Frankly, it’s not that much more ridiculous than a lot of the stuff on I’ve written on twitter before.

Social media is hard as shit right now because everyone is mad and I get it.  There are small reprieves like the Biden memes and otter videos, but mostly it feels a bit scary to writing anything on twitter and Facebook and that’s why today I decided to use YES,THAT CAN BE MY NEXT TWEET to let that website decide what I would probably say today based on my history.  Here are a few of the suggestions that YES THAT CAN BE MY NEXT TWEET gave me to share, and they were incredibly ridiculous and also embarrassingly accurate sometimes.

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Not entirely out of character, if I’m being honest.

Let’s try again.

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Okay.

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Hmm.

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TOTALLY.  Wait, no.  Is this sexual?


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I like that there’s a question mark.  Like I’m sort of sure it’s flammable but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt.

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Seems like I’m just under-reacting at this point.

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So maybe the question marks were too optimistic.  Sorry.  I’m hiding under the idea of the future.

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Seems like a good idea if everything is on fire.

A few other tweet suggestions it gave me:

I SMELL LIKE I WAS JUST GROWLED AT.

TODAY IS CANCELLED AND FULL OF HOT GOAT HAIR.

THIS IS THE WORST POTPOURRI.

WE NEED A SACRIFICE TO MAKE THINGS WORSE.

I HAVE RUINED MY PROBLEMS.

HEY, SORRY I HAVE CARPET BURNS.  ALTHOUGH TECHNICALLY WE ALL PAINTED PART OF THOSE GENITALS.

GOATS HAVE DAVID SEDARIS TIED UP.

5 YEARS AGO: ME, A DICK, DEPRESSION.

APPARENTLY I’M MAKING WIGS WITH FERRETS.

2AM SUDDEN DUCK BUTT!  THE CATS WERE BEFUDDLED.

TODAY IS NOTHING AND I’M SO EVERYTHING.

LADIES AND NEAR-VELOCIRAPTORS: NO ONE’S TAKING AWAY OUR TREBUCHET.  FOUND MY CAT!

MY NAME’S LARRY.  YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING.  MAGIC IS NICER THAN MY PAJAMAS.

DID YOU ACCIDENTALLY OPEN A GOOD DUCK?  I’M GOING TO!  OOH, PRETTY!

I DRESS UP AND I’M…JESUS.

YES, I AM A TERRIBLE MESS.  THIS IS A RABID BEAR.

WHAT IN MY CAT WAS INVISIBLE BEFORE?

DUCKS.  MOTHERFUCKER.

SMELLS LIKE THEY’RE BALD DOWN THERE, RIGHT?

EVERYTHING WILL DRESS UP AND BE OKAY.

I SAW A DEMON.  THIS GUY HAS ZERO CHILL.

VICTOR FUCKED SHIT UP IN THE DEMON.  MAKE TINY MERKINS INSTEAD.

I’VE BEEN LANDING INSIDE THE BEST PEOPLE.  YOU SEEN MY STABBING KNIFE?

OCTOBER MEANS DOGS IN MIXED POLITICAL MARRIAGES WHO DON’T HAVE ANY MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS.

THIS IS THE MOST HEAVILY EDITED P0RN I’VE EVERY GLUED MYSELF TO.

VICTOR: WHAT THE FACE?

THE 2AM SUDDEN DUCK NEEDS A SEX DUNGEON.  I’M IN BED WITH SUPER GLUE.  NO CONTEXT NEEDED.

HELLO FRIEND.  BREATHE.  I SMELL REAL NICE.  I AM NOT BALLS.

Your turn.

So where do we go from here?

This post peppered with medicinal kittens because smarter people are writing better things so I’m doing this instead.

This was a lot of us the night of the election:

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If you’re like me you’ve been spending the last days feeling helpless and uncertain what to do.

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Some things are easy, like donating to causes that you feel are important and might get left behind.  Some are harder, like reaching out to people who are hurting even if you don’t know how to help and are afraid you’ll fuck it all up and make it worse.

A lot of us keep getting stuck in that place where we hate humanity and are ready to become hermits.

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Things feel upside down and scary.  Your emotions are valid.  It’s okay to be angry or scared or freaked out for yourself or for people you love.

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Practice self-care.  Take a walk.  Do some art.  Sit in the grass and drink a booze-slushie.  Read a book.  Watch Doctor Who.  Avoid the internet when it gets to be too much.

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There’s some crazy-ass bullshit out there and the craziest bullshit has the loudest voice.  Do not engage the crazy people.  Someone calling you the c word is not someone to be reasoned with.  Pick your battles.  There will be plenty.

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It’s going to hurt for awhile.  So much so that you might not have the strength to help yourself.  Ask for help.  You aren’t alone.  Sometimes you need help to pull yourself off the train tracks, and sometimes you’ll be the person pulling someone else off.  This is how we survive.

