Saturday, June 14, 2003

Stranded...Part II

My pool-side celebration was short-lived. After only one beer the mechanic called back to inform me that the tensioner was also going. In fact, it may have caused the timing belt to break in the first place. The tensioner is a fist-sized disc that is pretty much a big bearing, much like in your rollerblades or skateboards. But this bearing is nowhere to be found in the area. It must be special-ordered. If all goes as planned the part will be in on Saturday. However, the odds of the car being repaired on Saturday are almost nil. Sunday the garage is closed. So that leaves Monday as my next possible window to get home. I am avoiding getting my hopes up.

Alan and Lauren had to be home as soon as possible. They took a Greyhound bus and arrived safely last night. Nunemacher and Kate caught a ride with one of Kate's friends who owed her a favor. I have not been updated on their status. They should have arrived this morning.

I am missing my little brother's birthday party. Tomorrow I will miss Father's Day. I'm also missing about 26 hours of work, plus the shift I will probably miss on Monday.

But tomorrow I may get to see Annie Melchor. That will be good. And a weekend in LA with Brian Goldstein, the both of us 21 now, isn't the worst thing that could possibly happen.

I'm feeling a bit uneasy, but I am not in any kind of dire situation. The car will get fixed, I'll get home, in a few days it will be as if it had never been.

Except for these pictures of the trip, of course.

Alan and Kate doing their part to destroy the environment..For A Better Tomorrow.

Andrew only had a couple of bucks on him.

Things begin to look up...

The original game was to get the popper thing on Lauren's nose instead of the beer pitcher.

Schuler wakes up and realizes that he is still in California.

Breakfast is served. Note that most of us are wearing Brian's clothes.

Before the phone call. Notice the full beer. After the phone call, the rest of that six-pack didn't stand a frikkin' chance.

Friday, June 13, 2003


But there are definitely worse places to be.

This past Thursday was Alan Schuler and I's annual 24-annual roadtrip to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Accompanying us were Andrew Nunemacher, and an eleventh-hour addition to our party, the dynamic duo that is Lauren Resnick and Kate. At midnight Thursday morning, we rounded up the troops and began our adventure.

Our motley crew braved Nunemacher's bowels, fatigue, and the morning rush hour in Los Angeles to finally arrive at the theme park. Some of those new coasters are pretty intense.

After the park, we hit the beach. The day was overcast, but Alan, Nunemacher, and I were not about to pass up a chance for hypothermia. It was awesome. The ocean kicked my ass. I have a huge abrasion on my right hip from being picked up by a wave and being slammed into the sand. And I am still finding grains of sand. The girls sat on the beach talking about whatever it is that girls talk about while all the cool guys are swimming/getting tossed about like rag dolls by Mother Nature.

After the beach, we contacted Brian Goldstein who was about to get off of work and made plans to meet up with at wherever we decided to eat dinner. We were in a residential area right on the border of Santa Monica and Los Angeles looking for the next street to turn down when the car (a 98 Mercury Tracer) shuddered and then just died. Radio was still blaring, the lights were still on, but the damn engine wasn't combusting. I coast into a turn lane and frantically try to start the car. No dice. Cars are lining up behind me to turn and are honking furiously. I throw on my hazard lights to buy myself some time. My options are limited at this point; all I can do is keep turning the key and maybe honk back and flip people off. The latter is seeming very tempting. I give up on the car and take matters into Alan and Nunemacher's hands. They wait for a break in traffic and then leap out of the car and get behind it. Lauren and Kate stay in the car. Lauren is a bit nervous. Hell, we all are. At the next break in traffic Nunemacher and Alan scramble to push the car into a sidestreet while I struggle to steer the car sans the power steering. We all make it.

After checking every fluid, line, fuse, hose, and belt, I concluded that whatever was wrong was well beyond my rudimentary skills. Brian was nearby, and pulls up. I can only imagine what it must be like to come across five of your friends from out-of-state in the middle of the road. Brian calls Triple AAA, and we tow our car to a local garage. The place doesn't open until the next morning, so we all cram into Goldstein's truck and head off. We spend the next few hours at Shaky's pizza drinking and playing video games to win tickets. Childish, you say? No, we needed the tickets to get prizes that we would then incorporate into our drinking, like trying to get this rubber bouncy popper thing to jump into the pitcher of beer to see who would have to finish it. Kate won that one. The place closed and kicked us out, so we left with our prizes and hit up some local Food-O-Mart to pick up some supplies. Underwear and toothbrushes for the girls, beer and mixers for the guys. Finally we went back to Brian's studio apartment. It's pretty nice, actually, so if he bitches about it ever tell him to shut up.

One by one we passed out onto the floor, mostly from exhaustion. At almost 1:00 am, after almost 36 hours of being awake, I succumbed to weariness and slept.

The next morning, Brian ditched work to hang with us. We all hung out this morning, eating left-over pizza and drinking left-over beer. Actually, that was just me that was drinking. They were all surprised but anyone who has been to Cali with me before knows that I can't start my day without my morning 40.

I hope Brian doesn't get fired.

* * *

I spoke to the mechanic a short while ago and he told me that my timing belt had decided that it was time to go. It was good news, really. The timing belt breaking is almost unavoidable without specific preventative maintainence. If I had run out of gas or something, then I would have just looked like a jackass.

The car should be ready by 3:00 this afternoon. Just in time to hit every rush-hour from here to Phoenix.

See you back in the 480. Unless I run out of gas or something.

Sweet, we're all heading down to the pool and drinking!

