Saturday, January 30, 2010

She Lives!

I got to bring Skittles home from the vet's last night. She was sooo happy to see me, and I was absolutely overjoyed to see her. I have strict dietary instructions from the vet as to what she consumes now- and there shall never be cheese and crackers or any human food of any kind for her ever again. She also has to be on a certain dogfood from now on, and at a whopping 23 bucks for an eight pound bag, I'm thinkin' I'm going to have to redo my grocery budget a little to fit it in. But it's okay- she's totally worth it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours....

And indeed, it's dumped buckets....of absolute horseshit.
This blog will not be keeping with the theme of "looking back"- instead it will focus on the very present, which is where we should all stay anyway. I think maybe I've been diggin' nostaglia so much this past month because so many things have gone sooo terribly wrong.
Take this past week: Significant Other's truck broke down; it's a short in the wiring, which means it's going to cost big bucks to fix. I sprained my ankle- to the point that it now resembles more of an inedible log of sausage. I tried to go to school today, but it swelled up so much that my shoe cut off the circulation to my toes and I couldn't walk very well. So I went home, planning to elevate it and put compresses on it.......and upon arriving at my house, I found my dog Skittles (the black and white one in the pictures on a recent blog) hemorrhaging. Honestly, when I walked in the door, I thought she'd killed something there was so much blood all over the place....until she walked away from me and I saw all the blood on her butt and down her legs. I rushed her to the vet. They informed me that she has a disease commonly called HGE, which means her colon had spontaneously starting bleeding profusely. They also informed me that it was paramount to her survival that she stay there under 24 hour watch so that they could stabilize her and begin to fix the problem. I won't know the verdict on her until tomorrow morning. Normally, HGE is a completely 'curable' problem (that is to say, she'll probably have problems with this all her life, but it can be fixed when it flares up), and not necessarily life threatening as long as its treated immediately. But, her case is apparently very severe.
It goes without saying that I'm terribly worried for her. I'm not sure that I'll be doing much sleeping tonight. She's my co-pilot. She's the reason I got up and kept on keeping on. She soothes my soul and makes me smile. She's my foot warmer during the night when we're sleeping, and she's my best 'good morning' waker-upper. I'm sure she'll be okay. She has to be.
But in the mean time, I sit here and watch these big ticket bills pile up around me, and I'm informed that my psychology professor is locking me out of the college's website (where we get a great deal of class materal and where you have to take all the tests) due to my absence today. I wrote him an email explaining the situation, and I'm hoping that he'll be understanding. I never wanted any of this to happen. But if not, I guess I can kiss this semester goodbye as well as graduating in August.
I'm trying to have hope, honestly....but things just haven't gone well enough for me to have an unshakeable faith that it's all gonna go the way I really, really, really want it to go. I just want everyone healthy, I want the machinery to work, and I want to finish college. That's it. I've worked so hard, so long, and sacrificed a great deal- I just want a small break. For once, I'd like to get what I've worked so hard to reach.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


It was a fruitful year, at least, even though not a very fun one. I had a job, even though it's a shitty one; unfortunately these days, even a shitty job is better than no job at all. I got out of my parents house in less than a year (which was a goal met), and moved myself and my dogs out into the sticks, where we have a little bit of peace and people stay out of my business. I went back to school, which was another goal met. Significant Other and I got together very early last year, too, which, while it wasn't a goal, it was an added bonus. Little Boy was added to the mix late last year, and he's been a nice source of fun. I kept my principles and held my ground, and that's always a winner.
I gained a few new friends that I love dearly, Charlie being chief among them. He's one of the coolest cats I've ever met, hands down.
When I look at these things, it's hard to remember why I've been so frustrated.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Miss Scarlett

