I get a fever that’s so hard to bear

18 09 2013

Do colds ever not suck? I do not think so.

But this one is really chapping my lips because it’s interfering with my attempts to instil new habits.

I’ve been in the (bad) habit of announcing changes ahead of my, ah, actually making those changes. I’m going to get out more! (No) Devote time to my new novel! (No) Wash the dishes every day! (No) Big or small, I say I’mma do things I’mma don’t do.

So I thought I’d try something else: Start with the doing rather than the saying. I wanted to bump up my running, so I added both timed-runs at the gym and mileage runs in the mornings before I teach.

I wanted to try, for the fourth time, to learn to play the guitar, so I unsheathed the guitar from its case, dug out the guitar stand, tuned that puppy up, and started, yet again, from the beginning of good ol’ Mel Bay. I want to see if I can take this far enough that I could, plausibly, tell people I play guitar; if I enjoyed it, I’d keep going, if not, I’d sell the guitar.

And the commitment with Gotham Rock Choir—that too.

Enough fuckin’ around, in other words. Until the fever fucked with those plans.

No running yesterday (which I probably could have managed, as the cold was still in its prelude stages), no GRC or guitar practice yesterday, no running today, although I did manage an abbreviated weight work-out at home. I doubt I’ll be running tomorrow morning, although I’m still on for (what will likely be)  a (very slow)  gym run on Friday.

So, okay, no tragedy, no reason to think I won’t be able to get back into that (still-shallow) groove I’ve been trying to create.

I just wanted to bitch for a bit. Colds suck, doncha know.

~~~

And Peggy Lee? Fab-u-lous. You really must listen.

Yes, you must.





Welcome to the working week

26 04 2012

What a fucking terrible week.

It started with a migraine, progressed to a cold, got bogged down in grading, and then was topped off by a a part-time job which is demanding to know why it’s not first in everything. And it ain’t over.

No, nothing about this is catastrophic, and I’m hardly the first person who has a boss who I both respect and want to throttle (C., for one, knows alllllllll about this), but dangnabbit, I reserve the right to bitch about ordinary irritations.

Mission accomplished.





Rose, RIP

12 12 2011

Sad news from Jon Katz: his beautiful heroic no-nonsense hardworking lovely lovely lovely dog Rose died Friday night.

Last Photo: Rose, a celebration

My sympathies to Jon, Maria, and the Bedlam Farm family.

(Photo and caption: Jon Katz)





Recovery cat

7 11 2011

My first thought was: floodpants!

But then I wondered if this wasn’t more wearing-gloves-with-jacket-sleeves-pushed-up.

(I woulda said “Michael Jackson”, but there was no white glove.)





Update: kitty-boy

1 11 2011

He’s home, three of his legs are shaved below the joint (paws unshaven: legs of an off-kilter coiffed poodle), he’s eating, he’s drinking, he’s eliminating what he’s eating and drinking, and he’s fighting me when I try to give him his three medications—all good signs.

Staff at VERG-South were very nice, not snitty about my fiscal inability to keep him in the hospital any longer, and quite complimentary to Mr. Jasper.

We’re both breathing easier tonight.





Sugar boy, what you trying to do?

30 10 2011

No more boy kitties; boy kitties break my heart.

Chillin'. It's what all the cool cats do.

My particular kitty-boy, Jasper, is in the hospital, with a problem which particularly affects males. (My old cat Jazz died from this, although he was much older than Jasper. I swore then I’d never get another boy cat. So much for swearing.) The doc should be calling me shortly to let me know how the procedure (to unblock his ureter) went—I expect it went fine—and I’ll pick him up tomorrow.

Of course, he should be in the hospital for at least another day, but I can’t afford that. To be honest, I don’t know if I can afford the care he’s currently being given. If his bill comes in toward the low end of the estimate, we’re fine. If not. . . .

I have no idea how I’ll pay it.

And then, of course, there’s the after care, which I also have no idea how I’ll afford.

But he was crying and I was crying and as I asked C., what, I’m going to let him die because I can’t afford to keep him alive?

C. did do me the great favor of looking for 24h care and telling me about CareCredit. I qualified for it—it pays the vet and then I pay it—but not enough to cover all the costs. Had I known about this before, I might have been able to get him into the vet before it became a costly emergency.

[*Update* The vet just called. He came through fine, his kidneys are fine, and he's awake and groggy. So yes I'm still hyperventilating about the money, but at least Jasper's okay.]

So, if you have pets and not a lot of cash, get CareCredit before anything bad happens; then maybe you can afford to pay for the little bad before it turns into the big bad.

Like it did with Jasper.

_____

*Update2* I learned a bit more about low-cost vet care—which, again, had I known about sooner, I might have been able to prevent this. (Joyce at Safety Net/Pets  for Life was very nice about this, however, saying that this might have happened anyway. Thanks Joyce!)

So, for those of you in the New York City area, there are two (more) options you should know about:

  1. Safety Net/Pets for Life (ACC; updated site at Humane Society) at 917 468-2938. If you’re low-income or on public assistance, they can help you find vet care at a reduced price, as well as low-cost or free spaying and neutering. As I mentioned, I spoke to Joyce and she was very helpful.
  2. Low-cost vet mobile. This hits the different boroughs on different days; the one in Brooklyn parks at the Animal Care and Control site at 2336 Linden Boulevard every Wednesday from 10-6. They do everything but spaying/neutering (another mobile van does that) and extended hospitalizations. Intake exam is $25, with additional costs for other services. It’s a walk-in clinic for the most part, with appointments for surgeries.

I don’t have a contact number for the vet mobile, but if you’re in another borough you could call Safety Net for locations and dates.

I had looked previously for low-cost vet care, but somehow in my searches I didn’t find any of these services. Yes, I found the low-cost spay/neuter mobiles, but as I wasn’t looking for those services, I didn’t click on those links; had I done so, I might have also discovered the regular vet mobiles. And I  messed-up in not finding the Safety Net program. I don’t know what search terms I was using, but they were clearly the wrong ones.

Jasper’s care cost a fair amount of money, and, more importantly, a great deal of distress to him. Perhaps had I taken him in when the problem first hit, we might have been able to avoid this. Joyce tried to reassure me by saying, well, even a vet can’t necessarily prevent blockages, and he would have had to have been unblocked anyway.

Finally, even if you’re not in New York City, you might have a Safety Net/Pets for Life program in your area. The NYC one is apparently run through the Humane Society, but it also has a page on the Animal Care and Control page. Check your local animal care societies to see if its available near you. And get CareCredit (which doesn’t cost anything to apply for and keep it on hand), just in case.





Talkin’ at the Texaco

2 10 2011

Kitty boy is not out of the woods.

He seems to get better, then, ohp, back the other way. He’s not in crisis, but that the improvement isn’t steady concerns me. I’m trying a variety of home remedies—yes, even after taking in the admonitions for a vet to check him out—which likely have a good shot at taking care of him. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that this problem will likely recur, such that prevention will have to be worked into his everyday diet. He needs to drink more water and I need to increase his acid intake.

Here’s hopin’ Jasper gets used to salt and cranberries.

~~~~~

Good weekend for sports in Wisconsin.

Badgers rolled over Nebraska, Brewers are up 2-0 in their 5-game series with the Diamondbacks, and the Packers remain undefeated.

I am deeply ambivalent about sports—brand loyalty is for suckers, blah blah—and in particular, about football, and the evident harm it inflicts on the players. Thus, the cheering isn’t as full-throated as it was in the past, but it’s still there.

Maybe someday I’ll be enlightened enough to let it all go, but in the meantime. . . .

~~~~~

Thanks to Brad DeLong, I was hipped to John Holbo and Belle Waring’s equine-eviseration of libertarianism:

Now, everyone close your eyes and try to imagine a private, profit-making rights-enforcement organization which does not resemble the mafia, a street gang, those pesky fire-fighters/arsonists/looters who used to provide such “services” in old New York and Tokyo, medieval tax-farmers, or a Lendu militia. (In general, if thoughts of the Eastern Congo intrude, I suggest waving them away with the invisible hand and repeating “that’s anarcho-capitalism” several times.) Nothing’s happening but a buzzing noise, right?

Now try it the wishful thinking way. Just wish that we might all live in a state of perfect liberty, free of taxation and intrusive government, and that we should all be wealthier as well as freer. Now wish that people should, despite that lack of any restraint on their actions such as might be formed by policemen, functioning law courts, the SEC, and so on, not spend all their time screwing each other in predictable ways ranging from ordinary rape, through the selling of fraudulent stocks in non-existent ventures, up to the wholesale dumping of mercury in the public water supplies. (I mean, the general stock of water from which people privately draw.) Awesome huh? But it gets better. Now wish that everyone had a pony. Don’t thank me, Thank John.

The and-a-pony bit is explained earlier in the piece; g’head and read the whole thing.

Once again: libertarianism is not a serious political theory; it is at best an adjunct to serious political theory.

~~~~~

I’ve noted in the past that an over-concentration on process to the neglect of substance bleeds politics dry of its very purpose. That said, some attention to process may fruitfully obstruct an over-concentration on ends.

See, for example, presidential freelancing in the so-called war on terror.

President Bush stepped up the use of extraordinary rendition and justified the imprisonment and torture of detainees (even as he denied that beatings, waterboarding, and sleep deprivation were torture) as necessary to securing the dominance security of the United States. He was hailed on the right, booed on the left, and denounced by libertarians of all stripes (n.b.: see, I can say nice things about libertarians!).

President Obama has allegedly stopped the torture and has tried, with varying amounts of effort, to close Guantanamo. He has also authorized far more drone strikes on militant leaders than President Bush ever did, and hailed the assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki as “another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” (He presumably did not mourn the death of Samir Khan, another American citizen killed alongside al-Awlaki.) He has been (mutedly) hailed on the right, (mutedly) booed on the left, and denounced by libertarians of all stripes.

