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Random Junk

Man... I have a bunch of things I want to post about (recent day-trips, Stargate fic, my bonsai, etc.), but that will take more than a few seconds to compose a post on... so I'm falling behind. Bleh! So here's some unorganized random brain-firings, instead.

1. WHY, when it is 86 degrees inside my apartment, will my big, hot cat insist on sitting in my lap? WHY?

2. I've been having a run of insects in the apartment. The usual carpenter ants, of course. And also... what I think might be water-bugs. Thank god, this year, no carpenter bees. (They appear to have made a home in the walls using the same holes that the aforementioned sparrows are using. I say, I don't care, if they stop comiing IN the apartment.)

OMG WHY DID I JUST GOOGLE-SEARCH "WATER-BUG"?????? *is completely grossed-out forever*

The bugs that I've got that I keep thinking are "water-bugs" are elongated beetly things nearly an inch long, and thankfully, they are sluggish, kind of clumsy, and they don't try to fly. So alive or dead, I just pick them up in a wad of toilet-paper and flush them. If they really *are* water-bugs, I'm sure that's like going to water-bug nirvana or something. Bleh.

Also spiders, as usual. Honest to god, unless they startle me (such as the other morning in the shower), I try to leave them alone, if I can do so without interfering with their webs. There are a few around the sink, and I was like, "what do you think you're going to find to EAT there, spider?" but I left it, and a few days later I saw it actually coccooning-up something smallish, and said, "Okay, fair enough, you win".

There is a very industrious small spider that has made a really *SPASTIC* web between a small lamp and a table, out of the way of the knob to actually turn the lamp on and off. The first time, I got rid of the web, and by the next evening, it was back, so I've left it. And have now seen the spider. And am not thrilled about it, but, yeah.

I've *had* to get blase about spiders, because in my apt. building, it's not like they aren't everywhere. We have a washer/dryer in the basement (*BLISS*!) and in warm months they are, like, Six Flags Over Spiders, and it would be futile to try to clear them out. I do secretly enjoy watching them twitch and scurry whenever the dryer is turned on and starts vibrating and they don't like it, though.

But I'm not blase about thousand-leggers, nope, absolutely not.

This morning was a BANNER morning for insects. I had to oust one of those water-bug things from the tub before my shower, as well as a couple of... I dunno what they were, little gnat-like things only they were crawling around... who cares, they're flat mush now. And then I pull back the shower curtain and AAAAIIIIIGGGGH!!!!! Thousand-legger! On the wall! Only a small one. And I *KNOW* I would rather it ate many bugs for me, but there is an unspoken bargain in my apartment, and that is, I am happy for thousand-leggers to eat all the bugs they like, OUT OF MY SIGHT. Still, I have that thing where... you know, when you're standing there, completely naked, with a wadded-up piece of toilet-paper in your hand, and you just have to reach out that extra few inches to smoosh the bug, but you Can't. Do. It? Because of the insane conviction that, I don't know, it will leap off the wall and onto your face? Yeah.

3. Hey, you all remember the raccoon? From a couple of months ago?

The upshot of that was I talked to my landlady, and got her to authorize me to buy some new trash-cans with well-fitting lids (and wheels). Because the old trash-cans were either busted, or gone completely, owing to a new set of trash-guys who like flinging the emptied cans back at the sidewalk... where they roll around until they roll, or are blown, out into traffic on my quite-busy street, and cars or better yet large trucks strike them, and there you go. So anyway, few intact trash-cans left, and no lids, and fellow tenants who like putting bags out in the trash-cans during the week, which was always a big Fest o' Garbage for the squirrels and the birds and the bugs.

And I was like, oh no, can't be having that with a raccoon around. It's bad enough with the smaller animals and birds and stuff, and I've complained about it every year. So this year I got the landlady to let ME go buy the trash-cans (and take it off the rent). Which I did. Nice big sturdy suckers, from Lowes, squarish so they don't roll, with wheels, and good lids.

