Category Archives: Posts that will get me hate mail

And now I want ribs.

me:  I bet the little mermaid got crazy fat after she got married.

Victor:  Why?

me:  Because all she could eat when she was a mermaid was raw kelp and there’s practically no calories in kelp.

Victor:  She lived in the ocean.  She ate fish.

me: SHE WAS FRIENDS WITH FISH.  She talked to every living thing there was.  Even seagulls.  She couldn’t even eat seagulls.  I bet she was fucking starving.  Have you seen her waist?  That’s not normal.  It looks like she’s had ribs removed.

Victor:  Huh.

me: And then she suddenly becomes human and stops swimming – so she’s not getting any cardio – and then she discovers cheese.  And bacon.  And cheesy bacon.  OMG, I want cheesy bacon.

Victor: You’ve thought about this way too much.

me:  If I was the little mermaid I’d get so fat.

**********

In unrelated news, it’s time for the weekly wrap up.

What you missed in my shop (tentatively called “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:

This week’s round-up sponsored by The Dumb White Husband’s Guide to Babies.   Children are amazing and their limitless capacity for love is matched only by their ability to make you feel like an idiot. But you’re not alone.  Dumb White Husband vs. Babies tackles the subjects that other baby books ignore.

PETA is Fine, But Sometimes I Question Their Priorities

Below is an actual email conversation between me and PETA.  (FYI:  This happened over a year ago and I was going to put it in my book as an addendum to my pets-eaten-by-hobos chapter but it was too long, so if you bought my book just consider this a bonus chapter.  Also, if you haven’t read my book yet you probably should because this is going to have a mild spoiler alert.  You can buy it here.)  

From: David (from PETA.org)

Date: April 12, 2011

Good morning.

I wanted to share some information that I hope you will want to pass on to your readers as Easter approaches. Each year, PETA receives scores of calls of concern about the use of live animals—mainly rabbits, but sometimes ducklings and chicks—as props in Easter photo sessions. Unsuspecting parents and kids might not realize it, but the animals used in these photo sessions are generally terrified and miserable.

It’s a sad fact that many of the rabbits purchased on a whim during Easter time die within months—victims of unintentional neglect and cruelty. Others are abandoned, relegated to tiny outdoor hutches and subjected to weather extremes, dumped at overburdened shelters, or abandoned outdoors, where they are unable to fend for themselves and starve or are killed by predators… …Would you please share this information with your readers? Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

David

****

From: Jenny Lawson

Date: April 12, 2011

When I was little I got a duck from the carnival and he was awesome.  His name was Daffodil and he lived in an inflatable raft in the backyard with the cats.  He was very happy.  But then my mom decided he’d be happier with other ducks because he started to think he was a cat, so we let him go at the lake and then a month later all the ducks were eaten by homeless people who lived under the bridge.  This is all true.  I think the real problem here is the homeless problem.  And by “homeless problem” I mean the problem I have with homeless people eating my pets.

Hugs,

Jenny

Enclosed: A girl and her duck enjoying the sunset on their back porch.  Those were golden days, David.

Me and Daffodil. Or as the homeless probably refer to him...Dinner for Six.

****

From: David  from peta.org

Date: April 12, 2011

That’s quite a remarkable story, Jenny!  A few years ago, while with a group helping to hand out food to homeless people outside of a shelter, I found a number of them to be quite kind to a pigeon who showed up with an injured wing.  They were also impressed that I had the little guy (gal?) on my shoulder for a bit while I tried to figure out the next step.

****

 From: Jenny Lawson

Date: April 12, 2011

You’re lucky you didn’t lose an arm because based on *my* experience with Daffodil the “next step” would be the helpful homeless people making a big pigeon cake.  Or pigeon sandwich.  I don’t actually know how you cook pigeon, David.  But what I do know is that homeless people are very sweet until they see your pet duck and then they’re like a bunch of damn zombies.  (I assume.)  My mother says this is an unfair generalization and she encouraged me to go volunteer at a homeless shelter when I lived in Houston, and the people there were all very nice (except for one schizophrenic guy who had some sort of aversion to wearing pants) but that doesn’t mean I would trust any of them with my wounded pigeon.

PS.  I wanted to ask how your pigeon fared but since you didn’t mention naming him I’m assuming that he must’ve been eaten.  I once had a live chicken hang out on my shoulder for an entire afternoon so I totally relate to your pigeon story.  Her name was Schmalzie Nugget and she was a total bad-ass.  Also, she was super heavy so when she finally decided to jump off my shoulder I looked like I had scoliosis.  Whenever anyone else would get near us she would peck at their face violently.  Her owner tried to apologize and said it was because she was mostly blind and probably thought their earrings were bugs to eat, but I didn’t judge her because any pet chicken who fights off being eaten by homeless people long enough to go blind is a goddam hero.  She was like the Chuck Norris of chickens.

PPS.  Here’s a picture of me with Schmalzie:

It’s a camera phone picture.  We’re not normally that fuzzy in real life.

****

From: David from peta.org

Date: April 12, 2011

Apparently, our homeless guests were satisfied enough with the vegan food that we had bestowed upon them!  There was at least one other time when I was out when I came upon a bird in need.  Very strange.  (And several other cases when I rescued some, including a seagull who was in the median at the top of a fairly busy bridge near our headquarters.  I chased that one across the oncoming-traffic lane below the top, wondering if I wouldn’t get hit in five seconds.  I did capture the poor thing and we went to a wildlife rehabber’s place.)  That other time, someone discovered a baby at the bottom of the building that we were in front of. We figured there was a nest up above outside of one of the windows.  Who knows!

I took those all to wildlife rehabbers or some such people.

****

From: Jenny Lawson

Date: April 12, 2011

I tried eating all vegan once and I literally thought I was going to die by the 5th day.  That’s the one where you can’t eat anything but air and boiled cabbage, except on Friday when you can have a banana, right?  That is a harrowing diet.  Those homeless people were probably just too weak from hunger to go after even a wounded bird.  Weak and gassy.  That’s a terrible combination.

But ignoring all that, did you say that someone discovered *a baby* at the bottom of the building you were in front of?  Because that is insane and you should lead with that story.  Were you in front of a convent in the 1960′s?  Because if so, that sounds like an awesome made-for-tv-movie that should star Valerie Bertinelli and I want to hear more.

PS.  My husband just informed me that I’ve mistaken the apparently-totally-healthy vegan diet with the rather-dangerous-and-somewhat-stupid cabbage soup diet.  I should probably just erase that whole first paragraph but I’m leaving it just in case you’ve been considering going on the cabbage soup diet.  Avoid the cabbage soup, David.  You will never stop farting.

****

From: David  from peta.org

Date: April 12, 2011

Ooh–by “baby,” I was still writing in the context of the aviary world!

I’ve not done much exploration with cabbage.  It sounds like I should keep from doing so.  I actually just had a dinner of nachos–much tastier than air! 

~David

At this point I decided to make David my new best friend for being so awesome and asked him if he’d be okay with all of this appearing in my book.  He never responded again.  Probably because he was eaten by homeless people.  It happens way more than you think.  Also, I donate (non-duck) supplies to the homeless and am a card-carrying member of PETA so please don’t yell at me.  Except technically instead of sending me a card they always send me magazines, but no one understands you when you say you’re a “magazine-carrying member of PETA.”  That sounds fucking ridiculous.  

In short, I support homeless people, ducks and their right to eat each other.  I understand the circle of life.  Just not when it involves my Daffodil.

Daffodil Duckling in happier times. He owned the only pool on our block and you can totally see it in his smile.

And then I used the phrase “Lady Garden” on CNN.

I was on CNN today for some reason to talk about politics and parenting (which is sort of weird since I’m more of a bizarre humorist at best) but I still managed to mention the zombie apocalypse, the possible robot revolution, and the threat of the internet becoming self-aware.

Here’s the clip:

PS.  If you’re new here and want to leave angry comments about me you can, but keep in mind that you’re choosing to fight with a woman who has no real political convictions and has a full zombie apocalypse platform, so basically you’re wasting both of our time and should probably go focus on yelling about something less ridiculous than me.

PPS.  Thank you, CNN.  I appreciate your good humor.  And your not suing me.

PPPS.  As requested.  Perfect for baby showers.

Normal squirrels don’t sit like that. Just saying.

My friend April from Regretsy practically threatened to stab me in the face when she thought I’d outbid her on this insane taxidermied squirrel who is flashing his little squirrel nut-sack at the world.  (Click the link.  You need to see this shit.)  I assured April that she was very off-base, as we were BOTH being outbid on it.  I considered telling her we should pool our resources and just share the squirrel like recently divorced parents, but then I saw this little treasure:

Well, hello there.

And yes, at first I saw what you’re probably seeing….a strangely posed, non-nutsacked, extremely dead squirrel in a very unnatural position.  And then I looked  a little closer and realized that my current cell phone cover is cracked and that this would make a fucking fantastic replacement.  Not just because it would be fuzzyy and ergonomic if I need to hold it against my shoulder, but also because it would hardly ever get lost in my purse, and no one would accidentally pick up my phone thinking it was theirs.  Plus, when I put my phone on the table at restaurants it would just look like a squirrel was hanging out with me, and squirrels only hang out with cool people.  And if I put my phone on vibrate the squirrel would buzz across the table like he was alive and growling.

It’s like the best accessory ever.

me, on my squirrel phone

PS.  I probably should have waited until the bidding was over before I posted about this.  Damn it, Jenny.

PPS.  If you only check my blog once a day you may have missed it yesterday when I promised Simon Pegg that I’d leave Nathan Fillion alone and then my good karma was reward by Wil Wheaton and Jeri Ryan and the whole world sending me pictures of their spatulas.

Just your typical Monday, really.

UPDATED X 7: YOU’RE RUINING NATHAN FILLION FOR ME, NATHAN FILLION. Alternate title: But I forgive you.

Updated to add:  Nathan Fillion has said he most emphatically does NOT want to hold twine so please do not ask him.  And it’s fine.  He’s still great and Firefly being cancelled was one of the greatest travesties to happen to our generation.  Also, this whole debacle lead to this bit of fried fantasticalness…

Conversation with my friend, Maile

me: Sooo…Nathan Fillion is making me doubt my own existence.

Maile: Um…what?

me:  I’ve been asking him for a picture of himself holding twine for almost a year now, and he refuses to acknowledge me or the  thousands of other people asking for twine pictures.

Maile:  Why exactly are thousands of people asking him for twine pictures?

me:  It’s sort of a long story.  A year ago I asked everyone on the internet to send me 11 cents so I could buy a taxidermied pig dressed as Scarlett O’Hara, but then the pig deal fell through and so I decided to offer the $402 I raised to Nathan Fillion if he’d send me a picture of himself holding twine.

Maile:  Yeah.  This is really just raising more questions than it’s answering.

me:  Right.  Well, I already had my Wil-Wheaton-Collating-Paper page which Wil lovingly donated so that he could help me rid the internet of the scourge of unsolicited blog pitches

Maile:  I love that page.

me: EVERYONE loves that page.  That page is why Wil Wheaton will be welcomed into heaven even if he starts murdering baby kittens for fun.  And I thought it would be nice to have a Nathan Fillion-Holding-Twine picture as a bookend page to deter PR people who continue to send you the same pitch every 12 hours even though you keep asking them to remove you from their lists.

Maile:  Got it.  So you were doing this for America?

me:  I WAS DOING THIS FOR THE WORLD.  Then 6 months ago I went to his hometown and tried to extend an olive branch but then he ditched me at the pizza place we were supposed to meet at.

Maile:  He actually said he’d meet you?

me:  I tweeted him that he should say nothing if he was planning on coming.  He said nothing.  I thought it was implied.  Then I may have posted some artfully nude pictures of him (superimposed with twine) but they were all very flattering.  And then I accidentally started a rumor that Little Wayne died, but I cleared that right up because I’m responsible.  Unlike Nathan Fillion, who can’t be bothered to show up where he’s implicitly promised to eat pizza with me.

Maile: Wow.  I don’t…even know how to respond to that.  Sounds like ol’ Nater-Tater is afraid of commitment.

me:  Exactly.  Plus?  That’s the best nickname in the world.  I’m stealing that.

Maile: It belongs to the world.

me:  JUST LIKE THE NON-EXISTENT PICTURE OF NATER-TATER HOLDING TWINE.  So anyway, last week I got sad that Nater-Tater was still refusing to acknowledge my existence so I asked Simon Pegg for a picture of him holding twine.

Maile:  Who?

me:  I will cut you.

Maile:  I’m not good with names.

me: He’s the star of Shaun of the Dead.

Maile: OH!  I LOVE HIM.

me:  We all love him.  He’s Simon Pegg.  But I needed to get his attention so I asked everyone to tweet “simonpeggholdingtwine” and it became a twitter trend WORLDWIDE for like eight and a half minutes.

True story, y'all.

Maile:  That’s awesome.  And…bizarre.

me:  It gets weirder, because then SIMON PEGG TOTALLY SENT ME A PICTURE OF HIMSELF HOLDING TWINE.  Except that all you could see was his hand holding twine and it wasn’t really proper twine, but still…the man tried.  And then the internet rejoiced and Simon was named a God amongst men, but I still wondered why Nathan wouldn’t respond.  And then this weekend I just gave up and said “@NathanFillion, should I just give up on my dream of you ever holding twine?  Let a girl down gently.”  And he said he was very sorry for disappointing his #1 super-fan.

Maile:  Really?

me:  No, of course not.  He completely ignored me again.  I mean, how hard is it to say “I’m allergic to twine,” or “I appreciate ignoring your pain.”

Maile:  Maybe he’s just playing hard to get.  Or maybe he just uses his twitter pictures for important things.

me:  Yeah.  Like when he put up that series of pictures showing how his rash was spreading.  And once?  He posted a picture of a fake dead cat with ketchup all over it.

