Health – Got the Jimmy Legs


You ate yourself out of house and home

I took an actual sick day for the first time in years. Sure, many a time have I stayed home ill, only to end up working as much as usual thanks to the magic of VPN. And I intended to do the same yesterday, my laptop all set up and retrieving email after email. But I just couldn't stay focused long enough to do anything, so I went back to bed and proceeded to sleep for 7 hours.

I can't tell yet if I'm over the illness, which had no symptoms other than 'exhaustion.' I kind of suspect stress had something to do with it but that doesn't really narrow it down much; stress is pretty central to living in New York. Not that I mind it most of the time, but there's the stress of jamming onto a subway car to 'win' a good seat, and then there's the stress of producing corporate websites whose target audience may or may not exist. Plus meanwhile, all around me people have been getting laid off left and right. My morale is soaring.

Today I'll go into pay the piper, to catch up on all the work I missed yesterday as well as whatever they throw at me today. This double-whammy effect is what usually keep me in the office no matter my condition, but I'm hoping that my time out yesterday will have some positive attitudinal effect. Maybe I won't mind all the work if I'm feelin' positive! Yeah

I'm your doctor and here's your bill

Let's see here, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

Note to self: If you take a bunch of cats into your home, eventually some of them will get sick and then you not only have to clean out 60 litter boxes several times a day, you have to administer medication, somehow serve different types of food to cats without the wrong ones sticking their face in, and eventually make vet appointments. One of our street cats, Bishop, showed up limping, and several days of rest in the house have not helped much. So he's going in for what will not doubt be an expensive endeavor to diagnose and treat his malady.

Cheeks the elderly cockatiel has also seen his share of vet action lately. He's developed cataracts, so we took him to one of the better bird docs in the city, which involved taking a car to midtown, missing half a day of work, and blowing lotsa dough. Now we come to find out that he needs a second-opinion blood test to make sure he doesn't have gout (!) so he too is heading to Ridgewood this evening to get checked out.

Meanwhile, there's the little cat pictured above. We've been calling her Shaolin; she can be calm and centered like a Buddhist monk, but suddenly, and without warning, she can turn to ninja assassin mode. She'll be sitting peacefully on the couch, but when another cat enters her line of sight she will jump and race across the room, delivering a barrage of swats while yowling like a malfunctioning theremin.

She's too small to actually inflict any damage on the cats phsyically, but it's very disruptive as it leaves a trail of confused and irritated pets in its wake. We've been trying to teach her not to attack by putting her in the bathroom for 5 minutes at a time every time she does, but so far it ain't sinking in (repeated viewings of Supernanny have proven of little use when it comes to disciplining felines). But we're starting to see why this sweet little kitty may have been abandoned to the streets.

What makes her behavior more bizarre is that she can also be super affectionate to other cats. She's given both Jefe and Flossie a good grooming, only to later pounce on them when they entered the room. Lucky for them, she's ironically docile enough to let me cut her nails, so her blows are less potent. Anyway, she'll be going to the head of the adoption list, even though she's been nothing but nice to us humans. Clearly, the cats are running the show.

It's a sick world, sick, sick, sick

Two different trains I took this morning were delayed due to sick passengers. I like to think it was the same guy both times. At Marcy Ave, he was all like "Whoa I'm not gonna make it," but when the EMS guys arrived, he was all like, "You know what, I'm fine, I'll be okay." He switched to a 4 train just before I got to City Hall, and just when he seemed about to recover, he felt the icy grip of death upon him, causing my train to jerk to a stop and make the standees all pile into each other.

Aside from sudden cardiac arrest, what other ailments could a person suffer in which they were well enough to get on the damn train in the first place, only to be stricken en transit. The other day there was a guy on the train who was dabbing a rotation of napkins against a large bloody wound on the side of his head (head wounds bleed a lot). If this guy could make it uptown without interrupting train service, what the hell are these other wimps complaining about?

0 for 1

ScoresThe other day I trudged uptown to the Bed Bath & Beyond way over past 1st Ave and 61st St. It's nice to have this big box store sort of nearby, but it's always a bit of a hike. I go by the Roosevelt Island tram, which is always fascinating in its total obsolescence (don't get me wrong, I hope they never dismantle it!) I also realized that the area I walk through also contains Scores, the 'gentlemen's club' once patronized by Howard Stern until his friend who worked there quit and now they go to a place called Ricky's.

Ugly from Day 1I also go by Trump Plaza Apartments, a building unique in its design in that no matter the time period, it always looked dated and tacky, yet without style. I dunno, maybe it's the super-scripty calligraphy noting the name of the building all over the place. I walk though part of Sutton Place as well, eyeing actual brownstones and fancy stores I shall never patronize. I balked when I first found out I would have to work in midtown; now I'm pleased to be able to see all these parts of the city I would never set foot in otherwise.

A rump named Trump buys a lotta junkAnyhow, I went to BB&B to buy a warm mist humidifier, because our house has been so dry this winter we are all suffering. I can't even pet the cats without creating sparks worthy of a Mr Wizard episode. Plus it's irritating my nasal passages (it's also possible the 10 cats currently in the house are adding to this). So I pick out a decent, basic model, thinking dimly that I should open the box to check it out before purchase.

E 61st townhouses"Aw, nah," I think to myself. "I don't wanna be one of those people who opens up boxes in the store." I don't know where this came from, but I had noticed a lot of the boxes had obviously been opened, including the one I ended up purchasing. Still my logic prevailed, I was above tampering with an item before I purchased it.

61st brownstonesThe box was just large enough to be cumbersome, one of those things that makes you conspicuous on the train. I managed to get it home with only a few scowls, and brought it up to our bedroom. I unpacked the humidifier, only to find a huge-ass crack in the plastic reservoir.

Roosevelt Island Tram docksAt first I thought I somehow cracked it in transit. But then I realized, that's why it was still on the shelf even though it had been opened. Somebody smarter than I had the foresight to make sure the damn thing wasn't all smashed up before they lugged it halfway across New York. Alas.

Feelin GroovySo today I had to drag it back. It actually worked out well, because at my initial purchase I had forgotten I had a coupon good for 20% any item (it was actually addressed to Matt but he has no need of the girly gear sold at such stores). So I returned the cracked one, and bought the replacement (I checked it out this time first) and saved ten bucks. I just hope this thing does the trick. I already feel like an old lady, now I'm an old lady with a humidifier.

Oh yes, and 10 cats.

Here comes sickness

Somehow, despite my healthy lifestyle choices and PMA, my cold continues unabated. I thought recovery was imminent when my voice gave out on Sunday, but I'm still decidedly unwell two days later, albeit in new and disgusting ways. My only solace is that by not using my federally-mandated sick days, I may very well infect my entire office. Then I'll have some peace and quiet around this place!

Work on the basement has slowed due to my ineffectual white blood cells, but we are definitely primed for completion. We brought the plywood downstairs yesterday. You may remember this plywood as the old subfloor Buzz painfully removed from the 4th floor during that project. How's that for recycling? Or, more correctly, how's that for being a skinflint? I'm also using as much of the old paneling and furring strips I ripped out of the basement, both to cut down on costs and so I don't have as much crap to throw out later.

Speaking of which, as a new homeowner I am now acquainted with the joys of being fully responsible not only for my trash, but for any little piece of garbage that happens to drop on my property (or the sidewalk in front). I've already been fined for improperly secured refuse (apparently the Dept of Sanitation prefers their garbage gift-wrapped), so when it comes to the big stuff like scrap wood and metal, I get spooked. I don't even want to risk a fine for some law I didn't even know about. For instance, do you know when your 'bulk' trash day is?

Trick question! Officially, there is no single bulk trash day, every regular trash day allows for the inclusion of large items. That's the theory, but of course a lotta people think Friday is always bulk day. Still, I have seen little consistency not just in bulk pick-up, but even the regular trash. I think they only pick up trash when they 'feel' like it. When I put out nonstandard items in the trash, I cross my fingers in the hopes it will be picked up. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. I never know if it's because there secretly is a bulk day they're not telling people about, or if the DOS guys are just jerking me around.