Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rats -- The Epic Saga Continues

So last night, as the huge raindrops began to fall, I happened to be in our bedroom near the closet when I heard it -- the scurryings and scamperings of a hundred little rodent feet coming in out of the rain and settling in for a nice game of cribbage and some old scotch. Without paying any rent. I decided to raise the roof on their little party by taking a hanger and poking the little attic hatch thing upward from whence the scamperings were emanating, so that they would know that the owners of the house in which they are squatting are displeased and thus, a damper would be put on their little party, if you will. The hatch thingy went up and came back down, and as it did so, a rat turd fell out and right into my eye.

Yes, you read that right. I got a turd in the eye. Oh yes. It’s ON, bitches.

Nobody drops turd in MY eye, dammit. NOBODY.

Derek went out in the yard this morning to discover another carcass of yet another offender who met an unfortunate end. The carnage has only just begun.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Countdown to Kauai

Only ten more days, and I will be here:

Yeaaaaaah. That sound you hear is me doing the Super Happy Butt-Wriggling Dance of Joyous Ass-Shaking. It is a very ancient cultural dance, reserved for occasions such as these. Can you feel, feel, feel, feel my heat?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Aw, Rats!

So Derek left at 6 a.m. for an early meeting, so I got to sleep in and drive alone to work. I roll out of bed around 8:00 after hitting the snooze button about 16 times, let the dogs out to go pee with my eyes half closed, get showered and dressed and looking all cute in my new Old Navy pink shirt and my cute pink heels with the butterfly design on them and my hair all freshly did and everything and proceed out to the garage to feed the hounds when I am stopped short by the sight of a GIANT DEAD RAT WITH A GIANT RUBBERY TAIL LYING THERE WITH ITS HEAD STILL IN A RAT TRAP. Which was thankfully face-down. And folks, I did the super lame cliché girl thing to do.

I screamed.

It was just so shocking, I mean, I almost stepped on the thing. Here, in my cute little shangri-la paradiso springtime beautiful yard on this beautiful sunny day, this poor dead nasty-ass creature stood out in bold and gross juxtaposition. And the dogs are all looking at me like, “Bitch, GET MY CHICKEN, ARE YOU NEW? Daddy always feeds us by 7:15! What do we have to do, suck in our cheeks and show some ribs? We are not Nicole Richie!!! This delay is un-freaking-acceptable! Step over the thing and get your ass into the garage and snap to it!”

But, I digress. See, up until recently we had been kind of in pleasant denial about any rodent problem. Sure, I had seen them last summer in our peach tree, greedily devouring every last morsel of fruit before it had even ripened enough to be picked. We had nary a bite of peach from that tree because of those little bastards. I even took the super high-pressure nozzle hose to those mo-fo’s while they sat in said peach tree, all fat and loaded up on sugar and giving me the rat-finger since they were too high up to reach them and kick their rat-asses. Yeah, I took that sprayer hose and was all Bruce Willis from Die Hard on their asses: “YIPPEE-KAI-AY, MOTHER F---ERS!!!!” whilst spraying my water uzi with glee. That was kind of fun, actually. But I always assumed they went off and lived in some other place like Ratville or Rattamonica or maybe Rat Hills and then commuted to our apricot tree during the day. Sadly, this is not the case.

Around wintertime, we started hearing strange noises coming from up in the attic and from the roof space over our bedroom. Very busy, scraping, organizing, plotting-type sounds. Derek and I would look at each other.

“Do you hear that?” (wide-eyed)

“Yeah. I do.” (eyes darting around)

“You know, I bet somebody died here years ago and they didn’t tell us when we bought the house.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. Somebody totally died here and now they live in our attic. And they’re angry that we’ve taken over the house because they don’t like our decorating scheme, they preferred the L.L. Bean country look, and here we are being all nouveau French / Asian Chic on their ass and they’re pissed. I’m going to check public records or something and find out who died here so we know who is quite obviously haunting us.”

“Okay. Good idea.”

End of story. And Denial is a river in Egypt.

Then one day recently, right after the time change, when it was still light enough to go outside after work and water the plants, I saw them in the faint glimmer of twilight. An entire FREAKING METROPOLIS of rats crawling around in the giant tree in our backyard. It looked like the tree itself was wriggling, there were so many rats crawling around in it. And they were busy doing stuff and things like crazy. I called Derek outside and made him look, and we watched as, one by one, they schlepped from the tree, to our roof, to the Ratville they have been erecting somewhere in our house. Holy crap, Houston, we have a problem.

