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benj

I know what you mean about losing someone.

My uncle, 56, died on Monday night. His eldest daughter is the same age as me. He was also very healthy. Felt some pains in his arm on Friday, so went into hospital. That was it.

Everyone should cherish life and the people around them. You never know how long you have.

B

Fredrik

God Jul [or happy christmas] from Sweden!

Wow, feeling like a bowling ball (just borrowing the expression) after all the christmas food -but in a good way.

Been reading your blog for a while and can't wait for your book to appear in stores (swedish stores that is). Read Coney Island some time ago, really liked it. If your novel is anything like the short story you're guaranteed a seat at my top ten authors list -honoring, yeah I know...

Anyway, listening to The Shins (and The Postal Service -ever heard of them?) and reading your last post about taking life for what it is. To realize how fragile we really are, and to grip the importance of knowing that people have certain bad days (and that they may behave accordingly to this).

Well well, you've got an awesome blog. And good luck with promoting that book, those things can be nerv-racking. As I said, can't wait for "The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green" to appear in swedish stores (maybe I should try to order it from the US instead...).

Jules

Hi, Josh!
Just wanted to say, keep on trucking and use the holidays to refresh yourself. Hope you have a great Christmas with you family!!!

Juls

Hey Josh!

Happy Hannukah! Or happy holidays if you prefer that. Not being Jewish myself I always worry that I'm going to end up sounding like one of those PC a-holes that tries too hard and gets it wrong and just looks like an even bigger a-hole. Either way, I hope the holidays are going well for you and that you haven't been driven insane by the hippos. It's such a simple game yet the potential to drive you insane is tremendous. Somehow if you play it enough you go to bed wondering why that damn hippo of yours couldn't be just a little bit hungrier so you could beat your 5 year-old cousin for once. It's sad.

I feel priviledged that I got a roundabout mention in your latest post (a fan from NZ), although I'd be likely to imply a mention even where there was none, heheh. I think Amazon.com definitely keeps me sane in terms of being able to get hold of things I desperately want but aren't available over here.

Sorry to hear about your friend. It seems that we all assume that for some reason people are less likely to die around the holiday season. Totally irrational, and yet completely understandable. A friend of the family just lost their 12-year old son last week. Had an asthma attack then a heart attack. I mean it's never a good time to lose anyone you love, but it seems somehow even crueler when it happens at a time like this. Anyway, I know that no-one wil ever replace your friend, but please know that you have many fans who are big supporters of yours, no matter how far away they are. I know it doesn't make things better, but just know that we do exist.

Kong. The dinosaurs were intimidating enough, but god those natives creeped the hell out of me. And the bugs? STILL shuddering. I am SO not a bug person. I actually enjoyed Narnia more than King Kong I think. I still liked King Kong but I found Narnia more entertaining, possibly because the original tv miniseries was one of my childhood staples. Have you seen Narnia? If you have kids old enough to nag for Hungry Hippos then they're probably old enough to nag to see Narnia.

May the new year bring you inspiration for your writing, good health for you and your family, and relief from the guilt that nags you to use those damn elliptical machines.

Juls

Evie

It's unfortunate to hear about your friend, but it sounds like she touched lives while she was here which is what we're all here to do.
Glad to see you're still posting. Hope all goes well with the writing. I wish I had a pinky full of your talent, but alas, I'm a better cook then a writer (which explains my new years resolution - bet ya can't guess what it is. )

Esther Kustanowitz

So sorry to hear of your loss. But I always say that the boon for a writer is that we're always trying to puzzle things out, make sense of the world, even when there's no answer to be found, we can use the words to quest for solace and comfort, and to memorialize those who left this world too soon. Good luck with the tour.

Missy

hey you should get this>http://www.bustedtees.com/shirts/hungryhippo<<<< Its a funny shirt about Hungry hippos!! haha I love bustedtees.com

Holly

Happy Holiday! I hope yo got those hungry hippos in the end, i can't believe they're still around, maybe they're timeless like lego.

I've just read two books by the same author in a relatively short length of time. The author is Mitch Albom and the books are; The Five People You Meet in Heaven and Tuesdays With Morrie. I strongly recommend both of them. The only reason i have read either of them is because 18 months ago when in a bookshop in Florida i randomly got drawn to the former, but never bought it. Then i saw it in a bookshop last week (back in London) and decided to buy it. It's strange the way things happen like that.

