Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tiny Beautiful Things: The Introduction

I am laughing so hard right now.

It's not a pretty laugh, or even a joyful laugh; it's the kind of laughter you'd hear coming from someone who is about to jump off the top of a building. 

It's fucking crazy time. 

I still can't believe I'm doing this.  God help me, let's get started.

Years ago, it came to pass that our dear Cheryl decided that she was in some way qualified to write an advice column.  This makes sense because everyone knows that narcissistic, lying shitbags are the best people to turn to when you're having a crisis; they always have such insightful things to say.  About themselves.  And not you.  Or your problems. 

So, really, she's pretty much the last person you should turn to for advice if you have a functional brain, however emotionally damaged your brain may temporarily be.

Anyway, Cheryl landed herself an advice column called "Dear Sugar" because she is an ingenious sociopath, and all these years later, she decided to use her newfound fame from the inexplicable success of "Wild" to force her publisher to release a book chock-full of all of her amazing advice.  Lucky everybody. 

This is going to be a shitstorm.

The cover:

Oh, for fuck's sake.
If you enlarge the photo (go ahead, click on the photo, nothing bad will happen) and direct your attention to the right side of the cover, you will find the quote, " Let yourself be gutted.  Let it open you.  Start here." 
Since 1) I decided to post the cover in the teaser and 2) you guys are pretty much the best people on earth, let me share some feedback from a couple delightful readers:
Horace said,
"Uhm... WTF is with the inner cover flap?
'Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start here...'
That's not how books work, Cheryl. That is, unless you are advocating the use of successive paper cuts to help put someone out of their misery. :-(
I thought this was a self help book? Since when is gutting one's self considered helpful?
'Let yourself be gutted.'  Good lord - could we be a bit more melodramatic?"
Alison joined in:
"Gutted: adj. disappointed and upset. Yes, Bad Cheryl. I do believe I will have no choice but to allow myself to be gutted by your book."
Well played, you two.  I just may be able to retire and let you write this for me.  Since, however, I doubt you have the death wish with which I'm cursed, I will keep going.  For now.
Now, let me open the book ever so slightly:
Wait, what?
Holy fuck, would you look at that.
The actual cover was cut a couple centimeters short of the rest of the book in order for CHERYL STRAYED TO QUOTE HERSELF IN FULL VIEW. 

It only gets worse when you open it all the way:

After contemplating this horseshit for a moment or two, I went to my bookcase, closed my eyes and retrieved three books at random.  I then opened each book to discover what lay just beyond the cover.
Hey, look at that.
No way.
Fucking Steinbeck.  What a diva.
So, yeah.  Real writers (T.S Elliot, Erich Fromm and John Steinbeck, from the examples) have no desire to go Full Asshole.  Not our Cheryl.  She's so amazing that she needs to slather her own brilliance right on the inside cover so we won't miss a word.
And so ends the introduction.
I would like to take a moment for full disclosure:
I spent countless months dissecting "Wild" before I decided to write about it.  I *just* bought "Tiny Beautiful Things" and I need some time to read through it all, take notes, destroy the margins of the book with my outrage and then share my incredulousness with all of you.  Please allow me at least a few days to read and research this book accordingly (though, admittedly a few days won't be enough time, but I shall do my best).  If you've been with me from the start, you know that I am very thorough, honest and accurate.  While I hate making you wait for the next installment, I want to give you the best that I can give.  I need a little time to review this correctly.
Hugs and kisses,



  1. "Fucking Steinbeck. What a diva."


    And big kudos to Alison for her "gutted" comment.

    1. Maybe we can get her to do a guest post at some point. Of course, that would require her to read this piece of garbage, and I don't know that I would wish that one someone I don't hate.

    2. Interesting that you chose Steinbeck...I just started re-reading "The Red Pony" last night. He is so opposite Bad Cheryl...the way he writes so beautifully about the human condition, animals and our planet. He cares about others, unlike our ultimate narcissist. Those self-quotes on the first pages are just stupid. What an ass :/

  2. OMG - I have the biggest crush on you right now. Not because you quoted me, but because I'm pretty sure that we share a brain. The inside flap of the cover is just so ridiculous! That's where you put promotional *accolades* (from other people) about the book in order to help sell it - OR- examples of questions from like-minded consumers, NOT random dipsh*ttery of your own making like, "We are here to build the house..."

    Really? This book is 300 pages and the FIRST quote you give to excite us is, "We are here to build the house"?

    Oh, sweet Cheryl (actually, her publishers....) You're doing it wrong! :-(

    I am SOOOOO excited for this new chapter in your blog. I can't contain myself. The PCT insanity was one thing - pop-psych advice from the mommy-eater is quite another.

    Stay sane, sister! :-)

    1. Baaaaaaahahahahhahahaaaa "pop-psych advice from the mommy-eater"

      Dear Sugar,
      I'm gonna eat my mom for dinner; what's the best wine for this occasion?

    2. Dear Starved,
      First, set the over to 2,350 and let cook until nothing is left but ash - and a few chunks of bone for texture. Don't season to taste - just take a giant handful of mom dust and re-try the "Cinnamon Challenge". Be sure to record your culinary delight (near asphyxiation from ingesting dry mom-powder) and post on YouTube to prove that you're a complete narcissist.

      [Yet another nichname I made up for myself to make it sound like people like me.]

    3. "...just take a giant handful of mom dust and re-try the 'Cinnamon Challenge.'"

      I fucking love you.

  3. I assume you'll get to this, but in case you're skipping over this part -- what is the creation story of this book? Did she do this advice column after she "hiked" the trail? It better have been since, by her own admission, she was a fucking wreck before then (isn't that why she on the trail in the first place?). Was it online or in a newspaper? Also, I wonder why she felt the need to give all this "advice" after her hike since, clearly, the only answer she needs is "take a hike." If she can fix her heroin addition, her mommy issues, and her whoring with just a little "walk in the woods," why wouldn't that work for everyone? I will not be surprised if every other page contains a reference to how the trail "healed" her. This should be fun. Can't wait, Cali.

    1. Settle down, you. I've only reviewed the cover so far. We'll get to all that.

      I will say, however, that she never talks about her big life-changing hike. Ever. That's so odd, isn't it? You'd think she'd be bringing it up left and right since it was such a big deal, but then again, she never actually took that hike, so...

    2. Heh... that actually IS really odd for anyone to not "name drop" their biggest life experiences for the sake of stroking their own egos - especially for a shameless self promoter like the "Queen of the PCT". ;-)

    3. It is only odd for normal non-lying, non-narcissistic people. Par for the course for Shitty Cheryl who named herSELF queen of the PCT.

  4. Oh, for the record, we CAN wait, and will. Take your time putting it together. Your readers aren't going anywhere! Good luck avoiding the overwhelming urge to gouge your eyes out with a spoon. If you do, though, don't worry. Your readers will chip in for a Braille keyboard so you can continue writing.

  5. Trying not to wake up my husband with my laughter. Alison's comment has gutted me. Looking forward to the next installment. For now, I'll sign off and take a few moments to contemplate how I shall inhabit the beauty that lives in my beastly body.

  6. I disappointed and upset you?? Damn, dude. I'm sorry :(

    1. Quite the contrary! Your comments about the Braille keyboard caused me to laugh and laugh and laugh. So much that I had no laughter left in me.

  7. Hi ! Take all the time you need to review "Tiny Beautiful Things". I'm sure we all understand. I haven't read it, but I think that I could only get through a few pages of that "overwrought bullshit" ( as someone here called it) at a time.

    On another note: I am amazed that C.S. has managed to bamboozle so many book reviewers into thinking that she's a great writer just because she uses all those melodramatic phrases and sentences. "Allow yourself to be gutted." Oh, pfft. Reviewers praise her syntax as "brutally honest and heartfelt.". It reminds me of that children's fairy tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes." The emperor ( in this case, Strayed, isn't actually wearing any clothes). She's NOT a great writer, even though reviewers think so.

    I'm new here, and this may have been mentioned before, but there's a parody of "Wild" that's on Kindle now. It's titled: "Rabid: The Pacific Crest Trail When Therapy Isn't Working", and it has the same font and an old shoe on the cover.
    I like good satires, and some of the readers are giving it 5 stars.

    I'm here because I don't like it when dishonest writers promote scams and connive book reviewers and filmmakers into portraying them as gods. I'm so glad that you're working to debunk this scam.
    CalifOhioan, you're a very funny writer, and I enjoy your blog ! Best, from D.

    1. OMFG, "RABID."

      EVERYONE, PLEASE READ THIS. It is fucking brilliant.

    2. Also, I'm pretty sure the "overwrought bullshit" comment was from me.

      Thank you so much, truly. You don't-- you really don't-- know how much it means to me that I've been able to make you laugh. Doing so is pretty much the best thing ever, and you warm my heart. Thank you for letting me make you laugh.

