Weather – Got the Jimmy Legs

Weather

But the dark is working overtime

Here's a nice half-assed post! I'm totally busy with my stupid job, full of stupid people asking stupid questions for jerks. It may get better at the end of the month, or way worse. It remains to be seen.

We had a bunch of relatives over the house for a week. It just so happened they showed up for exactly the same duration as the horrible heat wave, and I didn't remember until the last day that we do in fact have an air conditioner that sort of works. Oops! But it was fun anyway, they brought duty free liquor from the Virgin Islands, we went to Brighton Beach, and they availed themselves of the local fish market, the little diner down the street, and Lincoln Chicken and Pizza, all places we never patronize. It made me realize if we were non-vegetarians, this little corner of the neighborhood does all right food-wise, assuming you're not that interested in being healthy. The diner sounded really good, too bad they're closed by 6pm every day. And Lincoln got all-around good marks, except for the fish. But for wings and pizza, you could do worse.

Despite our macho claims that we had neutered every cat on the street, we found a few more. We've trapped one so far and gotten him fixed (he has his own interesting story). There's at least one more out there, not to mention the local Gawker cat who is pretty clearly Marbles' daughter! Cat adoption is rolling on, very, very slowly, but we did get Shaolin a new home. Four more to go! Frankly I just want to get this batch moved out before the next charity case shows up!

Meanwhile, I hemmed and hawwed about joining the Bushwick CSA for so long that when I finally decided to do it, it was too late and they were all filled up for the season. This is why I'm a bad vegetarian, you'd think I would have been first on the list, but fear of too many vegetables spooked me into reticence.

I doubt anything interesting will happen here until the end of June, when my workload will lighten a smidge. Unless you all wanna hear about how the tech team returned us a sizing for a project fully 10x what they initially estimated, and have the chutzpah to think we will agree to fund the project at this level, when everyone knows there's a perfectly-functional javascript workaround that would take nearly no effort to implement. Suckahhhhhs!

Where the cabs don't stop

Get out your shovels, originally uploaded by Jimmy Legs.

So we finally got some real snow! I wonder how long it will last this time, the afternoon forecast is for "Wintry Mix" which always makes me think of "Winter Blend," the combo of cauliflower and broccoli sold in the Key Food frozen food section. So it never sounds as bad as it actually is.

This morning I got to take a barometer reading of how Bushwick is affected when Old Man Winter descend upon us. As you know, I've been trapping feral cats and getting them fixed at BARC through a new program. I was planning on bringing in a cat this morning, but had to give up because everybody was using up all the car services.

I've done this before, call up a car service around 8, jam up to BARC to drop off the cat(s), then hop on the L train to go to work. But every single number I called was either busy or giving me that interminable 'hold' recording ("Your call is very important to us"). I did get one answer from a poor soul who seems to have received the phone number of what I'm guessing is a now-defunct livery company ("why people call all the time this number?!')

What I can't figure out is, who's taking these cars? When it snows a lot, isn't mass transit still the preferred mode of travel? The streets weren't too bad, at least there wasn't much traffic when I headed out later, the cat back in its room to wait until tomorrow to go in. But what few cars were out were moving slow; I can't imagine anybody was getting anywhere faster this way.

So who is it taking up all the cars on these days? Is it people taking their kids to school? Somehow that seems to be the only possible justifiable reason, even though that too doesn't make a lot of sense. Don't people know that those cars are needed to cart stray cats around town?

I suppose I could just take the cat on the train, though the prospect of walking with my poorly-designed cat carrier from the Marcy station to BARC is fairly daunting. So maybe I'm just a wimp, but at least I won't annoy people on the train with a yowling space-taking-up box.

If I win the lottery, I'm buying BARC a helicopter just for pet transport.

The house is an ancient tomb: be warned

So much stuff is going on, and all I want to do i lie around on the couch. No such luck, however, as the Holidays are upon us.

I gotta remember to take a picture of our Xmas lights, it's so lame. Rite Aid has a sale on lights so I bought a couple strings and put them around the perimeter of the windows on the ground floor. They're white lights too so they don't even look all that festive; it looks like a dressing room mirror. Oh well, I'm a Jew, your traditions are 'strange' and 'frightening' to me.

Great upheaval includes the departure of our tenants. Yep, they moved up to Greenpoint yesterday, piano and all! Incredibly, we were able to sleep through most of the actual move, except when one of the movers loudly bet another that he'd pay him a hundred bucks to ride Buzz's bike down the stairs. Without going into it too much, they decided to move due to some safety issues, for which I totally don't fault them. We knew going into it that Bushwick is not exactly the safest place on earth, and I always felt a little bad that we sort of dragged them here in the first place. Still, they got a darned cheap rent for a duplex apartment! But money isn't everything and now they're in a neighborhood that's not only one of the safest in town, but is full of those amenities that everybody normally aspires to: grocery stores, restaurants, book/record stores, and an Irish pub right across the street. Damn, I could use one of those!

That's what sucks about home ownership; we're stuck here. Eventually this might turn into an advantage, say, if the neighborhood gets all fancy around us and we make a killing in real estate. Of course, the way things are going, this doesn't look too likely in the foreseeable future (for instance, all eyes were on the local corner property that was about to open, as a litmus test of the area; it opened as a wig store.) But I still like the house and, barring any personal violence I might endure, I'm okay with the neighborhood. But what are we gonna do with this house?

For the time being we are going to see if we can afford the whole joint without rental income. This comes mostly because the house, as it is set up, is unworkable for a rental to any but those we can wholeheartedly trust (and of course, my motto is: Trust No One). It's a legal 2-family, but there's no actual division between the units. To divide the house properly would take quite an undertaking at this point, and honestly wasn't something I was planning to do for a while. But if push comes to shove we'll have to jumpstart the renovations. Assuming we win the lottery, no problem!

Having the house to ourselves at this point has another big advantage: we have people coming for Christmas. Jeannie's mom and nephew are coming up for the Holidays, so they will be camping out on separate floors, on their respective futons (futons currently make up 50% of our furniture now, classy!) We certainly won't feel crowded. Now the problem is, what do we do with a 13 year old kid?

The nephew looks like he's in his 20's, he's 6 feet tall and otherwise precocious, so he's pretty flexible. But the law is not. So we can't just blithely take him to shows and bars as we would do with, say, Jeannie's mom. We're trying to figure out what a kid from St. Thomas would want to do in the city, but we're coming up short. Worse still, Todd P, purveyor of all ages shows, just announced he's cutting back on his bookings, meaning shows we could get a kid into will be in short supply. Argh.

I dunno, if I was a kid raised in the Caribbean, NYC in the winter sounds like Siberia. Hell, now that I've visited the Caribbean, NYC feels like a gulag to me too. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but I just don't wanna have to leave the house. Aside from the requisite tours, museums, restaurants, what do kids do here? Should we give him some spray paint or what?

The taste of you dear has grown stony and cold

For some stupid reason they have been keeping the air conditioning on full blast here, even though it's October (albeit, a rather warm October). This has something to do either with our LAN room (sort of makes sense) or the building renovation next door (makes no sense), depending on who you talk to. Whatever it is, it's totally annoying. I'm cold.

So I've been drinking lots of hot beverages, which is not unusual. But for the past week, I swear every single time I go to get coffee from our sub-par coffeemaker, there is barely any left. So not only do I have to drink the burned, sludgy dregs of the carafe, I gotta make another pot.

This wouldn't bother me but I know by the time I get back, it'll be back down to almost nothing again. I have made 3 pots of coffee today, and benefited from none of them. This is why communism doesn't work.

I hope our new parent company has Flavia.

Once more with feeling


Pre-Op Gladys

The weather is starting to change and the local stray cat population is starting to go nuts. Maybe these events aren't related, but the cats I know around here have been getting goofy lately. Gladys is recovering nicely from her surgery/vaccinations, she's gone outside a couple of times but seems to be content to stay indoors (what a surprise). The resident cats know not to mess with her, lest they be subjected to piercing screeching. She may not like the other cats, but she rarely has to tell them twice to keep their distance.

But the otherwise-outdoor cats have all but built one of those things you put up against a castle wall to storm the gates or whatever. Flossie, who still is believed to have a litter in the parking lot across the street) comes to eat and never wants to leave. The gray tabby who we always mistake for Decatur has become bolder as well, and Gladys' 3 remaining kittens are getting especially intrusive.


Flossie

The orange kitten crossed a behavioral threshold the other night, suddenly not only tolerating being petted, but coming up and asking for it. He's still skittish, but otherwise he's ready to be a house cat. His brothers are less advanced, but they see him getting scratched under the chin and are probably thinking about it. I feel bad for the most fearful of the three, he sits on the windowsill and cries at Gladys. But Gladys seems to have forgotten she ever had kittens, she barely looks at him. Luckily he has the companionship of his brothers to assuage his woes. I keep trying to explain to them that it's in their best interest to get tame right now since the younger they are, the better adoption-fodder they are. Even Gladys may be a hard sell, since she's an adult more or less, and Flossie will probably only appeal to people who have a soft spot for special needs cats, or old ladies (I mean, Flossie would be good for an old lady, not people who are into old ladies).

Anyway, I need to begin construction on some bad-weather cat shelters. Lucky for me, I live in a neighborhood literally surrounded by 99 Cent stores, so it shan't be hard to pick up some big storage bins. But I gotta relocate some of these cats to the back yard; I get enough needling from the neighborhood kids as it is without having the areaway full of cat condos (lately I've been getting "Dude! Kitty, kitty, kitty!" in my direction.)

I'm also doing other stuff, including but not limited to preparing for Motico's first shows since last year! Basically we're practicing a lot and I'm trying to find new stuff to add to my rig to cover up for my lack of proficiency.