I also think you should listen to the music of Stephen Fretwell (a British artist - in particular Emily), And a new British artist called Nizlopi, in particular JCB. It's awesome, it is so unbelievably British but so good.

I wish you all the luck and happiness for 2006

hollyx

Barbra

Josh,

Life sure is a funny thing...I am sorry to hear about your loss.

Selfishly-very excited you are coming to read in Chicago!! I know that you have a lot of support in the windy city.

Hope you enjoyed the holidays!

Thais Bohn

Hi Josh. How are you? I stayed a long time reading all the things you wrote at this blog.. i thought it was pretty interisting. Very interisting actually. Great minds on the family. Wish you a Merry Christmas.. or holidays ( I don't know how to spell hunika ) and Happy new year for you and your family. nice metting you ( can I say that? ).. Just for the record, I'm from Brazil, so forgive me for the english mistakes. Keep posting. Best wishes, Thais

patresa

death stinks. i know it's natural and many things depend on it; but i still think it stinks, and i'm sorry about your friend. but damn, what an awesome way to go -- too soon, yes -- but in your sleep? no sickness? no oldness? no scary crash? when i go, i hope it's just like that. and i hope i have just eaten a fabulous dinner and not wasted a single moment of my day on an elliptical machine. or on hold. or in conversation with my inlaws (which shoves me straight to the edge of death anyway).

no iowa city stop on the reading tour? what about our hoity toity writers workshop? "live from prairie lights?" is this ringing any bells?

looking forward to the work of genius you are probably working on RIGHT NOW.

patresa

Mary Mary Bo Bary

hey... i've never been to your blog before, but i certainly will come more. your one quote ((Also know that you are merely an organism on a planet that, in theory, will not only continue without you, but will actually benefit when you become fertilizer))) completely helping me right now with some stuff im going through. im going to look into your book, and best of luck in life.

Fides

Hello Josh,

My copy of the Unthinkable Thoughts have been passed around my household quite a few times. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and had glowing revues. (I get a bit of a thrill knowing that whoever picks it up sees the signed page.) It was a delight seeing you at Stacys' a few months ago. I look forward to your next work.

I am terribly sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. But you are right about the many things you wrote - about life, and people, and making the most of our time here, about road rage, salads vs french fries, and exercise machines of torture.

Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year to you and your family! May you have hours and hours of hungry hungry hippo enjoyment!

Peace,
Fides (friend of a friend)

ps - I saw King Kong on Christmas Day and have to agree with you. I loved the movie too. The scene with the decomposers freaked me out the most (the thought of those gargantuan serpentine parasitic vermin kept me up late a few nights this week). I was rooting for the ape. Even though I knew how it would end, I cried anyway.

tammy

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Josh. In the last few months my oldest brother died suddenly at age 53 (heart attack) and then my oldest sister's only biological grandson lost his battle with a rare brain tumor at age 9. I can't even begin to express the feelings of going to a funeral for a child...my sister's life was him. I have & will always question LIFE, but this?
We can appreciate life & its beauty, but everything changes - everything becomes dimmer & flat...I only feel their pain & loss, I don't "know" it like they do - and I pray to God (whoever) that I never do because I know for certain I would not survive it.

The thing is - what is it that keeps us hanging on? What is it that makes people resilent and still care? I guess that is hope...and the answers eventually.

The best to you & yours for a New Year!

Li

Wow, thank you for that great post. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. She must have been one of those people who really added spice to your life and brought a smile out every time you saw her.
I liked Kong too. Naomi Watts did a great job, but Fay Wray still owns.
gehh, I'm moving to LA on Monday. You know that feeling you get when you know things around going to change drastically but you dunno if it's for the better or for worse?
That's where I am. I'm such a east coast gal, and I'm moving from Austin, so god knows how things are gonna be. USC better be worth it.
Well, good luck with your next book that will surely impress and have a happy happy new year!
--Li

Sarah

I've felt the shock of unexpected death, very surreal feeling knowing you'll never see them again. I am truly sorry for your loss.

I hope I am doing this right, I'm fairly new to the world of blogging and commenting on such.

