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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Happy Saint Patrick’s… Waitaminute


Despite my promise, I found myself aboard a flight to Minnesota in early March. I was returning to visit Sarah, my family, and all those friends who had crawled into their winter caves to tough out the endless barren wastes of the northern tundra.


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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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Point Reyes

While we were at Tahoe, one thing led to another and we hightailed it from the mountain to the ocean. By we, I mean myself, Seth, Chris, and Chris’s main squeeze San. My car was full to the brim of all of our junk. Several hours later, I parked us in a windy wet parking lot on a kingly point: Point Reyes.

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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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Big Basin

On the 4th day of January, Sarah and I visited Big Basin, which is not far from my home but involves a spirited drive through the Santa Cruz mountains. Some people call my spirited driving terrifying, but tell that to the people who tailgate me while I do it.

Redwoods are difficult to photograph, especially when you are amidst a multi-mile death march.

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