Monthly Archives: September 2008

Attack of the Ants

Attack of the Ants

Our house is under attack. By ants. People say it’s that time of the year again… I’m not sure whether they’re actually just trying to mask their disgust with our squalor or if they are trying to console us or what. Either way, the ants are relentless. Twice in August, I came home from work to find swarms covering my stove top. Seriously folks, I know John and I are a bit on the cluttery side, but I swear I wipe down the stove top. And I don’t leave shit out. Duh. Then the ants started appearing in armies in the bathroom. I couldn’t take it anymore. Already, I was vacuuming at least once a day (I’m that obsessed with my Dyson). Perhaps I needed to do another wipe down with chemicals? We sprayed Raid all around the outside of the house. Nothing worked. I put down baking soda, borax, pepper. Finally, I sprayed inside the house (hate exposing us and the dogs to that junk); we got some relief but invariably, the ants returned. Finally, I decided this was something for the pros. So I called in a 4-person cleaning crew. Maybe there’s just something we were missing, like between the fridge or around the baseboards. Let me tell you. I was a bit stressed when the cleaning lady first arrived to survey the house and give me a quote. In fact, I cleaned up a bit before she came. Within two minutes, she had me disgusted with myself. She ran her fingers on shelves, window sills, the blinds. Yeah this was going to be a $300 deep cleaning job. Holy cow! But whatever, let’s see what a deep cleaning is all about right?

OMG, the next morning, a crew of four arrived. I headed off to work, but John says they busted butt for like 2 1/2 hours straight. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the smarts to actually watch them work: I wanted to learn all the trade secrets, you know? Like what products, what tools, etc. Anyway, I arrived home later that day and the place was amazingly clean. Holy shit, I didn’t even know this was what clean meant. I ran my fingers over everything in search of dust. Zippo. They cleaned the blinds, the fridge, the oven… but the bathrooms and floors were the best. My feet could even feel a difference. I know, are you grossed out? We’re pigs. What can I say? So now I’m trying to figure out what I can cut (cable tv perhaps) so I can set aside monthly cleanings at $150 a shot. Sigh. It sure was nice to come home to a clean house.

Of course, just as I was all elated and shit living among the clean people, the next day, I returned home to find the goddamn ants all over the stove top again!!! WTF???! People say you have to follow their track. I have tried. This time, I decided to open the bottom oven broiler drawer. To my surprise, I could see a ton of gunk underneath. Why didn’t the cleaning folks get it? It doesn’t appear accessible. After about five minutes of fidgeting around this area, I realized the drawer slides all the way out. Omfg. The horror under the stove. There was frosting droplets, broken glass, dust like you wouldn’t believe, grease, grime. Utterly filthy. But I was determined to get in there. Busted out the vacuum attachments, the wet rags. I was on my hands and knees sweating up a storm and getting all hot and bothered. By the time John got home, I was pissed. These fucking ants!

We’ve gone out and gotten new ant traps. I still see the fuckers around, but I think the situation is getting better. Uh, I really don’t want to get a terminator out here. For some reason, I just feel like that professional strength stuff will give us and the dogs brain damage. I know.

In other homemaking news, I decided the dogs needed a bath. Usually, that’s the only time the guest shower ever gets used. But the stupid shower head has like zero pressure and it’s this odd metal thing that veers to one side (not centered) and can only go straight up or down (a few inches) without any side to side motion. Hard to describe but basically, it’s a piece of shit that makes the shower practically unusable. For some reason, I felt especially motivated that day to optimize the situation. I researched those handheld showerheads online, got the exact model at Target, came home, installed, and voila. Just $20 later and I had a usable guest shower plus dog washer. Who knew problem solving could be so easy! Why had I waited for so long? Too many other projects going on, I tell you. The brain is constantly churning with things to do, how to make me and my things better. I think my insomnia is coming back…

To the Day

To the Day

Aw yeah baby, I’m officially off probation. Woo hoo! Yup, I finally made it to the 1-year mark with the treehuggers; I look forward to many more months of fun. Yes, I say months and not years or decades, because come on, I’m not that much of an optimist. Gotta keep that shit in check, otherwise I’ll get burned.

Speaking of getting burned, some crazy crap went down recently with my former employer. I got an email last week from a buddy who left in August. Most of the staffers got laid off, and then the remaining employees were instructed to go on a 2-week vacation (figures the company would insist on calling it “vacation” even though it’s totally unpaid) and reconvene later this month (to re-evaluate). The story is that a lead investor pulled out… I guess it’s yet another example of these uncertain times. Save up for the rainy day folks, because just like that, the deluge begins. I haven’t spoken much to my friends who are still there, but some have changed their Linked In status to “looking for a job.” Still, others don’t seem all that stressed. Guess I’ll get the full scoop when a few of them come over for dinner next week.

