You Searched For: new york times

New York is more confusing than usual

I was in New York last month recording the audiobook for FURIOUSLY HAPPY and I just realized I never wrote about the stuff I saw.  So here we go…

First off, am I the only person who sees human faces in non-human things?  Is that normal?  Because I kept seeing panicked, screaming faces on the plane:

airplanebloggess

Victor and Hailey came down for a few days after I was done so we took her to a toy store and Iron Man was there.  We didn’t get a picture with him because he was on break, and by “on break” I mean “hiding behind the green screen and looking as if he was taking a shit in the trash can.”  A normal person would have looked away but I am not normal so here you go:
ironman2 thebloggess

Then when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder I realized that there was a small crowd of people on the street watching Iron Man possibly poop into his ironman toilet.  These were the people:

ironman3 thebloggess

“Um…what is happening?”

Then I looked back and saw Iron Man flash his hand-light-thing at them.  I tried to get a picture but I missed it and this is what I got instead.

ironman thebloggess

Don’t fuck with Iron Man when he’s pooping, y’all.

At the same store they were selling a really unfortunately named candy:

thebloggesscandy

“DINGLEBEARIES”

So, does “dingleberry” not mean the same thing up north?  Because in Texas, dingleberries are the dried balls of feces that get stuck to the hairy buttholes of farm animals.  Is that not common knowledge?  Is this a tongue-in-cheek joke by Big Gummy Bear, or was someone in marketing fucking with them when they offered up that name and the execs were like, “DINGLEBEARIE?  THAT IS FUN TO SAY.  PRINT UP A BILLION.”  I suspect it’s the latter because I saw a ton of people stop by the display and all of them were like, “Yum!  Let’s get these!  Dinglebearies sound delicious!  What will they think of next?”  And that’s a good question and one I don’t think I want to know the answer to.

Then I decided to do a sight-gag by taking a picture of myself in the NYT building so I could tweet “I’M IN THE NEW YORK TIMES TODAY, Y’ALL” but turns out they keep those doors locked.  But then someone was walking out of the building so I grabbed the door before it shut and snuck in as he was leaving so Victor could take the picture:

nyt thebloggess

Security didn’t think it was as funny as I did but on the bright side I did think it would be more entertaining to tweet pictures of me possibly being arrested.  And then I felt like this picture was a little boring compared to the picture I didn’t get of me not getting arrested so I didn’t share it.  Until now, that is.  Because I didn’t want to end with dingleberries.  No one wants that.

Stop being an asshole, New York

This is part 2 of my Blogher experience as recorded in my journal and I would recommend that you read part one first so that this part would make sense but honestly I don’t think that’s going to help either way.

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Me: Take a right on Houston Street.

Everyone else in New York:  You mean “Howston Street?”

me:  No, I don’t fucking mean “Howston Street”.  It’s pronounced Houston.  I’m FROM there.

Everyone else in New York:  We know but we’ve been mispronouncing it for years just to fuck with you people.  Oh look!  It’s the Empeer State Bwilding.

me:  Let me out of this taxi.

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You know what should be on the job description of taxi drivers?  Knowing where shit is.  It’s Times Square, dude.  Eventually someone’s gonna want to go there. Program that shit into your GPS.

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This is what happens when I try to call Kristen of Mommy Needs a Cocktail to come sit with me because I can’t leave my room:

Actually, mommy is just fine. But thanks for asking.

I totally want to show this to everybody but I can’t because I can’t leave my room.  Thanks, anxiety disorder.  You’re ruining it for everyone.

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Went to the Voices of the Year Gala and there was a naked picture of me in the lobby, which sounds kinda sexy until I mention that I was holding a plunger and that it’s named “Psycho”.  Hard to argue with that one.  Then I sat in a corner with an antique Smith-Corona typing psychic poetry for people because I was promised free drinks.  The poems were really less poems and more just extra sentences in case you needed one and started out with stuff like “Your eyes explode like roman candles in a starry night.  Also? Nice boobs” and by the end of the night they had degenerated into “I’m tooo drun_k to tyype.  MY fin_ggers hurrt.  Wheres the comma?”

I can't tweet on this thing for shit.

