Monday, February 9, 2015

Part Thirty-Nine of review of "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," Chapter Nineteen: The Last Stupid Chapter

A review of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

Part Thirty-Nine, Chapter Nineteen: The Last Stupid Chapter


Chapter Nineteen starts with Cheryl sitting alone at a picnic table and packing Monster, the TYB having "left at dawn" because once again, Cheryl can't hike with real people for more than five minutes.

Drooling Ranger Guy shows up and gives Cheryl a package that just arrived for her from a friend she hasn't mentioned before and it's crazy amazing timing that she happened to be right there when the package arrived, kind of like how Lisa showed up out of the fucking blue because she just had a feeling that Cheryl would be right there, right then.  This is all so stupid.

Cheryl thanks Guy for the package and "for the drinks the other night and the hospitality" while managing to not laugh or make fun of him because she's totes found, everybody.  She's Cheryl 2.0 now, totally different from before in every absolutely no way.  She opens her big mystery package from whomever and holy shit, chocolate and wine.

"I ate some chocolate immediately while pondering the wine.  Much as I wanted to open it that night on the trail, I wasn't willing to lug the empty bottle all the way to Timberline Lodge,"

and goddamnit, what the fuck is she talking about.  First of all, Cheryl loves to carry useless shit.  A bunch of books?  Absolutely!  Thousand-dollar camera she apparently only used like four times?  Heck, yeah!  Also, she's had no qualms about littering repeatedly on the trail so far; why not just chuck the bottle into some bushes, Cheryl?  Since when do you give a shit?

Anycrap, Cheryl gets up to leave and Doug of Doug-and-Tom appears and no he doesn't.  Guess how they say hello.

"'Doug, Doug, Doug,' I kept saying.
"'Cheryl, Cheryl, Cheryl!' he said to me."

Of course.

They eye-fuck one another for a minute and then Cheryl asks where Tom is.

"'He's a few miles back.  He'll catch up later.'"

Except he won't, and we'll get to this.  Their joyful reunion continues and because Cheryl is the most amazing person ever to have lived, of course Doug says this:

"'We read your notes in the register all summer long.  They motivated us to crank.  We wanted to catch up with you.'"

Jennifer Lawrence totally believes you.
 
 
 
Doug invites her to hike with him and she accepts "without hesitation" because Doug isn't a real person, but she goes on to explain,
 
"'I've got to hike those last days before I get into Cascade Locks alone-- you know, just to finish like I started--"

And WHY, Cheryl.  Why.  [Blogger's note: Please watch the excellent movie "Mile, Mile and a Half."  Tell me that you would want to celebrate alone.  Please, watch it.  It's an incredible documentary.]

I guess they hike or something because it's suddenly nighttime and they're building a fire.  For reasons I still can't logically comprehend, Tom never catches up with the two of them even though he was only "a few miles back" and I don't even care anymore.  All of this is complete bullshit.  They take turns drinking the wine "straight from the bottle" because that's super hard-core and then have a conversation I can't even deal with because it's too stupid and you're welcome.

After they finish the wine, Cheryl asks Doug if he wants something to read and then whips her goddamned bookmobile out of Monster.  Doug declines and then Cheryl spends half of a page reminding us how super-smart she is, using the title/phrase "the ten thousand things" three times in one paragraph.  She once again forgets how words work:

"Each of Dermoƻt's sentences came at me like a soft knowing dagger,"

and if I ever get stabbed, I hope it's with a "soft knowing dagger" because that sounds pleasantly comfy and HEY, ROBIN DESSER, REMEMBER COMMAS?  ARE YOU AWAKE?  *pokes the lifeless body of Robin Desser*  HEY.  YOU.  HEY... hey...?

Doug decides to turn in for the night and says that Tom will "probably catch up" with them the next day and how the fuck did Tom not already catch up with th-- oh, who cares.

Cheryl starts talking about her stepfather and how he taught her all kinds of outdoorsy things and how she never would have been out on the PCT if it hadn't been for him, yet still manages to take a giant dump on him at the end of the paragraph because she's a giant asshole.

She then goes Full Cheryl once again in describing one of the books she's been carrying this whole time and I can't even bother.  NO ONE CARES, CHERYL.

Flash, bam, it's suddenly two days later and she's at Timberline Lodge.  I guess Tom finally caught up because he's there, too, as well as what appears to be a lesbian ex-couple and sure, whatever.  She claims that the five of them all hiked together and,

"On our long breaks we played hacky sack and skinny-dipped in an icy-cold lake, incited the wrath of hornets and then ran from them while we laughed and screamed."

I'm sure all of this is totally legitimate because there's nothing lesbians love more than getting naked in the company of men and oh, wait, the opposite of that.  She claims that they were "like a tribe, bonded in that way I imagined kids felt when they spent a week together at summer camp," and I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for Cheryl because she's implying that she never went to summer camp or some shit.  Again, NO ONE CARES, CHERYL.

They all finally arrive at Timberline Lodge and Cheryl says a bunch of shit I don't care about.  You're welcome, again.  She does her stupid hopscotch thing yet again-- "hop, skip, spin, done"-- and I don't remember spinning being a part of hopscotch, but I'm over it at this point.  She has fifty miles to go before she reaches the Bridge of the Gods.

She says goodbye to everyone and starts hiking alone again because or course she does, starts rambling on about how awesome it is to be alone again, lets us know how amazing she is and then has another Mom-attack because there are only five pages left in the book and she had to squeeze that in there one last time.

She walks a vague number of days alone and peels off another toenail, the sixth one, and pfffffft, bullshit.

She reaches the Columbia River and actually says,

"It seemed like a miracle that I finally had the river in my sights, as if a newborn baby had just slipped into my palms after a long labor."

Whatever, Tuna Flakes.  Go fuck yourself.

She keeps hiking and what the fuck is this all about:

"I walked through spiderwebs, feeling them like magic on my face,"

and pardon me all over the place, but when real people walk through spiderwebs, it isn't a magical experience.  It's more like,

Not magical.
 
 
 
Anyway, it's Friday morning and Cheryl says that she "could feel the Friday morningness emanating from the houses" she passed and I think I can smell Robin Desser's rotting corpse.
 
 
She reaches the Bridge of the Gods and manages to avoid paying the toll to get to it by telling the woman in the tollbooth that she only wanted to touch it and I roll my eyes.  She copies and pastes more information abou-- you know what, fuck this.  We all know what she did.
 
She high-fives herself--
 
"I had arrived.  I'd done it."

And in large, angry letters, I had scrawled, "DONE WHAT," next to those sentences.  She claims that she had saved "a couple of dollars" to buy ice-cream cones and I throw the book across the room while looking for something to punch.  She gets a "chocolate-vanilla twist cone," and says that she now only has twenty goddamned cents to her name.  Then she,

"ate every bit of my cone and..."

BITS.  BITS BITS BITS BITS BITS.  THE WORLD DOES NOT COME IN INCREMENTS OF BITS, YOU STUPID TWIT.

Whatever, she sits outside the ice-cream shop and a "young man in a business suit" drives up in a BMW.

"'Hi,' he said to me as he passed.  He was about my age, his hair gelled back, his shoes impeccable.  Once he had his cone, he returned to stand near me."

What the fuck is Gordon Gekko doing at an ice-cream stand in the middle of the PCT, but whatever, yes, this is happening.  He's super observant:

"'Looks like you've been backpacking.'"

Cheryl can't even contain herself.  She lies and tells him that she just hiked "over eleven hundred miles" and he worships her because of course he does.  He tells her that he's an attorney, gives her his business card and fuck everything.

"'Give me a call once you settle in.  I'd love to take you out to lunch and hear more about your trip."

 Cheryl finishes up this make-believe conversation with Mr. BMW saying,

"'It was an honor to meet you at this momentous juncture,"

and this is when I pour gasoline all over myself and light a firecracker.

She concludes the book with a bunch of stupid garbage about how she would finally meet her husband, have two kids and eventually come back to this very ice-cream stand so they could all remember her fake hike together as a family.

She says how Doug very conveniently died and therefore would be unable to validate her lies.

She actually writes this sentence fragment:

"That it was enough to trust that what I'd done was true."

You know what?  I'm going to walk the entire length of the ADT next year and if/when I write about it, I certainly won't feel the need to end my book with, "That it was enough to trust that what I'd done was true," because I'm gonna have documentation coming out of my fucking ears by the time I finish.  Cheryl needs to write this because she made this whole fucking book up.

And that's it, everybody.  That was Wild.  If I had a mic right now, I'd drop it, set it on fire and leave the stage while giving double middle-fingers to everyone.

I'm out.

92 comments:

  1. NOOOOOOO!!!!! You can't be done. Pick another stupid book. Do the movie. Anything! Just don't leave us! (Although dropping the flaming mic while flashing double middle fingers is a pretty sweet way to go out.)

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    1. Don't worry, I promised to review the movie and I always keep my promises.

      Also, I'll be starting a new blog soon and I will be taking suggestions for what I should write about. I'll keep you all updated, don't worry.

      Delete
  2. A soft, knowing dagger? Any dagger that knows itself would not be soft.

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    1. It was likely soft as that nurse's penis, but I'm just speculating.

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    2. Okay, now you put the image in my mind of someone trying to stab me with...uh...nevermind...ugh....

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    3. I kid you not, I just typed "getting stabbed with a flaccid penis gif" into google and this is what popped up:

      http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view1/1438629/frodo-stabbed-o.gif

      You're welcome.

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    4. yep, that was the look on my face...yeppers

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  3. yeah...

    The soft dagger was thrown at me while I walked runningly through the darkly luminous night. Its bite was both hot and cold and as I pondered my short but long life I cried and I cried and I cried.

    Yeah she's brilliant. Must be her brutal honesty.

    Cant wait for the movie review. I cant bring myself to spend movie to watch it myself.

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    1. I'm sure as shit not going to pay to see it again just so I can review it scene by horrible scene. There are ways around that...

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    2. It's playing on base here tomorrow, for $1. I feel like I should go see it, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'd probably get kicked out for throwing things at the screen, or for the projectile vomiting that would surely occur.

      I just don't know if I'm strong enough.

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    3. You can do it. Just go in there and watch it while imagining what I'm going to write about it because *spoiler* I DIDN'T LIKE THE MOVIE and I have some things to say about it. Things and things and things.

      Tell me, are base movies still as crazy weird as they used to be? It's like they send the military the unfinished cuts or something and that's why tickets are only $1. I saw "Chicago" on base years ago and there was a scene where the boom mic came within millimeters of smacking Richard Gere in the face. Seriously. Right in the face. Like, Richard Gere even looked over at the boom mic guy and gave him the "Really?" facial expression. In fact, I saw several movies on base starring Boom Mic. Is that still the norm for overseas base movies? I'm dying to know.

      There! Now you have to go because I want to know if the movies are still messed up. Your decision has been made.

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    4. Lol! I've never seen anything like that. The only difference is that we have to stand up for the national anthem/military propaganda video before the movie starts. Because doesn't everyone want a little banal nationalism at the movies?

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  4. The best part of my day was reading your blog. You're hilarious, Cali. Say it isn't over. I can't wait for the movie review. Maybe you can make it a two-parter.

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    1. IT'S NOT OVER, EVERYBODY! I promise. I have a new blog already planned, but I'm not going to give you the name just yet because I'm pretty sure that Cheryl is trolling this blog at this point and I don't want her to steal the name of it before I get started.

      I will tell you this now: I am taking suggestions. I really want to avoid reviewing another book, but I'll take one on if it's bad enough. Instead, I plan on writing about random things-- especially heated, taboo subjects because I am an asshole and I will say the things most people only dare to ashamedly think when no one is around to judge them other than God and Santa Claus. If you have a subject you'd like me to destroy, please send it to me at Califohioan@gmail.com. I'm ready.

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    2. Yay! Please do tell us where the new blog is.

