Friday, May 30, 2014

Ridiculous and ridiculouser

First, the shitty news: my uncle who already has cancer had a major stroke. My dad got to see him last week and then he took a turn for the worst. I'm sending flowers because a card might not make it in time. Fuck.

Now, for the distractions. Is it me, or is there just a lot of ridiculous shit going on right now?

*Ninja edit!~ When I challenged you to top all that, I meant the ridiculous stuff, not my own personal family stuff. Sorry about that...I'm not trying to make you break out the kleenex.*

Some examples...

1. Trying to take Magneto seriously as a bad guy when he's wearing bellbottoms. (Yes, I loved the new X-Men, but most of it was set in 1973.)

2. One of my employees asking permission to spend $200 on a fee for us to go to an event, without including any information whatsoever. I request details. She sends none, and asks again. I bang my head against the desk. No, not really, but only because I opened the email at home.
3. The kiddo being picked up for shoplifting because he ran out of food money...but he has plenty of pot. (Major desk banging here.)

4. Speaking of X-Men, all of a sudden Nicholas Hoult looks just like my fucking brother!
OK, without the makeup. About the same amount of fur, though.

5. A trip to the store did not get along with Mr. RK. He got no ATM receipt, misunderstanding the instructions, took out too little cash, and then the entire store was out of one dollar bills, so he got $4.78 in change. As in coins.

There. Top all that. I double dog dare you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


I'm not judging him - that's trivia that Mr. RK found after we saw the movie last night. Apparently, Japanese fans of the gigantic fucking monster think his latest American incarnation is a bit too chubby. Maybe he just needs to realize that cookies are a sometimes food...
Anyhow. I thought the cheering during the monster scenes was just because we were in a theater pub where they served beer, but my friend K said there was cheering during the same scenes in a regular theater.  I don't drink and I joined in too, because, hey! Monsters!!

Speaking of monsters, am I the last person to find out that the Ewoks were furry little man eaters? Mr. RK informed me of this the other night. Don't ask me how this came up. This is our household.

Naive me: "WHAT? They were eating people?!"
Mr. RK: "Well, when they strung up the rebels in that net, and started a fire over a spit, what did you think they were going to do?"
Me: "Oh."
Mr. RK: "And you remember at the end, how they were playing drums on Storm Trooper helmets? And all of those Storm Troopers who died in the battle? What do you think they did with the rest of them? THEY ATE THEM!"

You talk about bursting my bubble. If our cats had opposable thumbs, I know they'd take over the world, but now I'm not sure I want to know what else they'd do.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The rant you've been waiting for

Here it is. And it's also my 900th post. Yay, me! That's a lot of rants.

First off, thank you for the financial and moral support for me, my cause, and my event. A couple of people have asked where to donate. Thank you - here is the link.

Now, the fun begins. Here are some real questions I've been asked at the last minute/situations I've encountered, along with the answers I would like to have given. Oh, and after a week of gorgeous, sunny weather, it's supposed to rain - and maybe have thunderstorms - tomorrow. I can't wait until this is over.
Q: Hey, RK, I'd like to come to the event tomorrow. What do I do?
A: Well, seeing as how you had to look at a website to get my contact info - and that website also had EVERY FUCKING DETAIL ABOUT THE EVENT on it - maybe you should be more concerned about, say, successfully tying your shoes on the way there. Wait, there's velcro.

Q: Hey, RK! I will bombard you with questions even though I am admittedly not good with computers, but insisted on setting up a web page for my team and one for myself. Then I'll ignore every response you give me, and ask the question again, in hopes of getting you to do my work for me.
A: Clearly you can't read, which makes me wonder: how did you go online and set this up in the first place?

Q: Hey, RK, I heard there was a big event the same day. What are the road closures?
A: My real answer was, "Please refer to the FAQ I sent, as well as the email I sent yesterday to everyone registered to participate." My preferred but silent answer: You know what? This is the third fucking time you've asked me a question that has been answered in an email I sent you right off the bat! And the third time I've asked you to read the damn FAQ!
Q: (from the same person): Hey RK, do you provide transportation to and from your event for 50 people from my small down two hours away?
A: Unlike every other walk - most of which have much more staffing and funding than we do - why yes, we do! Would you also like breakfast in bed? What would you like your breakfast tray made out of?

Q: (To my saintly volunteer): Where is the starting line?
A: He gave her the answer. Two minutes later,  she calls back and says, "You don't know what you're talking about. Tell RK the starting line is under the bridge." Right. Six years but hey, I don't know where the starting line is for my own event. Come to think of it, it starts in the river. We'll meet you there.

