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Ant-y Christ
So. I'm... still alive, yup. A LOT of things have happened in the meantime, and since I've been accused of burying the lede at some point, I'm seeing a guy the folks at the other gaming group set me up with. (The cute one who didn't like the Werewolf game.) His name is Carmen, and is named after his great grandfather who came to America from Italy, so I guess it's a guy's name in Italian. This post is not about him, though.

This post is about my damned ants. And things I would like to grouse about, but mostly the ants. Between me not being able to keep up with watering as well as I should and the pervasive ant problem, I lost the experimental zucchini plant in a pot (it apparently grows okay in a pot, but mine was aborting all of its squashes once they got longer than two inches). I have to check my clothing and shoes for ants before getting dressed. And if I sit still in my living room long enough, I'll find them crawling on me there, too :/ They are relentless in their search for water. They still refuse to touch the open box of rock sugar on my dining table, and have shown no interest in the occasional drip of kombucha coming from my brewing dispenser. (I started brewing kombucha with a SCOBY from Val, who's been doing it all year or something like that.)

On the advice of both Carmen and one of Becca's cousins (who had some experience with ants in an apartment and for whom this poison fixed things), I got some Terro liquid ant traps and placed two of them next to the really, REALLY heavily infested tropical plant my mother made me buy for Feng Shui reasons. But I made the mistake of apologizing to them first, because I don't really want them dead, I really just want them gone, and I said so and said I was sorry for being ant Hitler and trying to kill them. They aren't taking the bait. In fact, they've gone out of their way to take dirt from the nearby plant pots and block up the entrance to one of the traps and are completely ignoring the other one. I tried dripping some of the bait liquid directly in their path. It was completely ignored (and dried into a hard droplet that is adhering disappointingly well to the side table). WHAT DO? D:

Well, I got mad about the heavily infested tropical plant (I mean, that's how they killed the Venus flytrap and appear to be killing off my African violet), even if it isn't my favorite and was somewhat foisted upon me, and I decided that since every time I water it deeply, all the ants grab their eggs and run up into the big leaves, I was going to deeply water it in the bathtub... and then wash all the ants down the drain. So I tried this... After the first washing, there were still many ants in the pot. So I stopped up the plug and made a little moat around the pot and bound the leaves so they wouldn't fall against anything and make a way out for the ants and resolved to give it another go later. I showered with that plant living in the bathroom for like a week, and still, there were a ton of ants coming out every time I watered it. I began to have my doubts about whether there was actually much dirt in the pot, given the numerous insects.

And then one day I came home, looked in on the plant and moat and found the ants walking on the water. I don't mean skimming the surface the way water bugs do, I mean actually taking little tiny bug steps and walking around on the water. I have Jesus ants ;_; The only thing that saved me from having these ants take over the apartment was that they couldn't make a scent trail in the water, but they were walking in approximately the same direction, so I think they could still smell each other... but faintly and distantly. That was it--I couldn't give the ants more chances to learn these crazy tricks. I gave the plant one more wash out and then I set it outside on the balcony, in the sun. By the next day, it was mostly dry on the surface and not visibly infested anymore, so I moved it back inside. Maybe the ants from the pot got the message, because they've mostly been leaving it alone so far, but I figure it is only a matter of time before they decide it's a nice place to infest yet again. And for the curious, yes, I turned the lights out and made sure the ants that could walk on the water did not glow in the dark, so no, they aren't that good, and they aren't exactly radioactive to my knowledge, but that's still pretty darn impressive.) I am hesitant to see Ant-Man and possibly feel empathy for ants, because I really can't afford to let these critters walk all over me (literally and figuratively) any more than they already are.

In the meantime, I have developed a new and acute fear of hitting squirrels while on my bicycle. There is a section of the trail to my workplace that has some burrowing squirrels living on either side of the trail. last Monday, one decided to dart out right in front of my wheels, and had I not swerved (and screamed), I probably would have actually hit it or caught its tail (I was like an inch away from its tail as it was). That Thursday, I'm biking along and I see a roadkill squirrel. On a bike trail. In a fresh puddle of blood on the pavement. It might have been the same stupid squirrel, but the only explanation for it having that kind of injury (and not being carried off by a bird of prey, as there are many in the area) is that it was probably hit by a bicycle and expired from crushed internal organs a bit later, which explains the bloody dragging marks/footprints leading to the final puddle of blood. I am now terrified when I see them standing by the sides of the bike trail, because I'm worried another one is going to dart out in front of me and have begun instinctively slowing down and shouting at the squirrels. The people on the trail may think I'm crazy... :/ (They might not be wrong.)

Anyway, in closing, there is a proposed trip to Vegas in the works with the gaming group that set me up with Carmen. I have never been to Vegas before (which is part of what got the trip started, because I mentioned never having gone). We've got a lot of stuff planned out (Penn & Teller, a Cirque show, a ridiculously expensive dinner because Travis is a foodie, driving construction equipment because I am a dork and nobody else wanted to), but in case I missed anything, anyone have any suggestions on things that should be done/seen in Vegas? (Things that don't involve booze, given my alcohol allergy, and things which don't involve clubs, because I have sensitive ears and none of the folks in the group are the clubbing type). I wanted to shoot unusual guns, too, but that's a bit ridiculously expensive and I haven't seen any good deals for it. I'd really appreciate any suggestions!

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They are serious ants! :( I have been trying to make peace with them, but they pretty much do what they want -_-

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