Sunday, February 18, 2007

Eyes Wide Shut

I came out of the House of Pain nightclub this morning at around 6:00am and saw a girl I had talked and danced with earlier; she was kind of a Goth type, or at least would qualify as such by Russian standards, since she didn't have dyed hair or huge high heels -- just a cute young thing with black hair and black clothes. I realize it's kind of strange to say this, but she kind of looked like a young, cute, female Trent Reznor.

When I saw her at 6:00am though, she was incoherently drunk, crying, staggering down the street on the ice; I went up to her to see if she was okay and when I looked at her face I saw that both of her eyes were swollen shut.

I asked what had happened, but I didn't really understand her answer; fight? allergic reaction? somebody pepper-sprayed her? I don't know.

She cried that she didn't know where her friends were and had no money; she tried to call them but could hear nothing but loud music on the other end. "I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING!" she screamed into the phone. I asked her where she lived and she couldn't say much beyond the fact that she was near a shopping center near where I live, but being unable to see, would probably be unable to find it.

She collapsed into a taxi, awaking occasionally to cry and moan, and I took her to my house, carrying her into the elevator, and we slept on the floor. She was shaking, probably from alcohol poisoning, so I put my arms around her until we fell asleep.

I didn't rape or kill her, but when she awoke, pointed out to her how lucky she was that I hadn't. She agreed, and quickly left, declining to give me her telephone number.

Then I got in the shower and stayed there for about two hours.

I masturbated twice.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Director

Some things I've done since assuming the mantle of Director of Studies at the beginning of September:

1) created a questionnaire for students to evaluate teachers, also to be used in the event of student complaints (to rid us of those whiners who just bitch for no specific reason)

2) attempted to have management count travel hours as part of the salaried hours worked, as well as attempting to remove split shifts by instituting a morning shift and an evening shift -- though this is still in the planning stages.

3) created a book of advice for fleshing out material in our first course book and offering tips for review.

4) offered a couple of new guys advice on how to make classes a bit more entertaining and faster-paced (rather than just telling them they suck ass, as schools usually do.)

I'm sure you're all swearing with envy at my exotic international lifestyle now, so I'll stop. LOOK ON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

International Communication

So I was just at a trendy cafe/cofee-shop type place with my "girlfriend" and one of the teachers from school. This cafe is in an "entertainment complex" which contains a movie theater, and I noticed that the new movie HANNIBAL RISING was playing, starting today.

"Do you like Dr. Lecter?" I asked my "girlfriend."

"Yes," she said. "Her and Heidi Klum are very cool."

We eventually determined that she thought I had been talking about Carmen Electra.

Which, apart from being pretty funny conceptually, is a reasonable mistake, as far as listening comprehension goes.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Suspension of Disbelief

I like horror movies. As I've mentioned, we often go on Sundays to the pirated disc market, even when it's 20 below zero, as it was today. It's a good way to walk off the hangover, if nothing else, and me collapsed in a stupor on the living room floor in front of the TV drinking beer and watching the discs I've bought is, to me, an exemplary way to spend a Sunday evening.

I'm not, generally, the kind of person who bitches about physical or logical improbabilities in movies.

Until today. There's one horror movie convention that always irritates me, and I just saw it in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING. I've seen it recently in two other well-received horror movies, WOLF CREEK and THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake.

Basically, what I'm talking about it this: the hero (or one of the victims) gets into a car while running from whatever maniacal cannibal murderer. The hero struggles to start the car, there is a tense moment while he/she does so, then we are of course led to believe the hero is safe -- when suddenly, in the rear view mirror, the hero sees that the maniac is in the back seat. At which point, usually, something sharp goes through the seat and through the hero, too.

Okay, maybe if there was like. . . a midget, or a ventriloquist dummy, or Chucky, hiding in your back seat, okay, you might miss them. That, I can buy.

But in all three of the films mentioned abouve, the maniacs are gigantic men. In TCM: TB, of course it's Leatherface, who's also covered with blood and severed flesh, AND CARRYING A GIGANTIC CHAINSAW. Are you telling me you wouldn't at least SMELL a 6'6, 250 pound cannibalistic hillbilly in the backseat of your car? Maybe hear him breathing? Maybe wonder why the car is listing terribly to port?

Still, any cannibalistic hillbilly movie is a good cannibalistic hillbilly movie, as far as I'm concerned.

A new Case Study and some nightclub titty-pics coming sometime this week.


Russia is, of course, no longer the happy-go-lucky third world country it was a few years ago -- it's a burgeoning oil superpower run with an iron fist by an ex-KGB guy who clearly prefers his enemies to die slowly and pianfully, if possible. Life isn't as much fun here on many levels -- but one of the most alarming, to me, is not the nationalism, or that you can't drink beer on the street anymore, or the tremendous inflation.

It's the fact that -- and everybody I know agrees on this -- they now add some kind of preservative or something to the beer that causes unbelievably wicked hangovers.

The vodka that you get in nightclubs has always been bad, and the draft beer is complete crap in Russia under the best of circumstances, but since last summer it's been flat-out toxic. Several of my friends say the can no longer drink it because it causes the shits.

But of course, most of us drink it anyway. . .

Friday, February 02, 2007

Russian Collateral

I went with my "girlfriend" to the new snazzy wifi Italian chain restaurant in town, which is basically done up in the style of TGIF or Olive Garden or whatever, where you can pay exorbitant prices for mediocre Italian food served by sharp-looking but still rude and incompetent wait-staff. There's a pleasantly modern, corporate-hip, soul-less atmosphere there though, so all the good-looking types flock there in their tacky Gucci, DKNY, dyed-haired glory.

We dined on wafer-thin pizza and bad draft beer and I asked her if she'd managed to get the $2000 she needs for the "Work and Travel" program application.

She nodded demurely. "One of my students, a guy from Lukos (the big oil company). I . . . uh. . . am not quite sure of the terms of paying him back, however. He invited me to a photo session. . . when I said I didn't have any nice clothes, he said that wouldn't be a problem."

Statements such as this would be considered jokes in America, I suppose, or delivered with alarm, at the very least. To her, this is as normal as any bank request for a statement of collateral.

Years ago this might have caused me to emit a loud, drunken screed against greed and the prostitute ethic. This time I just smiled and shook my head and said, "You Russians. . ."