Mystic Krewe of Barkus: Bark Wars

I have this thing where every year I try to go to one festival I haven’t been to before (this year I’m reallyreallyreally hoping that can be the Los Isleños Fiesta in St. Bernard Parish, which I always seem to miss), and every Mardi Gras I try to go to one parade I haven’t been to before. Last year was Krewe de Vieux, and this year I went to Krewe of Barkus. It was yesterday, and they had ridiculously good weather for it in New Orleans, sunny and about 72 degrees.

I didn’t get very many good photos. I could kick myself because I aaaaalmost brought my old digital camera, even started to put fresh batteries in it, then thought nah, I’ll just use my cell phone, this isn’t going to be “art” and it will be one less thing to carry. Well, my phone picked yesterday afternoon to act like a toddler not getting its way. The camera function kept crashing; or the focus would get all weirdly shallow and focus on the wrong thing. Like the crowd behind the parade would be in focus instead of the dogs, or a dog’s paws would be in focus but its face wouldn’t. And almost everything came out blurry, that camera usually has better action capture. It’s not like anything was moving fast. I deleted about 2/3 of the photos I took and wound up with less than 20 worth keeping. Oh well, just means I need to go back next year, right?

Bark Wars

Bark Wars

Bark Wars

Bark Wars

Bark Wars

Barkus’ human handlers must include a small army of discreet pooper scoopers; I didn’t notice any scooping but I walked back to my car along their route and I didn’t see any dog poop either.

I didn’t want to try to drive back through the French Quarter, which was a madhouse getting into–there were like 8 parades happening yesterday–so I decided to skirt the worst of by going down North Peter and getting on the freeway via Elysian Fields. Which I realized would take me past Island of Salvation Botanica, where I haven’t been in… gosh, I think it’s been a couple of years now. I just haven’t been hanging out in the Marigny, I guess. So I checked my phone and it looks like they’ve expanded their hours, they’re now open 7 days a week and even until 6:00 on Sunday.

The place has gotten a little more commercial, everything was slightly overpriced, and it even sells “Voodoo Dolls”, which I know they know is not actually A Thing, but it’s something tourists like to see. I didn’t see as many of Sallie Ann Glassman’s own oils, and the ones I did see had gone from 1 ounce to 1/2 ounce bottles–but the prices were still the same. I can’t really complain, because I know a lot of that money is going to the restoration of the city and the neighborhood–there were a couple of buildings I noticed that had businesses in them that were empty shells the last time I was there–but I think I will be buying most of my spiritual supplies from F&F Botanica when I’m in NOLA from now on.


holy crap, my mother’s legs are white

My parents bought a puppy! I was just starting to think about moving out, but if there’s gonna be a puppy in the house, fuck that. I’m staying for another year at least.

He’s a mutt, mostly beagle. Which is a good foundation, because beagles have friendly personalities and very few inherited health problems.

His name is Hank. That was my idea.

He’s the same color as the couches, so it doesn’t matter if he sheds.

We heart him lots already.

bye-bye, bunny

bubblehead bunny

Junebug died early yesterday morning. I woke up around 5:00 and checked on her, and she was gone. I’d already called the place I board her at about cremation services, so I knew I could drop her off any time. And then I really didn’t want to sit around all day, staring at her empty cage and feeling sad, so I came to work and carried on as usual. I’m one of those people who find comfort in routine. I didn’t tell anyone yesterday except Mom, who I called, and a couple of co-workers who know me well enough to have asked me what was wrong. I wanted some time to absorb.

It’s not unexpected, so it wasn’t a terrible shock or anything. I haven’t said anything, because I do not like blogging about depressing things until they can no longer be ignored, but she hasn’t been well since late spring. She’d stopped eating or moving much. I took her to the vet in late May, and they said it was just age. They offered to put her down, but putting an animal to sleep just because they’re old always smacked me as rather Logan’s Run-ish. If they’re sick or debilitated, that’s a different matter.

Earlier this week she got really bad, not eating hardly at all, barely moving, she didn’t even have the strength to groom herself. I probably would have taken her in to be put to sleep if she hadn’t died by the weekend. It was just really terrible to see, and her quality of life was such that putting her down started to seem like the more humane thing to do.

