Few things are worse then waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a cat vomiting…truly. The only thing that makes it slightly better is a handmade sign left next to the vomit: “Warning! Cat Puke!” This is complete with a drawing of a cat throwing up. Josh left this for me per my request since at 6am I was simply too exhausted to wake up and clean the vomit off my bedroom rug. Thanks Josh.
Tue 31 Mar 2009
Sun 29 Mar 2009
Rats gone. After the two were zapped sequentially, the others seemed to have vacated. We even set up traps under the house (not the electric zapper but mean, outdoor, traps with jaws), poison bate stations, and secured the perimeter with dirt and pea gravel. Nothing. Not a trace. The rats have fled.
We played in mud last weekend. It reminded me of being a kid and playing in the large mud puddle near the side of our house in my brand new sundress (I had rationalized that the washing machine would clean the dress–a fact my mom dashed when she explained that the white would never be the same again). Lack of proper drainage, grass gone from the scars of the new sewer system, and a typical wet spring has left certain parts of our yard a soupy mess. Ponds have formed in all sorts of places. We dug small ditches, filled them with gravel, pulled up grass, and rerouted drain spouts. We slipped and slid in the fresh mud. I got dirtier then Josh.
Today we replaced one of our back gutters. It was broken and moss filled, providing ill drainage on the back of our mud room. The roof on the addition is not very high, but I’m still not keen on climbing to the top of the ladder. I did my part by supporting the gutter from the ground with a push broom in the air. It took a lot of team work.
I think I’m going to sleep well tonight.
Sun 22 Mar 2009
Fri 13 Mar 2009
Update: After switching on the trap, re-aiming the camera, and sprinkling the new site with cheese, Josh settled in with his laptop and a beer. Within ten minutes, the rats started showing up live on the screen. And within fifteen minutes Josh witnessed his first trap induced rat death. The witness (Josh) reported the rat climbing all over the box, sniffing around for extra cheese, cautious and concerned but throwing it all to hell and crawling inside…a flash of light and the dark cavern of the trap went still. Because he saw it live, because he had been caught up in the technology and the science of it all, Josh failed to recognize the emotional component. He immediately plunged into a state of deep guilt. This is a man who has always been against the death penalty, and I thought of that as he struggled with the moral implications of sentencing a rat to die. Luckily, the disposal was brief–only a glimpse of the skinny tail dangling out of the box–and the rat was quickly double bagged. Today is garbage day so the rat corpse will only linger in the can for a short period of time. It will be the first of many, I’m sure. I know our skins will thicken, our hearts will harden, but the thrill of rat cam has lessened.
Thu 12 Mar 2009
I found Josh sitting on the floor, computer on his lap, the horizontal door leading to the unfinished attic lying wide open. My cat was pacing back and forth, not allowed to enter the attic for reasons we couldn’t really identify. The attic was strewn with pulled out insulation, rat turds lining the floor. Josh was trying some camera software and it was failing. A few days later he found a way to set it all up: the twinkling light of our old touch lamp illuminated the attic with a soft light, cheese littered the attic floor, and the the rat cam sat poised and ready to record. You could check the rat cam at any time during the day via internet. Then Josh figured out how to make the camera take a picture whenever it sensed movement. It’s an old house, and the camera went off fairly frequently with the ebbs and floes of the creaky attic. Almost a week went by and the camera remained empty of action.
Until a few days ago:
And most incriminate:
Bam. Multiple pictures of rats scampering around, running up the sides of the wall, eating food, and probably defecating. My Mom saw these pictures and commented on the really nice restaurant atmosphere of the attic: chandelier lighting, food, the only thing missing was some soft music. Now it ends…now we know there are indeed rats (not squirrels or any other live animal) and their cute little lives must tragically end. That’s right…now that we’ve gained their trust, it’s time to switch on the Rat Zapper.
Arrivederci, mio piccolo ratto amico…
Sat 7 Mar 2009
Spent the afternoon with Kris, taking pictures all Top Model style in pseudo-costume on his patio. The idea was that it would be sunny out, Kris’ spectacular view would lend itself to a hip fun press shoot, and I would be fresh with ideas. Instead it started snowing a little bit when I was driving over to Queen Anne. I sat, shivering my guts out, on Kris’ patio wearing my homemade party hat–illustrating my fourth year. Wheee! All in all, it went really well. I’m indebted to Kris. To celebrate our own home shoot, we watched two hours of Top Model and ate cheese with beef jerky.
Fri 6 Mar 2009
With great joy, I found myself with 9 other solo performers putting on a collective showcase for the local solo fest. I have yet to perform at the pretty little theater located just off Jackson and found everyone friendly and efficient. You can judge a theater greatly by its green room: and this one was festive, cluttered, and powered by a little electric heater. It didn’t take long for the 10 of us to rally around each other, one by one standing on stage by ourselves, begging the audience for their undivided attention. From magic tricks to psuedo-flight, I was floored by the diverse range of solo interpretation. Gone are the days of a talking head and a single chair, folks are adding a lot more to their solo stage work these days. It’s been almost ten years since I performed my own solo show, and in the next two months I’m amping up for my revival, my ‘gettin’ the band back together,’ my coming out of retirement tour. Once again, I’ll stand in front of an audience and implore them to watch.
It’s gonna be awesome.
Backstage during the two night run of “Shorties!” A whole bunch of short solo work by a whole bunch of great performers.
Sun 1 Mar 2009
While trimming the beautiful, flowering, bush in our front yard–the one that eloquently covers part of our bedroom window–Josh found a cane. It’s a standard, wood, old man-type of cane. He claims it was just hanging on a branch inside the bush. Where did this cane come from? Did some man hide it in our bush only to forget about it later? Perhaps it fell out of the second story window and landed inside the bush. I’ve found small children’s toys, girl’s barrettes, and broken dishes in the gutter and inside the soil below the second story window. A cane is an entirely new find.
The cane is now hanging on our metal stair banister leading up to our front porch. It serves as our talisman, protecting us from the uncertainty we feel in this neighborhood. Random bursts of mysterious gunfire, unfounded, usually with no targets but a random house, have plagued the south end for the past few months. When I am in my darkest moments, usually in the middle of the night, when I am unable to sleep, I calculate the foolish position of our bed. It sits right in front of the house, right near the front window, an easy path. My body is the closest to the wall, therefore, closest to the street. I have unwittingly offered myself up as a human shield for my husband, although not my cat–she rests beside me. Ah, so the cat would be the buffer if a mysterious round of bullets were to hail down upon the house. Or, wait, no…the flowering bush in front of our bedroom window would deflect gunfire first. But is that even possible? And then my mind scolds myself for being so morbid. I make half-hearted calculations in my head about the likelihood that our house would ever be involved in a drive-by. I say half-hearted because my math is poor and instead of some sort of million to one ratio, my mind usually conjures some sort of mental pie chart showing a tiny sliver of chance in the corner of the pie.
“How did I GET here?” I sometimes wonder late at night. “How did I end up in a place where calculating my risk of gunfire is even plausible?” Sure, we made this choice back when the neighborhood was transitioning instead of slowly sliding backward. My secret enjoyment of drama allows me to entertain such deliciously terrible fantasies of danger and gunfire. But my sense of adventure is not appeased…I want quiet and peace. And that’s when my mind shifts into sleep and the wooden cane hanging from my banister dangles throughout the quiet, undisturbed night.