screaming into the void

I feel that I’ve been screaming into the void and the only response I get is silence. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is kind of disappointing.

+ Knit hat for coworker has been in my bag for like 2 weeks and I haven’t seen him, so it’s like I’m just carrying around this lemon-yellow thing for no reason.

+ Working on another shawl and this one feels like it’ll never be completed. I’m at the halfway point, trying for a larger shawl, so I’m really not surprised that it seems to be taking forever. The more I go on, the more I realize I have so much green yarn.

+ A narrator/voice actor that I love (and follow on various platforms) sent out a call to authors for stories for him to narrate. He’d requested more sci-fi (because he mainly does horror), and I’ve been tempted to double check the word count on a story or two that I’ve finished and send one on to see what happens. Because, really, why not? The most that’ll happen is I’ll get told he can’t do it or whatever.

+ Still need a title for the Heironimus story. I mean, I could leave it called as such. I think it’d be really awesome to send it somewhere, but it’s a little past the normal 7500-word limit.

+ Started working on a fresh story and I keep having to make notes to myself within the story to look up what certain things are called or look up what the correct part for an item is. So far, I’ve mostly got descriptions of things. I texted Jamie about it, saying that I felt a bit like M R James and I’m trying to keep that in mind while I work on the idea. I have a vague idea of where I want it to go and how to end it, but that’s far on down the line.

+ I’ve got bits and bobs of stories pecked at on the computer that I need to work on, but my notes for a couple of them have disappeared so hell if I know what I was doing besides half-thought notions of “what if” and “I wonder.”

+ I’d say I’d be working on stories and such tomorrow, but tomorrow is a day for housework and seeing if the weather is decent enough for me to go outside and start cleaning up around my roses and working on encouraging them to grow. I think two of them straight gave up after last year’s well-intended flower bed clearing by other people (who mowed them down). Maybe I’ll plant a pumpkin seed and see if I can get some nice leafy growths to help maintain some cover and maybe get another Surprise!Pumpkin out of it.

But now, it’s time to wake Jamie up and let the dogs out so they can get some of their crazy out of them.


Ye (short) Saga of Dog

Yesterday, Jamie busted into my department saying that he got a voicemail from Animal Control saying they had our dog.


I listened to the voicemail and called them back, Jamie talked over the robot voice so I had to hang up and wait until I could hear well enough to go through the keypad list and get a human on the phone.

“Hi, someone called and said they have my dog.”

(request of what the dog looks like, etc)

I describe the dog and get “Oh! L wants to talk to you, hang on a sec.”

Oh thank gods. L is there and she knows us, she knows we’re obsessive over our dogs. She kept in touch with us when Hobbes had been stolen. L is awesome.

L gets on the line and tells me that yeah, they have Hobbes and the neighbor was able to get the others in the yard.


So I tell her that Jamie is on his way and send him to go talk to management about leaving for a bit due to family emergency. (it is our family and this is an emergency)

I text Jamie to make sure Firefly is there because if the neighbor has gotten the dogs in the backyard, Firefly has undoubtedly gotten out (because she is an old woman who doesn’t believe in fences nor rules). Jamie gets to Animal Control and finds that it’s not just Hobbes that they have.

They have Firefly, Cricket, and Hobbes.

They tell Jamie that “the other dog, the one with the disability, stayed in the yard.” Jamie told them to not believe Bug because Bug is a tank. (it’s true. If she had 4 paws, she’d be able to take over the world). Stuff happens.

Jamie gets them inside and just lets them roam the house. Cat boxes, cat food, dirty dishes (not many, just like breakfast bowls and such from before we left for work) be damned. Let them pee on the floor, we’ll clean it up when we get home.

Jamie comes back to work, texts me that he’s back, and we continue the day.

We get home to find that someone has found the sunflower seeds and has pooped them out. There is poo and explosive poo in various spots around the living room and kitchen.  Jamie walks back into the living room, where I am coming through the door, and tells me that “it’s bad.”

They’ve knocked over the trash can and have strewn trash all over the kitchen. There is peices of trash bag mixed in. All I can do is use the broom and dust pan and just dump everything into the bin (sans bag) and tell the dogs to not do it again.

Jamie tells me that the AC officer was telling him that they found where the dogs got out of the backyard and that we need to fix the fence. Jamie wound up having to explain until they understood that we don’t have dog doors, the dogs were in the basement (not crated because I wanted them to have some roaming time) and that they must’ve gotten out via the basement door or the window.

