Saturday, October 04, 2003

And next up on Open Mike Night, here's little Billy with a story:

"A group of students walked into their final exam for their Philosophy class. They were advanced students, and were fairly confident that they knew everything that could possibly be on the test, despite having been given no instructions on what to study.

The students sat down and turned over the test papers which were lying face down on their desks.

There was only one question written on the test.


The students were stunned. They snuck glances at each other to see if everyone else was as confused as they were. Slowly, slowly, they all began to write down anything and everything that had been discussed in the class.

Their time was almost up, and the tension was palpable. Students were still scribbling frantically. But there was one desk that sat empty, paper still hidden.

The time was almost up. But with only a few minutes left, a scruffy-looking kid swaggered into the room. He was chewing gum noisily. He walked over to the clock and peered up at it. Seemingly unperturbed, he sauntered over to his desk. He didn't even sit down. He picked up the paper and read the question. He brought the paper to the Professor''s desk, grabbed a pencil from it, slammed the test down, and scribbled, "Why not?"

He was the only one in the class that got an "A."

Thanks for the story, Little Billy. Now while all of you try to figure out exactly what the hell that story was supposed to mean, let's see who's up next!"

Friday, October 03, 2003

It's Open Mike Night here tonight, and we've never done this before so we're going to have to see how it goes. First up tonight, some spoken word by Guillermo.

"Ahem. Hi, I'm Guillermo, and this is a poem I wrote about a girl.

She kissed me and I don't know what to do
She kissed me and I didn't want her to
It wasn't so bad, it felt almost right
But now I have to buy her dinner tonight

I'm sorry, I promised myself I wouldn't cry..."

Eh, thanks, Guillermo. Now who's up next?

"I'm not done yet, there are four more stanzas."

I said, who's next?
I've noticed trends. Questions, comments, or lack thereof. So now I'm going to try to deal with some of them.

The Title of this Blog

People who have read this have asked me "So, what's a Gurg?"

To be perfectly honest, I never expected to actually be asked that. But that's what I get for assuming.

Gurg is a nickname of mine. There is a story behind that, but for now I'll just say that Jake created it and was the first (and only one for a long while) to call me that.

One day in my old apartment, one of our friends brought one her friends over to hang out. (So probably to play video games and drink.) On one of the end tables were two huge pin-on buttons. One said, "#1 Phill," and the other said "#1 Gurg."
My roommate Phill and I both worked for a trophy shop and were always making random crap like that.

We would wear our buttons whenever we went out on deliveries, or to the bank, or even just to lunch.

So the girl saw the buttons and asked, "What's a Gurg?"

And everyone present just burst out laughing.

It was a legitimate question, but around our very close group of friends that was the equivalent of Ralph Wiggum asking, "What's a battle?"

So yeah, I'm a Gurg. Not "The Gurg." I guess there is a comedian or something that goes by that. The newest Harry Potter book has a character called "The Gurg" who is the chief of a clan of giants. It made me wince when I read it because I was sure a bunch of kids were going to look on-line for everything Potter-related and come up with my site.

And call it a wild guess, but I'm sure that most parents would prefer their children to read about "satanism and witchcraft" than about:

-Running naked down Mill Avenue.

-Throwing up on the floor of my shower.

-Having sexual relations with the latter half of the comedic duo,"Chip and Dale"

-My more than casual interest in the farmer's daughters.

-Taking Arthur Miller's advice on writing literally. ("To write any kind of imaginary work, you gotta fall on your sword."

-Going to my final drunk.

-My bad poetry.

To any children who are reading this: Don't you click on any of the fun, bright, colorful words above, okay?

To Speak Your Mind, Click Here....Well, No, There.

I thought everyone knew about the commenting system that many blogs and live-journals have. Some just say "Comment," at the bottom of a particular post, but mine (for now) says "Climbing up the wall." Clicking on that will bring up a window that you can post your comments in. I try to be a good listener, and I wouldn't have put it up ifn' I didn't want to hear what you have to say. Hell, the majority of the comments are more entertaining than the actual posts.

You can also e-mail me, or even say "Hello" with Instant Messenger. I'll understand if you're reluctant about the IM thing. The one time I actually tried to talk to someone about their blog via Instant Messenger, I was tactlessly ignored.

But enough boring, technical, exposition.

It's time to sloth it up!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

"Hey Pa! Them scientists is modifyin' our corn all genetic-like!"

Somehow our Italian class managed to get into a discussion about genetically modified corn. Most of my more vocal classmates seemed to be against it. But of course, one said that phrase I love so well: "It seems good now, but we don't even know what could happen in the long run."

I was going to point out that that could be argued about absolutely anything. For example:

"Good afternoon, Herr Nestle."

"Yah, good afternoon, eh..."

"Quick, sir. I work in your secret chocolate research facility."

"Ah, yes. Tell me, drone, why do you wish to see me? Has there been progress on making chocolate that one can drink? "

"Well sir, I've created a powder that, when combined with ordinary milk, becomes chocolate milk."

