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Leo making faces. Well, face.


photo: our bearded dragon, Leo, in the Christmas treeWe thought Leo might like to climb around in the Christmas tree after we divested it of ornaments and lights. Turns out he likes to just sit wherever we put him and never move, forever. Sometimes i think he might qualify as a plant.

But then he does things like zoom around the room looking for crickets we might have just accidentally poured all over the floor, because that’s how low his opinion is of our housekeeping abilities.

photo: our pit bull Hanzo being jealous that our pet lizard Leo is on my lap, not his.Hanzo watched Leo racing about. (And by “racing,” i mean, “scrabbling in place like a cartoon because little spiny claws are crap traction on polished wood.”) Hanzo clearly wants the spiny little dog with a skin condition to like him, but he’s not really sure how to make it happen.

Christmas in pictures, tweets, & tumbls

photo: my mom's yearly sacrifice to the grandpuppies.

This is actually pre-mortem photography. It will not be an open casket funeral.

My mom’s yearly, hand-sewn sacrifice to the voracious grandpuppies was popular for the entire ten minutes that it lasted. The cloth guts on the floor were too graphic; i simply cannot show you the carnage.

photo: our holiday meal and our tree

You can’t tell in the photo, but the tree has orange-and-purple Halloween lights.

Keffy visited and quickly became the unofficial pet photographer:


photo: Leo, by Keffy

Honestly, December hasn’t been a good month for me, and Christmas wasn’t perfect either, but i still feel like we’re ending the year well.

We’re in a new spacious house, with a wonderful imported roommate and her hilarious, lovable cat. Even if i’m poorer than i was a few years ago, i still love each of my three jobs. I’ve been with the same indescribably splendid man for almost fourteen years; we know and love each other more every day. I’m growing a secondary relationship with a woman who constantly surprises me in all the best ways. As a bonus, i get to see her boyfriend often–there’s a chosen brother i never want to lose. The concept of chosen family has never meant as much to me as it has this year. Thank you, 2014.

You’re invited!

photo: bin full of snacks

Goodbye “Haunt on Dupont” Party!

When: Noon to darknoon (12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.), Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who: Anyone who wants a last chance to see the ghost that made me stop saying “I don’t believe”

Why: We’re bribing you with pizza, snacks, beer, soda, and good company. Yeah, we’re cleaning and painting the house we’re moving out of, but you know us… it’ll still be a party.

Seamus is even setting up some rock show-worthy speakers and playing music to which you can sing, dance, and scrape ancient Halloween decals off the windows. We’ll also be building some cat furniture for the new house, and right now, the front room has a “moving sale” in which everything only costs as much as you feel like paying. (Seriously, we’re not going to argue with you. And there’s some awesome stuff, including a real wood entertainment center, a lightdesk, four matching dining room chairs, and a bunch of books that don’t suck.)

Where: If you don’t know where we’ve lived for the past ten years, e-mail hauntondupont @ plunderpuss dot net and i’ll hook you up. (This IS the Internet. You say the words ‘free beer’ in public and you never know what loser is going to show up and make it dirtier than when we started!)

What to bring: We’ll supply all the cleaning equipment if you supply the hands to wield them, and we’ll supply all the noms if you bring the mouths to chow them!

I haven’t really gotten to see any of my friends for over a month, since it took that long to clean out my superhoarding catastrophe,  so this is as good of an excuse as any to hang out for a little while. I can have just as much fun with you while we swat spiderwebs as while playing a videogame, and hopefully you feel the same way, because it’s a really big-ass house for just two people to clean.

Come see the ghost before we give it up!

photo: fridge door full of beer

I didn’t just try, i’m still trying

photo: me smiling and being embarrassed

I’m learning to be better about accepting less challenges at a time, but i’m also learning that overestimating myself feels better than underestimating myself. I cannot possibly meet all the goals i set, but i would rather have them and fail than not try.

Failure doesn’t bother me; it’s a part of life, like sleeping, eating, shitting, and eventually dying. I can be hard on myself when i don’t expect it, when i fail at something in which i expected to succeed, but it’s not a mortal psychological wound, just a disappointment.

The jaw-droppingly vile historical excuse for Thanksgiving doesn’t work for me, but the sentiment of counting your blessings is powerful. This year i’m finding that i’m also thankful for what i don’t have, for all the things i tried to attain and didn’t grasp, and where those experiences took me. I’m even thankful for the things i thought i wanted and it turned out to be like expecting a juicy apple when you bite into wax fruit.

I’m me because of those things, and i’m thankful that i’m me.

This is how i feel today


plunderpuss with cartoon heart eyes
This is my challenge: Go forth and do something you haven’t done before, something that makes you also feel like this.

Clown rabies

photo: closeup of sprinkles all over my lips

Pretending to be ghosts

photo: some graves at the edge of the cemetery

The other night, Briar and i took a trip to Bayview Cemetery. She was respectful and did not pee on any graves; i was respectful and didn’t climb on them, not even the really cool tall ones with good handholds.

photo: me and my pit bull briar posing under a streetlamp

I actually feel a little guilty for going in when it’s closed, but we all evaluate rules and decide which ones we’re willing to break.  I’ll break the rules because for me, the cemetery during the day isn’t a pleasant experience, but i still think i should get to visit it just like anyone else.

photo: moon behind clouds over top of building
It’s worth inconveniencing a rent-a-cop because while I’m walking on top of thousands of sleeping skeletons, i can feel my own skeleton inside my skin. I feel like my flesh is made of concepts, like everyone’s is, something insubstantial and alien in silent moonlight. I don’t feel that way at any other time, in any other place.

photo: moon behind clouds and streetlamps below
We were lucky enough to visit under a werewolf-movie sky–the clouds would cover the moon and it would be dark, and then suddenly, it would pour silver moonlight on everything for awhile before dimming with clouds again. My camera isn’t great, as i’m sure i’ve mentioned, but it took some interesting photos of our walk.

photo: Whatcom Creek in one of the less touristy stretches of the path

I always think i’m going to find a body in Whatcom Creek. I don’t know why–the expectation hovers even when i didn’t just spend over two hours walking amongst fields of the dead. It has the kind of overgrown look that strikes me as a more realistic hiding place for a half-decomposed corpse than the pebbled beaches they always use in crime shows.

(Thanks again Maeg, for driving us up there. I appreciate that you’re willing to put my four-legged flea festival in your Maegenmobile. )

Landsharks and needlekittens

photo: Leo the bearded lizard basking on the back of the couch

When i read submissions on warm days, he starts out on my shoulder, then mosies on up the back of the couch to snooze in the sun.

Briar usually stretches out in that exact place during the day, but she very politely chose the other couch while Leo was up there basking. For the whole week+ that he’s lived here, when Briar tried to sniff him, i held her back and said “gentle” in a warning tone. This worked with the guinea pigs; she’s now gentle enough with them that i can allow them to cuddle, or to let her herd them on the floor while i clean their cage.

The morning i took these photos, she finally appeared to understand that Leo is delicate, and while he was out, instead of trying to crowd him with her nose, she watched him from several feet away. As a reward, i let her sniff him while he was on my shoulder. She was SO CAREFUL, and kept looking at me like “Is this okay? Can i get closer?” It was supercute.

photo: Leo the bearded lizard, looking for collard greens to rain from above

I have learned that Leo will sometimes leave his food untouched in the dish, but if you pick up the same food and present it to him in the palm of your hand, he will chow it like a toddler with a birthday cake. He is a spoiled little sandking! We’ve also gotten into the habit of putting the crickets and meal worms in our hands, but that’s mostly because 1) it helps prevent their escape into the recesses of his habitat and 2) it feels so cool when his little sticky tongue scoops ‘em up! :D

Any game i play

Yesterday i got a haircut from a fabulous stylist named Miranda at The Hair Art Studio on Prospect.  When i went in, i looked like a punk sasquatch with an allergy to soap. While she was skillfully razoring away my pilositic embarrassment, i started telling her and her co-worker about Ingress. One of the things i proudly told them was how the players around here do fun, light teasing of the opposite team in the chat, but i never see anyone actually trash-talking or calling each other names.

I should have knocked on wood, y’all, because I ran into my first nine-year-old-man on Ingress about twelve hours later. I take this article pretty seriously. Especially this:

“Some of you might think it’s sexist that I’m dumping this problem on us men. It isn’t; it’s just pragmatic. Women can not solve this problem. A boy who hates girls and women simply isn’t going to pay attention to a woman’s opinion. The only people who can ensure that boys are taught, or if necessary forced, to grow up into men are other men.”- Ernest W. Adams

It riles me thinking about either of those women downloading the app, and then the first thing they see is some puerile sack of sour grapes who’s projecting his real life inadequacies onto a female player’s in-game activity. I love this game way too much to let potential players get scared away by that crud. If you’re part of your game’s dominant demographic, it’s like taking care of a garden–sometimes, you gotta pull weeds. No one likes doing it, but it’s how you keep the garden functional.

I didn’t post about these two things together just because i was inviting those women to play. If i’m going to show you my hair anyway, then hey, let’s get my face right here, next to what i just said.

photo: my new hair cut
That guy you’re looking at believes women should feel just as comfortable in a gaming environment as he does. That’s my face, not just a screen name floating in an app. I don’t only believe in something when it can’t hurt me. I will defend my games and their players on chat, i will defend them online, and i will defend them in person even if it means that face doesn’t leave the conversation looking as pretty as it started.

Yes, a game is just a game, but the way you play it is real.

Luckiest burglar EVER.

photo: police cars on the street outside our house

So at about 3:00 a.m. this morning, the dogs start barking, and i look out my window to see this. Actually, there were more cars, but since they were pointing all their lights at some dude on our porch, and i had NO idea why he was there or whether he was armed, i didn’t want to stand where i could possibly get shot. So i had to go upstairs where the roof blocked several of the participating cruisers.

Apparently, or allegedly, or whatever, this dude broke into a house up the street, and the K9 unit tracked him directly to our porch. Apparently, or allegedly, or maybe better “obviously,” he was so wasted he couldn’t figure out how to open our dog gate to break into our house. He was sitting on the steps totally zoned out when they found him.

This is why drugs are bad, kids. Not because you eventually start committing crimes to pay for them (and poorly, at that), but because you don’t think about why people might have a dog gate:

photo: my lovely pit bulls Briar (L) and Hanzo (R)

Yes, the bed in Mr. Failed Burglar’s cell is hard and people can watch him wrestling with smack constipation, but i hope he’s counting his blessings. I’m counting mine! I didn’t have to clean up his terror pee or pluck his needle-scarred scrotum from my living room floor with a pair of salad tongs and Google how to properly dispose of human body parts.