So, in keeping with January's theme of "looking back", there's something to be said for the past- for after all, it did shape the future. I'm sure it's pretty obvious by now that my mother is one of my heroes- if not my best hero. There's no one like her- I can't think of a single person who embodies more positive qualities than she does so effortlessly. She's kind, intelligent, has unbelievable amounts of determination and survival skills, and she knows how to be a friend- which is something you can't say about most people.
But, I've had other heroes, too. When I was two, the mini series of Gone With the Wind came on TNT (yes, I remember it in that much detail). My mother was never one to censor me, and so I got to watch it with her every night for a week. I knew that as soon as dinner was over, it was time to go sit in the living room and watch Scarlett, which was something I eagerly awaited every single day. My mother taped it, and I quickly swiped it. I knew how to work the VCR, and I watched it everyday literally. Scarlett O'Hara became my hero. She wasn't anywhere near perfection, really, but she was tough and smart. She knew how to get what she needed, what she wanted, and she worked her ass off. She was hellbent on surviving, and she pulled her family through with her. She left no one of importance to her behind. She was also a feminist, in a sense- she did what she wanted, to hell with society's rules. And I fell in love with her. I emulated her. I would dress up in my mother's old cocktail dresses and her formal gowns, make a stage out of my play table, and I would act out the entire movie, with the movie, as best as one little girl could. I stopped just short of setting things on fire (I knew that was a no-no) to set the tone for Atlanta burning. Instead, I painted a big piece of paper with flames. It was that important. I quit acting it all out when I was about five, but I still watched it everyday until I was nine, and the tape wore out. When it came out on DVD, I was thirteen, and my mother bought it for me for Valentine's Day. When I was 21, my life fell apart and I ended up homeless, and I drew on her. I was talking to my high school best friend, in fact, during that time and she was asking me how I was going to handle this, that, and the other. I would tell her what I had figured out thus so far, and then tell her I'd worry about something else later. And she giggled, and replied in a fake Southern drawl: "Well Miss Scahlett, whatcha gonna do now?" And it was then that I realized how far, really, that she had gotten into my soul.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Jelly Brain

I started a new semester today- and I have three tests on Thursday. I wish I were joking.
I have some really interesting teachers- like none I've ever had before.
When my biology professor came in this morning, I did the quick scan: he's East Indian (if that's even the correct terminology), taller, has a smile on his face....and he has a mullet? Intrigue. Then, he opened his mouth. I had assumed he had an accent, and indeed he did. He sounds like Larry the Cable Guy, and he's funny, too- WAY funnier than Larry the Cable Guy.
My psychology professor was yet another quirk. He swears he doesn't have an ego, yet he calls his class "The Dr. Payne Show". He seems to be a pretty frustrated and hostile man, as well. It's very apparent that this man is absurdly intelligent and completely devoted to psychology. In fact, he informed us that he was going to attempt to turn at least 85% of us into psych majors.
My calc professor is the same woman I had last semester, and she's wonderful. She's very sweet, and quite practical, which is why I actually like her class. She cuts all the crap out, and heads straight to the point. She's probably the least puzzling- she is just what she seems to be.
My English prof is an interesting man, and I can tell I'm really, really going to love his class. He came into the bookstore I worked at once, a long time ago, before Obama was elected. He and I had a lengthy discussion about Obama, in fact, and we remembered each other from that. As a side note, he looks like the Prime Minister of Haiti. He's a fantastic storyteller, very funny, and someone that a person can be completely comfortable with in no time flat.
But, they all assigned homework. Three of them assigned tests for Thursday. And after nine hours of class, my brain is jelly- and I've got a day to get ready for all these tests. It's going to be a good semester- and it's going to work me into oblivion. I can see that now.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How I Learned To Laugh

It was a lovely day outside- not too hot, not too cool, and the sun came through the 280 year old oak tree in my grandparents' front yard in such a way that can only be described as picturesque. I was four at the time, and I had on a shirt and a pair of shorts (which was a rarity since I loved to be naked even then). I was playing with a shovel- digging for buried treasure that I was convinced was in my grandparents' yard- when my mother came back from the store. She parked the long white Cadillac, and, being the ever-mindful child, I waited until she cut off the engine to run at her, excited by her return. She'd gone to the grocery store, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the pimento cheese I knew was in one of those bags.
Eyes sparkling with pleasure, my mom opened up the back door, and, instead of handing me a grocery bag to carry in, she handed me.....a blue-and-white hula hoop. I squealed with delight, grabbed it, said a hurried thank-you-mama, and ran back into the yard to show my Granny and Granddaddy, who still were sitting in their lawn chairs. "Look! Look what I got!"
Mama came behind me. "We still have groceries, baby. We gotta put them up before they ruin."
I've never unloaded groceries so fast in my life, and then I hit the screen door going a hundred miles an hour. I couldn't wait to hula hoop like Joanie did on Happy Days. My mother and grandparents followed, and they waited for a demonstration of my awesome skills.
So, I put it at my waist, flung it around.....and while gyrating as furiously as a four-year-old can, I watched it fall to the ground. I looked at it, frustration mounting. And I tried again. Once again, there was a failure to launch into the amazingness of hulahooping. By this time, my mother and grandparents were practically rolling around on the ground laughing at my attempts.
I had enough. I flung it down, stomped into the house, and yelled at them: "You know, it's not nice to laugh at people's disabilities!" (That was the lesson the week before- I hadn't laughed at the person, but I had stared a lot. I'd never seen anyone that had a handicap before, in my defense.) This only caused them to howl louder. I went in the bathroom, humiliated, and cried.
My mother came and got me. "Do you know why we were laughing?"
"Because you're mean. It's not nice to laugh at people."
"But that was funny! Come, let me show you what you were doing, and you'll think it was funny too."
Reluctantly, I followed my mother outside, and watched as she proudly picked up the hulahoop. Then she flung it around, all askew, and then she began to move her butt around like the way I'd imagine someone would if their ass had been on fire. I couldn't help it- I smiled. And the more she did it, the more I found it impossible not to laugh, and pretty soon I was just as bad off as my grandparents were.
She stopped. "See? It was funny. It's okay to laugh at yourself, babycakes. It makes everything more fun. Now com'mere, and I'll show you how to do this."
I stood there for a moment, composing myself, and right there, it hit me: it was okay to not take everything so serious. In fact, it was fun to laugh. And, with this new divine revelation under my belt, I proceeded to go learn an equally important lesson: how to hulahoop like a pro.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Day We Stood Up to the Klan

I've got a friend, who shall assume the name Diana, in Michigan that is incredibly dear to me. She and I have gone through a great many things together- bad break ups, homelessness, foodlessness, broken down U-Hauls, good parties, lap dances (we received one together), etc. When I met her, she was in the middle of a complete mental breakdown- and she was still ridiculously fabulous. In fact, within in the first five minutes of meeting her, I asked her to come with me to Barnes and Noble's- I planning to visit anyway. She agreed, surprisingly enough, and we had an absolutely fabulous time together. That was the beginning of one of the best friendships of my life.
We were together a great deal. In fact, we were together most of the time. She would come to my house and stay for days on end. We would get up and go to school together, go get coffee, go hang out, whatever. At the time, my mother and I were living in a tiny little town that was 98% white, and Diana, being the beautiful color of dark brown that she was, stood out tremendously. And the Klan stood up and took notice of us. For whatever reason, they were permissive of of a half-Indian woman and her family living in their white society, but apparently one of her children befriending a black girl and bringing her into their community wasn't permissible at all. And they began to talk. My neighbor, an older man, came to me to tell me that they had been talking about my friend and I down at the local breakfast restaurant. They were planning to 'end the situation by teaching us a lesson'.
It scared me, no doubt. I knew the terrible things they'd done to other people all over the nation in the past. And, Diana and I spent a great deal of time out at night, by ourselves. The opportunities abounded for them to "teach us a lesson". I felt it was necessary to tell my mother, and, with a terribly saddened heart, I had to tell Diana as well. There was a possibility that they would come to the house, and I didn't want my mother to be caught in the situation unawares, and Diana had every right in the world to know that she was in a threatening position.
My mother listened while I told her what I had been told. She then told me that she had been afraid this would happen, and that I had two choices: I could either drop Diana as a friend, for the sake of safety, or we could be prepared and fight, but also be very cautious.
When I told Diana, she told me "ya know, I love you to pieces. But, I totally understand if you wanna stop being friends with me."
And my response? "I'm not letting anybody tell me how to live, what to believe, or who I can be friends with. I love Diana, and I'm standing by her. To hell with them. Let them come." I was madder than hell, and for so many reasons. How dare these people try to tell me what to do? How dare they threaten us? How dare they judge her in such a manner? Who in the hell did they think they were dealing with?
That settled and agreed upon by all of us, I went to my neighbor and told him what we'd decided to do. I was sticking to my guns, and nothing would persuade me otherwise. He dropped the word to the Klan people that wanted to do something to us- and also dropped the word that we were three heavily armed people with terribly good aim.
Diana and I continued to do our normal routine of things, always keeping a weather eye out for trouble, and we saw some folks that looked like they would've loved to start it- if they'd had the balls to do so. They didn't, and three very small women won a battle in a long and ravaging war. Diana and I are friends to this day, and without each other I don't think we could've made it this far. Thank God we refused to let the ignorance of some make the choices for us, and thank God for that good neighbor, who is probably the whole reason the situation ended so well.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I'm a big fan of being portable.
I've had to move so much during my life that I understand how to prioritize important things from bullshit. Quite simply, I just ask "would this be really worth moving?"
So, I've shed a lot of stuff all over the place. I've given it away, I've burned it, thrown it all away, donated it. Whatever I've had to do to get rid of stuff, I've done it. And, to keep it from becoming a monumental task, I regularly go through everything I own and get rid of things. That's what I've been doing these past few days, as a matter of fact. I've thrown away a lot of stuff, but I've found some things that pulled on my heart.
I found a picture of my mother and my late dog, Sugar, in our old house in Michigan. As I looked at it, I remembered the day that I took it, and then further back, the day that I begged Mom and Dad to let me have her. Good stuff.
I found letters that my parents wrote me after they had moved South and I'd stayed in Michigan, too, and one from my father was particularly poignant:

Hi Baby,
Just a quick note from the "Empty Nest" to let you know how much I miss you. I've always missed you when I was away, but this is different. I knew that I could come "home" and see you. Now, if you can believe it, we're all "homeless". You're there in that apartment, I'm here in a motel, Mom's at Ashley's, Ashley lives in Machelle's house, and Scott lives in Tammy's and Granny's. I suddenly realized all this today. What a bunch of gypsies. Even the dogs are homeless. Think about it! I'm right you know.

My father spent most of his kids' lives away- all over the world. He missed most of our childhoods in fact, and the time when he was there was often like a war. He wanted to run his family the way he ran his job, it seemed, and it caused endless problems. We kids didn't have much respect for his "authority" because he was never there- Mom was the authority, the go-to, the be-all end-all. He was just passing through. And none of us much appreciated it when he came in and tried to change absolutely everything to suit him, and we sure didn't like it when he would forcibly do so.
Honestly, as much as we moved around, I've never had a home so much as I had a dream of one and the reality that home was where ever my mother was. It's never been about a house for any of us- it's been about what's in a place. My home is Michigan, where I was deeply loved and where I loved deeply in return. My home is this place that I come to get away from the world. And my home is my mother. More than that, I can't see where it would matter.
So, while we are all scattered to the four winds, home is whatever we make it, and it's a lovely dream that comes in a deep and cozy sleep. And it leaves a smile on your face, awake or dreaming.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