Also, my friend Jordan came to ask if I needed anything and I said I’d like a cocktail but she’s Mormon so she’s never ordered a drink before so the bartender just gave her soda water and she was all “No, add something alcoholic” and he’s all “What kind of alcohol?” and she’s like “I don’t know.  The alcoholic kind” and I don’t know what he put in it but from the taste I’m assuming it was rubbing alcohol but I pretended like it was really delicious because if that shit keeps her out of heaven I wanted her to at least feel like it was worth it.  And this is why you don’t let Mormons get cocktails for you.  Because they aren’t good at it and also because God might think you’re forcing them to sin and then you end up in hell, which is probably filled with a giant bar but only Mormons are allowed to mix the drinks so you end up drinking turpentine-coladas for eternity and also your hair is made of snakes.

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Went to the New York Library with Alice so that we could hunt for ghosts but it took awhile to get in because we couldn’t figure out how doors work. True story.  Then we got in and they searched our bags because I guess there are a lot of shootings that go down in the library?  We asked a librarian where we needed to go to see where Ghostbusters was filmed and she seemed flustered and told us that most people want to know where the Sex and the City scenes were shot.

me:  How gauche. We’re much too sophisticated for that.  Where was Slimer captured?

Librarian:  I…let me look that up for you.

me:  Have you ever seen any ghosts in the library?

Librarian:  Well, I only work from 1 to 4 on Thursdays and Fridays.

me:  Ah. So maybe they work on different hours.

Alice:  Actually, I looked this place up on the internet and couldn’t find anything about this place being haunted.

me:  No, I’m fairly certain Ghostbusters was a documentary.

Then we explored the library and we didn’t see any ghosts but we did see the “Quiet Zone” which was unnerving and looks like a lot of people in time-out.  Then we considered how sad it was that no one had ever been murdered there because that would make the building so much more fascinating and we thought about murdering someone in the bathroom just to help out the library but we decided not to because it’s illegal and also because we both have poor upper-body strength.  Then I took a picture of Alice in the library and we totally got a ghost in the picture who was so real that you couldn’t even tell that she was a ghost.

So yeah, it was pretty bad-ass.

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Went to a hipster hotel coffee bar because I needed a diet coke.  Barista with mutton-chops and a beret was all “Oh.  We don’t do that here” like I’d just asked if I where they do the illegal dog fights.  Then I pointed out that there was “soda” on the menu and he was all “That’s sparkling Italian soda.  We don’t do diet coke” and I just stood there staring at him and Alice gave me this look like “Is there going to be a problem here?  Because I will run away if so” and Mutton-Chops was all “You want the sparkling Italian soda.  Trust me” and I was all “Are you trying to save me from being too pedestrian?  Because I don’t need your pity“.  But then I paid $5 for a sparkling Italian soda because I was thirsty.  BUT THEN(!) Alice and I were wandering the halls of the hipster hotel and there was a cart fucking FILLED with diet cokes and I was all “You have GOT to be shitting me” and so I stole them because seriously?  Not cool, hipsters. But then it turns out that you have to have an old-fashioned bottle opener to open the damn things so I ended up just staring at them for two days like they were installation art.  Which is probably what hipsters do with them too, now that I think about it.

You win this round, Mutton-Chops.

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Part 3 comes out tomorrow unless I get distracted by somethi

I WON 5 HUGO AWARDS. And we all lost.

Do you know what the Hugo Awards are?  They’re the annual award for best sci-fi and fantasy writing and this year they were full of controversy because they were sort of hijacked.  The people voting had the opportunity to vote for “no award” in each category and I suspected that might be the case since it was one of the only ways to show their displeasure at the hijacking, and so last night as the awards began I tweeted this:

twitter

And by my logic that means that I won a shit-ton of Hugo Awards last night.  And so did you if you are a nobody in the sci-fi world!  WE WON!  And we also lost.  Because I use those award lists to find new things to read and they’re also helpful to get publishing houses to invest money into buying sci-fi books and finding new authors and then we all win when we have new stuff to read.

So instead of gloating about my well-deserved *cough*  awards I’m going to instead accept them in the names of a few sci-fi/fantasy authors I’ve enjoyed recently and if they’re new to you then you can check them out.  And then you do the same for me and tell me the sci-fi/fantasy authors I need to check out.  And then we all win again!

Here are a few of my favorites off the top of a my head:

John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless collection, Sydney Padua (Seriously, go read The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage RIGHT THIS SECOND.  Then give it to your young daughter because she’ll love it too.)

Your turn.  Who should I be reading?  Bonus points if I’ve never heard of them before.

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And now, the weekly wrap-up…

shit I did by Eric Orchard

 

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

  • As requested, #WheresRory shirts to confuse everyone around you.

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

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, the third book by award-winning New York Times best-selling author Kathleen Flinn. It’s a fabulous memoir about Kathleen’s sweet, but quirky family having sweet, but quirky adventures. They’re like The Waltons but in Michigan, and were poor, grew vegetables and they all read encyclopedias for fun. As an added bonus, you’ll find recipes, plus bigamy and bootlegging. Her first book was The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry about attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and falling in love with her husband. You should check it out here.

Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy:

A Funny Book About Horrible Things

furiously happy

For most of my life I’ve battled depression, anxiety and a host of other disorders, but I wrote this book less as a manual on how-to-survive-mental-illness and more of a compendium on how-to-thrive-in-spite-of-your-brain-being-a-real-bastard. Some of it is very serious and some of it is very funny, but I hope you’ll find that all of it is honest, baffling and relatable in ways that may make you question your own sanity.

Some people have called this my “magnum opus”.   I don’t know what that means but it sounds very 80’s, and I like Magnum and Opus so I’m taking it as a compliment. To clarify, there are no mustachioed detectives or cartoon penguins in this book but there are other things, such as:

  • The time I lost both my arms in a sleeping accident
  • The neighborhood swans that tried to eat me
  • The day Australia refused to let me get Chlamydia even though I was wearing a protective koala costume
  • Advice on how to survive the zombie apocalypse, the airport, and the zombie apocalypse at the airport
  • Completely inappropriate things I’ve blurted out to fill awkward silences at my psychiatrist’s office.

But in all of these odd stories – the darkly serious and the strangely baffling – I go back to a simple truth I learned from The Breakfast Club. “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.” I agree completely. Except go back and scratch out the word “hiding”.

Be bizarre. Be weird. Be proud of the uniquely beautiful way that you are broken.

Be furiously happy.

Furiously Happy is a #1 New York Times Bestseller. I blame you for this. You should order one for everyone in your family so that they better understand you.  Or so everyone thinks you’re very sane and logical by comparison.  It’s available at the following places:

If you want a signed copy you can order one from BookPeople in Austin and I’ll personalize it next time I’m in the store.  They ship all over.

The tour is over but I’ll be back next year with another one.  More soon.

official furiously happy tour poster

 

FURIOUSLY HAPPY

Quick, narcissistic announcement pulled from Publisher’s Weekly roundup of noteworthy book deals:

In Memoirs ~ Author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) and thebloggess.com, Jenny Lawson’s FURIOUSLY HAPPY, about life’s highs and lows and the absurdities in between, again to Amy Einhorn and Amy Einhorn Books, for publication in Spring 2014, by Neeti Madan at Sterling Lord Literistic.

Translation:  Book two has begun.  Terrified.  Excited.  At a loss for words.  Which is probably a very bad thing for an writer, now that I think about it.

Fuck.

PS.  Thank you.  There’s a reason why LPTNH is still on the NYT list, and that reason is you.  Everyday I get emails from people who have just now discovered this amazing, hysterical, bizarre online community and who finally realize how very not alone they are in their awkward weirdness.  You’re helping people find their tribe and I’m so incredibly lucky to be part of that.

You are the very best kind of weird and I can’t thank you enough for sharing it.

I have three nipples

I’ve gotten a lot of weird gifts over my tour but so far this was a favorite. Someone gave me a nipple.

A homemade nipple.

AND IT’S AWESOME.

That is, until I got glitter on it and then it was stuck to the latex and I was trying to pull the glitter off of my nipple but it wouldn’t come off so I asked Victor to lick it because I have a thing about not licking latex nipples that strangers gave me, but then he wouldn’t do it so I can’t get the glitter off and now I know why people refer to glitter as “the herpes of the craft world,” and I also know how it feels to have herpes on your nipples, which I’m not even sure is medically possible.

But what I do know is that it’s now become my new lucky charm.

My third nipple…

Photo on 4-24-12 at 7.52 AM

I also got a pretty kick-ass picture of my wild boar (James Garfield) painted with human lips and a dead mouse replica made of peanut putter and fruit roll-ups.

It’s been a weird week.

Speaking of “weird week”, you might have noticed me a few days freaking out about somehow ending up on the New York Times Best-Seller list.  I still can’t believe that happened.  The list publishes a week from Sunday and here’s where I fell:

#1 in Combined Print and Ebook Nonfiction

#2 in Print Hardcover Nonfiction

#2 in Print Hardcover and Paperback Combined

#2 in Ebook Nonfiction

It seems like a dream to me and I can’t wrap my mind around it, but I have something to say about it.

Thank you.

This book was 10 years in the making and I put my blood, sweat, tears and other body fluids into it, but none of that would have mattered without your support.  And not just the support of each of you encouraging me and telling me not to quit when I was in a deep depression or hiding under the desk having anxiety attacks.  The simple fact is that as a first-time, no-name author I had almost no chance of ever getting on that list, but somehow my book made it on its first week out…because of you.  Because you bought the book.  Because you told other people about it.  Because you sent it to you mom or child or friends so that they’d understand that you aren’t the only weirdo in the world.  And because of that, people will read this book.  People who might have felt just as strange and weird as all of us will be able to find that they aren’t alone…that there is a tribe of people out there just as fucked up as they are.  People who always felt like misfits will see that sometimes it’s the misfits that rule the world, and that a large enough group of us can change the rules.  I don’t have the words to thank you for joining me on this long journey, nor do I have the words to make you understand what a difference you’ve made to me and to everyone else out there like us, but I have to try.

Thank you.

Score one for the misfits.

Score one for us.

I apologize in advance for disappointing you

Um…hi.

So apparently my blog went viral and/or bacterial with my last post.  This seems like the kind of thing people dream about, but since I don’t get paid by traffic it really just meant that my servers crashed and a lot of angry people yelled at me that I should kill myself in really creative (and violently misspelled) ways.   Which actually?  Was kind of hysterical, and Victor and I cannot stop quoting you.  Well done, you.

For those of you who are new here and who actually want to stick around, welcome.  And also I’m sorry.  Normally this would be a moderately clever paragraph about wolverines or giant squid, but I’m in Puerto Rico this week and I’m just too sleepy to be witty.  Luckily, I’ve made a t-shirt for you. (Also available in infant sizes.)

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And now, this week’s Shit-I-did-when-I-wasn’t-here:

What you missed on Ill-Advised:

What you missed on Good Mom/Bad Mom on the Houston Chronicle:

  • Nothing.  I’m on vacation.

What you missed on my sex column (which is satirical and vaguely safe for work if your boss isn’t a complete douche-canoe):

What you missed in my shop, tentatively “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

  • A Beyonce Chicken card. The inside of the card says “Knock-knock, motherfuckers” so it’s pretty much perfect for all occassions.  I suggest keeping several handy for condolence cards.

What  you missed on the internets:

  • I have no idea.  I heard my blog was on the front page of Fark.  I’ve been vaguely unplugged so I’m sure I’m missing something.

This week on Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

  • REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF. Sadly, I can’t link to any of it because I keep losing my internet connection.  Also, I’m sitting in the business center of the hotel while everyone else is out on the beach and it’s making me sad.  Seriously.  Even the guy who runs the business center is out there. I promise to make up for all of this when I get home.  Tales of cock-fighting, planes falling from the sky, and intentionally drinking bacteria will abound.  Unless I get distracted…ooh look, carpet!

This week’s round-up sponsored by the dangerously awesome people at Credit Karma, who want to help you save your money. They’ve been featured everyplace from CNN to the New York Times but they’re open-minded enough to realize that being featured on irreverent blogs like this one can be just as valid. This either means they are brilliant or completely daft. Either way, you should check them out.


     

     

UPDATED: Obama Fever = better than Dengue Fever, not quite as good as Boogie Fever.

 

So tomorrow I’m taking off work to go to an inauguration party thrown by Oatmeal.  Because when you think of Obama you think of oatmeal.  Or something.  I don’t really know where the tie-in is.  All I know is that my friend Karen got a call from Big Oatmeal telling her to round up her girlfriends because they want to make us oatmeal.  While we watch the inauguration.  And then later we get our picture taken with a giant cardboard cut-out of the Quaker Oats guy.  I am not making any of this up.