As for me, the rest of this week is busy. Tomorrow I’m heading to Milpitas for a Photoshop class. I already use Photoshop regularly, but I’m retaking an intro class as a refresher. I’m sure I’m hacking my way through PS now, so I welcome the opportunity to become more legit. On Friday night, John, Bri, and I are going to see Sondheim’s Into the Woods (Thanks Goldstar!). I’ve only seen this production one other time: freshman year at Duke, starring my crush of the moment. The play was what cinched the deal for him: I was just so enthralled with his talent– the singing, the acting, the dancing. I know, I’m such a wannabe everything– athlete, performer, activist, polyglot… Anyway, the play should be fun.

Then Saturday, I’ll be up again at the crack of dawn, working another event. John and Bri plan to participate, but I don’t know if they’re up for a 8-12 mile hike. After all, they haven’t been on my Olympian training schedule, you know? What else? Work, obviously, is going well. My department hired a new 30-something earlier this month, and she seems really cool. I’m going to invite her out for lunch next week, so I can get the full scoop. Hehe, always doing “research.”

Oddly enough, I have noticed the return of my insomnia in recent weeks. Not sure why– the huge work event last Saturday perhaps? I dunno, I’d hope work doesn’t stress me out that much. I’ve also noticed more brain activity later into the night (thinking about work, Chinese class, home improvement, garden improvement, travel plans, etc.) but still. Something has been waking me every day at about 4:30. I end up returning to bed but then I wake up unrested at 7. I don’t know. Whatever the issue, I need to figure it out, because it’s screwing up my efficiency. 🙂

The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner

Oh man, it’s finally over. Though I’d only have to endure the horrors of wedding planning once in my life. I was wrong. Turns out, the public affairs department (of which I am a part) at work puts on a yearly volunteer recognition event and last Saturday was the biggest turnout ever with over 200 people. And I was in charge of the caterers. I also dabbled (reluctantly) in decorations, booz, entertainment… I know, totally NOT up my alley. But, I’m happy to report that the event went beautifully. And now we get to repeat the entire arduous process next year. Yay.

In other news, Bubbey is still sifting through our Oregon pictures. Sorry for the delay. Hopefully, they’ll post soon. Meanwhile, my Olympian training schedule continues. As the weather has gotten colder, we’ve slacked a couple days here and there, but for the most part, I’ve got the system down: walking (morning or night), lunch skate, evening swim. Come to me DB…

A bunch of people from high school have been contacting me through Facebook. Damn, I just cannot get over how adult everyone looks. And what’s with the kids?! Holy smokes, they’re sprouting like weeds. Seriously. It’s as if the human race were going extinct, and everyone made a mad dash to procreate. Whatev. I’ll never understand it. Thankfully, John doesn’t either. We prefer to remain in full control of our lives and our lives only. Honestly, who can bother about a whole other entity?

Btw, are you following the politics? Wtf people, Sarah Palin?? Are you fucking kidding me? She’s gaining momentum AND the support of women, “they” say. Who are these women????? John and I watched Michael Moore’s Sicko last week. How utterly depressing. This country is fucked up. Sure, maybe it’s naive to expect that Obama will turn this screwed up joint around. But really, there are two choices: Option A and Option B. You have to choose one, and puhlease, this is not a trick question. My reasons?

1. I’m pro-choice. Sure, given my barren womb philosophy, you’d be accurate in calling me pro-abortion in all instances (for myself, that is) but look, the bottom line is: a woman’s body, a woman’s choice. Beyond that, fuck off.
2. I’m a minority woman and newsflash: racism AND sexism still exist. The government should acknowledge this.
3. Global warming is real, and humankind (myself included) plays an integral role in trashing the planet and exacerbating the situation.
4. I want government to provide programs for people who need help.

Of course, who opposes fiscal responsibility? Sure, sometimes money gets squandered and programs don’t work. That doesn’t mean the programs don’t deserve tweaking or re-working. All of you who believe the Republicans are fiscally responsible? Wake up and smell the bacon. How much money is pissing away on this unjust war? And seriously, spare me the self-righteous bullshit. If life were so goddamn precious that you couldn’t possibly terminate a fetus the size of a grain of rice, how then could you possibly justify the death of innocent civilians or the torture (not to mention suspended rights) of alleged “enemy combatants”? They say it’s for our protection, but I don’t feel any safer. In fact, US citizens traveling abroad are even more at risk of attacks than ever before. Ugh. Taxes, schmaxes. Look, either way you’re forking over the dough- be it for an unjust war or for the resulting emotional/physical ailments attributed to a deteriorating environment. Think happy thoughts though.