Neko Atsume will ruin your life. But in a good way.

If you don’t know what Neko Atsume is then just run away now because it is tremendously stupid and I spent months making fun of my sister for playing it until I downloaded it and now I stop what I’m doing multiple times a day to feed the non-existent electronic cartoon cats that live in my phone and take pictures of them and yell with joy when one leaves me a damp, empty matchbox that also doesn’t exist in real life.  What’s the point of this game?  Answer: There is no point.  Unless you’re compulsive like me and must get a picture of every cat and every momento and can’t sleep until it’s done.  It’s almost as bad as Simpson’s Tapped Out, which is the only other game I play but I’ve played it for years and have spent real life money to buy imaginary buildings in an imaginary town that exists only on my phone.  It’s super fucked up and I don’t even have a joke for it but I just logged in to Neko Atsume and Pickles was embodying all of me today and I thought you could maybe relate.

neko atsume bloggess

PS.  This isn’t a well-written post.  I don’t have an end for it.  Sorry.  See above.


Let’s destroy Mercury

So I’ve been super up and down mentally lately and I’m not sure why, but usually when I’m this crazy people tell me it’s because Mercury is in retrograde (and it totally is right now), so my suggestion is that we just blow up Mercury.

I realize this might seem like a radical move but that’s the sort of extreme shit that happens whenever Mercury goes into retrograde, so basically Mercury brought this on itself.  And I’m not victim-blaming or anything, but I did just google “how does Mercury affect the human body” and turns out people die of mercury poisoning all the fucking time.  So basically it’s us or Mercury and I think this counts as self-defense.  Victor says that I’ve confused mercury (the element) with Mercury (the planet) and that’s possible but I’m not listening to him because Victor can be a real asshole whenever Mercury starts going into retrograde and at this point I suspect he’s being controlled by it.  It’s like he’s Patty Hearst and Mercury has a loaded gun and lots of charisma.

Also, I suspect that poisonous mercury comes from Mercury because why else would it be named that?  The only good thing about mercury is that it’s used inside old-fashioned glass thermometers, but even then it’s only helpful if you’re already sick.  Plus, you have to put it in your mouth for it to work and it’s poisonous.  I’m pretty sure this is a sign that Mercury is trying to kill us all, starting with the weak and already sick.  I call shenanigans.  Let’s blow up Mercury and replace it with Pluto, which is still totally a planet in my book.

So say we all.

PS. If this post seems ridiculous and slightly irrational I blame Mercury.  I also blame it for me eating too much cheese at lunch. And for the fact that I’m behind on deadlines.  Mercury can be a real dick-nugget sometimes.

Comfort books. Is this even a thing?

I was just talking with Victor about comfort books…those books that you read over and over because you find them comforting even if you don’t understand why.  He thinks I’m insane and possibly I am, but there are certain books I turn to when my head is in a weird place and I need to go somewhere I’ve been before and relax.  I’d tried to explain it to him and he almost understood until I started listing a few and then I realized that most of my comfort books are full of murder and angst and bizarreness and are not really what anyone in the world would consider to be a happy or relaxing read.  Books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Geek Love and From the Dust Returned and The Stranger.  Worn copies of Bloody Business and Stiff and The 3 Faces of Eve and Alice in Wonderland and pretty much any of the Sookie Stackhouse series.  Books that may not make it on my top ten list, but that I compulsively read again and again.

I wonder if I’m the only one like this?  Are these the books my head feels comfortable with because I first read them when I was in a good place and my mind unconsciously wants that again?  Or does the darkness of the books remind me that I’m not alone, or that it could be worse?  I have no idea.  So I thought I’d ask you.  What are your comfort books?  The ones you’ve read over and over…more times than you’ve read your very favorite books.  The ones you’d take on a desert island as a medicine, or would need to pull out on a turbulent plane ride?  Do those books even exist for you?


And now, the weekly wrap-up:

Inside the TARDIS you'll find Jenny wielding a sonic screwdriver, Neil Gaiman in a monkey hat, Beyonce the giant metal chicken, Hamlet von Schnitzel, Juanita Weasel in a Traveling Red Dress, Nathan Fillion holding twine, A TARDIS in the TARDIS for time traveling when you're traveling in time, Wil Wheaton collating paper, and a Wolf Blitzer at the door.

These are a few of my favorite things.

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 Jodi Aman’s book: You 1, Anxiety 0: Win your life back from fear and panic to keep calm in a crazy world.  Man has been a therapist for 20 years and suffered from debilitating anxiety herself.  About the book: “Anxiety doesn’t play fair. It antagonizes you. It lies to you. It steals away the best parts of you. Don’t let it keep cheating you out of happiness! You are too important. This book speaks to why you suffer from anxiety, exposes the tricks anxiety uses to get power, and shares the skills you need to empower yourself and retrain your brain.”   I haven’t read it yet but I’m putting it on my to-read list.  Check it out here.


So.  Last night I picked up Hailey from her stage make-up classes and this week they did zombies and serial killers and – because my car has fallen for every zombie trope available – it immediately went dead and stranded me there with a bunch of undead children.

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Victor came to jump me off (not a euphemism) but my car was like, “Nope.  I see dead people.  Fuck y’all.  Leave me  out of this” and so we had to have it towed.  Then this morning I was noticing that lots of other big bloggers have ads all over their instagrams and twitter and shit and I never do so I thought maybe it was just because I’m not pitching properly and I decided to start sending out test ads to car companies to they could see how awesome I was at ad copy and then they could give me a car because I think that’s how ads work?  I don’t know.  I don’t really do them but I figured I would start big since I don’t know the limits.  So I sent out tweets like these:

Driving a @OfficialChevy made me fulfilled as a woman & cured all my split ends. #notanadYET


Driving a @Cadillac was so exciting I got an erection and I don’t even own a penis. #notanadYET

I was about to send out my next one (FORD: More space.  More towing capacity.  More room for the bodies in the trunk.  Isn’t it about time?  #notanadYET) but then Victor was like, “Hey, your new car is here” and I was all, “JESUS, THAT WAS QUICK.  I JUST STARTED TWEETING.”  But then he stared at me in confusion because it turns out he was talking about the loaner car he just picked up for me.  BUT!  This sort of seems like fate because I really like this car AND it totally has a hundred dents from hail damage all over it and it’s used so technically Cadillac would be getting off cheap if they just let me have it.


Nice. But…it’s missing something.

Plus, I have a deal for you, Cadillac.  Give me this car and I will personally pay to have a unicorn fighting a narwhal airbrushed on the hood.  That way you win because people are gonna be like, “WTF?  Caddy has changed with the times.  I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED THAT CAR UNTIL THIS MOMENT” so it’s great publicity for you, and I get a free car with a unicorn and a narwhal battle on it.  Plus, for once Victor can’t say that I’m not allowed to immortalize great scenes of history on the hood of my car “because we paid too much for you to ruin a car with your ridiculousness, Jenny” because WE DIDN’T EVEN PAY FOR THE CAR.

Everyone wins.  Especially you, Cadillac.  And America.  And the unicorn.  Because a unicorn would totally win in this battle.  Unless it took place underwater.  Then I have to rework the odds.

So what I’m saying, Cadillac, is that you need me.  And I need this car.  I need a car that brings joy and whimsy to the world.  Let’s do this thing.

PS. I tried to get Victor lay on the hood like a model and he just walked away so then I thought I’d put my papillon (Dorothy Barker) on the hood but Victor was like, “YOU DON’T PUT DOGS ON HOODS, JENNY.  EVEN TINY DOGS.”  This is exactly the kind of bullshit I’m working with every day, Cadillac.  Help me, Cadillac.  You’re my only hope.

PPS. Spellcheck refuses to even recognize the word “narwhal”.  It’s all “Did you mean navel?”  What the shit?  Why would a unicorn battle with a belly-button?  This is why narwhal awareness is so important.  Let’s start this conversation before it’s too late, Cadillac.


There’s a demon in our house. Or a bug. Maybe both.

Last night Ferris Mewler found what might be a demon and I live-tweeted it the entire terrifying experience.  I can’t figure out how to embed it so click here for the whole story.
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Spoiler alert:  I’m still alive.  Unless the demon is typing this.  Hard to tell with demons.


Today I saw this duck at the pharmacy drive-thru (AKA: the drug-hole) and he was looking kinda lonely.  Victor thought maybe he missed his flight but I think probably he was just tired of looking at duck butts and decided to travel alone.  But then I got worried because what if he was sick and needed me to take him home, so I got out of the car and was like, “Heeeere, Maverick Maverick Maverick” (because I’d already named him Maverick) and then Maverick was like, “Who?” (because I guess he didn’t know his awesome name yet) and started to back up (because he apparently did know about stranger danger).

maverick being a duck

But then he started doing this thing where instead of flying he just jumped really happily like he was skipping.  And it was so awesome and full of joy.  But then I thought maybe he was also full of worms or something because what kind of ducks skip?  But then Maverick was like “THAT WAS FUN BUT ENOUGH SKIPPING.  I’M OUTIE, BITCHES” and he flew majestically away.  And it was beautiful.

So now this picture of Maverick doing the joyful pogo-jump is my new favorite thing ever:

maverick being awesome

“Wheeeeee!” ~ Maverick

Let’s all be Maverick today, y’all.  Not like, skipping everywhere.  Just skipping in our hearts.  Unless you want to skip in real life because I do it all the time and it’s actually a really good work out.  If there was a skipping marathon I’d totally almost think about doing it (but then not do it because that sounds like it’d be sweaty).


And now, the weekly wrap-up:

Art from Annie Wilson, who is too young to read this blog but is a very good artist.

Art from Annie Wilson, who is adorable and far too young to read this blog.  STOP READING, ANNIE.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

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 this kickstarter for KinderPerfect – a new card game for frazzled parents. From them: “Our aim is to take the everyday pain of parenthood and turn it into an excuse for mommy juice!  KinderPerfect will contain 200 casino-quality cards that can be played as a stand-alone game, or used in combination with similarly formatted word association games like Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples. We’re sponsoring Design Parties across the USA, and anyone can submit a card idea – if we use it in the final game, we’ll send you a free deck.”  You should check it out right here.

Read me.

Yesterday I just hid away from the internet because Prince, but then I listened to Prince again with new ears when he said “Life is like a party, and parties weren’t meant to last.”  And it’s true.  Which is why we have to grasp at happiness and brilliance and life while it’s here, because if Prince taught me anything it’s that it’s later than you think so taste everything, and also that berets are always awesome.

Yesterday was also the day I walked out to my mailbox and found a book I’d been waiting for for years, Stephen Parolini’s Stolen Things.


If you’ve ever heard me speak about the process of writing I always say how important it is to surround yourself with great writers who make you better than you are, and I’m lucky enough to have six amazing people who are always willing to listen and read and push me in ways that I couldn’t have found myself.  One of those people is Stephen Parolini, without whom my books would not have existed because he is an amazing sounding board and often inspired me to write things I never would have.  We all have Stephens in our lives, if we’re lucky.  People who understand the dark and the light.  People who push you to do more even when you’re not sure you can.  People who you might not recognize on the street because you know them almost entirely from the magic of the internet, but who understand you even when you don’t always understand yourself.  You probably won’t have heard of Stephen unless you’ve searched him out or had his work passed to you by a friend who instantly knew you had to see it.

This is my favorite of Stephen’s books, partly because of the beautiful writing and subject matter, but also because I’ve seen so many incarnations of this book as it came to fruition.  I’ve read it to Hailey when she was younger and she offered her own critiques (few) and enthusiastic responses (many) as we explored a strange and dark and magical world.  When she saw the final book in my hands she grabbed it and shouted “WE HELPED MAKE THIS” with such glee.  And we did.  In the same way that you and Stephen and everyone who touched me helped to write my books.  He’s a part of our community and worked for years to put this out and I’d love to see it do really well.  So well that everyone who ever rejected it would say “Oh. Well, shit.”  Not necessarily for him, because he deals with that stuff way better than I do, but because so many people have magnificent stories in them that never see print, and those that continue to push until their stories are heard need to be celebrated.

So.  First off, go buy this book.  Then leave a comment and I’ll choose a few to send gift cards so you can buy whichever book you think needs more recognition.  And one more thing.  If you’ve made something (A book.  A painting.  A store.  A child.  A blog.  Anything.) and you want more eyes on it or just to talk about it, leave it in the comments.  Or if you have a friend or idol who made something amazing that you think doesn’t get the recognition it deserves leave a link.  You might just find something you’ve been looking for all along.  And life is too short to miss out on those things.

And that’s the secret to a 20 year marriage.

Victor is out of town but he constantly texts me because he knows I hate to talk on the phone and yesterday when I was picking up my meds I was digging through my purse for my debit card when a new text came in and I could see that the cashier was reading it but at that point I didn’t even care if she was judging me because it was pretty obvious I was there to pick up drugs to fix my head so she already knew what she was getting into, but then I looked at my phone and the texts showing were:

Victor: I just threw up in the airport.  Then toilet water splashed on me and I might be dying.

me:  Ew.  I’ll distract you.  There was a guy at the gas station with a t-shirt that said “WHILE YOU WERE READING THIS I FARTED” and now I know what I want for my back tattoo.  Also, sorry about the toilet water.  I think that’s how you get cholera.

Victor:  Yes, I am looking for something to kill myself with.

So I looked at the cashier and she looked back at me and I was like, “AND THAT’S THE SECRET TO A SOLID 20 YEAR MARRIAGE” and then she really hurried to get me my meds so basically everyone wins.  Except for Victor who is a super germaphobe and has probably scraped off all of his skin with a pumice stone by now.


I just want to thank you.

This has been a rough few weeks for me (see the last post) but your words and cat videos have made me feel so much less alone and I can’t thank you enough for that.  This video came in right when I was feeling particularly down and it made me cry, but in a good way.  Thank you.


And now, the weekly wrap-up:

madebyroundtablecompanies 2

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 Vivian Swift, author of Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler’s Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening.  She’s a bad-ass artist and now I want to learn how to paint with water colors.  Which is good because her blog gives great pointers on that.  You should check both out.

I’m not quite myself right now.

I haven’t been quite myself for the last few weeks.  I’ve told myself that it’s hormones or my arthritis acting up or allergies or an infection and it’s probably all of those a little, but the truth is that it’s a low level depression that I’ve been fighting off.  And that’s harder to admit because even though I know I’ll always deal with depression it’s so much easier to pass it off as something that everyone can relate to and that doesn’t make others feel uncomfortable or nervous.  I say that it’s low-level because I’m still able to leave the house and laugh and be functional, but the level of exhaustion (both mental and physical) is so utterly wearing on me.  I have so many half-finished posts or stories I want to tell you but I don’t have the energy to finish them or the self-confidence to think that they’re as good as I know they can be when I get my head back.  Instead I take my frustrated artistic energy and draw ridiculous things and make notes to myself of things will be fun to write about when I get that part of my head back again.

Depression is a lot of things, but sometimes for me it’s like having people in.  In my head.  The same way it is when you have people in your house to paint walls or replace a ceiling or rip out the plumbing.  You can still go about your life but you always have your guard up.  You know that there are parts of your home that you relied on that are now torn up and filled with strangers.  You know that in the end it will be worth it and that having people in, or having parts of your home raised isn’t the end of the world but it stops you, over and over.  You switch on a light and remember that the power doesn’t work in that part of the house for now.  You know it’ll come back, even though you don’t have an exact date when.  You move in the darkness, a bit more slowly than ever.  You avoid the mess when you can.  You switch on the light (again) and remember (again) that there’s no power in that room.  You do it again and again and again because even when you feel helpless you know that one day the light will come back.  And to not try is to give up.  And I can never do that.

So I’ll be here, trying the lights, and hiding in the rooms that are still safe and reminding myself that even when I think you’ll give up on me, you probably won’t.  And I won’t give up on you either.  I’m still here, even if you can’t always see me.

I’m just looking for the light.