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 (00:00) to (02:00)


This is it, it's almost over! This is the real deal now.

It's been such a long... I don't know what to say about it except that it's been so long. 500 hours. Nights, weekends, haven't watched a show with my family that wasn't distracted by my signing in two months.

And it's almost over. It's only because of many of you keeping me company in these weird live streams that I've been able to sign my name 249,000 times. Actually 252,000 times because I've had to sign 3,000 times for the United Kingdom.

But it's almost over! Just in the nick of time, since I have to be done today. But it is almost over.

The box fort is gone, most of those boxes are upstairs now. It's really, really close. So, I didn't want to finish alone.

I'm signing sheets... these are called tip-in sheets. So when The Anthropocene Reviewed book, my new book, my first book of non-fiction, when it gets bound at the printer in Virginia, they have a machine that shoots one of these sheets in every time they bind a book. And that is how the entire first printing of The Anthropocene Reviewed book will be signed.

In total, these 250,000 sheets weigh about 2,300 pounds. So it is actually not an exaggeration to say that I have signed a ton of sheets in the last few months.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

I realize that my collar is a little much.

It's a little much. I'm just gonna button that fellow up.

I have signed over a ton of sheets. It's almost over. It's been an interesting experience.

I've learned a lot about the difference between 150,000 and 250,000, which doesn't seem like a big difference when I say those numbers, but is quite a big difference when you're actually doing a project related to those numbers. But we're almost there. I'm really relieved, I'm really excited.

And, yeah. Also, only people in the U.S. and Canada, at least so far as I know...

I'm hearing that people outside the U.S. and Canada have ways of ordering signed copies, and maybe that's true, but I don't think I can vouch for it. Because I just don't know.

Because, I know that I can't vouch for it. That's all I know. But if you don't live in the U.S. or Canada, there will be a way, I'm almost sure, to get signed books through the virtual book tour that I'm gonna do with Hank and Sarah and some other friends. It's gonna be a great time, and it'll cost a little bit more than the book, but not a ton. Just 'cause of shipping.

So there will be a way if you live outside the U.S. or Canada to get a signed copy of the book, I'm pretty sure. Still not 100% positive, but I'm pretty sure.

But if you live in the U.S. or Canada you can just click and pre-order The Anthropocene Reviewed right now, and support your local independent bookstore in the process! Or you can go to , or you can get it pretty much anywhere where you can pre-order books.

So that's the basic update. I'm really excited about that because I know it's been a bummer for people who live outside the U.S. and Canada.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

And I know that there are, like, some people who've worked really hard to build structures around that.

And thank you. But I think there will be a way, and in the meantime, I'm excited to sign the entire U.S. and Canada printing, and there will be lots of signed copies in the U.K. At least 3,000, because I signed those over the weekend.

It's been a pretty challenging couple of months here. Not entirely because the signing. Also because of health stuff.

And you know, I don't have the best brain. So my brain problem has been acting up the last few months, which has been frustrating. But that's life with chronic illness.

It will get better as surely as it will get worse. It's been hard. And also I think there's just a lot of emotion in finishing this book, because The Antropocene Reviewed has really been my...

The book has been both my main distraction and my main way into trying to understand how I feel in this really charged, sad, complicated 14 month year that we've had. Because I really started turning the podcast into a book just before the pandemic started. That's when I really started to think, "Well maybe I do want to write a book." For a long time, I didn't want to write books for a bunch of different reasons.

And then I started to see how The Anthropocene Reviewed could be a book, and how in a way it was this sort of weird memoir that I had written. So I was just starting to think about that right before the pandemic started. And so it's been both my creative outlet and my way into trying to understand how I feel about stuff for these last 14 months.

 (06:00) to (08:00)

And now today is really the day that I say goodbye to it. It's the last day that I can make any, even the smallest change.

Well, I guess tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last day that I can make even the smallest change to the book. Which is always a fraught... it's a lovely moment, because it means that the book will be out soon and that it will belong, as books should, to its readers.

But it is also, I'll confess, a little bit of a sad moment for me because it also is the last time that the book will be mine. You know? Tomorrow is the last day that I'll read it.

I don't wanna read my work after it comes out. I can't bear to. Also there's lots of good books written by other people.

So there's no need to. But it is a little sad to say goodbye to a book and to know that, for better or worse, whether it's good or bad, or good in some ways or bad in other ways, that it's about to be frozen in time. But in some ways this book is different.

I mean, it's different from my other books in a lot of ways. It's so much more personal. It's actually about me.

But it's also an attempt to reckon with this strange, awful thing that happened in the middle of writing it. And in that sense, I hope it will be something that my kids can go back to if they wanna try to remember what now felt like. Or how we got through the first fourteen months of it.

And something that other people can go back to. You know, it's the first thing that I've written that I have self-consciously been aware of trying to make for people of the future, whether that's my kids or my nephew or whomever.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

Or just readers, you know, in the hopes that I can say something about what it felt like on the inside of it. Because in retrospect, it will feel very different, and we'll have vastly different ways of understanding it.

My friend Stan Muller always says that when you're in the middle of history you never know what it means, and I really believe that. I don't think anyone knows what history means when you're living in the middle of it.

You can make your best guesses. You can go with your values. You can try to live in accordance with a set of moral structures that you've created for yourself, or that's in line with the ones the social order has created or whatever. But you never really know what history will mean when you're in the middle of it.

And I don't know what the pandemic will mean. I don't know how we'll look back on this time, and I can't know.

But for people who want to know what the inside of it felt like for one person, this is my attempt partly to chart that, alongside charting lots of other experiences from childhood—looking at Halley's Comet through my dad's birding binoculars in the Ocala National Forest, all the way to adulthood, and being a father myself, and the soul-splitting joys of watching your kids grow up and grow away from you.

So yeah, it's a strange, I mean it's a weird little book of course. Any book that is basically comprised of extremely earnest in-depth Yelp reviews is gonna be a fairly weird book. But I hope people like it, and I'm excited for it to be out in the world.

 (10:00) to (12:00)

But I am gonna be a little sad tomorrow when I have to truly, completely say goodbye to it.

I mean, the book's been done for a long time. It's not like I'm writing new material or anything 2 months before the book comes out.

But there is always this moment where they basically take it away from you and say you can't futz anymore. No more moving commas, no more reworking the sentence, and so on. And that's the place where we are, so... it's a goodbye.

It's also a goodbye to signing, which I feel—I have to say—less ambivalent about. I'm pretty excited to not sign for a while. Maybe, maybe? I mean, I don't know, maybe ever? I don't know.

The thing about not signing ever again is that then I couldn't use the LectroJogger. And so, part of me feels like, well I can't do that, I got to use the LectroJogger.

It's weird—I'm nervous about finishing. Like, what am I gonna do with myself? What am I gonna do on Saturday if I'm not down here listening to an audiobook for 12 hours signing my name over and over again? Guess I'll have to get reacquainted with my family. 

Which, probably, they won't be bummed out about. I bet I'm gonna go upstairs on Tuesday afternoon and they're gonna be like: Hello. There is a lot of laundry. [chuckles] Can't help but notice that you have done none of it for many, many months.

[reads a question from the chat]

Um, I don't think Hank has a LectroJogger just because I've seen Hank's signed sheets, and they're not very well organized.

 (12:00) to (14:00)

I think he jogs by hand which is far, far inferior.

[reads from chat] Scott says maybe I can do 50,000 next time around.

Yeah it's funny. I mean, I'm spoiling the entirety of tomorrow's vlogbrothers video so I'm gonna have to make this live stream unlisted after I do it because I don't have the wherewithal to make another video tomorrow. I'm pretty cooked physically, spiritually, and mentally right now. I'm pretty exhausted. Like, I have a good sense of the—

But anyway, what I was gonna say is that this whole time, Sarah has been saying, you can't do this again, this is way too much. This was, you know... it just became a huge, huge undertaking.

Because I still have a job, like I still have to work most of the day during the day. Not everyday, but a lot of days I have to work most of the day. And so, how are you gonna fit in 450 hours of signing your name? The answer is mostly at night and on the weekends.

And so anyway I've been like, yeah of course, I could never do this again. It was a good experience, I'm glad I did it, but my hand's older and I'm not in a position to do this anymore.

And then, yesterday as I was packing up all the boxes and carrying them upstairs, which was quite an undertaking, I found myself thinking, "Ehh maybe I could do 50,000. Maybe I'm done doing 6 figure signing enterprises but I could do 50,000 right? That's like 2 hard weeks. Like 2 focused weeks. I could do 50,000."

 (14:00) to (16:00)

So yeah, I might do 50,000. But don't tell Sarah just yet. I don't think she's ready for that.

Writing a book—this is true for any book—writing a book is—am I doing these upside down? [Flips through pages] no—

Writing a book is a deeply collaborative effort, right? We always think of books as being written by individuals, but no book was ever written by an individual in true isolation.

Like, one of my favorite books is called An Island to Oneself. It's about this guy named Tom Neale, who lived on an island alone for 7 years, and then wrote a book about living on the island for 7 years.

And then incidentally after that, he came back, wrote the book, published it, and then went back to the island and lived there for like 14 years until shortly before he died.

But even An Island to Oneself, which is written wholly in isolation, is still a profound collaboration. Not just with the printer, the publisher, the editor, the copy editor, the cover illustrator, and all of those people, but it's also a collaboration with every book that you've read that informed your ability to survive on an island, and every book that you read that informed your ability to write your account of surviving on an island, and everyone you've met over the years who inspired this weird ambition and everything.

Every book is a massive collaboration. One name usually ends up on the cover, but that's not the truth of how books get written. There's no way to acknowledge the extensive, massive collaboration.

That's one thing I try to write about in The Anthropocene Reviewed book: how we lift up individual genius so much when what's really interesting about humans is the systems we build and the collaborations we have.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

And if you look at Newton for instance, what you're really seeing—you're seeing obviously an extraordinarily bright person—but what you're really seeing is a historical moment, and the system being built around—in the case of Isaac Newton—this system being built that transferred and shared knowledge more efficiently among well-educated elites in the form of the Royal Society, and lots of other things that were happening at the time.

It's not to take anything away from Isaac Newton's contributions to the history of science. They are obviously hugely important. But there are times when I think, instead of emphasizing what particular individuals did, which is so narratively compelling, we really need to emphasize what systems accomplished. 

Right? Like there's a way to tell the stories, the history of the human species without ever saying the name of an individual. And it would capture a lot of what's at the core of the human experience.

Anyway, what I was gonna say is that this book is obviously a massive collaboration with every... people at WNYC Studios, with Stan, and with Rosianna, and with Niki Hua who helped me so much with researching stuff, and with all the poems I've ever read, you know? And with a Robert Frost essay about what poetry is, and with John Ashbery, and Octavia Butler, and a million other people.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

But most of all, and most deeply, it is a collaboration with my family. In the same way that when Sarah was writing You Are an Artist, the kids and I had to find ways to be supportive and ways to help the burden of that work.

They have done that for me in a big way over the last 6 months especially. We would've had to move the publication date of the book if they hadn't.

Sarah's been a huge part of the book on every level: helping pick the font, helping develop the cover, helping, everything. Reading every essay and offering notes on them. And then from the beginning of the process—

I mean Sarah's the reason The Anthropocene Reviewed exists in the first place because she was the person who gave me the central insight that allowed me to write the book, which is that I was thinking that I was gonna write reviews of all these facets of the human-centered planet, and I was gonna write them as an authority.

In fact, if you go way, way back in vlogbrothers, there's a video when we're on tour for Turtles All the Way Down, before I got labyrinthitis, before my life blew up at the end of 2017.

We were on tour for Turtles All the Way Down, me and Hank, and we're like backstage before some show and Hank's making a video.

And we've been talking about this idea on the road at this point for like a month: this idea of writing extremely in-depth Yelp reviews that are serious and that never wink at the camera, for lack of a better term.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

You can see like, Hank does a video where he does a few of these reviews. He reviews traffic cones and a few other things. He does it very much in the voice that I was imagining for it.

I didn't know at the time if it was gonna be nothing, like most of our ideas turn out to be, or if it was gonna be a collaboration between Hank and me, or what, but the way he did it was very much the way I was gonna do it.

Like, here's information about traffic cones and why they work, and now you're an expert on traffic cones just like I am. And I'm over here, Mr. Smarty-Pants, stating my opinions as if they were facts. Not acknowledging perspective, not acknowledging positioning, not acknowledging the ways that who I am and where I look at the world from affect what I see and my critical judgements.

