Also, that fucker ate all the hot pockets.

An imagined open letter from the justifiably disgruntled wife of poet William Carlos Williams, the man who wrote this famed poem:

This is Just to Say 

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

 

Dear literary critics:

You guys are assholes.

Did you even read the poem you claim is so brilliant?  First off, my husband ate all my fruit, and then instead of apologizing in person he left a post-it note admitting that he did it, but that he had a good reason which was basically “I wanted to“.  And not only does he eat all my plums, also he ends the post-it telling me how goddam delicious they are.  I know how delicious plums are.  That’s why I was saving them for breakfast. 

You people read this poem and love it, but really it’s just a not-very-apologetic-apology from a man confessing to mild burglary.  And who do you think had to go out and buy more plums for breakfast because someone promised his parents I’d make plum pancakes for everyone?  Not Mr. I’m-far-too-poetic-to-go-to-Walmart, I’ll tell you that.  Frankly, I don’t even think plum pancakes are a real thing.  They tasted terrible and I’m guessing he just made them up because he’s “poetic and whimsical” and so I ended up having to apologize for the shitty pancakes that I didn’t even want to make.

And then the whole world is like, “DID YOU SEE THIS APOLOGY LETTER?  IT IS THE GREATEST MODERN POEM EVER!”  Just – what?  No.  IT DOESN’T EVEN RHYME.

Frankly, I expected that people reading the apology would be more sympathetic, like, “That guy stole your fruit and then told you how awesome it was?  What a dick“.  But instead everyone is all “GENIUS!  ENCORE!” and now my husband is utterly out of control.  This morning he climbed up into the tree in the front yard wearing only a bathrobe (my bathrobe – because he’s not content to just steal my breakfast, apparently) and he refused to come down because he claims I “purposely” destroyed his latest poem.  It was not a poem.  It was our grocery list.

I told him that no one wants a poem about kitty litter and two-ply toilet paper but he said I don’t understand poetry and that he couldn’t hear me anyway because he was too busy writing a poem about how “trees are very scratchy” and at this point I don’t even know anymore.  Apparently everything is a poem now.

Here’s a poem I just made for you :  There once was a girl from Nantucket.  I wonder if she has some plums I can borrow.  The end.

Oh, Christ.  I just found a leaf on the table with a note scrawled on it reading: “This is just to say that I broke the cat when I fell out of the tree.  Forgive me.  I fell so fast and Mittens was so old.”  

Jesus, people.  Just stop encouraging him.  

Hugs, Mrs. William Carlos Willams

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

And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:

sid

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

  • Mugs are 40% off if you enter SAVING4TAXES code at check-out.  I recommend this mug or this one.
  • People always ask how to see the newest stuff.   Click here.

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the lovely and funny Dave Tank, whose new memoir The Year of the Roses is available right now.  I just bought a copy myself. It’s the true story of Dave spending his thirties traveling the world, always one step away from grasping success and happiness. When his mother dies unexpectedly, he has to leave his life in Paris to return home to face an unsure reality without his best friend.  Dave walks away from his career to take a year to put his life back in order. In that year, he finds the most unlikely of teachers – his mother. Through the journals of her life she had left behind, Dave learns how to see life through her eyes and find true happiness. This was the year two lives became one. The Year of the Roses. Go buy it – one for you, and one for your Mom for Mother’s Day. Details here.

Bravery by any other name.

Last week I posted a video of me face-planting into the water.  I thought I’d dip my toe in but then I realized how cold it was so I tried to back out but the water was not cooperating because it was all “I’m a not solid, idiot.  You can’t push off of me” and I was like “JESUS LIED TO ME”.   (Turns out I just wasn’t reading that part of the Bible well enough and I guess only Moses and Jesus could keep from falling into pools.)

Hailey recorded my ridiculous plunge and insisted I share the video online, and since she’s always letting me post pictures of her it seemed only fair.

I tried to embed it here but it doesn’t work so you have watch it here.  Or here’s a series of stills if you can’t watch videos of children laughing at their parents:

faceplant

But what was weird was that someone called me “brave” for posting a video of me in a bathing suit.  First I thought they were just trying to insult me but then I realized that they weren’t.  I asked twitter, “Did we change the word ‘brave’ when I wasn’t looking?  ‘Brave’ is for saving orphans from a burning building made of bees.  Wearing a bathing suit to swim is ‘normal’.

Most of twitter agreed.  My friend Popehat added, “Honestly I think it was questionable judgement to house the orphans in the bee building in the first place.”

Other’s disagreed.  Like Justin Gibbs who countered, “Please use more realistic metaphors.  Everyone knows buildings made with bees are fire resistant.”

And then I went on to talk about diseased popsicles (later renamed Poxiclespatent pending) but later I was dragged back into the conversation by a few women who pointed out that to some, posting a video of themselves in a bathing suit would be much less frightening than running into a burning bee building.  This sounds a bit insane.

But they were absolutely right.

We all have weird fears.  Some of them are universal.  Some of them are odd.  All of them are valid as emotions even if they are irrational.  I don’t have a problem with a video of me in a bathing suit because I’m old enough to not care anymore…but I have an anxiety disorder sometimes makes me terrified to leave the house.  It’s completely irrational, but it’s me.  But sometimes the thing that gets me out of the house is seeing how easily everyone else does it.  They leave their room.  They talk to people.  They come home.  No one laughs at them.  They don’t think what they do is brave, but to me it’s inspiring.

So maybe that’s the way it is for some women in bathing suits.  I could tut-tut at them but being afraid of having your flaws exposed isn’t nearly as crazy as being afraid you might have to make small talk with the mailman, so I think we’re probably even.  We’re all a little crazy.  We’re all irrationally afraid of something.  We all project our own fears onto others sometimes.

So I’ll keep wearing my bathing suit if you keep leaving the house.  And maybe with time you’ll realize that posting an awkward faceplant into the water while your child video-tapes it and laughs hysterically at you is way more embarrassing than being an imperfect woman wearing appropriate swimming attire.  And maybe in time I’ll realize that strangers aren’t going to eat me, and that leaving the house is fun and good for me even when every molecule in my body screams otherwise.

Let’s go outside.  And talk to the mailman.  In our bathing suits.  And set bees on fire so we can rescue orphans from them.  Pick one.

We can work up to the scary ones together.

Looking for happiness

Yesterday I had a shitty night and I was starting to fall into the darkness.

This morning I woke up to see slightly more positive and happy news on my Facebook thread than bad news and it reminded me that things are not as bleak as my head sometimes says they are.

Thank you for sharing your lovely, happy moments as well as your hard ones.

I often see an apology that’s added with the happy or proud announcements – as if we’re embarrassed to admit good things have happened to us or that we’ve accomplished something or that we’re proud of ourselves or our family.  I do it myself.  It seems like tempting fate or bragging to share those happy moments.  But it’s that good and positive news that adds up and makes such a profound impact to battle back the negative and the scary and statuses that remind us how fragile and broken we sometimes are.

It would be easier for me to write the things that I feel are wrong right now, but instead I’m going to write the good, because that’s the best way I can practice self-care right now.

  • Dorothy Barker is finally going to the bathroom outside slightly more than inside.  If you don’t recognize how awesome this is, you’ve probably never had a puppy.
  • Last week when I was sick my daughter insisted on putting me to bed.  Then she brought in a book and read me a bedtime story.
  • Your amazing response to my new book turned me into a puddle.
  • We’re working on surprising Hailey with tickets to see Matilda this summer.  She’s wanted to see it for years and we know all of the songs by heart.

Your turn.  Tell me something good.  Something you’re proud of.  Something that makes you happy.

No apologies.  Just goodness.

I was considering teaching this dog to dance but she already dances better than I do.

I was considering teaching this dog to dance but she already dances better than I do.

Toilet Leprechauns: Probably the Pandora’s Box of our Generation. (I added the “probably” so they can’t sue me for libel.)

David Sedaris once wrote that he often asks people waiting for his autograph questions like, “If you saw a leprechaun on the toilet would you run away or know that he meant you no harm?” and now that question haunts me.

Personally, I’d be pretty sure that anyone standing on the toilet meant to harm me because why else is he waiting to jump me in the bathroom, but I think I’d still stay because when else are you going to get the opportunity to hang with a leprechaun? Even if it murdered you it would be awesome. Not for you, I guess, but for your descendants. “DEATH BY LEPRECHAUN” it would say on my death certificate. I’d star in our family legends for decades.

The problem is that I don’t actually know what death by leprechaun looks like, and you never see a leprechaun fingered for murder so I suspect no one would know the magnificent sacrifice I made. My guess is that leprechauns just make your death look like a heart attack. We’re probably spending all this reasearch money on heart disease when really we should be focusing on leprechaun prevention.

In fact, my grandmother might have died from leprechauns. They said she died from hepatitis but who’s to say she didn’t get that hepatitis from a leprechaun? Who knows where diseases come from? Flu, hantavirus, yellow fever, leprosy, anthrax…we might have gotten the whole lot from infected toilet leprechauns.

That’s probably why my mom always made me put toilet paper on the seat before sitting on a public toilet. Because you never know how many infectious leprechauns just came out of it.

I’d like to think David Sedaris and I would be friends. Or that he’d put a restraining order on me.

Either way, we’d have a real connection, and that’s all that matters.

PS. Spellcheck is trying to tell me that “leprechauns” isn’t even a real word.  Nice try, leprechauns.  I don’t know how you infiltrated spellcheck but I’m not falling for it, assholes.

Home is where the brain stem spoons are.

Small missives from the house I grew up in, since we’re visiting for Easter:

Last year my dad designed a special spoon so he could pull brain stems out of animals to check them for diseases. It’s pretty glamorous. He does it after they’re dead, obviously. Otherwise that would be a pretty cruel and pointless test. I told my mom that he should sell them but she said there wasn’t much of a call for brain stem spoons. This is exactly why we’re in a recession. Because people don’t have enough faith in their inventions.

Speaking of inventions, my dad had to style a bear’s hair so he made a blow-dryer out of a leaf-blower, duct-tape and PVC pipe.

bearstyling

My father is the MacGuyver of Taxidermy.

Happy Easter, y’all.

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

And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:

sid

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

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the amazing minds behind the Unpodcast – the business show for the fed-up.  Go check it out now.  I recommend starting with this one, about the importance of paying your creatives rather than ripping them off by asking them to work for free.  I second that motion.  Go check it out right now.

FURIOUSLY HAPPY. And scared. And back to happy again.

If you’ve been here long enough you know I’ve been working on my second book for the last three years.  I’ve carried it with me every day, adding a paragraph here, deleting another there, reworking a sentence for the eleventieth time because I want it to be perfect, always feeling like a loser because Stephen King and cocaine set unrealistic expectations about how easy it should be to write a book.  If you know me in real life you’ve seen me lugging around a giant manuscript and scribbling furiously in it when inspiration strikes.  You may have asked me why I don’t just use a laptop and then nodded in what you hoped passed for understanding when I explained that I was afraid I’d lose everything I’ve written when the robot revolution happens and computers become self-aware and refuse to humor me anymore because I wasted their potential watching videos of baby hedgehogs in bathtubs.

When I was deciding what to write about for book two my first thought was “SPARKLY MALE VAMPIRES WHO ARE PRETTIER THAN YOU versus ZOMBIE FAINTING GOATS, IN THE BATTLE FOR BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH’S HEART”.  Then Victor was like, “What are you, crazy?” and I thought, Well, sort of.  And that’d probably be easier to write about since I have slightly more experience dealing with mental illness than I have dealing with goats.

And so began a terrifying and incredibly daunting task of writing a very funny book about a very terrible thing.

This book was hard. I wanted to be honest about my struggles — and that means opening up about things I’ve never really discussed before. And it was hard. But luckily, I had help. From you.

When I came out so many years ago about my depression and anxiety disorder I was afraid you’d all run away screaming. But you didn’t. Instead, thousands of you said “Me too,” and “I thought I was the only one,” and “It’s not just me?” You gave me the strength to be honest about my flaws and the support to realize that I was more than the broken parts that make up me. And you did something else you might not even realize…

In the years since I started writing about mental illness I’ve received so many letters from people who were affected by this community, but there were special ones I kept in a folder that I named “The Folder of 24.” – It was called that because it contained 24 letters from people who were actively planning their suicide, but decided to get help instead. And not because of what I said…they did it because of you. Almost every single one explained that what convinced them that depression was lying to them was the amazing response to my posts. They could look at a single person like me and think it was still a rare illness or something to be ashamed about…but when thousands of strangers shout out into the darkness that they are there too, it makes ripples. And those anonymous strangers saved lives without even knowing it. If you ever left a comment or a kind word you may have been the cause of someone’s mother or daughter or son being alive. Being thankful to be alive.

When I was on tour with my last book I’d sometimes talk about the Folder of 24 and how that folder is the best reason I’ll ever have for writing. And then something strange happened.  After a reading people would lean in close and whisper “I was 25.”

There were so many 25’s.

This was what I went back to whenever writing this new book got too hard. Because I knew that to truly write about what it’s like to struggle with mental illness I’d have to go deeper and talk about things I haven’t written about, for fear that everyone would back away if I talked about self-harm, or mania, or the personality disorder that pushes me from “normal” crazy to something a bit scarier.

I wrote and deleted and rewrote passages, and I’m still afraid of how people will react. I’m in the exact same place I was seven years ago…afraid to share but unable to tell my story without laying it all out. And so I’ll do the same thing I did before. Because I don’t have any other choice but to be myself, and hopefully you’ll still be here in the same wonderful way you have been.

I hope you’ll come with me on the next step of the journey. I hope you’ll see yourself, or someone you love, in these pages and learn to love them better. I hope it shows people that laughter and joy can come from chaotic bizarreness. I hope you know how much you’ve helped me to become my own 25.

This is a humor book and I’ve been told that it’s funnier than my last. Most of the people who’ve read it don’t have mental illness. Certainly none of them have my specific diagnosis, but they still loved it because I think everyone can relate to the ridiculousness we bring on ourselves, to the fact that laughing at a dangerous, terrifying monster is the only way to make it small and easier to hide in your pocket.

I think everyone can relate to the fact that a ton of bullshit happens every single day and the only way we can battle that bullshit is choose to be furiously happy whenever we have the opportunity. That means different things to different people, but to me it’s about making clothes out of live ferrets, making the best of it when you get kidnapped by an actual funeral, and occasionally balancing your taxidermy raccoon on the back of your cats to create a Midnight Raccoon Rodeo in your kitchen when you’re having one of those weeks where you’re afraid to leave your house.

It also means celebrating the fact that I HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK.   AAAAAAHHHHHH!  Sorry.  Just happy.

Step two was choosing a book cover, but my last book cover had a dead mouse on it and that level of sophistication is pretty hard to top. How do you get a book cover that captures the celebration of being broken in just the right way? My suggestion was to use a model who literally went from being road kill to being the star rodeo rider during my recurring bouts of insomnia.

Any you know what? I think we nailed it.

furiously happy

(That’s Rory, by the way. He’s in the book.)

I hope to God you love it.

Rory and I love you.

PS. Want details on when it comes out and where to order it right now? CLICK HERE.

PPS. Thank you.  Again.   Seriously. You made this happen. (Which I guess sort of means it’s your fault if you hate it. Just saying.)

Just…no.

