Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
So we get to the hotel room, and the hallway is very twisty and small and smells like smoke. Right outside our room, the wallpaper is peeling and one of the wall panels is loose. Let me just say that we’ve stayed in this hotel many times before, and it’s always been very clean (as far as hotels go) and presentable. So this seediness was unexpected, and it sort of laid the groundwork for a feeling of uneasiness to creep in.
We get in the room, and thankfully it does not smell like smoke. The floors looked . . . ok, but I wasn’t going to, you know, sit on them or anything. First things first, we decide to check for bed bugs, because you don’t want to wait until the hotel doesn’t have any rooms left or it’s the middle of the night before you discover you just can’t stay there (which is why we always flush the toilet as soon as we get into our hotel room).
So I pull back the covers and peer closely at the mattress. I peered closely because bed bugs are very small. But peering closely at the mattress means you see things you otherwise might not see. I saw quite a few stains, natch, but I also saw . . . stuff. A little dark brown speck of . . . I don’t know what it was. And another one. And a tan . . . something. All very, very small. None of it native to the mattress. And then, because bed bugs are brown, I had to keep looking at the specks to see if they would move. I couldn’t actually prod at them, the classic "dead or alive?" technique, because, gross (ok, I did start to prod one, but then my brain said "AAAHH, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" and my finger said, "oh, yeah, what am I doing? Good call, brain. Don't touch that."). But I did make RR come look at them.
“what’s that?” I asked, pointing.
She looked closely.
“Eeewwww,” she said, and we both felt creeped out. We kind of looked at each other, and I think we both knew that neither of us was really going to be able to relax for the rest of the trip.
That’s when I decided to stop looking so closely. I didn’t see any bed bugs. Or at least, I don’t think I saw any. But what I did see was still pretty scary. And that just reinforced my belief that the hotel maids do not actually clean the rooms as throughly as I would like, and that mattress you are sleeping on is harboring fugitives from the vacuum, unauthorized passengers, stowaways. The previous guests have literally left little pieces of themselves behind, with which you may unwittingly come in contact.
And I think that’s why, spending the next night in my parents' hotel room, I fell into convulsions of hysterical laughter upon discovering the hairs on the sheets of the sofa bed. The mattress had been quite stained, but I didn’t look too closely for any ride-alongs, and just kept telling myself that it would be ok, the sheets would cover the mattress (and I refused to consider the possibility that the sheets weren’t clean or that anything from the mattress could somehow work its way through the sheets). So when I saw the hairs, it was just too much. It was if the hotel was saying to me, you will be exposed to the DNA of the former occupants of this room. Resistance is futile. And it was just so awful that it was funny. I guess.
So my recommendation to you is, look for bed bugs, but don’t look too closely.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
(2) The jeans I wore on Saturday got dirty because I wore them to clean in, and I wound up getting chemicals all over them. The jeans I wore on Sunday spent a lot of time in public restrooms (road trip), so they went straight into the dirty clothes. On Monday night, I got tomato sauce on a pair of jeans. On Tuesday night, I got mayo on a pair of jeans. I’m running out of jeans.
(3) I had disagreement with a coworker on Tuesday, and it involved us getting a little snippy with each other. Yesterday, she came into my office and asked if I was over been stressed, because she didn’t want to come into my office if I was going to be “all stressy and mean.” I really didn’t know what to say to that. I bit back the temptation to say “you have not yet seen me being mean, but you’re about to.” I always forget that to the passive-aggressive types, direct confrontation = mean.
(4) The aforementioned road trip this weekend was with my sister and parents. A good time was had by all, except that I have confirmed that the time is rapidly approaching when I will not be able to travel at all. I am so very freaked out by hotel rooms and their grossity (“grossity.” The degree to which something is gross; the grossness level of something). Responding the recent articles I’ve read on the rising incidents of bed bugs, I checked the mattress of the hotel room very closely. Mistake! I did not see any bed bugs, but I did see other things that made me want to curl up into a fetal position at the thought of touching the mattress, but unfortunately, there was no place for me to curl up on that wasn’t also grossing me out. Then the next night, rr and I slept on the sofa bed in my parents’ room. As soon as I put the sheets on the bed, I noticed several hairs on the sheets. I started laughing so hard that I couldn’t tell my parents what I was laughing at. It wasn’t really funny. I think I was hysterical. I did not get a lot of sleep that night. I’m still a little skeeved by it.