Maile: You’re joking.

me:  I’M NOT JOKING.  THAT’S THE SAD, TERRIBLE TRUTH OF NATHAN FILLION.  Then a few weeks ago one of my readers met him and asked why he wouldn’t do it and he said “Oh, I don’t do stuff like that.”  And by “stuff like that” I assume he means “Anything awesome that makes people smile“.  Which makes me sad for Nater-Tater.  And sad for the world.

Maile:  So what happened to the money you were going to spend on Nathan Fillion?

me:  I used part of it to take a 50 year old cuban alligator dressed as a pirate on a plane ride.  And the rest went to helping orphans.

Maile: Hmm.

me:  Orphan cats really.  But still.

Maile:  You know, maybe this is less about Nater-Tater’s inability to hold twine and more about his super-human ability to ignore people.

me:  Like that’s his super power?  You know, that would actually make sense because HE’S SO GOOD AT IT.  I mean, the man is dedicated.  I’ll give him that.

Maile:  Ignoring you is his super-power.  And twine is his kryptonite.  And I think we just solved Nathan Fillion.

me:  Yes, but understanding Nater-Tater doesn’t get me a twine picture to use to battle evil form letters.  Unless…

Maile:  Yes.  I like where this is heading.

me:  What if I just recognize the fact that Nathan Fillion has a damn passion for ignoring people and – instead of using a picture of him holding twine to ward off marketers – I USE NATER-TATER HIMSELF.  From now on, whenever I get a particularly harassing marketer who won’t take me off the list I’ll just tell them that they need to check with Nater-Tater because he approves all of my reviews.  Then I get rid of the marketers and he gets to ignore me, plus TONS of new people.  EVERYBODY WINS.

Maile:  Oh.  My.  God.  He is going to love you.

me:  Not just me.  EVERYONE.  Got a telemarketer that won’t leave you alone?  Tell them to call Nathan Fillion. Creepy neighbor won’t stop asking you to look at his suspicious back moles?  Tell him he needs to ask Nathan Fillion first.  Bill collector won’t stop calling?  Tell them that Nater-Tater handles all of your finances.  THIS COULD CHANGE LIVES.

Maile:  Or really annoy Nathan Fillion.

me:  Who, Nater-Tater?  No way.  If anything he’ll probably want to thank me.

Maile:  With a picture of twine.

me:  That man owes me.

PS. A special note to Nathan Fillion:  As always, I adore you.  It’s almost like you planned this on purpose. In fact, I suspect you did and that’s why I would like to thank you, Nater-Tater, for being the kind of man who forces me think so much larger than a simple twine shot. One tiny twine picture might have brought light and laughter to thousands of people for a few days, but this could bring me joy FOR YEARS.

PPS.  Here is the fabulous picture of Simon Pegg holding twine, because I think it’s selfish to not share this with the rest of the world:

The man is a damn saint.

PPPS.  Phrases now a permanent part of the bloggess lexicon:

Pulling a Nathan Fillion:  Someone who refuses to play along with – or even acknowledge – your twine-based games.  May cause you to doubt your own existence.

Being a Wil Wheaton:  Like being an Eagle Scout of awesome.  Surfing the cusp of weirdness in search of maidens to rescue.  Except that I think “maidens” implies “virgins”.  So change “maidens” to “unseemly wenches with hearts of gold”.

Throwing a Simon Pegg:  Being an excellent sport even when completely baffled, because there’s simply no reason not to do something random and silly to bring joy into the lives of others.

Becoming a bloggess:  Tenaciously taking a joke way too far for the sake of sheer ridiculousness.  Might be considered dangerous.  Approach with caution and a booze slushee.

UPDATED, day 2:  I have given up on Nathan Fillion ever giving us a picture holding twine, but something happened a few minutes ago which gave me both hope and closure on this whole tumultuous year of vaguely pathetic begging…

Penn Jillette just sent us a picture of himself holding twine to help heal our pain.  Unsolicited.  With nothing asked for in return.  Just a picture of himself holding (PROBABLY MAGICAL) twine simply to brighten our day with furious joy.

He makes it look so easy, doesn't he?

We all owe Penn Jillette a drink.  Just lemonade though because the man never drinks booze.  Conclusion: Penn Jillette is better than tacos and is saving us all money.  Follow that man.  

UPDATE #3:  Is this the longest, most convoluted post ever?  Probably.  But it’s worth it because we’re almost done forever.  So in the latest turn, the always awesome Simon Pegg has asked that we leave Nathan Fillion alone because it’s starting to get a bit insane even for us.  I agree and I have apologized to Nater-Tater for bothering him and I have assured him that I will never ask him for twiney pictures again.  Unless I’m really, really drunk.  But then I felt a bit dejected and so I told everyone that instead we should really just concentrate on more important things, like helping homeless kids.  And getting Jeri Ryan to hold a spatula.  Then I immediately said I was just kidding about Jeri because I was really sort of ready for this to all be over and I didn’t have the strength to go into another year of asking one of my internet heroes for a picture of them doing something random for the sake of pure silliness.

