Category Archives: World War B

World War B Has Reached My Shores

The last two or three nights I have awakened to find bite marks all over my legs. It’s not just one or two, rather, it’s like a Greek family reunion down there. So the spraying wasn’t sufficient to keep them out of my place for long and now they’re swarming my bed.

Here’s the thing. The guy who had the worst of the infestation called foul, so the land lady rented a POD so that he could put all of his crap in there so the exterminator could actually spray in his place. The POD is still there and it’s empty and this guy makes me extremely uncomfortable for reasons I don’t want to go into, so helping him move his stuff is not an option.

I know that POD isn’t cheap. What’s worst is that this guy has been giving her a hard time for quite a while. He’s drama queen and if you think I’m bad, done your favorite Hazmat suit and sit in his apartment for an hour just to listen to him rant and rave. He had a health inspector visit way back in the early days of World War B and now he’s planning to sue the land lady.

The world is such a big and fluffy place, isn’t it?

Today I will be doing a five minute set at the Walnut Street Café in West Lynn. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. There’s some slam poetry, prose and I will be telling jokes. Stop in and drink some great coffee and have some great sandwiches. West Lynn is an are you actually don’t mind leaving your car in, although there may be an underground organ smuggling ring going on in the more rural parts of town.

Fair warning, this may not be my most rehearsed set. I will be treating this like the open mic that it is, but the point is that I’m regaining my confidence slowly and trying to get myself back out there. So don’t be put off if I’m looking at the book every few seconds, trying to find my place.

World War B: Never Rested

There’s a communication blackout right now between myself and my landlady. My cellphone is out of minutes until next payday and she hasn’t caught on to the hip new trend that is e-mail, so I have no idea whether or not she is planning to come back to spray the place again.

Yesterday, before going to work, I put everything in boxes and bags, just in case that would be the day. Then I worked another double shift, both on the cash register but blissfully an hour and a half a part so that I could recover from the morning crowd in preparation for the evening crowd.

Unfortunately, when I got home, the bed was not in the traditional position on the floor, meaning the guy hadn’t flipped it over to spray. So it wasn’t last night and I have no idea if the land lady is still planning to spray again or when. And my place still looks like I either just moved in or I’m planning to move out.

World War B Has Been Stayed

The exterminator didn’t find any in my unit, but he was still supposed to spray to be on the safe side. That’s what I was lead to believe, which is why my place looks more like someone’s storage unit than my apartment. The actual spraying will commence next week. But since I don’t have any actual bugs to worry about, I’m taking out the bedding so that my bed isn’t an eyesore.

Needless to say, this morning was stressful so I treated myself to breakfast at the Red Line Café. The Ham and Cheese crepe was worth it and every time I go to this place, I find something new I like about it. The staff are friendly and the food is amazing. I have no reason to not smile when I go there. The café has only been on Essex Street in Salem for almost a year, but man, it’s earning it’s keep on what is essentially Salem’s Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.

What really struck me the most was the amount of coffee flavoring they use. A lot of places offer flavor shots but they’re usually these dinky little drops of flavoring that I don’t notice until the last bitter, sugar sweetened cup. I ordered a pepper mint flavor shot in my coffee at the Red Line (which is only an additional 50 cents) and when I sipped it… wow. I did not need to use a single grain of sugar and I wouldn’t have even needed the milk. Usually I only add milk to coffee when I need to drink it in a very short amount of time and I need it to be a teensy bit cooler. But if I had an hour or so to kill, I would have taken my time with this cup and probably ordered another one just to make the day even sweeter.

I am trying to cut back on sugar but I do like my coffee with some kind of sweetness. So safe alternatives I have gone with are cinnamon sugar and hot chocolate with almond milk, which definitely takes the edge off the coffee without killing the buzz. I don’t know what’s in the coffee liqueur they use or what’s in the stuff in general, but if that helps ease the transition from barely awake to functioning member of society in a healthier way than sugar then  can see myself investing in it pretty quickly.

Bed Bugs 3: The Return

There have actually been four or separate attempts to exterminate bed bugs in this house. Tomorrow will be third attempt to remove them from the units downstairs and mine will be among the rooms sprayed. These little fuckers caused me no end of stress last summer and they’re the only small organism that I have zero sympathy for. I don’t care what purpose they play in the grand scheme of things, I want them out of my life.

That pleasant stuff out of the way, I never went through with the coffee shop yesterday. Originally the plan was to go down to the Walnut Street café and do the open mic, but as the day went by I just got more and more concerned that I really didn’t have much of a set planned.

There was an event I was supposed to participate in today and I had been practicing for it for a few weeks. The main advantage of this was that it was a new crowd in a different venue and so I could tell my old stuff and not worry about boring them to tears. When that was canceled, the Walnut Street Café was my backup plan.

The main problem is that this is a small café. They do this open mic every Wednesday and I’m not there enough to know who has already heard my stuff before, so even if I have one or two really good jokes that are new, most of my stuff is going to be what I’m familiar with and can confidently deliver.

So after sitting there for an hour and basically coming to the conclusion that I did not have a reasonable set to perform I just decided to cop out. Call me a quitter, but sometimes it’s better to quit while you’re ahead than to burn out all of your confidence on something you don’t believe will work out.

“Laundry Day, See You There, Underthings, Tumbling…”

Two weeks worth of laundry have finally been done and I will never let my dirty clothes pile up that long again. I’d like to say that I have some flower prose related to laundry day but at the moment I’m just, well, dry. It is a great time to rehearse my jokes, read, and just enjoy the hour of solitude that comes with the most necessary chore of washing one’s clothing. I do think I enjoy laundry more than others. Maybe it’s because I only have to wash clothes for. Or maybe because it can break up the day by being something that I have to go out of the house to do. Today was fairly uneventful otherwise, although my neighbor downstairs thinks his apartment may be infested with bedbugs again, so there’s that drama to deal with. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. The landlady will get another exterminator in and we’ll see what happens.

The Derby Bookstore on Essex Street in Salem has finally closed and the new owners are desperately trying to get this place cleaned out and suitable for their own new book store. If you have never been to this bookstore before, it’s basically an episode of Hoarders: The Business Edition. They obviously took an untold number of books from various sources over the many decades they had been in business and although the owners seemed to be able to find everything, the books were not arranged according to any known variation of the Dewey Decimal system or the alphabet of any known language spoken or dead. There were shelves, certainly, but then there were huge stacks of books on tables in such a small space and arranged in such a way as to make an OSHA trainee fresh out of orientation president of the whole organization with just an hour’s worth of work. I’m not criticizing it really, because for a used bookstore to be around as long as they were, the obviously had to be doing something right. If you looked hard enough, you might even find several autographed copies of the Bible sitting around.

Yesterday the new owners have been trying to get rid of the old stock as they try to ready the store for business. So they filled two shelves full of books and put them out in front of the store.

I scored a couple James Patterson novels and Timeline by the late Michael Crichton. I would have gotten more but I only had my messenger bag and it was pretty full as is. Still, I came out on the winning side I think with three good books and there are always going to be opportunities for free books in the future.