Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Official update

This whole Bar study period has proved more distracting than even I anticipated or hoped, so the updates haven't been coming as hard and fast as I'd hoped. Let's divide things by topic or theme.

Cat of Doom

The cat is gone. In fact, the cat has been gone for about a week now. After another day of awkward coexistence - involving, among other interactions, the cat deciding to share a bed with me without regard for my allergies - I successfully convinced my parents to adopt her for as long as Tina and I are living in my sister's place.

At first, we were jubilant. Hooray! We were free of the feline scourge! We spontaneously cheered our good fortune over and over again as we spent our last evening with the cat, eying her disdainfully and intoning, "Soon, little one, soon you will be gone."

But Tina and I are inherently good people, and soon our consciences caught up with us. Our joy was soon tainted with subtle, bubbling undertones of guilt. Who are we, we asked ourselves, to kick this creature out of its home for our own convenience? Perhaps we should try to find a way to peacefully coexist with her? And that cat, as if sensing the softening of our hearts with her keen feline senses, began to ingratiate herself with us. She let us be as we worked. She quietly approached and rubbed her head gently against our legs. She sat patiently, docilely, as we pet her. She purred affectionately as we responded to her siren's call, as if to say to us, "I'll be good! I swear! Just give me another chance!" She even started doing extra cute things, like drinking water from the faucet:

Then she bit Tina again, and as the blood flowed, the reconciliation ended. Good riddance, Demon Cat.

With the cat gone, we considered our displaced, if not defeated, foe. We decided that she was like the Boo Ghost from the old Mario games. When you're looking at her, she's still, safe, placid. But turn your back, and she'll chase you down, fangs out.

General Misfortunes

Our life has, aside from the huge misery of Bar review, also been a cavalcade of minor miseries. We decided to go to the brand new-looking Quiznos down the street from our house, only to discover that it was already shut down (sure is a fancy-looking sign, though). We tried to go to the Ralph's down the street (identified to us by both my mother and by the Internet), only to discover that it had recently been converted into a sketchy Korean specialty supermarket...which was across the street from another sketchy Korean specialty supermarket. As we departed from the (first) Korean supermarket in failure, Tina inserted the key into her rental car and turned...and turned...and turned...except it didn't move. Why didn't it move? No explanation. We removed the key from the ignition, opened the door, exited the car, closed the doors, opened the doors, got back in, reinserted the key, and started the car. There was no evidence that what happened wasn't merely in our minds except that both of us experienced it.

Speaking of Experiences of the Mind...

Bar study is not good for one's mental health. As early as last week, I spent a few minutes curled up in a ball on the floor of our kitchen, laughing till I cried, and insisting to myself that the laughter was the only reason for the tears. I remember watching my roommate last summer go through the Bar study process, and observing quietly as he slowly unraveled. By the end of June, he was drawing vaguely disturbing, highly emo images depiction his suffering and his projected failure of the Bar. It wasn't until this year that I realized the irony of making the drawings on index cards (or as I now think of them, blank flash cards). And the only reason I haven't followed suit yet is because I've specifically barred myself from sad drawings until June is over.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lola Lolcat

And the winner of the Lolcat caption competition is Drew McLelland:

Also, unrelatedly, read this, and be sure to look at the photo of the letter up close. My favorite line would be, "How I long to see you again back in Kentucky, waiting to meet me at the unexploded train station that isn't covered in human entrails."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Demon Cat and the Apartment of Doom

"Demon Cat and the Apartment of Doom."

That's the name of the photo albums that Tina and I have created in documenting our newly wretched existence here. Apparently, we are not the only people with such problems. Did I mention that Tina and I are also both heinously allergic to cats (although our allergies do better when we're filled with furious rage...maybe the adrenaline in action).

Meet Lola, a.k.a. Demon Cat. See how she and I regard each other with mutual fear, disdain, and contempt.

See my way of expressing my fear, disdain, and contempt: locking Demon Cat in the fridge for a brief period of time. Don't worry, she's fine. Unfortunately.

New Blog challenge! Come up for LOLCAT caption for this. Possible starting place: "IM IN UR FRIJ......"

The brother-in-law's computer, which I so believed had to be a busted old shell, that I assumed a shredder was actually the computer instead.

Who the hell uses a trackball mouse in this day and age? I will go to Fry's and spend $4 buying them a new optical mouse. Seriously.

Yes, that's Tina's essay open in WordPad, what with the lack of Microsoft Word on either computer in the house and all. Really, how do they function in contemporary society?

The worst desktop ever. We really hoping that the Desktop Cleanup Wizard would open while we were on the computer. And then crash. If you're curious, the "awebutt011" file I referred to in the previous post is down around the black tip of the dog's tail.

Cat Watch 2008 begins

(Note: This post adapted from a frustrated email sent at 2:24 a.m. last night/this morning.)

Today was officially the most comically frustrating day ever. I swear to you, this must be what purgatory is like; it isn't affirmatively awful enough that you feel like you really have a right to complain (I'm still living here for free, right?), but I can't imagine more little things going wrong.

First, after Bar class, Tina (who is living in the extra room here for this month) went to In 'n Out, where we discovered that, due to the current salmonella scare, there are no tomatoes. Bollocks. Then we came to the condo, where we found (1) a note from the post office that Tina's package had arrived and would be waiting at the post office, and (2) that I didn't have the right key to the condo. I took the leopard print key from the extra ring at home, because that's the condo key. Actually, I took the wrong leopard print key. There were more than one. That's my sister in action...neither my dad nor I knew what the other one was for, but basically, we had to wait 25 minutes for my dad to make his second trip to the condo today (he dropped by in the morning to leave some of my stuff here for me, which was nice), so we could get in the door. In the meantime, we went to the post office to pick up the package, but learned that the mailman had left the note today because we weren't there to accept delivery, and that the package wouldn't be available till tomorrow morning. Boo.

