Saturday, May 7, 2011

I share my home with Carpenter Bees

A hoard of bees live in my window. Yes, IN the rotting wood of my window. The window that I opened and closed millions of times during the winter, probably shaking them in their torpor, but that I am now afraid to touch.

There is apparently a hole at the bottom of the window, right where the window meets the screen which I haven't touched for ... weeks now at this point.

The sound is deafening and I am petrified that they will keep burrowing through until a hole comes out on the INside of the window.

I just examined them closely from my window, trying to get a good picture of them and also find out what kind they were. But I could tell they were staring back at me and laughing at me in their little bee voices- and would swerve away every time I tried to get a good picture of them.

At first I thought they were bumble bees, and was almost comforted by the fact that I was a bit like Winnie the Poo in my storybook apartment. But then I read that Bumble bees don't ruin wood- and are fuzzier and cuter than my kind.

So.... Google "Bee Identification".

"Carpenter Bees: Male carpenter bees are solid black, they also cannot sting. The females are tan in color and sting quite well. (great.) Carpenter bees are sometimes mistaken for bumblebees (yes), however carpenter bees are shiny with less hair (yes). Their flight is faster than a bumblebee’s, and is also a more jerky flight, very similar to a hummingbird (hence their asshole-ish hover-then-swerve right when I try to take a picture). Carpenter bees are solitary bees burrowing holes the size of a dime or penny into wood patio covers, eaves, and other places. Average size is one inch in length."

Yes, but these bees are not solitary. There are quite a few, Google.

"It has been occasionally reported that when females cohabit, there may be a division of labor between them, where one female may spend most of her time as a guard within the nest, motionless and near the entrance, while another female spends most of her time foraging for provisions."

Great, so, there is one just guarding the hole (maybe the one that keeps staring me down) and a few going out. (there are at least 4. at LEAST).

the best I could get was her far-away ass as she hovered far away. I hate them.
I have not moved my screen because of them and the pollen has accumulated... (Edit: Actually it is wood from the bee's window holes.)

So, as if I needed a new enemy, I now have some loud bees making my spring-time less wonderful.

Maybe I will find a way to kill them.... we'll see. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolate Chronicles: Story in Pictures

Aiden Isn't Afraid of Rabid Raccoons

stress for me.

As I pushed little Caroline in the stroller to her playdate in Central Park, I passed a sunglassed, long-haired dude smiling to himself- who looked a lot like Aiden from Sex and the City.


But we were late to the playdate, which took precedence, and also, I'm afraid of famous people. So I kept on walking, till little Caroline pointed in front of us and yelled excitedly: 


Lo and behold! - a little raccoon was walking towards us.

I WHEELED the stroller around because all I know about raccoons is: If you see one in the day- bolt, because it has rabies.

But oooooooh no. Aiden chose this life or death moment to start talking to me in his signature Southern-y Stoner-y drawl:

Aiden: "It's ok- he's a nice little guy"

Me: "What??"

Aiden: "I've been watchin' him fer an hour. People've been feedin him and everything- he's safe"

I was caught between a potentially rabid raccoon at my back who was heading TOWARDS us- and between a famous guy (John Corbett) (who I'm afraid of) assuring me I was safe.

I said- "eaahhhhheehhh" and started to wheel the stroller away from J-Aiden and into the street to avoid the raccoon.

John/Aiden INSISTED: "No really he's safe, I've really been watching him. He's been eatin out of peoples' hands."

I just stared at him. 

Me: "Really?"

Him: "Yeaa yeaaa, I think he's just young and confused"


Me:"Ok........I just don't want there to be any rabies going on"   ('going on???!!!??' ) 

Him: "Nahh"

Then the raccoon kind of ambled off the sidewalk drunkenly- so I was able to take John/Aiden's advice and also avoid the raccoon.

Me: "Welllll.... Thank you!"

Him: "Sherrrr"

I never let even him know that I KNEW HE WAS FAMOUS - because that is my ultimate fear- bothering the famous. But I'll tell you- he really bothered me when he tried to push me and my mini-me into the path of a rabid animal.

He is from West Virginia. Shouldn't he know about raccoons? 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

How to Make Sure Nobody Sits Next to You On a Train/Bus. K?

I am a relatively kind-looking, safe-looking, and reasonably sized young woman. For this reason, if there is an open seat next to me on a bus/train- people will sit there.

Girls will sit there because they see we have common ground, guys will sit there because I am a WOman, and old creepy guys will sit there because I am a WOman. (And the other kind are old women- they will sit there, too).

It doesn't seem fair to me that creepy or gross people get two seats to themselves, but I am always sat down next to, so I have developed a method for keeping people away:

1. Look super mean. I have learned I am quite good at this; just look pissed and angry. And bitchy: See this post, which is less of a helpful tutoral like this, and more of a sad revelry in my unkind ways.

1. a. Look BUSY and mean. Flip through papers frantically, look on your phone as if someone died, talk on the phone to an imaginary friend and flip out, go through your bag as if you just lost your wallet. Look mean while you do this. I have actually never purposefully done this, but I guarantee it will work. Scare people.

2. Sit on the aisle seat (preferably looking mean and frazzled) making it harder for them to slip into the seat. Then they have to ask you to move, and people are lazy and may avoid speaking, which is a score for Solitude.

3. Dirty the seat next to you. This one works very well. If you choose to sit by the window for any number of reasons (outlet/view/napping on the window, etc.) you will need to take action to make the aisle seat look undesirable.

One time I was sitting in the window, and the aisle seat next to me had all these train conductor clippings from when they punch the tickets with their spiffy, weird, hole-puncher. It looked messy and questionable and NOBODY SAT THERE, to my delight. This is when I began to cultivate my methods for keeping my solitude. Another time, I had been eating some oily italian meal, and had my wrinkled, oily napkin sitting on the seat next to me. NOBODY SAT THERE.

4. Bring a Smelly Meal. Whip out your tuna salad right when other people are entering looking for seats. Any way to gross someone out is a good way not to attract a bus-mate.

Some people hope to meet their soul mate on buses. I used to think that this would happen to me, but didn't want to be the one choosing my seat/soul/mate, so I would rush to a window seat first and wait for KISMET to occur.....

And- guess what! Only old ladies sat next to me and made my ride a joy by asking me a million questions during those rides.

So, I gave up on train love and started shunning people.

That's just the way it has to be.