If it’s Tuesday this must be San Francisco.

Photo by Maile Wilson

Photo by Maile Wilson

Hello, San Francisco!  I left my heart here and now I’m clinically dead.  I think that’s how the song goes.  Not sure.  Either way, I’m here today to see you, so will you come see me?  Please?

I’ll be at Books Inc. Opera Plaza at 7pm.

Next stop?  Corte Madera.

Click here for the rest of the tour info.

Because bobcats.

So, remember a few days ago when I almost starved to death because of an overly friendly bobcat who wouldn’t stop until he got my attention?  (If you’re lost you need to look at this post and also scroll back through my twitter feed to find that “#itsabobcatjenny” is the new “YOU’RE GOING TO BE MAIMED, YOU IDIOT”.  But one of the things that people said was that if a bobcat shows up and starts shoving its face in your face it’s a sign and according the the bobcat-totem-possibly-made-up-but-maybe-not-lore, it means that 1) you are a solitary person and should cut assholes out of you life and 2) it means that I’m supposed to do something I’m afraid to do regarding a secret talent.

First one?  Done.  Second one…hmm.  Okay.  I’ve been doodling since I was a kid.  I did a ton of art in high school and enough in college to realize that I was not talented enough to make a living at it, but I’ve noticed that the sketches that I always refer to as doodles are something that actually seem to appeal to some people who deal with the same weird issues.  Which is really nice because first of all, it’s what I do to keep myself from literally pulling my hair out when I’m stressed, and secondly, it’s a way I have to share the stranger thoughts that stick in my head because each drawing is based on the words I hide inside every page.  So I think I might actually do something with these drawings, and I’m not sure if it’s going to be a coloringing book, or prints, or illegal graffiti on unguarded walls, but I think I’m going to find some way to share them.  Because bobcats.



It might be hard to read, so here’s what this one says: “She always felt far too afraid for adventures, but that was okay, because misadventure was her true calling.”  (Particularly fitting after being almost loved to death by a bobcat.)

More on that later, but just a quick thanks for being so awesome and encouraging.  And now that I’ve written this it’ll force me to actually think of what to do with this stuff.  Also, a ton of you have brought copies of this print to my book signing for me to autograph and then apologized for bringing it and you need to stop apologizing because the fact that so many of you actually liked it enough to have it printed was what encouraged me to share more.  Thank you.

So!  Back on tour again, and this is the last jaunt.  Four stops in California and one in Arizona.  Are you coming?  Please?  Full details here.


What is Sunday?

So day before yesterday was Black Friday and yesterday was Small Business Saturday and tomorrow is Cyber Monday, but what’s today?  Is today something?  Am I going to feel bad later when I find out it’s “Save All The Kittens Sunday”?  Probably.  But since I don’t know entirely I think today should be Self-Promotion Sunday.  Today you should give yourself a shout-out regarding whatever it is that you do.  Your blog, your book, your art, your business, your knitting, your ability to whistle, the fact that you put up holiday decorations before December even started…whatever.  What’s going on in your life that you’re happy about?  Let’s hear it, because I think we could all use some happy words.

I’ll go first.  FURIOUSLY HAPPY has been on the bestseller lists for 2 months (although it’s probably off by now) and Indigo just named it one of the best holiday gifts of the year.  I’m heading back off on book tour next week and so far I have not had a nervous breakdown.  Also, I briefly considered putting up the Christmas tree and then decided that sounded exhausting but I’m giving myself points for even thinking about it.  Also, no one has been eaten by bobcats yet.  YAY US!


Your turn.  What do you want to promote or share?  What’s going on in your world?  What’s made you happy or proud lately?


An unexpected visitor who either wants a snuggle or to eat my face skin off.

I got up at 6am to take Dorothy Barker out for a quick walk and then I saw a cat walking up to us and I thought, “My GOD, what are they feeding that cat because it’s enorm-JESUS FUCK THAT’S A MOUNTAIN LION.”  And I grabbed Dottie and ran back inside while the mountain lion – who on second look was less of a giant mountain lion and actually more of a midsized bobcat – followed us toward the house and tried to come in.

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 8.24.00 AM


"Hey. What's going on there?"

“Hey. What’s going on there?”

So I woke up Victor and Hailey because I knew they’d never believe me and I knew as soon as I got back to the front door it would be gone and they’d think I was hallucinating but when I got back the bobcat was cuddled up on the front porch like, “Where did you go?  I wanted you to scratch my ears.”


“No, seriously, lady. Scritch my ears.”

And I thought I would but then Victor was all, “Don’t you like having fingers?  Because you seem rather attached to them.”  And so I didn’t.  Because he says that if you ignore bobcats they go away.

Except, not at all.

"Hi. I have no concept of personal boundaries."

“Hello. I have no concept of personal boundaries.”

So I called security and said, “Hypothetically, if I told you there was a very cute and not at all threatening bobcat on my porch would you catch it and relocate it back up the mountain, or would you kill it?  Because I’m not saying that there is, unless you promise not to hurt it” and turns out I called the wrong number and they were very confused, but then I called the right number and the lady in charge was like, “This isn’t really covered in your home-owners association.  Probably if you ignore it it’ll go away on it’s own.”

And he did eventually leave after giving my office a good once-over through the window and I couldn’t figure out why he decided to leave after hanging around for so long and then Victor pointed to what’s right next to the window and I was like, “Don’t be ridiculous, bobcats can’t read” but then I realized he meant Rosencatz & Guildenpurr, my ancient two-headed, taxidermied bobcat.


And, um, fair point really.  But also, I think this another example of my taxidermy creating miracles.  Just saying.

PS.  Link to video, but it’s messy because I wasn’t expecting company.  Obviously.

PPS. 50% of you are like “THAT’S A BOBCAT.  STAY INSIDE” and 45% of you are like “THAT’S A BOBCAT AND IT NEEDS SNUGGLES” and 5% of you are like, “That’s a Maine Coone/Savannah/bengal housecat and you should pick it up because it’s owners are probably looking for it.”  Now I don’t know what to do so I’m sharing another video so maybe someone who is super familiar with Texas bobcats can tell me if I should pick it up and put “FOUND CAT” signs up or if I should stay inside and stop making Victor nervous by yelling “Here, kitty kitty kitty” around the neighborhood.

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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 11.49.53 AM

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:

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.56.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.55.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.55.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.54.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.54.40 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.54.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.54.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.53.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.53.16 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.52.56 PM

Continue reading

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.)

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.40.39 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.40.18 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.40.01 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.39.42 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.39.22 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.39.01 AM

Continue reading

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.