Happy Birthday to Me

A year ago I woke up from trying to sleep sideways in my mostly broken armchair after making one last push to pack up my things for the movers to take to California. It was an inauspicious start to my the day, which ended up being pretty darn awesome. I left Minnesota with a heart so heavy that it dragged on the ground, but something about the endless blue of the sky and the intensity of the sun has kept me sold. A couple of weeks ago Sarah and I walked along the beach — me waist deep in the icy Pacific and her skipping through the frothy edge of the waves — and it felt like what should have been happening all my life.

Sarah is here now, living with me, and my huge one bedroom has become a little claustrophobic: we have two offices, a dining table, and a living room jammed into the living room. When I work from home, Sarah makes me the most amazing turkey avocado sandwiches with smoked cheddar and red onions. Eating one is like being punched in the face with happiness. Not that Sarah punches me in the face — that would leave visible marks.

Call the police, she hits me!

(this is just a joke)

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Gravid: A Bedtime Story for Zach

His skin: papery. He was immobile, paralyzed with venom, half curled so he could look nowhere but his own belly. He thanked whatever demon was responsible for deadening the wound from which the bees were crawling. They flew to unknown places and returned, their tiny feet scratching as they landed, then nothing but vague sensations of motion as they found the entrance to their hive.

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Ask Doctor Jesse: Attracting Manticores

A few weeks ago I answered a question from Zach J. of Minneapolis regarding sasquatch infestations. He sent me another letter thanking me and commenting that he was worried about sprinkling borax around his property as it might also dissuade beneficial manticores from visiting his property. That is an excellent line of inquiry — but I had to bring in an expert to get answers. Immediately, I called my dear mother, a long time gardener and landscapist.

“Hi JP,” she said upon answering the phone. “I was just out in the garden feeding the amphivena.” A pair of these two-headed serpent-birds have a nest in the corner of her garden. Apparently their excretions make for excellent manure — unusual for carnivorous beasts.

“Hey Mom,” I replied. “Didn’t we have manticores when we lived in Iowa?”

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From the Land of Sky Blue Waters

Last night I drove up to The City to attend a small event put together by Scott Beale, lead tentacle of Laughing Squid. I finally got to put my calling/business cards to proper use. I snagged two hours of fantastic conversation and went home feeling elated.

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Golden State of Being


I only seem to visit the ocean at sunset.

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My Apartment is Official

My mother and her husband John came out to visit a week or so ago. Since they left, California has blended into a gray smear of endless blue skies and constant blooming of flowers with occasional bursts of color when I hang out with Don and Mary Ann, but while they were here, we had an absolute blast. My mother got to play in the ocean surf during the very tail of a Pacific sunset.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Update: The official trailer is out

I’m still processing the trip back to Minnesota, so in the meantime, please enjoy these two videos:

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Lake Tahoe

So, my team at work had a retreat at Lake Tahoe. I saw snow for the first time since leaving Minnesota last August. Ugh. As they say in Lolcats: “DO NOT WANT.”

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Whale Watching

January 11th was Sarah’s birthday, so I drove us to Monterey for a day of ocean-related activities, like visiting the aquarium and going whale watching. Sarah said that it was the best birthday ever. The only cetaceans that we saw were gray whales, but they were as majestic as you might imagine.

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Right before Thanksgiving of last year, I stopped in Portland to visit Melody and Jay. I wish they lived about ten or eleven hours closer. Their son, Noah, demonstrates that Noahs are good things.

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