Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of Toilet Seats and Spiders....

It's Guy Fawkes' Day today across the Atlantic in England. I won't go into detail as to what that means and what it is because I did that last year and I try not to repeat myself terribly often. I haven't really celebrated the occasion in many years, mostly because when you live in an apartment in Los Angeles, it's not acceptable to light a bonfire and burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes on the flames. Nor is it acceptable to set off fireworks in the beginning of November. Last year, when I moved back to the Midwest, I still lived in an apartment and I didn't do much to honour it, other than to blog about it and remember that it actually was Bonfire Night in the UK.

This year, I had sort of hoped that maybe I could at least have a fire but it turns out that unless it's a firepit type of fire, it's not allowed in the limits of my city. I contemplated buying a firepit and every time I go to Lowes, I admire them lovingly but, alas, as a newish homeowner, I have quickly learned that there are far more useful, far more necessary things to do with the $100 I could spend on a firepit. Thus, while I continue to stare at them lovingly in Lowe's, I don't make the move to purchase one. Also, they've started adding a new item to the price tag- a $10 assembly fee. I looked quite closely to see what that meant but couldn't figure it out. On some of them, it seemed to imply that you just got the pit- the actual place to hold the fire was sold separately which is....odd. Still, on my weekly trips to Lowe's, I shall continue to try to solve the mystery of the assembly fee. I do go to Lowe's fairly frequently. Last week, it was for a new toilet seat. That was an adventure. When you think about buying a house, the idea of buying a toilet seat is something that doesn't really cross your mind, at least not for me. There are a lot of things that don't cross your mind until you realize you need something. For example, for me, a toilet seat is something you sit on...on the toilet. Who knew that there were so many options? There are wood ones, anti-microbial ones, foamy ones that are soft to sit on, economy ones, wood grain ones....there's an entire area of Lowes just dedicated to toilet seats.

These are the things I have learned over the past few months; the insignificant things in my house are not so insignificant that there isn't at least two or three options to choose from. Take my bathtub. I needed a new plug so I could take a bath. It seemed like a normal sized drain hole so I innocently thought I'd be able to find a plug at Lowe's fairly easily. Oh, silly Captain Monkeypants! There is a huge supply of bathtub plugs at Lowe's. They're all different sizes. No matter how confident you are that you know the size of your drain hole, when you start staring at all the plugs, you quickly forget and the self-doubt creeps in. Fortunately, since the plugs were less than $1 each, I did the smart thing: I bought three that looked about the right size and hoped for the best. The one I thought would be the candidate to most likely NOT fit turned out to be the one that fit.

The toilet seat was easier. I opted for a wooden anti-microbial one. I hate the foamy ones. They feel vile when you sink into them. You're not supposed to sink into a toilet seat. It's just....not right. Of course, because my toilet is a rather unpleasant shade of mustard yellow, I thought white might look a bit odd so I opted for a 'biscuit' coloured one. The one I was replacing was one of those nasty wood grain ones. I think now I have my biscuit-coloured seat on my toilet that I understand why there was a wood grain one on there. The biscuit and the mustard clash just enough that it gives the impression that the toilet hasn't been flushed. Also, I tightened the seat as much as I could and yet when you sit on it, you take the teensiest little trip to the right as the seat swings away from under you. Until I really tightened the nuts on the seat, the trip to the right was much more severe and a little alarming.

How did I get on this bizarre topic? Umm....oh, right! Sorry- Lowe's. It's amazing how easy it is to digress.

So, back to the original topic, firepits for Guy Fawkes' Day. I didn't get one. So I won't be having a bonfire. Which I probably could have said way earlier without talking about toilet seats...

Still, the nice thing is that I could have a firepit if I wanted. That's the lovely thing about owning my own house. I can do whatever I want. For example, I noticed that my bathroom ceiling is vile and I'd never noticed. Thus, I can fix it.

There are some things I'm learning about having a house though. I used to live on a second floor apartment. My house is one story. Thus...I'm closer to the ground. This means that on these chilly nights, the warmth of my home is appealing to outdoor types such as Herbert 2.0 who I met last night.

Herbert 2.0 is a rather large spider. He's version 2.0 because the original Herbert lives in my cubicle here at work somewhere. He comes out to visit once in a while. He's quite large and the first time I saw him, I was a little worried and almost squished him with my stapler. Then I realized that it wasn't his fault he was a spider and I put down the stapler and decided sharing is caring and if he wants to make his home in my cubicle, then so be it. We made our peace. As long as I don't find the Original Herbert on my being anywhere, crawling on my skin, in my jeans or anywhere spiders shouldn't be, I think we can both share my cubicle.

Herbert 2.0, however, is not as welcome. Not when he moves towards me as though he's coming to sit on my lap. I was on my settee last night, talking to my friend on the phone when I saw this rather large lump moving on my couch. Naturally, I did the traditional thing. I squealed like a pig. Quite loudly. In my friend's ear. Once I had finished my mini panic moment, I gathered my wits and investigated nervously. Herbert 2.0 was a VERY large spider. He was at least the size of a quarter and he had big yellow eyes. Also, he kept inching towards me. Even though they make me a little nervous, I still don't like to kill spiders because, as I keep saying, it's not their fault they're born creepy. So, thanks to the sane presence of my friend on the phone, I managed to scoop up Herbert 2.0 and put him outside while trying not to squeal again. I made my friend promise not to hang up until Herbert 2.o had been removed just in case he grew even bigger and ate me.

Of course, in retrospect, I realize that there is no possible way Herbert 2.0 could really have grown. Nor could he have eaten me. Yet when you're being faced down by a large, hairy spider with beady little eyes, anything seems possible. I even managed to not squish him accidentally as I tried to liberate him. I hope he doesn't hold it against me that I put him out into the cold when all he probably wanted to do was come and say hi and thank me for my hospitality. Spiders don't hold grudges, do they?

Then again, maybe I shouldn't talk about grudges. We British still apparently hold a grudge against poor old Guy Fawkes who committed his crime over four hundred years ago. If Herbert 2.0 hunts me down, I'll let you know. He probably has a right. For all I know, he's been living in my house longer than I have and I just evicted him.

Oh dear.

Happy Thursday!

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