Saturday, July 20, 2013

Meg, Don't Read This Post

Spiders.  When you choose to live in a ground-level dwelling, you understand that you may deal with a few.  When you find out that your new apartment is partially submerged in the earth and you are now a mole-person, you must accept that you will be battling at least one decent-sized spider a day and will probably encounter larger ones here and there.  Case in point:
Alive with dead body of other spider....dead thanks to Charles
Growing up in Northern California, I was already familiar with Black Widow and Brown Recluse Spiders.  We saw plenty of the lovely black ladies and knew to avoid them when possible and always kill or remove them if they were inside our house.  I never actually saw a Brown Recluse, but we knew to keep an eye out for them.  Of the three large spiders who are dangerous to humans on the West Coast, the only one I'd never heard of was the Hobo Spider.  I am very sorry to inform myself that they are extremely common in ground floor dwellings in the Pacific Northwest and that they are considered aggressive biters.  I've now met two possible hobos, if I've identified them correctly (which my neighbor, who was bitten by one in her bed, confirms), and it's not even mating season yet.

More bad news, the more I read about the Giant House Spider (ugh), the more I think the one from last night was not a Hobo Spider.  But don't worry, the one in my apartment was!  And then here I read that it's almost impossible to tell them apart unless you look very close.

I want to cry right now.  Or move out of my apartment.  Only one is a realistic option.

I spent most of my day, yesterday, reorganizing my apartment and figuring out what could go in my outside storage closet.  I had a plan, I knew what was going to go where, and then I opened the closet, turned on the light and found that huge, scary spider hanging out in the doorway.  Thankfully, he or she had not constructed a web in that area...yet.  I decided that I would have to overcome my total creeped-out-ed-ness and get my boxes into storage anyway.  And then, after the spider and I repeatedly freaked each other out, I went to my neighbor's and asked if they had anything that would kill a large spider.

Luckily for me, my neighbor Charles kills them with his bare hands.  I suppose this is what happens when you live with four females.  Thank god for Charles.

Unluckily for me, even dead this spider scares the crap out of me.  Something so large should not be able to move so quickly and how do I know spiders don't become zombies?

In any case, I have now ordered Hobo Spider traps, because I don't think it's okay to keep making Charles come over to take care of them for me.  I first considered the Bugzooka, which is a way of trapping and then releasing them again.  Then I realized that there was no way in hell that I was going to be able to deal with even a spider trapped in a plastic tube.

I also discovered this morning, with a much smaller spider, that you shouldn't swing your killing device from too far away, lest you make the body of the spider airborne.  In your bedroom.  And then are not able to find it.

I'm sleeping on the couch tonight.

And leaving the state for the month of September...which is mating season.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Take the Time

Today we are asking anyone who stops by LostGirls to go over to Andi's Once in a Lifetime Travel and read about the Arizona firefighters, the Granite Mountain Hotshots.  Nineteen of them were killed on June 30th of this year, fighting a wildfire.  Andi gives you the story and how you can help in the wake of this terrible tragedy.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

That First Post

The first post I wrote for LostGirls, The End in the Beginning, was meant to illustrate that to begin something long-lasting, we have to end the cycle of self-sabotage.  We are, too often, our own worst enemies when it comes to achieving our goals.  We create doubt that has no business being there.  And we keep ourselves from realizing our own dreams.  And yet, at the same time, we're encouraging everyone else to shoot for the moon.

Having just re-read that first post, I realize I should probably read it again once a month, to remind myself why I still haven't given up on LostGirls.  Things have certainly changed.  LostGirls is no longer comprised of five sites and the four sister site subjects don't get equal attention anymore.  Once I started a new job, I realized that five sites would be unmanageable for one administrator and I would lose some of the time I revel in to brainstorm with Meg, discuss writing with Mary and attempt to understand science with Seth.  I do believe this was the right decision.  It is a cleaner format and allows me to take a hiatus when I need to, say...move across the country, without feeling like I'm letting down not only my readers, but the group of 10-15 people who comprise a sort of casual committee for this site.