Q: (Comment actually) It was too crowded last year. There were too many people and too many dogs.
A: Well, instead of trying to encourage participation and make a statement that our cause matters, I'll just ask people to stay home. Then you can have all the space you need.

Q: (Comment from the same person): The band wasn't playing when my team finished the loop last year.
A: We're so sorry about that. This year, they'll stay an extra hour and personally serenade you. How's that?

Although - I had a good vent with a buddy who does this event in another state. One of her participants really takes the cake. "There should be more trees at the event. You know, for shade."

Plant! Start planting! Plant faster!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Soon, you will see a bombastic rant here, as my event is eight days away. But in the meantime, I try to remind myself that some of the people participating, are not, although it may seem this way, doing so to annoy me.

A friend texted me with some kind words today, saying she was impressed because the event was "a shitload of work." It is...but I have help.

The fact of the matter is that although we have a long way to go with mental health advocacy and awareness, we have made progress.

On any given day, I am likely to rant about why we are so far behind other health/illness/wellness movements, considering the fact that 1 in 4 adults lives with some type of mental illness, and 1 in 10 children does also. I am prone to getting frustrated when hearing stories of providers who do not listen to their patients, of news media who cover much smaller events than ours for no other reason that we can tell, other than it's not a sexy cause.

And then there are moments when I remind myself that we've come really far even since I was in high school - that we have, in fact, made enormous progress even if we're not on equal footing or where we want to be.

As some of you know, that's when I had the beginning of the bad, bad depression. Times when I wanted to die and had no reason I could pin point for feeling this way. There were no student support groups. There were no campaigns telling people it was OK to talk, that there was hope, that things could get better. There were actually no professionals that we had heard of saying that teenagers could have mental illness.
I'm not feeling sorry for myself as I write this, and I don't want you to be sorry for me either - I'm just saying it was a lonely and hopeless place to be. For me and millions of other people.

Fast forward 20 years. There are green ribbons. There is Mental Health Month. There is Children's Mental Health Day. Insurance companies can't reject people like me just because we're wired the way we are, and they have to pay for us to get help. My organization took the lead on this in my state, before I joined, and I am proud of that.
There are entire organizations, like the one I work for, that support people living with illness and offer supports for our family members and loved ones. There are campaigns to get people to talk about what's going on in their heads, with the goal being that no one should be ashamed to get help. There are awesome people like you, who have encouraged and supported me while I raise money and awareness about the work we have ahead.

Unfortunately there is no cure. I resign myself to the fact that the PTSD will still give me nightmares sometimes. That a handful of days a year, I will be so anxious that I'll want to hide under my desk, or so depressed that I will have to tell myself, over and over, that this will pass. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams to have a partner and family and friends who I can talk to and who support me when this happens. And I know I am luckier than many, many people.

So we keep going. A volunteer told me the other day that when she was growing up in the 50s, no one talked about cancer. It was considered private, embarrassing. Now, we have survivors and overwhelming public support for treatment and recovery and cures.

I am confident we will get there. Until then, we'll keep agitating. And remembering that at least we're no longer in the dark.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Two cats and an octopus and the post office

I hate writer's block. I don't have it here - there is always plenty to rant about, and as you may have guessed, I'm never short of opinions. But I've been trying to finish Chapter 6 of the new children's book I have been working on and I am stumped as to how to complete a chapter.

This has been the most difficult piece of writing in my life, and it's about two cats and an octopus.

Mind you, I have done investigative reporting. I have done marketing and PR writing. I have written everything from political profiles to stories about, literally, the weather, and glow fish (sometimes you have to fill the paper.) But I can't craft a chapter in a book for middle grade readers to save my life. 

How embarrassing is that? And until I finish that chapter, I can't move on to the next. I just don't write that way. So expect plenty more posts about the idiocy from the outside world. There's never a shortage of that.

These days, I'm feeling more and more like Tardar Sauce is my alter ego. Sometimes it just comes on, like a cold. Today for instance - at the post office, in line behind two people, one of whom was clever enough to stuff a package EXACTLY the size of the package slot and get it stuck. (He had help from a complete stranger wedging it out...that had to be embarrassing.)
The next woman, rather than come during business hours and buy 400 stamps, proceeds to print them out 10 at a time from the automated machine.

Again, I wonder how these people get up and tie shoes in the morning and make it through the day. Then again, she was on crutches. Maybe tying shoes was a problem? (I know, I'm going straight to hell.)