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    3. Please do "Fifty Shades of Grey", which I have never, and will never, read/watch. But it begs to be shredded. And you're just the gal to do it!

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    4. My excellent friend already did that. Here is the link to her epic review:

      http://bizzybiz.blogspot.com/p/the-50-shades-reviews.html

      She also created the funniest fake preview I've ever seen:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuaSQ53Yc2E

      She is my hero.

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    5. She plays Christian Grey in the preview and she has boobs and stuff, so it might get confusing, but whatever. Boobs. Love her so much. (We went to high school together. Ohio's best export is angry, funny people.)

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    6. YOU'RE WELCOME, all of you. Funniest stuff I've ever read/seen ever. EVER.

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    7. when she started making out with the potato. i died.

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    8. Funniest. Fucking. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Seen. I love her so much. I almost wet myself the first time I watched it. "Is that a potato--? OMFG, BRILLIANT."

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    9. Brilliant! It was fun to watch over breakfast. Waffles--no potatoes. Although a waffle could have fit in somehow.

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    10. I take it the audio is from the real preview...The sweet little yam was hilarious. I love it that people can now respond in a real way to movies and books, like this blog and your friend's blog and youtube video. Using technology to its fullest, bravo.

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  5. That final chapter is a real stinker, even by the standards of this book.

    Truly, you have suffered for your art.

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    1. It was all worth it if I managed to make you laugh even once.

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    2. You mean she suffered and suffered and suffered.

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    3. Hehe. Actually I think in this case three suffereds are warranted.

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    4. More than three are warranted.

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  6. **APPLAUSE**
    Take a bow, you made it through! Anxiously awaiting the movie review. My suggestion was and is Eat Pray Love even though you said you wanted to stay away from books. After you read East of Eden and are ready for more drivel then consider it.

    Now to replenish your liquor stash. We should take up a donation to send to you. You deserve it.

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    1. No, no-- no replenishing my liquor stash. I've sucked down more bottles of wine while writing this review than I care to admit. It's time to start getting in shape for my walk across the country on the ADT. You wanna donate to that cause? I'll take it. March of 2016. I have a year to prepare. More than anything, I want to meet up with as many of you as I can on the trail.

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    2. What?! If heroin addicted Cheryl can hike the PCT then a few bottles of wine shouldn't affect your hike at all! ;) And I didn't realize that you actually prepare for hikes. I thought you slap dash put together a huge ass back pack and went at it. I will have to research the ADT I don't think that is near me.

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    3. Read up!

      http://www.discoverytrail.org/

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    4. First of all: thank you for the awesomeness that is this blog. I found you through gomi and i was very happy because i wanted to research the book anyway. Even though i am not a hiker myself i really enjoyed reading "a walk in the woods" by b.bryson and thought that maybe "wild" could be something like that. Thanks to you i now not it is NOTHING like that and you saved me from spending any money on this piece of crap.
      Instead i would love to donate the amount the book costs in germany to your walk across the ADT. Maybe you can buy a bit of duct tape for your hiking flip flops? ;)

      Thank you for going through all that pain, suffering and those bottles of wine for our entertainment!

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    5. I came in relatively late in the review. I Googled "Cheryl Strayed critique". I still thought I enjoyed the book, then I read "A Walk In The Woods". No comparison. He's so honest and self-effacing. What a contrast.

      Now, to comfort myself, I'm going to read your whole blog again and weep for what we had...

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    6. I came in late to the review, too. I stared reading the book and hated cheryl by the end of chapter 1. I thought it might get better so I tried to keep reading. I gave up in disgust somewhere in chapter 4. I looked for reviews because I wanted to see if anyone else hated it as much as I did...or hated it at all. I did find quite a few people on Goodreads who hated it and someone posted a link to this blog. I started reading it at around Part 20. I felt like I had found a new home! I settled in a comfy chair and went back to start at Part 1. Here we all are, good friends who may all meet on the ADT!

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  7. Well done, you! I was wondering how you were going to cap it off. The kermit/spider web imagery made me lose my shit while sitting at the Apple Shed in Tehachapi. I was giggling uncontrollably. Mainly because I knocked out the six miles (12 round trip) that kept Cheryl busy for two days and got back to my car in time for din din. Lol. You and I still need to meet up for a drink. We can toast to imaginary hikes. I also think you should do a post pulling the top 10 funniest/most dampening comments off your blog posts because this stone cold pack of weirdos is awesome sauce.

    Out. Out. Out.
    Tori

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    1. Tori-- You have my email address. You name a place and time and I'll be there.

      And I will definitely do a "Best of" post for all of you and your amazing comments.

      Thank you so much. You don't even know.

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  8. You haaave to do the movie review. And keep us apprised of Cheryl's ridiculous public statements. I have enjoyed your reviews so much!

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    1. Thanks! And now, I will repeatedly use capital letters! Heck yeah!

      YES, I'M CURRENTLY IN THE PROCESS OF REVIEWING THE MOVIE. This bullshit takes time because unlike Cheryl, I care about writing something that's actually entertaining. First, I have to (god help me) watch it a couple more times to ensure I'm getting everything right (also unlike Cheryl), review all of my notes (and there are A LOT of notes) and finally put all of my nonsense together in a way that I hope you will find amusing. But yes, Kimberly and everybody, THERE WILL BE A MOVIE REVIEW. You have my word.

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  9. That Kermit gif is perfect. That's exactly what it feels like. It always seems like I'm the first one on the trail and I'm always waving my hiking poles around in front of me trying to prevent that reaction.

    By the way, I plan on watching the documentary you mentioned. I'm set to hike the JMT next year, so I don't want to watch it too soon or else I won't be able to stand the wait.

    Thanks for sticking with the book (and the blog) to the end. We all enjoyed your deconstruction of this piece of crap masquerading as a non-fiction memoir. When examined in detail like this one wonders how anybody could believe any of her nonsensical tale.

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    1. Facilman, hold out as long as you feel it's necessary, but please watch it. It's such a beautiful movie. The end makes me cry joyful tears every single time. It's that good.

      Thank you again for reading. It was an honor to have you as a reader and your comments made all of my nonsense that much better for everyone who stopped by to read.

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    2. I love the Kermit gif, too. Cheryl is an idiot. I love the outdoors & I do like garden spiders because they eat the bad bugs from my perennials and arborvitaes...but everyone hates walking into spider webs. They stick to everything...especially hair. Ugh.

      I love this blog so much, I go back and re-read parts of it, just to laugh and laugh and laugh. I know I will love everything Erin writes, just for the wit and beauty of her writing.

      Erin, your friends in "real" life are lucky...they get to be around you and experience your observances in person!

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    3. Oh, Cindi.. Don't be ridiculous. This is real life. Can't wait to meet up with you on the ADT!

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  10. Erin thank you so much. Reading your review was my guilty pleasure. My daughter swears I need therapy. To be honest, I think I'm bored with Cheryl now, although I will avidly read anything you write.

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    1. Oh, pffffffft, we all need therapy. Tell your daughter to stop being so Cheryl about everything.

      And Ritz? I'm fucking bored with Cheryl, too, but I promised to write the movie review. Stick with me for a little BIT longer and then we'll all move on together...

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    2. I was bored with Cheryl by the end of chapter 1 (in the book) & gave up reading it in chapter 4. I was mad at myself for even picking up the damn book....at the library! It was a waste of time and gas. At least, I didn't buy the book. If I hadn't started the book and then hated it, I would never have found this blog. So, for that, I am grateful.

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  11. Thank you for writing this! I was linked over from GOMI a few weeks ago. You've kept a new mom who is nursing around the clock thoroughly entertained. You've also spared me from subjecting myself and my sweet, innocent baby from going to see this at a "mommy and me" showing! You really are a talented (and witty) writer!

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    1. I'm glad you didn't go because that movie is definitely not for children of any age, or adults of any age, for that matter. Tasteless and tacky.

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    2. Oh, you would have regretted it...That's 2 hours I'll never get back, lots of filth in a totally fictional setting.

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    3. THIS IS A "MOMMY AND ME" MOVIE? Does Cheryl own that particular theater or something? Do they give out free condoms to the children?

      I'm glad to have kept you entertained! Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  12. Madam, you are the...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Q3orQhEcA

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  13. As a person who has done some proofreading and editing over the years, I imagine Robin Dresser just gave up at some point. Edits would have made the book into another book entirely, and I would think that Cheryl "Queen Of The PCT" would reject any substantive edits in any case. I would not want my name connected with this garbage, would not want it on my resume', but I guess if you work for a publishing house and get the short straw, you're kinda stuck.

    It still kills me that people think writing of this poor caliber is so wonderful, and that obviously fictionalized memoirs are true and worth anything. People don't even know what good writing looks like any more, and that depresses me greatly. The raging success of "50 Shades" tells me that our literacy level has sunk so far below the horizon as to be undetectable. In a way, I guess Cheryl wrote her own fanfic of "Eat, Pray, Love."

    Can't wait for the movie review. Thanks for this blog. I'm happy to have found such a great group of folks. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

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    1. "I guess Cheryl wrote her own fanfic of 'Eat, Pray, Love.'" BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA brilliant. That sounds so accurate.

      I'm so glad you've enjoyed this. My movie review is on the way. Hope to see you then!

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    2. Oh, I'll be here for the duration. I can't wait to hear your observations of the movie, may even have to join you in reviewing it - of course with a large jug of wine nearby to numb my senses in order to survive the waterboarding that is "Wild." (Yes, that was a shitty sentence, I'll own it.)

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    3. I hope the CIA is paying attention.

      "You will tell us everything you know about the next terrorist plot or we will tape your eyelids open and play the movie "Wild" on a continuous loop until your brain explodes."

      Delete
  14. Have been following your blog since a New Year's argument with my SIL over whether Cheryl is inspirational or a narcissistic twit. You are brilliant and funny and a heck of a writer.

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    1. Aw shucks and thanks and stuff, you gotta stop all that, I don't know what to do with it. Somebody needs to call me an asshole just so I can feel normal again.

      I have to ask-- who won the argument?

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    2. Alison, this is why I like you.

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  15. *Applause* take a bow! To pull from Cheryl's *most smartest* fans…"it was true in the truest truthy part of your heart". Since I noped the fuck out on the third toenail, you have done God's work. Maybe next time Cheryl can collaborate with Stephanie Meyer. Making our sparkly young buck dreams come true, assuming they could collaborate out of a wet paper bag. I'm so excited to read your next project. Since television without pity died a bitter death, this gives me my fix. (Like heroin. But not.)

    I'm a fan fan fan!

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  16. If there is one silver lining to all of this "Wild" nonsense, it appears that Cheryl has inadvertently introduced herself into the vernacular of serious hikers.

    I'm seeing more and more hikers using the term "Cheryl" as a descriptive term. It's quite versatile, as you can use it to describe any bonehead hiking move, or as shorthand to describe any foolish hiker you encounter...

    Did you see that Cheryl over there? His pack must weigh 60 pounds.

    I can't believe I pulled a Cheryl back there and left my water bottle behind.

    I think these shoes aren't a good fit. I feel like a total Cheryl.

    I brought some extra luxury items on this trip. I'm going full-Cheryl.

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    1. Anybody got a spare Cheryl, I'm expecting to have a random sexual encounter and forgot mine...

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    2. I should have been paying attention to what the nurse was saying, but I was totally Cheryling his pants.

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    3. I was really sad when my dog got sick, but I didnt have money for the veterinarian. So instead I took him out to the back yard and Cheryled him. I guess I should have paid more attention to his health, but I was out Cheryling.

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    4. The possibilities are endless, aren't they?

      Cheryl, adjective. Condescending and overwrought.

      "Oh my god, I drank way too much last night; I hope I didn't say anything too Cheryl."

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    5. Everyone needs to play! Keep going.

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    6. He walked into the room wearing a Wilco t-shirt. Little did he know he was about to be Cheryled.