Check the basement: someone (probably Hobbes) hit the plexiglass window that I had epoxied up last year perfectly and broke it free of the epoxy. We have a 14″ high, 20″ long open window leading out into the back yard. They stayed in the living room over night until the morning when I could find the super awesome duct tape and tape the window back on so I could crate them. Now, I am going to have to look for a non-dull saw so I can saw part of a pallet apart so I can nail bits of pallet across the window so a certain old man can’t break out again.

Jamie also told me that the AC officer told him that normally dogs are very timid when they go to let them out of the little holdy thing in the trucks, but not Cricket. Cricket jumped out (aiming for the face, of course. stupid dog) and was all wiggles and play bows.


I duct taped the window and put the half-door that Jamie made for upstairs but didn’t fit up against the stairwell that leads to the backyard. I also pulled the extra pallets we had, that were tucked up, and put them against the hole that was caused by the nice person who mowed the ditch beside the fence, the hole that was patched, and the hole that apparently Firefly made when she realized Hobbes had gotten out.

These are our dogs. They’re sweet, they’re loving, and they firmly believe that fences are for other people.

Dogs don’t like my music

As a fan of music of varying types, from centuries long-past to things released within the past couple years, I’ve found that I typically land on the same upbeat music over and over again when I want to listen to something while I clean.

Typically, this usually involves an array of 90s (pop, ska, punk, house/acid) and the dogs are displeased.

Firefly is pretty aloof about the whole thing, just as long as she gets to curl up on the couch. Bug seems to like pop more than the others, Hobbes just gives me his sad/confused-dog stare, and Cricket seems to think that it’s the perfect time to jump on people or go see Jamie.

I have noticed, however, that all of them hate Jamiroquai. Which sucks for them.

Hobbes is more of a fan of Alt/Rock and metal (seriously, cut on Volbeat or some old school Cradle of Filth and he is all about that). And they all like Voltaire.

Yesterday while cleaning the living room, Jamie cut on Spotify through the PS4 for me (because I couldn’t find it) and I found that none of the dogs like the Spin Doctors. What the hell, dogs.

Sigh, oh well I guess. Now this just means there are 5 people in the house that I can annoy with my atrocious tastes in music. Jamie’s pretty used to it (he should be after all the time we’ve known each other), but now he’s got a pair of AfterShockz headphone thingies so he can listen to podcasts while I continue to be a dork.

making things

+ I finished the Combo Breaker blanket, it is folded up and sitting on a shelf until Jamie remembers to take it to work to give it to the parent. lol

+ I made Jamie a Bear Hat. It is a smidge too small, but he thinks it’s awesome. So, I’m working on making another one (I have the yarn so why not?) I still have a few more months before it gets cold enough for him to wear a hat, so I have the time to work on it.

+ I keep staring at the same documents doing nothing.

  • Weird Granddad story is just…there. I am at a point where I don’t remember exactly where I was going with it
  • Attempted Novelette is at a standstill. I’m at the point where I can’t remember whose name is for which character except for one, and that’s mainly because I keep making terrible jokes about it.
  • I’ve been jotting down notes for another story idea to try to get bits together with it

+ Nothing is finished and I don’t know if I’m fine with that. I don’t know if it’s an epic brain fart or just extreme apathy.

+ Bug and Firefly got into it the other day and Firefly needs to learn that Bug is getting her back for when they were younger and Firefly got Bug because Bug was too nice. Now Bug is a tank of a dog and has power behind her snaps.

Firefly is fine, we carted her butt to the vet, where her head was cleaned and parts were shaved. I insisted we take her because of the puncture under her jaw (which is fine, just squicky) and we learned that she’s got a couple more punctures than I had originally thought. She’s on antibiotics and has been happily spoiled by getting to sleep on the couch, getting various pieces of human food (cheese, peanut butter, things like that), and snoring on the bed.

Tell a story

I was speaking with my mom last friday (because it was my birthday. yay birthday) and my main goal is to make her laugh. I love making my mom laugh. Be it with a joke, a story, a terrible side comment while we’re out. Anything. If I can make my mom laugh, she can be happy, and that’s the important bit. (my mom is awesome)

She asked me if I had gotten a new job yet or if I was just taking this time as an “extended vacation.” I told her I was looking for a new job, but in the mean time I’m working on writing and cleaning and dog stuff. Mom told me that I should write because I “tell good stories” and that I would be great at it. She continued with saying that I should tell my funny stories because it makes her laugh and I could “easily get a lot of followers.” lol

What caused this was I was telling her a story, to make her laugh and to show how derpy Cricket is.


Since it’s hot outside and we live in SWVA, it’s muggy from 8 am to 8 pm. We have a short time for yardwork between 7 am, when the noise ordinance is over, and 8–maybe 9 if we’re lucky. Or, between like 7:50 pm to when the sun goes down and we no longer have visible light to see by. But my tomato and melon plants and corn are thriving, so there’s that (however, the grass has come back so now the areas look like a grassy plane with plants)

We own a kiddie pool. A Bright. Neon. Pink. kiddie pool. I got it on sale for $5 like two years ago. The dogs use it as a giant water bowl and the only dog to ever lay in it was Hobbes (and now he can’t because some fucking peice of shit fucking stole him out of my yard. lured him out of my yard and sped away. I wish nothing but bad, horrible, terrible luck on them and I want my godsdamned dog back).

Currently, Dunk-dog will step in it and stand there most days and Cricket will step in it occasionally. Firefly and Bug will drink out of the kiddie pool, but that’s it. Bug thinks it’s a ploy for something and Firefly knows that if she’s not careful the giant water bowl will turn into the giant bath bowl and that’s never good. Firefly is weary of any large body of water that is not a dog dish.

Jamie bought a sprinkler, saying it’d be great for the dogs before realizing it’d be a great waterer for the garden…if we can get it to do a 180 sprinkle instead of a 110 sprinkle. Bug and Firefly see it as a barrier of awful, Dunk thinks it’s weird, and Cricket’s like eh, whatever and walks around. Currently, we haven’t used the sprinkler for them specifically. We’ve just played with it. Normally, we use the hose and its sprayer-of-many-settings.

Bug and Firefly are terrified, hanging back if I fill the water bowl and kiddie pool or at least being a few steps away watching me wearily as I water the garden. Dunk stands near me but doesn’t want to get sprayed in the head. And then there’s Cricket.

Cricket is our black derpy border collie. She’s average height, but mostly black. So, we worry about her when she’s out. Sure, we have half of the area shaded by our awesome tree, but she’s …special. She’ll stand on the porch or patio in the blaring sun and just stand there. Every so often she’ll stand in the kiddie pool or hang out in the shade. But then she’ll stand on the porch or roll in something in the sunny area and be a silly dog.

So, I was watering the garden. It was after 4pm and I try to stick with what my grandmother told me: if you water your garden, don’t do it between 10am and 4pm because that’s the hottest part of the day and it’ll just evaporate and you’ll have wasted your time.

I changed the setting from jet (to get to the farthest garden spots) to shower (to get to the closest areas) and realized that Cricket was just standing there. So I sprayed her a little.

She walked away, played with Firefly for a bit, and came right back. So I sprayed her again.

I didn’t hold her down and spray her, nor did I chase her with the hose (because, hell, if I wanted to, I could chase all the dogs and spray them). I was like 5-10ft away from her.

I put the hose down, I had finished with the garden, and Cricket immediately came up and jumped on me, grinning like a goober. I rubbed her ears, laughing at her, and then she got down, shook excess water on me, and ran away to go play with Dunk.

I got my dog with the hose, and she got me back.


I told this story to my mom and she howled with laughter.


My eyeballs itch. My allergies are going haywire and I’m waiting on Firefly’s allergy to kick in (she’s allergic to fall. $200+ last year to find out) so we can be itchy together. But I think mine are mainly from spending hours ripping out this weird vine, this giant monstrosity of a berry bush, cutting down shrub/tree limbs, and hauling it over to our side of the fence.  I spent all day yesterday snotting, sneezing, and either blowing black out of my nose (leaf mold) or blood out of my nose.

I told Jamie my idea of keeping some of the tree limbs to the side so we can cut them into bits and use them in the firepit for Halloween and Firefly’s birthday (November 1st). It shouldn’t be too terribly hard to put a couple limbs to the side, but it’s something that we’ll have to work on later.

Jamie told me his idea of how we should throw Firefly a little birthday bash and invite a few friends over to hang out and love on the dogs. Firefly turns 8 this year (which means Bug and Hobbes turn 8 in February, and Cricket turns…2 or 3 sometime next spring/summer). We usually make them little tiny birthday cakes (because I have these awesome mini-cake pans!), but Jamie happened to find a skull-shaped cake/cookie pan and bought it, and we think it’d be an adorable idea to make her a Day of the Dead style cake. It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be fun!

It just means I’ll need to buy a giant container of peanut butter because Bug ate the jar of peanut butter we had set aside for the dogs

St Patrick’s Parade

This past Saturday was our St Patrick’s parade event…thing.  Streets had already been starting to be “shut down” since the night before, our local bus system was on a set delay for the entire day, and a few events were planned. The 5k and 10k races, the parade, and the “two” festivals (regular festival where kids are allowed until 5 and the regular festival where booze is involved and going on until 8). We had Jamie’s mom drop us off at the main branch of Member One, because it was the easiest spot for her to be able to turn around and not get lost.

While it’s not that hard to get lost in Roanoke, for some people it is. It’s nothing but circles within circles overlapping a circle/gridlock motif with hidden one-way streets and dead ends.

We walked from the bank branch to Angels of Asissi’s building (with a side-stop of that weird walkway bridge thing where on one end is a life-sized statue of MLK, Jr) and waited a bit for them to officially open for volunteers and their new Walk-In program, which a couple were doing with their new dog (Doogie Howser. I should’ve gotten a photo of him, he was adorable!). We headed in and were surprised to find we were the first ones to show up so we hung out, I played with Buttercup-the-puppy while Jamie loved on cats. We hung out while the dogs who were going were being harnassed up and people showed up.

Eventually most of the people showed up, and most of us walked to the starting area of the parade. People were starting to slowly trickle around to set up on the parade route, chairs were just sitting empty (because people are dicks) and it got to the point where we were wondering if we had gone the wrong way. But, the starting-area was a little farther than I thought it was, and we were able to eventually find the Angels truck as well as the dogs.

It was madness. People were just everywhere, floats and trucks were parked on either side of the street and in any parking area they could find. People were walking their dogs and not paying attention (because some of the Angels dogs, while really well behaved, do not appreciate having dogs run up to their faces). The guy who was walking Jase (big dog, super sweet), ended up having to sit on the ground and cling to Jase away from everyone because people weren’t paying attention and being ignorant dog owners.

At one point, one woman was walking this dog who was covered in stickers (and on a flexi lead, christ) and not paying any attention whatsoever. She let the dog get into one of our adoptee dogs’ face, and he turned and barked while the woman who has been working with him and walking him started yelling “No!” and “Hey!”, this dumb bitch just kept standing there so her little dog could be annoying. If I could talk, I would’ve said something, but finally the dumbass walked away and the woman who was trying to get the adoptee dog relaxed started saying really loudly “Are you kidding me?! Watch your dog, stupid!” Jamie and I agreed with her that someone should kick the woman to get her to pay attention.

After what seemed like an eternity, we were told to line up and wait. When we get started, the Shriners decided they were going to start up their firetrucks and set off the sound. Gee, thanks guys. They did it around dogs and, of course, some of them jumped. Hell, some of the people jumped. It was a dick move on their part.

During the parade, the kids who had showed up after we had gotten to the “hold area” were tossing candy around and handing out pamphlets. People were cheering Angels on, which is really great and I am very glad that they show support for a local no-kill shelter. People were taking photos, one woman got in Jamie’s face and asked him a question while recording on her phone. The Salem Red Sox people were running around like insects and not paying any attention to where they were going. They ran into us, we had to dodge around them, they almost stepped on a few kids, and the people who had the toddler and his radio-flyer wagon kept stopping so they’d wind up with us instead of around their float.

There was a ton of people, there were announcers on a dais (it was weird), and when we were nearing the end of the parade route, people were walking with everyone in the parade so they could go to other areas in Downtown. People were cutting through or pushing up against the marchers and it was kind of maddening. One or two people darting through or saying sorry/excuse me is one thing, but it was gobs of people.

At one point, I had told Jamie that people go all-out and more crazy with costumes/whatnot than they do with Halloween. The St. Patrick’s parade is Roanoke’s own little halloween get-together.

And then we stopped. There was no police officer or sign to state this was the end of the parade route. The Red Sox truck just stopped and the driver cut the engine. Our being in the parade is over and we walk up the street to our right, where there are 5 cars trying to get out of a parkinglot (because apparently they think they’re going somewhere!) There are still groups behind us and we walk up and realize…the next part of the parade is going on.

This is a long fucking parade.

I have no idea where Furever Friends (or is it forever home? It’s something like that) were in the parade, no idea where Star City Greyhounds were placed (so we completely missed seeing Rob and Lee walking Goose, Fiddler, and Dizzy D), nor do I have any idea where the RVSPCA guys are. And I have absolutely no idea if there were any other shelters in the parade.

