Have you tried turning it off and on again?

So yesterday I woke up to my computer giving me the universal sign for “NOPE”…

…and I considered that this was the universe’s way of giving me the day off but Victor said that’s not how days off work so I tried to fix it but the furthest I could get was a flashing folder giving me the universal “what the shit have you done?” symbol…

…and I was like, “I DON’T FUCKING KNOW” and I spent hours trying to fix it using a variety of suggested steps from the internet that were so unhelpful I decided to make my own more realistic one:

Is your computer all borked up and shit? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Hold down the command button and also every third button on your keyboard for exactly 27.4 seconds.
  2. Enter the password for something you didn’t even know you ever had a password for.
  3. Forgot your password? Click to send a recovery link to the email you no longer have access to and/or also don’t know the password to.
  4. Restart the computer while holding your 8th grade report card in your left hand.
  5. Reload applications
  6. Consider googling “What are applications and how to reload them” but realize you can’t because your computer is broken.
  7. Realize your warranty expired 18 seconds ago.
  8. Eat a sandwich angrily.
  9. Regret not learning what a “cloud” is and how to put things in it.
  10. Continue following long step-by-step recovery process. On step 10 realize this list was written in 2004 and is now outdated.
  11. Start over again with a new step-by-step written last week. Realize halfway through it’s outdated as well.
  12. Download updated browser.
  13. Follow error signs saying you can’t download browser without updated flash.
  14. Update flash.
  15. Follow error signs saying you can’t download flash without updated browser.
  16. Consider becoming Amish.
  17. Remember how much you like cat videos.
  18. Call tech support. Get advice that doesn’t work.
  19. Call tech support. Get opposing advice from second guy who says the other guy didn’t know what he was talking about but which also doesn’t work.
  20. Repeat step 19. Several times.
  21. Call tech support. Lady says that the computer problem you’re describing isn’t even possible.
  22. Doubt everything, including own existence.
  23. Call tech support. New guy listens to your extremely long rant about everything you’ve tried. Asks, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” Lay your head on the keyboard and cry softly.
  24. Try turning it on and off again even though you’ve already done that multiple times just to show the tech guy you’re not a fucking idiot.
  25. Stare at the wall and grind your teeth into dust when that totally works.
  26. When they guy asks, “That fixed it, right?” lie to him and tell him you have to go because you have to set your office on fire.
  27. Start back at step one 25 minutes later when everything crashes again.

And that’s basically how my day went except for the fire and the fact that in the end we ended up having to buy a whole new computer and reload everything and I think I have everything recovered but now I really do need the day off to recover from yesterday.

PS. Learn from me. BACK-UP YOUR SHIT.

Your next great read

One of the greatest things about owning a bookshop is that I not only get to read amazing new books, but I’m SUPPOSED to read them. I bring home boxes of books each week and stay up late reading and then mail boxes of books to my family and stuff Little Free Libraries with them and contemplate how many bookshelves are “too many”. I say that number doesn’t exist. Victor says, “Probably a dozen less than we currently have and also, you can’t make piles of books into tables for more books” but you totally can with a good tablecloth and a little imagination.

I know a lot of you may be quarantining or don’t have access to good bookstore locally to see what’s on the shelves so I thought I’d share with you the 145 books I’ve read in 2021 that I’ve loved so far. If you were here now I’d go through each of them and help you pick out the best one for you but since we are not together, this is the next best thing. (PS. If I’m at the store you can always ask me for a recommendation.)

And in return? Tell me a book you read this year that you loved, because I am always looking for more.

No Cure for Being Human, Sex Cult Nun, Vivian Maier Developed, Noor, Chouette, The Collective, These Silent Woods, Blue-Skinned Gods, Call Me Athena, Reprieve, Death at Greenway, The Last Graduate, Slewfoot, Cackle, Under the Whispering Door, God of Mercy, The Death of Jane Lawrence, Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village, Nothing but Blackened Teeth, Once More upon a Time, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, Mordew, My heart is a Chainsaw, Circe, Ballad for Sophie, Kaiju Preservation Society, Lemon, The Cape Doctor, The Four Winds, When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky.

Lore Olympus, The Sunset Route, Brown Girls, The Anthropocene Reviewed, Mrs. March, Lovesickness, The Icepick Surgeon, Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters, Revelator, RUN, Clark and Division, Trubble Town, The Archer, Summer Sons, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream, Shelf Life, Poison for Breakfast, How to Wrestle a Girl, The Modern Witch Tarot, A Touch of Jen, And Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed, What Big Teeth, The Box in the Woods, Reflection, Hamnet, Tiny Dancer, Hummingbird Salamander, One Hundred Demons, How High? That High, The Final Girl Support Group

Whisper Down the Lane, Strange Children, Harrow, The Comfort Book, Hawking, Island Queen, How Long Til Black Future Month?, Rabbits, A Sitting in St. James, The Chosen and the Beautiful, Field Study, Such a Quiet Place, The Council of Animals, A Spindle Splintered, The Ones We’re Meant to Find, The Other Passenger, Savage Tongues, Girl One, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, On Juneteenth, The Anatomy of Desire, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot, The Wolf and the Woodsman, The Maidens, With Teeth, Nutshell Studies, Go Ask Alice, Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch, Velvet was the Night, The Unfit Heiress

Unsettled Ground, She Who Became the Sun, Girl in the Walls, Sorrowland, Sidecountry, Goodbye, again, Revival Season, Come Fly the World, Brood, Feral Creatures, Ariadne, Whereabouts, Nightbitch, The Living Sea of Waking Dreams, Hour of the Witch, Mother May I, Madam, Seek You, The Book of Accidents, Couple Found Slain, Murder Most Puzzling, IN, Hollow Kingdom, Kindred, Olympus Texas, Things I Learned from Falling, Red Island House, Ladies of the Secret Circus, The Witch’s Heart, Wake

The Echo Wife, The Lamplighters, Heatwave, The Bone Houses, The Kindest Lie, Plain Bad Heroines, This Close to Okay, The Removed, In the Heart of the Sea, In the Garden of Spite, The Girl from Channel Islands, My Year Abroad, The Haunting of Alma Fielding, Burning Girls, Remina, I am a Girl from Africa, We Begin at the End, Infinite Country, The Children’s Train, The Memory Theater, The Electric Kingdom, Better Luck Next Time, Terminal Boredom, You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Happy reading!

Such a wonderful sort of haunting.

So a few minutes ago I was doing a Fantastic Strangelings Book Club zoom with Virginia Feito while we discussed serial killers, true crime documentaries and I vomited all of my ridiculous Mrs. March theories on her and it was so much fun but then this thing happened that I have to write down because you need to know why I’m maybe crying a little.

So I’ve written here before about how my late granny was the inspiration for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club and how she shared all her strange and wonderful books with me when I was young (possibly too young, but there is no greater guilty pleasure than reading a book you shouldn’t be reading) and how whenever I pick a book for the club I pick the one I think my granny would like the most. Mrs. March was one of the most grannyesque-books I’ve ever read so I knew instantly it was the one even though it was a wee bit darker than my usual picks because as soon as I read it I had a thousand theories and desperately wished that granny was still around so I could share it with her.

A few years ago when she moved into a memory home (fuck you, dementia) she gave me a small stack of the books we’d loved together. Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King. All first editions in terrible shape because she (like me) believed good books should be used and loved and carried everywhere and shared with everyone you know.

One of the books she gave me was Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives and during the zoom call I thought I saw that exact book right behind Virginia. Like…the exact same book. But that would be weird as hell because that book is so specific and was printed before we were even born and also Virginia lives in Spain but it felt so much like a small wink from my granny that I couldn’t ignore, so I emailed Virginia and was like, “Weird question but is that the 1972 edition of The Stepford Wives behind you? This one specifically?”

And she was like, “That’s exactly right! I got it at the wonderful second-hand bookstore ‘Desperate Literature‘ in Madrid. Mine says ‘book club edition’ on the inside flap?”

And I looked inside and guess what? So does mine.

So this amazing book club that I started in homage to my grandmother who inspired me to take chances on new books and that saved my bookshop and my sanity during the last year and a half? The books that my grandmother passed on to me that shaped my love of books were from her book club…one I didn’t even know she’d ever been in. And her copy of The Shining from 1977? Book club edition. The 1978 copy of The Stand? Book club edition. All of them were new and untested books mailed to her when she was not much older than I am now. And now I mail new and untested books to people all over the world to keep the story going.

I know it’s just a coincidence, and that book-of-the-month clubs were very popular in the 70s and that probably there are lots of copies out there even as far away as Spain, but this feels too on-the-nose not to at least acknowledge, because these strange moments are what make life seem a little bit magical, and they’re too rare to not hold close and celebrate.

So I thought I would share this one with you.

The world is so small and beautiful sometimes.

Thank you for being part of mine.

PS. If you missed our live talk on zoom we’ll put it up on the Nowhere Youtube page soon and you can see me and Virginia getting progressively drunker as we make plans to impersonate Charles Dickens. Related: I shouldn’t be allowed to interview authors.

Step into my office. It’s time for a break.

Today is Friday so let’s step into my office so I can show you all the instagram videos I saved for you because this week has been long as fuck and we deserve a laugh, don’t we?

WE DO, FRIEND.

Also, apparently Instagram chose this week to make embedded videos not work everywhere so you may have to click on the links to see the videos. *sigh* This week, y’all.

Still…it’s worth it.


Related, I was seeing SO MANY videos of people with “the last video of my spouse” on it and I was like, “WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DEAD PEOPLE?” but turns out there is this trend where you post the most recent video you took of your spouse with a specific song on it and I guess that explains why my comments of, “I’m so sorry for your loss” were surrounded by laughing emojis.

Relatable:

Better? Me too. Happy early weekend!

It’s never too early for horror.

There are two kinds of people. Those whose only thought of fall is pumpkin spice and those who start celebrating Halloween in August and scream “SPOOKY SEASON!” when the first cool breeze hits and don’t have to bring out their Halloween stuff because it’s become a regular part of their house decor. (I say this as I stare at a three foot tall skull on one side of me and a life-sized ghost I’m building from scratch on the other side of me.)

One of my favorite things about October is that I have an excuse to binge horror movies and Hailey is finally old enough to appreciate them and inherited my strange tastes, so I now have a willing participant to snuggle up on the couch for my October fest where I try to watch one horror movie every day.

Normally I sort of let my Netflix and Hulu accounts choose them for me but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut so I thought I’d ask you…what are the best horror flicks we can’t miss? Hailey likes slasher and supernatural. I like supernatural and psychological thriller. Gothic is a plus. Campy is fine. So-bad-it’s-good is too. (I’m looking at you, American Horror Stories.) Torture p0rn/home invasion is a no-go and I don’t even classify those as horror because I hate them.

Some of my favorites: The Others, Get Out, Cabin in the Woods, Shaun of the Dead, The Tale of Two Sisters, Trollhunter, Border, Housebound, Grabbers, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Let the Right One in, Crimson Peak, Carnival of Souls, The Changeling, The Witch, The Golem.

Okay, your turn…what should we watch? What are some of your favorites? (Old, new, popular, unpopular…it’s all good.)

Step into my office. It’s Friday.

It’s Friday, which means no real work is getting done so why don’t you come in my office for a five minute break and I will show you the instagram posts I saved for you all this week:

I need a chinchilla:

I feel personally attacked by this meme:

She really thought she was going somewhere.

I would die for Big Chungus. (Chungus isn’t slang for genitals, is it?)

An oldie. But you know what? I think we all need to hear this:

Happy early weekend, y’all. Let’s go to the park.

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