Friday, April 30, 2004

Friday and the Weeks that Were

It's a Friday night, folks. And I'm home, doing dishes and biting my nails wondering where Honey might have secreted herself. Yes folks, I've become a housewife. At least I have the time to write, even if it's without profit. So what were the events of note that transpired while my five or so readers were wondering about the date of my next post? In brief:

Belabor Day
Is it just me, or can tomorrow be lumped together with the other useless holidays? Y'know, like St. Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Thanksgiving... useless because the Philippine government does not celebrate them by sending people home to rest?

You can't call off work as it falls on a Saturday, already a holiday for most of us who have a 40-hour work week. You can't celebrate it because someone or other is invariably striking, or mounting some form of very public and very inconvenient protest. You can't even pontificate with respect to labor as an unrespected, though vital, social force-- because if you're anything like me, you've probably got overworked, undereducated and underpaid maids to pick up after you. Middle class Pharisee.

Take this bit of trivia with you as you attempt to enjoy Labor Day: it's the anniversary of (brrr...) "Edsa" III.

The Neverending Battle with Vermin

Ants
I've been fighting a running battle with Kervin's ancient enemies, the ants. Red ants and black ants-- No sooner do I turn my back than they pounce on whatever finds its way into the sink and the dining table. I retaliate with soap --Perla is cheap and effective-- soaking the bugs in quick, poisonous sudsy death, diluting the nasty chemical trail that keeps them on the march in my territory. 'Course, they always manage to burrow a new tunnel, strike out a new trail, find a new route to the food. They chew their way through tiles, sealant and plastic bags, to get to food hidden in sealed trash bins and packaging. I can't turn my back for a few minutes without them swarming over the food wrappers and other detritus. The poor lizard that fell into my flypaper was covered in a layer of red death almost as soon as he got stuck there.

I shake the nebulizer, I spray, I wipe. Their Queen remains a bottomless abyss out of which pour scouts and warriors unending. And so the battle continues...

Mice
It's a relief to know that I do not have to deal with the likes of Master Splinter, the cat-sized rat my granddad used to keep as a foul-smelling, sewer-surfing pet. Sadly, Splinter has cousins here, sneaking into the living area through so many crawlspaces, insinuating themselves into our lives and foodstores. Until now, I had little knowledge of how porous a human dwelling can be.

They mainly come here out of curiosity, and perhaps hunger: human dwellings mean abundant food. Another reason is the absence of a natural predator: I am no cat person and Honey knows the messiness of pet felines. Then, there's warmth, and an easeful resting place when the dimwitted, lumbering humans are away. Even if I devoted all my energies to ridding the place of crumbs and leavings, they'd still find their way here: lured, as in Hamlin, by the constant high-pitched hum of active solid-state electronics.

The young ones are caught by the flypaper and are quickly dispatched to the communal dump, lest the smell of their corpses begins to overwhelm. The older ones, who translate themselves from one apartment to the next, avoid the flypaper. They've been toughened, no doubt, by the sight of their comrades stuck in nasty human-made goo. These fall prey to special anticoagulant-laced bait (I have visions of Blade yelling "Die, vampire mouse!!!"), and die of internal hemhorraging far from here: but they leave enough green poop to fill dustpans-- and raise a biohazard alert.

And so the battle continues...

Neighbors

No matter what I do, I cannot, for the life of me, play The Sims on this machine without it seizing up and hanging on me. While I believe it may have something to do with the fact that the CD I have is most likely defective, I am also leaning on my pet Compaq laptop bug/Direct X 9b-incompatibility hypotheses.

A well-run home where everything works makes for a happy Sim. As in The Sims, so in real life. The guy living a floor below us is not a happy Sim. Sadly, he has little power to effect a change in his plumbing without getting help from the building engineer and help from us. The hypothesis is that there is a leak in the plumbing under our sink, which allows water to seep into our neigbor's ceiling. While I would highly recommend to the poor man to use liberal applications of Vulcaseal, he may not be partial to the aesthetics of sealant and duct tape.

The rub: our drain is behind six inches of concrete and cement. Assuming Engineer-san is correct, he'll have to hire some goons to knock out the wall under the sink so he can work his magic and make everybody happy. If he's wrong, Honey and I will have major league headaches regarding the disintegrated concrete and accumulated mouse poop this exercise will have stirred up and spewed into the apartment; our neighbor will still have his leaky ceiling; all this noise and expense would have been for jack sh!t.

Birthdays

My friend, er... Antoinne turned ___. He works at a call center, and is the epitome of "undertiming and overpaid." I'm genuinely happy for him.

Tobie marked his birthday recently. I am taking this opportunity to wish him greater creativity, more profitable networking and more time for what he loves.

No comments: