Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More grumps

I appreciate that in this part of the world, we all need a little pick-me-up to get through the dark-early, often gray and rainy days that seem to last forever.

I don't dislike Christmas. I do, however, hate how the entire month has turned into a retail free-for-all.
If I wanted an excuse to hit someone, I could find plenty. I don't need to go to Wal-Mart and fight over something on Thanksgiving evening.
So, I typically avoid 1. shopping for anything that isn't absolutely necessary and 2. being social any more than I have to be during this month.

That said, there is plenty more to annoy me. Such as:
  • People who ask, "Sooooo, finish your Christmas shopping yet?" and don't like it when I answer that we only get presents for people under the age of 18. Everything else we donate to charity. More often than not, people give me a frown and say, "Ah, that's nice of you," and change the subject. Next time, I'll stand up and yell, "Fuck you! I'm Jewish!" Some of my family is also Lutheran, but how the hell would they know?
  • People in the Portland metro area basically don't do any fucking work between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.  I know they're not all on sabbatical. What gives? Why do I get a flood of emails Jan. 2? I kid you not, it happens every year. Apparently thumb-twiddling is very popular this time of year. 
  •  People who I barely know asking, "So, what are you doing for the holidays?" I want to reply, "Having a sex toy party. Would you like to come shop?" 
And we all know that winter is a hard time for those of us who either have seasonal depression or flat-out fucked up depression like mine. Being in a workplace where we are trying to let people know it's OK to ask for help, I am tired of people saying they're depressed/anxious/etc. "but it's not a mental illness, it's different."

Tip for the unitiated: NO IT FUCKING ISN'T.  Your brain doesn't compartmentalize like that. It doesn't say, "Hey, sexy! You're going to be anxious today, but it's really coming from your liver. It's not a mental illness."

It's not all bad, though. I do make homemade gifts during this season (see above and below. I'll happily make one for you!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Social graces (where I get my grump on)

I suppose nothing ruffles my feathers as frequently as bad manners - or no manners.

And in the hierarchy of offending gestures, there is nothing more obnoxious to me than being interrupted in my own home by people purporting to save my soul. (A tip for the uninitiated: I'd rather be in whatever kind of hell your religion espouses than get saved, if I have to do it with you.)

This evening, I was expecting a friend to drop by, hence I actually answered the door during dinner.

Complete stranger, standing by another complete stranger, bundled up like they are walking door to door to spew cultish crap: "We'd like to talk to you for a couple of minutes."

Note: if you are not invited, or flashing a badge, this tactic will fail in the House of RK.

Me: "We're eating dinner." Closes door.

That is pretty good restraint, no?

Then I realized what I was wearing.

(If you want to know about this shirt, read more here.)

Other things that are annoying me this week include the fact that I have to work with mustache man on our upcoming lobby day again. I'm sure he remembers me, because I all but flustered the Yosemite Sam mustaches off of his annoying little face two years ago.

And then there is Vasil, who has recently discovered how to meow up the stairs. Yes, you read that right. He has mastered the power of the echo - at midnight, and at 5 a.m. However, he is so unbearably fucking cute that I literally can't throttle him.

You'd never know he could be such a little asshole, would you?

Lastly, the lady - scratch that, the female - who blew through a stop sign and nearly bought me a new car, or a new me. Luckily for both of us, I have really good brakes, and so does the person who was behind me. I really and truly hope that when I laid on the horn like nobody's business you shit your pants.

Monday, December 01, 2014

My house during the holidays

Once again, I will reiterate here (and to anyone who will listen) that one of the lovely things about being an adult (not to say a grownup) is that I don't have to spend time on holidays with people I don't want to see.
To wit:
  •  We don't wait to eat dessert until the powers that be say so, because we *are* the powers that be! Hooray!
  •  I don't have to eat anything I don't like "to be polite," because Mr. RK and I fucking cook it. It's impolite, methinks, to force someone to eat something they don't care for. Period. End of story.
  •  Friends are so much better than extended family. One of mine made me a vegan, sugar-free cheesecake, so I actually got to eat dessert!
  •  I don't get bored because it's my fucking house, and the people who are there were all invited by me
Mr. RK scared the shit out of me, though. He said, "My (insert relative here) texted to say Happy Thanksgiving. So I invited her over."

Dead silence.

"Just kidding!"

Because he wants to stay married, that's why.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fighting the oobleck

I didn't plan this long of an absence from blogs - I've been under the weather. Where the fuck does that expression come from, anyway? It feels more like being under the oobleck - as in this:

Dr. Seuss made up a lot of words, but I think that one may be my favorite, because it so accurately describes that very special feeling of being sick. Monday afternoon, my boss said he was "going home to rest" after traveling for business this past weekend. Tuesday morning, the oobleck (his? Mine? Who knows?) attacked us both.

Then, to add insult to injury, once you finally outrun the oobleck, you get hit by the tired stick.

Then, back at work, everything makes you grumpy.
My poor coworker and I had this conversation.

Me: "I thought you went through the mail when I was gone! But it's in a pile on my desk!"
Coworker (with blank stare): "I didn't have a chance."

Me later that day: "Sorry, I'm sick and grumpy."

Which, at least, is one more excuse than normal!

What makes you get your grump on?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Things I would like to know

And I bet you would, too, you just haven't written about it yet.

