24 October, 2005

So Far, So Good

Category: Exercise,Pests,Sleep — Moose @ 10:08 pm

It’s been almost three weeks since Orkin was last here, and no bites so far. Very, very good news. I was getting tired of constantly being on the watch for new bumps on my skin (aside from the ever-present and should-be-oh-so-illegal-after-you-turn-30 acne). Keep your fingers crossed that the good luck continues to hold.

Work’s been busy, life’s been busy. I’m starting to get into a regular training grove again, in time to get myself up to the baseline for the program I want to do come December. Plans for next year are, so far, the 1/2-ironman race in June, and a fall marathon. Not having done a full marathon yet, I figure it’d be a good idea to do one by itself before doing one at the end of a triathlon. And it’s a good goal for the fall, give me some good running time in to improve those skills.

I’m temporarily back on sudafed at the moment. The building switched over to heat on Friday and I think it’s awakened all of the nice nasty things that live on the radiators and that normally hibernate in the summer with the ac on. So I’m a little bit sniffly, and a little bit sudafed-y. Led to some whacked out dreams last night, and a dragging Moose today. Crashing a tad earlier than the norm (and about when I should be crashing) to get a full 8 hours if I can. Plan is to bike on the stationary trainer tomorrow, and a run Wednesday. Swimming should start up again next week as I ease back into things (and after the nose/sinuses should be back to normal). Had a good 5 mile run Saturday and an hour and a half on the bike Sunday, so I’m pleased with where I’m getting to now. I’ve been doing well while not on the sudafed, my heart rates are staying back down in more normal ranges, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes while back on it for the next day or so.

12 October, 2005

Wherefore to Sleep

Category: Habits,Pests,Sleep — Moose @ 3:19 pm

I did not sleep at all last night. I think I finally crashed around 5 this morning.

About mid-afternoon yesterday, while sitting in a meeting, my arm began to itch. “Oh, fuck,” was my first thought, “not again,” being the second. Checked when I got back to my office, and it did appear to be a bug bite of some sort (they take a while to develop when it’s only one, versus being covered in them). So of course I’m thinking it’s the bed bugs again. Frak. Me.

So what happened was that every time I tried to lie down to sleep last night, I would freak out at any little movement, with the result that sleep was nigh impossible, until exhaustion forced it upon me. No new bites this morning, that I can tell, but the little shits next door were playing the most cliche of early 90s dance music this afternoon, loudly, which does nothing to help endear them to me any more than they already are.

Needless to say, I’ve stayed home today. I need to go make myself a little coffee here shortly, but I’m suffering from a decided lack of energy. Go fig. Nap time soon, but coffee first.

10 October, 2005

Progress Made, Sudafed Dumped?

Category: Exercise,Habits,Running,Stuff — Moose @ 11:46 pm

Well, as threatened promised, I cleaned my closets for most of the weekend. Not the most thrilling thing to do, but it feels much, much better having gotten rid of so much junk. Still have to inventory the computer junk I found, but that can happen another day.

I also managed to strike something off my uberlist – item 48, “Fix the sagging problem on my large bookcase.” It finally hit me early this morning, after months of trying to figure out how I’d wedge something underneath to even out the bottom (it’s on legs and the middle was sagging rather badly), that I could just take the legs off and set the whole thing on the floor. D’oh! So today it got unloaded, the legs came off and it’s now resting nicely on the floor. It’ll take a while for the bottom to completely un-bow, but it’s looking better than it did. And I can get the bottom doors open without having to wrench them open, a big plus.

Upped the gauge on my earrings as well this weekend, from 18s to 14s. Yes, a two gauge jump, but it works. I wanted something a tad less “delicate” looking, and I’m pleased with the results. Popped the one in without a hitch but the left ear didn’t want to work, so I had to go back down and have it professionally inserted. Yay for piercers’ tools, specifically wedges. In it is, and in it’s staying for a long while. I never take the things out, anyway, so it’s no problem.

Ran this evening. Was pleasantly cool, but not so cool I wanted a long sleeve T. I think I may have to consider dumping the constant use of sudafed, regardless of my allergies. I just can’t get my heart rate down low enough when I’m on the stuff, and it’s annoying to be running at 170-odd beats a minute. So, an experiment – I’ll stop and see what happens. I can always carry it with just in case, but I’d like to see a tad more progress made on my running and it’s not happening with the sudafed in my system. Wish me luck.