So I wrote a couple of these early versions of essays: one about Canada geese, one about Diet Dr. Pepper—

And Sarah read them, and she was like, "These are good!" And she's always nice. She's always like, "You're a good writer." That's always a bad sign when she says that. 

She goes: "Yeah these are good! Very funny and good sentence-to-sentence and everything. But you act like you're a disinterested observer of the anthropocene."

She said, "And in the anthropocene, there are no observers. There are only participants."

This was the critical insight for me in writing the book and in making the podcast. That when you're writing a review, what you're really doing is you're writing a memoir.

 (22:00) to (24:00)

You're talking about what my experience was getting a haircut at this barber shop, or what my experience was eating at this restaurant on this day.

You're not a disinterested observer making a critical judgement. You are a participant, and understanding that has really been the key to what I hope is good in the book. That I had to put myself in it. I had to acknowledge the ways in which I was a participant in these systems.

And many cases—in some cases, a beneficiary of systems, even very unjust systems. In fact, probably especially unjust systems.

So throughout the process, that collaboration that's at the center of my personal life is also at the center of my professional life.

And I think Sarah would say the same, you know? Like Sarah—right now she's not writing another book I don't think, but she's making art. And every day I go up to the studio, and we talk for a long time about what she's made today, and what I like, what I respond to, what I got questions about, and that collaboration is just a really fortunate thing in my life. Like probably the biggest good fortune I've had.

Because I mean, I knew Sarah was cool when I married her. But I didn't know how effectively we were gonna collaborate, or how we were gonna be able support each other so much in the making of things.

 (24:00) to (26:00)

People always ask me, what advice do you have for couples who are getting married or getting serious? Making commitments to each other or whatever?

And I think my parents advice to me was very good, which was pay attention to your value system, and pay attention to your partner's value system. And it's really, really helpful if those value systems align or at least have a lot of overlap.

And then, secondarily, something that was said to us in premarital counseling that we still talk about all the time: the idea of mutual generosity, of making sure that you're giving to your partner.

I think that's what's been hard about, about these last few months, is just not being present in the way I want to be present for the kids or Sarah because I've been so far down inside of this book and the signing.

So, like I said, in some ways it'll be really sad to say goodbye to it tomorrow and to know that now it's frozen. It can never change. I'll never read it again, all that stuff.

But in some ways it's really happy because it;s good that these things end. It's good that the book stops being mine and starts being yours.

That means that there's a readership out there, which is incredibly fortunate and something I should never ever take for granted. But it also means that there's a life for me outside of just trying to make this book. Like the book isn't the only thing that matters to me.

 (26:00) to (28:00)

And I know some writers who are like, "Ah you gotta make the book everything. And you gotta prioritize your writing and give everything to it." And I'm just not that way. I never will be.

And maybe that does limit what I can do, but it's just not the way that I look at it. To me, it's work that I love, that I'm really glad I have, and that I would be sad to lose.

But it's work, man. It's not everything. So there's stuff, there's stuff that has value.

Well, this got way too personal so now it's definitely gonna be unlisted. Okay.

[reading from chat] "Did his dad die?" If that's about me, no. My dad is still living. Both my parents are still living. So yeah. And they're doing well, at least last I saw them, which was yesterday. They're doing good. I'm sure they would say hello. 

Okay, so this is about how many I have left. You can see that's about 20 minutes.

[reading from chat] "Is your voice okay?" Not really. it's been a long few weeks. I haven't slept a lot, and that always affects my voice. But I gotta go in and record the audiobook [laughs] in like a week.

And so, I got to recover my voice. Because I have to go record the audiobook. And I want to sound like myself. Not like a person who, has been sleeping only a few hours a night for like 40 days, so I dunno.

 (28:00) to (30:00)

I dunno how it's gonna work. Maybe I'll just sound bad. And to be honest, my husky voice and my regular voice aren't that different.

I've got an instrument that plays one note, and it's sort of a melancholy, slightly grizzled baritone, and that's it. That's the only thing that it—that's the only noise that it makes.

Okay. Alright. Here we go. 

"Should I do a sleep stream?" Oh God, that feels a little dystopian, to be honest with you.

