Emergency preparedness is important

Or: But it’s a little different if you’re pretty far away from the disaster area

Every now and then, we all have to deal with impending natural disasters. A particularly vicious one has been in the news lately, flying at my state like a ninja star from the sky.


The danger zone is actually catastrophically dangerous, and this post is not about that zone. This is about the blue X.

Lucky for us, we live hundreds of miles inland, far outside of the danger zone. The biggest dangers for us are power outages or trees falling down.*
*We live in a place filled with the tallest, bendiest, most terrifying pine trees known to man. They exist exclusively to make everyone panic when the wind blows.


I did not grow up in hurricane country.

Even this far away from the coast, though, disaster preparations have been in full swing. Grocery stores have been out of eggs, milk* and bottled water for a week.
*For emergency french toast parties, obviously.

This is not the first weather-related emergency preparation event that my husband and I have gone through, however. Many years ago*, I volunteered for the task of preparing our home for a possible power outage.
*Like maybe 2 and a half, tops. 


Such trust!

And I did. I made a list. I went shopping. Supplies were obtained and stocked in the house.


I also made sure to unpack the most important supplies before my husband got home.



Can’t you just feel the overwhelming confidence?

This is a possibly accurate recreation of this power outage in our home. Perhaps you, too, can be as prepared in future circumstances:



No one knows if you’re utilizing ladylike eating habits when the power goes out.


You will notice that we clearly already owned a flashlight. Boy Scouts would envy this level of preparation.

I should probably help clarify things by illustrating what was on the floor behind me:





This is an accurate representation of how I do not blink while staring into flashlights.


For those of you who are lost, this provides important context.


It is important not to throw ice cream in the dark.


Completely worth it.

So next time you’re picking up your emergency supplies, and you’re frustrated by all the things the store is already sold out of…consider what we learned from Jurassic Park: Ice cream is rarely sold out, tastes delicious when melting, and is actually best enjoyed during power outages.

Spare no expense when it comes to emergency supplies, you guys.

All fun and games aside, Hurricane Florence has wrecked real havoc on the homes and lives of so many people. You can be awesome and help those in need by giving to charities like All Hands and Hearts, or the Red Cross. I joke because my city regularly panics over even the most basic weather situations, but hurricanes really are no joke. It’s more important than ever to help our fellow humans out right now.

Please do not kill my spiders

Or: It is very strange to have adult responsibilities

We are very proud of our home. It’s a very grown-up thing to have. It keeps the rain off of our heads, and gives us a place to contain stinky ghosts and make marshmallows.

Actual size

Mom and Dad are so proud of my portrait drawing skills.

It also keeps us from living outside. This is very important, because I live in a place that’s full of bugs.* From March to November, the ground crawls and squirms. Creepy-crawlies hang from the trees and beetles zip through the air at inconvenient knee-level.
*Not Australia, though. Australians – how are you even still alive?

Ew bugs

This does not include the gnats waiting for you to inhale them.

And they all want to come inside.

Run away!

They are also much faster than I am.

But you know what? They can’t. Because our house has a secret force field.

Safe and sound

My new doodling apparatus has a BLUE option!

Want to know our secret?

Household spider

I call him Margarine. I do not need to explain myself to you.

It has taken me years to adjust to this strange forcefield. Spiders and I are, of course, natural enemies. Recently, however. our force field was endangered, because of an interloper and adult responsibilities.

You see, we have a mouse. Not a fluffy adorable pet mouse, who we would cuddle and love. A wall mouse. A mouse that scritches and scratches in our bedroom walls and wakes me from my beloved sleep. A mouse who might chew on our wires and throw our home into a electricity-free dystopia.

I forget to draw feet sometimes

All wall mice obviously only have 3 feet for manueverability

So I had to call another adult* to come help us deal with the mouse in the walls.
*Because my husband is aware that given the slightest opportunity, I would adopt this wall mouse and attempt to turn him into a pet mouse.

Here in our town,* the adult responsible for saving our precious electricity is also the adult responsible for keeping homes bug free. He is the Exterminator.** Which also means that he expected to spray our house for any other pests. He proclaimed the wonderful bargain we would receive: free pest control thrown in with mouse retrieval. He listed all the pests that would never be able to infest our home or darken our doorstep.
*And also pretty much every other town ever.
**This must be said with appropriate gravitas, obviously.

But even with the promise of science and technology protecting me, I found myself making a request I never expected to make:

This is a thing I actually said

I actually said these words out loud to another grown human.

The Exterminator was perplexed. He asked me if I was sure. He showed me where he could spray to chase the spiders away.*
*Chase them away from being alive. I’m on to his euphemisms. 

Exterminating no spiders

He also looked extremely skeptical.

But I’ve been brainwashed, somehow, by the guardians of our grown-up house. I couldn’t let this man destroy our forcefield.

Guys…I couldn’t let him kill the spiders.

All the spiders

There are so many. I may regret this.

And now I’m a little afraid I’ve lost my mind. But if you come to visit, please do not kill our spiders. I worked very hard* to defend them.
*Meaning I talked to another adult for like, 5 minutes. Like I said: very hard.


My House Is Being Haunted by The Worst Ghost

Or: I’m Pretty Perplexed by My Dogs^
^Bear with me on this one, guys. It’s a long one.

So I think it’s pretty clear that my default setting is “Cat Person,”
^Further proof can be found here and here and here.

This doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs, or that I’m not a dog person. It means that when it came time for my to harass my parents for a pet as a child, I was prioritizing cats.

My husband, on the other hand, is a default Dog Person. So when we moved in together, this happened:

It's always better to quote Ghostbusters

Cats and dogs, living together y’all.

