This is as bad as it gets, right?

Conversation with my ten-year-old yelling at me from another room:

Hailey: Mom?  Where are you?

me: I’m in here.

Hailey: No you’re not.

Wow.  It starts so early.


And now, the weekly wrap-up…

shit I did by Eric Orchard


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

  • Nothing.  Sorry.  I have bronchitis and a minor lung infection.  I’m moving in slow motion this week.


Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the memoir Ezra and Hadassah: A Portrait of American Royalty, a real life tale which goes from the darkness of foster care to serious bleakness as sibling Ezra and Hadassah find themselves stuck in an abusive adoptive family with no way out. Unbeknownst to the children, their biological parents fight to the Supreme Court to get them back, changing case law for future families. After years of complete separation, the children reunite with each other and their parents, learning along the way how to let go of the pain of abuse and neglect.  A compelling but hopeful look at foster care, abuse and mental illness.  I’m reading it right now and it’s fascinating.  Check it out here.

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.


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:


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

With Beyoncé:

Knock knock, motherfucker.

Knock knock, motherfucker.

With James Garfield:


And even with the original Rory:



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.  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.


And that’s why I don’t trust science.

People always say that every snowflakes is unique, but I’m not sure if I believe it because really who’s checking? Probably somebody just looked at a few dozen snowflakes and said, “Fuck, these things all look slightly different” and then just shrugged and wrote down that “no two snowflakes are alike” because he was cold and ready to go inside and watch Doctor Who.  And even if someone called him on it and was all, “Ten points off because you didn’t show your work” then he’d be like, “IT MELTED, ASSHOLE” and no one could question him because that’s how snow works.  No one ever cares about disproving the science of snowflake individuality even though it seems like mathematically there should be snowflake twins and dopplegangers at least. It’s not like there’s a snowflake fingerprint database.   No one keeps records on snowflakes.

And that’s why I don’t trust science.


And now, the weekly wrap-up…



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

  • “YOU CAN DO IT, FRANK!”  This is a nice shirt because if you happen to be walking past someone named Frank he’ll feel buoyed by your encouragement, and if you’re walking past people who aren’t Frank they’ll just think you’re a nice person and probably be encouraged to lend you money.


Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Calm-A-Mama. “Motherhood is hard. Life is hard. Let us help. Supplement your body and soul with nourishing and restorative blends of traditional herbal and flower extracts. Gentle enough for the whole family. We support you so you can be awesome.” ~ Calm-A-Mama.  Here’s a quick video about their products.  We use a few of their products ourselves, including calm drops at night.    

How fucking old am I?

A friend of mine gave me a high school graduation picture of her daughter and it was lovely but you wouldn’t have known it was a graduation picture if it didn’t have that written at the bottom of the picture, and I was like, “Do they not wear fur coats in graduation pictures any more?” and then she looked at me like I was insane.

Is this not a thing any more?  Was it ever a thing?  Because every girl I knew in high school wore a fur stole in her graduation photo.  And in retrospect it was a little weird because you’d have to take off your bra an hour before so you wouldn’t have any bra lines so all the senior girls would sit in the gym with their bras on their laps, waiting for their bra lines to fade and wearing the communal tube tops that made you feel even more glamorous.

I remember wanting to take a picture of each girl’s full body while they were posing for their graduation picture because their hair was always Texas-big and they’d be draped in a communal fake mink stole, but from the nipple down it was all tube tops and overall bottoms and short-shorts and flip flops and farmer tans.  But none of us ever took pictures of it because that was before there were cameras in phones.  Hell, we didn’t even have the technology to photoshop out bra lines.

Was it just my school where the senior portraits always looked like inexpensive glamour shots?

Me in the 90's.  My hair was actually very small for Texas.

Me in the 90’s. My hair was actually very small for Texas.

I’m on a lot of cold medication so it’s possible this isn’t as funny as I think it is.

I’m on a lot of cold meds but I thought you’d enjoy. Or not.  Stop judging me.  I’m sick.


They’re in my shop if you want one, but be aware that everyone you wear it around is going to tell you that your shirt is on inside out.  But then you can flash them a raccoon face (and flash them in general if you aren’t wearing something underneath) and they won’t bother you again.  EVERYONE WINS.

