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The Bang Bang Theories

Loss

Our cat Nosey Dots died on Tuesday.

To say we are shocked and sad is not strong enough.

I’ve had to just sit with my sadness since then, saying nothing online and waiting to write a thing. Because he’s worth a thing being written about him.

But I wasn’t ready. I’m probably still not ready.  I cried in bed last night again.

Just the week before, he lumbered up onto the table to help himself to a drink of my water.

The interesting thing about cats is that they have super powers at hiding their illnesses until suddenly it shows up as dire straits.

Nosey was one of the triplets we rescued from the Coal River in West Virginia in 2014, back when we took pool floats to rafting a gol’damn WILD RIVER, and sheewee was that a bad decision.

However, we found three teensy tiny kittens on the riverbank and brought them home, with the intent to save them and find them super loving families.

We did both of those things.  The super loving families we were going to find for them just became one family, though, and it was ours. And that’s how our cat count quickly escalated to eight three.

They were the cutest kittens ever, these triplets.  And I cannot believe I can’t find a picture of the three of them together, back when they were so cute our friends would just drop over just to see and play with the kittens. That’s how cute they were.

No one wants to just stop and see the cats now. Because they are old and big and lazy. Like their mama.

Once they grew up they didn’t always get along with each other, but Nosey favored Gussy and would often pin him down and let him know who was in charge.

Gussy was more in charge, but he was a third of the weight and no contender when Nosey decided to love him.

Our boy was only 5 years old.

Because he was a 26 lb. hulk of a cat, I never expected a super long life from him. But I thought his trajectory would be a 12-year path. In my mind he had 12 good years.

Apparently he had large masses on his insides, and they were squashing his lungs out.

Maybe that’s why he almost always preferred to sleep with his belly up.

We had to give him a bath on Sunday, he had poops all over his cat butt. He struggled against the bath – even though it was more of just hosing down his back end.  We feel guilt, as we may have escalated the situation. He wasn’t the same after his bath.  He was sick on Monday, throwing up. On Tuesday Kenny said he’d keep a close eye on him – we thought maybe he had a cat flu kinda situation. Kenny bundled him up and put him on the couch in front of the fire where he was purring for hours while I was working.

Right before I got home from work he was having a hard time breathing.  We raced him to the vet, and at one point I thought he had died in my arms before we made it.

I did my typical push-myself-to-the-front-of-the-line move when I have a very sick cat, and they whisked him to the back and put him on oxygen. He was turning blue.

The vet asked us, “How long has he been like this?” and I interpreted it as accusatory because maybe I should have known.  Maybe I should have seen some signs.

I don’t think the vet was accusatory. He’s been my vet for 25+ years. I just took it that way because how could I not know how sick he was?  The bath, we asked him if we brought it on with the bath.  He said no, it was just a bunch of huge masses on his insides and his lungs had water in them, but no from a bath.

So I guess he was just really sick and we didn’t know. Why didn’t we know?

He was never much of a cuddler, but we miss his presence in the house.

His brother Wally has started walking around mournfully meowing for the past two days. He’s never done that before.

We are all sad and have guilt – for not knowing, for washing his butt when he didn’t want it, for not knowing. Guilt is dumb. It doesn’t have to make sense. It just is.

When we returned after having him put to sleep, My Mister checked the mail and there was a postcard addressed to Nosey – his “given” name is Jesse, after the character on Breaking Bad (Walter White Ears, Gussy and Jesse are the names we gave the triplets) – from the animal hospital where he was right then.

He’d never gotten a postcard addressed to him before from the vet.  It could have come addressed to any of his brothers, or any of the other three cats we have, because they all needed this same update. 

My Mister felt it was a sign.  To say, “It’s okay, I’m here, you did your best.”

I thought maybe it was a sign that meant, “What the fuck just happened, Mommy.”

Most likely it was just one of life’s super-random, not-so-funny coincidences.

We will certainly miss our 26-lb-life kitty. Our home isn’t the same feeling without him.

 

En-Countered

The other night I came walking down the hallway at Chez Bang Bang, flipped on the light into the kitchen and nearly jumped on up outta my skin at the sight of an unidentifiable black scary thing on my counter.

Now, it was not one of my seven three cats. First, only two of my three cats are black, and since they look alike, I group them together and count them as one item.

I do that same counting method to assess* if I qualify for the 10-items-or-less line at the grocery, too. Forty-eight cans of cat food?? ONE ITEM, PEOPLE.

*I just realized that if you leave one “s” off the end of “assess” you get asses, which is basically fitting in how I’m an asses in the 10-items line. 

It’s Al Gore’s New Math.  I’m not even sure if Al Gore is responsible for that common core situation, but since he single-handedly invented the internet, I feel safe in blaming him.  So if you’re upset with being behind me in the store, Reader, well, take it up with Al. I don’t make the rules. Well, maybe I actually do. But that is neither here nor there, nor relevant to this story. Back to the black scary thing on my counter.

I approached with utmost caution. If my time in Florida taught me anything, it’s that I’ve learned that all sorts of the things from nightmares can be just living in your house with you.

I grabbed a utensil from the counter to poke it as I approached.

And poked it’s fleshy body.

Where I discovered that the Creature of Fright was actually a black olive slice that must have fallen off of the pizza we had cooked earlier that evening.

Now, in my defense of the scary black olive, it was a little on the smooshed side and didn’t have a true olive appearance at this point in the game.

But yes. That is when I realized that maybe I’ve gotten a little jumpy from my time living in Florida, also known as one of nature’s horror stories. I say one of, because Australia. And probably Africa. And certainly the Amazon jungle. Mostly everything south and hot. And east and west and hot.

2020

Whelp, here I sit back at the ol’ Ohio homestead, Reader. Right back at it, amidst the chaos and the cats and let’s not even talk about my bags, suitcases and miscellaneous remnants of a life once lived in Florida. All that? Is STILL strewn about the house.

I know, I know! Stop yelling at me!! I’ve been home a couple of weeks already, landing back up here Christmas Eve night.  I’m going to even go so far as to say that my car may or may not still have several boxes and a wagon that hasn’t been unpacked yet.

I’ve never been this delinquent with unpacking.

I’m still walking around my fully-packed suitcases just lying on the bedroom floor, becoming home to many cat naps.

It’s been just too much to address.

It’s not a simple unpack.  I’ve got to clean out my closets and toss or donate a bunch bunch bunch of stuff, because a/ I just don’t need it and 2/ I just don’t have room for it all. I have six big closets here and they are all cramped up with stuff and it just needs to be culled. So until I make time for that, everything stays cased up and on the floor.

I did throw out one shirt the other day. I would have donated it, but it had a hole in the elbow.  It has always been far too tight and huggy, yet I liked the color. The other day I tried to wear it again, and it was way too intimate with my body and I ripped it off and threw it right in the trash, in a really dramatic fashion.

I’ve got stories to tell, Reader. Many stories. My 2020 resolution is to tell more of them to you, and not just keep ’em all in my head. I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.

My other resolutions involve eating more deviled eggs, because I really like them and decided they shouldn’t be saved for holidays and parties, and also I stole one (a resolution, not a deviled egg, that would be really odd) from Megan Markel, which apparently she resolved to “leave room for magic” one year and then six months later she went on a blind date with Prince Harry, and well, I’m ready for my magic, please. At this point I’ll be happy with Cinderella’s magic of a slew of birds and critters who will clean my house while I’m fast asleep. And leave me a platter of deviled eggs in the fridge.

 

Lessons in Life

I don’t even know where to begin, Reader.

I don’t know if we start the story where we are today or go backwards to the beginning, or just start in the middle.

All that I do know for sure is that I don’t know anything for sure. I cannot predict a damn thing.

Had you told me at the beginning of 2019 that I’d pack up my convertible and be living in Florida, I would have sworn you were on too much of that crack. But that’s exactly what ended up happening, and while I had NO IDEA how it was going to work, what I’ve learned is that each day you just do the things you can to keep moving forward and you get to a point where you look back and see the small things you did and how it piled up into some kind of a life.

I’ve learned that writing down a plan helps turn that plan into a reality. I sirrioulsy do not know why writing it down is so important vs. saying it in your head. But somehow it works out better.

I’ve learned that if I say “Yes” a lot more than saying “No,” oftentimes I’m pleasantly surprised by what comes of it.

I’ve learned I can make new friends, and meet new people who are genuinely just good-hearted and their always-present smile and laughter is the real deal.

I’ve learned I really really needed more sunshine and blue skies and bright smiles in my past year to give myself a mental reset that I’m so desperately holding onto as we stroll into 2020.

I’ve learned that sometimes I really do need to just shut. the. fuck. up.

I’ve learned that I have a whole depth of creativity inside me and what I really want to do is hold classes where people get to make fun things.

I’ve learned that things don’t have to be forever, that “for now” is quite all right.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I say I’m going to write more!, that actually writing more is the only way to write more.

I’ve learned that I can make new habits if I just get out of my own way and do the things I say I want to do.

I’ve learned that Florida isn’t where I’m ready to live just yet, Reader.

It was time to go home.  To my badly behaved cats, and my annoys-the-piss-outta-me-sometimes boyfriend, and my always-something-to-clean house, and grey skies and cold weather and let’s not even discuss the snow yet because I’ve so far successfully avoided it – but it’s coming, as sure as I know anything, it’s coming – and the potholes and the whole damn thing that’s Cleveland.

All of that is my life, and it was time to come home.

My always-reliable boyfriend flew down to Florida to help get me get here. I’m terrified of driving in West-by-God Virginia.

So he came down to help get me home.

I’ve learned that it may not be for good, because I have no idea what the future holds.

But it’s for now.

And while I miss so many things about my time in Florida – my new friends! the pool! the blue skies and no jackets required! – I’m lucky that I had this experience, and got to try out a different life, and can make plans for that life on a more permanent basis one day – but right now, this minute, I’m back where I need to be.

 

No, Florida. Thank you for having me.

Low Places

I just don’t know, Reader.

I mean, anything.

My Cantankerous Older Friend keeps telling me I need to “make a plan.”

While I don’t disagree with the effects of plan-making, I also don’t know what sort of a plan I need to make.

I woke up this morning back in my Minute House in Florida, and the sunlight was streaming in through my window and streaming across the bed, and I could see the bluest of skies outside and it was glorious and made me want to toss off my covers and jump out of bed and GREET THE DAY, which is exactly what I did, but not until 10 a.m.

I’ve been back in Florida for four days now, and I haven’t slept soundly in over a week, so when the sleeps was welcoming me this morning I said Yes to the Dress, wherein the dress in this case was my pillow.

I don’t know why I don’t sleep well sometimes. Well, actually, I do know why. I have a lot of the Worries that toss and turn me, and run around like they own my brain and it’s frankly unwelcomed advances and maybe they’ve listened to Bill Cosby’s methods and they just drug me and have their way with me until the wee hours of the morning, when I’m finally able to sleep out of sheer exhaustion.

Let me just go on the record as saying, it is hard to think creatively at all when I’m sleep deprived. I muddled through the week, and matters were not made better when I agreed to spend the night at My Cantankerous Friend’s house on Thursday.

We had a girl’s night out planned, and she lives a hop-skip-and-a-jump to my workplace, and spending the night vs. a 40 minute drive home and then back at it a few short hours later, well, it just made good sense to spend the night, plus it was a girl’s night so extra bonus points.

The night was fun enough, but the daybed had a hard bar in the center, which of course hit me right at my tweaked-out hip area and so there was a lot of discomforts going on. And it was low to the floor, and when I awoke at 2 a.m. for my clockwork pee, the bed was so low, and my knees were so not participating in their job of bending, and I didn’t know how I was going to get up. I literally – LITERALLY – spent a good five minutes trying to work my way around, first on my back and then flopping onto my stomach and trying to push myself up, but I could not gain any purchase on anything to hoist myself either front or back, and finally just gave up and figured that this daybed was just where I lived now.

I had resigned myself to this being just where I lived now. Trapped in a low daybed.

Her cat came in and licked my chin for a while, and then that must have bolstered my courage to try again, and do I did, and somehow channeling the strength of Jaime Sommers, I managed to hoist up and go pee.

And this, Reader, is basically how my life is going right now.

I somehow bolster the strength, hoist up and keep trying again.

I don’t know what I’m going to do from one day to the next. Am I going back to Dreary Cleveland?? The happy parts of Dreary Cleveland are my peoples, my house and my comforts, which does a lot to offset the drearies.

But then Florida!

Delivers an absolutely stunning Florida day, and why the hell would I go back to grey skies?? I ran errands today with a smile just spread across my face, sipping water and feeling like there was NOTHING I couldn’t accomplish in life. Unless a low daybed is involved, and then my accomplishments are in question.

Reader. I spent this morning reading and writing in a mindfulness journal today, and shopping at the Goodwill for some items for My Cantankerous Friend – she repurposes old yucky things into beautiful new things, so I went scouting for those things to put in a birthday bag of goods for her for next week (which was super successful and cheap-o!) – and I felt really positive and basically in love with life today.

I don’t know where this story –  or my life – is going. I just know that it was a good day, and I keep trying. I hope the same goes for you, Reader.

The Other “C” Word

I stopped off at McDonald’s on the way to the gym tonight, Reader, and that’s why I now have eleventy-thousand cats.

What’s that, you say?

You heard me.

Let’s break down what went into that whole sentence.

First, in the interest of LOSING WEIGHT, I decided it just makes good sense to stop and get something from McDonald’s after work, when I’m heading directly to the gym.

I know, who am I?  It’s like you don’t even know me anymore. I don’t know me, either, but apparently I’ve become the Girl Who Goes To the Gym After Work AND ON HER BIRTHDAY.  Because I totally went to the gym my entire birthday weekend and did a lot lot lot of things, and by the way, does anyone else’s mulva* hurt from exercise bike riding?? That dern seat really wedges up on my left side and I fear it’s bruised. Ladies, do not even tell me if you’ve never experienced that and you’re going to try to blame it on my having an extra fat mulva area. That is the rudest of rudes, so keep it to yourself, and p.s., most of you have never even seen my mulva so you’re not allowed to base your facts on one ouchy stationary bike seat.

Geez, trying to keep you on track, Reader, is almost impossible.

It makes sense to stop and get a small something from McDonalds because then I can burn off all those calories right away, instead of coming home and trying to whip up dinner at 9 or 9:30 at night, which is about the time I get home if I go to the gym after work.

So now you see how stopping at McDonalds on the way to the gym is all part of my master weight loss plan. I should really write a diet and exercise book, and if I do I will address the ouchy mulva situation and also figure out how to keep my butt crack from hurting on that damn bike, too. Whole separate issue, stop sidetracking me.

Now we’re up to the part where I now am the mama to eleventy-thousand cats.

On the turn-in to the McDonald’s, which is also the entrance to the big Walmart, there is a little street that goes to no where, which is kinda common in Florida because it’s built by wack-a-doos down here, apparently.

Well, on that turn in, I noticed some random cats sitting around on the little street to nowhere and I pondered, “Hm, I wonder where they live, there’s no houses around here.”

And then I went AHA! FEREL CAT COLONY!

Florida has a lot of those, too.

And THEN I thought, “Oh, fuck-a-duck, now what are you going to do, you know they’re probably pretty dern hungry.”

My first thought is always to feed things.

So I bought them some chicken McNuggets and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Good Lawd, where they happy to see me once they realized I came bearing gifts.

There was somewhere in the cat neighborhood of eight to twelve of them, and that white one appeared to really want to trust The Girl With McNuggets, but couldn’t, which is a good thing they all skittered when I got too close because I don’t think my landlord or Kitty Purry would be too into my bringing home ten or eleven additional house guests, no matter how flea-bitten soft and furry they were.

And that’s why I will be driving around with a 40 lb. bag of cat food in my car. Because it takes a village – or one compassionate cat lady – to feed a colony of felines.

*mulva. because Seinfeld: 

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Me-Hee-Hee

I just learned that I’ve been using the word “irreverent” incorrectly FOR YEARS now to describe my bloggy and wow, shame on me for just now looking up the actual definition. I still think it’s a good word, but I’d like it to mean “nothing important whatsoever” instead of insulty and disrespectful. I think I thought it meant something a little more like irrelevant, only MORE than irrelevant, like, it has a purpose, just a silly one. Irrevalent. My blog is irrevalent.

Someone with wikipedia skills, get on there and add that new word for me.

So at the risk of sounding all righteous, just so you know and to rub it in a little, I have been kicking my own A-dash-dash at the gym since Saturday, and only didn’t go tonight because I got mah hairs did and they look too damn extra to get all disheveled without  s – e – x  being involved to do the disheveling. That is the only good reason to mess up salon hair, and I’m not having any of that down here. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it (but really it’s true, it just sounds more dangerously exciting if I lead you on).

