Revisiting Talking with Spiders: The House Rules

Tis the season to be creepy and crawly so I thought it might be fun to re-post this. Happy October! See more on Know Your Meme

Arachnophobes beware. Here be spiders.

As the weather warms up and I see more and more of you eight-legged critters roaming the property, I am inclined to share the house rules with you here (although fully aware that you may not follow my blog even though you should). These rules are roughly broken up by spider type.

Jumping Spiders:

I’m sorry, but you are stinking cute as hell. Look at you with your fuzz and your oversized front legs. You look like tiny little body-builders and you have an attitude to boot. You may live wherever you please. However, if you live in the house, there are a few places off limits. Primarily, in my bed, on my bed, or above my bed. If I find you in one of these locations, I will relocate you to another place in the house or outside depending on the severity of the infraction, my mood, and the weather. (Apparently showing up on someone’s face is also not an acceptable location.)

Crab Spiders:

Again, it's about attitude. You are a small spider with enough chutzpah to face me, brandishing those long forelegs at me in defense of your chosen rhododendron leaf as if you could somehow hope to take me down. Bravo. You are fierce little creatures. How could I not like you? That said, you look best outside in the gardens and, if found in the house, will be relocated to the nearest suitable bush.

Comb-footed or Cobweb Spiders:

I don’t want to see you. I grew up in Southern Oregon where the Black Widow is common. You are shaped like the Black Widow and, even though you are not poisonous and are often of a different color, you remind me of them. One of them bit my mom when I was younger so it's personal. I will probably ignore you outside. Inside, I might relocate you outside if I am in a particularly good mood, but you might also find yourself swirling down the whirlpool of death in the toilet. Best if you stay outside.

Funnel-Web and Wolf Spiders (and most other spiders not mentioned separately):

If you choose to enter the house, you either will meet the whirlpool of death or be thrown outside. What I do with you is dependent on many factors.

1. How aggressive you are. I will match your aggression. I am not willing to be bitten by you. You have been warned.

2. Where you show up. If you drop in from above, show up on my towel as I’m trying to dry off after a shower, or appear on the couch/bed, likely you won’t live to reach the whirlpool of death.

3. Your willingness to be captured in a cup. I will do this for you as a kindness to move you outside, but if you run from me, my generosity will wane and the whirlpool of death will start calling me.

If you are really huge and living in my barn, I will ignore you so long as you don’t come within range and act aggressive. If you are living on the ceiling of my barn, I will probably stare at you nervously as I clean the stalls, but you are out of reach. I advise you to stay there or, better yet, move to someone else’s barn.

Any Spider or Arachnid Referred to as Daddy Long-Legs (including Harvestmen):

You creep me out. Why? Because you look like little walking eight-legged skeletons. The walking dead of the spider world. Harmless though you may be, I beseech you, don’t come into the house. Just looking at you gives me the shivers. The whirlpool of death hungers for your undead flesh. Stay away.

Final Warning:

Be aware that there are cats in this house. They haven’t shown any distinct proclivity for arachnid flesh, but they are drawn to things that move about in tantalizing ways. You move in tantalizing ways. Their rules trump mine.

Happy crawling!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

fall reflection

Fall arrives at the Japanese Garden in Washington Park Arboretum - photo by Dave Nakayama.

Here it is. My favorite month of the year. I feel it's only right to post a quick blog in honor of its arrival. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, but the rain hasn't started yet, and there are as many opportunities to dress up and have fun as you're willing to take advantage of. Halloween is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. It's a holiday that encourages creativity and imagination with far less of the familial angst and obligation that comes with some other holidays.

Every year I line up more and more opportunities to dress up and have a blast. Just for fun, here are some photos from the last three years.

There's also a ton of fun music to entertain you through this lovely holiday. For example:


Do you celebrate Halloween? What is your favorite month or holiday of the year?

Happy October!