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Look for goodness.  There are so many people posting loving and caring responses or who are there to give hugs and protection.  There are so many more than you think.  Look for those glimmers of light.

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We may disagree on many things but I feel confident that anyone who is a member of this community wants safety, equality, justice and happiness for every minority group that is afraid today.  This is a safe place and that is a needed thing.  Thank you for providing that.

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There are serious problems in the world today and writing a post filled with kitten gifs is fucking ridiculous.  But ridiculous is what I do best.  And kittens are the closest thing we have to medicinal marijuana in Texas so I’m working with what I have.

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Once you feel better though it will be time to turn your hand to making things better in a world that seems more divided than it ever has been.   Maybe it’s just smiling at everyone you meet.  Maybe it’s paying for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive-thru.  Maybe it’s donating to charities and organizations that help others who are struggling.  Maybe it’s just not screaming at people even though you really want to.  Maybe it’s letting people scream at you because you know they need space to vent.  Maybe it’s adopting a rescue animal and hiding away until you feel strong again, or volunteering at a hospital or homeless shelter.  Maybe it’s talking to your kids to ask if they’ve heard anyone being particularly cruel at school lately and making sure they know how to deal with it and how to report it.  Maybe it’s just ignoring this post and not writing something hateful about it even though you really, really want to.  Maybe it’s forgiving others or yourself.  Maybe it’s just continuing to breathe and not hurt yourself or others.  Those are all big things.

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Whatever it is, I’m grateful.  It starts small.  It starts with us.  Me and you.

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PS. Back to non-political stuff next week.  Promise.  Also, my last post was political and had over 400 comments and so far they are overwhelmingly compassionate and empathetic and encouraging.  That’s a small miracle, you guys, but it’s one we keep pulling off.  Thank you for being amazing and being a safe place for so many of us.

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PPS.  Happy Veterans Day.  Thank you to all those who serve to protect us.  I hope we can protect you right back.

It’s going to be okay.

UPDATED: It’s the morning after now and I feel like I got hit with a truck.  But what I said in this post is still valid and I stand behind it.  I’m updating this post though with a very helpful comment was left on my last Facebook post and I’m sharing it here in case you need it: “For those who could use some support, text 741741. Free, confidential, anonymous. There may be some slower response times than the usual < 5 minutes, but crisis counselors are doing an amazing job responding to such a huge influx. LGBTQ, people of color, assault survivors, differently abled, other religions – ANYONE feeling overwhelmed about what this means for you? Feeling alone, anxious, maybe even in despair? There is help. Sending you love. Just in case anyone reading this needs help tonight or another night.”

************

It’s election day morning and I’ve thought a lot about what to write here.  I’ve rewritten it a dozen times.  If you read here you already know I’m super liberal so you can probably guess who I voted for.  If you’re like me (even if you voted for the person I despise) you’ve watched each debate and ad and tweet and endless, crazy bullshit and you feel an incredible amount of anxiety over what will happen today.  I feel it too.  And the thing I most want to hear right now is the thing I’m telling you.

We’re going to be okay.

We will. Because no matter who wins and no matter who you voted for you will still have the opportunity to fight each day for what you want to see in the world.  Fight for justice or kindness or acceptance or love or equality or whatever it is that is still lacking.  You will not fight alone. You still make a difference. In some cases you make more of a difference than a President ever will. Either way, you’ll be needed tomorrow (and every day after) to promote joy and love and grace even if you’re tired.  You will be better for it and so will the world.

We’re going to be okay. Even if the next President ends up being a sack full of sick ferrets we will be okay. We will still have our family. We will still have love. We will still have people fighting for what they believe in. We will have a better understanding of who we are as people and how we need to get better. We will have a better understanding of our capacity for love and for fear. We will have parties who know that their secrets are never really secret and that they need to be better. That benefits us all.  We will have seen disgusting behavior exposed so our children know what is and is not okay. We will have seen how easy it is to spread lies. We will have proof for our children that anybody (No, really…ANYBODY) can be President. We will have hard conversations at family dinners where we change minds and hearts and sometimes find our own changed and challenged. We will do it softly or we will do it loudly but we will not stop because we are Americans and it is our constitutional right to sometimes be stupid assholes and sometimes be noble and selfless and most of the time be a bit of both. We will have a reason to fight harder for what we believe in, and a reason to choose a good fight…one that makes a difference in positive ways for all of us. And that’s what America is all about.

