Captain Mother

Murder buckets, Dr. Orangutan, and To All The Jays I’ve Smoked Before

I have such an abusive relationship with my maidenhair fern. If any of my plants were to die forever, and I wouldn’t be even *slightly* sad, it is the maidenhair. Her name is Marion. She basically dies every 2-3 months when I water her a couple days late. Every time, I think, “This is it. This is the time she won’t come back from it.” And then she does.

Anyway, she’s dead this morning. She’ll be back in a week. Fuck that plant. We’ve been doing this for like four years now.


I finished editing Fated for Firelizards after a push on Friday, and I’m ready to get it off my plate. I want to do something else now. I’ve gotta work out email garbage, but then I’ll publish the ebook.

I’m all-in on Insomniac Cafe until I’m done with that. It’s been mostly done but unfinished for years. This is the year where I complete things and harvest all my efforts, after all.

Although I keep thinking “I really wanna go smoke a jay,” I can’t deny how much easier it is to get work done when I’m sober-sober. And getting sober-sober is a process of *weeks*. It’s not worth a jay. That was a crutch I felt I needed when I was dealing with a lot more traumatic shit, but the traumatic shit is processed and past, and I gotta do the rest of my life. Yanno?


I’m not sure how I’ve watched Voyager all the way through twice in the last couple years, yet I’m still riveted on this, my third watch. I love it so much. Episodes with the most mundane concepts, like Paris getting framed for murder in “Ex Post Facto,” are executed so brilliantly that I just love them.

I’m also rewatching Friends (at least the first season) because it’s much of the inspiration for Insomniac Cafe. I’ve finally gotten older than the Friends — quite a bit so, actually. They turn 30 on the show and I’m 36 now. But they’ve never really seemed younger than me, somehow. I think the 90s fashion and plastic surgery just made them keep coding older a while. Now I’m noticing the age gap more dramatically. They act in ways where I’m like, “Oh gosh, they’re young.” And now I am not — at least, not in the way they are.

Sometimes the aging thing bothers me more than others. I think I’m okay where I am for the moment. More emotional breakdowns to come later, I’m sure. I’m like a constant ball of existential terror.


Speaking of breakdowns, the NHS recognizes montelukast as a source of psychiatric problems, (The Guardian) especially in children. Montelukast has been a miracle medicine for me. And I’m not a stable human.

I am usually quite depressed — in the sense that it’s hard to do some routines, I’m usually battling “low” thoughts, I sleep a ton, I don’t have a lot of energy — but on the whole, for me, I’m doing pretty well. So I don’t think montelukast has been a problem for me. Maybe it’s because I’m not a child. It’s still surprising to see how dramatic the adverse symptoms can be for others.


How amazing. I’d heard before that orangutans are the most intelligent, human-like of primates, but we’ve now seen an orangutan using medicinal herbs to treat a wound. (AJE)

Scientists saw the Sumatran orangutan named Rakus pluck and chew up leaves of a medicinal plant used by people throughout Southeast Asia to treat pain and inflammation. The adult male then used his fingers to apply the plant juices to an injury on the right cheek. Afterwards, he pressed the chewed plant to cover the open wound like a makeshift bandage.

I will tell anyone who stops to listen that most primates shouldn’t be in zoos, but I especially mean this for orangutans. And this just kinda emphasizes to me that they’re sapient intelligences who should be left free to grow and develop naturally, with dignity, agency, and respect.

Over time, I become more convinced that there is no real human exceptionalism; we’re just more complex and developed than most animals. But elephants mourn, crows use tools, and whales teach each other to attack yachts. There are cultures there. Intelligence. Consciousness.

I have fairly pragmatic attitudes about human use of livestock but I really, really don’t think we respect animals the way we should.


WaPo talks hammerhead worms. They pop up as a subject in my gardening groups a lot, and the consensus is generally that you should kill them. Not by cutting. That just helps them multiply.

Ways to kill a hammerhead worm include:

[Y]ou can kill the hammerhead flatworm by dropping it into a container and using one of these methods:

Keeping the container in the direct sun for several hours.
Sprinkling some table salt into the container.
Squirting some hand sanitizer into the container.
Placing the container in a freezer.
Adding soapy water into the container.

Apparently hammerhead worms aren’t *quite* as toxic as my gardening groups report, but try not to touch them too much. And no licking, ya weirdo.

Squirmies and crawlies are also worthy of life and respect, but this is one of the areas where my feelings are pragmatic. Hammerhead worms are invasive in North America. They threaten native life. Drop them in a murder bucket and make it quick, please.

In other agricultural news, the EPA is talking about banning acephate, a pesticide that was banned in the EU twenty years ago. (ProPublica) Yeah, let’s do that.


I really enjoyed reading this article about Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron as an anti-comfort movie. Spoilers for the movie ahoy, so I won’t excerpt it, but the message resonates with me. I am still eagerly awaiting it on streaming.


I’m done with Airbnb et al, but I do find the property decked out like the X-Men mansion (Variety) to be pretty charming. I’d spend so much time in the danger room.


Lawyers, Guns, & Money talks about how white people always oppose protest movements.

Regardless of the quality of the strategy or whether this is actually going to work or whatever, none of that matters much to the key point, which is that people oppose ALL forms of protest, no matter how peaceful or how not peaceful.

I truly had no idea that supporting free speech — ESPECIALLY organized protests — was so broadly unpopular among white people (my demographic). That’s just not how I grew up! I grew up with such respect for demonstrations and consider it part of my civic duty.

At first I thought, “Well my family of five is all in favor of protests, so we break the statistic.” Then I had the depressing thought, “That just means there’s three other families of five who all don’t support them.”


Why are we still talking about Kristi Noem? (The Guardian) I find this confusing. South Dakota isn’t one of the more influential states in the United States, and I do expect certain rural behaviors from folks in SD — like seeing dogs in a functional way that means you can shoot them if they don’t meet your standards, however unreasonable. We have family who are “shoot the dog who misbehaved” kind of rural-leaning. It’s not uncommon, I’m afraid. Harping on the story isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

So I get that we sentimental dog lovers had to process the story about puppy Cricket for a while. But now we’re still covering Noem’s other errors and lies when she’s a state-level politician where few Americans live. I think it’s established she’s not going to be Trump’s VP pick. Giving her attention is just, well, giving her attention. It doesn’t seem to actually boost a Democratic position versus Republicans. It seems to just make polarization worse.

Oh, maybe I just explained it for myself. Guess it could also be click-based.

Leave a Reply