Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The EX-Terminator

All right, I admit it. I have a hopeless crush on the bug man after what he did for me.

I called maintenance with a request to have the exterminator come because I had been seeing roaches (I think) and some other smaller bugs that I wouldn't go away. Fully expecting a similar disaster to that of the Carbon Monoxide (see CO-Habitating Post), I hesitated to call, and then when I finally did, prepared myself for a hopeless parade of nonsense taking up to a month to fully resolve the issue. I was also hesitant to have an exterminator come into my home with his full suit on and set off a stinky, dangerous bug bomb with Dominic here.

Instead, I was amazed to hear 1) the exterminator comes every other week and 2) we'll send him by as soon as he gets here. Most shocking of all, I hear the unmistakable pound of a serviceman on my door just 3 hours after I called. The bug man had come. He looked just like a normal respectable guy. No suit, no tank. Just a little wand and container.

You have bugs? Yes, I have bugs. Where? In the kitchen, in almost every cabinet and counter and under the sink. All right, let me take a look.

I disappear into the back room with Timmy and Dominic both wailing. Timmy because this man is a stranger and Dominic because I have told him "no" he can't stay in the kitchen and "help".

I come out minutes later to see if everything is going okay, and he tells me he's found the bugs and will take care of them. Very kindly he reassures me, lots of people think that they need to just put up with bugs, but that's not true. They're not a fact of life, and I can get rid of them. Maybe they came in with an appliance (the new stove????), or slipped in through a crack. Clearly you keep everything very clean, don't worry about that. See these paper bags under the sink, they need to go. Bugs love paper bags. I put beads of gel in all the cracks and in the corners of cupboards. They will not survive this stuff. Anything else? Okay, give me a call if you see any bugs in a week, and I'll come and do a second round.


The next morning, I walk into the kitchen and the casualties are strewn across my floor, their pathetic black bodies limp on the linoleum. I find a sick delight in this. 10 more down. We are winning the battle. The very fact that they are coming out during the day and shakily walking around means we're getting to them. They are nocturnal, and their appearance means that they are drunken with insecticide and losing their buggy instincts. Ha ha ha, I say (out loud). Good bye bugs.

Thank you, bug man. You're so nice.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dominic's Posse

These are Dominic's little friends Timmy (15 months) and Margaret (21 months). Wish we could have that much fun just sitting on a couch!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Damage Control Is More Like It

We were having a guest over shortly after Dominic's bedtime, so I thought I'd get a little jump on the tidying up that inevitably needed to be done after Dominic has been around.

Having this picking up down to a relative science, I put all the colorful board books on their shelf, shove the talking stuffed animals into their shelf, and pick up all miscellaneous legos, blocks, and measuring cups off the floor and back into their wicker basket. I scoop up the throw pillows, fluff them a bit and put them on the loveseat. Then I grab the sandals, pajamas, and magazine that Dominic has dragged out into the hallway and I quickly haul them back to their various places.

By the time I get back to living room--mind you, not more than 90 seconds later--half the throw pillows are on the floor, he's pulled the wicker basket back out, and he's sitting in a pile with all his books and animals. With moderate exasperation, I start back at the throw pillows, vaguely thinking that this is silly and I should just wait until he goes to bed. But, wanting to have it done as soon as possible, I neglect that small, reasonable voice and go about my re-doing.
With manufactured patience, I kindly command Dominic, "Go find your Doggy." In his extremely endearing way, he toddles off with his cute little legs making his diaper crinkle at every penguin step. I sigh to myself and finish picking up the books. It's a good thing he's so cute and at least knows what Doggy means.

Then I hear the unmistakable noise of a whole box of legos being dumped out on his bedroom floor. Not so cute. Bedtime. Now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dominic Words

Maa-ma = Mama
Da = Daddy
Ny ny = bedtime
Ra-ra = raisin
Craw-ka = cracker
Ba = bottle or ball (context)
Duh-kuh = doggy
eye = hi
O = hello
eeeh = everything else

Monday, May 12, 2008

Could I be the One You're Looking For?

