The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

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Sinister Soups and Buckets

Posted on December 31, 2012

I did a lot of what I wanted to do this year. I hope you did too. All the same, my Bucket List 2012 will be left incomplete. I didn’t manage to run 16 miles in one session, but I set a new personal record of 11.2 miles! I didn’t read 52 books this year, but the ones I did read were enlightening and awesome and I’m a better person for it. I didn’t have dinner with my friend Amy Leah, either. If all you need in a relationship is a spark and timing, the timing was all off. This is okay. There’s always 2013. I’m still going to be running towards the big 16 and reading as many books as I can. And…

You Can’t Go Home Again

Posted on December 26, 2012

My purse pocket was the place I’d scavenge to make the bus fare. Now, finding shiny two-ruble pieces and old bus tickets in every crevice, I’m reduced to a whimper. Suddenly nothing is garbage anymore and every photo is precious regardless of its quality. Suddenly it feels like I’ve been in the US for twenty years, not three days, and Russia is nothing but a distant memory stored away in the farthest corners of my prefrontal cortex. Accurately describing the feelings, the anxieties, the general haziness of heart and mind when arriving Home from a long trip is a feat beyond my capacities. But if you don’t know the heart-wrenching despair you may experience when you step on that place heading home to comfort,…

Finale

Posted on December 20, 2012

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Mikhail toasts to my health, my happiness, our times together and those to come, just as Gemma the Wiener Dog bursts in through the door wearing a pair of my black lacy underwear on her head.

One adventure must end for another to begin. More on this later, more on Peter and Russia later, as I have vodka to drink and tears to shed.

Mikhail

Posted on December 10, 2012

“Have a good time. Don’t communicate or stand next to boys.” * * * When I decline tea: “Americans. So uncivilized.” * * * After failing to answer a simple addition problem: “I’m a philosopher, not a mathematician! Let’s drink.” * * * Mikhail: “What did you do last night?” Me: “I went clubbing with a few friends.” Mikhail: “What’s clubbing?” Me: “Dancing.” Mikhail: “Oh! What did you dance? Tango? Foxtrot? Waltz?” Me: “. . .” * * * Mikhail: “Do you want seconds?” Me: “No, thank you.” Mikhail: “I’m going to call your mother!!” * * * While I’m eating, Mikhail is on the phone with Larisa (his wife): “Larisa asks how is the food.” Me: “Delicious!” Mikhail to Larisa (smiling deviously): “She…

A Single Story of Soviet Russia

Posted on December 3, 2012

“I don’t know what hunger is,” said Mikhail: teacher, father, product of the Soviet Union. It was strange hearing that from him, even more so with a bright smile in his eyes and overall jovial demeanor, as if he were discussing a recent hockey victory and not a supposedly sore subject. Rather, as an American it was strange hearing that. I think of the USSR, and I think of tanks, grayness, secrecy, scary and impenetrable Cyrillic lettering, looming misery, and long bread lines in inclement weather; the depressing and immoral yield of a communist machine; the enemy of capitalism and, consequently, freedom. So how could Mikhail even utter the words: “I was a teenager. I didn’t have problems”? Of course you had problems! The…