We turn around, I get Jamie to let some of the dog walkers know that there is no way we can get through a little farther up (because one of the dogs was in a stroller and the walker was having trouble with it), so we all cut through a carpark and Jamie and I manage to get across the street before one of the groups comes through. Jamie ends up having to pull me through the throng of people because it was so crowded, if he let go that was it.

We managed to get away, and walked back to Angels to drop off our signs (as well as the hat Jamie had and the clover headband I grabbed) and sat down for a few minutes. Then we headed back down because we were going to Make a Day out of it.

It was a terrible idea.

The parade was still going on, there was literally a wall of people around (and goats! there were two goats just watching the parade. For Roanoke, this isn’t weird. At any event, like parade or whatever, you will probably find a goat or two). We get to the “beer tent” area (a giant roped off block surrounding Corned Beef & Co), we hand over our IDs, get braceleted, and turn to find: there are 4 options of liquor (fireball whiskey, jager, irish sour something, and something) and 6 options of beer (heiniken, budweiser, corona, milwaulke, and two other things), all $6 and all none I will touch. Ok, if you put Fireball whiskey into some coke, I’ll drink that (but on my terms because I’m not a big fan of Fireball).

There are people everywhere, there are fucking rude ass people who are mostly drinking everywhere, and we just tried to get the hell out of there. Managed to get our of the “beer tent” area and agreed to attempt to look for somewhere to eat, but every. single. place. was packed. There were places where lines were out the door, one or two places had signs up saying how long the wait was and I was just like “fuck that, not worth it.”

We found the other area of “festivities” that was a giant viking bounce-house (if it wasn’t surrounded by people and I was in a better mood, I would’ve dragged Jamie with me and whined until I got my way because, dude, bounce house!) and the “beer tent” there was a little tent with a sign that said: “Beer ticket, $5 each.”

We agreed to get the hell out of there as more people thronged through. I was at the point where I would punch someone for just being there because it was too many people and we left downtown. We started walking away and Jamie called his mom to ask if she could pick us up  when we got to a better area for her and after a while, we got picked up and dropped off at the house.

We walked somewhere between 5 and 7 miles (guestimating) and agreed to go somewhere where it would be a lot less crowded because people would be at the parade/festival. We ended up at the Valley View Buffalo Wild Wings, which in a way was a bad idea because it’s loud as hell in there. It was really busy, we weirded out the poor waitress (she did awesome service! She was constantly on the go trying to make sure all of her tables were doing well, having what they needed, etc) because Jamie was my translator. I learned that I should always ask for a “small” if I get beer from them again (Guiness! Woo! and then I saw they carry Boston Lager. Damn. I’ll get that next time). We picked different things this time, Jamie got a sick-headache (the no-food, loud-atmosphere, and walking through the parade as well as aggrevation at stupid people at the parade kind of hit right after he got his drink). But we had a nice time


I found out later that the WWII veterans, who are always in the parade, boycotted it this year. This year, the organizers told them that they’d have to pay the $10 march fee just like everyone else and, frankly, that’s fucked up. I don’t care if you charge group A or group B a $10 march-fee because, technically, it is a type of business, but these are WWII veterans. You don’t charge them, you shouldn’t charge them, and you should ask them to march because they fought for your dumb ass. They had friends who died during that, and hell, chances are they probably got shoved into another confrontation after that war.

Charge the JROTC and the ROTC guys. They’re kids, they don’t know the horrors of war or of looking in the face of “the enemy” and killing them (hell, I don’t either). But, you don’t charge a group of veterans. I don’t care if they just came back from the Middle East (or the base in Germany or Japan), you thank them for their service, you shake their hand, and you don’t deny them being able to march in a freaken parade by being a douchecanoe and demanding money.

Sure, $10 is $10, but it’s the principle. But, the parade organizers, in my opinion, basically told veterans that they have no respect for them nor their services. And that is fucked up.

(I also found out some cool stuff about other parades that were not ours. Sam Adams (Woo!!) pulled out of the Boston parade as well as the mayor over the parade organizers refusal to let open LGBTQ people march. And, the mayor, chamber-of-whatever people, as well as Heiniken and Guiness (Woo! Guiness!) pulled out of the NYC parade for basically the same thing because apparently parade organizers were idiots this year. And it’s cool. No one was forced to change anything, people were being polite about it and explaining their views. This is how change happens)