“We go together like teenagers and low self-esteem.” That about sums it up.

This is a follow-up to a post I wrote one month ago about my shy 15 year old niece who plays the ukelele and is full of stars.  I shared a few songs and you guys filled her tip jar and her mailbox with magic, and music, and access to instruments she wants to learn.

So today I’m sharing Gabi’s latest song (which she recorded with one of her new instruments) as a way to thank you for being so supportive.  And it’s especially lovely because so much of it is exactly how I feel today about you guys.   Full circle. Thank you for being my worm.  Or my dirt.  Your choice.

PS. She doesn’t sell her songs.  She just plays them for happiness.  You can download them for free.

I’m talking about the Girl Scouts again but I’m less screamy this time.

Stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else:

If you missed that post where I got 18 kinds of pissy about the Girl Scouts then you should just skip it because it’ll probably just make you screamy, but if you read it and were like, “I want to support girls directly without having to eat Thin Mints or pay expensive shipping & handling” then I have something for you.

Meet Janet, a troop leader for 18 years.  Her current troop is at a local transitional/homeless shelter.  These girls don’t sell cookies because of financial and transportation issues, but they get a little help from their local council.  Janet’s also frustrated with the Girl Scouts, but she gave me a bit of perspective in her last comment on my blog:

“…But, why do I continue? My homeless girls so desperately need something to belong to…..and Girl Scouts does provide a lower cost organization for them when compared to many athletic, fine arts activities in my area. I also had 18 girls in my first troop that earned Gold Awards which gave them tremendous community service and leadership opportunities.”

Then I wanted to make out with her comment, but instead I asked if I could help and she gave me a link to Christmas fundraiser page that’s still open.  I’m donating there, and if you’re looking for a way to support Girl Scouts in need you can check out the link here.  The Christmas fundraiser is over but any new donations are appreciated, especially to help fund food for the girls at each meeting.

*****

Unrelated:  I’ve been pushing Hailey to use the online dictionary while she’s studying for her school spelling bee.  This matching quote came up under “domineering“:

Click to embiggen.

Click to embiggen.

That was unexpected.  And a little bad-ass.

********

Sightly related: There are words on Hailey’s spelling bee list that I didn’t know existed, AND I’M A WRITER.  (Sort of.)  I literally had to look up three of these words just to find out how to pronounce them.

If you know all of these words then

I feel pusillanimous just looking at these words.

But it was fine because I’d just type them into my phone and a pronunciation video would pop up.  Like this one, for “synecdoche”:

Not entirely helpful, internet.  But funny.

PS. Now I can also pronounce “Chipotle”  and “Pumpkin Spice Latte”.  

*******

Unrelated:  This showed up on my “related trends” on twitter awhile back and I still can’t figure it out.  It’s like bad Jeopardy.

It's probably accurate though.

It’s probably accurate though.

*****

Unrelated, and also totally related:  I’m submitting this entire post to my pharmacist as proof that I really need them to refill those ADD meds in a more timely fashion.  My brain is a ping-pong ball.  Bounce, bounce, bounce.

******

Comment of the day (by Stanleigh Erdnuss Flieger III and “Ralph the Wonder-Dog!”):

Hey, I know all of these!

neophyte — bullet time
nihilism — this word has no meaning
umami — so fat
épée — le ew
loquacious — how a loquat tastes
Naugahyde — Where’s the sofa?
apocryphal — so I hear
whippoorwill — Gridley
milieu — coucher, eh?
Sisyphean — rock and roll
appurtenances — nice looking washing machines
reconnoiter — that bassist upstairs
carte blanche — map of Antartica
pusillanimous — infected
Sahel — comrade, brother!
obstreperous — giving birth in a hospital
wunderkind — amazing beneficence
latke — The first dog in space!
souchong — “Friday”
bas-relief — when the bassist upstairs stops
bhangra — An ED drug with THC
mellifluous — stutters, except when singing
vis-à-vis — Look out for the ‘V’s!
cygnet — abbreviated cygnature
Machiavellian — supersonic
heuristic — piece of wood belonging to you
zeitgeist — ‘I’ before ‘E’ except in whateiveir.
Rorschach — dirty pictures
synecdoche — boorish trigonometry
quintessential — Penrose tiling

Blasphemy Scratchnsniff

For my birthday Hailey gave me a betta fighting fish.

