05/27/04: sleep deprivation   (Updated twice... scroll down)

4:30am: grrrr... why can't I sleep... argh... so much stuff to do tomorrow (today)...

Update: 9:17am: OK, what was once amusing and enchanting is now grossing me out. I was getting ready to leave for choir last night around 7-ish and yep, I was right, there's another squirrel caught in my walls. I had the air conditioning on again, and this time fiberglass insulation chunks were shooting out of the vent behind my piano. This doesn't make me happy. I called maintenance but this time they didn't call me back so nothing got rectified or scheduled.

I didn't get to bed until about 5:00am this morning (it's now before 9am) and at 8:30 there's a knock on my door and it's MacMurphyMullet from the other day. This tears me out of REM sleep and I am very grumpy with that faint stomachache you get when you're jolted awake. Through my half-asleep haze I hear him walking up the stairs and I yell, "Whoa! Whoa! Give me a minute!" I quickly throw on some clothes and let him upstairs into my bedroom so he can access the attic and he says, "Oh, you didn't have to get all dressed up for me." Die die die die die die die die die. Then he asks the obvious, "Oh, did I wake you up?" and despite all genuine efforts to be pleasant, my response came out bitchy (proof that I am a crappy actor). I felt terrible about it. Anyhoo, he jumped into my bedroom closet and started shuffling around with the attic access panel. I adjourned downstairs to wake up and slap myself around, and I asked him if I can make him a cup of coffee. He declines, but is intrigued that I've offered.

Of course, this random act of basic human interaction has convinced him that I'm in love with him, because now he starts MEGA FLIRTING. I go downstairs to finally make my coffee and some toast and I again offer him some and he tells me that I'm the "woman of [his] dreams" because I'm feeding him. Gergk. I return upstairs with my coffee and I ask him how he's doing in the attic, and he looks me up and down and says, "Doing great, now." Hrrrbblr. (This is funnier because I am a stinky, unshowered, sweatshirted, unbrushed mess.) He looks at the old press photos of my old band hanging on my bedroom wall and tells me that I'm "quite a looker." Bleagh. His Nextel goes off and it's the front office, and the voice on the other end says, "Hey MartyMaxMerv, your wife wants you to call her," and he grunts, "EX-wife! EX-wife!" Okay, Mac, settle down. Keep the ring in the box. :-)

Anyhoo, my home office is just an offshoot of my bedroom, so we get chatting about stuff while we're both working on our respective to-do lists. He mentions that he used to be in the army and he's been in every major and minor skirmish since Grenada to Somalia. He said that he personally led a team of dudes who taught the Taliban how to use "cool weapons to fight the Russians." I wanted to ask him more about this, but he moved on, talking about the current situation in Iraq, how a pint of anthrax could kill millions if sprayed the right way, how nobody will ever find all of the evil chemical and biological agents because someone could be hiding it in a vinegar bottle on their kitchen shelf and you wouldn't think to look in there because you'd think it was just vinegar; yes he believes the US should be in Iraq but we should just "get the job done and stop jerking around already", US troops have done a whole lot of really cool wonderful stuff overseas that you never hear about (building schools and housing, rebuilding mosques, etc.) and yep, he thinks Bush is a buttpipe.

I don't know what to make of this guy.

It doesn't matter frankly, because he's here to replace the ductwork in my attic, and to get the squirrel poop out of my vents.

And he's got a mullet.

(Did I mention his mullet?)

(Not that I should talk; I had a mullet circa 1987... but I was just copying Olivia Newton-John, honest!)

OK, he just left to go order parts / ductwork and such. I'm hoping this shizzle will be wrapped up by the weekend.

Oh yeah... in other news, looks like mail.llij.net has been down since dinner last night-- the SMTP service died. No big deal, but neither my brother nor I are in a place where we can kill it off and restart it. So bear with us for a few more hours of bounced undeliverables.

Fortune Teller Miracle Fish today tells me that I am: Indifferent.   I guess it doesn't have a setting for irked and tired. :-)

Update: 11:42 PM: I was in the middle of writing a journal entry called "Something Good Came Out of the Squirrel Saga." But the best thing that has come out of the saga is this story:

It's around 6:00pm and I'm rushing Jeremy off the phone because I have to get in the shower as John is picking me up for dinnah. It was a nice day out so all of my windows were open. I take my shower. I get out of the shower. The bathroom was fogged up, so I go to open the door when I hear chirping on the other side of the door, which I assume is coming from the birds outside the hallway window. Instead, I open the door to find that it is, in fact, coming from a squirrel in my hallway who is looking up at me. We are both startled. I scream. It screams. It runs down the stairs and up onto my bookshelf. I laugh myself silly. I throw some clothes on and grab the digital camera and I snap this photo while trying to reason with the squirrel. I am giggling. He is running around.

