My house is possibly on fire.

Apparently our water company is “smoke testing sewer lines” in my neighborhood, and so we were told that we shouldn’t panic if we see smoke coming from our house because they’re “just testing for holes”.  I assume they mean unintentional holes in the pipes, because pipes technically are holes.  That’s how pipes work.  But now I’m worried that if there is a real fire in my house I’ll dismiss it until it’s too late because I’ll be too embarrassed to call the fire department in case the smoke is really just “I have too many unintentional toilet holes”.

Also, I just accidentally drank out of the glass I used to wash the dog this morning and now I don’t know if I should call poison control.

So that’s how my day is going.  You?

 

#NationalSelfieDay

First off, thank you for yesterday.  Thank you for listening to me and for making me laugh and for making me feel less alone.

Secondly, today I’m having a rare bout of energy.  I showered and took Hailey to camp and facetimed with Victor (he’s traveling with his new job) and finished a few things only slightly behind deadline, and I can already tell that soon I’ll need to crawl back in bed to rest, but before that I saw that today is #nationalselfieday and although (as you can tell from my instagram) I’m not really a fan of selfies I decided that today I would make an exception and post the only sort of selfie that I think people really enjoy, which is a selfie that includes sloths or explosions or David Tennant or cats.  I am out of the first three so I made do with Photo Booth and grabbed all of my pets (except for Atticus Fish II and Monster Mash because fish fucking hate cameras and aquariums are sloshy) and did a series of shots at my desk.  And it made me laugh.  And bleed a little.  But that is the price of a good selfie.  Or at least one that includes 3 cats and a dog who made me legitimately smile and feel human.

selfies

Your turn.

Unless you don’t want to be in a selfie.  Then just photoshop your face over Hunter S. Tomcat’s and it’ll be like I’m giving you the biggest sqwunch ever.

If I was a dog I’d be dead by now.

Remember last week when I said I wasn’t sure if I’ve been dealing with a long-lasting depression or something else?  And I was waiting to go to the doctor because every time I go it ends with “You’re probably already dead.  Or you just need a nap.  Hard to tell.  Let’s do more tests.  Give us all your blood.”  But I decided to go ahead and get some blood-work at my rheumatologist’s office and then they called me to say that my results were weird and that I had “maybe lupus”.  It was a shitty phone call and I’ve been trying not to think about it because first off all, there’s no cure for lupus so I’m not even sure why it’s helpful to know that I might have it and secondly, “maybe lupus” is pretty close to “maybe not lupus” and I’ve had “maybe not lupus” most of my life and things have worked out so far.  The one good thing that came out of this is that my test results definitely showed that something was wrong with me and there is a terribly wonderful thing to have an affirmation that it’s not all in your head.  Except that it is all in my head because that’s where I feel the worst.  Catch-22.  Or maybe not.  Part of this is that my head isn’t working correctly even with my ADD drugs so maybe it’s Catch-21?  I’m not good at math.

But what I do know is that “maybe lupus” is pretty similar to “maybe immortality” because neither are confirmed so instead of focusing on the first I’m going to focus on the latter because I’ve been alive all of my life and statistically that’s the way that immortality begins.  Plus, I sleep all day and I can’t sleep at night and I’m anemic so I’m adding “maybe vampiric” to my list.  Also, “maybe Spiderman” because apparently my antinuclear antibodies are all fucked up and anything with”nuclear” in it seems like something that would cause me to become super-human.  Victor says “nuclear” and “radioactive spider” are not the same thing, but Spiderman isn’t a documentary, Victor.  Real science is different than comic books.  I suspect he’s just jealous that I’m about to get my mutant abilities soon, which is not as good as getting an admission to Hogwarts, but a million times better than “maybe lupus.”  Unless my super-human ability is “Super-Lupus”.  I’m not sure what “Super-Lupus” would look like but (aside from being great fun to say) it doesn’t sound good.  I’m crossing my fingers for the vampire thing.  Or maybe I’m like that guy on X-Men whose super power was that he could grow back his arms if they were cut off.  He probably didn’t even know he had a super power until someone chopped one of his arms off and then he was like, “Holy shit.  What a terrible super-power.”    I’m not going to test it though because it’s bad enough to have “maybe lupus” without adding “also her arms didn’t grow back after she chopped them off to test if she was a mutant.”

So, long story short, there’s something wrong with me but we knew that already. My rheumatologist wants me to see all my other doctors to test my hormones and other bullshit so they can tell me I have “maybe testicular cancer” or “maybe your thyroid hates you” or “maybe you’re just broken” but I’m too tired to do that now.  Probably because of this “maybe lupus”.  So instead I’m going to rest for a bit, which is exactly what I should do if I’m coming down with “maybe vampirism”.

PS. Tell me I just need to get out more and stop eating gluten and I will kick you in the vagina.  And if you don’t have one I will make one.  From all the kicking.

PPS. Even if I do have lupus (which seems practically impossible to diagnose) it may be medically-induced lupus because the meds I’m on can make your blood a bit toxic and bring on lupus, which seems ironic because I’m taking anti-tumor injections to make my body stop attacking myself and that drug might be causing lupus, which causes your body to attack itself.  So if I’m still sick in a month I’ll switch to a different medication which might cause my “maybe lupus” to go away but also might cause my “definitely rheumatoid arthritis” to return.  My point?  If you are healthy today go and enjoy the shit out of this day because it’s a godamn gift.  If you can’t think of anything to do to celebrate being normal then find someone who isn’t and bring them lunch or ask if there’s anything you can do to help because you have no idea how often the people around you go hungry because they’re too tired to leave their desk.  If you’re not healthy then I tip my hat to you and remind you that it’s going to be okay, and that you aren’t alone.  Life isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.  Even for vampires.

PPPS. This post needs a happier ending. Inserting medicinal raccoon gif.  “LET ME KISS YOU, KITTY.”

CAT-GIF-When-a-raccoon-wants-to-kiss-a-Cat-Love-me-Kitty

PPPPS.  I’m going to be fine.  I’m having more good days than bad lately and I have a great support system and I actually have good, exciting news that I’ll be sharing with you as soon as my head is working enough for me to write about it properly.  I’m just venting.  Thank you for listening to me.  It does wonders to know I’m not alone.

Just how lazy are we?

Someone just sent me a link to this.

Apparently someone invented edible cupcake wrappers.  Which begs the question...just how lazy are we?  Who invented this?  I assume it was someone who was like, “I just wanted some cake but now I have to take off paper?  FUCK IT. I’LL JUST EAT THE PAPER.  Ugh, this tastes terrible.  THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!”

And there actually is a better way.  It’s called “regular cake” and it doesn’t come in paper sacks.  You just cut it and eat it.  But you do have to put the knife up afterward and now I already see an issue.  Don’t eat the knife.  Put down the knife.  Just…you know what?  Never mind.  Forget I said anything.

UPDATED:  HANG ON. I HAVE AN IDEA.  Cut the cake with dental floss, and then afterward you can use the floss.  To floss with.  Except people who are too lazy to not eat paper are probably not flossing regularly.  Wait a minute.  I need to do a rethink.

UPDATED X 2:  GOT IT.  A CAKE KNIFE MADE OUT OF CAKE!  And you can eat it when you’re done.  Except, I’m not sure if you can cut cake with cake.  You know what?  Forget it.  Scoop the cake out with your paws and eat it that way.  It’s super sexy.  Or at least, sexier than eating paper.  Just saying.

 

If you don’t have the ebook of FURIOUSLY HAPPY you need to read this right now.

Hey!

So FURIOUSLY HAPPY got selected to be promoted on the ebook edition so today only you can get it for $2.99.  That’s less than the cost of a greeting card or a good burrito.  Plus, if you already have it in hardback you can put it in your reader so you can read it in the dark or have a copy you don’t have to worry about dog-earing.  Or you could buy one for someone you love. Or you could ignore this and say “I ONLY BUY FULL PRICE BECAUSE I WANT THE AUTHOR TO GET MORE MONEY” and that’s very nice but I’d rather more people read it than give me money so I’m cool with it if it means more people get to laugh or feel less alone.

Today only you can get the ebook for under three bucks from most places that offer ebooks.  Here are a few:

Amazon

NOOK

iBooks

Kobo 

I want to give out a few but I don’t know exactly how to so let’s do this so let’s try this.  If you  need a copy of Furiously Happy and can’t afford one then leave me a comment with the email you use and the type of e-reader you use and I’ll gift it to the first twenty people who ask.

Love you like a rabid raccoon.

rory furiouslyhappy

These are a few of my favorite words.

I’ve had writer’s block for the past half year.

It sucks and it’s meant that I’ve missed deadlines and had to alter contracts and I doubted myself every minute of the day.  It’s mostly mental illness and also some auto-immune disease stuff and I’ve been afraid to write anything about it because acknowledging it might make it real and permanent. (Yes, I realize this is crazy.  I’m crazy.  We match.)

But I start to slowly come back to having a brain that doesn’t actively want to kill me (I’M KNOCKING ON WOOD RIGHT HERE, LIFE.  DONT FUCK ME.) and I can tell it’s working again because I wake up with words in my head.  Like, literally a word will be stuck inside my mind.  It taps around and says itself over and over until I write it down, and then I write more, and suddenly I have a paragraph.

It’s not a very good paragraph.  It’s the first shaky walk you take to your kitchen to forage for food after a week of food poisoning, or the song that you can’t sing well because your vocal cords have forgotten how to work.  But it’s better than where I was last week when I couldn’t remember a single melody and my feet went missing.  This is a metaphor.  Not a great one, but it’s a push that moves the rusty hinges and turns a useless broken wall into an almost door.

This might not make sense to you.  That’s okay.  Because it makes sense to me and that’s an incredible relief when you think your words are gone forever.

My words are still here.  They’re trickling back in.  Slowly, but I’m okay with that.

And to celebrate?  A few of my favorite words:

Tintinnabulation ~ The lingering sound of a ringing bell that occurs after the bell has been struck

Gloaming – The moment of dusk that’s best for playing as a child.  It isn’t so much a time as it is a place.  You go for a walk in the gloaming.

L’esprit de l’escalier – (Technically not a single word, but it counts as one since it’s French and when I say it out aloud it sounds like one big, beautiful word.)  The spirit of the staircase that tells you the witty thing you should have said when you were still in the conversation inside.

Cellar ~ It’s just pretty to say.  You can smell the must, and feel the bright, wet cold on your face when you say it.

Baffled ~ me, all the time.

Unintelligible ~ You can’t say this word without sounding very smart.  Unless you mispronounce it.  Which is still fine because you can say you did it ironically on purpose.

Ethereal ~ I mispronounced this until I was 20.  Even mispronounced it’s pretty.

Superstitious ~ This word is like a song.  When I’m in a bad place I whisper it over and over, like a chant or prayer.  It doesn’t have a meaning when I use it as a spell, but it pulls me out of my head.  It’s hypnotic.

Hypnotic.  I just remembered I like that one too.

Phosphenes ~ Those flashes of light and color that come out when you rub your eyes.

Dementophobia – The fear of insanity.  The word sounds like falling down a spiral staircase…but gracefully.

Velociraptor.  Happy.  Discombobulated.  Thundering.  Vapid. Exploratory.  Uninterrupted.  Cylindrical.  Elizabeth. Catastrophe.  Bewildering.  Grace.  Kindling.  Strangeling.  Foundling.  SWASHBUCKLING!

I’m back.

Your turn.

 

She brought light even in the darkness.

Last night I dreamt about a blind girl who lived in a forest made of night.  Her hair was alive and each strand held a lit candle, making her a human candelabra.  It seemed a sad irony that she wasn’t able to appreciate the light she gave off, but when I watched her walk though the forest I saw that each person she passed was delighted or awed as their faces were bathed in the rare light, and that after pausing a second they used a few of those moments of illumination to quietly move the dangerous things from her path so that she could walk on safely, without needing to see.  I don’t know that the girl knew there were others, but she seemed confident that the world would be safe, or that it was at least worth the risk of walking tall through the darkness.  I don’t know why the others didn’t stop and talk to the girl or take her hand.  It seemed as if this was just a part of nature, a cycle, a partnership of sorts, and even though I didn’t understand it I woke up feeling hopeful.

If you’ve read me long enough you know that a peculiar effect that comes with my depression is that I lose my peripheral vision, like I’m literally in a cave and can just see in front of me.  This morning I can see so far.  I’d actually forgotten what it was like to see that much light on a horizon.  And I don’t know how long it will last but I know that today I can see the sun and I’m writing this down to remind myself that it comes back, and that the relief and joy at coming out of the darkness is always worth the time spent in it.

PS. I pulled out my sketchbook and drew the girl while I could still remember all of the details and while I drew I thought about what it meant.  Sometimes I’m the light I cannot see.  Sometimes I’m bathed in the glow of another.  Sometimes I wait in the darkness with you and remind myself that light still exists even when it’s gone from sight.

Thank you for being my light in the darkness.  Thank you for moving the dangerous things from my path.  Thank you for walking beside me even in the dark.

You may not always feel it, but trust me, you are a beacon touching farther than you know.  In the way you make people laugh, in the way that you show love and kindness, in the way that you are unapologetically or apologetically who you are.

You are a light.

Click to embiggen.

Click to embiggen.

PPS. I’ll probably put this in my shop when I have time but you can print it out for free for personal use, or hand it to a friend who needs it right now if you like.