"Are you gonna go on a book tour?" Yeah.
[reads from chat]

You can see the cover, but to see the cover you gotta Google it, cause I don't have one—they haven't given me one yet. But you can google it. It's beautiful. Grace Han designed it. I think she just did a phenomenal job.

I can't remember the other question because my brain's pretty spoo-de-dee-boop.

[reading from chat] "Are you still Episcopalian?" Yeah, I mean, they don't let you change that stuff really, you know? I'm 43 years old, I'm not gonna like—I mean, maybe, who knows, but I can't see myself waking up tomorrow and being like I think I'm gonna become Catholic now.

I think the Episcopalians are stuck with me, for better or worse. But I am still Episcopalian. I imagine that I will continue to be a Episcopalian, but I don't know; I've been wrong before.

[reads from chat]

My hand does not hurt.

"What's the difference between the podcast and the audiobook?" Well, the audiobook has 6 new essays, and all of the other essays have been rewritten.

 (30:00) to (32:00)

The book has about 20,000 words that are not in the podcast. A lot of that is new reviews but a lot of it is just new stuff that I wrote about old things, you know?

So, new stuff that I wrote about Halley's Comet because I learned a lot more about Edmond Halley, or new stuff that I wrote about humanity's temporal range because my feelings about our temporal range shifted a little bit in the last year [chuckles]. Obviously.

So yeah, there's a lot of new stuff. Some of it's new stuff about old reviews, and some of it's just new reviews. But listen, if you're not looking to pay $20 for an audiobook I 100% support you listening to the podcast for free. That's no problem for me at all. I would be happy if you listened to the podcast. Super happy.

[reading from chat] "How about the vinyl record?" Ugh, Troy, we're working on it. We've been working on it for a year and a half. It's been a really bad time to try and make a vinyl record, and I'm really sorry.

Okay. Alright.

[reading from chat] "What are gonna do to celebrate the book?" Umm, oh right the book tour.

Well I'm going on a book tour, Izzy, but it's not like a regular book tour. It's a Zoom book tour? But it supports independent bookstores, including a lot of independent bookstores that have been hugely important to the success of my books over the last 15 years.

And I wish I could be at those bookstores in person to say thank you as I have tried to do each time I have a new book come out, but I can't do that right now obviously.

 (32:00) to (34:00)

So instead we're gonna do this virtual book tour.

I don't quite know how it's gonna shake out yet, but you should be hearing more about it soon.

It'll be fun. It will not be like a Zoom call. We'll try to make it more fun than the average Zoom call. And it'll come with a free book.

Well, I mean you'll pay for the ticket—you'll pay for the book and it'll come with—

It either comes with a free virtual book tour event, or it comes with a free book, depending on what you construct yourself as paying.

So there will be a book tour, and I guess that's how we will celebrate the release of the book. And we did that for Sarah's book when it came out in April, and we did it for Hank's book when it came out in July.

And it feels good? It does feel like a celebration. It does feel like an opportunity to mark the publication of the book.

But I will also be forthright and acknowledge that it does not feel as good as actually being with real people on a book tour. But that's just the reality.

There will come a day when in-person events are possible again. And when they are, I'm slowly trying to build up support for my big idea, which is:

Sarah had a book come out during the pandemic, at the very beginning, at the worst possible moment, when like every bookstore in America was physically closed. Hank had a book come out in July, also during the pandemic, and also had his book tour cancelled. And then I had a book come out in May, also no book tour.

And I think it would be really, really wonderful if when things are better, and in-person events are happening, if Hank, and Sarah, and I, and hopefully Katherine, could go on a short but really fun book tour to celebrate all 3 of those books.

 (34:00) to (36:00)

And to support independent bookstores around the country, and also just to be able to see folks again. To be able to see people in the community. To be able to say thank you for the support that they've shown our work during this weird year.

But also just to hang out. Like I['ve] just never been somebody who really relished a book tour, to be honest with you. It's always been like a source of really really high anxiety for me.

But now I do miss it, and I just want to be together, and I really want to celebrate Sarah's book and Hank's book. And I feel like those books both did—I mean, they both sold well and everything—but I feel like they didn't get the launch that—the celebration, I guess—that they deserved.

And so I would like for that to happen. I would like to be able to go on tour, all 3 of us together, and yeah. I mean, I don't know when that's gonna be realistic. It's probably a ways away, but it's a nice thing to imagine for me.

