Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bug Guts and Glory

Where the hell else am I supposed to spray? This half-house, as I call it (though it probably fits the definition of an apartment more) is small enough that I have to be careful about where I spray so that the dogs aren't sniffing around out of curiosity. They've been with us long enough to know that this is the time of year when it's necessary to spray for bugs because of the heat, but I prefer to be extra-cautious.

And yet, even after having totally bombed the length of the patio with Raid Ant & Roach when I knew that it wouldn't be the time for the dogs to pee out there (for those just joining us, the patio, with its pebble ground, is a suitable simulation of the Las Vegas landscape, which would be visited upon by my dogs every day after we move there, which is not now, but soon, I hope), I'm getting reminders of where I haven't sprayed and wondering how I should handle this.

That poured out because a few minutes ago, I saw a spider crawling past on the wall behind the computer monitor. Having no other whacking device handy, I used the back of the black computer mouse and slammed it once against the wall, transferring dead spider and dead spider guts onto the mouse. I'm wondering where this thing came from. Is there some kind of small hole at the bottom of the window next to me? Should I also spray there during my next Raid Rampage? All the windows have been closed for about two weeks, so nothing should have gotten in. Maybe it got in through the window in my parents' bedroom, the one next to the front-door walkway.

Bigger defenses are a given. I have to. I only sprayed the patio ground because of the clusters of fast-crawling ants I sometimes find when I'm picking up dog poop. Yes, they do that there too. And last night was one of those times, which prompted me to throw the poop and the plastic bag covering over the side into the grass at the back of a neighbor's apartment, because at that moment, I didn't want to bring in yet another plastic bag with a few crawling ants inside. I've done that twice before and I don't like it.

I think I'll spray more thoroughly today. Most likely after I get back from the library and wherever else my mom and/or dad have to go, just as the sun sets. I think the garage needs another bug spray coating, and certainly the front-door walkway. I hate these battles, but then I think of La Mesa Jr. High, where my dad works. That school was built on an ant hill.

Night 1: Back to Night 1 Tomorrow Night

Was good for nearly the entire evening. Had an in-head craving for Cheez-Its that didn't extend to any other body part, then the body got up and headed to the kitchen a little after the 11 p.m. news on ABC 7. Out came the box from the kitchen to the living room, then it led to a slice of swiss cheese from a plastic Kraft Deli Fresh package, and a bunch of other things I won't list here because personal shame has taken over now.

By the way, ham off the bone has a lot of noticeable sodium.

I'm almost tempted to return "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan because of its food theme, but the book isn't the problem. The pages can't be eaten anyway. I've just got to get on this properly. Tomorrow night, I go back to compiling job listings for an online freelance writing newsletter, as I do every Sunday night through Thursday night for the following days, and tea is always helpful to break the occasional tedium. I used to think of the work as very tedious, but with research for that book sometimes even more tedious, I make sure to appreciate certain aspects of the newsletter, like how with each listing I find, I might be helping a freelance writer find a job they can do and make some decent money. I don't think of any of the subscribers to that newsletter as competition, since I don't do any copywriting, or technical writing, or translations or transcriptions. I want to work at an airport one day. That's all. So I consider every listing found to be a mini-mitzvah that contributes to a bigger mitzvah when the newsletter is done and there's sometimes 80+ listings. Even on the days when there's only 28-30 listings, I still feel good.

I didn't go for those Cheez-Its because I didn't have anything to do. I'm trying to finish reading "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" by Philip Jose Farmer, and of course, there's the book. There's a lot to do. It just happened. Now I have to stop it from happening again. The newsletter is work to do. I'll be sitting here for a few hours putting it together. I've been at this so long that I know what listings should go into the newsletter and I sometimes turn the "focused attention" part of my brain off, and think of other things. And I usually have headphones on, so I'm listening to either jazz or NPR programs or using Pandora at the same time I'm working.

Night by night again. I just have to take it night by night. I failed tonight, but tomorrow night's a chance to succeed. The motivation should be set like cement into my mind: This body is getting older, not staying young, and I can make my right knee feel better and shrink that around-the-world (or "love handles" or "Goodyear tire design" if you'd like) fat. For the benefit of my health, why should this be so hard? I can be healthier.

When I went to see Star Trek at the Edwards Valencia 12 the Saturday before last (May 16th), the people at the ticket counters were taking so long and it was nearly 1:30 p.m., which was when the next showing of Star Trek was to start. I knew I probably wouldn't get my favorite seat (first row before the floor, where you can put your feet up on that quarter-wall), but I still wanted to get in before the movie started.

Once my sister got the tickets, I tore them apart, separating Star Trek from "The Soloist," and giving her those tickets. The guy ripping tickets took mine, did, and I ran faster than I had in months. I deftly avoided clusters of people by planning a few seconds ahead on what I was going to do, and I veered at just the right second. I got into the theater, and was a little winded (which is yet another motivation to lose weight), but I was euphoric! I loved that feeling of going so fast, of speeding past the movie posters and video game machines like I had a thinner, much more flexible body. I wanted more of that. I could almost say that I don't know how in the hell I lost touch with that feeling, but it's when you're out of your daily routine, like seeing a movie, that you forget some of your habits. I just fell back into those which are not good for me. But to have that feeling again, to one day run that fast and not feel winded, to exercise more and feel really good not just in body but also in spirit, I'd like that.

Night by night this time. Tomorrow night, the first night again.