  8. "Believe that the fairy tale is true..." There, she just confessed.

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  10. Long time reader, first time commenter.
    A) I love you to bits. Sometimes at night, my partner thinks I am crying in bed because I am laughing so hard. You know, the silent laugh that makes the whole bed shake. And he's all "Jackie, are you reading that blog about Cheryl Strayed again?" And I'm all, "you mean the blog about the liar?" And he's all "whatever makes you feel not alone and lonely in this world." And then I'm all "These are my people."
    B) Steinbeck. I heart him hardcore. And I often wonder what Steinbeck would say if he were face to face with Bad Cheryl. I literally try to imagine the scene. I suppose he would laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and throw in a 'thou mayest.' And then Steinbeck would be all 'Cheryl, please stop humping Charlie. He doesn't like you that way. Now please, remove yourself from my dog."
    C) As a mental health professional, I have serious concerns about your newest Cheryl Strayed endeavor. Please, if at any time you feel the need to punch, shoot, or otherwise injure yourself, know that I am here for you. True, I do not have the life experience of Cheryl, and though my knowledge is based solely on a masters degree from the lame University of Chicago (which is basically just like getting a certificate of completion from an adult learning course ), I can at least dial the suicide prevention hotline for you.
    D) I am really hoping there is more discussion of the pudendum and Cheryl touching her numerous pudenda.

    1. I love everything about this.

    2. Very funny, knitlore! You know, when I thought of Cheryl's backpack (which, if true, I'm certain it had rollers on it) and the butt load of books she supposedly brought with her, I was reminded of Travels with Charley, where Steinbeck filled his camper with books, and if I correctly recall (it's been decades since I read it), an entire set of encyclopedias. In the end, he didn't read one of the many tomes he brought along because of no time and if he'd had his nose in a book, he would have never had the life experiences he had while traveling with his big poodle.

      Patented bullshit from Bad Cheryl that she took along so many books with her, which would have been dumped out sometime around a quarter of an hour into her so-called "hike," if true.

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  12. "We are here to build the house"= What is wood? Nails, you mean I have to use a hammer? Cement? Oh, God...wood! Nails! Cement! How they remind me of my dead mother. She died you know! Oh, the comes from trees right? Those stick like things that come from the ground? And have leaves? My mother leaves me. She died. But there was this hot nurse with a flaccid penis that I wanted to stroke and suck until it became like wood. Nails! Nails are so hard to hammer. And nails remind me of my nails, on my feet, which suffered a horrible fate and pain that no one has ever felt. Cement! Huh, I wonder if it tastes like my mother. Who died. I told you she died right? And how I cried and I cried and I cried?

    "Nobody will protect you from your suffering"= Except for my brother. Who was devastated by our mothers loss. I don't know why he was devastated. I mean yeah he was her mom but she was my mom all mine!! And I'm the most important person ever. Like, ever. Yeah, I neglected my horse, but don't you know my mother died? I was fuckin' people, cheatin' on my husband and buyin' a ton of vital gifts for myself. How was I supposed. To be expected to do something like check on the health of my horse? I mean, no one will protect you from your suffering and that includes animals. I know what a horse is! Horse. Horse. Horse! Anyway, even though I had a lot of money I had to buy stuff for myself! That horse, I mean he could have lived if I called a vet but that would mean less stuff for myself. And remember what I said about suffering? The horse should have protected itself from suffering! Expecting to be fed and cared for. Stupid horse. I had to protect myself from my own suffering, like gawd I can't live without lemonaid snapple! So horse-shmorse. My stupid brother dared to think he knows what it's like to lose our mother. I mean, all that crying! And the ugly table I didn't want, until I saw that he changed the table! How dare he take that table even though I said he could. So, ya protection from suffering. Right? Yeah, so I forced my brother to kill the horse and shoot it a bunch of times. And the stupid horse wouldn't die! I corced my brother to shoot it a bunch of times because all that noise. Ugh! He really didn't want to shoot it and he was scared but I don't care. My mom died. Mine! She's my mom! And i don't care if she was his mom...because she was MINE! Remember suffering? So no one can protect you from suffering butyou can make them suffer. And then complain about how their suffering is really your suffering! Win Win situation! More lemonade and chocolate for me!

    "Be brave enough to break your own heart"=Read my books!

    "The only way out of a hole is to climb out" = Water is wet.

  13. What is up with the weirdest-ass title capitalization/lack thereof ever?