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That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird

So, the biggest news of the week, publishing-wise, is that Nelle Harper Lee, the beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird, will have a new book coming out in mid-July. Go Set a Watchman is supposedly the book Lee submitted before submitting Mockingbird, and follows Scout as an adult, going back to the small town that shaped her. Cassie wrote a beautiful piece about the upcoming release, and asked that I write about my thoughts about the release, and I told her I was scattery (as I am!) but I’d been thinking about it a lot this week. I didn’t think I had it in me to write a whole post about it, but started writing…and here we are.

I’ve talked about this before (probably ad nauseum) but Mockingbird is, most sincerely, one of my favorite and most formative books. I think it’s the same for so many people. We want to be (and hope we are, deep down) Atticus; we identify with tough little scrappy Scout; our collective hearts break for Boo. Some of the most beautiful lines in literature come from the book…

“Atticus said to Jem one day, ‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. ‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’”

“Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin’.” 

His lips parted into a timid smile, and our neighbor’s image blurred with my sudden tears.
“Hey, Boo,” I said.
“Mr. Arthur, honey,” said Atticus, gently correcting me. “Jean Louise, this is Mr. Arthur Radley. I believe he already knows you.”

“Atticus put his face in my hair and rubbed it. When he got up and walked across the porch into the shadows, his youthful step had returned. Before he went inside the house, he stopped in front of Boo Radley. ‘Thank you for my children, Arthur,’ he said.”

 And in looking for these online to get the wording exactly right, I teared up at the power of them. It’s been so long since I read the book for the first time – I don’t even remember the first time I met the Finches, honestly, whether it was in high school or early in college – and I’m still moved to tears by the simple beauty in Lee’s words.

I’ve read the book more times than I can count; I held off on watching the movie because I didn’t think it could possibly have the power of the book, but oh, was I wrong. Gregory Peck was Atticus Finch. His calm authority gave me chills. I saw a beautiful production of a theatrical version of it a couple of years ago which moved me to tears; the actor who played Atticus gave the most beautiful reading of “Thank you for my children, Arthur,” perfectly tear-choked and stiff-upper-lipped, and I audibly sobbed in the theater. (I wasn’t alone in that.)

All of this to say, when a friend posted that Go Set a Watchman was going to be published in July, my heart jumped. Of course it did. These characters have become my family over the years. A book showing me what happened to them? A book following Scout into adulthood, giving us a peek at Jem, seeing if they’ve kept in touch with Dill, letting us know if Atticus has kept his idealism with everyone around him trying to beat it out of him, letting us know if Mayella turned out alright? How can I not want that?

Then news started coming out that maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t what Lee wanted.

Short version: Everyone knows that Mockingbird was Lee’s only book. She’s been a bit of a recluse ever since – not Salinger-level, or anything, but not going around the world singing “I WROTE MOCKINGBIRD, WHOO-HOO, LOOK AT ME!” (And side note, there have been rumors for years that her dear friend Truman Capote actually wrote Mockingbird – because of course a woman couldn’t have written something that luminescent, and she never followed up on it, so WHAT IS SHE HIDING? And then there are other rumors that Lee wrote Capote’s In Cold Blood, so how about we just assume they each wrote their own books and let people have their successes as neither of them have, that I know of, ever accused the other of nefariousness?)

Her sister was her lawyer for years, until she recently passed away. Lee has had a stroke and, by most reports, isn’t of sound mind. Her sister was very protective of her, and it’s come up that it’s very suspicious that this long-lost manuscript has suddenly surfaced upon her death. People are saying she’d sign anything anyone put in front of her these days, and without her sister to look out for her, she just might have signed off on a book she never wanted published. It’s a savvy move from the publisher – the book was announced just a few days ago, and is currently #5 on Amazon’s pre-order list of Contemporary Fiction and#10 in the Kindle Store for Contemporary Fiction. And Mockingbird? #1 with a bullet, baby. Topping the list currently on Amazon in the Kindle Store for Literary Fiction, #1 in Literature and Fiction in the United States, and #1 in Legal Fiction. Take THAT, John Grisham! I’m not saying, if this is true, it’s not a completely slimy move…but financially, it’s savvy.