8 October, 2005

Let Loose the Dogs of Cleaning

Category: Stuff — Moose @ 3:33 pm

I’ve spent all afternoon, post lunch, cleaning up my two closets. There’s a pile of empty boxes in the living room, and several full ones on and around my bed, needing sorting. Among the carnage:

  • two printers
  • a keyboard (“Windows 95 compatible!”)
  • an old wool scarf in the family tartan
  • tons of old financial records (bills, receipts, etc.)
  • a fish-shaped bathroom radio
  • a couple old blankets
  • two full boxes of computer parts
  • etc.

I’m still boggling over how and why I accumulated so much junk. And that was just one closet, really – the next one isn’t as bad with stuff, just empty boxes. I wonder if I should try to sell some of the porcelain moose figurines or just donate them. I’m sure someone out there wants some moosey knick-knacks…

7 October, 2005

Too Much

Category: Habits,Law,Pests,Piercing,Running,Swimming — Moose @ 9:23 pm

Started culling my belongings this evening. A small bit, just going through books that I want to get rid of, but it’s a start. Since reading Affluenza I’ve been feeling the burden of having so much stuff around the house. I don’t use so much of it, so why am I keeping it all? Ugh. So, started the process of getting rid of some of it this evening. I’ll likely donate the books to the library for their use or sale, but if anyone wants any of them, let me know. Lots of my sci-fi paperbacks are gonna go bye-bye shortly.

Next step is the stuffed animal collection – I’ve wanted to cut that down for a while and donate the bulk of it to a charity that could have kids actually using these things rather than having them take up closet space that could use better used. If anyone has a charity suggestion for ’em, here in the DC area, let me know.

I’m also thinking that it makes sense to go through my casette tape collection, write down the albums I’d like to duplicate, and get rid of those, too. I don’t have a tape player and I’m not inclined to go get one, so those can go away as well. It’s a big box. Anyone with a desire to take some Taiwanese pop music off my hands? 😉

I also need to get myself on eBay or Craig’s List and get rid of some more valuable things (vacuum cleaners, antique mixer, Tungsten|C, etc.). Inertia demands that I simply continue to store these things, but why keep them around, especially if I can make a buck or two off of them.

Doesn’t help that I’m a natural hoarder, from a family of natural hoarders. I don’t know how much parents cleaned out their house when they moved. Well, not true, I ended up with several things to “hold” for them when they moved, but there was So Much Stuff in that house that it just boggles the mind when I think about trying to clean it all out. I don’t want to get to that point. Or, rather, I want to draw back from that point, because I certainly have a ton of stuff here that isn’t needed. I’d hate to think what anyone having to clean the place out for me would think of all the crap I’ve kept over the years.

Part of the book culling is being able to get rid of two older, cheap wooden bookshelves that are in the bedroom and therefore are a potential egg laying spot for the bed bugs. Once the books are removed and thoroughly shaken out, the shelves will go down and go into the trash, thrown far enough in that they can’t be salvaged and possibly transmit any bugs. Plus that’ll help unclutter the bedroom a lot. And if I have less space to store books, perhaps I won’t buy as many (yeah, right – they’ll just stack up like they do beside my reading chair now).

Yup, it all comes back to the bugs.

So far, so good from the latest round of treatments; no bites since Wednesday. Well, none since Saturday/Sunday, actually, but none in the bedroom since I’ve been sleeping in there again since Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed, but I’m definitely not holding my breath at this point.

Work’s been busy as all hell, but so far it’s mainly been manageable. I went over my to-do list with da boss today and she seemed okay with my ordering of the priorities, so I’m plugging away at the list now. Should get through a good part of it soon, I hope, which leaves me time to get to some of my more long-term projects. Provided the usual emergencies don’t keep popping up as they always do.

No real plans for the weekend. Earrings I ordered waaaaaaay back a month or two ago came in, so I’ll be stretching my ears up a gauge or two on Sunday when my piercer’s back in the shop. Shouldn’t be too noticeable, it’s going from an 18ga to a 14ga, which isn’t that extreme. But I’d decided I wanted something a tad less delicate than I have in now.

Run planned for the morning (in the rain!), and perhaps a swim on Sunday. Been ages since I’ve been in the pool, but it should be dead Sunday morning, which is always a good thing – no lane sharing needed. The exercise habit’s slowly getting back to normal, which is a very, very good thing. I always feel better when I’m in the exercise groove, and heaven knows my mood’s needed a lift of late.

5 October, 2005

Misery Loves Company

Category: Pests — Moose @ 10:43 pm

New York faces bed bug problem. Schadenfreude, anyone?

And We Try Again

Category: Pests — Moose @ 9:39 pm

My bedroom is set up once again (mostly), after the last round of treatment for the bed bugs. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

The latest round was a supposed fogger. The guy sprayed stuff all over and we retreated from the room for the day. Presumably this stuff then gasssed up the place and got into all the nooks and crannies and killed things. Whee. The frustrating thing is that nothing has yet been done about the source of the infestation, the boys next door. Normally I’m all for evictions taking a certain amount of due process, but like the famous joke that a Republican is merely a Democrat who’s been mugged, I’m not feeling terribly generous towards them at the moment.

The birthday itself on Monday was… eh. Was very busy at work, and then Richard and I went to Mama Ayesha’s Calvert Cafe for dinner (free entree coupon, can’t turn that down), then home to crash out and the like. Yesterday was similarly low key. Dinner and drinks with Brian and some TiVO watching of bad comedy shows. And cleaning, of course, to prep the apartment (which ended up being a waste since we only did the bedroom) for today’s “fogging.”

The cats have handled most of these “close off this room,” and “shut us up in that room” things pretty well, which is a good thing. Natasha’s been recovering from the out of the norm stuff much more quickly than she did right after her vet experience.

Been running, though I had to skip that this morning for bug prep. Will see about a swim tomorrow, but not holding my breath on getting up rested enough. I have some time to take it easy and recover, but damn these bugs better go bye-bye so I can get back into my full, normal routine again.

2 October, 2005

Once More Into The Breach

Category: Pests — Moose @ 6:03 pm

Well, shit. Here I thought the last treatment of the place had managed to kill off the last of the bed bugs, but it seems there were either more eggs waiting to hatch or more new ones have crawled over from next door, because I woke up to more bites this morning.


The bed sheets are dry now, having been washed in hot water and dried on high once again. Thankfully the laundry room was pretty much empty, so I was able to get those and all my other laundry done at one time. I still have to pull the mattress off and treat the frame with more boric acid, but I’ve not done that yet; honestly it’s been difficult enough to muster the energy to deal with the laundry itself, much less hauling the mattress around.

That has to be the worst part of this whole thing – that not even my “safest” space is safe. My bedroom, which is where I sleep, where I play on the computer, where I read, has been compromised, and there’s not a whole heck of a lot I can do about it. I keep the place clean, but they crawl into clean spaces as easily and as casually as dirty ones. I continue to clean the sheets, dust the (new this spring) bed frame, keep the bed away from the wall, coat the legs with Vaseline to keep them from crawling up, tuck the comforter in to keep it off the floor, but still I’m getting bitten. So still my “safe space” is unsafe, which means I can’t have people over, I can’t have anyone sleep in the room with me, and the feelings of isolation and despair just continue to climb.

They keep treating this unit, and supposedly treating next door, the original source of the infestation, but the bugs continue to bite. They’re also supposedly looking into evicting, or not renewing the lease of, the men next door to shut the place down as a crash spot for every Tom, Dick & Harry that needs a cheap place to sleep (there are four beds set up in the studio apartment there, all of which showed signs of bed bug infestation the first time it was treated).

I’d be tempted to move, but by this point I’d have to isolate and treat everything I own to ensure that I didn’t carry any eggs with me to a new place. Every stitch of fabric would have to be cleaned, then moved elsewhere, and every piece of wood would have to be treated with steam and boric acid to ensure they weren’t harboring any eggs, the mere contemplation of which leaves me more than a little bit exhausted.

I don’t know what else to do except try to soldier through, keep calling management to get the apartment treated, yet again, and keep pressure up to get rid of the ultimate source of the little fuckers, the men next door, but damn I’m tired of fighting this. Next week will be two months since I first noted bites, and about a month since I started getting almost weekly visits from Orkin for the infestation. I like the Orkin manager, don’t get me wrong, but I’m getting tired of having her come in to treat the place. I want my safe space to be safe again.

This was so not how I saw myself spending my 33rd birthday.