Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pet Sitting in DFW

So I had a big misadventure this month. I went out of town for 3 weeks, though I was planning on going out of town for a whole month. I had to come back early because my car was totaled in a flash flood. I will try to abstain from boring you with the details of my insurance debacles, at least until I can make it about living in DFW and figure out how to write something funny about it.

My wife and I own two cats. Both were given to us in a rescue type situation, which was a dumb move on my part. For future reference when a friend calls you to give you a kitten, if you want the kitten take it to the pound, surrender it, let the pound do all of its shots, fix it, cure its massive flea infestation, and then adopt it. I promise that its a hell of a lot cheaper than taking a ghetto vagabond cat which is probably disease ridden into your house.

My apartment is not the best. I live in Irving, which is already a kind of toilet to Dallas and Fort Worth (though is the biggest employer in the area strangely enough). I am not supposed to have the cats anyways because we haven't paid our ridiculously high pet deposit. I believe its $300 per pet. I am torn between feelings of "fuck that" and just an earthy terror at my own bills as compared to my income. The toilet doesn't work, it overflows if you look at it with poop in your belly, the apartment maintenance always does the same thing, plunge. We have two plungers next to the toilet, you'd think maybe we'd tried that already. The neighborhood is sketchy, my wife has been sexually harassed by the neighbor, but it is our home. We spend most of our time here, its important that it be as comfortable as possible so that we can recharge and recover here.

So in preparation for our long trip out of town we had a dilemma. We have two cats, and couldn't take them with us. I live in Irving, all of my friends live in other suburbs and very few of them have any incentive to make the 60 mile round trip to go check on our cats. So I decided to do the bourgeois thing and hire a pet sitter. A real pet sitter, not a neighbor or a buddy, but people who charge anywhere from $20-$40 a visit.

In fact I hired DFW Petsitting, at a little over $22 per visit, two visits per week for 3 weeks.

At first we were real happy with the decision. We were having trouble figuring out what to do with the cats. We had called one other large pet sitting service but she refused to do it unless we had her come every other day. That would have cost us almost $300.

DFW Pet Sitting seemed like a great alternative. They were willing to do our twice a week visits, which we knew from experience that the cats could be comfortable for that long with our pet equipment.

The owners father came to see us. His name was Sergei. He is Russian and was very charming. He had a Russian accent and asked us about our vacation. We told him we were going to Lubbock, TX. and he asked "Why? Feesheeng, Hunteeng?"

I responded by telling him that we had a lot of old friends there and he said,"AAAAH! Drreeenkeeeng!"

I loved that story. I loved Sergei. I even took down my weird Soviet propaganda down from the wall so as not offend him.

We stressed very much that we were squeamish about leaving the cats and that we would want to hear regularly how we were doing. We even made sure that we had his personal contact info, beyond the contact info for DFW Pet Sitting.

Then fast forward three weeks. We go to Lubbock, car gets totaled we come back. We had called Sergei, though he never called us, to check on the cats. He said they were great and not to worry.

When we unlock the door the house looks trashed. We had left it clean. The cats look like hell. One cat's fur has changed color, the other cat who has long hair had gook of some kind crusting his hair together.

I step into the house. I am immediately swarmed by fleas. By blood sucking little fleas. Not one or two. Not 10 or 12. But like a hundred. In mere moments my ankles and legs look like I have had chicken pox for a week. My wife gets swarmed too, we see that the cats are afraid of the carpet, which is swarming with fucking fleas.

Now its been three weeks. We have fogged the house three times. Covered the house in Boric Acid. Covered the cats in Frontline Plus. And finally the fleas seem to have gone.

Did you know fleas can give cats tapeworms? They can. They did. My cats had little white worms crawling around their shit before it was all said and done.

My cost to DFW Pet Sitting taken directly from my account: $118.

Could Sergei have called and let us know that the cats, hell, the house had a serious flea problem? Yep, and we would have come back and taken care of it before it got worse.

Did we call Sergei to make sure everything was okay? Yep, and he fucking lied.

The cost of cleaning up after the negligence that DFW Pet Sitting caused by not informing us about a serious problem in addition to what they charged us was another couple of hundred bucks in medicine for the cats, and gear to kill the fleas.