She's kind of adorable, right? I want her to be my neighbor. I want to hang out with her and talk about birds and crocheting and words, words, words.

She’s kind of adorable, right? I want her to be my neighbor. I want to hang out with her and talk about birds and crocheting and words, words, words.

So what’s a reader to do?

There’s no way I couldn’t read this book. I have to. Everyone’s going to be reading it. It’s going to be like when the last Harry Potter book was released and I couldn’t go three feet without seeing someone with that gigantic book in their hands because they didn’t want to go even minutes without reading it. This is going to be a global discussion when it comes out. A global discussion about a book? How can I not be part of that? And the sheer fact that more people are reading Mockingbird – how can I not love that? But I’m torn. What if Lee – this woman who introduced me to Atticus and Jem and Scout and Dill and Boo – didn’t want this book flying around in the wild? What if it’s not up to her standards and that’s why it hasn’t been released until now? Don’t I owe more to this woman who’s been such a force in my life, whose given me so much? None of us will ever really know what she wants, will we? Do we let the book speak for itself?

Yes. Of course I’ll read it. And I have the highest hopes that seeing all of my old friends again, these people that I consider family, will be everything that I hope it will be. I will talk to my most beloved readers about it and we will discuss and argue and fight over our favorite lines and characters and it will be glorious.

And I will hope in my heart of hearts that my beloved Nelle Harper Lee, even if she didn’t want the book released, will understand that I’m reading the book out of love. I’m being given another chance to see people I love. How can I say no to that?

It’s just that it feels a little like killing a mockingbird.

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Why diminish your soul being run-of-the-mill at something?

“But why diminish your soul being run-of-the-mill at something? Mediocrity: now there is ugliness for you. Mediocrity’s a hairball coughed up on the Persian carpet of Creation.” ― Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

While I was in Baltimore at the beginning of the month, I ran across an article that I found very upsetting. However, I was on vacation, and upsetting things are not allowed to enter my vacation-space. The only things that are allowed in my vacation-space are laughs and delicious foodstuffs and the reading of many books.

HOWEVER, now I am home. Yes, I suppose you could argue I’ve been home for weeks and weeks but I had other things to talk about; cut me some slack, Jack. I have a lot of things in my brain-area. They don’t always come in a logical order.

OK, so here’s the thing: apparently, according to some company called Acxiom, who ran some serious tests in 2004 to come up with this data, guess what the number one most average city in all of Merka is.

No, seriously, guess.

ALBANY IT IS ALBANY.

You GUYS! This company called Acxiom (which Wikipedia says is “one of the biggest companies you’ve never heard of,” so that’s not at all shady) says MY HOME is the MOST AVERAGE CITY IN ALL THE LAND!

Well. This cannot stand. Average? Average means BORING. Who wants to be average? No. Not me. I want to be stellar. I want to be amazing. I want to be EXTRAORDINARY. And I want the place where I live to be extraordinary as well.

OK, yes, TECHNICALLY, I do not LIVE in Albany, I live just OUTSIDE of Albany, but that’s not the POINT. THEY ARE MALIGNING MY HOME.

Now, All Over Albany (one of our most excellent local blogs; suck on THAT, “average”) did a more up-t0-date comparison to see if we’re “average” or not. They measured us against the nation’s average in all kinds of categories to see just how average we are, exactly, since the statistics to us being known as THE MOST AVERAGE CITY IN MERKA are about ten years old.

What did they find out?

As opposed to the nation’s average, we have:

  • More adult residents
  • A higher household income
  • Many more white people; therefore, fewer non-white people
  • Less families; more non-family units living together (apparently we like livin’ in sin ’round these here parts…or it could be that we have many colleges here, so that means there are a lot of roommate situations happening here)
  • Many more households that speak English only (and, of course, therefore, fewer households with English as a non-primary language)
  • Many more people with a graduate degree
  • Fewer married couples
  • More people who live alone
  • Women who tend to have fewer children

SUCK ON THAT ACXIOM!

Ok. FINE. Those aren’t really all that awe-inspiring, those statistics, are they. They’re just kind of slight variations. And they’re easily explained away. We’re a very professional, very educated group of people. Our biggest employers are the state, the county, and our various colleges and universities; you need a higher degree to either get ahead in these things, or to do these things.

Well. I’m really going to have to wow you, to prove to you that where I live isn’t average. Because it’s not, you see. It’s not at all average. I knew that the minute I first pulled into town. I knew that the minute I arrived. It was home, and it was just as stellar as I needed a home of mine to be. And, I mean, all you have to do is look at the comments on that Mother Jones article up there to see what people think of where I live. BLEAK! They think it’s BLEAK! What is WRONG with people?

DOES THIS LOOK BLEAK TO YOU? I don't THINK so!

DOES THIS LOOK BLEAK TO YOU? I don’t THINK so!

So, without ANY further ado, here are some VERY excellent reasons why my home is FAR from average.

The Egg!

Now, how can any city with a building as amazing as The Egg be AVERAGE? I mean, come on. This is a building filled with WHIMSY, you guys. Every concert or talk or reading I’ve ever seen here starts with the person performing remarking upon the utter insane awesomeness of The Egg. THERE IS NOTHING ORDINARY ABOUT THE EGG.

We are the state capital!

There are a lot of cities in New York, but WE, my friends, are the CAPITAL OF THEM ALL! We have GOVERNMENT here! With SENATORS and CONGRESSMEN and such! We have a CAPITOL BUILDING with CARVINGS and GHOSTS in it! We have a GOVERNOR’S MANSION here! Yes, fine, maybe the governor doesn’t exactly LIVE in the mansion, but that’s not the POINT, we HAVE a mansion! And our governor is dating SANDRA LEE! Who is a very famous television lady! And he’s not a shabby governor himself! He always looks pissy and cantankerous and he GETS SHIT DONE!

We are the longest continuously chartered city in all of Merka!

ALL! OF! MERKA! Think of how big Merka is, you guys. Think of all those cities, both big and small. ALBANY IS THE LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY CHARTERED CITY OF THEM ALL! Think of all that history! Think of all the people who’ve lived here! Think of all the fur-traders and ironworkers and Dutch immigrants who went to and fro RIGHT IN MY CITY! It’s mind-boggling. I won’t be upset if you need to go get a cool drink and take a few deep breaths before you continue.

We have awesome town names!

Because we are so old, we have many town names with old foreign (and domestic!) roots. Canajoharie. Castleton-on-Hudson. Coeymans. Poestenkill. Rensselaer. Schaghticoke. Schenectady. Stuyvesant. Valatie. (That’s pronounced Va-LAY-sha, just in case you thought it was VAL-uh-tee.) Watervliet (which my mom pronounced “Watervillay” for the longest time, even though I told her over and over “Mom! IT IS WATERVLEET!”) Voorheesville (which always makes me think of Jason Voorhees.) Kaaterskill. How can you not love an area with names like this? Aren’t those names AMAZING? When I first moved to the area, I would read street signs and highway signs and just giggle with glee and try to guess how they were pronounced. I know how they’re pronounced now, but they still give me glee. MUCH glee.

Tulip Fest! Lark Fest! Pearlapalooza!

We love street festivals here. We have Tulip Fest, where we celebrate the coming of the summer and the blooming of the tulips! We have Lark Fest, where we celebrate Lark Street, which is one of my favorite streets in all of Albany with old buildings and cobblestones and artsy residents and cool businesses! We have Pearlapalooza, which is trying too hard to be Lark Fest but is still enjoyable! Also, at all of these things, you can get fried dough. FRIED! DOUGH! And real musical acts come and play at them! It’s all very happy and sunshiney. Except for when it rains. Which is almost every time there’s an outdoor festival. Because the heavens have a sense of humor.

Famous people were born and/or grew up around here!

FAMOUS!

FAMOUS!

