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28 Aug

When Marty began spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I just yelled at him and kept shooting him out. Over and over. Assuming that he was just scrounging for floor noms I might have dropped in dinner preparation. Until I saw him trying to jump on the counter, something he never does. That’s when I noticed the mouse poop.

After freaking and bleaching and running everything through the dishwasher and bleaching again, we called the exterminator. He came out and set a few of the biggest traps I’ve ever seen in my life. These are not meant for mice. They’re barely meant for rats. I’m pretty sure I’d catch a raccoon if I set one outside. The idea of hurting a mouse with one of these, which I felt was akin to attacking a kitten with a semi-truck, nearly moved me to tears.

I was able to ignore my feeling until one night when Husband called me to the kitchen. There he was, in the middle of the kitchen. Fluffy and tiny and field-mousey. Pretty much exactly like one of our hamsters. Husband attempted to catch him in a shoebox, which went exactly as well as you think it did. (He only broke one plate.) It was decided. I could no longer harm the fluffy baby.

I spent time debating with myself just setting off the traps and making the exterminator come up with something else. With visions of ER visits for broken fingers dancing through my mind, I convinced Husband we needed to go to the store and find something a little more friendly. The trap we found seemed ingenious. Mousey goes through a tunnel towards delicious bait, tunnel snaps shut behind him. I take Mousey to delightful green meadow where he can live out his days in sunshine and rainbows. My kitchen no longer needs to be sanitized on an hourly basis. It seemed pretty foolproof.

The morning after setting out the humane, crunchy granola, save-your-stupid-life trap, I awoke to an empty trap. And one single piece of mouse poop. Right on top of the trap. I tried adding more peanut butter and moving it around, but really? After that insult I was no longer as concerned about saving Mickey. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s too smart to be taken alive.

So the exterminator came out and reset the too-big rat mouse traps. And somehow that fucker took the peanut butter off of the trap. Without setting it off. It’s possible the mouse in my kitchen has qualified for MENSA. I can’t even get peanut butter off a spoon without hurting myself. And somehow he’d removed every bit of it from the deadly grips of the trap. The exterminator came back out yesterday, and set out some glue traps. These seem even worse in theory to me – they just… hold them there? and they wait for me to… throw them out? That seems worse than mouse-trap instant death. And that’s if the little Einstein even bothers to fall for it.

I don’t want to live with a mouse in my house indefinitely (especially since he’s not paying rent or buying groceries), but I’ve yet to be able to reason with him and convince him that walking into the human trap is in his best interest. Is there some super awesome solution I’m missing?

Is the answer really Husband waiting in the kitchen with a shoebox all night?

Adventures in Floor Tile Gazing

9 Jul

One of the best things about being a kid, to me, was you could say anything, absolutely anything – no matter how ridiculous – and people just passed it off as you bring a kid. If I were seven I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you this, but because I’m 27 I fear a little judgement.

Our computers went down at work today, and because I can do anything without the computer, and because the thing I am worst in the world at is sitting quietly, I wandered around. The office isn’t that big, so I spent a fair amount of my time in the bathroom, futzing in the mirror, hair, makeup, whatever. And like the game where you look for shapes in the clouds, I began to see shapes in the floor tiles. I have illustrated them in case you don’t have as much imagination (read: are as drunk as) me.

This one looks like a girl with some super curly hair. I picture her as a redhead.

I know, I know. My art skillz. They astound you. I am available for hire to find the fine art in the bathroom tiles in your life, as well.

This one looks like a bear, perhaps wearing a hat, resting comfortable in the woods.

Picture his arms behind his head, all kicked back and possibly napping. You can also picture him in whatever color shirt you prefer in a bear. That’s why I didn’t color in a shirt. (Though I would have chosen yellow, because he looks like a happy bear.)

Or , the same tile could be our saucy redheaded friend making out with her beau.

I imagine him as a brunette, probably a skateboarder even though that’s cool in no way anymore. He never makes fun of her for being a soulless ginger (to her face) though, that’s why she forgives him being stuck in the 90s.

This is Italy.

Or maybe Italy if I tried to draw Europe from memory and got it all wrong.

That’s when I realized that most of the tiles were the same exact pattern, and I was just looking at them from different angles. So, I went back to banging my head on sitting quietly at my desk.

And no, I could not find any patterns in the carpet in my office. Bummer.

Cal is a boy’s name, anyway.

2 Jul

There’s a woman at work. She’s a nick-namer. Kimberly is Kimmie, Joseph is Joey, though I’ve never heard these people introduce themselves as one of the short versions of their names. The other day, she called me… Cal.

And I… I answered.

And now I’m doomed.

I had to answer, because she was asking a question and it was oh so apparent she was talking to me. Also, when people get my name wrong, I’ve never been sure how to correct them. If I let it go, the pronunciation becomes entrenched and it’s too awkward to change later. If I correct them, it seems like they over-pronounce, make it fancy, like I’ve done something hoity by having a way to say my name. (This is more of a problem with my last name, because it’s pretty hard to pronounce Cally any way other than how it should be.)

I don’t know what these name-choppers are thinking.

I knew a girl in high school who was a name-extender. A rarer problem, sure, but a problem nonetheless. You thought you were Chris? No, you were Christopher. Often, she didn’t say my name- I think it’s because she couldn’t make it any longer than it was. It’s the same side of the coin, though, because in both cases you’re just ignoring what I have told you I should be called. To me, it smacks of arrogance, that you know what’s better for me than I do. That you’re going to stomp on my wishes and change my name, one of the very essences of my identity, to suit your preferences. You override me.

Am I blowing it all out of proportion? I don’t know. I don’t think so. If I told you my name was Cally and you decided to call me Jerk Face, then I’d be perfectly allowed to have an issue. I see this as almost the same. It’s a subtle dig, like a back-handed compliment.

What I do know, is I’d rather chew on rocks than have anyone ever call me Cal every again.

Ah, irony. My good friend. Welcome back.

29 Jun

I know ten minutes isn’t a lot of time, but when you’re waiting for your ride (train) home, in 95 degree heat and no shade, it seems like an eternity. I’m so easily bored. I take out my phone, realize there’s nothing there. Put it back in my purse. Shuffle my feet. Take out my phone. Put it back. Pace. Try to people watch without letting people know I’m people watching. Fantasize about the car I’d buy when I win the lottery so I don’t have to take the stupid train anymore.

Realize it’s only been two minutes. Repeat, ad nauseam.

Yesterday, because of all the rain, the train platform was crawling with worms. I think they were worms? They seem a little more… prehistoric and sturdy than the earth worms I’m used to, but “worm” is the word that comes to mind when I look at them. So I was watching them, because what else did I have to do. Making their way across the platform, avoiding people’s legs, twisting and turning through the obstacles. I was watching one in particular when I noticed a woman on a phone shuffling back and forth, not paying attention. About to step on the worm I was watching.

I had a second or two to think about it. I really thought I was going to warn her, but I didn’t want to come off as a nutterbutter and then have to listen to her tell whoever she was on the phone with about the tree-hugging worm-loving hippie. I didn’t act, and she stepped on it. I was instantly upset I didn’t do anything to prevent this massacre. If I said something though, and she reacted poorly, what would I do? What if I told her and she was the super cruel type and stepped on it anyway? I might cry.

What would I do if someone had warned me I was about to step on a worm? I think I would thank them. But I also thinkĀ  I’m a smidgen crazy, and my reactions are not exactly the best to gauge what normal society will do in a situation.

As I was contemplating the possible actions and reactions, I felt something crunch under my foot.

I think I’m pretty much never going to get over the guilt, with the blood of two of them on my hands.


25 Jun

I found myself doing push-ups at our family dinner this weekend, all to prove to my eight year old nephew I could do them easily, and the real way. I’m not sure what this says about me, that I couldn’t shrug off the taunts of an eight year old who assumed I had little to no upper body strength. We ended up having a contest, and I won. I honestly have no idea what I was trying to accomplish. Was I trying to bust down some gender barriers, prove chicks got what it take to conquer the world? I don’t think so. I’m not that noble.

I was personally irked by the assumption that I couldn’t do push-ups. And I felt the need to prove it, no matter the age of the taunter. This is why I carried eight-foot banquet tables by myself when I was a waitress, why I feel the need to shrug off any help offered when I’m carrying something. It’s not like I’m some body builder, or even someone who’s particularly strong. I’m strong for what I am, which is a small person who doesn’t really work too hard at it. I just hate the assumption that I can’t, shouldn’t, need help. If I need help, I’ll ask for it. If I don’t, your offer insults me.

So I felt the need to prove it, both to my nephew and the people gathered. Did it possibly come off as childish? You bet. Could I have avoided it? No. It would have haunted me if I didn’t throw down and show that I could do push-ups properly.

I don’t think beating him at push-ups and proving my strength helped any, because he instantly went to making fun of me because I can’t whistle, instead. And since that’s true, I couldn’t smack that one down. Sometimes eight year olds aren’t very fun.


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