I mean should I say anything special on these last, like, 200? I don't know. I don't know.

Yeah, I don't know.


[reading from chat] What am I gonna do to celebrate the end of signing? Noooothing.

 (36:00) to (38:00)

Honestly, I'm gonna pack up the remaining books into boxes. I'm gonna carry those boxes upstairs, and it's probably gonna be like, just in time for the people who are coming to pick up the boxes [chuckles]. So, there's not a ton of time built into this whole process for—

But yeah, I dunno, maybe I'll have a glass of champagne tonight. It will feel nice to be done with the signing, although I think that I will miss it. Like, it's nice to—I mean, I won't miss doing it on this scale. I won't miss the last, like, month—but I will miss the flow state of it, you know? I will.

But gosh, yeah, never 250,000 again. I think that was just a little too ambitious for what my 43-year-old fingers and wrist can really handle.

[reading from chat]

Okay, somebody thinks I should count down the last pages. Okay, but I don't actually know which one is the last one. And I don't actually—how do I know which one is—let me think about this. How would I actually count it down?

Part of the problem is my brain is so fried. Like, I was trying to figure out whether to reverse a clause in this one sentence. Like whether to move what is currently the middle of the sentence to the beginning and the beginning to the middle, and I just couldn't...

Which is usually something that I can think my way through pretty fast. I've been doing this as a job for 20 years, and so there's a lot of parts of writing that I'm not very good at, and there's a lot of parts of it that I'm still trying to get better at.

 (38:00) to (40:00)

But in terms of figuring out what a sentence will read like if an interior clause is moved to the beginning, that's something that I've done, I don't know, thousands of times in my life? And I just could not figure it out. And eventually I had to get a pen and paper and like write down the two versions and read them aloud.

I'm just operating—I think because a lack of sleep, mostly? I'm just operating a little below my expectations for myself. So that's the other thing is like, at this point, the changes that I'm making to the book are probably not improving the book very much.

I think every writer who has worked on a draft over and over again knows this experience where you're like, I might be making it worse at this point? I'm probably not doing anything that makes it better? I'm mostly just like, you know, yeah. I'm mostly just rearranging things in a neutral fashion.

Or a lot of times it's like trying to get rid of a problem and my editor Julie will be like, "It's not a problem. If it was a problem we would've noticed it six months ago." Which is probably true.

Alright, so what I'm gonna do is—and I don't know if this is—this is more than 100. I wish I knew exactly what 100 was so I could count down. Cause I don't want to like, count down from 100 and then get to like, this page and it's not actually the last page. And then people will know... Gosh, do I count out 100 pages? Maybe.

Is that the only way to do it? I feel like there's something obvious that I'm missing but I feel like maybe that is the only way to do it.

[reading from chat] "Start with one and count up." Start with one and count up.

 (40:00) to (42:00)

But if I start with one and count up, then you're not really sign...

I'm just gonna count down the last fifty. That's 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19...

Ha ha. These last fifty are gonna take as long as the first one. The first, like, 3,000.

I'm also not totally sure about my count, y'all. 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50. Okay, that's the last fifty, then. So we'll sign these.

You know, let's just get everything organized. This is the real moment. It's happening.

So let's try to be a little organized about it. Okay. Okay.

There we go, here we go. We've got fifty plus some. Alright.

So I've gotta do these before I can do the last fifty. So these aren't gonna be anything special. All the people who get these, you know, maybe I'll just put spirals on each of them.

Or I'll write DFTBA so it's a little something special.

 (42:00) to (44:00)

...if you get one of the ones at the end.

If you get a navy with DFTBA, it's one of the last hundred or so. I almost didn't put, oh I'll put a little spiral on that one.

Honestly, writing DFTBA makes my hand hurt more than signing. Maybe I'll just do spirals from now on. Well that's a bad signature, so now I have to give it a spiral just because it's a bad signature so the person doesn't get mad at me.

This is gonna take a while. But on the other hand, think about all the people who will be happy about their spirals. Unless they're people who aren't in Nerdfighteria, in which case they'll be like, "why did he mess up my page?" And maybe people who are in Nerdfighteria will think the same thing.