Martha Quinn from MTV! Gregory Maguire who wrote Wicked! Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes! Kristen Gillibrand, one of my favorite politicians! The guy who directed Die Hard and is in prison now because of that weird private eye scandal! The woman who wrote The Mists of Avalon! Jimmy Fallon went to the College of St. Rose and worked for one of our local papers in college and grew up down near Poughkeepsie! David Hyde Pierce from Frasier grew up in Saratoga! Rachael Ray grew up in Lake George! Mickey Rourke was born in Schenectady! Even Grandpa Simpson said he was the handsomest boy in Albany, New York in his childhood on an episode of The Simpsons! LOOK AT ALL THOSE FANCY PEOPLE!

ALL THE THEATER!

We have such an amazing and vibrant theater scene in the area. There is always something you can watch. We have big, beautiful, historic theaters – Proctors, The Palace – and smaller, newer ones – Capital Repertory – and more community theaters than you can imagine. If you want culture, here’s your place. Is that average? I DO NOT THINK SO!

Fun and kooky things to do!

In the winter, our entire Washington Park (which is really big) gets all lit up by some local business (I want to say it’s Quick Response Restoration or something) and you pay like a billion dollars* (*fine, it’s like $10) and you drive slowly through the park and are alternately charmed by and worried by the light display. It’s a holiday tradition around here. One year, there was what was SUPPOSED to be a man beating a drum, but the drum had burned out, so the man looked like he was…um…pleasuring himself…and the drumstick was his…well, his drumstick. That’s totally a euphemism. We drove by that thing three times and laughed until we cried. It’s one of my most favorite local memories.

Also, there used to be (and might still be, I don’t know) New Year’s fireworks, and we went to the top of a parking garage to watch them, and people were being too loud in the crowd, and the mayor was on the PA system saying happy New Year! Enjoy the fireworks! And the people were talking TOO LOUD and the mayor was SO MAD and so he was all – ON THE PA – “IF YOU DON’T CUT THAT OUT THERE WON’T BE ANY FIREWORKS!” and we laughed and laughed because he was TOTALLY gonna cancel those fireworks and also send us to bed without dessert.

Come on. There’s magic in every corner of Albany. You just have to approach it with the right attitude. I feel that if you bring your A game? Albany will give it right back to you.

Also, I just want to mention that one time there was a chocolate festival where you got to walk around the State Museum and eat all the free chocolate and look at weird dioramas of prehistoric people. It was very surreal and also very wonderful. I got to have food dipped in a chocolate fountain AND cacao nibs for the first time. YUM.

People here are super-nice!

They really are. It’s a big city (and a big area) but it doesn’t FEEL big. People are really very friendly. Yes, sometimes the traffic makes you want to punch someone in the neck but that’s what you get when you live somewhere that’s got things to do in it. People are nice and look out for each other and welcome new people into their groups and can be incredibly kind, even when you don’t expect it. There’s a real sense of community here.

Sometimes you see wildlife!

HI AMY! Says the hawk.

HI AMY! Says the hawk.

It might be a city, but there’s enough wilderness around that you still see wild things, and you guys know how much I love wild things. I’ve seen typical things like skunks and possums and woodchucks (mostly as roadkill, sadly) but I’ve also seen deer (just hangin’ on out in the work parking lot, hi, you daily-grind 9-to-5-ers! I AM A DEER!) and a few hawks (which I LOVE, I totally watch those for longer than I should, probably, but I think hawks are the coolest) and wild turkeys (NO, not the alcoholic kind.) I like that there are huge high-rises not too far away, but also turkeys.

I LIVE HERE!

Listen, it all boils down to this. I LIVE HERE. How the hell can anything be ordinary if I live here? I mean, I’m like a shooting star of a human, baby. ZAP ZIP ZOOM! I’m pretty sure just by me living in an area, it IMMEDIATELY stops being average and turns EXTRAORDINARY. Because I don’t see anything like a normal person would. I see the magic and the wonder in EVERYTHING. And I totally see it here. Or I wouldn’t have stayed as long as I have, and I certainly wouldn’t be planning on staying for the rest of my life.

MY VERDICT?

