the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: flu

Blaming Others for My Cold

I am sick with a cold.  And it sucks.  And I feel miserable.  And I feel like lashing out at whoever or whatever made me sick.  Cause I am a big baby and I am a mean-spirited person.  So, here is my short list of the most logical culprits.  I curse you all!

1)  That red-haired kid near the dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History on Saturday who kept on coughing in my face, and the mother who was too busy with her Blackberry to notice or care.  Children should not be allowed in museums.

2)  New York City.  That’s right, the whole damn city.  I never got a cold in Los Angeles.  I’m in New York a few months, and BAM!

3)  That empanada place in Jackson Heights that I went with Astrogirl.  They didn’t have a restroom.  Did the cooks even wash their hands?

4)  Too much porn watching lowers the immune system, making you more susceptible to catching a cold.

5)  My mother.  Yes, I am including dear ol’ Mom on the list.  She is the one who told me that it was time to wear “my winter coat already,” and I was so hot outside wearing this behemoth jacket built for Eskimos in Antarctica that I took it off and went around coat-less on Friday in the cool Fall weather.

6)  The blogging community.  You made fun of me for owning and wearing a jean jacket, saying it was too 80’s, so I didn’t wear it, out of shame, and ended up listening to my mother and wearing that hot, oversized parka.   If you would have kept your mouths shut, I might have avoided the whole situation.

7)  The motley crew of passengers who travel on the F train from Manhattan to Queens at 1AM.  I mean MOTLEY.

8)  The recent Chinese immigrants in downtown Flushing.  I hate to point my finger at any one ethnic group, but who else can we blame for the Hong Kong flu?  It isn’t called the Swedish flu, right?

9)  The four women who play mahjong with my mother. This week my mother hosted the game in her apartment.  Who knows what type of kinky lifestyles these strange women in their sixties and seventies lead on the outside?  Also, mahjong — Hong Kong Flu again?

10)  French kissing that sexy Hungarian supermodel at the nightclub.  (Oh right, that was just in my dream.  Skip that one)

11)  McDonald’s.  Just walking in there is enough to make anyone sick.  And this Flushing franchise across the street is so cheap, they only give you one napkin.

Cold Medicine


My mother flew back to New York today.  Thanks, Mom, nice having you.  We’ll make the Getty Center next time!

But, to be honest, it was nice to have her go.  I looked forward to some quiet time.   Of course, the gods had other plans for my life.  Sophia woke up today with a cold (second time in two months, poor thing!).   She had to work this morning, which only made her worse.  In the afternoon, I was about to go out and buy her some cold medicine when she told me to wait.   Sophia is a born researcher and didn’t just want any old cold medicine.  She researched online to learn what others think is the BEST cold medicine du jour.  So, here’s the lowdown — in 2007, Tylenol Cold and Benedryl are as “out” as Michael Richards once-flourishing television career.  The new headliners are Tavist D and Drixoral. 

OK, good enough.  Off I went to Vons, my local supermarket.    How do people ever choose a cold medicine?  There are literally a 100 different brands in different packaging — 12 hour, 24 hour, caplets, liquids, maximum strength, cold and allergy, cold alone, etc…  Strangely, Vons had every cold medicine under the sun, except for the two brands I wanted. 

I drove over to CVS Pharmacy.  They had an even bigger selection of products, but NOT Tavist D or Drixoral.   It seemed as if these medicines were selling out as fast as that Elmo toy at Christmas.

I went to Walgreen’s.  I could not believe it.  They DIDN’T have it either.  Surely, something was amiss.  I waited in line to “consult” with the pharmacist.  In Walgreen’s commercials, the pharmacist is always a friendly older man who looks like he would come to your house and make you some chicken soup you if he had the chance.   This pharmacist was a mean-looking young Filipino woman.

“I’ve been looking all over for Tavist D or Drixoral, but I can’t seem to find it.” I said.  “Is there a substitute I can use?”

“We do have them.”


“At the counter.” she snarled.


“No, BEHIND THE FRONT COUNTER!  California law!”

I called Sophia, who made fun of me.  Apparently it was a big news story last year.  Tavist D, Drixoral, and several other cold remedies contain Pseudoephedrine, and drug users were using these pills to get high.  Now pharmacies keep them behind the front counter.

“I don’t remember this news story.” I said to Sophia.

“You were probably too busy blogging at the time.” she answered.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:   At Least She Got an Umbrella 

Male Nurse


Thank you for your nice comments yesterday. You would be a perfect bunch of readers if there weren’t a few of you, an unnamed minority, who frequently accuse me of pandering to my female readers in hope of hearing you go “ooh,” “awww,” “how sweet,” or “You are so hot, I really want to **** you on my kitchen table!” As if that is why I started blogging —

I deeply resent this accusation. As an artist, I use my writing to communicate my inner feelings and creativity, not to manipulate the emotions of fragile women eager to find a man who has the sensitivity of the poet, the wisdom of a philosopher, and the animalistic prowess of a love machine (and is Jewish to boot!).

I repeat. I have no interest in sucking up to a bunch of dames. Just because you might have some curves in the right places and smell like flowers does not make you any more special than my dull, sweaty male readers.

Today’s post will be short because I am caring for Sophia, who is sick. Even though we are separated and she still calls my moving back into the house, while she was away on location, an “illegal squatting,” I feel it is my duty to care for her while she recovers from this debilitating flu. Look how miserable she looks in this photo.


Luckily, she has me to bring her hot tea and medicine.

Oh, I have to go. I think I hear her calling for some DayQuil! But don’t feel bad for me. She’s the one who is sick. I love catering to a cranky woman’s every demand when she isn’t feeling well, especially after not seeing her for two months and hopelessly hoping for some very very needed T&A (see magic orbs)! I don’t need any special “oohs” and “aahs” just because she is the worst patient ever and is sneezing all over the place. Doing a job well is all the thanks I need.

P.S. I bought a chicken to make her chicken soup, but there is no way in hell I’m going to wash this thing. Am I wrong to wake her up to tell her to cook it herself?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Man Who Loves His Friends

Mom! I’m Sick!


Sophia is in her bedroom with a 102 temperature.    I came here yesterday to help out.  Now I’m in the living room, feeling hot, coughing, and dizzy. 

So, of course, the first thing I do is blog about it. 

I don’t know if Sophia got me sick or it was because I walked around in that kilt underwear all day.

I’m beginning to feel pretty miserable.  How miserable, you might ask?  If some female blogger would IM me right now, offering to take off their top for me on the videocam, I would refuse, because I just don’t have the energy to watch.

Luckily, my mother is coming to town tomorrow.  What an exciting vacation she’s going to have — taking care of two sick people!

This is the first time my mother is visiting me here since my father passed away a couple of months ago.  So, the visit is a little sad.  But it’s also an opportunity to bond with my mother in a way I haven’t done since I was a kid.  Let’s see if I can still beat her in Scrabble.

Do you think it would be weird to go see a movie about two gay cowboys with your mother?

Since I’m pretty much rambling right now, can I act Jewish again and say I feel a little guilty for not keeping up with some of your blogs.   I’ve been doing that gig at Blogebrity and it’s actually harder than I thought to write two posts a day. 

I think the medication I took is settling in, so this is where I really go all crazy. 

A few days ago, Communicatrix had this very moving thought (her blog may look a little funny today because of the Typepad problems):

So…why am I here? And what the hell should I do with my life, or what’s left of it?

The truth is, while over the years I’ve become a passable copywriter, a decent actress, a fairly good designer and made money at all of them, nothing** has proved as rewarding as writing this stupid blog.

I’m sure that holds true for many of us.   I actually thought of going through all my comments and sending each and every one of you a Christmas, uh, Holiday email, but then I’d look like a total wimp, and not the snarky trend-setter that I aim to be.

OK, excuse me while I pass out.

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