1. Why the phone system at work got fried by a storm on the SAME day I ran out of cell phone minutes, which has never happened before, AND the heater decided to start spitting icy air out, and my computer decided to keep crashing - all at the same time. (I actually put this lolcat on our Facebook page at work with an explanatory message about the phones. Pretty cool, no?)
2. Why the internet is buzzing about a certain person's ass. An ass makes headlines! Shit, I'm in the wrong line of work.

3. What exactly do the models and actors do in the group Models and Actors for Christ? (I'm not making this up. I see this billboard on the way home from work every day, and it bugs me not knowing.)

4. Why the person who couldn't remember when his appointment was just showed up at my office this morning. Like you do.

5. Why his mother said she doesn't like stairs, so there should be an elevator (in a two-floor building), but continued to take the stairs rather than wait for him in the lobby.

6. We saw Birdman this week, which is a really good movie. So my question is...it's referred to as an "art film." Who decides a film is art? Does that mean other films are not art? Inquiring minds want to know.

7. Speaking of that movie, it turns out that Michael Keaton and Courtney Cox dated for several years back in the 90s?? Um. WAT?

8. Why does Alaska only send shitty things down to the mainland? We have premature winter this week, thanks to a storm from that state. Their politicians are just as bad, and they seem to last longer.

9. I know...why ask why...but I must. Why do I live in a state where more people voted on the legalizing marijuana measure (which passed) than voted for Governor? I mean these people filled out their answer to that ballot question, but didn't vote for either guy who wanted to run the entire state.
10. What can the conversations be like between our current governor and his fiancee? Oooh, what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall in that house!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Plenty of Material

Last weekend, I went with several friends to watch a performance of comics who had taken the Stand Up for Mental Health comedy class. One of our friends was getting up on stage, and I wanted to support her...and I had no expectations.

Silly me! The show was fucking hilarious. In fact, I started thinking about how moments from my own life might make good punchlines. I imagine a psychiatrist asking if my family has problems with mental illness...and myself responding, "No, actually they enjoy it."

Food for thought
Once, on Halloween when I was a kid, we made caramel apples. I was so tired by the time the apples were done that I went to bed, planning to eat it the next day. In the morning, however, my mother informed me that the apple was gone, "because a roach had eaten a hole through it." It wasn't for a few years that I realized the "roach" was my mother. Come to think of it, that wasn't a bad comparison.

Food for cats
Things that are perfectly acceptable in the feline world are gauche for humans. Why, may I ask? For instance, a couple of days ago, Mandrake hoovered his breakfast and then started on Vasil's. Mr. RK asked me, "Would it be ok if we went to a restaurant and I inhaled my food, and then snatched your plate?" Come to think of it, there are a few people I'd also like to bite on the rump in meetings when they get out of hand...
Food for your brain
It's not entirely bad living with OCD*. Although I'd really prefer it was spelled CDO. You know, in order.

*Yes, I really have OCD. So I can make fun of myself. 

Then there are the weird dreams. Last week, I had one that was entirely in Spanish in which I was involved in a fender bender, and spent most of the time explaining that the person in the car with me had gone to seminary. The night after that, I had a dream I was making out with Alice Cooper. (A younger Alice Cooper.) I texted a friend about it and he wrote back, "I thought you weren't into girls?"

So what makes you laugh?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tips for the uninitiated

I don't remember this time of year ever being so busy. In addition to the usual events and day-to-day stuff at work and at the place where I volunteer, I have (stupidly) agreed to take on some volunteer marketing work for said place.

Which puts me in the frame of mind where I look at everything from a branding/marketing lens. I have worked in PR and marketing before, and hated it, but I did learn some good takeaways. Namely, don't write like you are an idiot.
Sadly to say, someone has managed to do this for a federal training we have to take at work. I'm sure they're laughing all the way to the bank. The training is an online thing required for us to keep signing people up for Medicaid and other insurance post Nov. 15, when our state, which has fucked up beyond belief, is moving to the federal website. (Do an internet search for "Cover Oregon" and you'll start to feel my pain.)

Anyhow. Along with the typical mind-numbing slides and endless pop-ups and dialogue boxes, there are sample conversations from theoretical appointments.

To whit:

"Hi, Casey, I'm 29 and my husband and I have a two-year-old daughter, and neither of our workplaces offers affordable health insurance. I'm looking for a plan that has low deductibles because we make frequent visits to the pediatrician."

It is at this point that I begin to laugh, because clearly the author of this script has never done an actual appointment signing anyone up.

It's more like this: "Um. I need to get an insurance card."
Assister: "Do you mean you need to apply for insurance? Do you currently have insurance?"
Caller: "I have insurance in Connecticut but it won't cover me in Oregon."
Assister: "Are you just visiting or did you move here?"
Caller: "I moved here. And I have to go get surgery this week and they won't cover it because it's out of network."

Well no shit, Sherlock!
Also amusing were the online "exams" at the end of each segment. Some of the questions were like trick questions, because the answers were close enough together to be indistinguishable, and some of them were made for four-year-olds.

A real sample: "Wendy calls about getting affordable health insurance. She is unsure if she qualifies for Medicaid. Do you A) Tell Wendy you can't help her." .....

Yes, really.

Another scenario involved a customer who thought they qualified for something they didn't qualify for. In the sample dialogue, she said, "I feel much better now that you have explained it to me. It makes sense."

HA! We have had people accuse the state (and us, even though we have nothing to do with the state's healthcare system) of everything from discrimination to incompetence even when THEY are the cause of the fuck up. Case in point: the guy who moved and didn't tell anyone, and then didn't get his insurance card, and then freaked out when he couldn't get a prescription.

There are a lot of people out there in need of velcro.