I am having a very musically satisfying day today. LCD Soundsystem's On Repeat took me quite a ways to work, and also made me do a little repressed I - know - it's - socially - unacceptable - to -dance - in - public - places - that - aren't - specifically - designated - for - dancing - but - I - can't - help - myself - dance at the bus stop. (And, frankly, a little bit on the bus, but only so
much as one can dance while they're sitting down.) The last song my random playlist spat out at me before I had to resign myself to the office was the Robbers on High Street's Bring on the Terror, the very song I'd been thinking about earlier in the morning.
Yes, I am certain that, in part, the fact that it is undeniably Spring outside, coupled with the three shots of espresso that were in my morning beverage can be given some credit for my ensuing giddiness; but most of the kudos go to the music. Listening to music I love makes me really, really (some times stupidly) happy.
At work, I switched on my radio, and nearly everything XPN played (including the Dead's Sugaree and Patsy Cline's Crazy) made me want to sing out at the top of my lungs. (I didn't, for the sake of my co-workers, but I did actively mouth the words) . I'm now a little sorry my plans for the evening don't include live music, because the way my tune karma is going, I'm sure any show I saw would be phenomenal. (Of course, my plans do include pirates, so that's good too.)
So I'm turning to you, Internets. Neither the Robbers on High Street nor LCD Soundsystem are bands I would have sought out on my own (particularly LCD Soundsystem, as I don't consider myself a fan of house/dance music. Yet I can't listen to their (his?) self-titled album without dancing all over the place. This is especially true of my favorite track, Daft Punk is Playing at My House.); both these bands were put in my way by someone else. I'm in search of more new music, and I'm wondering what you listen to when you want to feel stupidly happy, dancing all over the place. (If you want, just tell me what music makes you happy. I won't tell anyone if you prefer to do your dancing all over the place in secret.)
Ah, but the weather is beautiful. Beautiful enough that it drug me away from the Internet into the Great Outdoors to sit and read in the park awhile, Strange but true. Lucky you, the Internet has lured me back to the eye-glazingly delight of its dark embrace:
- Vincent: Who knew Tim Burton once made a movie about the inside of my head? If at all possible, this short has made me love Vincent Price all the more. (And yet, it's not enough to make me t forgive Tim Burton for that 1/2 hour of the Planet of the Apes remake that I accidentally saw) - [M&C]
- Say, Is That A Severed Hand in Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: This pickpocket alertness campaign at Brussels Airlines is just plain genius. The only way it could be better would be if they surreptiously filmed the people finding the hands in their bags. - [C]
- This Has a Strange Sort of Brillance to It: 28 Days Slater. Some langage NSFW, most of the content not safe for your memories of Saved by the Bell, the second episode even moreso than the first.
- An Ode to Public Transportation, Classic Sesame Street Style: Subway! -[K]
I now fully understand why people in horror books and novels go mad. It's the unpredictability of things; the being woken in the wee small hours, or the expectation thereof. It is the scrambling, thumping and scratching of the Unseen Thing in the walls. It is the chittering.
It is the chewing. The dreadful, dreadful determined chewing.
The unseen terrors really are the most disturbing.
I am convinced it is taunting me now - it has all day while I'm at work to do whatever it is it's trying to do; but instead it waits to strike when I'm at home in the evenings...and twice this week it has woken me an hour before my alarm was set to go off. It is no longer afraid of me and my broom, each day it grows bolder.
By this time next week, I well expect it to bang on my bedroom door at 5AM, growling, "Stop laying about, you good for nothing, woman. Get yer lazy bones out of bed and make me and my mates some breakfast. Chew, chew, chitter, scratch, chew. I mean, now - unless you want me up in the ceiling over your bed."
Soon after, it will be the one with broom and in hand, and I'll be the one scrambling through the ceiling. And just you wait and see what time I wake it up.
- Monday Morning Quiz: Here
- Awesome Homeboy: I was taught that if you can't say something nice, not to say anything at all. So, with my lips sealed, I offer you this link. - [NB]
- Holy Legos, Batman!: No, seriously. - [SB]
- Aww...Kitties: Killer Moth's Tools for Stopping Batman. - [DEC]
- Going Postal: From Worth1000. These are enough to make a philatelist of me. -[gab]
- For My Code Monkey Friends: I always knew you had secret fuzzy hearts . - [MF]
- This May Be: The coolest tattoo ever. I sort of want one myself. - [N]
- You Know a Movie is Going to Be Great When the Word "Hurled" Appears in the Beginning of the Trailer: Trailer for Star Crash, a movie I feel I now must see - even though I've already seen Star Wars and Barbarella, and many of the other movies it appears to be ripping off. (I'm not positive, but I think in one scene they are actually fighting the Cybermen).
- Brandon Hardesty's Reenactment Series: One guy, fantastically reenacting famous movie scenes. His Christopher Walken Pulp Fiction reenactment is spot on, but my favorite bit is his description of what he has used for props, etc. For example, his Dread Pirate Roberts mask in the Battle of the Wits reenactment? "a pair of boxers with holes cut in them." Awesome. - [dy]
- An Uncompromising Vision of Snack Time: C is for Cookie. Cookie is no Hugo Weaving...but he ain't half bad.
- Warm Liquid Goo Face: Another movie mash-up remix: Titanic Two: the Surface.
It's not that I don't swear, believe me. Anyone who's ever seen me stub my toe, watch a political debate or get sniped by an opponent in a LAN game or Laser Tag match can tell you, I can throw about profanity with the best of them. However, I do tend to use it sparingly. Not because I don't appreciate the baser nature of curse words; but rather because I have a great respect for them. Words have only have as much power as we (individually and mutually) assign them; no more and no less. The flagrant, Scarface-esque use of some words may elicit a certain mood of recklessness and disenfranchisement, but they do the actual words a disservice by rendering them redundantly meaningless. Curse words serve a crucial place in our language; they allow us to succinctly express ourselves in times of extreme emotional and/or physical distress, anger, or frustration. If we allow ourselves to become desensitized to these words through rampant over-usage, their communicative and palliative powers will be lost. After all, if you waste the epithet, "God damn it," when the waiter brings your order to the table cold (and cooked to the wrong specifications), what words will you have left to express yourself with when your accountant bleeds you of your assets, sticks them in a Swiss bank account and runs off to the Bahamas? Well, you'd still have "fuck," the Mother of All Swear Words, (or, as Ralphie so eloquently put it, "The F-dash-dash-dash word") I suppose. But let's not forget that "fuck" is the most potent weapon in your bad language arsenal; it's versatile, emotive, and satisfying. It is a word to be savored and never wasted.
This is why I personally try to limit my use of swear words in public (and, now, it seems, mysteriously, in private); this way when I do say them, they retain both their meaning and some merit. If you hear me swear, you know I'm angry. As in Bruce Banner "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry," angry. However, this does not mean that there are smaller moments in life where I'd like the satisfaction that comes with swearing without actually diluting the language itself. And let's be fair. "What the eff?" may get my meaning across, but it certainly isn't as strong or sensuous pleasing as "What the fuck?"
It has occurred to me that one way around this problem is to replace the swear words with alternatives that aren't simply bowdlerized versions of the originals. Words like "darn" and "dag" and "G-d" and even "effing" do not relieve the spirit, rather they embarrass us by calling to mind safely scandalized giggling in school yards. For a time in high school (during my pun-filled fantasy novel period) I took to sayng "doom" every time I wanted to swear, adopting the practice from either a Piers Anthony or Terry Pratchett character who could say nothing but. Admittedly, it was a pleasing enough practice for a while, but it is no longer enough. Because it's not just the meaning of the curse words that are important - it's the feeling of them as well. Most vulgar words are comprised of spiky sounds; hard and sharp consonants that require the quick exhalation of breath coupled with a twisting of the mouth. "Doom" is ominous, but pitfully soft. It's passable for when you think you've failed your Algebra test, but less remarkable when your hard drive fails and the make- or- break presentation you've been working the last six months on vanishes forever just minutes before the big board meeting. So I've come up with a new system: Curse Words Replaced by Relevant Literary and Pop Culture Characters.
Let us take, for example, my favorite of all curse words: "mother fucker." Sure, you may have expected "fuck" to be my number one choice...and for a long time it was; but I find "mother fucker" offers far more gratification. It has the requisite hard sounds, it is rife with anger and an almost universal taboo, and it scans really, really well. (Try it - you can put the syllabic emphasis anywhere and it still sounds wonderfully vile.) Truly, it's a joy to say. It's literary counterpart is so obvious it seems almost a shame to utilize it. However, I will bend to the obvious because in this case the character in question not only encapsulates the literal meaning of the phrase, but it also offers a similarly dramatic rhythm and consonant / vowel combination to that which I enjoy in the original. I speak of none other than : Oedipus Rex. Shout it out next time you hit yourself in the thumb with a hammer. I think you'll find that quick turn around for the "d" and "p" followed by the lingering hiss of the "x" remarkably apropos.
Of course, moving on from "mother fucker", one must consider the other common fuck derivative, "fucker" (as in "You are such a..."). This is slightly more challenging, as it can be used both as a pejorative or as a backhanded compliment. My recommendation would be to refer to personages who are well known for their achievements in copulating, relying on their overall reputations as a barometer of your specific meaning. For example, if you intend to affecftionately convey the fact that someone is troublesomely cheeky but still of great redeeming value, you might call them "a Franklin." If your intent is to be strictly pejorative, you might consider, "You know, she's such a little Hilton."
Related in meaning to "fucker" is "ass" (alternately, "jackass.") Here I feel one could go Shakespearean, relying either on Nick Bottom (who was literally turned into an ass) or Oberon (who just acted like one). Again, if you're using the term with some good feeling to indicate less of a moral idiot and more of a buffoon, you could stay Shakespearean and look to Falstaff, or go with a more cartoony choice, like Mojo Jojo.
"Shit" is a challenge, as there are not (in my admittedly limited knowledge) many characters who are well known for their relationship to feces. I've come up with two possibilities. One is to replace "shit" with a genre of book, film or television that you particular despise (ie: "That movie was a real post-80s sitcom spinoff."). The second is to use the term "Hoggle", as Hoggle was threatened with becoming Prince of the Land of Stench. The latter appeals to me particularly, as when I mutter "shit" I usually do so in threes; and Hoggle's name is often mis-stated, which means I can delightfully replace my "shit, shit SHIT!" with "Hedgewart, Hogwart, HOGGLE!"
For "damn", "damned", & "dammit", I find myself looking towards those souls that deities have forsaken or punished. Odysseus and Persephone primarily spring to mind, but I having turned to antiquities already, I feel that I should branch out to other areas. Besides which, neither Odysseus nor Persephone are particularly poweful words. "Lucifer" or "Lightbringer" might do well, although "Faust" is my current personal favorite. One could also pluck any number of characters from Dante's nine circles of Hell, although if you refer to someone as" Photinus-esque," the sting of your meaning might be lost the inevitable long-winded explanation that would follow.
For occasions when "damn" is used as a enhancing modifier rather than an adjective (usually pronounced, in this case, "day-um") I recommend characters renowned for their surreal skills or beauty. "Marilyn Monroe, that girl is smokin'." or "Dread Pirate Roberts, will you look at that cake.")
"Bitch" is a tricky word, because it is largely subjective. If your insulting someone's looks using the traditional meaning of the word, a simple "Lassie" will suffice. However, if you're looking for something more pointed, there is rather a large range of women and bitchy demeanors to choose from: Eve Harrington, Cousin Bette, Cersei Lannister, Lucrezia Borgia or Mrs. Danvers. And, if you're going for "crazy bitch" you can pretty much rely on Katherine Hepburn's Mrs. Violet Venable, or any character every played by Bette Davis. (Conveniently, all these choices are also applicable to troublesome men; simply add the prefix "Son of a" to the character of your choosing. Well, except perhaps Mrs. Violet Venable. That has some complicated connotations.)
