Tag Archives: animals

Relax – Can’t Do It!

Here’s the thing.  I know it’s Easter and this post should probably, if I were politically correct, to be about Jesus’ rising from the dead.

It’s not.

Rather, it’s about my massage.

A few weeks ago, I set up a make shift standing desk at work, to help eliminate some of my back pain as I can’t sit all day long.  Complete with empty boxes, reams of copier paper and old ship awards….it dawned on me.  I need a massage.

My back had been driving me crazy.  Like a third arm was trying to make it’s way out of the right side of my lower back.  It’s that damn spinal erector set muscle. Of course, if I grew an arm out of my back…literally having an arm behind your back, might be beneficial.  I don’t know of anyone who does, but it’s hard to say.  It would be good for back scratching I suppose.  And washing the back.  And maybe a back rub.  I’d rather have eyes behind my head.

The usual practice for me was to use a gadget from Brookstone called the iNeed pillow.  Four little balls go round and round.  I lean into that thing like a buffalo during a dust storm on the high plains.   Complete with the knot in my back passing over the balls like a buffalo stomping his foot to maintain an upright position.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

Ahhhhh relief.  Sweet creator of the iNeed, I have relief.  Lord have mercy.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

The problem doesn’t show up until the next morning when I get out of bed, stretch and think….WHAT THE HELL!  WHY IS MY BACK BRUISED? Ouch.  Ouch.  What did I do?  Then it dawns on me….I over did the iNeed.

But I really NEEDED it and NEEDED it.

Damn.

So I take a couple of weeks off from the iNeed and think to myself, I’ll go for a massage now that I can sanely touch my back without wincing from the over enthusiastic relief received from the iNeed.

One of the guys at work was talking about the massage plan at a local place and it sounded pretty good.  So I made an appointment and signed up for a massage on Saturday – let’s see what they’ve got.

My therapist was…..let’s go with Julie.  We talk about my pain, yatta, yatta and she explains how she has all these certifications and licenses in different areas and her focus is to  “work the connective tissues.”  I am keeping my fingers crossed this isn’t going to be a Rolfing session, which I’ve experienced and the Rolfing series nearly killed me.

She tells me to lay face up as she starts with reflexology first.  THAT sends me over the moon, as I love having my feet rubbed.  This is going to be great I think.  I can’t wait to fall asleep on the table.

I quickly undressed and climb under the covers where the heating pad was already warming up the bed.  She comes back in and we begin.

Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin.  Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin. Digging into my calve, along the shin bone.  Digging in around my ankles.  Focusing on the ankles.  Rubbing the calve.  Digging into the left side of the calve.  Digging into the right side.  This goes on for a good 7 minutes.  I’m mentally sending into the Universe; “Foot please.  Massage the foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.”  Suddenly she thumps the bottom of my foot and proceeds to the other leg.

Same routine.

I’m laying there thinking, “when does reflexology mean shins and calves?  It’s feet.”

It didn’t matter cause it still felt really good and I fell asleep for a minute.  I drifted off and started to dream about our cat Monkey.  Imagine my surprise when I jerked awake and for a brief second couldn’t remember where the hell I was.

Dark room with amber colored light and asian music playing.  WTF?

Of course, the other thing I’ve come to realize about going for a massage is, they need to make these rooms bigger.  You’re there to relax, destress, get your connective tissue back in line – and being jostled by the therapist moving the stool around doesn’t work.

You’re in the zen zone and then bump, shake, shake, scuffle, screech.  Don’t worry, just the therapist moving the stool around to work on your head.  Awesome.

The other part of my personality is I’m not a touchy feel person.  Never have been and don’t anticipate I ever will be.  Nothing against anyone.  I’m not a toucher.   Even public transportation is difficult for me due to limited personal space.  It’s just me.

I like wearing an imaginary hula-hoop.  Please stay outside that hoop unless I invite you into the trusted ring of space.  Very few people get an invitation.  Those of you that have, know who you are and don’t press their luck with the personal space thing.  I thank you for that.

Julie begins to work on my neck and shoulders, while I’m still face up.  Deep breath in….and OOOOOOUUUUUUUUUTTTTTT.  Okay.  Then she is breathing with me.  OUUUUT.  Breathing on me.  On my face.  OUUUT.

Oh lord.  This doesn’t work for me.

OOUUTT.

Going to my happy place.  Small fuzzy animals.  Snuggly little critters.  Happy.  Happy. Happy.

OOOUUUUT.

Well, at least she had minty breath.  Could have been worse.

