Category Archives: Random Crap

Book-Loving Strangelings Unite!

Have you ever wanted to join a group of well-read, like-minded weirdos who have your back and aren’t afraid to stab a bitch in the thigh with a fork if things get out of hand?

Have you yearned to join a book club because you love reading but you have misgivings because it would require you to leave your house and put on pants and talk to people in real life?

Have you ever read a book and thought, this is the best thing I’ve ever read but I’m not sure anyone else in the world will get it and then later you find someone whose favorite book is also about murderous dwarves or true stories from morticians or hilarious essays or some other thing you thought made you a total weirdo but actually made you just the right kind of weirdo?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then your presence is formally requested at the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club.

badge for the club. includes image of bloggess, hamlet von schnitzel and books

WTF is a Strangeling?

A strangeling is a word I made up to describe those people who are strange and unusual in the best possible way.  They often feel like outsiders or misfits until one day they find their strange tribe of others and then realize that they are not alone.  Additionally, your spellcheck will try to change it “strangling” and that actually makes things very interesting when you email your dick boss that you can’t stay late because you have work to do for your strangling club.  EVERYONE WINS.

What is the Fantastic Strangeling Book Club?

It’s a monthly book selected by me delivered right to your front door.

What does it cost and what do I get?

There’s a $10 enrollment fee to get set up.  Then you’re charged the list price of the book (plus tax if applicable) and shipping every month when the book ships out. All books will be brand new that month – some hardcovers and some trade paperback originals.  You can cancel at any time.

What else do I get?

Each new enrollment gets a bad-ass Nowhere Bookshop enamel pin in their first shipment. We’ll also include little gifts randomly throughout the year.

When will the book club actually meet?

HAHAHAHAHA.  Oh, you’re serious. This is a book club made by introverts for introverts so you never have to actually leave your house unless you totally want to.  We have a special facebook group where we can discuss the book and make friends and feel social even when we’re hermity and maybe sometimes we’ll even be joined by the author.  If you live in San Antonio I’m guessing there will be meet-up by members all the time so if you want to come out and have a drink when the store opens that will totally be amazing.

But what if I’ve already bought this month’s book? 

These will all be new releases so hopefully that won’t ever happen but if for some reason you have a weird conflict (like the author looks like the girl who stole your Lisa Frank notebook in 7thgrade) then you can email us before we ship and we’ll try to send you something else or you can skip that month and pick back up next month.

I already have too many books.

I’m sorry.  I understand these words separately but not in that order.

I can’t afford a membership and now I’m sad.

I totally get it.  If you can’t afford to be an official member of the club you can still be an honorary member.  I’ll be announcing the book of the month online so you can join our discussions there.

Can I buy a membership as a gift for someone else?

Yes you can!  And just like your own membership you can cancel at any time so if you want to just give a membership for 3 months or a year or whatever you can do that without fear of being locked in.

So what do I do now?

Click here to join the crew now.  Or if you have questions, just email us at orders@nowherebookshop.com.

Did we just become best friends?

Yup.

Butthole sunbathing

me:  On Instagram I’ve been seeing these people doing “perineum sunbathing“.  It’s  literally tanning your butthole.  Supposedly 30 seconds of sunlight in your butthole is equivalent to a full day’s worth of sun so allegedly you supercharge yourself.  Through your butthole.  And this seems ridiculous for a lot of reasons but mostly it just seems illogical because the dog is sunning her butthole all damn day and she’s…well actually she is sort of supercharged and has way too much energy, but I’m pretty sure that’s not from a solar super power coming from her butthole.

Victor:  …Huh.

me:  I’m sorry what was your question?

Victor:  How was your day?

me:  Oh right.  It was fine.

Books!

Nowhere Bookshop is currently in transformation mode…

(The ancient tile is still safe under that rubble, btw.)

Currently we’re doing planning for design and layout apparently now I have to start thinking about actual books. Who knew?

The shop is big but not big enough for every type of book we’d like so I wanted your thoughts on genres. Personally when I go into a bookstore I go to memoirs, nonfiction, sci-fi, horror, art, short stories, YA, graphic novels and the children’s section. That means that my view of bookstores is a bit limited so I wanted to see what parts are your favorites so I can make sure I didn’t miss anything or underestimate a section.

Help a future bookseller out?

Also, a lot of you have asked how you can help support and get involved with Nowhere and I think I have an idea for something really fun but I still need to work on it so stay tuned.

PS. If it won’t let you choose more than one genre you can click “return to poll” and add another vote for another section.

UPDATED: A little present for you

UPDATED AGAIN (Wednesday afternoon):  Alright…I think this one will work.  Click here for what feels like the 11,000th version of the 2020 calendar:

 

*********

UPDATED (Wednesday morning):  OKAY, STOP ORDERING.  Zazzle is pulling all calendars because of “content.”  At first I thought that my drawing for June was too risqué:

But turns out they say the police box on the cover is a Doctor Who copyright.  I’m a little irked that all police boxes are not TARDISes but also a little happy that all police boxes are TARDISes and also just really tired of redoing calendars.  But I’m going to fix this one and I’ll let you know when it’s fixed.

*********

Original posting (Tuesday night):

It took a few days and several false starts and some weird errors where it seemed like it sold out in literally 2 minutes but now it’s fixed…  (I think.)

…so if you want one, just click right here.

(I was going to wait to post this until tomorrow but it’s half off tonight and I’m not sure it’ll still be on sale Wednesday.)

I’ve been working on drawings in the last month when I was dealing with some mental stuff and I’ve included several of those in the calendar.  But if you don’t want the calendar  or money is tight then I’m going to just put a few sketches here and you can just print them out yourself and color them or use them to cover holes in the wall or whatever.  (Click them to embiggen.)

The one above I did when I was feeling a bit angsty.  The one below I did when I was feeling…well…not as optimistic.

I don’t have an ending for this post because my head is made of pudding at the moment and I’m out of ADD meds.  Sorry.

Love.

Lovely free gifts from Nowhere!

Five bits of news from Nowhere!

ONE

This week the contractors started working on Nowhere Bookshop.

It’s more expensive and will take longer to finish than I imagined but we’ll find a way to make it work and I’m getting slightly more excited than terrified and that feels like a good change.

TWO

Not long ago I said that I really wanted postcards for Nowhere Bookshop and then I immediately got overwhelmed and never thought about it again until Victor surprised me with this:

Want one? Of course you do. And if you spend $30 (pre-shipping/tax) at Nowhere we’ll slip one in your package for free!

THREE

And (from now until Monday) if you spend $50 (pre shipping/tax) you get a Nowhere sticker and if you spend $100 (pre shipping/tax) you get a nowhere enamel pin. Click here for details.

FOUR

We were going to try to stock a hoodie but they were all either super expensive or not size inclusive so instead we’re offering a limited raglan shirt with the dreamy Nowhere label:

FIVE

Yes, there will be a 2020 Bloggess Calendar!  Still working on it though.  But for now, head over to Nowhere.  I’ll see you there.

A little pre-James Garfield Miracle post

So.  If you’ve been here long enough you know that every year we do The James Garfield Miracle, a strange but lovely event where people who might not otherwise be able to give their kids a present during Christmas/Hanukkah/whateveryoucelebrate post their small wishlist and then strangers randomly fill their lists.  It is wonderful.  And terrible.

Wonderful because…honestly, I don’t have enough room to put all the stories here and we’ve been doing it long enough that kids who were gifted once are now gifting other families.  Some of these stories absolutely melt me and I’m so lucky to have been able to witness them or be a part of them.

And it’s terrible because of all the reasons you might expect.  Mostly because after a decade of giving, the few scammers have found us and even though there aren’t many it can feel so disheartening and exhausting to deal with.