I just wanted to express how thrilled I was to finally receive your book, The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green. I had it on my Christmas list last year and was significantly bummed when it didn't make it under the tree. It is hard to come by here in Canada. Anyway, I'm very much looking forward to reading it.

Happy New Year. I wish you and yours peace, love, joy, good health and continued prosperity in 2006.

G-Man

Happy New Year!

amy bach

Dear Josh Braff,

Thank you for writing The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green. The book, oddly,
changed my life.

Fondly,
Amy

Chris

At the start of the film Garden State, is the music from an alarm clock: Vakra tunda Mahakaya... Yes? And Zack says on the DVD audio comments that it is from his brother who is involved in ... something that we didn't hear, because Natalie Portman interrupts him saying: "who's Ganesh?" So, is there a story behing the Ganesh alarm clock and involvement.We became very curious.

Call me Ishmael

Facing mortality is a tricky thing. For me it's my dad's death that I'm anxious about. I guess the doctor told him he's working on a stroke and he can probably expect to die around his mid-fifties. He's 51 now,so, I am despairing. And as it is, I am at college the majority of the time, but I feel like I should be home spending all the precious time my dad and I have left, but instead I am too selfish and I'm worried about my future and my grades. Pfft. I already dealt with the death of my grandpa and it messed me around for a long time, I only hope I can handle this death more gracefully.

EJ

Missy

Lately, for some reason, I've been thinking about death and dying quite a bit...so this post is fitting with my subject of interest. I guess I just want to know what's going to happen after death. So, two books that have appeased my sense of curiousity recently are, surprisingly, The Last Battle (the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis, and Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Two completely different takes on the subject, and both were refreshing. So, if you're itching for something to read, I suggest both books.

I wish you a wonderful new year.

Nothing But Bonfires

The best things always come out of procrastination. Like games of Hungry, Hungry Hippo. And batches of brownies. And sometimes novels.

Maggie

I was reading your post and saw you mentioned Avedon... I went to the exhibit in Fort Worth, Texas, when I went up there - in a word, AWESOME. His images are great in book form, but you should really see them in real life - they are huge.

Sophie

Ive read your blog a couple of times and this entry was great.

Its funny glancing at all the comments from people how much a part of life death actually is. Everyone who passes you on the street, stranger or friend or family etc.. has been touched by it in some way or another - even if they are not aware of it. I mean theres the whole morbid theory that the minute you are born your dying. Its kind of like the cup half full/half empty thing - yes you are dying the minute you are born... but dying for your final day or dying to get started on life!? ... wierd concept but anyhoo..!

Im just blabbing on now which i tend to be pretty good at but i am very sorry to hear about your loss. Death is never 'good' but at least she didnt suffer and went peacefully.

Im not a crazily religous jew but i did spend the year in israel where something i heard someone saying from (i think) isiah really stuck with me - "do not rejoice my enemy for though i have fallen i shall arise and for though i sit in darkness G-d shall be a light to me" ... taking that a bit out of context - with every hurdle thats thrown at you in life, theres a way of overcoming it and making the most out of it/learning from it. Clearly you have from what you gave as advice but i just wanted to point out that she clearly made a big impact on people including you and now you have to take her striking qualities and pass them on to touch other peoples lives.

Im looking forward to seeing your book out on shelves over here in england! may just go ahead and have my friends in america send me one over though to avoid having to wait!

Hope you had a great chanukah and your son enjoyed his happy hippo game thing!

Lauren

positivity is a good thing. i'm glad it's helping you get through a rough patch.

i currently attend uw-madison, and i am very pleasantly surprised that you are coming here. i'll see you on the 26th! i hope you talk about how hot natalie portman is.

i am kidding. it's actually almost 6am here, and i just finished writing a very short story for my creative writing class. the assignment is to write something, including dialogue or not, that takes place during the course of two minutes. i figured i'd check your blog while i was at it. i have recently discovered that writing a bunch of crap off the top of your head is quite fulfilling in and of itself.

anyway, take it easy, and take a gander at www.postsecret.com if you haven't already. it is a showcase for postcards on which people write their deepest, darkest secrets, and then send to this guy in maryland who puts them on his site. i promise with a cherry on top it is worth checking out.

-lauren

ps sunrises/sunsets are among my favorite things ever. good point.

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