Although, y'all, I saw on Twitter today somebody with a spiral tattoo, and it's based on one of my all-time favorite spirals. And so I was like, well my spirals must have been good for something. Because look at that person's excellent spiral tattoo.

So even if the people who get them don't like them, one person liked them. That's such a weird experience by the way. Such a beautiful, astonishing thing that I never imagined would happen.

I've been very fortunate. Alright, I mean this is gonna take... we've slowed things down pretty significantly here. I'm not sure I can... alright I'm just gonna sign the rest.

I can't slow down this much. It's too long. "Did Hank get any papers to Hanklerfish?" Not this time. Not this time.

 (44:00) to (46:00)

Okay. Alright. Okay. Just looking for something to talk about.

Somebody suggested that a write a review— So, somebody had a great idea, and it seems like a couple of you have had similar ideas and comments, which was to write a review of signing your name 250,000 times on the last one, and that is a very good idea. So I'm going to do that. I need a real pen though because I— yeah, I need a real pen to accomplish that.

'Kay, we're almost to the last 50 here. It goes so much faster without the spirals.

'Kay, so it's gonna be 249,951? Will be the first one? I'm gonna hold out 10 extra pages in case I mess this up.

 (46:00) to (48:00)

Because this is the kind of thing that I am notorious, notorious for messing up.

Alright, is that? That's still more than 10. That's like 50. Yeah.

As for as how my hand is, it's actually really good because yesterday I spent all day, or the vast majority of the day, not signing. I was carrying boxes upstairs, 2300 pounds of boxes. And you know, like taping everything up and organizing the shipping labels and all that business. And getting rid of a lot of the extra crap that they send along in terms of packing materials and stuff. And then—

So today yeah, my hand just felt really good all day, and I haven't actually had to sign that many today because I've mostly been doing the last round of fiddlings. I was going to call the corrections but actually, none of them are corrections they're all just fiddlings. [chuckles]

Actually, today, one person's name was misspelled, and we caught it, so that just makes me think that there's probably a lot of other errors in the book, but we caught that one person's name being misspelled which I'm sure will be— I think they're dead? So it may not be that big of a relief to them, but I would still rather spell someone's name correctly than spell it incorrectly.

Alright I'm going to put these off to the side, and then this is the final 50 if I counted right, so then this will be— [exhales].Okay so this will be number 249,950... let's say 50. So it looks like that.

 (48:00) to (50:00)

Okay. It looks kind of like 450 but whatever, I have bad handwriting. I mean, that's not going to be a shock to anyone.

So this one is number 249,951. Okay. This is number 249,952. This is gonna take awhile. But, it'll be nice for the people who get these.

Number 249,953. Really glad I didn't do this for the last hundred. 249,954. Number 249,955. Number 249,956. How many times have I done groups of 50? A lot, right? Like a lot. Like thousands of them. Number—but this is the last group of 50. So it's okay that it's gonna take a little longer—957. Number 249,958. Number 249,959.

My handwriting is, I think, holding up okay. Like I think that's mostly legible. Awww that's sweet. That's nice to see thank you.

 (50:00) to (52:00)

Number 249,960. Number 249,961.

For anyone who doesn't know what's happening in chat, by the way, you can listen to the Auld Lang Syne episode of—962—the Auld Lang Syne episode of The Anthropocene Reviewed or you can also just watch it on YouTube because I uploaded the audio of it along with a picture of my beloved White River. I mean the White River isn't mine, but I belove it. [chuckles]

So yeah. There's quite a bit about the White River in the book. And of course that episode, that essay about Auld Lang Syne and my friend Amy Krouse Rosenthal is in the book and is one of the essays that changed the least, I have to say, from the version of it that I wrote for the podcast. It just— you know, it got as close to where I wanted it to be as I could get it, so.

249,967. Number 249,968. Number 249,969. My fully vaccinated in-laws are here.

 (52:00) to (54:00)

So you may see them. 249,970. Number 249,971. Number 249,972. We're almost halfway there. 974. This is the halfway point. 75. Number 249,977. Number 249,978.

Okay. Signatures are getting worse. This, actually, is a lot harder. You know like writer's cramp is a focal dystonia, sort of like the yips in golf or tennis or wherever you get the yips. Baseball. And I definitely have this form of focal dystonia. So it's going to get a little less clear as I keep writing but that's okay. Like that one wasn't brimming with clarity, but that's okay. 249,981.

 (54:00) to (56:00)

Number 249,982. We're getting there. Number 249,983. Number 249,984. So what I'll do is I will write a review of—249,985—I will write a review of signing my name 250,000 times on the 250,000th copy. But it's gonna take me some time to do that and some focus, so I'm not going to do that on stream. But I will post it to the community tab since I don't have the real social internet.

Number 249 thousand—well I mean, do I? I could post it to my sports twitter God knows—987. Number 249,988. Oh we're getting there. Number 249,989. Number 249,990.

Alright. I'm gonna—991, Number 249,992. 249,993! Number 249,994!

 (56:00) to (58:00)

Number 249,995... alright 6, 7, 8, 9— [singing] I didn't count right, I'm glad I did that again!

Okay. So I get to—so I'm just gonna sign these. So these are the last five. These just need to be signed. I'm gonna put spirals on them though. Alright.

I mean, that spiral isn't going to win any major art awards but that's okay. Okay, here we go. This is it. Okay.

Number 249,996. Number 249,997! Number 249,998! It's gonna happen! Number 249,999! And last! Number 250,000!

 (58:00) to (1:00:00)


Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point. 

So that is the one—you know, I'll be honest, it's not my best signature, but that's the one that I'm gonna write the review of writing your name 250,000 times on. And I will post that for you on the community tab. Wow. Thank you for all your "we're here because we're here"s and your fireworks and everything, that's very nice of you, and it really has been such a joy to be able to have you be part of this ridiculous process.

And I know lots of you—it's just like, all the stuff that people have made in response to it all the—like I saw the fanart that the Lectrojog recently received and everything and it's just so meaningful. And I really, really appreciate. So thank you. It made me feel like 2010, you know, 2009 YouTube all over again, and yeah. So thank you.

We are, of course, going to end the live stream with one last visit to our friend, the hero of our time, the Lectrojog. We all know where it's—We all know [we're] going to the Lectrojog. 

How's the light? How's the light on him? Let's get you in a little closer. So you can really see the thing in all of its beauty. Alright here we go.

This is the Lectrojob. You know, what I really need though is a box. Gotta get a box. Gotta box up these last sheets.

 (1:00:00) to (1:02:00)

Alright. I have a box. 

I'm gonna move this tripod, hold on a second. Okay. How's the lighting? It's pretty good, actually. Alright. Here we go. Lectrojog time! Duh-dum. Let me give you a nice view.

[Lectrojog whirring noises]

Look at it go! Look at it go! It just comes out perfect every single time. Do any of us own any mechanical good that is as reliable, as consistent, as perfect as the Lectrojog? Look at that. Look at that. Straight out of 1962, still bringing the heat. Still just as good as it was on Day 1. 

I mean, would that we all treated life the way the Lectrojog treats life: just as something to be persevered through and to do the best job that we can every single day, every opportunity that we're given. 

Once again, an absolutely perfect stack of paper. Ohhh. I mean I've got to write another book and sign at least a few just so I have an excuse to bring the Lectrojog back out! That's the other thing about the Lectrojog. For years and years the Lectrojog goes away. It goes into storage, and when it comes out it is ready. It is ready to be put in the game at any moment.

 (1:02:00) to (1:03:42)

Yes. Great Lectrojogging. All right we're gonna do one more, and then I'm gonna say my goodbyes. The last Lectrojog, or at least the last public Lectrojog, of the uh, great 2021 250,000 Anthropocene Reviewed signed sheets, do your thing!

The truth is, it doesn't even need my help. I often put my fingers in there to try to speed the process, but look what happens when I don't do anything. It's still perfect! Oh, I love my Lectrojog. I hope there's something in your life that brings you as much joy as that Lectrojog brings me.

Thank you all for being here. I hope you enjoy The Anthropocene Reviewed book, and it's been really fun to be able to do these live streams with you, and there are more to come because now I shift away from signing the book to, you know, actually like talking about the book. So yeah. Thank you.

I see that we jog because we jog because we jog because we jog. That's beautiful. Y'all are amazing, thank you. And I hope that you're well. And here's to [sigh] the next 14 months being a shorter year than the last 14 months have been. DFTBA!