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This is just satire, but I really really really wish it was real:

Last weekend I went to the Mount St. Helens Ape Cave Lava Tube with some friends. It’s a popular attraction in the Mount St. Helens National Monument and the longest lava tube in the continental United States at over two miles in length. Here’s my spelunker buddies Shawn and Trevor ready to ascend at the main entrance:
Ape Cave spelunkersApe Cave headlamp
A headlamp and/or good flashlight with fresh batteries is recommended. Warm clothes, pants and a raincoat too (it’s drippy inside). From the main entrance to the caves, I recommend doing the Lower Cave first which is an easier hike and gives you an idea of whether you can handle more. You turn around and go back to the main entrance, and from there can choose to do the Upper Cave. It’s 1.5 miles underground, but a lot of scrambling over rock falls and a little climbing too. It was quite a workout but the inside of a lava flow was cool. Then you hike back to the parking area above ground. This was the exit from the Upper Cave area:
Ape Cave upper exit
The ladder out can be seen in the lower left of the image. Then it’s the same distance hike overland on the way back. A lot of the geography around the cave reminded me of Iceland, albeit with a lot more trees.


Clockwise from top: Mssr. Theodore Shithead, Miss Pepper Crazytail and Isabella (Izzy) Scaredkitty.

I used to pick on Homer and TJ for being Crazy Cat Ladies. One year I even sent Homer a Crazy Cat Lady action figure. But now the tables have turned and I am a Crazy Cat Lady. I’m going to blog about cats now.

The owners of the house I’m staying at are in France for a couple of weeks, so I’m taking care of them while their people are gone. They got the cats when we had critters in the attic in December. I think the varmints were squirrels who had moved in for the winter. The roommates wanted cats anyway but the presence of critters in the house expedited the acquisition. So they got three rescue cats from the shelter. The attic critters have since departed.

Mssr. Theodore Shithead was very young when he arrived. He’s very cute but still behaves like a kitten much of the time and is an overall pain in the ass. He gets into everything and knocks shit over all the time. You can’t see it easily in the photo but he has a white kitty mustache, which is why I call him Monsieur Theodore.

Miss Pepper Crazytail is our personal bathroom attendant. If you plan on taking a dump Pepper will be there to assist, so it’s important to keep the bathroom closed if you plan on doing anything private in there. She’s the most affectionate though and wants to be petted all the time. She is very sweet and sticks up her big fluffy tail when she’s happy, thus the name Crazytail.

Miss Isabella (Izzy) Scaredkitty has come a long way. We think she was abused in her previous home as she was scared of everything when she arrived. She particularly didn’t like me, we think because I have a beard. We’ve theorized the previous owner had a beard too. But she’s come around and likes to be petted a lot and doesn’t give me that freaked out feral look anymore. She was called Izzy as the previous owners thought she was male, but she’s female.

Being a Crazy Cat Lady is sad but it’s certainly better than being an unhygenic dog person.

After being home in Wisconsin for a week I headed up to Minneapolis to the 2nd Annual Benefit 2 Celebrate Life concert with Sean Woolgatherer. I went to the first one last year and had a great time, and this show didn’t disappoint either. The show was held at First Avenue, where Purple Rain was filmed, and held as a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

This year featured performances by Andre Cymone, a former protege of Prince. I was looking forward to hearing The Dance Electric, his biggest hit from that era. Sean took a nice video of the performance:

Lookin’ good at 54 Andre!

The other headliner for the show was Princess, a Prince tribute band featuring Maya Rudolph of SNL. Their coverage of tracks from 1999 and earlier tunes were eerily flawless:

It’s clear that Maya and Gretchen listened to a lot of Prince. They had every word down to the erotic screams and gasps. Review of the show, photos and setlist is here. It was good to get my R&B and funk fix in after a long hiatus. There are lots of alternative rock concerts in Portland but not a lot of funk that I know of.

It’s back to the grind in Portland, although the weather has been hitting the low 60s lately which is nice. No job leads during my absence but a volunteer job I interviewed for will start in April. It’s working the front desk at an LGBT homeless support center that does good work. Should be interesting and something to do.

I wanted to tell the world about my Best Boo BrettCajun today!
Happy Valentine’s Day Boo! Ah Wuf Youuu!

Anyone remember the personal journal blog Art Is For Losers? Esteemed style and culture writer Mitzhi Jean MacWhorigan took it down a while back, and had a Tumblr blog for a while that’s changed to Hello My Ghost. Mitzhi’s feeling despirited that nobody’s following her up in there so if you’re on Tumblr go follow Mitzhi cuz I said so. And say sassy things in the comments section, she loves it when you do that.

woofI have a durrrty Tumblr blog too but I don’t mention it here because my mom reads this blog and if she goes there the poor lady will see things a mama wasn’t meant to see. The most you’ll get here is an animated .gif of bearded Olympian Nick Thoman telling us he likes his own beard.

Anyway I went up to Baltimore this weekend to visit the blog’s author Mitzhi Jean and had a good time. We talked about people we used to write about and how many personal blogs have fallen by the wayside over the years. We talked about whether or not I need to bring this blog with me to Portland, with all its baggage. What I think she meant by that was that perhaps so many people know I blog and have read it they may have been reluctant to have said hello to me out on the street, and that the blog may have been a liability to my dating potential in DC. My strong opinions posted, and perhaps fear of public reprisal kept people away from me.

Hmm…let me just say for the most part I try to avoid blogging about work, close friends’ business, rugby team gossip, and dating experiences on this blog. I’ve learned the hard way from all of the above. I may talk about general experiences with people but I don’t talk about specific dates. As for my strong opinions – I guess if a guy is intimidated by my opinions it’s best he stay away anyway as I don’t date mice. But everyone has opinions, I just happen to post them in a public forum.

I could kvetch about all the factors as to why I never got into a longer relationship in DC than the one I was in, or why I didn’t date anyone the past 6 years – perhaps I was too busy, to picky, too beardy, or any host of things. But the fact is that nothing happened – when I did meet a guy I was into he wasn’t into me, or vice verse, or he was partnered and that’s not gonna work either. Lemme tell ya if I had a dime for every partnered guy who’s up in my kitchen I’d be a millionaire. Don’t you guys have trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot to keep you busy? Or better yet go pork your partner instead.

But a funny thing is happening recently now that word has gotten out that I’m moving. People are coming forward out of the woodwork to say hello, some of whom clearly want to get with me. All I gotta say to that is y’all had from 6-16 years to say hi and that’s plenty of opportunity squandered on your part. I’m busy packing now but thanks for saying hi.

In DC I think I’d become like that one can of tomato soup in the back of your cupboard that you know hasn’t gone bad yet, it’s been sitting there for years, but you just can’t get yourself to pull it out and put it on the stove. It will always be there, so there it stays. Another word for that situation is ubiquitous. I’ve become a ubiquitous part of the DC gayscape and have been passed over because it’s been assumed I’ll always be there. This is no longer true. Later guys – the tomato soup is leaving the building.

Click to embiggen...

Click to embiggen...

Because U.S. viewers have no attention span and no knowledge of Kate Bush, this Kate Bush-inspired segment was cut from NBC’s broadcast of the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Yeah it was some wierd-ass interpretive shit but I liked it. If it wasn’t for the magic of the Internets I wouldn’t have known it was part of the ceremony. Follow the link above to view it, I can’t find or embed the video of the segment because the IOC nazis will hunt me down and find me. And for the record: NBC Olympic coverage sucked donkey dick.

The Spice Girls reunited to perform and they were big fun. I was expecting more from Take That, but where the hell was Robbie Williams? And where was Duran Duran and Erasure? Why? These questions plague my thoughts on a daily basis.

So who was Jimbo’s 2012 Olympics Gold Medal Woofer? It was a really tough call this year. I mean Phelps did a great job breaking the all time medal record and all that, but he is not technically “woofy” – only occasionally “adorkable” and that is not enough to qualify in my heat. And what about Chilean gymnast Tomás Enrique González Sepúlveda and his irresistible ‘stache/wink/wave combo?

Who can top that? Wait – don’t answer that…

Or howabout British long jump gold medalist and SuperGinge Greg Rutherford?

Again, it was a tough choice but the 2012 gold medal for woofiness must go to American swimmer Nick Thoman for overall beardiness, willingness to experiment with the ‘stache, and a deep voice that will hold my interest for decades to come:

This is Chilean gymnast Tomás Enrique González Sepúlveda:

He has a gold medal ‘stache.

Here’s more ‘stache sweetness here: 27 Things To Love About Tomás González.

We are going into the home stretch on the move to the West Coast. I have put in my official notice at work and am going about doing administrative things like cancelling my gym membership and stuff like that.

When I bike around town I think I am seeing things with different eyes – but just a little different. I look at things like the monuments and wonder if it’s the last time I’ll see them again. I reflect on that thought and ask myself “Am I OK with that?” and the answer is always “Yeah I’m cool with that.”

douchebag masc brosEvery page of this article was hilarious, even though I haven’t been to many of these places as they’re all straight bars: 25 Douchiest Bars in Washington D.C. I can’t confirm the veracity of any of the claims, but the City Paper already has a response regarding the douchiness of the Black Cat’s Red Room.

I can confirm that DC is getting douchier. Living within the borders of DC is no cheaper than it used to be, but it’s certainly become more popular. There’s so many places that “foodies” can explore after all! All of them riding their “fixies.” Wait, I’m confusing hipsters with douchebags. Or are hipsters now douchebags? I’m so confused…

Like I said no gay bars were mentioned in the above article. But can gay bar patrons be douchey? They certainly can. Check out Nellie’s on a Saturday night – scores of “masc bros” with low-hanging ballcaps there to reaffirm their masculinity at a “sports bar” but only before all the “queens” show up at around 10pm. Then they have to go because it’s become “too gay” and they gotta get back home to update their Grindr profile (“Discrete only, face pic upon request.”).

J.R.s isn’t so much douchey as it is simply a sad crowded watering hole for alcoholics. The drink specials there are legednary. OK maybe MOVA is douchey – it certainly attracts the nouveau riche willing to pay ridiculous prices for rail drinks. Secrets/Ziegfeld’s is too far away to be douchey – it’s simply distant. Town: another sweaty watering hole – douche levels depend on how many bridal shower parties are in the building at any given time. Oh wait…DUPLEX DINER IS DOUCHEY. As I once called it “a nest of vipers.” A wicked place indeed but their meatloaf plate is tasty.

This just in: Brightest Young Things reviews the 25 least douchey bars in DC.

Half a StreetThese are the watergate steps which overlook the Potomac River, Arlington Cemetery and much of the Rosslyn cityscape. It is a favorite place to sit and watch the planes landing at National and gives a good view of the sunset. And there are often hotties running up and down the steps too, so it’s an overall favorite place to stop for a rest when I’m on my long bike rides around the monuments. Photos by M.V. Janzen.

I was going to post a more thorough retrospective on favorite places in DC modeled after the wildly popular DC Cribs series of blog posts, but life is speeding up quickly with preparations for my move and I expect to be very busy in the coming month. That Cribs series took a lot of time to write and ride around town taking pictures.

That said, I want to reflect on my time in DC, what personal outlooks have changed in my mind and what things have not. Aside from the infernal summer heat which I can’t do much about, what’s the biggest thing that annoys me about DC to this day? Some things I’ve actually gotten used to – like surly service at the checkout counters, or being asked “So, what do you do?”

What bugs me the most about DC and the Mid-Atlantic region is the general aversion to friendliness. Like the heat, I can’t change that part of the climate either. Understand that I grew up in one of the most friendly places in the country where people just come up to you at random and start yammering. But if you try that in DC you’re met with horrified looks of shock. When you talk to people around here it’s as if you’re trying to steal a part of their soul or something, judging by how they react.

I think there’s a reason for this aversion to friendliness. The only other times people come up to talk to you in DC is for you to sign some petition or to panhandle for money. So I guess that’s why people are so defensive in DC. At least it’s my theory.

This aversion extends into the bar scene. DC has a very strong happy hour culture, and most people tend to go out with their close circles of friends. So it’s hard to just come up to people and talk to them without some sort of context. You need to somehow have an ‘in’ with that circle of people to be able to approach someone in that circle.

Add the general local aversion to being approached and that makes meeting people challenging. People I have approached to talk to seem to think I’m a stalker ready to ask for their hand in marriage, which isn’t the case. I have been trying to simply start up a conversation and see what comes of it. Don’t be afraid guys – take it in stride and recieve an offer for a chat with grace. I have the sense to cut off a conversation if it’s clear it’s not going anywhere, but you don’t have to be a dick about it.

TJ was horrified by this photo of a whole roast pig that I posted on Facebook this weekend. Sweetie – where do you think pork comes from – vines or bushes or something? Yes it’s true: your meat comes from dead animals and sometimes that isn’t pretty:
Besides, I know TJ has seen BrettCajun naked and it’s not such a different sight to behold.

Anyway the pig roast I went to on Saturday was fun and I ate the whole pig all by myself. There was rugby there too:
Lock Overlook rugby field
And it was good to catch up with some old rugby friends:
Rugby Peeps