Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts - Weirdly Positive Zombie Treehouse

It all began with a letter to Kim Kardashian on November 3, 2011.

In the wake of the failed 72-day marriage of a famewhore and a guy whose name started with the requisite K, Vodka Cranberry Clooney was born.

In the year that has followed, I have published 402 posts (89 blog posts include a mention of my pretend boyfriend, George Clooney).

Forty Fridays ago, I started a weekly post called Friday's Random Thoughts. Now, I wake up each and every Friday and think, "Oh, shit, I have nothing to say."

Then I drink a latte and find something to say.

When I was a little girl, if you asked me what I wanted to be, I'd say, "A writer." Never once in my life did I have a different answer. I wrote a storybook about a girl who planted a piece of rainbow in her backyard and grew a tree full of rainbows. I wrote a book about a girl who had a secret clubhouse next to a creek. In middle school, I wrote stories about the girl who wasn't popular but was beautiful and kind and always got the guy. I wrote stories about girls with fathers who lived far away. I blatantly ripped off Sweet Valley High and wrote short stories about good girls and their evil, bitchy sisters who tried to steal boyfriends.

Eventually, I got a job and I wrote what editors allowed me to write. I stopped writing anything of my own, although I constantly tried to indulge my own tendencies toward snark and irony and mentions of George Clooney.

When Charles died, I started writing for myself again. I wrote in the way that a drowning person paddles desperately and gasps for air. I filled journals with things that kept me awake at night. Somewhere in that darkness, I started thinking about other people like me. They were out there somewhere, weren't they?

My friend Erin encouraged me to start a blog. Even in the face of me ignoring this suggestion for several years, she kept encouraging me. There are just so many blogs, I thought. Who cares, I thought. What's the point, I thought.

Then one day, Kim Kardashian filed for divorce, and I thought, "Oh, what the hell. I have something to say about this." I have something to say about a lot of things, it turns out.

The beauty of blogging is not the fame and accolades and book deals that have come my way this year (because none of that has actually happened). No, the beauty of it is that I have written more for myself than I have in the 38 years before. I have written what I want to write. I have said what I want to say.

The blog gives me a reason to write when I don't necessarily feel like writing. It gives me space to rant against asshats and heap praise on my pretend boyfriend. It gives me a place to work through my thoughts on grieving and post-traumatic stress. It gives me a place to call Rick Santorum the Antichrist and refer to the actual Christ as "Bad Boyfriend Jesus."

I can look back and see how many words I have spilled in the pursuit of peace and understanding. Some of my favorites are:

The Waiting Room
An Enormous Green Rage Monster
For Charles
Making Peace With Hemingway
Zombie Apocalypse: Longing for a Simpler Life
Zombies Come With Trigger Warnings
Why We're Going to the Midnight Premiere of The Avengers
Dreaming of Blue Skies (The Happiness Challenge Day 15)

Some days I worry that I will finish writing a piece and then I will be like Harper Lee, incapable of writing anything else ever again and plagued by rumors that Truman Capote wrote my book for me.
I didn't write Amy's memoir. This cat did.
But peace is a slippery thing. Understanding comes and goes. The pursuit of these things never ends.

I realize that giving myself room to write about grief and guilt and coping has been a way that I show myself love and forgiveness. It's a way that I have been kind to myself when my strongest inclination is to blame myself for the death of someone I loved.

People may not realize it, but the funny posts are also tied into that need to cope. Laughter is the mechanism I choose to get through this world. If I don't laugh at the absolute ridiculousness of it all, I will shatter into a million pieces.

So I hold myself together by writing exactly what I feel.

I used to imagine myself writing a novel and I'd worry that everyone would know which characters were based on them and they'd be offended. So I never wrote anything at all. 

Before I started writing my memoir, those worries disappeared. I don't know how exactly. I just knew without a doubt that I was going to write what I needed to write and I wasn't going to hold back. I knew that if I felt something, there was someone else in the world who felt the exact same thing. 

Maybe I started spilling my guts so other people would say, "I know just what you mean," and then I wouldn't feel so alone in the world, like a freak fooling people with her normal-person costume. 

