Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jiminy Cricket & the Subterranean Homesick Blues

The Missus and I are fast approaching the end of our third full week in our new digs....although it does not feel at this point as if we have been there any more than eighteen days or so. Who is counting anyway?  As much as I have loved our now-former digs from the moment we first walked around inside of it more than thirteen years ago at this point in time happiness for me shall be when the "Sold" sign replaces the "For Sale" sign in its front lawn. 

As you might suspect - from nothing other than her prolonged exposure to her husband - Margaret is a bit on the insane side.  She is good crazy to be sure but crazy just the same.  She has what I think I can fairly refer to as a tendency to take note of a particular "something" (be it an event, an occurrence, a person, an object or whatever) to the point where that "something" drives her bonkers.  Our new bedroom has a couple of windows - including one that overlooks the front lawn of our home.  To date (although it appears as if July shall arrive thirty days or so ahead of schedule this weekend) the weather post-move has been temperate enough that we have slept with our bedroom windows open.  The official start of "Central Air Conditioning" season has not yet arrived 'NTSG. 

While I know not whether he came with us in the move cross-town or whether he was already here and we have invaded his domain, every night since our arrival we have been greeted by the nocturnal chirping of a lone cricket.  Unlike Sheldon Cooper and his comrades, we do not have access to Professor Crawly so I have no idea just what type of cricket it is who has been serenading us. 

It matters not what type of cricket our little Jiminy is.  Over the relatively brief period of time we have shared space with him, he has already achieved status as Margaret's white whale - a position I enjoyed before I took up running as my principal form of recreation.  Judging by the number of times she bangs on the bedroom wall in an effort to intimidate him into silence - as if the sound of the footstep of an approaching one-legged giant will scare the chirp right out of him - I reasonably anticipate that she will begin sleeping with night vision goggles and a weapon with a laser mount by Father's Day.  Fourth of July at the latest.   I cannot share her enthusiasm for the extermination of this particular occupant of the animal kingdom although I understand her frustration.  He is a smug-looking little prick.

While approximately 50% of my living space was a casualty of our recent move, I worked hard to ensure that our feline companions - Boo and Dempsey - would not be.  Do not misunderstand.  At my core, I am a dog person.  But these two little idiots were delivered to our doorstep as babies so young that their eyes were not yet fully opened.  Margaret and Rob bottle-fed them.  One dozen years later, it seemed to me to be inherently unfair to move to a new home without them.  As it usually is, however, my primary consideration was my self-interest.  I did not want my wife to become comfortable with the notion of excising from her day-to-day lazy, old, underperforming members of the family unit. 

If I allowed her to pull the plug on these two idiots, then I had to come to grips with the fact that I was likely the next domino to fall....

Margaret's ability to problem solve is unparalleled.  Within forty-eight hours of our arrival she had worked out a solution to our dilemma, which was that in this house there is no direct route from the living space to the basement.  To access the basement one must exit the kitchen, walk down a short set of stairs into the garage and then descend a second set of stairs.  Boo and Dempsey's base of operations for the entirety of their lives has been the basement, which at our old home was directly accessible through the kitchen. 

While to date the hot weather has not occupied the State of Concrete Gardens, as sure as I am that Congress shall be a better place with Michelle Bachman NOT in it, I am certain that it shall arrive.  Being my father's son I have zero interest in air-conditioning the entire neighborhood, which meant that a solution better than leaving open the door that connects the kitchen to the garage AND the door that leads from the garage to the basement was needed.  Margaret crafted one. 

Earlier this week our do-everything contractor Bill Rutkowski (who is an excellent carpenter and mechanic and one hell of a nice man to boot), brought Margaret's dream to life.  He constructed the first-ever (and I hope like Hell the only one I ever need or see) "Cat Ramp".  Now Dos Gatos can simply descend directly from the kitchen into the basement - without ever setting foot in the garage. 

The entrance to Boo & Dempsey's "Cat Ramp"

The view from "Cat Ramp" Cam

In our home, our primary concern is no longer that curiosity shall kill the cat.  Rather, it is that it shall give him or her a splinter....

....Look out kid
They keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole
Light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals
Try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum
You better chew gum
The pump don't work'


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