The Night the Cockroach Came

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

I had another post that I intended to publish today, but after an extremely distressing evening/morning I had to change my plans.  Last night I encountered a cockroach in my kitchen.   Before you read any further, please be advised that this post contains some language unsuitable for children.  I rarely curse but when a situation truly demands an outburst of negative emotion, as last night/this morning did, and it wouldn’t be true to my story to omit the foul language.  I apologize if this offends you, but you’ve been warned.

Now my mom thinks I’m a wuss when it comes to bugs.  But hey, I used to walk through San Francisco’s Tenderloin district every day to get to work – so no one can accuse me of being a wimp. I’m just a little squeamish around bugs.  Since moving to Japan I’ve dealt with jumping spiders, poisonous centipedes, yucky mushy winged things that suction themselves to my cabinet… to name a few.  Cockroaches are on a whole other level.

Here’s how it went down: I was getting ready to go bed and remembered I hadn’t taken my vitamin for the day.  So I casually walked into my kitchen, unsuspecting of anything amiss, reached for the vitamin bottle and BAM out skittered the most vile, the most disgusting creature on the face of the planet:  The dreaded cockroach.  I screamed and half-jumped, half-stumbled away from the counter.  Shitshitshit!  What do I do!?!?

The answer to that question is to go get your husband to kill it.  But in case your husband is absent – as mine is – the answer is stare dumbly at the cockroach for several minutes, then immediately go to Facebook to appeal to your friends and neighbors to come kill it for you.  Shockingly, no one obliged.   Several people did offer helpful hints to dealing with the wretched bug, though, like hairspray.  But if you’ve seen me recently, you won’t be surprised to learn that I don’t even own hairspray.

I returned to the kitchen and hysterically searched under the kitchen sink for something – anything! – to spray the roach with.  Nothing but Clorox wipes.  I ran to the laundry room and tore apart my cabinets but was dismayed to find only Mrs. Meyers All Natural cleaning supplies.  ARGH!  I curse the day I decided to go green!  Eco-friendly products are USELESS in the battle against bugs!  I had two options left: Pledge and Oven Cleaner.  Oven cleaner actually being too toxic to liberally spray around my kitchen, I grabbed the Pledge and stepped back into my kitchen.

And it was gone.

My heart stopped.  There is a cockroach lurking somewhere unseen in my kitchen. This is very, very bad.  I peered around my counter.  No obvious sign of the cockroach.  I gingerly approached the counter and peeked behind the toaster oven.  Still no cockroach.  I moved toward the coffee maker and WHOOSH – it darted out toward the sink.  I, of course, screamed and retreated.  Then I realized Pledge wasn’t going to do anything to kill the indestructible little bastard and came up with another plan.  Perhaps I can trap it under a pot, slide a lid on and dispose of it outside without having to touch it. No luck.  The cockroach was now residing on my wall, not a good position for pot-trapping.  I would have to bludgeon it.  But with what?

A shoe was out of the question.  I just hate the idea of bug guts smeared all over shoes I wear every day.  So I put on an oven mitt (because don’t you know oven mitts are the best protection against cockroaches?) and grabbed a saucepan.  There I was in my J. Crew tiered ruffled dress, wielding a saucepan in one hand, oven mitt on the other, swaying back and forth in the middle of the kitchen, preparing to strike.  I am so not cut out for this. 

And then – suddenly – it leapt off the counter toward me!  I screamed, threw the saucepan at it (and missed, duh) and started hopping around my floor like my feet were on fire to avoid any contact with the skittering little monster.  And then it disappeared.

(And this is where the swearing comes in.)

F@!% f@!% f@!% f@!% f@!%!   Where the hell did it go?  I couldn’t find it anywhere.  It was almost 11PM.  I had to go to bed – as much as I didn’t want to leave the cockroach situation unresolved, as much as I knew my sleep would be ruined with cockroach infested dreams.  And dream about cockroaches, I did.  I dreamt that not one but two cockroaches invaded my home and though I wildly attacked them with my saucepan, banging it on the floor over and over, they escaped.  And my All Clad split in two.

When morning came I knew I had to go back to my kitchen and face the beast.  That Mother-F%#!@$ is going down!  I told myself in a Samuel L. Jackson voice.  Though having Samuel L. Jackson in my head momentarily boosted my confidence, I still approached my kitchen with trepidation.  Don’t show fear.  If you show fear, the cockroach wins.    A quick survey of the kitchen showed no evidence of the cockroach, so I went about my day.  And just as life was feeling normal again, I opened the back door to get my stroller and out scurried that damn roach.  Once again, I shrieked.  This time I wasn’t wasting time.  I grabbed my shoe and whacked at it but it was too fast for me.  It turned the corner and was gone.  I swear it teleported out of my kitchen.  There is no other explanation.

F@!%  f@!% f@!% (This time I only cursed in my head because I had a friend’s child in the next room.)  Desperate, I grabbed the Pledge and started spraying in the direction it had gone.  I knew it was futile, but I had to try something.  Anything.  I was running late taking my friend’s child to her school bus, so I had to let it go.  But this wasn’t over.  As soon as Elisabeth woke up from her morning nap, I went and bought the largest can of Raid I could find along with roach traps, which I immediately set out once we got home.  Though some may think eight roach traps in my small kitchen is a wee bit excessive, I wasn’t taking any chances.

With the traps set, I felt a tad more at ease.  Perhaps the roach would take the bait and go die on its own somewhere far away from me, as the box said would happen.  It was a false sense of security; I let my guard down too soon.  As I was opening up the dishwasher out the little bastard sprang.  From my dishwasher!  IS NOTHING SACRED!? 

I had had enough.  This was ending – right then and there.  I grabbed the newly purchased can of Raid and sprayed.  The roach frantically tried to escape.  Oh Hell no!  It was not getting away from me again.  I repositioned my aim and let out a relentless spray of Raid until the last little arm or antennae or whatever roaches have stopped moving.  It was finally over.  The son of a bitch was dead.  Sure, half my kitchen was covered in Raid, but what a small price to pay.  I had won.

But my reality has shifted a bit.  Will I ever walk freely among my kitchen again?  Will I ever feel comfortable stepping outside my back door?  Will I ever open the dishwasher without peering inside to make sure there are no loathsome insects hiding inside?  I think not, my friends.  I think not.

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Reflections on Summer: 2012 Edition

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 in Travel Traumas, Uncategorized

Holy moly – I missed my blogoversary! By, like, weeks!  I’ve been a negligent blogger but I intend to right my ways.  As I enter into my second year of blogging, my goal is to blog at least weekly.  But I need you.  I need you to hold me accountable.  I need you to get on my case if a week has passed blog-less.  Send me nasty emails.  Post obnoxious comments on previous posts.  Whatever it takes.  Can you do that for me?  Okay thanks. I have one caveat: on weeks that I am traveling, I am given a free pass.  But other than that, totally get on my case if I get lazy.  And by lazy I mean “exhausted and overwhelmed by life,”  but whatever.  No excuses! Since I’ve been so neglectful of this blog, I figure I’d spend this Labor Day recapping my summer.  Last summer I was glad to see summer go.   And this summer?  Well, I’m glad to see summer go again.  I just hate being hot and sweaty.  It’s that simple.  Last summer I was hot and sweaty and cooking a baby in my belly.  This summer I was (am still…) hot and sweaty, but instead of having the baby inside making me even hotter and sweatier, I have the baby constantly attached to my front making me hotter and sweatier.  It’s just not my thing.  Despite the nasty heat, it was still an exciting time, especially as we got to explore our new country.  So here’s the recap: 1) Memorial Day: We had just moved into our house and were preparing for Damon to deploy.  So yeah.  I was overwhelmed and stressed and thus summer’s kick-off is a bit hazy to me now.  I think there was a pot luck. 2) Damon deployed. 3) My mom visited: During my mom’s visit we A) spent over 2 hours driving around Japan trying to find some garden.  B) visited Tokyo and ate the most expensive asparagus in the world.  C) traveled to Kyoto and saw a lot of shrines.  D) pretended to put my...

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Deployment Round II

Posted on Aug 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Damon left today.  Again.  Boo.  I know you’re thinking, “Didn’t you just write a post about him leaving?”  It feels like it.  But actually, that was around two months ago.  Here’s what happened: He deployed.  We visited him on a port call in Hong Kong.  Then he came home for a few weeks for what was sort of like an extended port call.  It was good timing, too; my honey-do list was getting a little long.  But alas, he had to fly out again today to finish the deployment.  Unfortunately this time around he’ll be gone longer and I am not able to go to any of port calls.  Major bummer. But this is what I signed up for.  So, with Ben & Jerry by my side, and with the first half of our first deployment under my belt, I’ve decided to use this post to reflect on my earlier musings as to the ups and downs of deployments.  Or rather the downs and ups.  I like to end on a positive. Here were my original reasons why deployment sucks: 1) I’ll miss my husband. That still goes. 2) My husband will miss Elisabeth growing up.  In the six weeks between Damon deploying and our visit to Hong Kong, Elisabeth grew and changed enormously.  Even in the few weeks between Hong Kong and Damon’s return, she changed immensely.  She’s just growing so fast, and it breaks my heart a little bit to think of what Damon will miss in the next several months.  Luckily, he got to see her crawl for the first time before he left.  Now I just have to keep her from walking till he comes home again… 3) Earthquakes. We’ve experienced several (small) earthquakes in the past few months, and I’ve managed to survived.  However I still think that if a big one hits, I will turn into a total disaster. 4) I hate driving in Japan.  While I am a teensy bit more comfortable behind the wheel, my original fear still pretty much holds true.  I try to take the trains whenever possible.  Have...

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The New Mom Workout Plan

Posted on Aug 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

I have so much to catch up on.  I promised a post on Elisabeth’s modeling job.  I never even mentioned our Hong Kong trip.  And oh yeah, Damon is home for a few weeks, and we spent the last week exploring Tokyo and Hiroshima.  So yeah, there’s a bit to write about.  But I have a much more pressing issue to address. Yesterday I was exchanging emails with a few friends, when one of them (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, KATE), wrote re: my blog, “Post more, please…isn’t your baby like, napping leaving you SO MUCH TIME to do blogging?” I would like to answer that question with a resounding NO SHE IS NOT.  MY BABY IS A NON-NAPPING FREAK OF NATURE.   In fact, I have nicknamed Elisabeth, “The Child Who Does Not Nap,” or “TCWDNN,” but only to myself.  It gets a little wordy in conversation. I have a feeling Kate was being facetious (she did, after all, end that sentence with an emoticon sometimes denoting lighthearted teasing), but perhaps other readers are wondering the same thing.  Why isn’t Diana blogging?  Shouldn’t she have oodles of time to write while her sweet little baby sleeps the day away?  Okay, probably no one is wondering that.  But still, I would like the record to show: Elisabeth is a nap-hater.  I wish I could instill upon her how precious these naps are, how one day she will regret wasting the opportunity to sleep freely all day.  But no.  She’d rather torture me. I am not exaggerating when I write that her typical nap lasts on average 25-30 minutes.  That’s it!  That’s all I get, folks!  Sometimes, they are even shorter.  Worse than her naps being ridiculously short, getting her to nap zaps every iota of energy from my body.  It sometimes taken over an hour to get the girl to sleep.  I assure you, she is tired.  But she’s feisty.  And she fights sleep.  Rocking, nursing, singing – it’s all useless.  (To be fair to TCWDNN, my singing is probably not the most soothing sound from which to drift into a...

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Toddlers and Tiaras, Here We Come!

Posted on Jul 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

It was a lovely day.  You know, one of those days that’s around 90 degrees with 100% humidity.  One of those days when a typhoon is forecast, so in addition to the heat and the humidity, it’s overcast with a slow, constant drizzle.  One of those days that no matter how much product you use, your hair will look awful.  Yet there I was, trudging through Japan’s subway maze, dripping in sweat.  I was carrying Elisabeth on my front and her diaper bag on my back, wearing rain boots apparently made of lead that were slowly suffocating my feet. I wasn’t alone.  My friend Michelle was with me, carrying her daughter Allie on her front.  You see, where we were going there are no elevators.  No elevators means no strollers.  No strollers means wearing your baby pressed against you for hours, radiating body heat, causing perspiration to soak through your already rain-soaked shirt.  Our other friend Gillian was also with us.  Though she had no baby attached to her, she too was wearing feet-suffocating rain boots.  Just in case the typhoon hit during our excursion. We forged on until we reached our destination in Tokyo, slogged up one final stairway out of the subway and emerged onto a truly terrifying sight: A cluster of Ergo-wearing, Petunia Pickle-carrying, Caucasian moms.  All doing the mom bounce. Had I entered the twilight zone?  Why is it that the first thing I see when exiting a subway in Japan is a mass of American moms?  And wait!  I was one of them!  What was happening? Welcome to the world of modeling auditions.  Or rather, Foreign Baby Modeling Auditions.  Before you get all oh no she isn’t! on me for taking my kid to a modeling audition, let me explain.  This is a really, really common thing for foreigners living in Japan to do.  The Japanese love them some white babies!  In fact, twice a year the base hosts a modeling fair where all the agencies come and beg you to let them represent your children.  Well, that may be an exaggeration, since I...

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The Crib Conundrum

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

For you longer-term readers, you might remember how… detailed I was when it came to planning Elisabeth’s nursery.  I read and re-read and then read again all the books, blogs, reviews, and what have you to determine the safest yet still aesthetically pleasing products out there.  Oh yeah, I didn’t want to break the bank either.  This especially held true when it came to nursery furniture.  Knowing we would be moving outside the United States a few short months after Elisabeth’s birth – and knowing that oftentimes furniture does not survive the long ocean voyage in tact – Damon and I opted to buy an inexpensive (but of course still highly rated) crib. We specifically said, “Let’s not spend a lot of money on a crib in case it breaks in the move.”   It was nothing fancy, just a Graco crib from Target.  But I loved this crib, and so I tricked myself into believing it would be just fine. By the time our house was available to move into (around three weeks after arriving in Japan), I was so ready to get the baby into her real, solid crib with a real, solid mattress.  It had been two months in and out of hotel cribs and her pack n play.  I don’t know exactly how, but I’m sure sleeping in a pack n play for so long must be damaging.  So move in day arrived, and what was the one thing that was broken in the entire shipment? You guessed it, the crib.  Well, okay, not the one thing.  A drinking glass broke.  And our television “disappeared”, but who cares about a television.  TVs are replaceable. “So what?” You say. “Cribs are replaceable, too.” Au contraire, my friend.  Not when you have a FPO address, they aren’t!  After the shock wore off, I immediately set about ordering a new crib.  Elisabeth could survive a few more days in that blasted pack n play, I supposed.  I went to Target’s website.  They wouldn’t ship the crib to a FPO address.  WTF!?  Why not!?  Don’t they realize my daughter’s...

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