And I saw, and behold, a pale horse: and he that sat upon him, his name was Death; and Hades followed with him. – Revelation 6:8
That about sums it up, thanks for visiting.
What you say? That is not enough you say? Well, let me tell you the rest.
Somewhere around the end of 2000, Alex Lebed and I were working at Microsoft together, the fourth time in our life that we were employed by the same company in two different states. I was on the Windows Server team and he was doing some secret shit over in Bldg. 41 that he didn’t even understand completely. At least he didn’t remember on a daily basis what it was he was actually doing.
His assertion was that a technology the Company was testing would cause the employee to consciously forget their project within an hour of leaving the building. I think the truth may lie elsewhere.
One day in December Alex went home and immediately began to forget his project when his cat Pushkin decided he had had enough of the rambling bullshit Alex was spewing to it ad nauseam. Pushkin attacked Alex with extreme prejudice. He carved Alex up pretty bad and poor Al was in no condition to protect himself. It was at this moment he decided this attack must be documented in the case he disappeared without a trace.
Alex came to work the next day and shared the details of the “savage, brutal, unwarranted attack upon my person!” and the fact that he put up some pics of it on the world wide web. Along with the image you see above showing Pushkin’s “supernaturally sharpened incisors” were images of his other two cats, Nicholas and Lulu “Jive Turkey” Jones, seen below.
Alex had registered the domain mycathatesyou.com and the only cats on the site at the time were these three “mystical beasts from the great divide between Earth and Hades.” We had a good laugh and went home and got drunk together. You must understand that in the culture of Microsoft, the concept of “drink and dial” is usurped by the “inebriate and email” paradigm. And so we did. Oh, the hilarity of it all, we thought, sharing the simple 350 characters of HTML with a lot of people who could care less. Or so we thought. The site went “viral” inside the Company along with Alex’s story of woe and suffering.
I think it was within a week that email@example.com had become a miasma of evil cat images sent by an international audience; these were hundreds of people he did NOT know. Nor did he know how they found the site in the first place. But the Internet being what it is, who could expect less? MCHY soon became a semi-full-time job, so he reached out a filthy, nicotine-stained hand to me and I came on board shortly before New Year, 2001. Many nights of drinking and collaboration followed. The original MCHY page started out as one huge HTML file, that he was coding by hand. By the end of 2001, I had re-written it in .NET and engaged the help of SQL to keep track of the ever-increasing number of pictures we were receiving. As well, it was easier to store captions, names, etc, than in one document. Okay, I’ll stop talking nerd shit and get down to the fun stuff.
Alex and I have been very good friends, bordering on those two freaks from the movie Dead Ringers, since 1982. The gods were smiling or wretching down upon us, we are still not sure which, as we commiserated over the labors of junior high school in the San Fernando Valley, CA. We spent most of our time in the computer lab and hiding out in hallways, talking about Dungeons and Dragons and the virtues of early literary pornography. He taught me how to make a gravity bong out of a 5-gallon plastic Arrowhead water bottle and his parents pool. I taught him how to drive home drunk from Dodgers baseball games. Then we turned 18.
Around 1986, I was managing the computer software store Software Pipeline on Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley, Alex needed a job, so I hired him. Our daily conversations went something like this.
Me: Al, could you vacuum the store while I close out the register?
Al: (playing Strip Poker on the Amiga 512) Fuck you, you do it, I’m busy.
Me: Dude, it’s 342 square feet of carpet.
Al: SHUT UP! I’ve almost got titty here!
One side benefit to managing your own store is that you can drink beer and play the guitar real loud after hours all you want. So, we did that for awhile, writing all kinds of debaucherous music fit for kings. Maybe King Kong, but no matter. We got to play cool clubs, free beer, and teenage groupies. Who can complain?
The years dragged on, Alex went to UCLA, I went to 50+ Grateful Dead shows, and somewhere in the middle we kept our oddly-heterosexual relationship in tact. We ended up working at a few more jobs together along the way, instructing the uninitiated in the art of keeping your 12-pack hidden from the boss, but STILL COLD enough to enjoy during miserable hours of phone tech support. Anyone who has not done this job won’t appreciate the value of drinking luke-warm Meisterbrau at 1:00am while explaining to the last Civil War veteran how to find ‘them naked girls’ on the Intarweb.
Somehow that brings us to this century. I seem to have forgotten everything else along the way, and Alex is no better. He is residing in Moscow, Russia, as of 2002. He has some posh job with some Swiss outfit run by Punjabis. I finally quit squeezing turds at Microsoft in 2004 and retired to the land of cat website guys. That grew boring finally and I opened a bar in Seattle. Note to all concerned: never open a bar, anywhere, if you value your sanity. Having sold the bar and traveled the country for two years, I am back in Seattle and digging life the most again.
Alex and I still rap when the timezones allow and collaborate on many stony thoughts, which are, after all, the very best kind. One day, something awesomely cool will come of them, I am convinced. Around the beginning of 2004, I bought MyCatHatesYou from Alex so he could maintain his Bohemian lifestyle of $1.00 bottles of rot-gut vodka and cheap whores. Also, because I am a control freak and having a trans-Atlantic argument over creative differences leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. Apparently, the $65.87 I paid for it has run out and Al will be moving back to Los Angeles in fall, 2012.