Insects

...now browsing by category

 

Annie Parsons, pure brawn

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Arriving home after work last night, I opened the living room curtains to let in some light. There on the windowpane was a spider, which, obviously, is unacceptable. So I grabbed a flip-flop and swatted the glass.

And the entire window shattered.

I shattered my living room window with a flip-flop – because if there’s anything I’m made of, it’s unbridled strength.

My first reaction was laughter – the kind that you try to stifle so it winds up snorting out your nose. But then I thought of all the cuss words. My windows are from the 1920s – single-paned, wooden-framed, on tracks with weights in the walls to suspend them open – and they can’t be easy (or cheap) to repair.

For now, I’ve duct taped a mega piece of cardboard over the breach, my slapdash attempt at home security.

They say that women are like tea bags – we don’t know our own strength until we’re in hot water. Well guess what. Women are also like sledgehammers.

Think about THAT.

The stuff of horror films

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

This time last year, I was seeing ants in my kitchen. I eventually discovered that they had raided my sugar bag, so I threw it out, and from that point on, I’ve kept my sugar in the freezer – and thus, an ant-free kitchen.

But a few weeks ago, I saw an ant.

And you know what they say: where there’s one ant, there are lots of more ants. (I don’t know if that’s what they actually say.)

For weeks, I have seen ants in my kitchen – but I was never able to figure out their point of genesis. I cleaned the kitchen cabinets, Cloroxed the counters, sealed every food item, and cleared every crumb after every meal.

Still, the ants came marching one by one.

The other night, I was setting my coffee for the next morning. I poured the water into the machine, and as I did, I caught sight of an ant camouflaged on the side of the black coffee maker.

I killed it.

And then, I saw another ant come crawling out of the machine.

So I killed it, too.

And all of a sudden, there was a flood, a deluge, a gushing of ants coming out of my coffee maker.

My coffee maker.

The hotbed was IN MY COFFEE MAKER.

Shockingly, I didn’t scream, but I made a pathetic, drawn out, traumatized noise of some sort – somewhere between a moan and a cry and a “Die, scum” sob. I aimed the bottle of Clorox at the teeming swarm, and just started spraying – spraying like a stream of Charlie Sheen nonsense. Finally, I slammed the lid shut, took the entire coffee machine, dumped it in a Hefty bag, and marched it to the dumpster.

You do realize what this means, right?

For weeks, I have been drinking coffee that has been STRAINED THROUGH ANTS.

I will never, ever recover from this.

Are you there, blog? It’s me, Annie.

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Don’t worry, I’m still here.

Not only am I HERE, but I am not depressed, despondent, or dead, either.  On the contrary, I am very much alive!  Thanks for being concerned, though, ye who have reached out.  I guess I’m just taking my time living life these days.

I have a new favorite song: “See You in the Spring” by the Court Yard Hounds and Jakob Dylan.  The subdued verses bloom into one of the most satisfying choruses I’ve ever heard.

You know how today is May 13th?  That makes yesterday May 12th.  And that makes it all the more astounding that yesterday it SNOWED.  It snowed here in Denver.  In mid-May.  It was actually one of the coldest days since I moved here – or maybe it just felt like it because I was outside at the Rockies game.  In the wintertime.

cimg2443

But here we were – bundled up.  Those are my lovely co-workers, Leigh and Gina.  And that is me in Gina’s boys’ x-large snowboarding jacket.  The Rockies won in the bottom of the 10th with a home run.  By that time, we couldn’t move our faces.

“Lost” is almost over – over forever.  Since I don’t own a TV, most Tuesday nights I go to the gym in hopes of one of the sets being tuned to ABC, fully prepared to elliptical my ass off (literally, hopefully) for the entire 60 minutes.  Usually, though, 24 Hour Fitness does not have ABC on – and I’m way too terrified to change the channel in front of all of the scary men glued to SportsCenter.  So I wind up watching “Lost” online later.

If you haven’t watched the episode from Tuesday night, don’t worry – no spoilers here.  Except, I will say one thing: Allison Janney is one crazy mofo.  I LOVE HER.  Such a freak.

Last night, a guy asked me if I would refer to a certain movie as a “romantic comedy.”  I informed him that we well-seasoned ladies call them “RoCos,” thank you very much.

The other night, I was lying in bed when I saw a SPIDER crawl out from under the sheets.  I quickly killed it – but I didn’t scream.  I just went on reading.  And I slept in the bed.  This, I believe, is what we call “progress.”

Some people pay off their student loans.  I buy plane tickets to people’s weddings.  I can’t help it, though – I love these friends.

You know who else I love?  My family.  And tomorrow, I will slide behind the wheel of the 20-year old Honda to drive to Kansas City once again to be with them.  Nine hours there on Friday, and nine hours back on Sunday – a straight-shot on I-70.  Remind me to renew my AAA before 5am tomorrow morning.

Back

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

I arrived home last night to 2 dead flies on my bedroom carpet, and one crawling on the wall above my closet. I killed it with my bible study book. Then, I discovered 4 more humongous, buzzy black flies in my bathroom. I shut them in there in hopes that when I woke up in the morning, they would have died of natural causes.

This morning, I opened the door to find them multiplied. There were 7 flies in the bathroom.

I mean, really? Seven flies? What is the deal?

And thus began the most boring blog of all time.

I can’t help it, though. After so much driving, so little sleep, so many miles, and such a numb derrière, I don’t even know the date. My brain is oatmeal. In fact, Dani sent me some homemade oatmeal in the mail (thanks, Dani!), and when I got home last night and opened the box, I mistook it for granola and POURED IT IN MY MOUTH.

A mouth full of dry oats is shockingly difficult to swallow.

Now, I would just like to pause and give all glory, laud, and honor to my 1990 Honda Accord, which delivered me safely to Colorado and back without a hitch. There have always been naysayers, pessimists, skeptics when it comes to belief in the Honda’s reliability, but I have never doubted it; it is the Engergizer Bunny.  It passed 200,000 miles in central Kansas, right by those gigantic energy windmills that look like something out of Transformers. Jeremy told me about a YouTube video of one exploding, so I looked it up, and now I’m terrified to drive that way again.

Now that I’m back, there is a lot to catch up on. If you’ve ordered an EP in the past couple of days, they’re going out today – I’m so sorry for the delay! If you haven’t ordered an EP, you should.

No, I probably won’t stop talking about it for awhile.  Like Bobby Brown, it’s my prerogative.

Who wears short shorts?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

We have a small crisis at the JAM house.  One of us (I’m not saying who) got some bug bites (I’m not saying where) that are now inflamed (I’m not saying how).

(Okay, I am saying how.)

Never put Nair over top of bug bites.

I’ll let you do the math.

Nair is an evil, evil invention.  It DISSOLVES HAIR.  You do realize that that is the same job description held by Drain-O?

Let’s change the subject.

Actually, let’s just leave it at that.

Bug, bug, fox

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Last night, I was flipping through a hymnal (trust me: if you had no cable or internet, you’d be doing it, too) and paused at “There Is a Fountain.” Twenty-six years in the church, and I had never heard this song? Outrageous! So I started singing it, all quiet and peaceful and lovely (belying my actual persona), sitting there on the red couch.

When. From out of nowhere.

A hybrid spider-cricket (spicket?), unlike anything I have ever seen, crawled into plain sight, right in the middle of the living room floor. I screeeeeeeeeeamed, and threw the book at it. The hymnal book. It turns out that the words of life are also capable of bringing about death, and for this, I am grateful.