In other things I’ve thought about today, Reader, well, these are completely irrevalent, but here we go:

1/ I really do not enjoy cartoon movies. The Mermaid live action thing is playing on the telly right now, because I felt pressured to turn it on because everyone is doing it, duh, and I don’t want to be a square. However. I just don’t get it, nor do I want to get it. And plus, they showed the live action parts and there were BALD MEN gyrating near the stage, and it was weird and get a life, Old Men.

2/ I have realized lately I don’t really like spaghetti any more. I still like lasagna, but I’m not keen on spaghetti or ravioli or those types of things with sauce.  I made myself some quick cheese ravioli with a jarred alfredo sauce for an easy dinner and it was just meh.

3/ I have also realized lately that I do still like desserts, and would like to choose to just have dessert for dinner but society says that’s wrong, and they are the real squares.

4/ Daylight Savings Fall Back still sucks in Florida, except at least it’s WARM and dark instead of cold-AF and dark like it is back at home.

5/ Do you know what AF means? If not, you’re the real square, Reader, and while I don’t want to call you names, my fingers made me.

6/ I saw myself in full frontal naked last night at the gym, when I was getting mah clothes off to get into the red light district, aka the shakey machine, and I stood and just looked at myself for a full minute and wondered what in the hell has happened here.

7/ People on the radio were going on and on about Rosario Dawson’s “perfect” vagina from some nudie movie she was in, and curiosity got the cat, wherein I am the cat, and I had to google that thing. Turns out, it is quite nice looking and now I’ve got some hangups about my own situation that I’ve never had before.  I mean, it’s hard enough being me, see point number six.  I don’t need crotchal insecurities thrown into the mix, yet here we are.

I think we can end on that note.

The Blame Game

It’s the end of Daylight Savings, and while Morning Me is   sUpPeR   hApPy   (see, I intentionally made those words dance when you read them) about that, Evening Me is going to be less dance-y.

Let’s just face facts. I’m not a morning person, unless we’re talking about the morning that starts around 10 a.m.

So here it is, only 10:30 a.m., and I’ve been up long enough to make breakfast, have two cupsa coffee, wrote a little in my planner, texted people, watched Valerie Bertenelli make some mulled wine and sausage for lunch with her friends on t.v., made the bed, and here we are. All that has been accomplished, thanks, Time Change!

Except tonight won’t be as fun.

I have to just ask, why are so many celebrities getting cooking shows? I mean, what are they offering that’s different from each other? How is Valerie different from Trisha Yearwood? I get the Pioneer Woman, it’s pretty easy recipes that even a cowboy loves, and her setting is more interesting.  I complain, and yet I am interested in making that sausage dish Valerie whipped up this morning. So scratch all that complaining, I guess it’s just fine and p.s., no one on the Food Network is asking my opinion anyway.

Back to me, and my Extra Hour Sunday.

You may be asking why I have a blog, and who cares what I’m doing anyway, the same way I just asked about that cooking network. Well, the simple answer is, I have a blog because I take the minutes to write up the nonsense in my brain, and so there. I sometimes take the minutes. Not that regularly, although I have a November Goal of doing better, so you’re welcome.

I am a Girl With Goals. Conflicted with the part of me that likes to Nap A Lot and also now that I’m in Florida, Lounge in the Pool A Lot.

Yesterday I made the pondered-for-a-week decision to re-join Planet Fitness.

Because I have to diversity my fitness goals, which currently only includes this:

So I did it, and then I wondered why I felt the need to do it. I obvi WANT something more than where I’m at with myself. I think about exercising a lot, in fact, so much that I’ve dubbed myself as an exceptional exer-thinker.

I exerthink a lot.

If I exercised half as much as I think I should be exercising, that would be an amazing fitness goal, and there, I just made a goal for myself.

So yesterday, after getting my check engine light looked at again, and the new scary sound my car is making looked into and fixed – thanks, Muffler Man and your team who cut out the rusted parts and welded in some new parts for $40 cheapo dollars – and got an oil change, and pondered the allure of the McRib sandwich, I drove right over to Planet Fitness and signed up and then Did Some Things for 1.5-ish hours, that time including 10 minutes in the shakey machine that I love, and 10 minutes on the hydromassage bed.  Suffice it to say I strutted outta there like I was a badass athlete who just completed her first marathon.  I was exceptionally proud of myself, considering I still hadn’t closed my “calories burned” ring on my Apple Watch, but I refuse to let my own watch be the boss of me. Screw you, Watch!

Today I’m pondering jumping in the pool, checking out the city of Sanford, starting my book that I plan to write but haven’t yet  – in addition to being an exerthinker, I am a ponderwriter, where I just really ponder writing on a daily basis – and then perhaps maybe this evening when it’s dark out anyway, heading back to the gym.

Because I’m still the exact same fat as I was when I came down to Florida four months ago.

Fun Fact you may not know about me unless your name is Kenny, I excel at blaming others for things. For ten years now I’ve blamed Kenny for being the reason I outweigh my cat by about a hundred pounds….sshhh….just go with it, Reader.

But all these years, I blamed him for our amount of eating out.  Movie theater popcorn. Watching movies instead of going to the gym. My not being able to get up in the morning and work out because we went to bed too late. My being distracted from working out in the evenings with dinner and movie plans or bar and wing plans or anything other than working out plans. Blame, Blame, Blameity Blame Game.

I re-homed my could-be-smaller ass to Florida. Where I’m in total control of what I buy, where I eat, what I do in the mornings and evenings. How much or how little I work out.

And when I went back home in September, not one person was shockingly surprised at how thin I had gotten. The scale wasn’t impressed, either. In fact, it registered the SAME EXACT WEIGHT as before I had left, which on one had, at least it wasn’t more, but all that swimming around had no bearing on my physical body. I make that distinction because Lawdy, has it been good for me mentally.

Kenny, on the other hand, has dropped 30 lbs since I’ve been gone.

He was on the “eat cucumbers and bagels with cream cheese only” diet and it worked. So there, all you anti-carbists.

He doesn’t cook. I think he’s turned on the stove one time. When I was home in September there wasn’t a single stitch of groceries in the fridge except for something smelly and rotting in the vegetable bin, and a bag of black, watery potatoes in the pantry.  I got to clean that up, because I’m a lucky girl.

Me, on the other hand, well, I cook myself little meals, and grocery shop, and pack my lunch almost every single day for work. I drink water and coffee and maybe just a tich too much wine, but remember, Reader, we are a NO JUDGING ZONE, unless we both agree to judge something together.  Wine is basically how I’ve been getting in my fruits, and it’s supposed to be heart healthy, or at least I think I read that somewhere one time.

So what we’ve learned here is:

1/ I’m actually the reason Kenny was fat.

2/ Wine is a fruit.

3/ Falling back an hour hasn’t made me accomplish anything more today other than having a third cuppa coffee.

4/ I should probably have a cooking show, teaching everyone how to cook in a teensy big-as-a-minute kitchen. Except we couldn’t fit a camera crew in here.

5/ When Walmart hides the scales from you, even after you’ve circled the store three times in search of one to help with your grand-plans for being less you, but they put these FRONT AND CENTER …

… well, Walmart is really to blame for my being fat.

6/ Yes, I bought them.

 

Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Day

Reader. Listen to me now and hear me later.

Florida, while delivering beautiful sunshiney days, is also a House of Horrors.

You guys, we almost had a Strike 3 Incident this week.

Almost, because while the incident itself was startling, the actual culprit was not.

I’ve been livin’ down here in ol’ Floor-eed-ah for a whole lot longer than I would have guessed, had we been guessing back in January of this year.  I wouldn’t have guessed a southern wind was blowing me south, yet here I sit, comin’ up on putting in five months. I know, I know – I’m as surprised as you are.

For the most part I haven’t cried nearly as much as one would have thought.  Change is hard, but I guess changing to a swimming pool and a lot of beautiful days is helpful on drying up tears.

I have, however, been a whole lot more scared by wildlife than I would have ever guessed.

The big-as-my-head wolf spider under my desk, than ran right up my wall, and how that didn’t have me heading to zee hills is surprising to me.

We’ve had the scorpion in my room incident.

I’ve had a variety of worms and daily snails. Now, before you’re all, “Pishaw, a snail!”  Let’s review the evidence:

They are big and snail-y.  And yet I just go on about my day, as if I haven’t just encountered this face-to-face in the early morning before I’ve even had one whole cuppa coffee. Life a wild life badass.

Then, we’ve had these cute armadillos that have held up traffic while crossing the road:

At my workplace, I’ve been mildly concerned when I was in the lunch room making my coffee and could hear some critter running laps around the drop ceiling.

And then stuff began to drop outta the drop ceiling:

And still I stayed, and didn’t count that as a Florida Strike.

I even PARTICIPATED in standing nearby while two of the office gals set up a trap to get out the critter and rehome it to the scary as fuck great outdoors.

Someone had to be the documentarian, from a safe and assured distance.

I can with 100000% certainty assure you that I would NOT be the girl removing the ceiling tile to set up a trap.

I was even afraid of the trap itself, quite frankly, because it was very snappy sounding when it was triggered.

I supplied the peanut butter on bread idea as a very successful lure, which worked about an hour after the trap was set.

Again, I participated in see what was caught, while the Office Trappers took it down and drove it away and released this cute, yet destructive, girl.

Yes, the squirrel is a girl. We still have her kids living in the ceiling, and have been unsuccessful in getting them out. But that’s neither here nor there, eventually they will depart the premises.

So you see, all that. I’ve encountered ALL THAT in five short months, and I’m not even talking about the palmetto bugs and whatnot because i’m all casual about that, mostly.  Ahem.

But.

I have taken note, from various sources including my friendie SC who lives in Australia now, where all these Florida scary things are just her Australian scary thing’s snacks, mentioned “I check the toilet before I sit down” and I have been, too, only maybe not consistently.

Until after my scorpion incident, and I figured it had to get up in this room somehow, and maybe it came in from my toilet.

So I look before I leap, shall we say.

This past week while at the House of Horrors work, I went to the bathroom to dispose of my two cups of coffee.

I preened into the toilet as I was getting near, and saw something JUMPING up outta the water at me.

Once again, I let out another bloodcurdling scream professional call to action with a demurely stated “Hey, co-workers, there appears to be something alive in the toilet.”

Luckily, we hired Trapper Jackie (from photo above) in September, and she sits nearby and came to check out the situation for me.

I will just go on the record as stating that my screams barely get noticed at work any longer. No one was even coming to see what was happening, I just heard some quiet inquiries of, “Spider?” while every one continued on their day, which is really concerning, because a Bad Guy could be hiding in there taking a machete to my head and no one would come running because apparently I’ve become the Girl Who Screams Wolf Spider.  I’m just saying, when someone very professionally screams, the polite thing to do is to come and save the northern girl find out why.

Trapper Jackie discovered it was a pretty good sized frog jumping around in the toilet, so really, not a scary critter, except it could have JUMPED UP IN MY P-HOLE or my B-HOLE had I sat down without looking. I’m going on record as stating that if I am ever on a toilet and feel a thwamp on either of the holes – the P or the B – it is ALL THE STRIKES, and I don’t care what sort of critter is doing the thwamping.

Trapper Jackie went to slap on a pair of latex gloves to retrieve the froggy, but by the time she got back it had gone out the way it came in, and lets just say I was nervous AF to pee for the rest of the day, but like a trooper, I carried on and didn’t even count this as a Florida Strike.

Later in the same week a turtle was discovered living right outside our doorway, and I jumped up to go see it, because no one is afraid of seeing a turtle, even I can outrun a TURTLE for crying out loud (at least I confidently tell myself I can), and it was pretty cute and not that little at all.

One of the girls picked it up and started coming towards me with it, and I saw that little mouth opening and closing like it wanted to snap onto something like, oh, my fingers, and I yelled, “DON’T COME AT ME WITH THAT!!!” while scampering away to safety.

And Trapper Jackie just shook her head and muttered, “I just don’t know how you even get along in life.”

I’m not sure myself, to be quite honest. At least not in the Wild South.

Usually Afraid, Often Naked

A few things have happened here at my Floridian Minute House, Reader.

First, I killed a scorpion in my room a couple of nights ago. Now, I wasn’t even sure it was worthy of a story about it, but then my friend Choo indicated otherwise, and I rethought it.

So let’s go over that sentence again. With a tich more consideration.

I – me, Trixie Bang Bang, she who is afraid of almost every insect that surprises her and most certainly will scream the good scream over something potentially bitey and poisonous

Killed – yes, sorry Pro-Bug-Lifers, and while I have recently attended the Buddha temple here in Florida where all creatures are valued, blah blah, I value stingy bugs that AREN’T captured in my living room – which happens to also be my bedroom – because Trump said something just like that and we all want to model ourselves after him, amiright (of course not), but anyway, yes, KILLED.

So. Much. Thought. was put into the shoe selection that would Do The Deed, Reader. So. Much.

Let’s set the scene a little more vividly, so you can put yourself right here with me and the scorpion.

I came in that evening after being somewhere – maybe my friend Pat’s for dinner – so I got home a little late, around 9-ish.  Already a long day.

I went to the bathroom (12 steps), brushed my teeth, took off my clothes, came through to the kitchen (6 steps) and fed Kitty Purry, and filled up her water dish, and then went to the living room to scoop her box (3 steps), did the scooping, went back to the kitchen to wash my hands (3 steps), came back towards the living room (6 steps) and stopped dead. in. my. tracks.

Wait – what?? – rubs eyes — what IS that in the middle of the floor??  Lint? Cat hair??

No. Nope. No.

You know what it is, Me.

That is not the actual one in my room, but it is its twinsie.

Fling open my door (yes, still naked) and yell/hiss outside “CHRISTIE!!” – because this surely seems like a job for the landlord.

Christie’s not outside.

Decide to throw my little run-around dress on over my head and regroup (12 steps back to the bathroom). Afraid this scorpion will have moved but clothes won the debate because I’ll be braver with clothes on, I think, and if this thing gets away from me, I will DEF be heading outside and no one needs to see all this, Naked and Afraid.  I literally watch that show endlessly, and now I am starring in it myself, because life truly does imitate art and I need to watch shows instead where people find bags of money in the middle of their rooms.

This is where the shoe debate starts happening in my head. I can step on it with my flip-flopped foot, but that seems too risky. What if I miss, I may get thrown off balance, and it could run UP MY LEG instead and there’s just too much of my body in too-close proximity to the scorpion.

Girl needs a HEAVY shoe for this job.

Without a lot of TREADS, a.k.a. escape routes.

I picked up several shoes and debated the weight. One of my heavier sandals had more thread than I was happy about, but I liked the firmness of the footbed – it wouldn’t be floppsy and go all wayward on me.

I needed a back up plan, too.

Luckily, I have recently purchased a $15 Bissell stick vacuum thing-a-mah-jig, and I got it all in position and plugged in for easy suction power once the deed was done.

Then.

I grabbed that shoe and killed that fucker.

Like a boss hero in my own horror story.

Sorry Not Sorry, Dangerous Thing. Don’t come uninvited into my room, is the moral of this story. You can go and live your life however you see fit, stinging shit and pinching things with those claws. But do it in your own space. Not mine.

This is where the shoe sat for a while, calming down after its hard work.

Now, I wish this was where the story ended. With me being proud of outweighing a poor bug by 100 lbs shut it, Reader, and going about my life.

Except.

I still haven’t emptied the tank on that tiny little vacuum. Don’t worry, it’s sealed tight and had he survived, he couldn’t escape the plastic chamber.

I check under my comforter, sheet and between all over even the unused parts of my bed every. single. night.

I squish my pillows before lying my head on them. Check INSIDE all my clothes and shoes. Shake out all my towels. Look in the shower not once, but twice. Keep the toilet lid down.

Basically I’m still afraid.

But I’m getting braver.  At least I think so.

I picked up my notebook at work and a “palmetto bug,” which is a fancy fucking cockroach with a southern drawl, ran out of the pages and I flung my book across the room while letting out a girly shriek like the sophisticated professional that I am.

So there’s that.

Florida is a scary m-effer.  So much so, that I haven’t even mentioned the time I found a WORM the size of a standard U.S. male’s penis in the POOL.  It looked kinda like this, only bigger, and darker brown.

It was already drowned.

I debated what to do about that, and then just calmly got out of the pool, went and got my $1 Grabber Tool and was able to grab it up and fling it out of my oasis. 

Except I pinched my grabber tool too hard and cut it in half, and then I had the luxury of disposing of two pieces of hairy leggy worm with guts oozing out, so yeah, life is good in Florida, Ya’ll. Come on down.

*the US standard penis size is not something I determined, Reader, despite my years of extensive and exhausting research in this field of study.  It’s a fact from Google and the Internet is never wrong. 

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