I appreciate your help but you’re wrong and you look like an asshole, spellcheck.

So I was writing a professional letter and spellcheck was like, “Nope.  You spelled ‘fucking’ wrong” and I was like, “Yeah, I’m pretty fucking sure I didn’t, spellcheck” but I’m open-minded so I looked at their reasoning and spellcheck was like, “You’re using the wrong subject-verb agreement, asshole.  This is how you conjugate verbs, yo.”

“And I fuck love margaritas”?  That cannot *possibly* be right.

And spellcheck has a point except that I was using “fucking” as an adjective, not a verb and it’s weird that I even have to explain this to a computer.

Frankly, I feel like I’m back in French class except with slightly more cursing and no French.

PS. I just did spellcheck on this post and got this:

I’m getting mixed messages here, spellcheck.  Or maybe it’s learning?  Let’s go with that one.  I need to feel like I accomplished something today.

Found a tombstone. Now I have a mystery to solve.

This weekend I continued my streak of finding bizarre #bafflingthriftfinds with one of the weirdest ones even for me.  An actual, used tombstone.  I shared it online because this is what I do and because my twitter friends are incredibly entertaining:

 

It felt weird leaving a tombstone in a resale shop but it also felt weird buying a tombstone that might have been stolen.  A quick look on find-a-grave shows that Sahra has a new (if slightly boring) tombstone as of 2007 but I’m not sure if it was replaced because it was stolen or because it was broken.  So I decided to see if I could solve this weird mystery and I contacted some of her family members on Ancestry.com but so far none have responded to my “I found your great-great-great granny’s tombstone in a store if you want it” emails.  Then I emailed someone from the local tombstone historical society and they have not responded to my “Are you missing a tombstone because I think I know where it is” email, which I assume will be met with a restraining order.

This post doesn’t have an end.

Yet.

 

Things I wrote while high. (Not much different than what I wrote while sober if I’m being honest.)

This week when I was still high from the anesthesia I apparently wrote myself a series of notes on my phone.  A lot of them were literally gibberish but there were a few that made me go: “WTF?” and also, “I mean, yeah, maybe” at the same time.

This was one of them:

I think God must be an animal hoarder because he keeps making dogs that he knows he’s just gonna get back when they die and he only lets them live for like 10 years, which is not nearly long enough.  Like, how many dogs do you need, God?  Can we keep some?  And God’s like, “NO.  THESE DOGS ARE MINE.  YOU CAN BORROW THEM FOR LIKE…SEVEN TO TEN YEARS.”  And then I’d be like, “I don’t understand your end game, sir.  We need dogs to last longer” and then God would be like, “NOOOPE.  DON’T GET ATTACHED.  MY DOGS, YO.”  And this is why people become atheists.

Also, when I wrote this originally I was still high and it had even more typos than normal and the note had God yelling “THESE DONGS ARE MINE” and I was like, “Huh?” but then I figured it all out.  Probably going to hell for posting this on Sunday but in my defense, I’m not the one murdering dogs.

*******

And now…time for 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-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Terrifyingly Beautiful, a witty podcast about living with anxiety. Join Kevin O’Connell and David Robert, self-proclaimed anxiety experts, as they pop open a bottle of cheap wine and share hilarious stories about the stuff that keeps them up at night. (Spoiler alert: It’s everything.) Topics thus far include salad bars, creepy dolls, germy gas pumps and dead nuns under the bed. The podcast definitely falls under the wonderful categories of “freak me out” and “make me laugh.” Check it out here.

 

The drugs were awesome.

So today I had my endoscopy/colonoscopy procedure and (as you told me) the prep from yesterday was worse than the actual procedure.

From twitter yesterday:

  • Today’s menu : clear liquids, jello and laxatives. Feels like I’m back in college…
  • …except that the nurse says vodka does not count as a “clear liquid”.  Which makes me doubt she’s ever had vodka.  Now I’m said for both of us.
  • This clear broth tastes like I want a hamburger.
  • So, I have to take ANOTHER dose of prescription strength laxatives at 5am tomorrow?  There could not *possibly* be anything left in me.
  • …Victor: “We’re taking your car tomorrow.”  His beside manner, you guys.

