We missed National Red Squirrel Awareness Week (Sept. 14-22) in the UK, but that’s OK because our own National Squirrel Awareness Week is just around the corner (October 7-13). I have no idea how you celebrate such a thing, but there you have it.

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled and otherwise innocuous wildlife post to bring you a significant amount of whining.

The other day, KD noted that the best way to judge a Monday was by how many times you had to turn around and go home before you got to work. I’m wondering if there’s another measure, how many times you should have turned around and gone home (and stayed there), but didn’t.

You know those days when it takes forever to get dressed? The mornings where you end up wearing the exact outfit you started out wearing, but in the interim there are about 7 wardrobe changes? Yes, this is the first sign that this is going to be one of those days when one should probably just say “fuck it” and go back to bed.

Yes, it’s been one of those days. And it’s not even 10:00 yet.

Before I left this morning I removed the trash from my car. I can’t stand trash in my car. I should have just put the trash on the floor in the back for later disposal, but it seemed so much tidier to just go ahead and put the little bag in the trashcan. It also seemed more efficient to walk directly to the trashcan – down, rather than around, the steep hill leading to the backyard.

Thanks to the drought, the hill doesn’t have much grass. Thanks to all the rain we got last week, the hill is muddy.

Halfway down I realized the hill was muddy and slippery, so I stopped. This was a mistake.

“I could call into the house for help.”
“With what? Cellphone’s in the car.”
“I could yell for help.”
“Who’s going to hear you?”
“Yeah. And what am I going to say? I’m afraid to take 3 steps forward or back to get off this little hill in my own yard.”

At this point it dawned on me that I was standing there clutching a small trash bag, paralyzed with fear, and talking out loud to myself.

“Go back inside and go back to bed.” That’s what I should have been saying to myself.

Thing is, I wasn’t worried about falling and getting hurt. I was worried about getting dirty and having to go back in and change clothes. These were the clothes I clearly needed to wear today. I spent a long time establishing that, no other clothes are suitable today.

Wear these clothes or go back to bed. It’s just that kind of day.

This is a concept Husband fails to grasp, the mysterious phenonmenon by which one knows which of a number of nearly indistinguishable black skirts is The One Appropriate Skirt. The Chosen One. And yet still has to try on all the others one after another as if something has changed since the last time you wore them.

Poor guy. Until I clean up the wardrobe crisis wreckage he has to step over the massive piles of garments deemed unsuitable that populate the house now like middens at an archaeological site. If the mound builders had worked in textiles, the Ohio River Valley would look like my bedroom right now.

Somehow I got back to the car and headed out to work.

This might be a good time to mention that my tags are expired. They aren’t really expired, but they look expired because they lack the proper stickers. I renewed them online at the last possible minute (ok, the truth is I renewed online the day after they expired) so I have the receipt but no stickers yet. I went to the DMV on Monday. It’s usually a highly efficient place (that’s not a joke, it is), but on this particular Monday the gates of hell had opened up. After the traditional taking of the wrong exit leading to a joyride through the Pentagon parking lot, I gave up and went to work. But back to this morning…

About a mile from home a funeral procession pulled out from the Catholic Church and into traffic right behind me. A sizeable funeral procession. Of police cruisers. With their lights on. I pulled into the righthand lane but traffic wasn’t being stopped and they didn’t pass me. After about a mile of this, they turned. It was a long mile. Strangely, this isn’t the first (nor, I suspect, the last) time this has happened to me. What can I say, I lead a charmed life.

It’s good I decided to be a grown-up and go on to work. I couldn’t have gotten pulled over in Arlington if I hadn’t continued on my merry way, now could I?

My plates came up in the computer as renewed, I had the receipt to prove I’d paid, and I was sent on my way.

I then did the only sensible thing. I went home and went back to bed.

No, I didn’t. I continued on to work.

When I got to the office I spilled coffee on my skirt. I rarely spill anything on my clothes. I really should taken this as a sign to go home and go back to bed. I didn’t though. I’m determined to stay on this collision course with disaster.

There’s a lot more nonsense to add to this pointless little ramble, but I can’t include any details so just trust me when I say that this week is a disaster.

I think it’s time for Dr. Noodles and I to put on Gang of Four and dance around the office for a while.

updated, 4 pm:
It’s interesting how many of my students are telling me that they’re in lockdown here or there or everywhere and can’t come to class. It’s a valid excuse, as many people are indeed in lockdowns all over the area and they aren’t supposed to leave campus. But that doesn’t mean they can’t leave their dormrooms. It’s tempting to mention at some point that I can see their IP addesses when they email me from their dorms and tell me they don’t think they can get back to campus. These kids today, they lack creativity sometimes. They disappoint me. If you’re going to tell me a story, make it big and dramatic. Or maybe just tell the truth. I’m a big fan of the truth.

They may be getting the “Go home, go back to bed” signal that I’ve been receiving all day… So just say so and be done with it.

Jen recently posted about the squirrels in her yard. They seem to have better self-control than mine.

Apparently, the largest concentration of squirrels in the US is in Lafayette Park across from the White House, according to the Squirrel Place website.

Last, but not least, here’s a blog called Kingdom of the Squirrels. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with rodents, but I like it a lot so this seemed like a nice time to include it.

update:
Aaron tells of squirrels, gives the trackback function a whirl, and reminds me that I forgot his birthday. Happy (belated) birthday, Aaron!

The hell with all those other college guides, Jon’s World O’ Squirrels has a campus squirrel guide. The guide itself seems a little squirrelly since it suggests that George Washington University has only one known squirrel on campus.

There have been times over at GW that I’ve feared for my life, the squirrels are so big and aggressive. One time I saw one literally chase a student into Gelman Library. They have very strict security, the student got in, the squirrel did not.

OK. I’m kidding about the security. The squirrel hit the glass, looked dazed for a minute and then began to menace a street vender. It may have been sick, but it’s hard to tell because they’re all so crazy around there. The squirrel. Not the vender. Oh, I’m just going to stop now.

My yard is the site of frequent orgies.

The participants used to be more discrete, confining their liaisons to the backyard, staying behind the bushes. Lately, I feel like it’s been getting a bit out of control.

Wild sex. All day, every day. Behind the bushes. In the bushes. In front of the bushes. In the front yard. Yesterday I opened the door to get the paper and they were doing it right on the front porch.

Have these squirrels no dignity?

I understand what it’s like when reason gives way to passion, but last week a pair of swinging squirrels fell out of a tree (the squirrel equivalent of the mile-high club? No, that’s my roof) and very nearly fell on my neighbor. He nearly jumped out of his skin. Nonplussed, the little beasts chased one another into the road and picked up right where they left off. I have the horniest squirrels in the world.

My yard is teeming with them, a squirrels swinger’s club with an open admissions policy. At any given time some object in the yard is shaking and emitting harsh shrieks and squeals.

It’s completely insane, and it’s also becoming a little embarrassing. There are a lot of small children in the neighborhood (wait, is it something in the water? I hadn’t made the connection before).

Children like to play in our yard since we have an actual yard. And trees. Lots of trees. Trees full of rutting rodents.

“What are they doing?”

How do you explain that to a 5 year old? Play dumb?

“What squirrels?”

No. That won’t work when there’s a wild threesome going on in the azaleas, the screeching and chittering is hard to ignore. Lie?

“They’re, um, playing.”

No. They aren’t buying that one. Tell the truth?

“Well kids. When a girl squirrel and a boy squirrel love each other very much…”

No. Definitely not.

“Go ask your parents.”

That always works.

It could be worse. We could have a lot of deer. Deranged, humping deer. Yes, I suppose that would be worse.