J is for Jerk

J is for Jerk: All I need is this pigeon, Nevada nuke farm and inbred cat… that’s all I need….

Just back from another weekend in X—— Nevada at my friend’s ranch. Lots of hard work. Neither rain, snow, raging winds, sunburn, gourmet food and cheap-ass booze  shall keep us from our appointed rounds.  All within 48 hours.

Sagebrush clearing, last year’s Burn camp trash destruction, garbage sorting, bicycle repair and/or trash pile fixin,’ burn barrels, dog and horse crap clean-up plus the small town amusement of breakfast at The Eagles Lodge with the octogenarians on the third Sunday of every month.

All you can eat.
Not all you want to eat.
All you can eat.
And it ain’t much. The little old ladies are cool though.

Just got home. Have not checked the (surely) new 200+ emails yet. Opened the door and first thing I see is  sheet music all over the floor. It had been on the piano top prior to leaving Friday.

If you are a musician you know what Cakewalk is. Great software! If you have crap notation skills on manuscript paper, dig buying $150.00 worth of extra equipment to use your ancient MIDI keyboards (love my D-10) to computer interface (answer to everything new according to the 1980’s… you Jerk), write string and brass parts, print out your tunes, create full orchestration, change said ENTIRE orchestration into another key without doing so manually you know what Cakewalk is.

Best part: Cakewalk is now owned by Roland –my old employer. Hence the D-10 I use along with my trusty old Yamaha DX-7, to compose with. Play the grand piano for recreation, love, singing and feeling/finding new tunes.  The workhorse synths are to create orchestration and play gigs. Too many keyboards!
D’OH. Sorry J’OH.

Wait. Digressing. Again –sigh-

So I walk into the house with the luggage, see my newly printed sheet music everywhere except on the piano- the Cake Walk Connection- and begin yelling at Lizzie Borden. Obviously the hairball had been on the piano.

If you’re a regular reader you know that Lizzie is dumb as a box of a hair taped shut… but gorgeous and sweet. Damned Persian rescue kitty.

Suddenly, and I DO mean suddenly, as I’m swearing at Liz a F*CKING FLYING RAT comes at me.
Second time in three months.

Pigeon had gotten in though the fireplace. Same as last time I had JUST cleaned, swept, vacuumed, taken care of the fireplace area prior to anything such as this happening.

Winged rat pissed me off instead of scaring me this time.
Good thing is that I keep the rooms pretty much closed off –to keep the heating bills down- and the bastard had not flown outside the living room.

Being a musician my first thought –and scream- was ‘DID YOU B*STARD S**T ON MY PIANO?!

Lizzie Borden –feline detective and killer of nothing- was in the corner. Ignoring the damned pigeon.

Pro-Tip: Need a mouser or varmint killer? Stay AWAY from pure breeds.

In reality had a great weekend working and the f**king rat with wings in the living room was not so bad after thorns, blisters on my hands, sagebrush, black widows (no not me. this time), scorpions and vermin. Raised my (w)bitches broom to shoo it out right away.

I just have to re-orchestrate Mad World and print it out. Deleted like a Jerk prior to leaving for the weekend.

~Some Radioactive Rachael in Reno

My Cat Lizzie Borden may be Bi-Polar

Lizzoe Borden and Phil Spector

Lizzie Borden comparing Hair styles with Phil

Oh certainly we all anthropomorphize our pets, but diagnosing them with our human mental illnesses? This takes a seriously neurotic pet owner.

With the exception of the crazy cat lady (or man – this IS the 2000′s)  a person doesn’t usually consider the mental health status of Fido or Fluffy.

Pets are family. Family that can on occasion smell rather badly, roll around in feces, bring  home dead rodents to share  as a snack and puke unidentifiable chunks on your best carpet. Or, if it’s already been a particularly hideous day for you, perhaps hurl into your slipper. Although, I dare any of you to find a human family member that has not done the same things. We just don’t over-analyze the mental status of  said family member. Normally we just wonder ‘What the in the hell were they drinking? And how did they make it back to their own home?”

Okay, getting to the point. Really.

Tell a vet that your pet is, let’s say, listless.  The vet will usually find a physical reason. Luckily for my family our vets have been about 95.5% correct or at least close enough to get a an identifiable diagnosis. Sometimes it’s been sad, but it’s usually been correct. The usual diagnosis with a new pet?
“That will be $100.00 Mrs.Badcrumble”.

Now suppose you have a new vet and you take in your newly acquired  ‘rescue’ cat. The rescue employee  (in my case a pushy customer who ran a Persian Rescue) has told you that said feline has been spayed, is declawed and is 8 years old. Perfect! I wanted a rescue animal. A cat with little chance of adoption, of finding a person to love it (in this case because the cat was middle-aged and not a kitten). I knew just how kitty felt.

You ‘meet’ the available kitty and she it is not only adorable but loves to be held and purrs incessantly. Your cold black heart melts and home she goes. The next day you make an appointment with a veterinarian. After the initial examination, by your new vet, you are informed that everything you’ve been told about this animal is false. Except that it is, in fact, a cat.

And very sick with the typical upper respiratory illness that strays seem to ALL have. You have the feline leukemia test done, get the vaccinations, purchase the medications, medicate the cat -and we all know how much fun pilling an animal is!-  then hope the pathetic fuzzball doesn’t croak.
In fact the vet recommended putting the cat down as I’m not yet attached to it and the little beastie is so ill.
And by the way, this is why the cat didn’t mind being held, was totally mellow and was continually purring. She was about to fucking die. Guess deciding against Med School wasn’t such a bad idea.
Anyway, me, being a moron, said no to the doc’s suggestion of the Kevorkian route.
“That will be $350.00 Mrs. Badcrumble.”

A few years go by and Lizzie Borden had been perfectly healthy. My daughter had named her when she was 11. The daughter not the cat. The cat was actually about a year old. Certainly not 8.
But on occasion Lizzie exhibited signs of howling, blindly running about the house, jumping over furniture and meowing CONSTANTLY in the open window. This is just bizarre – especially since it’s a breed well-known for complete disinterest in anything. Except shedding and laying on your lap. Oh, and horking up hairballs.

Lizzie is a Tortie Persian.
Since I’d been told that Lizzie was not spayed I just figured that during these times she was in heat. She was an indoor cat so a litter of kittens was unlikely, I was on disability by this point (read: dirt poor), and had put off the spaying.

The years go by, she has her check-ups and shots every year, each time:
“That will be $100.00 Mrs.Badcrumble.”

Finally we move to a place with a large backyard but French Doors leading outside. No screen to keep the cat in. So I get some cash together and decide to have her spayed so she can go outside and do Persian cat things. Like stare at birdies. And shed.
She’s too inbred to hunt or even leap. She climbs up the side of the couch to have a seat. Seriously, she’s not all that bright. She is sweet though, purrs 24/7 (at least THAT stayed the same when the whole death diagnosis had cleared up) and digs me. And other people. Except kids.
Maybe she’s not that gorked.

So I take her to the vet to renew all of her shots, plus some new ones, and have her spayed.
Uhhhhm,ah, er…a second time. Yep. She actually had been spayed previously.
“That will be $100.00 Mrs.Badcrumble…you idiot.”

Oh wait! THIS is the point:
Naturally the seemingly bizarre behavior continued at odd intervals. Which got me thinking…

Our animal friends get cancer, urinary tract infections, osteoporosis, and a variety of every other known disease known to humankind. Then why the hell not mental illness?!

I’ve opened the handy DSM here by the bed and have diagnosed Lizzie Borden….
Lizzie Borden the Cat is a….. Rapid Cycling Bi-polar !

Hell, think of the money I’ve saved on veterinary or medical school and instead simply those spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on my own psychiatrists. And the old DSM my dad left to me.

She purrs virtually 24/7 (even in her sleep) disappears for long lengths at a time when she dreams of biting children (who doesn’t?), and barely eats. Lucky bitch. If she’d use her opposable dew claws for painting the house instead of cheating at poker a lot more would get done around here when she cycles.

My personal diagnosis (me not the cat) is Bi-Polar with Dysphoric Mania. A cross I bare stoically with proper medication…and G&Ts. I won’t paint the fucking house either. Wrong mania.

Gonna keep her away from my meds but damn, I would change places in a heart-beat.

What I’d give to run around the house howling, naked, losing weight by not eating and swatting at children with my claws out. All with the windows open!
Legally I mean.

