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Friday, January 10, 2003

Weird. With the high vaulted ceiling in this place, one thing I never thought was possible was a roof leak. Last night I heard the unmistakable sound of water dripping on carpet. Okay, maybe it wasn't unmistakable, because at first I thought it was coming from just outside the front door.

When I went to the door to look out, though, I got wet before I ever opened it. It wasn't coming from just outside, but from just inside. Pwrth, pwrth, pwrth, it said, as the spot on the rug got darker. I got a bowl out of the kitchen and put it in the spot, then looked around for other drips.

Not only did I not find any other drips, the one I had stopped after a couple of minutes, before I could even look up the landlord's phone number. I wasn't going to call him for a roof that wasn't leaking. That's like going to the doctor after it's already stopped hurting. I'll wait and see, but that was weird.

Not as weird, and a lot more disturbing, was the sudden reappearance of the ants. This time there was a whole army of them, which at first I thought was good news. I expected to be able to follow them to wherever they were coming into the house. They were on the kitchen counter, but it was against an inside wall with no obvious access. I followed them around the underside of the countertop, but they just stopped, bam, in the middle of the kitchen.

So I still don't know where they were coming from, but I now have the cleanest kitchen counter I've had in a long time. I scrubbed and sprayed and managed to get through the ordeal without losing any food, other than a few crumbs that I probably was going to have to clean up anyway, eventually. I just got to them earlier than I would have otherwise.

above the oaks

Cloudy in the west.

Between the mysterious leak and the ants from nowhere, I became a barrel of quivering paranoia the rest of the night, constantly checking to see if either had come back, but neither did. Not until this morning, that is, when I found the ants massing in the sink. Well, this made more sense, because I'd piled a bunch of dirty dishes in there but left part of an omelet pan exposed (only because the handle is too long to let it rest completely in the basin). That's where they were, racing each other all over the pan.

Another round of cleaning and scrubbing ensued, and for now the condition seems to be under control. I wash my hands obsessively anyway, and at times like this I do it compulsively as well. Every time I touch something in the kitchen, even a clean surface, I feel as if I have to scrub my hands again. I love all creatures, great and small, except ants. They're evil and nasty, and I won't share my house with them.

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Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue from 1975 is the first new CD I've bought myself in a long time, and it's extraordinary. He sings these songs as if the words actually matter. More amazingly, he sings as if melody were an important part of the song.

He does the most incredible version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" I've ever heard in my life, and he follows it with a very moving rendition of "Simple Twist of Fate." Every song on both discs is surprising, in a good way. I admire Dylan's recent efforts, but I love the Bobby of the early days.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Crunched
"A few more days like this and I'll have this miserable job done, and it'll be on to some other miserable job."

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It was raining from the first
And I was dying there of thirst
So I came in here