Critters you find in all the wrong places

My sister sent me a text message the other day about a mouse and mouse nest her husband found in the glove box of their car. Um yuck. I can understand why it might happen. They live in an urban area and park their car in a garage that can easily be rampant with mice, as theirs has easy access from outside. He told her he has had that happen before and that their mechanic indicated that the mouse is able to get into the glove compartment through the engine.

However they arrive my sister and I both share a similar exclamation that we NEVER want to be the ones to open the glove compartment and have a mouse stare back at you. Especially if you are driving down the road and reach over to grab something from the glove box (yes, safely…but admit it you have done it before). If I was driving, and open the glove box, and see little eyes staring at me, I might drive off the road. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

It reminded me of a memory from when I was a freshman in high school. My sister was away for her senior year at boarding school (and she might have been home on break, I do not remember). I do know I was a freshman based on the apartment we were living in – if you can call it that. At the time, my mom was recovering from months in the hospital, and then months in a nursing home. We were broke, and somehow she had found a way to go back to school. Due to her classes, we were eligible for a small apartment (600 square feet), that was government subsidized. While I have no reason to complain, it was drab, drab, drab. The walls were made of cinder blocks, and most of the windows were high up (since we were on the first level due to my mom’s wheelchair).

I digress. The real intent of this story is that one day when I was making dinner for my mom, I opened the broiler drawer at the bottom of the stove. (Now let me assure you, we rarely used the boiler aspect of the oven. As it was, it was not a full size stove/oven. As Chris can attest I have never been great at cooking so I can only imagine what I was making for my mom in the broiler.) Yikes. What I saw looking back at me was not at all what I expected. It was a hamster, wood shavings and all. I freaked out, shut the door, and to this day I cannot remember what we did. Did I call the management company? Did I call a neighbor that had more confidence with critters than I did at 15? I think I did call the neighbor that had a ferret (who also irked me).

My sister’s mouse reminded me of the hamster that had been living in our stove. We believe it might have been from a neighboring apartment and been living in the walls. It makes you think a bit more about those scratching sounds you might have heard in the walls the other night…

Barefoot at airport security

There is one place in the world that I absolutely detest. There is no way around it if you want to fly the friendly skies:

Airport security.

Yuck is all I can think of to describe it. Over the weekend we flew down to Oakland to see my sister, brother-in-law, and of course my 6 month old niece. Usually the plane that goes between Portland and Oakland is a turbo prop. I do not mind the turbo prop, but often it gets chilly down by your feet. I have no idea why that type of aircraft is so dang cold, but it means that I try to make sure I am not wearing my beloved flip-flops when flying for fear of frost bite on my toes.

Alas, it means I usually wear running shoes when I know I will be flying in a turbo prop, but sucks when going through security. Why is it that the place in the airport that they make you take off your shoes is also the filthiest, most disgusting place seemingly in the airport (well maybe second to most bathrooms)? I am a bit strange, I would rather go barefoot then keep my socks on. There is something about walking across the floor in my socks and then putting my socks in my shoes and transferring sock filth to the inside of my shoes. I guess sort of like walking through dog poop and then putting your shoes on directly afterwards. For some reason, I would rather be barefoot, and then walk across the floor on my tippy toes, sit down, wipe any dirt, stray hairs, and whatever random gunk off my bare feet before putting my socks and shoes back on. Strange I know, but that is how my mind works.

Why is it that the place they make you take your shoes off never looks like it has been vacuumed or cleaned? I have seen Macy’s dressing rooms with cleaner floors and that is not saying much. They usually close security down for a few hours a night, you would think the last people on the shift could vacuum and mop. Or, they could send in a cleaning crew. Or do they clean it each night and us humans shed that much grossness in a day?

Who knows. I still dread taking my shoes off going through security. Who knows what the person before you left behind. I shudder thinking about it, breathe deep, and release the thought of it until my next trip.

When you gotta go…

Call me crazy, but I have always wanted to pee standing up. Of course a woman can pee standing up, but it really depends on where she is standing. Is she in the middle of the forest? If so, it does not matter. If she is in her friend’s bathroom, then it matters. The spray itself would tell her friend that like most men, she cannot keep it in the targeted basin.

Over the past few weeks I have found two new contraptions for women that help them to pee standing up. One is the paper funnel, featured on Fast Company, the other is called: “GoGirl.” Both allow women to pee standing up. I can tell you that there have been many bathrooms that I would rather not even walk in, but having the ability to pee standing up would have made things a bit different. Although I have mastered the art of squat peeing…so maybe I do not need to worry about peeing while standing up. But, what if you do not have a place where you can squat and pee? What if you only had a men’s room urinal? Then I would definitely need to learn to pee standing up.

One example mentioned in the first article above was in an airplane bathroom. Now I will tell you, I am 5 feet 5 inches and while I will not share my weight, I will say it is average to my height. However, I have been in a variety of airplane bathrooms that I could barely fit in. You know the ones that do not even have true sinks + running water, just a tiny ledge for hand sanitizer. Yuck. It makes it hard to let your jeans drop, hopefully hovering carefully on your shoes and not touching the floor at all. Heaven forbid knowing what has touched that floor. Especially with how hard it is to squat and pee in such a tiny space. That would be a good location for peeing standing up.

I especially appreciate the GoGirl that features “MommyGirl” for those that do not want their daughters to touch a thing in those nasty public bathrooms. You know what I mean! Adults can usually (many of us) have the strength to squat and pee, but not so easy to do for kids. They are $12.99 for one. Maybe I will have to purchase one for my niece (once she is potty trained). Would you use the paper funnel or the GoGirl?