Basically it’s like a nintendo party but with oatmeal.  Honestly, I could not think of a product less likely to have a party based around it.  Like maybe a bunch of ad executives were sitting around thinking of the worst possible idea for a product tie-in and the first one’s all “How about a party where women get to try out the latest paper towels?” and the second one’s like “Yeah, except replace ‘paper towels’ with ‘maxi-pads'” and then the first guy is all “No, wait.  How ’bout an OATMEAL PARTY?” and then guy #2 is like “Meh” and then the first guy is all “DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION“.   And then the second one is all “High five, bro.  You win.  That’s the dumbest fucking idea ever” and then the third ad exec comes in and he’s wearing a top hat and a monocle because he’s like the boss of the other ad execs and he’s all “Dumber like a fox!  We are totally going to do that idea and it will be so awesome that the New York Times will write about it” and then that totally actually happened

Anyway, I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do at an inauguration party but I’m bringing booze and also I wrote the lyrics to the National Anthem on my hand in case I have to sing it.  I’ll be updating the blog throughout the day with my thoughts on political junk.  Also, I heard that there will be TV crews at Karen’s house which is awesome because I’ve wanted to say the F word on National TV for like, ever.  Also, I just want to reiterate that this is an amazing, solemn occasion and I for one can’t wait to toast our new president.  With oatmeal.  Apparently.

PS.  It just occurred to me that this could be some sort of sting, like when they tell wanted felons that they won a boat and then when the felon goes to pick it up it’s all police dogs and mace.  If I don’t update this post it’s probably because all of this is some sort of elaborate set-up.  And then when the police arrest me John McCain jumps out and is all “Seriously?  You thought the black guy won?!”   That would totally suck.

UPDATE – 6:30am:  Fox news is here live-broadcasting us live-blogging about being live-broadcasted.  I was all “You guys must be so fucking sad today”.  They totally are.  Also, there’s no oatmeal here at all yet.  Mood:  disappointed.

UPDATE – 6:45am:  Happy Katie, Chookooloonks, Katherine Center and Jodi Bash from The Journey are all here.  The news guy was just about to interview me at 8am and I mentioned that my granny is all “I wish Jenny would just blog about kittens and not about killing them” and then the news guy is all “Huh.  So…maybe time to up the medications?” and I’m all “Oh, I’m already mixing a bunch of medications” and he’s all “Oh.  Usually people are just kidding about that” and then like two minutes later he’s like “You know…maybe we’ll interview the religion blogger instead”.  It’s probably a good choice.

UPDATE – 7am: Me:  “The last time I was on fox news I was naked wearing only a  bed sheet.”   News guy : “I’m sorry, what?”.  Me:  “Are you sure you don’t want me to talk?  Because I have a lot to say about this inauguration shit.”  Him:  “Pretty sure..pretty sure.”

UPDATE – 8:50 am:  Motherfucker.  There is no giant oatmeal cut-out guy.  Instead we have the Quaker guys head on a stick.  Also there’s no oatmeal here at all. 

Mood:  Completely disillusioned.

UPDATE – 8:55am:  Laura just arrived with booze.  Mood:  Less pissed off.

UPDATE – 9:30am :  The oatmeal is here.  Fucking finally.  Apparently we have an oatmeal caterer and he’s pouring us all champagne.  Also something is important happening with Obama today.  I’m like the best political pundit ever.

UPDATE  – 11:00 :  CBS is here.  My laptop has crashed.  I blame Bush.  Also, if I was Obama I would totally be high right now and I would stab someone when I was coming down off the podium.  And I’d be all “What’re you gonna do?  Arrest me?  I’M THE FUCKING PRESIDENT.”  I wouldn’t stab anyone important though.  And I’d just stab them in the leg so it wouldn’t be fatal.  Because I’m all about mercy.  Also, everytime they show Bush listening to Obama he looks like he’s lost in his own dream world.  He’s probably all “How many ponies should I have?  I think a lot.”

