Flies Suck

Literally. The ones that have been assaulting me since summer, that is.

I have no idea exactly what kind of flies they are but they’re probably about 4 times smaller than houseflies and about as many times bigger than sandflies, or no-see-um’s. While we do have our fair share of the latter, they don’t seem to bother me much when I’m outside doing yardwork. For the most part, they leave me alone, it’s the mid-sized, as-of-yet-unnamed biters that torment me.

Today, while trying to clear a path through some bushes, I was left alone at first and I thought maybe I’d get lucky and they’d leave me alone. For once. After letting me live in that wistful, delusional world for about a minute, they then proceeded to swarm around my face, fly up my nose, into my mouth, into every orifice available. It’s quite fortunate that I was wearing pants, otherwise they might’ve found another place to fly up into.

They bit me on the face ruthlessly, drawing blood at least three times. Once on the side of my nose which proceeded to swell up and feel a little numb for a while.

I tried to work for as long as I could but after 1½ hours I’d had enough of being a human pincushion and fled.

Nothing seems to deter these flying little vampires, no amount of waving or arm thrashing keeps them away, and they seem completely impervious to bug spray. There doesn’t seem to be any escape from them, I encounter them no matter where I go in Kitamaat Village. The strange thing is, I don’t remember being bothered by them so much before this summer, now they instinctively flock to me like the salmon of Capistrano anytime I step outside.

Where did they come from? Why are there so bloody many of them? Why aren’t they dead yet when it’s almost winter? It’s bizarre and aggravating.

I’m quite sure that they have a proper name, I don’t what that could be but I call them PITA flies.

PITA is a term I’ve been using a fair bit lately. No, it has nothing to do with pocket bread.

I came up with it myself. It’s possible someone else might have thought of and used it before I did but I’m taking credit for it. It’s an acronym that stands for:

Pain-In-The-Ass.

If there’s a more fitting name for these pests, I have yet to hear it. They definitely deserve and live up to it.

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Die Harder (At The Opera)

This is a follow-up to my previous post in which I talked about being excited to watch a video performance of Wagner’s Die Walküre.

Turns out there were subtitles:

This really helped out a lot, I now know more about the characters and something of the story. The only thing is, seeing as it’s the second in a series of four operas, I’m missing previous information and this story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Literally.

Another thing is that the scenes do tend to drag on a little with characters doing a lot of exposition and often repeating plot details. This tested my patience at times but overall I found the experience enjoyable.

Luckily, KCTS will be showing part three, Sigfried, next weekend. I think they may have shown the first opera last week and I missed it. As a result, I’m lacking information from the first story, but I am looking forward to seeing the continuation of what I know so far.

Die Hard (At The Opera)

I never thought I’d ever look forward to seeing an opera, but KCTS is showing Die Walküre in its entirety tomorrow, and seeing as I’m interested in the music of Richard Wagner, I’m definitely intending to watch this.

It’s about a 4 hour performance, I’ve heard it before but considering that it’s in German, which I don’t know a word of, it’s a little difficult to follow what’s going on. I’ve never seen it performed before, perhaps the visual will help explain the story and maybe there’ll be subtitles, which will help a lot. At least I’m assuming it’s going to be in German, I don’t know if there’s any English versions of it but it might be a good idea for those of us who only speak English. On the other hand, it might not translate well and sound weird so maybe it’s better to keep it in its original language. It would be nice if I knew any German at all so I could follow along while listening but I don’t see that happening.

I don’t know a lot about the opera itself, other than it’s the second in a series of four operas which comprise the Ring Cycle. Die Walküre contains a musical sequence called Ride of the Valkyries, which most people have heard in their lifetime but might not know it. The most famous instance of it appears in the classic movie Apocalypse Now, in the iconic scene where the helicopters are leaving to bomb a Vietnamese village. One of the soldiers states that the music was chosen to scare the enemy, it’s a good choice. It’s a dramatic piece and one of my favorite classical music sequences.

If I ever were to go to an opera, it would be this one. Having listened to it before, I have a vague idea of what to expect, but seeing a video performance of it will be the next best thing to being there if I never do get to see it live.