Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I’ve always been fascinated by old houses. My dad watched “This Old House” religiously when I was growing up. He even recorded it. The first celebrity I ever met was Bob Vila.

Since moving into our house in 2005, I’ve often bemoaned its lack of character. But right now, I’m very glad our house is new, otherwise I’d think it was haunted.

Yesterday, I was sitting in the family room with Zuzu while Gogo played on the computer in the library. I heard a noise that sounded very much like someone had bumped a doorstop (we have the springy ones that make that “brrrrrrrt” noise). I feared we had mice but rationalized that it was probably the computer, even though it sounded like it came from behind me (the opposite side of the house from the library). Now I realize that it was probably the buzzer on the dryer in the basement (underneath the kitchen).

Later, though, I went upstairs to find that the ceiling fan in the master bedroom was going full blast. The fan is operated via remote control, and the remote is in the drawer of Pete’s nightstand. I had found Zuzu playing with stuff from the drawer earlier, and I wrote it off as something had hit the button to activate the fan when I tossed stuff back into the drawer. I turned it off. (I have to admit, though, my first thought was “there’s a mouse in the drawer,” and I was a tiny bit afraid to open the drawer to get the remote.)

A few hours after that, I found the fan on again, this time on low. I figured I must have hit the wrong button when I turned it off earlier. I turned it off again, but it seemed to take several pushes of the button to finally turn off.

I told Pete about it when he got home from work, and we had a good laugh at my active imagination. But then we were both in the bedroom when I set the TV and DVR remotes on the dresser out of Zuzu’s reach and the fan started again. We wondered if a button from the TV remote had been pressed which maybe matched the frequency of the fan remote. A few minutes after Pete turned the fan off, it turned on again. This time, Zuzu had been screaming.

Unconvinced that Zuzu is activating the fan with high-pitched screams, Pete thinks the wires are shoved together so tightly that the vibrations from walking around are causing them to touch and turn the fan on. I’m not sure I buy that, since the fan has been in place for nearly a year and this is the first time we’ve had any issues with it. I’m just glad there’s some explanation other than ghosts or mice.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A word of regret

Here's a word I wish I hadn't looked up: coprophagous.