No joke, these are personal ads from the most recent issue of the New York Review of Books.

So, who's type are you?

BRAINS, LOOKS, and a great sense of fun. Successful, Boston based, Ph.D., writer. Sparkles with warmth, style, and a quiet sexiness. Tone, fit, easygoing, romantic, blonde. Proactive and generous, yet no tolerance for injustice or arrogance. Game for travel adventures--penchant for Rome, San Miguel (dreams of one day speaking Spanish fluently), can never get enough of London, fantasizes about visiting Bali with special man. Fan of political humor, jazz, champagne, good fiction, steaks on the grill, sunny days. Appreciative of talent, be it sports, theater, music. Seeks bright, passionate, active man. 50-early 70s.

or perhaps:

PLEASURE-LOVING WRITER and intellectual; dark hair, nice slender shape. Academic with no time for the academic hooey; immoderately literary, unexpectedly sexy. Ardent, if unsophisticated, observer of rivers, trees, and tides. ...

but really, this is probably the best fit:

INTELLECTUAL ODYSSEUS (Ph.D., 66) seeking California Penelope to share the arts and life with.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The "eeehs"

Over and over, all day long, I hear "eeeh" "eeeh" "eeeh". It wouldn't be so bad if there were any variety in the tone of that nasal, monosyllabic utterance. I am very excited for the day that he learns some basic words. Here's a samplig of what the eeehs look like and possible interpretations. Keep in mind that for each "word" there are enough eehs not only to get my attention, but to motivate me to action.

eeeh...I'm hungry...

I'm thirsty...

eeeh...I'm done...

eeeh...I'm stuck...

eeeh...I can't reach...

eeeh...I want that...

eeeh...I can't have that...

Right now, in fact, as I type, I have gotten thirteen in a row, I assume because I'm on the computer and he's not allowed to be. Or maybe because I'm on the computer and not paying direct attention to him. Sometimes, simply by ignoring the eeeh, it goes away. Except for the ringing in my ears. Will that ever go away?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cool word: Thurible

I just read this word in a First Things article and had no idea what in meant. Now it will probably appear in the next three things I read, as always seems to happen.

thurible (thŏŏr'ə-bəl) n.

A censer used in certain ecclesiastical ceremonies or liturgies.

"In truth, though, confronted by such enormous suffering, Christians have less to fear from the piercing dialectic of the village atheist than they do from the earnestness of certain believers, and from the clouds of cloying incense wafting upward from the open thuribles of their hearts." (Tsunami and Theodicy

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Color, Paint, and Pomegranate

Fruit is amazing. This is one aspect of creation that never fails to astound me. The colors are phenomenal. Painters have the hardest time trying to copy the pure, bright, rich yellow of a lemon or the luscious translucent purple of a grape. In my oil painting class I must have spent two weeks trying to capture the right vibrancy, shape, and texture of an orange for my still life. Granted, non-amateur painters can do it much faster because they have learned the tricks and have the best, lead-based cadmium paints, but even so, fruits (and vegetables) are an endless subject for painting because of their variety and pleasing appearance.

If it's good fruit, the inside will be even better than the outside. How can it be that this fruit, spawned by millions of years of evolution, has decided that is advantageous to be the right size for a human hand. To be tough on the outside to resist insects and other damaging forces? To be juicy and easy to eat on the inside? To be ready to eat without any preparation?

When you want to eat it, you can cut it in half. But until you cut it in half, exposing the succulent inside, the rind or peel protects the fruit from spoiling. It almost seems like fruit was made to be eaten...

There are "personal" fruits like:
Kumquats (I've never actually eaten one of these)

And then there are some fruits, like the pineapple, that are clearly meant for group consumption. I can't think of any ontological reason for this, but it is interesting.

Musk melon
Coconut (does that count as a fruit?)

Then there is pomegranate, which is just plain strange. Is it a personal or a shared fruit? Surely pomegranates are not actually meant for any sort of nutrition. I mean, they taste great, but they are so much work to eat. You eat 10 seeds and are then too tired to eat any more. Maybe they are dieters' fruit.