In other news, I am sick. My windpipe is a straw. My sinuses are packed like sausages, like thighs into pantyhose. I am doped up on cold medicine, which gave me a satisfying night’s sleep last night, but is resulting in a vacant stare and a gaping mouth sitting at the ol’ desk job today. I called a health clinic for the uninsured, but they are not accepting new patients until November. Looks like I’ll be riding this one out on a wave of Contac and tomato soup (Progresso makes a fantastic tomato soup – so much cheaper and healthier than Whole Foods cream-based option, but a million times more delicious than Campbell’s – it even has real tomato chunkage!).

And should this buggy blog leave you unfulfilled (which I suspect it might), be sure to read this fantastic example of poor redneck judgment. But who could blame him, really? I mean, his last name was Fox.

Glow

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I have found my fair share of things to complain about here in Nashville. I’ve already talked about the heat – although I’m not sure that my words have conveyed the depth of my suffering. There are street corners that flagrantly (not fragrantly) reek of sewage – by the Wendy’s on West End, or across the street from P.M. on Belmont Blvd., for example. Smog is a recent development here in Music City, as is the discovery of RABID BATS raising hell in the Green Hills area.

But there is something that I haven’t mentioned yet. A very good thing. One of the very most magical things I have ever seen: fireflies.

I have never lived in a place with fireflies before, and before I saw them, I don’t know that I really believed that they existed. A firefly was an idea in my head, in the same category as the Eiffel Tower – a nice thought, but relatively meaningless since I had never seen it. Late this spring, when I finally did see the little lights glowing in the front yard at dusk, I was mesmerized.

I have no idea “how” a firefly works, and to be honest, I don’t want to know. In our world of knowledge and explanations, there are very few things left that literally enchant us. I could sit on the porch and watch the fireflies every night through the summer, and never tire of their simple brilliance.

Not that it’s bearable enough to sit outside or anything.

Killing flies

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I don’t want to grow up.

I don’t want to think about insurance, and a 401k, and heart disease, and my future. I don’t want to get creaky knees. I don’t want to learn how to cook a turkey. I don’t want to make hard decisions, and be the responsible one, and do my own taxes.

I really don’t want to buy a fly-swatter.

For some reason, buying a fly-swatter feels like this very adult thing to do. I’ve never bought a fly-swatter before, because my parents (the GROWN UPS) always had one. True, I have not lived with my parents for almost 8 years now, but somehow I have escaped ever needing one while not having access to one.

I currently have three monstrous, enormous flies in my apartment. They’re huge, and they’re like needy little kids, or puppies, in that when I’m home, they ALWAYS WANT TO HANG OUT WITH ME. They buzz and fly and land on my lotioned legs. My lotion must smell good – either that, or I smell like a pile of excrement. I suppose that flies aren’t too picky.

Last night, while reading in bed, the flies hummed around my head. I took my Paulo Coelho paperback and swatted at them a few times, but they couldn’t take the hint. Flies can be so rude.

I have waited a few days, thinking that they might just die in my apartment. But there are enough coffee grounds and banana peels in my trash can for them to live a long and satisfying life. It’s time that I take action.

It’s time to be a big girl. It’s time to buy a fly-swatter, and go on an insect-killing spree. It’s time to defend my house and home.

Everyone has to grow up some time. Unfortunately for the flies, the embracing of my adulthood is going to result in their rather violent demise. They will see my murderous form duplicated over and over in their multi-faceted eyes, and that will be the last thing that they see… and see… and see… before being flattened.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll let out a “HA-CHAH!” too. Because I am a grown up.

A very fragile ecosystem

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

It is truly embarrassing to hear the words, “Annie, please don’t blow your nose on our embossed napkins.” But today, this was my reality. A co-worker caught me with my face buried in a company napkin, and then politely requested that I use something other than their expensive serviette as a depository for my snot.

Allergies are alive and well here in Nashville, and I am fighting the good fight. I partake of imitation Zyrtec or Claritin, and occasionally the miracle drug Singulair. However, since Singulair has been linked to suicide, and I can be depressed enough on my own thankyouverymuch, I try to keep my usage down only to when I wheeze.

