Tag Archives: bugs

What Happens When You Live Alone

I’ve lived alone for about six years now. And while the only problem with being independent is I have to do everything myself, for the most part, I love living alone.

In fact, I honestly don’t know if I could live with somebody again. I’ve been spoiled with endless opportunities to watch whatever I want on TV, not be grossed out by other people’s fingernail clippings in the bathroom and I can sprawl on my couch every night without judgment.

I get my couch. My couch gets me.

But there are a few misconceptions and/or disadvantages to living alone. For instance, it doesn’t mean I flit around the house naked. In fact, I still find myself wearing a towel when I go from the shower to my bedroom and once in awhile I instinctively shut the bathroom door when I pee.

Why? I have no idea.

And even though I know it’s ridiculous, I still instinctively peek around the shower curtain like I assume a crazed lunatic is in there checking his smartphone while he waits for me so he can attack.

More realistic but equally creepy is the fact that bugs are always my problem. I can’t freak out over a spider and delegate removal to anyone else, so either I “remedy” the situation or consider the arachnid to be my pet.

bugbean

A new pet is not in the plans.

And bug relocation isn’t the only thing that won’t magically take care of itself or be done by somebody else.

That tiny twist tie that I dropped on the floor as I ran out to work in the morning is still there when I get home. No one has picked it up while I was gone and I can’t blame it on anyone else.

Trash can Jenga—the act of stacking up the trash as high as you can until something tips over instead of taking it out—is a game to be played only if you’re a) living with someone else who might break first or b) at the office. Much like the twist tie scenario above, the trash fairy does not come while I’m gone.*

*However, the trash man will come once a week, and if I don’t remember to put the big bin out the night before, it won’t magically roll itself out to the curb and will instead fester for another whole week.

Low battery smoke detector beeps are always mine to investigate, and I swear I could live in a house the size of a shoebox and it would still take me an hour to find which one it is.

*beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere that I am not. *beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere where I am not.

You get the picture.

Folding sheets becomes a matter of neatly folding the pillowcases and then taking the actual sheets, attempting to find the corners and align them to fold before haphazardly bunching them up and throwing them in the closet.

Of course there’s also the fear of choking and being found by an emergency crew bundled up in robe with a mouth full of hummus. I imagine it’s just a slow spiral of shame down from there.

It might even start that with the absence of a second opinion in my house, I find that I have a commentary on everything that I occasionally still say out loud. It’s like I always have an audience, and no sane person has as many conversations with inanimate objects as I do.

When putting out a new candle, I might opine to the television that, “Yes, I think that looks nice there,” or “Hmm, I should add paper towel to the grocery list I’ll forget to take with me tomorrow.”

I admit it’s a little weird to notice the self-speak going on, but on a positive note, at least I’m wonderfully supportive of myself.

After all, no one else can do it for me.

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A Total Buzzkill

Ahh…spring. Blue skies, the sounds of birds chirping, coming up with excuses to stay outside and watch the neighbor’s hot lawn guy cut grass.

It’s the time of year when I work on my garden/horticultural hospice, when shouting “I need a studfinder!” and “Where my hose at?” while walking into Home Depot can be justified somehow.

Yes, spring has arrived.

The OCD in me takes immense pleasure in dead-heading petunias, picking green beans and pulling out weeds (in both my yard and any other surface that makes me feel twitchy—it’s actually really a curse.)

But the real curse of warm weather—other than blinding a chipmunk with the whiteness of my legs—is the bugs. Oh yes, those tiny little monsters that are bound and determined to make me itchy and bitchy and other adjectives that sound like rejected names for the Seven Dwarfs.

Although I know they serve a purpose, bugs suck—both literally and figuratively. Aside from flying up my nose or sneaking into my mouth, they suck the fun out of outdoor situations by sucking the blood out of my soul, leaving me with un-itchable itchy bumps as a reminder of their intrusive visits to my flesh and to my fun.

I use sprays, creams, zappers and Tiki torches with citronella oil in an effort to ward off their presence, yet I still find myself cursing the little a-holes as I scratch and claw at my bites.

These bugs have balls.

They have no fear.

They laugh at me as I wave my arms around like a crazy person and run around the yard with a 75-cent plastic fly swatter that’s about as effective as hitting a softball with a wet noodle.

Now I get it that when I’m outside I’m on their turf, kind of like how I don’t blame sharks for attacking swimmers. If I saw some guy in my territory wearing a Speedo I would probably get pissed off, too. Don’t blame Jaws.

