Thursday, August 24, 2006


Somehow Blogger won't let me sign in normally. I'm back from China and eager to post, but I'm doing so from a "Blog This!" sign. Don't know what's going on.

Friday, August 11, 2006

No bats last night. Slept the whole night through. Recharged my bat-tries, so to speak.

Tomorrow morning Mom and I leave for China, terrorist plots, liquid/gel restrictions, long lines at airports notwithstanding.

No blog entries until at least the 24th.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yesterday I went home at noon. As I walked into the living room I saw bat number six crawl out of the fireplace. As Mom had three old ladies and a priest coming by for lunch in a few minutes, I was a little more aggressive about catching this one. I actually "batted" it with my gloved hand a couple times until it flopped onto the floor. I picked it up and carried it, gently, outside. No doubt it was feeling battered. Then I taped a heavy duty plastic garbage bag over the fireplace. I figured the old ladies and priest might not appreciate more visitors. During the afternoon a guy I had called came by and put new screen over the top of the chimney. This should stop the influx of bats. Of course, there is no way to know how many had already come in. There may also be more stuck in the chimney.

Last night at midnight a sound woke me. I turned on the light in time to see two bats crawl out of the crate I keep photographic equipment in. I got up and closed the bedroom door (maybe I should rename it the "belfry") and put on the gloves and caught each bat--one per hand. I took bats seven and eight outside and went back to bed and slept soundly the rest of the night. I kept the bedroom door closed, since it seems like the bats migrate there. If they are in the bedroom, I want to keep them there so I can see them, contain them, and catch them.

This morning Mom told me she had had a bat flitting around in her bedroom, too. She didn't bother to say anything about it last night, so I'm pretty sure there is at least one more to deal with. She didn't want to wake me up last night since I was so short of sleep the night before, what with Joe Boxer briefs dances and cat watches and stool squats and so on.

Is that a great Mom or what?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

So at 2:30 this morning I get up to go pee. I stagger into the bathroom and sit on the john, much too sleepy to stand up. In the very dim light of the nightlight I notice a black smudge in one corner where the wall, floor and bathtub intersect. It moves, then begins to walk, slowly and awkwardly, along the base of the tub. I don't have my glasses on, so it's just a dark smudge in a dark room, but the shape looks like a large spider or a bat.

I finish peeing and go to the bedroom to find my glasses. I turn on the bedroom light to find the glasses. I put them on and turn around and notice not one but three bats circling my head. I close the bedroom door on my way out, hoping to shut them in. Two are trapped in the bedroom, but the third comes with me as I go downstairs, open the coat closet, rummage around, and finally find last winter's soft leather gloves. I lose number three while finding the gloves.

I go back upstairs to my bedroom, open the door, step in, and quickly close the door behind me. One bat is hanging on the wall directly above the pillows on my bed. I get on the bed and grab the bat off the wall. The other is swooping.

I take bat number one downstairs, shutting the bedroom door behind me. I release bat number one outdoors. I wonder if anyone walking by is wondering why a man in Joe Boxer briefs, winter gloves, and nothing else is standing on his step opening his hands to the night sky.

I go back upstairs to my bedroom, open the door, step in, and quickly close the door behind me. Bat number two is still swooping, but I can see it's getting tired. It's swoops are becoming swops. There are by now about twenty bat shaped black smudges on one wall. It lands on the floor and crawls under my laundry hamper. I pick up the hamper and it swoops again. Finally its swoop is swapped for a spot on the door frame, where I catch it. This one chatters at me. I don't feel like answering. Back to the outside door and another offering to the night sky.

Bat number three isn't cooperating. No swoops. I search. No more black smudges. I'm tired. I go back to bed. Twenty minutes later I hear it swooping over the bed. Glasses back on. Light. Gloves. Follow the bat downstairs. Wait. Listen. Aha. Giveaway rustle. Find bat on window side of dining room curtain. Pull aside curtain and nab bat. This one squeaks a protest. Feels unjust to me. I am the one whose sleep is being disturbed. Squeak. Another offering.

Ah. All three bats removed.

I head back for the stairway. I am met by two more bats swooping down into the living room. No more sleep tonight. Tired of the Joe Boxer dance too. Get dressed. Settle in for the duration. Sit. Listen. Mollie the collie follows all this with silent interest. No comment about bats or Boxer briefs. Just a spectator.

Small scratching from the fireplace. Black screen, black fireplace, black night, black bat. Vision difficult. Find a lamp. Train it on screen. Squat on foot stool. See bat. Move screen, grab bat number four. Fully dressed offering this time.

Return. Wait for bat number five. Bat number five and number six swoop. Watch. Wait. Listen. Check illuminated fireplace screen. Grab bat number five. Offering. Back to screen. Squat on stool. Stare like cat at mousehole. Bat number six appears. Grab. Miss. Bat back in fireplace flue. Stare. Bat comes back to screen. Sees batman/cat. Back in fireplace flue. Batman/cat waits. Bat rustles. Listen. Stare. Squat.

Sun comes up. Game called on account of light.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Today three other members of the Elks Club and I will be volunteering our time for a fundraiser. In order to support the local Adult Day Services chapter, we will be helping conduct a rubber duck race on the Mississippi. I am again astonished at the nonsense people will pay money for. I have sold something like forty, five dollar tickets to "buy" yellow, rubber ducks, which will be set loose to float down the river from Lake Irvine to Lake Bemidji. The "owner" of the first duck to cross the finish line wins a fair chunk of change. He or she will, no doubt, break into song. "Rubber ducky, you're the one...."

Because I have a boat, my mother and I will be at the Lake Bemidji end with a fish net, picking up ducks by the hundreds as they float by.

I think this is so funny that I can't stop grinning whenever my mind comes back to it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thank the stars I have a trip to China to look forward to this month. Without that, the month would look eternal. I need to get back to teaching. I really need teaching. It's my mission.

Meanwhile, I'm in the office catching up on mail by the half ton.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Being the head honcho at the local Elks Lodge does have some negatives ( in addition to having to put up with the title "Exalted Ruler") that I would just as soon not have to face. Yesterday I had to fire an employee. He knew it was coming and even felt sorry for me that I had to do it, but it still wasn't fun. I'm sure that is at least part of the reason I couldn't sleep last night. Had to be done; I was okay while I did it; I wasn't okay afterward.

I do so want to get back to work.