I’m sad, but I’ve been expecting it. Seems like everyone has a different opinion, but most experts agree on 6-8 years as the average lifespan for a domestic rabbit, with dwarves generally being on the lower end of the scale. She was nearly 10 — I bought her in October of 1999, when she was about 5 or 6 weeks old. And except for the last few months, she was the picture of health. I took good care of her, and I think I made her happy.

I’m going to wait a while before I get another pet, at least until early next year. I want to get used to her being gone, so I don’t feel like I’m trying to replace her. And I doubt I’ll get another rabbit. Junebug was the only rabbit for me. When I was deciding on a pet 10 years ago, one of the animals I considered was a chinchilla. I’ve also heard good things about sugar gliders as pets; although they’re kind of exotic, and finding a vet, should I need one, might be problematic. They’re illegal in California (sometimes this state can be a real asshole), but fuck it, so are ferrets, and they’re not exactly hard to buy.

I might just get another rat; I had one I named Nicodemus when I was a teenager. I decided against that 10 years ago, because I wanted something that would live longer. Nicodemus only lived about 3 years — he was the runt of the litter, which is one reason I chose him, because I figured no one else would take the little guy and he’d wind up as some snake’s breakfast. And one morning he was just dead on the floor of his cage. And even though that was a shock, in a way it was also easier, because I didn’t have to watch him go through old age and that final spiral down.

Rabbit picspam after the jump.


if i inhabited the “his dark materials” multiverse, this kitten is the animal that would contain my soul

hate everything kitten

fun fact: a group of crows is called a “murder”

There were 2 crows in a tree above me as I waited for the bus this morning. I’m not a fan of most birds, but crows are neat.


new year’s eve

Oh hey, I guess I did get some digital shots of the fam after all.


This dog, you guys, OMFG. I can’t even begin to explain how hilarious-yet-terrifying he made our New Year’s Eve. He lives in the neighborhood somewhere, but like most Cajun pets he runs around free all day and night. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Cajuns = WORST MOST IRRESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS EVER.)

He wandered over as we were in the midst of our fireworks orgy, and at first it was all lighthearted fun as he trotted around receiving pats and picking up spent fireworks in his mouth. Then Jamie was like, “Okay, someone hold him so he doesn’t hurt himself while I light this bottle rocket”. So I held onto his collar, but he kept lunging and squirming, and I figured it was because he wanted to run AWAY from the exploding, sparking rockets, so I let him go.

WRONG. Someone tossed a lit groundflower out into the street and HE PICKED IT UP IN HIS MOUTH. We all screamed “WHITE DOG, NOOOOO!!!” and mercifully he dropped it before the fuse burned down.

So Jamie decided to chase him off, but he kept coming back and trying to maul the fireworks! And it was like he’d appear out of nowhere; someone would light something and all of a sudden he’d just BE there, lunging at it!

So I mean, yes it was hilarious; but we were also terrified he was going to blow his damn fool head off. David decided he must be suicidal.

anderson cooper hosts the puppedential debates for TDS

I can’t embed the video, because Comedy Central won’t allow their videos on YouTube, and WordPress doesn’t allow embedding from Comedy Central’s site. Sigh. But if there is anything cuter than Jon Stewart, Anderson Cooper, and a room full of puppies, I probably shouldn’t witness it, lest I lapse into a diabetic coma from the sweetness.

The best part is definately Cooper getting mock-angry at a “Code Pup” protester and its “puppy-based agenda” (“Rags, do not engage Code Pup!”); then ordering “Get this bitch off the stage”.

We watched Andy Coops and Kathy Griffin on CNN on New Year’s Eve, and did anyone else hear her snap “I don’t come down to your job and slap the dick outta your mouth” at a (I’m assuming) heckler right as they were cutting to a commercial? Oops! I thought my brother was going to hemorrhage, he was laughing so hard.

Mom said she thought he’d come out of the closet (not that he’s really in it), but it seems like I would have heard if he had. Whatever, I didn’t get the memo that says I’m not allowed to find him cute or charming because he prefers dick over pussy. I mean, I do too, so who am I to judge?

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