Today’s Defining Moment.

Sonja got me a new digital camera for our first anniversary on Sunday*, so I’ve been carrying it with me lately. With it, I was going to start posting a picture with each post to best illustrate that day’s “defining moment.” Today’s was going to be about how I met Sonja at the corner of 37th & Roanoke in downtown KC over lunch after she hit a curb and popped her tire:

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Instead, I’ll let this picture sum up today’s defining moment:

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I was sitting at a stoplight about to get onto the interstate on my way home when this giant hornet flew into my car and landed on the passenger-side windshield pillar:

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Okay, so it doesn’t look that big, but trust me, it was. Here’s a better picture:

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OKAY FINE it still doesn’t look that huge, but it was the biggest hornet I’ve ever seen, and when you’re stuck in a car with something that big, it feels like Mothra is in your passenger seat.

Since I was in a turn lane, I had nowhere to go, and I couldn’t do anything, so I leaned as far left as I could and got onto the highway while nervously laughing at my situation and trying to prepare for the moment that the helicopter-sized insect in my car latched itself onto my face.

I got off the interstate as soon as I could (the 87th street exit, for those in KC) and searched for a place to stop. Since it was rush hour, I didn’t want to stop along a main road, so I drove a little way until I found an unfinished turnout to pull into.

I jumped out and opened both doors and the rear hatch, hoping the hornet would recognize all its options, but apparently it was content. By that time, it had moved onto the windshield.

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I looked around for something to throw at it to scare it out, but all I could find was my notebook. I took a couple swipes at the bug, and thought I saw him fly out the open window. Cautiously, I closed the doors (the windows were still open) and the hatch. I peeked inside, making sure it was gone. I saw no sign of the pterodactyl that was pterrorizing me, so I got back into the front seat HOLY SHIT IT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE.

Yep, it hadn’t left at all, it had just moved to the other side of the windshield. I won’t lie to you, I hate bugs. I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of bugs, they just make my skin crawl. When they have stingers the size of a #2 pencil, however, they scare the crap out of me.

My entire body fought to get out of the car as the hornet buzzed loudly against the glass. By this time, a few cars had driven by and seen me nervously walking around my car with both doors and the trunk wide open, but I didn’t care.

I picked up the notebook and again attempted to knock the bug off the glass. No dice. I did succeed in making it mad, though, as it buzzed louder and louder each time I tried. With my last bit of hope, I threw the notebook across the dashboard, and knocked the hornet off the glass and watched him fly out.

I breathed a sigh of relief. I closed the doors and the hatch (again), and picked my notebook up off the floorboard where it had landed. Once again I peeked into the car to make sure thHOLY CRAP IT’S STILL THERE.

Even though I’d watched him fly out the driver’s side window, he was once again attached to the passenger side windshield pillar. Finally, I got the bright idea to look for something longer than a notebook. In the grass next to a chain-link fence was a discarded cable wrap, about 3 feet long and an inch wide.

I picked it up and stuck it through the driver’s window and poked at the hornet, who buzzed loudly. Another poke and he flew back across the dashboard to the other side. I ran around the back of the car and tried again with the poker. This time, however, I was determined. I took one hard jab at the hornet, now buzzing as loud as a weed wacker.

Apparently he was pretty determined, too, because he jumped onto the end of my stick. I watched him stab it with his stinger, so I knew he was stuck. In one swift motion, I pulled it out of the car and swung it over my head into the pavement, sending giant hornet guts everywhere. In my head, I think I shouted “fuck YOU!

Now content that the hornet was gone, I closed the doors and hatch, slowly got back into the car, and rolled up the windows as fast as I could. I pictured a large undead hornet rising from the tall grass where the pieces landed, trying to get back into the car. I sped out of there as quick as I could.

So that’s today’s defining moment. I can’t promise that all of them will be this long, but I’ll try to make them worth the read.

In other news, Sonja sliced herself with a kitchen knife Saturday morning and now has six stitches in her left hand. It was a very clean cut and only got a couple layers of skin, so she’ll be back to normal in no time. For now, she’s popping aspirin like there’s no tomorrow.


*Can you believe it’s been a year already?

Electrical Safety 101

Do not grab the black wire. It is hot. It will shock you.

I learned that this weekend when Sonja’s dad and I were installing a new front porch light on the house. Luckily, I did not repeat this mistake a few minutes later while installing a ceiling fan in the bedroom.

In addition to those two projects, we also built an organizer in Sonja’s closet (houses from the 1950s have very little closet space), re-caulked the bathtub, built two IKEA file cabinets for the den/office, hung the last cabinet in the kitchen, did some light yardwork, and made brownies. (Sonja and her mom made the brownies, her dad and I ate them.)

Almost all of these projects were done on a whim, which is what is so great about when Sonja’s parents visit. They don’t like being unproductive when they’re in town, so we always get a lot done. The ceiling fan went up in the bedroom so easily that I’m thinking of installing one in the second bedroom myself. And the new light on the front porch was pretty simple, too, so I might get another one for the back of the house.

Home ownership has been a lot of fun so far. We have done more in the two months we’ve been in the house than in any apartment we’ve been in, mostly because we weren’t allowed to make these kinds of changes. And even if we were, there’d be no ownership at the end. When I think back to our last apartment and how crappy it really was, I can’t believe we lived there for 4 1/2 years. I wish we’d gotten a house sooner, but then we wouldn’t have gotten the one we’re in now, which I really love. A few people have asked for pictures, so I will try to find some time to take a few and post them here.

Until then (and until I figure out how to post pictures on a WordPress blog), imagine a cross between Monticello and a Super Target. Not because that’s what our house looks like, but because I think that’d be kind of cool.

Friday night at home!

Obviously, I have some things to learn about WordPress. Why, for example, do paragraph breaks not work? When I start a new paragraph, it doesn’t appear in the published post, and it looks like a big jumbled box of text that jumps from one subject to the next with no pause. If you know how to fix this, please leave a comment.[NEW PARAGRAPH HERE OKAY] Sonja and I are at home this Friday night cleaning the house in preparation for her parents’ arrival tomorrow afternoon. It wasn’t dirty, but there were little tumbleweeds of cat hair here and there. Hardwood floors take some getting used to.[ANOTHER NEW PARAGRAPH GET READY] So that’s what’s up here. I decided that since I had a moment of downtime, I’d post here so that I get into the habit of doing this more often. [FINAL PARAGRAPH COMING UP] Robbie updated his site completely and also started a new WordPress blog. Lookin’ sharp, Robbie.

4:46pm Friday

After some weird behavior in the past few minutes with Dreamhost deciding that it wanted to show the old blog instead of the new one, it appears to be fixed. I am sitting in one of the Avid editing suites at work, waiting for the last few minutes of the day to pass so I can put this week behind me. There are strange things happening here, and it seems like they’re only just beginning. Sometimes I feel like this place runs pretty smoothly, and other times it feels like we’ve lost a wheel or two. Anyway, it is Friday, and that alone is reason enough to celebrate, even if only for a couple days, because come Monday, I’ll be right back here, waiting for the weekend.