I have some top-notch FREE advice for anyone that needs to update their blog more often but is too “busy” or out of ideas or just too lazy. (All of these are me.)

Start a column where you just talk about things you like or good things that have happened in the world lately.

Lots of Things Are Bad, But It Turns Out Some Things Are Actually Good

Not writing makes me sad. And not getting any work done is very bad.

Likewise, literally anything that has come out of Trump’s mouth in the last week will probably make me sad. 8 girls going missing in DC and very likely forced into human trafficking is horrifyingly bad. (You can help by spreading the word and their pictures on social media.)

But it’s Friday, so let’s not think about these things today. Instead of being sad, let’s fill ourselves up with art and laughter and other wholesome things.

1. Competitive tickling is a thing and there’s a documentary about it called Tickled.

They strap you down (and wear a headlamp?) because a tickle match is no time to fuck around. This still from clevelandscene.com.

I’m late on this one and I’m not sure how I lived the last year of my life not knowing about it. I write comedy and I couldn’t make this up if I tried: competitive tickling is a thing real people do—like it’s actually not just a thing your Disturbia-like neighbor made up to try to get you to come hang out with him in his basement.

I wish I could say more but sadly I haven’t seen it yet. Let me tell you: I know what I’m doing with my Friday night, bitch, and I hope you’ll join me wherever you are in the world.

Watch it on HBO. If you don’t have HBO and are wondering if it’s worth it, let me help—YES you ding dong, did you not just read this whole paragraph about competitive tickling? Lordy.

Edit (just 4 brief life-altering hours later): Oh. Oh, god. I was so misguided. Things got…dark.

2. Dave Chappelle’s 2 new specials on Netflix.

Guess who’s back, back, back, back again. From netflix.com.

This is an extremely good thing. Even if you’re bitter because Dave recently came to Charleston and you had your money all saved up and ready to go but scalpers bought all the tickets in less than a second and inflated them to more than four times the price.

I am still angry.

3. Instagram user usedthreads, who is an artistic genius as always.

Crying is an appropriate response. From usedthreads on Instagram.

This is nothing new.

But if you know me you know I love embroidery and you also know I am nowhere near as good at it as this. If you don’t know anything about embroidery, you probably don’t know about the amazing things people do with it. Like Rachael’s landscape “thread paintings” above.

Even if you’re not into needlework, scrolling through Rachael’s feed is pure eye candy.

4. Some poor man named Kevin on The Wheel of Fortune made the most wonderful mistake a human can ever make.

Obviously the answer is “A Streetcar Naked Desire.” From cartermatt.com.

Every other person on this Earth might have guessed the letter “M” to complete the classic American novel’s title when faced with the challenge shown above, but some brave and blessed man chose the letter “K” instead.

Perhaps he is secretly obsessed with trolley-related erotica and this burning desire overtook him; we just don’t know.

5. Neil Patrick Harris and Patrick Warburton in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events are positively delightful as Count Olaf and Lemony Snicket.

Villainy with a touch of Barney Stinson. From ndtv.com.

Here is one of my favorite scenes so far, from Episode 2. Olaf’s Henchman with 2 hooks instead of hands is probably my favorite character.

Olaf’s Henchman: Olaf is going to be very angry with you.
Violet: What are you going to do with me?
Henchman: I said have a seat!
Violet: No you didn’t!

And then:

Henchman (on a walkie talkie): Boss, it’s me.
Olaf: Who? Be specific.
Henchman (who is clearly very hurt): Me! Your henchman? With the [whispering] hand problem?
Olaf: Hand problem? Ohhhh.

This is gold, my friends. I can very safely say it’s the funniest show about orphans I’ve ever seen.

6. This book about words is a magical literary adventure.

John Whorter is not only a wonderfully intelligent author—he’s also a frickin sweet narrator. (I’m listening to this one on Audible.) From salon.com.

So far.

Like, literally, why do young people say “like” so much, and how is it that literally has come to mean the exact opposite (“figuratively”) of its written definition in modern-day speech?

Because, John Whorter explains in Words On the Move, a dictionary is simply a snapshot of a language in time, and not the be-all and end-all of words and their true meanings as a lexicographer or grammarist might like to have us think.

Language is fluid—that’s how we got French from Latin in one part of the world and Spanish from the same ancient language in another.

I love grammar, I really do. But the more I listen to this one, the more I think we should all strive to be linguists instead.

7. Just this headline from Clickhole by itself is a treat; the article being great too was a lovely surprise.

This image and perfect headline are from the comedic geniuses at clickhole.com.

I truly believe angels who write nonsense like this are the sole reason the earth hasn’t imploded yet. You’re doing the world a great service, Kent Meara.

8. This picture of Donald Trump Jr. and the noble souls on Twitter who went to town on it.

This is one of those pictures you want to try to caption but there’s just so many great options that your brain just can’t keep up and so it explodes.

And to town they went.

Here is my favorite, and god bless you @PinkCamoTO:


9. Dogs + inmates + veterans = a type of prison reform that inspires hope in humanity.

Training service dogs is super hard, so let’s not underestimate all the wonderful hard work these inmates are doing. From today.com.

Prison reform is another sad thing to think about because it often seems like a hopeless battle: “perps” locked up for petty drug offenses still make up too large a percentage of inmates, 21% of incarcerated youth haven’t even committed an actual crime, and statistics on racial disparities are grossly telling about the racism hispanic and black people still face today. In 2017.

Anyway. Feel better by reading this article about how we’re one step closer to viewing our prisons as places for reform instead of places to hide away the people society wants out of sight and mind.

Learn more about prison reform and how you can help from Piper Kerman, a champion for prison reform made famous by the show Orange Is the New Black.

10. I have a cat so tiny it should be illegal.

Please. Don’t tell the kitten police.

On a personal level, things are not so bad.

It’s been a little rocky, yes. One sad thing: I lost my sweet boy Notte very suddenly earlier this year. But now I have Minerva, who keeps telling me, “Please, Ma, call me Minnie for short.” She was only 3 months when I got her, but even the vet said she looks way younger than that.

Min and I have gotten very close and sleep and cuddle together every night. She is a gosh dang riot and literally (figuratively?) cannot stop bouncing off the walls sometimes, but we love each other.

I miss Notte and am working on an embroidery piece for him. I’m thinking about making quilt patches for all the cats in my life and stitching them together into a love-filled cat blanket. (The patches, not my dead cats.)

What About You?

What’s good, friend? Please, tell me about your good things. I want to know.