And the Blog of the Year Award Goes to...

The best blog award** goes to Otto's Son.

A. Somehow, he makes the mundane interesting, which is a most difficult task, which brings me to B:
B. It's well written.
C. Jono writes about his father, who led a fascinating life. (Not that Jono's life isn't fascinating, but the past is fascinating, and um... yeah.)
D. It's funny.
E. The posts are varied.
F. It's everything I think a personal blog should be.
G. All of the above. 

You may write your correct answer in the comments. If you are wrong, you will feel really bad, and I won't respect you anymore. But by all means write your answer in the comments! I'll only judge you harshly. What do you have to lose?

I probably like it because I like Norway, I live not too far from Jono, we both have farms and have to shovel poop and stuff, I like corny humor... Anyway,

I love your blog, man! Thanks for writing it, Jono. Tusen Takk. I hope you keep it going for a long, long time! 

* Yes, that picture is totally over the top! Had to include it. I just like the blog, though- I don't even know Jono! 

** I'm sorry I totally dropped the ball on "Blog of the Month." I'm going to try my hand at "Blog of the Year" now. Maybe I can keep up with that!

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Vacationing to Other Dimensions

We're staying home this holiday season. In spite if the freezing rain last night, I insisted we go to the Frugal Muse Bookstore in Madison. Z got this Reader's Digest book about birds. I learned so much from Reader's Digest books, when I was a kid.

BAH satisfied his passion for astronomy with this book of Messier objects:

He clarified for me: these objects are not messy nor untidy in any way, but rather, they were found by a man named "Messier."

I got some books, too, but I continue to be most fascinated by this book I got BAH for Christmas:

I thought it was a book about Tai Chi, but it's actually about Chi Kung, which is very different. In Chi Kung, you release your internal chi superpowers by standing very, very still, like a tree, for long periods of time. Just to give you a taste:

Page 20. Other dimensions?! Telepathic powers?! These are mere side effects. The main goal is to be strong. It's just like a gym membership. 

Christmas Miracles

I'm doing the annual tradition of watching Christmas on Mars.
Made in Oklahoma. It's the only space movie where astronauts have teeth missing, and half the crew have a tell tale Oklahoma Southern accent. (And then Fred Amistad is in it, because he's a drummer?) It could be a bad movie, but it is saved by a near perfect soundtrack- and so it becomes our Christmas tradition. 

Three small miracles have occured today. They are all but small miracles, but so is Hanukkah. 

Miracle #1. For two months, I have been attempting to catch a clever rat. This rat has, on at least four occasions, eaten food in the traps and set them off without getting caught! Meanwhile, he has eaten lots of chicken and bunny feed--- until today. Today, I found that rat dead in a trap-- a Christmas miracle!

2. BAH started beer yeast going yesterday, but it was seven months old and completely dead. No bubbles. Then, at 8 PM tonight- a Christmas miracle! The beer yeast bubbleth over! It lives! There shall be beer! 

3. After a week of rain, it's snowing! 
Well, it's dandruffing at least. 

So, Santa's milk and cookies are waiting...

Wait.., did someone eat one?

 Oh, wait. I did.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas, 1979

Christmas 1979

Aunt Lou and me, somewhere in San Francisco.

Fa la la la la

Big Z, age 8, was making up a Christmas song in the car today. I didn't record it or anything, so I'll have to paraphrase, but it went something like,

"And the goblins attack, and we fight them off with our Christmas Joy! And with the matches that we light with one finger!"

La la la...

"Did you like my song?" She asked.

"Oh, yeah! It made Christmas way more action packed than I thought it was!"

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"Well, I never knew that goblins attacked on  Christmas! And we had to fight them off with our Christmas joy!"

"Oh, I was just combining the Christmas story and the Hanukkah story."


Happy solstice! It's winter! Time for me to be like Rocky in Rocky 4, working on the ice fields. I'm not sure why I have to keep moving these boulders, but I do it anyway. I don't know why that guy is following me. Is that Professor Batty taking pictures again? Sheesh. Paparazzi these days!

Free Book Blast

Happy Holidays! This is the season when the good people at Support Indie Authors are hosting a free book event. (For the first time ever, I will be participating in this awesomeness!) On Saturday, the 19th of December, forty authors will be offering more than fifty books in a wide variety of genres, absolutely free! What better way to de-stress, decompress, and take a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays than to curl up with a good book? All of the free books will be listed on the official Book Blast website

Each of the authors participating in the book blast has told us a little about themselves. Each name links to the author's goodreads profile, so feel free to give them a follow if you like what you see. Below are interviews for ten of the forty participating authors (including me). At the end of this post are links to three other blogs with the additional thirty authors. Please be sure to visit each and thank you for continuing to support indie authors. 

Emma Woods

What is your name? Emma Woods

What genre or genres do you write in? Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian/Apocalyptic, Teen & Young Adult
 Have you been naughty or nice this year? Nice 

 Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. Lea is a reluctant huntress. Tanner is her prey. When both get caught up in a war of the sexes, can they help each other survive? 

  What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Homemade hot cocoa, as in made from scratch.

  In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. The Red Cross. They were wonderful when I was the victim of a natural disaster. 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you? 

What is your name? M.S. L.R./Stefany Rattles 

What genre or genres do you write in? Fantasy, Romance, Erotica, Teen & Young Adult 

  Have you been naughty or nice this year? Naughty 

  Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. I am offering my erotic romance books Bad Romance Part 1 & 2 free. I'm also offering the first book in my Darkest Nights series - Dark Night: Episode 1 free. So if you're into both genre's or one or the other, you can have these books free for your starter library! 

  What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? York Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties 

  In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. Salvation Army 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you? 

  What is your name? GG Acheson 

What genre or genres do you write in? Urban Fantasy 

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Only a Sith thinks in absolutes. 

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. The Legacy: Fate: An alien named LX crashes on Earth and discovers a new breed of humans who calls themselves vampires. When fate brings a group of renegades casted out of his own planet thousands of years ago, he enlists the help of the vampires to save Earth from total annihilation. The Legacy: Destiny: Something ancient and evil lurks under the beautiful city of Los Angeles, and it's waiting for the right opportunity to take over the world. 

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Fruit jellies. 

 In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. When I was younger, the firefighters in my city would gather old toys, fix them, repaint them, and make them like new again. They put their heart in it. They thought no child should be without a present under the tree. So, in the spirit of the Holidays, any charity that has children in mind is my favorite. 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you? 

  What is your name? Ellison Blackburn 

What genre or genres do you write in? Science Fiction, Visionary/Metaphysical Fiction 

  Have you been naughty or nice this year? Nice. 

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. Regeneration X is a story about having choices and dealing with the consequences; creating new memories and letting others fade; and making sacrifices in pursuit of happiness. 

  What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Terry's Chocolate Orange

  In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. The Non-GMO Project - an organization committed to preserving and building non-GMO food sources, educating consumers. 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you? Website: Twitter: Facebook: Other: 

  What is your name? Shoshanah Lee Marohn 

What genre or genres do you write in? Humor & Satire, Poetry & Verse, Art 

  Have you been naughty or nice this year? That's a personal question.

  Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. I wrote and illustrated two books. One is a comic travel memoir called, "Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen." The other is a sinister and lovely book of haiku poems and pen and ink drawings called, "Coloring Inside the Dreams." 

  What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Glög- sweet Scandinavian mulled wine with nuts and raisins. 

  In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. It's hard to choose, but Heifer International really helps people become independent and grow their own food. 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you? Website: Twitter: Facebook: Other: 

What is your name? Dwayne Fry 

What genre or genres do you write in? Humor & Satire 

 Have you been naughty or nice this year? Naughty 

 Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. I am offering two satirical novellas about intense and angry individuals. 

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Mistletoe. So what if it's poisonous? 

 In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. Discovery Living, Inc. - A non-profit organization in Linn County Iowa, providing housing for adults with intellectual disabilities. 

What is your name? Charles Hash 

What genre or genres do you write in? Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian/Apocalyptic, Horror, LGBTQ 

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Naughty 

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. Flawed characters. Tragedy. Blood, lots of blood. 

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Those tiny little oranges that are easy to peel. 

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. Locks of Love, I've donated three times. 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

[Note from Shoshanah: I follow Charles on Twitter as The Goddess of Decay, and very much enjoy that twitter feed.]

What is your name? BR Kingsolver 

What genre or genres do you write in? Science Fiction, Fantasy 

 Have you been naughty or nice this year? Naughty 

 Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. The first two books in The Telepathic Clans Saga. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. 

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Banana pudding. It's underrated for all occasions and should be part of the mandatory food pyramid. 

