Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Eastern Market

The Pit and I took a little trip to Eastern Market this weekend to try and find some stuff to decorate our blank white walls. For the 90% of you reading from California, Eastern Market is part farmers market, part flea market, and part craft fair. It’s a neat place to just wander around, although the downside to it being in the middle of DC is that prices are quite a bit higher than they would be in more out-of-the-way places.

Anyway, we had unwisely failed to eat breakfast before leaving the house, and somehow the lack of food turned me into a nagging, whining baby as soon as we stepped outside our front door. If The Pit had been smart, he would have stopped somewhere, anywhere, to cram some food in my mouth and shut me up, but instead we drove straight to the Metro, and then proceeded to spend a somewhat…tense…hour staring at each other as I grumbled and he alternatively ignored and aggravated me. It didn’t help that the train had some sort of issue two stops shy of our destination, forcing us to get off and walk in the heat.

This development did not really improve my mood any, and by the time we got to Eastern Market I was sweaty, starving, and completely insufferable. It’s quite a testament to The Pit’s love that I didn’t wind up abandoned at a fancy fruit stand. See, as it turns out, The Pit had…alternatives...to going home with me.

We had some lunch and then purchased a few old maps suitable for framing and hanging in the living room. On our way out, we also bought a largish pot full of herbs, which The Pit was delegated to carry on the Metro. Unbeknownst to us, apparently a medley of herbs is like an irresistible siren call to the urban homosexual, because shortly after getting on a packed subway car, The Pit had not one but two well cut boys in pink polo shirts crowding close, sniffing at his pot, and asking him leading questions about his rosemary and thyme.

It’s a good thing for me that The Pit is immune to such manly wiles, because had he decided to abandon the nagging girlfriend and tried playing for the other team, he could have scored quite the pair of home runs.*

* Heh, heh. Oh man, sometimes I crack myself up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ow Ow Ow

So I'm typing this post from the bed, in order to better contort myself into less painful positions. See, yesterday The Pit and I spent about an hour hauling an extremely heavy file cabinet from my car to our building, and then up several flights of stairs to our apartment. Because I am an old, old lady, now my back is killing me. And really, I have nobody to blame but myself, since I was the one that purchased it.

It was a Craigslist buy, and as it turns out, I should have just left it in the heavily chotchkied house where I found it. All those little angels and babies were clearly a warning to flee! Flee for my life! And yet I stupidly handed over my money, and here we are.

And the worst part is, that damned cabinet is both too big for the desk it sits next to, and entirely the wrong color. So now I have to put it up on Craigslist myself, and try to find something else. Oh, the wasted effort.

On a somewhat related tangent, the previous owner of the devil cabinet was named Jack, and in our email exchange he had asked me to call about a half hour before showing up at his house. So I dutifully call, and get some lady on the phone. I ask for Jack, and in very bemused tones, she hands the phone over. Here's a script of the next couple of minutes:

"Hi, this is Peachy, I'm calling about that filing cabinet from Craigslist."
Heavy southern accent: "Errrrr...whaaaat file cabinet?"
Me, thinking to myself that Craigslist people are the flakiest and strangest on the planet, but forging on anyway. "The filing cabinet from Craigslist. We exchanged emails and you asked me to call you before coming."
Me, now thinking "Oh God Oh God Oh God" to myself: "Are you selling a filing cabinet online?"
"Not to mah knowledge ma'am."

So it turns out that I had called the wrong number, but mysteriously also gotten a Jack on the phone, leading to much confusion, as the Southern Jack had never even really heard of Craigslist, and definitely wasn't selling a filing cabinet there. This was clearly another sign to flee that I completely missed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


For you to truly appreciate the humor of my recent encounter with a neighbor, I have to go back and relate a rather...unfortunate...incident from high school.

It was either my sophomore or junior year, but regardless, I was young and fresh-faced and it was the first day of school. My first class was Psychology, and as Psych is inherently a rather wishy-washy science, we were not expected to learn anything that day. Instead, our teacher assigned us some sort of getting-to-know-you exercise with the person sitting beside us.