Suck it, Acxiom. We’re not average. We’re AMAZING around here. If you come here and you think we’re blah and boring and industrial and – ugh – BLEAK – you are not looking hard enough. Look again. Rub your eyes a little. There’s so much magic here. And I’m going to spend the rest of my life finding every last bit of it.


A good place to be lonely is the Walmart. Also, the turning down of awards!

In your world it is Thursday. Here, it is Monday. I had every intention to go to work this morning. However, I could not sleep last night. Not even a little. After tossing and turning and coughing up a lung (maybe both lungs) for a few hours, I finally fell asleep, but when the alarm went off, there was no way I could go to work today, because I was stumbling around like a zombie person and I couldn’t open my eyes and I was coughing and coughing and just wanted more sleep. MORE SLEEP. I was like a junkie and the only thing I needed? SLEEP. So I called off from work and went back to bed. And promptly slept for – ready for this? FIVE MORE HOURS. Yes. In total, I slept for about 11 hours last night/today. That is too much sleep. Or maybe just enough, I don’t know. I am attempting, today, to stay awake, in the hope that tonight I will be SO TIRED I can sleep normal hours and go to work tomorrow. I can’t miss MORE work due to a cold. This is ridiculous.

Also, I was supposed to see The Nephew tonight, and because I love him, I decided to cancel that. He doesn’t need my germs. It makes me sad, though. You know I love to hang out with my best little buddy more than almost anything.

So today Dumbcat and I are hanging on the couch watching bad television. I am trying to stay awake. He is not even trying. He’s been asleep all day long. Dammit, Dumbcat, way to be a good companion.

Today I have to mention that I have been nominated for THREE awards and isn’t that fancy? Yes, it is! Well, twice for the same award, but twice is twice, right? Right.

Most of you know my stance on awards. I find it very nice to be nominated, but I can’t accept them. Why can’t I accept them? Because they make you nominate a number of other blogs. And if you nominate other blogs, then you’re leaving some blogs out, and feelings get hurt. And I hate to hurt feelings. I hate to hurt feelings more than I hate to clean the litterbox, and that’s a lot, yo. So, as always, I am very thankful for the awards, and for thinking of me; it is most kind, and most appreciated.

So, the first award I have been nominated for is the Versatile Blogger Award. I feel like I’ve gotten this one before, right? I could go back and look but, well, sick. And kind of lazy. Sorry, world.

First I was nominated by meANXIETYme. Thank you!

Then I was nominated by Kat at Kat’s Den. And thank YOU!

Then I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger award by Andrea at When in New Places. Also, thanks to YOU!

I am supposed to state seven things about myself and then nominate fifteen blogs. Well, I refuse to nominate anyone, as is my wont, and therefore I CANNOT ACCEPT THE AWARDS. Mostly because these things seem like a pyramid scheme, you see. I don’t like pyramids. All triangular like that. Sticking up out of the sand. Being all pointy.

SHADY!

SHADY!

I don’t know if there are seven things about myself you don’t already know, other than the things I’m not going to tell you because they’re mine. Oh, shush, we all get a few things that are ours. You can’t even tell me that you don’t keep some things just for yourself. So instead, here, I will tell you my top seven favorite cities in all the world that I have actually been in with my whole body. Yes, my whole body! Not just my toe.

  1. New York, NY
  2. Rome, Italy
  3. Albany, NY
  4. Sedona, AZ
  5. Santa Barbara, CA
  6. Rouen, France
  7. Baltimore, MD
New York wins! You are not at all surprised by this, are you? Didn't think so.

New York wins! You are not at all surprised by this, are you? Didn’t think so.

There you go. It’s LIKE seven things you didn’t know about me, only in NUMERICAL ORDER. (The top two haven’t changed since 1995. I’m pretty damn predictable.) Do I win going places? Yes. Also, I think it’s a sign I’m in the right place, life-wise, that where I live is in the top three. Because that means there are two places that are like dream vacation spots, but then coming home is in the top three. That’s good, I think.

So, in summation: thank you for the awards, ladies. I am honored and humbled, even though I can’t accept; the fact that I can’t accept is not at all your fault and completely mine. I so appreciate the thought, and give you many internet smooches for the gifting.

Before we go, let’s talk about a super-classy thing that happened here lately. And when I say super-classy, I mean like BEYOND classy. It makes me so proud I can’t even. CAN. NOT. EVEN.

(Props to sj for finding me that most excellent pie chart.)

So, Queensbury is about an hour from me. And in Queensbury, there is a Walmart. I mean, of course there is. Where is there not a Walmart? There’s probably a Walmart in Antarctica for all I know. (In that Walmart they would probably sell a lot of mittens.)

Apparently, you can get more than beef jerky and large boxes of Cheese Nips at the Queensbury Walmart.

Someone called the po-po and said, “You guys? There’s a Walmart employee doin’ the nasty back in the corner of the housewares section.”

Because nothing says "illicit sex" like a ton of flair on a blue vest.

Because nothing says “illicit sex” like a ton of flair on a blue vest.

So I guess one of the Walmart customers offered the employee some cash under the table if he…um…did a naked price-check for him in a corner? And the employee did? And then someone shopping for a new toaster was totally scandalized and was all “OMG MY EYES MY EYESSSSS” and called the cops and to jail the Walmart employee went, hopefully before someone had to call for a cleanup in aisle three.

I don’t know who to feel more pity for in this scenario, honestly. The employee, who is obviously making so little money that he had to take some (probably icky, let’s be honest) customer up on his offer of a quickie BJ in a corner? The customer who, for who-knows-what-reason decided to solicit a most-likely minimum-wage employee for sex at a Walmart? The customer who was going about his or her business and stumbled upon oral pleasure by the dishtowels?

Oh, Queensbury. This isn’t very regal behavior at all. Shame, shame. See, this is why I shop at Target. The most scandalous thing I’ve seen at Target recently is a price-check on some shampoo that was irregularly priced and a customer who was SO PISSED about that.

OK. I’m attempting to go to sleep at like 9pm tonight. Hopefully, by the time you read this, I am healthy and happy. Wise, I don’t know. I think that’s a lot to ask, to be honest. I’ll stick with healthy and happy for now.


And we always will

sj emailed me yesterday because she knows I can’t check social media while I’m at work. She let me know there’d been two explosions at the Boston Marathon. No real news yet. Reports of possible severed limbs. Chaos.

She knows things like this bother me. She didn’t want me to be blindsided on the drive home, or by one of my coworkers. I love her for that. I love her for being that person for me.

When I got home, I made myself read the reports. Watch the videos. Read my Facebook feed, people who were looking for loved ones in Boston. We’re only two and a half hours from Boston, where I live. I’ve never been, but it’s somewhere I want to visit quite badly. I’ve always wanted to go to Boston. It seems like a magical city to me. And you know how much I love magic.

I noticed what Patton Oswalt did in the videos, in between my sobbing, watching runners falling, tripping over themselves to get away from the noise, the smoke, hearing the screaming start, the faint and horrified “Oh. Oh, oh my God. Oh,” from the newscaster who’d been planning on filming nothing more than the finish line of the marathon for some background footage.

People were running toward the explosion.

People were running toward the explosion even though there could have been more explosions. They didn’t know what had happened. It didn’t matter.

And not running toward the explosion once the screams started, and not running toward the explosion once people started dragging them over, or when people started calling for help. People IMMEDIATELY started running toward the explosion. One man said, in a thick Bawston accent that sounded like the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard in my life, “There are people that are going to need our help over there,” and immediately headed over. He didn’t say it to anyone. There was no one around him. He was saying it to himself. He was telling himself what to do. He was explaining to himself, this is what we do, when we’re needed, because there really isn’t another viable option right now.

And the people, the firemen, the National Guardsmen, the policemen, and the people who were there – runners, bystanders, just everyday people – worked together to pull down the barricades, to make it easier for emergency vehicles and EMTs to get to the wounded. Everyone became a united force. Everyone knew what they had to do. Sadly, it’s become a thing: we have experience with this now. We know what to do when the bomb goes off or the plane crashes or the man with the gun and the dead, dead eyes enters the crowded room. We’ve learned. It’s not something we should have to have learned, but it’s something we collectively have.

