Monday, September 15, 2014

Too tired to meow

We moved this past weekend. There is no internet at my house. Don't get me started, but I will visit all of your blogs as soon as I can.
Things I have learned:

1. The house was previously populated by stoners who were just out of college. I know this because when Mr. RK went to see the place, the master bedroom was locked, there were tapestries everywhere, and I keep getting their unpaid bills in the mail. How do people go through life like this and manage to tie their shoes? Oh, right - that's what velcro is for.

2. I have muscles I didn't know existed before last week.
3. Every new cupboard is a new place for a cat to explore - hence, Bang! Bang! Bang! That would be the cupboard doors.

4. Stairs mean my cat Vasil wants to chase his little cat soccer balls up and down them at midnight. And yeowl up the stairs, just to hear his own echo.

5. One mocha is not enough today.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Consider yourself tagged

If you are reading this. I got tagged by my friend GB Miller in this writing meme. And as you all blog, that means you all write, which means you can all participate.

1) What are you currently working on?
This post. Just kidding. I blog once or twice a week depending on my schedule and fancy, and I'm also working on another children's book.

2) How does your work  differ from others in the same genre?
I think everyone would like to think they're unique, so I really can't say. I think I have fewer filters than other people when writing for myself. With the children's books, I make a point of not talking down to the audience. Not unique, but maybe unusual these days.
 3) Why do you write what you write?
Blogging is therapeutic, and it ranges from essay writing to humor writing to social justice writing. I literally have to write - it's a necessity. Words have been bubbling in my brain since before I could talk, which was, incidentally, early in life!

With the children's fiction, I am trying to create a happy place. Kind of like that feeling you get when you read Winne-the-Pooh. That's what I'm aiming for. A sweet, happy place with some humor.

4) Describe your writing process. 
For any kind of writing I'm working on, the longest process is the thought process behind it - the ideas rolling around in my head. After those are ironed out, it's a matter of sitting and typing it out. That part is usually rather fast.

How about you?


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Coffee, coffee, everywhere, and some of it I drink.

We're moving soon, and it's very sadly nowhere near my favorite coffee place.

Mochas are my weakness. My decaf, iced, soy, sugar-free weakness. It's the only thing I spend money on, but I'm not willing to spend an extra half hour in the car, so I broke down and bought an espresso machine.

Enter trial and error.

You see, I had not thought this through, having worked at a coffee shop right after college. Not thought it through meaning that I have been experimenting making drinks, which have turned out everywhere from very good to mostly terrible. Trial and error with fake milks, fake syrups, even fake coffee!
Of course, I was too proud to say, "This shit is terrible!" So I drank all of them.

Mr. RK pointed out that the only sugar-free syrup I could get at the store was probably not cutting it, so I found a barista supply store online (go, me!) and am having some shipped. I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile my boss said, "No caffeine, right?" Because we don't want Speedy Gonzales on crack in the office.

And speaking of the office, no matter how much I enjoy time off, I enjoy work much more than I ever enjoyed school. My younger sibs have started school and my brother B's report went like this:

Me: "Did you have homework?"
Him: "About three hours."
Me: "Why so much?"
Him: "The pre-calculus book doesn't come with any instructions. So I spent a lot of time looking stuff up. And the science teacher wants us to color code our notes."

Color code their notes?

Me: "My God. Does she have OCD, like me? What if any of the students are colorblind?"
Him: "Then they are fucked."

He has always been pragmatic, that one. Meanwhile, my stepmom is on a business trip this week, and he has the run of the place to himself. I just hope none of it involves a goat. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spank in Vancouver

I knew that title would pique your interest. As it happens (unfortunately), we only saw this store as we were driving out of Vancouver, BC.

Anyhow! We had a great, short trip. I would have liked to stay another day or two, but I suppose it's better to go home while you are still having a good time. Here is the view from our room.The hotel itself has - and I swear I didn't know this when we booked! - a cat story. And given the bullshit cat stories that seem to be floating around the interwebs this week, I was happy to find a real one.
I got to see my cousin, who is working on a doctoral thesis on Shakespeare (!) She has been living there for several years, and I'm kind of envious.

Speaking of envious, no matter what kind of sophisticated camera equipment Mr. RK has, I still take better flower pics than he does.

And speaking of spankings, we went to a Dr. Who-themed pub in Portland the night before we left, to watch the new Dr. Who. Fantastic! No humans or aliens were spanked in this picture, although it may appear that way.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kitty goes to Canada

I'll be offline for a few days, as we're going to Vancouver, BC to celebrate 10 years of RK and Mr. RK. Plus it's my birthday while we're gone.

This lolcat is the favorite of my lovely friend Claire, who just got married! Congratulations, darling! You can head to her blog to check out pictures.

Meanwhile, I'm sure I'll have plenty of bumper sticker ideas for you all after two five-hour drives...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


In previous posts, we developed the response, "Are you a grownup?" for un-grownup behavior. (Yes, I just made up a word.) In this post, we create shortcuts.

Who doesn't like a shortcut? Shortcuts save time, which we never seem to have enough of.

Case in point: I am crawling through my drive home. The truck two cars ahead of me is plastered in hateful stickers, and then one that from a distance looks like this:
Which puzzled the hell out of me. Up close, however, it actually looked like this:
Shortcut: Get one bumper sticker that says "I AM AN ASSHOLE." That'll save space, and get your point across much faster.

Case in point #2: The woman who has three kids receiving state insurance, and only gets a renewal letter for one of them. Instead of calling and inquiring about the other two, she calls us and makes an appointment to discuss it. Then she is a no call, no show. A week later she calls again.

Shortcut: Fess up that you are a crappy parent who probably shouldn't have reproduced in the first place! I may be progressive, but I'm not an idiot. I believe in personal responsibility.

Case in point #3: The car repair place calls, trying to reach my boss, who is on vacation, at least a week after his vehicle has been in for transmission repair. They tell us to please let him know that they forgot to replace a gasket, so things could, uh, leak.

Shortcut: Call and say (MUCH EARLIER), "We fucked up! Get your car the fuck over here or there will be big trouble!"

Because come on, people. You don't need to waste my time.

Monday, August 11, 2014

"There is always hope"

I felt a bit foolish for being so crushed by the death of Robin Williams - then, texting some friends who are part of the special club (the 1 in 17 of us who live with mental illness that is enough of a pain in the ass that it "interferes with our daily lives"), I realized I wasn't alone.

Because we have been there, gazing over the edge into the abyss, and so far, we haven't been pushed over it - or jumped. To lose one of our own - one who seemed to be able to accomplish anything - well, it stings beyond belief.

A friend who lives with bipolar disorder summed it up well.

"Sometimes," she said, "it takes constant, pure will not to give in."
Robins lived with mental illness, and he was vocal about destigmatizing - ending the discrimination that surrounds - it. He joined a movement called "Mad Pride" (e.g., pride in being "mad"), and got involved with fellow actor Joe Pantoliano's nonprofit, NKM2, which seeks to "stomp the stigma" of mental illness.

We saw him perform in a small venue a few years ago in San Francisco. He was amazing, and amazingly human.

My younger brother N took my even younger brother B to see him a bit after that - B was 15 or 16 - and Williams looked out into the crowd and joked that he had better watch it with the language, "Because there's a little boy in the crowd!" (He didn't watch the language. But he did meet B, and was very gracious.)

I have been in that place, as have some of you. That place where you think nothing, nothing, can be worse or more painful than being alive. Picture your worst despair, multiply it by 1,000, and feel in your gut that nothing will ever get better, and you may get a glimpse of what it's like.

Chances are, someone you know has told you they live with a chronic illness. Now picture them telling you they live with a chronic mental illness. Does that change how you feel?

Despite public discourse, despite public awareness campaigns, the fear of having the discussion is there. And it is very real, and very lonely. If Williams, with all of his courage and all of his resources, was taken by mental illness, what chance to many of the rest of us have? If we don't make this an accepted topic of public discussion...not much of one.

I wish I could tell everyone who ends up in that place that, as Williams once said in an interview, there is hope.

That there is always hope.

If you worry about a friend, check on them. If you worry about yourself, call and get help.

No matter how dark it is, it gets better. I promise.

In the meantime, let's talk. Let's start the conversation. Let's come out of the darkness.