Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dear Family,

I HATE bugs. HATE them. all of 'em (here is where mom invokes the story of me and the snake - "ooh, a cute one!"). Snakes are ok, but bugs - man, do I hate bugs. When Marya lived here she was the designated bug-killer, but now that I'm on my own I have to bravely face the silverfish, cockroaches, waterbugs, what have you by myself. This (along with the rent and cost of living prices in the stratosphere), I had resigned myself to, is just the price you pay for living and doing business in New York City.

But this week I have come into contact with what seems like the worst possible bug on the entire planet. Well, at least in the city of New York.

If you ever see one of these:


Pictured above is the Cimex lectularius, commonly known as the BED BUG. This particular one was found on Monday night in my apartment, scurrying along the floor between the living room and the office. I almost died.

Luckily (?), I have seen friends go through the process of ridding a house of bed bugs. It is not easy, good family, not easy at all. Here's what you have to do:

1. Call exterminator. Very, very important. First, they come to "inspect" (today, between 12-2). If they determine that you have bed bugs, they will schedule treatment. This is why you capture the bug and put it in the plastic bag and store it in the freezer - so there's no waffling and hemming and hawing when the exterminator comes. Just spray the chemicals, man. Bring back DDT if you have to just get them the @#$% out of my apartment. Most likely THREE treatments over the course of the next 6-8 weeks will be necessary in order to catch them in all stages of their development. That means chemicals sprayed, evacuation of home for hours, careful maintenance and vigilant attention paid to pets to keep them away from said chemicals. Not to mention staying in your bed night after night, acting as a human sacrifice so that they have somewhere to "feed" while they come out to eat the chemicals and die. Yum.

2. Wash EVERYTHING. everything washable must be washed. Clothes, linens, towels, washclothes, curtains, pot holders, pillows, rugs. Anything made of fabric goes into the washing machine on hot, then to the dryer for an hour and a half. I spent the entire day at the laundromat. Literally.

3. Clean EVERYTHING. Take all your belongings out of all drawers, containers, out from under your bed, out from the tops of your closets. Vacuum all baseboards, cracks in floorboards (woo, wood floors!), drawers, backs of dressers, bottoms and cracks of couches, seams of mattresses. Mop it all. Every last piece of your apartment. I spent the entire night cleaning. Literally.

4. Once everything is clean, bag it up in sealed plastic bags and quarantine it all. Double bagged trash bags? check. Oversized ziploc bags? Check. Storage in bathtub? Check.

5. Pull all furniture away from wall, stack mattresses and box springs against wall, line up possibly infested items for spraying.

6. Feel sorry for self. Hope and pray and cross fingers that they'll be killed, aren't infested, aren't any indestructible eggs, and that they won't come back in 2 months after last treatment. Try not to freak out or feel like there are bugs crawling on you at every moment. Try to determine how you will host your out of town guest this week. Decide whether or not going to Boston to celebrate the 4th, as planned, is a good idea. Stay the f away from anyone else's apartment.

Here are some photos of the process for your viewing displeasure:

Baab, quarantined

Laundry, before.

Lou in a clean, disheveled, ready-for-exterminator house.

Stuff to be sprayed and empty drawers.

Bare bones bed. Freaked cat.

Laundry after.

Laundry after - quarantined in bathroom.

boy, do I hate new york right now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two sets of twins

Sometimes Ed and Frank walk, talk or pose like they were hardwired together. Often they follow birds, moths, us or even mysterious unseen (to us) specters by moving their heads and bodies in exact tandem. We find it very entertaining.

And speaking of tandem, down at the cottage a momma mourning dove has made her home for the newbies on top of our electric awning, so we haven't used it in nearly four weeks. Beady eyed momma and babies pictured above.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lou's Urban Oasis

So I recently hung my new birdfeeder (thanks, Dad!) on the fire escape outside my window. For the first two weeks there was no action, except that Tom, the stray cat that comes to visit Lou through the screen, took the liberty of spraying it - right in front of my face. He was all, "hey, new birdfeeder? don't mind if I do!"

I thought that would surely kill any possibility of birds, but since then, some have discovered it and apparently told all their friends. I'm pretty psyched! No one could be happier than Louie, though:

i'm still trying to get one with the bird actually ON the feeder, but for now you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Check out the onesies I just bought at a little boutique store in Manhattan for Kate and Kristin's twins (due in September)... can you even believe?? I am usually not one for impulse buys, but I saw these in the window on my way past and turned on my heel, marched right in and bought them without any consideration. I mean, how could you pass them up when your friends have leetle twin boys on the way? Their baby shower is in a couple of weeks and these will be the hit of the party. I hope.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

The outer limits of cat-blogging

Have not seen something this disturbing (yet harmless) in quite a while.