(5) Seriously, y’all, hotel mattresses are disgusting.
(6) RR and I have been getting rid of a lot of stuff, but it just doesn’t seem to be helping. We are still swimming in stuff that doesn’t have a place in our teeny home. We don’t have the space. I’m kind of wishing that I’ll come home one day and find that some of my stuff is gone. Not that I wish my house would be burglarized. More like I wish my mom would sneak in one day and decide for me that I don’t need so much stuff.
That’s it for now! I have some other posts that I’m working on, but I have to finish my article first before I finish them up. I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
So as I’m passing the print closest to the top of the stairs, I think nothing of it as I hear a sound like something brushing against paper. I figured I walked too close to the print and brushed against it. But then the noise repeated. Repeatedly. 'Hmm, that's odd,' I thought, and I turned around to investigate. And like in any stock horror film, I timed it so that I turned around just in time to see an enormous bug descending from the print . . . right . . . onto . . . my head. In the ensuing moment of chaos, I managed to comprehend that this was one of those horrible, awful flying gigantor roach things. My reaction was not heroic (as usual).
Ok, picture that scene from Clue, the one where Mrs. Peacock thinks that maybe the cognac was poisoned and starts screaming. Now picture the later scene where
I think I did some impressive dance moves, mostly involving swiping my hand furiously over my head, waving my arms around in the air, and shifting my weight from foot to foot as I ran down the stairs. Head swipe, back swipe, head swipe, shuffle, shuffle down the stairs, head swipe, run down the stairs, head swipe, back swipe, head swipe, head swipe, head swipe, jazz hands.
Anyway, I get down the stairs and run into the kitchen, hoping to find the febreeze. Febreeze and it’s main competitor (name escapes me at the moment) are effective at killing bugs, or at least slowing them down long enough for you to stomp on them. No Febreeze in the kitchen, but I did find Downy Wrinkle Releaser. I grabbed it, set it to “stun” (i.e., “on”), and headed to the stairs.
At this point my cat Gabby settled on the landing half way down, all casual and “hey, what’s going on?” and no help at all. She watched me for a minute and then strolled downstairs, parked herself in front of a chair and proceeded to stare intently at a spot under the chair. I of course decided that It must be there. But It wasn’t. I looked, didn’t see anything, swiped at my head and back, looked again, lather, rinse, repeat.
I moved on to staring at the stairs, and after several moments of standing completely still (so as to be able to hear It), I saw It crawl out from underneath the throw rug on the landing. I began my spraying onslaught. I managed to slow It down, but that sucker would not stop moving. It was like It had some kind of super powers. And also? Huge. Finally, It crawled into where part of the rug had folded over on itself. I was glad of this, because it meant that I could stomp on the rug covering It and therefore squish It without actually having to touch It with my shoe. So I fiercely stomped stomped stomped on It. I took a peek, and that sucker was still moving. I covered It back up, stomped as hard as I could a couple of times, peeked, still moving. Barely, but still. I got a hammer and finished him off, very horror movie like.
Half an hour later, my heart was still pounding.
So here are my questions.
(1) Where the heck are all the bugs coming from? (have I mentioned before that we have been having beetles galore? Slow-moving, easy to kill beetles, but still! And one got on my arm the other day! Much screaming.)
(2) Why is rr always in class when I’m attacked by a bug?
(3) Will I ever feel safe in my own home again? Last night I spent the whole rest of the evening doing double takes thinking I’d spotted something else about to drop on me. It just might drive me actually crazy.
Right now, I’m still grossed out about it and don’t want to eat my breakfast blueberry muffin (see previous post on how easily I get grossed out). So what, exactly, should I do to defend my turf? I'm in the trenches, and I need a Maginot line, here, y’all! Only, you know, effective.