The news is still being guarded. By the time you read this, we might know what happened, but for now, people are saying it’s terrorism, and people are saying we don’t know yet. People are saying there’s a subject in custody, people are saying it’s just too soon to say anything. People are saying two more bombs were found before they exploded. People are saying there is video of a man with a backpack leaving the bombs in the area.

People say a lot of things, when these things happen. It’s one of the things that people are good at. We talk because we don’t know what else we can do. We talk because it keeps the gibbering maniacal panic at bay.

But for all of the talking, I like what Patton Oswalt has to say.

There are more of us than there are of them.

There are more of us that run toward the explosions to see what we can do, that hide the children in the cupboards and face the shooter with our hands spread and resolution stubborn in our eyes, that run into the burning building to bring out just one more person, if possible, just one more, just one more.

There are so, so many more of us on this beautiful, amazing, hope-filled planet.

You can see us all around. We’re in the small kindnesses; the letting of people into traffic, the kind smile of a stranger, the holding of a door, the compliment when needed but unanticipated; the bigger ones, the offer to listen, the helping each other up, the thank you for being in my life, the telling someone you love them, no matter what, for always, for forever. The small kindnesses, the bigger ones, the huge heroism. To some people, they are all the same thing. You never know if your kindness, if your hand reaching out for theirs, is the thing that saved someone’s life.

There is a lot of darkness and a lot of sadness out there right now. It’s warranted. It’s a scary time. Every day, something else. Every day, something that seems like one more step on that descent into madness.

When it gets too much, though, look at all the heroes. They’re all around you. They are infinity times infinity and they stretch on forever.

And make damn sure you’re one of them.


Five tons = 2.5 elephants worth. SO MANY CHOCOLATEY ELEPHANTS!

Today we are going to talk about a weird but kind of awesome thing that happened in the world. As we do ’round there here parts from time to time, yo. I think we also might do this Wednesday, because I found ANOTHER awesome thing. But tonight I want to go to bed early so I can finish reading my book because I’m pretty sure the thief is about to forgive the queen and there will be much kissing. MUCH KISSING. Shush, sometimes I like books with much kissing.

Sometimes I also like young adult literature and fantasy books. I am not always highbrow. Sorry to burst the bubble!

Sometimes I also like young adult literature and fantasy books. I am not always highbrow. Sorry to burst the bubble!

But FIRST, sometimes I like to change things in blogland. So from now on, if you comment, and if you have EVER commented here, your comment will IMMEDIATELY SHOW UP ON THE BLOG. Like, IMMEDIATELY. However! Don’t use this as an excuse to crack wise, buckaroos. I still have the option to delete or edit your comments, should I decide to do that. I still get an email every time you comment, and can hop on my phone and make your comment poof. OK, I take that back. Please feel free to crack wise. I like you to crack wise. Wise folks are my favorites. However, please don’t do things like use racial slurs or gaybash or talk about things that make me have the vapors. I trust my regular commenters won’t do this. And if you’re new, hello! Please comment! I am glad you are here!

It’s a thing I’m trying. It will make comments show up faster when I’m not able to approve them in a timely fashion. Let’s see how it goes. I can always change it back if I want to.

BACK TO WEIRDNESS!

Listen, the world is a wild and weird place, buckaroos. How will you know how weird without someone telling you about it? You’re WELCOME. In ADVANCE.

Over the weekend, someone stole some Nutella in Germany.

I know this doesn’t sound all that weird and/or shocking. Here, I’ll make it better by throwing some FACTS down on you.

Over the weekend, someone stole FIVE TONS of Nutella from a town named BAD HERSFELD in Germany.

So! Much! Nutella!

So! Much! Nutella!

So much better, right?

FIVE TONS OF NUTELLA! That is so much Nutella. SO MUCH. One article I read said it only translated to about $21,000 worth of Nutella, though, so probably it wasn’t for the resale value.

Of COURSE it wasn’t. It was so they’d have a LIFETIME SUPPLY OF NUTELLA! I mean, duh. You don’t even have to think very hard about that one. All the Nutella! Every last bit of it!

Also, can we just talk about Bad Hersfeld for a minute? Could there BE a better town-name? I have MOST THOROUGHLY researched it and although it sounds like it’s most badass and kind of where all the bikers would live, really it designates that there is, or was, a health spa of some sort in the town, as apparently “bad” means “bath” in German. Why did a town with a health spa need so much Nutella? This is a mystery that even Scooby Doo couldn’t solve, methinks. Maybe all those people who are eating spinach salads were having a craving for hazelnut spread? Like, from being deprived of it and all?

Ooh, Bad Hersfeld gets its own STAMP. That's fancy, yo.

Ooh, Bad Hersfeld gets its own STAMP. That’s fancy, yo.

AND, look what the article ALSO says:

“Germans news agency dpa reported that thieves have previously stolen a load of energy drinks from the same location.”

I think if there's this much thievery in one place, maybe don't leave big loads of foodstuffs there? Just a thought.

I think if there’s this much thievery in one place, maybe don’t leave big loads of foodstuffs there? Just a thought.

No, I don’t know why “dpa” is all lowercase like that, I didn’t write the article, sheesh. ANYWAY. So these people now have a lifetime supply of Red Bull AND a lifetime supply of Nutella? OMG, they are going to be SPEEDY. I think you need all that Nutella to wash the taste of Red Bull out of your mouth. Red Bull tastes like caffeinated death, seriously. Blech. Once, many years ago, my friend Matt who I have lost touch with (Matt! I miss your face!) and who I used to work at the Humane Society with had all the Red Bull and I was all, “Matt, dude, let me taste that.” And he was all, “You will hate it.” And I said, “EVERYONE loves Red Bull.” And he said “You will HATE it. It’s only if you need energy. You don’t need energy, you’re made of energy, you have trouble powering down.” And I said, “MATT GIVE ME THAT RED BULL RIGHT NOW I PROMISE I WILL NOT BACKWASH.” So Matt totally gave me his Red Bull because we were work besties and I would have trusted him with my whole life, seriously, and I had a little sip and I was all “MATT THAT IS THE WORST” and made a face and he laughed and laughed and said “I TOLD YOU SO!” and then would ask me to make the Red Bull face whenever he needed a good laugh and I would scowl at him and say “No, MATT” and he would laugh MORE. Matt was most sincerely awesome, I hope that someday life brings me across his path again. I would like to give him a hug and thank him for being one of the most protective, funny, brave, and strong men I’ve ever known. I don’t know if younger-me realized how important it was to tell people such things when you weren’t sure if you would see them again. Older-me has learned that such things are important and tries to say them often, in case she is hit by lightning and dies all of a sudden and can’t say them ever again. You don’t know when the lightning will come. YOU DON’T.

Watch out for the lightning, jellybeans, it comes out of nowhere, you know.

Watch out for the lightning, jellybeans, it comes out of nowhere, you know.

So now in Bad Hersfeld, there is a thief with ALL the Red Bull (or whatever the German equivalent of Red Bull is, probably Rot Stier. I don’t even want to drink Red Bull, I sure as hell don’t want to drink Rot Stier) and ALL the Nutella. That is a thief to be reckoned with, yo. You look out for that thief. I would assume it would be easy to identify him or her. They’d be all jumpy and also sticky-fingered. I feel like they’d leap out from alleys screaming “ROT STIER!” But don’t even try to catch him or her. They’re going to be speedy. They’ll be gone in a FLASH.

Tonight I am off reviewing a show so I’m thinking you will not see much of me tomorrow. I’ll be back soon. More weird news to discuss, I think. Now my book is calling to me. I can totally hear it. What, that is COMPLETELY normal. Your books don’t talk to you? Well, what a sad, lonely life you must lead, seriously!

Happy Tuesday, internet. Comment it up, they’ll pop up fast, fast like MAGIC. Just you wait and see!

(Psst, also, happy birthday, Amy’s brother, I hope you have a great day of magicalness! Even though you will not read the blog because this is where all the “rapists and people with one hand” hang out! Yeah, I don’t know either. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BROTHER!)


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