Saturday, May 31, 2003

"My boy, you won't be able to take an 'Incomplete' on your life." is what I would imagine my grandfather would say to me now if I were to sit at his feet and tell him about how my academic year went. I know that he would know just what to say, and say exactly what I needed to hear.

But alas, I am lacking in grandfathers. My grandfather on my father's side I encountered very few times and very briefly. I cannot recall him ever speaking directly to me. It is possible that he never did. He came from a culture that held their young in reproach and contempt (and the little bastards were damn well expected to be thankful for it.) He was murdered in 1998, my sophomore year of high school, at a bus station in his home town of Oaxaca, a very rural town in Mexico. My mother was the one who had told me what had happened. My father never spoke of it. I see now that I have learned well from him.

My mother's father I am not familiar with. From what I understand, he is not someone I wish to know. He remains just another forgotten relation, of which I have many. But then, I have been particularly concerned with all that "who begat who" nonsense. I understand that it mattered at some point. But I also understand that it ends with me. And I do not deal with obselete information. I know who my family is.

This is Day Six.

Another close call tonight at Lauren Resnick's and Beth Froehlich's cocktail party, but I managed to control myself. However, my mistaken belief that I was the designated driver of the evening may have had a lot to do with it. And I did eek by on a technicality. See, the way I figure it, midnight is the start of a new day, thereby resetting my drink limit. So I ended up having four drinks. But that only leaves two for the rest of day Six, there is another party tonight, and I am completely out of loopholes. Blast. Ah, well.

Today is still Day Six.

This is where I would ask, "Are you proud of me, Grandfather?"

I wonder what a grandfather would say to me then?

Friday, May 30, 2003

There is a very intriguing girl here and she is trying to get me drunk.

There was a very intriguing girl here and she was trying to get me drunk.

This is Day Five.

But barely.

I guess I showed her.


Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Many years have long since passed since one of the most important milestones in my days as a young pizza-parlor-frequenting boy. I know everyone never forgets their first time, and I am no exception. But how many remember how many quarters they had to save up for it?

I am of course referring to the first arcade game I ever beat. It was Capcom's Altered Beast. It was a sweet game. The goal was to fight your way through moonlit graveyards, treacherous caverns, and twisted evil dimensions to rescue the love of your life. (You could play alone or with two players, and I was old enough to realize that certain romantic obstacles might arise from two male heroes rescuing the damsel. I made up my own back story for the game, deciding that in any two-player game, whatever player I wasn't was the fair maiden's brother.)

So you would go around fighting zombies*, giant ants, and evil unicorns. The best part was that you could get magic orbs that would power you up until you turned into some kind of mythical creature, like a werewolf or a dragon. There was also the more obscure bear-that-turned-people-into-stone and high-jumping tiger. (Not as cool, but they got the job done.)

Well, I had beaten the final boss (as the Golden Werewolf) and sat back, unsure of what to expect. Then I watched amazed as the end of the story began to unfold...

There was me rescuing the princess! There she was turning back into a human! (She had been turned into a dove on my way to rescue her.) She runs into my werewolf arms and gazes deeply into my werewolf eyes!


My character unzips his werewolf costume. A couple of gargoyles in the background hang from their strings. The cameramen grin and the sound guys gratefully lower their boom mikes. The director gathers the cast and crew together and they raise HUGE mugs of beer** triumphantly into the air to toast their achievement.

Roll credits.

I laughed and scampered off excitedly to tell my friends. A game where the characters are just actors? They would never believe it.

I got to relive that moment again last night at Brian Young's house. He has one of those video game emulators on his computer. All those games may very well be the death of me...
I guess I should add that to the list.

*I guess I wasn't afraid of zombies yet.

**Probably my earliest association ever of happiness with alcohol.

Monday, May 26, 2003

I'm talking to Brian Goldstein on the phone and he is trying to convince me to have a drink with him. He is in another state, so I would still consider it drinking alone. And drinking alone is alcoholic behavior. I do not wish to check off another warning sign. Hell, I'm already through most of the standard ones such as the aforementioned lone drinking. I'm getting to the really obscure ones, like sitting in a cold shower throwing-up sushi.

I vaguely recall deciding not to drink that much anymore after my birthday. It is possible that someone else might have suggested it. Either way, it was a good idea then and it is a great idea now.

But how I do love to drink.

And it doesn't help that one of my best friends calls me up just to drink over the phone! And Instant Messenger:

AlwaysEphemeral: Here is a deal!
AlwaysEphemeral: I don't get drunk until I come over and visit you.
AlwaysEphemeral: No more than three beers at a time until Cali.
AlwaysEphemeral: Deal?

AZ Film Guy: dude
AZ Film Guy: if you want to steal from yourself i guess
AZ Film Guy: :-P

AlwaysEphemeral: It will motivate me.

AZ Film Guy: i hear someone every day saying 'i gotta take it easy' or 'i gotta stop drinkin'

AlwaysEphemeral: And I said three beers a time.

AZ Film Guy: but they stop and from what we know, we only live once, so fuck it!

AlwaysEphemeral: Shit.
AlwaysEphemeral: Dammit, you're absolutely right.

AZ Film Guy: we don't know for sure if we have an afterlife
AZ Film Guy: so why act like we do
AZ Film Guy: live life like it's your last fuckin day

AlwaysEphemeral: I agree.
AlwaysEphemeral: But perhaps I should try to find other ways to enjoy life...