I pretty much instantly fell in love with the dogs. Like, snuggly, fluffy, cuddly love. Sometimes, though, dogs make my life very mystifying. Allow me to explain:

About a month ago, I came home from work.^^
^^This is normal. Sometimes I actually DO go into the office, and then I have to come home afterwards, or my employers would be charged with kidnapping.


Throwing all your work in the air when arriving home is the proper way to acknowledge the end of a work day.

But something was amiss.

Home to Stink

Very amiss.

There was…a smell. It was a smell unlike any other smell I had ever smelled in my house. It was a smell with personality. It was insidious and pervasive – somehow, it was everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Find the Smell


I did eventually find the source.

Found the Stink

They are very, very happy dogs. Like, all the time.

The smell floated around our dogs like an odoriferous aura. It didn’t seem to come directly off of the dogs, but rather wafted from their surroundings. So I did what any rational person would do – I washed them.^^^
^^^With help. From the person in the house who is actually good at washing dogs.

Scrub the Dogs

This doodle implies far less water everywhere than actual dog washing entails.

And everything was great.

Clean Dogs

I should not be allowed to draw dogs.

For about half a day. And then the smell started to return to our house.

Nothing Works

We tried all of these things. ALL OF THEM.

We tried everything from baking soda and carpet cleaning to dry dog shampoo. Nothing banished the smell. It would leave for a day, maybe two, but then it would slowly start to seep back into our home. It lingered around our dogs like an aura. And that’s how I figured out what’s going on.

Our dogs are being haunted by a stinky ghost, and now it’s stuck in our house.

Stinky Ghost

Actual photo

Let me explain.

Our dogs are explorers. They love to play with other dogs, and run around the yard a million billion times. They love to lay in the grass and try to eat bugs.^^^^
^^^^And sometimes turtles and snakes, but they aren’t very good at that, so don’t worry.

They love to sniff out new smells and make new friends.

Stinky Ghost Meets Dog

Stinky ghosts are very friendly.

Clearly, my dogs have made friends with a wild stinky ghost.^^^^^
^^^^^This is not a type of Pokemon. Do not try to catch it while playing Pokemon Go.

Stinky Ghost and Dog are Friends

This says “Want to be best friends?”

And they brought it home.

Ghost Follows You Home

I have been drawing houses like this for my entire life.

And now it lives with us.

Stinky Ghost Haunts Couch

Yes, our dogs do look this pleased with themselves. All. The. Time. They are very happy.

It may never leave.

Stinky Ghost Forever

Stinky ghosts love to follow you everywhere.

This is the only reasonable explanation for the new smell my dogs have introduced to the household. My cats, on the other hand, continue to simply smell of cat and carefully coat our entire house in fur.

Dogs are so unpredictable.

An Aside About the Stinky Ghost
(for people who want to ruin all the magic in the world)

Continue reading

I’ve Decided I’m Not Ready for the Future, Guys

Or: It’s Possible Technology Is Beyond Me

I usually think I’m pretty on the ball with all the cool toys living in the future has shared with me. I love my fancy magical smartphone. I clearly enjoy the Internet. Video streaming has enabled me to completely stop going outside in the summertime.*
*In my defense, nature is out to get me all spring and summer long.

But let’s be honest. I draw my doodles on Post-its, which were invented in 1974, with pens. Like, regular, school-supply style pens.**
**I do not know when these were invented. Sometime after the whole quill-and-ink system, I bet.

Tah Dah

You know, like this.

This is not a very high-tech solution for getting illustrations onto a blog. So I decided that maybe it’s time for an update. Maybe I should be using technology to make my technology-enabled hobby happen.

I bought a sketching tablet.**
**Like, an affordable one. I draw stick figures, guys. This isn’t exactly high-end art.


Want to see how it’s going, guys?

Tablet Drawing 1

Like, more awkward than normal. By a lot.

Not great. It’s going not great.

Tablet Drawing 2

I thought typed text might help. Nope.

I’m not a quitter. But I’d like to provide a little bit of comparison here.

What is happening

This is pretty meta, right?

Well, maybe it’s not so bad…

Are you OK

Ok, the typed text DOES kind of help.

Nope nope nope. It’s pretty bad.

Supposed to be me

Pixels. I have to worry about pixels now.

A blog jump into the future may take awhile, guys. Because I am clearly not ready for the technologies of the future.***
***My drawing tablet is apparently from 2010. I’m not ready for the technologies of 6 years ago.

I have to go practice living in the future.

Working Together as a Team Is a Challenge, Guys

Or: It’s Really Hard to Play Together as Adults

When I was little, getting together as a group was fun. Somehow, my friends and I would always end up trying to accomplish something.*
*”Something” including achievements like “climbing ladders” and “pretending to be Thundercats.”

Projects at 5

This is a recreation of actual events. Age 5

Things stayed pretty positive through the teen years. Group projects meant hanging out, over-caffeinating, and pretending we definitely got productive things done.**
**While also methodically ignoring whatever the point of the project was, until the last minute, where we each decided we’d done all the work on our own, without any help from each other.

Projects at 15

Age 15

But by the time college rolled around, things got sort of confusing…

Arguments at 21

Age 21. Definitely age 21.

…Because it’s really hard to technically be arguing when pizza is involved, but it’s also hard to accomplish anything while tipsy*** on the floor.
***Let’s be honest. By the time you’re on the floor, tipsy was a few drinks ago.

Then came the working world. In my head, the corporate world would be full of intrigue, professionalism and productive meetings.

Arguments at 11

Age 25

It was not.

But now, technology has made professional group projects even more fun.

Arguments at 31

Age 31. We live in the future, guys.

Mostly by giving us all more ways to argue with each other.