Sunday, July 22, 2012

Disturbing content HERE

Okay, yall. I'm gonna apologize for the disturbing content I'm about to post. Hhhhyeah. You'll be grossed out. These images are not for the meek.

My apartment has cockroaches.

To those of you who are rolling your eyes and muttering, Psh, well I've dealt with cockroaches for years, this is not blog-able content...Congratulations. You've dealt with cockroaches. You win an award. But this girl has NOT ever had to deal with them, and she's struggling a little with the adjustment.

I think Montana must be too cold or not humid enough or something, but honestly. I've never seen a cockroach before in my life. So when I was doing dishes and a brown, shiny, look-I-have-jointed-legs-and-an-exoskeleton bug-thing crawled up the disposal, I didn't react, ahem, well. Meaning, I yelped and dropped the plate back into the sink. Luckily, The Sis was with me at the time, so I pawned the bug-removal-situation off on her.

"Aw, it's just a lil Junebug!" she said, scooping him up in a bowl and depositing him in the grass outside.

I had my doubts about that, but I kept them to myself. Don't Junebugs have cute green and white stripes on them? And aren't they smaller? As in, NOT the size of my palm?

But hey, people every day choose to solve their problems by avoiding the very questions and details they should ask for--I joined that noble and classy crowd by choosing not to think too deeply whether that bug was an actual Junebug or not.

This incident faded from my mind. Until one night when I was sitting on my bed, minding my own business.

And something scuttled across the floor. Buried itself in a shadow by a stray sock. The sock wiggled.

I yelped again, and then froze. The "something" looked suspiciously similar to that "Junebug" from a few weeks ago...$%@! I thought. I'm the only one home. That means I have to deal with this.

Just to clarify. I can take care of myself -- I don't have a problem killings bugs or fixing faucets or grouting bath tile, or what have you. I DO have an issue with bugs that have exoskeletons. I dunno what it is, something about their shiny quality, the way they *crunch* when you kill them. They just seem so alien. So...evil. As if they are on a single-minded mission to destroy me.

When I was in middle school, my science class did an animal-dissection unit. We dissected giant worms, giant bullfrogs, aaaaand giant locusts from Africa. I had no problems with the former two -- I played with the frog lungs just like everyone else (you could actually make the lung inhale by forcing air into it with an eye dropper!) -- but I took one look at that locust and told my lab partner, "Josh, you're handling this one."

The "something" still sat camped out by my sock as all these pleasant childhood memories coursed through me. I pulled myself together. Armed with a cup and a plate, I trapped the invader and took him to the bathroom. "Let's see how you handle being flushed down the toilet," I told him smugly.

Turns out he handled it just fine. Since he refused to be flushed.

The backwash from the flush carried the little bastard back from the pipes, right back into the toilet bowl, where he proceeded to crawl calmly up the porcelain. Horrified, I pumped the flush handle repeatedly, but the water pressure wasn't recovered enough to do any more than sputter half-heartedly. The bug, whom I was certain was a cockroach at this point, had almost reached the rim. I grabbed at the toilet seat and slammed it down, hard, knocking the little cuss back into the water. Where he promptly crawled right back up the porcelain.

This process repeated itself until the water pressure recovered. It was a very lady-like situation, me cursing at the toilet while slamming the seat down over and over.

Eventually the water pressure recovered, and I sent that sucker down to the sewer to die. Done-zo. Gone. I was flushed with success (see what I did there?), but I had a new problem. Great, my apartment has cockroaches. 

I approached my landlords about the situation. Now, my landlords are WONDERFUL. But they wanted to be sure that these were cockroaches, and not "water bugs." Which apparently plague the area as well.

Allow me to illustrate.


As you can see, class, the bug on the left has two pairs of legs and little horns. The exotic design on his back may be considered mildly interesting. The spawn on the right, however, has six legs and antennae. Notice a distinct LACK of horns. No design, other than a design to haunt my dreams forever.

The creatures I've killed have all had antennae. They are cockroaches.

Aaaaa I can't even look at these pictures anymore. Sorry to disturb you all with them. *Shudder* I can't believe I had to save them to my computer to write this post. I'm gonna go die now.

Editor's note: Aftan's apartment is regularly visited by The Orkin Man, aka The Bug Guy. A lapse in his visits allowed the spawn of cockroaches, but that has been remedied. Apartment = re-bug-proofed. Cockroaches = gone. (I hope...)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

VIP: Very Important Post

Should I write-up an acceptable excuse for six weeks of silence on this blog? Nah. Too lazy. Why do I feel lazy right now? Oh I dunno, could have something to do with one of my first two-day weekends since frickin October.

Why do I have a two-day weekend? I’m not working 60+-hour weeks anymore.

Why do I have a reduced (aka normal) schedule now? Cuz, ya know, I GOT A JOB. A real Big Girl Job. A Job-Job, if you will. I think this is worthy of some underlines and color…

I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After nine months at an unpaid internship and working nights and weekends, my internship finally coalesced into a real, paying position. Long story short, the Lil Boss decided to leave, and after a long (too long) interview process, I am now the Lil Boss! My official title is Associate Editor, which means I get to take my red pen and mark up manuscripts for a foreign policy journal.

What what? I get paid to be a Grammar Nazi? Cool. Whoa dude, comma OVERUSE…excuuuse me, that is not a real sentence…let’s move this word/sentence/paragraph over *here*…how about we try spelling this word correctly…

I am drunk on Red Pen Authority.

Speaking of authority…my signature means something now! I can manage a budget, call our publisher to check on manuscripts and deadlines and marketing, talk to other departments about Important Stuff, and fill my work life with other Marketable Skills! Knock me over with a feather. I am a young professional. BAM. I even have my own office. And an intern.

Big Boss: So, feel free to move into your new office at any time.
Me: Oh, okay. I’ll do that this week then.
Big Boss: Well, your intern starts day after tomorrow, and he’ll have your current desk, so…
Me/New Lil Boss: Gotcha. I’ll move right now!

Having a job also means:
- I can afford a gym membership.
- I can finally buy that painting I’ve been eyeing at Eastern Market for six months.
- Fresh flowers? What?
- I can finally afford some of the nice booze that I sell to my customers at the liquor store…yes, I’ve kept some of my hours at the liquor store. It’s just too fun to quit. More on that later though.

Look, my first paycheck! I will use it for something special... fostering a newfound love of Irish whiskey.
(This was a combo gift to myself: first paycheck, 23rd
birthday, and 1-Year Anniversary of living in DC.)

Reading through the above list, some of you may be concerned about how I prioritize. Flowers and booze? Wow, this generation really doesn’t know what to do with money. Back in my day, [enter diatribe here]… Ahem, after a year of living literally paycheck-to-paycheck, you’re right. I have no idea what to do with money. But don’t worry, I’m a Grown-Up now. I’ll figure it out—for instance, I opened a retirement account the other week and talked to a specialist about investment options.

So, this blog will continue. Hopefully a little more consistently now that I have some time. And I plan to write quite a few more posts from the point of view of an overworked, underappreciated, frustrated, sleep-deprived, discouraged youngin’ tryin to make it in the big city.  Because, sadly, lots of us are still in that place.

Not to end on a sober note or anything. :P