So many of you offered to help and I cannot thank you enough for all that you do and all that you offer but that is a giant responsibility with lots of potential issues and I never want to be in a position where I (or anyone on my behalf) has to decide who needs help and who doesn’t or who has to handle money or confidential information.  And honestly there are already organizations out there who do this incredibly, like Toys for Tots and Elf Louise and a bunch of wonderful local groups and I totally encourage you to check them out right now if you need help or if you want to help.

So…will we still have The James Garfield Miracle this year?

Yes.  But in a smaller and simpler way.

In the last ten years (ten years!) the miracle grew to include clothes and food and gift certificates and tech and shoes and it got nuts.  And frankly, I understand the temptation some people had to ask for a lot because it’s scary to be without.  But this year we’re going back to the simple way this started.  Just one simple, but lovely present for each child.  Does your kid need a present?  Awesome.  Because I really want to give them one.

So this year I’m going to come up with a few different choices that I think are great presents and if you need one you can choose one of those toys to put on your list.  Or if you have two children you can pick two from the list.  You get the idea.  The main thing that I want to do is to make it to where the few scammers realize it’s not worth pretending to be people just so they can get extra play-doh.  Plus, this is simpler and less overwhelming for parents and hopefully it will be much easier for everyone.  And who knows…maybe in the future we’ll get big again.   But for now, this seems good.

It’s totally okay if you decide not to help out this year and as always we’ll also be supporting Project Night Night (which sends wonderful care packages to displaced kids throughout the year).  I have a few thousand dollars saved up to help buy toys but you should know that all of that money came from ads or affiliate links or book sales so even if you don’t spend anything know that you are helping people just by being here.

We won’t start this until next month but I do need some help now.  The first thing that I need is any suggestions for what the gifts should be.  I’m looking for substantial gifts that Prime eligible, are between $20-35 each, and that span from baby to teen but that an adult wouldn’t really be tempted to have.  (Things I’m look at are:  a magnetic building block set, a fancy art set for teens, a kids art set, a lego set, exploding kittens (the game, not actual kittens), a fluffy stuffed animal, the hardcover set of Curious George, etc.)  Any suggestions?

The second thing I need is for you to share any suggestions you might have for people who are struggling this year.  I suspect almost all of us have been there and if you are struggling please know that you are not alone.  Just being with your children is a wonderful thing and it is not a lie to say that your kids favorite toy is you.  Personally one of my favorite xmas memories was when my mom made a giant kettle of popcorn and we used a needle and thread to make giant strings of it to hang all over the house (And each other) and then my mom read us a million library books.  To this day it is one of my favorite memories.

Thank you all for listening and for supporting and for just being altogether awesome.  More on this in a week or two.

 

The terrible things we love

So earlier this week we looked at the things that we hate that everyone else loves and as I was looking through your comments I was like, “You people are crazy” but then every 10th thing or so I’d be like, “OMG, YES, COFFEE IS DISGUSTING!” or something similar.

So today let’s go the opposite way.  What are things that everyone else hates (or at least is confused about) that you love.  No judgement.  Probably.

I’ll start.  Things I love that most people give me the side-eye about but that I still love anyway:

The taste of envelopes and stamps.  Double spacing after periods.  Zima.  Taylor Swift.  Picnics in graveyards.  Hanging empty cicada exoskeletons all over my clothes like jewelry made of skin.  Pineapple on pizza.  Syrup on eggs.  French fries inside milkshakes.  Pokemon Go.  Taylor Swift.  Love After Lockup.  Pimento Cheese.  The Twilight books.  Mindless busy work.  Super sour cherry pie.  Creepy dolls.  The taste of baby aspirin.

Your turn.

Things I hate that everyone else loves.

A new writer asked me yesterday how I deal with negative reviews and the answer is that I don’t deal with them.  I let other people I love check that shit out and they tell me if it’s something I should take to heart or not.  Sometimes feedback can be really helpful but often it just fucks with your head so it’s good to have someone who isn’t you look at it objectively so you don’t have that shit in your head forever.  The thing I’ve learned that is the most helpful is this:

I’M NOT FOR EVERYONE.

And that’s actually great because if I was for everyone then I’d be so bland and pointless that no one ever would say, “OMG ME TOO!  I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY WEIRDO.”

You are totally not the only weirdo.  Welcome home.

Whenever I start to doubt that someone rejecting me isn’t necessarily a reflection on me as a person I remind myself that there are amazing, brilliant things that are so important that people base their lives around them but that I personally do not get the appeal of at all.  It’s not that I’m better than those people and honestly I wish I loved a lot of stuff that I don’t because I know I’m missing out, but we are all unique and that is what makes it so magical when we find the things make our hearts sing.

So, right now, I want you to share at least one thing that everyone else in the world seems to love but that you could totally do without for the rest of your life. And remember that even though you don’t like it, it doesn’t mean those things aren’t important.  That goes for you too.  Not everyone is going to like you.  But so many people are going to love you.

I’ll go first.

Things I could live without forever that the rest of the world loves:

Tolkien.  Oreos.  Steely Dan.  Cherry popsicles.  Sweaters.

Your turn.

PS.  Later this week we’ll look at things you love that no one else seems to appreciate so start thinking about that too.

Well that was awkward.

I’ve been a little MIA because I was in a depressive episode but today I feel human again so I’m going to write quickly in case it comes back.

So.

This weekend I did my TEDx talk in a giant theater in front of hundreds of people.  I practiced my speech for hours and hours but I continued to blank on it because my depression shows up as brain fog and memory problems so in the end I broke all the rules and carried my crinkled notes up on stage with me.  It looked ugly but frankly, depression is ugly sometimes and since my talk was about mental illness it at least fit the theme.

I had all these ideas about how my TED talk would look…about how I would learn to wear makeup and get my hair done and buy a new outfit and have slides and photos and just nail it.  In the end I wore an old dress, had my hair in a fake ponytail, gave up on slides because I was too exhausted to make them and walked on to stage wearing old slippers because I’d literally forgotten to change into real shoes before leaving the house:

But all I was focused on was just giving my talk without freaking out or throwing up on stage because I was at that point of my depression where you have to just pick the necessary stuff to worry about because you don’t have enough energy for the rest of it.

So I went on stage, almost immediately said the f word multiple times.  And then about halfway through my talk I felt a panic attack rising up in my throat.  My chest hurt and I couldn’t hear anything but my heartbeat and I was fighting off the hyperventilation that comes next.  I tried to slow my breathing and thought I’d play it off as a dramatic pause but I couldn’t speak so the silence got longer and louder and then I knew it was way too long and awkward to go on.  I didn’t even have the excuse that I’d forgotten my speech because it was right there in my hands.  I considered running off the stage but I knew I would never go back on if I left so I stayed there.  I let it wash over me and focused on my breathing and the deathly silence of the theater.  And after what felt like hours but was probably less than a minute I explained what was happening.  And I started again.  And I finished.  And then I ran off the stage.

I have no memory of that speech except for the panicked voices in my head in that forever silence.  I wasn’t there to see how it went over.  But Victor was in the audience and he texted me.

I got a standing ovation.

Right now the TEDx team is editing the video so it should be public soon.  I was told before that if I had a panic attack or fucked up really badly they would edit that out so I told myself that only the people in that theater will have seen the worst, most terrifying moment I’ve ever had on stage, but now I almost wonder if it wouldn’t be better left in.  I don’t know how they’ll edit it but I’m okay with either way.  There is something freeing about having your worst possible nightmare come true on stage….about knowing that you can survive it.  About knowing that people are so much kinder than you imagine.  That most people are on your side even when your own head is not.

Thank you for reminding me of this.

Never change, Japan.

Victor just came back from Japan, where he always looks for the most ridiculous stuff he can find in street vending machines.

Vampire collars for cats, tiny peach hats (with beavers on them for some reason?), blob fish skull caps… these are a few of my favorite things:

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…behold.

Skunks farting out other animals.

NEVER CHANGE, JAPAN.