I was thrilled, because the person sitting next me was a guy. A very cute guy named Matt, who happened to be both a year older, and one of the cool kids. Matt and I spent the next hour in what I thought was a mutually enjoyable conversation, from which one salient fact stands out after all these years: Matt was Jewish. Once this point of similarity was established, I was sure I could win his heart, or at least some organ in near proximity.

So first period ended, and I floated off to my second class of the day convinced that I had charmed Matt with my wit and good looks, and that he was bound to ask me out soon. I was finally going to break out of the nerd ghetto! So I sat down in my seat, only to have my friend Tracy saunter down the aisle and slap a shiny hand mirror on my desk. Taking this not-so-subtle hint, I opened it up, and saw to my horror that there was a gigantic blob of cream cheese on my nose.

Yes, that’s right: I had spent all of first period flirting with a boy, entirely unaware of this regrettable development. One would think that the shock of that moment would would be seared into my brain, and prevent me from ever leaving the house again without first checking my face in the mirror.* And yet (foreshadowing), let me bring you back to the present day.

Now, those of you familiar with my morning rituals know that unlike my love for Matt, my adoration for cream cheese has not abated. I still have some on a bagel or English muffin every morning. So a few days ago I had my usual breakfast, then went to run some errands. You know, the grocery store, Target, the bank...places with plenty of people. And as I'm walking up the stairs with all my groceries, I bump into an elderly gentleman coming out of the apartment next door. We chat, we introduce ourselves, we shake hands, etc. Being of the elderly persuasion, this nice man has nothing exciting going on on, so our neighborly conversation takes up a goodly number of minutes. Eventually though, I make it into by own apartment, and head to the bathroom to put away some recently purchased soap.

It is at this point that I look into the mirror and see a nice smear of cream cheese on my face. Clearly, I have learned nothing in the 10 or so years since high school. But more importantly, neither has anyone else. I mean, good lord America, why does nobody point these things out to me sooner??

* Or I could eat more neatly, but really, who are we kidding?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oh frozen custard, how we'll miss you

Last June I came for my first visit to DC after The Pit moved here. All in all, between the heat wave, my instance on walking through Arlington National Cemetery, and my penchant for wearing uncomfortable shoes, the trip could have gone better. However, one of the bright spots was The Pit taking me for frozen custard at Dairy Godmother, a tiny local place with very tasty desserts.

We've gone back numerous times, and in fact chose our current residence partially based on it's proximity to Dairy Godmother and the delicious delicious frozen custard served there. So we were sitting around yesterday, actually contemplating a visit to Dairy Godmother in the evening, when I opened Lappy and saw this story on MSNBC. Apparently, some local informed Obama about the goodness that is Dairy Godmother, and he took his daughters there yesterday afternoon.

So this sucks on two completely different levels: A) If we had decided to go out for lunch instead of having sandwiches at home, we could totally have been there when the freaking President of the United States walked in and got in line. And B) DC is apparently horribly trendy, and now that Obama has visited, it's going to be impossible to even get in the door.

We've been through this before. Shortly after I moved here, The Pit and I wanted burgers, and decided to go to a well-reviewed local hole-in-the-wall called Ray's Hell Burger after a long day of furniture shopping. Except Obama and Biden had lunch there the previous week, and when we swung by around 3 PM on a Sunday, the line had snaked out the door and throughout the parking lot. It was completely insane, and doubly unfortunate because we were already both starving and grumpy by the time we got there.

I mean, I guess I understand that the Obamas deserve burgers and frozen custard just like the rest of us...I just wish their visits didn't leave the places completely mobbed for weeks.

Friday, June 19, 2009


So, in a move that I must admit was not entirely unexpected, the lovable paranoid I live with has decided that it is no longer tolerable for random googlers looking for Chayote Salad recipes to know our first names. He has requested, nay, demanded, that I choose a nom de plume, and thoroughly anonymize this blog.

I think it would please me to come up with an appropriate blog name for him. However, so far the best I can do is "The Man Peach" or "The Most Paranoid Peach". I am clearly neither funny nor creative enough for this endeavor,* and Dina is out of town on a business trip. Thus I must turn to you. Any thoughts?

* The whole Peachy thing comes from my Warcraft name, and the less said about that the better.

ETA: Although Nikole Sasha Fierce had an excellent suggestion with 'Fuzzy Little Man Peach,' and Eric came up with a whole Peaches and Cream theme, I think we will be going with 'The Pit' from here on out.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adam and Eve

I know I haven't been posting much this week, but after The Pit came back from his business trip, we were all cuddly and coupley, and nobody wants to read about that.

However, there was an amusing incident the other night. We had been discussing an acquaintance of The Pit's just prior to bedtime, and he mentioned that this girl allegedly had an extra rib. The conversation then moved on,* and we turned off the lights and started drifting off to sleep, when The Pit, clearly still ruminating, busted out with "An extra rib? No one has extra bones!"

At this point, I mumbled something about people being born with vestigial tails, and how that was clearly much weirder than extra ribs. Not being one to let an argument drop, even half asleep, The Pit insisted that an extra rib was much weirder than a HUMAN TAIL, because it was a bone, whereas human tails are merely little bits of extra skin and tissue.

As I too am incapable of letting things go, I then made my fatal mistake and opined that some vestigial tails probably had bones in them. The Pit vehemently but sleepily disagreed**. At this point, there was nothing to it but to turn the lights back on, pull out lappy, and thoroughly investigate the topic. As it turned out, human tails in fact do not have bones in them, so The Pit was right...again. Sigh. One of these days, I will be the correct one, and then there will be much gloating.

* How, I don't know. This is exactly the type of topic we can fixate on for hours.
** There was considerable mumbling involved.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chayote Salad

A while back, The Pit and I saw a cooking show that incorporated a vegetable called the chayote. Never one to willingly sample the weird and the new, I was not particularly enthused, but The Pit wanted to try it, so I dutifully bought a couple of the pear-shaped globes when I saw them at the supermarket. They were $0.79 each, by the way, and located over by the potatoes. Here's one in my hand for a size comparison:

I stuffed them into the refrigerator, and proceeded to ignore them for two weeks, until The Pit chopped one up, and forced me to try it. The vegetable is in the squash/cucumber family, so I suppose it's no surprise that it was fairly bland, a bit reminiscent of a cucumber or very mild squash, but with a more pleasing texture...nice and crispy, more like an apple. I thought I also detected hints of cauliflower, and the seed tasted a little mushroomy to me. Definitely different from anything I'd tried before, but quite pleasant once we removed the seed.

Although the show we watched had boiled the chayote and used it like a potato in a recipe, we decided to audition it in a salad. We used the following ingredients, which resulted in two large portions for dinner, plus a smaller one for The Pit's lunch the next day.
  • 1 chayote, peeled and diced
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons green and red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise*
  • salt and pepper
* I know some of you won't love the mayo as salad dressing, but it was delicious. You can substitute your favorite dressing instead.

1: Dice tomato, bell pepper, and onion. Add to a medium sized mixing bowl.

2: Although wikipedia says it isn't necessary, peel the chayote, chop it in half, and scoop out the slightly lighter seed in the middle. Dice and add to the bowl.

3: Chop up the fresh dill and parsley, mix with other ingredients.

4: Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste, and mix in the mayonnaise or your favorite dressing.

The results? Delicious: The Pit and I both had seconds, leaving barely anything for him to take for lunch. I'm glad he forced me to try the chayote, because it's a nice change of pace from our usual salads, keeps well in the fridge, and is apparently full of various vitamins and minerals. I think we'll be experimenting with it in other recipes too.

Friday, June 12, 2009

It figures...

