The Trials and Tribulations of Housesitting Or, why is there a spider in the pool?!

Gather round, my readers, and I shall tell you a tale. A tale of an unsuspecting swimmer.

As some of you may know, my parents have a pool. Not a fun pool, though. No, they have an stupid exercise pool. It’s about three feet deep and basically just big enough to hold one person at the widest and longest points of their swimming stroke. Then you turn on the current and swim against it.

While I was housesitting last week, I decided to be good and make use of it since they don’t have a treadmill and I didn’t want to fall too far behind (Note: An endless pool is not a helpful substitution for treadmilling.). I’ll be honest, I’m not a super strong swimmer – I mean, I’m not going to drown, but when I turned it on, presumably to the setting last used by my mother, I fairly quickly found myself mashed up against the back wall. Mark Spitz, I am not! Also, I’m much better at the lazy strokes – breast stroke, upside-down breast stroke (aka lazy man’s back stroke), side stroke, and a proper back stroke – and, frankly, I do spend my time crouching in the middle, leaning into the current, and doing my best impression of the Rolls Royce lady.

But on this particular day, I was doing the lazy back stroke when my spidey sense kicked in. I seriously don’t know how I saw it because I wasn’t looking at the water and even if I had been, the current makes all sorts of little whorls and bubbles in the water, but somehow I did. SPIDER! And a not inconsequential one.

I honestly don’t remember getting out of the pool, but soon I found myself crouched on the edge of the tile. A frantic phone call to my parents ensued – my cry of ‘There’s a spider in the pool!’ was answered very wittily by my mom with ‘Is he swimming?’ Har har. As I was attempting to fish the very water-logged fellow out of the pool, the worry became how many times he’d gone around before I finally saw him – visions of him getting stuck in my hair or in my swimsuit haunt me to this very day!

But I did get in again the next day (though I couldn’t bring myself to do it that same day). So I’m counting it as a success.


When a young girl’s fancy turns to thoughts of…SPIDERS!

Okay. I am NOT pleased. Just last weekend, I proactively spider-bombed my apartment because it’s spring and, you know, all the bugs that have been asleep all winter are starting to wake up and plot all the ways they’ll get into my apartment and walk on me.

What did I JUST smash with a shoe on my living room wall?



In which I explain my recent absence…

So…there have been more than what I feel is my fair share of spiders in my apartment lately. I haven’t been happy about it, but I’ve managed to kill them (I won’t say calmly, but at least with a limited amount of shrieking on my part) and go on my paranoid merry way.

But then there was one in my bedroom that got away – it was on the ceiling which is always an awkward shot and bigger than the others and started to run as I was setting up my shot. I panicked, threw the Flip Flop of Fury, managed to hit him, but instead of being squished, he fell and I lost track of him. I called my dad to ask about spider bombs and, while I was on the phone, ANOTHER SPIDER APPEARED on the ceiling.

It was the last straw and despite it being after 10:00, I panicked, packed up the cats and basic supplies and fled to my parents’ house, planning on setting off a spider bomb the next day.

And promptly came down with the flu. Like full-on, 103-degree fever for six days, emergency-room visiting flu.

So the spider bomb didn’t get set off until last Wednesday. I’m back now and, except for a spider on Saturday night, so far things have been all clear. There is a GIANT spider living outside my bedroom window who makes me nervous, but since he is in his house (i.e., outside), I can’t do anything about him. Not that I want him to come into my house where I could do something about him because he is seriously that big.


So after conquering my first Monkees song, I set my sights on something a little bit easier.

Now I just have to get myself an awesome 80s outfit like Pat’s rockin’ in that video, find myself a sleazy girlie club owner to play my bass at, and I’m good to go!

*That was my plan, but it turns out that Pat is, to quote Kathy Griffin quoting Cher, ‘a crazy bitch.’ And by ‘crazy,’ I really mean ‘tricky.’ And by ‘Pat,’ I really mean ‘her bassist.’

Because I had the bass line down and was like ‘Yeah, I’m awesome. That’s me pretty much.’ and then out of nowhere it dives down to this growly, super-low note! What the what?! So I called up my dad and said ‘Uh, Dad, Pat Benatar is wanting me to play a note that does not seem to exist on my guitar – should I open up a wormhole and travel to another dimension in which a D is actually not lower then an E and thus not too low for me to play?’ And then he explained that often times, guitarists retune their lowest string (E) to D. Just for the hell of it (and to screw with newbie bassists). And when I say ‘for the hell of it,’ I really mean ‘to enable themselves to play lower notes than they usually can’. So I did and it totally worked.

Which was a relief – I did not want to inadvertently mess up the space-time continuum and risk coming back to a world where spiders are lobsters and have united with Dan Brown to become our overlords. Because that would NOT be cool. Not even Pat and her floozy minions could dance THAT away.**

**Sorry, I seem to have drifted off into my own head a bit far here. Please to be ignoring my ramblings…


…last night I dreamt that instead of spiders?


Like, lobsters that are lobster-sized, but act like spiders. So you’d come home and sitting on the wall up in the corner would be a lobster. Or the cat would be playing with something and you’d go to check it out and it’d be a lobster. Or you’d be innocently driving your car to the service garage and a lobster would run up your leg.

Subconscious, I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me, but whatever it is, it’s not cool.

Not. Cool.


The spider was waiting for me when I went out to my car this morning, dangling serenely on a string of web from my gear shift to the radio. Actually, I think he may have died during the night as he didn’t move at all during the long minutes while I shuffled around in the driveway, screwing up my courage and coming this close to asking the garbageman to kill it for me. Eventually I hit him with my shoe and I am either a crack shot when it comes to whacking spiders with shoes or, like I said, he was already dead when I got there.

Now I just have to worry if he is actually a she, what the odds are that there are eggs to be found (Charlotte died right after she had her babies, right?).

Because if I am driving down the street and hordes of baby spiders begin to run out of my heater vents, I will actually drive the car into something and die in an horrific, fiery accident.


Is there an internet acronym for a disgusted, shuddering type of noise? If so, please insert that here. 

I went to drop off my car for its 60,000 mile check up (which turned out to be MUCH more expensive than I was expecting) and as I was approaching the service garage, I glanced down only to see a GIANT SPIDER climbing up my leg towards me. Now, I know I often exaggerate the sizes of spiders that I see (because that is honestly how they look to me), but I swear to god that this one was easily the size of a quarter. And it was brown (I seriously hope it wasn’t a brown recluse!)!

Here’s what happens when I see a spider when I’m driving:

Anne: Okay, glancing at the speedometer, aware of my surroundings, the light’s changing ahead, I’ll have to brake soon, glancing at the speedomet–

Spider: Hello, there, young lady, I was wondering if you could be so kind as to drop me off–


In other words, I completely and utterly forget that I am at the wheel of several tons (well, at any rate a quite big) piece of metal that is basically hurtling blindly down a street at 45 mph. It’s not really ideal driving conditions, but there’s nothing I can do – the entirety of my brain is concerned with the spider. There may be a tiny voice saying ‘Um, what should we be doing about the whole driving situation?’ but it is entirely drowned out by the portion of my brain concerned with the spider.

Part of the servicing my car got this morning was to be hoovered, (uh, on re-reading, that sounds like I take my car in to the garage to be hoovered – it’s just that everything else added up to so much that they threw in a ‘free’ hoovering and car wash) so I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that they got him and that he’s not either a) still in my car, waiting to ambush me or b) actually in my clothes somewhere at this very moment.

GUH! 😦