Wednesday, April 10, 2002

flying ants or some shit.

Sidebar note: I meant to get into this earlier, and will still talk about it, but I love the new Andy Richter show. Screw you if you don't and you think I'm a doofus. But I laughed my ass off watching it for the past couple episodes. Everyone thought he was an idiot for leaving Conan... but I like this show and hope he can keep the momentum up. Please watch it if you haven't yet... I want Fox to keep it on the air. Anyone with any inside knowledge on how the show is doing (I should just email Max Robbins from TV Guide to find out on the next time he is on the Howie Carr radio show in Boston) email me and let me know what you know. End sidebar note.

Got email from my dear friend Mr. Garfield who says:

I think you should get a new Guinea Pig and should work on a barn.

The new pet won't be just like pigpigpig ----- even these meek fellows have personalities ---- but you fell so quickly and entirely in love with pigpigpig, and I'd eat a porkpie hat if Geoff doesn't do at least a little better a second time. I'm not suggesting you use Guinea Pigs as Guinea Pigs, but if he's gonna grow up to be Lenny of Mice and Men you'd want to know now.

Oh my God.

Lenny in Of Mice and Men. Can I just confess that was the first thing that flashed through my mind? I've read the book a million times, and am especially fond of the version starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise as opposed to the 1939 version with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr., who scared me no matter what role he was in. I also hated the 80s TV version with crappy Robert "Beretta" Blake and Randy Quaid. Ugh. Malkovich's Lenny is the best ever, but I digress.

When all this happened, and Geoff told us what he did, and was sad... I couldn't help but think of Lenny and the soft furry sweet things that he just couldn't help but hug so hard, and how George felt, protecting and taking care of Lenny, running away with him from place to place to avoid consequences of the things Lenny did ... Please God, don't let that be what my kid turns out to be like. Please! I'm officially worried beyond belief now.

On a note to make you laugh, last night Doug found this very funny website which I've sent out to a bunch of friends but couldn't help including here. If you need a good laugh, I highly recommend it. And, I used one of the pictures to serve as a foil to My Sister's Former Co-worker Gayle. Linda, this is just what you've been waiting for!

Gayle used to refuse to go into the shop because she was afraid she'd step in oil and fall down. So many of her coworkers found that alternately infuriating and amusing... so, we continue the Gayle tradition. Enjoy Linda, enjoy enjoy enjoy!

Last night was the first night since I believe October that we slept with the windows open.

It wasn't quite warm enough to do so, and we limited the open panes to our room only. They were open about 1/5 of the way, and you could hear the creek running, and peepers, and occasional cars.

I love sleeping in the spring and fall with the windows wide open, before the creek starts to smell funny (late May), the spring is rife with noise and moist air. Freshly turned earth as gardens are readied, swollen creek and pond giving flow to the Merrimack. In the fall, you can smell the woodsmoke of stoves and fireplaces in the neighborhood, or the residual scent of brush burned in yards. Crisp and cold, and dry, the air wraps around my head, my face, like a soul blanket, and the sounds help me sleep deeply... they drown out Doug snoring.

I slept semi-fitfully last night. It would have been better sleep, but I was interrupted at midnight-thirty by Geoff who wanted a cup of water. I made him pee, then got him one half cup of H2O. He downed it like a Hells Angel getting a triple shot of whiskey at a biker bar, filled his cup up again to the brim and downed that. I guess he didn't get enough liquid during the afternoon. I knew I'd have to wake up at some point after say 3am to have him hit the head.

At about 4:30 I thought I heard banging and all kinds of noise coming from the living room. I got up, discovered Kinger dead to the world asleep in the middle of the floor, but no source of noise. I went to the bathroom, went to Geoff's room to get him up and he wasn't there.

He'd relocated to the couch, not sure at what time, but he was out cold, breathing the breath of deepest sleep... so he didn't make any noise. I guess it was a dream, something to wake me up to get him to the bathroom.

Recently I asked our pediatrician why he sleeps so heavily and straight through the night and has an accident once in a while. He said that Geoff, like many five year old boys, hasn't figured out how to self-wake and take heed to the call of nature. Girls don't seem to have a problem with this, or if they do, it is far less common than it is with five year old boys. Jessica wet the bed once when she was like three and a half... that was it.

Boys eventually catch on, sometimes as late as age 8. Dr. E told me to wake him up consistently around midnight, and make him go to the bathroom. Which I've been doing. Two nights in a row I slept through midnight, and he didn't have an accident. He got himself up or he just stayed dry, I have no way of knowing... suffice to say, Dr. E is right on the money. As the father of three boys, he has the inside track on what boys do, not just as a professional who got a degree but someone who has been through the motions three times over.

I took Kinger for a walk yesterday but no swim. It was a quickie walk because I realized I needed to go to the market and get stuff for dinner, so I was pressed for time once I realized the day had been frittered away right here.

Doug had a professional development meeting yesterday that kept him at his school until 5:30 and brought him home grumpy and annoyed. So I had dinner prepped. I had painted shelves, I finished the hardware needs for a project Jessie had for school. Yesterday afternoon turned out pretty productive even though I crammed all the action into the last hour before his homecoming.

This morning I took both kids to school and then took Kinger for a swim.

There is a pond across the street from our house, but the last time the dogs (Missy was there) swam in this end of the pond they got nasty sores on their bodies and I was thoroughly freaked out. I am sure they got sores from some sort of chemical pollutant or something. Whatever makes the creek stinky in the summer... the town said none of the septic tanks near the pond is in violation, that the smell comes from a bacteria that grows on the tree leaves and branches, and when the water levels drop the bacteria rots... just like what happens in Nahant and Swampscott down closer to Boston on the ocean (those in the area know exactly what I'm talking about). The smell lasts as long as the bacteria or the branches and leaves are wet... so when the water level in the pond rises and drops, and the heat bakes the exposed materials, the smell goes on. I think someone's septic tank IS leaking, because lately we can catch whiffs of it in the winter... when it is freezing out, so you can't tell me that it's from bacteria baking in the sun. What a crock. But I digress.

So we went to the other end of the pond, where no one lives right now. There is a proposal to build a shitload of houses around the other side of the pond and a lot of people are angry. I am not sure how I feel about it, that's for another entry... but for right now, it was lovely to park on the side of the road, throw a stick, and have my dog hit the water. He loves to swim, and will keep going for hours.

Last spring a swan came out on this end of the pond, by itself, which was weird because swans usually always have a partner and mate for life. Local environmental junkies and animal rights fans were saddened to see the swan by him/herself (no one is sure if it is female or male) and insisted that someone killed the other swan. There's no proof of that, but it is sad to see him/her/it swimming around. Jessica and I would feed it honey nut cheerios and sit on the guard rail across the street and watch it swim. It had a posse of about 10 ducks of different breeds that would swim with it. We thought it was awesome. It would come up out of the pond and eat right at our feet. Such a treat... we loved hanging with the swan.

Then it vanished. We didn't see it at all for the rest of the summer.

Today, I saw it again. It is living at the unpopulated end of the pond, tucked deep into the swampy part of where the pond meets the woods. It swam out to find out what we were doing, came out of the brush to the far right, honked a few times in a curious way, Kinger was fascinated... I called back with the honk and it got very close. It didn't get at all defensive or spread its wings. Kinger swam out to check it out, but it swam farther out into the pond... I had visions of Kinger not making it back, but eventually he turned around when he finally realized the swan wasn't going to let him have a good sniff. Then, after it realized we had no food and weren't swans, it swam back to where it was staying. I'm going to swing back later and try and get some pictures of it.

I ran around in the woods when I got home, trespassing on my neighbor's well marked land "NO TRESPASSING!!!" Asshole. It's the woods. I can walk in the fucking woods. Anyway, I digress. I will go over to the other side of the pond later and see if I can get the swan to come out and say hello. I'll be sure to bring honey nut cheerios. In the meantime, here are pictures from the creek and the woods right behind my house, and the primary reason I love living here. That and we can afford it. Those are the two biggest reasons.

From the edge of our property, you can see our church, and the back side of Jessica's friend Maddy's house. For the longest time the two girls have longed to build a bridge to span property edge to property edge... unfortunately, my neighbor's property is in the middle.

I climbed down low and looked west to where the street is. There is this big island in the middle of the creek which is visible most always. The neighbor kids have put all kinds of crap on that little island... broken lawn furniture, a broken trampoline. They suck.

A fleet of tiger lilies lines the area where Geoff likes to stand and throw rocks into the creek. This is visible from our deck and our side windows.

Evidence of the mill that once ran right behind where our house is today. There are TONS of bricks back there. Enough to build another house.

More lilies... this is behind our property line on a little ridge overlooking the creek. Our old landlord had a chair back here, and grew the lilies for himself even though they were on the neighbor's property. Back then, stuff like that didn't rightly matter.

More mill evidence... a fireplug in the middle of nowhere.

Vibrant. Verdant. Green. Spring is here! Spring is here!

I love our woods, even if they technically belong to someone else right past the tree line.

My tenant just came downstairs and informed me that her bedroom and their livingroom were FULL of flying ants or something. I went up, and sure as eggs is eggs, another sign of vibrant verdant spring. So I came down here to check out the situation and Jessica's room and picture window are swarming, the front door is full of them, my livingroom now has them. Fuck Fuck gah damnitfuck! Terminix will be here at 2pm. I called five "local" small businesses, local guys in the phone book. Got their answering machines. I would rather deal with a local bloke, but in this case, the big company was the last company I called, and they are having someone here ASAP.

Jen showered down here... she is all freaked. Her laundry, her TV, her bureau... covered. I'm freaked too because they're starting to get thick around the couch in my living room. The dude said not to spray or do anything ... just hang tight and they'll get her quickly. So I am going to quickly clean up Jessie's room, get the toys off the floor and the dirty laundry all taken care of. My skin is crawling! I hate this. If it's not one damn thing, it's another! MEH! MEH! MEH! more later.

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