And then something magical happened…

Jeri L. Ryan ~ Practically a gooddess.

And she wasn’t alone.  Hundreds of people started sharing pictures of themselves standing randomly with their spatulas, and in a matter of minutes I was flooded such awesomeness I may have gotten a little teary.  Also, Wil showed up again (with murderous spatula), proving that awesomeness is not just a fluke.

Wil Wheaton: "AAAAHHHHH IT CAME TO LIFE AND IT'S TRYING TO KILL ME!!!11"

(Also, almost $500 was raised for overnight bags for homeless kids in under an hour because you’re all amazing.)  And then the spell was broken and my appetite for random pictures was sated, and Neil Patrick Harris probably drew a great sigh of relief because I bet he knew in his heart that he would have been next.

This is the point where I would say something witty to wrap this whole thing up but I don’t feel witty.  I feel grateful.  Thank you to every single one of you, for listening, for not taking me seriously, for taking me just seriously enough, and for coming along on this ridiculous, furiously happy voyage with me.

Seriously.  Thank you.

UPDATED FOR (I SWEAR TO GOD, PROBABLY) THE LAST TIME:  Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better:

MATTHEW BRODERICK HOLDING A SPOON:

So. Fucking. Awesome.

And what’s even more awesome about this is that Matthew Broderick isn’t even on twitter and he still wanted me to have this because he reads this blog.  Seriously, y’all.  My cat’s namesake intentionally shared a picture of himself holding something random just to celebrate the weirdness.  Best ending ever.

PS. Over $1200 was raised for homeless kids donated in honor of the amazing people who joined in the ridiculous silliness of this entire, strange saga.  Thank you from me and from the 60 children who will each be getting a security blanket, stuffed animal and a book to make life a little less serious as well.

You rock.  All of you.

UPDATED AGAIN BECAUSE I’M A LIAR ABOUT NOT UPDATING ANYMORE:  Victor just woke me up to tell me that Brian Boitano had just tweeted me a picture of himself holding twine.  Then he yelled “THAT’S WHAT BRIAN BOITANO WOULD DO” and then I realized it was probably the apocalypse because Victor was actually on twitter.  And also because BRIAN BOITANO WAS HOLDING TWINE.

I bet he'd kick an ass or two. THAT'S what Brian Boitano would do.

UPDATE # I-DON’T-EVEN-KNOW-ANYMORE:

Matthew Broderick sees your twine and raises you a spatula and a confusingly-cooked egg.

I’d just like to add that for the most part everyone has taken this in the spirit in which it was written…as a silly, ridiculous post to remind us all to giggle a little bit more than we already are.  A very, very small number of people (mostly all brand new to this blog) instead focused on “what an asshole Nathan Fillion is” or “what an asshole people who think Nathan Fillion is an asshole are.”  I’d like to point out that both sets of people are wrong, as this amazingness could not have happened without Nathan Fillion’s actions, and I’d like to think that he somehow planned this all, because that way I can still watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog without feeling like Nathan Fillion now hates me.  Sometimes you have to get ignored by Nathan Fillion to get a picture of Matthew Broderick holding a spoon.  That’s just life.  A terrible, terrible analogy for life.

But an apt one.

And that’s why I’d like to thank you, Nathan Fillion, for inspiring a post that brought laughter to so many.  I hope it brings you laughter as well because it would make me very sad to think that anyone felt like less of a person just for something as silly as a twine picture.  Strangely enough, I know how that feels, and I also know how it feels to be rescued from that sadness by someone else reaching out a hand (or spatula).  And that’s why instead of asking you for a picture of you holding twine, I’m giving you one.

Of me.

Holding twine.

#mewithtwine

Thank you, Nathan Fillion.  Wherever you are.

 UPDATED TIMES ELEVENTY BILLION:

NEVER CHANGE, INTERNET.

UPDATED X I-don’t-even-know-anymore:

That's right. Sean Maher from Serenity. HOLDING TWINE. My work here is done.

Are there sweeter words?

“It’s not cancer.”

That’s what my doctor just called to tell me.  It’s such a simple sentence, but I’m hard-pressed to think of one that’s nicer to hear.  “We just invented egg rolls that make your hair thicker” is close, but not by much.

I was a puddle of relief for about 10 minutes until I realized that what she was really saying is that I don’t have cancer in that one violently angry ovary that they spent a month examining.  Which means the rest of my body might be riddled with God-knows-what, and that’s why I think we all need to pool our money and buy an MRI machine that we can all share.  I’d put it on Kickstarter but they rejected my last application for bring joy to the world so I’m pretty sure they’re probably anti-MRI’s-for-everyone as well.