Hug the Haters

Yesterday I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said “HUG THE HATERS” and I was like, “YES, QUEEN.  THIS.  Hug the haters.  Hug them so tight that it’s awkward.  Hug them around the neck until they go limp.  And then leave quickly before they regain consciousness.

Also, wear gloves so you don’t leave any prints.”

Then Victor pulled me away because he said I was scaring her.  And I was like, “Yeah.  WITH THE TRUTH.”  We agreed to disagree.

 

*******

And now, the weekly wrap-up:

sid

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

  • As requested from the last post: God grant me the immutable self-confidence of cats.  T-shirt or mug.

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by adventure travel photographer and blogger Matthew Karsten. He might just have the best job ever, traveling around the world for the past 5 years sharing crazy experiences and useful travel tips from his journeys. Like road trips in Iceland. Mayan ruins in Mexico. Or hiking in Costa Rica. Jealous? So am I. Don’t worry, you can live vicariously through his fantastic photos, stories, and videos on ExpertVagabond.com

He doesn’t even have testicles.

If you’ve been reading here you already know that I’ve been in a weird spot lately and (as usual) the darkness in my head jumpstarts my Impulse Control Disorder which (in short) means my hands try to destroy me.  So last night I had to give my hands something to distract themselves so I grabbed my sketchbook and decided to do a bunch of studies of the cats, but the cats were like “What are you doing?  Why are you staring at us like that.  Stop holding me down.  You’re seriously creeping us out, crazy.” And they wouldn’t stay in one position long enough so I had to keep starting over again with their new poses, and then Victor looked over my shoulder and was like, “Um…are you okay?” because it looked like I was sketching pictures of dismembered cats.  But then Ferris Mewler started cleaning his junk and then he sort of forgot he was cleaning himself, or maybe he was just comfortable but either way he finally stayed in position and glared at me long enough for me to complete a drawing.

I call it “God Grant Me the Immutable Self-Confidence of Cats.”

bloggessdoodlecat

When I was done I showed it to Ferris.

wtf

“WTF. Is that supposed to be me?”

He wasn’t impressed.

Nailed it.

“Fuck you, lady.”

Nailed it.

Sometimes the darkness can be beautiful. But sometimes it’s a real bitch. Depends, I guess.

Hi.

I’ve been a little missing lately.  Not just here.  I’ve been missing a bit inside my head, which in some ways is good because my head is not always fun to live in.

I don’t know if the depression I’ve been dealing with off and on for the last few months has just worn me down, or if it’s one of my auto-immune diseases flaring up, or if I’ve just been lucky enough to get mono AGAIN, but whatever it is feels ungood.  And I know that “ungood” isn’t a real word, but my head is where I keep all my good words and it’s not working well right now.  The rest of my body is following suit and so now I’m doing all the things I’m supposed to do to feel better.  I’m taking my meds and getting light therapy and eating well better and taking vitamins and trying to be active and all the other bullshit that you have to do when you’re sick but you aren’t sure where or what the sickness is, so you have to do all the due diligence because otherwise the doctor is going to just wave me away because someone as broken as I am is sometimes expected to be miserable.  But here’s the thing.  I don’t want to be miserable.  I would like to be happy.  And sometimes I am.  Today I feel better and I can concentrate enough to write this.  This sounds small but it’s not.  It’s big.  And I’m taking it.

And I’m not alone.  I’ve seen so many people lately reaching out for help and I’m not sure if I just think more people are struggling because I am too and I’m more sensitive to it, or if there’s something in the air or in the stars that has made this year more difficult in general.  I’ve seen people I love doubt their own light and feel broken.  And maybe they are, but broken doesn’t mean worthless.  Broken hurts sometimes but it is also what makes us different.

Last night as I was going to bed I noticed that I’d let most of the lights burn out in the chandelier and I couldn’t replace them.  Not just because I was too tired but also because I don’t own a ladder that tall.  So the few remaining lights that still flickered on cast a strange shadow on the wall and in a way it was really beautiful.  Like an unconscious mural that painted my house with invisible hands.  And it was striking.  And strange.  And dark.  And haunting in a way that is (literally) a little hard to see and also a little hard to ignore.  And it seemed like a perfect analogy for how I was feeling.  If my head was working better I would be able to wrap this up more succinctly, but if I wait until my head is less broken I might wait forever.  And then you’d never see the strange, dark loveliness that comes out when things are little bit broken.

dark bloggess

Broken can be beautiful.  I’ll remind you of that if you remind me back.