Monday, June 29, 2015

I may be waiting with marshmallows, but I'm not done.

I've been agitating on LGBTQ rights since high school. The Supreme Court decision was exhilarating, but incomplete - I've found it hard to find words to write about this and have been mulling it the past several days.

My favorite response came from a gay friend who is American, but has lived in England for years because she and her wife could legally get married there. "Some pastor's gonna set himself on fire. And I have a marshmallow."

Of course he backpedaled and said, Uh, he really didn't plan to do it...probably because so many of us were standing by with ingredients for smores!

We've come a long way in one generation - but not far enough. I remember, years ago, explaining to my little brother why marriage equality was important to me. At age 8 or 9, he laughed at the idea that anyone would object to same-sex couples marrying. I wish more adults would have such maturity.

I remember there being just one openly gay guy at my high school. He was mocked and ridiculed, and his parents kicked him out of the house. Today, there is a gay/straight alliance at my high school and lots of student resources, but it's easy to get too comfortable. There are still states where you can lose your housing or your job if you're openly LGBTQ. This is beyond wrong, it's unconscionable.

I'm lucky enough to have an amazing, loving, smart, funny spouse who happens to be my soulmate. I can't imagine us getting evicted or losing our jobs because we're in love.

It is outrageous for "religious" people to duck under the "I should be legally able to discriminate against you because of my own feelings" caveat. No way. My family is Lutheran and Jewish and I am the daughter and granddaughter of pastors. There is room for people of faith to be accepting, and frankly, if anyone has read the fucking Bible, you'll see that that's what Jesus did and encouraged us to do. Plus, not everyone's religious.

The same arguments - literally the same arguments - were made against interracial marriage, of which I am a product.

Take the hate elsewhere. If you are concerned about humanity, go do some meaningful volunteer work. Get your hands dirty.

Meanwhile, don't rest. Keep active. Segregation shouldn't exist in this country anymore. This is but one small step. Let us eat cake!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Aw, nuts!

Sorry for the delay in posting! Things have been super busy here (I guess busy is the new normal) with preparations for comings and goings.

Meanwhile, our neighbors have installed a squirrel feeder. I know you're not supposed to feed wildlife, but these guys seem rather domesticated - and so far, it's keeping them from my strawberries.

Last year, they literally took one bite out of each berry like fucking Goldilocks. They'd rather have nuts anyway, right?

So before I embarked on the distribution of nuts yesterday, Mr. RK set up his "squirrel cam" and made this video. (Watch with the sound on. You'll be glad you did.) We wanted to have the theme music be, "I Want it All, and I Want it Now," by Queen, but they aren't licensing their songs on You Tube yet.

And speaking of back yards (or patios), I've been inspired to get some rainbow tea lights.  To make my yard relentlessly gay.

Seriously, does anyone else wish they had that much time on their hands? I LOVE this (straight) woman's response. You go, rainbow girl! I wonder what her idiot neighbors would think about Rainbow Brite.



Monday, June 08, 2015

An open letter to the fluffy killers in my house

SURE, you two look innocent enough.
But I will never look at either of you the same way again.
Yes, I grew up in the suburbs, a fact which is now painfully obvious to you, Mr. RK, and my friends. I have never, in fact, seriously thought you might eat something that didn't come from a can. Perhaps you'd give it a small chase, then get bored, like you do with your tiny soccer balls? Maybe you'd run away?

And yet somehow, a poor field mouse (make that ex-field mouse) somehow ran into the house last week, and you two ate it like a fucking hot pocket.

At least that's what I'm told. God bless Mr. RK for getting home first and cleaning up all evidence of your nasty snack.
I get that there is a food chain. I get that nature is a cruel place. But seriously, why did this poor little thing have to run in and meet its doom with you? I am so disillusioned. Here I am thinking you love us, and the fact is that if we croaked, you'd probably say, "YUM! Fresh meat!"

Now I have no illusions when you sit and flick your tail at a squirrel or a blue Jay on the other side of the sliding glass door.

I've been obsessing about this the past few days, wondering WHICH ONE OF YOU was the killer. Or maybe you both were?

PS You know what else bothers me? YOU ATE THE WHOLE THING. Not that I want to eat a fucking mouse, or find a dead mouse in my living room, but still. Other cats are selfless and bring the entire mouse for their masters, but clearly, you two have no such consideration. All you left were the...well, never mind. Let's just say I owe Mr. RK a big favor.

Yours truly,

A vegetarian. A BIG one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How about no?

Ever get crap complaints and then the hero complainer offers to fly in and fix them? I would like to tell all of these potential Mr. and Ms. Fix-its to fuck off. Don't call us, we'll call you.
An email I received today at work started out like this:



Hello,

Do you plan on updating your website anytime soon? I love your organization and all that it has done for me in the past (and for others), but your website should be updated to reflect current standards. Unfortunately, your site is not accessible to people with vision, learning, cognitive and other impairments that may make it hard to navigate your site.


Mind you - I have a sibling who is visually impaired and I know you can adjust font size. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I'm just curious - what are "current standards," (is this a test?) and how exactly do you implement them? Guess what - it's also not friendly for tech un-savvy people. Probably also for people who can't read.
It continues:



Do you have a dedicated staff member who runs the website? If not, do you have a volunteer? I would love to help with this. I would also be happy to simply give you some recommendations.


And a passion for being a pain in the ass, apparently.

Tip for the uninitiated: we're probably not going to reply to your email with one that says, "Why, yes! You negative complainer, you, I'd freaking love to take advantage of your offers to help. You're probably more fun in the flesh even than over email! When would you like to stop by?"

How about no? Is that a good answer for you?

I think there should be a time limit on the amount we have to spend dealing with those who aren't the brightest crayons in the box. Take this email I got from a student:

I would like to finish my internship with your organization. Attached is my resume.

Um. How about some details? Such as availability? Why you want to work here? Did you just copy and paste to every organization that came up with a "mental health" search online? And...why didn't you finish the last one?

And my answer will probably be...wait for it...how about no? I need a shirt with those words on it. Or maybe I'll tattoo them on my forehead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Staggering genius

You know I love my job and more importantly, the cause we work for.

You know what I love even more? You fellow blogging buddies, because you will read my rants when it gets near event time! The event is Sunday. I am getting bombarded by stupid until then.

Once again, I could not, would not make this stuff up. In fact, I could probably inspire a whole study about the human brain (or lack thereof, in some folks) just based on calls and emails from today. But here you go:

Caller: "We're from out of town - Salem. Where do we park?"
What I wanted to say: "Well, in the glow-in-the-dark spots, obviously."
What my friend texted: "In the witch spots, obviously. Wait - wrong Salem!"
I sent out the FAQ to our entire email list today - everyone who participated in the event last year and signed up this year. My friend, who is on the email list, emailed in response, "Hey, RK! How about I ask you questions you've already answered here, instead of reading the email? Just kidding!"

And lo and behold, not 15 minutes later, that's what someone did.

First she called our office. Then she called a county chapter's executive director. Then she emailed me. All of the questions had been answered verbatim in the email she said she read before calling and emailing.

Example: "The FAQ says team captains can turn in money for the entire team. So if one of my team members gives me money, and I'm the captain, I can turn it in for her?"

No, sunshine, you should eat it. 
Before you think I'm an uber bitch, please keep in mind that 1. I have no assistant, 2. this event has 4,000 people, and 3. I've already sent out all of the information, as well as posted it in multiple places, that people are asking about.

But the one that actually made me laugh was sent last night. And it started with, "Good morning..."

This person said she had emailed people asking for donations during registration but forgot who she emailed. Could I let her know?

Not being a clairvoyant, not so much.

I said I had no way of tracking this, suggesting she add a line in her email apologizing if people got it twice.

She wrote back asking the same question.

I had to sit on my hands to resist the urge to type, "I'm still not psychic, but I may become so if you ask one more time, nicely."

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Sh*t I don't understand

Tell me if you do. Once again, I would not, could not make this stuff up.

- Driving down the street with sloppy, handwritten signs decrying a political party and saying "the worst cities and states" are run by them. What exactly is the driver hoping for? That passing vehicles will suddenly jump up and say, "Why, YES, my good man! You must be right! Let me go change my voter registration RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, and let's all move to a state run by your guys!"
- Someone who thinks that 10 days before an event with 4,000 people - which I am in charge of - I  have time for her to come to my office and SIT AND WALK HER THROUGH THE EVENT WEBSITE, step by step. And show her how it works. Because she signed up online, and she's not very good with computers. (Her words, not mine.)
- Someone whining to me that she was doing "the work of three people!" When I inquired what that entailed, it was three kinds of work. So the rest of us are all doing the jobs of about 27 people, methinks.

- Another genius calling me last week and insisting that we should move this event (the location of which is printed on posters, brochures, etc., and scheduled with vendors and volunteers) right into downtown. "Because," she said, "Lots of groups get permits at the last minute and do that." Yeah - protesters!

I simplified my reply: "There's no parking downtown."

Caller: "Oh! Okay."

Since that worked so well, perhaps it should be my answer to everything from now on! It might work. It's Portlandia, after all.

Monday, April 27, 2015

I'm in charge

At least, my buddy Charles at Razored Zen said so. So it must be true.
I just liked typing that as a post title, and it was also more G-rated than "an afternoon of cocks," which is the title that was zipping through my head. Let me explain.

My friend L and I went to the Chinese Garden in Portland last Saturday because I had passes to get in free. It's a rather beautiful place tucked into a rather sad neighborhood - lots of people sleeping on streets. Since it was an unexpectedly nice day (read: it did not rain for a couple of hours), we walked a couple of miles from her house and strolled through some neighborhoods I had only driven through before.

Note to self: do this more often. This is what you do when you're on vacation out of town - exploring neighborhoods and people watching, finding new cafes.

Anyhow, along the way we found an art gallery called "Cock Gallery." It was moving (the owner said he was moving to an "art monastery" - I've never heard of one, so if anyone else has, please enlighten me) and thus there was a moving sale. By the time we had arrived most of the art was gone (and I'm really sorry to have missed it, given the gallery's name), but there were housewares and other odds and ends for sale.
Me: "Check this out. Cock Gallery!"
L (nonplussed): "Oh, okay."

She bought a few non-naughty kitchen items, and as we were walking out, she said, "I almost bought that glittery purse for my daughter."

Me: "Um, that glittery purse was an S&M bondage mask."
L (pausing): "OH! COCK GALLERY! Now I get it!!!"

Yes, really.

I have a picture to prove it, so there.

Then on the way back from the Chinese Garden, we stopped and had a late lunch at this restaurant. In Italian, it means the Black Rooster.

So naturally, since we are really both in the fourth grade, we laughed and laughed about having an afternoon full of cocks.