Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I love cats. I have two of them, in fact. They're my boon companions. But my cats cannot do tricks. Most cats cannot do tricks. Most cats are not a part of the Moscow Cats Theatre. The Moscow Cats Theatre is best described thus: a smallish group of clowns enticing a larger group of cats (and one dog) to do tricks of varying difficulty and impressiveness. It's more of a Cat Circus. I imagine they call it theater (okay, "Theatre") so that they can charge $50 for it.

I would like to say a thing or two about the Moscow Cats Theatre. First, if you are into psychotropic drugs, it might be advisable to take some before attending this particular theater. Though, I must counsel caution: the experience itself was tantamount to a tab or two of acid, so if you walk into the joint packed full of rum and mescaline, you are headed for a five-alarm, Hunter Thompson-style freakout. The kind that ends with evil fear, large bills, and a confrontation with law enforcement.

But I digress. On to my second thought regarding the Cats Theatre. While I admit I laughed my ass off several times, and that it was far better than much of the real theater I've attended, I can't say that it was really worth $50. Yes, the cats did some pretty nifty things, but the magical clown storyteller/painter in search of love beset by nightmare elephant-clown cat stealers and aided by a fairy catmother storyline felt a bit artificial.

And the "tricks" would be better termed "impressive demonstrations of normal cat behavior." Cats climb things. We saw them climb very high things. They jump. We saw em do that as well. They squeeze themselves into improbable places. Uh huh. They get trussed up in dresses by pathetic clowns. No doubt about it. They hang on with those devlish claws for dear life when something they are on is moved. Yep. That's cat behavior all right. They do handstands. They walk along parallell bars with two feet, as the other two dangle below. Okay, the last two I'll admit into the record as "tricks." But really, wouldn't some quaint square in an aging European capital dotted with unwashed hippies and tourists be a more appropriate venue for this busking act?

And here's the coup de grace: the kids just would not shut up. All the little urchins did was holler and bellow and howl like it was Christmas day. It's like they'd never been to the theater before. theatre that is. Theatre.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Trail of Tears

Often, it seems to me that life consists of enduring one trauma after another. Tragedy begets tragedy, and we all smile in spite of it, because it's got to be better than being dead. From Mississippi to Iraq to Sudan to Pakistan to Guatemala, horror approaches, shakes my hand, offers me a seat, and punches me in the groin.

Someone dies, mourning lingers, then another death. There will be a point when I will no longer be attending my friends' weddings, but their funerals.

What has provoked this depressive, bitter, overly general diatribe? Many coincident events of varying crapitude, but one in particular. Someone very close to me has been harrassed sexually by her superior. Her response has been measured and reasonable in bringing it to the attention of management. And what have they done about it? Tried to brush her off. Not taken it seriously. Tried to end it with some ludicrous promise that the offender would get counseling. Take it from someone who likes the sauce a little too much, a couple sessions of sensitivity training will not rein in an out of control alcoholic.

That the company didn't bend over backwards for her sake is shocking to me. If they don't give a shit about the work environment or rights of their employees (which they clearly don't), they should give a shit about getting sued. Which they are about to. Fuckers.

So I go from a general consideration about the ugliness of life to a specific and enraged complaint.

If only I could take a hacksaw to the prick's prick and lob a Molotov into the offending corporate offices.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Letter of Condemnation

When I got to work today, there was an envelope with my name on it on top of the register in the pump hut. I asked Vijay if it was for me, and he asked me if it had stupid written on it. I said no, and he said give it to him. I did, and he said open it, stupid, it's for you.

It was a letter from the Mayor Alein, thanking me for my bravery when the station got robbed. I don't know why I got a letter this time. I guess because my picture was in the paper. I was looking at it, thinking it's a weird thing to get thanked when you get robbed, as if you had something to do with it, when Vijay told me to get to work and clean up a bunch of oil next to pump 3.

I haven't shown it to anyone yet. I'd like to get it framed and put it in the pump hut, because that would be appropriate, but we're not allowed to hang anything except approved materials in there. It's probably a mistake anyway. They probably meant to send it to someone who actually did something besides hit the alarm button and put the money in the drop safe when they got robbed. Besides, I've gotten beat up lots of times, and I never got a letter about it before.

The pump hut is still freezing. I don't think they're ever going to fix the window. It'd get fixed if Vijay had to sit in there all night.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Nothing Left

Not much left anyway. Just enough to let a few lines dribble listlessly out. Each time a project of mine ends, I feel utterly rudderless. I could easily sleep until three in the afternoon and stay up until four in the morning. I force myself to get up and do things, but only because they must be done. Because something must be done, and laying in bed as the world falls to shit is simply unacceptable (tried it in college...not worth the lack of effort), no matter how disagreeable doing stuff may seem.

I think I could classify this post-project mourning period as a symptom of a pervasive and nearly constant depression. Combine that with the feeling of dread that creeps over me from time to time (while I'm watching TV, while riding an elevator, while sitting and reading), and I've got quite an incentive to stay in bed.

What's worse, I've misplaced my glasses. Damn my eyes. At least the LSATs are over. At least there's that.