summer_jackel: (Default)
My beloved wolf-husky Jez passed yesterday, most likely of liver failure, possibly from the rupture of an abdominal tumor. Jez was an animal of tremendous subtlety, intelligence, loyalty and beauty, a precious friend from the morning of her birth to the morning of her passage, and the last of a bloodline of wolfdogs who were my companions for over 20 years. She faced the end of her life as she had lived it, with elegance, courage and splendor. My sorrow and my gratitude are impossible to fully express. I owe so much of what I appreciate in my own character to Jezzie and her family, and I will miss them all, always.



summer_jackel: (Default)
Two Encounters

I. Woodpeckers Fledging

The acorn woodpeckers on my street
have brought one chick to fledging---
Steller’s jays took its sibling last month.
Now the child, lovely and awkward
in velvet, unmarred plumage
sits atop a telephone pole and bawls
as its parents alternately feed and peck it,
their exasperation palpable.

They take turns gliding elegantly
from pole to tree, with all the considerable
grace, precision and show of a woodpecker’s ability.
As if to say, you can do this. Feel those wings?
Clearly, you have used them at least once.
You have begun: your leaps and flight may
also end once only.
You must learn quickly how to live, my love
and yes, the world is larger than you thought.

II. Slug Sex

I’ve been looking for years,
and on this morning early in July, at last I witnessed
the courtship of banana slugs.

I noticed the length first; they were
stretched and languid in tanoak litter,
of equal size. The unmarked yellow followed
closely, brushing its spotted partner’s tail
with its radula, careful, in slowness.
I want to say “his,” thereby revealing
my own gender bias
which will not help me understand the slugs.
One may be de facto female,
but only if he did this once before,
and didn’t come out the better of it.

A long, deliberate intimacy;
each gives and receives,
though not without pain
or threat of loss.
This we have in common with the slugs, perhaps;
more likely I am reaching,
in a vain attempt to empathize with an alien act,
a perspective I cannot share,
a beauty that is not mammalian.

This much I know:
they will twine together in tanoak duff,
moist earth and slime, and winter’s rains
will call the new ones forth to tend their forest.
It will take hours; I have not the patience for the act
and am afraid to disturb them.
I admire for a voyeur’s moment and walk on,
grateful to have witnessed mystery.


III. Third encounter, several hours later

This was a wonderful, relaxing morning until
my brother dragged out of bed;
last night’s party ended in a fight, and
he looks like five big guys beat out the stuffing,
which is exactly what happened.

I think I know how those woodpeckers must feel.
summer_jackel: (Default)
It's been a busy week in the best way. I'm now 35 (as of the 31st). I'm loved by some wonderful people, and am very happy and grateful for that.


Check out the cake that [ profile] kynekh_amagire made me. It is a rainbow catfish cake! The woman has SKILLZ, ok?

An assortment of various photos: cake, cats, beachdogs, alien dinosaur people and garden brags. )


Mar. 10th, 2011 04:41 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
woo, I think I can ride 4 hours today, but it will hurt. Here's a meme from [ profile] a_rowan_dryad to distract me!

1. Make a list of 5 things that you can see without getting up.
a. Psittacus erithacus erithacus
b. Clawfooted bathtub on deck
c. Original artworks by 6 different people
d. Damp plum blossoms with dew drops on them, shining in the fading light
e. chickens in coop outside

2. How do you style your hair?
I tint it purple, but I am too lazy to keep it vivid all the time, so the effect is usually subtle, which is fine with me. I use Manic Panic, uh, I think it's Plum Passion?---the reddish one, not the blue tint. The reddish purples fade attractively, the blue tinted ones do not. I wash it daily if I will be seen in public and every other if I'm just going to be outside being grimy; my hair is very fine and it isn't pleasant, otherwise. I don't really style it much, just brush it, but when dancing I like to keep it in a ponytail with a silk ribbon.

3. What are you wearing now?
I am pedaling, 3 hours shooting for 4. Spandex bike shorts and top. Over 3 years after the breakup with Kestrel and our last tandem ride, I just took my good bike shoes to the shop to have the cleats changed to the same style as my road bike. Baggage much? It was necessary; I had ridden my MTB cleats literally to shreds and ribbons, but I forgot how nice my good cleats feel.

4. What's your occupation?
Complicated, but attorney, solo practitioner.

5. What do you hear right now?
Something techno, and Nikola's occasional whistling.

6. Who was the last person you hugged?

7. What is/was for dinner?
Hm, interesting question. I will want a nice meal after this ride, and dance class later. Maybe Chili's.

