Well that was awkward.

I’ve been a little MIA because I was in a depressive episode but today I feel human again so I’m going to write quickly in case it comes back.

So.

This weekend I did my TEDx talk in a giant theater in front of hundreds of people.  I practiced my speech for hours and hours but I continued to blank on it because my depression shows up as brain fog and memory problems so in the end I broke all the rules and carried my crinkled notes up on stage with me.  It looked ugly but frankly, depression is ugly sometimes and since my talk was about mental illness it at least fit the theme.

I had all these ideas about how my TED talk would look…about how I would learn to wear makeup and get my hair done and buy a new outfit and have slides and photos and just nail it.  In the end I wore an old dress, had my hair in a fake ponytail, gave up on slides because I was too exhausted to make them and walked on to stage wearing old slippers because I’d literally forgotten to change into real shoes before leaving the house:

But all I was focused on was just giving my talk without freaking out or throwing up on stage because I was at that point of my depression where you have to just pick the necessary stuff to worry about because you don’t have enough energy for the rest of it.

So I went on stage, almost immediately said the f word multiple times.  And then about halfway through my talk I felt a panic attack rising up in my throat.  My chest hurt and I couldn’t hear anything but my heartbeat and I was fighting off the hyperventilation that comes next.  I tried to slow my breathing and thought I’d play it off as a dramatic pause but I couldn’t speak so the silence got longer and louder and then I knew it was way too long and awkward to go on.  I didn’t even have the excuse that I’d forgotten my speech because it was right there in my hands.  I considered running off the stage but I knew I would never go back on if I left so I stayed there.  I let it wash over me and focused on my breathing and the deathly silence of the theater.  And after what felt like hours but was probably less than a minute I explained what was happening.  And I started again.  And I finished.  And then I ran off the stage.

I have no memory of that speech except for the panicked voices in my head in that forever silence.  I wasn’t there to see how it went over.  But Victor was in the audience and he texted me.

I got a standing ovation.

Right now the TEDx team is editing the video so it should be public soon.  I was told before that if I had a panic attack or fucked up really badly they would edit that out so I told myself that only the people in that theater will have seen the worst, most terrifying moment I’ve ever had on stage, but now I almost wonder if it wouldn’t be better left in.  I don’t know how they’ll edit it but I’m okay with either way.  There is something freeing about having your worst possible nightmare come true on stage….about knowing that you can survive it.  About knowing that people are so much kinder than you imagine.  That most people are on your side even when your own head is not.

Thank you for reminding me of this.

Never change, Japan.

Victor just came back from Japan, where he always looks for the most ridiculous stuff he can find in street vending machines.

Vampire collars for cats, tiny peach hats (with beavers on them for some reason?), blob fish skull caps… these are a few of my favorite things:

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…behold.

Skunks farting out other animals.

NEVER CHANGE, JAPAN.

Let’s Pretend This Is Sunday

So yesterday I had a weekly wrap-up to write but I didn’t because I am irresponsible and also I was very busy trying to not get Victor arrested and finding a home for a dead owl.

Let me explain.

Victor is in Japan and he found this adorable, old, tiny taxidermied owl at a flea market and bought it for me because the way to my heart is old dead things.

Obviously.

But my father is here and is a taxidermist and has to know all the rules on birds of prey and turns out that if Victor brings an owl home he might end up in jail.   I considered whether jail was worth it because Owlexander Hamilton already had a tiny place in my heart but Victor is too pretty for jail so instead we needed to find a new forever home for a forever dead flea market owl who can’t leave Japan.

This was a job for twitter…clearly.

And twitter was up for it.   THIS IS WHY SOCIAL MEDIA EXISTS.

Within an hour a lovely family had agreed to accept Owlexander into their home.  And all was right with the world.

Until I realized I forgot it was Sunday and didn’t do this weekly wrap-up but technically I think it’s still Sunday in Japan so let’s just say this counts.

On to the 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 Wild Yonder Botanicals.  From them: “Winter Daze Gift Bundle is here! From the family studio of Wild Yonder Botanicals, an indulgent collection of their most loved botanical offerings for body and soul. A nurturing gift of self-care during the hectic Winter Daze ahead. It includes tons of stuff, including a limited edition Winter Daze botanical perfume, the famous Illuminate face serum with Lotus and Jasmine,  an essential oil-infused Anti Bad Vibe car freshener and more! Use code:thebloggess for $50 off when you pre-order it here (shipping Dec 2nd) and make sure to check out the Grateful Dead TM line!”  You should totally go check it out here because it sounds lovely.

Happy Halloween!

 

Scare me.

In honor of Halloween I’m watching horror and reading horror and honestly it’s not that different from any other month except that everyone else is also watching and reading and I end up buying all of the halloween decorations in the stores that I can use as my everyday decor.

So for today tell me a horror book or film that is underappreciated that everyone should watch:

I’ll go first…you should totally read My Sister, the a Serial Killer.  My only complaint is that it’s too short.

And then you should watch The Golem.  I’m a fan.  Ooh…or I am the pretty thing that lives in the house.  Or Little Monsters.  (The 2019 one.  Not the one with Howie Mandel.) Sorry.  That’s more than one but I couldn’t help myself.

Your turn…

A little mouse makeover.

I’m hearing that Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is getting a small mousey makeover.  I haven’t seen any of them myself but the new cover looks pretty dang cute…

Tell me if you come across one!

I shouldn’t be allowed to text.

A few minutes ago a reminder popped up on my phone from my family calendar to remind me that it’s my dad’s birthday and then a text message popped up from Hailey (because she gets the same notifications) and she was like, “IT’S DADDY’S BIRTHDAY!” and I was like, “No, it’s *my* daddy’s birthday.  Your daddy’s birthday was last month” and then she was like, “Um.  What.  I’m pretty sure we have the same father?” and turns out it was my sister texting me and now for my father’s birthday he gets to reassure my sister that she’s not adopted.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!

 

I hate it when he’s right.

Victor:  What the hell is happening in here?

me:  I made 200 boxes so that we can ship more Nowhere mugs.

Victor: No, I mean, why are you inside?

me:  I’m making a fort.  Obviously.  What else would you do with 200 boxes?

Victor:  Is it a fort for dogs?

me:  It’s a fort for me.  If it fits, I sits.

Victor:  That’s my concern.  Isn’t it a little…um…little?

me:  Are you saying I’m too fat for cardboard boxes?

Victor: That’s not even a thing.  Also, I’m just going to set up my phone to record you when you inevitably give yourself a concussion.

me:  It is a little unstable…but aren’t we all?

If we are our dreams I’m fucked.

Last night Victor was telling me that he needed to start exercising because lately he couldn’t fly in his sleep and I immediately assumed he was having a stroke but then he explained that he’s always been able to leap incredible heights in his dream, almost like flying, until recently when he started getting out of shape.

This sounds ridiculous to me, both because my dream body and real body aren’t really related, and also because I’ve never been able to fly or jump or do super-human things in my sleep.  In fact, in almost all of my dreams I am sunk into the ground of the dream so deeply that I can barely walk.  My feet literally are sucked into the dreamscape as I move.  A few years ago I learned that I can walk almost normal in dreams if I use everything around me to physically pull myself along.  It’s a hard slog and I am forever caught in quicksand but this is normal for me.  And normal for Victor is flying.

Which seems…sort of not fair.

I’m sure it goes back to our personalities.  He knows he can accomplish anything.  I cower and become paralyzed at the slightest things.  I wonder if everyone else is like this.

“So how do you attack the monsters in your dream?” Victor asks me.

“How do I what now?” I reply.

I have never attacked a monster in my dream.  I rarely even see them.  At my most successful I manage to hide until my dream changes.  I can’t even imagine fighting.

“I’m a goddam Bruce-Lee-level monster slayer in my dreams,” Victor says.

I don’t know how to fix this.  Or if I should.  I can’t fight.  I can barely even walk.

You know what I can do in my dreams?  I take pictures.

I take the most extraordinary pictures in my dreams.  I know enough to realize that this world is strange and beautiful and I am constantly pulling out my phone to document it.  And then I wake up and realize that the pictures don’t exist and that I am wasting my time even in my sleep.

What a ridiculous and pointless talent.

This post doesn’t have an end or a point but I wonder if we’re alone.  Do you fly in your sleep?  Are you stuck in your dreams?  Is this just the way we are made, even unconsciously unable to escape the person we see in ourselves?

Completely and utterly overwhelmed. In a good way. Mostly.

So.

Remember yesterday when the Nowhere Bookshop website went live?  And Elizabeth (our superhero manager) and Victor and I were surrounded with hundreds of shirts and mugs and books that I was certain we’d still be surrounded with a week from now?  Well, turns out I’d underestimated the excitement and support because we got thousands of orders the first day.

um.  what.

This is a real-time look into the various emotions of yesterday…

Me when I saw how many fantastic people wanted to support this strange new Indie Bookstore that hadn’t even opened yet:

Me when I realized we’d almost made enough to pay for the wheelchair ramp we’re adding inside the store:

Me when I realized that we didn’t have nearly enough merch ready to ship:

Me when I told Victor that I need to make a giant rush order to the local screen printer to fulfill everything that was still coming in:

Victor when PayPal froze my business account because there was way too much activity on it and they assumed I must be doing something illegal:

Elizabeth when orders kept coming in faster than she could possibly keep up with them:

Elizabeth when she found out that our screen-printer was running low on the shirts we needed:

Elizabeth and I when we begged the screen-printer for help and he found a giant stash of what we needed in Illinois:

So, long story short, yesterday was incredibly successful/terrifying.  The first several hundred of you who submitted orders will get yours this week (please share them online if you like them!) but if you ordered something we’re low on it may take a few weeks for you to get it.  I’m sorry!   I know we already say that on the website as a disclaimer but I still feel bad that we didn’t have enough already printed.  As far as problems go it’s a very good problem to have and I’m so very lucky that you guys are understanding and awesome even through our growing pains.

A little behind-the-scenes look:

Currently Elizabeth’s guest room is a staging/packing area:

And my house is filled with boxes and boxes of books that are all being signed and personalized:

Thank you again for your support and your patience and for the wonderful community you’ve made and continue to grow.

Check out the website if you haven’t already.  And thank you again!