Monthly Archives: May 2011

Interior Ant Terror

I woke late this morning due, mostly, to a full night of Flivvervaat spotting in the park. Flivvervaats, being naturally suspicious and paranoid, are sneaky creatures to spot, and I wore myself out after eight hours of attempted invisibility.

Imagine my surprise (and exhausted anger) to discover a full platoon of industrious ants in my kitchen, endeavoring to carry my precious percolator across the counter and out a small hole in the floor. I can only imagine what they would do with it in the garden.

I offered to brew enough coffee for us all to share (my feeling is that a full cup would be more than enough for their entire colony) but they refused. Cheeky little Hymenoptera.

Thus, they are banished. I sprinkled cayenne pepper all around their entry way to the house (I can not condone the use of poisonous pesticide chemicals in this house) and drank three cups of coffee.

Might have been a bit much but now I can focus my full attention on how this penguin got into the house and why there are starfish covering the wall of the downstairs bathroom. Bubo seems too busy crocheting something complicated out of leftover spaghetti to be phased by these new guests.

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Rainy Day Friends

Professor Linus Thompkins dropped by for tea this morning, amidst a lovely cooling rain. We sat in the garden and drank a rooibos that the Professor brought back from recent travels.

I am aware that I am quite the recluse, and would choose to spend my days surrounded by antiquities, a grumbling great horned owl and dusty books. It does this old fellow good to spend time with a dear friend.

We discussed my recent cloning (and the plans for future attempts) of Umtagati Voles, Flivvervaats (more on those later) and progeny – both real and imaginary. The tea kept us warm and Bubo even brought the Professor a sprig of garlic, knowing that he loves nothing more than that heady aroma. She’s a thoughtful little anarchist, my dear Bubo.

I encourage you to spend a moment with a friend today; it’ll do your heart good.

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Uliginous

I myself prefer this sort of weather – the weather other people consider dreary, depressing and morose.

Today is our 3rd day of rain in Brooklyn and it’s turned my garden – and anywhere not covered in concrete – quite uliginous.

Uliginous, defined as muddy, oozy, slimy and as growing in a swamp or muddy place, originates from the Latin ūlīginōsus – full of moisture. It’s the equivalent of ūlīgin-  (stem of ūlīgō ) moisture + -ōsus -ous.

Often when it rains this much, my old wooden house feels very uliginous; the wood seems to soak up all the moisture and fairly pulsates with swampy energy. The laboratory, with all my specimens, seems to ooze with odd smells and slime. Which, quite frankly, is how that section of my laboratory should feel.

I’ve had to keep a pair of Wellingtons in the basement – the catacombs are thick and gelatinous and I don’t like to track muck through the house. With all the odd creatures here, it’s important to be able to track whose footsteps are whose.

I was able to track one unfortunate visitor this morning; I had managed to recreate a nearly perfect clone of an Umtagati Vole from the bones of one I’d collected in South Africa. I’d let it run loose in the house, the better for it to hone it’s spells, forgetting that Bubo hates hunting in a downpour.

With my morning tea in hand, I followed the Umtagati’s tiny blue footprints to the edge of the parapet stairs, which is where Bubo caught it, more content to hunt within the house where it’s drier and easier. I questioned her rather crossly – rodent clones are the hardest – and she played coy. But there are tell tale signs when one ingests Umtagati Voles and Bubo could not hide them. Her eyes have a pale blue tint and she smells suspiciously of cherry soda. A wizard she is not; merely a great horned owl caught with her talon in the Umtagati jar, as it were.

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Singing in the Rain

Seeing as how I’ve turned the washing machine into a pseudo-autoclave, I took this morning’s downpour as a chance to do laundry in the garden. I stood in the deluge hanging clothes on lines strung across the grass and I before I knew what I was doing, I was belting out a tune my Uncle Mycroft taught me while he was being investigated by the medical board for…well, that doesn’t matter.

Sing it out loud today, preferably when you’re caught in one of today’s downpours, with a thick Scottish brogue, like Mycroft. (If you have a mustache, twirl it menacingly as he did, as well.)

Have you ever spied a hearse go by

And know that you were the next to die?

They wrap you in a bloody sheet

And put you in a hole six feet deep

And worms crawl in

And worms crawl out

In your stomach and out your mouth

Your hair falls out

Your teeth decay

Your eyes drop out and roll away

Your stomach turns a sickening green

And pus comes out like whipping cream

And me without my spoon!

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