Okay, so, they've been out there for less than a month. And yesterday morning I left my apt. and glanced over and happened to notice... big HOLES! That had been GNAWED in the rim of the lids!

I'm talking holes that were easily 6" long and an inch and a half wide! Big enough for freaky little raccoon hands, in other words, although not for any other parts of the raccoon. So, HAH! on it, because while there was a bag of garbage in there, it was down near the bottom and it wouldn't have been able to reach it. But that's not the point. The point is MY BRAND-NEW GARBAGE CANS, DAMMIT!

ALSO? How the HELL did the raccoon get UP onto the top of them to do the gnawing??? How did it scale them? It doesn't bear thinking about.

So I stopped at the store on the way home and bought black duct-tape, and when I got home I taped up all the holes. (jenlev suggested I take pictures and post them; if it happens again, be sure I'll do that.) We'll just see what the little fucker tries next.

4. Meh. I'm sure I had other things to post about, but I can't recall what they were after all the ranting. Or the things I can recall... do you ever get to that point where you think about posting something and then you get around to actually doing it and then think, oh, why bother posting that, it's dumb?

Like, I could tell you that I like the new Fountains of Wayne song because it's actually a bouncy and cheerful song about being a sad, single loser in your late 20s or 30s (hello), but don't despair... and also I'm pretty sure the song is strongly alluding to the idea of single women masturbating in the shower, which, I have to give it props for that. Or I could say that I like the new Green Day song, which has a great beat and is also actually very political and anti-war, which is nice, because I do sort of wonder every once in a while where all the protest songs have gone. But... meh.

Yeah, it's that time of the summer when I feel kind of very isolated, like no matter what I do, there's just crickets chirping out there, and meh. I don't know whether that's because it's summer and that's when people's schedules get wacky and they have better things to do, or whether it's because I'm just ridiculously needy, or what. Probably, er, both.



( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
Could the "water bugs" be click beetles? If you can get a photo of them, you could try sending it to http://whatsthatbug.com . They do a pretty good job of identifying insects.

I wonder if squirrels actually chewed holes in the garbage can lids. The squirrels really did a number on a garbage can we were keeping bird seed in, at our house in TN. Hope the duct tap works!
Jun. 29th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, I need to check out that site!! My husband saw an awesome beetle last night but wasn't sure what it was!

Jun. 30th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
I went to look at click beetles... nope. These are long, like that, but blacker, and less... fancy.

My first thought was raccoon since we DID have that other recent-ish raccoon incident. Could squirrels really chew though a fairly heavy plastic lid? If so, then I guess it's possible! Because we've sure got a lot of those.
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
I went and looked at that site... and now I feel both really itchy, and kind of faint... :P

But I think that the beetles I've got may be some kind of borer beetle.

It would make a lot of sense, be sort of thematic with the carpenter bees and carpenter ants and stuff.
Jun. 29th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
that's one scary-ass raccoon. i never heard of one gnawing through cans like that.

dave says boo on your raccoon, that raccoons are no joke and annoying and he sympathizes with you.

i do too.

your can just wants love, i guess. heat is no object.
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
My cat is a FROOT LOOP.
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:26 am (UTC)
I also meant to add that in the last couple of weeks, Morgan has become completely buggy. I mean, following me around, demanding LOOOOOVE.

I know people will say, "Yeah? So? Affection-crackhead, remember?" But actually, for a long while there, she seriously calmed down and she was mostly... well, not standoffish, but she kind of kept to herself. But suddenly it's all, "LOVE! NOW! LOVE NOW! NOW NOW NOW!" What is WITH this cat?
Jun. 29th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
Send me a picture of the weird bugs and if I can't ID it, I bet I can find someone who can.... ;)

I thought of you when I was on fieldwork in France - partly because of all the kayaking places we went past, partly because of these weird little (about an inch long) long-legged centipedes that were sometimes on the sticky papers when I got them back out of the holes (not stuck, just objecting to the intrusion, I think; I chased them back to their lairs). They were cute in an odd way, but not as cute as the little lizards that also lived in the holes and popped out to sunbathe every time I turned my back.... :)

(You want grossed out? I could show you the myiasis pics I've been working with the last few days (DON'T google it! Under any circumstances!) but if you don't like water bugs, that might be a step or six too far!)