PS.  Thank you for being there to distract me when I was freaking out.  Seriously.  You helped more than you know.

This isn’t necessarily a real post

Yesterday I went to the doctor to check on the ovary that tried to kill me because it’s still being an asshole.  I asked the doctor (who was very sweet and quite awesome) if she thought it was cancer, and she smiled and calmly reassured me that “it’s not necessarily cancer.”  Which seemed very comforting until I was out the door and started analyzing exactly what the hell that meant.

For my own mental health, I’m telling myself that “It’s not necessarily cancer” is the same thing as “It’s not cancer,” but I don’t really believe me because I have anxiety disorder and I suspect I’m just lying to myself to protect me.  From myself.  I don’t know if that sentence even makes sense, but if it doesn’t I blame the cancer which I may or may not have.

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I paid for that diagnosis. I already knew that I didn’t necessarily have cancer. Who gets a necessary cancer?

“So you have cancer?” “Yes, but it was necessary.” “Oh, good. There’s nothing worse than a frivolous cancer.”

I have to go back this week for more scans.  Scans which probably cause cancer.  And then the doctor will be like, “Well, the bad news is that all of these x-rays caused you to get cancer, but the good news is that we found the cancer by doing all these x-rays.  Yay for us!  And it’s a darn good thing that we did all these scans because they were totally necessary to find the cancer that was caused by them.”  And I think I just accidentally defined necessary cancer.

Touche, medical science.

You win this round.

PS.  Don’t worry.  I don’t necessarily have cancer.

PPS.  This post is more depressing than I would like it to be so I’m ending it with a picture of myself photo-bombing a picture my friend Chookooloonks took.  For those of you who are new here, I’m the one inside the wolf.

Stop yelling at me. The wolf died naturally of old age and kidney failure. And probably necessary cancer. I hear there's a lot of that going around.

The James Garfield Christmas (And Hanukah) Miracle Returns. Sort of.

This post is going to be crazy-ass hard to follow but it’s probably worth it, so buckle-up, buttercup.

Last year my lovely readers accidentally forced me to save Christmas by making me let them buy Christmas presents for children who might not have had any otherwise.  It’s hard to explain, so instead I’m going to send you to a link explaining how a giant, taxidermied boar’s head (named James Garfield) led to strangers donating over $40,000 to other strangers in what was probably the most baffling and profanity-filled Christmas miracle ever.  It was awesome.

This year I’ve had a lot of people ask if I’m doing the accidental-Christmas-miracle again this year and my first reaction was a resounding, “Oh, hell no.”

And that’s still my reaction.

But here’s the thing…almost all of the people asking if I’m doing the Christmas Miracle again this year are the people who were helped last year.  Except that this year they want to give back, because they were so moved by the way strangers reached out to help them last year that they want to pay it forward.

Holy crap, you people make it difficult to be all hard and grinchy.  And I suppose that’s why I love you. Grudgingly.  And completely.

But here’s the problem:  Last year I was so completely overwhelmed and exhausted that I found myself in a stress-induced rheumatoid arthritis flare-up that made me want to cut off all of my limbs.  And then I’d just be a torso.  No one wants that.

Tons of people have offered to help, but honestly the whole thing sounds suspiciously like a plot to make me lead some sort of annual charitable, good-will organization and I think I speak for all of us when I say that that is a terrible idea.  My skills are much used in buying giant metal chickens, and harassing Nathan Fillion It’s what I do.

So for the last month I’ve been thinking about what I could do to still help people while not actually having to do any work whatsoever.  And I think I have it.  Lightly organized good-deed doing.  Like, almost not organized at all.  Practically chaos, really.  Which is, I think, what you’ll all agree that I excel in.  So here’s how we’re doing The Second (and possibly last) Annual James Garfield Christmas (and Hanukkah) Miracle(s):

Miracle # 1:  Right now there are more more homeless children living in shelters in the U.S. since the Great Depression.  There’s an organization called Project Night Night that donates over 25,000 free Night Night Packages to homeless kids each year.  Each package contains a new security blanket, a children’s book and a stuffed animal, all nestled in a new canvas tote bag.  The organization needs at least 750 bags right now.  They’re $20 each, and you can sponsor a Night Night Package for a child by clicking here.

Miracle #2:  Toys for Tots.  Every year Victor and I donate a shitload of toys in my parent’s name. We take pictures of the donation and then give the pictures to my parents and thank them for teaching me the importance of giving to others.  End result:  Kids get presents and my parents feel awesome for raising me right (even though a horrible side-effect is that they haven’t gotten a proper Christmas present from us in a decade.)  But they’re cool with it because they’re not assholes.  My point is that you should consider doing this for your parents, because if they make you feel crappy about it they’re terrible people and don’t deserve proper presents anyway.  Moving on.

Miracle #3:  The Heifer Project.  Basically it’s about giving livestock and training to families around the world, because llamas are awesome.  Or something.  I don’t know.  I get confused after I see the llamas.  But I do know that they do amazing work and that you can buy a share of a goat for $10.  Which is great because you’re helping a family in need and you also get to tell your horrible aunt Frieda (who made you feel fat when you were 12 and won’t stop asking why you aren’t married yet) that for Christmas you bought a share of a goat in her honor.  The ass end.  Merry Christmas to everyone concerned.

Miracle #4:  This one is closest to last year’s bonanza, but I’m also shining a blinking “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” sign here because this one takes some trust.  There’s a website called Wish Upon a Hero.  The premise is that anyone can post a wish for something they need.  Sometimes people ask for encouragement, or for cards to cheer up a sick kid, or for clothes, toys, food, whatever.  If you’re someone currently in need of help, sign up and make a wish.  If you want to give help to someone in need then sign up and go here to find the kind of wish you want to grant.   It can be as simple as a word of encouragement or winter coats for children.  Your choice.

Miracle #5:  Just by reading this far you have already donated.  Tonight I’m donating $1,000 to the places above in the name of “You and everyone you know.”  And before you think this is totally selfless, please know that the $1,000 came from my online store, so technically  this money came from you anyway.  That’s why it is entirely ethical for you to tell friends and family that this year instead of giving out gifts you’re just giving to charity.  And that way you can use the money you would have spent on crap-for-people-who-don’t-need-more-crap on something more useful instead.  Like mortgages.  And pie.  And goat asses for bitter aunts who need to learn to mind their own damn business.

The fine print:   If you’re inspired to donate, please feel free to leave a comment telling us what you’re doing.  I loved seeing that stuff come in last year and I know it was inspiring to others as well.

If you leave a comment asking for help you can link to your Wish Upon a Hero post, but please don’t leave your email or contact info in your comment or it won’t get posted.

If you want to share a link of another charity that you love, or links to resources that people can use if they need help please do so.

And finally…thank you.  Thanks for listening, and for caring, and for reading this far.  

We’re all in this together, people.  

UPDATED:  I just bought a llama.  In a shopping cart.  Technology is weird.  And awesome.

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

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.

**********

 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.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

If you’re a long-time reader you already know about the book I’ve been working on for the last eleven years.  I don’t usually mention it here because writing a book when you have severe ADD is hell, and writing a blog post about writing a book  is like multiplying dead kittens by more dead kittens.  Or like dividing dead kittens by angry rabbits.  I don’t know how kitten-algebra works.

Victor just pointed out that I don’t actually have “severe, crippling ADD”, but I do have mild ADD and access to the internet, and that’s pretty much the same thing.  People with severe, crippling ADD might disagree, but luckily they’re too easily distracted to write hate mail.  Also, I seriously just forgot what this post was about and I had to go back to the top to reread it to remind myself what it was about.  That just happened.  This is exactly why it’s taken me eleven years to finish a single book.  Well done, me.

**********

A few months ago I took a dead mouse on a plane ride to New York City.   This probably happens inadvertently to lots of people (who have infestation problems and might be hoarders), but the difference is that my dead mouse was wearing clothes, and was traveling on my tray table (much to the chagrin of the man sitting next to me).    My mouse (Hamlet von Schnitzel) and I were going to New York so that I could have some meetings, sign some things, and convince my publisher that a dead mouse was much more photogenic than myself and should probably be on the cover of my book.

I was going to write about all of this at the time, but then I got distracted, so instead this post is stolen from my journal and twitter stream.  I apologize in advance for confusing the hell out of you.  This will all make sense at the end.  Probably.

**********

September 11, 2011

The man sitting next to me on the plane just suggested that my dead mouse might be more comfortable in my purse.  I explained that Hamlet von Schnitzel has severe claustrophobia.  Then my seat-mate stared at the mouse skull in Hamlet’s tiny mouse paw and I explained: “He’s an aspiring actor.  We’re going to New York for head-shots.”  And then the guy put on his headphones and refused to speak to me.  It was a good choice.

**********

I get to New York late so the publishers put me up at a hotel down the street from their office.  This is the fanciest hotel I’ve ever brought a dead mouse to. I feel Julia Roberts in the first half of Pretty Woman.

The prostitutey half.

Hamlet in New York.

**********

The porter (let’s call him Bob) offered to bring my bags up, but I’m a super-light traveler so I just had one big purse and a dead mouse.  He chose to carry the purse.

**********

In the elevator, Bob explained that this is a “transient hotel” and I was all, “Like a flophouse?”  He just looked at me and I assumed maybe he didn’t know what a flophouse was, so I clarified, “You mean, like a crack house?”  He was still quiet, so to fill the awkward silence I said, “Because this is the swankiest damn crack house I’ve ever been in.”  Then more people got on the elevator and they stared at me and I assumed they were staring because they only heard the last part of our conversation, so I further clarified “Not that I’ve been in a lot of crack houses, I mean.  I was just being polite.”

In hindsight, it’s possible that they staring at me because I was carrying a dead mouse and because the hotel porter had a hot-pink purse on his shoulder, and not because I was bragging about all the crack houses I hadn’t been to.  It didn’t really matter though because we got off on the next floor, and then Bob explained that a “transient hotel” is one where people stay overnight.  I explained that normal people just call that “a hotel.”

**********

Bob tried to show me how to work the complicated panels of buttons that operated things normal people don’t need buttons for.

Um...what?

Things like curtains.  And the curtains behind the curtains.

me:  So the curtain’s curtains don’t have curtains?  What kind of a shoddy operation is this?

Bob:  I’ll be sure to bring that up to Mr. Trump at the next meeting.

I’m not entirely sure he was joking.

**********

WTF?  I just found the “PILLOW MENU”.

It’s a menu of the six types of pillows they’ll deliver to your room if you don’t like the 11 pillows already in the room. I couldn’t even make up 6 different types of pillows.  One is made by Tibetan mountain healers and is “fortified with natural, organic fertilizers.”

Rich people: "Can you send up the Tibetan fertilizer pillow?" Everyone else: "Oh, you mean THE SHIT PILLOW."

This is exactly why no one trusts rich people.

**********

I am missing a toilet.  No shit, y’all.  There is no toilet in this room.  Apparently, rich people just hold it.  Or pay someone else to go for them.

**********

I still haven’t located a toilet, but I did find what I assume to be a leather, sex flog in the closet.  It’s disconcerting.  I miss Motel 6, where they leave the light on for you and you have to supply your own sex flog. And also, they have toilets.

Leather sex flog. Probably. In all fairness, it's possible that it's a very flat shoe-horn or a rather ineffective fly-swatter.

**********

me (via twitter):  Seriously, this is a crazy-fancy hotel and there’s not a toilet here.

My friend Maureen:  In really nice hotels, they send someone up to hold a bucket and you pee into it.”

I’m pretty sure she was just fucking with me, but at this point I question everything.

**********

I call down to room service, but everything on the menu is confusing or unpronounceable.

Me: Do you guys have hamburgers?

Room service: Did you mean Lamb burgers?

Me: Not even remotely.

**********

When the guy from room service (Not Bob) came up I asked him if this room comes with a toilet.  Apparently this is a pretty common question, as he immediately opened a door that I thought was part of the frosted glass wall.

It was a relief, but also disconcerting, as there was a phone in there with “MS. LAWSON” written on it.  Which was weird, because why would anyone need to be reminded of who they are while using their own toilet?

Thanks for the welcome, toilet phone. Also, I just realized that there's a button on the phone for "weather". To control it, I assume.

**********

I took off my dress to avoid spilling anything on it.  And that would have been fine except that when I hit the button that I thought turned on the lights I realized that it actually opened the curtains and I was suddenly mostly naked in front of a wall-sized window over Soho.  Then I hit another button to stop the curtain, but that just opened up the second, filmy curtain.  Then I was just wildly  slamming buttons, and lights were blinking on and off, and the curtains were slamming back and forth.  From the street I assume it looked like I was attending an unpopular disco-orgy.

**********

The next morning.

I didn’t steal any towels, but I did take all of the soaps and lotions.  I’m taking the phone too, because it has my name on it.

**********

Never mind.  I am not taking the phone.  Because that would be wrong.  And because it is nailed to the wall.  Which is a little untrusting, if you ask me.

**********

Meeting with the publishers.

They’re all very awesome and professional.  I placed a dead mouse on the board room table and instead of freaking out they all excitedly said, “OH!  Is that Hamlet von Schnitzel?!” because they’ve all read the book and know his backstory.   It suddenly dawns on me that all of these strangers in business suits know more about my childhood than my therapist does.  They also know far more about my vagina than of most people I have professional meetings with.  It’s both unsettling and comforting all at once.  These are things no one ever warns you about when you write your memoirs.  This is probably why Stephen King never writes about his vagina.

**********

Today:

The book is available for pre-0rder.  I open up my computer and stare in awe at the cover.

It’s been one hell of a strange journey.  Thank you for making it with me.

PS. The book doesn’t come out until next year, but you can pre-order it right this very second at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indie Bound.  

Hamlet von Schnitzel and I thank you for your support.  We couldn’t have done this without you.

For real.  Thank you.