I’m not particularly a fan of either al-Awlaki or Khan—violent hatred of the world isn’t my thing—and I do think the citizenship status of al-Awlaki and Khan (and John Walker Lindh and Jose Padilla, for that matter) ought to give any American pause regarding their officially-sanctioned killing. (I leave aside the question of whether the Constitution covers noncitizens; my understanding is that this question is unsettled, juridically.)

But even if you don’t think the 5th Amendment applies in this case, nor that the citizenship of al-Awlaki or Khan matters, what of the matter of presidential power?

Obama apparently consulted with various staffers and legal experts on the legitimacy of such assassinations, but is a consult with one’s staff an apt substitute for legislative debate? Is it enough for the president to say “it’s okay because I say it’s okay”?

And because it was only bad guys who were killed, then, hey, that’s okay, too? Ends justifying the means, and all.

If pure proceduralism is deadly to politics, so too is pure consequentialism—especially in its democratic forms.

~~~~~

Whine whine whine about my life. What am I doing, here I am flailing, here I am failing, what if I moved. . . .

No.

I don’t know if I’ll be in New York forever, but I do know that this is where I need to make my stand. If I were to move anywhere else, it would be too easy to say “oh, if only I were in New York. . .”, and distract myself from the work I need to do.

I am so far past “enough” that I have lapped myself; still, if I’m ever to catch up, I have to stop jumping away from my life.





Here kitty kitty

27 09 2011

Cat issues. Jasper-cat issues.

That’s why I haven’t posted.

Well, that and other (more mundane) issues.

I gots me some dem ideers, I do, but but but. . . excuses are easier than effort.

Oh, and the kitty-boy might be improving, so may be able to avoid vet.

Might. May. The night will tell.

 





Oh, the weather outside is frightful

27 12 2010

An honest-to-goddess snow storm—whoo hoo!

Last year, if you recall, New York shut itself down preemptively, announcing on Tuesday before a single damned flake fell that the entire world would be closed on Wednesday. Hmpf.

Well, there were a few reports on maybe Saturday or Sunday of a possible blizzard, but it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. Maybe because it was over the Christmas weekend, maybe because kids wouldn’t be in school anyway, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but there was little hysteria.

There was, however, snow, blowing, blowing snow.

Trickster was either fascinated or flipped out by the initial sputterings from the sky:

After awhile, however, she got bored, and did what she usually does: sleep.

Jasper yelped in response to the howling wind, and stretched out his body full-length trying to whap at the snow (by the time I got the camera out he was, of course, nowhere in sight). He did, however, helpfully interfere in my attempt to get a shot of the wind-sculpted drift in the corner:

Thanks, kitty-boy.

The wind was quite the artist, turning what would have been gently heaps of snow into mini-alpine ridges:

I generally try to get out after a big storm—not too many chances to wear my snow boots!—but a hangover from the flu made it unwise for me to attempt anything more physical than, mm, blogging.

(Oh, I did also try to enter my grades, due today, on Webgrade, but either something was wrong with my username and password or something was wrong with the system, and so I failed. The appropriate response, regardless? Fuck me.)

Anyway, I have heat and hot water and am not stuck in an airport or at Penn Station or on a train—apparently a couple of Queens lines, complete with passengers, were bollixed for hours—so despite the flu-crud, I was content to remain in my wee apartment and look at the big ol’ windy and wintry world through my windows.





you have done well it’s time to rest

29 07 2010

My beautiful Bean is gone.

Beanalea 1994-2010

Her name was inspired by a Jane Siberry song, ‘Everything Reminds Me of My Dog’: She has a line about Old folks remind me of my dog/My dog reminds old folks of their dogs (Barfy, Ruffo, Beanhead). . . . Bean! That’s it.

Chelsea had been driving my roommate and me crazy with her constant talk, so I thought another cat might help chill her out. I was in Minneapolis at the time, a couple of houses down from friends, and they went with me to the Humane Society to get a kitten.

We saw one group of kittens, then went into another room (the sick cat room, it turns out) for more. I had the name; I needed the cat to fit.

J., the driver, held up a long-haired black-and-white kitten and said ‘Get her! Get her!’ I didn’t want a long-hair, however, and demurred. (I did coerce convince J. to get that kitty herself; ‘Entropy’, she was named. Aptly.)

And then I found my Bean—full name, Beanalea—and took her home. She lived with Chelsea and me in three apartments in Minneapolis, one in Montreal, one in Somerville, and five in Brooklyn. She didn’t particularly like travelling, but she always settled in once we had, in fact, settled in.

Bean, Beanalea, Bean-goddammit (for a brief period when she was around 6 months), Binkins, Polar Bean, Lima Bean, Navy Bean, Gah-bahnzo Bean. . . she was my Bean.

My beautiful Bean.








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