This is why you shouldn’t live by me

So a new set of neighbors just moved in and I have not said hello because I’m socially awkward and terrified of people but I have waved to them while walking Dorothy Barker and that would normally be fine except that when I walk Dottie I listen to true crime podcasts and I’m afraid to listen with headphones because that’s how they get you so instead I listen to it really loudly as “AND THEN HE DECAPITATED THE BUS DRIVER WITH A MACHETE” echoes off the culdesac.

But technically all of my neighbors have gotten used to that because it’s just the price of living next to a weirdo. Like today when I was talking to my sister on the phone about a musical I will probably get sued about (there’s more here if I can work up the courage to record it for you in full costume) and we were talking about how so many of our old high school druggie friends on facebook have turned into insane, angry facebook people and one of them of them was like, “We’re taking the rainbow back from them gays because God gave it to us and we were using it first” and I was like, “Well, Brad, I’m taking back the lower case ‘t’ because the rest of the world was using it way the fuck before you guys were. JESUS. JUST SHARE THE FUCKING RAINBOW, CHRISTIANS. And also, isn’t the rainbow a symbol of how God isn’t going to murder us all again but only in THAT SPECIFIC WAY? AND WHY AM I EVEN TAKING THEOLOGICAL FACEBOOK ADVICE FROM THE GUY WHO SOLD ME SKUNKY WEED IN 1991?” And then I realized a neighbor was checking her mail and staring at me while I was screaming in my yard so I loudly clarified, “I mean, the shitty, judgey Christians are the ones I’m mad about. The nice Christians are great. They can totally keep their t’s,” but it was too late because she was already walking back inside.

And then that same day another neighbor slowed her car next to me while I was picking acorns off the street and stuffing them in my pockets and she was like, “Those aren’t pecans” and I was like, “Oh, I know. They’re jack-o-lanterns for fairies” and she just kind of nodded in confusion and drove off before I could explain that I was looking for acorns that resembled pumpkins so that I could paint tiny jack-o-lantern faces on them and then leave them in parks so that children think fairies are preparing for Halloween and so now I’m not sure if it would be helpful to leave tiny jack-o-lantern acorns on all of my neighbor’s porches to prove that I’m not crazy, or if it would actually prove just the opposite.

Also, I apologize to the nice Christians. Sorry those other fuckers are making you look bad.

Tell me what to listen to

My world has been a weird mix of driving and waiting in cars and hospitals and waiting rooms lately (family member had open-heart surgery but is a bad-ass so is about to be discharged after less than 4 days, which is insane to me) and that means that I have used up my backlog of podcasts and now must ask you to share with me what I should be listening to. Personally I go for true crime, bizarre stories, and humor but feel free to share whatever is getting you through because we all need something to distract us.

I have about 100 podcasts that I’m subscribed to and love but the ones I’ve been enjoying the most this month are Sidedoor of the Smithsonian, Killer Psyche, Scam Goddess, The Thing About Pam, Murder in Alliance, International Infamy, Wicked Words, One Strange Thing, Radiolab, Incredible Feats, The Poisoners Cabinet, Killer Role, Strange Year, Criminal, Ear Hustle, Strange and Unexplained and listening to reruns of Wooden Overcoats which cannot return soon enough for me.

Your turn. What podcasts can you not live without right now?

“Help me cut this head off.” ~ mom

I was going to write this awhile ago because people asked me for a tutorial on how to make an invisible woman but then I sort of went missing mentally and now I’m back. Apologies. But I am here right now to tell you all about my adventures in dismemberment and…whatever the opposite of dismemberment is. Rememberment? Is that a word? Fuck. Ignore this paragraph.

So one of my very favorite things about being a proprietress of Nowhere Bookshop is making ridiculous window displays and my favorite window displays are for Halloween. Last year’s theme was fortune telling:

This year I wanted something a bit spookier but not creepy enough to make kids pee themselves so I decided to make a ghost reader. I saw a bunch of tutorials for ghosts made of chicken wire and I was going to try that but then I remembered how stabby chickenwire is and I couldn’t remember if I’d had a tetanus shot recently and then Hailey pointed out that you can make people out of seran wrap, which was news to me.

Apparently you just wrap cling-wrap over an actual person and then you put duct tape over that and then you cut the person out of the tape mummy and stuff it with newspapers or bubble wrap. And I was thrilled, and Hailey was less thrilled when they realized that they had just accidentally volunteered to get wrapped up in seran wrap and duct tape. I thought it was a wonderful trust exercise and I would recommend it to anyone, but maybe while you’re cutting your child out of their duct tape bondage don’t let your husband tell them the story of the time you tried to cut a knot off of the cat and accidentally cut a cat flat in them instead because then you’ll only end up with arms because your child will get spooked and run away when you want to move on to the torso.

Luckily I had an extra torso on hand because I had an old dress-makers dummy from the time I was making ballgowns out of damaged books (that’s another story) and was able to attach Hailey’s fake arms to it, and after I dressed it up and stuffed some gloves so the ghost could read The Invisible Man it was apparently realistic enough that Ferris Mewler decided to snuggle with her.

I asked the internet for their opinions and they were very complementary but mentioned that it would look better with mannequin legs or starched stockings and that’s when I was like, “OMG, I forgot I already have human legs!” and Victor was like, “…Wtf. We all have human legs. What is wrong with you?” and that’s when I reminded myself that I should stop talking to myself out loud because then I had to explain that I was talking about the invisible woman I was building and that I was referring to the extra human legs I kept in the kitchen.

Well not really human legs, but close because years ago this shoe store was closing and so I bought a bunch of fake feet that they’d used to display heels on but I stuffed them with fake flowers and made weird vases and the lesson here is that you should always buy what you love when you see it because you never know when you’re going to need a torso or human feet.

Victor disagrees with this lesson.

The people on instagram also pointed out that you could kind of see the neck of the dummy poking out and it would look better without it so I yelled, “Hailey, help me cut this ladie’s neck off!” and Hailey were like, “Most moms just make cookies for Halloween” and that’s probably true but in the end they held onto the torso while I sawed the neck off and then I realized that my new neighbors could see directly into my office window to see the silhouette of us dismembering someone but then Victor pointed out that from that same window they could see Ruth Badar Ginsbear (a giant taxidermied bear in judge robes) so that’s probably distracting enough and honestly they probably just avoid looking in my windows at this point.

And then it was ready.

But I had to take it up to the store and that meant it had to ride in the car and frankly, the looks we got from other people on the road were worth every moment.

Also, the Texas Department of Transportation should send me a dollar because we totally matched their “ARRIVE ALIVE” theme they had blinking on all the highway signs.

And then Victor said that I needed to get her a Dismembers Only jacket and I threatened to stab him, but a an hour later I’d finished the Halloween Window and couldn’t stop myself from calling it a Halloweendow and this is how I know we deserve each other.

PS. The Invisible Man is a good book, but I think our update is better:

PPS. Halloween related fun…Nowhere is currently having a literary themed costume parade online so if you have a book-related costume I want to see it. Tag us with the hashtag #nowherecostumeparade. Also, I’m working on a literary costume myself and it is ridiculous. Never stop being ridiculous, y’all.

The really embarrassing thing is that I’m sure I’ve sung this out loud with friends before and no one ever told me I was wrong, so maybe I’m right all along. Update: I was not right all along.

Victor and I in the car singing along to Talking Heads Wild Wild Life:

me: ♪ I’m wearing…her vagina… ♪

Victor: Wait stop. No.

me: Those are the lyrics.

Victor: Nope.

me: Yeah. “I’m wearing her vagina. I’m riding a hot potato.”

Victor: What.

me: It’s about sex right? He’s wearing her vagina. Because if you’re wearing someone’s vagina you’re having sex with them.

Victor: Ew.

Me: Don’t “ew” me. I’m not the one who said it.


me: I’m pretty sure it’s all sexual innuendo. Like, what else is Cat Fancy supposed to be? That’s obviously vagina.



So I looked up the lyrics and apparently this one of many songs I’ve been singing this song loudly and wrongly because for the last 30 years I thought this was about a Dutch woman named Eliza who has a lot of pubic hair and is having an orgy with the Talking Heads guy until her husband walks in and then the Talking Heads guy convinces his to join them and then they all have cake.

PS. Here is the actual song and below are the lyrics as I hear them:

I’m wearing her vagina

I ride a hot potato

I take a little Cat Fancy.

Speak up, I can’t hear you.

Here on this mountain top, oh, oh, I got some wild, wild life

I got some news to tell you, oh, oh, about some wild, wild life.

Here come the dutch woman in charge oh, oh, oh, she got some wild, wild life.

Ain’t that the way you like it, oh oh, women and wild, wild life?

I wrestle with a llama (I know it says conscience but it always feels like he’s going to say llama and I don’t know why)

You wrestle with your barber.

Satan on your windowsill but the tense says it’s time for ardor slower

Check out pepto bismuth man, oh, oh, he bought some wild wild life

On the way he got stuck in a stage oh, oh, he got some wild wild life

Break it up when he opens the door, uh oh! We’re doing wild, wild life.

I know that’s the way, Eliza, oh oh, baby, wild wild.

He’s a man. With a piece of cake.

Thought control. You get them both then! Time of your life.

Back to sitting on pins and needles. Break them apart. It’s scientific. (I don’t know what this means but I assumed it was something kinky)

Sleeping on the edge of the stage oh oh getting wild life

Breaking in her chicken ah, oh oh oh, I got a wild wild life

Spraying it all over my money in time. Oh, oh. Too much wild wild life

We wanna go but we don’t wanna go, oh oh I gotta wild wild life

High and knowing it. That’s how it starts, oh oh, got some wild wild life

Paint a picture, it ain’t a tale, oh oh, they got some wild wild life

You’re one to talk, You go so fast, oh oh, wild wild life.

And I know that’s the way you like it, oh, oh

It’s just a wild, wild, wild, wild, love.

This week, y’all.

Things that happened this week:

Sent an email to Elizabeth and Vicky at Nowhere saying, “I’m reading an arc of Beasts of a Little Land and it is so good but making me realize how little I knew about Korean history. Nothing like books to make you realize how stupid you are”. Elizabeth emails back, “You cc’ed this to a random journalist”. Because of course I did.

My phone internet has been out all morning. Sent several texts to my sister telling her one of our old friends died. None of the texts went through. Sent another text blaming the ghost of our friend. It also didn’t go through. After spending 30 minutes trying to fix everything I realize I’d accidentally put my phone on airplane mode and tried to blame ghosts for it.

Was very proud of setting a reminder for a podcast I needed to record today. Realized that New York is an hour ahead instead of an hour behind about 30 minutes after the hosts (who luckily know me enough to realize I’m an idiot) have been waiting in their closets for me to call in.

Saw a spider on my computer at the same time Ferris Mewler saw a spider on my computer. Learned that my computer can survive being knocked to the ground by a cat. Spider jumped off the monitor and onto my lap. Walked outside to brush it off. It got scared and ran inside of my dress and now it lives inside me, probably.

Took Hunter S. Thomcat to get his teeth cleaned and the doctor said she’s going to have to remove several of them, which is apparently fine because I guess cats don’t need all their teeth but it’s thousands of dollars so I asked the vet if I could keep the teeth since technically they’ll be more expensive than any of my jewelry and she was like, “Sure. Do you want more teeth?” and I was like, “…I don’t want you to pull out extras just so I can make tooth jewelry” and started to worry if I’d chosen the right doctor but then she was like, “No, I just have a bunch of old dog teeth if you want teeth” and then I realized that I’d totally picked the right doctor.

And how has your week been?

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