8. What's the last tv show you watched?
I'm pretty sure it was an episode of Buffy, 2 weeks ago. I am re-watching it with Kyn; we are still in season 1, but thankfully almost done with that. I just scored a used copy of season 5, which is my favorite overall season. Now I have all the Buffy but season 7 (gloat gloat) and I'm not sure I need that.

9. Dog person or cat person?

10. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
Summer Jackel (Middle name to first, surname mod)

11. What was the last thing that you bought?
2 bales of alfalfa hay, this morning, which I brought to Dancer and Equinox.

12. If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
First Socotra Island, and then Ethiopia. On the way back, somewhere with snorkels and tropical fishies, and after that Florida before home. What? That isn't cheating, is it...?

13. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I don't know. There are a lot of possibilities and hopes, but there are also many variables.

14. Favorite book?
Ha. A few that come to mind are the 'Myth of Sisyphus' by Albert Camus, 'Always Coming Home' by Ursula leGuin, and 'Deerskin' by Robin McKinley.

15. What are you doing this weekend?
A couple of friends may or may not be visiting, so weekend plans are pretty up in the air.

16. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would you play?
I already can play the fiddle, which is my first choice, but I wish I could be much better than I am. If it has to be a different instrument, it would be guitar. EDIT: I would love to be able to play Irish bagpipes really well. I do not want to have to learn to play the pipes, however.

17. How are you?
Can you be a little more specific? But pedaling strong, and happy.

18. What are you doing tomorrow?

19. What are you looking forward to?
Seeing Kyn at dance class tonight. Showing Coba at the obedience trial in Petaluma, in 3 weeks.
summer_jackel: (Default)
Yesterday was well spent in fine company as [ profile] kynekh_amagire and Luck, her very sweet border collie, came to visit. There was much collie frolicking at the beach; her collie and my collies pack well together. (No Jez on this trip, as she is a bit too much intensity for Luck, but I'll make it up to her).

Yay for collie friendship.


woof! )

Fur Meme

Oct. 6th, 2009 10:48 am
summer_jackel: (Jackel eyes)
Got this from [ profile] kulan

on to the murrrrrrrrr )
summer_jackel: (Default)
He was powerful, gentle, fierce, magnificent. I would not be who I am without him.

Born in my arms, died in my arms.

Rest gently and goodbye, my love.


Pryde )
summer_jackel: (Default)
Coba claims to have killed his first rat this morning! He presented a big gray rat at Timothy's feet, and all were impressed. I don't know if he is taking credit for someone else's good deed, or if my fluffy pink-pawed little housefox parfait actually did something that useful, but I praised lots (and gave Tiger some tuna, just in case). Good dog! Of course, I'm not thrilled by the rat itself, but I do see one every few years.

Coba sez he is a Fierce Guard Dog and posted about it on Facebook.

OK, meme time. I just did this on [ profile] troubleagain's LJ, and am spreading for a couple of reasons. A: I'm on a bike, hour 3, and need a distraction and B: I do have a few new/ish arrivals here who may not have some basic info about me. So here goes. Play and repost if you choose and, especially if I might not otherwise know, feel invited to tell me about yourself.

In the comments, if you would be so kind, copy and replace my answers to the following questions in as much detail as you feel comfortable with.

Some basic-ish stuff about Jackel 'neath the cut )
summer_jackel: (Default)

More than I ever intended to write about my dogs, and more pictures )
summer_jackel: (Default)
This came from several. I am pedaling away (hour 2; I'm shooting for 5) so go ahead and ask me stuff; it will give me a welcome distraction. I'm resisting the temptation to re-write this, but:

The problem with Livejournal is that we all think we are so close, but really, we know nothing about each other. Hence, I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Then post this in your LJ (if you want to) and find out what people don’t know about you.

This evening, I am going to a big concert with lots of loud, exciting music. This is really not the kind of thing, as a quiet introvert with a severe aversion to crowds, that I often do; I am, however, looking forward because big shows can be fun. My hair is freshly dyed purple, and after the ride, I should be the appropriate mix of mellow and fierce to appreciate this event. (Which is the Harmony festival, for the interested, and will feature Cake, the Dead Kennedies and, apparently, techno of various stripes until 3 am).

Yesterday, I visited [ profile] kynekh_amagire, [ profile] selasphorus and [ profile] eclipsegryph for the purposes of good company and a bad film that was clearly necessary to see; Mega Shark vs. Giant Octoups. The title really tells you all you need to know. I'll just add that its script would be darkly brilliant if it was written by a ten year old (like the meme!) and was notable for astonishingly skeezy unrequited-threesome-love between the young couple and her middle-aged mentor. The kind of thing I usually howl "you're poly! Go for it!" at the screen, only this time the thought is kind of eeeeeeew.

