Better today. A nice New York strip, some green beans for dinner. Spinach and eggs for breakfast. And lunch? A bowl of split pea soup, because MAN, IT WAS COLD TODAY. High in the middle 60s. I closed the windows and changed into jeans, and it was tolerable, but still. It’s out there, waiting for us.

We’ll get another month of summer, but no one even pretends it’ll be here much longer. Even the spiders are moving inside. Today I plucked a bra off the bedpost and put it on. Reached behind my back to fasten the clasp, glanced in the mirror and saw a giant spider sprawled across Ms. Right. I’m not the sort of person who spooks easily at insects and arachnoids, but I don’t mind saying that I exited that garment so quickly it might have actually hovered in the air for a few seconds. SPIDER ON BOOB OMG. Of course it scurried to safety, but I managed to scoop it into a baggie and escort it to the city limits. Spiders kill flies, after all. I think this one was an orb weaver — nice mellow spider. Still, a big one.

So, it was a Tuesday. Slept badly overnight, boxed in the pre-dawn, opened a new bank account for Kate in the afternoon. The woman at the bank complimented Kate on knowing her Social Security number, which is apparently a rarity this summer, as she opens bank accounts for college freshman. Her basic understanding of overdraft protection, ditto. And these are the kids who will inherit your future. Be afraid, folks.

Got some bloggage for you, yes.

A really creepy story about a creepy crime — the two 12-year-olds who stabbed and nearly killed their friend, in a tribute to Slender Man. The mugshots are the stuff of nightmare.

We were big fans of “My So-Called Life” — were you? If so, look what’s happened to Rayann Graf — she’s a countess. For realz.

Wednesday already? How does this happen?

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |

44 responses to “Arachnophobia.”

  1. Dexter said on August 26, 2015 at 1:11 am

    So many wacky insane things have come and gone since the Slender Man story broke, my mental time-line became twisted. I thought the following incident occurred before the Slender Man girls went nuts. For some reason my mind flashed back to the gay man , a student, Tyler Clementi, who 3 1/2 years ago was outed online for having a sexual encounter. Tyler, a Rutgers student, then jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death. I suppose I thought of that of that because I had grabbed a stack of CDs for the van’s stereo and the first one I popped in was the eminem classic Slim Shady cd, which featured “Stan”. In the song, Stan becomes enamored then disgusted with Slim Shady because of rejection and then Stan drives off a bridge with his pregnant GF in the trunk. Two real, one art, all horribly sad and thought-provoking.

    The man who drives the ladies to swoon, Ed Burns, launched his new TNT Network show last night. Ed plays a crooked cop and the show also features one of my old favorites, Michael Rappaport. Burns was on with Dan Patrick yesterday morning explaining how he sent a team of scouts out in NYC searching for old non-gentrified neighborhoods where the show would set nicely and authentically…they came through. It’s fast moving with plenty of commercial breaks; it ain’t Netflix.

    1414 chars

  2. Nancy P said on August 26, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Never wearing a bra again.

    26 chars

  3. David C. said on August 26, 2015 at 6:34 am

    I think the reason young people don’t know their social security number is that it’s hardly used anymore. When I was their age it was used for my college ID number, my employee number, and I don’t remember what else. Since identity theft became a thing, people became aware that their SSN is the mother lode on personal information. Mostly, I give the youngs a pass because anything that can be looked up so easily isn’t worth committing to memory.

    448 chars

  4. Wim said on August 26, 2015 at 6:43 am

    I’m not trying to be a smart-ass, but that sad tale of the creepy girls and their fantasy life reminded me overwhelmingly of the 1994 film ‘Heavenly Creatures.’ I don’t know that it helped me better understand, but it did allow me greater sympathy.

    249 chars

  5. ROGirl said on August 26, 2015 at 6:55 am

    I’ve been seeing those huge hand-sized spiders on the sliding door screen — the outside — and I flick them off to the deck. Smaller spiders are starting to appear in the house, on walls and in the bathtub, which is usual for this time of year.

    When I went to Michigan they used our SSNs as our student ID #s, so during that period I ended up memorizing it.

    361 chars

  6. Wim said on August 26, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Just what we need! Personal flamethrowers!

    71 chars

  7. Wim said on August 26, 2015 at 7:11 am

    For the spiders, that is.

    25 chars

  8. Suzanne said on August 26, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I find a spider in the house, it’s dead. I don’t care what they eat, I hate spiders more than almost any other creature on earth.

