You Searched For: taxidermy
I don’t even know where to start with this, so I’m skipping right to: “OMG, YOU GUYS, I HAVE FOUND HEAVEN AND IT’S ONLY SLIGHTLY MORE CORPSEY THAN YOU WOULD EXPECT.”
Long story short, this weekend we went to a tiny town near us to go to resale stores because we’re strange people who like weird, used things. As you might know, I have a particular penchant for badly done, super-old taxidermy that makes me laugh and makes people who have to visit my house very uncomfortable. By late afternoon we came across a large odd store filled with so much weird, half-price shit that it was like coming home. In fact, I fell so in love with one section of the store that the guy in charge told me I could come and bring my laptop, get into bed and write there after they were closed if I needed quiet time. It was so awesome I suspect it’s some sort of set-up to arrest me for arson I haven’t yet achieved.
Regardless, I have to share a pictorial essay about the amazingness you can only come across in Texas.
Every corner had something amazing to behold:
This was actually from the shop next door but it still seems to fit here:
Of course, I couldn’t buy them all, so I settled on my three favorite friends.
Ferris Mewler was impressed. Or hungry.
I also got a…weasel? I don’t have a name yet, but she’s very well dressed because I have insomnia:
And my personal favorite…possibly the derpiest taxidermy animal in the history of ever. I cannot walk past her and not laugh my ass off and that makes her the best investment ever. That’s why I own taxidermied animals instead of a 401k.
There is not an angle that she looks bad in. She is the gift that keeps on giving. She needs a name. Feel free to give suggestions.
Victor: What are you complaining about-OH HOLY GOD, tell me you didn’t just buy that.
me: Worse. I was just outbid on it.
That’s right. It’s a rabbit head sewn on a human body. I bid on it because it’s awesome and also because of the description:
“…and the foot is missing/Her right hand has no fingers…found this in a box in the roof/ With the foxs.”
It’s like Sylvia Plath wrote this shit, y’all.
PS. I found this right afterward because ebay is like this dick friend who is all “Hey, you like fucked-up shit? LOOK AT THIS FUCKED UP SHIT, YO.”
I’m pretty sure this is the exact opposite of truth in advertising.
I got distracted by my dog’s vagina (if I had a nickel for every time that’s happened, right?) but I’m back to sum up the final part of our week in Europe. If you missed the first two parts they’re here and here.
We took a train from London to Paris and went through the chunnel (the tunnel under the English channel) but it’s only cool in theory because it’s not made of glass so basically you’re just in the dark the whole time. Have you ever traveled with your eyes closed? That’s pretty much what the chunnel is like.
Also there was a lack of sasquatches:
We ate a lot.
The one thing I really wanted to do in Paris was to see the catacombs so we did that first just in case my anxiety hit and I had to miss everything else and it was amazing if for no other reason than this sign:
Also, we went visited a bunch of haunted places during our vacation because I’m a dorky ghost hunter but the only possible ghost picture we got the entire trip was in the catacombs and fucking Victor took it:
We went to the Paris Flea Market and I didn’t buy any of these things even though I really wanted to:
We took our kid a show at the Moulin Rouge. There were a lot of nipples but she owns nipples so I think it was probably okay even though Victor kept whispering “YOU’RE A BAD MOM” every time someone took a top off. Also, the show was for “ages 7 and up” so things in Europe are a little different.
We took a boat ride down the Seine and I have a lot of beautiful pictures on instagram but this was a favorite:
We saw the Eiffel Tower and it was very bizarre because it’s one of those things that you don’t think really exists until you see it. We didn’t go inside because there was a line and it was expensive and I hate elevators and stairs, plus if you go to the top of the Eiffel Tower you can’t actually see the Eiffel Tower, so I’m not sure what the point it. But we ate crepes from a street vender outside and they were so good I screamed “ALL CLITORISES ARE BEAUTIFUL!” but only in my mind because my mouth was full. (Of crepes. Not clitorises.)
We wandered the streets and caught glimpses of the person our daughter is becoming:
And in the evening the light turned golden – literally – and I suddenly saw why they call it the City of Light.
I tried to find an empty space to see the sun but it just wasn’t possible, so I stood in the deep shadows of the streets and I looked up to watch the light creep in and touch the tips of the buildings. And I cried a little. Because for so many months it seems all I seemed to write about was the dark depression I was in…how I was looking for the light. And I found it. Maybe just glimpses, but sometimes that’s enough.
It was enough for me.
And I’ll keep these pictures to remind myself that there is always light coming, even if you can’t always see it.
Hey. You know how sometimes you feel very alone because so many of the people in your real life are alarmingly normal and never have picnics in cemeteries or dress up taxidermy in Victorian clothes or are just not generally fucked up in the same way that you are? Me too. And that’s why today we’re making friends.
In the comments, leave your link to your twitter or Facebook or blog and tell us who you are in a sentence or two. Share as little or as much as you want.
Here I am:
I’m @thebloggess on facebook, twitter, instagram and I am into dark humor, true crime and I want to be an otter when I grow up. I am not good at life and often disappear because of my depression and anxiety. I am too empathetic, I collect creepy dolls, I love horror and reading, I make tiny houses when I’m in anxiety spirals so I make way too many of them and then leave them in parks for kids (or spiders) to find. I once tried to rescue a decapitated human head. I am often terrified and I am super weird and I am totally okay with that. I can never pass this at the grocery store without making it into a very loud Lionel Richie song:
PS. To make it easier let’s use a hashtag on twitter today to find each other. How about #letsbefriends?
PPS. I totally knew it was Billy Ocean. I was just testing you.
PPPS. That’s a lie. I’m a liar.
I never do paid posts but I’m doing this one for two reasons. 1) Because I was already going to write about this. Stick with it and you’ll see why in a second, and 2) because the 8th Annual Jame Garfield Miracle is going on and I needed more money to help kids in need and this was a super easy way to do it. So if you’re reading this, you are helping needy children. EVERYONE WINS.
So, StoryWorth advertised on my blog this year and I loved it so much I paid full price to buy one for my dad. Here’s how it works: StoryWorth emails your family member weekly story prompts in the form of questions. They reply to the emails and you get to read their amazing family stories that you never knew existed. Then at the end of the year StoryWorth binds the years worth of stories into a keepsake book. My dad has been doing it for about six months and the emails I get with his answers are so insane and lovely that I often have to call and ask, “Is that true?” Stories about my grandparents and great grandparents that I may never have known are now being shared with family. It is awesome and I highly recommend it because it’s a gift for you and for them. It’s normally $79 but right now (until 1/31/18) it’s only $59 through this link.
The stories my father shares are really too good to keep to myself so I’m sharing a few snippets of my favorites here. You may think they’re strange and terrible but I love and treasure them. I suppose that’s how family stories work though. (BTW, Nelda is my mom. She types the answers as my dad dictates.)
Have you pulled any great pranks?
I was prying something loose one day, and I broke off half the blade of my skinning knife. Stupid! Now the six-inch blade was only three inches long. It was now perfect for prying things loose, but it was also perfect for a practical joke.
We have an electric knife sharpener at the taxidermy shop, and I don’t allow anyone to use it except me. If you’re not paying 100% attention to what you are doing, the high-speed sharpening wheel can throw the blade back at you. Bad news.
I went to my own working area where I hide from the other workers and went to work on my joke. I super glued the tip of my broken knife blade to the inside of my inner right arm. Next I built up the wound area with 2-part epoxy. It’s a product we use in the taxidermy shop like modeling clay to make artificial skin on a mount. I smoothed out the epoxy, texturized it to make it look like my own skin and modeled it to look like that knife is really embedded deep in my arm. I used an airbrush to paint the epoxy area to match my skin. Next I feathered in some white, purple,and red paint to make a realistic cut. Finally I mixed up some blood- red and black paint. I added a little glycerin to give the fake blood a wet glossy look. I poured the blood where it needed to be, and splashed the rest on an old rag that I used to cover the gag.
I staggered into the shop and sat down, not saying a word.
Don was the first to notice the blood. “Holy Crap! What did you do?” Helen came out the office, and I removed the blood-soaked rag to show my work of art. Everyone gathered around me to either gawk or help. Helen hollered out, “Don’t put it out. He’s on blood thinners! He”ll bleed to death!”
No sooner did she say that, Jonathon grabbed the knife and pulled it out. I quickly covered the wound with the bloody rag. I figured the joke was over till Jonathon looked at the knife and screamed, “It broke off in his arm!”
I didn’t get any compliments for my realistic art work. I cleaned up my mess and came back in the shop. I sat down next to Jonathon and asked him if it looked real. He said. “Yeah, I thought it was real……..What are blood thinners?”
What have you changed your mind about over the years?
I use to think that dogs are a man’s best friend, but I’ve changed my mind. Dogs will always forgive you quickly if you ask them to, but they don’t do laundry, they don’t cook, they don’t scratch your back, and they don’t clean house. They are pretty good at doing dishes, as long as you smear left-over gravy over the whole plate.
I use to think that a loving wife would see the humor in that previous paragraph. Dogs will still always forgive you quickly if you ask them to.
I use to think this was funny.
If you could choose any talents to have, what would they be?
I asked Nelda what this question meant. Any talent? She suggested singing, or playing an instrument , or maybe x-ray vision. X-Ray vision might be cool only if it is selective. Some old fat guy crossing your path of vision could ruin your day. A cute young chick could also ruin my marriage. I’ll stick with my near- sighted astigmatism with floaters.
I already sing beautifully. I have that talent even though no one else thinks so. My ears are so good that in my head the notes sound pitch perfect. Self corrective hearing is what I call it.
I might like the talent to finish everyone’s sentences before they could say it. Unfortunately I hang around a lot of people that don’t make a lot of sense. I’m not going to take credit for a bunch of nonsense.
I would like the talent to communicate with animals. I would like to understand their thoughts. Someday I will.
What is one of your fondest childhood memories?
One of my fondest memories is going perch fishing with my mom. When I was about five years old, I got the fishing bug. I couldn’t get enough fishing. My dad had a farm out at Eola, about twenty miles from home. The whole family would pack up before daylight, and drive out to the farm to work. My dad would usually be on his John Deere tractor. My mom would be either building electric fence or picking rocks out of the field. My sisters would be together hoeing weeds. I, being the baby, stuck with my mom. We would work till noon, and then drive to our neighbor’s pasture to have a picnic lunch. A small dirt tank with green water surrounded by large mesquite trees was one of my favorite places to spread out our homemade quilts, and rest in the shade. We would eat bread, summer sausage, longhorn cheese, and drink Cragmont orange soda water. After lunch, I would get out my cane pole. I always saved some of my lunch to use for bait. Those perch would bite on anything, but bread was my favorite cuz it stayed on my hook the best,
My dad would usually sleep and rest while my mom would watch me fish. She was actually watching a five year old kid making sure I wasn’t gonna fall in the water. The fish would bite as fast as you put the hook in the water. They weren’t very big, but I kept anything that had eyes. I even kept a little turtle. When I caught a water snake, my fishing was over.
Have you ever won anything?
The last year that the famous Sam Lewis put on the World Champion Armadillo Races, I won. Actually, my armadillo won. All I did was get behind Army and stomp and holler and chase him across the finish line. I guess I came in second. I released the armadillo back in the woods, but I kept the silver ring. My daughter Jennifer has the ring (I think).
I probably wouldn’t have given her the ring if it was gold.
What inventions have had the biggest impact on your day-to-day life?
The cube is probably the greatest invention of my lifetime. Before the cube, there was really not much stability in my life. Spheres were the rage when I was growing up. How can one build anything on a sphere? No matter how you slice it, you end up with just a lot of wheels.There was hope for wheels in those days, although someone took the idea too far. The whole world revolved around wheels and anything that could be made with them. Donuts were one of my favorites. It was like a wheel inside of a wheel. Clever. But look at a really fat donut from the side. It’s a cube. Give the cube the credit due. You eat a donut from the side, don’t you?
Cubes were the true building blocks of the future. The Egyptians knew this. They even made huge cubes all over their back yard. Then they sliced the cubes diagonally, tipped them over so they would rest on their most stable side, and “BAM”! They had yard art that would last for decades. People would ride by, see the yard art, and ask the age-old question, “Do you think that’s a cube cut in half on its axis, or is that cube half buried in the sand. If someone ever invents the wheel, we could build a big bulldozer and find out.”
Ice cubes. How would you like living in this planet without ice cubes. Sure, there’s people up north that don’t appreciate ice like we do, but what if they want to sit down for a while. Up north, chairs don’t grow on trees, but a big cube of ice would make a wonderful chair. You could probably build a house out of ice if you had enough of it laying around. An air-conditioned house. With an ice box.