There is a squirrel in my house! Wheeeeeee! La la la!

I recall MagnusMearthMaximillian saying that squirrels will always run for the nearest open door, so I, duh, open the front door. The squirrel looks at me blankly. I demonstrate how to leave the apartment through the door. The squirrel doesn't get it. I explain the cause-and-effect of how the squirrel is currently sad inside my house but how liberated and glad it will be when it walks out the door. I can see the cartoon question mark rising over its head. Then I remember that this is a creature that spends 9 months out of the year gathering acorns and then forgets where he's put 80% of them. So advanced concepts like doors might be the doctoral program for this guy, when he is clearly bound for vo-tech.

I try making squirrel sounds. I try using manners. I try clapping really loud-like. I try taunting the squirrel. I call him dumb. He isn't budging. For a moment I wonder if he has given himself a heart attack, considering the tough day he's had of being trapped in an air conditioner. Alas, he blinks now and then, so he's not dead-- I guess he's either in shock or just doing the playing-possum-thang.

Embracing the fact that he's not going to move, I snap this picture of him, and I am tickled at how it came out. Tee hee!

I call John and say only, "Hey, yo. There's a squirrel on my bookshelf. [giggle giggle]" He finds this amusing and gives his John-esque "No waaay!" but considering my considerably less giggly call from earlier in the day (right after my ceiling caved in and my office, bed and my lungs were covered in a layer of fiberglass, branches, dead bugs, fur, feathers and squirrel poop... oh wait, I didn't tell you about that yet... oh wait, guess I just did), he was trying to gauge my level of freakoutitude. We are both pleased there is no freaking out to be had. :-) Anyhoo, he arrives at my place and we're giddy chasing the squirrel around the downstairs of my apartment. John is armed with a red plastic snow shovel, and I am standing on top of the couch laughing but also twitchy that the sucker is gonna jump on me. Suddenly the squirrel makes a break for it and we're happy that he's about to run out the front door but instead, the fooker frikkin' vainshes into thin air. We cannot find him. We are both almost totally certain that he's gone into my kitchen, but a thorough search yields no squirrel. We figure we're both smoking crack so we tear apart the living room, building a pathway out of guitar cases, baskets, giant electronic Hulk hands, Moon Shoes and pillows, hoping to guide this squirrel towards the door.

Alas, no squirrel ever surfaces.

We wonder if he is even still in the apartment or if he's vanished without us seeing him leave.

In any event, we are famished, so we figure we'll just go to dinner and look more afterwards. John sets some newspaper down on the kitchen floor with some stragetically-placed nuts and a Milano cookie so we'll be able to tell if the squirrel has eaten anything while we were gone. I snap a picture of the bait with my phone so we'll be able to tell if anything has moved. John makes sure we can see the bait from the kitchen window so as to maybe even catch the squirrel in action upon our return. Of course, Genius Jill shuts off the kitchen light, so upon our return all we see is a dark kitchen. Doy.

We open the door wondering if we're going to be bombarded by a dashing rodent, but all is quiet. However, some other things have been knocked off the bookshelf, so we know he's still inside. Another thorough search of the downstairs part of the apartment (we closed all the doors to the upstairs rooms) yielded no squirrel. We are puzzled.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, the maintenance guys are going to be here at 8:30am to fix the ceiling and to insulate the new shiny metal air ducts. I will make sure they don't leave without taking our little squirrel friend with them.

Anyway, here's the entry I was gonna originally post before the story above manifested...

Something good came out of the squirrel saga!

Tomorrow the squirrel saga officially ends (Please God). The maintenance dudes are coming in one last time to patch the ceiling and to insulate the ducts. I'm gonna see if I can't get the reinemachenfraus in here to really scrub the place down on Monday or Tuesday.

The bad that has come out of this is that I am itchy beyond all comprehension as I'm sure I'm full of fiberglass bits. I know I have breathed some in as I can feel my lungs are a little unhappy as is my throat. Nothing that a little steak won't fix. :-)

Anyhoozle, my dear pal Danielle is coming in from Arizona tomorrow, and we've got a fun girl-night planned around dinner and talking about boys. Whee!

Saturday I'm off to Balticon with Shelle, Boutell, Jeremy, Danielle, Sandler, Brett and possibly our new cool friend Alisa. There's a free They Might Be Giants concert at the Baliimore Science Center that night-- rah rah rah!