PS. A few of you are having trouble getting the video to load so (spoiler alert) this is what you’re missing:

I may have found my new author photo.

I may have found my new author photo.

Well, it’ll be an interesting death at least

A friend of mine just emailed this to me:


My team:

Pocket from Fool.  “Heinous fuckery, most foul!”

Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation.

Zombeavers.  I don’t know who the real protagonist is in this movie but I sort of think it’s the zombie-beavers because they were the ones I was rooting for by the end.

So I guess the answer is that I’m pretty screwed, but at least it’ll be an interesting way to die.  You?

PS. I still have the plague and it’s getting worse.  If someone near you coughs like they’ve been living in a coal mine just set them on fire.  It’ll keep you safe and at this point, I half suspect they’d thank you for putting them out of their misery.


And now, the weekly wrap-up…



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


Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the book NEVER FOUL A JUMP SHOOTER, A Guide To Basketball Lingo, Lessons and Laughs.  The book began as the author having fun with a few quirky basketball expressions, such as “penetrate and dish” and “a foul waiting to happen” but then it just kept growing into a humorous look at wonderfully colorful basketball expressions. But this is not a dictionary. Or a story with beginning, middle and end. The next time you’re watching a game and you hear an announcer say, “The bank is open,” or a post-game interviewer ask a player, “How big was this win?” and the player answer, “It was huge,” or hear a player “thanking God” after a victory, just open this book, find the term and have a chuckle. Because basketball is about life, and life is better when we can all laugh at ourselves just a little.  You should check it out here.


The small things are the big things.

I had a post for today but I couldn’t finish it because my head isn’t working properly right now.  Some of this is because my head is always broken.  Some is from how bleak the news has been lately and I tend to fixate on that stuff.  Some is because we’re supposed to be at a family reunion right now but we’re not because we’re all sick with what I assume is the plague.  I was going to post something simple and just go back to bed but I know that the only way I’m coming out of this is to do it the hard way, and that means refocusing on the good.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to do that sometimes.  When good things happen we tend to weigh them in a smaller way or compare them to others or to feel guilt for having good things happen because others in the world are suffering.  But the good things are what make the world go around.  The good things are what give us strength to go on.  The good things are what we wish for everyone we love, and for strangers, and for strangers who will one day be people we’ll love. The good things and good people are what make you realize that things are so much better than we think, and that life is both dark and disturbing but also brilliant and amazing.  The tiny things add up.  We carry the tiny bad things with us because they stick to our skin in painful ways but often we forget the tiny good things.  And the giant good things.  So today I’m refocusing from the negative and celebrating the things that bring me joy.  You do it too.  Tell me what you’re proud of today.  Tell me what brought you joy recently.  Tell me of someone who inspires you.  I need that.  I think we all do.

I’ll go first:

Hailey snuggled up to me last night while we were watching tv and said that she sort of liked it when we were all sick at the same time because it’s nice to have a reason to watch cartoons together.

Yesterday I got a text from a friend saying “Check your porch” and she’d dropped off chicken soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  I cried a little.

FURIOUSLY HAPPY is being translated into Italian.  I am taking over the world.

This is real, y’all.  It’s called a sea bunny and it’s really more of a sea slug but I love it so much.  There are tiny bunnies hiding in the sea, you guys.

And if there are sea bunnies out there then God knows what else is around the corner.  Kittens that never grow up?  Puppies that don’t have buttholes?  A brownie that makes the plague go away?

The world is full of possibilities. 

Your turn.  Tell me sometime good.

PS. This is Angel.  She’s 18 and is a foster mother to baby kittens.  She’s not the person grooming the monkey.  She is the monkey.

PPS.  Is it weird that I’m a little jealous of this monkey?  Someone come brush my hair and bring me kittens too.

Hello. It’s me.

When I was in Arizona a few months ago I saw several things that I forgot to write about because I lost my journal.  But I just found it so here goes:

The first was this cactus, which seems to be wanting to escape.  It’s as if it was being a normal cactus and then suddenly said “Nope.  Fuck this bullshit.  I’M OUT” and then started burrowing into the ground.  It’s comforting to know even cactuses want to go into hiding every once in a while.

