Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am a pervert Wednesday

OK, not really, but I thought that would get your attention. Although a couple of times in the past couple of days (maybe it's because I've been sick and I'm sort of out of it?) it has definitely felt like I was living in a sitcom.

Yesterday, one of my normally very grounded event volunteers called after getting back from an Australian vacation.

Him: "I got a tattoo while I was there."
Me: "Really? What did you get?"
Him: "Guess."
Me (totally kidding): "A kangaroo."
Him: "Yes."
Me (can't help it, totally bursts out laughing): "No!" (I mean, this is like visiting Texas and getting a pair of cowboy boots tattooed on your ass, or visiting New York and getting the Statue of Liberty.)
Him: "Yes. And I can show it to you. It's on my shoulder. So I don't have to pull my pants down or anything."


I have known this person for almost four years, and he has never said anything like this. Perhaps he stumbled into quaaludes by mistake before calling me?

Then this morning, I went to a breakfast event for work. One of my volunteers also went, and we sat together. He didn't know I was a vegetarian, and said, "Oh, you didn't get any sausage, do you want some of mine?" Later on in an e-mail, I started thanking him for offering me his meat, but the more I typed, the worse it sounded.

"Thanks for offering me your sausage this morning..."

"Thanks anyhow for offering me some of your meat..."

Um, no.

How about you? Do you find humor everywhere?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Lutheran thriller!

I don't know how many of you know that I was raised (briefly) Lutheran. My family has Jewish roots but somehow they managed to become Missouri Synod Lutherans. There is a joke that the longer you are part of the Missouri Synod, the smaller it gets. Like being part of a small town, if you know someone in this church, chances are you probably know someone in my family.

My adored great uncle, who is a retired Missouri Synod Lutheran clergyman, has a birthday coming up. I always have to practically nag him to death to let me know what kind of a present he'd like, as he tries to say, "Just make a donation somewhere." I do that for Christmas, but birthdays are special.

So somehow I beat it out of him over e-mail. He'd like a book. Not just any book. There is apparently  a "Lutheran thriller" about someone in the Missouri Synod who works for the CIA!

I didn't know Lutherans were allowed to have thrillers...maybe it's about a Lutheran going on vacation and pretending he's a Methodist? Or as one of my friends said, pranking Catholics after having some sherry?

As many good qualities as we may have, the words "Lutheran" and "excitement," let alone "thriller," don't tend to go together. We don't tend to do anything interesting like declare Jihad, curse people, handle snakes, or speak in tongues. We're rather on the tame and boring side. I mean, we haven't even updated our hymns for a couple of centuries.

So I am just curious enough that maybe I'll read this book, too.

What are you reading these days? Would you, by chance, read a Lutheran thriller?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My beef with scary movies

Famous last words: "It has the guy from Harry Potter in it, how scary can it be?"
I don't recall the last time I hid my eyes for most of a movie, but this one did. Even more embarrassing? I saw it with my 16-year-old brother, who I am sure was trying not to laugh at me.

Mind you, I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So I thought I was tough enough for this one, but then I realized that it was an old-school horror movie, not a thriller - a horror movie without gore. Not for me. I am a big chicken. (Had Daniel Radcliffe been at all naked in the movie, I might not be resenting having spent $8.)

Nevertheless, I did keep my eyes open for enough of those 90 minutes to come to the conclusion that most horror movies or thrillers have some cliches that I would like answered.

1. Why is there always a ghost in an old, rambling mansion in, say, the English countryside? Why not in a new condo in Florida?

2. Why, when the protagonist knows there is a fucking psycho ghost in the house, do they go in anyway? Meanwhile, we're in the audience going, "Noooooooo! Don't go in that house!"

3. Something inevitably bad happens after this. And then...the other characters are surprised. Um, why? I told you, he shouldn't have gone in that fucking house.

4. The house always has a graveyard. Isn't that another useful clue?

5. The ghost always seems to want something in order to be satisfied and go away. Why not just come out and say, "Ok, bitch! What is it you want?" right upfront?

6. Why does most of the scaring happen at night? Are ghosts nocturnal? Or are they just averse to electricity?

7. Is that why they always knock out the lights/snuff out the candles?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five minute Friday (no, it's not what you think)

This is a meme that Claire has been doing, not sure if she invented it, and the meme is this: you have five minutes to write about one word and what it conjures up for you/inspires for you.

Since I saw this lemur? on Lone Grey Squirrel's blog, and the topic of shyness came up today, I pick the word...