My wife and I had to wear OFF! inside the house for weeks.

So if you have to travel out of town, my advice is don't hire DFW Pet Sitting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wizard in Exile

Last mission I did in my beloved Metroplex was at the Lounge in Deep Ellum, I was there with one objective: to see The New Fumes, which is a transcendental rock and roll experience of the truest kind. I believe that I will one day relish my small role in witnessing the early time of the New Fumes.

My entry in to the Lounge was riddled with hazards. I don't even believe that I had taken any mind expanding sacraments, but I must have come off like Hunter S. Thompson in his Southern splendor.

I brought several people who paid their way, but I was broke. Sometimes at the end of the month I am just out of money, and this blog is blessed by the Metroplex's commitment to art with an occasional free pass. My wife was with me and I had no money for her pass.

You must try to understand my wife with me. She is a French super spy sent to kill me for my sins against the foreign legion. She uses a strap-on dildo as her weapon. I live only to please her, and my very days are numbered by the sands in her hourglass.

I told the bouncer that I was on the list twice. This was a fact, because when the New Fumes are involved I am prone to sit in an O.C.D. inspired anxiety attack. This band is like a willow-the-wisp. It has to be seen. I have become a prophet of the idea that rock and roll demands film in performance. Which is what the New Fumes delivers, and more.

So I contacted Parade of Flesh productions, who was putting on the show, and got on the list. Daniel of the New Fumes saw my endless whining on the internet and also put me on the list. Ultravictory.

So my reasoning, my wife belongs on the list. I was on there twice, and we are of one flesh according to the Christian scripture.

The bouncer was not impressed with my classical powers of reasoning, but we were still allowed to pass once I began throwing a tantrum.

My expectations for the evening: other bands would suck, New Fumes would blow my mind, go home without a buzz because I was the kaiser of pennilessness.

My expectations were surpassed. I go in and I saw some small children, about age 20 or so, and they had big keyboards. I did not know what to expect. Yet what these kids delivered was a resurrected abortion of Nitzer Ebb, Sound of Noise, Kraftwerk, yet still somehow new. Current. Futuristic. These lost boys call themselves Florene, they are from Denton. If you understand that Kraftwerk was once musical access to light speed then you would like Florene.

Please understand, this comes from a man who's favorite band is Laibach!

I was very pleased. Though these strange bastards insist on selling their merch as tapes. Yest cassette tapes. Why cassette tapes? I don't fucking now. They ware away. It is like selling a dying piece of music.

When the New Fumes came on, after setting up the elaborate screen, and a Wizard of Oz worthy set of gear, our frontman in his cat mask advises us to forget the past, and forget the future and join him now.

What great words to introduce a set.

Let me tell you that I consider living in the now one of the great secrets of life. I consider it up there with the philosopher's stone or LSD. I consider it to be the very discipline of orgasm.

I am writing this weeks after the show. I am in my hometown, which is Lubbock, Texas. This place is my heart, but it is redneck and religious, and fascist. I had my car destroyed by a local flash flood. This is no exaggeration.

I revel in Dionysean rituals with redneck spartans, the sort of sport that once must have given rise to moonshine and Bonnie and Clyde. And I think of this show and I think about treasuring the now.

I was there, totally connecting with the strange movies that the New Fumes projects. Quality shit, stuff that pleasantly fucks with the mind.

I rocked out and so did my friends, several of which were from Lubbock, TX.

Then it was over.

I was seething a little bit at the bouncer, because as the last band went on stage it became clear that the audience consisted of my friends and all the bands who played. Yeah there were other people there, but I think they worked at the bar across the street.

If Deep Ellum is going to rise like a phoenix its going to take a little bit of promotional ingenuity. No disrespect to Parade of Flesh, the last band Starring showed me that they had booked a great show.

I pride myself on negative reviews. And I only cut slack to local bands, its part of my weird scenester nationalism. But Starring was bad ass. They played songs from their new album Wife of God, and rocked everyone out.

All in all the show was a total success for me, I am sad there were not more people to experience the show.

Luckily for me the great wizard Thor Johnson shared his whisky with me that night. This went well with the good music.