This day took a turn.

So last night Dorothy Barker wouldn’t sleep and she whined like crazy and tried to go out to pee at least 10 times so today I took her to the vet and the vet was like, “Her bladder is too small to stick a needle in (wtf?)  but we think your dog has a bacterial urinary tract infection and canine derma vaginitis” and I know the first one but the second one was new to me so the vet was like, “Her cooter’s all borked up.  That’ll be $300.”

Then she was like, “I’m giving y’all some medicated wipes. You’ll need to clean your dog’s vagina four times a day.”

me:

Dorothy Barker:

But then I got home and Dottie refused to let me near her lady garden and I was running after her yelling “LET ME WIPE YOU” but she growled and hid under the table and I was like, “YOUR VAGINA IS A GROUP EFFORT, DOG” and then she tried to bite me and I was like, “LOOK, I’M NOT TRYING TO SHAME YOU.  I ASSURE YOU THIS IS ALL PERFECTLY NATURAL FOR A WOMAN” and then Victor came out of his office and yelled about how hard I made it to be professional on conference calls and I was like, “Dude, don’t blame me.  Blame your dog’s vagina” and then he was like:

Then I decided that maybe it would be easier to wipe the dog’s hoo-hoo if it didn’t have so much fur on it so I went to Target to find dog-clippers but they didn’t have any so I went to the men’s grooming section and there were a thousand trimmers but I didn’t know which one to use and a lady who works there asked if I needed help and I told her I was looking for the best way to shave my dog’s vagina and she was like, “Oh” and I explained that it was for medical reasons, not recreation but she still looked disturbed and then I realized that maybe she’s one of those people who is very pedantic about the term “vagina” meaning the tube part of the lady garden and honestly it would be weird to shave  inside a dog’s vagina so I corrected myself and said, “My dog’s vulva, I mean.  Obviously.  You know what I meant” but it seemed like she didn’t really so I grabbed the cheapest clippers with the ear hair attachment because it seemed like if it was safe for ears it was probably safe for dog vaginas.

But then when I got home  Dottie totally didn’t understand what I was trying to do…

…and she got freaked out by the clippers and kept running from me so I had to wrap a towel around her head so that we didn’t have to make eye contact and share our mutual shame and then she calmed down a little (which is probably the same way I’d want to get a bikini wax if I’m being honest) but I was holding her like a burrito in one hand and the clippers in another hand and she got squirmy and I totally cut a giant chunk of fur off of her tail and now it looks like she tried to cut her own bangs, but if her bangs were on her butt.

Then Victor yelled at me for breaking the dog but she was already broken and I have the doctor bill to prove it and technically she seemed pretty happy to have a freshly shaven vagina and she ran around the house feeling the breeze on her downstairs apartment and showing it off to anyone who would look.

This post is going to get me so many gross internet search results.

 

 

“What would you choose to have squirt out of your finger?”

Hailey asked me what I’d choose to have squirt out of my finger on demand if I had the choice of any liquid and I thought vodka would be good but a bottle of vodka lasts me forever so instead I went with gasoline and Hailey said that would taste terrible but then I explained that I’d use it to never have to go to the gas station again.  Hailey chose hot fudge, which I’m not sure is technically a liquid but is still a very good choice.  Then I asked Victor what liquid he’d choose to have squirt out of his finger and almost before I’d finished the question he said, “Acid.  For sure.  I’d squirt acid out of my finger.”  And then I just stared at him for a bit because he answered that way too quickly but I think our choices probably say a lot about our personalities and this is one of the weirdest Rorschach test ever.

PS. I just changed my answer because I think that probably the best liquid to squirt out of your finger is blood because blood banks are always low and that way I could donate a ton of blood.  Victor just pointed out that my finger already squirts out blood on demand if I cut the tip off so it’s almost like I got my wish, except not really at all, Victor.

*******

And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday 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-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Better Help.  Some issues in life are best solved with the help of a professional and there’s no shame in asking for that help.  BetterHelp is a great online counseling platform that provides unlimited access to a licensed counselor for less than the cost of in-person therapy.  Get matched with a counselor and start communicating via text, live chat, phone call or video within 24 hours. You should check them out here.