Even during the darkest parts of history you can look back and see the glimmers of goodness shining through, and the light winning over, and the unlikely heroes being made, and the people becoming sharper and stronger and more clearly defining who they are and what they stand for, because they had no other choice but to choose. And that is necessary. It is hard. It is terrible. It is scary. It is beautiful. It is all of those at once but turned up to eleven. And that is us. And no matter what happens on election day, we will be okay. We will still be us. We will still be imperfect and flawed and good and bad and scared and brave and we will have so many more opportunities to become better than we are. To maybe even be better than okay. To maybe one day be great.

But until that day comes…we’re going to be okay.

I promise.

PS. If I could limit comments to just the usual readers then I know they would be funny and kind and compassionate, but I suspect this might get attention from people outside of this community so maybe skip the comments here for once. Or if you see people being shitty in the comment section about me or you or whoever it is you’re voting for just ignore them. Let them vent. Yelling into the void in my comment section might let them blow off the steam they need so they don’t take it out on their family or friends, and that is a good thing. Ignoring it and still beaming out love (or at least a good, Southern “Oh, bless their stupid hearts”) is your selfless act for the day. Because like it or not, we’re all in this together.

You need this today. For real.

I had a post written about election day but I’m not sure I’m going to post it because it’ll probably piss some people off and I’m not sure I want to deal with that so instead I’m going to think on it for today and post this because it made me laugh so hard I scared the lady at the drive-thru this morning.  Worth it.

This guy photoshops himself into the Kardashian’s instagram photos and it is made of magic.  The captions make it even better.  Click here and be sure to read the captions.  You need this today.

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Victor knows me very well and also doesn’t know me at all.

So yesterday Victor flew back home early because my favorite portrait artist ever was having an special artist talk in Austin and he wanted to take me to it, and I was like, “I LOVE HER.  But I don’t want to leave the house and I’m afraid of small talk and can we just skip this party and go see her art next week when there aren’t a ton of people at the gallery?” and he was like, “No.  Stop being weird.  We’re leaving the house and seeing real people” so I was like, “Fine.  But I’m hiding in the back and I’m not wearing makeup or dressing up so I can blend in with the walls.”  And then we get there and when I walk in I see the artist (Sara Scribner) and she’s in the middle of a talk with all these people and she waves at me and I notice people staring at me even more than normal and I was like, “Am I bleeding?  Is there a bird in my hair?” and I’m trying to blend back into a corner and Victor keeps staring at me and I was like, “WHAT IS YOUR DEAL?” but I did it with my eyes because I didn’t want to talk out loud and then I looked over and saw me on the wall and I was like, WTF?

Um. Is that me?

Um.What.

And I thought, “Hang on.  Is that a portrait of me on a gallery wall?” Because it totally looks like me when my friend Maile did a photo shoot of me a few years ago but then I was like, Why would I be in a portrait?  That can’t be me.  MY GOD, JENNY, YOU ARE SUCH A NARCISSIST.  But turns out it was me because Victor contacted Sara and commissioned her to do the painting to surprise me.  And it was awesome and lovely because my favorite portrait artist did my portrait, but also, I was living that moment when you try to hide from everyone at a party that I was too scared to go to and then I find a painting of me in a spotlight, which is exactly the opposite of hiding at an art show.  And I told Victor thank you, and that he really knew me and also didn’t fucking know me at all and he agreed.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

OH I AM VERY AWARE OF STRESS, THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

So Facebook just informed me that it’s “Stress Awareness Day” and that seems sort of unhelpful because if you need to be made aware of the existence of stress you’re probably in a coma.  Except comas are probably stressful too because you’re trying to sleep and your great aunt Betty is hassling you to wake up and yelling “JUST LOOK WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO YOUR MOTHER” and catheters are uncomfortable and the medical bills keep going up and basically you can’t even be unconscious without dealing with a bunch of bullshit.  And I just gave myself a panic attack thinking about an imaginary coma I’M NOT EVEN IN.  SO, YEAH. I’M ALL FULL UP ON STRESS HERE, FACEBOOK.  THANKS.

But then I went back to see what else was in the news and turns out that Facebook was behind on news again and Stress Awareness Day was yesterday.  So basically Facebook just told me to be aware of a day that would stress me out but then waited until I’d already missed it to remind me that I’d even managed to fuck up being aware of stress on the proper day, and then that stressed me out because what else am I behind on?  So now I’m hyper aware of stress because not knowing about stress awareness stressed me out and this is exactly why I don’t like Facebook.

PS. I just went to post this link on twitter and twitter was like “Hey, it’s National Sandwich Day!”  This is why I love you, twitter.  Grilled cheese for everyone.

I’m still alive in here.

The last year has been hard for me.  I have glimmers of myself.  I have hours each day when I can smile.  Some days I come out of the fog and feel the terrific relief from coming out of the underwater of depression or whatever it is that haunts me.