Hmm, obviously summer is the time to visit Boston for someone in my line of work! :D
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
From the site posted above, it's looking like they are some species of borer beetle. Which in this house makes a lot of sense.

(You want grossed out? I could show you the myiasis pics I've been working with the last few days (DON'T google it! Under any circumstances!) but if you don't like water bugs, that might be a step or six too far!)


Hmm, obviously summer is the time to visit Boston for someone in my line of work! :D

Apparently! Of course, thinking about it, I'm not sure how we would go about deliberately trying to catch a house-centipede (i.e. thousand-legger) for you...
Jun. 30th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
Oh goddamn, why did I google? Why????????????!!!!!

Jun. 29th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
What did google turn up that was so gross???

People in our condo assn. wanted to call an exterminator because of spiders in the building in the summer. I should have said, 'Spiders ARE exterminators, and they're free and don't spray toxic fumes everywhere!!!'
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:29 am (UTC)
Oh, just google "water bug" (or maybe it was "water bugs" or "water-bug"), and see what turns up in "images". *shudder*

(Be aware that I have a very low squick level when it comes to bugs.)

Yeah, I realize that probably the only reason this building is not overrun with bugs that I would much rather NOT encounter is because of the spiders and the thousand-leggers. So I honestly do try to pursue a "live and let live" policy whenever possible. But I get startled sometimes.

In the basement, I've never tried to interfere with them unless they were actively preventing me from getting at the laundry. The most I've ever done down there was post a sign telling the other tenants to please not leave the washing-machine lid up to dry, because invariably when I would come down to use the machine, I would find spiders had set up house inside the drum... and that was distressing for me and for the spider.
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:34 am (UTC)
OK, so the one that looks like one of those boot cleaners? I clicked on it to see what was up with it, and it's a male carrying the eggs on his back! I am sorry, but that is cool!

Then again, I have had conversations about what animal at work has the cutest poop, so I may not be the best person to ask these things...
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:54 am (UTC)
*nods* It was the ones that looked like boot-cleaners that made me RUN SCREAMING. I mean, yeah, sure, cool and all, but... AAAAAAIIIIIIGGGGGHHHH!!!!

I realize it's mostly some kind of deep-seated psychological reaction. And it's just insects and spiders -- and scorpions, OMG, *shudder* -- that do it to me. As with the spiders and even the thousand-leggers, it can be overcome with time.

Now -- reptiles? Practically all reptiles and amphibians are ADORABLE, and I will very happily coo over them and handle them. (And feed them NASTY GROSS INSECTS.)

Also -- I think crabs are really cute. Many crustaceans, actually, but crabs particularly. And I realize that this is some strange psychic disconnect, because really, crustaceans are almost indistinguishable from big, armored, seagoing BUGS. So why do I find those cute, and insects give me the crawling heebie-jeebies? I do not know.
Jun. 30th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
Oh my god, cuttlefish!!!! They are SO awesome!! Have you ever heard of the mimic octopus? I saw a show on them on Discovery once - the coolest things in the whole world! I'd attach some sort of link, but I'm lazy.

Yeah, the boot cleaner ones freaked me out, too. And I totally understand not liking/being freaked out by bugs. I'm not okay with all bugs, either, and my experience working at Franklin Park made roaches an everyday thing for me. Which is NOT OKAY!! Roaches are always gross, no matter what! Except hissing roaches - those are kind of cool. The creepist roach things? In the breeding season (or whatever it's called for them), they FLY!! I distinctly remember being in gorilla holding and having one fly across the den!! And when they molt they're all white/translucent. EW!!!