I have a quote from a song by The Smiths on my desk:
Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
That you'd like to.

Only people who know me very well know that I am shy and believe that I am an introvert. This might seem incongruent with my blunt and honest personality, but the fact of the matter is that I am more stubborn than shy, I guess. Meaning I will stand up for an ideal or a person (or my own way, bad me) despite shyness.

I have what I realized recently is called social anxiety. It was so bad in college that if, say, I walked into a deli and forgot a straw for my soda, I'd be too embarrassed to go back in. I'd walk on the other side of the street if I saw someone I knew, because I was worried that I wouldn't know what to say.

Flash forward a few years: become a reporter, and you get over your shyness quickly. One of my editors, who was as boisterous and loud as the day is long, told me he was shy, too. Most reporters, he said, are formerly shy people. I wonder why that is.

It's amazing to me, because the shyness is selective. I can run an event with 2,500 people and not blink. I have even had the Secret Service show up one of my events, when then-Senator Obama's campaign was in town, and tell me I couldn't have the event. HA! We planned for a year and we had the bloody event. That didn't freak me out, either.

But put me in a room full of people I don't know at some occasion where I have no specified role, and I panic. Or more likely, slip out when no one is looking.

I keep the quote from the song by The Smiths up to remind me that I've made progress and to also remind me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Monday, February 13, 2012

My thoughts on V-Day

Here's my two cents: Hallmark can suck it.

I had planned to write about something entirely different, but a post by Workingdan
inspired me. I posted a comment and thought - aha! - here is a post in the making. Then, I read a post by Lone Grey Squirrel and became further inspired, although my thoughts on this Hallmark holiday are much less eloquent than his.

Mr. RK and I go out on Feb. 13 as a Valentine's fuck you. Actually, we go out on the 13th of every month, because our anniversary is on the 13th, but the anti-Valentine's Day dinner is one I look forward to.

Valentine's Day, in my opinion is 1) a way for Hallmark to make people feel shitty if they're single, and 2) a day for all of the people who are assholes to their partners the rest of the year try to make up for it (and get laid) in one fell swoop, while plumping up the coffers of the flower vendor, the chocolate vendor, and people who make Trojans. The people who invented Valentine's Day are the same people who say a guy should fork over two months' pay for an engagement ring without the guarantee of oral sex. (OK, that was crude, so sue me.)

I send Valentines to my siblings and that's it. I bought one for Mr. RK, wrote "anti-" in front of Valentine's Day, and picked out a card that had a perverted message to boot. Now, if you'll excuse me...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Things I like Thursday

OK, just one thing, but you know what? It was a big one.

A local TV station ran this horrifically offensive, fear-mongering spot about patients in our state mental hospital and literally called them "prisoners on the loose."

If I didn't know better, I wouldn't have thought it was real. It was like an SNL skit spoofing fear-mongering bad TV.

So my organization went to the mattresses. We sent out an action alert and posted on our Facebook page asking people to call and spam the station and let them know that people living with mental illness were not freaks, and that people getting mental health treatment were not "prisoners on the loose."

And guess what? Within just a few hours, because of our volunteers taking time to let them know that people living with mental illness were not big scary monsters, they pulled it. They are running the news segment tonight, but apparently it's not nearly as inflammatory as the ad spot was. (You can see the original spot by visiting this advocacy group's web site.)

*Ninja update* - and I am not making this up - the advocacy group's site was hacked! So you can visit this awesome blog post from The Portland Mercury, which has the video embedded.

I take this personally. I live with anxiety and depression and I kiss my toes that I have an anti-depressant that works most of the time, and a supportive and loving partner, family and friends. If I didn't, I'd probably have ended up in a hospital too.

That said, I have relatives and friends whose illnesses got so bad that they had to be hospitalized. That TV station was demonizing people just like my family, volunteers, and colleagues.

Can you imagine a group of people with any other illness - say, cancer or diabetes - being so stigmatized for seeking help for a health issue, or for being treated at a hospital?

So what do I like this Thursday? I like grassroots organizations kicking ass, thank you very much.

Wordless Wednesday, One Day Late

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Appliance guides for dummies

One more reason I can't wait until we own a house...

Mr. RK had to put this sign on one of the dryers in our apartment complex. Because unplugging the machine, which made a buzzing noise and smoked, wasn't enough. And yes, I get to hear this sense of humor every day! I am a lucky girl.