"Don't pet me."

“Don’t pet me.”

His temporary name is Prisoner #7942 (that’s the number that was written on the small bowl he was living in) but he needs something better.  I was leaning toward “The Admiral” but Victor suggested “Old Gregg”, because he’s one fishy bastard.  Hailey suggested that I call him, “THE PRETENDERS.” She’s not great at this.

I asked twitter, and they gave me several good suggestions, like:

  • Lawrence Fishburn
  • Darth Betta
  • Atticus Fish
  • Prisoner Zero
  • Sir Nigel Rufflebottom
  • “He looks like Legolas.  But without legs.  Legless Legolas.”

But then someone suggested I use the Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator and these are just a few names it suggested for my fish.  I dare you say them out loud and not giggle:

  • Snorkledink Cottonpatch
  • Fragglerock Candygram
  • Crumpledonk Chuckecheese
  • Wimbeldon Chickenbroth
  • Timothy Chowderpants
  • Bumblebee Frumblesnoot
  • Bukkake Custardbath
  • Syphilis Curdledmilk
  • Bunsenburner Coochyrash
  • Bandersnatch Crumplehorn
  • Rinkydink Clompyclomp
  • Blasphemy Scratchnsniff

Conclusion:   I’m gonna need more fish.

PS.  Right now, Prisoner #7942 is in a large bowl on a very high shelf, but that’s not stopping Hunter S. Thomcat from going full-meerkat on him:  

unnamed

It’s adorable and unsettling all at the same time.  

"I just want to touch him a little.  With my mouth."

“I just want to touch him a little. With my mouth.”

PPS. This was supposed to be a weekly wrap-up, but I don’t have a sponsor for it so I was like, “Hey, lemurs.  You guys want in on this action?” And the lemurs were like:

"Who let you in here?" ~ lemurs who can't appreciate a good business opportunity

“Who let you in here?”

So fuck those lemurs.  I’ll sponsor this post myself, lemurs.  This week’s post sponsored by thebloggess.com, a website specializing in the care and feeding of aquatic-cats.  Or something.  I didn’t really research it.  It looks awesome though and ads start at $100 a month, which is crazy cheap and (surprising) less than what you’d spent setting up an aquarium for a $5 fish.  Click here if you want in.  

PPPS.  As requested, 2015 Bloggess Calendars are hot off the presses:

bloggess calendar

Yeehaw, motherfuckers.

An open letter to the Girl Scouts: UPDATED (AGAIN)

UPDATED BELOW:

My daughter, Hailey, has been in Girl Scouts for years.  I was never a big fan of Girl Scouts but I am a giant supporter of my kid and if she likes Girl Scouts then we will be at every damn meeting while I huddle in the corner of the room, smiling at the other mothers while unsuccessfully pretending my social anxiety disorder isn’t completely obvious to everyone.

And, for the most part, it’s quite lovely.  Except for twice.  One of those things I’m still working on and will write about soon because I can’t do it without screaming a lot.  The other can’t wait because girl scout cookies go on sale tomorrow and I have serious reservations.

I contacted the CEO who told me to email the social media team, but so far I have no good answers so I’m just going to put this letter on my blog and maybe it will cause someone in head office to say, “This lady is 18 kinds of wrong.  Let’s straighten her out right now, and make sure that we answer people when they badger us because they might be psychopaths with blogs.”  Or maybe it will cause someone in the head office to say, “YES.  YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT AND WE CAN DO BETTER.”  Or maybe they’ll say, “Your daughter is kicked out of Girl Scouts.  Good luck starting your own club, loser.”  And that would be unfortunate but I’ve promised Hailey that if it does happen I will help her create the “What-If-Doctor-Who-Went-To-Night-Vale-and-then-the-Zombie-Apocolypse-Happened Prep Club” and she was mollified.

Now, enough preamble…here’s the letter:

Hi there. My name is Jenny Lawson and I’m having some issues I can’t seem to get answers to.