London is beautiful…but a little too peoply.

(Click here for part 1)

SO…where were we?  Oh, we were in Scotland at the train station and I was thinking that Scotland would always be my favorite vacation spot and then someone told me that the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn (true story) and also that Scotland recently had to shut down part of a castle after a “very angry badger” took up residence there and refused to be lured out with peanuts and cat food and then I realized that Scotland was made for me and probably I should go live there.  And I’m fine with angry badgers because Victor travels all the time so it’d be like he was there even when he wasn’t, plus badgers eat snakes so it’d be like I had a personal snake security guard with me.  EVERYONE WINS.

We planned to take a sleeper train from Scotland to London and it seemed very smart because not only do you travel at night so you sleep through the travel but also you don’t have to spend money on a hotel because you sleep on the train, and it was awesome.  Mostly it was awesome at teaching us how much we never want to take a sleeper train again because as soon as I squeezed into the tiny room with all our suitcases I had the first bout of claustrophobia I’d had in 10 years and I had to tell Victor and Hailey to stop breathing because they were using up all the air and also the room was so tiny it smelled like feet and farts and fear almost immediately.  It was exciting though to see the country from the window and I enjoyed the booze part of the dining car once I stopped hyperventilating.

Also, people on twitter told me I needed to eat “neeps & tatties” so I asked for them but I forgot the name so instead I was like, “It’s Scottish and it goes with haggis?  I want to say ‘nipples and titties’ but I’m pretty sure that’s not it” and they agreed hardily.  Turns out it’s “neeps & tatties” (shorthand for “turnips & potatoes”) but I think I was pretty close.  Not close enough for the dining car people though, who were very confused, but in my defense this is a country that also sells “pasties” and they aren’t what you think they are either so I’m pretty sure none of this is my fault.  Victor disagrees.

But he did agree that the sleeper train was not a great fit for us (literally) but was excellent practice for prison.  I asked Victor to order 50 hard-boiled eggs and a harmonica but the dining car was out of both, I guess.

At the time, this night was one of the most uncomfortable of the vacation but looking back it was one of the best and I laughed myself a little sick. So never mind, I’ve decided I like the train after all.

Jesus.  This is supposed to be about London and I’m still on the damn train from Scotland.  Let’s hurry this up.

We got to London and were the last people on earth to see Hamilton (although Hailey and I already knew all the words by heart and I want a medal for not singing along) and I cried so much I gave myself a headache.  Also it was weird going to London to see a play about America but it worked.

#ANDPEGGY

We went to Dennis Severs’ House and it was an introvert’s dream because basically you’re going to a party where you’re not allowed to speak, the other guests are invisible and also Dennis Severs’ is dead so literally you get to enjoy an amazing (probably haunted) time capsule art installation house in absolute silence.  I can’t explain it well and I wasn’t allowed to take pictures but if you’re ever in London you should totally go.

We went to the Tower of London and saw the crown jewels and the torture chambers and the ravens and the weather was miserable but it matched the mood of the place so I give it points for accuracy.

Then we did the cheesy touristy London Dungeon, and I’m aware that it’s a terrible waste to go to the country where history comes from and spend hours at a semi-horror amusement part but we know who we are and we are the kind of people who love cheesy horror and ridiculousness and being chased by Jack the Ripper.  Part of traveling is learning who you are.  Turns out we are those people.

There were a lot of other things we wanted to do but I had a small panic attack at the bus station that left me needing to hide in a hotel room (but only for a few hours and this is what progress looks like for me) and Hailey sprained her ankle so we skipped all of the other stuff and just took our kid to a bar.  But it was a bar that had a full replica of Sherlock Holmes’ flat so I can’t be blamed.  Also, I was told that kids go to bars all the time in London so I guess in that way it’s a lot like Texas.