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. The Polaris Project, This is an organization that works to disrupt human trafficking networks, helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate. 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

What is your name? Rhonda Parrish 

What genre or genres do you write in? Dystopian/Apocalyptic, Horror, Poetry & Verse 

 Have you been naughty or nice this year? Nice 

 Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. White Noise is a collection of poems from the zombie apocalypse. Tim Deal, from Shroud Magazine described it as, “A collection of vivid scenes laid out in sharp and articulate verse, that when assembled, construct a grim narrative filled with tension, stark imagery, and unusual beauty. WHITE NOISE reaches in and evokes a visceral response— not always the one you’d expect.” 

 What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Are any holiday treats really underrated? I dunno... Some of my favourites include my husband's Bûche de Noël, the vegetarian tourtiere we enjoy on the 24th but my absolute tippy-top favourite are butter tarts. Om nom nom! 

  In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. I adore Fauna Foundation -- They are Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary and do amazing work caring for our little cousins (and another animals as well). 

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

  What is your name? Frances Smith 

What genre or genres do you write in? Fantasy

  Have you been naughty or nice this year? Nice 

  Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering. A brother and sister, who are estranged from each other, come to believe their sibling is in grave danger. Each works to try and save the other, one through battle, the other through politics, each believing the other in need of rescue. They are both right. 

  What is your favorite underrated holiday treat? Stuffing. I can't get enough of it. 

  In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization. The Fire Fighters Charity, helping injured fire fighters in the UK. 

  Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

More interviews at:

Alp's blog

Ann's Blog

Amanda's Blog

Spruce up your whole home for the holidays!

fire breathing chicken 2015 shoshanah marohn bedroom
Add romance to your bedroom with this fire-breathing chicken painting.

fire breathing chicken 2015 shoshanah marohn dining room
Add a touch of class to your dining room soiree with this fire-breathing chicken painting. 

fire breathing chicken 2015 shoshanah marohn living room
Come home to relax in the living room with this fire-breathing chicken painting. 

fire breathing chicken 2015 shoshanah marohn hallway
Add splendor and intrigue to your breezeway with this fire-breathing chicken painting.

A New Sheep In Town

Today, we borrowed this large, mellow Corredale to cross breed with our little, fiesty Jacobs. I'm hoping we'll get some nice big meat lambs, and perhaps a few female lambs with dark grey wool, so we can make felted top hats!

Z took this picture of him while we were driving and singing (to the tune of Winnie the Pooh):

 "Driving *Mo's sheep
Driving Mo's sheep,
Going around the round-a-bout 
And down the Main Street!"

This ram got right to business, the second we let him loose. 

The lady sheep are still in shock.

* Mo is my friend who lent us this sheep. Thank you, Mo.

"September Morn" Reboot

One last painting! "September Morn" Reboot (You might recognize the creature from the "Dinosaur on the Moon" painting and the "Dinosaur In San Francisco" painting. He took his hat off to go swimming. My theory is that he is also Nessie of Loch Ness, but of course I can't prove anything.)

I'm in a little art and soap show in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin tonight (Friday Dec. 4), 4-8 PM at the Old #1 School House. You're all invited! 

Thrift Store Reboots

rat in teacup
I added a rat to this teacup. 
Rat In Teacup
And I added a rat to this teacup.

tentacle rowboat sea monster
I added the little girl to this one. 

fire breathing giant chicken shoshanah marohn
I added the house. 


Yes, I get way too excited about these Amazon rankings. And yes, New Releases in Haiku & Japanese Poetry is possibly the smallest book category on Amazon. And yes, this will make possibly no difference in anyone's life- but darnit, I'm excited, anyway, folks, because guess who has the number one new release in haiku poetry, as arbitrarily decided by a secret computer algorithm?

You guessed it! Happy dance.

It can only be because you bought it with your much appreciated cash money, so thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you... 



A Coloring Book for You

This is just the most exciting day of my life! Yes, the coloring book is out on Amazon! Woo hoo! Huzzah! I think I'm going to throw up and go to bed now. Buy the book here (for about 5 bucks).

Modern Taxidermy Article in Isthmus

I was mentioned in this interesting article about modern taxidermy in yesterday's Isthmus (one of our local newspapers in Madison, WI):

"Others prefer their animal-based decor to be less, well, dead.
Mount Horeb artist Shoshanah Marohn creates faux taxidermy mounts from the leftover fleece from her small herd of “goofy-looking” Jacob sheep. Marohn collects the fur and felts it, to create whimsical animal heads with twisted horns and mustaches. Most of her faux taxidermied heads are made to order. Marohn’s “a little surprised by their popularity.”
As she writes in the description at her Etsy shop, “I spend a lot of time looking at my sheep, and I wonder about their inner lives.... This series I’m doing of mustachioed sheep-like heads is a direct result of my spending so much time with sheep.”

see more here

They did not include any pictures of my work, so allow me: 

I think the article was well written, and interesting beyond the part that included me. Renee Gregory is a good writer. And also a really nice person, I found. She came over and palled around with me and the sheep a couple of months ago for the article. I ended up showing her my scrapbook from Norway last summer. She showed me a picture of her mom, and it turned out I had met her mom. We went out and pet little lambs. She took some pictures. She told me about living in Sweden. I told her about living in Sweden. I showed her my children's book. She showed me her children's book. Then, after the article didn't come out for a month or so, I thought, well, at least we had a good time. Maybe she just wanted to make a friend? 

But, no, there actually was an article. And a good one. I'm glad. 

Gift Idea #1: Puking Kitty Sauce Boat

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know. It isn't really Thanksgiving yet. But this time last year, I released the book, A Murder of Crows and Other Woes. In celebration of that one year anniversary, I am giving away twenty signed copies of the book. Enter to win at Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Murder of Crows and Other Woes by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

A Murder of Crows and Other Woes

by Shoshanah Lee Marohn

Giveaway ends November 25, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
And... stay tuned for the next big thing, coming very, very soon...

What to do when you are 8

I'm fascinated by the writings of my daughter. I find them all over the house. She must write a lot! The writings are such an interesting window into her brain. Today I found a short story about an elephant, the beginnings of a novel about someone whose parents died, and a tiny book about the size of a quarter with paper cut out in interesting designs. And this list (which I think is not too terribly personal):

I appreciate number 11. She really did clean the litter box. Number 8 is supposed to be "Lift Heavy Things" and number 14 is "juggle". Wherever it says, "1 mille" or "1 mile" that means to walk/ run a mile. I believe she achieved all of the things on the list, except for "walk on front hands."

Duende or Thanks for the Trouble You Took from her Eyes

As Nick Cave said, there may be, "No dollars in duende," but people are drawn to artists, places and experiences that embody and reflect to them their own duende.
"In his brilliant lecture entitled "The Theory and Function of Duende" Federico García Lorca attempts to shed some light on the eerie and inexplicable sadness that lives in the heart of certain works of art.
"All that has dark sound has duende", he says, "that mysterious power that everyone feels but no philosopher can explain." In contemporary rock music, the area in which I operate, music seems less inclined to have its soul, restless and quivering, the sadness that Lorca talks about. Excitement, often; anger, sometimes: but true sadness, rarely,
Bob Dylan has always had it. Leonard Cohen deals specifically in it. It pursues Van Morrison like a black dog and though he tries to he cannot escape it. Tom Waits and Neil Young can summon it. It haunts Polly Harvey. My friends the Dirty Three have it by the bucket load. The band Spiritualized are excited by it. Tindersticks desperately want it, but all in all it would appear that duende is too fragile to survive the brutality of technology and the ever increasing acceleration of the music industry. Perhaps there is just no money in sadness, no dollars in duende. Sadness or duende needs space to breathe. Melancholy hates haste and floats in silence. It must be handled with care." -Nick Cave (Vienna,1999)

My favorite Duende: 

When he suddenly says, "Well I see Jane's awake..." it throws new light on the whole situation. "While your enemy is sleeping..." this thought is never completed. He leaves so much unsaid. And the background lady singing. And then in the end, you find it's a letter. So beautiful.

Music Monday: Amanda Lear

It's not quite... there's just something... about this song. It's vaguely wrong, in a charming way. Disco beat. Caring message. Those deep backup voices! What does George Tokay say? Oh, my. Never trust a pretty face.

Coloring Book

I've been working on a coloring book of lost places. Tentative release date: December first.

I don't have a set title yet. It's getting late. I should have a title. I could just call it, "The Coloring Book of Lost Places." I also like the Portuguese word "Saudade," but that might be too obscure. What do you think?


"Did a shadow fall across the moon, or did the moon simply go out, extinguished as abruptly and completely as a candle?" -Madeline L'Engle, A Wrinkle In Time

Yesterday was not a school day, but Big Z wanted us to wake her at the usual time, which is 6:24. I did wake her, and we ate a languid breakfast under the fluorescent lights of the kitchen. BAH came out from his shower and joined us.

"Why isn't it light out yet?" He asked. I looked around and noticed that it was, in fact, totally pitch black out. 

"That's weird... Wait a bit, I guess. The sun is lazy today."

"Maybe it's cloudy out?" Said Z. 

"Yes, maybe. But there should be some light." 

We did wait until after breakfast, and still... Absolutely no light outside. We determined that it was cloudy, yes, and it is the week before the time changes, but still. There should be some light. 

But there wasn't. 

So we waited a little bit longer... And I was thinking about the Road and how during that whole book, the sun never comes out, but they never explain why...

And then we all three figured out at about the same time what was going on: the power had gone out sometime in the night, and made our alarm clock skip to twenty-one minutes in the future... Which, combined with an unusually cloudy day, made the sun apparently come up a half an hour late. 

I was relieved. We will not be living out the rest if our days in darkness. Phew. Dodged that bullet. 

Nightmares Make the Best Books: Annihilation and House of Leaves

I've always believed that House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski was a great book.  (Not to be confused with House of Pancakes.) My esteem for it has only increased with time- because I still have nightmares about it, still, eight years after reading it. I have a recurring dream that I go into my basement, and there's somehow a whole other house down there, and it's full of scary people or things unknown. The other one is that I go up into the attic, but then the house keeps going on, up, up, up into the sky, and when I try to go back downstairs, I've lost my way, and I'm teetering over a ledge, hanging over an abyss, with the wind whipping at me. If you've read House of Leaves, you understand how these dreams are about that book. If you have not read House of Leaves, what have you been doing with your life?

House of Leaves

Now I've recently read another one that has been haunting my dreams. Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer, is apparently the first book in a trilogy- though I have only read the first, thus far. It's a quick, easy read- totally the opposite of House of Leaves, actually- but thrilling and terrifying, never the less. It definitely has a Lovecraftian feel to it, with the same sorts of themes and strange happenings- nature turning rotten, suspected alien influences, human like creatures that- well, I don't want to give it away.


The dream I had was that my husband drove up to me in my old 1982 Ford EXP- the one I wrecked in the Mojave desert years ago. I opened the door to get inside, and he was smiling and beckoning for me to get into the passenger seat, but I couldn't bring my self to do it because the entire interior of the car was made of flesh. Muscles and tendons and stuff. He had his hand on the gear shift, which was a muscle. He seemed completely oblivious that anything was amiss with the car.

So... if you read Annihilation, you'll understand why that is a related dream. But it's not what you think. 

Music Monday: You are a fluke of the universe.

Someone shared this with me on Facebook, which kind of made me wonder... but I love it.

606-4311. As for Ken. It can only be worse in Milwaukee.

The Dowager Stout or Confusion About Beer

The following is a trivial conversation between two married people about trivial issues. It is trivial. Sorry to bother you. Excuse me. I will now go into my secret *beer cave with the Dowager Countess Stout- no relation.

Me: What was the kind of beer I was supposed to get? Dowager Stout?

Bad Ass Husband: What?

Me: Was it Dowager Stout or Derringer Stout?

BAH: What?

Me: Dowager? Stout? The kind of beer you like?

BAH: It was Imperial Stout. But Dowager Stout sounds good. Who is the Dowager Stout?

Me: I think it would be more correct to say, "Who is the stout dowager"?

BAH: Not if it's her name. What if her name were "The Dowager Stout"?

Me: Any self-respecting woman whose name was "Stout" would change it.

BAH: Not the Dowager Stout! She wouldn't change it! She is the Dowager Stout. That's who she is. She isn't changing her name.

Me: Well, no, I guess the Dowager Stout wouldn't change her name, would she?

BAH: Never.

She might wear a corset, though.

image from eBay 

* In case you are wondering, yeah, I did buy some beer. Imperial Stout. 

I heart Graffiti

To continue with a series I left off five or ten years ago...


I'm sorry, mom... found by a friend of mine in a bathroom in Nebraska.

I'm Sorry mom I had to be happy

Music Monday: Song Exploder

This week, something different. There is this podcast I discovered about song writing. Interviewer Hrishikesh Hirway goes to a person who wrote a song. Then he asks the musician how they created the song, and they take it step by step- and you listen.

It doesn't seem to matter if you like the music or not. It's equally interesting.

Take a listen here. 

Song Exploder
Song Exploder Podcast explores the minutia of songwriting. 

Mustache Taxidermy Forever!

I'm having lots of fun making more mustachioed sheep-deer-like creature heads lately. I even made a little movie of the process:

Mustache Faux Taxidermy

For sale here. :)
The end result is a silly and fun loving faux taxidermy piece, reminiscent of childish dreams and imaginary places where anthropomorphized animals with mustaches gladly lay down their lives to become wall decorations. 

Music Monday: Flaming Lips with Myley Cyrus Cover the Beatles (and my head explodes)

Today, I discovered a Flaming Lips cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" with Miley Cyrus, but the video is so unsafe for work (but so cool) that I hesitate to put it here! It has boobies and fannies (naked ones) that may or may not belong to that super NUDIST Miley Cyrus WHO PROBABLY SECRETLY COMES FROM FRANCE! They also scream the F--- word, a verb which, as you know, I try to avoid whenever I'm in France.

So, if you who are not at work and not bothered by swearing and indecency, or if you really would LIKE TO BE FIRED FROM YOUR JOB,  click here for a great cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." I'm sharing it because I love it.

BAH, I think you will like it. 

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

I feel like I should put this in my scrapbook of 2015, to keep forever and ever. Except that I don't have a scrapbook. I have a blog. And also, this is a tweet. So, I'll put this here, in my blogger scrapbook:

John Hodgman

I feel special. Thanks, John.

I highly suspect that John Hodgman says "I love you" to all of his devoted fans- but that doesn't actually make me less special. Because love is infinite. And, if you think about it, saying "I love you" is a really good way to keep devoted fans.

Have I told you lately that I love you? Thank you for reading.

I love you.



Judged and Forgiven

John Hodgman came to Madison last Saturday.

On the way to the show, it was a full moon, and Bad Assed Husband (BAH) and I were talking about the coming Super Blood Moon, so BAH experimented with taking pictures of the moon, to practice. The first one, he used the flash- in the car. So I laughed at him. But as you will see, to paraphrase John Lennon, "that instant karma will get you every time." And you should never laugh at your spouse. Except when you feel like laughing.

The ceiling in the Barrymore has the constellations. We got good seats, about ten rows back. It's a small venue, "Capacity 924" written over the doorway. It's an old movie theatre. BAH and I were talking before the show, and I was thinking about how I never go see comedy, because I'm afraid the comedian will make fun of me personally, and I am too shy for that. But John Hodgman seems like a nice, respectable dude, I thought secretly. John Hodgman would never make fun of me in front of everybody. 

Hodgman started the show by standing back stage and pretending to be the ghost "Barrymore Theatre" who would kill us if we took flash photographs. Among other things. (Have you guessed yet what stupid and nearly unforgivable thing I did when I went to the Barrymore Theatre Saturday night?) Non flash photographs, however, were not mentioned by the ghost named Barrymore Theatre, so I assumed they were okay.

Hodgman has a really funny bit and I completely recommend you go see him, if you are a later stop on his "Vacationland" tour. He was talking (somewhat ironically, considering what happened next) about his love for following rules, and how he so enjoys the way that the airport validates his love of following rules, when a little voice inside of me said, Shoshanah, this would be a perfect time to take a non-flash photograph of John Hodgman- for look! He is standing right in front of you, looking very Hodgmany, and well-lit, to boot! So, I snuck my camera phone out of my pocket, aimed it just right, surreptitiously keeping it low and unobtrusive and - the flash went off! John Hodgman, bless his heart, STOPPED THE SHOW AND POINTED AT ME AND YELLED IN HIS BOOMING BARITONE,


I was as terrified as I ever have been in my life. I hid behind my bunny fur sweater. I was hoping maybe a trap door would open beneath me, and I could crawl in. John Hodgman went on,


"I'm so sorry!" I squeaked to John Hodgman.

Beside me, very softly, I heard the delighted voice of my husband saying, "I can make fun of you for the rest of your life for this!"

"WHAT IS YOUR NAME?" said the booming voice. Judgement day. It had come. The thundering voice of Judge John Hodgman stood in judgment, and I was losing my case.


"Shoshanah, it was an accident, was it?" He was more calm, now. Perhaps he noticed I was terrified? (In person, he looks vaguely like my dad did at that age.)

"Yes, it was totally an accident! I'm so sorry!"

"Everyone," said Judge John Hodgman, "Repeat after me: 'Shoshanah, we forgive you.'"

"Shoshanah, we forgive you," said the 921 fellow fans of Judge John Hodgman. (Or maybe it was more like 200. It felt great to be forgiven. They didn't specify what I was being forgiven for, so I assume everything.)

"I forgive you, Shoshanah," said Judge John Hodgman. "And I love you... and that's the end of the show! I can't remember anything after that flash. Enjoy your picture!" He started walking to the back of the stage.

And then the mob killed me. Flash photography really was punishable by death!

This was the picture:

Aura of John Hodgman
The aura of John Hodgman, forgiver of sins. 

He didn't really end the show. He talked a lot more, and he even played a Handsome Family cover on the ukulele. The whole rest of the show, I had this existential urge to take another flash picture, just to see what he would do! But I was afraid he would kick me out, and I really was enjoying the show. And, you know, I'm a Midwesterner now. We don't do that kind of stuff -at least not on purpose.

Music Monday: Hangai hamtlag- "Transmigration"

Heavy metal Mongolian throat singing:

I keep playing this, over and over again. These guys rock!

From the youtube comments:

From Sheng Kang: This is a themed creation within 24 hours for their competition. Its name means reincarnation, but broadly it can be also interpreted as eternal recurrence, seasons circle, life circles. I don't understand Mogolian. The translated Chinese lyrics they put up on the screen is beautiful. Here's my translation ****** Reincarnation Be it flying bird or blossoming flower, all living beings are alike. Be it time, air or sunshine, we breathe and we share Time wheels, we carry on This moment could be short, it passes by and becomes eternal Spring, summer, autumn, winter: the seasons always go on We're born, we live, we age and we die: life always go on Kingdoms rise and fall, years gone by and still go on Only the universe is eternal, while our youth never comes back Last year's sun still clings up in the sky, beautiful old songs still sung by us We live the limited lives yet pass on crowning glory There ought to be some faith unmoved in the forever changing world Spring, summer, autumn, winter: the seasons always go on We're born, we live, we age and we die: life always go on Kingdoms rise and fall, years gone by and still go on Only the universe is eternal, while our youth never comes back Spring, summer, autumn, winter: the seasons always go on We're born, we live, we age and we die: life always go on Kingdoms rise and fall, years gone by and still go on Only the universe is eternal, while our youth never comes back

Music Monday: Dial-a-Song

In the eighties, when They Might Be Giants weren't a big deal like they are now, they had this thing where, every week, they recorded a new song on their answering machine. And you could call them, and listen. And I imagine you could leave a message, telling They Might Be Giants what you thought of their new song.

Now, it is no longer the eighties. But I'm guessing they're feeling nostalgic, because the answering machine is up again! They Might Be Giants is writing and recording a new song each week. Every Monday, a new song! And you can hear it on their answering machine at (844) 387-6962.

"What was that number again?"

They Might Be Giants Dial-a-Song: (844) 387-6962

If you don't call one week, you miss the song! Holy cow! No, who am I kidding? This is not 1985 anymore. Actually, you can hear it on each Monday's edition of Slate's The Gist for infinity, I presume. But it's better to just pretend you have to hear it on Monday. It adds something.

Oh, and just in case you don't know who these guys are, this is my favorite song of theirs:

The Grim Reaper by Big Z

My daughter, who just turned eight, is passing the time this evening by drawing pictures. This one is my favorite.

The Grim Reeper

He looks very... enthusiastic, doesn't he? So eagerly clutching his scythe. I almost wouldn't mind leaving this mortal coil with him.


Jacob Sheep

Hipster Jackalope

I've been working on fiber art lately- I have a lot of wool! This is made mostly from wool:

hipster jackalope
I find this position to be highly undignified. I feel so much as though I am on display! Intolerable.

Pardon me, do you happen to have any mustache wax?

Music Monday: Psycho

This isn't your average country song.

P.S. From the comments- My dad has a great thread on the Steel Guitar Forum about the production of this recording, which can be found here

A Conversation with God

Me: "God, what is a million years?"

God: "A million years for you is a second to me, like the blink of an eye."

Me: "God, what is a million dollars, then?"

God: "A million dollars to you is a penny to me."

Me: "Uh, God... could I have a penny?"

God: "Sure... just wait a second..."

Too busy to really blog lately! So sorry. I'll be back in a second...

Until then, here is an unrelated picture by Teresa: