You Searched For: hiding
Tonight I miss people. I miss friends who I’ve lost. I miss friends who still exist, but are too terrified of life to say hello. I understand it. I miss me too when I go missing. But I’m still here – deep down- under the shell that protects me when life gets too rough. I’m still here when my head tries to tell me I’m nothing. I’m still here under it all. And you’re here too.
You’re here even if you think no one would know if you were gone. You’re here in the hearts of people you would never suspect you had impacted. You’re here in memory and in reality and in the echo of every person you ever touched and taught. You are magnified in ways you never knew.
Many years ago Victor took me to a tropical island. It was a dark time for me and a reminder that you don’t get to pick the times when parts of you go missing. It rained more than it didn’t. My anxiety and depression magnified. I got sick and I ended up in the hospital in another country. When I think back to those days I have dark memories with a few bright spots. I remember standing in the pouring rain, looking out into the horizon. I took a picture because I knew I wasn’t me enough to appreciate it at the time.
I found that picture again tonight.
It’s beautiful. And dark. And if you look through the rain you’ll see that it’s amazing. You just have to have the right eyes.
You have to learn to see what’s hidden beneath.
You have to remember that we are so much more than our broken minds sometimes recognize.
I see you. I remember you. You echo in me. I miss you. But you are not missing. You are here.
Time for the weekly wrap-up. It’s…kind of depressing. Mostly because I’ve been really sick, had a rheumatiod arthritis flare-up and of course that triggered a series of small anxiety attacks. In other words, I seldom left the house and I wrote a lot of bad, angsty poetry that will never see the light of day. You’re welcome.
This week on my sex column (which is satirical and relatively safe for work if your boss isn’t a total douche canoe):
This week on the internets:
- I was asked to contribute to a book about bathrooms since I’m known for spending half my life hiding from people there and it was easy enough because I have 500,000 pictures of me in bathrooms (see above) and then when I got my copy of the book I saw that I was like 10 pages away from a self-portrait of Amanda Fucking Palmer. Which is kind of kick-ass and totally makes up for the fact that I’m not actually making anything from this book and that I had to actually buy my own copy. I’m not really sure if I should be proud of this whole situation or not.
So yesterday I was sort of in hiding because I either had the flu or I was depressed and I couldn’t tell which and I was hoping for the flu because that usually leaves quicker but then I woke up feeling shitty again this morning and I realized my head was broken so I called my friend and I was like, “I’m broken. Will you come to my house and watch Drunk History with me so it’s almost like I’m leaving the house but not really?” and she was like, “Hells yeah. We’re all broken. That shit’s making the rounds, my friend” but then when she came in I sort of saw my house for the first time with new eyes and I was like, “Hey. So. I just realized my Christmas tree is still up. So, that’s happening” and because she’s nonjudgmental she was like, “You should keep that shit up all year. It’s a lovely night-light” and I was like, “Maybe it’s a Valentine’s Day Tree. And my valentine is Santa Claus. Because he’s pretty much the only one on the tree the cats haven’t knocked down.” And then we watched TV and laughed and the house animals sat in our laps and I felt human again. So here is to friends who are better than prozac. Also, she makes bad-ass bags. And she was in that chapter of my book about how I lost those dead cat koozies in my house. You know her.
PS. I’m not drunk. I’m just not correcting my run-on sentences.
PPS. I just heard that the paperback copy of Furiously Happy is #4 on the Indie Bestseller List. Y’ALL. That is nuts. People who bought Furiously Happy + people who support independent bookstores = the Venn diagram of people I want to lick on the face.
PPPS. Speaking of which, I just got 300 pounds of posters that I carried into my house and signed for Independent Bookstore Day and they are LUSCIOUS. Like, thick, heavy paper that you’d print diplomas on. If you get one and you have pet allergies you should maybe shake it out a bit because I had help.
PPPPS. If you’re struggling right now too just put on the tv and pretend I’m there with you on the couch. Because I am. We all are.
PPPPPS. Spellcheck just told me that “nonjudgmental” is not a word and it was like “Did you mean to say ‘JUDGEMENTAL’? and no, I didn’t because that’s the opposite of what mean and, by the way, THAT’S NOT EVEN HOW YOU SPELL ‘JUDGMENTAL’, SPELLCHECK. THIS IS WHY NO ONE LIKES YOU.
PPPPPPS. It also says “koozies” isn’t a real world. I trust nothing.
Hey. This week is full of angst and anxiety for a lot of us but I just want to tell you what I want to hear myself: It’s going to be okay. Whether you are protesting in the street or hiding in bed or trying to be positive or you’re confused or scared or angry…it’s going to be okay.
We’re going to be okay. It might take work but work is being done. In small ways and large ways and quiet ways you may never know about.
This week is full of scary shit and much smarter people than me have written more eloquently about it so instead I’m just going to share a few silly things that I think are pertinent.
First, know that it’s okay to not be okay:
People love you and want to offer comfort. Sometimes we’re just really, really bad at it.
But the thought is there, even if it’s scary to reach out.
Know that even when it’s overwhelming you aren’t alone.
You are loved.
And bunnies still exist.
We’re going to be okay.
Get in here.
And if you still feel scared, watch this:
Yesterday I picked up my mail from my post office box and it was mainly books and bills and sweet letters and strange, lovely gifts but there was one box that sort of stood out because it was enormous and inside was a single piece of paper with the words “KNOCK KNOCK MOTHERFUCKER” written out of torn magazine letters like a ransom note:
And under it was an enormous sloth. Or maybe a sasquatch. Or a slothsquatch, which I’m not sure exists but totally should.
He had long poles coming out of his hands and his legs were long enough to wear as a scarf (not that you’d want to) and he looked at me with such longing. “Pick me up,” he seemed to say. Or maybe “Put me out of my misery.” It’s hard to tell.
And I realized that it was a very old, highly used, full-body puppet. The kind where you strap yourself to its feet so it walks when you walk and of course I put it on immediately and I was like, “VICTOR, DID YOU GET ME AN ANNIVERSARY SLOTH MONKEY? BECAUSE YOU TOTALLY NAILED IT” but he didn’t respond so I yelled “IT SMELLS WEIRD THOUGH. IS IT SUPPOSED TO SMELL LIKE A LIVE SLOTH? OR A DEAD ONE?” And then he said something from his office that I later found out something about being on a conference call but I couldn’t hear him because he was yell-whispering and my ears were too full of excitement so I was like, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING. I CAN’T COME TO YOU BECAUSE I’M STRAPPED TO THIS SLOTH AND HIS FEET ARE ALL SLIPPERY. ALSO, THE CATS FUCKING HATE THIS GUY.” Because they did and they were hiding under the couch and I was like, “I CAN’T TELL IF THIS A SLOTH OR A SASQUATCH? DID YOU BUY ME A USED ‘SQUATCH TO WEAR?” and he was walked out of his office and was like, “JESUS CHRIST I AM ON A CONFERENCE CALL SO COULD YOU PLEASE-” and then he stopped talking because he noticed I was wearing a sloth (or maybe a chimpanzee?) and I paused for a second to judge if he was mad that I’d opened my gift too early, but the stunned look on his face told me that he hadn’t bought the slothsquatch at all so I tried to dance some of the awkwardness out of the moment by making Mr. Noodles sing the Copacabana song. (I named the sloth/monkey Mr. Noodles because his appendages are so noodly. Also, spellcheck is telling me that “noodly” isn’t a word because apparently spellcheck has never seen this noodly motherfucker.)
Mr. Noodles is made of awesome. And possibly some horror and whimsy. And maybe some dead cats or skinned muppets. Hard to tell. He speaks in a high-pitched, kinda nasally british accent and when I dance with him it’s like if Weekend at Bernie’s replaced the dead guy with an anorexic sasquatch.
Then I spent most of the day posing Mr. Noodles in all the rooms of the house or jumping out of the bushes at the neighborhood kids so they could have a sasquatch sighting and then Victor got on a plane and left Texas. But he was already planning on leaving for work so it’s not like he was fleeing. Probably.
I still don’t know who sent it to me but I think it was my friend, Neurotic Owl. The return address is “BASEMENT UNDER THE OPERA”. I have a weird life. And a slothsquatch named Mr. Noodles. I feel like I’m winning at life today.
UPDATED: Video, as requested…CLICK HERE.
Frankly, it’s not that much more ridiculous than a lot of the stuff on I’ve written on twitter before.
Social media is hard as shit right now because everyone is mad and I get it. There are small reprieves like the Biden memes and otter videos, but mostly it feels a bit scary to writing anything on twitter and Facebook and that’s why today I decided to use YES,THAT CAN BE MY NEXT TWEET to let that website decide what I would probably say today based on my history. Here are a few of the suggestions that YES THAT CAN BE MY NEXT TWEET gave me to share, and they were incredibly ridiculous and also embarrassingly accurate sometimes.
Not entirely out of character, if I’m being honest.
Let’s try again.
TOTALLY. Wait, no. Is this sexual?
I like that there’s a question mark. Like I’m sort of sure it’s flammable but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.
Seems like I’m just under-reacting at this point.
So maybe the question marks were too optimistic. Sorry. I’m hiding under the idea of the future.
Seems like a good idea if everything is on fire.
A few other tweet suggestions it gave me:
I SMELL LIKE I WAS JUST GROWLED AT.
TODAY IS CANCELLED AND FULL OF HOT GOAT HAIR.