The real reason to visit, though, was to corrupt their very souls with the insidious cute that is Shetland Housefoxes. It's all part of a diabolical master plan. On their part, Rogue and Coba had a lovely outing with Woe-Collie Luck, although Rogue is taking her new role as alpha female amongst my dogs...I'm not even kidding you, Jez wouldn't do it, sheltie is queen...perhaps a little too seriously. Rogue, you don't need to herd him in his own house.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
summer_jackel: (Default)
It's a beautiful time of year, with all the newness and green, the little flowers lifting their heads everywhere, that very specific taste the air has in spring. The trees are having sex all over the place, and the bigleaf maple out front dusts my truck and everything in the vicinity with enough golden pollen that, when I move the tarp off of the woodpile, it falls to fill my cupped palm with softness, to fill less tangible parts of me with delight. It's young. Full of promise and life and the threat of hope.

I am pretty wounded. It's hard to admit, and I don't talk about it much, but I suppose breakups aren't fun for anyone, and I accept that my healing process will be a long one. At least it feels like a healing process now. I find it so strange how heartbreak, something I always dismissed as a thoughtless metaphor of popular culture, is literal: an ache in the chest, the little ball of pain behind the shoulder that unfolds like a bloom when one acknowledges it.

I tend to be the kind of person who does not bond, or love, or whatever you want to call it easily; once given, change to a lesser degree of trust is yet slower and more difficult. But I'm still here, still breathing, still alive in this glorious and shivering newness of the year. Several scars the warier, I am nonetheless so full of gratitude for all of the blessings bestowed upon me by this green and living world, alive, humbled by her beauty, receptive. Life is short and unfair and full of pain. But it is spring, and the daffodils are blooming, even though they are brief.


Canines, felines, Osbick bird, me getting a little better at slinging my DSLR )


Mar. 4th, 2009 08:32 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
And you thought this journal was all-pet-photos-all-the-time before I got my new camera...

Meet the zoo. For the first time ever, I think, headshots of all of the nonhuman critters in my keeping in one post! Some of them are, alas, not the best, because new camera hates Camp Meeker's lighting only a little bit less than every other camera I've tested it on, but I took every last one of them today.


(Also, Adopt one today! and Adopt one today!, Adopt one today!).

fur and feathers, fins and scales, wings and hooves and paws and tails. Fierce and gentle, tame and free, guide, inform and comfort me )


Jan. 31st, 2009 07:43 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
Going beautiful places with my dogs is and I suspect always will be one of my favorite things. I got a lot of happy feedback regarding dogs at the beach pics at Furcon, so here are some from yesterday, a beautiful, quiet sunset on an empty beach.

Pryderi's hips/low back are giving him a lot of trouble, and he is about as bad as Fenris was about 6 months ago. It's painful to watch him age, and I am so very scared of losing him, especially now. Don't even want to imagine being without Pryde. Glucosomine and chondoriatin helps, and at least it isn't dysplasia, but his arthritis and loss of motion in the hips and spine are inevetable with age. He's 12, far younger than I expected this to happen (Fen was 14). But he is a very big dog, and this seems to hit them shockingly fast.

I am trying to cherish every moment I have with him. This trip to the tidepools was the first when he was not at my heels almost the entire time; he stayed on the shore watching me, only coming out into the pools in areas where the rock was particularly flat and easy to get over. I'm glad that he knows he could hurt himself and isn't taking risks. But then, this is the dog who has been backpacking with me regularly for the last 11 years---he knows his limits and his body, and he was always so good at knowing exactly how far he should go on a mountain face or slippery rock.

He seemed content and relaxed on the shore, though. Coba, interestingly enough, has taken the role of being glued to my heel at the tidepools. Maybe Pryde is glad to see somedog keeping an eye on my reckless ass as I attempt to get as close to the waves as I can...


Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

Dogs at the beach )
summer_jackel: (Jackal and Crow)
I hope all of you had a wonderful time on this shortest day of the year.

I've had a lot of fun. Yesterday, I went to Harbin Hot Springs, which is about the hippiest-skippiest place on earth, but is amazingly wonderful nonetheless. How carbonated mineral water can feel that good to sit in I don't know, but oh man, does it ever.

Today, still happily blissed out, I rode a bike for 4 hours, walked in the rain and made cookies. Which might lend good evidence to the theory that I should not be left alone on Solstice.