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    7. "I'm hungry and broke, think I'll Cheryl a meal out of some guy."

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  17. I heard this section of trail is kinda muddy. I think I'll just Cheryl my way around it. I'll catch you at the next trail town.

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    1. Oops, meant to add that as a reply to my previous comment.

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    2. I get confused sometimes on which "reply" I'm hitting too!

      "There are three types of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Cheryl Strayed"

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    3. Hi. My name is Cheryl and I am a LiarHolic.

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  18. If any comments on your Facebook page hurt your feelings, just Cheryl and Cheryl and Cheryl them. Forever gone.

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  19. I love love love the Cheryl out of you all.

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  20. Just want to say that Mile, Mile and a Half is incredible, and actually embodies what the trail lifestyle is all about -- sharing the experience with like-minded people.

    I read the book a while ago. I forgot that bit about the validation trust thing. I don't doubt that much of this book is fabricated, as most memoirs are these days (it feels that way, anyway), but to SAY 'take my word for it', that pretty much says it all. In the end, I suppose her journey was more about ~*~ her mental journey~*~ rather than completing the PCT, making the book a little easier to swallow.

    Also what I don't understand is that if she's hiked before, she would have an idea of what to pack for a thru-hike and what to leave behind, but no. No clue. None whatsoever.

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  21. Made it! Good read Califohioan.

    Hey what happened to Jaime? His comments trailed off a bit.... ;)

    Onto the movie review.

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  22. Whew, Erin, I just finished your detailed book review, which was a long, substantial reading hike of pure enjoyment, and will celebrate this momentous occasion with a big, fat bowl of tuna flakes. It was great and great and great! I have the "Wild" DVD cued up and will watch it in preparation for your movie review. I'll check back later because you are definitely someone to follow - do you have a FB page, too? Stay with writing - you are one talented mofo!

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    1. Gator Girl, thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed my madness, and thank you for the lovely compliment. Yes, I *do* have a FB page. If you'd like to find me on FB, please email me at califohioan@gmail.com

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  23. I haven't read more than half the review yet, but I had to stop in and tip my hat to you. As I was reading the book, my detestation of Strayed grew, but beyond her unhealthy obsession with her dead mother, and her belief that her private life should be as fascinating to us at it is to her, I couldn't quite put my finger on the reason. I now realize that it is how she deliberately exaggerates her own incompetence and stupidity so that she will emerge as that much more wonderful after surviving.

    I also hadn't realized the extent of her mendacity until reading your reactions and some of the wonderful comments. Has anyone besides me noticed that, in counterpoint to the camera that took mysteriously few pictures, Strayed has nothing to say about note-taking yet somehow manages to reconstruct scenes and dialogue from the distant past?

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    1. several people have point that out. she spent $1000 on camera and didn't take any pictures?

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  24. I have to disagree with one point....you do eat icecream cones in unit of bits. You bit it, and bit it again. other than that, you are right about everything else. ;-)

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  25. I *profoundly* loved this blog! I laughed and laughed and laughed!
    Seriously, I just read the whole thing in the last 24 hours because I couldn't put it down, it was hilarious and made me realize how bad the book really was, which I read immediately before launching into your blog.
    Thank you so much, and now I'll be looking into what else you've done so I can keep laughing!

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  26. I just spent hours reading your posts, far more time than I gave wild. Thanks for the experience. Your blog can only be summarized as true schadenfreude. Your pain is your audiences joy, but we share that pain as well. And really strayed as a surname? What a diva...

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  27. This was amazing. I stumbled upon this blog by mistake (I was doing research for my upcoming AT thru-hike) and couldn't stop reading. The very real criticism combined with your ridiculous humor made this an excellent read. Never stop writing.

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  28. I have been reading this blog for three or four days now. A day late and a dollar short. But not really a dollar short--if you can still use funds for your trek, you can count on me. Just point the way to your gofundme (or I can continue clicking about and I'm sure I'll spot it). I owe you for the countless guffaws and guffaws and guffaws.