So you all remember the TRIUMPH!!! post a mere day and a half ago? I take it all back. I had thought that the analog-to-digital switch could only upset a handful of little old ladies with rabbit ears. But apparently, it affects them, AND ME. And nobody else in the country, except the other unfortunates out there with a dual-tuner Tivo, which is set up to record two shows at once, USING ANALOG SIGNAL.

I'm just a teeny tiny bit upset. Because all that splitting and rewiring and going to Best Buy? Turns out I now have to undo all that in order for Tivo to work properly again. And by properly, I mean at reduced functionality, because from now on it will only be able to record one show at a time.

If anyone else out there is the same boat, I will save you extensive googling: go here, follow directions.

God, being independent sucks.

Oh, Riesling

Last night I had dinner with two of The Pit's female friends from grad school, and between the three of us and a bottle of wine, I think I can safely say that a good time was had by all. As is often the case when women and wine get together, the gossip and salacious stories flowed freely. I would tell you more, but I'm pretty sure that the impropriety of it all would probably kill The Pit. So my lips remain sealed, but if you ladies are reading this, thank you for a lovely evening. I've missed girl talk since moving here.

On a whole other note...really people? Not a single one of you could muster a workout song recommendation? I post and I post, and this is what I get in return?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Requesting Input

After several months of sloth-like inactivity, I've decided to resume my thrice weekly trips to the gym. However, I went this morning, and found my iPod playlist sadly lacking in the motivation department.

I have some Bon Jovi on there, a few of the faster Queen songs, some Poison and Green Day, as well as a selection of upbeat country songs. However, on the uphill parts of the elliptical routine, I find myself constantly searching for 'Bleed It Out'* by Linkin Park, which is a bit...rougher...than the stuff I normally listen to. Also, you will notice, significantly newer than the rest of my selections. I know, I know, I'm an easy-listening old lady at heart.

However, some of you must enjoy music from the current century, and thus I seek your recommendations. For those that exercise, what song do you listen to at the most difficult part of the workout? For the rest of you, if you had to drag your lazy asses off the couch, what song would you pick to accompany you?

* Do not listen to this at work unless you have headphones or are a member of the Cahill lab.


That's right, Tivo is back! And it only took me a mere 9 hours. Turns out the Comcast tech should have taken a look at the Tivo directions, because he incorrectly connected one cable, while forgetting to put in 3 others and a splitter. Do not ask me why it took a gal with a doctorate an entire day to set things right.*

I braved thunder, lighting, Best Buy, and horrifying insects, but with Eric's patient counsel, have emerged victorious. Not only does Tivo now record from all channels, but I can also use its remote to control the cable box.

Between this and dealing with the insect invasion, I'm feeling mighty independent right now. Perhaps even independent enough to purchase health insurance and send off a couple of resumes. The productivity is positively seething in me, so let's hope I actually get something useful done today.

* Did you learn the difference between Serial and IR cables in grad school? Didn't think so. IR cables are the stupidest things I've ever seen, by the way. What sort of cable doesn't plug into its intended device, but instead requires being scotch taped to the front of the cable box? Not only does it look ghetto, but it's freaking scotch tape. The stupid thing is going to start falling off any time now.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Although a Comcast executive did not personally call and let me know it was happening, apparently God himself authorized it, and our HBO was activated sometime yesterday evening. Of course, shortly thereafter I discovered another TV-related disaster. Our Tivo had worked fine prior to the tech hooking up the cable box. But now, it will only record from one channel, and that channel happens to be the CW. Much as The Pit loves America's Next Top Model, we would like to occasionally watch something else.

I spent a fruitless afternoon rummaging behind the television, instructed by Eric, who happens to be chilling in Sweden with nothing better to do. We may or may not have diagnosed the root of the problem, but the solution remains elusive.

HOWEVER, during one of my forays behind the TV, I heard an ominous buzzing noise coming from the kitchen. I looked up, and saw some sort of multi-legged apparition flying around. Step one was of course to panic. After slamming the door to my bedroom and taking some deep breaths, I put on some armor (ie: pants*) and ventured back into the living room to take a closer look. It was at this point that I realized that I was watching not just one huge insect, but some unholy and unnatural union. Creeping yet closer, I discovered a gigantic wasp clasping a large spider in it's jaws. Dina has helpfully illustrated my discovery thusly:

Now I could have lived with maybe a bee or a large fly bouncing fruitlessly against the windows, but this was not going to work for me. So I gathered my courage and found an empty pickle jar, then stalked the wasp/spider duo until they landed on a suitably flat surface. At this point I attempted to capture the horrible combo in the jar. Unfortunately, my efforts caused the wasp to drop the spider, but most fortuitously, the thing was either dead, stunned, or paralyzed, because it just lay there.

Containing my revulsion, I captured the wasp and ran outside with it, nearly breaking the pickle jar in my attempts to release it without getting near it. Then I ran back upstairs and jarred the still dormant spider, as I didn't want to take any chances after my little unidentified bug bite experience. After I had appropriately disposed of all insect/arachnid invaders, it occurred to me to wonder where they had come from. All my windows are shut against the unbearable heat today, and it wasn't like these were small tiny bugs I might have missed earlier. So wtf...could they somehow have come in through the air-conditioning?

* What? It's hot here!

Monday, June 8, 2009


My to-do list for this morning included the following items:
  • Make sure visiting cable tech actually gives us free HBO.
  • Link new checking account to old savings account.
  • Purchase lamp for living room.
  • Procure groceries for the week.
About Item 1: we were supposed to get 6 months of free HBO with the cable package in the new apartment, but after the tech left we realized we were still sadly HBO-less. Originally I didn’t care that much, but then we started watching True Blood, and it became imperative that our household acquire HBO by Sunday the 14th.

So on Friday I manned up and called Comcast, and after extensive navigating of the automated system, followed by much discussion with customer service, finally got somebody to admit that we were indeed supposed to have HBO. They sent another tech out this morning to put some sort of magical HBO cable chip into our Tivo, which would in theory allow us to get HBO without renting a cable box for $3/month. Except all the equipment he brought was incompatible with Tivo, necessitating multiple trips back and forth to his van, as well as vigorous sighing. Eventually, Tivo was relegated to VCR status, a cable box was installed, and yet another remote jointed the collection on our coffee table.

Lo and behold, we flipped to the HBO channel, and got a notice that HBO wasn’t authorized for us, followed by a number to call. How it wasn’t authorized when the entire purpose of the tech's visit was to turn it on, I don’t know, but he assured me that I could just call the number, and somebody somewhere would hit a button allowing us access. I was dubious, but I stupidly let him leave.

Then I sat on the phone with customer service, repeating our original tale of woe, now with a couple of added paragraphs about Tivo, non-functioning chips, and newly installed cable boxes. For my trouble, I was assured that I had not, in fact, signed up for HBO service. After another go-around of this, * I was told that the customer service rep wasn’t authorized to turn on HBO, but that he would put in a ticket and someone higher up would call me back. Apparently HBO is some sort of Holy Grail of cable, not accessible by mere customers, technicians, or customer service representatives.

* Now with me clenching my teeth and hissing a little.

Sadly unable to cross off Item 1 on my agenda, I proceeded to Item 2. I had thought that this would be a simple matter of going to my online ING savings account, clicking the ‘Add New Link’ button, and entering in my new checking account info. Except that the first thing I clicked on wasn’t the New Link button, but the Customer Information button, where I noticed my old address still listed as my residence. So I changed it to my new address, and then tried to click the New Link button. But the New Link button had vanished.

You see, it turns out that you can’t add a linked checking account online for 30 days after changing your contact info. This was explained to me by a helpful customer service rep on the phone, after verifying my identity in triplicate and getting my PIN number. After this rigmarole, it turned out that I couldn’t add a linked account on the phone either, but rather that I had to send them an honest to God paper check in a paper envelope, using the United States Postal Service like it was 1990 or something. Five days after they receive and process it, I may or may not have access to my own money. We’ll see, I guess.

A bit discouraged but with a little fight left in me, I turned to Item 3 on my list. I’d been greedily eyeing this lamp** from CB2 for a week, because it would be perfect in our living room. However, as I am super cheap, I couldn’t justify spending $150 on a lamp, no matter how perfect. Then several wonderful, beautiful, and generous relatives sent us checks expressly for the procurement of housewarming gifts. It took me another week of convincing myself, and futilely inspecting nearby and online stores for something similar yet cheaper, but I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy the lamp this morning. There was no way this was going to be anything other than a straightforward internet transaction. Enter credit card info, receive lamp in 7 to 10 business days.

** Link keeps getting broken, but I've added the image for your convenience.

Expect as you’ve probably noticed if you already followed the above link, the lamp is no longer available online. It would be necessary to call them and find out what deal was, and hope that their inventory would be replenished shortly. So I called my third customer service number in as many hours, cringing a bit in anticipation. As it turned out, nothing is ever simple, and their inventory would not be replenished shortly. However, I could call the nearest CB2 store (in New York!) and beg them to ship me one of the lamps they still had on their shelves. Yet another phone call later, the begging was successful, and in theory I now have a lamp coming my way. With the way things are going, I’ll believe it when I see it.

The 4th item on my agenda was procuring groceries, and thankfully, this mission was accomplished smoothly. However, when I returned home carrying the bags, I found a notice on our building, indicating that a water pipe had burst and that our water was now turned off. Apparently they will try to get it restored ASAP. It’s 87 degrees out, I had not turned on the air-conditioning before I left, and I was forced to wash my face and hands with water leftover in our kettle.

Let me tell you, Internets. There is no fucking way I’m looking for a job today.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

True Blood

Since Dina hasn't posted anything for many a week...ahem...I will take up the mantle of recommending stuff. Specifically, if anyone out there is looking for entertainment of the DVD variety, I suggest you go and rent Discs 1-5 of True Blood.

Yes, it is about indeed about vampires, and although there was some initial skepticism from both of us at Blockbuster,* I'm glad that The Pit and I ultimately agreed to rent the first couple of episodes. We've now gone through the first season in a week, and are pretty psyched that we get 6 months of HBO for free, because the second season is slated to start next Sunday.

I will admit that as a result of the show, I now have to deal with random outbursts of Southern-accented yelling from my partner in crime, but this is a cross I'm willing to bear.

A word of warning: do not research True Blood on Wikipedia, it is a plethora of spoilers.

* I was alarmed that the show might involve actual horror, while The Pit was more concerned that it would resemble Twilight. Happily, the show has little gore and less teenage romance.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Zesty Mexican Blintzes

And now to take your minds off the last post, something completely different. I could have sworn that I adapted this recipe from instructions on the back of a can of Rotel tomatoes, years ago. But I can't find it on their site, and it seems just as likely that I found it on a package of taco seasoning. As I normally hate chilies and have never once made tacos, I don't know why I would have purchased either of those products, but there you have it. After vigorous googling, I found the original recipe (or possibly an approximation thereof) here, but I think that my version is much more delicious, not to mention healthy.

What you'll need to make 10 blintzes (enough for 2 dinner and 2 lunch portions):
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I use mild)
  • 10 taco-sized flour tortillas
  • 4 oz jack or cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb of chicken, tenders or breasts*
  • 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 1/2 can corn, drained
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • a couple of green onion stalks, diced
  • olive oil
  • about 20 wooden toothpicks
* You can easily omit the chicken for a vegetarian version. They will still be tasty.

And for the accompanying guacamole:
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1 package guacamole seasoning
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 small red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
What you'll need to do:

1: Drain the canned veggies, and mix together the tomatoes, corn, and beans. Chop up some green onion, and add that to the mix. Set aside.

2: Cut up the chicken into 10 smallish portions, like so:

3: Slice the cheese into 10 equal pieces. Put in a plastic ziplock bag with some air and the taco seasoning (I use about half the package of seasoning). Shake until the cheese is coated.

