Felicia Day – You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)

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I bought Felicia Day’s book You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) while in Chicago while we were visiting our Big Kid. She and I were in a bookstore where I picked up 2 copies and she said “Oh, just let me have yours when you’re done.”

I bought 2 copies.

1

I’m not sure how I became aware of Felicia. I’ve followed her on Twitter for years and I’m pretty sure I knew who she was when the Sears ads came out way long ago. Like, I saw them and was all “Oh, I know that red-haired girl.” but now I haven’t a clue as to why. I know I did appreciate her adorable cameo in the book trailer for Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.

See, adorable.

So, I had to wait a couple of weeks to read her book because I was finishing a couple of other series first. I’m a voracious reader but I prefer reading one book at a time. I’m the type of person who bought the Harry Potter books the morning of release day and said “Mom will be busy for the next few hours, kids, don’t kill each other” and by early afternoon I’d have the book ready to hand off to a kidlet. Yes, I made my kids wait to read the books til I was done.

After starting the book, I realized I didn’t want to inhale it all in one sitting so I only read it while I ate breakfast and lunch so I read about 2 chapters a day. I’m really glad I stretched it out. It’s a great read but it deals with heavy stuff at times.

Along the lines of Jenny’s book, Felicia’s delves into the world of anxiety and social phobia. Both my daughters have anxiety – Big Kid wasn’t diagnosed until she was in high school but Large Fry (she was Small Fry when she was teeny but has asked for 2 size upgrades in her 16 years) would have been diagnosed as a toddler if that had been possible. She’s super bright but not comfortable with crowds and noise. And people in person in general. She wears noise reducing headphones in school so that she doesn’t lose her mind on a daily basis.

As I read Felicia’s book, I saw my daughters. I saw me as well. I wasn’t homeschooled but when you graduate from a school where “…School for the Intellectually Gifted” is on your diploma, you know you belong to a select group of people.

Every day, I’d find things that were a common factor or that caused squeeable moments. Some are below. I don’t think they can be considered spoilers.

  • Perry Mason, although I never read the books, I just liked black and white Raymond Burr.*
  • Mention of a collection of pottery books. I have some, too. Plus some on glass and kitchenware. Vintage dinnerware has basically made me its bitch. Thankful that I sell on eBay & Etsy as otherwise I might end up on an episode of Hoarders.
  • Ultima reminds me of Small Fry who though not a social bunny in public has a group of kids she plays with in assorted online games. She spends a great deal of time in front of her computer but as she’s in the Tech track at school, studying video game design with a desire to study that in college, I don’t complain too much.
  • The talk of a 4.0 in College. Through a string of circumstances,  I became a college Freshman at 45. I wasn’t a math person in high school so knowing that I had to take Statistics = EEK. Then I started getting A’s in my other classes. And then I got an A in Stats class and got on the Dean’s list that semester. I went into it thinking I’d be a mediocre student and then I kicked butt. So, I’m currently a sophomore, in the Honor Society and working hard to keep that 4.0.
  • World of Warcraft. I’m not a gamer per se. I’ve always played quick puzzle games online but then a few years ago I started playing Farmville on Facebook. I got to the point where I’d created to additional FB accounts for our dogs so that I could have other farms to work on. When I realized that I was easily spending hours at a time doing certain “missions”, I stopped cold turkey, deleted all game info from the profiles and blocked the application. Fortunately, I never spent real money on the game, although I did take a ton of surveys…
  • A mention of Trixie Belden, my first book series as a teeny peep. We had 2 of the books that I read over and over again and then I can remember finding and slowly buying the paperbacks that came out in the late 1970’s. I still have the whole set – all 39 books – and find it impossible to not buy any vintage hardcovers that I find. My initial reaction to Felicia’s discussion was to tweet to her that there’s no need for Anne of Green Gables to be a whore. Instead I called the mention a squeeable moment and then another Trixie fan backed me up.

  • Compulsive craftiness. I’m typing this from our sunroom which is also my office. To my right is an IKEA Expedit that is filled with jewelry making supplies, yarn and other assorted stuff. On the other side of that are shelves filled with paper, stamps, dies etc for cardmaking. In the diagonal corner are all the scarves that I stock in my Etsy shop. If Felicia ever finds herself in my part of the USA, she could totally come over and we could get our crafty on.
  • Sleepless in Seattle. One of my favorite movies – I have an original video release poster hanging in my office that I’m looking at as I type. My husband still brings up the awkwardness of the scene where she’s in the road and then the car honks and then she’s back in Baltimore, talking to her friend. I say it’s fine and my husband says it’s a horrible cut.

Moral of the story. Felicia Day has written a wonderful book with something for nearly everyone. You don’t have to be an actor or a gamer to get something positive out of it. Wonder what anxiety can do to a person? This book can help explain it. Do you like a book that will make you laugh and make you cry? Here you go. Do you want to understand what happens when people get attacked by trolls online? Be prepared to get mad. (In the words of Wil Wheaton – “Don’t be a dick.”)

It was a great read for Big Kid who read it immediately. It was a great read for me and I’m sure it will be a great read for Large Fry who I’m handing it off to, for borrowing purposes only. That covers the mid 20’s, mid 40’s and mid teens demographics.

Buy the book, read the book and discover that Felicia is a cooler than you realize chiquita. Follow her on Twitter and subscribe to Geek & Sundry.

*Still waiting to find out how many copies of “The Case of the Singing Skirt” Felicia has received because if she hasn’t received any, I’m totally going to add it to my books that I’m looking for list.

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One response

  1. Lovely review. I’m 15 years ahead of you, though. Not even sure who Felicia Day is. #old

    And ahem: School for the Intellectually Gifted. I suspected as much. 🙂