Saturday, September 06, 2003

Even though I never got an actual interview from The Island Nation of Dana, I had my agents sneak over to her site and snag this "Firsts" page. Then, my Public Relations people filled it out for me. To be honest, I haven't even looked at it.


First car: It was '98 Mercury Tracer. According to the manual, the color was "mocha." *(Thanks for catching my error, Donovan.)

First date: An eigth-grade dance with a girl named Jenny.

First real kiss: Jenny

First break-up: Jenny. (That month was a romantic whirlwind.)

First job: Wendy's Old Fashioned Burgers. I worked there for an entire month. Oh man, it was sweet. "Hey, I'm frying up some more chicken nuggets!" "More nuggets? Man, the customers have been ordering a lot of those lately." "Um, yeah, the customers, right."

First screen name: Private Gurg, a throw-back to my brief stint in the Army.

First self purchased album: Cartoon's Greatest Hits, baby.

First funeral: I didn't know the guy.

First pets: My first pet was a teddy-bear hamster named "Homer."

First piercing/tattoo: The Bat-symbol on my left shoulder on Mother's Day, the day after I became 18. Garrett Sirota was there. He videotaped it. Garrett: "Any last words as an un-inked man?" Me: "I heart ink."

First True Love: You, the public, of course!

First enemy: The first? It was a whole gang of them. In second grade, I would mock and belittle them in class where it was safe, and then spend recess running away from all of them. But they started it. This established a trend that lasted until my sophomore year of high-school. I can remember the exact moment: I was in English class, and some guy was swaggering around the room. The teacher hadn't arrived. He announced that he "needed a pencil," and took mine off my desk. I was leaning back in my seat, and my narrowed eyes met his. He put the pencil back, mumbled something about "not really needing it," and went and sat down. If he had looked at me then, he would have seen only the surprise on my face.

First big trip: I travelled all over Mexico with Miguel when I was ten and he was 12 to visit the obscene amounts of family we have down there.

First musician you remember hearing in your house: The earliest song I remember is "Las Mananitas," which my Dad would play to wake us up the morning of our birthdays.


Last cigarette: Two weeks ago.

Last big car ride: 24-hour Six Flags Road Trip with Alan S., Andrew N., Lauren R., and Kate R.

Last kiss: The other night.

Last good cry: Good cry? About a two years ago, the family dog, Speak, attacked my sister while we were in the backyard. He just started biting her arm and her hand. Without thinking, I grabbed the 70-pound dog by the throat, lifted him into the air, and slammed him into the ground on his back. I stood hunched over him, my hands still wrapped around his throat. He submitted, not struggling or trying to bite me. My dog knew me pretty well, and I honestly think he knew in that instant that if he tried to fight me, I would kill him with my bare hands. There was a roaring in my ears, and I from somewhere far away I could hear my sister sobbing hysterically as she ran into the house. Donaldo, my younger brother, came out to see what was going on and he found me still pinning the dog down. I pried my fingers from Speak's neck and he just got up and trotted off to another part of the yard like nothing had happened.
Then my body had feeling again and I felt my hands shaking violently and tears starting to well up in my eyes. I had never been so enraged before. It wasn't a pleasant feeling. Donaldo noticed, of course. "Are you all right, man?" he asked softy. "I almost killed that dog," I managed to choke out as I walked past him into the house.

Last movie seen: Fern Gully. Hey, there isn't much to do at 3 in the morning on a Thursday night.

Last beverage drank: A Capri-Sun.

Last food consumed: Rice, beans, a tortilla, and a hot dog at my parent's house. That was almost 24 hours ago. I should eat.

Last crush: Michelle Branch. You mean the last person who has had a crush on me, right? If anyone knows Michelle Branch, though, let her know that my car is running and she won't have to drive if she wants to go out. Unless she wants to of course.

Last phone call: My new employers, letting them know that yes, I will be there on Monday at 4:00.

Last time showered: Yesterday night.

Last shoes worn: Sandals.