I told my dad about it, and that I was thinking of calling an exterminator. “Oh good grief, just go get some rat traps and put them on the roof and call it a day, for crying out loud,” he muttered, and dads know about this kind of thing. So Derek got the traps and set them up on the roof the other day. And here, this morning, in front of my face, in all its carcassy glory, was the first fruit of his labors. I guess the trap snapped so hard, it went flying right off the roof and onto the patio and in front of my adorable pink shoes. And with no mens around (come on, I am a feminist and all but that shit is some men's work), I had to go get some plastic bags and pick up the wretched thing so that the dogs don’t get bored today and start thinking it’s some cool new and stinky chew toy for them to toss about the yard. Yeah. It was pretty awful.

I can only imagine the rat graveyard that must be on the roof by now. But my question is, after they’re dead, will they come back to the attic to haunt us and disapprove of our decorating scheme? God, that would just really suck.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent

This is going to be a book review. No, shut up, this is not a book review blog, but as most of you know by now, this blog is about everything and nothing, and I loved this book so very much that I simply had to say something about it.

Norah Vincent is a woman with balls.

Wait, that sounds really loaded, but in this case, it’s true on a number of levels.

Norah Vincent is a woman who lived as a man for a year and a half. She hired a makeup artist to teach her how to apply a five o’clock shadow every day. She trained with a voice coach to sound like a dude. She bound up her boobies. She wore a crew cut. She joined a men’s bowling league. She lived in a monastery. She joined a men’s movement group. All of the usual titillating details you would expect a cross-gender adventure to have are, of course, present in the book. And I love me some titillating. Even just the word is so fun to say, right? Go ahead, say it with me: Titillating. Uh-huh-huh-huh. Doesn’t it make you feel like Beavis and Butthead? But I digress. None of the people she was around as “Ned” ever knew she was a woman unless and until she told them. And you find yourself getting nervous for her and her charade. It’s hard to root for a hero who is being so deceitful, but you want her to find out what she finds out.

Anyhoo, titillating details aside, what I took away from the book was so much more profound and thought-provoking. Mars and Venus? Eh, whatevs. Norah’s observations of men when there are no women around, and the way she articulates them to the reader, left me gasping for air at times. I would have to set the book down, look away, and really absorb the magnitude of “Oh my God!!! I get it now!” that I kept feeling as I was reading. Anyone who is in a relationship with a man, or works with men, or is a parent to a little man-in-training, and even men themselves, will gain to understand volumes about the current male condition and sociology that no psycho-babble book could ever teach you. I was riveted. And I think you will be, too.

Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Girl.... You'll Be A Woman Soon

I love a girly-girl party. I love seeing girlfriends and spending time with them and getting caught up with them when it's so hard for a bunch of busy chicks to congregate at the same place at the same time. This is at Karin's place, and crapola, there is no photo of us. But this is Shannon, my At-Work Mom's daughter. People have asked us before if we're sisters, which is kind of ironic, I suppose. But mainly I just take it as a huge compliment since hi, Shannon is totally foxy. M'kay?

I love a girly-girl party. Because it affords me the opportunity to show off my cute shoes to the delighted squeals of friends. And that gives me joy. I know -- shallow much? At least I'm honest.

Bitter, Party of One

This is going to be Bitchfest ’06.

Well, maybe not that bad. But come on. We had the time change over the weekend, accompanied by some nice weather. This is the best time of year for me. I’m all super stoked that it will still be light out when I am coming home from Curves at night. Super stoked about the coming spring blooms that explode around the neighborhood and on the hiking trails. Super stoked I can now manage hikes in daylight after work! I bought some new plants for the backyard and even some new super-cool teak chaise lounges for, you know, lounging in the lovely extended daylight hours.

And just look at it outside. It is pouring. Dumping. Raining like it’s going out of style and then being dropped off at the Goodwill. Talk about a buzz-kill. I woke up this morning (which is a world of suck unto itself for us non-morning people) to pounding rain and darkness. I had all these grand plans for this evening of walking the dogs, arranging the new plants in the yard, then reading some Whitman to the twilight sky above. But I guess I’ll just stay inside and listen to Morrissey, organize my sock basket and sigh a lot instead.