Book club time. Grab some booze. Or a cat. Or both. YOUR CHOICE.

YOU GUYS.

Okay, first off, today we’re opening up the discussion for this month’s Fantastic Strangelings Book Club selection, Catherine House.

Someone remind me to make Dorothy Barker bookmarks one day when I have more energy and design skills.

Have you started it yet? Have you finished it yet? No pressure because there are no rules for this book club but if you have drop down into the comments or go to the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club Facebook page to discuss. I actually really liked it the first time I read it and LOVED it the second time because I was able to pick up all the nuances I missed the first time around. (I always have to read our selections twice because my memory is so terrible I forget the plot within a month. This is a blessing and a curse but at least I can read the same book over and over and never get bored with it.)

AND! Here’s something I’m so excited about. Next month’s book. You guys.

Dorothy Barker is not shown because I only have the digital advance copy of this book. Sorry.

Okay, first of all, it is so deliciously dark and twisted and I was really afraid that the publisher wouldn’t be able to get us enough books but they were so excited about being chosen as June’s book that they printed up a batch specifically for us and printed inside every book they included this lovely page:

How fucking cool is that? Answer: Very cool.

A tiny taste of They Did Bad Things:

And Then There Were None meets The Last Time I Lied in this dark and twisty psychological thriller.

In 1995, six university students moved into the house at 215 Caldwell Street. Months later, one of them was found dead on the sofa the morning after their end-of-year party. His death was ruled an accident by the police. The remaining five all knew it wasn’t, and though they went on with their lives, the truth of what happened to their sixth housemate couldn’t stay buried forever.

Twenty years later, all five of them arrive—lured separately under various pretenses—at Wolfheather House, a crumbling, secluded mansion on the Scottish isle of Doon. Trapped inside with no way out and no signal to the outside world, the now forty-somethings fight each other—and the unknown mastermind behind their gathering—as they confront the role they played in their housemate’s death. They are given one choice: confess to their crimes or die. 

They Did Bad Things is a deviously clever psychological thriller about the banality of evil and the human capacity for committing horror.

Personally I find the mystery genre a little hit or miss but this one really did it for me. I think you’ll like it.

Happy reading!

I think we could all use a little good news.

This week has been really hard in our house but I’m ending it (the week, I mean) on a very positive note because of you.

I made these ridiculous Furiously Happy raccoon masks as a joke and I said if anyone bought any I’d donate the profits but so many of you have ordered them that as of this morning I’ve been able to give $1,000 to the San Antonio Food Bank (who have really been struggling and can use the help) and all of that is down to you guys.

me wearing a mask with a raccoon face
Honestly, it’s sort of terrifying.

I love y’all so much it hurts a little. But in a good way.

********

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 M. E. Evans, who wrong a hilarious book you should read. It’s called Naked (in Italy): A Memoir About the Pitfals of La Dolce Vita. Imagine a story about two dysfunctional families and forbidden love. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet if Juliet spent her days at an overpriced art school painting porn star vaginas and Romeo’s mom was obsessed with ironing underwear. Also instead of suicide there’s a poodle. And agoraphobia. You should check it out. And you can get the eBook of Naked (in Italy): A Memoir About the Pitfalls of La Dolce Vita for just $2.99 for a limited time. 

This garbage is all of us. But in a good way.

So today I was outside and found this in the backyard:

Turns out it is a junk bug, aka a lacewing larvae of an aphid lion and it is covered in garbage because that camouflages it from the rest of the world. Except that the garbage it’s carrying around? IS THE CORPSES OF ITS ENEMIES.

So basically it’s a goth packrat who just wants to be left alone and really shouldn’t be fucked with and I can’t help but feel that this bug is the perfect mascot for this entire year.

Horror and pigs

Hello! I had a shitastic mental health day yesterday and sort of fell into a lot of self-hatred but today I feel a bit better and hopefully you do too. If not, know that this will pass. Keep breathing.

I can’t remember if I took my ADD meds this morning but I suspect I didn’t so I blame that for this very random blog post that sort of goes together and sort of doesn’t.

SO. My friend Laura (of Beyonce fame) had this uncle (PJ Allen) who was a parade float maker 50+ years ago and years ago they auctioned off the ridiculous stuff in his giant barn and that’s how I ended up with a life sized Marie Antionette and a giant portrait of Martha Washington and bird cages and baby carriages and boxes and boxes of crumbling crepe paper flowers and this pig:

It’s about 4 feet tall and I assumed it held something and also it was wired for sound at one time which makes me wish PJ Allen was still alive because I really want to know what the pig was screaming at people as it paraded down the street. When I originally bought it I thought I’d put a chef hat on it and put it in the kitchen but it was filled with wasp nests and I am lazy so instead it just lived in the garage.

BUT! Then the plague came and I was bored so I decided to do a pig makeover because I thought this pig should probably live at Nowhere Bookshop. And after many hours of elbow grease and strange looks from my neighbors, she is done.

Victor and Hailey think it looks weird because the eyes are too small so I may have to fix those but I texted a picture to Elizabeth (illustrious manager of Nowhere) to see where everyone else stood on pig eyeballs and she was like, “Huh. It’s a little creepy, don’t you think?” And I was like, “WHO EVER HEARD OF A CREEPY PIG, ELIZABETH? Oh, except for the demon pig in Amityville Horror. Omg. We have a name. Jody the Amityville pig. WE ARE A GREAT TEAM.” She hasn’t responded to me yet but probably just because she’s so overwhelmed with how well we work together.

Also, Jody is too heavy to pull in and out of the shop every day so probably she’ll live in the back hallway next to the bathrooms so she can keep you company while you wait to pee and tell you what author is coming to visit next. But I’m still not sure about the eyes.

Anyway, speaking of horror, this month The Fantastic Strangeling Bookclub is reading Catherine House which we’ll discuss probably next week so you have time to sink into the weirdness of it, but we also did an optional book for anyone who wanted an extra distraction and I finally feel good enough to discuss so let’s do that today, okay?

The optional book was HORRORSTÖR by Grady Hendrix and for me it was the perfect distraction. Funny, witty, scary. It seems counterintuitive to love horror when you have an anxiety disorder but I think the great thing about supernatural horror is that you can exercise your fear on something you don’t actually have to worry is going to happen to you. Unless you work at a haunted Ikea knock-off, I guess.

You can go to the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club page on Facebook to discuss, or if you hate Facebook you can leave your thoughts here in the comments. Also, even if you haven’t read the book, let me know what you think about Jody. Should the eyes be bigger? Is she creepy? If so, should I put her inside one of the bathrooms so that she makes people pee faster and there are never any lines?

PS. The folks are wordpress are helping me with a little revamp and that means that my blog might load weird for a few days while we fix things. Like, right now the first 7 comments on each blog post are sort of covered by sidebar stuff so I’m going to fill those 7 comments with random trivia so that you can skip them if you can’t read them or read them and be smarter if you can.

EVERYONE WINS!

It’s okay

I was really hating myself for being behind on everything and then I came across this from Binchcity and it was exactly what I needed to read.

You’re not alone, y’all.

Let’s have a happy distraction, shall we? YES, WE SHALL.

Hello!  Remember a week ago when I shared all my most recent favorite instagram distractions and we pretended that we were coworkers and I pulled you into my office so we could laugh and look at cats being idiots and talk about all the people we don’t like?

Wrong.

That wasn’t last week.  That was five weeks ago.

I know.  Time isn’t working the same way it did, but that’s all the more reason to laugh while we can and that is precisely why today will be instagram ridiculousness and beauty and horror that I bookmarked for you during these last 800 years of plague.

Look, it’s us:

Okay, let’s get started…and if you’re new to instagram, if there’s big arrow click it for video and if there’s a tiny arrow on the right it means you should click it to scroll through.

Get ready to be singing this all day:

This is weird, but in a fascinating way.  Like, not as creepy as the doctor who dug up a corpse and lived with it, but still…

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Alma Mahler (1879–1964) was a Viennese socialite and arts patron whose infamous romantic life inspired composers, painters, and novelists, including Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius, Franz Werfel, and others. Between her marriages to Mahler (who died in 1911) and Gropius (in 1915), Alma had a turbulent affair with the expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), who memorialized her in his painting The Bride of the Wind, 1913-14 (just before their relationship ended).⠀ ⠀ Unable to forget his muse and lover, in July 1918 Kokoschka ordered a life-size doll from the Munich doll-maker Hermine Moos as a substitute for his lost love. It was to be made to look exactly like Alma Mahler.⠀ ⠀ Kokoschka provided Moos with many detailed drawings and a life sized oil sketch. On August 20, 1918 he wrote to Moos: “Yesterday I sent a life-size drawing of my beloved and I ask you to copy this most carefully and to transform it into reality. Pay special attention to the dimensions of the head and neck, to the ribcage, the rump and the limbs. And take to heart the contours of body, e.g., the line of the neck to the back, the curve of the belly. Please permit my sense of touch to take pleasure in those places where layers of fat or muscle suddenly give way to a sinewy covering of skin. For the first layer (inside) please use fine, curly horsehair; you must buy an old sofa or something similar; have the horsehair disinfected. Then, over that, a layer of pouches stuffed with down, cottonwool for the seat and breasts. The point of all this for me is an experience which I must be able to embrace!”⠀ ⠀ In December Kokoschka eagerly demanded of Hermine Moos: “Can the mouth be opened? Are there teeth and a tongue inside? I hope.”⠀ ⠀ The doll was not finished until the second half of February 1919. On February 22 Kokoschka asked to have the doll sent to him. The packing-case arrived.⠀ ⠀ Kokoschka was ultimately disappointed with the result, a clumsy construction of fabric and wood wool. He complained that the shag carpet-like skin was not life-like enough.⠀ ⠀ After several moths, despite Kokoschka’s effort, expense and energy, he decided to dispense with the fetish.

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I want to live here.

Victor:  How’d they get a picture of your car?

It’s like a dinosaur.

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@stuffifoundinteresting 😳

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Victor gets mad at me for not being able to socialize with his business people but then when I do I am 100 this and he gets mad at me for that so I might as well be drunk.

I snorkeled in a cave once and it was like this and I legitimately started hyperventilating and clawing at anyone near me.

I think this is making fun of a biscuit and gravy fountain but I would 100% want this at any party.

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😛

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He just tryin to get food

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Impossible to overstate how much last year’s SDCC changed my life. It was actually a year ago today that applications closed for the Her Universe Fashion Show– I’d been planning my drag inspired Pink Diamond / Rose Quartz transformation garment design to submit to this show for honestly years. I worked tirelessly on this look for months and while I didn’t finish every detail how I dreamed, I couldn’t be any prouder of this runway walk. It’s absolutely the right call to cancel the con, but I know how much my 2019 centered around this build and this show, and my heart is so heavy for all the talented designers who’ve gotta wait for another year. Think I might rewatch (and maybe finally finish!) Steven Universe to cope ⭐️ Thanks to @mark_edwards_photographer and of course @littlemantiscosplay my one woman army backstage and wig wrangler extraordinaire 💜 #stevenuniverse #hufs #sdcc #heruniversefashionshow #geekcouture #heruniverse #wigfromheretohomeworld #stevenuniversefandom #stevenuniverserose

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this radiates vine energy via @lucweed

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@hoops0926 on tik tok – julia

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🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊🔊

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I want a self loading laundry basket

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This.  And also when I say a work I’ve only read and everyone points out that that is not how you pronounce it at all.

Victor doesn’t understand the appeal of instagram and just stares at me while I laugh at cat videos but he fucking loves the videos of people hurting themselves when doing dumb stuff.  We all got our stuff, I guess.

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Wait for it😳

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Dying of cuteness (@paige_soccer23)

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