Yes. I do wheeze. It’s incredibly sexy.

I am allergic to the down comforter on my bed, but I desperately need its warmth at night. As the girl with the self-diagnosed and self-named CHAT (Cold Hands All the Time), my extremities would freeze and fall off if I didn’t sleep under the insulation of goose-down. The trade-off: I wake up with puffy eyes and a scratchy throat.

My apartment is freakishly cold, though. I’m sure that I will be grateful for this come the sweltering southern summer – a seasonal experience that I am dreading with every cell in my body – but for now, I wake up and it’s 50 degrees in my bedroom. I refuse to turn on the heat, since a) it’s getting up to the high 70’s in the afternoons these days and therefore, the use of heat seems so wrong, and b) I’m a cheapskate.

Maybe I’m having an allergic reaction to the humidity in the air. I could solve this by turning on the AC, but again, see letter b above. I have told you of my obsession with washcloths; in my apartment, it takes 5 days for a washcloth to dry. I suppose that the possibility exists that there is mildew flying around in my air, and slowly rotting my lungs.

And attracting COCKROACHES.

This morning, I saw the second cockroach of my life. The first was about 2 months ago, crawling across my kitchen floor. I had never seen anything like it, and reacted in the only way I knew how: with a piercing shriek that rattled the windows and surely woke the neighbors. This time, I was more prepared. I karate-chopped that roach with a sturdy flip-flop, and killed it until it was extremely dead. Take that, HAB.

All of this is to say that I cannot find balance for my body, for my home, for my health. And my reality now includes cockroaches. And I just wanted you all to know.

Why Carrie Underwood’s face is now covered in guts

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

I have lived alone for the past 2 years, and to be honest, there are very few times that I wish for a roommate. I love to have my space, and to know that if I clean up, the house stays clean. Or if I leave a mess, I’m the only one who has to deal with it. Silence is a beautiful thing, as is my iTunes on shuffle – and it’s wonderful to have the freedom to choose which to exercise on any given night.

That said, there are a few times when I wish that there was somebody else around:
1) When I am dying my hair.
2) When I have nightmares (happening all-too-often these days).
3) When I find a Huge-Ass Bug (HAB).

Number 3 happened this morning.

I awoke to my alarm, and, channeling the magnificent Dolly Parton, I “tumbled out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen, poured myself a cup of ambition.” There I sat, peacefully enjoying my coffee and egg-on-toast, catching up on the news through Good Morning America – a very typical morning for me. I opened the blinds to look up at the sky, attempting to decipher what the weather might do today, and deemed it a good morning for a long walk. Time to change my clothes.

I turned and walked back down the hall (and by “down the hall,” I mean 2.8 feet) to the bedroom. I make it just inside the doorway when I see it. IT. The worst HAB of them all: a tarantula. On my ceiling. Which, if you’ve seen my apartment, translates to “3 inches above my head, ready to drop and lay its eggs in my flowing locks.”

[Pause] Right. So. I don’t know if it was actually a tarantula, but it was by far the biggest spider I have ever seen – the type that you know that if you crush it, you will hear its very bones snap. And I am not joking – I would not joke about this. HABs are no laughing matter – they are of grave consequence.

[Unpause] Where were we? Ah yes, the HAB and I in a face-off, its legs creeping out toward me and venom dripping from its fangs. I saw my own reflection repeated over and over in its multi-faceted eyeballs. Man against beast, I knew that this apartment was not big enough for the both of us. And I knew what I had to do.

I slowly backed out of the bedroom, violently shaking both hands, my face twisted into a permanent expression of horror, and mumbling pitiful words like, “No, no, not me, NOT ME, ewww, no no no, why, God, why?” And then, in what can only be described as an out-of-body experience, I grabbed the closest magazine that I could find. And charged the bedroom William Wallace style.

Let this be a lesson to arachnids everywhere. I take no prisoners, and leave nothing but awe in my wake.