UPDATE 12:56pm – The CW is here now.  I just got my first interview and I mentioned how awesome it would be if tomorrow Obama was all “And I’m also GAY, bitches” and then he’s the first gay President and then he get’s a sex change and he’s the first transgendered president and then the interviewer is all “That’s a lot of pressure” and I’m all “Well, he could stretch it out over a few months.  He doesn’t have to do it all the first week.”  I’m pretty sure they’re going to make me some kind of news anchor.

UPDATE (I don’t know what time it is) – The news did not use any part of my interview.  Also, the inauguration has just ended and already the backlash and political infighting has begun.  What was it Obama said about this kind of aggression?  That we will extend our hand to you if you will  just unclench your damn fist, and then we will kick you in the groin while you’re still looking at our hand?  That’s what I heard.

Comment of the day: When I was little, I thought that the Quaker Oats guy was Benjamin Franklin. Or that Benjamin Franklin was the Quaker Oats guy. The concept was kind of scary to me, just another in a long list of Things Adults Did that I’d maybe eventually figure out later. ~kristy

Where’s Rory? (UPDATED)

So.  Next month my new book comes out and if you read here often enough you’re already familiar with Rory, the gloriously ecstatic and somewhat terrifying taxidermied road-kill raccoon who graces the cover.

furiously happy

When you read the book you’ll learn all about Rory, and also more about how my anxiety disorder makes it hard to leave the house at times.  These things seem unrelated but when my publisher first started making cardboard standees to send to book sellers I mentioned how nice it was that all of these cardboard raccoons were traveling so bravely around the world as my stand-in.

Next month I’ll start traveling for months (off and on) during my book tour but I already know from my first tour that I’m not really strong enough to see anything of the cities that I’ll travel to, except for the blanket fort I’ll make in my hotel room and the wonderful people who’ll come to bookstores to listen to me read.  It probably seems like a waste of travel to the average person but I know that I don’t have the physical or mental stamina to see the sites or landmarks.  And that’s a little sad, but it’s also sort of wonderful to finally acknowledge my limits and recognize them and to not push myself past them…to know that taking care of myself is more important than seeing the world.

But when I first saw the cardboard Rory raccoons being made I thought of the traveling gnome prank (the practice of stealing a garden gnome and sending postcards and pictures of the gnome traveling the world to the owner) and thought how lovely it would be if some of these Rorys could travel around the world and see all of the amazing things that so many of us never see.  And my publisher (who is strange enough to agree to put a dead raccoon on the cover of a book) agreed completely and sent me a lovely cardboard Rory.  I photographed him all around the house.

With my pets:

wheresrorypets

Ferris Mewler, Hunter S. Thomcat, Dorothy Barker and Rory.

With Beyoncé:

Knock knock, motherfucker.

Knock knock, motherfucker.

With James Garfield:

whereroryjamesgarfield

And even with the original Rory:

"SURPRISE!"

“SURPRISE!”

Then my friend Laura took Rory with her on a few weeks of travel.  He was with her at Blogher, and she texted me pictures of old friends with Rory as I sat at home and suddenly felt so much less lonely than I had before.

Do you know these people? You should.

Do you know these people? You should.

Then came pictures of him in New York.

If a dead raccoon can make it here he can make it anywhere. I'm paraphrasing.

If a dead raccoon can make it here he can make it anywhere. I’m paraphrasing.

And then he was jetted off to the beach.

No sunscreen needed.

No sunscreen needed.

And he joined in on a family vacation.

"High-five, Walt."

“High-five, Walt.”

And each time a picture would come in I’d feel like I was there.  And I’d share the picture with Hailey and Victor and we’d all laugh at the ridiculous wonder of a small raccoon seeing the world.  And Laura would tell me hysterical stories of people she’d met because they were so intrigued with this bizarre, ecstatic cardboard raccoon who was lounging on beach chairs, or riding on ferris wheels, or watching a Broadway play.

And it was lovely.

We haven’t even started and already I’m thrilled.  But let’s keep going.  Do you have someplace you think Rory needs to see?  Do you want to take him with you to see a landmark, share a photo of him and then pass him on to someone else who can photograph him in another new place?  The Eiffel Tower?  The world’s largest ball of twine?  Horseback riding?  Being hugged by sloths?  Balancing on the head of your great-grandmother?  Just leave me a comment (with your email so I can contact you) and I’ll send dozens of Rorys into the world so we can see what happens.

