New York City
New York City is infested with germs. Whenever I spend any time here this year, I get a sick. I flew back to NYC on a Monday. Within 48 hours I got sick. By Wednesday night, I felt blah and knew that a cold was coming. It invaded the next day and I had not been able to kick it for ten days. I wrote all last week clutching tissues, plugging the nasal drip, and I didn't exercise a few days and go jogging because of the crappy weather and my ill state. I have been taking it easy, so my guess is that I'd be even sicker if I was not relaxing and expending very little energy. I've also been taking multi-vitamins to boost my immune system.
The most difficult thing to do is rest because it tests my patience. Since I have issues with sleeping, trying to sleep through a cold or stay in bed to get some rest is practically torture for me, since I'm looking up at the ceiling knowing that I have a lot of writing to do and a stack of books to read and at the same time wanting to desperately get some sleep. Sleep never happens. Herbal remedies don't work and the higher end pharmacopoeia makes me do weird things like the time in Australia when I popped Ambien and several hours later, I pissed on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, Nicky stepped in it many hours later.
I have been sick predominantly during 2007, mainly because my stars are aligned in a way where I'd be prone to illness. My Chinese astrology chart for this year said two things... the first was that I would have an extremely prosperous year and the second that I would also be sick a lot. Talk about being spot on. Although nothing major happened aside from strep throat, it seems as though I'm constantly getting over a cold or experiencing some minor issues like a sore back or a aching neck or a pulled muscle in my arm or the finger incident in Sydney. Then there was the infamous Otis Rash that I got in Las Vegas this summer. I won't go into any more details. Time to segue into food...
I went to the Greek diner on the Saturday after Turkey Day. They were already playing Christmas music. I ordered a bacon, egg, and cheese because I have not had too many since my return. I sat at the counter and waited for my order. The seat is next to the cashier, so I could see and hear how much people's bills were. I noticed that two of the customers left shitty tips. Cheapskates.
Over the last few days, I have been running into random people in my old neighborhood. Like the one dude who used to delivery pizzas. Or some kid that I played little league baseball with. A lot of people returned for the holidays. Of course, I do my best to avoid them. All they want to talk about is their kids, or they ask me a million and one questions about poker that I'd rather not answer.
There are good neighbors and bad neighbors. When I was in high school (almost twenty years ago), we had some bad neighbors. They made a lot of noise and wouldn't stop when you complained. Yet as soon as the volume on my stereo was raised ever so slightly, they'd bitch and moan. One day I got into trouble and the cunt ratted me out by writing a letter to the president of the building or whatever faux leader there was. He was a retired old Jewish guy and he let me tell my side of the story. He understood my plight because others in the building have complained about her relentless complaints. Then he kinda said something that I'll never forget, "There are good neighbors and bad neighbors. Unfortunately, she's a bad neighbor and you have to deal with it."
The bad neighbor had a daughter and five or six years ago I had an incident with her. I went to the grocery store for my mother and had a few bags with me. I opened up the front door and she whizzed by without saying thank you. I had stopped for a second to pick up the mail and she had gone ahead and got into the elevator. As I walked over she saw me coming and let the doors closed without holding it for me. Some people like riding elevators by themselves (me included), but I had a couple of bags with me and I held the front door open for her. It would have been polite to return the favor and hold the elevator for me. Instead, she quickly hit the close button. I jammed my foot in the elevator door and it sprung back open. She was surprised I did that and did not say a word. That's when I unleashed the Kevin Spacey line from American Beauty where he told his daughter some valuable advice, "You better watch out or you are going to turn into a real bitch, just like your mother."
The horrified look on the girl's face was something I'll also never forget. And guess what? Six years later, she turned into that horrible bitch, just like her mother, as I had predicted. And she got fat too. I overheard her screaming at her father the other day. As I walked by I smiled and looked her in the eye reminding her of our conversation in the elevator. I told you so.
The cuntette hath become a cunt.
That was some of the slowest karmic payback I had ever seen, but it was well worth the wait.
My mainstream media blackout continues. I have successfully avoided reading newspapers, television, and websites. I have not bought one newspaper since I've been back. It;s been hard to not read the Tuesday science section in the NY TImes or peruse the sports pages of the Daily News. And you know what? I didn't miss anything. I never realized how much time I wasted reading propaganda. The only exception has been ESPN, both the website and TV. And that's because I need to follow up on certain information to update my fantasy football teams and various pools.
My email experiment has been working as well. I no longer feel the urge to check my email forty times a day. I'm down to checking my multiple accounts only two or three times and there are moments when I got a day or even two without reading any. If I go over my alloted time amount, I simply stop and log off. Maybe this is a new bad habit that I'm getting... but I've only answered about 10% of the mail that I've gotten.
So what have I been doing with all that free time? Reading and trying to fight the cold by lying in bed and looking off into space. In addition, I have been spending several hours a day listening to older CDs that were buried in a milk crate underneath a bunch of other stuff.
I have been on a serious Phish kick recently. I got through phases a lot when I listen to one band a lot then I move onto another one. I received Vegas 96 in the mail the other day and have been listening to that a lot so I can write a review for the Phish blog. I have been also listening along to certain shows from 1997 and 1998. I can't get enough of The Year of the Funk.
I have been religiously writing to Miles Davis. I shift back and forth between Sketches of Spain and Bitches Brew. I can't get enough of either and it's the perfect background music.
My reading binge continued. I'm more than half-way through the 600 page Saturday Night Live book. I got through the first ten years. Lorne Michaels produced it from 1975-1980 then left for five years. He returned in 1985 and that's where I'm at.
Friday was productive but I purposely scheduled the day to work on my freelance stuff. I write an article for the Swedes and also whipped up a strip club review for LasVegasVegas. I wrote my Truckin' story for the December issue and edited some other stories.
The writing project has lost some steam. I only worked on it once in the last three days. I wrote about 1,900 words on Saturday and it was crappy stuff. I was distracted. I'll have to rewrite most of it today. I'm up to 14,200 words and I'd say about 10K are solid. I took off Sunday to relax and watch football.
Earlier this morning, I woke up after a few hours of restless sleep. I went to the post office and ate some breakfast, but was sicker than I had been the last ten days. I took some cold and flu medicine and went back to sleep. I eventually woke up at 3pm. I felt about the same and got bummed out that had been burning daylight and missed several hours of good writing time. The result? I cranked out 3,900 words in two hours. I pretty much re-wrote the majority of the 1,900 words that I worked on Saturday.