On the decline of the species

stinkbug_285.jpgNo, not humanity, although I’m sure I’ll write a post with that title about us eventually.  I consider myself at least a nominally environmentally-inclined guy, although I generally let my wife (who actually possesses an advanced degree in environmental science) take the lead on the various green initiatives we participate in around the house.  I like animals.  I even like bugs.  I understand that we need them around and that they need to be protected and that the average living thing is in fact a living thing and generally ought to be allowed to live independent of any human wishes or desires on the matter.

Unless we want to eat them, of course.

That said, the internet has 24 hours to come up with a reason why stink bugs need to exist or I’m going to go full-blown Mad Scientist on their asses and eradicate the entire species.  I generally hear that the reason we can’t get rid of all the mosquitoes is because bats like to eat ’em and bats are awesome.  Well, OK, that doesn’t apply to stink bugs, who don’t really fly and can’t be caught on the wing.  Plus they live in buildings.  So no bats.  They’re probably too big for your average spider.  They aren’t pollinators.  As far as I can tell they exist for no other reason than to suddenly be in my house or place of business walking on something that they ought not to be walking on– like, say, the rim of a cup I like to drink from, or my fucking toothbrush.  And then I can’t even satisfyingly smush them because they are stink bugs.  They are the worst and I hate them and they all need to die.

24 hours and then I figure out how to destroy them all.  If there are no comments I will assume the entire world agrees and will help with the project.

Thank you for your time.

In which I get rid of my childhood, and my teenage years, and my adulthood, and my middle age, and then almost die

unnamed.jpgI’ve been collecting comic books since I was nine, and with the exception of a couple of years when I was living in Chicago without a car and no real access to a comic shop I’ve never really stopped.  It’s probably safe to say that at 40 I’m spending more money on comics than I ever have, actually, due to a combination of disposable income, comics being generally really good right now, and the effect of inflation on the prices of the books themselves.

Hogwarts is having what amounts to a building-wide garage sale next weekend.  I just donated about 3500 comics– somewhere around half of my collection, pictured there to the right.  This is, I’m pretty sure, the first time I’ve divested myself of any substantial portion of my collection.  I spent most of this morning going through those boxes and pulling out anything that I thought might damage tiny little private-school brains, or at least anything that the wealthy parents of those tiny little private-school brains might think would damage them.

I really like comic books, but they’re really heavy and they take up a ton of room.  I figure I’ve bought myself another decade before I have to purge the collection again.  I did warn the nice lady who came by to pick them up to not expect to make a mint from them and that selling them for a dime or a quarter apiece might be a good idea just to ensure they move; we’ll see what happens.  I may go to the sale just to see what happens or I may not; I feel like both seeing my comics get sold off to other people or seeing them sit there alone and unacknowledged might be depressing, so I probably won’t go.

But hey.  There’s a lot of space cleared out in the office now.  That’s good, right?

In other news, knowing a stranger was coming to my house to help me load up the boxes, I tried to attack the patch of vines near my front door that has overgrown our steps and walkway.  We’ve neglected it lately because the mosquitoes are so bad, and it’s gone from “unattractive” to “genuinely sort of embarrassing” lately, but I figured that we’ve had some cool mornings recently and I can go outside in general without feeling like I’m under attack and so it would probably be safe to take the, oh, fifteen minutes it would take to trim the things back, rake them up, and toss the remnants into a garbage can.



In general I’m not frightened of bugs.  I avoid bees and wasps, of course, because they’re assholes, but I’ve never been stung.  Spiders squick me a bit from time to time, I admit it, but I try not to let it affect my behavior.  So when I tell you I had to run away from the patch of greenery in front of my house, flailing my arms around and swatting at my body like– hell, like a guy fucking covered in a swarm of mutant mosquitoes, I suppose, the situation kind of defeats simile– you need to understand that it is not a typical reaction to bugs.  And the fucking things chased me.  They followed me to the foot of the driveway and then stood guard outside my goddamned garage door and I had to fight through another cloud of them to get back inside.

That patch of vines can go to hell, is what I’m saying.  It can take over the whole front of the house for all I care.  I come in through the damn garage anyway.

Yeah haha whatever

ants-4239_640.jpgNormal blogging is suspended today because I damn near just stayed up last night until I had Chuck Wendig’s INVASIVE finished, only that would have meant very little sleep, and I was enough of a zombie at work today as it was.  I have tomorrow off, so I’m ferdamnsure gonna get the thing finished before I sleep.

Expect a review soon.  In the meantime, spoiler alert, I’m gonna tell you to buy the damn book so you may as well go ahead and do that.

In which I tell a ridiculous true story

Gnat_1_(FFXI)So there’s a bug in my room.

I mean that literally.  Not “there are bugs in my room.”  I think there is a bug in my room.  As in one.

It’s not a scary bug.  It’s a little bitty thing, like a midge or a gnat or something like that, some little black flying thing that’s way too small to be an actual fly but otherwise acts like one.

The problem is it’s immortal.

I have to read before I sleep, right?  It takes an exceptional level of exhaustion to get me to simply hit the sheets and try to go to sleep.  My wife, however, is very much not like that; my wife can be dead asleep within ten seconds of pulling the covers up.  What this means in practice is that for the last six-years-and-change of my life I’ve been doing a lot of reading with a booklight after she’s fallen asleep.

There is only ever one bug.  I have never seen more than one.

It only comes out when I’m reading.  I’ve never seen it during the daytime, and I’ve never seen it when the lamp by my bed is on.  Only when I’m using my booklight.

And it lands on my book, then flies away, then lands on my book again, then lands on my booklight, then I get annoyed and kill it.  How do I know there’s only one, and it’s not flying away and another, suspiciously similar-looking bug is then flying over to me?  Because when I kill it, it doesn’t come back.  I’ve never had to kill two.  And I’ve never seen a second one after killing the first one.

Until the next night.  It takes 24 hours for the resurrection process to complete, I assume.  And then that same one bug will torment me again, while I’m trying to read, until I kill it.

This has been going on for months.

I’m not crazy.

I swear.

Monday moth moment

Whaddup, leaf dude?