Thursday, November 08, 2007

Generally Crappy Day

Sorry for taking so long to post today. It's just been a generally crappy day. To begin with, Georgia's getting over a cold, which meant that she was cranky and sluggish about going to day care. I couldn't really blame her, as it was a bitter and blustery day, and I would have preferred to stay at home, too.

After I dropped her off, I rushed off to work. That's right, I've got a job: I'm temping as a personal assistant at a legal staffing firm. Actually, it's worked out so that the firm has provided me, as a temp, to itself, and is paying itself a fee for my services. Added to that, I am actually doing what will ultimately be my wife's job. She's giving her two-week's notice at her current job, and will end up working at the legal staffing firm that I am currently working for, doing the job that I am currently doing.

Yes, I have almost confused myself. However, it makes sense, even if it's plagued by the sort of slick, handy deus-ex-machinae that would seem out of place in a work of fiction.

Anyway, I like work, as I'm learning new things and the people are fairly nice, but it leaves me wasted at the end of the day. Today, I had to go to Long Island City, where I'm working on a sitcom script. I've been doing this every week since August, and I love it, but there are some days when I really just want to go home and crash.

Right before I left for Long Island City, I found out that a friend of mine recently had a cancerous lump removed from her face, and is going back to get more surgery done next week. She's being incredibly brave and cool about it, and I just wish that I could figure out something useful to say or do. However, I really don't know what to say, and am terrified of saying the wrong thing.

My wife gave me a call as I got off the train in Long Island City to tell me what was going on with the cat. One of our cats, Jerome, has been listless for the last day or two. One vet told us that it was either a hairball or he had eaten rat poison, so he would either be okay or he would die. After a brief discussion this evening, we decided that she should take him to another vet. It turns out that he has a bladder infection and might need surgery, which will cost a lot of money that we really can't afford. My wife had a little meltdown at the vet's office, which she told me about, and another little meltdown with me on the phone after I got out of my meeting.

I was walking to the Subway with one of my co-writers when all of this happened, so I told her about it. She responded by telling me about the deep emotional scarring that she was having over the fact that her cell phone is dying. I realize that this might seem shallow and meaningless to the casual observer, but I should probably point out that she's really "obsessed" with this phone and "loves" it, and that she will not be able to transfer her text messages and pictures to another phone.

I told her that I had nothing for her, and that she would really just have to deal. She put on a brave face.

On the way home, I saw a guy on the Subway who had no legs. When we got off at Kingsbridge, I wondered how he was going to navigate his wheelchair down the steep stairs at the station. I didn't want to insult him by asking to help, so I walked near him, in case he seemed like he needed assistance. When he came to the stairs, he turned his wheelchair around, got a firm grip on the bannister, and rolled backward down the stairs. After he went through the turnstiles, he repeated his feat on the lower stairwell. When we got to the bottom, I walked up to him:

He looked up at me "Yes?"
"That's the coolest thing I've ever seen."
He grinned. "Thank you. I used to wait for someone to help me. Sometimes I had to wait an hour or more. Finally, I just decided to learn to do it myself."
"I was afraid of insulting you by offering."
"I saw you standing there, in case I needed it. I have to be self-sufficient, though."
"I know how hard it is to carry my daughter up the steps every day."
He nodded. "In a stroller?"
"Yeah. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to carry your own weight and a wheelchair."
"You learn to do it." He smiled and shook my hand. "Have a good night."
"You, too."

So, at the end of the day, here's the scorecard: my wife and I are healthy and employed, my daughter seems to be almost over her cold, my cat may or may not live through the night, my friend may need some surgery, another friend will have to learn to deal with the heartbreak of switching phones, and I saw an amazing act of human strength and courage.

It's been a very, very full day.

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  • I am also expieriencing cat problems only mine are horney little bastards and have kept me awake for three nights.
    I hate that the feelines in my house are getting more than I am

    By Blogger Nosjunkie, At November 9, 2007 at 12:54 AM  

  • It's good to have you back - reading you is always an enriching experience.


    By Blogger Glamourpuss, At November 9, 2007 at 6:13 AM  

  • I'm exhausted after all that too! How awesome you're working on a sitcom. You must tell me what that's like!

    By Anonymous Franki, At November 9, 2007 at 10:43 AM  

  • I know a lot of people addicted to their cell phones.

    That man must have gone through some serious inner demons to get to the point of being so self reliant. Wow.

    I'm sorry about your kitty. I hope he is doing well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 9, 2007 at 10:47 AM  

  • Nosjunkie-
    I know the feeling. Luckily, both these cats are neutered!

    Thank you. And back at you.

    Maybe it has to be a post. The smell of Long Island City alone deserves some serious consideration. It's like a mixture of raw sewage and seawater.

    Funny that you thought it was a man! Actually, Genevieve is really young, 23 or so, and has lived a pretty sheltered life.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 9, 2007 at 1:18 PM  

  • Pool-
    And thanks for your concern. Things look fairly good for Jerome right now.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 9, 2007 at 1:18 PM  

  • Ignore any vet in NYC who advocates an expensive surgery for your animal. Astoria Veterinary Clinic (not far from the Hell's Gate Bridge) is quite good and they did not advocate anything excessive when I brought them the mangled [eventually de-mangled] Mok.

    By Anonymous John, At November 9, 2007 at 6:45 PM  

  • oh man. i hate vets. my ex girlfriend spent 6k on our dawg.

    By Blogger M@, At November 9, 2007 at 9:24 PM  

  • John-
    Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, we live about an hour from Astoria, which is a little inconvenient when one is shlepping a sick cat.

    A friend of ours in Vet school told the wife that our veterinarian has done exactly what he should, and is charging us a very reasonable price.

    I'm not a huge fan myself. However, Jerome is a pretty good cat (when he's not pissing on me), and has been a part of my wife's family longer than I have, so we will do what needs to be done.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 9, 2007 at 10:03 PM  

  • Oh, wow. The man in the subway puts me in awe. And I really like the way you handled it. You're ok, you.

    I hope Jerome makes it. Can't they give him antibiotics in case it is a bladder infection?

    I hope your friend makes it, too, the one with the tumor. I have nothing for the one with the phone either.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, At November 9, 2007 at 10:24 PM  

  • Hearts-
    Thanks for your kind wishes. Jerome is, apparently, stable. The've got him on a course of antibiotics, and we'll see what happens next.

    By Blogger Crankster, At November 11, 2007 at 6:33 PM  

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