Isn’t my whole body pre-cancerous?

I didn’t write about this last month because I was dealing with a depression that made me unable to put the right words to things but I’m feeling like I’m coming out of the dark now (KNOCK ALL OF THE WOOD) so now I can tell you that my body is trying to kill me, but incredibly slowly…which is probably just the natural process of aging, now that I think about it?

Anyway, I was trying very hard to make good decisions so I went to the doctor and he was like, “You need to see some specialists and also eat more high-fiber greens and less meat” and an hour later – following his advice and making good decisions – I broke a tooth eating a fucking kale salad.

My friend Vicky was like, “Weird. Did you massage the kale first?” and I said “no” because what?

Apparently kale is naturally tough and you are supposed to massage it before eating it to break down the fibers but it seems ridiculous to force me to give an intimate massage to something I don’t even like, and also, I thought the fiber was the whole point of why I was having to eat it in the first place? So basically I have to pamper something that tastes like dirt or it breaks all of my teeth, which feels weirdly abusive and 100% the opposite of how health food is supposed to work.

Then I went to my optometrist and she was like, “You need computer glasses” and I was like, “YOU NEED COMPUTER GLASSES” and then I realized she wasn’t insulting me and she made me get these special glasses for reading and working but they have this weird distortion and every time I move my head it feels like I’m on a boat and now I’m getting carsick just writing this. She also said that I should go back to my doctor and have him check me for Sjogren’s Syndrome and Graves Disease and those both sound bad and also possibly like something I’ve already tested positive for because I literally have so many diseases and disorders that I can’t even keep track of them. And I should totally get tested for them and that’s why I’m writing this down so I remember to eventually but I’m at that space where I have no energy. Also, I realize that maybe I have no energy because of one of those diseases I’m too tired to get tested for and am basically my own worst enemy.

In my defense though, I did go the dentist, optometrist, arthritis doctor, psych doctor, regular doctor and then my regular doctor was like, “I want you to see a dermatologist because of these discolorations on your face” and the dermatologist was like, “Oh, it’s just melasma but you actually have a scary looking mole here and maybe we cut that off immediately to check it?” and he did and then called me and was like, “Well, it’s pre-cancerous” and I was like, “Awesome!” because I assumed my whole body was pre-cancerous because that means “before cancer” and that sounds good, but he was like, “Not really ‘awesome‘, precisely. But really awesome we got it off because it definitely would have turned cancerous and you need to come back in so we can make sure we got it all off and it isn’t growing back because if it is we may need to do something else.” This sounded lightly threatening so I dealt with it by not thinking about it all until every night from 1am to 4am when I thought about nothing else.

BUT! I just got back from the dermatologist and he said it looks like it’s healing well and not growing back yet so I am breathing a tentative sigh of relief until 1am when I will convince myself that my dermatologist was drunk or that he needs computer glasses.

So long story short, kale will kill you, computer glasses are for the birds, SPF 15 is not acceptable according to my doctor and all of you need to go get your moles checked because I literally didn’t even know this was a thing I was supposed to do until now. Also, someone please remind me to get checked for that other junk eventually because I need a few weeks to recover from all of this excitement.

PS. They gave me some skin bleaching creme for my melasma but it isn’t totally working so instead maybe I’ll just push all of my hair to the front to cover my right cheek and then cover my left one with a face tattoo or a more manageable dog who understands commands like, “stop wiggling and perch on my shoulder like a good girl.” If you see me in public, please be assured that it is not dirt and that I am now lightly regretting the fact that lipstick is the only makeup I ever learned how to use.

PPS. I didn’t dye my hair blonde. I actually dye it brown a few times a year but the back never takes so it’s brown-grey in the front and blonde-grey in the back for no reason at all. Even my hair can’t get it together.

It’s Friday and you need this

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to step into my office so I can show you the videos I’ve been saving for you. They will make you laugh and laughter is medicinal so it’s almost like I’m giving you free drugs. You’re welcome.

Calling all horror aficionados. Let’s get creepy.

Do you love tales of things that go bump in the night?  Do you celebrate Halloween all year long?  Do you lean in to hear ghost stories and own your own EMF detector?  Did you sneak Stephen King books under your covers when you were probably way too young and it may have damaged you a little but in a really good way?  Are you currently getting threating letters from your HOA because they don’t agree that your 12-foot-skeleton counts as “year-round seasonal decor”? Do you listen to true crime podcasts for relaxation and have comfort horror movies the same way that other people watch comfort Hallmark movies?  Are you thrilled to be living in this golden age of new-wave horror currently being devoured?

If the answer to any of the above is “yes” then you are hereby invited for membership in our newest book club, Nightmares from Nowhere.

As a member you will get a newly released, chilling hardcover horror mailed right to your door (or you can pick it up from Nowhere Bookshop if you’re local), weird emails from me, no reading deadlines or need to leave the house or talk to people, recommendations for other great books and invites to online art happy hours and other perks. 

