Thanksgiving. It’s not always happy.

Today is Thanksgiving and it’s a time to be thankful but sometimes that’s a little hard because maybe you’re dealing with a big bunch of bullshit, or maybe you have to see relatives that you already know are sharpening their tongues, or maybe you’re depressed and you feel bad for not feeling ecstatically thankful for all the wonderful things you’ve been blessed with but the rest of the world is all “BE FUCKING THANKFUL!  BE PERFECT!  COOK AND TAKE A SHOWER AND OWN MORE THAN FOUR PAIRS OF MATCHING PLATES, YOU HEATHEN.”  And then you feel rebelliously ungrateful out of pure spite and then you get mad because FUCK, THEY’RE WINNING IF WE’RE UNHAPPY (they = assholes) so then you realize you’re fucked either way.

But you’re not.

Because today is just a day.  And maybe you are lucky enough to spend it with a houseful of people you adore and everything is perfect and you love to cook and your brain chemistry is lovely and you don’t have to pretend to be sick to avoid a terrible relative or lock yourself in a bathroom to keep yourself from strangling a bitter great-aunt and if this is you then, you know what?  I’m happy for you.  I’m grateful you exist because that means there’s hope for the rest of us.  And anyway, who says today is the day you have to be thankful.  I’m cheerfully thankful for my life and blessings on uncomplicated non-Thanksgiving days all the time and I never get credit for that so technically I just celebrate Thanksgiving early and often and on days when my brain works correctly and there is no pressure and I can just be with the family I love and not feel weirdly guilty about bullshit I can’t control.

If this doesn’t make sense you should consider yourself grateful (pun totally intended) because that means that you are either very lucky and should enjoy this day to the max, or it just means you’re not crazy enough to understand.  Either way, things are working out for you.

And for the rest of us?

Baby steps.  What one small thing that you sometimes take for granted are you thankful for?

Me first.  I’m thankful that kittens and sloths exist.  I’m thankful that you are here.  I’m thankful that my daughter was happy with the fact that I can’t cook to save my life, but I can help her sculpt turkeys.

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Technically those are three things but I’m also thankful that this is my post so I can break the rules and share as much as I want.  And you can too.

Just know that you are not alone.  Even if you are by yourself.  Even if you feel alone in a crowded room.  Even if you’re one of the weirdos who actually enjoys this day with no hesitations or grief or complications.  You are not alone.  You are with us.  And I’m so grateful for that.

One of us is not going to make it.

A few of you have asked me about this article about ABC making Let’s Pretend This Never Happened into a TV show and people are like, “Why aren’t you talking about this?  Is it a secret?” and it’s not a secret and has been in the works for years now but the truth is that most shows never actually end up getting made and honestly, I only agreed to do it because I think it’ll be fun to write about if it’s a success and probably even funnier to write about if it’s a weird failure.  My only concern now is that the article says that the pilot is about me going back home because of “a death in the family” so I had to call my mom yesterday and break the news that one of us is not going to make it and now we’re setting up a death pool to guess who it is.  My mom thinks it’s her but my guess is that it’s more likely me because I think it would be a really cool M. Night Shyamalan twist to murder your lead in the first episode.

But that is not my post.  It’s just a non-related preamble to my real post which is about books.  If you’ve been reading here this week you’ve seen that I’ve been fighting off a mild but stubborn bout of depression.  I’m fine but I’m utterly unfunny at the moment so I’ve spent this week resting, doing art projects with Hailey on the couch, and reading.  Lots and lots of reading.  And I’ve noticed that so often a book can save you in just the right way so I’ve gone back to some of my favorites…the books that I read over and over because they bring a strange comfort, or calming perspective, or are old friends I’ve missed and needed to see because I can visit them without the need to actually make conversation or wear pants.  I was looking though my lists of books that I loved so much that I sometimes I wish I could erase them from my head and present them to myself anew.  I found myself wondering how many other perfect books are out there that I haven’t found yet.  And how many I’ll never find.  And then I started to get depressed again so instead I decided that I would share a few of my comfort books and maybe it would inspire you to share some of yours and then we can all discover them together.

These aren’t necessarily the books that made my mind shift, or that taught me the most valuable lessons, or that were required reading to be human…these are Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.08.31 AMthe lovely guilty pleasures that somehow feel like home when I read them – and I realize this is going to be weird because a lot of these books are dark and fucked-up but sometimes dark and fucked-up can be a comfort, so stop judging me.

A few of my favorite comfort reads:

Anything by Mary Roach, but especially Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Gulp: Adventures in the Alimentary Canal.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story by John Berendt

Bloody Business: An Anecdotal History of Scotland Yard by H. P. Jeffers  (It’s out-of-print so check second-hand shops and indie book stores with connections.)

From the Dust Returned  and Bradbury Stories by Ray Bradbury

Everything by Shirley Jackson or Lucia Berlin

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn

As soon as I hit “publish” I’ll remember one hundred others I forgot, but that’s okay because I suspect you’ll remind me.

Your turn.

Awkwarding Altogether

The last few days have been weirdly dark but I’m starting to feel like I’m coming out of the hole.  Not quite enough to be funny but enough to shower and read with Hailey and even do a load of laundry.  Small victories, but important ones if you’ve ever been in this spot.  Luckily, the wonderfully awkwardly mortifying tweets have not stopped flooding in so instead of having to force the funny I can share the things that you’ve shared with me that made me laugh and feel human again.

And maybe you need that too, so I’m sharing the latest.  Part 5:

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The 14th argument I had with Victor this week.

14th Argument I Had With Victor This Week:

Me: Why is it you put detached teeth in milk, but you put detached penises on ice?

Victor: First of all, I don’t do either.  Secondly, what is wrong with you?

Me: I mean, if it happens you’re supposed to put ripped off penises on ice until they’re reattached but I always heard you put broken teeth in milk.  But why?

Victor: Maybe because teeth are made of calcium?

Me: And penises are made of ice?

Victor: You make my head hurt.

Me: Maybe it’s because everyone always has ice but people run out of milk all the time?  It’d suck to get your penis ripped off and then you go to the fridge and the milk jug is empty.

Victor: Yeah, that’s what would suck in this situation. The lack of milk.

Me: Or what if the milk expired tomorrow? Do you only have 24 hours to get your penis to the doctor?

Victor: Why would anyone put that off for 24 hours?

Me: Or maybe people use ice because it’s easier to find the penis.  I don’t want to have to feel around in a pitcher of milk to find a severed penis.

Victor: You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would.

Winner: Milk. It does a (severed) body (part) good. Apparently.

PS. This was not a sponsored post by milk.  Just in case you were wondering.

Mortification keeps us human. It’s like vitamins, but not.

Hey.  I’m back home and recuperating from the latest leg of the FURIOUSLY HAPPY Book Tour but everything on the news is dark and freaking me out so I’ve been reading the medicinally mortifying tweets people continue to send me.  Every time I think there can’t be more I’m proven wrong and at least one in every four is something that makes me scream,OHMYGOD ME TOO!” so that makes it even better.  Or worse.  Sort of both, maybe.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

And now…part 4:

(Don’t read while eating/drinking/pretending to be normal.)

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If it’s Saturday this must be Portland.

Hey Portland!  You and me at Powell’s at 4pm.  Rumble.  Wait, no.  Not a rumble.  A reading.  And a book signing.  But if you want to rumble I guess we can have a fake slap fight.  I’m pretty flexible.


Next stop?  HOME!  Until December.  Then the final leg starts up.


You guys are wonderful.  Thank you for making this tour so amazing.

If it’s Friday this must be Seattle.

Seattle!  I’m here for you.  Literally.  So come hang out with me.  Or hide in a corner with me.  I’ll probably do both.  Whatever.  I’m at Lake Forest Park’s Third Place Books at 6p.

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Tomorrow?  Portland!

See the full tour here.

If it’s Wednesday this must be Denver.

Hey Denver, let’s get together tonight.  Nothing sexual.  We’re just friends.  But whatever happens in book-signing line stays in the book-signing line, so no judgement.  Anyway, I’m at Tattered Cover at 7p.    Come.


Next stop?  Seattle!

Full tour info here:


Awkwarding is what brings us all together.

Have you been following the amazing awkward tweets that people have been sharing with me lately to make me feel less filled with shame about my own mortifying moments?  Because you need to.  Mostly because you’ve probably done at least half of the things here and you will probably do the other half eventually.  And then you’ll laugh in recognition instead of feeling cringey awkwardness.  Or, more accurately, you’ll laugh while feeling cringey awkwardness.  Still, the laughter is the important part.  Part 1 is here.  Part 2 is here.  And a few of my most recent favorites are here.  DO NOT READ WHILE DRINKING.

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If it’s Friday this must be Wichita.

We’re not in Kansas anymo-wait.  No.  We are in Kansas.  Wichita, specifically.  It’s the last day of leg three of the Furiously Happy Tour and you should come.


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Next stop?  Home!  But just for two days.  Then?  Denver.  Come with us.

Check out the rest of the tour here.