Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Bedbug Story, Part 2

In Part 1, I discovered a bedbug in my shiny new apartment. After that it all turns into silly putty, which is probably all for the best.

A friend of mine tells the story of a cousin of hers. The cousin and her husband buy a house that needs to be completely renovated, so much so that the architect moves into the attic while the work is being done. The day after all the work is finished and the architect moves out, the kitchen ceiling collapses. The woman takes to her bed with some sedatives and leaves her husband to deal with the entire thing. She doesn't rejoin the world until after everything has been fixed.

Upon finding that bedbug, I completely and totally understood how she felt and how she could just check out like that.

I called the building's management company and they scheduled an exterminator right away. Both the management company and the exterminator say that there have never been bedbugs in this building, so we probably caught them from the moving truck despite their precautions. The only other (unlikely) possibility is that we had some in the old apartment, but the roaches were eating them all.

Everything was under control except for one thing. Before the exterminator comes over to spray for bedbugs, you have to bag all your clothes and toys and move everything away from the walls. I had moved 2 days earlier. All I had were boxes piled up against the walls. Boxes in which I used clothes to top off the boxes without adding too much weight.

This was Friday afternoon. Saturday, we had to go clean out the old apartment and the exterminator was coming at 12:30 on Sunday.


My parents came over with a box of industrial sized clear garbage bags and started unpacking like crazy. We could leave books on the shelves, so we made a mad effort to unpack books so we could get rid of some boxes. I left my parents to do that and unpacked the kitchen things, shoving them into cabinets with no regard for where they actually belonged. Towards the end, we were just putting entire boxes in the plastic bags.

It wasn't the sanest day I've ever had. I called HA and yelled, "next time, you get to be the housewife!" Every time my mom tried to calm me down, I yelled, "it's apartment herpes!" an expression I'd picked up online referring to how bedbug infestations may keep returning (although I have friends whose problem was solved after one visit from the exterminator).

We did manage to get everything ready on time. Every stitch of clothing I own was in OPEN plastic bags next to the bed (we even found a dead bug sitting on top of a shirt) so it all had to be washed in hot water to kill any critters. We took most of it to the laundromat while the exterminator was committing bedbugocide.

Two weeks later, we're almost caught up with all the laundry. The kitchen is finally almost unpacked properly. We're on track to having this place functional. The only bugs we've seen since are roaches. I can sleep without twitching. Life is returning to normalish. We're leaving some things in bags until after the follow up bug killer visit. I'm trying not to be too upset that we had to throw out our cardboard boxes instead of pass them on to someone else.

And then I was smited with pink eye. I really have to find out which deity I've pissed off so I can make amends. If you need me, I'll be outside pouring libations.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One World, One Heart

I'll get back to the bedbug saga soon, but for now, I want to give you all a heads up on a big giveaway going on now. It's called One World, One Heart. Over 1,100 blogs have signed up. You visit each blog, leave a comment and that enters you to win whatever that blogger artist is giving away. I entered last year and won a lovely piece of art and a handmade scrapbook. I never got around to blogging my prizes, but it may still happen yet as I unpack and try to stick to a regular blogging schedule.

Since I still have unpacking to do, I won't be visiting any of the OWOH blogs this time around, but that doesn't mean you can't. You have until February 15, which isn't much time, but with the snowstorm maybe you'll get to quite a few and maybe even add some to your regular blog reading.

The blogs are listed on the right sidebar here. If you manage to win anything, be sure to let me know.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Story, Part 1

As the unpacking began, I started writing a blog post in my head (as on does) doing a funny little compare and contrast of the old and new apartments. I had all these cute comments about water pressure and floodlights shining in the bedroom window, but I had no internet access except for my iPhone and the weak wireless connection belonging to a neighbor that we were able to jump on.

So I went about opening boxes with my blog post in my head and then...well, let's go back into the stream of consciousness, shall we?

  1. Oh look, a bug on the bed.
  2. I'm going to kill it.
  3. Sigh. After the roach problem in the last apartment (completely unrelated to our housekeeping and completely related to the construction in the apartment below ours that chased them all up to our place, combined with too infrequent visits from the building's exterminator), I never wanted to see a roach again.
  4. Where'd it go?
  5. Its on the floor now.
  6. Boy, it's moving fast.
  7. (Before we moved into that apartment, I was a strict catch and releaser. But we were on the 7th floor and had roachageddon going on. Towards the end, I had a rolled up magazine called the Bug Smacker (as in Cletis, bring me my bug smacker.)
  8. Hey, that dead bug doesn't look like a roach.
  9. Oh fuck, that is not what I think it is.
  10. To the internet!
  11. Thank all the Gods and Goddesses that we have one neighbor with an unsecure wireless network. I'm so grateful, that I'll stop thinking of them as dumb and start thinking of them as generous. I wish I could send them a thank you note.
  12. OK, assholes, when I google how to identify motherfucking BEDBUGS, show me a picture. This is not the time to be dicking around with me.
  13. Image search.
  14. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
I'll leave off the story here for now. I need to approach this in small bits. It was so traumatic that I couldn't even come up with an appropriate Facebook status, even though FB statuses now pop up in my mind unbidden all day long. That, plus I didn't want to admit to being unclean even though I know several people who have had them.

So as not to leave you in suspense, I'll just say that I had a nervous breakdown for a few days, but I'm feeling much better now. Better than I have in ages, in fact. It's like the lack of stress hormones feels better than any infusion of happy hormones.

The story continues soon.