Category Archives: International incidents

Honestly I might be better mistranslated.

Furiously Happy continues to find an audience in China and that means that I get tagged in a lot of weird things that possible don’t translate well.  Mostly they’re reviews but when I use google translate it’s wonderfully entertaining:

Makes you wish she was your super super good friend. – Entertainment Weekly

She will let you spray coke out of her nose. – Parade

Jenny’s story will make you laugh, but in fact you know that you shouldn’t laugh so arbitrarily, otherwise you may laugh all the way to hell, so perhaps you shouldn’t read this book. You have to think about your personal safety. It would be wise. – Neil Gaiman, author of The American Gods

I can’t express how deeply Jenny poked me.  – American Reader’s Review

Her sunny vernacular became a chicken butt soup….Fun angle. Interesting soul. ~ Amazon top review

I want all of these blurbs on my next book.

Dead Happy World’s Brightest Leopard Depression Sufferer

Yesterday I shared the bizarre news that Furiously Happy is a bestseller in China and then I asked if anyone could translate the billboards and posters advertising Furiously Happy and it was glorious.




PS. It feels only fair that the English part of the Chinese poster has a typo.  Now I want this poster.  It makes me Furiously Flappy.

Love always, the World’s Brightest Leopard

What did I even write?

LET ME LOVE YOU

Apparently Furiously Happy is in Turkish now because I just got a copy of a Turkish psychology article about it, but I don’t read Turkish so I put part of it into Google translate and it gave me this:

?

I’m not sure if this is an insult or just a poorly translated way of saying “so funny you’ll shit yourself” but either way, “Experience the subtle line between laughing and abdominal pain” is my new favorite blurb.

Also, Furiously Happy is being translated in Bulgarian and I was like, “It’s so strange to think that my stories will be read in Bulgary” and Victor was like, “Yeah.  Especially Bulgary isn’t a place.  It’s Bulgaria.”  But my way sort of makes sense because Calgarians are from Calgary so it would follow that Bulgarians are from Bulgary, but he must be right because spellcheck keeps changing “Bulgary” to “burglary” because even spellcheck is like, “What is even wrong with you?

Answer:  Lots.  But on the plus side, I can give Turkish people abdominal pain using only my words, like some kind of long-distance diarrhea-sorcerer so at least I’ve got that going for me.

Where’s Rory? He’s fucking everywhere. (I mean, not literally. Ew.)

An update:

A few days ago I wrote a post about how awesome it would be if Rory the raccoon traveled all over the world to see the places most of us might never see and you said, “YES, LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN.  SEND ME A RORY.  NO -FUCK IT.  I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU.  I’LL PRINT OUT MY OWN” and then suddenly there were pictures all over the internet of Rory in Italy, in airplanes, in refrigerators, in dunk tanks, eating funnel cake, and someplace that is actually named “SPIDER ISLAND” which I just think should be burned to the ground on principle.

wheresrory7

A few of my favorites are here and I’m updating it daily because you people are made of magic.  (It sucks that pinterest requires you to get a free account {STOP BEING A DICK, PINTEREST} but it’s the easiest way to pull it all together.)

The pictures are amazing, but even better are the comments I’m getting from people who – like me – are afraid of leaving the house, but who are excited to have a small raccoon companion who gives them a reason to get out and go someplace ridiculous and amazing.  And I totally get that because today I was thinking that I live pretty close to the world’s largest pair of cowboy boots and that seems like something Rory needs to see.

So today I’m going through the comments on the last post to pick out a few dozen people who want to take Rory to amazing places, and then they can look at the comments and email the next person to pass Rory onto.

And if you don’t hear from me by tomorrow and just can’t wait then you can print and make your own here.  Or if you want a small, plastic version you can take anywhere I have one in my shop.  It looks like this:

Hunter S. Thomcat imaging ways to murder me in my sleep.

Hunter S. Thomcat imagining a plethora of ways to murder me in my sleep.

If you upload a picture on instagram or twitter or elsewhere, tag it with #wheresrory so I can find it.  Also, I went back to the doctor yesterday and I’m on a LOT of codeine so it’s possible this makes less sense than normal.  Sorry about that.

#wheresrory?  He's stealing the tongue depressors while I cough a lung out.

#wheresrory? He’s stealing the tongue depressors while I cough up a lung.

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.

WELCOME TO NEW CANADA, BITCHES.

So last night I couldn’t sleep so I became the President. Hang on. Let me share the events as they unfolded, live:

[View the story “I am the best President Canada has ever had.” on Storify]

(I can’t figure out how to make the whole story appear here so you have to click on the above link and then come back to read the rest.  Sorry.)

You may be asking yourself, how did this happen?  Was it because America needed a hero?  Maybe.  Was it because I’d been drinking?  Slightly more probable.  Was it because of my socks?  In a word? Fuck yes.  Technically that’s two words but when you’re the President you’re no longer limited to the surly demands of math and logic.

You might be thinking I’m insane but LOOK AT THESE FUCKING SOCKS I BOUGHT:

WHO'S INSANE NOW?

WHO’S INSANE NOW?

And a good President shares her booty with her people so I’m giving you ALL magical socks.  And by “all” I mean “three of you” because I can’t buy socks for everyone.  Money and socks don’t grow on trees, y’all.  At least not until I get the scientists of New Canada working on that.  Want some socks?  Leave a comment with a suggestion of my next presidential decree and I’ll randomly pick three of you to get socks.  Unless the scientists make a sudden breakthrough on the sock-tree thing.  Then it’s socks for everyone.

My favorite is "Three days of cramps make me a bad-ass."

My favorite is “Three days of cramps make me a bad-ass.”

PS.  I’m going to need a cabinet.  Then I’m going to need to fill it with liquor.  Then I’m going to need the other kind of cabinet.  The political type.  And I think it’s only fair that it be filled by you.  Pick a title.  Secretary of Cat Wrangling.  Ministry of Bacon Variants.  Or if you can’t think of one just get assigned one from the Random Title Generator for the Church of Bloggessianism.

PPS.  I just noticed that Wikipedia has removed the Church of Bloggessianism as a religion, which is fine but I really don’t appreciate your tone, mister.

You could have made your point without the "obviously."

“Obviously invented.”  Pretty sure all religions are technically “invented”, but whatever.

This aggression will not stand.  Or it will stand if I get distracted, which is very possible because I forgot to refill my ADD meds again.

PPPS.  I forgot to announce the winner on my  book tour post so I’m doing it here. ManicMom, check your email.

PPPPS.  Victor is actually in Canada right now for a workshop.  He just texted me:

peameal bacon He has not responded.

PPPPPS.  I just looked up “peameal bacon” and apparently it’s back bacon rolled in cornmeal.  There are no peas in it at all.  Even spellcheck was like “Nope.  That’s not real.”  WTF, Old Canada?  How are you doing everything else so well but fucking up so hard on bacon?  It’s fine.  I’m here now.  Let’s get to work.

Mama Paquita: “Why would a baby need a sombrero?” and other problematic questions.

This isn’t a real post.  It was a rambling email I was writing to my sister and then it sort of got away from me and so I decided to flesh it out and share it here because maybe we weren’t the only ones who were taught this song in school.  You can ignore it if you want.

When I was little there was this song called “Mama Paquita” that we’d have to sing in music class.  According to our music books, it was a 1930’s Brazilian Carnivale song but it was kinda fucked up.  It was about some salesman trying to convince a mom to buy her baby a banana, a papaya, some pajamas and a sombrero, but she was like “Who has infant-sombrero money in this economy?  Let’s go dancing!” (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly) and I remember thinking, “Why would a baby need a sombrero?

(Side-note: I just googled” “Why would you buy a baby a sombrero?” and I got a lot of vaguely racist pictures, and also a link to a poem, which includes the lines “He had heard stories of a baby sombrero wrestler who would one day rule the world, but he had never thought that it would be his son” and “Hey, do you want to go get some soup, and maybe have a baby?” {Which might be the best pick-up line ever.  Or worst.  Depends on who you’re trying to pick up, I guess.})

Anyway, when I was in third grade I asked the music teacher why we didn’t just  sing the original Brazilian song, Mamãe eu Quero, (which I’d memorized from Carmen Miranda movies and old Tom & Jerry cartoons) but she shook her head disdainfully, saying only that there were “too many nipples in that song”.

I was confused about that for years, but in high school I told a friend that I knew the words to a risqué Brazilian nipple song, which I then sang.  She knew a little Portuguese, and she told me my song was about breastfeeding and that my pronunciation was atrocious.  Then I said, “Oh wait.  It gets worse” and I sang her the bastardized English version from my childhood music classes, and she was like, “What kind of racist bullshit is that?” and I said, “The extremely problematic kind taught to small children in the 70’s?”