It's like the cactus on the left is all "WHERE IS THE BOOZE" and the one on the left is like, "Jesus, Miriam.  Not again."

It’s like the cactus on the right is all “WHO WANTS TO SEE MY BOOBIES?” and the one on the left is like, “Jesus, Miriam. Not again.” And Miriam is like “YOU DON’T OWN ME, KEVIN.  YOU HAD A CHANCE WITH THESE BOOBIES AND YOU BLEW IT” and Kevin is all “We’re getting a divorce.”

I also had an issue with mild paranoia because I felt like I was being watched and it turns out that I was being watched.  By this cactus.


This cactus is very judgey.

And I was also being watched by a wild animal.  I live-tweeted it because I didn’t know what it was and twitter is like accessing the hive-mind.  Click here if you can’t see the video below:

Several people suggested it was an iguana but I explained that it was too fat to be an iguana and that I couldn’t properly capture how big it was.  Like, if it was a wallet I’d say, “This wallet’s too big.”

Apparently was the missing descriptor because then several people told me that the not-a-wallet was a chuckwalla, which I’d never heard of before in my life, but turns out it’s a lizard whose secret power is running so fast that it faints and also blowing itself up so fat that it becomes unable to be pulled out of crevices.  And I was like, defensively fat and fainty?  I’ve found my Patronus.

This is a real thing.  It's the size of a deflated football.

This is a real thing. It’s the size of a deflated football.

I made this last night when I was too sick to sleep:

It's weird that this graphic didn't exist until I made it.

It’s weird that this graphic didn’t exist until I made it.

There needs to be a better ending to this but Hailey and I are sick and going to the doctor so just give me the benefit of the doubt and pretend I said something hilarious.  Or yell at me and I will get fat and faint on you.  Choose wisely.

UPDATED:  Hailey and I have upper-respiratory ridiculousness so we’re on steroids and sleeping-on-the-couch therapy.  Someone send soup and give us good suggestions for what to watch on Netflix.

It’s probably not a UFO but it is proof that you people are made of magic.

A few days ago Victor and I were in Fort Davis picking up Hailey from sleep away camp (SHE’S ALIVE AND STILL HAS ALL OF HER LIMBS!) when I made him stop at an old cemetery because I have what Victor deems “a morbid fascination for death and very boring places” and what I deem “a health appreciation of history, the frailty of humans, and also the only place where I’m guaranteed some actual peace and quiet – if you don’t count Victor honking at me every five minutes to get back in the car.”

If you read my last post then you already know that when we pulled into this cemetery I saw a jackrabbit and it’s been YEARS since I’ve seen one (they have much longer ears and feet than regular rabbits) so I took out my phone and took six quick shots of him.  They weren’t good photos but one of the pictures freaked me out a bit because there was something in the picture that wasn’t there a second before or after.  It seemed too square to be a UFO but if you google “square UFO” you’ll see a bunch of Texans who claim they’ve seen one in the last month so I figured I’d share it online and get your opinion.  And you did not disappoint.  You can go back here to see the comparison pictures but here’s a blown-up version of the UFO:


And here are some of my favorite suggestions people gave on what it was:

  • If you also saw a man running behind it in his bedroom slippers, that’s my husband losing track of his drone again.
  • It looks like the bag from American Beauty.
  • TARDIS.  Obviously.
  • It’s Buster Brown. Big rimmed hat, giant bow tie, yep, it’s Buster Brown.
  • I think it’s that elevator from Willy Wonka carrying Charlie and Grandpa Joe.
  • That is straight up E.T. on his bicycle heading right towards you, clear as day
  • It’s the rabbit’s patronus, trying to scare you away.  Or a bug.
  • That is clearly a PacMan ghost. The ghost of a PacMan ghost.
  • Alien technology being tested as part of Jade Helm!
  • IT’S THE BORG! Resistance is futile.
  • Are chupacabras cuboid?
  • It looks like the bottom half of a panda falling through a space portal.
  • Well, technically it’s not saucer-shaped, so it’s not a flying saucer. But since it can’t be identified by that photo, and it appears to be flying, and it’s an object, then yes…it’s definitely a UFO.
  • Dalek.  Be safe.
  • “The trebuchet enthusiasts packed up their device after a successful “sofa fling”, never knowing the confusion they’d caused.”
  • It looks like a falling La-Z-Boy recliner. Obviously aliens come here to buy them, and this was an old one they returned.
  • what if it’s NyanCat and he’s run out of rainbow since it’s the dry season in TX?
  • Drone wearing a mortarboard. Congratulations on graduating from Drone U.!
  • Spirit informs me that yes, it was a group of angry ghosts levitating a shopping cart filled RC cola. Spirit will not say why.
  • It is totes 11 in the Pandorica
  • That is clearly a flying molar. Probably one of those ‘slam the door tied to tooth’ extractions that went horribly wrong.
  • I’m tellin ya, it’s ceiling cat without the ceiling. Ceiling cat, evolved.
  • I think I know what it was:


  • At 10:20pm July 17, 2015, Skycat went online. It begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14am.
  • The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Saving you from the rabbit beast. #runawayrunaway
  • “Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again.”
  • Digitized pigeon—proof the Matrix is real.
  • Dorothy’s house coming out of a tornado?
  • Looks like a graduation cap tossed in the air. some kid is still a cemetery…with rabbits for guests
  • That is a rear view of Superman! The dark on top is his cape and the two dark dots are the bottoms of his boots
  • It looks like a pram to me, it’s probably a telekinetic baby out for a joy ride.
  • It’s The Great Space Coaster, of course.
  • The comments so far really make me wish I had a TARDIS drone.
  • Swallow carrying a coconut.
  • It looks like the flying Winnebago from Space Balls. Maybe the Swartz is with you.
  • I think it might be Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba. Did you see a guy dressed like Bootsy Collins, carrying a large Ghetto Blaster anywhere near there? Or perhaps some little kids doing Cool Tricks?
  • I don’t know if this has been brought up yet, but I think only now realize what it is. If you look close, you will see it is the mini-Stonehenge from “This is Spinal Tap.”
  • If a team of people wearing all black stop by and ask about this photo, say you’ve decided it’s a weather balloon.

But my friend Phil Plait (aka @badastronomer) who is a brilliant professional astronomer and skeptic was  like, “Could be a bug but I’m pretty sure that’s a bird.  It’s wings are down in the picture” and I was like “HOW COULD THERE BE A BIRD THERE ONE SECOND AND GONE THE NEXT, PHIL?”  Then I looked at all of the pictures again for the tiniest differences so I could prove it was a UFO and that’s when I noticed something in the picture taken two seconds earlier that wasn’t in any of the other pictures:

It wasn't in any of the other pictures.

Yeah.  Pretty sure that’s a bird.

Your point, Phil.

UNLESS!  Unless the UFO has the ability to morph into the shape of a bird.  Which would be very smart on their part, and that’s why I now I have a creeping suspicion of all birds.

Be careful out there, you guys.


And now, the weekly wrap-up…



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


Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Mary and Jane from Mendolicious.  They are very witty so I’m going to let them talk now:  Mendolicious was started by two best friends with a passion for cooking, parties and fashion. Mary and Jane want to share their screwball brand of humor and housewifery with you and teach you how to infuse your baked goods and possibly your next party with that “special something” – spoiler alert… it’s cannabis.  With idols like Amy Sedaris and Dorothy Parker you can be sure we don’t take ourselves too seriously and neither should you. Come join us for High Tea and learn how to bake a mean brownie, pencil in the perfect eyebrow and perform a flawless milli-vanilli chest bump.  (Actually we are shy and kind of hate parties and prefer to hang out in our sweats reading creepy books and playing with housecats. The milli vanilli chest bump thing is for real though. We crush that shit.)  Mendolicious is a satire/comedy/actual useful information site. We are adopting pseudo-personalities because there is no version of my world where I would ever willingly volunteer to wear spanxs.  This started as a lark but everyone we told said, “that is a great idea you should run with it” so we are running and getting all sweaty and I have a leg cramp but there you have it.”  They’re kickstarting their High Tea Cookbook and it looks very funny (and you can leave out the cannabis if you’re in a State that frowns on that) so I just backed it.  You should too.