Monday, June 16, 2008

Sorry about that.

So I end the last post with a teaser about bats under my couch (we won't talk about the ones in my belfry) and then leave you hanging.  That wasn't very nice of me.  Let me make amends.

The evening began with a retirement party for two colleagues.  Devoted readers (all five of you) will remember that I'm a teacher, and you may think that there's nothing less exciting than a teacher's retirement party, unless it's TWO teachers' retirement party.  Well, you would be SO, SO wrong.  We have our issues, oh yes we do, but retirement parties we can do, and do quite well.

There are the requisite tearful moments; after all, we're talking about people who have spent well over twenty years in one career, and one of the afternoon's honorees was my mom's college roomie.  She's been teaching nearly as long as I've been alive.  But there's also plenty of silliness.  This is where I wish I knew how to upload pictures.  Then again, maybe not.  Our parties could be described as location jokes: you have to be there.  One tradition we maintain is our band, "Johnny (insert appropriate last name) and the (insert another name)."  This time we were "Johnny Mod and the Hipsters."  We have also been "Johnny Pepperoni and the Anchovies," and one day will be "Johnny Flip-Flop and His Bermuda Shorties."  I play bass, two friends play guitar, and we can usually rope someone into shaking a tambourine or something.  We rewrite classic rock songs for any occasion, working in details of our victim's life/career as we do.  Like I said, we may amuse ourselves more than anyone else, but I think you would laugh too.  Mostly because, as any good showman knows, the Look is an essential part of the Act.  We rely heavily on the local Salvation Army, and this year discovered that our male guitarist wears a lady's size 13 capri pants.  Location joke, remember?

A very dear friend who relocated with her husband was able to return for the shindig, and we went out afterwards too.  We were always very close when she lived here, and it's been tricky to maintain the closeness.  But we realized that it's essential for both of us.  She's one of the few people I know who thinks like I do.  I don't mean that we agree on everything (although we often do); I mean that her brain works like mine and I don't feel like I have to explain or apologize for myself with her.  She just knows.   I hope everyone has at least one friend like this.  

She almost ended up staying the night at my place, but decided to head for home even though it was midnight before we stopped talking.  Turns out it was a good thing she did.  When I got back to La Petite Maison du Cat Hair, there was blood on the living room floor.  Mitize (contributor of cat hair) was languidly staking out the loveseat.  I could hear chirping, but couldn't track it down.  I decided to ignore all of this (chalking it up to the excellent Metropolitan I had enjoyed earlier) and put my nightgown on.  When I returned from the loo, the blood was still there, as were the cat and the chirping.  Damn.  Shut the cat in the loo.  Damn damn.  Get out the flashlight.  Damn damn damn.  Look under the loveseat.

*****SCREAM****** quietly, because it's after midnight, and I live in an apartment.

There's a bat under the loveseat.  I think bats are incredible creatures when they are outside and eating mosquitoes.  I am unreasonably afraid of them when they are in my house.  What the hell am I going to do?  I can't move the loveseat, as I'm quite certain the critter would take flight (and then I would have to find another place to sleep.  I'm serious.).  There's no way on god's green earth that I would reach under the loveseat and grab it, even with leather work gloves.  I have no one to call, especially because it's after midnight.

Think think think.  Assemble Official Bat-Under-the-Loveseat Kit:  broom, hammer, empty lidded plastic olive container from the grocery store, latex gloves.  (I think next time I will add some sort of alcoholic beverage as well.)  Take a deep breath.  Pin bat down with broom handle and press down with all my might.  Whisper repeatedly, "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry" as the poor thing chirps and squeals.  Release pressure momentarily and nearly wet myself when the poor thing manages to SPREAD ITS WINGS.  Press harder.  Repeat apology until poor thing stops chirping.  Maintain pressure, and pull broom handle out from under loveseat.  Grasp hammer.  Apply to poor thing's cranium.  Repeat apology.  Seal poor thing in empty lidded plastic olive container.  Cry a little, partly from relief, and partly because I really try to avoid killing things.  Clean up the blood, release Mitzie from the loo.  IM The Mason Friend (henceforth known as TMF, so remember that) and freak out just a little.  Attempt to sleep.

Was it Roseanne Roseannadanna who said, "If it's not one thing, it's another"?  I think I may make her the patron saint of my life.*

*I would be happy to make Gilda Radner my patron saint, actually.  How many sixth graders you know would dress up as Lisa Loopner for Halloween?  I looked good, too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Instant Summer

Here in NY, we go to school until the Fourth of July.  At least that's what it feels like (in all seriousness, our last day of work is June 27, with the kiddos finishing on the 25th).  

Also here in NY, we have an extremely limited "spring."  What we tend to get instead, starting in April, is a combination of snow, rain, hard frosts, and the occasional tantalizing warm day, until June, when we get Instant August.  It's been in the upper 80's to mid-90's since Thursday, and humid.  Now combine that with three more weeks of school in an un-airconditioned brick building, and you will understand the unstable gleam in my eyes these days.

Knitting?  Spinning?  Not until the portable air conditioner I ordered yesterday morning shows up on my doorstep.  Talk about an impulse purchase.  I have a window unit that I will beg the guys who work on my building to install when they get a minute (and they like me, so I know they will), but I need something for the front room too.  It gets the afternoon sun, and by about 4:00 is like an indoor reflecting oven.  The property manager is going to get some insulating blinds for the windows in there, too.  But when I got up yesterday and it was already well above 80 degrees, I did a ten-second Google search, said, "THAT ONE," (no shipping charge!  no sales tax!) and whipped out the Visa.  If only all problems were that easy to solve.

I did manage to warp the loom, though.  I had to laugh at myself...I plan to hem this next piece, so I'll need to start with some waste warn for the leading edge.  I HAVE NO WASTE YARN.  My whole stash is either queued up for another project, or is just plain too good to use as scrap.  Off to JoAnn Fabrics for a skein of good ol' Red Heart.  It has its uses after all.

Next post: retirement parties done right, chocolate martinis, and friendships that never cease to amaze me.  Oh, and the bat under my love seat.  If that doesn't bring you back to read some more, I don't know what will. :-)