Category Archives: Random Crap

And that’s how my whole day has been

This week we have roofers in to fix some damage and every time I go outside I’m certain a sharp piece of tin roof is going to fall off and guillotine me so today when Dorothy Barker had to go out to pee I ran out really quickly with her but she wouldn’t go so I was like, “Get busy.  Get busy.  Hey.  Get busy” because when we trained her we also trained her to pee on command to those words but she wasn’t having it so I was like, “GET BUSY.  COME ON. GET BUSY PLEASE” and then I noticed she was looking behind me and I turned around and the roof guys were having lunch in my yard and had been quietly staring at me as I’d lightly demanded, “GET BUSY” and I was like, “Oh, not y’all.  Enjoy your lunch!  Those are just the magic words that make the dog pee” and they just looked at each other and then nodded warily and even the dog was like, “Well, that was awkward” and then a few minutes later I had to pick up Hailey so I rushed quickly out to my car that was parked in front of the house but my purse strap got hooked on the side mirror and jerked me back crazy hard like a boomerang, which caused me to pour the giant big-gulp sized iced water I was carrying all over my own chest, and the roof guys pretended not to notice but I could totally tell they were trying not to laugh and this is exactly why I have to move and burn the house down.

These are the conversations we’ll miss when one of us finally murders the other one.

Victor:  Stop playing Pokemon Go and talk to me.

me:  I bet when King Midas was still under that curse/blessing where everything that touched him turned to gold his servants probably fished his solid gold poop out of his chamber pot and were like “WE’RE RICH, MOTHERFUCKERS!” and then they quit their jobs to live off of the poop gold and then a couple days later when King Midas “learned his lesson” they woke up to see that their golden turd they were treasuring had turned back into literal shit.  I bet that was a really bad day.

Victor:  Never mind.  Go back to your phone.

me:  And they’d probably already melted some of the poop stash down to make necklaces for their wives.  Or earrings.

Victor:  I’m eating.

me:  Or…Jesus Christ…gold fillings for their teeth.

Victor:  Please stop.

me:  I’m just saying, they’re gonna get an infection and meanwhile the king is still rich and he got his daughter back and is totally fine.  I mean, the economy just tanked, the gold standard is trashed, people are unemployed and probably have cholera now that they’re smeared in his shit.  But thank God the rich guy learned a lesson and was happy to humbly go back to just being the fucking king.

Victor:  This is the weirdest fight we’ve had all day.

me:  Oh my God, I am seething.

The little things

It’s weird that you can kind of tell my mental well-being from my social media…or lack thereof.  When I get low I tend to disappear.  I don’t talk on the phone.  I don’t post.  I can’t concentrate enough to write and what I do write I end up hating as my depression colors every aspect of my judgement.  If I had a normal job with set hours I’d probably be on disability because my broken brain is too unpredictable.  I’m so lucky to have a life that lets me hide when I need to and gives me the support that I need.  Not everyone gets that.  Most people don’t, in fact.  And I remind myself to feel grateful.

I am grateful.

As much as my depression lets me be when it attacks, that is.

My psychiatrist once told me that some people with depression find that keeping a gratitude journal can be helpful.  I guess it makes sense.  It helps you really appreciate what you have and when depression starts to lie to you you can go back and look at the pages and see how worthwhile life is.  And I think it’s a great idea except that whenever I practice gratitude, instead of feeling grateful I feel guilty….guilty that I sometimes feel miserable (even temporarily) when I am given so much. And then I feel worse for not appreciating everything fully and then I’m convinced that it will all disappear because obviously I don’t deserve good things in my life if those things can’t automatically give me the happiness that I need to throw off the damp, heavy blanket of depression.  I know this is all wrong – logically – but reality doesn’t count for much when dealing with the warped perceptions that sometimes settle into my bones.

So a gratitude journal isn’t going to work for me.  But a few days ago I was listening to a This American Life podcast about delight and it really stuck with me.  I can do delight.  Even when I’m low there are still things that give me comfort, and when I’m coming out of the fog more and more pop up.

(After 20 minutes the room gets too hot so I turn on the air conditioner and I’m pretty sure that’s how tornadoes happen.)

Last Christmas Victor bought me one of those electric fireplaces you plug into the wall and I use it every night.  Even when it’s too hot to reasonably use an electric fireplace I stand in front of it reading a book and eating a giant glass of ice so that I’ll feel cold enough to enjoy the warmth.  It is ridiculous.  But it delights me.

So today do something for me…do something that brings you delight.  Find those things that delight you and cultivate them.  And I will too.  We all deserve a little more delight in the darkness.

PS.  Tell me something that delights you.  Maybe it’s crunchy grapes in chicken salad or finding the perfect word or the joyous way your dog greets you or the smell of fresh-cut lumber or the swing you just put in the backyard.  I want to hear it.  Because sometimes delight can be contagious.

 

HELLO, STRANGELINGS!

me:  Hello, and welcome to the first ever meeting of the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club!

You:  Wait…what happened?  I just walked in and everyone is staring and I didn’t even know I had reading assigned and THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE.

me:  No, it’s cool.  This is a super laid-back book club.  I’m not even wearing pants.

You:  I see.  Well, now it’s even more awkward.

me:  It’s a talent.  So here’s what you missed.  I started a book club for introverts who want to read strange, wonderful books.  The first one went out last week (along with book club stickers and pins and signed bookplates for the first 1200 people who signed up) and I just published a post on the Facebook page where people can discuss the book but some people hate Facebook so I’m also posting this right here in case people want to discuss in the comments of this blog post.  Or if you want to just read it and never discuss it at all that’s totally cool too.

You:  Oh.  Well, that actually sounds like something I’d very much be into.  How do I get in on this?

me:  Well.  We’re all sold out of January’s book but you can still get it from other indie bookshops or from the library.  It’s called FOLLOW ME TO GROUND by Sue Rainsford, and it is deliciously weird.  We actually had so many people interested in the book club that we had to stop offering new memberships for a bit but we are now adding more for February so you can click here to join if you haven’t already.

You:  Oh wait.  I just remembered that I already joined this club in a drunken haze last month.  I guess that explains why that book arrived in mail today?

me:  Hello, soulmate.  Welcome.

You:  So…what now?

me:  Now you read the book and if you want to discuss it you can do that here or over here on the Facebook page but no pressure if you just like to lurk or save up all of the years books until summer vacation or leave them in Little Free Libraries.  THERE ARE NO RULES.

You:  This sounds amazing.  So…can you tell me what next month’s book is going to be?

me:  OMG I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED. (Although technically since you’re a member you should already have an email from me from last week where I spilled the beans early to members.)

Next month’s book is AMERICAN SHERLOCK: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI, by Kate Winkler Dawson.  I devoured it in one night.  If you are a true crime aficionado like me you will LOVE it and even if you aren’t it is such a fascinating book.  It’s all about the life of Edward Oscar Heinrich, one of America’s first forensic scientists who cracked at least two thousand cases starting in the 1930’s.

You:  Oh.  That does look good.

me:  And the author is from Texas so she’s coming down this week and signing copies of the book for us, so as a member you’ll be getting a signed edition of  the book.*

You:  What.

me: I KNOW RIGHT?

You:  And what’s the book pick for March?

me:  I’m still working on March but I can tell you that April is a humor memoir/essay and the author is one of my favorite writers of all time and I love her IRL.

You:  Hmm…I think I can guess.  Is it-

me:  THE FIRST RULE OF BOOK CLUB IS THAT WE DON’T SAY WHAT THE NEXT BOOK IS UNTIL THE MONTH BEFORE.

You:  You literally just told me there were no rules.

me:  I am a complicated woman.

You: So will the authors ever show up in the comments of the book discussions?

me:  They’re all invited to but some are introverts too so no pressure on them.  I do though send them questions and I’ll share the answers here and on the Facebook page.  Sue is working on hers right now so look for them in the comments when she’s done.  And as a special thank you members will get an email with answers to THE WEIRD FIVE, which is a special five-question list every author will be given.

You:  Thank you.  I feel very important.

me:  You should.  You’re literally helping to create an entire bookshop just by being a member.  That is some heavy magic.

You:  Okay.  I’ve got a book to curl up with.  Any suggestion as to which cocktail to pair it with?

me:  Hmmm… since the main character is a magic vegetable creature maybe a bloody mary with lots of root veggies in it?  Tomato juice, celery, blood thinner….It’s practically a health drink.

You:  I’m sorry, did you say “magical vegetable creature“?

me:  Yes.  And this is exactly why you need to read the book because it is like nothing I’ve ever read before and I need to discuss it right now.

You:  I am both scared and intrigued.

me:  Then I’ve done my job.  Happy reading, friend.

*Just a note here that while we are currently accepting new members, only the first 2,000 members will get a signed copy of this book because that’s all we bought so if you are already a member you’re golden and if you aren’t yet but want to be just do it as soon as you can.  🙂  As always, if you have any questions just email us at orders@nowherebookshop.com.  This post will stay open for months so no worries if your book hasn’t arrived yet or if you’re a slow reader.

PS.  A few people are saying they can’t get access to the Facebook page when they click on the links.  It’s open to anyone so if you have issues just search for “fantastic strangelings book club” in Facebook and that should work.

We’re haunted

So I was working and I kept hearing this incredibly loud stomping like there’s a Frankenstein upstairs and Victor is out of town so it had to be Hailey so I called her and was like, “What are you doing?  Clogging?  Stomping spiders?  Because it’s incredibly loud” and she was like, “I’m in bed reading” and obviously she was lying and was ashamed of clogging (because frankly, it was really not great) so I was like, “Ok, whatever” but then 30 seconds later it started again so I went upstairs to catch her in the act but she was totally in bed and she was all, “What are you stomping on out there?” and I was like, “Dude.  We’re haunted.”  So I started recording on my phone as we tiptoed around the house following the sounds of the footsteps and suddenly there were creepy mumbled voices and so Hailey picked up a vase and held it menacingly over her head because I guess she doesn’t understand how ghosts work and then I stuck my head out of the window and turns out there were a bunch of dudes on the roof so I told Hailey, “There are dudes on the roof?” and she was like, “Ghost dudes?” and that’s when I realized I really needed to expose her to more horror films because obviously I’ve failed as a mother.  Also, turns out Victor just forgot to tell me that he’d scheduled people to check for roof damage while he was out of town and honestly, I’m relieved to know what it was but also just a little bit disappointed.

Well, helloooooo there.

Last week I found this old antelope with a broken ear in a thrift shop and it looked at me as if to say…

“Really?”

And the “Really?” I heard was like, “Really, you’re going to pass me by when you have a bookshop wall that probably needs magical taxidermy?  I’VE BEEN WAITING HERE FOR DECADES” and I was like, “OMG, you are my everything”.   Victor heard the same baffled “Really?” except it was out loud and coming from his own mouth as saw me cradling my new sister as I walked through the store.

I’ve spent the last week deciding how to recreate her majesty, trying all of my wigs and hats on her.  Antelope Margaret?  Antelope Brontë?  Farrah Fawncett?  Goldie Fawn?  Fawn Solo?  Antelope of Green Gables??  They were all good, but one name rose above the others as I pulled out my padded headbands and scarves and costume jewelry.

May I introduce…

Antelope dressed as Anee Boleyn

Antelope Boleyn.

Long may she reign.

Fucking nailed it, y’all. I can’t even tell which one is which.

I should make people sign an acknowledgement before they come in the house.

So the exterminator came over and asked to use the bathroom and I was like, “Sure” and then I heard him yelling and assumed he was yelling at someone on the phone in the bathroom but he was getting more upset and then I realized he was yelling, “I SAID, THERE’S SOMEONE IN HERE” in a really panicked sort of way and that’s when I realized that Ferris Mewler was mad that someone was peeing without him and was doing that thing he does where he tries to open the bathroom door and if it’s locked he hangs on it and aggressively stomps on the door jamb so it sounds like a maniac is pounding at the door while trying to force the door knob and I was like, “SORRY, HE DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH OR HAVE PERSONAL BOUNDARIES” and I realized that he would never believe that a cat could open doorknobs while pounding on the door so I took a picture and then I thought it was probably even weirder that he could hear someone trying to break the door down while someone else took pictures and that’s why I have to hire a new exterminator.

Happy New Year!

Last year was hard.  Lots of personal struggles and mental illness bullshit and seven family deaths in the last six weeks.  I had some wonderful moments but I also often felt like I was slogging through life and that I would never finish anything.  But in the last few weeks the depression that slows me down so much lifted and I was able to work again like an almost normal human being and last night, just hours before the new year rolled in, I finally finished edits on my next book.

MAY I REQUEST THE LOUDEST OF WHOOPS?

Of course, it’s possible that I will need more edits and even if the edits are accepted I still have to do copy-editing and legal review and a million other things but it is such a relief to know that right this moment my next book is close to being done.  And hopefully this year it will find you in the world.

I’m writing this to remind myself that it can be done.  That even when life and the world and your broken brain seem to collude against you things will brighten again.  I’m writing this to remind myself that even when I feel like a failure these small steps forward eventually add up to something.  And I’m writing to remind you of that too.  It’s okay to struggle, to feel worthless, to fail and to question…but you will get through this.  I will too.

My amazing friend Adele Morse agreed to read some of my book as I was struggling to finish it and it inspired her to create an amazing faux-taxidermy mascot for the book:

Her name is Shirley and she’s misplaced her glasses, her wine glass is empty and she has a giant bowl of comfort macaroni and cheese that is not sharing with anyone and I have never felt more seen in my life.

So here is to full glasses and more macaroni and finishing books and to remembering that it all works out in the end.

Probably.

Happy 2020, y’all.  Shirley and I are toasting you right now.

Happy birthday to us all!

Hello and happy birthday to us!

If you too are born in the perineum of no man’s land that stretches from Christmas to New Years I salute you and recognize your struggle.  But today is going to be different because today is now your birthday too and if you are reading this my birthday wish is for you to do something really lovely for yourself or someone else today.

Go out for pie, watch your favorite movie, buy that thing you’ve been thinking about, take a lovely long bath, bring donuts to a friend and re-watch your favorite movie, go snuggle animals at the shelter, rob a bank, go to the park, whatever makes you happy.

And then when someone says “Why are you doing all this nice stuff for yourself” you can say, “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.  I DESERVE IT.”  Or you can just say, “It’s a birthday gift…because I’m a good friend“.

Happy birthday, us!

PS.  Unrelated but fun:

Revenge is a dish best served…meowing.

I was going to write about this, but then Xmas happened and I got distracted so in case you didn’t see it on twitter…this bit of magic happened:

*********

Victor:  Why do you keep calling the cat by different names?

me:  Because there are so many good ones and I can’t pick just one.  Margaret Catwood?  Jules Purrn?  Emily Lickinson?  Purrman Meowville?  Jane Pawston?  Holden Clawfield?

Victor:  Terry Scratchett?

me:  Never change.