Next it’s time to flip over to my stomach.  Safe zone!  Thank you!

Fine.  Here we go with the back.  Finally.

Then what’s that sound?  Rumble, rumble.  Rattle.  It continues.  It’s metal and something moving around.  Not a laundry machine.  No a cart going down the hallway.

Rumble.  Slide.  Shake.

Sounds like the air duct.  It’s just the air duct vent.  I’m sure of it.  I forget about it for a while.  Then it’s back.

Sounds now like something scraping against metal.  Whirling against metal.  Scampering against metal.

Dear heavens above, so help me if an animal comes shooting out of the air duct like some act on America’s Got Talent where they’re shot out of a cannon.  Now, as Julie massages the connective tissue in my back, with her elbow….all I can imagine is what the hell that noise is that is actually competing with the gentle spa music.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be workers upstairs.

Could be Mission Impossible Agent taking photos of Julie cause she’s wanted by the CIA.

Could be the air vent.

Could be someone in the hall doing something with a metal bookcase – like dancing with it.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be an artist studio upstairs and they’re working with a buzz saw.

Could be an animal in the duct….pretending to be a Mission Impossible Agent.

.

.

.

.

I don’t ask and I don’t want to know.  Julie doesn’t seem concerned, so neither am I, except I am pretty sure there could be an animal trapped up there in the duct.

FLASH BACK:  Years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I knew a bird managed to fall into our bathroom vent.  You know, the one you turn on when taking a shower, so it makes noise like it’s removing steam…but it doesn’t really?

Nobody believed me.  Finally.  I had to get maintenance to come in and look – as I was certain.  Yep.  There was a bird.  Told you it smelled like chicken

RETURN:

By the end of the massage the Secret Agent Critter in the air duct has gone away and I’m unable to ask about the noise.   Darn it.  However,  I did sign up for the massage plan.   I’ll see her again in two weeks….reflexology here I come….cue the Mission Impossible music.

 

 

 

 

 

Tweet. Tweet. ….One Two….Got You!

We have three children.

Furry.  Four legged.  (Note: we also have 2 lizards….which makes is five chidren.)

Image 3  Liggy, the eldest at 16 years, could give a rat’s ass about anything but her dinners

Image 6  Monkey, the middle child, quickly approaching 2 years on Halloween, is the typical scaredy cat.

Image 5  Taku, the youngest at 1.5 years old, is the pisser and will kick your ass.

It’s important to note, the only one with a UFC fight name is, “LIGGGGGYYYY the KIBBBLE SNATCHER.”

Seriously.

The other two, haven’t earned their names yet.

Until today.

REWIND:  For some history.

About a month ago, I bought a brick of bird food and put it into a feeder on our third floor balcony.  Occasionally a bird came and snacked.  A little nibble.  After 30 days, 3/4 of this brick is still there.  Obviously, we are not a birding hot spot.

Last week I was looking out at the balcony.  Surveying our domain, what little we have in our rental …. Pondering the world.

WHEN.  A tiny little hummingbird came up and was trying to get sugar water from our sea glass globe lights.

!!!!!!!!

For those of you who know me, I have a history with hummingbirds.  It’s a running awkward moment.  But hysterical for a later date.

Of course, hummingbirds….need to buy a feeder.  Small birds.  Small feeder.

Consider it done.  This weekend, I roll up to my local Lowe’s and buy a hummingbird feeder.

And why not….let’s get one of these huge tube bird feeders with 6 channels on it.

Yep.

Came home, filled them and hung them up on the balcony.

The next day…within 30 minutes of watching the feeders, I had 3 hummingbirds,  4 finches and a woodpecker come to visit the feeding stations.

A

WOODPECKER!

Seriously.

Love my little feeders.

Next morning, I get up.  There are hummingbirds at the feeder.  LOVE.

I go outside and sit in the chair.  The kids (cats) join me.

Liggy, the eldest, as usual, could care less.  Just let me sleep in my box.

Taku, is sitting next to me on the chair and when a bird approaches, she tries to hide behind me.

Seriously, Taku?  You’re the ass kicker in the family.

Monkey, the “Don’t look at me, I’m afraid of EVERYTHING” cat….watches the birds and chatters at them.  And chatters.  Chatters.  And chatters.

She wiggles her butt and thinks about leaping at them, until I give her the TSK TSK comment.  To which she immediately thinks, “Shit.  You are SUCH a party pooper.”

Throughout the morning I watch and our little feeders are turning into the aviary version of a 7-Eleven.  One bird, two bird, one bird, one bird, a fly by, two bird, a fly by, hummingbirds….I am delighted.

———————————-

Monday morning rolls around and the Monkey is anxious, as usual, to go out on the deck.  She has been like this since we rescued her.  She was a beach kitten.  Water is her thing.  Find something she likes?  Here, let me put it in the water bowl.  Paper, rubber bands, twist ties, little jewelry bags, toys, treats…into the water they go.

Monkey and Taku like to go out and sun themselves.  Liggy, only if it’s convenient and her box is set up.

I don’t open the door until I’m out of the shower and running back and forth around the apartment.  At least I can keep a 50% eye on everyone.   Checking in on Monkey’s position, Liggy’s sleeping pattern and Taku’s give a shit attitude.  50% is more than enough.   They are fine.

Until today.   (CUE:  The Jaws theme music. )

Mondays suck by nature.  Nobody wants to go back to work.  You’re dragging your ass trying to get out the door.  Only half the coffee cup has been inhaled.  Your hair isn’t done right.  The outfit you have on…well, meh….at least your shoes will be comfortable.  Seriously, why can’t we do 4 day work weeks?  I’d work 10 hours to get an extra one off.  Seriously.

I get dressed into my work clothes and race across the hallway to go back into the master bath and start my hair.

STOP.

HALT.

SKIDDING SIDEWAYS!

WHAT THE FUCK?!

no.  sorry.  i’m not seeing this.  that’s not what i think.  no. no. no.no.no.nonononononononoNONO

M O N K E Y!

And there sits Monkey (the scaredy cat) in our bedroom….outside the master bathroom.  With a bird at her feet.  I swear it looks like it is 6 inches long….tip to tail.

Little Monkey is so proud of her accomplishment.  LOOK MOMMA!  FOR YOU!  Isn’t is wonderful? It’s soft and warm.  It makes noise and guess what?!  I caught it just for you!

I manage to get my tongue back out of the back of my throat and say::::: “MONKEY!” I’m too stunned to throw either my bathrobe or t-shirt over the stunned bird.  Her response?  

Grab the bird and head under our king size bed.

My response? Turn around.  March calmly out of the bedroom.  Walk into the living room.  Put my head between my knees.

Are you fucking kidding me?

REWIND:   There was a moment.  Briefest moment.  Like what happens right before you slam your fingers in a door.  You know this is going to be a bad move.  Yeah, well…..I thought “I really shouldn’t open the door to the balcony….I won’t be sitting there to watch Monkey….and she might catch a bird.  But you know what?  It’ll be fine.  I mean really, it’s M O N K E Y.  Like she’s going to catch a bird.  She’s afraid of everything!”

Yep.  Truth.

So I stood out in the hallway and pondered what to do next.

All I remembered was being a small child and we had a Robin that got into the house.  The pandemonium I created…..as a small person…..flapping my arms and screaming about the bird being loose in the house….leaping off of furniture.  (I was the one leaping off the furniture.) Terrible.  THIS is what I remembered at 7:50AM….I do not have a good rescue relationship with birds.

At least I didn’t run around in circles this morning.  Although it did cross my mind about 4 times.  Swiftly followed by a thought of, “YOU are the adult here!”  WHEN did I become an adult? Shit.  This is my issue now.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.

I go back into the bedroom.  There is a feather on the floor.  I pick it up and put it into the bath trash can.  There’s no sound or movement.  Gulp.

I carefully kneel down on the floor and pick up the bed skirt.  God help me if anything come rushing at me….is what I’m thinking.

There’s Monkey…..her eyes glowing in the dark.  Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

There’s the bird in front of her.  On it’s side.  Obviously, not blinking.

I go back to the living room and grab a Priority Mail box the girls used to sit in.  I put a few paper towels in the bottom.  I will put the bird in this and take it outside.  I grab the broom.

Ok.

Well fuck.  Now what?  It’s a king size bed. I grab the end and P U L L — nothing.  Except there was a pop in my lower back to which I thought, “nice crack!  Who needs a chiropractor when you have birds under your bed!”

I grab the side and P U L L – nothing.

F U C K.

I text a friend, “Monkey caught a bird and is under the bed with it.”  Hey.  At 7:55 in the morning, you need to be in hysterics with someone with a bird under the bed!

In the meanwhile, I text my boss advising I’ll be late, due to cat catching a bird.  Now there is a late excuse if I’ve ever heard one!  He is going to think I’m nuts!  Please, feel free to use it….seriously!

Although for a fleeting moment, I did ponder just leaving and going to work.  Seriously.  Also pondered having to take an injured FINCH to the vet.  So go figure….which extreme do you prefer?

My friend responds back five minutes later, “How did Monkey catch a bird?”

“On the balcony.”  Blink. Blink.

Let’s all take a deep, deep knee bend everyone….cause….here…..we….go!

I go change into crap clothes, as I can see this is going to be a process.  I’m already sweating in the nether regions.   I grab the broom and head back into the bedroom.  All the while, Taku kitty, is following me as my back up.

Thank You, Taku.  The Bad Ass….but with a humane heart apparently.

I shake the broom under the bed.

Nothing.

I ponder getting the vacuum out….scares all the cats.  But then decide to shake the broom from another angle….this isn’t like sucking up yellow jackets or wasps…..which I did this weekend.  I have even sucked up roaches and the dreaded Floridian Palmeto Bug with this vacuum.  I can’t use it on a little bird.

.

.

.

.

Taku then goes under the bed.  OH HELL NO!  We will NOT be having two cats and one bird under the bed!   Not on this episode of, “Who Needs Coffee on Mondays!”  I slam the broom back under the bed and wave it frantically, top to bottom trying to make as much racket as I can.

All the while thinking…. God help me if that bird comes to life and flies out at me…..

Monkey takes off like a shot out the bedroom door.  I chase after her.  All the other rooms were closed off so the only place she had was the living room.

I don’t see her anywhere and so I lay down on the floor.  Sure enough, she’s under the couch.

I move the coffee table.

I move the end table.

I move the couch away from the wall.  She moves with the couch.

Of course, typical Monk.

I move the couch literally into the middle of the room….and the Monkey takes off under the dining room table.  She doesn’t have the bird.

????

I lay down on the floor.  No bird under the couch.

????

I go back into the bedroom and shut the door.

Taku is still hiding between boxes under the bed.  Her eyes are are big as Silver Dollars.  Poor thing.  She’s terrified and doesn’t know what to do.  I start pulling the 4 boxes, which are at the foot of the bed….they’re not very big,  out from under the bed.  Taku remains firmly planted in the middle.

Sigh.

Guess what?  No bird.

Where the hell is the damn bird?

I go out of the bedroom.  Shut the door…..leaving Taku to deal with the bird if it’s in there.  She’s the bad ass cat in this family….step up.  You’ll be fine.

I text my friend, who by this time, we’ve also had a quick conversation about the situation.  I tell her…Monkey is out of the bedroom, I can’t find the bird and Taku is under the bed.

Her response.  “Damn.  Double Damn.  Could the bird be under a blanket and Monkey is saving it for later?”

Seriously.  M O N K E Y!

Taking all 8 pillows off.  One.  At.  A.  Time.

I search the couch.  Heaven help me, I think….as sweat forms on my eyebrows and upper lip.

No bird.

It has to be in the bedroom.  By this time, I’m sweating so much I swear there are marks on my pants and in my pits.  Did I brush my teeth yet?  I feel like I’ve taken a chunk of Sasquatch fur and rubbed it all over my teeth.  Mahwahaherroooarwaaaahh….is how I feel.

What the hell am I going to do?  It’s 8:35AM and I call the complex’s maintenance line.  No answer.

Now, armed with a bath towel….correction….not just any bath towel….this is a Costco bath SHEET…..made for giants.  It’s so enormous, cause I thought I had a Pterodactyl trapped!

….I go back into the bedroom.

Taku has burrowed herself under the covers.  Only done when she is cold in the winter or scared.  I lift up the comforter and she looks at me like I’m an alien.  All the while backing away from me.  I snatch her up by the scruff on her neck and she look slightly relieved.  Out the bedroom door she goes.

I turn to face the room.

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, please help me.

Nothing.

????

I little voice then says to me, “look by the night stand.”

Before I even move the table cover, I see something out of the ordinary.   Only like a 1/4 inch out of the ordinary.  I start to lift the cover.  All the while thinking, “so help me, if something flies up at me….I will run away like a screaming 4 year old.”

I pull up all the table cover.

Hold my breath.

Shit.

There’s the little bird.  It looks like it’s right wing is broken….as it tries to take off to the side.  Image 2

Well, how did you get over here?  Did Monkey hide you here?  I put the table cover back down.  Because, honestly, that was enough discovery for the moment.

I went back out of the bedroom.

Closed the door.

Sat down on the stairs.

Ok.  Thank goodness it isn’t a woodpecker.  It’s just a little finch.

The bird was stuck between our king size bed and night table.  Oh wait.  It’s not any kind of night table.  It’s a floor safe.  HA. Ha. ha..– not funny.  There’s a few inches between them, but not enough for the scoop into the box rescue.  I can’t move the bed stand.

I text my friend that I found the bird.  She asked if it was alive, if all the cats are out of the room and the ceiling fan turned off.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

JUST LIKE Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies….there is always Plan B!  I grab a clean dish towel.  Put on a leather driving glove, in case the bird bites me.  ????  The beauty of it was I only could find the right glove so I was having a very Michael Jackson moment at 8:50AM.

“‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to
Strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer
Thriller tonight!”

I summon up my inner St. Francis again and here we go to rescue the bird!

I pull back the table cloth and the little bird is right where I left him.  I lower the dish towel and try to close my hand around him.  He’s so tiny.  I can’t tell if I have him or not.  I am not suited to this type of work.  The little bird is not happy either…. and he starts to chirp and flutter to the sides……

SHIT.

Okay…..I put the table cloth back down.  March out of the room

Houston we need a moment.

At this point in the program, I’m so upset that my bowels are too.  THIS is why we always have two bathrooms.  In case the first one becomes unusable for some reason.

CUE the elevator music….thank you.

——–> 15 minute intermission <————-

Stomach still in an uproar, but we have to solve this problem.

I march out of my apartment, down the hall and look out the driveway to see if I see any maintenance people around.

Nobody except some construction workers doing cabinet work on the first floor —- SHIT.

In my bare feet….I march back up into the apartment.  ( I don’t care if I get foot fungus at this point, thank you…..cause I’m going to have to take a shower after this ordeal anyway!)

Deep breaths.

I summon up my St. Francis…..again…..come on buddy…..need you now!

Put my glove on.  (Because I’m bad…you know it!    Thank you  M.J.)  Image 1

Grab my box and dish towel.

Head back into the bedroom.

Little bird is right where I left him.

I lower the cloth.  He pitches a fit when I try to pick him up.

He scurries to the left and starts coming at me from under the dish towel.  I think, “PERFECT!  Two hand gathering technique!”  He is between the table cloth, box flap and the dish towel is overhead.

FOUL!

Bird.

In.

Flight!

IN FLIGHT!

FLYING!

AROUND THE ROOM!

(note:  at this point I had an out of body experience, where I said, SELF: THIS COULD BE A PROBLEM.)

Yep.  Little finch figured out how to maneuver and get around me.  Fly around the room and head towards the closed door.

He lands, cause he can’t get out.

His little head is tucked in between the baseboard and door frame.

Little bird.  Little bird.  Please.  Let me help you.  I am here to help you.

This is all I can think to say out loud.

I can’t whistle, so this is as good as it gets.  Come on St. Francis, help me out here.

First try.

He digs in further to the corner.  Head burrowed.  So scared.

Buddy, I’m scared too.  It’s going to be okay.  Trust me.  I know I’m an alien, but I’m a good alien.  Not like that damn Monkey alien.

With my leather hand and dish towel, I can hardly feel him.

On my second attempt, I scoop from the bottom.  I think I have something.

SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!    I HAVE THE BIRD!  I HAVE THE BIRD!

I drop the dish towel into the box, fold the flaps down and I’m running to the front door of the apartment.

He was so small.  So light.  Of course, I didn’t expect him to weigh in like a remote control but still….so nothing!  I only knew I had him cause I could feel his little feet.

I race down three flights of stairs and towards the woods.

I put the box down and lift the flaps.  Little bird, was stunned again for the second time in less than 90 minutes…poor thing.   I drop some bird food into the grass around him.  Open the dish towel and wait.  He opens his eyes and POOF…..one, two, three……I’m outta here!

Little bird flies away into the woods.

Thank.  You. Sweet. Jesus.

I walk up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and realize.  I’m shaking.

The adrenaline of rescuing a wild animal, scary.

The worry of a maimed or injured animal, scary.

The disbelief of the Monkey catching an animal, stunning.

The fret of catching a scared animal, stunning.

The realization, I did it, by myself, without any harm —————————  shocking.

It was a tiny bird.  Who thought it was dead by a predator, to be scared into corners by scared human, to be rescued by scared human…..aka……an alien…….to awaken in the woods……and fly away……priceless.

Yeah tiny bird!

And I stood in the dining room and looked at my shelf with the ceramic finch with a blue berry in it’s beak. I thought, little bird……I was able to save you today.  Bless.  I hope you have a happy life.   I’m sorry, I didn’t watch the Monkey closer.   We all learned a lot today.  And I saved a little bird.

Although, it nearly made me poop my pants and I had to take another shower…….. I saved a little bird.

Little bird and I both had a tough morning.  I thought a lot about that little bird.  I was the big scary alien trying to help, why was I scared of a little tiny bird?  It was the unexpected reaction.  Who knows what will happen…..even if one is trying to help.

St. Francis, thank you and bless that little creature.

Heaven help me when I run into something bigger than that needs saving from MONKEY, the BIRD SNATCHER!
Of course, when I came home this evening.  Monkey was ready to go back outside.  Sorry Monk. I have your number…..that’s not happening without my supervision. Nice try though….so practice your patience my little feline!

Then I saw the grey shape on the rug, which stopped my heart.

It was a stuffed mouse toy.

Damn cat toys.

Image

I need a drink.

Silence Was Not an Option

The one thing I enjoyed about living in Alaska was everything was bigger….especially the wildlife.  If something was going to get you, it was going to be something  B I G.

King Salmon.

Moose.

Bears.

Deer.

Sheep.

Lynx.

Fox.

Whales.

Seals.

Eagles.

Please note: we don’t have penguins contrary to popular belief.

We have BIG animals in Alaska.  None of this namby pamby shit that leap out from behind crap to get you.  Animals in Alaska are in your face tough.  They let you know up front, without any confusion, whose land it belongs to…….this is my land, you want it, you are going to have to come through me to get it.  Enough said and there usually aren’t any questions.

The rest of the United States, there’s some gray areas.  There’s total confusion as to where property lines are drawn and  humans and critters are having to fight for their rights on a daily basis.

Case in point:  the poor turtle I hit by accident on the highway.  Sorry buddy, stay on the greenway, avoid the hard top areas.  Hence, this is why he’s given a protective shell.  He bounced, tucked and rolled.  I’m pretty sure he’s fine once he got his hearing back and his tunnel vision sorted out.

Assorted water fowl on the fairway.  You know they’re all sorts of confused when they’re out there and they spot those golfers coming by on the carts.  It’s all they can do to hop on and go for a joy ride.  Gives new meaning to the Hop On and Hop Off Trolley Tour.  Hey Marge!  Let’s hop on over hole 14….I heard they just re-filled the sand trap – it’s extra cushy!  Oh Harold and the mid-mow on the fairway is so nice this time of year for nibbles.

The one thing I have no tolerance for are the rude creatures that cross into our habitat uninvited.  Get out.  There is no tiny door that says hard shelled creatures with more legs than an origami octopus – step right this way – I’m now serving number 24.  With a world so large, go find your own dark corner and stay far, far, away from all of my areas.

Go.

Now.

Poof.

Be gone.

On Sundays one of the last chores I do are the sheets.  I wash them.  Put the fabric softener on them and make the bed.  This happens not long before I actually climb into bed.  Once I get into bed, I plan to spend time playing Words with Friends or reading.  It’s relaxing and enjoyable.  Then it’s off to la la land…..

This particular Sunday was no different.

I am in bed.  I sleep on the left side.  Always.

Happily, I am reading a book on my iPad.  Out of no where, I see something out of the corner of my left eye.

Moving.

On.

The.

Floor.

Very slowly I turn my head.

C

R

A

P

^%$)) !

Along the jewelry boxes on the floor, there goes a bug.  Not any kind of bug.

A big bug.

Not any kind of big bug.

A Florida bug.

What kind of Florida bug?  A roach.

More specifically?

A Palmetto Bug.

What do you ask is special about a Palmetto Bug you wonder?

Think:  a giant flying roach.

In about two seconds I realize exactly what I’m seeing and calmly (for me) I leap up out of bed – the opposite side from where the bug is at and run towards the kitchen.

My first thought is, “PALMETTO BUG!”  I have to catch this thing.  I can’t kill it…it could have eggs….and BLAH.    When Eric was here, he had to catch a roach and did so with a plastic cup.  I run to the kitchen look for the plastic cups.  Then it dawns on me…..

How am I going to catch a flying roach with a plastic cup?  Forget the cups.  Get the Dyson!

I race to get the Dyson and run back to the bedroom.

By now, I see the giant roach is lumbering towards the closet.  When I say lumbering, I truly mean lumbering.  This bug had the worse case of jock itch I’ve ever seen.  Either that or it’s feet hurt so bad it just wanted to sit down.  Now I got a good look at the size of the thing and it’s as long as my index finger.

OMG!

If it goes into the closet, I’ll never find it and that will be the end of it!  I won’t be able to sleep with this thing in the house!

I start trying to get the extension hose and extension tubing pulled apart on the Dyson.  Damn the Swedish or German or whatever the hell engineering this machine is made with.  Pointless!  Obviously, the ball vacuum is not made for the common folk.

Release the hose!  RELEASE THE HOSE!  Extend the hose!!

It became very apparent you need to understand rocket science to figure out how to release the tubing then to attach the pole to the tubing to get the full extension.

By the time I get this whole process worked out, the roach has had three families and they have all disappeared into my closet and are now actively pursuing Amway distribution channels.  I stood with the Dyson wand, fully extended 12 feet in my hand, with the vacuum running…..for a good three minutes….without success.  I leave the Dyson plugged in and figure I will see the beast come out of the closest, as it is so big, it could set off car alarms simply by walking past cars.

I find the cat, who was in the living room sleeping.  Pick her up and put her in front of the closet.  “Get the roach”  I tell her.  She just looks at me.  Thought she’d be my alarm if it came back out.

I climb back into bed and call Eric to tell him the situation.

Not five minutes into the conversation, with Eric still on the phone.

Complete and utter pandamonium ensues and goes something like this:

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH   AWWWWWHHHHHHHH   UUUUUUUUUUUUhhhhhhhgggGGGGGGGGGGGGGG   WWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA     AAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL

WWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK   SSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTT

The flying cockroach was suddenly on the bed and on me and on the bed and on me and I think on the bed and on me and the bed and on me.  All I know is I saw it on the left side of me.  And I took off screaming and running and screaming and running in the opposite direction….the cat right behind me.

I didn’t stop running and screaming until I got to the far end of the house when I couldn’t run any further.  That was only because there was a wall

Then the real problem set in:

How am I going to track down a flying cockroach?

It’s in here somewhere.  I ponder my options.  Really – two options.  Barricading myself in the bathroom overnight.  So what… then in the morning having it attack me when I open the door?  I think not.  It has to be found.  I could check myself into a hotel.  Over what a flying bug?  Come on.  I can’t live in a hotel until Eric gets here.  Well, I could. But seriously.  It’s a bug!

Liggy was hiding under the kitchen table.  I took one look at her, “You were supposed to warn me it was coming so I could get the Dyson ready.”

After about 15 minutes I got up enough nerve to get back into the bedroom.  I turn on the Dyson and with the wand in hand, I slowly start to navigate through the bedroom.  I was definitely not cut out for this nonsense.  Why are we afraid of these things?  We’re 1000 times bigger than these things, yet they scare the pants off us!  I would rather live with ghosts than bugs.  Honestly.

After about ten minutes and a good surface check – nothing.  I back out of the room.

Check the hallway.  Nothing.

Check the bathroom.  Nothing.

Through the dining room.  Nothing.

I start to go into the kitchen.

EUREKA!

It’s playing dead on the floor – just like the one the other day outside.

“Hasta la vista, baby!”   I lean forward with my Dyson wand and think, come on baby….suck this up…..come on….come on…..don’t fail me now.

ssssslllllluuuuurrrrrr…….hestiation…..hesitation…..hestitation….POP!

I let it whirl around for good measure before I turned it off and then dashed outside with the canister to jettison it’s sorry ass into the bushes.

Of course, now I have PTSD from the entire event.  Four times since I’ve been writing this, out of the corner of my eye, I see this black thing at the foot of the bed and I jump.  It’s the stupid tag on the blanket.  I’m going to cut it off right now before I give myself heart failure.

We’re Flying Where?

What if, when birds are squawking in high places they aren’t talking to each other about the fabulous grub hole they found or singing love songs.  What if they’re really bitching cause they’re afraid of heights or are about to pee-their-feathers because they’re afraid to fly?  What if when they’re floating along on the water, they’re not feeling all peaceful and blissful but are really paralyzed with fear because they hate water and can’t swim?

I’m just saying.

What if?

Same could be said when you go to the animal park and those monkeys you see sitting together on a limb, combing one another’s hair.  They’re so cute.  Picking gnats and bugs out of each other’s fur.  What you don’t know is in their reality, the little fucker wouldn’t stop rubbing his head in the ant hill so his head is covered in fire ant bites and the parent is picking scabs off his scalp.

I’m just saying.

What if.?

You really think dogs are smelling each other’s asses to identify one another?  Hey Stan, how’s it hanging?  Oh, sorry.  They’re checking to see what they all  had for dinner.  Are you kidding me?  Max had Mighty Dog?  OMG! Fluffy had that fresh ground beef kibble from the new trendy doggie cafe on Madison Avenue!  The nerve!! That’s it!  When I go home I am going to eat my dinner and then promptly throw it up on the couch.  The new carpet.  The bedspread.  The new jacket mom just bought.  In dad’s car!  Then I’ll get the good stuff.

I’m just saying.

What if?

Life is full of What If moments.  Take for example yesterday at work.

I’m delighted.  This time next month, I will be in Auckland, New Zealand.  Don’t worry, I have already alerted the local authorities, they are preparing for my arrival.  (It is the ONLY place in the world I have received a speeding ticket….thank you.)

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to make travel arrangements through our work system, I asked the co-worker I am traveling….we’ll call him Calvin….to showed me how it’s done.   Yesterday afternoon Calvin and I booked his ticket to go from Miami to Auckland.

Things were going all fine and dandy.  We punched in the details.  Miami to Auckland and the date.  The various combinations came up on the screen.  We could pick everything from 14 days worth of traveling in a tin can to just about 35 hours in a tin can.

International travel these days offers so many amenities it is astonishing.  There were options to fly with circus animals, farm animals or domestic animals.  Another section included circus performers, ring leaders or classroom pranksters.  Meal service included selections for prison rations,  weight watchers cardboard, things confiscated by customs and forbidden fruits.

Better yet was the option to pre-select your TSA screening.  This I had no idea was possible.  Now you can sign up for a Pass Go card that allows you to skip the back handed,  gloved pat down and go straight to the private room strip search.  I mean who knew?   Did you want a glass of wine and a smoke with that?  If so, please acknowledge and your credit card will be charged an additional $25.00.  If you want to include the drug sniffing K9 that is an additional $500.

I confess to Calvin, I’m not the biggest fan of flying, but it’s the only way to get anywhere fast so I do it.  We choose a flight that has a short flight time.  The first flight is operated by Alaska Air to LAX.

Of course I’m delighted it’s Alaska Air.  And then the delight is immediately squashed by the thought of going through LAX international hell again.  That place, I swear, is operated by the Orcs, from Lord of the Rings.  The last time I went through….I experienced every level of Dante’s inferno as well.  Insanity.  They made me a stand by passenger, even though I was a full fare passenger with ticket in hand.  Took my carry on – made me check it.  Lost all of my luggage.

I.

Was.

NOT.

Happy.

The first helpful person I encountered was in Australia.  Where they said, “this happens all the time with LAX.”  Great.  Anything happens this time, I will politely excuse myself and reintroduce myself as the Honey Badger.

Back to the story.

Okay so we get to LAX and change planes.  Looking at the screen.  I swear it says we get on Asia Air.  Calvin says, “this looks like a good one.”  I’m thinking to myself……really?  Isn’t that a third world airline?  Do they even speak English?  I’m terrible with accents.  How am I going to understand the safety briefing?  Do they translate the announcements?  Do they have a drink cart?  Can I just have the drink cart?  Are the drinks free?  How much are the drinks?  Do they take American?

Then he says to me……

“It goes from LAX to NAN.”

..

.

.

.

.

Excuse me?

“NAN.”

NAN?

“NAN.   N. A. N.    NAN”

..

..

..

Where the hell is NAN?

“Well, I don’t know.”

>>Enter the Bambi stare.  blink. blink. blink. blink.<<

NAN?  I’ve never heard of NAN.

“Me either.”

?

I get out my phone and Google NAN.

Well, according to Google it says NAN stands for:  Nadi, the western portion of Fiji.

“Nadi?”

Nadi.  N. A. D. I.    Nadi.

>>blink. blink.<<

NADI!  Good god man!  We look at Calvin’s giant world map on his office wall.  Way down in the far right hand corner.  Way down further than all the other countries.   Way down past New Zealand.  Way down past the compass.  Past the mile marker.  Almost like a speck of tomato soup on the map…..is a tiny little blip of a smudge on the map.

Fiji.

But no Nadi.

I look at Calvin.

Calvin looks at me.

My upper lip breaks out into a sweat.

My throat goes dry.

My hands start to sweat as do my feet and my pits.

Cripes, I say, WHAT IF they don’t have a big enough runway for a jet?  That place is represented by a poppy seed!