Then, for some bad karma, on the drive there Tina made a joke that openly disdained poor people, and at the post office itself, I made a joke about homeless people (my friend had previously text messaged me asking, "Is Santa Ana Spanish for 'homeless?'"), in front of two people who I immediately thereafter realized appeared to be homeless. In line at the Post Office! Why would I predict that? Also, Tina made a comment about how Santa Ana is like Mexico rather than America, just as the woman in front of us in line went up to the desk clerk and conducted her whole transaction entirely in Spanish. Nice.

So we finally got in, started acquainting ourselves with the cat, and I showed Tina around the condo. All was well. Until it was revealed that this cat is possessed, a demon in furry flesh, an absolute holy fucking terror. We played with the cat for a while, with great success (Tina said it appeared to be her favorite cat ever to date), and then went about our business, when out of nowhere it just ran up behind Tina, grabbed her leg with its claws and bit her with its evil little demon teeth. It drew blood in 6 distinct places (finding a bandage was also a prolonged and only marginally successful ordeal). Then Tina and I went on Google, searched for "cat allergy and bite," and discovered an encyclopedia of data about abjectly terrifying diseases, infections, and reactions to cat attacks. We stopped when the Google results preview of one of the hits ended "can often lead to septic..." We didn't want to see the end of the sentence.

Then a few hours later, while I was sitting on the couch eating dinner and watching Top Chef, the cat randomly lunged at my wrist and bit me. What the fuck? Admittedly, I was petting its paws, but I'd been petting it before! It liked the petting! Why the biting? My startled jerk scared the cat off the couch, and then, understandably furious, I flung 2 pillows at the cat's face, one after the other. Rather amusingly, the cat looked directly at the oncoming pillows as they rocketed forward, hurtling inexorably toward her face, and made no attempt to dodge either whatsoever. Rather disoriented from the two direct pillow-to-face blows, the cat fled upstairs to plot its vengeance. The whole process led to a number of discussions between Tina and I about tort liability for this. We determined that, because a possessor of property (me) need only inform a licensee (Tina) of known artificial dangers (including domestic pets), and I had no idea that this cat was a fucking sociopath, I could not be held liable. The same could not be said about some people.

Shortly thereafter, I fielded a call from my mother. When I recounted the cat's antics, she basically replied, "Yeah, that happens." My parents aren't much for sympathy, or for effective warnings. I went on a multiple-expletive-laden rant about the cat (when my mom called it fearless, I retorted that, "She isn't so fucking fearless when you hurl two pillows at her face. That puts the fear of motherfucking God in her right goddamn quick."). She suggested we use my sister's laser pointer to tucker the cat out enough to abate the danger, which worked for about a minute, until the only possible instrument of our salvation ran out of batteries. Wail. Tina has officially predicted that she's going to wake up from a nightmare-ridden, fitful sleep tonight (behind her closed bedroom door) to discover the cat is sitting on her face and that the door is still mysteriously, inexplicably closed. She asks that if she doesn't make it out alive, we tell her parents she loves them.

Eventually, it was time to print Tina's practice Bar essay, since she finished well before me. First, we emailed it to ourselves so we could get it from my sister's computer and print it there. She didn't have Word. Then we got a trial version open and printed, but the printer jammed over and over. So we tried Scott's computer, once we figured out what was the computer -- the decrepit looking tower with multiple gaping holes in it (yes), or the shiny black monolith that appeared to have few if any buttons or ports (actually a shredder, which I suspect would have made for a better computer system at this point). It took like 7 minutes to boot up, involved about 8 error messages, demanded a password prompt for which the right response was pressing enter with no password, and featured a desktop that had literally every single possible space covered with some useless shortcut or mp3 or video or something (we tried to play one promising looking AVI called "awebutt011," but he didn't have a working codec for the file that was on the fucking desktop). Then we opened email and opened the essay, and it wasn't until it opened in WordPad that we realized that he, too, did not have Office. It is unclear how these two participate meaningfully in society.

All of this was intermingled with Bar study for today, Bar study for what we missed last week, background cat allergies of unpredictable and wavering intensity for both of us, and episode after episode of absolutely hysterical laughing fits in which we were literally reduced to tears and unable to function at all for extended periods of time. We've decided that this is like the movie 1408 (not that I've seen it), except instead of having an evil, possessed hotel room, it's actually this entire condo. If I climb out the window and into the window of the unit next door, I'll discover that I'm back in the same condo, and the cat will be sitting there in the middle of the living room floor, staring directly at me as its pupils widen (the crazy eyes being surefire sign that it's got the demon jitters again and it's about to do something dangerous and unstable).

So if anyone wants to bring me something to make me feel better, at this particular moment, the answer is, "Cat poison." I'll try to think of something else that won't constitute a criminal offense or lead to a major family incident.


I've been looking for something to get me interested in writing again, but I haven't been able to find it. The soul-crushing, ego-destroying force of Bar study? Nope. My ongoing flirtations with and transitions into adult life? Nah. But now, at long last, I've discovered my muse:

The most evil cat in the world.

I'm currently living in my sister's condo -- it's a rent-free option that doesn't involve living with the parents, but lets me be close enough to steal food from them. It's a good situation. The catch is that I'm not only housesitting, I'm catsitting. And this cat, Lola, is the spawn of Satan.

Read on.