If you like ghosts, curses, smart supernatural tales, psychological thrillers, and uncanny stories to make you learn, think and wonder, then this is your book club.  I’ve already picked a few for the year and they are both horror-tinged but also delve into important topics of race, beauty standards, misogyny, power, class and fear…because there is nothing scarier than the monsters we deal with in real life.

Our first book will come to you in February and will be The Spite House by Johnny Compton, which I loved and is getting amazing reviews already.   A terrifying Gothic thriller about grief, death and trauma and the depths of a father’s love.  Like The Babadook meets A Head Full of Ghosts, set in Texas Hill Country. 

The Spite House is an aching, heartbroken meditation on what haunts us and the sins we inherit from those who came before us.”
—Cassandra Khaw, author of Nothing But Blackened Teeth

And I plan on doing a zoom with Johnny in February so that all the Nightmares from Nowhere members can listen in live as we talk all things spooky.

Intrigued? Click here to become a member and come join us as we hide under the blankets with a flashlight and scare the hell out of each other. 

PS. If horror is not your style, check out our other book clubs:

Fantastic Strangelings Book Club – Strange and lovely books for weirdos.

The Happy Endings Book Club – All things romance, y’all.

The Little Bitty Book Club – A gorgeous picture book a month for the sweet littles in your life

PPS. For all those who do love horror…what is your favorite horror tale?

What to read in January

So first off a giant welcome to new and old members of the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club kicking off our fourth (FOURTH?!) year of reading. Check your packages well because this month we’re slipping in this fabulous pin as a thank you for keeping us in business:

(It’s not too late to join this month. Click here to claim your spot and get your own pin!)

This month’s book club pick is…Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett.

In other book related news, this Saturday the always-insane-but-exactly-in-the-way-you-want-her-to-be Maureen Johnson is actually at Nowhere in San Antonio, and I’ll be there with her to talk about her newest book, Nine Liars, which I LOVED. It’s a Stevie Bell mystery (and literally laugh-out-loud funny and dark) so it’s one in a series but this mystery stands alone so you could easily read this one and enjoy it and then go backward and read all of the ones that come before like I always do because I am forever reading our of order. Click here for a ticket to join us in real life at the store and that includes a signed copy of the book. (We’re going to try to have her sign extras so check back with Nowhere after Saturday if you can’t make it and want a signed copy.)

Need more than one book to get you through the month? ME TOO, SWEETNESS.

Luckily there were several very good ones that came out this month, not including Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries and Nine Liars and they are:

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns – a young Cree woman’s dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discover that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home. If you liked White Horse you’ll love this.

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix – Once again, Grady knocks it out of the park. If you love horror you need this one.

All Hallows by Christopher Golden – A creepy trick-or-treat drama that I devoured.

A Thousand Miles to Graceland by Kristen Mei Chase – A sweet and charming novel about mothers, daughters, sequins and the surprising power of Elvis.

I’m going to open up discussion for last month’s book (Roses in the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehman) on the FS facebook page but if you don’t do Facebook I’ll leave my thoughts in the comments here.

Happy reading!

PS. Have you started your 2023 Nowhere Reading Bingo Card?

This is not a real post but if you have something you want more eyes on you probably need to read it.

Once or twice a year I open up slots for anyone to advertise on my blog and today is that day! I don’t use ad networks or pop-ups any of that stuff because it’s confusing and annoying so instead I just offer flat-rate sidebar ads to anyone with something cool that needs attention. Text ads on my righthand sidebar are $100 a month, payable through paypal, and they are first come-first served and they fill up quickly so email me at advertising@thebloggess.com if you want in and I’ll walk you through the details. Also, I realize ad networks are reading this and will email me to tell me that I am vastly under-pricing myself and need to stop this but please don’t because I prefer that my sidebar is full of real people and their dreams and not a bunch of casinos and vaping ads. Go check out my current sidebar to see the amazing people currently advertising who are fabulous and who make it easier for me to keep this place running.

Graphic sidebar ads (like the one for Ghost Games on the right) are $300- $700 depending on size and placement. (In case you’re wondering…Instagram or sponsored posts are available but start at $5k and I am very lazy so I only do them for products I personally love.)

And if you happen to have something special that you want more eyes on but can’t afford $100 a month just leave your link to whatever you’re proud of in the comments so we can all see it. A blog, a substack, your art, a charity, whatever you think needs attention.

What was the best thing you read last year?

This year I read 120 books, which sounds like “too many” if you are my husband but sounds fine to a reader because THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST. Of course, I have several things on my side, including chronic insomnia, the ability to claim that I have to hide under a tree and read for professional reasons, a book club to pick for and a book shop filled with books that want to go home with me.

Picking my favorite book of the year is always hard because I might only mostly like it the first time I read it but then find that it becomes a comfort read I return to, or maybe there was a book I loved and now I look at the cover and go…”Did I read that?” My favorite books change over and over but I think the ones I read in 2022 that I go back to over and over are The Maid, Kaikeyi and What Moves the Dead.

What book did you love the most last year? What did I miss that I have to read?

MY YEAR IN BOOKS :

Here’s a link to most of these books if you’re interested.

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