Last cd played: Burned CD of Nintendo songs.

Last item bought: A starter for my car.

Last annoyance: Myself.

Last disappointment: Myself.

Last time wanting to die: Day after my 21st birthday.

Last time scolded: My older brother Miguel who lives with our parents wrote a note on the fridge at my parent's house that said, "Dad, Memo, Luis, Do your own dishes!" (I'm Memo, by the way.) I wrote on it, "Take care of your own daughter," since he has been known to just go to sleep or go out and let my already very busy mother care for his one-year old daughter for hours at a time. He didn't actually see it, but when he heard that I had written that he called me and started to scold me. I was already irritated, so I wasn't polite about explaining that he put the "ass" in "assume." "I never said I wasn't going to do the dishes." Which is true, I would do my own dishes. I just figured that as long as we were all giving orders...
I'm not one of those people that will automatically not do something just because someone tells me to, but I don't like giving anyone the illusion that they can control my actions.

Last shirt worn: Simpson's shirt with Bart on it saying, "Gross, man!" It's thirteen years old, too small, and not even a real catch-phrase, but I like it.

Last website visited: Beno's sordid tale of sin and javelinas.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Shortest Sabbatical Ever!

I went to two bars tonight and downed two huge glasses of water. That's right. Water.

I'm starting to think something is very wrong with me.

Here I am trying not to write and I don't even last one day.

Here I am trying not to drink and I am already pushing an entire week.

Las Vegas is going to be pissed. Their odds were way off.

I'm half-expecting to pull up to my house one day and see all of my friend's cars parked outside.

"A party?" I'll think. It's only five in the afternoon, too early for a party. I'll walk in.

My friends will be standing in a half-circle, arms crossed and faces grim. The coffee table will be bare except for two items: One will be a pen. The other will be a six-pack of Killian's Irish Red. Tantalizing beads of condensation will roll lazily down each bottle, each dark, amber, container reveling in it's own frostiness.

As I stand there trying to think of what question to ask first, someone will slam the door shut behind me and Surly's car will pull up behind mine, trapping my car in the driveway.

Then I'll have to choose.

But until that day...

Sono Molto Confuso: L'italiano di Erin. Mah, che dico?

As I leave Italian class today, I approach my classmate Erin. I've never really talked to her before. "I have a question for you," I say. "Where did you find the design for your turtle?" (Erin has a sea turtle tattooed on her right foot.)

She laughs. "I drew it myself. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo like that, but I haven't been able to find a design I really liked."

"Well, I actually got the basic design from a sticker," she admits. "I can bring you some stickers, if you want," she says in a teasing tone.

"That would be fine by me. I got the design for my tattoo from a refrigerator magnet."

She laughs.

We're both going the same direction so we walk and talk a little more. We then go our separate ways.

As I drive home in the foreign silence of my newly stereo-less car, I find my thoughts returning to our short conversation.

What kind of person gets a tattoo from a sticker? That's just...just...

Very intriguing.

I'm not one to tell people what to do, but I highly suggest reading Beno's latest entry as quickly as possible. I say this because it might be getting even more diabolically hysterical as we speak, thus becoming a danger to read.

And blame this on Lauren Henschen, she's the one that keeps finding these things:
Brave New Gurg by mintyduck
Who will play you:Will Smith
Who will play your love interest:Claire Forlani
Weeks you will stay in the box office:1, then you'll be knocked out of the top spot by "Batman: Year One"
Song that will play during your shockingly graphic love scene:Wilco - I'm the Man Who Loves You
Song that will play during your death, journey to Hell, and then subsequent return as a wise-cracking zombie:Radiohead - Climbing Up The Walls
Your name:
Created with quill18's MemeGen!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Today in Gurg News:

I broke my productive streak of writing something every day. Not that it is going to end here. I'm gonna take a sabbatical, (or whatever it is you call a vacation when you aren't even employed at the moment.)


My car is running again. It was the starter, as I suspected. And it cost a little over $100 dollars, as I feared.

I'm still working out. I forgot what Day # it is, but that's not really important. I can't find my Nintendo-mix CD, which is odd because I have been walking around clutching that thing to me like a kid holds his beloved teddy bear.

I haven't been drunk. Well, since about two weekends ago. I haven't wanted to, really, since I started spending a lot more time writing. I guess this is something of an experiment. Or as I like to call it "An Investigative Report."

I will soon have a job. Unless of course, I'm betrayed by my urine.

And our top story of the week:

I'm confused as all hell. But wait, that was last week's top story. Oh, and the week before that. And the week before that. And the week before that...

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

A Drive To Remember


The Real Mobile

My relationship with my car is the most open, most communicative, and certainly the longest I've ever had.

In the fifteen months I have owned my standard transmission, four-door, 1989 Toyota Tercel, I have come to learn it's every nuance and become intimate with it's innermost workings.

(And gentlemen shouldn't brag, but I got under that hood before I even signed the title.)

We never argue. We have our differences. But it's never anything to argue about...

"Aw, baby! Why won't you start?"

"I'm low on oil and clutch fluid."

"Oh, I see. Is that why your clutch has been all unresponsive-like?"

"You mean the times you can even find it?"

"Damn, baby! You always tells it like it is."

"You like it and you know it."

"And baby, don't I show it?"

"Well you say it, but let's see it."

...I'll cut that off there. (After that, it gets a little dirty.)

This afternoon for instance, we had a familiar incident. It wouldn't start at all. It wouldn't even turn over. This isn't uncommon. I usually just have to turn the steering wheel into the right position (something to do with the timing causes the engine to rev up during turns) and it will start. Not today, though.

I check and top off all the fluids. I try again.


I'm worried this time, really worried. The oil was incredibly low and I know I drove almost 70 miles yesterday (what gas shortage?) I fear engine damage, or worse.

So I do what any confused young man would do: I call up my father.

"Hey Pops, what it is, what it is?"

"Boy, why in the hell are you talking like that?"

" car won't start."

"Did you check the oil?"

"Yes, I ran a basic diagnostic and everything is okay now, but it isn't starting. It isn't even turning over."

"It's probably your battery. It sounds like it quit on you."

"Aw hellz naw, that battery don't even got it's peach-fuzz yet."

"What in the hell did you just say to me?"

"Er, it's a pretty new battery. I expected at the very least another year out of it."

"Well, Ingryd is over here and she says she'll come over and jump you."

"Jump me? Boun-chikka-boun-now!"

"...god-damn nonsense..." (Click!)

So my older brother Miguel's girlfriend (who is living at my parent's house with him (I don't know what she sees in him, maybe she has a thing for bunk-bed trauma victims) pulls up to my house.

My car isn't happy to see her.

"Who is this floozy?"

"Aw, be cool, baby. This is a friend of mine. She's gonna put a little spark into our lives. You know, a lil' EN-ER-GEE, mmm, yeah." I start doing a little booty dance, throwing some seductive elbows and such.

Ingryd just stares at me. I don't recognize the look on her face, but it must surely be awe and respect for my killer moves combined with a whole lotta "Yum, yum, gimme some!."

"What the hell are you doing? Have you been out in the sun too long or something?"

"Um, oh, hey 'Gryd. Let me get my jumper cables."

We jump the car and it starts. I drive to a nearby Checker Auto-Parts. I tell them I need a new battery. The guy says sure, just go ahead and take out the old one. Then he hands me a wrench so tiny that it insults my masculinity.

I hold it up between two fingers and walk out to my car.

"And what do you expect to do with that little thing?"

"Baby, don't start"

"Won't be a problem if you gonna be trying with that."

"Ooh, you bad, baby!"

I remove the battery and bring it back inside. The guy tests it and it's still good. I was right about the battery, then. But that doesn't make me feel any better. A battery is an easy fix. Since the car runs and the exterior lights and interior lights function, I suspect the starter. Shit. That's a $100 dollar part, and a very involved repair, albeit one my father and I can do ourselves.

I return to my car to put my battery back in.

A word about batteries: It is very important to connect the positive to the positive and the negative to the negative. In fact, it's so important that most car batteries now-a-days are designed so that it is virtually impossible to connect them incorrectly due to the size difference of each post.

Basically, there is no way to connect the negative connection to the positive post; it won't fit over it.

Unless of course, you really, really work at it.

Work smarter, not harder, kids.

My efforts were rewarded with the smell of ozone and a festive shower of sparks.
I realized my mistake and frantically replaced the battery correctly. I jump into the driver's seat and try to start it.


No answer.

"Baby, don't do this to me! Don't leave me now!"

Still no answer. None of the lights will even go on.

"Come on, baby, please! Look, look at this itty-bitty wrench, huh? Look how small it is! Now what am I gonna do with a wrench this small, huh baby? Look at me, it's like it's my first time under a hood, ain't it? But then ain't it always, baby? Say it is, baby, say it is, please!"

My tiny wrench slips from my hand and clatters to the ground.


The Checker guy sticks his head out the door. "Hey, did it work?"

"Uh, no, not exactly. I think I blew a fuse."

So I buy a new fuse for $2.77 and replace it. The lights work. My CD player doesn't, but that piece of crap was pretty hit-or-miss in the first place. So except for my AWOL CD player, I'm pretty much back to where I started.

I call my dad and he uses his car to push-start mine. It doesn't like the rough treatment, but it starts and seems to run okay all the way to my parent's house.

It refuses to speak to me, though.

I think it's just jealous. The Checker is right next to an apartment complex and some guys were out on their balcony watching me try to fix my car. This wasn't usual guys-watching-guys-fix-their--car-and-have-a-beer observing. Well, they had beer, but they were more shouting lewd come-ons at me than offering any helpful suggestions.

Their cat-calls didn't bother me, but my car was turning from it's usual powder-blue into a livid shade of red. I normally have to start venting engine-heat through the AC when it gets that bad.

There was a girl with them, but she remained silent. Which was for the best, really. That would have been the nail in the tire right there.

Back at my parent's house, I washed the grease from my hands and the sweat from my face. I fell asleep in my sister's old room around 10:00 pm.

It was almost four when I awoke. My car sits morosely outside.

Checker opens at eight. My car and I are both scared, but we know we're in this together. Sure, there are nicer cars that always start up right away and have ice-cold AC, better sound systems and and bigger trunks. By the same token, there are better car owners. Owners that wash their tires every Saturday morning and don't cross vital wires, change their oil every 3,000 miles and don't try to power-slide around every corner whenever it rains.

But this car is mine. I worked for it. I've put work into it. It's given me all it can whenever it could. It lets me know when I've neglected it and then gently asks what I intend to do about it.

My car has always forgiven me.

I hope I'll always be able to say that.

"Look at you, boy, weepin' and wailin' over your computer like I'm already dead and buried!"

"Quit trippin', I am not!"

"Aw, look, he gets embarrassed!"

"Damn, baby! You always tell it like it is."

"You like it and you know it."

"And don't I show it, baby? Don't I show it?"

* * * * * *


What Is Your Battle Cry?

Zang! Who is that, striding over the steppes!? It is Gurg Frenzy, his mighty hands armored in gilded boxing gloves! And with a spectacular roar, his voice cometh:

"For the love of carnage, discord, and 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor, I burn with the creative fires of destruction!! Chinchillaaaa!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

WELL, NO. I tweaked it a little. But it did give me the gilded boxing gloves. That last sentence is specifically designed to strike fear and dread into Lauren Henschen.

Monday, September 01, 2003

I hope to quell some of the mental unrest I have been coming across by tossing out a phrase that I have heard both agreed and disagreed with, but never disproven:

Existence exists.

(I recommend getting used to it.)

Agree? Disagree?

There are options.

-Draw your swords and your lines in the sand.

-Think about it and see where it goes.

I'm not going to tell you to do either.

