Out With the Old

To close out the year, these were my top nine photos on Instagram. They seem to be pretty a pretty accurate accounting of my 2022.

Honestly, I’ve not been doing much reflection on this year. 2022 was a better year than some, and worse than others. These last few months, though, I feel like I’ve really been starting to regain my mojo. I feel more like myself than I have in a while. I’m going to choose to lean into that.

Here’s hoping that 2023 is a little better for us all.

Merry Happy Whatever

It’s Christmas Day, and what embodies the spirit of the season better than an old-timey card depicting a harlequin about to assault a police officer with a dead goose?

Hope you and yours are having a fine day, whether you observe this ancient pagan day of celebration co-opted by the Christians 1,600 years ago or not.

Merry Christmas.

Drifting Through December

The temperature is currently -2°F outside.  This is an improvement from this morning, when it was -6°F.  Tomorrow promises to be in the above-zero double digits.  Oo-de-lally.

Windchill is at -27°F, which I definitely felt earlier, when I hurriedly shoveled the walkway and sidewalk and cleared out a spot on the grass for Kirby, so his genitals wouldn’t have to touch the snow when he goes to pee.

Whenever I take Kirby outside today it goes like this: he, wearing his adorable hoodie jacket, and standing in snow up to his chest, looks up at me solemnly (which is impressive, seeing as he has no eyes), as though to ask, “Dude.  What the fuck?”

I know, man.  I get it. What the fuck, indeed.

Here’s a few things I’ve been up to lately.


It’s late December, which means a new season of EMILY IN PARIS has dropped.  I wouldn’t say that I hate-watch this show, because who has time for that.  But I do derive a grim pleasure during the five hours it takes to watch a season.  We watched it over two nights, because while the show is not good, it sucks you in.  Despite the extremely stupid and self-inflicted circumstances Emily finds herself in at work in the couple of episodes, on a whole Emily is less infuriating this season.  Progress, baby.

Watching the new season also reminded me of the “Emily in Berlin” meme from last year.


About 50 pages into Cormac McCarthy’s ALL THE PRETTY HORSES.  It’s really good thus far.  This will be the third McCarthy book I’ve read this year.  I read NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN some years back and liked it okay, but wasn’t compelled to read anything else by the author.  Then earlier this year I read BLOOD MERIDIAN on recommendation by my comrade Stephen, and holy hell was that a bastard of a book.  Just an electrifying read.  After that, I read THE ROAD, which was also quite good (if a bit repetitive at times).  ALL THE PRETTY HORSES will probably be the last book I read this year.


I finished the last episode of Hardcore History’s BLUEPRINT FOR ARMAGEDDON, their ~23-hour chronicle of World War I.  This is my third time listening to this particular HH series.  WWI is one of my favorite historical subjects.  It doesn’t really get as much cultural focus as WWII does, and I understand why.  But the collision of Old World western Europe with modern technological warfare makes for such a rich, fascinating subject, and Dan Carlin and the HH team do an amazing job at telling the overall Big Picture story while all the time pulling in a ton of first person accounts of the soldiers who actually fought and lived.  I actually bought the episodes this time since I know I’ll listen to this series again in another year or two.

And Kirby:

Working hard to keep cozy under three blankets.

If Your Election Lasts for More Than 24 Hours, Please Consult Your Doctor

I just can’t help myself. I’d say I’m sorry, but that’d be a lie.

Anyhow, we voted today! Here’s the obligatory post-voting selfie.

The morning air was pleasantly chilly, so afterwards we walked down the street to Stauf’s, our local coffee shop. This note was posted on the door.

One of many reasons why it’s important to support small businesses. I love me a Starbucks chai latte, but Starbucks definitely isn’t going to close early to make sure their people have time to vote.

Okay, I Guess It’s November Now?

I know Halloween is over, but I forgot I took this photo of a jack-o’-lantern at Pumpkins Aglow at the Franklin Conservatory’s, and I love how it came out, sooo:

I haven’t been watching much tv recently, but we did just finish a show that I absolutely fell in love with over the course of six short episodes: THE RESORT, on Peacock.

I am not going to even try to explain the plot, but after the first episode you think it’s going one direction, and then it veers off into a wholly different direction, then another direction, and then etc etc.  A definite genre-bender, and an utterly sublime watch.

Here’s the trailer:

I am a going to a fancy event this evening for Jess’s work, one that requires me to wear a tuxedo.  Stay tuned for photos of a slightly puffy looking, Great Value brand James Bond.

Autumn, Indy, and Dolly

Well, summer seems like it thundered by even faster than usual, and now, somehow, it’s autumn.  We’ve been in the Sage House for two months.  Nearly four months have gone by since we were in Outer Banks.  I attribute this blink-and-you-missed it summer to — aside from, you know, physics — to taking care of majorly sick dogs and packing up and moving from one city to another.  It feels like I’ve been holding my breath the last few months, just trying to get through the next day, week, month — and only now feel like I can exhale.  

Here’s hoping the rest of the year slows down a little bit, and we all have more time to breathe.

I’ve been trying to make the most of the cooler weather: windows open, working on the front porch, walking to get coffee a couple times a week.  Today I walked over to the Short North to pick up a book from Prologue Books I’d ordered a few weeks ago.  The proximity of being within walking distance to cool places like a bookstore is one of the things that I love about being a Columboner.

The book is a new edition of SOURDOUGH, by Robin Sloan, author of the wonderful MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE.

This past week was pretty remarkable in that Jess and I did two, count ‘em, two fun things that involved actually leaving the house.

Last night we caught a showing of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK on the silver screen, which is always fun, but what made it really nifty is that the soundtrack was performed live by the Columbus Symphony, who fucking nailed John Williams’s score.

Even niftier: Jess and I were the only ones (at least on the orchestra level) who were dressed appropriately.

Then last Sunday we trekked back to Dayton for Beg Your Parton, a Banned Books Week event held to raise money for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  Only maybe a dozen people, including my group of six, showed up at Tender Mercy, the venue, but we more than made up for the low attendance with the vast quantity of drinks we bought.  And I got to spend more time with people I don’t see often enough.  It was a perfect evening.

Of course we dressed thematically appropriate. My hat is from LUXURY DIVAS.

Columbus, Week One

And like that, we finally have wi-fi at the new house.

Being without wi-fi for an extended period is weird (and yes, first world problems, etc. — I know).  You can still access the internet and your apps and whatnot using data, but you can’t easily do things like stream tv.  We watched THE BIG SLEEP the other night and had to actually use a Blu-ray disc in a Blu-ray player.  Like it was 2010 and Kesha ruled the airwaves.  Madness.

Also, when you work from home, like I do, and don’t have wi-fi, it’s really hard to do your job.  So since Wednesday, I’ve been working at a pretty cool place called Versa.  I give them $25 a day and in return I get a nice workspace, fast wi-fi, and so many delicious snacks.  Petty sure I ate at least $25 worth of food and drink every day.  A good deal all around.

We survived the move, obviously, and are beginning to get settled in.  I’ve been a resident of Columbus for a little over a week now, and so far… it’s pretty nice.  Our house (which I’ve dubbed the Sage House) is really cool and our little neighborhood is adorable.  I’ve missed having so many cool restaurants and things to do within walking distance.  Three or four neighbors have stopped by to introduce themselves.  (Since I am horrible at remembering names and people, we’re putting them in a Keep along with any other pertinent information we’ve extracted.)  Most of our neighbors have dogs and none seem like assholes, so I’d say we’re off to a roaring good start.

Here are a few photos from our first week as Columbians.  Columbussers?  Columboners?  Columboners.

Gabrielle Solange performing at Goodale Park.
He might be blind, but Kirby still enjoys practicing to be a garden gnome.


My home is in a state of unadulterated chaos at the moment.  Stuff is strewn everywhere as we attempt to wrassle the contents of two persons’ households into boxes in anticipation of a move to a new city in [checks notes] six days.  A contractor is stomping around the house, replacing a bunch of ungrounded outlets and making other repairs identified in a home inspection report.  “Oh Sherrie” was blaring from his cell phone, but, hail satan, he turned it off a little while ago.  Jess is upstairs on a call.  And I’m hanging out with a blind dog who is prowling around the dining room and barking, because there is just Too Much Going On.

One day life will be quiet again, and it will feel strange and I probably won’t know what to do with myself.  In the meantime, though… I will do my best to not lose my goddamn mind.

As I alluded earlier, Kirby is currently blind.  Poor guy lost his brother and his vision on the same day.  That evening Kirby was suddenly unsure of his surroundings, running into things, etc.  By the next day, he wasn’t even reacting to light.  Jess shared a little more background on social the other day:

Kirby’s (third round of) uveitis took a turn we’ve always hoped to avoid. His inflammation worsened to partial retinal detachment in both eyes and severely decreased vision. Over the last week, the pressure in both eyes started increasing as well and he’s now completely blind. Unfortunately, his eyes are too foggy to see his retinas without an ultrasound so we don’t know how things look at the moment, but we’re hopeful a concoction of eyedrops and oral steroids will reduce inflammation, keep him from developing secondary glaucoma, and help restore his vision (whether this is possible is yet to be seen and a test of our patience).

Kirby had a follow-up appointment yesterday.  The inflammation is significantly down, but they still can’t see his retinas.  The vet said there is still some hope the retinas will reattach once the inflammation is gone.  Until then, we are trying to help him navigate this sudden change, which means, ideally, keeping him in familiar surroundings.

So of course it’s the perfect time to move, right?

Which we are doing, next week.  In short, Jess was offered a really good job in Columbus, one that warrants a move.  I already work from home full-time, so where I live doesn’t impact my job.  We found a house to rent in a cute neighborhood that’s within walking distance of the Short North, so we won’t be lacking in places to eat and drink. And for the first time in pretty much forever, almost all of our human and dog medical providers will be in the same city.

I’m sad to be leaving the city I’ve lived in all my life, of course, but excited for new adventures.

More later.  Now it’s time to resume attacking the empty boxes upstairs that are just screaming to be filled with stuff.

RIP, Fozzie Bear

When Jess and I first started dating, the dogs were… maybe not suspicious, but at least a little wary of me. After all, I was a strange new human who’d suddenly entered their lives. A human who didn’t appreciate them hogging all of the bed, was taking up far too much of their mom’s time, and who didn’t really know to interact with dogs beyond the theoretical. Wariness was not only understandable, it was fully justified.

But Fozzie was never that way with me.

He was the first of our trio to really take a shine to me.  I like to joke that Fozzie and I are both more cat-like: we like our space and quiet, and don’t require a lot of attention.  This made us fast pals.  But when Fozzie did want affection and pets, he would come to me.  I can’t count the number of times that I would be doing something and would feel his intense gaze staring up at me from the floor.  Or see him stand up and slap his gigantic front paws on the footstool, as if to say, “hello friend I am ready for a belly rub.”

Fozzie passed away last weekend. Thanks to Lap of Love, he was able to do so quietly and peacefully in our backyard — one of his favorite places to explore — in his favorite bed, surrounded by the people who loved him. We spent the days leading up to Sunday smothering him in attention (even though he slept for much of it), and giving him all the food he wanted to eat (he was particularly enamored with bacon) and all the greenies he could stomach. We had Fozzie for seven months longer than we’d expected, thanks to the amazing care provided by Dr. Okonkowski at MedVet. We thought of these as bonus months. During this time Fozzie experienced some of the happiest times of his life. He got to go to the beach again. He was more affectionate and demanding of attention than ever before. We were only too happy to oblige.

If I have any regrets it’s that I only got to know Fozzie for the last four years of his very long life (19 years). I would have loved to see Fozzie as a tiny terror of a puppy, with paws as big as his face. So sure, more years would have been great, but the four years I did have with my beloved Elder Dog were beyond great — they were life-alteringly good. I am grateful to have had them and that I was able to know such a good, sweet boy. I’ll treasure those four years for the rest of my life.

Fozzie, we love you and miss you.  See you on the other side, buddy bear.

Meant Well

the road to hell
is paved with the bodies of
old white men,
black of heart and soul,
and millions of liberals who
meant well

Written 6/24/2022, the day SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade.