Friday, September 10, 2004 at 13:28:43 (EDT)

The beginning of a beautiful frenzy
And so ends the exotic bird tale: I put up some flyers on my block (ooh gotta remember to take them down again now) and the cockatiel's owner called. Turns out, he lives just down the street and the bird had flown the coop a couple of weeks ago. I did my best to scrutinize the guy to make sure he was the actual bird's owner, but really, how far could I take it? "Can you describe the bird?" "It's gray ... and yellow. With orange spots on his head." Sold!

I'm glad I was able to reunite pet and owner, I wonder how often lost pets are actually found. I lost Hubcap three days after I moved to Brooklyn and had all but given up hope of ever finding him when after 9 weeks a guy (who also lived right down the street form that apartment) called to say my cat was breaking into his house and stealing his cats' food. I guess cats (and cockatiels) can survive on the streets for quite some time. Seems to me dogs wouldn't fare as well, but maybe they have their own methods of survival.

Now, back to frivolity: Saturday, there's a ton of fun stuff going on, which I find a little ironic considering it's the 3-year anniversary of September 11th (have you noticed the "Tribute in Light" has been lit all week?). I will probably be at the Knitting Factory again to see The Ex, the Dutch band that's been around for 25 years, although I only found out about them last year. They play with the Panthers, another band I've been wanting to see forever. Say, have the Panthers ever played a show with Japanther? I'd like to see that.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004 at 15:25:15 (EDT)

The well respected man about town

How could a cat this sexy be sick?

Okay, I swear I will start posting amusing links to political cartoons and flash-based games very soon, but here's one more animal entry: After an exhaustive (and expensive) blood test, the vet reports that Toby has ... a run-of-the-mill virus. This explains his fever, and probably why he has no other symptoms ... because there's nothing frigging wrong with him. At least I know for sure now.

So I'm back to assuming this vet is fleecing me as pre-emptive punishment for using the low-cost neuter voucher. While I still don't hesitate to recommend the certificate program, I should promote checking out a vet before handing your cats over to them. Still (and this is the worst part), all told I'm still spending way less doing it this way, unnecessary tests and all.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004 at 00:57:44 (EDT)

Make a little birdhouse in your soul
So this was a stressful day, completely related to issues involving pets that are not really mine. Toby is still sick according to the weird discount vet, I won't know until tomorrow if he's harboring some horrible illness, and even then if nothing turns up in his blood test, i'm still stuck with a cat who has a fever and thus cannot be neutered. Maybe I can just work on lowering his self-esteem so he won't even try to get busy with the lady cats.

Meanwhile I've had a bird sequestered in my bathroom all day. I put up a couple of flyers with the unlikely legend of "FOUND: COCKATIEL" but somebody already tore one down (could it have been the bird's wayward owner?). The bathroom is the only place that could house him, but well, he was pooping all over the place.

Few things stress me out as much as having a lot of stuff to deal with and having no outlet to do anything about it right away. I have no patience for pretty much anything, which is why I am no longer a teacher (and possibly why I never learned how to juggle). In these cases, there's only one course of action: throw myself into some mindless construction project.

I long ago abandoned the idea that I would ever be a good craftsman, but I realize now that quality work isn't the point. I just have to do something to occupy my brain for a couple of hours. Sometimes it comes out well (fence), sometimes not so well (spring-loaded shoes I tried to make in college that resulted only in embarrassment and injury). In this case I built a bird cage.

Or am I just building a hanging clothes hamper?

As usual in these situations, to make this work I can only use materials currently available in the house at the time. For instance, we recently had a lot of sturdy cardboard boxes in the house. Had I not dutifully put them out in the recycling I might have had a shot at building a really nice cage. Instead all I had were the empty six-pack boxes that were left from the barbecue on Monday. Combining this, a roll of window screening, some twine, several wire hangers and a hell of a lot of duck tape.

What an avian paradise

Yes, it's a little slanted. Yes the roof is made from a Yuengling box and some sheets from a Macy's circular. Yes, Mr Bones is going absolutely bonkers trying to get up to the cage (the other cats are unmoved). But I think the bird is safe and so far the cage is holding together. I do fear the Mr Bones will go even more nuts in the middle of the night, but he seems to have worn himself out and is passed out on the couch. And the cockatiel is also asleep, so I guess he's comfortable enough. Would you believe that Target actually sells a specific blend of seed and dried fruit especially for cockatiels?

If past experience is any indication, the sheer fact that I spent a bunch of time making this thing will ensure that the owner will call me tomorrow and take the bird home. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004 at 12:07:31 (EDT)

My little bird never tells me anything I wanna know

God, I don't even wanna talk about it. I'm on my way to take Toby to the vet (he still has a fever, they're doing a blood test now), and there's a friggin' cockatiel inside the gate under the stairs! So we take him in and now he's sitting around, squawking and not seeming to understand what sunflower seeds are. I better be able to find his owner toot sweet or Mr Bones is gonna get a special treat.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004 at 22:47:35 (EDT)

A feller there makes some pretty good shine
Ah, we're on the map now! The Greenpoint Beer Works just got a write-up in the New York Press. It's the tiny brewery down on Fulton and Waverly (the article calls it "Fort Greene" but I claim anything on this side of Vanderbilt Clinton Hill). You may better know its head brewer as Al Duvall, whose musical alter ego would more likely be a moonshiner rather than a brewmeister. They're still a pretty young operation, but I hope someday they open the brewery to the public, like the Brooklyn Brewery does, so I can mosey on down for a pint at my leisure.

See Al at The Backroom (aka Freddy's) on Thursday the 23rd.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004 at 22:20:43 (EDT)

I want to go back to my little grass shack
Congratulations to Sean and Kellie, who just got married over the weekend! They're flying off to Hawaii now to live in a hut for several days. I find it a little ironic that it is very expensive to rent a no-electricity-havin' hut, but hey, it's their honeymoon.

Meanwhile, we had people over for Labor Day. Again, bottles of whiskey disappeared. But this time, unfortunatley for me, I know exactly what happened to them.

See the majesty.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004 at 12:23:57 (EDT)

Because the night
I'm too tired to think of anything to post, so here's a picture of a kitten:

Don't worry, it's not mine. JD got suckered into raising this batch.

UPDATE: Here's more pictures of the kittens! Everybody loves kittens!

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Week of September 5-11, 2004

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