These are some of the best friends anyone could ask for- they're always happy to see me, always ready to love and be loved, to cheer up, and to alert me to danger. They keep me warm at night, and provide me with lots of fun and entertainment. They even catch mice! Lilly
Little Boy
Lilly adopted Little Boy as her own
Just as Skittles had adopted her
Today was uneventful, peaceful even. It was just me and the dogs- Significant Other is off playing Army for the weekend. I slept a great deal- getting over the flu will do that to you- and then I did a few constructive activities. One of them was reading Rolling Stone.
There are few things in life that give me the deep pleasure that reading Rolling Stone does. I've been subscribing to them since I was nine- in fact, it's one of the things I asked to get for my birthday that year- and I've been hooked ever since. I've seen some of the worst cover ideas EVER ( like the Jonas Brothers- seriously, why?), and I've seen some of the best as well (25th Rock Hall of Fame, Green Day, Obama, etc), and it's kept me well informed of many, many things. Hell, it's even inspired me to go out and make a cold purchase on a CD from a band I'd never heard- and thank God for that. I've found that their movie critics and I don't agree on how many stars most movies should get, and thus it helps me make an informed decision when I'm contemplating having my wallet raped by the local cinema. For instance, RS said that No Country for Old Men was one of the best films of the decade- and I disagree strongly. I can't read Cormac McCarthy, believe me I tried, and I couldn't sit through the movie, either. The Road wasn't even given consideration from me. It's not personal- I just think the books are boring as hell and McCarthy hasn't proved himself enough to be a badass like e.e. cummings and not use punctuation ever.
Also on the subject of reading, I'm trying to slosh my way through Alas, Babylon. This is a book required of most high school students around here, and one that I'd never heard of until I moved to this area. It's actually proving to be quite good, especially for required high school reading, but still, it retains that air of 'school'. It's a sci-fi apocalyptic novel set in the early 20th century, when the Russians were the major evil in the world. I haven't finished it yet, but it's pretty tasty.
I finished Flow, and while I think it is very important and interesting, I think the editors should've done a better job of cutting it down- there was far too often when the same thing was repeated over and over. It was easy to get bogged down in the book, but once you got the gist of things, you could skim over the repeats and get on with the cool stuff. Plus, the cover is effing cool. It gets a 3 star rating (out of five).
Back to RS, though...
This issue that I was reading had a fantastic spread on Darfur, and anyone not in the know on the subject should read it. Hell, I almost went there two years ago as a relief aid worker, and I still learned things that I did not know in that article. It brought to the forefront the necessity to step it up over in Sudan- worldwide, not just the U.S. The people there now are only maintaining a very, very shaky status quo that could easily be erased any day. Bashir, the leader of Sudan (who sanctioned the genocide) is that asshole kid that points at his sister, his finger a quarter of an inch away from her, and taunts "I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you"- the kid that really, really should have his ass whipped, even though technically he's not totally deserving of it. This is nothing new in Africa- it's been going on for time immeasurable- but for the first time it's become public theatre, and the ones that are the most dangerous are moving off the stage and into the seats. They're going all over the world, and it becomes more and more apparent all the time that things are only going to get better when the good people finally say: "okay, fuck this. Let's dance, douchebags" and stop taking their shit.
On a happier note (sort of), I also read about Herbie the Elm today. Herbie is a 240 year old Elm tree that lives in Yarmouth, Maine. He has a keeper who is 101 years old; the man has been fighting to save the tree's life from Dutch elm disease since the '50s and has, by and large, succeeded. Herbie has had something like 10 bouts of Dutch elm disease, and every time this man has brought him out of it. He considers the tree his friend, and it's one of a dozen or so that he managed to save from the axe. Unfortunately, though, Herbie is going to be cut down the middle of this month. It's going to be a sad day for tree lovers like myself. I'm going to go down to a local nursery and buy an elm and plant it in Herbie's memory. 240 years is a long, long time. I know this is long, even rambling, but in the event that there's someone out there who reads this and would like to know about reading material (or see a little bitty glimpse of my life), this is probably your kind of post.

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's A Day Part Two

I know that two posts in one day is a little overkill. While I was in the shower, though, I was mulling over my post in my head, and I felt that there were things left unsaid that were important to the topic.
First of all, let me assure the subjective you of something: I do not hate Christians. The majority of them I don't even know well enough to despise as people. What I despise and so deeply dislike is how much they hurt me with their judgement and condemnation, especially since it is so unwarranted and it is not an offense that I have afforded them the opportunity to come to. In the book of Matthew alone, it is stated four times: judge not lest ye be judged also. And you force me to come to surmise the worst of you as you have judged me to be a blight on humanity. So, what comes around goes around. But I do not hate you. I hate what you do to me.
Sometimes I feel like a child who's rattling the bars of its crib, screaming for someone to come get me out- and I hate feeling like that. When I experience all these injustices, it angers me, frustrates me, and I must, must, must let it out.
In sixth grade science class, I had an epiphany of sorts. My teacher was explaining to us how a rainbow 'happens'- and it's a divinely scientific thing indeed. Every single color is nothing more than a wavelength of energy, and when photons hit these wavelengths, we see colors. Depending on the frequency of a 'wave', we see red, purple, orange....and while they all are significantly different enough to stand individualized, they also stand together and bleed into one another. While she was telling my class all of this, it came to me: this is how people are. We are all significant enough to stand alone, but we weave in and out of each other and create hues. We stand together, we bleed into one another. And I've thought of the mass of humanity in that way ever since.
It pains me when someone bleeds their fear, hatred, and all their ugliness into me. I feel it, and it seeps into me like dye into raw cotton. These people have wrought a terrible reality for themselves and want to spoon feed it to me, and in a way they succeed, though not how they wanted.
I have an adversion to seeping up poison, and thus I avoid these people I speak of as much as I can. I can live and just let live, but they can not, and so we may never peacefully coincide. It's a simple yet monumental wish: people, love your gods and worship them any way you please, and do it whereever you want, but don't leave your trash on my front door. I don't want to deal with it.
In short, I suppose I can surmise it all this way: I wish people would just leave me alone.

It's A Day

I started writing, originally, about college, and how I've been trying to finish for what seems like forever. Then, what's really been bugging me started coming out, and I realized it was terribly off-topic. So, instead of writing about something so generic as my search for a four year university, I'm going to write about something that has really been bothering me lately:


While riding with Significant Other a few days ago, we saw a bumper sticker that proclaimed "RAPTURE READY". My response: "Me too. I'm ready for you people to get the fuck out."
I've never had a problem with any religion until I moved here, and people were soooo eager to shove Jesus down my throat. I like Jesus, genuinely- he was a political and spiritual revolutionary, a truly good man who told folks they needed to get it together and start loving one another, be compassionate, truthful, and have a real community. I love how the first Christian mystic communities lived, and I admire the people who truly follow the tenets of their faith (and that stands true for anyone of any religion). My beloved Gandhi did his best to emulate Jesus, and while he certainly had his shortcomings, he was indeed a great man who did a great deal of good for the world.
What I can't stand are the majority of these "followers" I find around here. These are the people who are in church every time the doors are unlocked, who think it's their civic duty to browbeat anyone who isn't like them into being just like them. They're cruel, unforgiving, judgemental, and war-like, and I despise them and pity them. They don't take to heart the words of Jesus at all, but those of Paul, whom I found to be dispicable from the get-go. I've read the Bible twice (and a half, but who's counting if it's not a whole?) and I find that the majority of this group of people haven't even read it once, but just followed along the passages that their preacher chose to highlight.
I've had a old man accuse me of thinking that he's homophobic (because I'm not a Christian), which I totally didn't understand since I didn't know him from Adam. I had another man tell me he was going to pray for my soul while it was writhing in hellfire. I had a lady tell me that if I wasn't a Christian, then I was a follower of Satan (which is laughable), and there have been other disparaging remarks along the way that are too numerous to count. Mind you, I'm never the one to bring any of this up because quite frankly, I don't give two hoots in hell what anyone believes as long as they believe in something (Huzzah for the pastafarians!), but they're quick to go for the jugular. And then, the other day, my manager dropped some remark about how I think all Christians are terrible people- in front of people. She smiled when she did it, which let me know quickly that she meant to cause some shit. And I didn't appreciate it at all, especially since it isn't true. I just hate the ones that try to shove Jesus down my throat when they're just mimics for their preachers. All this made me feel a stir of deep dislike- and I realized she's just like them: someone to avoid if at all possible.
It's true, I'm a fish out of water here. I don't fit, and there are no places for people like me in this godforsaken area. But, they make it that way because their hold on their faith is so fragile that anything different poses a threat. So, I just continue to pity these poor foolish souls, and I pray for the day that I can leave this place. If ever there was a place that I'd never want to come to again, it is the South. The loveliness that I knew as a child is gone from here, and it has been replaced with the refuse of the world. But as in any garbage dump, there are sometimes treasures to be found, and I search desperately for those everyday. It gets harder and harder to hold my determination to find the good here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Failure, a Tea Tin, and a Can Opener

I can't do it.

A few posts ago, I wrote about the little badass field mouse who popped up out of my stove. And then I said that I had no choice but to 'murderate' them.

Well, come to find out, I can't do it. I can't kill even one mouse.

It's not because they can outsmart me. It's not because I haven't put out any traps. It's because I can't stand the thoughts of killing them.

By pure accident, I found a way around it. I started cooking again, and out jumped a field mouse. Instead of just standing there, I chased it....around the microwave, the dish pan, the sink, and down to the end of the counter, and back again. Then, he disappeared......into the back of my electric can opener, which has a slit in it to accomodate the cord. In my mad dash, I'd grabbed a tea tin to try to trap him- and so, I clamped it over the can opener, and began to vigorously shake it, trying to shake him into the tea tin. It didn't work. And so, I resolved that I would patiently wait him out- there was no way I was letting him go so he could shit on my counter tops.
Significant Other thought I was crazy. Then I happened to recall, I'm not the world's most patient person, unless it has to do with lying in wait to exact revenge, and this wasn't about revenge, this was about territory and survival- they just wanted to survive, and I just wanted them out. They'd done nothing to deserve to die. And so, the patient ran out quickly, and I racked my brain to figure out how to get that damn mouse out into the tea tin.
Enter Lightbulb: smoke him out. If he can't breathe in the can opener, he'll go where he can. And so, I rolled up a piece of paper and stuck it through a tiny, tiny opening I left for just this reason, I lit up a cigarette, and I exhaled into my paper pipe. A few drags in, the little shit came out....and we carefully put the top on, lest he get away.
Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, I pulled a Bushism- I didn't have an exit strategy. I had the mouse in the tin, with the top what? I did what any self respecting person would do, and I called the Keeper of All Knowledge and Wisdom: Mom.
Her advice: "Kill the little bastard. He shits everywhere, and he carries diseases. I know you don't want to kill him, but if you don't, he could kill your dogs."
That wasn't the answer I wanted, so I hung up, still unsure....
Enter Lightbulb: Take him far, far away. He won't be able to make it back, and he'll go find a new home for the winter.
So, Significant Other suited up (in a hoodie and track pants), and proceeded to drive about five miles down the road, and let him go.
We caught a second mouse, and repeated the process, sans the phonecall to Mom. We probably won't tell her that we didn't kill them, either. I just couldn't bring myself to do it, or to allow it to be done. My conscience just couldn't bear the weight of the murder of a mouse.

I'm such a puss.