Indeed, there are much worse places to be stranded.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

There is nothing quite like reading your post the morning after.

This is incredibly long is an odd feeling to owe so much to just one man. But that man is DC Pierson. This eloquent contemporary of mine has spearheaded many of the finer points of life's condition's before I could even raise up my shaft.

Now that I've made an awkward referrence to medieval weaponry, I shall continue.

Blasted barley and hops, together you are a winning combination that does indeed conquer all. I am quite drunk, even at this late hour. And I am not of the soundest mind and my babblings should reflect me as such. Having said that...

She's baaaaaack. Her contract is over and she is back in the (480). What's a Gurg to do?
Perhaps just gently trace the scars upon my skin.

I don't think that I will do this again too often. Link others, that is. Maybe I'm just being cantankerous, but I don't like making things too easy for you. I'm not saying that you have to care. But on the ever-decreasing chance that you do care, I know that you will find out what you need to know. As for me, I will be just fine.

I do not mean to discourage any of you that are currently seeking a degree, but Joshua Crohn adds quite an important perspective. Well, it gave me a lot to think about.

Monday, June 09, 2003

I was there.

Stumbling into work at 8:00 am to begin my sixteen-hour shift after a little over two hours of sleep was the price I paid for being able to say that. I think I shall say it again.

I was there.

Well, not all there.

Alecia Terry, Chuck Thursby, and Brian Haller had their official house-warming party. Well, it was a house-warming for them, but it was more of a changing of the guard for me and I'm sure for a few of the rest of the older crew in attendance. The condo they were moving into had been lived in and partied in for several years before that by Donovan Terry, Brian Goldstein, and Markus Roznowski. Many a good time was had there.

And now has been passed on to younger blood, whom I collectively refer to as "The Kids."

And I was there.

The kids had somehow acquired a keg and, succumbing to temptation, tapped it as soon as they got it. Earliest reports place that around 6:30 pm. Well done.

My old brain can't remember too well anymore, so I'll just rattle off a bit of what I remember:

Concerning DC:

Discovering that after half of a bottle of Jack Daniels he begins to reward anything that amuses him with a hearty laugh and a solid head-butt.

Arguing loudly in Scottish accents.

Sharing a shot of the finest super-market brand vodka we could find.

Not believing him when he told me that he had drank so much JD, and then finally believing him when I watched it all come back up.

After he had thrown up for the first time (I had been in the bathroom coaching him), we had rejoined the party and were trying to convince people that we had just been having a furious discussion on the state of the world.

Him throwing up on my hand after attempting to eat some bread. I had grabbed the nearest receptacle (a plastic cup) and he spewed in that. Mostly. Good call on the leather couch, Mr. and Mrs. Terry. Puke wipes right off. And off of my hand as well, so I had to laugh when it happened.

Concerning Trevor:

Sitting outside overlooking the parking lot having a square with the lad and discussing tattoos, petty theft, and getting drunk at work.
And of course, hitting the beer bong, although from what I understand we have to thank Andrew (is it Severyn?) for that fine feat of engineering.

Ha, and let it be noted that the only phone number I got that night was Trevor's.

Concerning Alyx:

I interrupted heart-to-heart talk in Alecia's room, and I felt bad about that. But I got to talk to Scott Haller, Brian's older brother, which was cool because he had also gone out with Kate and I had always assumed that he hated me. Hardly the case at all.

Hmm, that wasn't really about Alyx, was it? It was great seeing her and talking to her. Her boyfriend is cool, and unlike DC, can hold his half of the bottle of JD.

Oh, she'll probably claim that she drank six of those alco-pop fruit punch thingies she had, but I had at least half of two of them because she was just running around holding them. You beat your record of four, Miss Alyx, and I commend you for it. And I'm sorry I yoinked some of your drink. I owe you some more of those, whatever they were.

Concerning Alecia:

Again, I felt bad for interrupting heart-to-heart time, but I'm consoled by the fact that I could not interrupt Alecia's trip to Passed-Out Land, courtesy of the Captain. I do remember wanting to beat up some young whippersnapper that tried to go to sleep in her room and kept claiming that "It's cool, I'm with the band." I think that was his excuse every time he would do something to irritate someone that night. Who was that guy?

Concerning Tim:

Love Tim, he's great.

Concerning the other Old Folk:

We were all still standing at the end of the night.

Concerning Myself:

At one point in the evening I dubbed myself "Old Guillermo" and was going around denouncing "Young Guillermo" as a fool. I think it was because "Young Guillermo" had been cutting back on "Old Guillermo's" drinking. Seriously, what was "Young Guillermo" thinking?

This Sunday would have been Day Fourteen.

Conversing with people and hearing them actually refer to Girl #1, #2, and #3.
Chuck had his hookah set up on the balcony and that was good times. I'm not familiar with hookah terminology, but the part right below the coals wasn't sealed right so I wrapped my hand around it so that I could get a decent puff out of the thing. It was hot, but it was worth it. Oh, the things I will do for mango sheesha.

After my roommate Mai Linh poured the last of the beer from the keg, I removed my tap and was waving it around like a cavalry general drunkenly leading his drunken troops into battle. I was quite proud of the kids for having cashed it, although there was a tragic amount of half-full and half-empty cups strewn about. Oh, I heard that more than one person was going around scavenging the beer from those cups. Stupid alcoholics. They should have beer back at their place, like me. Ha, and I wonder if anyone tried to drink out of the cup DC puked in?

Now that would have been hilarious.

There is more to recall, but it is late and these old bones are groaning for some rest.

I was there.

Were you? And pray tell, what do you remember?