    129 chars

  9. alex said on August 26, 2015 at 7:39 am

    I find that spiders seem to gravitate to sinks and bathtubs and that if you close the drain and turn the water on they’re too stupid to get out of the way. Once they’re afloat, just open the drain and they’re gone.

    I got freaked out on Sunday when I saw a mouse in my garage, cat nearby and totally indifferent to it. So I put out traps but so far no results.

    363 chars

  10. Pam (the sister) said on August 26, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Yesterday, we were fixing a skillet dish for dinner. There was a spider that had attached itself to the handle of the microwave (mounted above the stove) and it let itself down, then up, then down, then up. I guess it felt the extreme heat (it was boiling) and went up, but forgot and went down again. Up down, up down. Of course, I freaked and Bill had to squish it. Then there was me making sure that there were no spider parts in the food. Very unsettling. Do you have stink bugs up north? They’re trying to get inside too.

    533 chars

  11. Connie said on August 26, 2015 at 8:29 am

    I am the official spider squisher/mover both at home and at work. What is it with you people?

    94 chars

  12. Wim said on August 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Well for me, Connie, it was seeing ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ at a tender age.

    82 chars

  13. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 8:35 am

    A great post! Quite evocative – one can just see Itsy Bitsy Spider rappelling down Ms Right….err….uhhh….Great Post!!

    Say, speaking of spiders and such, we’ve been putting things back/pitching things out as we re-assemble our household, and last night I was putting books back into the new bookcase, and came across a book that I would have sworn I sent to the Proprietress a few years ago – (but apparently didn’t!) called A Problem from Hell, by Samantha Power (with a generic inscription from her). So – if there’s any interest in that one, say the word and it’s on the way

    600 chars

  14. Deborah said on August 26, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Spiders don’t bother me, snakes either. I don’t like them crawling on me but if I see them I mostly leave them alone. Mice on the other hand freak me out, and of course rats too. In Chicago (where I am again now) we have what we call high rise spiders, most of the summer there are lots of them on the outside upper parts of our windows. They weave complicated webs that catch bugs and then it makes the windows look horribly dirty. The building has window washers 4 times a year, so the webs stay up for a few months before they get washed away. Every once in awhile a couple of the spiders get inside, I know not how. They are moderately big, but they don’t bother me much. I leave them alone for awhile but usually end up squashing them because they start weaving webs inside which are unsightly. On the other hand if we had a mouse or two in the place like we have spiders, I’d move.

    887 chars

  15. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 9:20 am

    another mass shooter/shooting in progress?

    sounds like there is a dead reporter, and video of her shooting (oh joy)

    290 chars

  16. BigHank53 said on August 26, 2015 at 9:44 am

    We have a size limit on spiders inside the house–anything bigger than my smallest fingernail gets put outside. Particularly the wolf spiders–those are huge and way too damn fast. I used to feel a lot more affectionate towards the spiders but I got bit on the ankle about a month ago while doing yard work. It wasn’t a brown recluse or black widow–I’m still here–but it was definitely in the next rank down. My right foot swelled up enough that I could only wear flip-flops for a week. Poison-ivy like blisters wound up covering an area about 4″ by 8″. Hives. Subcutaneous hemorrhages halfway to my knee.

    So I wound up doing a bunch of reading on spider venom, which is not well understood. There’s only an antivenin for a single species. I only had severe allergic reactions. The more horrid venom contains necrotizing compounds and/or neurotoxins, and the lethal dose can be under one part per billion. Treatment is palliative care, mainly.

    948 chars

    • nancy said on August 26, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Jesus Christ. Good thing it was a padded bra, then.

      51 chars

  17. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 9:56 am

    OK – Even despite that the Proprietress owns all the threads, I think she just won this one!

    92 chars

  18. BethB said on August 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Good God, I hate spiders, no matter how much good they do. If I ever saw a snake in my house, I’d move. Thankfully, there have only been a few little snakes over the years in our yard that were found by hubby while mowing.

    I once saw a large white spider nearby while I was on the toilet. This was in my very first apartment after college. I moved within the month. (This might be the cause of my long time problems with constipation! I know, TMI.)

    458 chars

  19. Bitter Scribe said on August 26, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Wow, Nancy, you’re way more of a humanitarian than me. Spiders were one of the many things my ex and I argued about.

    Her: Spiders kill bugs!

    Me: Spiders are bugs!