~Miss R

-I’d like to thank Fishrobber for the inspiration on this one-

-I’d like to hit myself hit myself over the head with a pointy object for creating the crappy Lizzie/Phil Photoshop pic-


First off where the hell is my music stand?
Do you have it? Are you hiding it from me? You swine.
It attaches to the back of the DX-7 and holds sheet music, or manuscript paper, or anything book-like for that matter.
I know it was in the last house but damned if I can find it now when it would be helpful.

Secondly I have become re-enamored of the dumbass lolcats. I Can Haz Cheezburger indeed.
I ignored this site for over a year and now I’m amused again.
Must be a medication adjustment problem.
Please kill me.

So today I’m a spaz-fest with copies of my lyrics and a sheet of manuscript paper (with the melody) lying ON the keyboards. Hell on the keys actually.
Playing two synths, singing and attempting to read both sheets at one time by simultaneously peeking around/below/above the mic has given my shoulders and neck a permanent crick.
We are not amused.

So I’m really seriously swear-to-goddess working hard on three of my originals right now. Have decided that playing live again is imperative. It’s given me a purpose. Not a porpoise though because that would be too tasty and outside the current budget.

You’d think it would be easy to remember a melody and lyrics that you had written yourself. As opposed to memorizing another person’s music.
But noooooooooo.
What the hell is up with that?

Well time to consider dinner.
Thanks to the government food stamps I have a choice of the extra sharp cheddar cheese and Carr’s crackers, apples, fresh shrimp, rich creamy potato leek soup or…. cereal!
Gluten-free ‘ya know.

I’m pretty sure that the people at social services were intending me to have Chef Boyardee tonight but fuck ’em if they can’t take an eccentric.

It’s Friday Night babe so let’s boogie down to the stereo at maximum volume, then some HBO and a game of poker with everyone’s favorite cheatin’-opposable-thumbed-feline Lizzie Borden.

Play on.

~Miss R

Currently listening:
The Nightfly
By: Donald Fagen
Release date: 25 October, 1990

Where in the World Is Rachael Reno?

Oh god it’s nice to be home.
I was in the hospital all week.
It was a horror show of extraordinary magnitude.

There were 20 phone messages and at least 100 emails when I walked in the door. First thing I did upon returning home was get ahold of James after seeing his IM message. Of course I’d left the computer on in my absence.

You see no one knew I was admitted, because it wasn’t a planned thing. Not my parents not my friends, no one. I had only planned to visit the clinic to apply for low-income health care and meds. Thought I’d be home in 5 to 6 hours. Max.

Lizzie Borden had only enough food and water for that day when I left. Thank Goddess that James (that’s Gonzo to you) noticed I had not been online. He came by and fed Liz while I was gone. Then he called some hospitals but still didn’t locate me. Says he was ready to make a Missing Persons Report.
I love you James. You’re a doll and a good friend. Lizzie says Meow.

All I will say is that my blood pressure is now down from 168/140 to 114/84 and the headaches are gone. Here I always joke about ‘stroking out’.
Had some other issues that caused me to be admitted but that’s not for public dissemination.

It’s Saturday night. Gonna watch some Forensic TV and maybe a movie with Lizzie. Hooyaa I get 5 more ‘science channels’ and all the movie channels with the ‘limited time only’ special package on Direct TV. Gonna enjoy my cocktails (the traditional Miss R Cocktail: Club Soda and Bitters) and make a grilled cheese.
Extra Sharp White Cheddar on sourdough if you please.

I’m pretty fucking sure that prisoners get better food than hospital patients.

Do I feel better?
Not really. I’m still lonely as hell and sad.
Am I happy to be home?
Is this the worst Halloween ever?
Pretty sure of it.
Will I stay in Reno?
I sincerely doubt it now.
This place is killing me.
On myriad levels.

Have a spiffy week and don’t eat the Jell-O!

~Miss “I Could’a Been on a Milk Carton” R

Garcon! A piece of your freshest doggerel my good man

My feet are icy and cold anymore
It’s because I no longer dance
This must be the reason
Laughter still comes easily but
No longer each hour
I’ll still laugh at myself
And at you
Endless nights home alone
Well not if you count Lizzie Borden
Or Court TV
The thoughts in this mercurial mind are vivid
My memory eidetic for things I wish would fade
What am I still doing here
In Fucking Reno
On a Friday Night


It’s a sad sad commentary that I had the time to PhotoShop Lizzie Borden in to Phil Spector’s nest.

Gah I might need a life after all.