Self-Referential Sunday: My New Posting Schedule

Themed days of the week (Caturday, Wordless Wednesday, etc.) seem to work well for other blogs, so I’ve decided to adopt that strategy to add some much-needed structure to this blog. From now on, I’ll be posting according to this schedule:

Pictures of the real thing are coming on Monday; here's a stuffed toy from to tide you over until then.

Maggot Mondays: Some of my most popular posts have been about insects, so as a special treat, Monday posts will be chock-full of high-resolution photos of everyone’s favorite fly larvae. Read Maggot Monday posts over breakfast for the perfect start to your week.

Terrible Tuesdays: Tuesday posts will be just awful — meandering, pointless diatribes full of spelling and grammar errors. Just thinking about them makes me cringe. But if you can force yourself to read through them, they’ll make the rest of the week — and, really, the rest of your life — seem so much better in comparison.

Washing-Machine Wednesdays: Each Wednesday, I’ll post a detailed account of every load of laundry I’ve done in the past week and an inventory of the dirty clothes I still need to wash. Wednesdays will also feature lint trap art and, of course, the weekly mismatched sock round-up.

Thunder Thursdays: Okay, I admit it — I stole the name Thunder Thursday from Kitten Thunder, which features a different guest cat every week. My Thunder Thursday posts will be similar, but with a twist — instead of just focusing on a guest cat by itself, I’ll explain in detail why my own cats are better. For the ultimate personalized blog-reading experience, send me a picture of your cat, and I’ll devote a Thursday post to pointing out its flaws.

Forgetful Fridays: Each Friday, I’ll post a few questions about some minor detail about your life; for example, I might ask who your first-grade teacher was, what street you lived on as a child, your first pet’s name, your social security number, the name of your bank, or your credit card number. Join in and show off your awesome memory skills!

Sugar Plum Saturdays: Remember Sugar Plum Awareness Month? Every Saturday, I’ll tell you how many days are left until December 1.

Self-Referential Sundays: Sundays on this blog are all about writing about this blog; for example, I might describe my blogging schedule or announce the grand opening of the Unlikely Explanations Store.

Three Scary Things In My House

Scary thing #1: creepy-looking insect.

I was going to use my cat's paw to show scale, but he wouldn't cooperate. You'll have to go by the carpet fibers instead.

What is this thing? What planet is it from? Why is it in my house? How many more of them are there? If my cats try to play with it, and it bites them, will they turn into mutant alien insect cats? Do mutant alien insect cats eat cat food, or what? (Actually, based on the pictures at, a site that actually exists, this appears to be a potato bug. But my other questions still stand).

Scary thing #2: ambiguously-labelled water filter.

Sounds delicious, doesn't it?
Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

The scare quotes on the label do not fill me with confidence.

Scary thing #3: confusing condiments.

Sugar and spice.

On the left is a jar containing a mixture of crystallized sugar, chocolate, and coffee beans, with a built-in grinder; on the right is a jar of pepper with a built-in grinder. Alone, neither of these is scary — but I know that one day, when I least expect it, I’ll confuse the two. It’s like having a ticking time bomb in my kitchen.

Twelve Things I Wish I’d Known About Insects

Moebius Strip II by M.C. Escher
Moebius Strip II by M.C. Escher
Moebius Strip II by M.C. Escher
  1. Termites are endemic in California. Houses that are sold here are typically tented for termites during the period after the seller moves out and before the buyer moves in.
  2. Ants are endemic in California.
  3. Termites and ants are natural enemies that fight over territory. Ants living outside a house that has recently been tented for termites will move into the walls and feast on termite corpses, while you, the new homeowner, remain blissfully ignorant because none of the approximately three hundred people involved in the real estate transaction will have bothered to mention this simple fact to you.
  4. The gas used to kill termites has no effect on the ants that will later eat them.
  5. Eventually, the ants that move into your walls will either run out of termite meat or grow bored of their all-termite diet. At that point, they will begin to leave the walls to look for food sources inside the house.
  6. Continue reading “Twelve Things I Wish I’d Known About Insects”

Too Much of a Good Thing

Free to good home.

They say the housefly is nature’s cat toy, and it’s true: an occasional fly can provide a cat with food and entertainment for minutes on end. But a dozen flies inside the house, all at the same time, is just too much of a good thing — I know, because that’s what I woke up to last Sunday morning. It was just like Lord of the Flies, or what Lord of the Flies would have been like if it had been about actual flies instead of schoolboys and had taken place in a house instead of on an island, and if the characters, instead of turning feral, had basically just hung out in windows all day. Or maybe it was more like what Lord of the Rings would have been like if the Hobbits had been flies who, lacking fingers, were unfamiliar with the concept of wearing a ring and had spent the entire time hanging around in the Shire, which is well known in some academic circles to be an allegory for my house.
Continue reading “Too Much of a Good Thing”