Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The Pessimist: "My beer is half-empty."

The Optimist: "My beer is half-full."

The Drunk: "Where the hell is my beer?"

* * * * * * *

The Good Host: "Can I get you a beer?"

The Drunk Pessimist: "Is this your beer?"

The Drunk Optimist: "Is this my beer?"

The Drunk: "Yes, yes, and not anymore it ain't."

* * * * * *

The Good Host: "Are you okay to drive?"

The Bad Drunk Host: "Let's all go to Salazar Bros. and get burritos!"

The Bad Drunk: "Race you there!"

* * * * *

Happy New Year's Eve! Please make sure to be a "Good Host", or a "Good Drunk".

The parts of "Drunk" and "Bad Drunk" have already been cast, I'm afraid.

Don't feel too bad. Maybe you'll get the part next year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

It's like looking into a mirror...

You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

My friend Sibbitt is in town. I've mentioned him before, I'm sure. He holds the rather dubious distinction of being the Person That I've Most Nearly Died With.

Last night, we tempted fate once again by eating at Denny's after last call at a nearby bar.

We sipped bad coffee and talked of life, love, fishing, and frostbite.

We ended up staying there for about two and half hours.

After much discussion, we concluded that frostbite is bad, fishing and not catching anything isn't so bad if you bring drinks along, love doesn't seem to actually conquer all obstacles, and life is best spent doing what you want.

No startling revelations were made, but I think it's best to remind myself of those facts every now and again.

I'm terribly forgetful.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Setting: Gurgle Inc., a large store that sells time. Methinks, a lovely young woman and recent customer, enters stage left and approaches a young fellow in an ill-fitting suit, (one of the salesgurgs that work for Gurgle Inc.

Methinks: I'm here to complain about the two minutes you sold me sometime back.

Salesgurg: Were they unsatisfactory?

Methinks: It seems there was some trouble back at the factory, and they made these defective 2 minutes which were really long. I would like to exchange them
for um... well, what can you change them for?

Salesgurg: Of course, of course. Here at Gurgle Inc., customer satisfaction is our top priority. Let's see...hmm, it appears that the first minute is completely okay. Ah, here's the problem! The second minute had a skip in it. Very common problem, probably just mishandled at some point. Just like a scratched CD, it will get stuck and play over and over and over.

Methinks: Mishandled. Mishandled?! Excuse me, I used it very carefully. By the time it was time for the second minute... time just stopped

Salesgurg: Ma'am, I did not accuse anyone in particular of mishandling it.

Methinks: Well, now what do I do with the second minute?

Salesgurg: Hmm...not everyone has the opportunity to get back an entire minute of their life.

Methinks: Could you remedy it? I heard someone say you work miracles.

Salesgurg: Was it one of our Public Relations people?

Methinks: I have a bad memory.

Salesgurg: Nice guys, but don't believe them.

Methinks: Ah, ok. But it'd have been lovely to be able to believe him. Well?

Salesgurg: I didn't say we couldn't work miracles. Just never believe the PR guys. They're all really nice, though.

Methinks: Friends of yours?

Salesgurg: You could invest this minute, and see how it grows. Minutes become hours, hours become days, days become years, years become lifetimes. Oh, I'm sorry. The PR guys? I see them briefly at the end of the day. Sometimes we go out, grab a drink and a sandwich.

Methinks: You spend a lot of your precious minutes with them.

Salesgurg: Heh, I file those minutes under "Business Expenses."

Methinks: Say, if you would care to spend a precious minute with me, can you tell me, wise one, how to invest a minute so that it yields an hour?

Salesgurg: To be honest, it does not actually yield an hour. But the minute will be worth an hour, you see.

Methinks: Ah! Illumination at last. Now I guess I can make up the defectively long two minutes to myself.

Salesgurg: I'll tell you what: I don't usually do this, but here's my card. Call me, and I'll take care of those two minutes for you, free of charge.

Methinks: Aw, thanks so much.

Salesgurg: Please consider it a little Thank You for doing business with us.

Methinks: One rarely comes across such open-hearted generosity.

Salesgurg: Too rarely, I'm afraid.

The End

Based on a conversation with Methinks. Okay, it isn't based on so much as taken straight from it. It's just a germ of an idea, but perhaps in time it will grow.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Hmm...there's quite a lot today, but well, it's Sunday, and you've all been very good. To be honest, it peaks at about the middle and sort of peters out at the end.

Twenty-Five Cents for Two Cents

I went to Amado's 24-hour Mexican Food with Boston, Donaldo, and Brittany. I hadn't been there in a while, and during my absence they had installed a coin-operated scale that also tells your horoscope. It looked ancient, and probably broken.

I hopped onto it and threw a quarter into the slot marked for "Taurus". The dial on the scale settled at precisely 192 pounds. A metal panel slid back to announce in faded letters that:

"Your affections are shallow and your interests superficial.
You expect too much and give too little.
Give as much as you take."

"Hey!" I snarled, "Who are you calling 192 pounds?!"

Road March Down Memory Lane

Donaldo got me a pair of combat boots for Christmas. I had told him that I wanted a pair, and he had obliged me. I'm very happy with them, but they give me an odd feeling when I wear them.

It's kind of a good feeling, since I've always felt like I was ready for anything when I was wearing those boots. But I remember long, long, days of marching and running and being yelled at that never felt over until I unlaced my boots and gingerly pulled them off of my abused feet. It's just one of those things that I remember.

Now let's see if I still remember how to shine the damn things.

Great, now I'm reminiscing about my Army, year.

If it isn't common knowledge yet, I can be something of a smart-ass. Well, when I was 17 years old and in Army Basic Training, I was a very stupid kind of smart-ass.

There are all sorts of interesting ways to be punished in Basic Training. One afternoon our platoon was out doing a field exercise. I wasn't holding my rifle properly (depending on how you were walking/marching/running, you had to hold it a certain way.) A drill sergeant from another platoon saw me and told me to raise my rifle up above my head with both hands.

It would appear to a passerby that I was doing the "Y" part of the "YMCA" dance, except with an 8 pound semi-automatic weapon in my hands.

I complied, and the drill sergeant wandered off, presumably to find some more recruits to do the "M," "C," and "A."

Standard etiquette for being punished by a drill sergeant from a platoon that isn't yours is to act chagrined until they leave. Then, it's usually okay to go back to whatever you were doing.

Here's where the stupid/smart-ass part comes in.

In a fit of Ghandi-ish arrogance, I decided not to put my arms down.

Eight pounds doesn't sound like a lot of weight, but it gets very painful very quickly.

I won't talk about how my arms went from aching, to burning, to numb, to violently trembling, to back to burning again. I'm going to talk about how after 45 minutes of suffering, I went into this Zen-like state. I felt great. I felt like I could hold my arms up forever if I had to.

My friends all thought I was crazy. Everyone kept asking me, "Are you still holding that thing?!" The other drill sergeants were confused too, since they weren't sure who had told me to do it and were all certain that there was no way I would just be punishing myself.

The drill sergeant who had ordered me to hold up my rifle finally wandered back a little over an hour later. I marched up to her, rifle held high, and shouted, "Drill sergeant, Private Lopez requesting permission to recover!"

She cocked an eyebrow at me and muttered "Recover, soldier."

I brought down my arms with a sigh of relief and began to trot off to my platoon. A grin crept onto my face as I wondered what she must be thinking right then. But a moment later there was no need to wonder.

"Lopez! What in the hell are you smiling about?!"


I spent midnight to 2 am that night polishing brass doorknobs.

I discovered that the Zen-like state that can be reached from polishing doorknobs is more directly related to the amount of fumes you've inhaled from the brass-polish.

Gurgism; n 1. an odd saying that seems to make a sort of sense, but upon closer examination it is revealed that no, it most certainly does not. 2. the obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign object or Guillermo.

Gurgism for Today: "No, I don't put a slice of lime in my Corona! And no, I don't put a lemon in my Hefferweizen! If I want to get drunk and have fruit then I'll make sure that I pass out in an orchard!"

I've been up for 22 hours.

During that time I've gone to work, gone to the Outback Steakhouse where I had some of a Bloomin Onion and two bottles of Newcastle, rode a slight buzz over to Best Buy to purchase two DVD's (The Princess Bride and Disney's Hercules,) and...

Oh, quick detour. While I was there, I saw my old friend Kendall, whom I hadn't seen or spoken to for nearly six months. Very excitedly, I ran up and gave her a hug. Less excitedly, I noticed the look on her face that she reserves for people that she isn't happy to see at all. Now completely devoid of excitement, I mumbled lamely that my brother was in town and that my niece was doing well and that I guess I would see her around. Trying to ignore the feeling seeping into the emptiness that earlier had been filled snugly with all that excitement, I went to find Boston and Donaldo so that we could make our purchases.

Donaldo and I went back to the house, I made burritos for everyone, I went over to the house that Lauren H. was house sitting where I kicked her ass in Quake II for Nintendo 64 and Star Wars Pod Racer. Then she kicked my ass in Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and the Xena fighting game. Lauren had a new skateboard and I keep mine in the trunk of my car at all times, so we went skateboarding.

I left to meet Donaldo and Jay at a party where I saw a lot of people that I had used to go to high school with. Jay went to his house, I dropped Donaldo off at home, then I went back to Jay's house to hang out with him. I got home around 3 am, showered, gathered my notes, and sat down at the computer, ignored my notes and knocked out this post. Now I'm going to put off sleep for a bit longer and talk to Methinks.

The day had its ups and downs. Whenever it finally ends, I'm certain that a line from Hercules will still be turning over and over in my head as it has been doing for many hours now.

"There are worse things."

Friday, December 26, 2003

I stole this from Jaclyn:

I am not easily offended.

I hurt, but that doesn't bother me as much as the cold.

I love most things about you.

I hate when people threaten me physically because I don't like to hurt people.

