Category Archives: Random Crap

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!

The most metal Capricorn ever.

me:  So apparently I could have murdered people if I’d just been born hundreds of years ago.

Victor:  …I’m sorry?

me:  Don’t be sorry.  Be impressed.

Victor:  Um…no.

me:  I’m reading this book and it says that according to slavic legend, people born on a Saturday were called sâbotnik, and they were natural-born vampire hunters.  And people born in the two weeks after Xmas were considered uber vampire slayers.  I’m half-slavic AND I was born on a Saturday that fell during the super vampire Xmas vacation thing.  I’M THE MOST DANGEROUS KIND OF CAPRICORN.

Victor:  Huh.

me:  I would have been granted by the other villagers official license to destroy any vampires I find, which is pretty bad-ass but also sounds a bit exhausting so I’d probably just give the stink-eye to assholes so they know I could stab them if I wasn’t so tired.

Victor:  Well, you kinda do that already.

me:  Oh…hang on.  This says that I’d probably also eventually turn into a vampire because being born on those days makes you “unclean” and apparently the only reason I could sense vampires is because I’m sort of evil too.

Victor:  Well that part still tracks.

me:  I guess it’s nice to know I could have another career if this writing thing goes to shit.

********

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 Psychedelic Design Co.  This site has T-shirts, phone cases and household goods with some truly fun and original designs by a young artist.  If you’re looking for something different and original and you’d like to help an aspiring artist pursue his dream, you should totally check this site out!

You are needed. No matter what.

Recently I got an email asking if Rory (the taxidermied raccoon) was available for a Hollywood close-up, as a singing character on a musical taxidermy pilot.  It sounded like fried gold but Rory is extremely breakable and every time he goes somewhere all his fingers fall off (relatable) and his brother Rory II is almost as fragile so he had to say no for his own self-preservation.

“YAY FOR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES.”

But then I had a thought…Rory III.

Oh…helloooo.

Rory III was a gift I got on tour and he is made of magic.  And a carcass.  And also some dolls hands and some cardboard tubing that makes him fit perfectly on a  bottle and makes him the best wine koozie ever.

Me meeting Rory III for the first time. It was glorious.

So I sent Rory III to California and he was loved and beloved, and this same strange little creature that Hailey and Victor keep insisting I stop putting in their beds was finally accepted and celebrated for his endearing weirdness and strange gifts.

And I got a few behind the scenes photos, like this one:

This is like my favorite sleepover ever.

The point is, you may feel like an empty, unappreciated weirdo right now but don’t give up because one day you will find the place you fit…the place where you were meant to be…and you will finally feel warm and loved even when you’re not totally filled with wine.   Just like Rory III.

PS.  Here is a link to the project.  I’m looking forward to it.

 

Awkward in another language

We are back from Italy and I’m feeling a bit better.  Whoop!

It was quite lovely though in spite of the depression and you can go to instagram to see all the pictures.  I’d put them all here but I’m still sort of in that level of recovery mode where everything is exhausting and you just want to stop breathing for a bit to conserve energy.

But one thing I didn’t put on Instagram is that to celebrate Hailey’s birthday we went to the opera in Venice, which is the fanciest fucking thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.

And we sat in our little opera box and looked over the balcony as the singers did their thing and at one point I was like, “OMG BUGS BUNNY DID THIS SONG!” and then Victor and Hailey sort of stared at me so I went back to listening but I guess Italians don’t believe in air conditioning and it was really warm and I was tired and I sort of fell asleep sitting up and I started to fall over and I woke up with such a start that I literally yelped and launched myself out of my seat and Hailey grabbed me because she thought I was going to leap over the edge of the balcony.  Long story short, we left immediately but in my defense we’d already been there for an hour and a half and it was barely even intermission.  And Hailey said that she felt dumb that we’d wasted our money and time on something that didn’t really do it for any of us but she and Victor spent the rest of our vacation endlessly mocking me for mortifying myself in the fanciest way ever so technically I think it was a very worthwhile experience.

Sometimes the most messed up moments make for the best memories.

PS.  Also, we had a driver take us to see the body of St. Zita in Lucca and when he asked where we were going I was like, “St. Zita” and he was like, “Pardon?”  And I said, “St. Zita” again and he was like, “Are you telling me to shut up?  Because that’s how you say ‘shut up’ in Italian”.   And then I felt really bad but a few minutes later he asked Victor, “Do you like the bitch?” and I was like, “First off, he loves this bitch and secondly that seems a little unnecessary” but turns out he was just asking if we wanted to see the beach and this is why I really need to learn how to speak the language more before I visit places.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to the sweetest man I ever married.

Thank you for loving us even when you don’t understand us.  There’s no one else I’d rather perplex.

Baggage

hello.

Right now I’m in Venice. And it’s beautiful and I’m with my family and we just celebrated Hailey’s 15th birthday.  I am incredibly lucky. Unfortunately I have been fighting off a touch of depression all week and it’s gaining on me.

It feels so wrong, to be sad or numb and exhausted when everything is going exactly right, but in a small way it’s comforting…the knowledge that my mental illness is illness rather than laziness or sadness. The acceptance that I can’t fight this off any more than I could fight off the flu.

Im lucky to have my family…that they try to understand.  That when I cancel on tours because I’m too tired even though I haven’t done anything but sleep they are kind about it.

And I’m lucky that there are bright spots when the darkness passes. I take photos when I’m happy so I that I can remember. I take photos when I’m sad so that I can experience what I’m missing right now, in the moments when I know I can’t appreciate everything I should.

Today we take a train to Florence to visit an old friend and to remember a friend we’ve lost. And I’ll try to shake myself out of my own head.  But if I can’t I’ll wait it out and remind myself that this will pass and that I am not my depression and that the moments when the sun comes out again are coming.  They’re coming for you too.

I’ll promise you if you promise me.

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Venice.

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ALL THE HIGH FIVES!

YOU GUYS.

Do you know what this is?  This is the finished final draft of my next book, which I have finally turned into my wonderful and incredibly patient editor.  WHOOP!

Not the actual title, obviously

Every time I write a book I think it’s the last one… that I’ll never be funny again, that I don’t have the focus or energy to finish.  That I’ve run out of life and of stories.  And I did for a bit, which is why I’m turning this in far behind the deadline that was set.  I work slow…slower than most writers, I think.  I work around depression and anxiety and assorted bullshit and I delete two pages for every three I write BUT in the end, I am left with stories.  They are stories I’m proud of, even though so many of them involve the most ridiculous moments of my life.

So today I breathe a quick sigh of relief and celebrate this small (but enormous for me) victory.  And tomorrow I leave for Italy, where we have not planned properly at all and will spend 6 days getting lost as we celebrate Hailey’s and Victor’s birthdays.  And then I’ll come back and get notes from my editor and begin the process again.

And that’s a very good thing.

Thank you for seeing me through.

I was going to call her JenniFUR Jason Leigh but it just didn’t sing.

Last week Victor went out of town and brought me back home an old taxidermied bobcat who had apparently had a hard life and was missing some parts and desperately needed some TLC.

BEST. SOUVENIR. EVER.

Not everyone shared my enthusiasm.

HAILEY GIVE YOUR SISTER A PIGGY-BACK RIDE.

After a quick repaint and some minor repairs I was able to scrounge up some old baby clothes and

…viola!

SO GODDAM HAPPY TO SEE YOU

Hailey:  What is even happening here?

me:  Magic, Hailey.  Magic is happening.  And I found the perfect name for her.  Because she’s adorable and old-fashioned but she’s also feisty as hell and somewhat unpredictable.

Hailey:  Katy Purry?

me:  Oh, that’s a good one.  You are my daughter.  But no.  This is Judy Snarland.

Hailey:  Are you sure I’m not adopted?

me:  Not a chance.  Now she’s just missing something to hold in her hands.

Hailey:  She looks okay like that.  Like she’s sneaking up on you to scare you.

me:  Well that’s fitting because I’ve gotten my dress snagged on her claws twice and accidentally found myself being chased by a dead bobcat.

Hailey:  Maybe she should be eating something?

me:  What, like a corn on the cob?  Hailey, you are ridiculous.

Hailey:  I’M RIDICULOUS?

me:  I’m thinking like a tiny accordion so she can play the polka.   OH!  OR MARIONETTES MADE OF TAXIDERMIED MICE AND I COULD MAKE AN ENTIRE PUPPET THEATER.

Hailey:  Mice dangling from strings.  Pretty sure Ferris Mewler would destroy that in a heartbeat.

me:  Very true.  Tiny accordion it is then.

PS.  I tried to make a tiny accordion but it looked terrible so instead I improvised.

Nailed it.

 

Thank you for coming to my TED talk. But seriously.

I have been trying really hard lately to step out of my comfort zone and do “adventurous” things.  My anxiety disorder is still ever-present but it’s been more manageable the last few months and my shrink says I need to take advantage of this while it lasts and do scary (but not too scary) things as part of my behavioral therapy.  And that’s how I got into the terrifying position of doing a TEDx talk in a few months.

My talk will be very short and because it has to do with having mental illness maybe people won’t judge me so harshly if I carry a table to hide under onto the stage.  Or maybe I’ll do it facing the back of the stage like Sia.  Or maybe I’ll do it from the safe and warm inside of a t-rex costume.  Hard to say.

Click here to get tickets.

And perhaps avoid the front row in case I start vomiting.  Or at least bring a waterproof poncho.

Corpses!

So yesterday I was listening to the latest My Favorite Murder podcast about Karl Tanzler, the crazy stalker guy who was so obsessed with this lady he stole her corpse and lived with it for years and tried to bring it back to life.  In the podcast they talk about the fact that after he got out of jail he wrote about his story in an 1947 pulp fantasy magazine called Fantastic Adventures and then later Ben Harrison wrote a book about it called Undying Love.

AS I’M LISTENING TO THIS PODCAST I open a package from one of my friends.  He and his husband are visiting Key West (where the corpse bride story took place) and they saw that I’d signed the lease on my bookshop so they went to an Indie bookshop (Key West Island Books) to find a gift for me, and the bookseller knew me and was like, “You should get her this.”  And inside the package was a signed copy of Undying Love and the original 1947 copy of Fascinating Adventures.

WHAT.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure this is a sign that I need to dig up a corpse or something but that sounds like too much cardio so instead I’m going to take it as a sign that the bookstore is a good idea and that maybe today we should be sharing the podcasts we’re love because honestly I need some new ones to listen to.

Here are a few I’ve been enjoying lately :

Over My Dead Body

Hidden Brain

For Keeps

Room 20

Running From Cops

spit

Hell and Gone

The Clearing

Black Hands

Rusty Hinges

Confronting OJ Simpson

Against the Rules

Nice Try!

David Tennant Does a Podcast

Voyage to the Stars

Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonalds?

This is Love / This is Criminal

To Live and Die in LA

Beyond Bizarre True Crime

American Scandal

Twisted Podcast

Root of Evil

Cold

Off Book

Killer Instinct

Serial

True Crime Island

Heavyweight

Cabinet of Curiosities

Disgraceland

Pretend Radio

Love and Radio

Done Disappeared

Mission to Zyxx

Spooked

Unhappy Hour

Radiolab

Ear Hustle

The Grift

Reply All

This American Life

Undone

Your turn.  What should we all be listening to?

********

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:

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