We wanted to do high tea but we couldn’t get in anywhere since we waited too late and honestly that was fine because I didn’t even know what high tea was.  Turns out it’s just tea, but sitting up high at a table rather than a couch, so I’m not sure what the draw is.  “Low tea” is drinking at a low sofa which seems better to me.  Personally I prefer “Super-low tea” which involves having wine coolers and cupcakes in your bathtub and which I just made up.

Then we went to Trafalgar Square where I half fell in the fountain getting this picture:

Worth it.

We watched the sunset and scraped our elbows climbing onto the giant lion statues and for a moment everything was golden.  I breathed.  I felt.  I soaked it in.  I stopped, and all was good.

I love this picture of me and Hailey. Are those guy unveiling a giant metal nipple? Just asking.

And then we got on another train for France.  Let’s take a break, okay?  I need some super-low tea.

PS. Everywhere in Scotland I kept seeing these signs that said “TO LET” and I was like, “They spelled ‘TOILET’ wrong” but apparently ‘letting’ is like ‘leasing’ and that makes more sense but also I was very impressed with the children of Scotland for not graffitiing an “I” into every sign because apparently they have much more self control/class than I do or possibly they just aren’t tall enough to do what all of us are thinking.

Someone get me a white paint pen and a ladder.  And bail money.  I’m gonna need bail money.

And then everything changed. #Scotland

If you’ve been reading here you know that I’ve been dealing with a rather severe depression for more than a year.  A few months ago I had 36 transcranial magnetic stimulation sessions to try to snap out of the anxiety and depression that were making me a prisoner in my own head.

And it worked.  Not entirely, I mean.  I still deal with depression and anxiety and I’m still on medication but it reset my head enough to let me leave the house.  In fact, the week after my treatment was over we spent a week in Europe, something I never would have imagined was possible for me before.

I probably didn’t do as much as most people do and certainly I missed lots of things that I wanted to do but I got out there and I only had one day of anxiety severe enough to make me hide in my room.  I can’t even tell you how impossible that would have sounded to me only a few months ago.

I’ll tell you more about the trip in my next book (BECAUSE I’M WRITING AGAIN) but so many of you asked me to share some of our itinerary so today I’m doing a photo essay of the trip.  If you follow me on all the social medias you can totally skip this:

Day one:  A new Pope was elected on our first plane.

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Video: This seems like an ominous sign.

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Our second plane ride was a bit better:

WE GOT UPGRADED FROM ECONOMY TO BUSINESS. WHAT.

Landed in Glasgow.  Tried to go to the Necropolis but it was scary as shit driving on the wrong side of the road in heavy traffic and suddenly A PARADE BROKE OUT so we just drove away.  So, we started with fear and failure and less corpses than anticipated but at least the corpses weren’t our so it’s a fair trade.  Plus we had breakfast:

Beans on toast, haggis, blood pudding, lorne sausage, tattie scone. All weirdly delicious.

 

ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

 

We’re staying in the 800 year old super haunted Dalhousie Castle. It’s beautiful but there are 8 live spiders in the bathroom and now Hailey refuses to open it again so we’ll be pooping out the window like the classy people we are.

Is that a goddam owl? Yeah. It is.  YOU’RE A WIZARD, HARRY.

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Made an unexpected friend. #scotland

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That tiny owl? It’s called a “little owl” and it’s adorable but also we had to keep it away from any other little owls because IT EATS OTHER OWLS. Cutest cannibal I’ve ever snuggled in my life.

Pretty much every building in Scotland looks like Hogwarts but this is Rosslyn Chapel. There’s a black & white cat who sort of owns the place and I spent time snuggling him on a pew today. If more stray cat snuggles happened in random churches I might actually go.  Get your shit together, Christians.

Day 2:

Spending a few days at Neil Gaiman’s house in Scotland and thinking that young me would never believe this is real. Sadly, Neil and Amanda aren’t here but when I was in the library after midnight a crow tapped on the window to come in and I’m pretty sure I’m in a short story now.

Day 3:


 

But turns out the everyone not Scottish pops all their tires in Scotland so the mechanic had a ton of spares on hand and was able to fix it.  SUCCESS!

We explored Isle of Skye, which feels haunted but in the best possible way.

We walked The Quiraing, which was breathtaking and watched out for Highlanders.  We didn’t get to the end because it was long and Hailey sprained an ankle and I’m lazy but it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Also, there were sheep.

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The Quiraing. #scotland

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Here’s where I almost fell to my death. #WORTHIT

We went searching for ruins. We found cows. Probably they ate the ruins. I don’t know how Scottish cows work.

Also, all the ground in Scotland is so crazy soft you sink into it when you walk.  It’s like standing on cats.

I stole fruit.

Saw the countryside. Stepped in feces. (Probably not human.)  Spent time with family.

Day 3:

Eilean Donna Castle. Everything looks like a movie here.

Loch Ness. The monster did not show herself. DEEP SIGH. SCOTLAND.

But we stopped at Loch Lochy (which seems a bit too on-the-nose and I assume was named in an internet contest) and totally found something:

Then I found another monster.

Caught a Mr. Mime. I screamed a little. Don’t judge me.

Found a giant castle knitted out of yarn in the mall. You can’t get away from castles in this country, y’all.

Overall, it was amazing.  I actually miss Scotland and usually when I leave a place I feel relief that I’m gone.  I cannot recommend it enough.  But maybe bring a raincoat.  And a spare tire.

Holy shit, this post is getting long.  Let’s do London next, okay?

The Twentieth Argument I Had With Victor This Week

Me: You know how I’ll know when we’re really successful?  When I can buy the New York Times just to throw it in the trash so that the garbage men will think I’m smart and sophisticated.

Victor: You can buy the New York Times now.

Me: Yes, but then I’d feel like I have to read it.  Have you seen it?  It’s enormous.  And there isn’t even a comic section.

Victor: Really?

Me: Well, I assume.  I’ve never made it all the way through.  I mainly just buy it when I’m on a plane because then I look smart and also it’s really big and so it makes a good blanket.

Victor: Because the smartest people on the plane are huddled under newspapers like homeless people.

Me: I don’t huddle.  I drape the sections over me gracefully.  And then I crumple some into a makeshift pillow.  Sometimes I make a paper prom dress or sailer hat.  And then I sigh to myself and shake my head condescendingly and tell the person next to me that I found another error in the crossword section.

Victor: I thought you didn’t like to talk to people on planes?

Me: I don’t.  That’s why I say that.  Say something ridiculous like that and people assume you’re either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid.  Either way, they tend to avoid you the rest of the flight.

Victor: Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that you’re wearing the sports section like a Snuggie.

Me: Well, whatever works.

Winner:  Victor by default because “sports section snuggie” is fantastic alliteration.

The Fifteenth Argument I Had With Victor This week

Me: Every time I cook something in the microwave it smells like burnt popcorn.

Victor:  That’s because you burnt popcorn in it.

Me:  Yeah, like, a week ago.  It’s like the microwave is holding a grudge.  It wasn’t even my fault.  I hit the popcorn button and next thing I know there’s a fire.  If anything, I’m the one who should be holding a grudge.

Victor:  It’s not really normal to fight with microwaves about whose fault it is that you burnt popcorn.

Me:  It’s like the microwave is being haunted by The-Ghost-of-Burnt-Popcorn-Past. We might need an exorcism.

Victor:  I’m pretty sure we just need you to watch the popcorn when you’re microwaving it.

Me:  Or maybe it’s being haunted by The-Ghost-of-Burnt-Popcorn-Future.  Because it’s bound to happen again.

Victor:  It really doesn’t haveto happen again.

Me:  Why can’t our microwave be haunted by the smell of a delicious four-course meal?

Victor:  Probably because you don’t microwave four-course meals.

Me:  Well, no, because they would just end up smelling like burnt popcorn.  This is exactly the reason why I don’t cook.

Victor:  Yeah.  That’sthe reason.

Me:  I mean, get over it, microwave.  It’s time to move on.  You’re keeping me from baking delicious things.

Victor:  You “bake” in an oven. You microwave things in a microwave.

Me: No.  Like if I made home-made squash casserole in the microwave I think that’d be baked squash.

Victor:  It’s microwaved squashed.  Because you microwaved it.

Me:  No.  It would be “microwaved squash” if it was frozen, pre-packaged squashed made explicitly for the microwave.  This is different.  It has ingredients.

Victor:  It’s just squash.

Me:  And salt.  And I had to wash the squash, and cut the squash.  So yeah, it’s a pretty big deal.

Victor: You microwaved squash.

Me:  Stop saying that.  You don’t “washing-machine” your clothes.  You don’t “oven” a roast.  So I didn’t “microwave” fresh squash casserole.

Victor:  It’s not a casserole.  It’s just squash.

Me: Sometimes I think you hurt me on purpose.

Winner: The microwave.  Loser: The Catholic Church, because they refused my offer to pay them for a microwave exorcism. It’s like they don’t want Jesus to have money.  This is why people don’t understand the church.

On finding the cure for depression

So. If you read here you already know that I’ve been getting stabbed in the brain by magnets every day for an hour for the last few months.  (Click here to read the whole TMS story if you’re new here.)  And yesterday?  Was my last session.

Overall, it was uncomfortable, weird, a reminder that insurance companies are satan, expensive and time-consuming.

It was also totally worth it.

I am not one of the lucky third of people who went into full remission with transcranial magnetic stimulation.  I’m also not one of the unlucky third who the treatment didn’t work for.  I’m in that middle ground…better, but not perfect.

But better is so good.  I’ve tracked my moods every day these last few months and (other than a short dip halfway through treatment) I’ve steadily gotten better.  I even had 5 seemingly random days over the last month where I felt what I imagine most people think of as normal.  I haven’t had days like that in so long I’d literally forgotten I could feel that way.

I know some of you are looking at the process yourself and every single person is different but here’s how it helped (or didn’t help) me:

Depression:  When I started treatment I was in a deep and very long-lasting depression that I’ve been battling for well over a year.  I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I started coming out of it.  I think I was operating at 10-25% when I started treatment.  I’d say I’m between 60-75% now.  I’m still have depression.  I’m still medicated.  But this treatment was like a soft reset…like turning your phone off and on again when it gets laggy and broken.

Concentration:  This is still a struggle for me but I have seen a little improvement.  Not much, but a little.

Sleep: My sleep patterns changed the very first week.  I still struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep but most nights I’m asleep around midnight rather than angrily tweeting about insomnia at 4am.  I’m less likely to feel like I’ve been drugged and hit by a truck in the morning.

Anxiety: TMS treats depression on the left side of your brain but I also did treatment on the right side of my brain for anxiety.  This isn’t always standard so ask your doctor about it if you’re having TMS.  This is where I felt the most improvement.  When I started TMS I was having severe anxiety and massive problems with agoraphobia.  I had a hard time leaving the house and I didn’t answer my phone. I struggled with even emailing people.  Right now I feel almost normal.  Tomorrow I’m leaving to see Europe for the first time in my life and I would never have imagined I’d agree to on this trip if you’d asked me a few months ago.  And I’m scared about traveling but I’m excited, and that’s something that I haven’t felt in a long time.  My family actually noticed these changes in me before I did.

OCD and ICD:  Unfortunately TMS didn’t really improve this a ton.  I still feel irrational OCD and ICD thoughts but slightly less.

I don’t know if this will keep working but if I fall into the deep depression again I qualify to get follow-up treatments in the future and it’s nice to have hope.  In fact, hope is the best thing that came from this treatment.  This treatment is still new and strange and we don’t know exactly why it works for some or why it doesn’t for others but the fact that it does work for some people means that there’s hope for all of us…that things are getting better and slowly we’re figuring out how these wonderful and terrible engines that run us work.  I have hope that I will get better.  Because I did.  And that’s a good reminder to keep close when things get bad again and my depression starts telling me lies.

I will get better.  So will you.  Each day more and more people understand the struggle and more treatments become available.  One day there will be a cure.    We’re getting closer every day.  And I’ll be here for it.

PS. I did embroidery every day as I got treatment and a friend (Laura Bundesen) sent me a pattern that I could concentrate on while in the chair.

Finished:

Stabbing a brain thousands of times while getting stabbed in the brain thousands of times. It’s almost too fitting.

HELP. If you’ve ever been to London, Paris or Scotland please tell me what to do.

HEY!

I’ve had one too many cocktails (two) so this might not make sense but we’re taking Hailey to Europe this month and have no idea what we’re doing because I’m a procrastinator and we’ve never been to Europe. I mean, technically Victor has been to Europe but he just spent a week working in some guy’s basement in Torquay (long story) so I don’t think that counts. Long story short…I have no idea what to do. We’re only spending about 2 days in each town so there’s not a lot of time to fill but I want to make sure I don’t miss something awesome.

We’ll be road tripping from Glasgow to Isle of Skye and back to Inverness. Then we take a night train to London. Then another train Paris and then we fly home. If you’ve ever been to any of these places and have a great restaurant/attraction/stop that was fantastic please let me know.

We’re staying in lots of haunted hotels and doing ghost tours because that’s the kind of people we are but we’re cool with anything.

Tell us where to go?

Do you want a free book? Of course you do, unless you’re some kind of monster.

This is a potpourri of stuff so buckle up.

First off, today is National Coloring Book Day (really) so I’m giving away copies of mine (YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds) right here.  If you need one for yourself or a friend leave a comment and I’ll send a few out tonight.  (Just make sure you leave a valid email address in your comment because that’s how I’ll contact random winners.)

Secondly, Today was my 33rd TMS treatment.  That means I only have three more to go.  I had a dip in emotions last week but not enough to be a depression and today I feel really good again.  Fingers crossed it continues.

Third, I forgot what I was going to say.  I think it was important though so I’m going to leave this space here in case I need to come back to it.

Fourth, apparently Furiously Happy is super on sale today if you want that instead of YOU ARE HERE then let me know and I’ll send a few of those out too.

Fifth, this weekend I’m driving to Book People to autograph books so if you’ve ordered one with a special inscription you’ll be getting it soon (thanks for your patience!) and if you want to order one now just go here and follow the directions.  They have all of my books and are a WONDERFUL independent book store to support and I will write anything you want in them.  And yes, I would be happy to write “Knock knock, motherfucker” or draw a picture of a cat or a penis or a cat’s penis.  They make excellent gifts.  My books, I mean.  Not cat penises.  Unless you’re a lady cat who is into that sort of thing.  No judgement.

Also, I typed in “no judgement” looking for a gif and got this.  This sort of feels the opposite of what I was looking for, but whatever.

Sixth, I FOUND A SECRET ROOM IN MY HOUSE.

Victor says it’s not a “secret room” at all and also he won’t let have a crowbar.

I’ve been live-tweeting it.  After you leave a comment click here to read it all.

I’ll take one in an extra large, please

My friend Elan shared this video and was like, “Y’all, we’ve been doing umbrellas wrong”…

…and I immediately agreed because I would wear this every damn time I leave the house because it’s like you’re wearing a personal fence that also happens to be a duck and a sneeze-guard and probably a great barbecue bib.  No one could sit next to me at the movies or stand too close in an elevator and probably I would avoid uncomfortable small talk because I assume normal people would avoid a grown woman wearing a 5 foot wide duck and abnormal people would be just be like, “Can I get that in blue?”

But then I looked it up and turns out that only toddlers get to enjoy their adorable  introversion which just seem unfair because toddlers already can scream at strangers who get too close to them and they don’t even get arrested for it, but when I want a duck-based, protective face petticoat I’m the weirdo.

PS.  Hang on.  I found an “adult version” but it’s basically just the child-sized one with the duck face removed.  FAIL ON ALL PARTS, RAIN DUCK MAKERS.

I appreciate the jaunty hip pose, but I’m pretty sure this is the opposite of “fierce” or “working it”.

PPS.  Hang on again.  I just remembered that Dorothy Barker fucking hates the rain and refuses to go out in it but maybe if I buy her the one for infants she’ll stop shitting on the floor whenever it’s drizzling.  SOLD.  Expect pictures soon…