I had an anxiety attack waiting for the procedure but I asked twitter to distract me and they flooded with otter videos and stuff like this:

.

I was very high for the procedure and was assured I would feel and remember nothing but still panicked a little when they strapped one of those masks on my face which was supposedly some sort of mouth guard to keep me from biting the scope but which felt more like the mask that Hannibal Lector had to wear to keep from killing people with his teeth.  The anesthesiologist was awesome in that he gave me the BEST drugs but right before he put them in my IV he told me that the drugs can cause super-strong dreams so to think of a good place, and that was nice except that he was like, “Don’t think about work or pain” or a list of other things he told me not to think about which of course I immediately thought about, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t dream and the next second I was in recovery and couldn’t believe it was over so quickly.  Also, I was very high but I didn’t think I was and Victor wouldn’t let me have my phone.

Me: “I’m fine.  I can tweet now.” Victor: “You really can’t.” Me: “I’m totally fine.” Victor: “You keep trying to reboot your water bottle.”

But then he gave up and it’s obvious that he shouldn’t have because I was like, “TAKE MY PICTURE TO PROVE I’M ALIVE” and then I tweeted it because I was too high to realize it was not a good picture.  Victor later defended himself by pointing out that I was sober enough to use a black and white filter but that’s just muscle memory.

Then the doctor came out and showed me close-ups of my insides, and my stomach lining looked like Mars from a distance, which I thought was very pretty but apparently not really what it was supposed to look like because it was “very irritated for unknown reasons”.  (Much like Victor)

Things I learned today: The inside of my stomach looks like an active volcano.

He found some issues but nothing that screamed “THIS IS WHERE ALL HER MISSING BLOOD IS GOING”.  They did a biopsy to check for cancer and another to check for celiac disease, but other than the same stomach ache that’s plagued me for a month I feel fine.

Apparently there’s a part that they couldn’t get to even with the human shishkabobing so I might need to do another scoping where I swallow a pill that’s actually a tiny camera, and I find it weird that we’re living in a future where science can take a ride through my body in a pill but they can’t make fat-free egg rolls.

So basically what I learned is that there’s still something wrong but no clear answers on what exactly, which is sort of how all of my medical misadventures go so I’m kind of used to it.  I should know more in a week or so when the biopsies are finished.  Meh.

On the way out I (literally) ran into the anesthesiologist and I asked him if I said anything mortifying when I was under, but he smiled and gave a wink to Victor and said, “Oh, just about how much you love your husband” and I was like, “Well that’s embarrassing because this is my boyfriend.  My husband’s a real bastard,” and Victor was like “Yeah, we hate that guy.”

PS. When I left they gave me a sticker that said “GET BEHIND COLON CANCER AWARENESS” and I’m not entirely sure if that phrasing was on purpose but it is my new favorite thing.

The things we leave behind.

Last month my sister and I were talking about libraries and we suddenly both looked at each other and said, “REMEMBER THAT TURTLE WE USED TO SIT IN?” and our kids sort of looked at each other like we were crazy, and we are, but not about this.

I think everyone has at least one thing that they loved as a child and that they wish they could find again, always searching for it at thrift shops but never finding it.  For us, it’s the yellow turtle.

We spent hours each week in school libraries and on bookmobiles but twice a month our mom would take us downtown to the big library in the next town.  It was enormous and the children’s section was a large room in the corner that smelled of old books and new bindings and cellophane, and it was quieter than any other place on earth.  It had a muffled, reverent silence like a church and it made everyone speak in a whisper even without knowing it.  But that wasn’t the best part of the library.  The best part was the turtle.

Technically the children’s library section had several animals present, all made to sit on while you read.  All shaped out of a hard hollow plastic.  The second best animal was the giraffe (the size of a baby giraffe) that had a hollowed out space in its backside where you could sit and read and rest your head against the neck of the beast and your swinging feet became it’s tail.  But the best was the turtle.  It was low to the floor but enormous (to a child’s mind anyway.)  In my head it’s as big as a boat but probably it was 3 or 4 feet long and only a foot or so off the ground.  It was made to perch on top of as you read (like a giant mushroom with no stem) but we discovered that the underside of the turtle was concave, so we would flip it over on it’s back, crawl inside the turtle, and rock while we read.  I can still hear the welcoming thud that the turtle made when it flipped over and I can feel the smooth, cool surface of the underside and the bumpy textured surface of the shell, and the gentle motion of rocking as if I was safe in a cocoon…in a ship that cradled me, amid a sea of stories and of quiet that beckoned you to read.

I wasn’t surprised that Lisa remembered the turtle but I was surprised to find that both of us had been looking for one for years.  Presumably for our kids, but deep down I think we both would have bought it for ourselves.  We’re too big now to comfortably hide in the deep recesses of the turtle with a book but we still feel it beckon us.  And perhaps the memory is enough.  Maybe finding it would ruin the magic.  But I suspect we’ll both keep searching.

It made me wonder if everyone is like this.  If everyone has a thing they search for…something from childhood that they never got, or want to recapture.  A physical thing…like a book long out of print, or a toy a neighbor had that you always wanted, or a song that you knew but now you can’t remember, or a silk blanket that your grandmother had that you loved and that disappeared and you never found another blanket that comfortable or comforting again.

I have lots.  Some books that I’ve found again at thrift shops and now treasure.  Some that I still can’t even identify enough to search for them.  Some songs that I’ve found.  Some that are lost.  Some things that were better in my memory, as things often are.  Some things that are talismans that take me back in time.  But still I search for the turtle..carrying the memory of it inside me just as it once cradled me.

Jenny Lawson: Human Shish Kabob

So, if you’ve been following the crazy bullshit that is my body trying to kill me you already know that I’m on a ton of new meds to fix a ton of broken shit, but the newest update is that my doctor called with more blood results and was like, “Girl, you’ve got ALL the anemias.  Pernicious was just the beginning.  Stop hogging the anemias” and I was like, “I don’t even know what that means” and basically it means that I’m missing a lot of blood for no reason, which sort of makes sense because I lose shit all the time, but it seems like if it was misplacing blood I’d remember, or at least Victor would yell at me for leaving all my blood around like he does about the trail of half-filled glasses of water that I leave in my wake.  “Missing blood” seems a little disconcerting, like when you’re missing time, except usually that’s because of alien abductions so at least you have a reasonable explanation.

And there can be a lot of reasons why I’m so anemic and exhausted and sick and some of those reasons are simple, and some are scary but personally I’m leaning toward “attic vampires”. It would explain the blood loss and also the rustling I sometimes hear upstairs late at night.  Victor says it’s squirrels on the roof but what would squirrels want with all my blood, Victor?  He is the worst detective, y’all.

Anywaymy doctor is also in the “it’s probably not vampires” camp but she says the anemias cause all sorts of things, including making me severely low on a lot of vitamins and other stuff you need to live, which could explain why my lab results were 30 pages of “Bitch, you are all the way fucked up.”

One of the most likely explanations is a bleeding ulcer but they need to be sure so next week they’re going to drug me up and stick one  camera down my nose all the way to my intestines.  Then they put another camera up my booty-pipe all the way to where the other camera stopped, like some terrible river cruise gone horribly wrong. Hopefully they’re different cameras, or they at least wash them well. Basically it’s like having a lot of tourists in me doing flash photography.   I considered live-tweeting it but the nurse says I probably won’t be conscious enough to make sense, but that’s pretty standard for me and twitter.  (Semi-conscious and nonsensical.  Not, “with a camera shoved up my ass”.  That is a new one for me.)  Either way, I plan on asking the doctor if I can have a copy of the pictures so that I can post the most introspective  Instagram shots ever. (Hashtag: #nomakeup #nofilter #iwokeupthisway)

I also plan to ask if they do the scopes at the same time because if so I think that would literally make me a shish kabob for a few seconds, and considering how little I’ve accomplished in the last 6 months it would be nice to at least be able to put that on my resume. “Writer, illustrator, humorist, human shish kabob.”

In more positive news, the new meds and supplements have slowly started to help with the exhaustion and brain fog and I’ve lost 8 pounds on this horrible low-carb, low-sugar diet.  Yay for small victories.

(I miss you, potatoes.)

PS.  This post needs a picture but I don’t have an appropriate one so instead here is a picture of Hunter S. Tomcat.

When he turns his face upside down he looks like an angry guinea pig sticking its tongue out.

I couldn’t put googley eyes on his chin without waking him up so I just drew some on here:

Two pets in one!

Goddammit, Chris.

I’m sitting here at my computer, crying on my dog who is very confused about what has happened.  What has happened is that Chris Cornell has died.  It seems crazy to cry about someone you never met but he affected my life with his music and words from the time I was a struggling teenager until this very day.

I was lucky enough to see him in concert half a lifetime ago and it was worth the anxiety of being around so many people because when he started singing I could feel him reach into my heart and everything else fell away.  I cried as he sang, as I almost always do when someone sings the words you thought only you felt.  I was luckier still when we became internet friends…that weird sort of friendship that mainly exists in following each other on twitter and in “hearting” things each other had written.

When I heard this morning that he died my first thought was that I couldn’t remember if I ever told him how much he’d meant to me, so I looked through my DM’s.  And I found this:

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And it made me feel a tiny bit better.  I’m sure I’m one of millions of people he touched but I was relieved that I had told him.

I will miss him and the music he will never make again.  But I’m glad I said thank you before it was too late.  And tomorrow I will turn my hand at making sure that I’ve reached out to others that have helped shape me in ways they never know.  Because too late comes too soon.

Thank you, Chris, for everything.

 

PS. Depression lies. Do not go gently. We need you.  The crisis chatline has helped me before so I’m leaving it here if you need it: http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx  Or google “suicide prevention” and your local hotline should pop up.

Sometimes the only way out is through.

So, I got more medical bad news and it’s not the end of the world but it means lots more invasive tests and very soon I will write about it when I can find the humor in it (and there is humor in it) but today I just feel a little low and the best way for me to get out of that is to remind myself that my words matter so today for Mental Health Awareness Month and for Jenny Wants To Do Something Happy Day I’m giving away a couple dozen copies of Furiously Happy, or Let’s Pretend This Never Happened or YOU ARE HERE: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds.  Or any book you need to have stronger mental health, actually.  I was going to do the usual and just pick emails from the comments but there are always people who want to buy books for others as well so why don’t we do it like we do Booksgiving?  You make a brand-new wishlist with one book on it you really need and then post it here and I’ll fill as many as I can.  If you want to buy a book for a stranger you can just search the comments for open lists.  It is a lovely thing.

These are the steps you have to take to set up a wishlist for today:

bookplateforfuriouslyhappy

  1.  If you’re in a rough place and need a book to transport you somewhere else make A BRAND NEW wish list with nothing on it but the book you want.  (Exception: If you have a kid who needs a book you can totally add one for them too.)
  2. Here’s how you make a wish list:  Under “Accounts and Lists” on the right, top side of Amazon select “Create a list”.  Choose “Wish list” and name it something like “The book I really need right now” and choose “Public”.  Then click “Create list”.  Now add a book to your list by going to the book and clicking the “add to list” button on the bottom right of that page.  Make sure you assign it to the new wishlist.  Now here’s the most important thing that everyone forgets to do.  You have to assign a shipping address to that specific wish list or it won’t go to you.  EVERY new wishlist has to be assigned an address or you won’t get your stuff.  So click on your wish list and click on “public” and it’ll take you to “List settings”.  Click “view details” and where it says “shipping address” add yours.  (Your city and first name will be shown to others, but not your full address.)  Then save changes.  Now leave a comment with a link to your wish list.  Click here for my sample wish list so you’ll know what one looks like.  Yours should just have one book on it but I have about 20 books listed on mine so that you can use if for inspiration if you don’t know exactly what you want.  In your comment say which book you want in case someone specifically wants to buy you that book.  Also, if you’re not in America put that in the comment so we can match people better by location and not have crazy shipping fees.   Feel happy.
  3. Here’s how you buy a book for a stranger.  Click on their link.  Choose a book.  Select their name so it goes to their address.  If it doesn’t give you the option of picking their name it means they didn’t add a shipping address so delete what’s in your cart and go to the next person.  Send a story to someone in need.  Feel happy.
  4. If you have a book that really helped you get out of a bad place and want to suggest it in the comments that would be awesome.  No worries if you don’t have one.

The only rule is that this is just for books.  No gift cards or clothes or anything else because it gets out of hand really quickly.  Just a simple book to take you away from the world and help you find new ones.

And as always, thank you.  Thank you for supporting my words and listening and passing them on to others.

PS: Here are screen shots of what you should see while making a wishlist and add a shipping destination because it’s less complicated if you have pictures to walk you through:

Create a list under “Your lists”.

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Make it a wish list, name it and make it public.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.40.30 PM

After you click “create list” click on the “public” button below:

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.40.53 PM

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Click “view details” to add your shipping address to this wish list:

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.41.27 PM

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Choose a shipping address and save changes.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.43.02 PM

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Now you’re ready to add something to your list.  Pick a book and choose the “add to list” button on bottom right side:

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-9-05-09-am

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If you have another wish list set as your default (like I always do) then you’ll need to click “move to another list.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.44.57 PM

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Just click the list you’re going to share here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.45.28 PM

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Now go to the wish list and copy the link and then paste it into the comments.  Done!  There might be an easier way of doing it but that’s how I do it.

PPS.  If you click on a wish list that says it’s empty that’s because the book has already been bought for them.  🙂  That is a very good thing.

PPPS.  I love you guys.  I’m going to rest for an hour or two but then I’ll be back to buy some books.

Mother’s Day is complicated.

Mother’s Day is filled with conflicting emotions for a lot of us.  I’m incredibly lucky that I have a mother who I adore.  I’m enormously thankful that after lots of miscarriages and hundreds of injections I ended up with a small miracle in my daughter.  I’m one of the lucky ones.  But here’s the thing…Mother’s Day isn’t just about being mom or having a mom.  It’s also about celebrating the mother figures that come into your life.  And they do come in strange and wonderful ways that we don’t always recognize.

Like my little sister who helps me with work and always has my back because she’s naturally nurturing.  Or my friend Maile who literally carried me to the hospital last month and stayed with me the entire time, watching over me even when I was passing out and ridiculous.  Or my friends who check in with me, and who don’t get mad when I don’t always answer back because they love me enough to forgive me before even getting upset.  Or my daughter when she reminds me to take my medicine or my husband when he tells me to go to sleep and that everything will be okay, or the neighbor who yells at you for not wearing a coat outside because “are you trying to get a cold?” or the stranger at the store who quietly tells you that your skirt is tucked in to your underwear.  Or you guys…who support me when I’m up or down and who celebrate my successes with the pride of a mom, and worry about me and send me articles about eating right and who sometimes even hang up my drawings on your refrigerator.  Being a great mother isn’t necessarily about having a child or being older or even gender…it’s about caring for others beyond expectation…and today I celebrate every one of you who have gone beyond the necessary to so show kindness, love, gentle education, and even criticism when needed.  It makes the world a better place.

So Happy Mother’s Day to you…no matter who you are.

