Every witch needs a familiar.

IMG_1114 v2This is an outtake from my at-home photo shoot coming up with pictures to go along with my last xoJane article about how my Catholic grade-school classmates thought I was a witch.

Maleficent horns? $3 at CVS. Purchased after midnight on a whim.
Cape? Already had it for some reason.
Makeup? I contoured my face with green eyeshadow.
Chinchilla? Terrified. “human no have horns. u not my human. u impostor. i fight for life.”

Goats Are My New Spirit Animal

I used to think my spirit animal was the corgi. Small legs. Close to the ground. Super excited about everything.

However, I’ve been making a lot of changes lately. And I think it’s time for a new spirit animal. Entre goats.

Pug & Goat 4evEr
Me and my goat friend after he came around the barn to find me.

Yesterday, I went to the open house at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, MD. I held a chicken for the first time. I was like, “HOW DO I PET YOU WITH FEATHERS?” And the chicken was all, “You got this.”

But the goats. At first, the herds of goats just took one look at me, said “Nope,” and trotted away. It was like high school all over again.

On my way back to the barn, I encountered a large older goat–who I would guess was newer to the sanctuary since he was just skin and bones. He just stood there and let me scratch his back and rub the underside of his neck. This goat did not seem to care much for people. Or other goats. Or anything, really.

Background: I am well-known amongst my social circles for winning over dogs with my excellent massages. I have researched how to become a professional dog masseuse, but the programs are either kind of shady or involve learning how to massage people first. Pass.

So this goat was getting the full Pug Mugsly treatment. But eventually, I had to go. I made my way around the barn, and got distracted petting another goat and taking this picture on my way out:

Hashtag no filter. Also, reminds me of a unicorn.
Hashtag no filter. Also, reminds me of a unicorn.

And then suddenly, another goat comes bursting into view. It was my goat friend from before. He went looking for me! It could have been a coincidence, but I’m choosing to believe it wasn’t. The whole time I’d been waiting to enter the goat field, he hadn’t once appeared around the front of the barn. And this goat kind of tossed his horns in excitement when he found me.

Of course, this was rewarded with more petting. (See photo at top of post.)

After researching goats when I got home, I learned that goats are actually super smart and very graceful. They also have those badass horns and aren’t insanely codependent like sheep.

Goats. My new spirit animal.

So Hot Right Now: Air Plants

(Air plant in its natural habitat. Lying in wait.)
(Air plant in its natural habitat. Lying in wait.)

Aside from a bamboo plant named Barbara—whose life I saved during an emergency fungus-cutting procedure in my office kitchen—I kill plants. It’s like my aura slowly drains the life force out of them so I can be stronger. (I’m scared to get a dog.)

I’ve killed three aloe plants—each named Al. (Al, Al Jr., and Al the Third. All now residing in that ancient garden in the sky.) I’ve killed mint. I’ve killed those random herb plants they sell at Giant that seem like a better idea than just buying packs of basil you’ll never entirely use. I’ve killed plants that people have given me, saying, “There’s no way you can kill this.”

But the hot new trend in both plants and decorative apartment accessories seems to be air plants. What the hell are air plants? Truthfully, I’m not 100% sure. Supposedly, they are a species of plant called “Tillandsia” and are native to tropical climates—like Florida down to South America. They don’t need soil to live. The plant just sits there—showing off its naked roots—only needing a little soak of water every week or so. They’re hardy enough to be sold over the internet. They can survive temperatures from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Air plant apartment decoration, from zeevveez on Flickr.)
(Air plant apartment decoration, from zeevveez on Flickr.)

They do need air circulation—duh. And light. They absorb through their leaves, rather than their roots. Hence why they can just hang out wherever.

Personally, I think they’re our first contact with an alien race. The perfect sleeper agents. Tiny. Tough. Hard to kill. It’ll turn out that aliens are less Lizard People and more Groot.

air plants
(This is what happens when you search for air plants on Etsy. NEARLY TEN THOUSAND RESULTS. Also, don’t judge the amount of items in my cart.)

I’m planning to order this air plant:

Gold stegosaurus from TwoTreesBotanical on Etsy.
Gold stegosaurus from TwoTreesBotanical on Etsy.

If the initial Tillandsian contacts can survive the hostile environment of my presence, then I welcome our new plant overlords, and intend to cover my apartment in these tiny alien spies.

This story has imaginary friends, tornadoes, and an imaginary friend who is a tornado.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She wrote a small novella about spiders, weirdly detailing issues with paternity and health insurance.

That little girl grew up to be a communications professional with aspirations of being both a published writer and a dinosaur.

Considering her love of penis jokes and uncool liqueurs, she created a pen name. Pug Mugsly. Perfect for someone who likes dogs and drinking out of mugs. Or a time-traveling pug gangster from the 1920s. On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.

(The subject line is true. When I was a kid, my best friend and I shared an imaginary friend who was a tornado. More details to come.)