The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

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Upcoming Adventures

Posted on October 31, 2012

Much to my surprise, it is very cold here. It’s a face-burning kind of cold. When I remove my glove to change my music, the wind stings my fingers and it feels like my blood is freezing. Then I put the glove on and I feel the ice-crystal blood fill my extremities once again. And then my hand swells with heat. The winter curse of a music lover. But I appreciate all of these things because it means I’m in Russia and snow is falling and winter is coming and it’s cold, but so what? How terrible it would be to not have any discomfort, no? The night and the snow shut the city up. Everything gets quiet, apart from the soothing sound of…

Photo Essay: City Peeping

Posted on October 28, 2012

City peeping (v): to be in a city while observing curious subjects from curious angles. St. Petersburg, you should know, is a very peepable city. Not people-peepable, though, which explains the lack of people portraits. It’s a problem I’m actively working to fix. Petersburg is peepable in a different way. People peeping at the Peter and Paul Fortress!! There are these nuts who go swimming in the Neva in sub-zero temperatures. And then they sat in the sun and dried off, despite the fact that it was freezing with wind-chill and my cheeks were getting that tingling-numb sensation. Nuts, I say!! Window peeping!! A modest view from my bedroom. Landmark peeping!! So, like, there’s this church here. Not many people have heard of it. Car…

Feel Good Sunday

Posted on October 14, 2012

Hey. Hey you. Listen up. If I’ve learned anything in my short time on this earth, it’s that you must be kind to yourself. Because you’re beautiful inside and out, and you deserve it. You deserve to step away and detach from work stress, toxic people, and societal pressures. You deserve to kick it back in a nice restaurant – cheap, expensive, whatever suits your tastes – with a fork in one hand and a beer in the other. You deserve to laugh with friends about nothing at all and make asses of yourselves in public while not caring in the slightest. You deserve to sit in a warm place with no commitments or restraints. Every once in a while, you should have nowhere…

Theory of Omission

Posted on October 10, 2012

This story has three players: Ernest Hemingway, St. Petersburg, and an American in Russia for the first time. We’ll call him Chad. This story doesn’t end well for Chad. Hemingway Bar is located on Ulitsa Lomonsova, a dark and eerily silent street in the lively city center. The bar in question is surrounded by abandoned buildings and telling foreclosures slapped with bulletins in intimidating Cyrillic lettering. But the place lights up at night. It lights up and its emanating glow attracts all those moths looking for a drink. Sadly, it’s not quite the place Hemingway would frequent; the neon lights and bad music tell me so. My favorite bars are the ones where I can picture the man himself in the corner enveloped by…

A Weekday in the Life

Posted on October 8, 2012

I wake up at 4:30 am, stumble around the room looking for my phone, realize it’s 4:30 am, and curl up into a tiny ball under the covers so that the bed looks like it’s housing a strange yet sizeable lump, and not a human being with irregular sleep patterns. I wake up again at 8:45 and this time I need to get up fo’ realsies. But it’s impossible. My eyes hurt when I open them. I’m sheltered by a cocoon of warmth. At the exact moment I realize and appreciate my comfort level, Gemma the Weiner Dog bursts through the door, bouncing up and down like a fucking jackhammer. She jumps on me, slides under the covers, and licks me incessantly. Her stupid…

A Russian Ballet and Zoom Cafe

Posted on October 1, 2012

In you’re ever in a foreign land, let me divulge a crucial not-so-secret secret that I find people sometimes forget. Take the time, spare the energy, and spend the money to go to places and do things. You’ll only regret not going to those places and not doing those things. In my case, I’ve been trying to maximize my time in Peter by seeking out the best bars and food and Russian cultural experiences, like the ballet and Zoom Cafe for instance. While I’m not one to be the most appreciative of ballet, this rendition of Don Quixote was visually stunning. And Zoom Cafe, the swanky restaurant featured below, is seriously cool. It’s like a lounge covered in books, pillows, coloring-book menus, crayons, and…