Books and Mice

I had my first meeting with my editor after handing in my book. The big fear is that I’m going to hear, “I’m sorry, but we’ve decided to cancel the book.” After two years of doing what I thought was my best work, I don’t think I would have survived that! But she didn’t say anything like that. She wants tinkering and changes, of course, but that’s okay! All the changes she asked for with my last book made it a lot better, so I’m excited to dive back in rather than discouraged. (Plus she said things like it was fascinating and extremely well written, so that didn’t hurt!!)

My mouse problem is not going as well. But I did hear from the exterminator, who said he’d stop by on Wednesday to drop off something called an “earth bag,” which would absorb the odor. He didn’t think the mouse should still be smelling up my apartment though. That scares me a little. Maybe something else, something more dangerous, is causing the smell.

I went up to the roof. I’m on the top floor and I thought I might see something that could explain the smell. I don’t know what, but I looked around and nothing stood out for me. This is the section of the roof over where the odor is strongest. There are old chimneys in this spot, but they are all blocked off.

Further Proof the Universe Hates Me

My greatest fear has happened: a mouse has died somewhere and is starting to smell up the
apartment. I’ve got a call into the landlord, but I’m probably on my own.

It smells the most in the cabinets underneath on the right. It really seems like the mouse must be inside the cabinet. If I smell underneath the cabinets there, or behind them, I barely smell it. The odor is concentrated inside, but I can’t find anything in there. I’m going to look again. Then I guess I’m going to have to pull this section of cabinet away from the wall and see what I see.

Mouse Catch and Release Plan, or So I Thought

I still have a mouse. As I said, I think it’s just the one, who was caught in my apartment on the day I blocked all the openings. He’s been around a few weeks, and we almost have a routine. He hides by the stove, and every night when I turn it on he runs across the counter and behind some books to wait until everything—the temperature—goes back to normal.

He’s so used to me he sat on top of one of my books last night and started to clean himself while I watched. So, of course I love him. This morning I ordered the no kill Vensmile Humane Smart Mouse Trap (pictured below). If it works I plan to release him by the river by some trees. Except, maybe by some garbage cans would be better?

Damnit. I just learned that if you release them in an unfamiliar area they will die. Maybe I should buy a cage for him and adopt him? It’s more humane than leaving him somewhere to die. Poor thing. I don’t know what to do. It must be lonely. I just read that they’re very social, but I can’t just buy him a friend. You have to get mice who have already been together, they said.

Okay, now I’ve read it’s bad idea to keep a wild mouse for about a million reasons. I wish I could figure out how he got in so I could try to release him back to where he came from. Maybe I could leave him on the roof and he could find a way back in? Except they don’t do well in the cold. Ugh. No great solutions. I’m sorry little mouse.

Next up on Obama’s Reading Habits Have Shamed Me

A recent New York Time’s article about Obama’s reading habits shocked me into reading more. I just finished Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, about his effort to walk the entire Appalachian Trail. Somehow, even though he is very honest about how hard it is, and in many ways not at all fun, he makes you want to give it a try. Except I mostly want to try it with him and his friend Katz. Loved Katz.

I had a long meditation about humor after cracking up over this one little bit: “a big knife for killing bears and hillbillies …” What is funny about that? Nothing. But he managed to very quickly get me inside his head so that by the time I read those words I was dying.

Next up: Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich. Thank you, Citizen Reader. It’s about Henry Molaison, an epileptic who was given a lobotomy to cure his seizures, which instead left him unable to create long-term memories. I’m only a few chapters in, but the author’s grandfather is the one who conducted the surgery. Something about that fact is making this a lot more interesting, not that it isn’t a fascinating story without that layer. Can’t explain it yet, but I’m in.

A glimpse of one tiny piece of the march of over a half a million people. There was a wonderfully wide range in age, but I would have also liked to see an equal range in race.

Thank you, Saturday Night Live

This tribute to Obama was incredibly sweet. I really can’t wait to see what he and Michelle do next. I wish I could work for them. I wonder if they have a need for a morbid American history researcher?

Bleecker was going crazy about something by the window, so of course I thought, “Are mice coming in through the window?” But it was a couple of pigeons in the airshaft. Sorry guys, but he can’t get you.