Saturday, February 28, 2015

It started with a cat bonking me in the face

I've been somewhat out of commission this week. It all started with a cat bonking me in the face.

Yes, Vasil is one adorable 10-pounder - and he has a skull made of steel, apparently. I pulled him out of a cupboard and he flipped back like we were fly fishing and hit me squarely on the nose. Long story short, this threw my neck out and by Thursday I thought my brain was going to come through my forehead.
 The culprit. Doesn't he look cute and innocent?
My acupuncturist, trying to stifle a giggle: "This was all because of a cat?"

So here I am, tentatively back in the land of the living, and I hear about Leonard Nimoy. I have a sad. It's been a strange week.
I would credit whoever came up with this, but have no idea. Someone very clever.

He once said he thought people connected with Spock because "they recognize in themselves this wish that they could be logical and avoid the pain of anger and confrontation."

"How many times have we come away from an argument wishing we had said and done something different?" he asked.

Many times.

I've been thinking about life and death this week. An older relative made a rather amazing recovery after aortic valve surgery, and then I found out that four of the members of my graduating class in high school have died, as well as someone who I had been close friends with who was a year behind us. I was talking to Mr. RK about this last night on our date and he deadpanned, "How cheerful. Tell me more about your dead classmates!"

After surviving complications from a life-threatening illness almost three years ago, I am constantly trying to remind myself that the little stuff doesn't matter. And as someone said, it's all little stuff.

That said, ranting in this space is one of my great pleasures in life, and you can expect more to come!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ultimately, a penis is to blame.

One of my little brothers is visiting this week. Tonight he said, "I'm waiting for Riot Kitty to update her blog."

Mr. RK said he wanted to show me "math." He pointed out that the calendar said the 19th, and the date of my last post was the 8th.

And so...

The short version: I'm on vacation this week, decompressing from some really, really, REALLY busy and intense work weeks.

The funny thing is, I was debating writing about dealing with idiocy at one of our events last week - and that included the fact that we had no wifi - which meant we had no idea this idiocy was going on across the street at the Capitol. The day we were there was the day before our Governor resigned.

So there we were, our tiny little state making front page national news, because this woman can do something very well. Worth leaving the public eye in disgrace, even. Apparently in his first two terms as governor (which is as many as anyone should have, IMHO), he was, as my dad remembered, "A decent progressive. Too bad he stumbled over his penis."

And then, of course, he blamed - wait for it - the media.

Not himself.

Not his lady friend.

Not his penis!

Personally, I think a decent case could be made to blame his member. I mean, this is the West Coast. We've had such implausible legal cases as the Twinkie Defense and O. J. Simpson looking for the "real" killers.

For his sake, I hope the sex is worth it. But why not try that as a defense strategy?

After all, ultimately, a penis is to blame. That really isn't all that different than "the devil made me do it."

Sunday, February 08, 2015

I don't think pink!

One of my good friends is having a baby in March. That baby happens to a be a girl.

Can I just say, it was really disturbing to find out how gendered - or rather, gender stereotyped - the shopping experience is for a baby-to-be!

First off - every online baby clothes and accessories store or site I've been two is segregated. There are things for "baby girls" and things for "baby boys." Guess what colors they are?

Refusing to jump on the gender train, I have ordered what I thought she/her kid would like.

My most recent online receipt looks like this:

Thank you for shopping with us. You ordered "Magnificent Baby Baby-Boys..." and 3 other items. We’ll send a confirmation when your items ship. 

So a gray hat = a boy, of course. So does anything blue, green, or yellow. Anything pink or purple is a "girl baby" item.

Fuck this shit!
My friend texted me: "I wonder if my daughter will grow a penis because she's going to wear a gray hat."
I wrote back: "Maybe if I get a blue one, she'll grow balls!"

Then there are - apparently - baby headbands. I was stunned when my friend shared this news.

Me: "Why would a baby need a headband?"
Friend: "They don't. It's just in case - gasp! - no one can tell if it's a boy or a girl."

So right from birth we go on and on with the gender imprinting - or the imprinting of how we define gender - and the fact that we're sending kids the message straight from birth that their genitalia (as opposed to their brain or their personality) defines who they are, or who they are supposed to be. This is distressing for so many reasons, I don't even have enough space to write down all of my thoughts on it.

Have we gone backwards since the 1970s and 1980s? Apparently. Because my clothes (which weren't pink, by the way) were saved as hand-me-downs for my brother N and my male cousin A, and no one blinked. My brother played dress up in an amethyst necklace that was my mother's, and all that occurred to me was to be jealous.

You can be damn sure my parents didn't make me wear a headband.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Desperate times call for Welsh TV

I think this is the longest time I've gone without blogging since I was super sick a few years ago.

In short, things have been busy as fuck at work.

This is the conversation I had with my boss last week:

Me: "I'm feeling overwhelmed, for X, Y and Z reasons. I don't want to drop the ball on anything."
Boss: "You haven't dropped the ball on anything. If you do, we'll talk about it."
Me: "I'm talking about it now so it doesn't happen."
Boss: "Well, just tell me if you start feeling overwhelmed."
I'm not making it up! As my board president frequently reminds me, it must be pure magic being married to him, so at least I'm not.

There are a number of things I do to prevent myself from spontaneously combusting. These include baking, working out, reading about things that happen in crematoriums (yes, really, I have a fascination with the funeral industry), and watching/reading murder mysteries. By the way, the book is amazing. Highly recommend it.

Last week we watched a new one from BBC (which thankfully got its contracts with Netflix settled) that was filmed in Wales.

After 10 minutes of trying to read lips, I turned to Mr. RK and said, "Can you understand any of this?" Quickly we agreed to turn on the subtitles. (I can hear you laughing, but consider this: the title of the show in English is Hinterland. The title in Welsh is Y Gwyll. So much for the part of our roots that come from the UK.)

I have to say, I got so focused on trying to figure out what people were saying that I forgot all about the stuff that was stressing me out. As a decompression method, I highly recommend it.

And randomly, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Paddington is a fucking hilarious movie. I love the books and as you know, movies tend to make ruins of them, but not this one.There are many grownup jokes, and Peter Capaldi steals the show.
No, he doesn't stab anyone. I'll give you a hint: there are a few lines of Lionel Richie!

What's not to love?

Monday, January 12, 2015

An open (whiny) letter to (the bastards at) Netflix

Dear (bastards at) Netflix,

One of my younger brothers sent me a news item today stating that your contracts with the BBC were about to expire, and unless you got your shit together in a major hurry, there would be no more BBC for me.

I protest on behalf of the millions of Anglophiles, both public and closeted, who rely on this service to watch shows that are both intelligent and free of the crappy commercials that plague regular TV. How can you deprive me thus?
To whit - perhaps you (bastards) have never seen an American television show. You don't know how hopelessly least-common-denominator they are. I don't know what's more insulting to the intelligence of anyone who has any; the shows themselves and the commercials are probably running a dead heat in the appeal to idiocy competition that U.S. commercial television networks have been running for at least several decades now.

I mean, come on. We don't have murder mysteries that don't resemble something out of the Friday the 13th or Saw series of movies, or have multi-syllabic dialogue.

We don't have the same 12 actors appearing in everything, thus creating a fun, steady brainteaser of, "Where have we seen her before?", resulting in much puzzling and the eventual give-up move of using IMDB.

We don't show men's asses nearly as much. At least not the ones we would want to see.

We don't have characters that agonize for seasons at a time over whether or not they should ask each other out on dates. Come on, people! Some of us need that thrill of sitting on the edge of the couch yelling, "Just kiss him already!!"

We don't have any actors that are allowed to age like real people. We have to turn to Europe for that.

Besides...Matthew Rhys. Julian Rhind-Tutt. Well, forget about eye candy. Jean and Lionel! Hyacinth Bucket!

Not enough? OK, two words: Dr. Who.

So, I am forced to cry, and look for alternatives that I never would have considered before - namely, your rivals. Who may or may not be user friendly.

I'm asking you please, please, please, from the bottom of my spotted dick-loving heart, keep Britain in America! Until then, I'm pissed (as in American pissed - angry, not drunk.)

Sincerely,

Riot Kitty

Monday, January 05, 2015

Things I think loudly

One of Mr. RK's most endearing traits is that he comes up with adorable things to say. Clever and cute at the same time.

One of them is, "I didn't say it - I just thought it really loudly," which is usually preceded by an amazingly clever insult. (Although another one of his lovable traits is his ability to insult people without them knowing it.)

For better or for worse, I am in charge of an additional event every other year which involves setting up meetings between legislators and our members. You know me: I am organized. I put the "O" in OCD! I plan ahead. Has that stopped the idiots from coloring outside of the lines? Of course not.


Here is the stock email I have been sending to our local chapters since registration for the event opened:

Please help us get the word out to membership as soon as possible, as the registration deadline is Jan. 18, and legislators' calendars fill quickly.

Actual email I received today from an employee of one of said chapters:

Hello, RK! I wanted to let you know that we're doing two informational sessions in preparation for your event. The first one will be on Jan. 17, where we'll inform people and help them register.

I shit you not. I wrote back:

You will want to have people register much earlier - we'll more than likely be full by that date.

I thought very loudly:

Two informational sessions to prepare for one half-day event - which includes an informational session? Wow, you must be burning with brilliance to have to do that much prep! Seriously, it's a gathering at the state capitol. Not a rocket launch. And letting people know the day before? How exactly do you manage to tie your shoes in the morning?
This person wrote back:

Oh, we're having that event to inform people who don't know about the organization, and get them registered.

I thought loudly:

Brilliance strikes again! Rather than rally our current members, somehow you plan to attract complete strangers and sign them up for our event. That is quite clever. Why don't we just invite another advocacy group and make appointments for them to argue their cause?

Then there is the lobbyist who hasn't been a member for eight years who registered.

Loud thought: Seriously? Isn't that your fucking job, to meet with legislators? You get paid for that already, right? So you shouldn't have to sign up to have a nonprofit do it for you?

Actual email to lobbyist:

Dear so-and-so, thank you for your interest in our event. To complete your registration, we'll need you to renew your membership, which lapsed in 2007. Thanks!

Sometimes I don't know how I zip my lips. Luckily I have you all to vent to.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The brain cannot function without coffee.

That's a line we heard in a BBC murder mystery last night (have you seen David Suchet as Agatha Christie's Poirot? OCD people everywhere, unite!) And I find it to be true.

I mean, espresso is a reason for living.

Since this spot is a vehicle for grumping, I thought I'd mention a few things that make me happy.

Not that there are any surprises here...

Kitties! Life is so much better with furry little guys.

Cheesecake. And the friend who made me a vegan, sugar-free version so I could actually eat some.
Painting. I can't draw to save my life, but I have a decent eye for color. Here is an ornament I painted for my BFF.
Laughing. I saw this in an antique/junk shop in Portland yesterday and it reminded me of a lewd joke my dad told us years ago. Let's just say, "I sold your thermos for $100" was the punchline.

All of you in blogland! You always cheer me up. Happy New Year!