And that, I believe, is the thing that has most gone by the wayside.  So let me express, again, that LostGirls remains a project shared by many people.  And that anyone who visits is welcome to become a bigger part of it.  In the end, LostGirls is not just about feeling lost, it's about connecting and/or reconnecting.  And even when you don't see anyone's name but mine, this blog is nothing without the support that I get from the other contributors, that loose little committee and from reading the work of others.  It's one of the reasons I take part in BlogHer's NaBloPoMo.

This is our project.  For those who know what it is to feel a little lost.  In our travels, moving to a new place, learning a new skill.  Or just in life, in general.



Some inspiration we've benefited from:

Bleeding Espresso / Start Where You Finish

Once in a Lifetime Travel / Top Ten: Reasons Traveling with Kids is Cool

Life, the Universe and Lani / Who Do You Write For?

Porch Philosophy / When Your Child is an Atheist

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Thing About Spiders

The thing about spiders is that even those of us who are terrified of them forget they exist once in a while, except as some ghostly memory.  It's when you find one in your house that you are reminded that they could be ANYWHERE.  And it's so much worse when said visitor is the size of a freaking silver dollar.

So, should this happen to you and totally creep you out, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) go online to look it up.  It is only going to make things worse.  Especially if you type in "spider identification," because then you're shown a ton of creepy crawlies that are much too large to be hanging out in your house, dammit, especially the Hunstmen Spider which, on the site that I found, wiggles.  Why does it have to wiggle?  Just imagine...yeah, it scared the crap out of me.

So now my skin is crawling, I'm convinced there is a host of huge ass spiders somewhere in my cupboards and I almost threw up while doing research for this post.  Just a little.  And yet, I find it curious that, up until I noticed my creepy visitor on a bag in my kitchen, I had kind of forgotten about creepy crawlies.  I think some part of my mind decided that I just could not handle that knowledge and struck it from memory.  Which made it even more of a shock when I realized that they not only exist, they could be anywhere in my apartment.  I could come across one while unpacking a box.  I could be bitten by one in my sleep.  I could be accidentally letting one in every time I open my door.  

My eyes are getting huger with every sentence I write and I'm practically hyperventilating.

I have to go now.

I think I have some whiskey somewhere...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Huge Disconnect

The theme of this month's BlogHer NaBloPoMo is CONNECT.  I signed up for July, knowing this, but what it's made me realize is that I feel really disconnected right now.  I have no regrets about the move to Seattle.  I think I've just put too much on being ready to go straight away...after a long-ass, complicated, incredibly expensive, draining move.  That's rather silly, now, isn't it?

Truly satisfying connections are generally of the long-lasting variety.  I have met a lot of amazing people in the short time that I've been in the state of Washington.  I've laughed a lot, hugged a lot, made plans a lot, and found common ground with quite a few people.  I'd even say I've made some actual friends.  But all those connections are either obviously tenuous, or could still prove to be.

This is something we don't have to think much about until we get into, or past, a certain age range.  So, nearer to forty than ever, I've found that I kind of wish I could take the easy path of already having firm connections in my area.  Instead, I'm going to have to really work for it.

The good news is that sometimes an event happens that brings people together quite quickly and easily.  In my case, we had a power outage tonight and I just happened to already be sitting on my patio, reading a book.  Several of my neighbors came and went during the hour or so that the outage lasted and we all talked to each other as if we'd already met, or even known each other for a while.  We had a common problem, it was that simple.  And it was fun chatting with people from my patio and getting to meet their kids or pets while they were out in front of the building.

The opportunity here is that I can now figure out if any of my neighbors are people I want to have more of a connection to.  Even if I decide that I don't want to have weekly dinners with them, this is the first time in my life that I really recognize the value of actually getting to know the people you share an apartment complex with.  Whether it's in case of an emergency or the simple loveliness of being able to say hi and have small chat with nice people, it is worth some extra effort.

I have doubtlessly spent too much of my life relying on my close circle of friends (who now all live far away) and/or social connections at work.  I still have the latter (and I'm grateful for it), but if I'm not working, it's better that I'm not completely cut off from PEOPLE.  Lest I become a hermit (something I'm quite good at, but would prefer not to pursue).

True connection is not easy.  It may sometimes feel effortless, but be not mistaken - it does require getting off your ass and doing something if you want it to be lasting.  More so if you want connections with other people to add value to your life.  Because that means you have to find a way to add value to theirs.