Tag Archives: spring

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.

bug.jpg

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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A Moment in the Sun

We were lucky that Easter Sunday this year was picturesque in terms of weather. For the first time since October we reached 70 degrees and had sun, something we could only fantasize about during the harshest winter in history.

I took advantage of the opportunity and spent part of the afternoon working outside before sitting in the sun on my deck, listening to the ballgame on the radio and watching the squirrels perform Cirque du Soleil moves on my half-empty feeder.

squirrel

As I sat there, I remembered scraping the ice off my windshield on those subzero mornings, driving 20 mph to work on icy roads and shoveling feet of snow. At that time, all I could think about was a) where I could move and b) how much I would appreciate days like we were having that day—warm, sunny and safe—if the frozen ground ever thawed.

But then eyes closed, sprawled out in a chair like an albino lizard on a heat rock, I found my mind going right back into my routinely obsessive thoughts on work, money, food, writer’s block, exercise, what I “should” be doing that day and in life, etc.

That moment in the sun with no obligations had suddenly turned into the storm in my head that so often clouds up my mind. And in some ways I was more present in the middle of winter fantasizing about the warmer weather than I was present in that moment actually sitting in the warmer weather.

It was then I overheard the neighbor kids say, “Poke it and see if it’s dead.”

 At first I thought they meant me, but since it came from the other side of the fence I assumed it was a small woodland creature. And while I’m sorry it took it’s probable demise to  bring me back to the present moment, I’m kind of glad that it did.

Because I do this all the time.

Part of me gets excited for or works towards something, and then when it happens I’m already moving on, dismissing it as something to check off a list instead of enjoying that moment. I don’t feel accomplished or calm, but rather wonder, “Okay, what’s next?”

It’s easy to fall into that trap in today’s society of “more, more, more.” Sitting around reading or listening to the ballgame isn’t always as “admirable” as doing, doing, doing all the time. There’s that constant need to know just what is next.

But as one warm day in the sun reminded me, I don’t have to fall into that trap.

I can choose where to place my attention and my intention by saying “yes” to a moment and “no” to worrying about that next thing all the time. If my mind would get out of my way, maybe I could relax and remember this more.

After all, the temps are back in the 40s with rain this week—Mother Nature is a cruel, cruel shrew at times—which proves how fast moments can pass.

Just ask the critter cadaver next door.

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Pedestrian Crossing

While I hate to curse things, I think it’s safe to say that spring has finally sprung in these parts.

im-gonna-need-like-3-gallons-of-nair

This means a) the eternal battle with the woodchuck in my yard has begun b) I can take walks without coming home and molesting the space heater and c) it won’t be long now until I start complaining about how hot it is.

But first I’m going to complain about something else related to point “b” above —assholes who drive cars and shouldn’t drive cars because they’re assholes who don’t respect the rights of pedestrians.

Pardon my language, but this pedestrian is rather PO’d.

Picture this scenario: A lovely 30-something year old woman is enjoying a walk in the fresh air, probably composing a wonderful blog post in her head that she’ll immediately forget the second she makes it back home.

The next thing you know, some Catholic school kid blasting vulgar rap out of his janky-ass car drives by and honks and/or yells something that no one on Earth can understand. However, the noise still scares the crap out of the lovely 30-something-year-old woman powerwalking up the street.

Why is that a thing?

While I’ve been known to yell at stupid drivers in their cars, the only time I might feel compelled to yell out of my car at a complete stranger walking on the street is if a bear was about to attack them. Even then, I might wait and see what develops from that situation first.

Now I know what you’re thinking: It’s probably because the lovely 30-something-year-old woman is hot and doing some sort of sexy cougar catwalk, drawing attention of all who pass by.

Not so much.

Those days are well in the past. Plus, age knows no bounds with douchebag driver behavior, as you get it from older guys, too (which really just makes it more sad.) And if you think I’m picking on men, let me throw out another scenario that happens with both of the sexes.

A lovely 30-something year old woman is enjoying a walk in the fresh air, creating stressful scenarios in her head of events that will probably never actually happen.

She approaches a stop sign, sees the coast is clear and proceeds to step into the street. All of a sudden someone driving while talking on their phone rolls up and through the stop sign, almost running over our Polish pedestrian.

News flash: Waving, nervously smiling and mouthing “sorry” does not help when you almost make me a hood ornament. One of these times I might throw myself onto the hood of your car and create a dramatic scene, just to freak you out.

Don’t doubt the extent of my crazy.

My point is that a windshield is not a force field of invincibility, and being inside a car does not mean you are outside the realm of normal social conventions. When approaching pedestrians, do not yell or repeatedly honk, and WE SEE YOU PICKING YOUR NOSE.

If you feel the need to verbally express yourself while operating a motor vehicle, might I suggest car karaoke? A few verses of “Dancing Queen” or Rage Against the Machine will surely exercise your lungs and your demons without leaving pedestrians crossed or imbedded in the grill of your car.

I think that’s a win-win for all.

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