An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

One foot in front of the other

So yesterday. Wow, I can’t even… just… the series of events that unfolded and where everything ended up, it all sort of falls within the boundaries of things I won’t write about, yes those boundaries do exist. Jon referred to it as the third most surreal day of 2009, and I can’t figure out the two days ahead of it on that list. A couple of weeks ago I said, hey everyone, next week? Next week we’re going to take it easy around here, okay? And then I got SHINGLES! And I was all, okay, it can’t get worse than that. Yesterday it got SO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT.

Anyway, on to the other side of those boundaries, shall we?

So it’s day eight of Mom’s Got SHINGLES! and so far Marlo shows no signs of developing chicken pox. Of course, now that I’ve written that sentence and put it out into the universe she’s going to wake up tomorrow morning with a connect-the-dot smattering of bumps on her face, and for kicks Coco will have regurgitated her own poop in the middle of our bed. Or Coco could just be sitting there existing, the difference is negligible.

Honestly, Coco is probably at the top of the list of Things That Stress Me Out, whereas living with a newborn is so far down that you’d have to turn the page to find it. Last summer we hired a fantastic trainer who came in and showed us some techniques to calm down the crazy in that dog, but then the pregnancy happened, and all this other stuff, and now we’re back to having our neighbors secretly submitting our names to be a case study on “The Dog Whisperer.” Let’s just put it this way: everyone who lives on our street knows the exact moment someone rings our doorbell.

The new policy with family and friends is everyone must call or text us before approaching the door so that I can stabilize the house for Coco’s reaction. And it’s not an aggressive one, no, it’s CRACKED OUT OH MY GOD I NEVER THOUGHT I’D SEE YOU AGAIN AND LOOK YOU’RE HERE, WHAT’S IT BEEN? A WHOLE DAY? High-pitched pig squealing and jumping three feet into the air. And the house moves a couple of inches to the left every time.

So I’m guessing that if they could scientifically trace the origin of my SHINGLES! the line would go directly back to that dog, but no. Not on your life, I’m not giving up on her. I know the kind of work that needs to be done, and we are going to do it, it’s just there are some loose ends here and there (see first paragraph) that need some tightening before we can all get into the brain space to address her problems. One thing that needs to happen, of course, is I’ve got to get over this case of SHINGLES! And that’s not going to happen if I keep doing google image searches, if ever there were an argument to be made against the existence of the Internet, HELLO IMAGE I CANNOT GET OUT OF MY BRAIN.

Also, people keep sending me horror stories, like someone’s grandfather had SHINGLES! on his face for seventeen years, and someone else had a case of SHINGLES! that ate the family cat. The absolute best thing sent to me concerning my SHINGLES!, however, was this suggestion from Julie at A Little Pregnant:

How could I not film myself doing exactly that? Is that not the most brilliant idea you’ve ever heard? Because one, it would make the pain a little more bearable, and two, in light of the recent accusations that I’m a total loon, A LOONEY LOON LOONBALL! I thought, you know what? I’ll show you a loonball! Let the train wreck continue!

Internet, this is for those of us in the throes of this crappy, itchy, at times paralyzing condition:

(Strong warning, however, if you are prone to seizures or have small children sitting nearby, you might want to close your browser and go hug a bunny.)

Music is µ-ziq Autumn Acid

  • Now that’s funny!


    master of the obvious here–you probably know shingles can be caused by great stress. (hope that comment doesn’t land me on the hate page.)

    #20 natalie–i found out i was preggo a month before i was to leave for peru, after getting shots for the trip. what a pain in the ass to prove i wasn’t hep b positive during the ‘nancy.

  • Have you talked to David Lynch? Cause, uh, he might want to option that. Or something.

  • Beth (in NC)

    I seriously, seriously love how psychotic you look in this video. Love.

  • Karen

    Now I know what to be for Halloween 🙂

  • Please say you’re submitting this to Cannes.

  • wow, that is the most fawesomest thing I have seen in a while 😀
    I want to run around the house now screaming shingles and doing jazz hands….
    hmmm, I just might do that, and wait for a reaction from my 8 month old…. 😀

  • Sherryl

    If the SHINGLES! last till Halloween (and let’s hope they do NOT), you need to incorporate that video into some sort of wicked witch routine. That was great!!!

  • Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Dani

    An artist. Truly.

    I sincerly hope your case of SHINGLES! gets better soon! Here’s a not crazy story. My aunt had SHINGLES! it sucked and she survived just fine. Maybe that will help balance out all the insane stories people feel the need to send you.

  • Amy

    That. Was. Awesome! Glad I took head about the children though and for the record, I DID just hug our little black bunny named Misty. But only because she was watching too and needed the hug afterwards.

  • Eastland

    hahahahahha I loved the video Heather. Highlight of my morning.

  • nicole

    that was just plain scary. expertly put to music (good job jon!). wow. that was . . . .


  • Oh my. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen today. I laughed loudly and am just sad I work at home alone and can’t share it with someone right now 😉

  • Rebeca

    OMFG that was frikkin hilarious and quite creepy at the same time. LOVED IT! lol

  • Linus’ Blue Blanket

    This video will definitely haunt the broken dreams and emptied bank account of the obese law student, art docent, radio star and “manager” Michele Yoakum Rebeiro McBee.

    You made my week. Thanks.


  • Keri

    hahahaha wtf! Dooce, you so crazy 🙂 Jazz hands make pretty much everything better.

  • Liz

    You and Julie make a great team!

  • elizabeth

    Oh dooce/Heather/SHINGLES… that was totally the laugh I needed. I’m pretty sure a little tear drop came out from cracking up so hard. xoxo

  • JessiCat

    that! that right there! that is priceless. i had to watch it with no sound at work, but you can bet i’ll watch it at home with the volume turned up. meanwhile my co-workers are looking at me like i’m nuts because i just laughed so hard i snorted. good times. 🙂 hope the SHINGLES! kick rocks soon and leave you alone!

  • And I thought only B-grade zombie spoofs were simultaneously funny and scary

  • This video is scary. And awesome. I laughed and was very disturbed at the same time.

    You rock.

  • Anonymous

    This has succeeded in creeping me the fuck out.

  • Rachel

    I’m glad I was alone when I watched that. The hysterical laughter would have frightened my children worse than the video. Hmmmmmm, can I use that to terrify my children into doing their homework? “Do your homework or I’ll make you watch the shingles lady!”

  • Emily

    That video is hysterical. And awesome. Hysterically awesome.
    And a perfectly wonderful idea for a horror film because after seeing that I’m probably going to have nightmares about SHINGLES! 🙂

  • Jackie

    That’s kind of creepy…. 🙂

  • Sweet Jesus! I had to stop that twice while I was watching it because I was laughing so hard…

  • That was too funny! love the video and the creativity behind it. Perfect choice for music.

  • i’m not entirely sure what to do with that…i’m fairly certain i’m now more prone to kill a bunny then go hug one, but hell, it’s only tuesday and i didn’t get any coffee this morning.

    also, my spam entry word is “testily felt” and if there’s ever been a sign to give up and go home for that day…*that* is it.

  • My dog makes me crazy with all the marking…at the wind, squirrels, leaves blowing down the street. One morning I was telling my husband that I’d just fucking had it with the dog and he said…”Dude, that dog would kill for you, love your dog…”. Later that day….the kids and I return to our backwoods home to find A HUGE SQUIRREL ripping around the room. “Kill it Gary, Kill it!!!” I screamed

    And he did.

    Then he pranced around the living room with it in his mouth until I kicked him out.

    When your home alone and your crazy ass dog goes ballistic and wakes you up while simultaneously scaring away whatever’s out there…you’ll love that dog again.

    And by whatever’s out there of course, I mean, Michelle Rebeiro Yoakum Mcbee

  • Z

    You know when you repeat a word over and over and over again so many times that it eventually loses meaning altogether and sounds like something alien? I think shingles may soon fall into this category.

  • T-odd

    I took your advice after I watched your video and now my bunny isn’t moving. I think I did something wrong. OH, and you are absolutely HORRIFYING!