    175 chars

  20. Sue said on August 26, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Spiders are our friends.
    Except for the ones that kill you, of course. But I still love spiders.
    And Nancy, you mentioned overdraft protection in passing, and I don’t know what you signed up for, but check with your bank and MAKE them explain to you what they consider their responsibility if the overdraft protection you signed up for ends up having both the checking account and savings account (or whatever accounts are covered) emptied by a hacker. This happened to both my son and my nephew, different banks, different states. One kid had the whole amount restored by the bank, the other ended up negotiating with the bank and split the difference with the bank, and lost several hundred dollars. And guess what? Both kids, who were just being responsible, ended up feeling embarrassed and like they were the ones who had done something wrong. Banks don’t monitor for that kind of suspicious activity I guess, and it appears that they don’t have actual responsibility if what they convinced you to sign up for ends up costing you big bucks.

    1055 chars

  21. Deborah said on August 26, 2015 at 10:46 am

    In the 15 almost 16 years we had our land in New Mexico I’ve only seen one rattle snake. I gave it a lot of room to wiggle away. It was a small one. Some of our neighbors have seen them from time to time and one guy we know got bitten, he’s ok, it happened a long time ago and he knew what to do. He was out hiking when it happened, he said he did something stupid which I don’t remember the details. I once had a little garden snake inside that came with a potted plant I bought. My cat at the time found it and left it outside my bedroom door as a trophy. I do not like finding snakes inside, but that only happened the one time.

    631 chars

  22. Charlotte said on August 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Jeez you guys — so much arachnophobia! I’m fine with spiders — we’re going into the season where the Hobo spiders start coming inside, and they’re technically poisonous, but they’re slow and fat and mostly just skitter into the corners of my greenhouse/sunroom, which is fine, since they eat things. Of course, it’s also the season where the bears come into town, so that kind of keeps things in perspective (and the skunks, we have an alley skunk that is kind of a problem).

    I loved the story about adorable Rayann! I have a friend here who is a minor aristo — no title, but title adjacent, and it’s kind of hilarious. She was relieved when her cousin, Bamber Gasgoigne, inherited the manor house from their aunt Mary the duchess of something because it was such a financial problem — Southeby’s had a big sale, and the catalog was great fun to browse through:

    891 chars

  23. Jeff Borden said on August 26, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I’ll take spiders over your average gun-totin’ ‘Murican. They’re a lot more beneficial to society.

    I just watched two people get murdered on live TV at the Raw Story site. The reporter is interviewing some local town honcho about development and then shots and screams and the camera falls to the ground. Both newspeople were dead at the scene. The interviewee is in surgery and in critical condition. Yeah, I suppose the killer could’ve used a knife or a brick or a club, but that fucking gun made it so fast, so easy, so clean.

    No big thing. Just two more human sacrifices to Wayne LaPierre and the sick organization he runs.

    633 chars

  24. Icarus said on August 26, 2015 at 11:35 am

    I’ve sort of changed my tune on spiders. I use to hate Spiders the way Indiana Jones hates snakes. But as I realize they eat flies, I generally leave them alone unless they have come inside the house then I consider that a home invasion and execute them.

    Sad about Roanoke. The twitterspere is asking everyone to not watch the video and calling on news agencies not to show the live murder.

    396 chars

  25. Bob (not Greene) said on August 26, 2015 at 11:44 am


    I’m not watching the video, but then I’m not one of the people who needs to be convinced about the need for comprehensive gun control. Maybe they should show the video on the national TV news and run pictures of the victims lying in the street on the front pages of newspapers. This nation glorifies guns but its citizens want to be shielded from the results of gun violence. We need to confront it with our eyes open.

    429 chars

  26. alex said on August 26, 2015 at 11:46 am

    This just in:

    The shooter is an estranged ex of one of the victims and a former reporter from the same TV station.

    198 chars

  27. alex said on August 26, 2015 at 11:48 am

    A diabolical madman:

    93 chars

  28. beb said on August 26, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    That the shooter was a former reporter and tweeted his actions somehow seems of a thing to me. Reporter to the (bloody) end.

    And another angry ex. I think if we barred anyone getting divorced from having a gun for 1-2 years during and following their divorce we would stop so much bloodshed.

    294 chars

  29. Deborah said on August 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I know this probably is going to sound callous but my first thought is that the right wing is going to jump on this because the shooter is black and said in a tweet that one of his victims made a racist remark. Here comes the scuttle-but 3,2,1…

    246 chars

  30. nancy said on August 26, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I watched both videos, twice. Fuck the twitter-verse.

    53 chars

  31. Brandon said on August 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Twice? Why even once?

    21 chars

  32. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    If I was a twitter-er (not to say I’m not a twit!), I’d look.

    But I’m not, so I won’t.

    And I agree with Deborah; the folks who discounted the importance of the Stars and Bars, and the white skin color of the vagabond-hater-who-kills-strangers-in-their-church/Charlotte shooter will play up the skin color of the misfit/jilted fellow who killed co-workers/ex-lovers in Virginia….count on it

    411 chars

  33. MarkH said on August 26, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    The Roanoke shooter was not an ex of anyone at the station. He was the disgruntled ex-fellow employee from hell. Argumentative, disagreeable with fellow employees while there, he was fired two years ago, police had to be called to help with the exit.

    335 chars

  34. Suzanne said on August 26, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Roanoke shooter probably had no trouble getting a gun because his only red flag was being a jerk. But a gun in the hands of a jerk scares me.

    141 chars

  35. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Last evening, the young folks and I made a run to Best Buy to pick up a new laptop (for our college sophomore), and my sense of direction being what it is, we cruised through the wrong shopping center parking lot, before getting to the right one.

    And the wrong one had not one, not two, but three bearded fellows (think ZZ Top, but without the sex appeal)(!) standing in the middle of the lot, amiably waving as people (including me) gawked at them standing there, stroking their long weapons, and with readily apparent holstered pistols on their hips.

    Yup, there’s a military recruiting center their, and I distinctly recalled reading that these chuckleheads were asked to move along, as the center does not wish to have them around.

    This is the land of dumbshits, though

    781 chars

  36. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 3:20 pm


    7 chars

  37. Judybusy said on August 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    The only critters that eeek me out are silverfish and millipedes. I love spiders, and just move them outside if found in the house. On our trip to Costa Rica, we did a night tour. There was a scary moment when we encountered a fer de lance right by the trail and had to step around it, with the camera tripod in the way. There were many night creatures, including a spider that weaves a little basket to fish with. I probably talked about that right after the trip, so forgive me for any repetition. I read a fair amount of natural history, so have drunk the “we’re all part of the ecology” koolaid to a ridiculous amount.

    When I saw a picture of the latest shooter, I too thought that the wingnuts will make some nonsense hay out of his race.

    746 chars

  38. Deborah said on August 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    A bug that really creeps me out is the palmetto bug, or at least that’s what we called them growing up in Miami. They were everywhere. And Judy Busy I’m not sure I would want to take a night tour in Costa Rica.

    210 chars

  39. coozledad said on August 26, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    By the night’s end, Rice was sold. “I heard echoes of Ronald Reagan,” he told me, adding, “If I had to vote today, I would vote for Trump.”

    Of course you did, numbnuts. They are both the product of atmospheric lead poisoning, as are you and the rest of Republican America. I hope this is the final spasm, the last filthy belch before you descend into political oblivion:

    469 chars

  40. alex said on August 26, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Just finished the New Yorker piece. Thanks, Cooz. I fear Trump’s biggest accomplishment will be to normalize racist crassness again, but if he obliterates the GOP in the process it might be worth it.

    199 chars

  41. brian stouder said on August 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    The article cooz linked is excellent, indeed.

    I’m only just this week beginning to think that the 2016 race won’t feature either Jeb! or Hillary.

    Jeb! seems more like a dull-edged toe-nail clipper, and Hillary hasn’t shown any particular steam, either. It’s no wonder that Joe Biden seems to be seriously assessing a run for the presidency, as Bernie Sanders (of all people!) draws big enthusiastic crowds…while Donald Trump does the same.

    I still cannot believe that Trump could win the Republican nomination, and if he DOES, I seriously don’t think he can win the presidency – while continually dissing and condescending to women (let alone beautiful women who are smarter than he is), and spewing flatly racist tripe.

    But if not the Donald, and not Jeb!, then who do they run? I still think Kasich of Ohio is their guy, and he could actually win.

    On the D side, HRC has me genuinely concerned, but she remains – if not 10 feet tall, still a good 9’8″. I cannot see Sanders really going anywhere….but Joe Biden is another matter altogether. He jumps in, and then…what?

    1099 chars

  42. David C. said on August 27, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Our gardens are mostly native plants, so we have a lot of bumblebees, butterflies, and spiders. Sometimes it looks like we’re living in a house of horrors with all the spiderwebs. I guess you have to take the bad, or inconvenient anyway, with the good. At least the house is new and fairly tight, so few spiders get inside.

    323 chars

  43. ROGirl said on August 27, 2015 at 8:27 am

    The fringe candidate who appeals to the racist haters isn’t new in American politics. That Donald Trump has whipped them up into a frothy frenzy just reveals once again the disconnect between the Republican/conservative elite and the baseness of the base they count on to win the presidency. It hasn’t worked for them lately.

    325 chars