The Cat's Cradle

Cat in the Dessert

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Uno Gato

Introducing the enchanting Unche, princess among kitties. Here she is, impersonating a catholic schoolgirl, prim and proper, hiding mischief behind her ears.

But you can see it sparkling in her eye, when she peeks out of her nest.

Or when she scouts the surroundings for play targets, from her vantage point on top of the car.

It shows best, of course, when she chases the laser pointer and other things.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Rita does the Gulf

With Gustav approaching New Awlins, I was reminded of the peculiar shape the wind history of Rita had assumed at some point. Enjoy!

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Hotel California

As anyone knows, "Hotel California" has some of the most misheard lyrics of any popular song. And when it came out, there was no internet to see the correct text, and we had to do with listening to scratchy records. Plus it being in a non-native language, and about foreign things (I had no idea that a mission like the song referred to was supposed to have a bell, hah!), my cherished interpretation of the text was far from the truth. Now, of course, I know what the real text is supposed to be, but still, when listening to the song, I hear my version.

On a dark desert highway, coolin' in my hair,
Once there a polete dust, rising up through the air.
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmer of a light.
I had to heavy in the side motel, I had to stop for the night.
And she stood in the doorway, with a mission mell.
I was thinking to myself this could be heaven and this could be hell.
And she lit up a candle, and she showed me the way;
there were porches down the corridor, but I heard them say:

"Welcome to the hotel California,
such a lovely place, such a lovely face.
Ready a room at the hotel California,
any time of year, you can find it here."

Her mind is stiff and it twisted, she's got a worse and this mends;
she got a lot of pretty pretty boys, she calls mens.
On a dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat;
some that's to remember, some that's to forget.
So I called up the captain, please bring in my wife.
He said "we haven't had that spirit yet since nineteen sixty-nine".
And still those porches were falling far, far away.
Wake you up in the middle of the night, just to hear them say:

"Welcome to the hotel California,
such a lovely place, such a lovely face.
The livin’ it up at the hotel California,
what a nice surprise with your alibis."

Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice.
She said: we’re locked prisoners here, but they’re only dice.
And in the master’s chambers they gathered public feast.
They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can’t kill the beast.
Last thing I remember, I was running for the door;
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before.
Relax, said the night man, you are around here, you see.
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Horses and despairs

I saw that my friend Valeri has yet another couple of his poems in print in the BG daily Sega. This reminded me that I can actually try and post one of his poems here, in my translation. Let's see how it will work out.



Between the two tropics – to always lose the Equator!
"Archipelágoes...archipelágoes!..." – the same daydreaming,
        the same appeals

(for what?) under the staring moon: o pale and brazen spotter,
a face-smear oozing down the hard up window.

Through cloudy drafts behind cracked windows, thrusted moans –
        descants of a slow night – mirages pile...
And you – with spilled epistles in
impótent heart, in weakened heart
of ugly sprouting town – a port with lighthouse slanting in the fog –
        are stuck like a split ship with craggy caverns
on banks blood-yellowed by the lymph of black and sodden rays...
        In back of chortles in the shaken visions, a violet moon collapses
together with a Griffin-cloud in shadows, rambunctious in scrapped porticos –
o, horns of the undying wind – you tremble, and so the skeleton
        of branches...

        Heart without evil – but alone,
heart numb in scratched and sticky semi-dream of vileness: you do sail,
feet covering the breaches of the fragile reed remnants, interwoven
with rotten bast – here loosened by the wet, there knitted
        by fire-cracking tar... you do sail – with broken oar, without a horn or bell... you do sail for days high waters that swallowed in addition the syringa...
...the blood hides in the wounded thigh, and hand ripped off by the tumultuous rope... you do sail –
in splinter carried like a flag and drifted on dusk-silver currents...
...where is the sun – here every dream is crumbled... where is the sun –
        each day here ends in vengeance...
...where is the sun and where your earth like a dislodged island floats...
...where is the sun – again you're moving, and running terrified, again the fear
far somewhere out of you, inside of you, advances bifurcated,
        the fear – its greasy maw of estuaries.


And in the sunset – hand on throat – just barely,
have splashed your ashen smiles into the window,
and you perceive in the apparent speechlessness of salvos and drumbeats,
in the hoarse neighing and hoof-beats of horses in a circle – still you hear,
above the frozen frightened forests a slit-throat frightened voice is wheezing,
        swung by the blood:

O, evening fields of mine, without a fragrance darkened – turned to chasms –
for caravan and moon, for animal and man;
behind abominable crowds, the city burns;

you hear as in the later moment, above the shrieks and the just sobbed piano,
that crunches grass with polished foot in the neglectful water, look again –
above shrill howls and over pipelines, as if in a backyard and shambles, over crying,
together with old people's prayers, like enchantments, as if a magic of the yellowed laughs –

the shackles are in swing and piled, and not yet cold – and dragged along the roads;
arms are crushed, the chests are toned, the shoulders – calloused...

Their clang around the raw wounds flexes, and your laughter –
like the enlightenment of a corpse – dejected laughter, over blind lakes in lofty forests
is their clang – lint of the craters in the soil, in heart and mind...
In alienating home
with daydreams of a ship, and later
        the ship turned into home

‑ what, what still keeps you here, what – plunge into the bad sea!...


...Again the same delirium, the same appeals!...

Night like a coffin clamps your feet and bites into your straining temples;
vulture – bearded, loud and generous – flies by, your eyes away to ferry;
dolphin – wise, but deaf and sad – transports your skull like a glass vessel on its forehead;
black crab follows – stare of quartz, hard flippers, protecting clusters of a poisoned seed –
        across sharp sand and into withered grass…
The archipelagoes are sinking, muddy, behind the reefs and all the starry valleys –
        into the furrows of departed ships, and vanish…

And you arise together with the dead – transparent on the bottom, in a green and tender-muted feast…
        And you fall on your face; the mast has hit you on the shoulder…
Again arises – giant, clear, alarming – on the horizon a dilapidated town
under the buildings – water, over the buildings – water, in front of them – a sunken lighthouse,
        beside the carcass of a brigantine.

        Heart without evil – but alone,
heart in the midst of detestation, raise the stone, that was in use in stead of anchor!...
In front of you again the sun – a ball unfurled by nails – is rising!...


(C) Valeri Daskalov, 1998
(C) Elko Tchernev, translation, 2004

Sunday, March 4, 2007

You might be Bulgarian if...

1. You had to share a room until you were 21.

2. Everything you eat is savored in garlic and onions.

3. You are standing next to the two largest suitcases at the airport.

4. You arrive one or two hours late to a party - and think its normal.

5. All your children have nick names, which sound nowhere close to their real names.

6. You talk for an hour at the front door when leaving someone's house.

7. Your mom tells you you're too skinny even though you're 30 pounds overweight.

8. Your house is full of medicine from your old country and it's probably all illegal here.

9. You and your friends have ever been kicked out of a restaurant or recreational park for being too loud or rowdy.

10. You don't know how to use a dishwasher b/c you are the dishwasher.

11. You have a vinyl tablecloth on your kitchen table.

12. You use grocery bags to hold garbage.

13. Your dad ever butchered a pig or lamb.

14. You don't use measuring cups when cooking.

15. If you don't live at home, when your parents call, they ask if you've eaten, even if it's midnight.

16. Your parents don't realize phone connections to foreign countries have improved in the last two decades, and still scream at the top of their lungs when making foreign calls.

17. It's "normal" if your wedding has 600 people.

18. Your 15 year old sister can out-drink any American guy.

19. You drive a nicer car than your parents.

20. Your dad carries around enough money to buy a car.

21. You have all brand new appliances in your kitchen but your mom cooks in the basement with the stove from your old house.

22. Your parents have gone on vacation ONCE and it was to your home country.

23. You base your whole life on the fortune in your coffee cup.

24. Your parents still prefer to buy cassettes instead of CDs.

25. You're actually nodding and laughing at most of these things.

26. You're a proud Eastern European and pass this on to your European friends.

27. Your non-English speaking grandmother gives a shocked looked when you say 'pizza'.

28. You wear french connection and other designer clothing when going to work out.

29. You carry liquor back here from your country in plastic sprite bottles under tons of clothing in the suitcase.

30. You have 17 consonants and 2 vowels in your last name.

The list was published ages ago on soc.culture.bulgaria, I copied it from another site recently. Now, it was obviously written with the help of "you might be Ukrainian if...". Can you spot the Ukrainian influences? ;)

Friday, January 26, 2007


Basically, CNN remove their news after a while (can yoou imagine that - IDIOTS!) so the links I had for the botched execution of Diaz in Florida no longer work. Here is a small recap (in case anyone cares). Needless to say the comments under it (in the Netscape site) are completely inane. Oh, well.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fla idjiuts

Well, what did you expect in a state that elects a Bush for governor and votes for another for president? How do you expect them to demonstrate competence or compassion? Now they've halted executions, but the underlying problem - the existence of the death penalty - remains.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Abolish the death penalty, sez meow

No civilized person or country kills; if they do, they are murderers. Why do I spew this platitude on my first log, yow ask? It has to start at some point, don't you agree. And there is a pretext. Here.