I used to have roach nightmares - honest to god. The fact that Stone doesn't have roaches is seriously one of the best things about having transferred.
Jun. 30th, 2007 02:08 am (UTC)
Oh, and c'mon! Of course crabs are cute! Duh! :P You SO need to come to Stone and meet Raymond, our Rosy Boa. He's called that b/c everybody loves him. This isn't him, but looks just like him - the google image search brings up a bunch of different ones.


Um...wow. Sorry, I can only use html when I post from Xjournal. You're stuck with the link from hell!

Jun. 29th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
Do you mean the Green Day song “Working Class Hero”? Did you know it was a remix of a John Lennon song?

That’s all I’ve got. :)
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
No, "Holiday". (I *think* it's new. But I'm notoriously bad at these things. raqs is still ragging me for telling her about this "new" Shakira song that I liked, which was several years old.)
Jun. 30th, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Well, you're consistent. "Holiday" was from 2004. :)

And I listen to way too much alternative rock.
Jun. 30th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Offfffffff COURSE it was. :P

I don't listen to that much alternative rock, actually. Pound for pound I listen to a lot more classic rock, and a sprinkling of alternative. (I recently discovered that I actually like *multiple* RHCP songs; this was news to me.) But I have such broad listening tastes across the board, that it's hard for anything particular to get in edgewise. I only listen to one station about 20% of the time I ever listen to radio that plays "new-ish" songs, which I how I come to hear about 40% of the new-ish songs that I discover (sometimes years after their release); and I rely on friends for the rest (and maybe about 5% actually come from songvids).
Jun. 29th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
is it emily on your lap....because...meep. that is too hot. and furry.

*hugs* and wafting some AC down your way.

also :::massive hugs:::: and wish i could somehow do everything i have to do tomorrow and still join you.

also your description of the raccoon and the trash container was a thing of beauty. it's not too late to take the duct tape off and take some photos. i'm just sayin'.

also, i know what you mean about posting. *sigh*
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:32 am (UTC)
But then I'd have to *re*-duct-tape it. I don't have that much duct-tape left in the roll I bought. (It was a tiny roll.)

Also, there were, like, weird webbing-coccoons on the inside of the lids, and I don't even know WHAT the hell those are from, and I don't WANT to know. But I don't want to be in proximity to them any more than I have to be.

Yes, Emily. (If it were Morgan, it would be "my small, but surprisingly hot, brain-damaged cat".)

But having photos to share is ALWAYS a good reason to post. :)
Jun. 30th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
you're right. plus re-duct-taping would add insult to injury.

as for the webbing things....bleeeech. meep.

of course it was emily. heh.
Jun. 29th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
i meant to add that the spider web sounds intriguing. maybe it's watching the scifi channel when you're at work? er, the spider, not the web.

also, indigo just levatated from the floor sideways over the arm of the rocking chair by the round table. upon arrival in the chair he assumed the crab walking position and held it for about 30 seconds. hilarious.
Jun. 30th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
Re: ps.
I wish I thought there was a way I could take a pic of this web and have it come out, at all. Because it's extremely weird. It's like a web that a spider would build in a zero-G environment or something.

Indigo is a goof. :)
Jun. 30th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC)
Re: ps.
maybe turn the lights out so the flash operates and highlights the web?

indigo is indeed a goof. and levitate is how i should have spelled that word. ;)
Jun. 30th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
On the isolated thing, I'm right there with you... doesn't help that I'm geographically isolated, too. Desolation, thy name is Mojave.

Also, right there with you on the bugs. I have less here in the middle of the wilderness than I did in Montana, but the ones here are also much more dangerous. Whereas before I would generally ignore spiders because they're eating other little bugs for me, here many of them are black widows. And whereas I would usually ignore snakes because they're a) neat and b) mouse-eaters, here they're all so poisonous that if they bite you you die before you get a chance to say "ow". The desert really, really sucks. Etc.
Jun. 30th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
I just dl'd the Fountains of Wayne song, and also didn't feel I could get out without also picking up their song "Maureen" for obvious reasons.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )