Pokemon Go is making it weird.

So, Pokemon Go just sent out an update that lets your trainer appraise your pokemons (Pokemen?  Pokemi?) and that seems nice, except that I rename all of my creatures so this happened:

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Umm…thank you?

 

I will do anything. But I won’t do that.

Earlier this year there was an internet  thing where you ask google to auto-predict what you need and what you have, and it did not work out well for me:

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THANKS, GOOGLE.

But I decided to give it another chance because there’s a new thing where people are googling their name and the word “likes” to see what Google thinks you like and I thought that might give me something less unsettling.

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Ah.  So, never mind then.

Fox and cat are friends. ALLEGEDLY.

So Victor emailed me this picture:

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…And I was like, “Jesus, that fox ate a shitload of cats.  WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SEND THAT TO ME, VICTOR?” and Victor was like, “What?  WHY WOULD YOU AUTOMATICALLY THINK THAT?  It’s the same cat in every picture.  They’re friends.  What is wrong with you?

But then I was even more mad because I’d been feeling all self-righteous because I’m not the jerk sending his wife multiple pictures of the moments before a family of cats were massacred and now I’m the asshole.  Apparently.

Although technically it’s not on video so you can’t prove that this fox isn’t having an all-you-can-eat cat buffet.  Just saying.

PS.  Fuck.  Apparently there is a video.  So I am the asshole.  But still, maybe the fox is just playing with the cat before eating it.  Because guess who else plays with their food before eating it?  CATS.  Maybe this cat killed a mouse who was the foxes best friend and now the fox is like, “You killed Jo-Jo?  Oh yeah, fucker?  NOW THIS IS HAPPENING.”  I mean, it’s unlikely but it’s also unlikely that a fox is best friends with a cat so at this point all bets are off.  Victor says this doesn’t prove that I’m not an asshole because now I’m just going through scenarios trying to prove that a bunch of cats have been murdered in some sort of foxen revenge vendetta.  That doesn’t make me an asshole, Victor.  It makes me a realist.  I blame all of this on my pessimism when it comes to foxen.  That’s the real asshole here.

PPS. One ox, two oxen.  One fox, two foxen.  Foxen is a real world.  Stop questioning me, spellcheck.

 

Tell me again how technology ruins everything.

I can’t remember how long I’ve known Laura.  Probably close to 10 years now.  We met through our blogs and the first time we had lunch in person we stayed at the cafe so long we were still there at dinner.  This was when blogging was still somewhat new and most people would ask “What’s a glob?  Like a diary?  But…why?” and neither of us could really explain except to say that it was a nice way to document the weird thoughts and moments of our lives.  Her son, (Hurricane Harry) and Hailey were both only children, kids of bloggers and the same age so they’ve been friends as long as they can remember.

This is a game called "I'm balancing dirty rocks on my head". It was a favorite of theirs.

This is a game called “I’m balancing dirty rocks on my head”. It was a favorite of theirs.

They’ve shared holidays, vacations, and the hassle of mothers who have had to defend their decision to be bloggers over and over.

Neither of then threw up. It was a very successful day.

Neither of them threw up. It was a very successful day.

It’s not as unusual now but I remember a time when people thought that blogging about your kids would mess them up psychologically, or get them kidnapped, or that it was oversharing or – more often – that the technology that goes into blogging removes you from life so you can’t live the very thing you’re documenting.  And honestly, I can see those points.  I’ve seen others fall down those rabbit holes in terrible ways, but I’m lucky to have blogging friends who’ve always had my back to help me decide what should or shouldn’t be shared, and those are friends I never would have found without blogging.  My job, my life, my community, you guys, my best friends…all came from blogging.  And Hailey’s best friends are all the children of bloggers.  Maybe because of luck, or happenstance, or maybe because they’ve all grown up in the same strange world.

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Harry and Hailey were just a few years old when they became friends.

Tomorrow both of them start middle school and we spent this weekend running around parks and feeding ducks and playing Pokemon as they sniped gyms from each other and shared tips on how to throw curveballs and laughed at private jokes that were probably about Laura and me.  And as I looked at this photo of Hailey and Harry using technology to further bond and to laugh it reminded me of how it all started.

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So perhaps, in this small case study at least, technology isn’t so bad after all.

(Until they want to start their own blogs, of course.  Then we’ll have to lock to them in their closets with no internet.)

 

That’s how you get an infection.

Last week I saw a bunch of birds building a nest inside the sign of the liquor store, and the birds were so bad at building their nest that things were falling out of it and hitting passersby so I went in and told the cashier, “Hey, there’s a bunch of shit in your P hole,” because there totally was.

I know it's hard to see, but I assure you, that P hole is filled with birds.

I know it’s hard to see, but I assure you, that P hole is filled with birds.

And she just kind of stared at me and so I clarified and said, “I mean, not actual shit.  Birds.  There are a bunch of birds in your P hole.”  Then Victor was like, “Jesus, Jenny.  Phrasing” and I then realized how that sounded so I was like, “Oh.  Sorry!  Not YOUR P hole.  I’m sure your P hole is fine.  I mean the store’s P hole.  Shit’s falling out of it and someone’s going to get hurt.”  And she still just stared at me and I tried to explain that I was talking about the inside of the P hole on the sign outside but she still didn’t get it so I decided to just leave and that’s why we can’t go back to that liquor store anymore.

PS.  Yesterday I saw this on the side of a building:

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…and I was like, “Somebody should tell them that they’ve got a bunch of shit in their A holes” but Victor wouldn’t let me go inside to tell them because apparently he hates America or something.

Leaving magic behind. Or litter. Depends on who is looking, really.

If you’ve read here before you may know that I often leave handmade, tiny ferris wheels or miniature houses on sidewalks or in trees for kids to find, like a lazy Boo Radley.  Yesterday Hailey and I took this to a new level when we decided to make a small fairy room in the park nearby.  The park is filled with trees and it always seems a bit magical so finding fairies there wouldn’t be out of the question:

Hailey, listening for fairies. Also, playing Pokemon Go. We're mult-taskers.

Hailey, listening for fairies. Also, playing Pokemon Go. We’re multi-taskers.

I pulled out a chair from my dollhouse and a tiny book that I’d made and we came up with this:

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A closer look.

A closer look.

And it went well aside from one guy who came up on us and was like, “ARE YOU TOUCHING BIRDS?” which is a weird thing to say because WHY WOULD WE TOUCH BIRDS?  WHAT SORT OF WILD BIRDS LET YOU TOUCH THEM?  And also WHY ARE WE YELLING?  So we told him that, no, we were not touching birds (because that would be weird and this isn’t a disney cartoon).  We were creating a reading nook for tired fairies who needed to chill.  And he seemed confused (and maybe disappointed?) and left.

The tree is on the backside of a hiking trail and not very easy to spot but I assumed it would be gone (or smashed to the ground by angry squirrels) by today but this morning we hiked into the woods and instead we found that others had added to it.

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The thing on the left is a seed pod, I think?

And it reminded me of the magic of small things, and of hope and silliness, and made me feel a bit brighter so I thought I’d share it with you.

PS.  Don’t touch birds.  I don’t even know why I’m having to clarify this but if you  can touch a bird that’s a pretty good indicator that the bird is very sick and doesn’t want you poking at it.  Except once my uncle found a talking bird that followed him around the backyard while he was mowing and turns out it was someone’s pet parrot who needed help.  So I guess it’s okay to touch birds if they can specifically ask you for it.  Or if the bird is being a real asshole is attacking your dog.  Then you can hit it with a shovel.  That’s why I carry a shovel when I walk Dorothy Barker because suddenly there are birds of prey all over my neighborhood and my dog isn’t your snack, birds.  I mean, I super love birds but I will take a motherfucker down if they fuck with my puppy.  That’s just how I roll, birds.

PPS.  Sorry.  Got off on a tangent there.  Stop thinking about birds eating dogs.  Go back to the happy, whimsical fairy thoughts.  Much better.  Sorry.  Those birds are assholes.

PPS. A few people were asking how to make the tiny books so I made a tiny tutorial here.

Take the rest of the day off.

I am supposed to be working right now, but I’m not because FUCK WORK.  Work is hard and I will not remember the hours I would have spent doing laundry and answering emails so instead I am at the park with Hailey, where we are saying, “Fuck off, gravity.”  Well, I’m saying it.  She’s 11 so she’s just saying “THIS IS AWESOME.  LET’S PLAY EVERY DAY.”

And we can’t, because life doesn’t work that way.  But today, for a few hours, it does.  And it’s lovely.  And it’s worth doing.

So instead of writing a real post I’m spending this time catching pokemon (I CAUGHT A SNORLAX) and singing with my kid and we’re about to go home and watch (moderately) scary movies and then read.  And I’ll be behind on work, but ahead of the game on the things that count.

If you’re reading this I give you full permission to have a fun day with no guilt.  What would you be doing if you could do anything?  Do that thing.  Start a game of tag in your office, make a bonfire of all the emails you’re not going to answer, watch a movie, explore your city, stick googly eyes on random things in your house so that they are like small pets you don’t have to feed.  Whatever makes you happy.

