff, please.

How about candidates who really discuss the issues? How about some movies that haven't been made once (badly) already?

How about the men wear the sweater dresses and tight, bright pants? (No, Mr. RK, bicycle pants don't count.) How about some ideas from you?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things I have learned from Dr. Who

I say I don't generally like sci-fi, but then I love Star Wars, Star Trek, comic book movies, and Dr. Who.

My dad and I used to watch it around 1979-80, when I was little - I think Tom Baker was the Doctor then. Mr. RK and I recently started watching the BBC series - it's a bit addicting, as we're through season 3 now (they're currently broadcasting season 7.)

Some things I have learned:

1. No one is ever really dead - it doesn't matter if they are vaporized or memorialized. Trust me, they can come back.

2. Statues are almost always aliens hiding in statue form. Witness the weeping angels or the first time we meet the Daleks in season 1.

3. The Doctor is a bit of a polygamist. OK, not in the traditional sense - he may fall in love, but he's also constantly falling in like with pretty girls.

4. The ship is never really lost. Nearly 800 episodes from combined series prove this.

5. There's a lot of screaming and a lot of crying - think 1950s martian movies. I take it the creators have a dim view of human intelligent response to crises (or is that redundant?)

6. Aliens find humans incredibly stupid, and as a result, they are almost always hostile, considering us expendable. (Ninja edit  - I had typed "expandable," but that was also correct, if you saw the episodes with the sleveen, who needed people to be...expandable.)

7. All alien leaders are narcissists.

8. Technology shouldn't be overused, or we'll all be in danger of becoming enslaved by aliens.

9. Anyone who's incredibly greedy becomes an alien slave. Lots of alien slave themes here...hopefully they don't go into alien sex slavery.

10. All of this alien invasion crap tends to happen in London. Wouldn't you move? :)

But I still want to know, where do they sleep on the ship? Where do they shower? Am I missing something?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I can has family!

You know I had to get some kind of lolcat reference in there...

I may have mentioned on this blog that I have a huge family. Both of my parents are the oldest of five. I have 25 first cousins! And as you also know, my family's a bit odd. For reasons I still don't understand, I have relatives that I hadn't met until recently. But what a fun meeting it was!

My late grandmother's sister lives in my state, and we got in touch after my grandmother died a couple of years ago. She and her husband were up in this area recently - where, as it turns out, my dad's cousin and her husband also live - and we all met up for dinner.

Mind you, my grandmother was serious and I don't think she ever said "poop" in her entire life. Her sister, however, will send me e-mails like, "What the FUCK is going on with Romney, RK?!" So you know we have DNA in common. All of these years I thought I took after my grandfather's side, but now I know the truth. Like Mr. RK, her husband P sat quietly, probably wondering how he had gotten himself entangled with our family.

Some highlights from dinner:
- B, my dad's cousin's husband, takes amazing cat pictures. (They are cat freaks, like us.) One such image was lifted and when he did a Google search for it, 15 entire pages with his picture came up. One was on a gay porn site. Of course, he swears that he doesn't know how - or want to know why - it got there. I'm not sure I want to know, either.

- My dad's cousin S asked, "Did she (my grandmother) ever talk about Crazy Aunt P?" Um, no. Here, again, I thought all of the crazies came from my grandfather's side, and again I was wrong. Aunt P dyed her hair bright orange, wore green pants, and when she was dissatisfied with her walker, she pushed a lawnmower.

I am not making this up.

Mr. RK, to wit, said, "In your family? Yes, I can believe that."

- S used to be married to someone with the word "letch" in his last name. She didn't change her last name to B's when they got married, "Because she said my last name sucked." His last name is a piece of furniture.

Great aunt M is going to be 80 in a few months and she looks 60; her daughter S is 51 and I thought she was my age. Please, pass these genes to me!

I don't meet that many people that I like, and I liked all of them quite a bit. 

PS Don't worry. They knew I'd be blogging about this.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And just when you thought it couldn't get weirder

Greeting me on my voicemail at work this morning:

"Hey, RK! I just left a message on the general voicemail. Can you come to my house and lick my @*&!^T%%#?" (I'm not a prude, but it was so rude that I can't bring myself to type it out. If you want a hint, go read the lyrics to the 2LiveCrew song that riled the lovers of obscenity laws in the late 1980s.)

Not kidding.

And he only left it on *my* voicemail, along with the general one...seeing as how he called me by my last name, I'm assuming this is a complete stranger. But I resent the fact that he didn't leave a message for either of my colleagues!

"It's because you're female," a colleague at another office told me.

Don't you wish you had that much free time? Is this guy unaware of caller ID? Hmm.

Speaking of unaware (or rather, clueless), who do you think ran into her co-worker's office when he was on a conference call and blurted out, "Hey! Did someone leave you a pornographic message, too?"

Come to think of it, my boss was probably thrown off by that question as well...

Monday, September 17, 2012

26 pages of...?

I'm going to steal from Granny Annie again with a question of the week.

As you all know by now, since the headlines won't shut up about it, some French magazine ran a 26-page spread of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless. Seriously? I thought the French were nonplussed about nudity and sex...apparently, royal nudity is an exception.

Which got me thinking, is there anything (or anyone) you would most want to see 26 pages of? What would be your top choice? Inquiring minds want to know.

For me, it would have to be:

1. A 26-page apologia from James Dobson's group, apologizing for their existence and noting that they're going to donate their funds to scholarships for LGBT students


2. Russell Brand

And then there are always the LOLcats.

How about you?

Thursday, September 13, 2012


OK, it's Friday on the east coast and in other corners of the world...I totally stole this from She Who Seeks. In fact, you should totally check out her Pussy Riot (oops, I almost typed Riot Kitty) post!

I kind of miss the days when presidential sex scandals were the thing people were arguing about, versus terrorism, the deficit, and all of that other depressing stuff. Sex is so much more fun, especially with other people! But people got into much bigger arguments about a certain intern than I'm seeing them get into about the current political stuff. Why is that?

I guess sex is just more interesting. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why I love Mr. RK (not sappy)

So Mr. RK and I went out on a dinner date and as we were driving home, he said, "I was a jerk on the freeway today."

Note: Mr. RK is a very calm, courteous driver, so my curiosity was piqued.

Me: "Really? What did you do?"

Mr. RK: "So this guy was driving around like a total asshole, didn't let me merge. And then I went to pass him and he's leaning out of his window smoking, like he doesn't want to get smoke in his car. So you know when I use the windshield washer, it sprays off of the side of the car also?"

Me: "Yes."

Mr. RK: "I was passing him very slowly, and when I got slightly ahead of him, I saw him toss his cigarette butt on the road. So I hit the windshield washer and got washer fluid all over him. And he looked all pissed off, and I shrugged, like, 'What?'"

This is why I love Mr. RK.