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2004-11-13 11:42 a.m.

list with arthropod antics

What did I want to tell you about? (I'm apostrophic today. Isn't that a great word? "Apostropic." It sounds kind of like "catastrophic." But it's not. It's APOSTROPHIC! Bitch.)

1. This guy is a dumbass. But with faith all things are possible, right? Uhm. Wrong.

2. This guy is... sad. But in a weird kind of way, it makes me more hopeful to know that so many people are so distraught over the election results. People care about this. We aren't going to give up, and we aren't going to stand idly by while our country regresses into a fundamentalism disturbingly similar to that which it claims to be fighting.

3. I like making curry. I love the way it looks and sounds when it bubbles. It just feels like cooking. It also makes me feel like a devious warlock brewing an insidious curse, but that's just icing.

4. There's been some developments in the ongoing Matchan drama. They're chronicled over at the other place. You know the one. (You do know the one, don't you? Because of course, if you have to ask, you'll never know. This is Japan, after all.)

5.0. There have been more bug encounters, too. The first one was another shower incident. (Why these things keep happening while I'm naked I'm not quite sure.) I went in and turned on the bathtub faucet like usual, to check the water temperature before blasting myself with shower water. But instead of coming out in an easy flow, the water sprayed out everywhere. I turned the water off and on a few times, trying to figure out what the problem was. It seemed that something was obstructing the flow. [Warning: I will now switch to present tense!] Standing there scratching my head, all of a sudden a freaking mukade (the infamous frickin huge poisonous scary Japanese atrocious centipede, which I had heard much paranoid whispering about in dark corners and dim rooms but had never personally encountered) pokes his head out the end and starts trying to crawl out. (Cue screaming like a little girl.) But the thing is, he's stuck. He CAN'T get out, try as he might. So I go into the kitchen and gird for battle once again, donning my Chopstick as well as my Trusty Pot and its Lid. [Advisory: Temporary Tense Change] I then performed zazen meditation for fifteen minutes in order to clear my mind of desire and resign myself to imminent death. (Actually I didn't, but wouldn't that have been cool?) [Advisory: We now return to our regularly scheduled tense.]

Anyway, I go back in and he's still dangling out the end, totally freaking out. When I extend Chopstick to him, reaches out and clutches on to it for dear life, trying to pull himself out of the faucet. I can almost hear him squeaking, "Help me! Help me!" I try, but just pulling him to safety doesn't seem to work. He's wedged himself in there pretty tightly. Finally I resort to trying to stick Chopstick up the faucet in order to pry him out. Gradually this approach appears to be working. [Warning: I will now return to the past tense.] Finally, after many hours, nay days, of ceaseless toil (again, that's a lie, but it did take a while!) he finally fell into Trusty Pot, and lay there gasping. (I guess he was gasping. That's what I'd be doing, anyway.) I'd guess he was 10 to 12 cm (4 to 5 inches) long: probably not through growing yet. On went Lid, and outside went we.

Once outside I removed Lid and set Hayabusa free. (That's his name, see. It's his last name. Though young, he's a rather traditional sort and insisted on formalisms in his dealings with me.) He seemed a little shell shocked, though, and Chopstick had to help him out the door a little bit. And then, sweet freedom.

5.1. I had also been running into a surprising number of wasps on the second floor, bouncing off the walls like mental patients seeking escape from padded rooms. Usually my solution was to open a window and wait patiently for them to find it and leave, but the night of the Hayabusa encounter there was one that just wasn't taking the hint. So, I retrieved my battle worn companions, minus Chopstick, once again.

Miss Wasp (Kasumi), however, was not particularly hard to subdue. She seemed tired and groggy, and when I put Trusty Pot right beneath her as she was on the ceiling, she was perfectly content to drop right in and hang out while Lid jumped on top. Again we went outside and I removed Lid. But Kasumi was nowhere to be found. Finally I realized that she was clinging to the inside of Lid, sneaky little minx that she is. (I don't know what it was with the bugs and the ninja tactics that evening, but they did seem quite inventive.) She also required a little nudging, but eventually left to seek her fortune in real estate.

Epilogue: [Advisory: Imminent Tense Change] The next morning on the way out I realize there are 20 to 30 wasps all huddled together in the curtains of the window on the second floor landing. All the wasps I'd been encountering seem to have been stragglers from this group. They seem to be planning on shacking up there for the winter. So far they've been happy to stay out of my way (thus it taking me so long to realize that they were there), but what happens when spring comes? What should I do about them? I don't think capturing them all is really a viable option, and I'm hesitant to kill things that aren't really bothering me. Not to mention I'm definitely hesitant to disturb a wasps' nest. That's what they call "a conundrum." Or, alternatively, "a fucking mess."

6. Latest use of pop music to teach English to elementary school kids: First I taught them some school related vocabulary, and then I performed White Stripes "We're Going to Be Friends" for them. I divided them into groups and gave each group a vocabulary word that shows up in the song (school, book, pen, friend, class, or teacher) and had them listen to the lyrics and stand up whenever they heard their word. It was fun!

i don't need none of that mad max bullshit,