M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, October 27, 2004  

Humpblog (10/27/04)

Update on M. Tiny's status: he passed a car seat test, and the MMR thing turned out so well that they unhooked him from all of his monitors. We can actually carry him all the way over to the other side of his hospital room now.

Only the feeding is left. Once he gets three consistent days of empty bottles under his belt, he comes home with us. I don't know what we're going to do with all the time we're going to save by not having to drive to and from St. Paul all the time. Heck, we'll probably be able to free up our schedule enough to raise a child.

* * *

I've got a gig in downtown Minneapolis this month, for the first time in ten years. The building I'm working in wasn't even there last time I had a downtown job. And back then, I worked nights so parking was a lot cheaper. After a few days of regular parking rates, I wondered how anyone can afford to work downtown.

Then a few days ago, on my way into work, I spotted something wonderful. Just outside of downtown proper, there's a street that's been under construction all summer. This street had no meters, no parking restrictions, and, most remarkably, no cars parked at the curb. I remedied that situation toot-sweet and walked the five blocks to work, congratulating myself on figuring out a way to save myself a steep parking fee and have an excuse to get a little exercise at the same time.

I arrived a little later the following morning. A few cars were parked on the street, but there was still a spot for me. I walked the five blocks and three car lengths to my work, calculating that the time I was spending walking to work from this somewhat distant spot was saving me parking fees in well in excess of my hourly wage.

At the end of the day I walked back to my car as far as I could in the Skyway (Minneapolis's Habitrail for humans) because I figured I'd need a partial indoor route for days when it's cold and/or rainy. And also to shake off any people who might be shadowing me to learn about my sweet parking spot.

When I arrived at my car, I discovered that my world had turned upside down during my work day. A line of parking meters had sprung up from the sidewalk as far as the eye could see. Complete with signs proclaiming a four-hour limit.

The word EXPIRED flashed mockingly at me from the curb. At least I hadn't been towed or even tagged, because, after all, it had been perfectly legal to park there when I'd done so. I felt a twinge of grief as I pulled away from the curb and my parking spot that was literally too good to be true for any length of time.

There wasn't another unmetered stretch of curbside for another half-mile from my building. Looks like I'll be investigating the marvels of the mass transit system.

* * *

I brought my lunch to work today. It was a dish of leftover chicken-and-rice dish that Trash's mom made for us when she was staying with us this past week. I nuked it in the break room, brought it back to my desk, and immediately dumped the entire contents upside down into my keyboard.

When people online tell you that you owe them a new keyboard, they are lying. If I can successfully clean a half-liter of chicken and rice goulash off, from between, and out from under my qwertys, your keyboard can certainly survive the occasional Pepsi spray.

First I tipped the keyboard upside down over the trash bin. I wasn't about to eat that stuff. Your average keyboard is probably filthier than the floor of the nearest public privy. Then I popped the individual keys off and wiped the goo from between their beds. Then I dumped the keys into a glass of water and dishwasher detergent and shook them around, rinsed them, dried them, and reapplied them. Good as new. Better, in fact, because now the keyboard is clean enough to eat off of. Ironic, that.

* * *

Orca is all out of the antibiotics we were giving her, but the wheezing didn't go away. So back to the vet she went for a chest X-ray.

I'm proud to say that Orca's lungs are in splendid shape for a cat her age. I saw the films myself. Her lungs aren't the problem. Her herpes is.

"What?" I asked the vet.

The vet had inquired whether Orca had been under any stress lately. I could honestly say that aside from our constant absence due to being at the NICU all the time, the house getting rearranged to accommodate a new resident, two recent trips to the vet, and a week of enduring an eyedropper full of antibiotics in her mouth twice a day, Orca wasn't under any stress at all.

But it seems that some cats are exposed to the herpes virus when very young—in this case, before we even got her—and the virus may remain dormant in their systems for years, until they reach a certain age and find themselves under stress, which can open the door to the virus manifesting itself as an upper respiratory infection. Which is what appears to have happened.

The vet prescribed a quarter tablet of an amino acid called lysine twice a day. Which sucks, because she has a much easier time spitting that out.

posted by M. Giant 7:41 PM 19 comments


Our 12 year old cat developed feline herpes. It manifested itself in the form of eye tumors. Once he started on the lysine, he got much better. So, I'm sure Orca will be breathing much better in no time.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 27, 2004 at 8:25 PM  

You know, I just really think it's pathetic when people let their cats run around and hang out with unsavories, and then try to blame society when said cats come home with social diseases.

You need to improve your mad parenting skillz, my friend. Otherwise M. Tiny is going to walk in the door one day and announce that he's the new PR Rep for the Bush family. THAT is what happens when you don't talk to your kids.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 27, 2004 at 8:27 PM  

Hey, are you working anywhere near the Warehouse District? 'Cause that's where I work, and there's some free parking I know of that I can hip you to if you like. I work nights, though, so I'm pretty spoiled with all the free parking, but I'll share some. ;-) --kjaspy

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 27, 2004 at 8:28 PM  

I'm opposite the warehouse district on the Foshay side of town so if the previous poster can't help you I will certainly try. Of course, I've also got the 'spoiled by working nights' thing going but I can't let you pay full price.

Or just park across the river Northeast somewhere and take the bus for a few blocks. Maybe you can find an agreeable parking/mass transit combo.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 5:00 AM  

My younger kitty came to me with a bad case of feline herpes as a kitten. The lysine does help-- it improves the immune system. I invested in a small mortar and pestal from a drug store, crushed the pills and mixed them with her canned food. Actually, I doubled the dose and mixed it with both of my cats' food-- it won't hurt Strat.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 6:44 AM  

Rapid Park. On the corner of 5th St. and 3rd Ave N. The most that you'll ever pay, even if your car is there for eight hours, is $4. I'm not sure where you're working, but it may be a hike wherever it is. However, now that we have our new flashy light rail system, you could probably take that.

By Blogger Adia, at October 28, 2004 at 6:59 AM  

On a tip from my grandmother, I take lysine to clear up canker sores. Does that mean they're really feline herpes? Sick.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 7:23 AM  

Regarding crushing pills: I have a horse who several times a year gives me the treat of dosing him with antibiotics. We're talking 17 huge pills morning and night. Forget the mortar and pestle - get a cheap coffee grinder, do the whole bottle at once and then scoop out the powder to mix.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 7:50 AM  

Just a quick note from a 'birth Aunt' of M. Tiny....

Even though I've only had a short time to get to Trash and M. Giant...reading this makes me feel 100% confident that my tiny little nephew is in good hands!!!

Congratulations to you both!! I know in my heart that M. Tiny is going to be raised with wonderful, down to earth, realistic parents and have incredible opportunity!

Thanks to the rest of you for reassuring me that my sister made a great choice when choosing these two to raise her son!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 7:58 AM  

Since I know you quite well and Trash too. I told Trash I am learning more about things by reading your blog because she's to busy to fill everyone in.
Tuesdays and Thursday are pretty busy. Max is so lucky to have you two. AND the cat too, wow you two have your hands full. Take care and I love reading your blog, you must do this in the middle of the night.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 8:10 AM  

Me (birth Aunt) again...

Sorry...looks as though I posted in the wrong place.

Oh well....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 8:13 AM  

Hey M. Giant, try the Hiawatha line if it's at all convenient to your work location! It's on time (so far), comfortable (if a little bright- oh, but that's after the bar), and fast. Plus its still a novelty! How fun to ride a train into downtown. And- it costs the same as the bus- $1.00 during non-rush, $1.50 during rush hour.
Check it out at metrotransit.org

Congrats to you and Trash on M. Tiny. You'll be fine.

Luci Lu in St. Paul

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 8:17 AM  

Dear birth aunt -- and birth mom (if you read this) -- oh heck, dear entire birth family --

Please, please, PLEASE rest assured that you have selected a GREAT adoptive family. I met these two through the internet, and now feel as though I have known them for years, and I can't think of a better couple to entrust with raising M. Tiny. They are warm, caring, funny, and smart, and they are full of love.

And check it out -- you can always find out how M. Tiny is doing, just by reading the blog!

I think that all Velcrometer readers would agree when I say that you are doing a wonderful thing, and you have picked wonderful people. Wouldn't the rest of you agree?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 8:19 AM  

My cat was sneezing and coughing, and the vet said he had herpies, as well. Do you think that Snoop and Orca have been hanging out together behind the 7-11?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 28, 2004 at 10:10 AM  

Man, I got my M. Tiny fix yesterday, and he just could not be any cooler, y'all. Unfortunately, we have determined that we can't all sit in the room and laugh hysterically at how much he looks like a burrito, or he won't eat.

It wasn't really my fault, because Trash was the one who said "burrito" first, and M. Giant was the one holding him. I was just sitting there. We did laugh too hard for the NICU, I think.

For a kid who's only a couple of weeks old, he has mastered a wide variety of disdainful facial expressions.

By Blogger Linda, at October 28, 2004 at 10:44 AM  

You have got to use the light rail, it's awesome. Park as close to you can to a stop and walk, it's so fun. Watch out for the nasty neighbors by the 38th st. stop though- they think they own the street and get mad at commuters.

By Blogger KSlush, at October 28, 2004 at 1:30 PM  

How do you take the keys off your keyboard?

By Blogger McPuke, at October 29, 2004 at 6:13 AM  

Let me get in on the lovefest here. I've known M.G&T for almost 10 years now. They rock. A word to M.Tiny, from one superlucky adopted kid to another: Dude. As far as Coolest.Parents.Ever goes, you hit the JACKPOT.

PS oooh! Precocious disdainful looks...I love it! You just know that he's bringing the snark in his tiny, tiny head. Can't wait to see you guys around the holidays.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 29, 2004 at 9:02 PM  

Yay, Lawre! Wow, if she's known them for 10 years, then I must have... wow. How long ago was 8th grade, anyhow?

So here's my note for the Birth People: I have two brothers. And then there's M. Giant, who is pretty much indistinguishable from them, in terms of how quickly I'd drop what I was doing, or how far I'd drive, or how hard I'd work, if he needed help. (Although, for the record, his sh*t has tended to be significantly more together than mine, so it hasn't really been needed.)

And there are lots of people who feel this way. So the tiny one is, to say the least, covered. He's a very lucky kid.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at October 30, 2004 at 7:26 AM  

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