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Have fun, y’all.

It’s later than you think.

Sometimes tattered and worn = loved

I use my books.  It drives Victor insane.  He’s the person who will scream “YOU MONSTER!” at a complete stranger if he hears the sound of a spine breaking, and most of his best comics are permanently sealed in hard plastic slabs, mostly to protect them from me probably.

I live on the other side of the extreme.  My books are all broken backs and finger smudges and dog-ears.  You can find the best parts of my most beloved books by just letting the book fall open naturally, because it will automatically open to the places it’s been read over and over.

One of my favorite things to do is buy old books from estate sales…those books that have been well-loved by people who have passed.  I flip through and look for the ones with creases and notes written in the edges and signs of a life well lived.  Victor doesn’t understand it, but reading those found books is like reading with  ghosts, ones who eagerly point out their favorite passages or share their thoughts or questions in the margins.

It sounds wrong, but you can tell that I really love a book if I damage it thoroughly.  I destroy it with my love. I shove it in pockets and carry it in purses and suitcases.  I drip bathwater on the edges and get pollen stuck in the pages.  I underline passages that remind me I’m not alone, and tuck receipts and slips of paper into places I need to reread.  It is my opinion that a treasured book should not be kept in a box or wrapper. It should be used.  And battered.  And loved…just as much as the owner is, as they carry that book through their life. As they drag it through the rough spots. And as it drags them through the rougher spots.  Whenever I finish writing a book I always hope to myself that this is the kind of book I hope I have written.

Recently someone asked me to autograph their copy of Furiously Happy and they were embarrassed to show me the shape it was in, but it made me so incredibly happy. I asked if I could take a picture of it, and I keep that picture with me to remind me that in some ways I’ve succeeded.

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Today is #NationalBookLoversDay and so I’d love it if you would share a few books you love so much that they’re like a part of you.

I’ll go first.  Ray Bradbury’s From the Dust Returned.  Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.  Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.

Your turn.

PS. My next book (You Are Here) is literally made to be written in, tacked to walls, shared and used.  Victor is shuddering already.  Leave a comment if you want one and I’ll randomly choose a few people to get free copies once they come out.

One of those nights.

I’m having one of those nights where – against all logic – I find myself feeling small.  Not a good small, like “Aren’t you adorable? I want to put you in my pocket” but that insignificant, unimportant sort of small.  The kind that makes you feel like you’re just dust that could spin out into space, or that the night is so dark that you’ll never be found or remembered.  The kind that makes every personal failing magnified to the point it’s physically painful.  I don’t know where these nights come from but I suspect they come to us all…making us doubt that we exist, that we matter, that we will ever get our shit together.

Maybe some people don’t have nights like these.  Maybe I just say to myself that it’s normal because if it’s not then that niggling sense of failure and fear that floods over me is based on reality.  I know it’s not.  Logically, I know it, but logic doesn’t work well on nights like this.  I go through my mind and count the facts and try to discount the fear and panic.  I fail.  I am small.  But I also succeed sometimes too.  I am important.  I am insignificant.  I am a speck of dust.  I am necessary.  They’re all true.

But on nights like these I push back in the dark and tell myself that tomorrow the sun will shine and this night will be past.  I will have beaten the darkness that seeps into my heart when things shift and rifts appear.  I will have beaten it simply by existing long enough to find the sun again.

I am small.  But if that’s true then so, too, are my fears and doubts.    They seem so large, but they live in me so they can’t be bigger than I am.  I will win.  By sheer volume.  And I’ll keep repeating that to myself until I finally believe it, or until the morning comes.  Whichever comes first.

That’s how it’s done, bitches. Apparently.

Hunter S. Thomcat does this thing where he sits next to me in my office and stretches out his arms wildly until someone holds his hand.  You might think he’s just stretching but he won’t stop or open his eyes until he reaches someone and if you aren’t paying attention he’ll also meow.  It’s weird as hell but last night I think I finally figured out what was going on:marco polo

Laziest. Cat. Ever.

PS. Today we’re going to pick Hailey up from rodeo summer camp.  She’s been gone almost two weeks and I’m basically living for the photos that show up on the camp website that prove to me she’s still alive.  In the latest pictures she was just wearing a sheet and I was like, “Fuck.  She’s run out of clean clothes and she’s just wearing her bed now” but turns out they were having a late-night toga party in the cow barn.  Which is almost as unsettling as running out of clean clothes.  Maybe more so.  I’m trying not to think about it.