Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bringing Paris Home


I don't even know what to say but SUCCESS. I succeeded not only in making bread, but making really fucking good baguettes of the type I have only tasted in Paris. I am not even quite sure how I did it. It took 3 days, endless kneading, and was completely worth the 10 minutes that it took me to devour most of what you see in this picture.

Now, won't you ask me, "Shane, dear, aren't you gluten intolerant? Isn't white bread anathema?" And my answer would be, "Absolutely. This amount of AP flour will make my tummy hurt for the rest of the day. AND I DON'T EVEN CARE." That is how good these are. 

My life is complete.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Of Mice and Women

I am a New Yorker. I am tough. I am totally cool with huge rats running beneath me when I am standing on the subway platform. 

What I am not okay with is a mouse in my bedroom. The way it scurries across the floor when the room goes quiet makes me scream. Loudly. And trying to sleep when I know it is there is damn near impossible. I discovered that I was sharing a room with just such a rodent Saturday morning, when I went to grab a protein bar for my ride and found one half-eaten in the box. There is a difference, however, between having evidence that it's been there and seeing it for yourself. Over the weekend, I filled out a maintenance request for pest control, and slept soundly since I didn't see or hear anything else.

Yesterday was a different story. Having relocated my box of bars to a high high high shelf, the mouse no longer had anything to feed on. The pest control guy came yesterday, and sniffed around my radiator. But the cover requires a screwdriver to remove, and he had nothing with him, so he set a trap and bid me good day. Everything was peachy until last night, around 8:30, when I shut off the sounds on my computer, things got quiet, and the mouse decided to come looking for food. In the middle of my room. It peeked its head out from underneath my desk, and sitting on my bed I caught a glimpse of it and screamed bloody murder. It's completely irrational to have such a fear of such a small animal that poses me no harm. I accept that, but I am afraid anyway. Other people (boys) are just going to have to accept my point of view. I don't like things that dart to and fro.

It's also hard to explain exactly why I am so afraid, but it has something to do with the dorm room set up. When we had mice in the kitchen at home it was no big deal. Partially because my dad dealt with it. Partially because they were in the kitchen. NOW THEY ARE IN MY BEDROOM. I spend time in here sleeping, eating, working, and pondering the big questions in life. It's a small space. There is only room for one person. Not one person and a mouse. I'm the kind of obsessive person who can't sleep unless all is well in the world. I don't want to hear mice scurrying across the floor as I try to go to my comfortable place and fall asleep. 

Anyway, after seeing the mouse, I decided to do a little more to lure it to the trap. It didn't appear that there was any bait in the trap. So I went to the kitchen to grab a small piece of cheese. Unfortunately, as I was dropping it onto the trap so it wouldn't close on my finger, the trap SNAPPED shut on the cheese, breaking it in half and causing me to scream for the third time that night (there had been a second mouse sighting before getting the cheese). I called housing for help. They told me to come pick up some more traps. My nerves being frayed as they were, I was extremely happy to find out that the office of housing services gives out glue traps, rather than snap traps. So there would hopefully be no more loud noises for the evening. Of course, to put up the glue traps I would have to get close to the mouse (mice?). 

I was just lucky enough to be heading back into my building at the same time as a guy I know well enough to ask for help. As he does not possess the same irrational rodent fears that I do, he was able to set them under my desk near the radiator, with a smear of peanut butter in the middle. He is the hero of the evening. 

As soon as he left, I packed a bag as quickly as I could and headed out the door. Riding the 50 blocks to Liz's in 40 degree weather sounded like a much better idea that sticking around waiting to hear a mouse get stuck on a big thing of glue.

And such is life. The glue traps are still sitting in my room. Although I am moved back in, I am not quite brave enough to check if they caught anything. I'm waiting for the Columbia Facilities man to come back and look for me (and inspect the radiator). Please, come back sir. Save me from my own imagination.

UPDATE 11/16: The glue traps didn't catch anything. The exterminator instead came and patched up the hole between my wall and the floor next to the radiator. So no mouse death at my hands, but no more mouse either! Hasta la vista, Jorge!