I’ll be updating this post with new pictures as they come in, and sharing them online using the #WheresRory hashtag.  I hope you’ll enjoy vicariously seeing the world through the eyes of a tiny, couch-surfing, furiously happy raccoon as much as I do.

PS. If you simply can’t wait for someone to mail you a Rory you can make one yourself.  Just click here, print the pdf, glue it on something stiff and cut it out.  BOOM.  You’re in business.  Or you can buy a hard-plastic photo-sculpture here.  You can share links and pictures in the comment section and I’ll update it as Rory travels.

PPS.  Thank you.  This is ridiculous and I know that but I also know that you people are magic with ridiculousness, and that instead of judging me you’re more likely to take this someplace I’d never imagine.  You are made of stardust.  Thank you.

UPDATED:  GO LOOK AT THESE PICTURES, Y’ALL.

Like Oprah, but for poor people.

I’m not sure if she still does it, but Oprah used to do a thing where she picked all of her favorite things for the year and then did a show about them.  I was thinking of doing the same thing, except instead of things that millionaires love, it would just be things that make me happy that I spent an extra few dollars on.  Mostly because every time I use these things I think “Holy shit, I’m so glad I have this and I wish I could give this stuff to everyone in the world.”  I can’t though, but what I can do is tell you the stuff that I’ve been happiest about finding and you can do the same thing in the comments and then we can all find awesome cheap or free stuff that we love.  Also, this post isn’t funny.  Sorry if you were coming here for that.  But to make it up to you I’m giving away a gift certificate with enough on it to buy pretty much everything I’m going to talk about.  (As long as you live in America.  If you live somewhere that doesn’t have Amazon I’ll just paypal you the amount.)  Also, I’ve been given absolutely no compensation to write this and the people and products I’m writing about have no idea I’m doing this and some might actually be sad for having been linked back to such an irreverent band of misfits, but they can just suck it because I love them anyway.  The bastards.

So, things I love that are worth spending money on or that are totally free anyway:

Allie Brosh.  Her blog is fantastic and free and she has a book coming out in a few months which is wonderific.  She sent me a copy and I literally shot juice out of the hole in my stomach from laughing so hard.  I also told her she could use that as a blurb.  Because I’m a giver. 

J. R. Watkins Coconut Sugar and Shea Body Scrub.  I have super dry skin and this exfoliates with sugar and then the shea butter stays on your skin.  It’s the only thing that doesn’t disappear immediately on me.  (You can usually get it way cheaper at Target.)

A bath sheet.  It’s like a towel, but bigger, and when I dry off I feel like I’m at a fancy hotel drying off using the duvet (until laundry day when my two bath sheets are in the wash and I have to use a beach towel.)  I’ll know that I’ve finally “made it” when I can afford a whole set.

Neuro Sleep.  I have no idea what’s really in it but it makes me sleep better than rum, and that’s saying a lot.  I have one every few nights and my insomnia has gotten slightly less horrific.

TARDIS Beach Towel.  I know.  Two towels in one list?  Who needs that many towels?  Me and Douglas Adams.  That’s who.  (You can sometimes get this cheaper on ThinkGeek.)  The awesome things about this is that when you’re at the pool you can tell all the cool, slightly nerdy people who will be fun to sit by because they all go “OHMYGOD, I WANT THAT.”  The other people look at you like you’re a total dork.  It’s okay to pee in the pool if you’re standing near those people.

Little Snowie Shaved Ice Machine.  It’s pricey at a little over $200 but we’ve used ours almost every day for years and years.  We don’t buy the syrup because it’s expensive but we eat them plain, or with fruit juice, or with booze drizzled over the top.  My favorite is Amaretto and Chamboard when we’re flush, or Strawberry Hill when money is tight.  Also, when it’s really hot you can make a laundry basket full of shaved ice, put on your bathing suit, and have snowball fights in the yard.  Our neighbors hate us.

Neil Gaiman.  I’m a voracious reader and could probably write a million paragraphs on all the books you should read, but I’m most grateful for the day (a million years ago) I went into the comic shop and was disappointed to find the latest issue of Strangers in Paradise hadn’t arrived yet.  The guy behind the counter looked at me as if to size up my worthiness and after a few seconds came out to introduce me to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.  He had me start on book 4 (Season of Mists) and I devoured it and reread it 20 times until I could save up enough to start from the beginning and collect them all.  Sandman is my Catcher in the Rye and it saved me from a dark place by showing me I wasn’t alone.  I owe that guy behind the comic counter more than he’ll ever know.

The Suicide Hotline.  I realize this is a weird one, but I struggle with mental illness and one day I had urges that I was really afraid of.  My shrink wasn’t answering and I was afraid I was really going to hurt myself.  The girl on the other end of the line listened and gave me actual pointers on how to avoid the self-harms issues I was struggling with. I still use those coping mechanisms she gave me.  It saved me from myself, and it was free.

Jenny Lewis in all her incarnations. People are rediscovering her now and that’s awesome.  My ideal party would be me, her, Amanda Palmer, Regina Spektor and Miranda Lambert all in my bathroom with a karaoke machine and a bartender and some illegal fireworks.   Rabbit Fur Coat is one of those CD’s I buy over and over because I always lend it out to people when they’re struggling.  This song as well is rather healing for me.

Stephen Parolini ~ His blog is Counting on Rain and he’s one of my favorite writers ever.  He writes amazing, dark, beautiful short stories for free.  He doesn’t post often, but when he does it’s always something incredible.

Levar Burton explaining how not to get shot by the police.  Yeah.  This one isn’t a happy one, but I used this dozens of times this week to help people explain that just because you don’t see racism doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  There were lots of other great commentaries out there this month, but there’s something about the guy who raised us on Reading Rainbow talking about his fear for his life that makes most people at least pause and think a bit about the world as it is, and as we want it to be.  And that’s a good thing.

Venture Bros.  So good.  Impossible not to like.  Gateway drug to Archer.

 Independent book stores ~ It’s ironic that I’m linking to Amazon here for everything, because Indie book stores are my kryptonite.  Not only do they have awesome, weird stuff that you won’t find in mainstream stores, but they also are amazing resources for readers who need suggestions.  You can sometimes make friends with your local book-monger and ask them to compile a reading list for you based on your likes.  Their books are sometimes a bit pricier, but it’s worth the extra few dollars and if it weren’t for Indie Book Sellers my book wouldn’t have nearly as loud of a voice.

What Should I Read Next.  You know when you read an amazing book and you wish you could find another similar to it but you can’t?  Well, now you can.  Type in the book you like and “What Should I Read Next” will give you a list of books similar to that one.

Doctor Who.  You either hate it, or it changes your whole life and you spend nights waiting for David Tennant to tell you that you’re the key to saving all the kittens in the universe.  It’s ridiculous and silly and requires an enormous willing-suspension-of-disbelief, but some of the most beautiful moments on TV come from Doctor Who.  You can watch it for free on Netflix.  Start with the 2005 reboot.  Watch through episode 10.  If you don’t like it you can at least say that you tried and now you can spend your free time looking for the soul that you seem to have lost.

 Microwave slippers.  I have arthritis so my feet hurt a lot.  I pop these in the microwave and slip them on in bed to sleep in when I’m having a super rough day.  I feel ancient just typing this but I can’t live without them during the winter.

Okay, your turn.  What have you discovered that you now can’t live without?  Just leave it in the comment section and at the end of the week I’ll pick one random person to get a $350 amazon gift card so you can buy everything on this list.  Except Neil Gaiman.  You can’t buy a person.  That’s illegal, you guys.

UPDATED:  Alright, it’s the end of the week and I usually just send an email to the person who wins or announce it on twitter, but when I read the comment selected by my random number generator I really felt I needed to share it.

From Dangerous Lilly:  I don’t think I have a shot at winning it, but if I did I wouldn’t keep the gift card. I’d give it to my best friend. Because she’s amazing, and life handed her a big bag of suck lately, so she’s always on the brink of poor but can’t do a thing about it til after her transplant and her kids drive her nuts half the time. So yeah. I’d like to give her something awesome but she won’t let me if it’s from my own pocket. I have things that make me happy, that I can’t live without, and most of them cost money so…. I’d rather share the love.

I seriously adore you people.  DangerousLilly, check your email.