    I just read this drivel last week (and by drivel I mean Cheryl's profound dreck, not this blog--this blog shattered me entirely, but in a good way). I started out and was absolutely sucked in, because her description of the anguish of losing a mom to cancer--I lost mine to pancreatic cancer, and she too was healthy beyond measure up until her diagnosis--paralleled mine in many ways (except for the adultery, abortion tuna, and heroin, but otherwise, pretty close). Seriously though: I took a backpacking trip around the globe for 6+ months and I felt like "Hey, here is a kindred spirit!" But alas, about halfway through the book, my normally easy-going, accepting nature just gave out.

    So I found you.

    And I laughed my ass off for the next few days as I read every post, every link (including merced's blog) and viewed every video and pic.

    Thank you for this. Just knowing that I wasn't crazy for googling "Cheryl Strayed fact check" and finding this blog means the world to me. And you are funny as shit!

    I want to help your trek! Show me the way!

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    1. And I almost forgot: I put the book down for 2 days when I got to the horse scene. I want to shoot that bitch in the head with a .22 a few times and see her writhe around in agony. Fucking CUNT! How could she? "Oh, I can't afford a vet, but I can afford to shoot a 'bit' of heroin tee hee?" Fucking CUNT! (Wow, i just used the "c-word" twice and I never, ever use that word. See what she does to me? Fucking cunt, cunt, cunt.

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    2. Assume a closed parentheses somewhere up there.

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    3. And forgive me for "conflating" (I almost stepped on a rattlesnake MOOSE-llama!) "Mercer Creed" into "Merced." I blame the chewable opium.

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  29. I'm late to the game as well! I too would definitely contribute to a gofundme. The writing on the blog has had me p*ssing myself with laughter over the last 2 days - I've read every post and comment. I came over here from GOMI when I was reading a thread about the ridiculousness of Liz Gilbert's recent shenanigans and also her BFF Glennon Doyle Melton of www.momastery.com and I actually LOVED all three of these writers.... Eat, Pray, Love ... Wild and Carry On, Warrior.... It's hilarious though when the curtain is lifted and you see the little narcissitic personality disordered person behind the curtain in OZ. Thank the Universe for critical thinkers and generally awesome humans like you Erin! This blog is the best thing I've read in SO, SO, SO, Long......

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  31. I've been pondering a tattoo for a while, and keep coming up with ideas that turn stupid the more I consider them. After finishing your dismantling of this "book," (novel? can we just call it a novel now?) I realized and realized and realized that I'd been doing the tattoo-consideration thing wrong: I was supposed to START with a stupid idea - like The Strayed and her horse. That way, it wouldn't become stupid the more I thought about it.

    The stupid idea: let's all get Soft Knowing Dagger tattoos, if for no other reason that to remind us what fun we've had reading this blog, and that we should never let our lives devolve into the liar-ly state that The Strayed has let hers, no matter the money, no matter the circumstances.

    I've seriously enjoyed this experience - much more transformative than reading the book, and something I greatly needed after watching the movie with my girlfriend's family and almost head-sploding every other scene until they probably wanted to kick me out of the living room. I think instead of the soundtrack they just heard me in the back, yelling "C'MON! YEAH FUCKING RIGHT! WHAT THE FUCK ABOUT THE HORSE! BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING HORSE?"

    I could write so much more - but three things are important:
    1. I'm a graduate of the same school as The Strayed, and currently a graduate student studying creative nonfiction (but not THAT creative), and am personally offended that she went to my school, bummed around Dinkytown, worked in the same buildings that I do, and is known as a creative nonfiction celebrity.

    2. Thank you so much for creating something that artfully and satisfyingly takes her novel to task. I'm glad to have a cohort in you, and all the people that commented on this. It was better and better and better than a honey seaside sand fantasia.

    3. Where should we/I get our tattoos - on our bodies? It seems like the dagger would be most poetic (given the source) tattooed coming out of my (our?) ass, but that's not an attractive tattoo. Maybe we could get them on our left arms, in a deltoid-type region crossing out a blue tattoo of a horse...?

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