PS. If you want, feel free to share a comment about anyone in you life who has been there for you in a way that made you remember that in a way we are all each other’s mothers sometimes.

*******

And now…time for 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-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

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I blame the rickets.

I’m on day 7 of this mandatory low-carb, low-sugar diet-for-not-dying and everyone told me that I’d have the I-want-to-stab-everyone-carb-detox-flu for a few days, but then after that I’d have lots of energy and the cravings would lessen and they are right because now I have enough energy to loudly whine about how much I miss egg rolls rather than just whisper it softly to whichever pet is nearest.  Also, the cravings have lessened but I’m not sure it’s because I’ve beaten my addiction to carbs and sugar or if I’ve just given up on life and my brain is now huddled in a corner, angrily eating cilantro while yelling, “OH I CAN’T EVEN HAVE FRUIT ON THIS DIET? AWESOME.  I’LL JUST GET SCURVY THEN?  GREAT. THAT WILL FIX EVERYTHING.”

In an act of solidarity, Victor has decided to go on the diet with me, which seems incredibly sweet except that it seems crazy easy for him and he’s a dude so he basically doesn’t eat a sandwich for one afternoon and loses 87 pounds and becomes immortal.  Plus, when I whine about how HE HAS NO IDEA HOW HARD THIS IS he just raises an eyebrow, but I’m pretty sure that it’s harder for me because now I have rickets from not eating fruit.  I assume.

Also, I’m finding out that basically everything has hidden carbs and sugar in them and even foods that would feel like a punishment to eat are off limits for me.  Like, carrots.  I don’t even like carrots and I’m not allowed to eat them.  At this point I assume rain, oxygen, and forgetting to take your clothes out of the washer are all full of carbs and maybe I should just go on an all-heroin diet.  Except people really seem to love heroin so I assume it must be high in sugar or gluten.

Also, I went to my shrink today and the waiting room was completely packed and  it was very bleak and serious and I was looking on twitter and the top trend was telling me that today is #NationalEatWhatYouWantDay BECAUSE OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS and it seemed so ridiculous that I got the funeral-giggles (when you start laughing in an inappropriate setting and then trying not to laugh makes you laugh more and then you start snorting and you can’t stop because you’re in a giggle-loop-of-inappropriatness and so you just pretend to be crying because it’s easier to explain) and then everyone in the waiting room looked at me like I was insane and I was like, “Don’t judge me.  Y’all are crazy too” but then I realized that most of them were people who were there giving rides to other patients.  Also I’d brought a bunch of copies of YOU ARE HERE so I could give one to my shrink and leave the rest in the waiting room like Gideon Bible’s for crazy people but then I was worried that kids might see them and there’s some light cursing inside so I decided to just bring them all in to my shrink so she could just give them to unoffendable people who were having a hard time, but it looked to the outside world like I was carrying multiple copies of the exact same coloring book, which seems a bit insane.  So then I explained to the waiting room, “I made these” and everyone tried to avoid eye contact except for an elderly man sitting next to me who was all, “Well did you now?  Good for you” but in a sort of frightened/unintentionally condescending way, and it just now dawned on me that everyone was probably thinking that I was just bragging about coloring the exact same coloring book over and over and that I was probably bringing them into my shrink to show her that I could stay inside the lines.  Except that I can’t stay inside the lines and all of these books were obviously untouched and the spines weren’t even cracked so it looked even crazier and basically I think I scared everyone in the waiting room.  But also I probably made thems feel better about themselves (or their crazy loved one) because they weren’t hysterically cry-laughing to themselves while holding a stack of identical uncolored coloring books that they were bringing to show their psychiatrist.

PS.  My friend sent me this gif and this corgi is my new patronas:

“OH I DON’T NEED REAL FOOD. I’LL JUST LIVE ON THIS RAW CABBAGE.  I’M SO HAPPY. THIS IS FINE. EVERYTHING IS FINE.”

PPS. I’m not sure if this makes sense.  Sorry.  I blame the rickets.