Rar.

So there’s this thing I do. That a lot of people involved in the furry fandom do, really. When I’m around my ex-with-benefits, I don’t always speak in words. I’ll regularly say “Rar” instead. Because I am a dragon, and dragons go rar. Or rawr, or rrraaooowwwllll, or assorted other growly snarly noises, plus the occasional purr.

We have had entire conversations this way. It carries emotional meanings pretty well; you can get a lot of mileage out of pitch, inflection, and volume. Sometimes when we’re in different rooms one of us will just say “Rar” and get a “rar” in reply; it sort of functions as emotional radar in that case – are you still awake, are you doing okay. It’s not a dragon-only thing; at Biggest Little Fur Con the other weekend, I had a functional conversation with someone who is mostly a cat and thus says “mao”.

But lately I’ve begun using this to talk to myself, too. I’ll be in the shower, not thinking of much, and I’ll open my mouth and just see what sort of emotional freight is carried when I say “rar” to nobody in particular. Sometimes it’s a polite little “Rowr”. Other times it’s an angry “rrRRRRAAAaaahhrrrr”. Sometimes it’s a sad, pleading “Raawwrrraarrrr”. And then I ask myself: why is this the emotion that came out of my mouth? What’s going on with my emotions right now?

It’s a useful tool for self-monitoring. Sort of a chiller version of a primal scream. Just open your mouth, make the cartoon caricature of an animal noise you’ve gotten in the habit of making, and see how it falls out.

Some thoughts about the Pillow Pile sleeping mode.

For the past few weeks I've been sleeping in the living room, on the giant beanbag chair with a bunch of pillows. Big pillows, little pillows, pretty much every pillow that feels nice against my naked skin has migrated to this nest.

Some things I have noticed:

* I like kind of being in a bit of a trench, with pillows pressed against my front and back. It is very calming, and I suspect it may be activating some remnant of the human infant's swaddling reflex to help me chill out and fall asleep.

* I have a couple of soft sculpture tails. Both have migrated to the pile. Often I find myself wearing the dragon tail to bed; it's kind of cool to essentially have a long pillow attached to my butt. Said tail has a few curves in it, and I find it very comforting to coil it around one of my legs whenever possible. Again, body pressure feels good.

* I am finally understanding people who sleep while cuddling body pillows. I'm doing much the same. Except with multiple separate pillows instead of one big one.

* I need like two or three more normal-sized pillows and maybe a couple more little ones to really make this work.

* Arranging all these pillows can do very interesting things in terms of finding and releasing tension in my spine. Last night I felt like I was unwinding some muscles near the base that never relax. It is a fiddly process but it is very nice when I get everything arranged Just Right.

Anyway. Those are some things I contemplated last night while sleeping in my hoard of pillows, wearing a dragon tail, with a mound of doubloons next to the pillows.

an account of a week and a half

Sunday, Jan 29: Protest.

Tuesday, Jan 31: Hung with friends, watching them buy supplies for their Physical Art Doings at the art store. Impulsively buy cool mirror with dragon on it. Seriously it is fucking rad, it's circular and has the dragon splaying across it, dividing it into a ying/yang sort of pattern.

Thursday, Feb 2: finally unbox cool mirror. Contemplate places to put it. Come to vague decision, don't feel like nailing anything up. Leave on floor in foyer.

Friday, Feb 3: the inner Magician vaguely wonders if it's really a good idea to leave this mirror right at the door, reflecting the energies being filtered by the big picture of the semi-divine version of my dragonsona that's hanging on the inside of the door. Other things like “hanging with girlfriend” and “buying some magic chocolate with high THC and CBD content because my throat hurts when I smoke and there is no way I'm doing the Trump regime sober” distract me from this. There are ten little chocolates in the bag; I will go through them over the next few days.

There is pretty much no point in the rest of this journal entry where I am not at least a little high, until the last day.

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the hoard grows

A week or so ago, I mentioned that ➊ my birthday was coming up soon, and ➋ that I planned to purchase some doubloons to add to the modest pile of them I’d gotten a while back.

My friend Lewis saw this, and sent me a package. It sat around for a few days; I finally opened it today.hoard1

The note says “Dragon hoarde starter kit”. I would swear I had the whole thing in frame when I took the photograph.

hoard2

There are only four doubloons in it. Not much for my hoard purposes, which are entirely about vast piles of coins underfoot. Or spread upon the bed. Still, the gesture is appreciated, especially given that he took the time to select doubloons from a krewe who chose an eminently pleasant theme of “Things with Wings” for this year. (And a Rex, hidden by the green Thoth.) Also, the bracelet included is a gorgeously tawdry affair made up of a bunch of gold-colored high-heeled shoes attached to a stretchy matrix of silver beads, which ends up looking more like some kind of merciless folding bladed affair than anything glamorous, and that more than makes up for the fact that it will never be comfortable beneath bare feet. It’s very thoughtful for a non-dragon, and the intent of Dr. Pinkerton’s gesture will be remembered should I ever hear of draconic plans to put New Orleans to the torch.
hoard3

And thus four more coins are added to the modest majesty of my hoard.

Soon, it will grow more. I have twenty pounds of doubloons on the way, to join the ten you can see here…

Birthdays and other lies

Well. That was a pretty good birthday. I sent off the signed contracts to print Rita, and went to the bank and wired off half the money. Now I just need to double check that the PDFs are the right sizes and send those off to the printer. I could have done that today, but instead I got together with the ex-with-benefits, went out to a cafe and worked on a short comic I've been fooling with, then went to a couple of places that have really nice cake and split a slice of it at each place.

I mean it was a good birthday aside from the fact that a literal neo-Nazi conference shouted “Heil Trump” today, and we got news headlines like “Alt-Right Leader Questions Whether Jews Are People”. Ugggghhh, what the fuck has gone wrong in this country, how do we fix it, I've been worrying about that a lot but today I just had some fucking cake.

And, well, aside from the fact that it's not anywhere near the date on my birth certificate…

A month and a half ago, a few people I follow on Facebook had birthdays at the same time. My feed there was full of reminders of this and messages other people wrote on their pages to wish them a happy birthday.

And I cringed inwardly, and went to make sure Facebook wasn't going to do that on my birthday. Because that's also the anniversary of the day my father died. Yeah, on my birthday. You couldn't do that to even the most miserable and beleaguered protagonist of a Roald Dahl tribute novel; it's just too perfectly horrid, isn't it? A day of cake and presents turned to a day of shock and horror at a sudden lack of a loving parent. Unsurprisingly my birthday celebrations have become rather minimal, to the point of barely existing at all – it's an excuse to maybe buy a couple big things I've been sitting on the desire for, and to have a nice meal with the ex-with-benefits, at most.

And then I wasn't sure if Facebook was going to do this or not despite me marking my birthday as hidden there. And I had a stoned idea: what if I replaced my birthday there with the creation date of the Furrymuck character whose name I ended up taking as mine, when I transitioned? Yes. I've had that date in my calendar for a while, so it was a simple matter to dig that up and put it in there. And to start trying to think of other social media that might have my birthday up, and change it there too. And put a post-it with the new date on the monitor so I'll hopefully remember to put it in the next time I create an account somewhere.

I originally wrote this the night I decided to do this, and scheduled it for the day after my new birthday. I wondered if by the time this comes up I'll have decided if I want to try to start using this as “my birthday” in social situations, tell people I'm a Scorpio when they ask my sign, and stop making jokes about the holiday near my actual birthday, or mention a few people I feel honored to share my birthday with. I think the answer is “yes”. Now I share it with Dr. John and Björk, not [redacted promoter], [redacted cartoonist], and [redacted cartoonist]. It'd be pretty cool if I can manage to get Wikipedia to have this date in it, should I become wiki-notable: I doubt anyone will bother researching the day beyond “what it says on her social media” unless someone reading it remembers this post and decides to doxx me to find it out. (Hi, future reader thinking of doing just that. Drop me a line and tell me why you want to do this, and maybe I'll just tell you. Oh wait I think you can find that out via public posts on this very blog, oh well.)

Maybe I'll even start to feel happy to get birthday wishes again now. That'd be nice. I could use a burst of happiness in the middle of winter. I kinda liked the pile of them I got this morning.

And: if you're seeing this after letting a machine urge you to wish me a happy birthday? Seriously, thanks for the birthday wishes. Please don't feel like a jerk for not knowing that my birthday is really another day, even if you've known me for years; I'm honestly not sure I'd know what my mother and father's birthdays were if they weren't both on holidays, never mind knowing the birthday of any of my friends.

 

hoarding

My birthday’s coming up again. I think I’m gonna hit up eBay for another box of Mardi Gras doubloons to strew around my bedroom floor. Sometimes they stick to my bare feet, and as I kick them off I grumble at myself a little; then I grin because I’m complaining about my DRAGON HOARD.

Adding whimsy to my life feels really, really important right now.