Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A watery grave decision

So, I'm on the phone with Shay earlier, wandering around the apartment as I'm talking when I notice that one of my 10+ fish has died (I have four tanks in the living room: two 10-gallon tanks and two 20-gallon). It is one of my fantailed goldfish who--until today--had managed to live 3 years despite being bloated beyond reason and constantly swimming upside-down.

"Shit," I mutter as I scoop him up into the net, "should I flush him? He's pretty big." Shay offers her backyard for a proper memorial service but I worry that he'll be rotted by the time I schlep out to her house in LI again.

"Damn, Jenn, that's the problem with your fish living so long," Shay observes. "They grow too big to flush."

Agreed. Against every gut instinct in me, I flush the bloated goldfish (about the size of my fist) down the toilet.

I quickly realize that I've made a terrible mistake as the toilet water begins to rise up to its seat. Flush after flush does nothing to help the situation; clearly, he's stuck somewhere in the labyrinth of porcelain pipes I neglected to consider.

Not sure why I always have to illustrate the blog but this was too interesting to pass up: a $299 "Fish and Flush" toilet (www.fishnflush.com/order.asp).

Several hours later, I'm on the phone with J-Sok, recapping the failed toilet funeral and wondering how I'm going to sell the "I don't know what's wrong with it" story to my super tomorrow. J-Sok jumps on yet another opportunity to berate my skills as a pet owner.

"Wow. One of your fish died. What a surprise. Do you buy pets with the sole purpose of killing them?"

"No, this fish lived nearly 3 years, J. He had a good life despite suffering from fish gout."

"Why the hell did you flush him anyway? Why are fish the only pets that we flush? You wouldn't flush a hamster or cat. Why flush a fish? Don't they deserve to be buried, too?"

"I don't know, J. Maybe it's 'cause they're used to being in water so the toilet makes sense somehow."

Back to the bathroom to try another round of plunging but to no avail. Next, I try snaking an unraveled coat hanger into the winding pipes to dislodge the fish. Several unsuccessful attempts underscore my desperate need for Liquid Plumber. I resolve to run out for a bottle in the morning. In the meantime, I'm trying to dissolve the scaly corpse (I poured a half a bottle of bleach in the toilet -- at the very least, it will be clean enough to drink out of).

Why so much effort? After all, I generously tip my super at Christmas -- why try to fix it on my own? Simple: I'm afraid he'll discover the fish tomorrow and don't care to cement my reputation with him for bizarre behavior (a string of crazy roommates including one anorexic alcoholic who was carried out by EMS twice in the month she lived here laid the foundation for 4G's legend).

Whether I'm eventually outed as a fish flusher or not, I've learned my lesson: fish deserve to be buried, too (especially when they're bigger than a gerbil).

Other Brooklyn Zoo news:
I have given up on keeping crickets as pets. After several batches, only one qualified as a "success" (with me being lulled to sleep by actual cricket sounds). Unfortunately, that batch died while I was out in the Grand Canyon. I returned to find their hollowed bodies huddled in a corner of the cozy terrarium I'd made for them. Yes, J-Sok, I'm a bad pet owner.

I'm now searching for a CD of cricket sounds. Suggestions?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Catching up with crazy

* denotes partial truths that will be explained

So, I haven't written anything the last few weeks because of back-to-back deadlines that kept me chained to the desk.*

* explanation 1:
Even in the midst of pressure cooker deadlines, I find ways to rationalize treks out to the Mall at Short Hills with Jeremy (it was an emergency; he needed Gucci shades for his African safari) and a weekend at 5-star hotels in Washington, DC (we were scouting locations for an upcoming photoshoot -- we had to test them out for ourselves first, um, just in case. You know how cheap Mormons can be -- the Ritz Carlton may have suffered in Mr. Marriott's wrinkled hands).

At one point during the "I'm so busy I'm going to die" weeks, I was walking on the Upper East Side with Jeremy, iced coffee in one hand and Bloomies bag in the other, saying, "You don't understand; I just don't have any time!" It was then that I realized how crazy I am.

I was so busy that I was unable to do even the most simple things like shop for food.*
* explanation 2:
In addition to being time-starved, the fridge looked like an anorexic's dream because for the first time since I got laid off and began life as a full-time freelancer last October, I didn't have the cash to restock it. Up until then, I'd been fortunate with the checks coming in just as regularly as paychecks. But then there was a month-long lull.

As a result, I was down to things that had been festering in the fridge for a month (witness the RED mold in the yogurt -- I didn't know it came in that color). The sad truth is that most of the stuff in the fridge either belonged to my long-since-vacated roommate or was a condiment (is that a food group?).

I began eyeballing my cat Eve, wondering how much of her is white meat. I reconsidered after she cleaned her butt WITH HER OWN TONGUE and ended up returning the Chanel perfume I'd bought at Bloomies to free up some cash. Priorities, right?

1. My new food group: Ketchup & Friends.
2. Everything in this row was thrown out upon further inspection (except the condiments, of course).
3. Contained 1 rotting avocado, 1 object that may have been an apple once and 2 pieces of dark chocolate (I’m saved!).
4. No treasure chest like its next-door-neighbor: contained 3 yellow onions (that were supposed to be yellow, thankfully enough).
5. Not edible. Just a posse of icepacks lurking in the background, waiting for a migraine.
6. Extra pie crust from when I made a quiche...for a Christmas party.
7. Cereal. Note: the fridge does not contain any milk (aside from #14, which counts only if you’re high).
8. Starbucks drink. I have NO idea when/where this item appeared in my fridge but I suspect was my roommate Teruko’s. Note: she moved back to Japan in Aug. 07.
9. The only truly edible item in here: homemade onion/green bean soup in chicken stock.
10. Blueberries my Mom bought for me while I was in RI for Mother’s Day (10 days before this photo was taken). Not for nothin’ but I ate them with #15.
11. All of these belong to my cat, Eve. One is her antibiotic (post-tooth surgery), another is her canned food, and the 2nd shelf item is a jar of baby food (green peas, which she loves).
12. This is where the science experiment was being conducted. I never knew mold came in red until I opened the Stonyfield yogurt. Is this what happens when organic foods die?
13. My last roommate’s coffee creamer. Note: Nikki moved out in March 08.
14. A bottle of aloe vera I bought after a severe sunburn (following a trip to FL...in 2003).
15. Recently-deceased cottage cheese (had expired 2 days prior to this photo). I ate it. I mean, those dates are just guidelines, right? Cinammon can kill the taste of anything, BTW.
Anyway, so now I'm back after making the last mega deadline at 7 Wed. morning -- have been recovering ever since. Spent most of Wed. afternoon sitting on a park bench overlooking Sheepshead Bay, thinking about how ironic and crazy life can be (one week you're starving and trying to decide if salad dressing goes good with toast; next week, you've got money in the bank and are sleeping 3 blocks from the White House)..

Chillin' by the water, watchin' swans, readin' a book, hatin' the letter "g."

Yesterday was errand day: went into the city to finally pick up my roller skates (new wheels, trucks and bearings! The repair only cost me $6 less than I paid for the skates in '85) and buy the sofa/lounge/bed for my soon-to-be-boogie-down-room (formerly the roommate's room and now a guest room/home office with a hip hop flava).

Today is packing day: I leave tomorrow morning for Las Vegas (yuck) where I'm meeting up with my Dad for the Father's Day trip of a lifetime! I'm treating him to 4 days on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and a scorching fast drive through the painted desert. Our chariot? A black and gold, convertible Shelby Mustang GT from Hertz (awwwwwwwwww yeah). It will be an amazing, memorable time for both of us, no doubt (gas prices and environment be damned)!!

As I was packing now, I decided to try on my skates just to be sure all is well. I have since discovered that my apartment could easily double as a roller rink -- the hardwood floor is DIVINE (although my neighbors downstairs probably think otherwise).

Will be doing the hokey pokey in the living room later, fo' sho'.