Tuesday, November 21, 2006


A small pubic service announcement: since Sunshine already gets Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving, and, well, the next few weeks look rife with frenzied moving-related activity, and there is a conspicuous build-up of comp time just sitting there, we have decided to take the whole week and have one last hurrah before heading back to the US. I mean it's been, what?, almost three weeks since we took a vacation, and there's another three weeks before we leave México for nearly two months of home leave starting with the Christmas holidays. So why not? Trust me when I say that those three weeks will be very much like some nightmarish jog through red tape, punctuated by official early-morning visits by coolies and walk-through inspectors alike. The latter will stroll around and point at things we will then have to spend an hour apiece cleaning. So each of those weeks count as two really, and the frustratingly close deadlines will not be helping any there, either. So now we have handed The Cat off for a couple of days, and I'll be turning out the lights at this Update Sidebar until, probably, Friday night. Vacation or not, the movers show up bright and early on Monday, and we will need the weekend to get ready for them. Oh, and a post script to the admin here: I am keeping my fingers crossed, but internet transmission might very well become intermittent after next weekend. We will be shutting off the cable prior to the end of this month for billing reasons (and because the cable company is a pain in the ass) and while stealing signal from the church has been reliable so far, I'm afraid I cannot promise there won't be some gaps in my coverage. Okay. Later. [Cavin]

Monday, November 20, 2006


Around three in the morning, coming up the stairs from the kitchen, I ran into a large millipede. Certainly this thing wasn't as big as the evil zillipede I battled on the Greek island of Σαμοθρακη. That Mediterranean monster had to be trapped under a large metal ashtray and pinned down with furniture. Under all that weight, the zillipede was still able to bump the ashtray up and down trying to escape. Anyway, this whole Greek experience left me a little tetchy about millipedes. Look, they're like snakes and spiders mutated together: red tapeworm-like segments sporting thousands of little shrimp legs. Like some kind of nightmare. Yet it's still embarrassing to admit that, if the thing had come at me, I probably would have thrown myself down the stairwell. What's worse: when Sunshine goes to sleep at night, I creep out of the bedroom for roughly six hours until my own bedtime, leaving my shoes behind to pad quietly around the house barefoot. Enter some seven-inch adult millipede, uncannily wiggling from underneath the second-floor patio door just as I was stepping there too, carrying an armload CDs. Good thing the monster zigged instead of zagged, making a beeline for the linen closet. Otherwise I would have gone down the stairs in a rain of music. The linen closet door was open. Moving quickly, I had to make sure the damn thing did not get lost in our bedding, packed-up, and shipped to Vietnam where we'd one day discover its desiccated carcass. And if it laid eggs in there--I can imagine unfolding a sheet only to be hosed by millibrood like rice at a wedding. Really, this would not do. Really. I hurriedly dumped the CDs in a chair and slammed the closet door shut just in time--but the thing lunged at my toes and I hopped away. Extra uses for Under the Pink by Tori Amos: shooing a really pissed-off pregnant millipede away from the sheets. Down on all fours, bug wrangling, I was impressed by the thing's speed on all those legs; it finally stopped fighting back and shot off so fast that it just sort-of vanished. Then I was in a conundrum: where did it disappear, um, to? Outside, as it turned out; but I didn't realize that until I'd inspected and removed every stick of furniture from that side of the house. Discovering it outside later was a relief, and when Tori catapulted it off our second floor balcony I could hear it land across the yard: plop. After that I sat in a relocated chair ruminating over my new millipede fear--is there a named phobia for this? Yes, there really should be. [Cavin]

Sunday, November 19, 2006


After returning from a satisfyingly adequate meal at Pacifica recently, we gave all of our plants away to Dan, a coworker of Sunshine's. What did I eat? I had fish tacos al pastor, the lobster burrito, and a tall malted glass filled with raw oysters. I drank a cappuccino. The waiter sort-of laughed at me when I did all that ordering--everyone else only ordered one thing apiece. I'll have that waiter know that I split the oysters with Dan, and I didn't even finish his half when he stopped eating. The house looks weird without plants. Mostly, our plants were leftover Earth Day geraniums Sunshine brought home a few weeks before I moved here. Back then, fifteen of them fit in cardboard tray the size of a case of beer. In the last eighteen months some of them have grown into four and a half foot tall, pinkly blooming goliaths I had to wire up with wooden stakes (I used barbecue spoons). Tonight, they took up two loads in Dan's SUV. I am surprised to discover just how empty the house feels without them. I know that we have been doing a lot of the heavy lifting towards moving this week. Because of that, nothing looks the way it used to. When I walk around the house, I'm acutely aware of the bare places where these geraniums used to be. Other empty places aren't as noticeable. These were the first things to be actually removed from the premises, and maybe this is why it feels so different now. But I suspect that they played as much a part in my new life as México, The Cat, and domesticity did, and their removal represents a little of the homesickness I'm going to feel when I am home again. [Cavin]