Spring, Shrews, and Skin Art

It’s been kind of a crazy week. Work has simultaneously picked up at both my part-time jobs, and now I effectively work full-time, without full weekends. Also, spring (or to use the Alaskan vocabulary: “Breakup”) has caused us some problems, being an unpredictable weather season.

At the beginning of the week, it was very warm, getting up to the fifties, and I had just started considering cutting down on the number of layers of clothing I wear when another storm blew in and dumped over two feet of snow on us. It had gotten warm enough, however, that some heretofore unknown rodents came out of hibernation and began scurrying around the floor. I work a lot of night shifts, and Katrina spends all day in union classes, and some days I have to leave the house before she gets home. I’ve been leaving her little love notes so I still feel like I’m getting some communication with her. That morning, though, was different. I discovered something about myself, rodents kind of freak me out. For the best description of how it happened, here is the lengthy, multi-appendiced note I left for her, edited for swearings. For the full effect, imagine it hurriedly scribbled on a piece of printer paper, with each additional note growing more illegible…

So, just before leaving for work, I saw a mouse/vole/small member of rodentia (we’re still not clear on what they were, I’m pretty sure they were mice, but Katrina says they must have been shrews) wandering around the kitchen floor, stone cold not giving a ****. That means we probably have some manner of pest problem (oh goodie!). I would say our best course of action right now is to do a better job sweeping crumbs and crud off the floor, and maybe keep the house a little neater. I’m not throwing this all at you, I’m guilty, too being the lazy jerk I am. Just keep our foodstuffs stored, off the floor, and let’s try to keep the ground goodie-free, K?

UPDATE: ***** ****, THERE’S MORE THAN ONE, AND I THINK THEY ARE SHREWS OR SOMETHING! THIS IS WHY YOU GET POPCORN OFF THE ******* FLOOR! (Katrina has a habit of eating microwave popcorn and not noticing the crumbs that surround her favorite chair). I’M LITERALLY AFRAID TO GO IN THE KITCHEN NOW. ********, KATRINA. OH GOD, I CAN HEAR THEM CHEWING ON THINGS!

2nd Update: Okay, not shrews. But mice. Definitely mice. At least two, likely three. I’ve moved most of the food higher off the floor. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE CLOSE UP BAGS AND JARS, AS WELL AS SWEEP UP CRUMBS AND MOUSE-PORTIONED BITS OF FOOD! Just look at the crap all over the kitchen! It’s like we’re begging mice to come in! *****!
I have to go to work, since I’ve spent most of this time freaking out about it, but we, as in both of us have to do something about this. I have to get off my lazy butt and stop playing video games, and you have to stop Internet putzing, and we have to work together and solve this problem. We MUST clean this house, set traps, and make habits that will keep the place clean and pestilence-free. It’s current state is UNACCEPTABLE and I won’t live in it anymore.

So, I didn’t handle it particularly well. Despite all my doom and gloom, however, we seem the have fixed it rather easily, the kitchen and living room are cleaned up, we’ve set out some traps that haven’t gone off and there have been no further signs of the critters. It may have been a coincidence, and they were just out because they had awoken from hibernation (this place had been vacant for a while), and are now elsewhere. At least we’ve tidied up the place, and I’ve got my motivation to keep it that way.

Speaking of things getting under my skin, Katrina did that this week, by getting something under hers. On a whim, without even mentioning it to me, after stopping by to visit me briefly at the liquor store, she went down the street to a tattoo parlor (which is only separated from the liquor store by a Baptist church. No I’m not making that up.), ostensibly to price check and get an appointment, but ended up getting one then and there.

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She had been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while, and I guess the fact that all of her “brothers” in her classes have tattoos made her come back to the idea. Personally, I hate tattoos. They’re tacky, “come-look-at-me” self-mutilations that involve needles and pain. And are very difficult to get rid of if you change your mind.

Katrina’s falls into the “pretentious symbolic design that doesn’t mean anything to anyone” category. It’s a symbol she created for a fantasy adventure comic she wrote in high school. She’s told me it represents “endurance” or some such nonsense, but it looks like somebody has drawn a retarded treble clef on her beautiful collar bones. And now I’m stuck with it.

It’s not the fact that she got a tattoo without my “permission”, but the fact that she did so impulsively, having not mentioned anything about tattoos for months that kind of bugs me. Tattoos are not a thing you get impulsively, unless you’re drunk. And then you regret it. She seems happy with it for now, and was wise enough to get a tattoo somewhere that is easily covered by most clothing, but isn’t in a “trampy” location.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have popcorn crumbs to sweep off the floor.

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2 responses to “Spring, Shrews, and Skin Art

  1. You have such class, Evan. At least Katrina’s symbol is small. Those huge, multicolored themes that cover one entire arm or the back are really trashy. I guess these young women think their arms will never have saggy wrinkles, which will really distort those tats.

  2. I had the same problem when I worked for the State of Alaska as a fisheries aide. We were placed far out of Ketchikan on a red salmon weir. We were over run with mice. Neatness did not help. We finally had to set a number of mouse traps to get rid of them.

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