  • TwirlyGirlie

    I’m pretty sure I’ll be hearing that song at a gay dance club in the very near future.

  • Crap, that was scarier than the Blair Witch Project.

  • fisheggs

    That is absolutely histerical! Now how about a kooty shot or is it cooty shot. Why don’t kids do that anymore?

  • Anonymous

    Dear Heather B-Movie Armstrong:

    Jazz-hands-Heather joins clowns in the pantheon of “happy” things that terrify?

    BUT: You are still less scary than the folks quoted in “monetizing the hate”

    Love your blog. Fiesty and bananas.

  • Okay, that does pretty much enforce the loony loon loonball image…. But I’ve heard shingles is absolutely awful and I’m sure that helps. A little.

    I have the perfect mate for Coco! My dog, the one I threw my purse at yesterday, because HE RUNS.

    Think of the JOY we could bring the world with a litter of Coco/Diesel pups! (Yes, the dog’s name is Diesel.) *sigh*

  • You so crazy, lady.

  • Devon

    Wow. I’m in the throes of Day 2 1/2 of a super fucking fabulous cold, and that video actually caused me to move body parts: eyebrows (tiny smidgen up), and smile (barely, though – didn’t want to crack those dry-ass suckers I call lips).

    You so crazy, gurrrl. *mwah*


  • Claire

    If you remove the sound, your video looks like an experimental 1920s Soviet art film. Either way – art film or goofy video – it’s hilarious.

  • I hope I never get SHINGLES! That video was creepy! But a good laugh! Hope life gets a little saner soon. My captcha word? NUTTING.

  • Branderzy

    HOLY SHIT, that is SCARY & Cool at the same time:). Perfect for Halloween.

    As far as Coco – have you seen ‘It’s me or the Dog’? it is a british show that airs on Animal Planet. You should DVR it. The dog trainer lady isn’t one of those typical dog training freaks (meaning she dresses cool and seems partially normal). Anywho, there was a great episode not that long ago about dogs barking all the time and barking at the door. The key was to be calm and put your back to the dog when they bark. Kind of like ignoring bad behavior from kids so they’ll stop. Also, with guests coming over, they used chicken treats or something to get the dog to sit and stay and be calm when someone knocked on the door. They had people come over to practice. We are going to try it.

  • laura

    my Halloween costume this year is gonna be shingles a la dooce. scary stuff. good luck

  • If that wasn’t the definition of crazy, I don’t know what was. 🙂 It was actually quite hypnotizing to watch.

    Hope your SHINGLES! get better soon and that you are able to work through that other issue, the one that we’re not talking about.

  • Jennifer

    Dooce — can you please not refer to things that you’re not going to talk about? I hope whatever is going on gets resolved, but you telling all of us that some sort of craziness has gone down in the last day or so, but then telling us that you can’t talk about it, is just annoying and mean. Thanks.

  • Krista

    You are my favourite! that was definitely worth getting funny looks in class for laughing out loud at!

  • You’re my new favorite hero. I shall call you Super Shingles.

  • Heather, I notice you only turn one way- is it possible you aren’t an “ambiturner”?
    Seriously, I hope you feel better soon cause shingles SUCK!
    My aunt had a miniature Australian shepherd,lived on a sheep farm and had that surgery where they make it so the dog can’t bark. The dog was that obnoxious. I tell you this not to advocate doing that to your dog, but to let you know that even dogs “working” the way they are supposed to, (because all of your problems are because Coco isn’t on a farm or whatever it is they say?) can be difficult, crazy, etc…

  • Anonymous

    that just made my week. Thanks!

  • Hannah M.

    I find it upsetting that you would continue to breastfeed while your skin has shingles eruptions. You are incredibly lucky that your kid hasn’t come down with chicken pox already. I almost think you want her to become infected. The sadness of it all would send you into a spiraling depression which would be wonderful for your ad revenue.

    And why the capitalization of SHINGLES!? Is that to remind all of us what a hard, horrible life you have, living amongst your fugly IKEA furniture, overpriced Etsy garbage, and $1,200 washing machines? Your life just sucks, doesn’t it?

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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