THIS IS THE WORST POTPOURRI.
WE NEED A SACRIFICE TO MAKE THINGS WORSE.
I HAVE RUINED MY PROBLEMS.
HEY, SORRY I HAVE CARPET BURNS. ALTHOUGH TECHNICALLY WE ALL PAINTED PART OF THOSE GENITALS.
GOATS HAVE DAVID SEDARIS TIED UP.
5 YEARS AGO: ME, A DICK, DEPRESSION.
APPARENTLY I’M MAKING WIGS WITH FERRETS.
2AM SUDDEN DUCK BUTT! THE CATS WERE BEFUDDLED.
TODAY IS NOTHING AND I’M SO EVERYTHING.
LADIES AND NEAR-VELOCIRAPTORS: NO ONE’S TAKING AWAY OUR TREBUCHET. FOUND MY CAT!
MY NAME’S LARRY. YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING. MAGIC IS NICER THAN MY PAJAMAS.
DID YOU ACCIDENTALLY OPEN A GOOD DUCK? I’M GOING TO! OOH, PRETTY!
I DRESS UP AND I’M…JESUS.
YES, I AM A TERRIBLE MESS. THIS IS A RABID BEAR.
WHAT IN MY CAT WAS INVISIBLE BEFORE?
SMELLS LIKE THEY’RE BALD DOWN THERE, RIGHT?
EVERYTHING WILL DRESS UP AND BE OKAY.
I SAW A DEMON. THIS GUY HAS ZERO CHILL.
VICTOR FUCKED SHIT UP IN THE DEMON. MAKE TINY MERKINS INSTEAD.
I’VE BEEN LANDING INSIDE THE BEST PEOPLE. YOU SEEN MY STABBING KNIFE?
OCTOBER MEANS DOGS IN MIXED POLITICAL MARRIAGES WHO DON’T HAVE ANY MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS.
THIS IS THE MOST HEAVILY EDITED P0RN I’VE EVERY GLUED MYSELF TO.
VICTOR: WHAT THE FACE?
THE 2AM SUDDEN DUCK NEEDS A SEX DUNGEON. I’M IN BED WITH SUPER GLUE. NO CONTEXT NEEDED.
HELLO FRIEND. BREATHE. I SMELL REAL NICE. I AM NOT BALLS.
This post peppered with medicinal kittens because smarter people are writing better things so I’m doing this instead.
This was a lot of us the night of the election:
If you’re like me you’ve been spending the last days feeling helpless and uncertain what to do.
Some things are easy, like donating to causes that you feel are important and might get left behind. Some are harder, like reaching out to people who are hurting even if you don’t know how to help and are afraid you’ll fuck it all up and make it worse.
A lot of us keep getting stuck in that place where we hate humanity and are ready to become hermits.
Things feel upside down and scary. Your emotions are valid. It’s okay to be angry or scared or freaked out for yourself or for people you love.
Practice self-care. Take a walk. Do some art. Sit in the grass and drink a booze-slushie. Read a book. Watch Doctor Who. Avoid the internet when it gets to be too much.
There’s some crazy-ass bullshit out there and the craziest bullshit has the loudest voice. Do not engage the crazy people. Someone calling you the c word is not someone to be reasoned with. Pick your battles. There will be plenty.
It’s going to hurt for awhile. So much so that you might not have the strength to help yourself. Ask for help. You aren’t alone. Sometimes you need help to pull yourself off the train tracks, and sometimes you’ll be the person pulling someone else off. This is how we survive.
Look for goodness. There are so many people posting loving and caring responses or who are there to give hugs and protection. There are so many more than you think. Look for those glimmers of light.
We may disagree on many things but I feel confident that anyone who is a member of this community wants safety, equality, justice and happiness for every minority group that is afraid today. This is a safe place and that is a needed thing. Thank you for providing that.
There are serious problems in the world today and writing a post filled with kitten gifs is fucking ridiculous. But ridiculous is what I do best. And kittens are the closest thing we have to medicinal marijuana in Texas so I’m working with what I have.
Once you feel better though it will be time to turn your hand to making things better in a world that seems more divided than it ever has been. Maybe it’s just smiling at everyone you meet. Maybe it’s paying for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru. Maybe it’s donating to charities and organizations that help others who are struggling. Maybe it’s just not screaming at people even though you really want to. Maybe it’s letting people scream at you because you know they need space to vent. Maybe it’s adopting a rescue animal and hiding away until you feel strong again, or volunteering at a hospital or homeless shelter. Maybe it’s talking to your kids to ask if they’ve heard anyone being particularly cruel at school lately and making sure they know how to deal with it and how to report it. Maybe it’s just ignoring this post and not writing something hateful about it even though you really, really want to. Maybe it’s forgiving others or yourself. Maybe it’s just continuing to breathe and not hurt yourself or others. Those are all big things.
Whatever it is, I’m grateful. It starts small. It starts with us. Me and you.
PS. Back to non-political stuff next week. Promise. Also, my last post was political and had over 400 comments and so far they are overwhelmingly compassionate and empathetic and encouraging. That’s a small miracle, you guys, but it’s one we keep pulling off. Thank you for being amazing and being a safe place for so many of us.
PPS. Happy Veterans Day. Thank you to all those who serve to protect us. I hope we can protect you right back.
So yesterday Victor flew back home early because my favorite portrait artist ever was having an special artist talk in Austin and he wanted to take me to it, and I was like, “I LOVE HER. But I don’t want to leave the house and I’m afraid of small talk and can we just skip this party and go see her art next week when there aren’t a ton of people at the gallery?” and he was like, “No. Stop being weird. We’re leaving the house and seeing real people” so I was like, “Fine. But I’m hiding in the back and I’m not wearing makeup or dressing up so I can blend in with the walls.” And then we get there and when I walk in I see the artist (Sara Scribner) and she’s in the middle of a talk with all these people and she waves at me and I notice people staring at me even more than normal and I was like, “Am I bleeding? Is there a bird in my hair?” and I’m trying to blend back into a corner and Victor keeps staring at me and I was like, “WHAT IS YOUR DEAL?” but I did it with my eyes because I didn’t want to talk out loud and then I looked over and saw me on the wall and I was like, WTF?
And I thought, “Hang on. Is that a portrait of me on a gallery wall?” Because it totally looks like me when my friend Maile did a photo shoot of me a few years ago but then I was like, Why would I be in a portrait? That can’t be me. MY GOD, JENNY, YOU ARE SUCH A NARCISSIST. But turns out it was me because Victor contacted Sara and commissioned her to do the painting to surprise me. And it was awesome and lovely because my favorite portrait artist did my portrait, but also, I was living that moment when you try to hide from everyone at a party that I was too scared to go to and then I find a painting of me in a spotlight, which is exactly the opposite of hiding at an art show. And I told Victor thank you, and that he really knew me and also didn’t fucking know me at all and he agreed. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So I’ve been hiding for a bit after posting a simple “NOPE” on twitter two days ago because everything on the news makes me want to stab myself in the eye and I can’t handle it mentally right now, but then I saw this political interview and it made me laugh, so yay for this.
I mostly avoid talking about politics and the news because I like this to be a safe place where people can laugh and escape from all of the terrible bullshit that is happening in the world but people keep asking me so I will say that I was all for Bernie Sanders because I vote based on who I’d most trust to babysit my cats and drink with, but now I’m for Hilary since Bernie is out. Victor is still undecided, which is really saying something since that man bleeds Republican and whenever I ask him if he’s decided yet he just sighs and puts his head down on the table. I think he might be crying,
There’s a lot of that going around.
Ps. Instead of fighting over which candidate is less bad here let’s instead talk about who you would vote for to run the country if everyone was on the table. I vote David Tennant’s Doctor Who for president and Donna Noble for VP. Also, I want Beyonce and the ghost of Audrey Hepburn to be in charge of smacking down people who are being assholes. I don’t know if that’s a government position but it totally should be. Your turn.
On Friday I saw my shrink and she told me that my Imposter Syndrome was out of control and that I need to stop beating myself up all the time and instead focus on the moments that make me happy. It was very good advice and I went on twitter and did a photo flashback of moments that I’d survived or celebrated and it was weirdly healing. Then someone reminded me that one year ago today I put out my video announcement for Furiously Happy and I watched it and remembered how lucky I am to be surrounded by people (even if most of them I’ve never met in real life) who are so lovely and human. So I decided to celebrate I’d share the video again for those who haven’t see it, or those who need a reminder of how not alone you are, like I did.
(For those who are new, I asked friends, idols, family and community to share what makes them who they are and they each sent video snippets that were pieced together by my talented friend John Thorson.)
John also made me another video after watching what Pat Rothfuss sent in (because he was bored and also awesome) and I didn’t share it for a bit because I was afraid people would think it was silly and ridiculous but then I asked a bunch of the people in the video and they were like, “Silly and ridiculous is our damn specialty. Publish that shit.” So I did. And I still can’t decide which video I like most.
Anyway, this was exactly the reminder I needed and I know September is a hard month for many of us so maybe it’ll be a reminder you need too.
One year later I am still broken. I am still furiously happy. And I am still not alone.
And now…time for the weekly wrap-up:
Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):
- Normally this is where I’d put links to otter videos or blog posts or such but this week has been weirdly hard and I’ve been hiding, so I’m leaving it blank so you can share anything awesome you think people should see in the comments. Cat videos. Things you read and loved. Things you want to talk about. Anything.
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