i'm scared. scared that i might actually catch a mouse tonight. knowing what i know about their species (they're not the brightest animals, not when compared to their larger cousins the rats), if there's still a mouse in the house, it won't stand a chance. that's what i'm afraid of. i've set up a virtual rodent death trap in my kitchen. there's no possible way a mouse could make it through the kitchen without being caught. and then what? blunt force trauma? drowning? starving? suffocating? i don't think i'm ready. i really hope i don't catch anything.

at first i went to the rite aid on somerville avenue. i went with my mother, who happened to be on her way to do some grocery shopping. they had some poison and snap traps but no glue traps. i looked for them again at market basket. a lot of poison, but no glue traps either. i finally found them at target, a 6-pak of tomcat glue traps with eugenol ("a natural anesthetic"). it was only later that i discovered that a lot of stores have actually banned the sale of glue traps because they're considered inhumane. PETA actually advocates the use of snap traps, which are 100x more gross but at least death is usually instantaneous.

even when i returned home, i still wasn't sure if i wanted to put out any of the traps. after a quick check outside my house, i discovered a large open hole that lead directly to the basement. this was were the intake pipe used to be for an old oil heater (long since removed). usually the hole is plugged up with a crumpled ball of plastic bag (sophisticated, i know), but my upstairs neighbor must've seen it and pulled it out because it looked ugly. this must've happened about a month ago, because that's when i started noticing the mouse presence. naturally i plugged the hole back up with another wad of plastic bag, ghetto-style or not.

after a search of the house looking for possible food source, i found some more mouse droppings (tiny black footballs). a few on a windowsill, some in a box, another one on the stove, and a few one a stack of recently laundered bedsheets. that's when i decided to set the traps. maybe this was all the work of one very industrious mouse, but i couldn't take any chances.

the traps themselves looked different than what i remembered. i've seen glue traps in the past that were biege colored and smelly something like peanut butter. these were all black (stealthy) and smelled like cloves. the scent is from the eugenol, which may numb the trapped mouse but isn't anymore humane. after i vacuumed and swiffered the floors, i laid out the 6 traps. one along the kitchen wall beneath a metal shelf, one by the edge of island behind some chairs, one next to the stove, and one more between the fridge and sink. the other 2 i placed in the living room, near the darker edges of the wall.

so now i wait. as evening came and everything grew dark, i was afraid to go into the kitchen, afraid to find something furry on one of the traps. i really hope i don't catch anything, hope that maybe they all left this morning through that little hole in the wall because the realized there wasn't anything to eat. but i don't think i'm that lucky.

there's a lot more nasturtium flowers blooming. they're all yellow for some reason (i'm hoping to see some reds and oranges). they're also pretty fragrant, kind of smells like roses. my three surviving cypress vines are doing okay. two of them have started to form their real leaves, which resemble delicate fern fronds. now that spring is officially here, i have to decide when to start growing some transplant seedlings, things like tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers.




so there was another blackout last night. i was surprised at the time but then i remembered the automated nstar phone call i got a few mornings ago. it was the longest scheduled blackout i've yet to experience, lasting more than 20 minutes. it's weird though since i live right on the cambridge somerville line, when i looked out my window, the cambridge half of town was completely dark while somerville was still lit up. since it was too early for bed (2am), i decided to take a shower by candlelight. that's something i realized a while back: even though there might not be any electricity in the house, there's usually still enough hot water left in the tank for a shower. there's something very moody about it, with the candle flame flickering patterns on the vinyl shower curtains. afterwards i crawled into bed, preparing to do some reading via an LED headlamp, before the electricity suddenly kicked back in.

i spent the day lost in a frenzied coding haze. the forecast doesn't look good for a friday delivery so it looks like i'm going to have some programming fun this weekend. i did take a break for a few hours in the evening to watch some television, some episodes of miss guided followed by reaper, before returning to work. miss guided is my new favorite sitcom. the stories are pretty predictable and the writing isn't as hip as 30 rock, but judy greer as awkward teenager now an awkward HS guidance counselor is perfectly cast, and the premise is a wealth of untapped hilarity. there's also a love triangle with the handsome car shop/spanish language instructor (kristoffer polaha) and the hot english teacher (brooke burns) who used to classmates with the guidance counselor. did i mention chris parnell as the vice principal? he's the next phil hartman.

a mouse! in my bedroom! i had the door closed and i watched it trying to get out. i think i actually screamed. it disappeared but i kept my door opened so i wouldn't be trapped with it in my bedroom. i normally have a very hands off approach to mice but this is the second time i've seen one in so many weeks. and i didn't mention this before, but i found a mouse dropping on my kitchen counter a few days ago. i was hoping it was just a crumb but now i'm pretty sure it wasn't. what're they doing in my house anyway? not like i leave any food around. maybe they're just here for shelter. i might have to put out some sticky traps regardless. the problem with that is what happens if i do catch something? do i have what it takes to kill a mouse?