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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 think  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.

Random thoughts on a Monday

18 Jun

Because random is all I can handle right now. We decided to get on board with Falling Skies, and the premiere was last night. So on Saturday, we bought season one. And then that was Saturday night. And Sunday. And I’m tired, and dreaming about fighting along side Tom Mason and the 2nd Mass when I actually do sleep. Which is not exactly restful because aliens scare the shit out of me.

* * * * *

Would it be overly neurotic of me to set aside some pictures that my friends and family should pass along to the authorities in case I’m ever missing? Not that I hope to ever go missing, but if I am ever missing and they need to post my picture on the news for people to help find me, I’d really like it to be a flattering picture. I don’t necessarily need something all photoshopped and dolled up, but at least a nice candid. Because if I’m ever found, I want to be able to still like the people who turned in the picture, and I’m very likely to hold a grudge if someone gives the candid from college where I pulled my socks up to my knees, wearing short-shorts and giving a Borat-esque thumbs up. That’s unforgivable.

* * * * *

When I came home today I had to kill a bug. When I agreed to the move to Florida, Husband agreed to take care of Any and All Bugs. Since it never gets cold there’s tons of bugs here, and they get all mutant giant because they don’t die in frosts like all normal bugs. And sometimes they slip in. And in my bathroom was one that was about five feet long. So I grabbed our all-natural pet-safe bug kill spray (because I was pretty sure I couldn’t squish it without an ax of some sort) and emptied half the bottle on it. And then I had to dispose of it. And I’m pretty sure that it’s family is going to retaliate and crawl into my mouth while I sleep.

* * * * *

In May, I went to the gym at least 3 times a week. One week I got up to 5. June? I’ve been twice. The entire month. Why is motivation always waxing and waning? I could go every day for six years and I miss one day and I fall into a black hole. In fact, I told myself I would go to the gym tonight, but instead I’m eating tortilla chips to recover from my bug encounter.

* * * * *

When I left for work this morning it was 75 out, and I thought, Wow, it’s cold today. And then I killed myself for being an idiot. I’m writing to you from beyond. When I go back to Michigan to visit in October, it’s probably going to eat me.

Oh, crap.

4 Jun


If you stay very quiet and still and listen very closely, you might just hear it.

…tick tock tick tock tick tock…

Biological clock. Baby fever.

I’m such a cliche.

I was never really one of those girls who fawned over babies. I didn’t even really enjoy baby dolls as much as the other girls.I never begged for a baby brother or sister, I didn’t enjoy when family members brought their small children around. I’ve always been sort of ambivalent about having my own. I knew the odds are I would eventually end up with at  least one child. But I didn’t plan for it or expect it or really even think about it too much. I don’t have names picked out. Even as my contemporaries began having babies, I’ve sort of taken it in stride. Congrats on your baby, no thanks I don’t need to hold it, is there any diet Coke?

Since we’ve moved here, I’ve been spending a lot more time with my niece and nephew. They’re just three and almost two, and so adorable I can’t even handle it. The girl is an insane combination of highly verbal and nonsensical. She took to me right away, grabbing my hand, “Aunt Cally, Aunt Cally, do you want to play with my stickers they have a tea party set one time there was a cow and sparkle papercut heffalump Barbie!” She has an endless amount of energy and drags you from toy to toy, from thing to thing and story to story with a bubbly charm.

The boy is very much Two, with his wild mood swings and his screaming tantrumming and his mind-meltingly adorable cuddliness. He was wary of me, being brand new to him and all, for a while. He would smile and play coy and hide behind his mother’s legs, but immediately cry if ever found alone with me. Then somewhere near the end of our third visit he decided I was worth it, brought me his Cars 2 DVD and collapsed into my lap with a giant hug. When we went to leave, he threw his arms about my legs and kissed my knees goodbye. I’m pretty sure if you had one of those little heart monitors from How the Grinch Stole Christmas I would have busted the shit out of that.

Then I started reading random articles on babycenter, scouring mommy blogs for birth stories. And that’s how I ended up with a spread sheet on my computer, hidden within a nest of folders and misleadingly titled “graduate school applications” that contains an excruciating cost analysis of the different types of cloth diapers and disposables. With a perceived level of ease rating system.

What is wrong with me?

I do this, though. I researched moving to Florida and played it close to the  chest for about four months before I brought up the idea to Husband. I was looking at wedding invitations and making lists of things I planned to DIY and spreadsheets of possible venues up to a year before we were even engaged. In complete and total secret. It’s almost like I need a while to warm up to any idea, and until I get to the point of acceptance I obsess neurotically about every single aspect associated with the decision.

So even though we’ve come down with a case of baby fever over here, since babies have about a gazillion decisions and variables, you can likely expect us to add one to the mix in about fifteen years. I hope people are still using spreadsheets in the future, because I’d hate for all the work I do now to expire by then.