Maybe I was sending a message, shining a bright signal against a dark sky to say, "Come find me. I'm starting a club."

Along the way, I've made new friends and collected an assortment of wonderful pen pals. For example, Jennifer and I write each other about dealing with tragedy, about seeking answers to mysteries that can never be solved, about the middle school energy of Facebook, about being single, about seeking the "sizzle", and about the awesomeness of good writing pens.

J.J. and I send missives back and forth about politics and trauma and creativity and the zombie apocalypse. We make plans for the end of the world. We spend imaginary lottery winnings on building a commune full of artists and writers. Those plans include a treehouse full of books and a large stash of caffeinated beverages. The treehouse will look like the Weeble Wobble Treehouse. 

The other day I confessed that I am feeling "weirdly positive" about things lately. And the name of the commune was born: Weirdly Positive™ Zombie Treehouse: A Think Tank for Intellectuals in the Apocalypse. 

It occurs to me that we are like children playing pretend. What do you want to be? If you could live anywhere, where would you like to live? What will you do when the world ends? 

If you live long enough, you realize that the world ends every day.

But we go on. We shine a light in the dark. We picture a new life. We imagine. We hope. We seek like-minded souls and we invite them to climb into the treehouse, where we offer them safe harbor from the brainless and heartless.

The price of admission is the same advice I give to people who want to write: Tell me something true. 

Thanks for being a part of the club. Happy Friday to you all! 

Next week, FRT will return to its regularly scheduled program of pointing out stupid things Republicans have said about rape and contraception and making fun of them for it.


  1. So happy you found a place to write for yourself because I love reading it! Keep at it or I will hunt you down like a zombie killer would ;)

  2. Happy Anniversary, Vodka Cranberry Clooney!! Reading your words over the past year has helped me more than you will EVER know. The world will be such a better place, when, not if, but when you get your memoir published. Keep writing. I can't wait to see what you come up with for Election Week.

  3. I now use the terms "asshat" and "hate-watching" on a regular basis. Thanks for letting all of us be in your kickass club. I love it here!

  4. To think I have Kim Kardashian to thank for finding you, boggles the mind! Happy Anniversary ... Heres to book deals and writing and getting it all out there blogging and always more Clooney :) oh and Vodka!
    PS ... love the Prez gif

  5. Oh Happy Days!!! Happy ANNY VCC!!! Keep on keeping on.
    I always know when you're writing your blog of the day because theres a LAG in our emails. And you respond and I know I can google vodka....your site pops up and voila..NEW POST. I enjoy the "lag" because theres some goodness coming my way....and I sit back, read and totally enjoy. I love you and love this post.

  6. I just realized that VCC and I share the same birthday!

    I am envious of your unwavering certainty that you always wanted to be a writer. I'll be 42 tomorrow and I still don't know what I want to do. When you and J.J. win the lottery please save a spot for Heather and I in the Weirdly Positive™ Zombie Treehouse. Thanks for giving us all something to look forward to on Fridays besides the end of the work week.

  7. I live for VCC Friday's Random Thoughts! Happy Anniversary VCC! Next year we will celebrate with a Solar Eclipse What?! Ha.
    You were definitely never going to be anything but a writer and I'm so moved when I read your prose. Moved in many different ways but always moved. The gifs and their involvement are the icing on this cake. I may spit out coffee laughing sometimes but I have learned to just cover the keyboard :)

    1. Gifs make everything better! I'm so glad to have you as a friend and a VCC reader!

  8. I am so glad Wide Lawns linked to you! I can't think of a more entertaining writer!

  9. Happy one year anniversary to my Fabulous friend!

  10. I hope you can post that BO gif on Facebook Wednesday morning. Hope hope hope.

    1. That's exactly why I saved it. But then I couldn't wait to use it.

      Tomorrow is going to be rough.

  11. Enjoy reading you here and elsewhere. Hadn't realized your blog was new! I now see that I've been reading it the whole time. And once your book is published, I will take full responsibility for starting the Truman Capote/cat rumors.


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