I really don’t dislike spheres. After all, a sphere is just a well-rounded cube that likes to travel.
I changed my mind. My favorite invention that has changed my life is a 19 volt battery-operated screwdriver with an extra lithium battery. Made by Craftsman.
How has the country changed during your lifetime?
The country hasn’t changed at all. The cities are all screwed up. I lived in the country when I was a kid, and I live in the same country now. The trees I remember as a kid seemed to be a lot smaller back then. The country roads I use to walk down seem to be a lot shorter when I drive them.
Water skiing, tubing and fishing wasn’t good at all on our local lakes, but I got pretty good at skipping rocks. The trick was to find flat rocks about three inches across. If you could find rocks that were flat on the top and bottom, you were in business. With a little practice, you could get thirty or more skips out of one perfect rock. You could get even more skips if the lakebed wasn’t sandy. When you found that perfect rock, you didn’t squander it. You walked out in the lakebed and retrieved it. Once when I was retrieving one of my dad’s washers (sometimes I used artificials),I found a rowboat. It was a Sears/Roebuck 10 foot aluminum just like the ones in the catalogs. This boat was mine.There wasn’t a drop of water in my new boat, and I started dreaming about all the adventures I would have on Lake Nastywater. (We use to called it Lake Nasworthy, till the water level went down and old tires messed up our rock skipping). I named my boat S.S Minnow. Gilligan’s Island was my favorite after school tv show. I liked Gilligan the best, but Ginger and Mary Ann got a lot better over the years. My Dad enjoyed that show too. I knew he was really gonna get excited when I showed him The Minnow. We walked out on the lake and gazed down on our boat.
“Oh My Gosh! Look! ” Daddy saw my boat. He was excited. He peeled off his sweat stained farmers hat, smiled, sighed, and said something that I couldn”t believe. “There’s my old boat.”
“What! Your boat?”
“Sonny, I lost “The African Queen ” about forty years ago.” I was noodling for yeller cats down here when this was the Middle Concho. You know what noodling is……Catching them with your hands. It wasn’t against the law back in them days. Now, they would throw you in the pokie. I found this big rock right here and knew this was where the big one lived. Right under this rock. Your Uncle Sam, my older brother, was a better swimmer than me ,and he had more experience at catching big fish. Sam jumped in the water, took a deep breath, and went underwater. He came back up about 30 seconds later ,and told me the good news. “There’s a big hole under that rock, and there’s a catfish down in there. His head is as big as a five gallon bucket. As soon as I catch my breath, I’m going for him. My brother, Sam went under. He was down there a long time. He was down too long. I jumped in the water, and found the hole that Sam had entered. I reached in, and found Sam’s legs kicking up a storm. I grabbed his legs and started pulling him out of the hole. It was a struggle,but I pulled him out. We surfaced, and Sam was as white as a sheet. We looked around and couldn’t find “The African Queen”.
We sat up on the rock, Sam caught his breath finally, and told me what happened.”That monster fish was deep in the hole. I was rubbing his belly with both hands. My arms were extended, reaching for his gills. He kept swimming further in the hole. I didn’t realize that the hole was getting tighter, and I was running out of breath. My arms were out in front of me, and I couldn’t push my way out. I was stuck underwater. I was ready to give up when I felt you pulling me out. You saved my life!
We reached down to release our boat from the encrusted mud, and it proved to be a lot lighter than expected. There was no floor in the boat. It had rotted out years ago, but it still held some shared memories for my dad and me.
Uncle Sam and Daddy are both gone now. Maybe they’re floating down the Middle Concho in an old rowboat with a floor in it. Maybe they’re fishing for big yeller cats. They’re not noodling though because Sam promised God that he wouldn’t fish that way anymore.
Do you have any particularly vivid memories of your grandparents?
All of my grandparents were Czech. They didn’t speak English but they were successful farmers. They figured out early in life that to be wealthy, you had to have good discipline. They saved their hard-earned money that they made sharecropping. Then they bought land. They made do with growing their own fruits and vegetables. They raised chickens for eggs and meat. They had cows that they milked daily and butchered their own beef and hogs.They made their own clothes, churned butter, canned produce from the garden, made cheese , flour, cornmeal, and bread. The only thing easy on the farm was falling to sleep at night.
Butchering hogs in those days was a big deal. There was too much work for one family to do all the work in one day. There would also be too much meat and sausage to cure, smoke, and package. The meat from a three hundred pound hog would go bad before one family could eat it.
When the first cold day would come around, all of the aunts, uncles, and third-generation heathens would meet at my grandparents house with all their butcher knives, tow sacks, hog scrapers, seasonings. We were having a butcher day. There was going to be a lot of work and a lot of fun for everyone except two fat hogs.
The women would build a big hot fire under a wash kettle full of water. The men would get the hogs up out of the mud, and wash them off. The hogs didn’t know what was going on with all this special treatment, but I bet they thought they were family and they were being invited for dinner. Smart pigs.
My uncles would build a sled,and then would position our dinner guest close to it. A shot would ring out and an unhappy but short squeal would alert the second dinner guest that now might be the time to cancel his reservation. The relaxing swine napping on the sled would be given a ride to the kettle area. Tow sacks (burlap bags) were pulled out of the boiling water and spread over a portion of the sleeping porker. The scalding loosens the hair on the pig and a dull butcher knife is used to scrape the hair (root and all) off of the pig.
The whole process is repeated on a new area of the pig until the whole hog is as balded as the top of my head. That pig is also pretty and pink like the top of my head.
Now it’s time to gut the clean “organ donor”. The liver, kidneys, and heart are saved. The small intestines are also saved. It was my job to clean out the green juice out of these long tubes. I liked attaching a garden hose to one end and let the water pressure do the work. My job was taken away from me because of the mess I made all over the porch. I think years later Whamo made a fortune with a toy called a Water Wiggle. I guess I was just ahead of my time on inventions, but my marketing skills had not yet been perfected. Sometimes, poop happens.
The rolls of fat from the hog is collected for later use. The ashes from the fire were shoveled into a tilted wooden trough. Water was poured over the ashes and drained into another container. This was lye. The fat is put in the kettle and rendered down to lard. Some of the lard was saved to cook with. It was poor man’s shortening. Then the belly meat and flanks were cut up (with the skin still attached), and the small pieces were fried in the lard. This was cracklins. You eat them hot with molasses and homemade bread. You now have a lot of lard in the kettle. Dump the lye in with some kind of perfume and boil the devil out of it. Let the whole mess cool down and you got soap. Cut the soap into bars with a butcher knife and let it get cold. It will last forever. I think it has such a long shelf-like cuz no-one wants to use it. It stinks, and it takes your hide off with the dirt. It will cure a young boy from cussin .
Cut up the pork chops,cure the bacon, cure the hams and hocks, and start turning the grinder. It’s “SAUSAGE TIME”.
Those casings that were rescued from me are refilled with seasoned ground pork and tied into links. Hang ’em in the smoke house.
It’s now pretty late, and everybody’s tired. We sample the sausage and clean up the huge mess. I clean the front porch.
I give Babuska (Grandmother) a hug goodbye. I smell like the front porch, but she returns the hug anyway. That was sixty years ago, but I can still smell the aroma of fresh baked poppy seed kolaches from her homemade apron.
I still smell like her front porch.
Remember last week then I asked where we should go on vacation and you gave me a thousand great suggestions that made me realize I’ve pretty much never really been anywhere? Well, we decided to go on a road trip and see stuff we’ve never seen before. Some of it normal stuff that everyone should see but more importantly, it’s a lot of weird-ass stuff you find on the way.
People have different ideas of what constitutes weird so for example I will use The Museum of Two-Headed Things that I recently discovered near my house, which was filled with much fewer two-headed things you’d expect (two, if you include the one hidden in a wooden box on the floor under bundles of human hair) and also gems like this:
Basically some lady found a dead squirrel in her attic in the 70’s and her kids were like, “Yeah. That’s nightmare trash” and she was like, “BUT IF I PUT IT IN A GLASS BOX IT’S ART” and they were like, “Mom, this is how hoarders start” and then (28 years later) she was all, “FINE. I’M DONATING MR. SINEWS TO A MUSEUM” and they probably just rolled their eyes at each other because what museum is going to happily take a dead 70’s attic rat? And the answer is THIS ONE and I’m pretty sure I just found the place to leave all my weird taxidermy to when I die.