But unlike almost all other creatures, bugs a) have no regard for personal space and b) don’t seem to understand the concept of private property and think it’s okay to enter an indoor environment uninvited.

The little winged weirdos just waltz on in with their buzzy tune, intent on destroying happiness and beinghectic in the corner of the ceiling or around my head.

When they actually enter my house uninvited—without even bringing a nice fruit basket or maybe some hummus—I will go to the ends of the earth and my couch to make sure they don’t stay for long. Magazines, dish towels, napkins—I’m like the MacGyver of finding something to “remedy” the situation.

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Inside or out, I refuse to let them win.

I might not have balls and I might have irrational fears of weird things like sneezing while driving or developing an allergy to asparagus, but I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing—lighting torches and swatting at the little bastards, all the while reeking of DEET and frustration.

You have been warned, my flying foes, you have been warned.

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Questionable Karma

Not too long ago I had the unfortunate experience of waking up with a Nickelback song in my head.

For some people—the dozen or so fans of the band—this would have been a delight. For other people—the person writing this post who is not a fan of the band and who has OCD, therefore causing the song to remain there all day—this was the opposite of a delight.

After about 10 minutes of contemplating either a lobotomy or going back to bed and starting over, I instead decided to be proactive and figure out how I must have ticked off the karmic gods to deserve such an ill fate.

Despite my legions of charitable acts—flipping a worm off the burning sidewalk onto the grass, joining in a sense of community when an entire line of cars silently agreed to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front—I suppose there were a few questionable things I could blame.

Questionable Karma

When the weather is nice, I often take my mom’s dog for a walk and always make sure to have my plastic poop bag on hand for pick-up. However, there “might” have been an occasion when I could tell he was going to dump and I “might” have dragged him to the next yard to go, simply because I didn’t like the people who lived there.

The little boy who lives there “might” be a huge brat who always yells stupid things at us when we walk by, so I “might” have pretended to pick up the poop and instead grabbed a leaf to place on the top of the pile. I don’t think this is the reason though, as if the karmic gods are watching this kid, they would probably thank me.


I admit. I got your voicemail and just didn’t listen. To alleviate this problem in the future, maybe send me an email or a text and let me know if the voicemail is actually worth listening to.


I’ve retweeted a compliment. Personally I find this extremely annoying, as I would never go around the grocery store and tell people, “Hey! My friend just told me she actually liked my book and I think you should know!”

However, sometimes I apply the “tweet others as you would like to be tweeted” rule and acknowledge those misled souls who take the time to follow me, as I do appreciate it. It still annoys me when it’s self-promoting though, so karma might have just stepped in.


When it comes bugs, I figure the outside is their area and I don’t bug them, so they shouldn’t bother me in my lair. However, if one makes it into my house I often try my best to do the “shoo them out the door” or “capture in a cup” method of catch and release. But some spiders choose their own fate, particularly those that fall from the ceiling and land on the counter in front of my face.

It’s a primal reaction to grab a paper towel and pummel the sucker to death, and I admit that I did this last week. The only problem is that even though I know spiders can run really fast with all of those legs, I keep thinking I’m going to find a spider in that same exact spot everyday. He is haunting me from his grave in the garbage, so karma need not apply.


Finally, I totally committed discount deceit by passing through an old coupon. We’ve talked about this before and I’ve been trying to harness my egregious behavior, but when the possibility to save $1.50 on a ridiculously overpriced vegan veggie burger arose, I couldn’t resist. Carefully ripping the coupon so that the expiration date was “accidentally” torn off, I passed it through the self-checkout.

But come to think of it, I don’t care if I had to endure Nickelback for that one. The fact that they charge $5.50 for four vegan burgers warrants a karmic kick in the ass to those people instead. I was actually reversing the universal order of things with that discount, right? Right.


So while I can’t quite pinpoint my cardinal sin, I do feel better having gotten these offenses off my concave, size AA chest—something else I must have pissed the karmic gods off to receive.

At any rate, I feel a bit better. Now it’s your turn. What would you like to confess today?

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Roughing It

I figured we could end the week with one more nature post, seeing as many people will be packing up to go camping for the holiday. I will not be one of them, as I do not camp.

annenot camp

Don’t get me wrong. I love the outdoors and worship the sun and nature. And while I’m not high-maintenance—the closest thing I’ve had to a pedicure in the past few years is stubbing my toe while falling UP the stairs and losing a nail—I  don’t find appeal in sleeping on the ground in a tent pretending I’m homeless.

While it’s been years since I’ve been on vacation, when I go, it involves the option of a warm shower, a real bed and little bottles of shampoo I can steal and take home with me.

And although I’ve never slept in a tent, I do have a bit of camping experience. When I was younger we had a trailer up north that we spent a good deal of time at in the summer. It was a decent sized rig with a shower, small kitchen, deck, etc., but it was still a trailer.

I fished, I shot my bow and arrow (not at anything living, at least on purpose,) I tore around on the four-wheeler, we went for nature walks and into town for ice cream at Jones’ ice cream and cheap toys at the Ben Franklin.

We would blow up the inflatable alligator and hit the lake before coming back to nighttime campfires, Cribbage games and attempts to attract bats by throwing random crap up in the air by the park lights.

I was young, and other than the fact that I rolled out of the top bunk of triple bunk beds—a bed rail was quickly installed—I had no real complaints. Now that I’m older and debatably wiser, I would have many complaints, which is why I don’t even attempt to pretend to want to camp.

Thesis statement:

Why someone would want to leave indoor plumbing, decent food and the likelihood of not contracting mosquito malaria for outhouses, dirt-covered food and the likelihood of being attacked by a baby deer in the woods is beyond me.*

*To each their own, of this I know (disclaimer so campers don’t get pissed, although if they’re camping, they shouldn’t have access to Wi-Fi.)

But for those who enjoy camping and would like to recreate this experience at home, I have a few suggestions:

  • Hang your clothes over a wood fire to get that signature smell, the one that will hopefully cover up the other signature smell of musty dampness.
  • While you’re over the fire, singe your eyelashes and grab a hot poker to recreate the experience of starting the fire and attempting to roast anything over said fire with a metal stick.
  • Scald the skin on the roof of your mouth in an attempt to eat whatever it is you were trying to roast that didn’t fall into the flame.
  • Hovera lot—and get used to swatting bugs with one hand while wiping with the other. This takes skill, which is why you will most likely find yourself pissing on your own leg (hey, you wanted to go camping.)
  • Pour sand directly into the bottom of your bathing suit and any exposed crack or opening in your body. If a lake is nearby, also include seaweed.
  • If you feel like getting fancy, spray yourself with a water bottle to recreate the (lack of) water pressure trailer showers provide. Forget about washing your hair (this is actually a positive in my book.)
  • Plant families of the loudest bugs on the planet in your backyard directly next to your window. If available, add in the mating calls of mystery creatures you’re sure are rabid and hunting you down.
  • Roll your meals in damp dirt.
  • Roll your clothes in damp dirt.
  • Roll yourself in damp dirt.

So for those of you starting your camping season this weekend, may the force be with you. I plan on working in the yard a bit, reading and enjoying the luxury of warm showers, good food I didn’t have to catch and a few good baseball games.

I love not camping.

Bug Off

I’m basically solar powered, so when it’s nice outside, I’m either walking, working out in the yard or basking in the sun like a lizard on a heated rock.

This is my preferred location when it’s between 65-80 degrees. My hot and sexy male suntan applier is hiding out of this shot. 

And much like that amphibious analogy, I occasionally eat bugs—or they go up my nose. Not on purpose, mind you, but as an indirect result of talking or breathing while I do the aforementioned activities. Considering one of those things is rather necessary to survival (although I would argue that both of them are,) it really can’t be avoided.

Just because it can’t be avoided doesn’t mean it doesn’t still tick me off.

Although I know they serve a purpose, bugs suck—both literally and figuratively. Aside from flying up our noses or sneaking in our mouths, they suck the fun out of outdoor situations by sucking the blood out of our innocent souls, leaving us with un-itchable itchy bumps as a reminder of their intrusive visits to our flesh and our fun.

We use sprays, creams, zappers and Tiki torches with citronella oil in an effort to ward off their presence, yet we will still find ourselves cursing the little assholes as we scratch and claw at our bites.

mosquitoes

These bugs have balls.

They have no fear.

They laugh at us as we wave our arms around like crazy people and run around the yard with a 75-cent plastic fly swatter that’s about as effective as hitting a softball with a wet noodle.

But I refuse to let them win.

They will not stop me from a) breathing or b) talking, therefore running the risk of accidental consumption or a vacuuming up the nose.

I might not have balls and I might have irrational fears of weird things like sneezing while driving or developing an allergy to asparagus, but I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing—lighting torches and swatting at the little bastards, all the while reeking of DEET and frustration.

You’ve been warned, my flying friends, you’ve been warned.