I fear a cage. Oh, and zombies.

I hope despite myself.

I hear some things that you thought I didn't.

I crave strawberry milkshakes sometimes.

I regret only one thing, and I'm not going to talk about it here.

I cry in my sleep, apparently.

I care. It may seem like I don't, but I do.

I always leave.

I long to test my mettle.

I feel alone dancing after a few drinks under dizzying lights to some good, loud music.

I listen, but I don't always remember.

I hide in my stories.

I drive the way a one-armed monkey swings through the trees. (Decently, but if the monkey tries to change the radio station...)

I sing songs just to get them stuck in people's heads. ("And I need you now tonight, and I need you more than ever...")

I dance better when I've had a drink.

I write a lot of crap. But some of it floats to the top.

I play well with others.

I miss spending my lunch hours in the middle school library,
and then staying after to use the computer and write stories about a chihuahua and an iguana, or my superhero, "Jim Reaper."

I search for things but I don't really look for them.

I learn from reading stories.

I feel like I've been drunk. (Ask a glass of water.)

I know how to get water from a cactus and how to be a good companion.

I say what I think is funny. Of course, every good joke contains a grain of truth, so I also say what I think is true.

I succeed in surprising myself.

I fail to try.

I dream.

I sleep at odd times.

I wonder what people want from me.

I want to tell a good story.

I worry that I'll die of something lame, like tripping over a kitten.

I have to learn how to stay.

I give my companionship.

I fight when I can win, and when it's worth winning.

I wait for myself to get fed up.

I need to be alone.

I am frustrating to some people.

I think that there doesn't seem to me a middle ground for me.

I can't help the fact that I find most things very, very, funny.

I sit in silence because I have nothing that makes music for me anymore.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Then I flung open the shutters of my second-story window and shouted at the nearest icon I could see.

"You there! Site Meter!"

The site meter looked up from where it sat crammed in the bottom corner of my blog. "Yes?"

"What day is it?!"

"Today? Why today is the day that you reach 10,000 hits!"

"Really? No, no you fool! It's Christmas Day!"

"What do you care? You're not religious."

"But I love to yell out of my second-story window, and this is the only day I can do it without the neighbors calling the police on me!"

"And God bless us, everyone."

"Are you being sarcastic, Site Meter? Sarcasm is very unbecoming of an icon."

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

"No, don't move," [said Ford Prefect] "You'd better be prepared for the jump into hyperspace. It's unpleasantly like being drunk."

"What's so unpleasant about being drunk?" [Arthur Dent asked.]

"You ask a glass of water."

-The Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

Monday, December 22, 2003

How Did Doing Laundry Come To This?

up all night, only Emma is awake, you're drinking, then you go and read Muscle68's post and get all thoughtful

I have discovered

I just purchased a book that Neil Gaiman recommended, The Child That Books Built : A Life in Reading [Paperback] by
Spufford, Francis. No wonder that boy had nothing to do but read; with a name like Francis Spufford.

That semi-colon reminds me that I need to take some more English courses. I have serious technical problems with writing.

Like when I start writing an event that happened in the past, and it's all in past tense, but then I get excited about it and start writing in present tense like it's happening right now.

Then Emma signs off Instant Messenger and you're unexcusably an alcoholic, drinking alone, doing laundry, and writing.

Life is so hard.

Then Lauren H. comes back online after being "away" and you're demoted from alcoholic to back to just being drunk.

Then she's gone again. Her last IM said, "goodnight puppet".

"I'll show you puppet!" I thought, and then proceeded to do The Robot. (It works, since a robot is really just a puppet with very elaborate strings.)

By the way, the unpuncuated first line at the very beginning is my notes. The lesson here is that sometimes things don't go as planned.

But yes, Muscle68's post: Questioning purpose again, and life in general. But now I know what my purpose is.

I have to get the practically full beer keg in my backyard into the freezer somehow.

As if I didn't already have enough to do at 3 am on a Sunday night.

But I'd like to think that I'm doing it for the children.

Eh...I'll go now.


I have done it.

There was much sorting of ice, Hot Pockets, and frozen waffles, and some shelving, but I managed to clear the bottom half of the big freezer we have in our house. (It's a bit bigger than a large stand-up fridge.) I also had to move some frozen sushi. I didn't think you could freeze sushi. I still don't think you can freeze sushi.

Then I grabbed the 120 pound keg by the handles and waddled it all the way from the backyard to the freezer.

How do I know it's 120 pounds, you ask?

Well, I weighed it.

(My laundry still isn't dry.)

But regardless of how much it weighed, it fit perfectly into the little nook I had made for it.

I am proud of myself, the keg, and the people that designed the freezer.

But my triumph is bittersweet. I am purposeless once again.

But I know it won't last.

After all, someone has to return the tap.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Death, Taxes, and Blogging

I've been turning over a rather morbid thought in my head for a few weeks.

Some people blog. All people die.

It must be the case that some people that will die have blogged.

So what happens then?

It is not uncommon for a blog to be abandoned; left on the doorstep of the World Wide Web while it's creator rings the doorbell and then ambles off nonchalantly.

Most are never heard from again. Well, except for Brian H., he came back.

If someone were to die, the readers may never know. "Oh, so-and-so hasn't blogged since he/she mentioned that he/she was going skydiving/mountain climbing/turning 21."

Some time ago, Blogger announced that it is now possible to pre-date a post that will then be published in the future. Sort of preemptive blogging. You'd be able to write a post wishing someone a happy birthday, for instance, and then have it automatically post the day of.

I read about this, and a few flakes of rust tumbled down as the gears in my head began to turn.

In theory, I could pre-blog a final post that would publish itself after I die. All I would have to do is write it, set it to post at the first of the month, and then forget about it. Of course, in the event that I make it to the end of the month, I would then change the post date to the first of the next month. And so on, and so on, and so on, until I die.

Or completely forget about the damn thing and be stupefied/mortified/horrified/embarrassed when all the stuff I wrote that was never meant to be heard until I was dead appears when I load up my blog on the 1st.

But that's a risk I think I'm willing to take.

I don't often get to say this, but the worst thing that could possibly happen in that scenario is that I don't die.

I doubt it will be an legally binding contract or anything, but if I decide that I want my body to be used in some sort of grand practical joke, you all had better do it. Come on, how often will you get the chance to prop me up in a booth at McDonald's, place a half-eaten burger in front of me, and then run off to a safe distance to watch the hilarity that will ensue?!

Or, put me in the trunk of the car that belongs to that co-worker you hate and then the let all the air out of one of the tires. When they go to the trunk for the spare tire, be sure to have a camera to capture their look of horror. (You get first dibs on that one, Andrew S.)

Oh, and everyone is going to get ridiculously trashed at my wake. I want everyone to wake up the next day with a hangover so bad that they actually envy me.

Maybe that's a bad idea, come to think of it.

Wait until I'm buried before you all break out the alcohol.

When I say that I'll be cold in my grave before I'm the only person not drinking, I absolutely fucking mean it.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

My younger brother, Donaldo, is home.

(Quick reminder: My siblings, in order from least to greatest, are : Miguel, me [Guillermo], Donaldo, Barbara, and Luis. A handy mnemonic device to remember is Mischievous Guillotines Decapitate Bodies Liberally.)

Donaldo is on leave from Fort Benning, Georgia.

It's been some time since all the Lopez boys have been together.

No good will come of this.

I'm excited.

Also, I have just accidentally taken an overdose of Day-Quil, that wacky over-the-counter cold medicine.

Please forgive any unusual behavior/blogging/phone calls, at least for the next 4-6 hours. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Meanwhile, back in the Royal Scrivening Room...

I: Quibbles Bumbly! Dryly Snydesdayle! I do summon you forth, my Head Scriveners!

Bumbly: Whaddya want?

Snydesdayle: Here, Official Gurg.

I: I bear ill news.

Bumbly: Oh, is that why you're wearing cow slippers? Are they supposed to lighten the mood or something?

I: Actually, these cow slippers were a present from the war-torn land of Evermore. And my feet were cold because I just got out of the shower and...damn you, Quibbles! Cease your babbling for a moment and listen. There is news from the Island Nation of Dana.

Snydesdayle: What? My beloved home?

I: Yes, I'm afraid so Dryly. I have just received word that The Island Nation of Dana will be temporarily closing her borders.

Snydesdayle: Closing her borders?! Why?! What have you done to make her do such a thing?!

Bumbly: Whoa, Snydey's freakin' out! He's got a point, though. Did she find out about the time you kidnapped her boyfriend to go eat sandwiches and smoke cigars in the forests of Northern Arizona?

I: Dryly, Bumbly, I assure you that I have had no influence on the matter! The borders will be closed while The Island Nation Of Dana pursues diplomatic matters in England.

...Forgive my outburst, sir. This is all very...overwhelming.

Bumbly: Hey man, just relax. Try to focus on the cow slippers.

I: Quibbles, remove yourself immediately. In my current state, I cannot promise that I will not jam this writing quill into your eye.

Bumbly: The big quill or the little one?


Snydesdayle: May I take my leave as well, sir?

I: In a moment, my dear Dryly. I wish to extend my deepest sympathies and guarantee you that every effort will be made to continue correspondence between our nations.

Snydesdayle: Very good, sir. Thank you.

I: I also wish to offer you full citizenship to the Nation-State of Guillermo.

Snydesdayle: I am honored, sir, but I must decline. I ask you again, sir, may I go?

I: Yes, of course. You may take your leave, my Head Scrivener.

Snydesdayle: Thank you, sir.

I: Eh, Dryly?

Snydesdayle: Yes?

I: I am granting you a fortnight of reprieve from your duties here. I will also send word to the Royal Treasury to give you a travel allowance so that you may spend your vacation wherever you wish.

Snydesdayle: Wherever I wish? That will be quite impossible, sir. I cannot go home.

I: I understand, Dryly. But please, take the time off. I will keep you continually updated as to the progress of The Island Nation Of Dana.

Snydesdayle: I appreciate that, sir. Good day.

I: Good day, friend.

Bumbly: Hey, I heard all that! You're giving him money just because he's feelin' a little down? C'mon! Hey, I'm sad too! Look! Oh, wonderful D'isle, my precious island! Woe is me that I no longer see your shores! Boo-hoo-hoo! I'm so sad...ARGH!!! MY EYE!!!

I: Feel free to keep that quill, Bumbly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

This is a test of the emergency blogging system.

This is only a test.

Why don't people ever think of something interesting to say when they are testing something?

Like roadies that say "Test, test," into the microphones, as if everyone in the crowd has to be convinced. Personally, I have never even come close to mistaking the guys checking the microphones for the actual band I came to see.

Update: Before I left for work today, I spat out the post below. It didn't publish, and until just a few moments ago I was able to make it publish.

And by that I mean I kept hitting "Publish" over and over and over.

Here's to insanity, eh Einstein?
Meg (the pretty one) mentioned that I have been sounding angry.

I haven't been feeling particularly angry, that I can think of. A bit frustrated perhaps. Ben O. wrote this hilarious bit on his blog a while back about this hummingbird that was fiercely guarding a hummingbird feeder. The sugar water in the feeder tasted good to the bird, but was devoid of nutrients. The little hummingbird believed that it was getting what it needed when it was actually getting nothing but a sweet taste in it's mouth.

Well, it was funny the way Ben O. wrote it.

So I've been mulling over that lately. Just wondering what is nectar and what is just sugar water.

But like I said, it's funny.

* * * * *

Seeming angry reminded me of my next-door neighbor at my old house.

She went to Arizona State University, and so did her roommates. She was nice, and would often ask me to help her with typical stuff, like changing light bulbs and stuff. We were friends, but I felt like I was more of a novelty to her, so to speak.

One day she told me, "You're the wierdest person I've ever met. You're so one-dimensional! You're always the same, you're never mad, or sad, or anything."

"Eh, do you mean, 'two-dimensional'?" I had asked her. "One-dimensional is like a dot, or a point. I think you mean I have no depth."

"Well, you're always the same!" she reiterated, "Always in a good mood."

"Maybe I just only come over when I'm in a good mood."

* * * * *

Hmm...I have to leave for work in five minutes.

The other night I was sitting at the computer and coughing and my mom scolded me again about neglecting my health. "You have to be careful, you've had that cold for three weeks!"

"Three weeks?" I muttered. "That's nothing to worry about. My alcoholism still holds the record at three years and counting."

"What was that?"

"Nothing." (cough cough)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

A Word About Commenting:

Since the blog-out commenting system has gone a bit wonky, I have found myself re-evaluating the role of comments in my blog.

I have felt it is only fair to have a commenting option. It is a simple premise: I get my say, and you can have your say, if you wish.

I also figured it would be an easy way for others to point out to me that I am completely wrong/missing the point.

But it's a double-edged sword.

I must point out that there is no statute of limitations on what you've said in the past. If you've ever told me that this one time you thought you could fly because a circus mouse gave you a magic feather, I reserve the right to bring up that particular tale around your grandchildren.

I would recommend that in the future you don't blame me for something that you have said.

Something I scribbled earlier tonight:

There are times when you feel that your heart is not in your chest where it should be; that it is locked up, confined in a pad-locked strong-box.

It is somewhere far away, but you are still able to feel it's anger as it pounds furiously against the walls of it's cold iron cell. Far away, it is strugglng to return to you.

You know that despite how much it has hurt you before, or how much it may hurt you again, you are incomplete without it.

You want only one thing in this world. You want this one thing, and there is only one person in the world who can give it to you. You have but one thing to say to the person that has captured your heart. It is a pitiful amalgam of righteous authority with a whimpering plead.

"Give it back."

Monday, December 15, 2003

First Things Firsted

I'd like to belatedly welcome Taryn to the blogosphere. A few weeks ago I had called her to ask her for a blood donation. I had thought it was her, but I hadn't known her last name. My little computer screen was telling me that she was the same age as the Taryn I know, but she wasn't responding to any of my subtle school-name-dropping. Clever girl.

Welcome back, Brian H. By the way, one of those guys from Soaking Fused that you brought to my party still has my copy of The Art of War. I want it back, but it isn't urgent. Typically, Sun Tzu is never around when you need him.

Ben O. has posted. It was well worth the wait.

Molly and Joey, I have to thank you for referring to me as "Nobody," as you both did when you wrote that "No one reads this site." I appreciate your foresight. The name would be useful should I come across another Cyclops like ol' Polyphemus, and subsequently have to blind him. So I am content in knowing that when either of you say "No one," you mean me.

Oh, but welcome, Molly. As I mentioned before, my links are for my own ease of blog-reading.

Jake playing; semi-colons; and how to sit too close to a fire.

The other night I went to listen to Jake play at The Coffee Grounds. He rocked the house with some acoustic Snoop D-O-dubble-G, a grip of his original stuff, and even honored my request and played Climbing Up The Walls. (If someone told me that for the rest of my life I could only listen to the original song or Jake play it, I would have an incredibly hard time deciding. I'd probably keep asking to hear them both over and over until I was threatened to decide or risk bodily harm.)

And as I listened, I wrote a bit. What I wrote wasn't meant to be a post.

So here it is.

(Sitting close to the fire. Too close; I'll probably be covered in ashes by the end of the paragraph. It matters little to me at the moment; a quick scan of the patio reveals no one that my life depends on impressing. [in margin] Semi-colons are good luck; yes, they are, I'm listening to my friend Jake play. He's good. He's damn good.

I hope his audience finds him.

A drunk man at a table is competing for sound space, talking loudly on his cell phone.

[experimenting with a comedic bit] Lady Liquor, you're a relationship I can live with. Not that it's incredibly different from any other one I've had. But with real relationships there is still that niggling hope that everything will be all happily ever after.

Not so with Betty Booze. We'll have one great night; we'll be all into each other, getting wild. But she won't stay. She'll leave in the night (hopefully I'll be conscious enough to make it to the restroom.) I'll wake up the next morning/afternoon. She'll be gone, and I'll feel like shit.

Same as any other relationship.

[attempt at comedy ended; wordplay begins]

"And the smoke rapes my eyes."

"My eyes burn as the smoke rapes them."

"My eyes burn as they are raped by the smoke."

I've consumed 32 ounces of strawberry milkshake. This will not end well.

The Luis Story I Promised; Not So Much A Dirty Joke As A Risque Story; Some Rambling That Will Be Indicated By Asterisks' And Then Placed At The End

Luis and I went to go A Christmas Carol presented by South Mountain Community College.*

It wasn't bad. The set looked good, the costumes were hip, but the performances didn't hit the emotional levels in certain scenes that the play is easily capable of. Lindsay was good.

A Christmas Carol will always have a special place in my heart, as I've mentioned. I was in that play at my high school. I was the Ghost of Christmas future. (It was characteristic of the roles I was typically cast for; ones that didn't require much speaking. I am not a good actor.) I got to wear this sweet long, black, robe, and carry a giant staff.

I had just been throwing the robe over my regular clothes during rehearsals. The night of the first performance, someone dared me to go on stage wearing only my underwear under my robe. I was all "Sure, why not?"

Then someone said, "If you've got any real balls, you'll go out there bare-ass naked under that robe!"

A dare is a dare.

So, if anyone was in the audience the year we put on that show, the only thing between you and the ominous spirit that foretold Scrooge's doom was a thin layer of cotton/polyester blend.***

"God bless us, everyone!"

*I had been at Casey Moore's (a bar) and run into Lindsay Temple, a former Philosophy 101 classmate of mine, over a year ago. We were both too drunk to argue philosophy as we used to (or perhaps not drunk enough) so she had jotted something on a napkin and pressed it into my hand. I felt all smooth until I read it later and all it had on it were the dates and times of the play. Foul temptress! This was surely some malicious plot cooked up by the person in charge of publicity.**

**I could picture this publicity director now, with a down-turned, scowling, lips, and baleful eyes. She would be wearing a sweatshirt proclaiming her name/title, Publicitor, The Amasser. "Now Lindsay," she'll raps, "Go to bars, meet all the drunks that have nothing to do for days at a time, and get them to come to our show!"
"I hear and obey, O' Publicitor, The Amasser!"

***That goes for all of you that were in the cast, as well. Oh, and special thanks to Trevor for making sure that no one stole my clothing while I was onstage.

Is it just me or has my writing path been more wandering than Destiny's garden?

Saturday, December 13, 2003

I'm pretty sure that's it for Audblog. For me, I mean.

I will not rob anyone that reads me of the ability to skim down the page when I get boring, stop making sense, or become too drunk to type properly.

It's just common courtesy.

* * * *

Speaking of work, I guess I have been looking particularly young tonight. Most of the people I work with are younger than me. But I've been told I act like a big kid.

As we all turned in our paperwork at the end of the day, I was asked,

"Wait, so how old are you?"

"I am 21 years old, which means I'll be having a lot more fun tonight than any of you," I said with a grin.

I heard someone behind me laugh and say, "Now that's real."

* * * * *

More Obscure-Work-References-To-Old-Cartoons Humor:

Potential blood donor: "I can't donate, I'm taking autobiotics."

Me: "Oh, okay. You'll be eligible to donate after you've been off them for three days." (But thinking:) "Oh are your Decepticons flaring up again?"

* * * * *

I'm taking Luis to see a play today. It's "A Christmas Carol," a play that has a special place in my heart. After today, I should be able to whittle away a couple of those requests.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I have some time on my hands and have subsequently altered my blogging policy so that I can take requests.

Is there anything anyone would like to hear?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Not Too Long Ago, In San Diego

Nick G, Brian Y, and Guillermo sitting on the beach. (Here, the part of Guillermo is being played here by a small, black, bag.)

We all sat on the beach and alternately read and slept. Nick was reading Edgar Allen Poe, I was reading Transmetropolitan, and I forgot what Brian was reading.

I made a friend on the beach; a seagull that I named, "Beakface."

I later played capoeira in the sand. (I learned that handstands and cartwheels are much more difficult to perform in wet sand.) I also waded into the water, getting the bottom of my jeans wet. It was all part of my master plan to completely distinguish myself as a tourist.

I miss San Diego. I miss Spider Jerusalem.

I miss Beakface.

Later, in Anaheim, as we waited grimly for the shuttle that would transport us magically to the happiest place on Earth.

And by "magically" I mean by an old ex-Marine who asked me if I was in the military. It's a bit unsettling how the older soldiers are able to spot others who have been in the armed forces. It's particularly unsettling for me, given my not-so-spotless standing with the United States Army.

But that's Brian, Nick, a small, black, bag, and Shea. (Here, the part of the small, black, bag is being played by Guillermo.)

And, for no other reason than because she mentioned that she had seen my blog and thought it was "weird," here's a picture of Morgan:

Now who's "weird?!"

"Caw! Caw!"

You said it, Beakface!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Speaking of Things That Have Been Tormenting Me

After reading Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's (aka Lewis Carroll) Alice In Wonderland, I found myself tormented by the riddle, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" I thought, "Because they both have quills?" But it seemed a bit obvious, and not at all funny, which I felt a riddle should be.

I suppose I failed to take into account that it was British humor. Er, humour.

I also think that I should have also realized that it might have been my own difficulty imagining a raven that was anything like my writing desk.

That particular set-up no longer exists, but the brunt of my writing happened right there. I miss it so. Aw, well.

I also miss having room for all of my books. Right now I sleep nestled snugly between Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell To Arms and The Complete English Poems of John Donne.

Speaking of John Donne, I'd first heard of him when my high school did a play called W;t, in which the main character (mesmerizingly portrayed by Lauren Resnick) is a professor that teaches a class on John Donne's poetry and then dies of cancer. (There is more to it than that, but that's basically what happens.)

Heh, I remember D.C. putting up posters for our improv shows that proclaimed, "Reading Causes Cancer."

The other night I picked up the complete poems and read the first two poems, The Flea and The Good Morrow.

A line in the second one struck without warning, like some sort of iambic mugger.

"For love, all love of other sights controules,
And makes one little roome, an every where."

Then I realized, "This is some lovely shit!"

Oddly spelled at times, but very compelling.

* * * * *

Has anyone seen the 1998 adaptation of Great Expectations?
I am not one to ask favours, but I would dearly like to know what Estella says to Finn (she says it in French) the night before she leaves him for the first time.

If you tell me, you will be handsomely rewarded with...with...a mystery box!

* * * * *

Luis woke up again, and we were talking again. This was earlier tonight, around 2:30 am. We were laughing, and my mom woke up and came out to scold us. She sent Luis back to bed.

She heard me coughing, and then told me, in essence, that I needed to be more careful with my health or I would wake up dead. I laughed/coughed.

Then she tried to convince me that I had bronchitis. I laughed/coughed again. I have been sick for almost two weeks now, but to be fair, I haven't exactly been taking it easy.

She made me take Ny-Quil, which is something I'm afraid of. I'm telling you, they bottle eternity and sell in liquid form. I always feel very, very, off after I take it. But I guess it's good that I'm sitting here writing and not trying to drive, or see how fast I can dissassemble and reassemble my shotgun. (I was never very good at that sort of thing.)

"Tell me, where all past yeares are,
Or who cleft the Divel's foot,
Teach me to heare Mermaides singing,
Or to keep of envies stinging,
And finde
What winde
Serves to advance an honest minde."


Sunday, December 07, 2003

There have been quite a few things on my mind as of late.

The first is, obviously, The Art of Clown Warfare.

A few nights ago, I was making myself a light lunch, (a peanut butter and jelly sandwich,) when my littlest brother, Luis, stumbled into the kitchen. He had been sleeping, as he usually does at 2:30 am. I asked him, "What, do you want a sandwich too?"

He told me to shut up.

I asked him if he was thirsty, and he said that he was.

"There is some apple juice in the fridge," I told him, handing him a glass.

He poured himself some, and, still bleary-eyed and stumbly, went back to his room. I abandoned my sandwich and followed him.

Luis has a queen sized bed, so I laid down along the foot of it. The boy is so small, he doesn't even take up a quarter of it. And, like me, he edges up right to the side of the bed when he sleeps.

"Get out of here, they'll here you!" Luis protested as I loudly complained that his bed was uncomfortable.

"Who'll hear me?" I asked.

"The clowns," he answered, with a tone that is usually reserved for imbeciles.

"What clowns?"

"The ones under the bed!"

"Boy, you don't have to worry about clowns," I admonished, "You just have to know how to fight them."

"What are you talking about?"

"Clowns aren't built for speed. They have big, floppy shoes that make it hard for them to run. They usually wear wigs, and you can pull them down over their eyes so that they can't see. Don't try to punch them in the nose, though. That's the most protected spot on a clown."

I leaned in closer, as if to impart a great secret.

"What you really want to do when fighting clowns is to take out one of the clown cars. See, you blow up just the one car, and you're actually taking out at least 20 clowns."

We laughed hysterically at the idea. I left him to sleep, and, still chuckling, went back to finish making my sandwich.

* * * * *

At work, we have pseudo-cubicles. The other day, I was stuck in one of the ones that I refer to as "solitary confinement." I was not sitting next to or across from anyone else.

Stuck to the wall of the cubicle, along with relevant, work-related information, is a picture of a big, bright, flower, and a smiling bee is lighting upon on it. The caption reads, "Stay Buzz-ey!"

I stared at it for a moment. Then I ripped off a piece of paper, scrawled "GO POLLINATE YOURSELF!" across it, and stuck it to the picture. I didn't take it down when my shift ended.

* * * * *

Dana likes stars, and so do I.

* * * * *

Also at work, when I wasn't in solitary, my co-worker next to me was laughing about her friends key-chain. I asked what was so funny, and she showed me. The key-chain read, "Men are all alike, they just have different faces to tell them apart."

I laughed sarcastically, and handed it back.

A minute or so later, I handed her a scrap of paper that read, "Women are all alike, they just spend all your money at different stores!"

We laughed together about it. It was all in good fun. Just the same, I didn't show her the alternate one I had, which read, "Women are all the same, some just lie better than others."

Some jokes are best kept to yourself.

Also, I didn't want her to alert the other women that I was on to them.

* * * *

Ah yes, and to elaborate on what Donovan pointed out, Kate and the girl I had cheated on her with ended up working at the same Hooters restaurant.

Now if that just ain't some deep-fried irony served with a frosty pitcher of awkward.

My friend Garrett used to work at a coffee shop that we would all hang out at that was literally two stores down from the aforementioned Hooters restaurant. It was odd, to say the least, because for a time I was still hanging out there knowing that a few yards away were two of my biggest fears: The girl I had cheated on and the girl I had cheated on her with.

My imagination had concocted elaborate fantasies in which they joined forces to exact their revenge on me, most of which concluded with certain parts of me being deep-fried in boiling cooking oil.

I was tired of torturing myself, so I squared my shoulders, marched down the concrete walk to Hooters and burst into the restaurant.

Neither of them were working that day.

I had rejoiced in my good fortune and then immediately resolved never to tempt fate by going in there again.

* * * * *

Guillermo-4, Fate-10 Jillion.

Wait, I'm not a Fatalist. I keep forgetting that.

Finally, read Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Book Four: Seasons of Mist Quite invigorating, and highlights some of the most amazing facets of perspective.

I hope you're having fun, Jaden.

We do miss you, Methinks.

"Goodnight!" he said, at 4:30 am.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Main Thing To Note

Three years ago, I cheated on my then-girlfriend, Kate. The circumstances had been spectacularly typical: a struggling long distance relationship, a copious amount of alcohol, and an overly-flirtatious party guest. I guess perhaps the only other aspect worth noting was that the night happened to be the Friday the 13th of that October.

But the main thing to note is that it happened.

That Sunday, Kate had caught a ride with a classmate of hers from the University of Arizona to come up to Phoenix. She had planned this ahead of time so that she could spend the day with her family.

The weekend before, I had promised that I would drive her back to Tucson that night. Kate had called my apartment at about 9:00 pm to let me know that she was ready to leave.

I had gone to pick her up.

She later told me that she had known the moment she had answered the door and seen my face that something was very, very, wrong.

We had been driving almost an hour. She had been in a bubbly mood, talking and laughing about her family and friends at school. I had been making only one-word responses and the occasional grunt. As we approached a rest-stop, her mood suddenly became serious. �Pull over when we get there.� I nodded, avoiding her eyes. "Now, tell me what's wrong."

And there, in the antiseptic, orange, glow of the rest-stop lights, I told her everything.

She bore the news as well as I had expected her to.

After she had returned to the car, where I was still sitting and staring morosely at nothing, we resumed our journey.

She had asked me a lot of questions. Most of them began with �Why?� I don�t remember what I told her. Then she asked why I had waited so long to tell her. I had said, �I don�t know.�

I had been lying.

I knew why I hadn't wanted to tell her.

There are times when you know all the way down to the bottom of your heart that the next words out of your mouth are going to change everything forever. Inside, you get an inkling of the stark, bitter, loneliness a god might feel when there is no one else to blame in all of existence.

The reason I hadn�t told Kate right away is because I had wanted to extend the last few moments left on this Earth in which she didn�t utterly despise me. It was an empty indulgence, of course. A petty, self-delusional, and perverse indulgence.

Because delaying the truth, believing that you can buy yourself time before speaking those relationship-altering words is an illusion.

You can�t buy yourself time before you say them.

You started saying them the moment you chose your course of action.

And you will continue your soliloquy.

Hopefully, when you decide to stop, that person is still even willing to listen.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

There's an art to many things.

One of these is the ability to disguise hours of horrendously agonized over hours into a seemingly spur-of-the-moment, off the top of your head account of your day.

It's just something to be aware of.

Because either way, in most communication mediums, you won't be able to tell the difference.

Myself, I find myself mesmerized by the soliloqouys of various characters that I encounter. I imagine their minds functioning like intricate Swiss watches, delicate gears whirring furiously to display their thoughts.

Then I think about how long some of my half-page posts have taken, and I balk.

There's nothing like working on something...anything, really, and not being completely happy with the finished product. It's frustrating, to say the least.

But it's better than nothing.

* * * * *

Methinks has been doing this really nice light-shining-in-the-darkness thing lately. Originally, I was of the opinion that the purpose of my blog was to communicate with the people I actually physically interact with on a somewhat daily basis in my life. But Lo! and Behold!, people that I essentially only know as strings of letters and occasional pictures become three-dimensional beings that I value and appreciate.

How do they do it? How does anyone do it?

* * * * *

Joey M. is quite drunk, and he is ready to go home. Lamentably, that means I must go as well, since I brought him here and feel it is my duty to bring him back. It's a principle I picked up from my old job as a guide through the levels of Hell. Funny, I can't even remember how many there were now. I'm sure you can see why I was fired.

He just asked, "What? What are you looking at me for?"

I almost yelled, "Inspiration! Meaning! Truth!"

But perhaps these things are not to be found in Joseph M., at least, not at the moment.

Bleck, I must be off.

No rest for the wicked, I suppose.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Vision...blurry...Lungs...trying to... claw their way out of body...

I'm less enthusiastic about the Alaskan fishing job. I remembered that when I get cold I curl up into a whimpering ball (very much like when I was hit in the groin by an errant volleyball earlier tonight.)

It was my friend's hand that lobbed it, but it was God's hand that guided it to it's target.

Wait, I'm not a Fatalist.

But on the other hand, I don't like the idea of all the events in existence innocently setting up the exact necessary conditions to rack me.

But on the other hand, I'd feel very important.

But on the other hand, it wouldn't be a good kind of important. It would be like "We keep little Timmy locked in the basement and the social worker is coming so it's IMPORTANT that he isn't discovered."

Muscle68 had an interesting ex-girlfriend story, so I thought I'd share as well:

Last night, Kate called me up to ask if I would do her a "huge favor." I don't say "Yes" right away when people ask me for a favor. (That's how you end up spending Prom night cleaning the giant panda bear cage.)

Essentially, she wanted me to rub honey all over her so that she could then roll around in money.

She would get to keep whatever stuck to her, and I would get half. It sounded reasonable enough. But I was still suspicious, and pressed her for more information.

I gleaned that I would essentially have to give a speech about why we deserved the chance to participate in "Money for the Honey." Not that unreasonable, either. I have been known to do a bit of "talking" back in my day. Surely I could convince a bunch of drunks that I/she was worthy. I was grabbin' my little plastic honey container that looks like a bear out of the cupboard and about to get my coat when...

"Oh, one more thing..."

We would have to pretend to be a couple.

"Back you go, honey bear."

Instead, I went to go hang out with Annie, who was in town for the holiday season.

I think I made the right choice.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

�You�re miserable, edgy, and tired. You�re in the perfect mood [for writing.]�

-Spider Jerusalem

I can�t really say that I�m any of those things, (perhaps tired,) but I am definitely aware that those conditions may be on the horizon. In the past 24 hours I have been confronted with more options regarding my next step �in my great/nonexistent plan.�

Hmm. I don�t really like typing on a standard keyboard. I much prefer my laptop to type on. The keys on my laptop required a more delicate touch. I clunk away at this dirty hunk of plastic in front of me and resent that other hands have touched it, that other ideas have been wrested from them.

There was more to my little laptop than just a keyboard that demanded finesse and that damn touch-mouse-pad thing that I don�t know how many times I�ve brushed against and inadvertently erased entire paragraphs of text.

My laptop�s appeal lay in how I would work with it.

Perhaps you recall the attempt to launch an internet access service that would function through your television. A sleek, wireless, keyboard would allow you to essentially what you are doing right now: meander through the gobs of information.

Internet television did not catch on. While I�m not sure of the quality of the internet service provided and how that may have contributed, I�m sure it wasn�t the greatest factor in the failure equation of this product. People sit at a computer, up close, personal, face practically against the glass.

People watch television sitting further away, slouched, reclining, practically apathetic.

And people are conditioned very easily.

The majority of my writing was done under very exact conditions:

1. The time had to be at least 3 am.
2. I should have just emerged, still dripping, from the shower, wrapped in my fluffy, yellow towel and wearing my glasses instead of my contact lenses.
3. I had to feel left completely alone.

I would have to feel that it was just the two of us, my laptop and I. I would huddle over it the way a transient huddles over a blazing trash barrel in a snow-drowned alley.

I haven�t written anything on my laptop in a while.

I have a couple of options right now: Work as a deep-sea fisherman in Alaska for about three months�.

Try to get a job as a teaching assistant for a local high school�s Special Education department.

There are pros and cons to both positions. I�m still debating.

Been feeling a bit isolated. Now that I don�t live so closely to my friends, I�ve been becoming a bit more solitary. Not that I�m surprised. At this point, my levels of interaction and withdrawal have become predictably cyclical.

Hmm�now that I think about it, the spastic posting may be another sign of withdrawal.

I hear Alaska is nice this time of year.

Friday, November 28, 2003

I've been reading too much Transmetropolitan and now I think I should be a journalist.

That would be funny.

Monday, November 24, 2003

No! My notes! I had notes, they�re gone, where have they gone?!

Oh well.

DC is right, blogging is like working out. And, when you�re unsure of how much you can handle, it�s a good idea to have a spotter. Like this survey I stole from Ashley:

1. What time is it: 2:46 am.

3. Name as it appears on my birth certificate: William

4. My nicknames are: G, G-Mo, Gurg, Memo, Bill, Lopez, variations of William, Guillermo. I have also been called: Gizmo, Geronimo, Queermo, Gurgamo, Gargamel, Jarhead, Gooey (by Tony Nido), Lopey (by my roommate, Clinton, in Basic Training,) Lope-Dawg, and Slow-pez (by one of my Drill Sargeants.) I have also been called Brice, and Bryce. Methinks calls me Gurgle (a sound I make often.) Oh, and whenever I was dressed nicely Josh Cali would call me Bruce Wayne.

5. Number of candles on last birthday cake: Just one candle, but it was shaped like the number 21.

6. Birthday: May 12th, 1982. People who have been born at the same time as I was and are far more successful than me include:

7. Pets: A cat named Rorshak. He is currently living with his sister, Sashimi, under the watchful eye of my former roommate, Mai.

8. Hair color: When it is present, it is almost black.

9. Piercing: Just my stare.

10. Eye color: Brown. A very piercing brown.

11. Favorite fashion: Clothing. Failing that, nudity..

12. Town of birth: Phoenix, Arizona.

13. Town I live in: Funkytown.

14. Favorite foods: Eggplant parmesan. Strawberry milkshakes. Mom�s cooking.

15. Ever been to Africa: My mouth may say �No,� but my malaria says �Yes!�

16. Been toilet papering: I have no recollection of the event in question.

17. Loved someone so much you cried: This question is not well thought-out. To quote my younger brother Luis earlier today: �You don�t cry, do you?� I have cried in my dreams about stuff I could possibly have cause to cry about when awake, if that matters.

18. Been in a car accident: Yes, but in my defense, I should not have been driving in the first place.

20. Favorite day of the week? I seldom know what day it is.

22 Favorite flower? I�m with Ash on this one, I�m a fan of sunflowers. I used to grow them in my backyard when I was much younger.

23. Favorite sport to watch? I�d rather play. Except for kick-boxing, I�m fine just watching that.

24. Favorite drink? Right now, the Kilt-Lifter at Four Peaks.

29. How many times did you fail your driver's test? Written Driver�s test, once. I was really chatty with my tester during the driving part. So chatty, in fact, that she didn�t even notice when I ran a stop sign. I failed my Motorcycle endorsement riding test the first time. Three motorcycle accidents later�

31. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Not a fan of spending money I don�t have.

32. What do you do most often when you are bored? Intelligent people are never bored. When I�m bored, I read, write, sing in my car, go to work, sleep, eat, play volleyball, go on the internet, talk to friends�and fill out surveys.

33. Most annoying thing people ask me? �Get down from there, you lummox!�

34. Bedtime? When you wake up.

37. Favorite TV shows? The Simpsons (more-so the older stuff,)That 70�s show, Futurama, Family Guy, Samurai Jack, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, 3rd Rock From the Sun, and (it seems so very long ago, and I was more-so enjoying who I was watching it with, but�) Passions.

40. Ever been so drunk you blacked out? Once. Twice. Maybe thrice. I know it sounds like a lot, but in my defense, I have been drinking for a very long time.

41. Ever Been Missing: I can be difficult to keep track of, yes. This has always been true.

42. Been hurt emotionally: No, of course not. What kind of question is that?

43. Kept a secret from everyone: Who told you that? What have you heard?

44. Had an imaginary friend when you were young: It�s funny, he told me that you would all try to tell me he was imaginary�

45. Wanted to hook up with a friend: C�mon, that�s why you made friends with them in the first place, isn�t it?

46. Had a crush on a teacher: In high-school, the dance choreographer during the musical �Guys and Dolls� was beautiful. Everyone was practically in love with her (even those who were still pretending to be straight.) Her name was Miss P. She was thinking about having some of the guys actually lift girls during some dance numbers. She had asked me, �You�re pretty strong, right?� and then, as if too impatient to wait for me to stop blushing and answer, she reached out and squeezed my bicep. I almost swooned.

47. Ever thought an animated character was HOT: Tinkerbell in Disney�s version of Peter Pan, but I just found out that she was supposed to be. Oh, and Princess Amidala in Cartoon Network�s animated shorts �Clone Wars.�

49. What was the last movie you saw: The Cat in the Hat was lamentably flat. I wonder just how they made a movie like that. Did they feed a pig Play-Doh, then film what it shat? If you want my advice, quite simply, don�t go. If you want to throw away money, send Trevor some dough.

50. Wearing: My jammy-jams and a smile.

51. Hair Is: still there.

53. Drinking: At this hour? What are you implying, sir?

54. Thinking about: Life, The Universe, and Everything. Also, changing my voice-mail.

THE LAST 24 HOURS--------

1. Cried: No, not on any level of consciousness.

2. Worn a Skirt: It was a bit too breezy for a skirt.

3. Met Someone New: Not really.

5. Done laundry: The laundry is done, man.

6. Drove a Car: I drove my car.


1. Yourself: Well, I don�t not exist. I mean, I�m not not here. I am aware of what I�m doing, yes.

2. Your friends: I think I have a fair idea of what they might do in a given situation.

3. Santa Claus: I think he�s just a figment of Rudolph�s red-nosed imagination, straight-up Fight Club style.

4. Tooth Fairy: At first I did, but I had my suspicions. I tested my theory one night by placing the tooth under my pillow and telling no one I had done so. It was unpleasant to find it still there the next morning.

5. Destiny/Fate: Only in Greek tragedies and Star Wars.

6. Angels: Well, if there are angels, then there should be devils. All I see are people, and they seem to fall into both of those categories. So no, I don�t. Why would an omnipotent being need underlings? And if they�re not human and they�re not god, how do they rank? They don�t get souls, and they don�t get redemption, so I�m guessing not much higher than a celestial bus-boy.

7. Ghosts: I�ll believe it when I�m dead and haunting your shower.

8. UFO's: Unidentified Flying Objects? Yes, I do. I saw an object flying that I could not identify�until it hit me in the face. It was a Frisbee.


55. Who have you known the longest of your friends? Jake.

56. Who's the loudest of your friends? Many of them are loud, but very few of them can get me to listen.

57. Who do you go to for advice: The dictionary.

58. Who do you cry to? The author of this survey is very interested in crying. Maybe they make and sell tissues.

59. Worst feeling: Ignorance.


61. PAPER OR PLASTIC? �I wish I had a clever response to that question,� he said sarcastically as he rolled his eyes.

62. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK/MAGAZINE YOU READ? The first two trade paperbacks of Neil Gaiman�s The Sandman.
63. A TV SHOW YOU CAN'T STAND TO WATCH? Why would I watch a show I can�t stand?

64. WHAT DID YOU EAT FOR LUNCH TODAY? A peanut-butter and jam sandwich. It was delicious.

65. DO YOU LIKE TO BE SURPRISED? As long as it doesn�t cause me to lose any bodily fluids, especially blood or urine.

67. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall? It really depends where I am. I�m not in Australia, am I? Because then it would be opposite�

68. FAVORITE DESSERT? Pumpkin cheesecake will do.

69. WHICH ONE WOULD YOU PREFER, MAID OR CHEF? It pretty much comes down to which one is French. If it�s the maid, then I would prefer the maid. If it�s the chef, then I would prefer the maid.

70. FAVORITE CANDY? I don�t like licorice. The �Gummy� line is pretty good. Gummy-Bears, Gummy-Sharks, Gummy-Worms. But does anyone know how Gummy-Fish went horribly, horribly, wrong?

71. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU ADMIRE? Not killing me. That is very commendable.


73. FAVORITE FRUIT OR FRUIT SMOOTHIE? Strawberry-Banana, or Mango.

74. HOW MANY RINGS ARE YOU WEARING? My nickname is Mars, �cause I got so many rings.

75. WHAT WAS THE LAST CARD YOU GAVE SOMEONE? I gave Kiki a birthday card for her 21st. It was actually a Get-Well card that I wrote �Happy Birthday� in. That way the card could be for her birthday, and for the next morning after we took her out to the bar.

78. DO YOU PLAY CARDS OR BOARD GAMES? I like Poker. Does Hungry, Hungry, Hippos count as a board game? What about Crossfire?

79. NAILS POLISHED OR UNPOLISHED? Polish?! These are a man�s hands!

80. What time is it now? 4:24 am.

Feel the burn.

I�m leaving for California in a few hours with my partners in crime, Nick Gordenski and Brian Young. I�m fairly excited. We're gonna go Transmetropolitan all over that state, Sandman style.

Hopefully I'll see you all on Thanksgiving Day.

I mean, a little trip to California like this, what could possibly go wrong?

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Work was slow.

So slow, in fact, that I was able to use the letters in �CHOCOLATE� to make 33 other words. (I was 'specially proud of "lathe.")

Speaking of work, I picked up a morning shift for today. I don�t know how wise that was, seeing as how it is 5:30 right now and I have to be in at 10. A smarter man would get some sleep. And of course, the smartest thing to do would be to have gone to sleep at a decent hour.

Work should be interesting. Look, I�ve made another word from the letters in �CHOCOLATE!� It�s zzzzz.

I am rather rambunctious at work. It�s not a trait that is exactly encouraged by my superiors. While my hi-jinks may not be very productive, I�d like to think that they�re at least good for morale. I consider myself to be following the advice I was given by one of the people who trained me, Wendell. Well, it wasn�t really advice. He said �I don�t really care what I�m doing, so long as I�m having a good time.�

And how can you not have a good time? I work with other people.

This may not seem like a huge deal, but it is to me. For the past two years before I started this job, I have not had co-workers. Graveyard shifts at the gym was just me reading. At the group home I would work with one other person sometimes, but they usually made my job harder, not easier.

I think the reason I get along so well with the other employees is because I don�t rely on any of them. I don�t need them to do my job. Other jobs that are more hierarchical, if someone is slacking, you usually feel it by having to work harder somehow. This leads to resentment, which (studies have shown) leads to drinking.

But I don�t rely on my co-workers. They do (or don�t do) their jobs, and I do mine. We joke around, play Hang-Ubie (instead of hanging a man, we use our company mascot), we discuss politics and Cheech and Chong which, (studies show) leads to getting high and voting.

I hope I wake up tomorrow morning. That shouldn�t be a problem. The most lasting thing I learned in the Army was to wake up when I�m supposed to. This uncanny ability has saved me from being too severely reprimanded at work after having set my alarm incorrectly. The downfall is, it makes it difficult to deliberately oversleep.

Reading over the past few paragraphs and the glaring lack of content therein makes me remember Neil Gaiman�s advice about �writing through the bad days.�

But, on a more pleasant note,

Happy Birthday, Kiki!

She is 21 now, so all of you need to buy her a drink�once she�s over whatever illness it was that had her violently ill and almost completely bedridden the past few days. I felt bad for her being sick on her 21st birthday, but not completely unsatisfied. After all, the real point of the Power-Hour (what we folk in the Puri-tyrannical state of Arizona refer to as the oh-so-brief hour period between turning midnight and last call at the bar) is to get the person to projectile vomit, pass out in a delirious heap, and then take incriminating pictures of the whole ordeal.

Once again, Happy Birthday, Keeks! And consider all that throwing-up training for the first few months of being 21 years old.

And on a more technical note, BlogOut has been doing this thing where it tacks not one �s� on to pluralize the comments link, but two! I�ve racked my brain for the past few days and have come up with what I think is a feasible solution:

Oh, and Miss Jaden Jewel, Pants-Down Fridays did not go over too well. Perhaps I should ask my mother to inform me before she brings guests to the house.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

My younger sister, Barbara, called tonight.

It was good to hear from her. She�s been in Mexico since August, staying with one of my uncles. I also talked to one of my cousins. Briefly.

My cousin grabbed the phone long enough to laugh and say, �Memo! Your sister is crazy!�

�Of course,� I countered, �She�s a Lopez.� More laughter, then my sister was on the phone again. I was able to speak to her for a bit more, but then she asked to speak to my mother.

It turns out that she is going to spend more time there than she thought. She won�t be back until sometime in March. I just realized that means this will be the first Christmas that the whole family won�t be together. Hmm�I guess it was bound to happen, and 23 years is a pretty good streak.

Actually, the Christmas after Luis was born, I�m pretty sure he was still in the hospital. (He was born in June, by the way,) Still, this is a bit different.

But I�m sure my sister is learning a lot. I had gone to visit Mexico (the Madre-Land) for the first time when I was 10 years old. I had traveled all over, visiting family and eating only Goldfish crackers.

But the time I spent with my uncle (on my mother�s side), Tio Pepo, is the most memorable.

In those wacky, by-gone days as a ten-year-old, I had wanted to be a veterinarian. My uncle, I had discovered with delight, was a veterinarian and had his own clinic.

I told him about my desire to be a veterinarian just like him. He didn�t say �That�s my boy!� and he didn�t say �You should probably think about it.� Instead of encouraging or discouraging me, he offered to let me help out at the clinic. I was quite excited, especially when I got my very own lab-coat. It was a bit big, but I didn�t care.

It was very interesting work.

One of my jobs was to care for a dog that had been bitten by a snake. The dog was alive, but was in pretty bad shape. I remember being confused because I had expected at most, a couple of puncture wounds, but the skin and tissues around the bite had been dying for some time, crippling his hindquarters. This, I learned, was �necrosis.� It was caused by the snake�s venom.

The dog was unable to stand up, and too weak to even eat. It was my job to keep him clean, fed, and comfortable. This was more difficult than I had first thought. Since he couldn�t really eat solid food, I would feed him a kind of dog-food paste with a large, needle-less syringe.

I was only ten years old, so I wasn�t that big. The dog was almost my size and I had to keep his head up so I could squirt the food paste into his mouth. After tiring myself out trying to lift up his head with one arm, I ended up just sitting down and cradling his front-quarters in my lap. I would talk to him while I fed him. �Don�t feel too bad,� I would say to him, �Astronauts have to eat paste like this, too.� His tail thumped feebly against the cold, gray, floor.

And that�s how I would feed him.

A few days later, I came into work and his kennel was empty. My uncle told me that the dog hadn�t been getting any better, and the owner had decided to put him to sleep. He then informed me that my job that morning would be to clean out the dog�s kennel. As I was scrubbing the concrete floor I thought, �I hope they at least took him out of here for a little while before they did it.� I imagined him basking lazily in the summer sun on a patch of cool, green, grass that was still damp from the morning dew, and managed to feel a little better.

A feeling of claustrophobia welled up in me.

I scrubbed faster.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

In the history of my blog, I have only ever deleted one published post. My method of dealing with a post I found unsatisfactory was to hurry up and post something new, something better.

It is a very motivating method for me. At least, it used to be. Reading Trevor's blog about losing motivation got me thinking. I think that the mind is very comparable to the body. It can be trained, honed, designed for a specific purpose. I can train for speed, strength, stamina, agility. (I'd probably emphasize all but speed, since I've never been a very fast person.)

Minds can break like bones, blister like burns.

But, much more commonly, a mind will grow fat. Gleaming white streaks will begin to snake across and among the gray matter, disturbingly reminiscent of a cheap cut of bacon. There should be ways to prevent this.

Maybe I should just run some more.

Or think before I write.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I've been up for something like 23 hours. Radiohead is playing. I find

But what is this place? I get lost so easily, it seems. I'm never where I'm expected to be. Perhaps tied in somehow with the frustrating thing. I'd better make a not to take a closer look at that later.

At work today we had a "training" class that dealt with values the company would like us to hold. We were given a list of values,( i.e., teamwork, excellence, efficiency, honesty, intelligence,) and told to individually rank what we thought to be the five most important ones.

Most people put down "Honesty" as their number one value.

I chose "Learning."

We were then placed in small groups and told that we were to rank the values again as a group. Everyone else in my group had chosen "Honesty," for their number one as well, but I was not going to let them have it without a fight. I brought up the point that during World War II, some people hid Jewish people in their homes. When questioned by the Nazis, these people lied and said they were not hiding Jews.

In other words, not being honest.

I got to keep my learning as the group #1.

Then my group expected to slip "Honesty" in at #2, but I successfully argued that "Integrity" was still more appropriate.

My group wasn't very happy with me, I think.

Oh yeah, my top three were Learning, Integrity, and Innovation.

Not that honesty isn't important to me. I almost never lie. I usually avoid the question. If I'm directly confronted, I usually just don't answer.

Here is some dialogue from today:

Angelica (co-worker): So do you go by William, or Guillermo?

Me: Honestly, it depends where I am.

Angelica: Well, what do you prefer to be called?

Me: I prefer to go by Guillermo.

Angelica: So does Denee (another co-worker) call you William or Guillermo?

Me: That's funny, I don't know what she calls me. I don't really notice what she calls me, it just sort of fixes itself in my head.

I have two names, William and Guillermo. I was supposed to get dual citizenship when I was born, but I guess that never happened. I ended up with a birth certificate that said "William Bryce Lopez," and a social security card that read "Guillermo Brice Lopez."

But as far as I knew, I was Guillermo. When I tried to get my driver's license, I was informed that I wasn't who I thought I was. It was all very confusing.

So now I run around introducing myself to the people at work and school as William. But I'm still Guillermo, I think.

Heh heh, don't tell William. He's kind of uptight. And don't call him Willy, he hates that.

Whoever I am, I need to rest. Goodnight, Radiohead. Goodnight, noon.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

My blog may be careening downhill, but at least my free-styling abilities are holding strong:

George, one of my co-workers, was bustin' some rhymes in the next cubicle. One line in particular jumped out and caught my attention: "They call me 'Thundercat' 'cause I got so many hos!" He paused, and I saw my chance.

"Can't none of 'em believe how long my Sword of Omens grows!"

We'll be touring this spring as "G-2-G." You're all invited backstage after the show for 40's and cartoons.

* * * * * *

Speaking of old cartoons, there is a new Peter Pan movie coming out, and I'm not going to lie, I'll probably go see it. But not for Peter Pan. I want to see how the movie portrays Captain Hook.

The Disney movie (being a Disney movie) made him, understandably, a cartoony old bad guy. But I think Captain Hook is one of the greatest villains of all time. Not from Disney's portrayal, but from the short-lived animated series Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates.

That show was awesome. It was based much more on the book than Disney movie, so the characters weren't all bright and colorful. No tights for Peter Pan; he wore an earth-toned suit thing. Come to think of it, he wasn't an elf/sprite either, at least, he had normal ears. Captain Hook was this huge, muscular, guy (voiced by Tim Curry) and he was a complete bad-ass. He could climb up the sides of trees, cliffs, or even the ship using his hook, almost Wolverine-style.

And sure, he wanted to kill Peter Pan, but not at all costs.

One of my favorite episodes was when Wendy and the Lost Boys were trying to put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet and Hook actually demanded a temporary truce so that he could show them how to properly perform Shakespeare.

There was also an episode that showed how Peter cut off Hook's hand.

Now that's how you represent your 'hood; lop off a fool's hand.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

My mother ran off to San Francisco!

I'm pretty sure it's just for the weekend, but we'll see.

The only instructions she left me were to take care of Luis. She told me this on a voice mail so I was unable to protest. I returned home from work, where Luis was quick to remind me that I had to take care of him. I guess he had overheard my mother on the phone when she was leaving the message, as is he wont to do. Nosy little bugger.

Luis wanted to go out and rent a movie. I had a better idea.

"Come with me," I instructed Luis. I went over to my piles of boxes and opened one up. "These are all my movies. Mom's not here, so go ahead and pick whatever you want."

He didn't even wait to look through what I had. "Edward Scissorhands!" he demanded. Hearing that nearly brought a tear to my eye, as that movie is wont to do. But then I couldn't find it at all. I was a bit upset about it. Not only is my copy of Lord of the Rings missing, but Edward too?

We ended up watching Finding Nemo. We didn't make it all the way through, because at 10:00 pm, Luis cried, "The Simpsons!" and jumped up to stop the movie.

So we watched The Simpsons until 11 pm. My niece was also running around, and she was taking great pleasure in sharing my waffles and climbing onto and off of the couch. I had to scold her a few times for deviously taking the pieces that had soaked up the most syrup. She's a clever girl, that Anya.

After The Simpsons, Luis went off to bed, completely without me telling him to. He normally goes to bed around 8 or 9, so I chalked it up to more to actual weariness than self-discipline or any kind of respect for my authority.

I went into his room to put away an overcoat and a sleeping bag that had been stacked on the box that held the movies.

"Why can't I sleep in the sleeping bag?" Luis asked me.

I thought about it for a moment. "I don't see any reason why you can't sleep in the sleeping bag!" So we unrolled it and set it up on his bed, since he didn't want to sleep on the floor. He got inside and pulled the bag up over his head so that he was completely hidden.

He listens to this AM Disney radio station at night, and at that exact moment, Kelly Clarkson's "Miss Independent" started playing on the radio. Luis popped his head out, grinned, and yelled, "I guess I'm Miss Independent now!" and then he disappeared back into the bag.

I hadn't laughed that hard the entire day. And I could hear Luis' muffled laughter coming from the sleeping bag. We laughed so hard that my older brother, Miguel, came in to see what the hell we were doing. He was a bit upset because he didn't want us to wake up Anya, who had just gone to sleep.

Which is completely understandable. But, (as I remarked to him), it's a shame she didn't inherit her father's ability to sleep through absolutely anything.

But I guess, if I have to, I will teach her that, along with how to climb onto the very top of the couch, how to open the cabinets with the "child-proof" latches, and which pots and pans to bang together to get the best sounds.

There is so much to learn!

But I don't worry about her much, though, she's a little bad-ass. The other day she toddles up to me with a very proud look on her face and holds out a clenched fist. I hold out my hand, and she hands me one one of the plastic guards that my mom had put over all of the electrical sockets in the house.

"You are right to be proud," I told her. "but in case you aren't as successful the next time, just remember that I know how to treat electrical burns." She grinned, and I grinned back.

So much to learn.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Aesop, one of the greatest fabulists of all time/sixth century B.C.E Greek slave, is accredited with over 650 fables.

Many are well known, but I can't say I know even a hundred.

I did a bit of searching around, and I discovered why some of these aren't always told to kids. His fables are passed off as children's tales of warning, but they weren't intended to be. Try getting your little one to sleep soundly after hearing this tale:

The One-Eyed Doe

A Doe had the misfortune to lose one of her eyes, and
could not see any one approaching her on that side. So to avoid
any danger she always used to feed on a high cliff near the sea,
with her sound eye looking towards the land. By this means she
could see whenever the hunters approached her on land, and often
escaped by this means. But the hunters found out that she was
blind of one eye, and hiring a boat rowed under the cliff where
she used to feed and shot her from the sea. "Ah," cried she with
her dying voice,

"You cannot escape your fate!"

Now sleep tight!

But then there are more thought-provoking ones, like this one:

The Lark Burying Her Father

THE LARK (according to an ancient legend) was created before the
earth itself, and when her father died, as there was no earth,
she could find no place of burial for him. She let him lie
uninterred for five days, and on the sixth day, not knowing what
else to do, she buried him in her own head. Hence she obtained
her crest, which is popularly said to be her father's

Youth's first duty is reverence to parents.

I don't agree with the moral of the story, at least, not if the parents are human.

But I like the idea of laying someone to rest in your own head.

I'm not talking about actually tearing open the top of my head and cramming in their corpse. (I know some of you think that way...DoBell!) But to keep their ideas and lessons and memories, and using them to learn.

What more could a parent possibly want?

I guess since I'm responding to things I find online...

"Chess computer program X3D Fritz ruthlessly capitalised on a rare blunder by Garry Kasparov on Thursday, giving the program its first ever victory over the human world number one."

"Game three takes place at 1300 EST on Sunday. Kasparov will receive $200,000 for winning, $175,000 for a draw and $150,000 for a loss."

The terms sound suspiciously like boxing. $150,000 for a loss? I think I'll send those guys an e-mail offering them my services. After all, I can lose for much cheaper, and much faster.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I'm in a mood.

I figure I'll just write through it.

There are cities that do not sleep. Mine is not one of them. This one sleeps soundly under a blanket of light rain.

Wandering through streets that gleam, shiny and slick, brings an ethereal feeling, like you've stumbled into someone else's dream.

These are the cool, pleasant, nights where I don't want the world to wake up. I wonder if this feeling is similar to parents, whose little ones have run and jumped and skipped and sang all day and have finally succumbed to a nap.

The quiet is alien, but slowly returns to being familiar and welcome. A brief respite from distraction. Some time now to whisper thoughts and watch them float hesitantly about. Where words are chosen with more consideration for the silence they might shatter.

Where the sunrise comes like a wailing cry for attention. The whispered thoughts retreat, dart back into your head. They yield to "Oh yeah, there is a world out there, one that I will have to deal with at some point."

And could you banish all the clocks, the sun would still busy itself with the casting of shadows to pass the time.

Time stands still on a moonless night.

An online quiz challenged me to describe myself in one word. "Stubborn?" "Easy-going?" "Lackadaisical?" "Lively?" I forget what I chose, but at some point my mind flap-jacked and I thought of another word that could describe me.


This is not how I would describe myself. I seldom frustrate myself (unless I'm trying to kid myself,) but I think that I cause frustration in others.

Just a thought.

I still haven't unpacked any more boxes. At the moment, that is still are they are.


They are not full of all my belongings. They are full of all my nothing, my empire of dirt.

Contents of a dead man's pockets.

Folds up, for easy storage.

My tattoo is itching madly.

I dreamt that we were being lined up and carted away. Some of you were lined up, watching, shaking your heads, discussing with one another in disapproving tones of how cruelly our captors were treating us. I jumped up and shouted and waved to get your attentions, to say goodbye. I was struck down before any of you saw me. I was not angry. I was glad I had fought, as I surely would have been glad had I not.

I am still in a mood.

I figure I'll just sleep through it.

Monday, November 10, 2003

The City of Wise Men
retold by Guillermo Lopez

Long ago, in a distant land, there was a rather foolish young man. The young man was only rather foolish, since he at least knew that he was not wise. He lived in one of the larger, more bustling, villages, and he was never at a loss for distraction. But he knew that there was much to learn in the world, and when his niggling curiosities grew too niggling for him to stand, he made his decision.

He would go to the city of wise men.

The city did not have a name that anyone knew of. The city did not have much of anything that anyone knew of. The towering, undecorated, gray, walls that surrounded it, cutting off all view of what lay inside, even made it uninteresting to describe.

But the young man was interested. His village had lived in the shadow of the city, and he had seen the wise men come and go through the small gate that was the only entrance.

For it was no secret that whomever was accepted inside would leave with the benefit of all the wisdom of those who came before them.

Only the most promising minds from across the lands would even be allowed to enter the city to study.

The young man put his hand to his head. He did not think his mind felt very promising.

His mind did feel made up, however, and that was almost as good. He was going to get into that city, study, and become wise.

He just didn't know how.

But the young man was not going to let not knowing stand in his way of achieving wisdom. He decided to consult the his own village wise man.

"Oh, wise Master," he asked, "How can I gain entrance into the city of wise men?"

The village wise man thought carefully and replied, "Find the path of wisdom. This path will lead you to the city."

"Oh, wise Master," he implored, "What does that mean?"

"If you truly feel the niggle of wisdom calling you, then follow these instructions: Whenever anyone insults you, you shall pay them five wuzzas."

"Five wuzzas? But as cruel as people are these days, how could I possibly afford to pay each one that insults me five wuzzas? My last job only paid nine wuzzas per hour, and even then I had trouble getting by."

"There is more, young man," the wise man continued, "you shall pay anyone that insults you five wuzzas each and every time they do so. You will do this for the next three years, beginning at this very moment."

"Oh, I get it," the young man exclaimed, "You're trying to kill me!"

"No, you fool!" the wise man snorted, "I'm trying to teach you! This is your path to wisdom. Now go, and return in three years."

"Fine, fine," the young man grumbled. "I'll do it." He turned, and began to walk away.

"Young man, wait!" the wise man called out.

The young man spun around eagerly. "Yes, Oh wise Master?"

"You still owe me five wuzzas."

* * * * *

And so it went. For the next three years, the young man traveled all over the land. For each insult he received, he would grudgingly pay his insulter five wuzzas. Of course, word quickly spread through the village that anyone with an insult could make an easy five wuzzas from him, and he was soon completely out of money.

He would travel from village to village, doing odd jobs, earning what he could, and always having to leave after too many people learned how he responded to their barbs.

Fortunately, he was an excellent dishwasher, and the brunt of his travels occurred during that very profitable, but very brief, period in history where dishwashing machines existed, but dishwashing machine repair men did not.

A busy restaurant with a broken dishwasher would pay top-wuzza for someone who could wash dishes in a pinch.

It was a difficult time for the young man. He had to work very hard just to be able to pay off his insulter, and even harder to live. He bore it well, though, for he was certain that he was on the path to wisdom.

Finaqlly, the last few days of his three years was almost up. He began the journey back to his home village, the village that rested in the shadow of the city of wise men.

On the final day, he approached the wise man's split-level hut. Walking through his home village had been tough, as he had assumed it would be. He had deliberately saved up, since he doubted that he had been completely forgotten.

"Hey, ugly! You look funny!" A kid yelled at him with a hand outstretched. The three-years-older young man silently handed the boy a five-wuzza bill, and the kid scampered off.

"Look who's back!" an old neighbor called, noting the young man's tattered clothing. "Wow, you look a lot wiser now!" The young man nearly slipped on the sarcasm that dripped from that remark, but managed to hand the neighbor her five wuzzas.

He reached the wise man's home, and stooped to enter.

"Oh wise Master, I have followed your instructions. To every man, woman, and child that has insulted me since I last left your sight, I have given five wuzzas. And now I return today, exactly three years from then, to continue down my path to wisdom."

The wise man peered intently at him, then up at the sun dial hanging on the wall. He chose his words carefully, then spoke. "You're five minutes early, jackass."

The young man cursed silently to himself, and handed the wise man his very last five wuzza bill.

The wise man folded it in half and tucked it into a pouch hanging from his belt. "Now, young man, it is time. Go to the gate of the city of wise men, and speak to the gate keeper."

The young man walked steadily along the dirt path towards the city. As he walked, he met several others walking back towards village, away from the city of wise men. In each of their faces was a mixture of horror, disgust, surprise, and shame.

The young man did not speak to them, and they averted their eyes and trembled as they passed him, as if they could not stand to be seen by another human being. The young man did not find any of this encouraging.

As he finally approached the gate, he saw a wizened old man standing in front of it, leaning heavily on his staff. He appeared to be asleep on his feet.

The young man wrestled with his growing nervousness, and did not stop until he stood directly in front of the old man.

"Oh, wise Master," the young man addressed him solemnly, "I seek admittance to the city."

The old man's eyes sprang open with a gleam so fierce the young man took a step back.. He stiffened up, drew in a deep, wheezing breath, and then unleashed a torrent of the most biting, scalding, and downright vile insults the young man had ever heard. Certainly, these insults were terrible enough and delivered with such bile and vehemence that they could easily weaken the knees of even the most steadfast of samurai.

When it seemed that the old man had exhausted every possible profanity in the language, he stopped, wiped some spittle from his mouth, and glared at the young man.

The young man stood in shock for a moment. Then he began to laugh. He laughed until he had to hold his sides. He laughed until tears began to stream down his cheeks. He laughed until he doubled over and fell to his knees.

The old man continued to glare. "Why are you laughing, boy?"

"Because," the young man gasped, "for the past three years, I've had to pay five wuzzas for each and every one of my insults, and you have just given me all of those for free!"

A grin split the old man's face, and the gate behind him opened. The old man stepped aside, and gestured for the young man enter. "The city is yours. Learn well, my boy, learn well."

And, still laughing, the young man went in.


Brenda had called me last night. It was late, but I guess I'm a good person to call when you think no one else might be awake.

She said she was having trouble sleeping, so I sat outside on my car and talked to her on the phone for a while.

She had jokingly suggested that I tell her a bedtime story. I told her that I'm not very good at telling stories out loud. I have to write them down, or I always lose my place. But I told her the basic version of the above story. Despite the simplicity of the tale, I forgot a lot of it and had to make up the parts I didn't remember. I completely forgot where I heard that story...until now, at this exact moment.

Sweet, I had read it in The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama that Dan R. had loaned me. I still have to return that to him. Wait, I think I might be holding it for ransom until he returns my copy of The Idiot.

I'll have to go re-read the story; see how badly I butchered it.

Whew, I've been writing for a while now. The sun is up, along with the rest of my family. They all found it odd to find me typing away wearing only a towel.

Heh heh, blog, it's starting to feel just like old times.