And my dead pets will not be alone because they already have jewels like this one:
So this summer we’ll be driving from Seattle to Denver. (With stops in Butte, Jackson Hole, and Rawlins.) We’re going to see Yellow Stone and the Grand Teton and the Rocky Mountains like normal people, but we’re also going to try to do stuff like break into a wallaby farm, and ghost hunt in haunted hotels and abandoned prisons, and visit a 90 foot tall Virgin Mary. We’ve never explored these areas so if you have any suggestions (or access to wallaby farms, baby otters or other ridiculousness) on this route PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
This weekend Victor had to work so Hailey and I drove to my parent’s house where my sister and her kids were visiting from California. And it was lovely and funny and weird and exhausting and fabulous – all the things you want when you go home again.
My parents house was busting with eight people sleeping under one roof, but in a good sort of way where everywhere you turn you see people cooking or helping or playing or laughing, and every spare minute was filled with games and exploring caves or camping. My sister Lisa and I had gently laughed at Hailey exclaiming how much better the air was in the country (as we reminded her that we were within smelling distance of a pig farm, a taxidermy studio, and a rendering plant) but at night we’d go out and look at the stars in a sky that is never as big or bright as it is outside the home we grew up in, and we breathed in and reluctantly agreed that there was a sweetness to the air that didn’t exist anywhere else.
Coming back to the home I grew up in is a luxury most people don’t get. My parents are still alive. The land and house has changed over the years but the people in it are still the same. And at night when I stand on their porch and look up at the stars I feel a deep, physical healing. I suspect it’s like other people feel when they go to a spa or take a vacation, but the raw feeling of being there is like having my heart wrapped up in new, tight bandages…pulling back together the parts that have started to fall away.
My family knows that my mental and physical issues cause chronic exhaustion so often I’d have to go to bed just when the night got exciting, but that’s just a part of being me and I’ve come to accept that if I push myself too hard I might end up in a pit too deep to come out of. And it was fine. Disappointing, of course, but fine. Until Easter Sunday when I woke up and realized that I had no spoons left. Hailey and I got dressed in our new Easter dresses and I helped my nieces get ready but already I could tell that I could either go to my uncle’s for Easter and visit with a giant house full of dozens of people I love, or I could safely stay awake for the hours I would be driving back home that day. But not both. So as I helped my family load up into their cars I told them I had to leave. And they understood instantly and supported my decision as only people who truly love you can do. And I felt so lucky. And so unlucky. And sad for Hailey whose Easter dress would go to waste and who was so sad but so instantly understanding when I explained that I just didn’t have it in me to do something that normal people could do without thinking.
My family drove to my uncle’s and Hailey and I drove the opposite way, starting our long drive home. We stopped along the way so I could stay alert and awake. We stopped at family graves. We picked flowers at a rest stop. We ate Easter dinner at the Dairy Queen drive thru. And we stopped at an ancient farm house I’ve seen a million times. We always pass it on the way home and it’s been abandoned since before I was born. I’ve always wondered of its history, imagining the ghosts that cling to it and wondering if I’d lived there in a former life because it was the only way I could ever explain my intense fascination with it. It’s begun a steady decline in the past few years and now part of the roof has collapsed and the old windmill is teetering dangerously.
I realized that this might be the last time I see it so Hailey and I pulled over and stood silently in the shadow of the beautiful decay.
I was pleased to see that Hailey was just as drawn to the place, and although we couldn’t get too close (because it wasn’t stable enough to safely explore) we talked about how strange it was that a broken, ruined thing could be so beautiful. That sometimes ruin beckons you more than magnificence, telling a story more interesting and important and provocative than you could imagine. That sometimes broken can be lovely, and that the collapsed roof could be seen as ugly, but it also let the light in in such a fragile and brilliant way, allowing doves to build nests in the unexpected skylight.
I took a few pictures to capture it in case it’s gone the next time I pass it and I whispered a thanks to whoever had built it and to whoever still watches over it. It’s still important and breathtaking, even if it’s come undone. It’s just a shell, but with the right eyes it’s so much more.
I think we’re all that way sometimes.
We got back in the car and drove on, and I felt the familiar crack I always get in my chest when I’m driving away from my childhood town. It always hurts. It’s always the same. But the pain – while almost unbearable for a second – is less than the healing I get from returning. I wish I could do it backward…have the pain first and the healing after…but that’s not how life works, and I remind myself that I still leave with more than I came with.
I am broken. I am healed. I am ruined. I am beautiful. I am abandoned. I am beloved. I am a house that is no longer a house. I am better and worse all at the same time. I breathe deeply and smile at my daughter, who smiles back at me. She tells me that this is a very strange Easter, but she likes it.
A dove flies out of the collapsed roof and catches the sunlight, unaware that its home is anything other than perfect.
I’ve had a lot of people send me links to this auction where a woman is selling a purse made out of a dead cat (it was already dead if that makes it less awful for you) and half of the people are like, “THIS IS AWESOME AND I TOTALLY THOUGHT OF YOU” and the other half are like, “THIS IS SICK AND HORRIFIC AND I TOTALLY THOUGHT OF YOU” and either way I can’t decide if I should be insulted, or just happy that you all know me so well, so I’m sticking with the latter.
And although I do appreciate the thought, this is one of the few times when I looked at terrible taxidermy and thought, Um…maybe not. First of all because of the shedding, secondly because it’s looking at me reproachfully, third because it looks a bit too much like Hunter S. Thomcat and I’m pretty sure it would give all of the cats nightmares. Besides, I already own an easter basket made of a 100-year-old armadillo, an antique coin purse made of a frog, and hat made out of an ethically taxidermied raccoon face, and I suspect there’s a limit to how many animals you can wear at one time, even if they did all die of natural causes. Also, the starting bid is $1400 which is just ridiculous, especially considering that I could probably make it myself. Not that I would. Unless someone I really hated was allergic to cats. Then maybe I would make one just to keep them away from me. But it seems like it would be easier to just put Hunter S. Thomcat in a Baby Bjorn and carry him around strapped to my chest. Except he has anxiety too so he gets scared when we travel and gets AWFUL, explosive traveler’s diarrhea. Which would probably keep even more people away from me, now that I think about it. So technically I think I just found an inexpensive way to make sure people don’t get in my personal space in airports and I didn’t even have to use hot glue to seal a cat’s corpse to a pocketbook.
Life hacks, y’all.
Okay, first? Click here to read about the mystery dead duck I found at 2am in my bedroom last week. Because last night we solved the mystery. And live-tweeted a crafting night that will not soon be forgotten. This is why twitter exists:
So here’s what I’m thinking: Last year when I was on book tour I’d always come home with a suitcase full of long-dead gifted taxidermy and crocheted penises and haunted dolls and severed limbs and sometimes when I’m unpacking I don’t always have the energy to find a good place for these things and that’s why sometimes Victor opens a drawer and finds a unicorn horn or a bag of raccoon penises, but I suspect when I was unpacking all the drawers were full so I probably tucked the duckling in the fake flowers on my nightstand until I could find a safe place for her and then forgot she was there for a year until she fell out.
It’s anticlimactic, but so is life.
Maybe “anticlimactic” isn’t the right word. I’m not a good judge of these things.
First off, Happy Easter to me:
May you too have a basket made of dead armadillo filled with your favorite, weirdo things. Including an Easter egg glued to a dead mouse. Or Benedict Cumberbunnies. The usual.
And speaking of weirdos, if you follow me on twitter you already know that this weekend you all gave me back faith in humanity and I saw so many of you save each other in amazing ways and I realized how often people become friends through this community. But we should make that easier. So if you’re on twitter put a link to yourself in the comments and I’ll follow you. And others will to. If you’re looking for a special connection to someone who shares the same issues then just leave it in the comments. Like if you’re looking for someone to share taxidermy pictures with or if you want to bond with someone else who struggles with being bipolar or someone you can binge watch horror movies with when you have insomnia. Whatever.
I’ll start. I’m at https://twitter.com/TheBloggess and I like sloth videos and talking to people when I’m fighting off panic attacks. Your turn.
And now, the weekly wrap-up:
Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):
- I super love this guy.
- “I told the truth in my sister’s obituary so that others might choose to live.”
- Me and Sylvia Plath. I did not see that coming.
- If I had enough money I’d buy you all one of these.
This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by, uh…me? I had someone but they turned out to be weird in a not-good way and so instead I’m sponsoring it myself. Check out thebloggess.com because it’s awesome. Except if you’re reading this you’re already here. But technically that means that this ad was so effective that every single person who read it is now reading this blog. THAT IS 100% TURNAROUND, Y’ALL. You should totally advertise here because this shit is bonkers. Plus, ads start at $100 a month. That’s crazy cheap. First come, first served.