I'm not going to tell you not to bind your hands for the rest of your life.

Because you never know, using your hands could be bad, or something. I mean, sure they're already there, and you may have succumbed to using them once or twice already, but it might not be too late.

So I was taking a shower and thinking about what I had just written...

When I realized that somewhere back there I had stepped up onto my soapbox and completely deviated from what I had intended to reflect upon. Now as much as I love my soapbox, I can still see my footprints in the thick dust that had gathered on it. I try to avoid that thing since I'm afraid of very short heights. Well, what I'm really afraid of is that I'll get seriously hurt falling an incredibly short distance to the ground. Then I'll have to limp, wheel, or be wheeled around constantly explaining how I got so hurt.

"Whoa, what happened to you?!"

"I was tossing and turning in my sleep and I rolled out of my bed."

"All you did was roll out of a bed?!"

"Geez, lay off me! I landed on my cell-phone, all right?"

Heh, (off-topic once again.) After my sister was born (eighteen years ago) I shared a room with the two of my brothers that existed the time. We had a bunk bed and a regular bed. We would alternate beds regularly. This was due in large part to one of us having broken off the side-guard board on the wooden bunk bed. None of us wanted to sleep on that top bunk.

It was rough for everyone. There I would be, sleeping peacefully, only to have my slumber interrupted by this Whoosh! I would often wake up just in time to see one of my brothers hurtling past me and landing with a Whump! on the floor.

If the dim glow of the nightlight revealed a dazed and confused Miguel (my older brother) I would just chuckle quietly and make a mental note to scratch another notch into the bedpost.

If it was my younger brother Donaldo, I would wiggle over in my bed to make room for him so that he wouldn't be awake all night being afraid that he would fall again. It was never funny when he fell.

Don't you go feeling bad for Miguel now. He always hogged the Nintendo.

"C'mon, Miguel, it's a two-player game!"

"Shut up, Memo. Go find your own game."

And that would usually remind me to make that notch on the bedpost.

* * * *

And yes, I also had my share of rude awakenings. I was never hurt, and neither was anyone else. Our parents didn't even knew about it. I got good at falling, though. Sometimes I would go to sleep at night on the top bunk and wake up in the morning under the bottom bunk, refreshed and ready to start my day. It got to the point that I could wake up the instant before I rolled off the side, usually with enough time to keep myself from going over. Usually. And I could identify which brother it was by the Whump! they made.

Final Thoughts:

The stress, frustration, angst, turmoil or whatever it is people feel when they try to figure things out is to be expected. It isn't just some general existential discontent that comes with musing on the Hows and the Whys.

Just break down what's happening into Melting Pot-style chunks:

Trying to understand in and of itself is not upsetting. With understanding comes acceptance.

Admit it, the real reason you're getting all stressed is because what you really want to know is what's going to happen next.

And even though you don't know what's going to happen, you already want to change it because you won't be able to once it does happen.

And when something happens that you never expected (which will be often, if you never learn to expect anything) it becomes quite tempting to assume all existing sources of information are faulty (even ones that allow for error) instead of admitting that you didn't want that to just happen and it did anyway.

It's a lot like that old bunk-bed.

If I knew I was going to fall off, well, then I'd know I was going to fall off. That's the end product right there. As good as it gets. That's what you'll come up with every time. Is that appealing? I don't know.

I'll have to wait until my next shower to finish thinking about it.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Another Old-School Jam That'll Make You Say "Daaaamn!"

A heavy-metal version of "Vampire Killer" from Castlevania by the Minibosses blares out of my CD player just as the sun sets. (The shuffle setting on the player has been bordering on precognitive.)

What an awful night to have a curse.

My jump-rope is looking like a lethal weapon at the moment. Almost whip-like.

I swing it experimentally.

Instead of a satisfying crack!, I get a stinging smack as it flies back at me and hits me in my side.

So much for being experimental.

I'll just stick to my home-made bottles of holy water and keep the jump-rope for rope-jumping.