4: Start preheating the oven to 425°F at this point. Wrap the tortillas in paper towels and microwave for 1 minute to make them warm and flexible. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with some Pam or olive oil.

5: Assemble the blintzes. Put 1 piece of cheese, 1 portion of chicken, and 2-3 tablespoons of veggie filling into the center of each tortilla. Fold in all four sides, and secure the flaps with toothpicks. Once all the blintzes are assembled on the baking sheet, brush or spray with a bit more olive oil.

6: Bake for 15 minutes at 425°F. While the blintzes are cooking, mix together the guacamole.

7: Once out of the oven, let the blintzes cool for at least 5 minutes (10 is better), then take out the toothpicks and serve. Be careful, the cheese inside stays hot for a long time, and the unwary may end up chomping greedily and then gibbering and spilling a bit. This is especially unfortunate if you've been eating these on your brand new couch. Ahem.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


It’s official, the state of Virginia hates me. First the drivers, and now this:

That is a picture of my foot as of this morning. I would like to point out that this is the less severe of the two bug bites I woke up with yesterday. The other one I absentmindedly scratched at, and is now sort of…oozy.* Note the beginnings of a red circle around the bite. I’m not sure what that means, but looking it up on Google leads to all sorts of horrifying possibilities. Natives of the East Coast, do you have any suggestions?

As Dina pointed out, the insects of this region apparently perceive my lower extremities as visceral and yet delicious threats. I mean, who amongst us can forget the Great Mosquito Attack of ’08? None of you, I’m sure, as I remember whining about how very very itchy I was for the remainder of that visit.

However, as I'm not one to miss an opportunity, I'll post the picture anyway, as a reprisal for those that might have missed it the first time around:

Yes, each of those red bumps is a mosquito bite. Yes, it was miserable. And yes, someone of sounder mind would flee immediately back to California. Yet somehow here I still am, jobless and itching.

* I'm demonstrating a modicum of restraint and not posting the picture of that one.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I am somewhat irritated to report that The Pit was right about something security-related. I think everyone reading this can guess which side each respective participant supported during our on-going…discussions…about reasonable safety precautions versus crazy fantasies of home invasion.

Predictably, my beloved is of the opinion that our front door should remain locked while we are home. This way any passing hobos who decide to take a jaunt up to the third floor of our locked apartment building will be frustrated in their search for accessible toilet facilities. Perhaps also predictably, coming home from work has been a disappointing experience for Mike in this regard, as not once has it occurred to me to lock the door behind me after getting the mail.

Anyway, mysterious bolded A and another friend of The Pit’s from grad school, whose first name also frustratingly begins with A,* were at our house Saturday night. We had rented the first two episodes of True Blood, and were engrossed in the story line when an odd scrabbling noise at the front door distracted us. It went on and on, until I paused the DVD and The Pit went to investigate. When he opened the door, he found a clearly intoxicated and thoroughly surprised young man with a key that didn’t work in our lock. The dude mumbled something about having left some stuff of his in the apartment, and then wandered off confused. After much speculation on our part, it turned out he had mistaken our apartment for his lady friend’s next door. Presumably he eventually found the right place, since A and A bumped into him leaving the building with an armload of laundry later that night.

An experience like this would normally bring me nothing but joy, what with the excellent opportunities for neighborly conversation that now exist...but sadly the whole thing has been sullied by The Pit being proved right about the damn door. And not just proved right, but proved right in front of witnesses! To his credit, there was a minimum of gloating after the obligatory 'told you so,' although I'm sure this little encounter will be brought up the next time we do a tally of which one of us is right more often.** Thanks for nothing stupid drunk guy.

* Henceforth she will be mysterious italicized A.
** Recent disagreements while driving, mediated by Google upon our return home, include a discussion of whether tomatoes are acidic enough to cause indigestion (yes, score one for The Pit), and whether one can call a line of questioning 'invasive' (indeed, score one for me). Car rides with us are tons of fun!