There are pictures: birds, cats....cookies )
summer_jackel: (Shard)
So, I've gotten 'The Bone Shard' to the point where I am ready to begin posting it. The caveat is that unlike most of the comics I share, this one isn't finished yet. I'm going to post pages as I write 'em, because this story is shaping up to be long, I don't want to have to scan and post it in big chunks (groan) and I think I probably need the feedback to motivate and egg me on. I will try to keep going at a reasonable clip, but since Life Happens, I cannot guarantee these coming out at sedate intervals. I do believe that I'm a sufficiently mature artist at this point to promise that I can and will finish this, though. I'll try to refrain from being run over by a bus until it's all done.

I've also figured out the handy bit of code that will allow you to page through the comic within FA, making the thing a LOT more reader-friendly. Still working on fixing 'The Seance' up with the same handy feature. Hope it helps.

Also, feedback, criticism, questions, positive, negative and everything in between? Is loved.

Frontispiece, Page One, Page Two and Page Three.

Also, a meme about relationship styles. (Hey, there is somewhat of a connection here; Bone Shard will be a relationship story. Sort of.) Kind of interesting stuff; I've not read this book, but I've talked about the theory in a number of contexts and it seems to be a useful tool in understanding interpersonal relationships. I definitely seem to come out strong in the physical touch and words of affirmation areas.

I feel loved when...

The Five Love Languages

I have multiple love languages!

<th colspan="2">My Detailed Results:</th>
Quality Time: 9
Words of Affirmation: 9
Physical Touch: 9
Receiving Gifts: 2
Acts of Service: 1

About this quiz

Unhappiness in relationships is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. It can be helpful to know what language you speak and what language those around you speak.

Tag 3 people so they can find out what their love language is.

Take the Quiz!
Check out the Book

summer_jackel: (Furries for Obama)
This election will be over soon, and I will be so very happy. I really want to go back to comfortably ignoring politics, oh please yes. But as we all know, there's some major stuff on the plate right now, so I don't get to yet.

My subject of bitchy rant at the moment is CA's Prop 8, which if passed would repeal existing and prevent future same-sex marriage in our state. I am of course livid about this, not just for the obvious reason of being gay, or even because the other side is dirty enough to sink to blackmail and extortion in an attempt to push their discriminatory agenda, or all of the many other good reasons I am sure exist to want to see this thing crash and burn.

The whole thing has me pissed off as a lawyer, too.

So Ok, people. There is a distinction between legal and sacred/religious/whathaveyou marriage. I am not at all thrilled that the term is used as a catchall for both, and conflating the two leads to lots of confusion, and, well, juicy little pockets of evil like Prop 8.

Legal marriage is the handy process of entering into a number of contracts all at once. They include imparting medical authority and rights with regards to the custody of minor children, but mostly these contracts are about property. Particularly real property (land).

California is a community property state, which in a nutshell means that (almost) all assets, earnings and property earned or obtained by either spouse during the marriage become equally and jointly owned by both. (There's more than that...a semester of law school and a day on the bar more...but that's all you really need for now). Personally I'm too much of a loner to enjoy the thought of entering into that particular contract, but hey, there are tax advantages, so if you're into it, go for it. The divorces get pretty unpleasant, but that's true in other states, too.

Legal marriage was originally a way for a husband and his bride's father to come into agreements vis. money and land (because of course the woman couldn't own it). The woman herself was part of the property being exchanged, because until the early 20th century her legal rights were abysmal. Yes, the law has changed since then, but ponder that history for a moment anyway.

Note that I haven't mentioned sex, other than that's the typical way a couple ends up with children. They are a part of the marriage contract, true, but California's complex family code will give custody to a surviving parent whether or not there was a marriage and has otherwise done everything it can to give equal rights to married and unmarried parents. This is a Good Thing For Everyone. So the bit in the marriage contract about children is pretty superfluous. Besides, we all know that there are other ways that straight couples come by kids as well, and plenty of gay folk have them too. (Hello, lesbian couples have been borrowing their male friends for stud service for ages, and that's just the easiest way).

Sex has nothing to do with legal marriage. Because it's an example of contract law. Denying legal rights, including the making of contracts, to a class of Americans based on gender is gender discrimination, pure and simple. That's illegal both in CA and Federally (I could look up the Act, but I'm being lazy), which is why this issue is eventually bound for the Supreme Court. This is a purely legal issue. No really. It is.

The Pro-8 folks are yowling about the sanctity of marriage and the desire to protect traditional unions, but trust me because I've studied it when I say contract law is anything but sacred, and if you want to look at traditional legal marriage, you end up with the woman-as-property bit. My long winded point here is that Prop 8 will in no way, shape or form change religious marriage. If you want to think gay sex is Teh Evil and marriage should only be between a man and woman of your own specific religion, well, fine, that hurts my feelings but I won't argue much. I'll support your right to think that, so long as you don't attempt to kill anyone. I firmly believe that the law should stay out of our churches as much as I believe that, well, the churches should stay out of our law...

Again, the fact that English uses the same word for legal and sacred "marriage" and that we are culturally conditioned to enter into both at the same time ANNOYS me. Annoys the HELL out of me. I don't like the traditions behind legal marriage, I don't like the bundle-of-contracts that no one talks about and most newlyweds don't understand because this institution is supposedly about relationships. I don't like the assumption in either type that making any kind of agreement will somehow keep a relationship alive forever, when the reality is that people grow and change, sometimes apart, whether or not they've agreed to co-own all their property.

Personally...I am fond of long-term commitments and serious rituals made out of love. Something like a handfasting where the couple (triad, quad, whathaveyou) renews their vows every now and again to keep things current emotionally is more my speed, but I digress. I seem emotionally predisposed to long-term attachments and come on, I'm a Pagan, of COURSE I like Deep Meaningful Rituals...but I've just given you many of the reasons marriage (legal and sacred) as practiced in America today rubs my fur a bit wrong.

I just wanted to point out that Prop 8 is not even about what its supporters are claiming it's about. This thing is an example of pure sex discrimination, and an attempt to write it into our very constitution at that. Sacred marriage won't change when 8 fails, and if you want to go do it in a way that excludes gays, or anyone who isn't your flavor of religion, have at. It's a free country. still is, isn't it? Right?
summer_jackel: (prydeface)
Friday: Attended a club in the city with my delightful gf. Was awesome.

Saturday: Lucky enough to see The Rocky Horror (stage) show in San Francisco, in which a good friend of mine is playing Janet. It was so very delicious and featured excellent music and a happy abundance of corsets. I had so much fun! If it's possible for you to see this, you ought to. /plugs/Rocky Horror is purrrrrrrrrr and I've wanted to see the stage production for years.

I hope someone locally does Little Shop again soon.

Sunday: Hanging drywall. I believe the appropriate phrase is "sucktastic."

This morning: Drag my sorry carcass out of bed to release the OMG AWAAAAAKE BOUNCY PUPPEH from the crate in which I have heartlessly confined him for the night. About an hour later, I poke my head out of bed again to see what the pets might be destroying. I was delighted to see Nocturne playing with one of the toys I've never seen her play with. A moment later, Coba came up and took the toy. Before I decided whether or not to intervene, Nocturne pounced on him and they spent the next X minutes tussling like, well, puppies and kittens, and sharing the toy.

It was a really neat way to wake up.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

And look! Puppy Pictures! Shocking! )
summer_jackel: (Default)
I am curled up by the woodstove which heats my house, writing on a laptop. That's pretty darn neat, really.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today!

pictures of creatures )


Sep. 17th, 2008 11:15 pm
summer_jackel: (Default)
I need to sleep. I'm having a hard time convincing myself to do it. Adjusting to loss, annoyingly sad angst-spectrum emotions and major life changes really sucks. Yeah, yeah. I'm dealin'. So anyway here are some virtual pets.

Real critters, though, are much sweeter. Rogue, for instance, is crashed out on my too-dirty-to-put-away but too-clean-to-wash-yet clothes where they live in a pile on the floor. Note that her presence will likely throw them out of laundry limbo and into the hamper in the morning, although I'll probably wear 'em one more time, to walk the dogs. I'd normally put a stop to this behavior, but she's been so obviously depressed about Skeeter's absence (Kestrel and Lucy took him to Covelo. I kept Rogue. We're a separated family) that I haven't the heart to do it. (Yeah, I know the grammar in that last...sentence?...should get me slapped by the grammar police. So should this whole post. Don't I have a rule about not posting whilst inebriated or tired?) Miz Nocturne, AKA Dammit Who Gave the Kitten Speed Again?! is zonked on my lap in a position that can't possibly be comfortable (do legs bend in that direction? Really? Only when you're a 7 week kitten, I think). I don't dare move her, though. She'll revert to warp drive, oooh, Jackels are climbable mode. Which is adorable too, of course.

I love these animals. Every last fuzzy feathery scaly finny one of them. They, possibly more than any other love, are so unquestionably worth the pain.

Why is the kitten unbuttoning my nightshirt?

There's this...sleep...thing. I /drags self to bed, with sleepy kitten/

Pets name: Bryndel
Adopt your own!

Pets name: Korva
Adopt your own!


Pets name: Ivy
Adopt your own!


Pets name: Vibrance
Adopt your own!

Note that you don't actually have to do anything to these guys to play the game.

Also, Adopt one today!, Adopt one today! and Adopt one today!.


summer_jackel: (Default)

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