I struggle through the day until sunshine comes back.  Sometimes I get my child off to school and then go back to bed until she comes home.  When my husband travels I feel relief that I can hide without shame, but the shame is still there.  But I know a part of me remains because I miss them when they’re gone, and if I can feel that then I know I’m still alive.

It seems strange.  How sometimes I can be normal and functional and my head and body will let me live like people are supposed to live, and then the next day I’ll plunge back into that halfway space where I’m asleep, either physically or emotionally.  I remind myself that depression lies…that I’ll come back again.  That the hollowness is temporary and could disappear any moment.  I kill the day with sleep.  I struggle to write, feeling such incredible relief on those days when my head works again and can put words together in a way that makes sense to anyone other than me.  I write small notes to myself for the book I’ll finish when the hungry ghost that lives inside me is full, or spent…whatever she needs to do to leave.

And when I can’t write my words on the paper I draw them by hand…symbols and images and strange things from dreams.  I draw and erase and draw and erase, and make and unmake myself.  I hunch over my sketch book and find myself leaving images to prove I was here…even when I’m scared that I’ve gone missing.

I’m still here, even when I’m not me.  I’m still me even when I come out of this spell.  I’m me.  And I am unpredictable even to myself.

I’m still alive in here.

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I was going to name this post “Happy Howloween” but that seems cheesy. But I can’t think of anything else so let’s stick with that, okay?

After many days of Dorothy Barker in a plethora of outfits we have come to the final few candidates for best costume to wear on Halloween.

A few past crowd favorites:

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Yesterday we tried something a little new.  Dottie was okay with it but as soon as I stopped petting her she’d shake it off.

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Ferris Mewler was less enthusiastic.

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“THE CIRCLE OF LIIIIIFE.”

And today we tried on the final costume: Dog Vader.  And she didn’t hate it but she didn’t look serious enough to carry it off completely.

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“Dottie, look angry.  Look like you’re part of the dark side.”

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“No.  You look like pirate sneezing.  Never mind.  Just look normal.”

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Yeah.

So after all of this we’ve decided on the perfect costume for Dorothy Barker.

She’ll be going as a dog.  She’s good at it, she likes it, and it fits her.  And if anyone asks I’ll say she’s Lady Godiva.

Happy halloween, y’all.

All Hallow’s Read

I’m a big fan of All Hallow’s Read.  On Halloween I give out candy but I also have a bowl full of books that kids can pick from if they want one.  The first year I did it I expected that most of the kids would be far more focused on snickers than Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark but I was happily surprised at how excited the kids were to get a great book and to talk to me about the scary books that they loved.  It was awesome because children skip all the awkward small talk so I get to interact with small people who don’t scare me as much as the big ones.  Last year I gave out Ruth Chew books because I loved her when I was a kid.  This year I’m doing a Neil Gaiman selection, which is a good fit since he is the king of All Hallow’s Eve:

Amazon has a deal on the 3-box set of Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Fortunately, the Milk.  If you order today you can still get them by October 30th and they average out to less than $5 each.  (The Graveyard Book may be too scary for little kids but middle schoolers will love it.)

You can also pick up great bargains at resale shops and indie stores and local bookstores and it’s great fun to relive your childhood favorites.  Except when you go looking for books that you loved at a kid and they’re a billion dollars because you’re old and they are out of print.  I’m looking at you, Grampa’s Ghost Stories.

What was the best scary book you read as a kid?  Or as an adult?  I’m looking for good ones.  (Whoever recommended The Girl With All The Gifts last time we shared is my new best friend.)

PS. I’m meeting David Tennant tomorrow.  Sort of.  I’m going to do everything in my power to not lick him on the face or hide under a table.  More on that later.

Help me, internets. You’re my only hope.

So I’ve been a bit MIA lately because the power company decided I didn’t need electricity anymore so I spent the day eating all the popsicles and dressing up the dog.

This time, Dorothy Barker decided to go a little more pop-culture than before.  Can you tell who she is?

Why?

Victor’s guess was “plotting her revenge” and yes, maybe, but I’m looking for something more specific.  Hang on.  Lemme add a wig:

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She actually didn’t hate this one, but probably only because I was giving her dog bacon (made for dogs, not out of dogs) and it was a fair bribe.  But then I ran out of bacon and she did this:

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At first I thought she was reenacting that scene where Leia bends over to have R2D2 take that selfie of her, but Victor was like, “What is happening here?  You gave our dog scoliosis.”  But turns out that she was just wilting because she realized  I was out of bacon, and I completely get that because I also ran out of popsicles and I was totally feeling the same way.

I have to go now because I hear drilling and I think we’re going to lose power again, and also because I found more popsicles.

PS. Hunter S. Thomcat requires no bacon.  He’s just too lazy to get off my desk.  And he is working the shit out of this look.  Take notes, Dottie.

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PPS.  Ignore the haters.  You’re beautiful.