"Bastard", like "fucker," has both positive and negative connotations. if one were using it in its dictionary definition, a child born out of wedlock, they could easily turn to just about any child said to be parented by a deity: Hercules, Jesus, Theseus, Epaphos; as the saucy spirits who sire them rarely married their mothers. However, this meaning has lost much of it's usage today - and being called a half-God isn't really so insulting, after all. Really, "bastard" boils down to two things anymore: an term of endearment of a rougish scoundrel or a castigation of a vile villain. So one might slap their buddy on the shoulder and say, "You're such a Captain Solo!" (or "Rhett Butler," "Artful Dodger," or "Loki."). Else they might whisper a cautioning word in a dear friends ear: "Watch out for that one, he's a real Bill Sikes" (or "Richard, Duke of Gloucester" or "Victor Frankenstein.")
The one word I cannot find a suitable substitute for is "fuck." It is such an elegant word; short, precise, jagged, eloquent and rich in meaning; it defies paraphrasing. Although not my personal favorite, I believe it may be the perfect curse word. Still, I'll take replacement recommendations - for "fuck" and any other swear word.
You may also feel free to suggest I've gone a bit Baby Jane Hudson.
Sing, it, Defective Yeti. You rock.
..and that song is Bike by Pink Floyd1. Why, you might ask? Well, because I've been singing it constantly since the infamous Squirrel Incident of 2006 ("I know a mouse/and he hasn't got a house/I don't know why I call him Gerald./He's getting rather old but he's a good mouse.") In fact, today, I downloaded it and the entire Relics album from iTunes. I hadn't intended to mind you; I initially went on in search of A Fifth of Beethoveen by The Big Apple Gang.2 Unfortunately, iTunes doesn't carry this disco classic3, and inspired by Squirrel Incident #2, I found myself seeking out Bike instead. What followed (what always follows when I shop iTunes) was "Oh, Arnold Layne is on Relics. I need that too. And See Emily Play. And Biding My Time. Oh, and Careful With That Axe, Eugene Well, damn, I might as well get the whole album." And so I did. Instantaneous gratification is a slippery slope; even if it isn't instantaneous disco gratification.
Squirrel Incident #2? you may be asking yourself. And rightly so. I certainly was when I was dining in bed4 on Friday night; eating a falafel sandwich and watching Chef! on DVD. I tried to imagine that the suspicious scratching was ambient noise on the DVD soundtrack, or even taking place outside my window; however this illusion was difficult to maintain when it became a scrambling noise along the ceiling above my bed and back into the wall.
Shall we say I did a fair amount of banging on wall and ceiling and chased the skittering, wall-ensconced creature to the opposite side of the apartment (and hopefully back from whence it came)? Yes, let's. And can we say I called the landlord and left a message despite knowing it was a holiday weekend and I wouldn't get a response for days? Sure. Let's take that as read too.
Am I back to sleeping with the broom next to my bed, and carting it around with me like some bristled woobie? Oh yes. I most certainly am.
I do appreciate that, when it comes urban areas, the walls and ceilings of some homes are considered an irritating yet natural home to squirrels, second only to their regular habitats; playing in our parks and gamboling through our garbage. Nevertheless, I have learned that a squirrel in one's ceiling is surprisingly more upsetting that a squirrel in one's kitchen. For you see, a squirrel in one's kitchen is easily identified as a squirrel. A squirrel in one's wall or ceiling, however, could be just about anything.
I tried to reason, at first, that what I was hearing was a mouse; perhaps the mouse I saw disappear into my heating unit last week. However, considering the aphorism isn't "as loudly, clackingly, scratchingly, thumpily as a mouse," I think Gerald is out of the running. A squirrel seems likely, considering recent history5, but it could just as easily be a rat, or a cat, or even a marmoset. And as much as I like cats and marmosets, they really aren't things I like to imagine crashing through my drop-ceiling in a flurry of fur and pressed fibres I'm sure I'm not meant to be inhaling. I'd rather imagine in this case that it is a squirrel, really, if it must be anything. Squirrels are, at least, nimble and light on their feet; not very likely to fall through the ceiling at all.
Of course, if it panicked enough it might could scratch or chew its way through. Which is exactly what I'm afraid will happen. In fact, I'm convinced of it. Not only that, I'm very sure it will happen while I'm in the bath or in bed and the squirrel will chew through the panel, see me, and in a fit of pique and panic, leap on my head and attack me like one of those face-huggers from Aliens. Not because squirrels normally do those sorts of things...it's just that it seems to me that that would be one of the more humiliating options, and the universe sure does like to have its fun from time to time.
I will say that, since the initial scratching and scrambles across the ceiling, I've heard little to nothing from this visitor. I'd like to think I scared it away, but I have to give my upstairs neighbors credit too. These fine heros held one of their fairly regular parties last evening...the type that begin at 1AM, lasts several hours, and involve dancing, bongo drum playing (yes, really) and what are no doubt rhinoceroses running up and down the communal staircases. I don't know how I can every repay them, as certainly the din they created frightened the squirrel away. I mean, it certainly kept the Sandman at bay until the cruel light of dawn.
Ah, but I'm actually not posting to tell you about my continuing adventures with the Animal Kingdom6. Instead, I am posting to let you know I won't be posting. That is, I'll be spending the next few days celebrating the nuptials of friends (congratulations, Amy and Tony!), an event which is pre-empting the regular Monday Morning Madness. I don't like to be cruel, Internet, but you should know that there are three things in this world that will keep me from blogging: friends, family, and fun. And frankly this event more or less embodies all three of those ideals, so I'm afraid you'll just have to wait.
You can rest easy, however, knowing I shan't forsake you for squirrels. Or even marmosets. Surely that counts for something.
1 Bike is my favorite Pink Floyd song ever, seconded by Wish You Were Here.
2 I heard the hook in some DJ's mash-up in my playlist, and realized it was wrong not to have it in it's entirety.
3 Which is awesome. Shut up.
4 Bed, it's not just for breakfast anymore. Especially when you're trying to rest and shake a persistent cold.
5 Although this presents the question, is it the same squirrel? Perhaps back for some sort of squirrely revenge? One would think my ridiculous (and loud) over-reaction would be enough to keep all creatures great and small from returning to my abode. My latest worry is that I've become the legendary Crazy Lady on the Corner to these squirrels; that the first squirrel came back to his friends, shivering, wild-eyed and half-starved after being missing for a few days, muttering something about a banshee with a broom for an arm. And then one of his tough-guy squirrel friends begins grandstanding and saying "Broom for an arm? That's even less frightening than those new, chatty Daleks. You're just a scaredy squirrel. You know those humans...it was probably more scared of you than you were of it." And then the other squirrels saying, "Oi, lay off Cyril," (yes, the tough-guy squirrel is called Cyril. Want to make something of it? I have a broom for an arm you know.) "Lay, off, Cyril. You wouldn't last one day with that human and you know it." "Oh yeah," says Cyril, "watch me." And next thing I know Cyril's in my ceiling getting the wall-tapping of a lifetime..and I've become the proving ground destination of young squirrels everywhere. Soon it'll be a squirrely right of passage to come taunt me while I'm trying to sleep. Just you wait and see.
6> That's just a happy side benefit of it being my blog; it means I can ramble on about whatever I like.
- Because Why Not, Really?: Eggs in Hats - [CT]
- For Those Moments Hallmark Can't Quite Precisely Cover: Sappy Cards. - [F]
- This Shirt: Is fantastic. - [JWB]
- I Love Cartoons: Your favorite cartoon characters, re-imagined in fun (and sometimes disturbing) ways. - [SH].
