More Random Stuff

April 11, 2008 at 11:58 am (Dating, Family, Fauna Files)

1) Just now, from my private balcony at my office, I saw a TURKEY strutting its way through the woods. Wildlife audit at Nearby Women’s College so far: chipmunks, squirrels, sparrows, bluejays, cardinals, robins, a hawk, several deer (fawns, too!), a skunk, a racoon, and now a turkey. Will the donkey be far behind?

2) I have a date next week with a man from the internets. Will he bathe? Does he have all his teeth? Does he carry a hipflask of antibacterial gel? Stay tuned.

3) A certain small sister has finally updated her blog. Check ca.

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Happy Year of the Rat

February 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm (Fauna Files)

In honor of the Year of the Rat, I bring to you the most frightening film I have ever seen in my entire life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LMxhc8WwGU .

I remember seeing this on TV when it first aired.  I have never recovered.  I can’t even bear to embed the video.

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Slippery Slope?

February 5, 2008 at 11:29 am (Fauna Files)

I want to be clear.  I am not someone who believes that every blastula is sacred.  But this skeeves me the fuck out.

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Anti-Mouse Crusade

January 9, 2008 at 10:37 am (Fauna Files)

There’s a look you sometimes see in the eyes of soldiers who’ve been fighting too long, in children who have struggled all their lives against hunger and poverty, in people who have been repeatedly beaten down, an impassive, vacant look, as if the person has seen too much devastation, and nothing new can register.   I noticed the same look on my face this morning.

I seem to be running my own anti-phobia clinic.  The mouse situation has abated only slightly in that I no longer hear squeaking.  But there are still mice in my apartment.  And when I saw one yesterday morning, I could barely muster a shudder, much less my usual scream, jump, and flail.

I called the management company and was informed that the building is exterminated twice a month.  This is not true, and when the exterminator came two weeks ago, he did NOT come to my apartment, even though I waited all afternoon for him.   In speaking with another tenant, I discovered that the extermination procedures for mice went only so far as the placement of two glue traps.

The management company rep. doesn’t understand that this is a building-wide problem.  So, I printed up signs to rouse my neighbors to action.  I spent an hour last night posting them in the elevators, stairwells, lobbies, and the laundry room.  Tonight I’m going to slip notices under everyone’s door. 

And now I’m going online to buy those round D-con traps that seem awesome but are completely unavailable anywhere around here. 

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Take Back the Night

January 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm (Fauna Files)

Because I no longer want to feel like a victim in my own home, I took some direct action against the tyranny of mice. 

SuperFudge had determined that the most likely points of entry were the gaps under my front doors.  So, we went to the Home Despot and purchased door sweeps and adhesive for mounting them.  The Home Despot was sadly lacking in the poison and trap department; so, our next stop was Target, where we bought nothing to aid in our mouse crusade, because Target was completely devoid of anti-mouse paraphrenalia.  Onward we went to Bed Bath and Beyond for draft dodgers, but found nothing else to help our quest.  Finally, three hours later, we picked up some poison at the grocery store.

All this running around led me to believe that everyone within 15 miles of my apartment must be suffering from a mouse invasion. 

Back at the apartment, SuperFudge installed the sweeps on the doors, while I sprinkled peppermint oil on the draft dodgers.  (It may be an old wives’ tale, but some folks say mice hate the smell of peppermint oil).  I threw peppermint oil soaked cottonballs in all the closets and cabinets and behind the bookcases.  We put boxes of poison all around the room.

I still slept with the lights and the tv on, but this time I did manage to sleep.  I heard some faint scrabbling, but that could have been from within the walls, or it might have been the wind rustling a plastic bag in the kitchen.  Or it may have been a mouse that was now stuck inside the apartment since we blocked the main highway through the place.  Traps await its demise.

The management company has yet to respond to my demands.

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A Hard Day’s Night

January 3, 2008 at 10:40 am (Dating, Fauna Files)

Yesterday was difficult for many reasons.  Of course, I am dealing with the shock of lost romance in my usual mercurial fashion.  One moment I am extremely rational, practical, and even sort of happy, and the next moment I am crying into my 0-point vegetable soup in the staff kitchen.  (It’s quite easy to feel sorry for oneself when faced with a steaming bowl of fat-free gruel).

After work I asked Superfudge to help me mouseproof my place.  As soon as she walked into the apartment, she ordered me to leave.  Apparently there was a mouse in one of the traps.   I stood in the hallway, making small talk with my neighbors while Superfudge examined every outlet, baseboard, and corner with a flashlight, checking for holes that might let in mice.  I learned that everyone in the building is having mouse woes, and that everyone else is nonchalant about it.  One neighbor’s solution was to get a cat.  Another’s was to let her husband deal with it.  (Ah, there’s the true cost of singlehood: no husband to deal with the mice!)

Superfudge assured me that all was well.  She blocked up some gaps around the kitchen pipe, but other than that, there were no entry points for mice other than my two front doors.  She laid out more poison, and I felt confident that it would be a peaceful night.

I was mistaken.

While I was on the phone with TragicCrusade, I heard my neighbors across the hall banging and yelling, and then I heard something scurry into my apartment.  (Solution #3 of dealing with mice: send them into your neighbor’s home!)  I tried to put it out of my mind during the phone call.  After a few hours of intense and tearful conversation, I eventually had to call it a night and get some sleep–as much sleep as can be had with all the lights on and the television blaring Law and Order. 

It became clear that the mice were intimidated by neither Van Buren nor McCoy, because I heard a steady patter of scrabbling along the wall between the front door and the window.  The mice decided to use the back of the bookcases as their highway.  Throughout the night I heard crunching of poison pellets.  By early morning, the scratching and nibbling were punctuated by squeaks as I cowered in bed, with no companion save Abject Terror.

I have never in my life been so happy to hear to alarm go off in the morning.

Today I am going to the Home Despot to get strips for the bottom of my door. 

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Emergency Call

December 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm (Fauna Files)

TragicCrusade: Hello, what’s up?

Quiconque: Well, I was, uh, about to take a nap before I did some writing so I uh went to the bathroom and then I locked the door and I got into bed and then and then I looked over the edge of the bed to see if I had the books I needed to work on and and and I looked down and then I saw, I saw, I saw a MOUSE crawling around the books and and and and….

TragicCrusade: Breathe, Quiconque.  Breathe.

Quiconque: And then I and then I screamed and then I called you and I wish you were here because this is terrible!!

TragicCrusade: Okay, breathe.  Is the mouse still there?

Quiconque: What?!  You want me to LOOK over the edge of the bed?  I can’t.  I can’t look.

TragicCrusade: All right.  You were getting ready to go to sleep right?  Okay, important question–did you get to go to the bathroom?

Quiconque: Yes, I went to the bathroom.  I even locked the front door.

TragicCrusade: So, you’re in bed now, and there’s really no reason for you to leave it for a while.  Turn on the lights.

Quiconque: I never turned off the lights.  All the lights are on!

TragicCrusade: All right.  Breathe.  Turn on the TV so that the sound will scare the mouse away.

Quiconque: The TV is on full blast!

TragicCrusade: When you’ve calmed down some, I want you to think about drafting a letter to your super, because you’re probably not the only tenant dealing with a mouse problem.  Tomorrow, go to a grocery or a drugstore and get those D-Con traps, the round ones, where you don’t have to see or touch the mouse.   This will all help you get some agency in this process, so you won’t just be a victim in your own home.  Also, think about getting one of those sonic repellent things.

Quiconque: {on the verge of tears} Do they work?

TragicCrusade: Sure they do.  Imagine hearing a siren.  That’s the sound it makes for the mouse.  You can’t hear it, because it’s too high for humans to hear.  But it will drive the mice away.  And you don’t have any pets to worry about. 

Quiconque: Okay, I’ll get the traps and look into the sonic thing.  Waaaaah!

TragicCrusade: What?  Did you see the mouse?

Quiconque: No, I’m NOT looking anywhere but the ceiling.  This is so terrible!!

TragicCrusade: So, what’s on TV?

Quiconque: Monk.

TragicCrusade: Yes, there’s been a marathon this weekend.  That Monk is an amusing fellow.  What’s Monk up to?

Quiconque: He shot Santa Claus.  The whole city hates him….

By concentrating on the frivolities of television, I was finally able to calm down enough to sleep for a few hours.  TragicCrusade should really start a Mouse Hotline.

Epilogue

The next morning, in the hallway just outside my door, was a dead mouse.  Was it the mouse that had terrorized me all night?  Who can say?  The next day TragicCrusade came over and we bought a cartload of anti-mouse stuff at Target: no-see traps, poison packets, and sonic repellents.  We spent the evening setting them up around the apartment.  I hope I have made my home sufficiently hostile to mice now.

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Nature Special

November 15, 2007 at 5:51 pm (Fauna Files)

What did I see from the balcony outside my office?  A little nuclear deer family: a young buck and doe and a tiny fawn scampering in the woods right near my building.  For one brief moment, I thought, “If I only had my M-1, it’d be venison for dinner.”  Instead, I just said, “Awww, how cute!”

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