Category Archives: functions I shouldn’t be allowed to attend

I assure you, that was not my nipple.

So this week I did a keynote address at the Texas Conference for Women.  The other keynote speakers were all uber-professional and awesome, and one was a nobel peace laureate, and they all said very important, inspirational things.  And then I got on the stage and panicked and decided to do a reading from my book about the time I got my arm stuck up a cow’s vagina.  In my defense though, I’m me, so it wasn’t like they didn’t know they were getting into, and surprisingly few people actually walked out.  I suspect the few who did walk out probably just had cow vagina phobia (I feel ya, sisters) but then later I realized it might have been for another reason altogether.  Very sweet friends sent me photos of myself on stage and some of them made me look almost professional:

Pretend I was saying something profound here and not just explaining how easy it is to get your arm broken in a cow vagina.

Then my friend Laura sent me pictures from the back.  After the fifth one I had noticed they all had one similarity:

Do you see it?

You might not notice from the picture, but after looking at a series of them all I can see is what appears to be my right nipple escaping from my shirt.

No shit. It's in EVERY shot.

And I know it’s not my nipple because I’m about to turn 40 and my nipples weren’t that perky even when I was 20.  In fact, I’d almost be proud if that was an accidental nip-slip, because who wouldn’t be impressed with nipples that are so perky they seem to be reading the book along with me?  Answer: Professional conference attendees staring at a possible wonky nipple during a 20-minute diatribe about cow vaginas.

Let me assure you, it was not my nipple.  I suspect it was shadow of the circular microphone on the podium, but now I’m worried that thousands of women think I was intentionally showing off my one good nipple.  I would never do that, y’all.  Because I’m a lady.

And now that I’ve straightened that out (or possibly made it much, much worse) I’m going to change the subject to tell you that I just opened a box from my editor and it was filled with my book in Portuguese.  I think.  I’m not good with languages.  But as an early Christmas/Hanukkah present I’m going to give away signed Portuguese copies to a few random commenters.  Why would you even want this?  I have no idea.  But I guarantee that you’ll be the only one with one.

I shoved the cover in my cat's face and screamed, "HEY, CAT! YOU'RE TOTALLY FAMOUS IN BRAZIL," and then she ran and hid under the couch. Some people just can't handle fame.

 

I don’t think it’s even humanly possible to fart in front of Katie Couric.

This week I’ve still been in the last stages of recovery from one of the strongest bouts of depression I’ve ever faced.  Next week I’ll be on the Katie Couric Show.  Life is weird.

I taped it before I fell into the black hole I’ve been crawling out of, which is good because I would’ve looked exhausted and teary, but bad because I’ve actually lost some weight on my too-sick-to-eat-solid-food diet and might actually have fit into my clothes.  Regardless, it was awesome and you should totally watch it, in spite of the fact that my cat (Hunter S. Thomcat) totally steals the show.

I think I’m probably not supposed to give away the details of the show but I can tell you that Katie Couric is adorable and so tiny that I could eat her in one sitting and still want dessert.  Also, they put me in a (very fancy but quite tight) dress and a pair of heels I could barely stand in and when I wobbled out onto the stage I almost fell on Katie and crushed her.  Plus, when I sat down I heard a ripping sound and I knew it was my dress but I had this terrible feeling that Katie thought I’d farted.  Let me assure you, I would never fart in front of Katie Couric.  I have standards, people.

Will you watch?  The tv listing:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 – Katie’s 4th episode
As Katie embarks on a new adventure in her own life, she introduces viewers to two women whose personal stories inspired her. First, Katie’s conversation with Brené Brown, a research professor and motivational speaker whose new book, Daring Greatly, poses the question: can daring to make yourself vulnerable change your life, and be the ultimate key to happiness? And then, Jenny Lawson, author of the widely read blog, “The Bloggess,” whose decision to open up about her personal struggles on her widely read blog inspired the “Red Dress” phenomenon.

PS.  I looked like Snooki for the first hour of makeup…

…But in the end it worked out okay…

True story: They had another dress for me in a size 20. I couldn't get it over my left leg. It was an Italian 20. Because people in Italy like insulting fat people. Apparently.

PPS.  You should really buy Daring Greatly, and not just because Brene is one of my best friends.  It’s fabulous.

PPPS.  Need your own traveling red dress?  Check out the Facebook page for some beautiful donations or donate one yourself.  Also, I’m giving out three new traveling red dresses to the first three people who convince me you really need one.  (Just make sure you leave a good email address so I can contact you.)

PPPPS.  Thank you.  None of this would have been possible without thousands of amazing people who have donated, worn and passed on these red dresses.  I’m so incredibly lucky to be a part of this community.

It’s like a hoodie. But with fangs.

Last week my friend Suebob pointed me toward an enormous taxidermied wolf on Etsy THAT YOU CAN WEAR.

The girl who made it is actually INSIDE of it. And possibly about to get shot.

It was made of awesome, and I was able to verify that the wolf died of old age/kidney failure so I could buy it with a clear conscience and PETA couldn’t throw blood at me when I wore it at formal events.  I told Victor that I would name him “Wolf Blitzer” and that I would use him as a sleeping bag on cold airplanes (and also to menace anyone who took my arm-rest.)  Victor pointed out that airport security gets uptight about snow globes and nail-clippers so they probably wouldn’t let me bring a wolf on a plane as carry-on, but I was already formulating a plan to make Wolf Blitzer my service-animal-companion since I have chronic panic attacks, and airplanes have to recognize disabilities.  Like the disability of not being able to be relax on a cold plane without some xanax and a dead wolf snuggie named Wolf Blitzer.  Victor started to argue with me but then he gave up because Wolf Blitzer was very expensive and he knew I couldn’t justify paying that much for a blanket with claws.  And he was right.  Which is why I immediately went on Kickstarter to submit an application for a fundraiser to help me pay for a dead wolf to wear on plane rides.  I labeled it under “Performance Art” and promised to repay patrons by sharing photos of me wearing it to the Twilight opening.

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Kickstarter responded almost immediately:  “Thank you for taking the time to share your idea. Unfortunately, this isn’t the right fit for Kickstarter.”  Because apparently Kickstarter doesn’t appreciate helping people with disabilities.

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I was about to give up when I found out that the person I’d originally chosen to read my audiobook (James Earl Jones) was not responding to my emails and so instead I would have to read my own damn book, and I told my agent that I’d do it but only if I could be paid in dead wolf snuggies.  Then there was an awkward pause and I explained that I’d wear it while recording my book, and that way Wolf Blitzer would be a tax deduction, and she said she needed to go.  Probably because talking about tax law is super-boring.

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When I explained to Zhon (the girl who made Wolf Blitzer) that I needed him quickly (because I was Team Jacob and needed him for opening weekend) she didn’t even pause to question me.  Because she’s awesome.  And also because she once made a life-size Tauntaun to wear, so she’s really not in any position to judge me.

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me: I just bought Wolf Blitzer so that I can wear him to see Twilight-part-whatever, but you can’t yell at me because he didn’t cost anything.

Victor:  How the hell did that happen?

me:  I bartered for him in trade for narrating my own audiobook.

Victor:  AND THIS IS WHY YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE FINANCIAL DECISIONS WITHOUT ME.

me:  No way.  That was a great financial decision.  I feel all in touch with my 1/64th Native American heritage.  I just bartered a story for a dead wolf head-dress.  I’m like Pocahontas, but with an audiobook.

Victor:  My head hurts.

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Wolf Blitzer arrived.  And he was MAGNIFICENT.  But Victor refused to take me and my dead wolf to the movies because apparently he’s Team Edward.  Luckily, my friends Maile and Laura were willing to come along for the ride.  Laura dressed up as a member of the Volturi because we thought it would be funny to have some sort of West Side Story dance-fight at the theater.  Maile hadn’t actually read the Twilight books and so I tried to convince her to wear my Bigfoot costume, and I told her that Bigfoot totally played a huge part in this movie.  And then at the end I’d be like “I can’t believe they cut the Bigfoot part out!  He was so integral to the book!” but Maile has known me for far too long to trust me and so instead she dressed up as a very cynical friend who doesn’t understand how fun it is to wear a Bigfoot costume to the movies.

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We laughed.  We cried.  Maile saw some very conservative looking friends and casually  introduced Laura and I without explaining at all why we were dressed as werewolves and Draculas.  I took a picture with a very brave stranger who asked what my deal was.  I told her I was here to see the Muppet Movie.  She looked confused.