- How Are Your Reflexes? Can you escape the dungeon? I couldn't, but that's no surprise. I was crap at Dragon's Lair too. - [SH]
- Here's A Writing Assignment for You: Write your own obituary. - [F]
I'm so pleased that so many of you were amused by my Epic Battle with Philadelphia's Rodent Population. It's good to know my embarrassment and inability to deal with life's little foilbles with anything resembling reasonable behavior has not gone unrewarded.
I'm sure you'll all be further pleased to know that I've finally managed to stop sleeping with the broom next to my bed, and I no longer feel the need to carry it with me from room to room like some sort of rodent-repelling totem.
Of course, now that I've put this information out there, I expect every squirrel in the neighborhood to descend on the apartment tomorrow night in some sort of Squirel Solidarity Revenge scheme, as they know I'm now operating unarmed.
Right, on with the linky bits.
- Monday Morning Quiz: Here
- Excuse me, I Think I have the Vapors: Someone has gone done and remixed Die Hard as though it were a silent film - down to converting it to black and white and adding scratches to the film. Apparently they've done it for the entire film. I haven't had the two hours available to sit and watch it in its entirety yet, but you'll be happy to know that Alan RIckman is equally fantastic silent. Myah! - [BC]
- Not Content to Kill Punk Rock...: Avril Lavigne covers Metallica. As what I can only assume is punishment for their part in the DMCA fiasco, members of Metallica are forced to look on. Oh, how it hurts me. -[sb]
- Stuck in the Middle With You: Resevoir Dogs in 30 seconds (and Re-enacted by Bunnies). More work safe than the actual movie, but not by much. I love Resevoir Dogs, but it has forever altered how I listen to that Steelers Wheels' song. - [M&C]
- Advice: An Art-History Professor Explains to His 4-Year-Old Daughter Why the Fair Market Value of Her Picture is Actually Far Less Than That of A Thousand Words -[BC]
Me: "Hi, Mom. I have a query for you."
Sarcasmom: "What's up?"
Me: "Which would you say is the least embarrassing option: to be trapped in one's bedroom by a squirrel, or to be chased out of one's apartment entirely by a squirrel?"
Sarcasmom: "Well, that is a question. Although one might ask why there was a squirrel in your apartment at all."
Me: "Beats me. I certainly didn't give it the key. But it's in there. And I'm outside.
When I first arrived in my apartment this evening, I couldn't help but notice some large creature with a tail skittering behind my coffee maker. (I have what is essentially a studio apartment with a cordoned off area with a door that has high ideas about itself being a proper bedroom - ergo my living/dining and kitchen area are all one room). My first thought was, "hey...I don't have a cat." My second was "holy crap, there's a HUGE RAT" in my kitchen." Then my brain processed the tail and I thought, "Holy crap, there's a HUGE SQUIRREL in my kitchen." Stunned, I took a moment and switched on my living room lamp - first one light, and then two.
I looked at the squirrel.
The squirrel looked at me.
Then I began screaming like a little girl, because that seemed the logical thing to do when one finds an unexpected squirrel in one's apartment.
And the squirrel freaked out and began darting about the apartment and knocking things over, because that seemed the logical thing to do when you're a squirrel trapped in an apartment and some random woman starts screaming suddenly even though you've both been in the room together for a good five minutes without anyone getting hurt.
At this point, I shut the door to the bedroom to stop the squirrel from ending up under my bed, walked out the door, and tried to call the local animal control. Alas, 411 had no listing for them. So I called my landlord, who went about calling some exterminators and said they would call me back.
And then I called my Mom.
After convincing my folks I wasn't quite ready to give up the apartment for the night and crash at their place (I'm stubborn, and don't like being chased out of my own space by anyone), I tried convincing myself that the squirrel was probably more scared of me than I was of it, my being the one who was larger, louder, and possessed of opposable thumbs. So I concocted a Brilliant Plan: I would block open the vestibule doors to my building, then prop open my apartment door - and then the squirrel, sensing freedom, would run away free into the night, leaving me free to rest, relax, and disinfect everything I own.
Only when I opened the door, there was no squirrel. Oh, the squirrel had been there alright. Everything he knocked over was still askew, there was an errant piece of bread on the floor, my dishes (my clean dishes) had all been shifted, my dish soap was pooling around the overturned soap bottle (which had squirrel hair stuck to the spout) and there was, well, evidence that I had, indeed frightened the squirrel on my counters and a ceramic tray which had been given to me as a gift.
I spent several minutes walking around the apartment like Joanna Barnes in the Parent Trap after Haley Mills and Haley Mills told her banging two sticks together would scare the bears away. I banged and knocked and stamped on every surface until I felt comfortable with the idea that the squirrel must have exited whatever way it came in. Then I began to clean.
Still, I left the doors open, just in case. Which mostly just succeeded in letting the flies in.
There I was, cleaning up the mess the squirrel left, composing this post in my head, when I heard a scuffle behind me. The squirrel, still in the apartment and sensing my back was turned and my guard was down, was either trying to make his escape OR defeat me in human/rodent battle. I'll never know which, because rather than step aside and give him free passage to the door, I screamed some more. Which sent him careening back to hide in my kitchen.
Once my blood stopped pounding in my ears, I realized what I had to do. First, I took hold of my broom. (I don't know why this important, but if I learned anything from cartoons its that rodent fighting requires a broom.) Second, I steeled myself long enough to creep past the squirrel's domain in order to close the closet and bathroom doors, blocking off any alternate routes of escape.
Then, I went back to the living room, perched myself on my chair, and sat very, very still. I was silent, stealthily; a ninja. It wasn't my plan to hurt the creature - just to fool it into thinking I was gone so it would feel comfortable enough to leave by the front door. (I had tried simply inviting to use the door verbally, but that was a no go). As I was sitting, my silent, still sentry, my broom clutched across my lap like a quarterstaff, a neighbor happened by. "Hey," I said. "Hi," he said, and moving quickly on. Because no one wants to mess with a crazy lady with a broom.
No one excepting a squirrel.
It was close to forty-five minutes that I sat and waited. Tense. Crouched. Listening. Before too long I was bored, my muscles were stiff, I was hungry, cranky, and coming to the embarrassing conclusion that I was losing the battle of wills to a rodent. Just as I was about to give up and call my folks to take them up on their offer crash space, I heard movement. Tentative at first, then more assured. Soon a squirrely nose peaked out from behind the counter that separates my kitchen from my living room. Unfortunately, instead of going to the front door upon discovering the bathroom and closet doors closed, it went back into the kitchen and right back up behind my coffee pot. I could see myself back at square one and I couldn't stand it. I broke the silence and snapped the broom handle against the counter top like a school marm with a yardstick, chiding the squirrel with a forceful "NO!" Which sent it straight under the fridge. Incensed (not to mention unwilling and unable to sit still another minute more), I climbed up onto the countertop, reached across the kitchen with the broom began banging on the refrigerator sides and door.
When that failed, I used the broom handle to rock the fridge. Violently. Than got the squirrel out and running. RIGHT TOWARDS MY BEDROOM.
Thank goodness I closed that door.
Maybe it was my wild eyes, or my mad woman "Nooooooooooooooooooo!" that finally sent the squirrel bolting out the front door of my apartment and into the night. Doors slammed shut, I was woman triumphant...able to scare the bejesus out of a small helpless creature 1/20th my size and with a heart so tiny it's probably still beating a zillion beats a minutes as a result of my screaming. I felt rather like a bad woman. A bad woman with good broom-fu.
I finished cleaning with jangled nerves, but a relieved heart. I hated the idea of being chased out of my apartment by a rodent - even a big one. I got some dinner. I watched some bad tv. I did some writing. It was several hours after the event that I began this post, and I still hadn't fully relaxed. I was, however, feeling fairly confident. The squirrel was gone, and the landlord had promied their "squirrel people" will be out tomorrow to determine how it got in and seal the offending entryway up.
While I was writing this post, I thought I heard a noise in the kitchen. A small noise, to be sure. But a noise. It could have been outside in the hall. Or maybe a box settling in the trash. Or...a scratching? "It's your imagination," I told myself. "every time the building moans or sighs tonight you're going to think it's the squirrel. You need to relax. Maybe take a shower." That seemed logical , so I wandered towards the bathroom.
And saw a mouse. It darted across the hall floor and into a raditor unit...and when I banged my broom against the raditor unit (to convince myself I'd imagined it), it darted back out again.
So now I ask you, which is more embarrassing, to be chased out of one's apartment by a large squirrel, or trapped in one's bedroom by a tiny mouse?
Broom, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Here are the Friday links despite the late hour, as I don't imagine I'll be sleeping much anyway:
- It Sounds So Easy: Don't Shoot the Puppy - [GTA]
- Useful Advice: How to date the dead.
- And There You Were, Paying for It Like a Sucker: Lasik at Home. - [OG!]
- The Hoff Arcade: Yes. That Hoff. - [CT]
- I Want to Take This Class: The Science of Superheroes. - [BC]
Whereas it is true that:
- I am incapable of listening to Led Zeppelin's Ramble On without feeling the need to play air drums and
- this is often followed by the subsequent compulsion to play air guitar just after the part where the drums come in and
- despite the fact my air instrument skills hardly does John Bonham and Jimmy Page any justice and
- this happens regardless of where I am when the song comes on
I think it may be time for me to cycle it off my MP3 player. You know, for decorums sake.
Updated to add:
I almost forgot
- That ending bit where Robert Plant sings "Baby, baby, baby, baby..." makes me think of Jet Screamer.
- I am now in desperate need of Eep! Op! Ork! Ah-Ah! on MP3
That is all.
First, a few announcements
- My Flickr photos are licenced under Creative Commons, not that I thought my eye was so fabulous that someone else would want to use my work for something, but hey, you never know. As it happens, someone did - Schmaps, maker of interactive maps, has used two pictures from my Vegas vacation in their Las Vegas guide - and has shortlisted a handful of photos I've taken locally for their Philadelphia guide coming out later this year. I don't get paid for it - and since their targeting Flickr for photo sources, I can't help but wonder if this isn't some sort of genius marketing campaign since people (like me) are likely to post about being included in the guides on their blogs or other public forums (like me) - but still, I'm pretty pleased. I hope I make the Philly guide as well.
- The Philly Film Festival is in full swing. Per usual, I'm littering the Internet with my opinions on this year's movies...only this year I'm doing it on Phillyist rather than here. I plan to average a film a day, but we'll see if my stamina holds.
- That Bioware module contest I mentioned a while back has ended. The Isle tied at 18th place (if I did the math correctly), in the community vote, which disappointingly won't put us in the finals. We've still got a chance with the panel of judges, I suppose - but I'm pretty pleased that we finished in the top 20 - even if it means we won't get a hat. Final winners will be announced on Wednesday.
- I despise the "Spring Forward" portion of Daylight Savings. I realize we only lose an hour...but that's a whole hour I could have spent sleeping. Conversely, I am rather found of the "Fall Back" get-to-sleep-an-extra-hour portion of the whole daylight debacle.
Enough about me...here's the link dump:
- Monday Morning Quiz: Here
- Much Like Haplands 1 & 2, It Hurts My Brain: Hapland 3. - [SH]
- If There's Anything Geekier Than the Picard Song: It must be the Picard Song as performed by Sims
- Beautiful, Bewildering: The Book of Numbers. - [SH]
- A Humbling Reminder to Remember What You Say: Never say never, because History has a way of biting nay-sayers in the ass. -[LMG]