Monday, September 15, 2008


Something I never thought I'd want to do: Be a cop.

So it's pretty funny that today, on a whim, I signed up to take the next written exam for my local police department.

I don't know much about cops or police departments other than what I've gleaned from Law and Order: SVU, or from my firefighter relative's anecdotal comments about working with the local PD at fires or medical responses. I imagine that my ideas about what it means to be an anesthesiologist or a farrier or an astronaut are less fraught with stereotypes and misconceptions, and I know absolutely nothing about what having those jobs mean to one's life experience.

I have never, ever, ever been interested in being a cop. Or holding a gun or getting yelled at or shot at or whatever. Particularly as a child, I was easily spooked, and I still have issues with suspenseful movies. As much as I'd like to watch a scary scene, the impulse to cover my ears and hide behind a pillow is still, at the age of 28, pretty overwhelming.

Not to mention the ludicrous notion of a stripper-turned-cop. That idea keeps making me laugh, for some reason. Maybe just because it's me, and the whole pillow over the face thing is so prominent in my mind when I think of guns.

Therefore, It's highly unlikely that I'll actually become a police officer. But hell - I figured going through their (mercifully brief) exam process might be interesting. It goes to illustrate the vast disparity in career popularity that, while the fire department's application process takes from 12 to 18+ months long, with thousands of applicants each year, the local PD does the bulk of their testing in two days. The written and physical tests are on the same day, with the oral boards taking place the following day. Cake, comparatively. Not only that, but aside from the fairly massive local advertising campaign designed to drum up qualified police department applicants, I hear the local PD is advertising pretty heavily in all of the major east coast cities as well.

The tests aren't for a month and half, but I'll be sure to let you know how they go. In any case, I've got to get down to the peeps for my shift. I have a new regular that has been in every private booth I've had for the last two months. I'm working on a post about him, though I'm not sure I can put it up. He's well known to most of my coworkers (some of whom read this) and I want to respect his privacy. We'll see.


Q: What do police officers and firefighters have in common?

A: They all want to be firefighters.

- old firefighter joke that I first heard from a cop who is going through the fire department application process.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Working it out.

So I'm feeling some upheaval brewing, folks. Maybe it's just that my fucking cat is still missing (we've had two more calls about her, but people don't seem to notice my posters until a day or two after they saw her. Not helpful. Hopeful, yes, but not actually getting her back to me. Christ). Maybe I need to rearrange the furniture in my room. Or have some great sex. Or make some art. Maybe it's that firefighting is losing some of its gleam as a fantasy career for me.

Check it: I haven't lifted weights in over two weeks.

I haven't not lifted weights in that long since I started training almost three years ago. I even managed to find a big gay camp with a big gay gym at Burning Man that I lifted at in 95+ degree weather. But since I've been home?

Can't. Make. Myself. Go.

It's not that I'm a slug. I've gone to my weekly spin class twice, gone on several bike rides, runs, have even done my dreaded stairs-with-a-weight-vest workout that makes my calves quake with fear at the thought of it. Other than that, all I've managed to do is toy with my standard core workout once or twice, slog through some pullups at my house, and half-heartedly attempt some pushups. That's it.

I see this as a sign of my enthusiasm waning. While in the past, I may not have been in love with the idea of working out as a whole, I always enjoyed lifting weights and paying particular attention to strengthening my upper body and core. Being strong and fit is a pretty big source of pride, even if I'm not nearly as strong and fit as I'd need to be if I were going through, say, a fire acadmey.

I hesitate to theorize as to why I'm suddenly not passionate and eager to pursue my dream, so to speak.

Instead, how about I post some pictures of me from Burning Man? I'd call these a reward for y'all after having to read my griping and missing kitty pleas, but I think in reality it's more that I'm showing off. Think of it as proof to myself that I am strong, and that continuing my training is a worthwhile endeavor. Because, seriously, those back muscles were not easily achieved (ahem - props, anyone?), yet could be very easily lost.

I thought you guys would appreciate that complete color shift between my desert-tanned upper half, and my desert-tanned-yet-dust-covered lower half. These pictures were taken in the midst of a dust storm. My campmate and I were actually fairly dust-free, given we were loitering and playing around in this rad free-standing wood structure that some Oregon strippers built, complete with a pole and stage, and a bar. One of the saucy ladies even gave me a short lesson on the pole. I may be a natural, as graceless as I am. Fun stuff despite the massive bruising, blisters, and soreness.

This picture on the right is a good example of how much dust is constantly in the air.

Any time your camera's flash goes off, it reflects the colossal amount of particulate matter suspended in the air all the time, with or without a dust storm.

Here's one more. One of my work outfits that doubled well as a BM day costume

Anyway, I think that's it for now. I'll be less grumpy tomorrow. I'm going on a hike. It's been beautiful in my city for weeks. I'm soaking it up. As for tonight, I have a bachelor party way out in the stix, almost two hours away. Unfortunately, I've done a show for these people before. Smoking, penny-pinching pet-owners who refuse to keep their large dogs out of the room while we're doing our show. Not like it matters - the floor was so thick with animal hair, it almost made the wood floor bearable to kneel on. To be honest, if I'd been told who they were when asked if I wanted to book the show, I'd have turned it down. That's not to say I won't go in with my game face and a good, friendly attitude; I'm just not expecting it to go that well, financially or otherwise. But hey - money is money, and at least I won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Possibly excellent.

In the face of two particularly obnoxious bachelor parties last night (if I have the energy, I'll bitch about them later, but really - as my roommates can attest to - you probably don't want to listen to me complain about them), I did not wake up in the best of moods.  Until, that is, I got a message from someone who is 99% certain they saw my cat last night, stumpy/fluffy tail and all, a good 20 blocks from where I live.  I just spent the morning and afternoon roaming around on my bike, flyering and yodeling my cat's name.  

I had given up, and now there's at least a chance.  Goodness.

As Ms. Wayward has pointed out in a recent post, hearing about other people's pets is about as interesting as hearing about their dreams (i.e. not very), so I do apologize.  If the flyers do their job, I'll only have to post one more four-worded sentence on the subject.

Let's hope.

I can't help myself.

I'll probably be posting these for a little while.  Sorry.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


So out of the blue, I went to Burning Man, that arts festival in the desert with all the of the naked hippies (as one of my friends would say).  

It was pretty great.  Fantastic, actually.  Pretty fucking intense, but completely worth each physical and emotional discomfort that I faced .  I'll post pictures, perhaps, in a while.  I have some of me learning how to pole-dance in the middle of a dust storm, clad in goggles and mask. I bruised the shit out of my left hip learning how to do that one flip dancers do, but success was eventually mine

This is all beside the point.  

My cat is missing, and I'm a disaster.

I got back from the desert late on Monday night/Tuesday morning.  No cat to be found. Everyone saw her around Monday afternoon/evening, but she has since disappeared.  Getting back to the default world, as the burners say, is hard enough without coming back to a changed and catless one.

My cat, my lovely Z., is a diminutive 5.5 lbs of orange tortoise shell fur and bones.  The distracted Pound employee told me her coat is referred to as a 'tourby'.  Who knew.  She's old (14) and cranky and smells better than any animal I've ever come in contact with.  When my boyfriend died four and a half years ago, she's really the only thing that got me through it.  Not to dismiss all of your amazing support, my most excellent friends and family members, but Z. was the only one there every single time I came home to my otherwise empty apartment.  She slept on my hip every night and the weight of her distracted from my otherwise empty bed.
She purrs and drools as animals are inclined to do, and lately has been bringing me rats.  Small rats, but rats none-the-less.  I took this as a good sign, seeing as how she's old and too-small and sick with both renal failure (she was actually snapping out of this one, thanks to months of steady sub-cutaneous saline injections.  Basically me sticking a large needle into the skin above her ribs and filling it with water so she'd stay hydrated. Something she just loved.) and, more recently, thyroid disease.  The disease is a metabolic one that makes her heart beat too fast, blood zooming through her tiny body, keeping her hungry as hell, yet a good pound lighter than she should be.  I'm afraid it might be responsible for her disappearance, that she wandered off and had a little kitty-heart attack, and that no-one's found her.

Oh, Z-kitty, where are you?  
Being home is now difficult - hell, just being in the neighborhood sucks.  I look for her and she's not there.  As it is with grief, I'm finding it hard to motivate or focus on anything.  I realize she's just a cat, but the idea of her dead in a ditch, picked at by crows and raccoons (what I recognize to be the most likely scenario) fucking kills me.  I suppose it's a better thought than that of her hurt or trapped or in pain or wondering where the hell I am.  I used to be afraid someone would kitty-nap her, because even though she's kind of a bitch (in the best way possible), she's also an attention slut who loves to show off for strangers.  She's the softess cat I've met, and I've seen the people who walk up and down my street just go bananas over her.  The small part of me that thinks she's still alive also thinks that someone thought I was neglecting her (she's literally skin and bones because of her age and metabolic disorder) and took her away.  In which case I hope she's being fed and doted on and is as high as a kite on as much catnip as she can handle.  

The grey cat in the pictures is also going nuts without her.  The grey cat is a fat, slow, dumb, dirty animal (I'm not being mean, it's actually part of her charm.  And also not her fault - she was a brain-damaged rescue kitten) who kind of relied on Z. to take care of her.  Z. kept her in line, which the grey cat found reassuring. Z. even cleaned her ears on a daily basis.  I'm sure as hell not doing that, especially not with my tongue.

I miss my cat.