My daughter is 10 and has loved Girl Scouts for years but there are a few issues we have concerning cookie sales and I’ve been unable to get a straight answer from anyone I’ve contacted. Two issues:

1. I’ve read on the Girl Scouts website that the current pension deficit issue will cause most local councils to see a 40% increase in pension expenses starting the day girl scout cookies go on sale, and a 62% increase over the next three years. According to the girl scout.org site “For many Girl Scout councils, this means that the pension expense will suck up money that would normally go toward operating expenses such as staff salaries and benefits, camp maintenance, outreach programs for at-risk girls, scholarship support for low-income girls, and general programming.

I know you’re currently trying to get congress to grant legislation to help you but I haven’t heard of any progress on that, so I’m under the impression that as it stands, cookie sales that previously went to scholarships and camp maintenance will now be used to pay pension debt.  I’m reading of many historic camps that are being closed or sold.  It’s a concern for many reasons, but particularly because the girls in our troop were always able to say that cookie sales help at-risk girls and support community camps. We haven’t been able to get any verbiage to respond to people who will ask why girl scout camps are being sold and whether the councils will be able to support scholarships as they have in the past.

2. The digital cookie sales that will allow girl scouts to sell online starting this year: From what I’ve read online, if my daughter sells a box of cookies to her nana online, her nana will be charged $4 for the cookies and $11.25 for shipping. So of the $15+ sale for one box of cookies my daughters troop will see about 60 cents. Is that right? Was that the most competitive shipping price available? Were there other bids?

Also, I’ve heard there is a handling fee of $1.25 if you pay online but have the girl scout deliver the cookies to you. Why is that, when the girls offer free personal delivery when ordering in person?  (I’ve also seen it called a “credit card fee” for girl scout delivery, but that number seems incredibly high if it’s a processing fee, and credit card surcharge fees are illegal in our state.)   Does the girl scout troop get the delivery fee?  Do people who buy boxes online but donate them to the official Girl Scout charity have to pay those fees as well?

I hate to be nit-picky but it seems like an extremely questionable business model and my daughter has been taught by the Girl Scouts to ask questions when you think something is wrong, and to make good financial decisions, so that’s why we’re asking you for a real response so we can make a decision on whether her time is best spent selling cookies, or doing something with a greater return to her community.

Hailey is currently working toward her Bronze Award, focusing on the Girl Scouts Journey which concentrates on stopping harmful gender stereotypes, and one of the inequities we’ve discussed ourselves is that, on average, women often accept and are paid less than their male counterparts. We looked at the breakdowns and agreed that this years cookie sales program undervalues her contribution, but we also thought it was important to voice our concerns, to work hard to make sure we understood the reasoning and facts, and to try to make this organization a stronger one by asking the hard questions. I hope that you’ll be able to answer us before cookies go on sale.

As always, good luck.

~ Jenny Lawson

UPDATED (day 2): First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Secondly, thanks for the great feedback.  It’s both relieving and disconcerting to see that so many of us have the same concerns, but I think that’s a really helpful thing for the Girl Scouts to know.   The good news is that last night the Girl Scouts twitter account said they’d touch base with us after the holidays, and this morning the CEO (Anna M. Chávez) DMed me to say they’d follow up with us tomorrow.  Hopefully they’ll have a good response explaining the details, or expounding on how they plan to improve in either deed, transparency or communications. It’s not ideal, but it’s a step in a good direction and hopefully one that will make the organization stronger.

Also, Hailey has decided to pass on the online sales thing this year, but my sweet daughter will probably be one of those excited young girl scouts manning a cookie booth outside a grocery story because she loves being an extrovert (I suspect she was switched at birth) so please keep in mind that the little girls asking for sales are not privy to -or responsible for- all of these complicated issues and should never be yelled at for their excitement. It’s fine to say “Sure, I love Do-Si-Dos” or “No, thanks” but yelling at small children isn’t really kosher. I know I probably don’t have to say this out loud for any regular reader with common sense, but just in case this gets to someone who isn’t a regular, please remember that children are children and are affected by your interactions.

If you’ve read my book you’ll know that already because my dedication page reads:

jenny lawson book

In other words, that shit sticks, so be nice to small children. That’s just basic human decency.

I’ll keep you posted on what I hear.  Also, Hailey was extremely excited to hear how many of you were interested in the Doctor Who/Zombie/Night Vale Club.  She’s designing a logo right now.  No dues.  Requirements: Be kind to one another.  And always carry a towel.  (We just finished The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy.  ‘Nuff said.)

PS. Some of you are saying that the shipping is for a case at a time and that you can’t order less than 6 boxes at a time, but I just checked it myself and was able to place an order for one box of cookies.  It was $11.25 shipping.  Also, it looks like if you choose to have your local girl scout deliver it or if you donate the cookies to the USO you’ll be paying a “handling fee” for online orders.

Here’s the breakdown:

S&H

Click image to embiggen.

 UPDATED (Day 3):  So, I don’t know what to tell you.  I was told the Girl Scouts would follow up with us today, but when I sent a tweet reminding them that we were promised a response, the Girl Scouts twitter account (very sweetly) said their Chief Digital Cookie Lead had sent me an email this morning.  I searched everywhere but turns out she sent an email to some random woman whose email is nothing like mine.  I asked their twitter person to just forward it to my email but they said the Digital Cookie Lead would have to do that and “she’s out of the office on holiday but should follow up soon.”

My response to them:

“I appreciate the thought.  Honestly though, I’m so disappointed.  Hundreds of people who are involved in Girl Scouts are on my blog asking for answers and no one representing the Girl Scouts has responded to any of our concerns, and more keep arising.

At this point I have to assume that the lack of a good answer is our answer and that’s very disheartening.

Also, I realize you personally are not the entire Girl Scout Organization and your hands are probably tied yourself, but if you have the ability to pass this up to someone who will listen it would be nice to know that these concerns are at least known.  Responsive and effective communications, transparency, and dialogue are so important.

Also, as a suggestion: Perhaps next year the online sales program should not be launched on the same week that the Digital Cookie Lead responsible for it is off on holiday.

I wish you good luck and I hope that these issues can be resolved in the future. I know you’ll agree that our girls deserve that.”

If any real response ever comes I’ll pass it on here.  Until then I’ll be buying Thin Mints because I like the cookies and love to see happy kids giddy over making a sale, but not necessarily because I think its a good investment in the girls.

UPDATED (Day 5):  Just got an email from the Girl Scout Social Media team.  It answers a few questions very well, is vague on others, ignores some altogether, and a few of the answers seem questionable, but frankly I’m just happy to see that someone is paying attention and responding.  I’ve also invited them to come here to respond to your questions.   Thanks for hanging in there, you guys.  And thanks for pushing for answers.  At least a few of them are here, and that feels like a small victory for all of us.  :

Response from the Girl Scouts Social Media Account (January 5th):

Dear Jenny,

Thanks for reaching out to express your concerns and apologies in the delay in repsonse over the holiday.

As you know, the Girl Scout mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. It is a shared goal of our movement to maximize the dollars available to serve girls.

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) made great effort over the past year working nationally with councils on two separate relief efforts to ease the financial burden stemming from the liability in the National Girl Scout Council Retirement Plan.

In April 2014, we were able to announce that GSUSA had officially signed an agreement with the IRS as fiduciary of the Council Pension Plan to extend the amortization period by more than four years. President Obama also signed into law H.R. 4275, a relief package unanimously passed by Congress that will smooth out council contributions over the next three years by allowing council pension plans to go back under the Pension Protection Act. Girl Scout councils and supporters nationwide united to contact over 100 Congressional offices, and wrote over 1,000 letters. The legislative support for the movement is truly historic—in fact, only 0.3 percent of Senate bills (three other bills) had such a high level of support. In addition to relief efforts, GSUSA included $1M in its Fiscal Year 2015 budget for pension assistance to councils participating in the National Girl Scout Council Retirement Plan.

To share a bit about our movement’s structure, each of the 112 Girl Scout councils have their own nonprofit status, budgets, operating models, camps, programmatic offerings, and cookie selling periods. Financial decisions such as whether or not to sell or close a camp based on usage, costs, and other camp property, are made by each local council.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program has been providing girls with educational and confidence-building experiences since the first recorded cookie sale in 1917. In keeping with tradition, the revenue from cookie sales will continue to benefit individual girl scouts. While a council may at times tap cookie money for core expenses like programming or staffing, the primary beneficiary is the girls, who decide how to spend their troop cookie money to reinvest in their communities and to have new learning experiences.

As Digital Cookie is a brand new initiative, we can understand that people need to become more familiar with the ins and outs. Shipping costs are in line with established industry standards from reputable companies, and comparable to what customers would pay to ship cookies. With time, we hope that the scale of sales through this part of the program will drive down the costs of shipping and handling.

We would like to assure you that Girl Scouts is committed to bringing girls a dynamic, exciting, and, most of all, FUN Girl Scout experience—one they cannot get anywhere else.

Thanks again for seeking clarification. We’re working to update our website and hope this note has addressed your concerns. Best wishes to your daughter, we hope she has a ah-mazing year with her troop!

And so there we are.  What have we learned?  We learned that the pension issue could have been answered a month ago when our troop first sent letters asking what it meant and then I wouldn’t have written this post in the first place.  But I did, and it was good because looking at the comments you can see real issues…some that we can change and others that we can’t.  We know that often the issues we think we struggle with alone are actually far-reaching, and are worthy of addressing.  We’ve learned that a large corporation cannot be all things to all people, and that the success of your troop depends almost entirely on the skills and choices of your specific troop, leaders, volunteers and local council.   We’ve learned that no one really knows entirely what is going on.  (I suspect we already knew that.)

But the thing I learned the most through all of this is that the woman who started the girl scouts was a bad-ass who looked like she would kill you and eat you if you messed with her or her girls.

Juliette Gordon Low

There wasn’t a commercial cookie program when she was around (aside from sporadic bake sales of homemade cookies) and I suspect if she was around now she’d be asking a lot of these same questions, and pointing to her 1917 quote on the importance of “Thriftiness” being taught to girl scouts:

“The most valuable thing we have in this life is time, and most girls are apt to be rather stupid about getting the most out of it….Money is a very useful thing to have.” ~ Juliette Gordon Low

Of course, this was a woman who found out that her dead husband willed all of his money to his mistress and she was like, “Aw, HELL NO.  LAWYER UP, Y’ALL, BECAUSE THIS BULLSHIT WILL NOT STAND.”  (I’m paraphrasing.  BTW…she won that half million dollar lawsuit, against the advice of friends who advised her to not make waves.)

But there’s another quote from her that probably fits better here, even though it’s a bit poignant for this sort of irreverent blog.

Juliette Gordon Low on Girl Scouting:

“I realize that each year it has changed and grown until I know that,
a decade from now, what I might say of it would seem like an echo of
what has been instead of what is.

The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.” 

This might not be what Juliette had in mind when she starting Girl Scouts, but I’d like to think that our work today to ask the hard questions and fight the good fight would have earned a small nod from her.  And possibly a raised eyebrow at all the cursing.

Probably both.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HERE IS YOUR PRESENT. THE CAT IS ON THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON AND WON’T MOVE. I’M NOT YELLING AT YOU.

IT IS MY MOTHERFUCKING BIRTHDAY AND I HAVE A SNIFFLY-ASS NOSE.

It should be against the law to not be able to breathe properly on your birthday, but such is the curse of the Capricorn…always having to share a birthday month with Jesus, and usually taking too many antibiotics to have another margarita.

birthday juanita

But, it is my birthday and if I could ask you for a present I’d ask you to go buy my second book, but I’m putting the finishing touches on it this week so you are off the hook.  Unless you haven’t read my first book, in which case get thee to a bookery.

Still, it feels like birthdays should have presents and so in celebration I’d like each of you to do something wonderful for yourself.  Maybe buy yourself those shoes you can’t stop thinking about, or watch bad tv that you love, or pet all the cats at the animal shelter, or tell the person you have a secret crush on that I’m forcing you to make out with them, or just lock yourself in a room and read until you make yourself dizzy.   It’s up to you.  Or if none of that does it for you, I’ve made you something.

It’s a horoscope.  It is non-refundable so I hope you like it.  Also, there are probably a lot of typos.  I blame the margaritas antibiotics.

WHO ARE YOU?

Capricorn:  The tears of a Capricorn can heal a broken typewriter if applied directly.  You can provoke those tears by reminding the Capricorn that they have a terrible mascot/patronus.  Seriously…goat head + fish tail = WORST MERMAID EVER.

Libra:  Never ask a Libra to mail you a five dollars.  They suck at this.  PROVE ME WRONG, LIBRAS.

Leo:  No one is good at eating corn on the cob, but Leos are the best at not being good at it.

Sagittarius:  Never tell a Sagittarius to calm their tits.  They will become violent and stabby.  “No, why don’t you calm your tits, sir?  MY TITS ARE WILD AS THE WIND.” ~ Said every Sagittarius ever.

Cancer:  Cancers always tap on the glass, even when the sign specifically says not to tap on the glass.  If you tell them not to tap on the glass they will tap even harder while staring right at you.  Don’t fuck with Cancers.

Pisces:  Pisceses are confusing.  Mostly because spellcheck doesn’t even recognize that Pisceses exist.  Instead it’s telling me that the plural of “Pisces” is still “Pisces”, which seems wrong.  But I guess the plural of “fish” is still “fish,” so that sort of makes sense?  But if the plural possessive of fish is “fish’s” then would the plural possessive of Pisces be Pisces’s?  Pesci?  Oh my God, my head hurts.  Thanks a lot, Pisceses.

Aries:  The Aries wants to correct your poor grammar on the internet but they won’t out of fear of writing something grammatically incorrect in their correction.  Except sometimes they will.  They’re terribly unpredictable, those wily Aries.

Gemini:  Almost every adult Gemini is missing his or her original teeth.  That’s right.  Your secret is out, Geminis.

Khaleesi:  Not a real sign.  True heir to the Iron Throne.

Scorpio:  Scorpios act all tough, but really they are a full sack of feelings.  Who hurt you, Scorpio?  TELL ME WHO HURT YOU.

Virgo:  Virgo is simply not having it.  None of it.  None of your motherfucking bullshit.   Awww, you done fucked up now.  You better run.  Virgo’s got a knife.

Taurus:  The great tragedy of the Taurus is that they can’t eat cheese.  No, that’s not right.  It’s that they are always making witty references but no one in real life understands the references.  No.  Hang on.  Is it something about gluten?  Shit.  The great tragedy of the Taurus is that no one remembers what their great tragedy is.

Aquarius: The only thing Loch Ness Monsters find more delicious than an Aquarius is two Aquariuses.  Don’t go into the water, Aquariuses.  That’s how they get you.

PS.  Happy birthday to you.  I know it’s not your birthday but I’m getting a head start on next year.  Unless it is your birthday, in which case I totally knew that.  That’s why I made you this horoscope.  Happy birthday, us.  We’re awesome.

Well, that’s…flattering?

This just showed up on twitter:

jul goat

And I was equally baffled (and slightly defensive) so I looked it up and got articles entitled

Every Year, a Swedish Town Builds a Giant Straw Goat, And People Just Can’t Help Burning It Down

and

Burning the Gavele Goat: SWEDEN’S HOLIDAY TRADITION OF ANIMAL ARSON.

Apparently in Sweden every year they build an enormous goat but since it’s made of hay it’s like a siren for arsonists, and at this point the arson has become part of the tradition.  Giant animals and annual arson.   And then I read the tweet again and I thought, “Holy shit, twitter does get me.  Merry Christmas to me.

And Merry Christmas to you.  May it be lit with happiness and the glow of giant burning goats.

PS.  My favorite Christmas carol, for you.

If you’re easily offended and super-religious you might want to skip it and go pray for us instead.

PPS.  I’ve gotten the most amazing letters from people who’ve been helped, or who’ve been lucky enough to be able to help, or who’ve regained their hope in humanity by just reading the stories shared in the comments over the last four years of James Garfield Christmas Miracles.  Thank you.

Where do you get the toys with the shit in them?

Most of the toy shelves are fairly empty, but there are still a few things you can pick up on Christmas Eve:

Oh, God.

Oh, God.

Nothing better than a shitting animal at Christmas.

“I POOP PEANUTS!” the little elephant says.  That’s because you don’t chew properly.

Also, I’m looking at the box and your kid is supposed to take the feces and feed it to your elephant again and again.  And he just keeps pooping!  It runs right through him, almost like diarrhea.  Because it is diarrhea.  Because you’ve given him dysentery from feeding him his own shit.  Merry Christmas!

Also available in Tigers!

I didn't even know tigers laid eggs.  THANKS, SCIENCE!

I didn’t even know tigers laid eggs. THANKS, SCIENCE!

PS. Victor says that “laying eggs” and “pooping eggs” are two different things.  Sorry.  I’m being anal.

PPS.  This toy is on the same aisle.  HOW IS THIS NOT SOLD OUT?:

Wanna feel old?  This movie was made 30 years ago.

Wanna feel old?  This movie came out 30 years ago.

You are the best Godzilla ever.

Hello!

This is a disjointed post as my is family here for an early Christmas since my dad will be manning his taxidermy shop on actual Christmas.  Because nothing says “Happy birthday, Jesus!” like being elbow-deep in a warm deer.

I just want to say such an enormous thank you to everyone who asked for or offered help this week on our 5th Annual James Garfield Miracle Post.  I’ve lost track but my best estimate is that over $65k has already been donated this week to helping kids have at least one Christmas/Hanukkah present, or giving a security blanket, toy and book to a homeless child, or giving a gift through Heifer to help better the world.   Project Night Night and Heifer have both reached out to say that they are seeing a ton of donations come from here, and the comments of people sending toys and receiving them have given me back my Christmas spirit.

My friend , Joe Baden, surprised me with an amazing illustration he made for me this week:

bloggess joe badon

And it’s perfect because at first I thought it was me fighting Godzilla, but then I looked closer and realized it was more like Godzilla and I are on the same team and he’s totally got my back.   As if I was like, “LET’S DO THIS SHIT.  LET’S SAVE CHRISTMAS AND TURN ALL GUNS INTO CHOCOLATE AND MAKE PAJAMAS FOR COLD SLOTHS!”  And Godzilla was all, “Have you been drinking again?  You’re in your pajamas and you’re armed with a blow-dryer.  And it’s not even plugged in.  Jesus, lady.  JUST LET ME HELP YOU.”

That Godzilla is you.

If you’re part of the community.  If you helped.  If sent a word of kindness.  If you donated, or plan to donate in the future.  (Heifer and Project Night Night always need help.)  If you were humble enough to ask for help, or selfless enough to pass on help to others once your needs were met.  No matter what part you played, you are my Godzilla.

Thank you for being my Godzilla.

PS. If you want to leave comments of thanks you can do that here, but if you’re asking for help, or including a link for help please just leave those comments on the original post so we don’t end up with confusion, okay?

PPS.  For those still struggling to make the holiday special for their children, or those who weren’t able to get their present delivered before Christmas here are a few ideas:

Go on youtube and create an entire playlist for them of songs that remind you of them, or that you know they’d love to hear. I made a playlist for Hailey and she listens to it over and over. It’s like the free mixtape of the future.

Get a pinterest account (it’s free), search it for the cool stuff they love, and pin those things to a board you made just for them. Motivational words, art they’d like, meme’s they enjoy, movies they like. I have one for Hailey and she loves to check it out because it’s all about the Star Wars and Night Vale and Doctor Who and funny animals, and it reminds her that I’m thinking of her.  This is a mirror image of it if you want to see how it works.  I keep the real one marked “private” so I don’t have to worry about her seeing comments 10 year olds shouldn’t read.

Go to the library and get a GREAT book you loved at that age. Then turn off everything but a single lamp and read aloud. Even now I love listening to my mom read.

Do art together. Maybe it’s coloring. Maybe it’s doodling. Maybe it’s getting out your phone or camera to take funny photos.

And remember that, no matter what, if your children have your love they are already ahead of the game.

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And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:

madebyroundtablecompanies 2

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

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-awesome:

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

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the creators of THE KEGEL BEAR, an adorable children’s book about vaginal exercise.  That sounds weird, but it’s actually quite genius, as outlined in the video and also makes a fabulous baby shower gift.   No bears or vaginas were harmed in the making of this product.  

UPDATED: If you need help, or if you want to help…

UPDATE! I’ve lost track of where we are but we’d Donated over $10,000 of toys in the first 24 hours & it’s been snowballing since then. My blog only shows 700 comments per page before making you click “newer comments” so here’s a sHortcut: click here for comments 700-1400, here for comments 1400-2100, here for comments 2100-2800, and here for comments after 2800.

Remember in 2010 when I gave out gift cards in the name of James Garfield (the taxidermied boar) to the first twenty people who told me they didn’t know how they were going to afford toys for their kids this year?  And it was awesome until  it became very apparent that there were more people who needed help, but then you guys came to the rescue and suddenly there were $40,000+ worth of donations from strangers to strangers?  That was awesome.  And exhausting.

Then in 2011 we worked together to sponsor Project Night Night Bags (a bag with a security blanket, a book and a stuffed animal) to 750 homeless children.

In 2012 we helped get Project Night Night Bags to 1,000 children who were homeless, or were displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Last year we donated tens of thousands of dollars of bees, oxen, and llamas around the world, and again supported Project Night Night.

This year I say we do it all.  It’s been a good year for some of us.  A bad year for others.  Give if you really can.  Take if you really need.

You can click here if you want to donate $25 to sponsor a Project Night Night bag for a homeless child.  Or click here to help end world hunger and poverty by buying the ass end of a pig as an honorarium for someone you don’t like.  Because who is going to complain about getting a helpful pig ass in their honor for Christmas?  No one worth going to the mall for, probably.

Or if you are struggling to buy a single present for your child then do this…make a wish-list on Amazon (SEE UPDATES BELOW) and leave a comment below (with the age of your child, a link to your wish list, and anything else you want to share).  I’ve made money this year in affiliate ads because you guys have supported me here, so I’m giving back to help those who need support this year to get by.  So that means that – even if you don’t have the money to donate this year – if you supported this page in any way, then the donations from me are also from you.  Literally.

A few words of warning…I only have a limited amount of money so I can only help a limited amount of people.  If you choose to share your wish-list then gift-givers will be able to see your name and city, but your actual shipping address is kept confidential with Amazon.   Also, if you choose to be a gift-giver and pay for something on someone’s wish-list please know that I can’t verify anyone here so you have to go with your gut.

I’m in the middle of family visits, deadlines, and book edits but I’ll try to keep the comments updated as much as I can.

PS.  I just bought a live sheep and a bunch of Project Night Night bags in your honor.  Merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/GoodGravyGiving.  Thank you for letting me be part of such an amazing community.  You have no idea the difference you make.

PPS.  If you’re looking for something wonderful and inexpensive for your child I cannot over-recommend books.  Books were some of my best friends and still are, and they can take you miles away.  If you need suggestions, GoodReads has a great list of 100 Children’s Books to Read in a Lifetime.  Some of those books are like coming home again, and all are available for free at your local library.

PPPS.  It seems only fitting to end this with the taxidermied boar who inadvertently started this whole ridiculous thing.

James Garfield and I love you.

James Garfield and I love you.

UPDATED:  I’ve tried to buy several things on several wish lists but keep getting a  message telling me that there isn’t a verified address to send the presents to, so I’m just going to assume that I’m an idiot and instead I’m sending Amazon gift cards to the email addresses as noted in the comments.  Maybe someone smarter than me can tell me what I’m doing wrong.  Also, if you want to leave an email address in your comment you can but I won’t share it unless you actually type it into the comment box.

UPDATED X 2: Make sure you update your amazon profile to have a confirmed shipping address set up for your account.  See the comments for pointers.  So far almost everyone doesn’t so people aren’t able to ship to you.  Giant thanks to those who want to send me money so I can pass it on, but so much would be eaten in fees and taxes so it’s better for you to donate directly.  I’m sending gift cards for now but I suspect people will fix their profiles soon to make it easier.  And thank you for such an amazing response.  I love you guys.

UPDATED X 3: GOT IT!  Okay, the reason why we’re unable to ship to lots of you is because Amazon makes you select a shipping address for your wish list in a really complicated way.   I made a graphic to show how to do it but it’s 1:30am so forgive my typos…

shipping

December 26th update: I’ve lost track but guys have donated well over $65k to helping struggling families during the holidays, to giving Night Night bags to homeless children, and to donating to end world hunger and poverty.  I don’t even have the words, y’all.

Number one, I’m gonna need you to be honest here…

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a good poll so I thought I’d get your opinion on a question I often ask during uncomfortable silences:

By the way, one of these answers is mine.  10 points to Gryffindor if you guess which.

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And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:

madebyroundtablecompanies 2

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

Shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-awesome:

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

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by SilkWords, the go-to source for steamy interactive women’s fiction. Two formats are available: branched fiction (“pick your path”) and linear stories produced with reader participation.  Holiday Cruise is the latest branched story.  “Erin’s friends drag her on a weekend holiday cruise to distract her from a breakup. What erotic adventures await?”  Click to find out.