I got out of bed at 2am to pee but it was cold so I hurried back, but when I jumped back into bed the blanket got caught on something when I tried to yank it up toward me and so I ended up accidentally punching myself right in the face.

And I just sat there, stunned for a minute, and then I tried to see what the blanket was caught on but it was wadded into a ball and I didn’t want to get out of bed again because I was cold and I’d just been assaulted and so I turned on my phone to use as a flashlight and turns out it was Hunter S. Thomcat.  And he was like “Yeah.  I did that.  I made you punch yourself in the face.”

And I believe it too because look at this face:

hunters

Ho ho ho. Green ballsack.

jollygreenballsackI was just wondering if the Jolly Green Giant was made of vegetables, because if so it seems sort of cruel to make him a spokesperson for eating vegetables.  I looked it up and it urns out that the original Jolly Green Giant was neither “jolly” nor “green” and was actually some sort of angry caveman in a bearskin loincloth which just gave me more questions.

But I did find out that there’s an enormous, 55-foot statue of him where it seems like it would be almost impossible to not stare up at his ball sack.  Then I was like, why am I thinking about the Jolly Green Giant’s ball sack?  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  This is exactly why the internet is so dangerous.

But clearly I did not learn my lesson because then I looked at wikipedia to see if it could answer the question about whether JGG -and his Jolly Green Genitals- are made of vegetables and Wikipedia explained that the Green Giant came around in the 20’s in response to a new variety of pea that were “oblong, wrinkled and huge.  Despite their size, they were tender, and had a special flavor and sweetness that couldn’t be matched.”

Also, the company originally used the brand name “Le Sueur”, which is french for “The Sweat.”  Sweaty, green, oblong, huge, and wrinkled….but tender and with a special flavor.

I’m sorry.  I can’t stop laughing and I’m not going to explain why if you’re not as messed up as I am.

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

And now, the weekly wrap-up of awesomeness:

sid2

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:

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

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by the wonderful Chris Illuminati (yes, that is his real name) who just wrote a very funny but educational bad-ass book called The New Dad Dictionary— Everything He Really Needs to Know.  I assumed it would be stuff I already knew since I’m a parent but then I got to the page about Baby Concierges and I was all, ‘WHAT THE SHIT?  BABIES GET CONCIERGES NOW?”  I didn’t even know that was a thing.  If you’re a new dad, or about to become a new dad you should totally get this book.  Check it out here.

And that’s why I don’t trust hypnotists

One of my friends went to a hypnotist to stop smoking and it made me think that I need to find a hypnotist to hypnotize me into thinking that I’m doing a good job in life.

But then I started worrying that maybe I’d already used a hypnotist to make me think that I was doing okay but that the hypnotism has just worn off.  And if that’s true then I should I find the hypnotist and ask for my money back, but I can’t because I don’t remember going to see a hypnotists.  And that sort of makes sense because if he’s a really good hypnotist he probably hypnotizes me into not remembering that I constantly hire him over and over again.

And that’s why I don’t trust hypnotists.

PS.  This post seems like it needs a picture but I don’t have a relevant one so instead here’s a photo of Hunter S. Thomcat who is currently attempting to grow to the size of his cat bed.  I think he needs a hypnotist:

If Hunter was Kathy

Stop reading.

Stop reading this right now.

Seriously.  Stop it.

You can’t stop, can you?

Or can you?  Have you stopped?  If you have, I’m applauding you.  You can’t hear it because you’ve stopped reading but trust me, you are awesome.  And you know what else you are?  You are a LIAR.  Because you are still reading.  You’re still reading because you don’t listen to authority and you’re not about to let some stupid-ass warning keep you from doing whatever it is you want to do.  And you know what?  I am with you.

WE’LL READ WHATEVER WE WANT TO AND NO ONE CAN MAKE US STOP.

THIS IS THE REBELLION OF PEOPLE WHO WILL READ NO MATTER WHAT.

HIGH FIVE, US.

High five, indeed.