Then she looked at me in confused bewilderment and I nodded in embarrassed agreement and said, “Honestly, I don’t understand it either.  I apologize on the behalf of white people.”  (Which is a phrase I should just put on a t-shirt because that shit needs to be said A LOT).  She gracefully accepted my apology and offered to teach me how to curse convincingly in Spanish if I agreed to never sing that song again.  Our cultural bridge was built on a shared love of profanity, and although I never mastered the accent to her satisfaction, I will forever treasure the phrase: “I SHIT ON EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!” which is easily the best thing to scream when you are stuck in traffic, or when the copier eats your overdue report, or when life is just being an asshole in general.

ishitoneverythingthatmoves

This was all before the internet existed so I had to take my friend’s word on the translation, but then my sister reminded me of that song again and so I decided to go online to try to translate the Portuguese version.

And here is the (probably horribly butchered) translation:

Mommy I want, mommy I want,
Mommy I want to suckle!
Give the nipple, give the nipple, give the nipple
Give the nipple so your baby won’t cry!

Sleep, son of my heart.
Take the bottle and join my dance party.
I have a sister, she’s called Anna.
She blinked so much she lost her eyelashes.

I look at the little ones, but this way
I’m sorry I’m not suckling.
I have a sister, she’s phenomenal.
She’s the boss and her husband’s an imbecile.

And now I’m even more confused, and I can’t get the fucked-up English version out of my head.  And (if you were also taught it as a small kid) it’s probably stuck in yours too now.

Awesome.

I am part of the problem.

PS.  Again, I would like to apologize on the behalf of white people.  Seriously.  White people fuck shit up for all of us.  Including white people.  It’s baffling.  I’m so sorry.  Let’s go get some soup and maybe have a baby.

For Japan

This post isn’t really a funny one and I apologize for that but it needs to be said so just bear with me a minute, okay?

I love Japan.  I’m not much of a traveler so it’s the only far-off place I’ve ever been and it holds a special place in my heart.  If you’ve read here long enough you know about the time that a young girl named Chicako volunteered to show me around Japan for free.  She didn’t know me and had no idea I had a blog but the people of Japan have such a strong feeling of civic duty and politeness that they regularly sign up to escort strangers around their city so they can practice their English.  She took me to her favorite local dives and sat patiently while sweet make-up artists made me into a prostitute (long story).  I met so many amazing people in my time in Japan and was almost embarrassed by how generous and selfless they were to a total stranger.  That’s why the earthquake and tsunami that struck there this week really hit home for me…because so many people I love are struggling there now.  And chance are, if you read this blog regularly, they’re people you love too.

You can’t always tell, but a lot of our regular commenters are in Japan.  They read.  They laugh.  They interact with you and me.  I usually have several hundred Japanese readers stop by on average.  In the past two days there’ve been only 40.  I hope to God that they’re all alive and well and are busy helping others and I wish I was there to help.  But I can’t be.  The only thing I can do is to donate to the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders and to encourage you to do the same.

They aren’t strangers.  They’re us.

PS. One of the easiest ways to donate is to text the word REDCROSS to 90999, and your $10 donation will just show up on your phone bill.  It’s crazy-easy and after you do it you’ll feel technologically savvy and philanthropic.

PPS.  We go back to the funny, fluffy stuff tomorrow.  Promise.

PPPS.  I’m including an old video of me eating Japanese boobie pudding as a small “thank you” for donating.  It’s really long because it was before I knew how to edit properly.  You totally have my permission to skip it because I realize my Minnie-Mouse voice clashes with my online persona.  Also, yes, my books are organized by color because that’s what normal people do.  Stop judging me.

I’m sending him a men’s 2X though because I don’t even think the Pope could pull off a baby-doll cut.

I’m supposed to be writing my weekly wrap-up but I’m too sleepy so instead I just made a t-shirt to send to the Pope so that he’s aware that James Garfield needs to be named the Patron Saint of Accidental Miracles.

(PS. If you want one for yourself just click this picture.)

Then I went to look up the Pope’s mailing address and this popped up:

I'm sure that ad is just a coincidence.

Comment of the day: I’ll try to work up a nice ejaculation to Saint James Garfield. That’s always a good thing to have when you’re a saint. A good ejaculation. It’s just a short prayer that you can say in one breath. But it works like an ad slogan. I’m good with ejaculations.

Saint James Garfield Ejaculation:

“Lord, grant me a cheerful disposition, and if I’m still an asshole then freeze my lips in a smile like James Garfield of Accidental Miracles. Amen.”

Say it like you mean it. ~ Fred Miller

James Garfield is a goddamn saint. Almost

It’s the day before Christmas Eve and the completely inadvertent Christmas miracle is still going on over here between people who are now matching themselves up since I’ve officially hit the brick wall of exhaustion.  If you want to help or need help you can comment by clicking here but for now lets get back to the ridiculousness fluffiness and offensive weirdness that probably none of us have missed at all.

I’ve been so swamped matching donors with people in need that yesterday was the first day that I got to do my own Christmas shopping and I’d ordered Hailey a Rapunzel doll but it didn’t come in so I went to Target and the Rapunzel walls were *totally* bare and I was all “THE COBBLER’S CHILDREN HAVE NO SHOES” but then my mom was all “OMG, just get her a barbie and we’ll tell her it’s Rapunzel, drama queen. She’s six, for God’s sake” so we picked out the least slutty barbie we could fine and Christmas was saved.

Then I got a call from this big Canadian network who asked if I could come to a studio for a live interview that night and I was all “I’m not good with geography but I’m pretty sure I can’t drive from Texas to Canada in 3 hours” and she said that she’d found a CBS station nearby that would do a live feed and I said I’d go but only if James Garfield could be interviewed with me because he was the one who started this whole thing and she didn’t exactly say no so Victor and I took off with the head of James Garfield to the news station.  James Garfield looked very happy as always but Victor kept glaring and sighing at me as he no doubt wondered how his life got like this and he kept asking if I was sure that all the news people knew I was bringing a giant boar head to be interviewed  and I was all “Of course they do” but I kept looking off when I said it because Victor can usually tell when I’m lying.  Then Victor carried James Garfield’s giant head into the newsroom and all the anchors were like “Um…so are you doing a story on taxidermy?” and I was all “No, this is the head of James Garfield and he’s performed two Christmas miracles.  If he performs one more we’re going to petition the Pope to give him sainthood.  True story.” and they were all “Of course you are” and Victor was like “STOP TALKING. YOU SOUND LIKE A CRAZY PERSON” and I was all “There is nothing I just said that isn’t the truth” and then the anchors started to walk off and I was all “He started a movement that gave $42,000 to people who needed Christmas Miracles!  CANADIAN TV IS SCOOPING YOU!” and then they nicely nodded and left to call security probably.

Quick note for anyone who hasn’t been here forever. James Garfield is what I named the giant, tattered, taxidermied head of a wild boar that I made my husband buy at an estate sale last year because James Garfield looked SO DAMN HAPPY.  Then every time Victor would walk in my office he’d huff that he couldn’t believe I’d spent $90 on James Garfield so I decided to make back the money to get Victor to shut up so I offered on my blog to make homemade Christmas Cards with James Garfield’s face on them saying things like “OH IT JUST GOT ALL KINDS OF MOTHERFUCKIN’ FESTIVE IN HERE, Y’ALL” for $10 each.  I made back the $90 and made so much extra that I got carpal tunnel and was able to donate a few hundred dollars to a fellow blogger recovering from a stroke.  She wasn’t doing well at the time but now she’s kicking as much ass as you can from a wheelchair (which is a shitload, apparently).  Probably due to the James Garfield cards if I had to give my professional medical opinion.  MIRACLE NUMBER ONE.

Then this year people asked for James Garfield cards but I was too tired to make them so I just put them on zazzle and I was shocked to find that $600 of cards were sold so Victor and I decided that since we were so lucky this year we’d give $30 gift certificates to the first 20 people who left a comment saying they needed help getting Christmas for their children.  When more requests flooded in a reader stepped up and offered to help the 21st person and then another and another and then it avalanched into hundred of strangers sending hundreds of strangers over $42,000 in toys, food, car seats and more.    MIRACLE NUMBER TWO.

And that’s why James Garfield was with me when I went on air and what’s really awesome is that I did the entire interview standing next to the enthusiastically jolly head of James Garfield and no one ever explained why they hell he was there. So everyone watching in Canada who didn’t know the backstory was all “Why is there a giant boar head there and why is that girl introducing him as James Garfield?”  Even the host seemed a bit baffled.  WHICH WAS AWESOME.

You can watch the video of the whole thing by clicking here.

Also, when I’m really, really exhausted my eyes get dry and stick together and it looks like I have a nervous tick or that I’m sending morse code signals to terrorists.  I assure you, I don’t even know morse code.

PS.  From my sister:  “I always knew one day you would make International news, but I always assumed it would involve some sort of horrific accident.”  Dude. You and me both.