My work there was done.

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 You want pictures, don’t you?  Fine.  Here they are.  Because Wolf Blitzer and I love you.  Much more than Kickstarter does.  Apparently.

Buying my ticket. And yes, it was a little embarrassing. A women in her 30's going to see Twilight, I mean. Not wearing Wolf Blitzer. Wolf Blitzer is awesome.

"Holy crap, is that a Volturi? Don'tcomeoverhereDon'tcomeoverhereDon't - Oh shit."

It's fine. She's tweeting. Just keep your head down and she probably won't even notice.

 

Fuck. She noticed. Awk-ward.

Eventually they let us into the theater and we drank copiously.  Laura and I rooted for our respective teams and Maile photographed the debacle.  It’s sort of amazing that we weren’t kicked out of the theater.

Twilight movies are like the girl version of watching the Superbowl. In that they can only be enjoyed when really drunk.

And it was awesome, except for the part when all the werewolves started talking to each other WITH THEIR MINDS and then it got really stupid and I leaned over to Laura and Maile and whispered, “Okay.  Right now, for the first time all night?  I’m kind of embarrassed to be wearing a giant wolf suit.”  And they nodded sympathetically, because that’s what good friends do.

The magic of the theater. And friends. And Wolf Blitzer.

I think I just became a professional scientist. A dangerously unqualified one.

Yesterday I got an email from Scientific American magazine asking if I would be interested in submitting some ideas for science experiments for children.  And I was all, OF COURSE I WOULD.  After all, this is the same prestigious magazine that Einstein once contributed to.

My actual response:

Have you considered experiments regarding the proper combination of liquids?  Specifically, teaching children how to mix mojitos properly.

Technically, it’s basic chemistry (with a touch of biology if you grow the mint yourself) which ends in awesomeness. Plus, the parents would have to test the final product, so you have automatic parental involvement.  Personally, I would be very interested in becoming involved in that experiment.  Or anything involving Zombie Apocalypse preparations.  Maybe something with battle-axes.

Also, have you heard about these nuclear wolves?  Because they sound scary as shit.  Personally, I think we need to be concerned.  We may have over-planned for zombies, and under-planned for nuclear wolves.

Hugs,

Jenny

PS.  My spellcheck says “mojito” isn’t even a real word. I think this points out exactly why this sort of education is critical in America.

 

To be honest, I wasn’t actually expecting a response, but I got one:

If you really want to create an experiment on the proper combination of liquids (mojitos or otherwise), can you provide some more details like the objective of the experiment, the controls and variables that you think should be present, etc.? If our edit team features it as part of the next round of BSH experiments, we’ll credit you and link to your Twitter/blog. Suggestions from your blog readers and social followers are also welcomed.

And I completely agree about making serious moves to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse. I don’t want to scare you, but zombie fungus ants might be the real thing we need to be worried about… At least for now.

Thanks again for the response. We look forward to discussing this and other end of the world conspiracies with you further.

Which?  Kind of a bad-ass response from a magazine that’s been around since the the 1850’s. Unfortunately, all I know about science is that if you flush a lit M-80 down the toilet it will fuck. up. your plumbing.  Really, I can’t stress that enough.  Also, you should not use roman candles to “burn away” the evidence.  It totally does not work at all and just makes things worse.  Plus, did you know that shower curtains are highly flammable?  Because I didn’t.

PS.  I have no clue how to write a proper scientific proposal and most of you are way smarter than me, so if any of you have any suggestions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll have the Scientific American team come and check them out.  And then we all get knighted as Professional Scientists and then we can wear white lab coats with impunity and pretend to be very important doctors who can’t be bothered to pay their bar tabs because I HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY TO ATTEND TO AND THIS COAT HAS NO POCKETS FOR MY WALLET.  I’m pretty sure that’s how science works.

I’m also getting a lot of spam insults from foreign robots. Which is sad, because this is probably going to put a lot of local trolls out of business.

Actual comment I just got:

“Your site looks very interesting to me. I found it doing a search for butt hairy woman.”

For the love of God, let that be spam.

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

(Illustration courtesy of the lovely @MissMortis)

What you missed on Ill-Advised:

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

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 named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

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

Of conferences and anxiety disorders

Sorry I’ve been MIA.  I was in New Orleans at the Mom 2.0 Summit where I spoke about the time I got crabs of the hand from a Japanese sex dungeon.  (FYI…when I got back to America I found out that it was just a rash from petting some rabbits but I never actually clarified that in my talk and afterward no one would shake my hand.  This is a helpful life-hack for germophobes.)

I only go to one or two conferences a year because it’s too hard with my anxiety disorder but I can usually push through it and come home with a lot of ridiculous, fun stories to write about.  This time, however, my anxiety moved to full-scale paralyzing panic and I spent more than half of my time in my room.  It was fine because the conference was wonderful and I still got to meets lots of amazing people and spend time with old friends but by the second day of spending 75% of my day locked alone in my room I started to feel like a gigantic failure and I may have cried the ugly cry just a bit.  Then my friend Karen called to say “You’ve been missing for days.  I’m coming to get you” but when she got there I was all “No, I’m fine.  I think I just really need to cry and sleep and I need someone to tell me it’s going to be okay” and then our other friend Maile called Karen and was all “I’m feeling overwhelmed and I just need to cry for no reason at all and for someone to tell me to calm down” and then Karen looked at me and wondered what she did to attract all the crazies to her and she was all “Okay.  We’re all three going to my room to have some wine and do a ridiculous photo-shoot with wigs and fake cigarettes and masks.”

And that’s exactly what we did.

And it was perfect.

But here’s the thing…  I’m a huge fan of conferences.  They are amazing and wonderful and everyone should go to one at least once, but I think what I finally learned this time around is that it’s okay to give yourself permission to stay in your room, or to not go to all the parties, or to skip the conference altogether and just have dinner with an old friend.  What I learned is that (for some of us) the best way to enjoy a conference is to not actually go to the conference.  And that’s okay.  And a few hours later when Karen and Maile got ready for the late night conference party  I decided to skip it and slip back to my hotel and order room service again.  But for once, I didn’t feel hopeless and I didn’t feel like a failure.

I felt lucky.

PS. I still adore conferences and I will probably always go to Mom 2.0 and Blogher but I think what I learned is that it’s okay to look at a conference as a buffet and you don’t have to eat everything on it.  It’s okay to go a party and a few panels and then to give yourself permission to spend the rest of the time relaxing in bed or exploring the city.  It’s okay to be alone.  It’s just as fun to spend a night in with one friend as it is to be at a fancy party with hundreds.  It’s okay to be a conference junkie and go to them all.  It’s okay to never go to one.  Either way?  It’s going to be okay. And that was all I needed to know.

There might be some sort of voodoo curse on me.

I’m three weeks behind on this but I actually do have a very good reason which does not involve drinking or taxidermied alligators, for once.  Victor got a really horrific infection in his broken arm and was in the hospital for so long that I forgot where I lived.  Then Hailey and I both came down with strep and when they finally let Victor come home they put him on an antibiotic that costs $2,300.  After insurance. Then all the corpses from the Indian burial ground beneath our house started floating up in our pool and I considered moving to Canada and investing in my own bone saw.  (FYI…only that very last sentence is an exaggeration.  We don’t have a pool.)

But after all of that crap I realized that I probably need to have a bit more in savings in case this happens again so I’m going to stop turning down graphic ad offers on my blog and start offering them in between actual posts (labeled as ads right up front, of course).  I promise they won’t be awful.  And I’m not using an ad network so if you see an ad it’ll be from companies/bloggers/artists who actually contacted me directly and are bad-asses who are cool with advertising on a blog which no sane company would ever be advertising on.

PS.  If you want one they start at $250.  Email me advertising@thebloggess.com if you want details.

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Let’s begin the weekly wrap-up, shall we?:

What you missed on Ill-Advised:

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

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 named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

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

The week’s wrap-up sponsored by my real-life friend, Stephanie Smirnov, who just started a truly fabulous blog about finding horsemeat in your refrigerator (among other things). I once found a sack of sheep intestines in my refrigerator. There’s a lot of that going around. Also, I just want to point out that Stephanie is in charge of a PR company that isn’t afraid to invite me to molest the hot, gay guy from Project Runway. She’s not paying me to mention that but I’m going to anyway because that kind of bad-ass PR-ness should be rewarded.