"Interesting...Now let's suppose for a moment that this magical powder you describe really works, yah? Have you researched the effects of drinking this over the course of someone's life? Have you found out what happens to their children? Sure, an instant powder sounds good, but what could happen in the long run?"

"I hadn't thought of that, Herr Nestle. I suppose I shall get back to work on force-feeding cows melted chocolate. They've mostly been dying, though."

"Yah, keep trying that. And quit wasting your time with those powders, Quick. Force-feeding cows! That's the future! Good, wholesome, 100%-natural, force-feeding."

"Das gud, Herr Nestle."

"Yer damn right, Das gud! Now back underground with you!"

But our professor managed to get us back on track and we had finished reading about a little girl's adventures in Italy.

"I make a better guide than a map."

As I was leaving class and heading out to the vast parking lot to search for my car, a girl approached me from the opposite direction and asked, "Excuse me, do you know where the Testing Center is?"

I'd been there once before, but I wasn't completely sure how to give directions there. "Well, I'm not sure," I admitted, "But I can show you."

So we started walking. She introduced herself. "I'm Guillermo," I replied.

"Oh, isn't that Spanish for William?"

"Uh, yeah, it is!"

"Does anyone call you Memo?"

"My family does, mostly." I was a bit nervous then. I had to stifle a surfacing fear that she could read minds. "What are you testing for?" I asked.

"Business Law. Ethics, really. Not there are any ethics in business, of course. Not that you can teach."

And it was really shaping up to be a good discussion, but we arrived at the Testing Center. She thanked me. I said it was nice meeting her.

And it was.

It occurs to me now that I could have taken her the long way.

And now I'm late for work.

My older brother, Miguel, makes me laugh. He used to just make me mad, but now he mostly just makes me laugh. He has M.Advice. I now have G.Advice. I stole it from him. Just like he stole my bike from me when I was six. Some might disagree, and would say it wasn't really stealing, since he only took it from the backyard to the front-yard. To them I would say, "Why are you arguing with a six-year-old?


What to do when being scolded, reprimanded, yelled at, or berated.

I wouldn't say I smoke. I have smoked, and in all honestly I may yet again.

But I'm no chiminey like Lauren H.

But some circumstances call for a smoke.

Such as being yelled at by someone.

When someone is really mad at you and trying to talk/yell at you, ignoring them will only anger them. And you don't want that.

You want to enrage them.

So listen intently. Maintain eye contact. Let them speak until they finish, un-interrupted. And while you do this...

smoke a cigarette as impudently as possible.

Not a smoker?

Then just eat some messy, unwieldy, food item, like a foot-long meatball submarine sandwich. Or, better yet, one of those giant, roasted, turkey-legs you can usually only find at the Renaissance Festival or Arts Festivals in down-town Phoenix.


Bust out the blender and whip up a wheat-grass smoothie. Blend...then stop. Blend...then stop. Repeat much more than necessary. Any way you spell it, the ol' blend-stop is always Morse Code for "infuriating."

Remember to always keep as much eye contact as possible. Don't even look at the food. If something gets on your face, just leave it.

Time your chewing carefully. You want to finish whatever it is you're eating just as they finish ranting.

An obscenely large soda-fountain cup from your local gas station will do in a pinch. Just make sure to slurp loud enough to be heard, especially when it's finally empty.

These are also good ways to keep people from trying to have sex with you.

Eating is pretty ingrained in most people as a social activity. Yelling, not so much.

Someone eating is naturally inviting. "Come on, have a seat, grab a bite. Join me. Join the herd," a person eating unknowingly pleads to the social core of our being.

Yelling is unnatural. It draws the attentions of wild beasts and solicitors.

Combining the two confuses the brain.

Don't believe me? Go try being angry at a lasagna.

I didn't mean it about the lasagna. That was bad G.Advice.

Sorry, lasagna.

See? We are related.

PS: Good Morning, Jaden.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

There, I fixed it you fussy bastard.
G.Advice (title stolen from my older brother)

1. Chinchillas are soft. Their teeth are not.

2. In 'N' Out Burger has excellent strawberry milkshakes. The establishment in general is very good, even despite the ominous religious undertones.

3. If you want commments, do not kill your commenting system.

4. If you somehow cut off a major line of communication, try other avenues. (Notice the e-mail address.)

5. Twice the chinchillas=twice the bites.

6. Delivering a letter yourself directly to someone's house may be perceived as stalker behavior, so make sure to do so only in the dead of night.

7. Make friends with a bartender so you can still order a drink from them even if the other bartender won't serve you because you don't have an ID.

8. D.C. has the right idea.

9. Don't sleep like a sloth.

10. You can never turn your back on the ocean.

All of the above take a lifetime to learn, but only about 10 minutes to post.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I couldn't sleep very well last night.

Someone left a comment about my habit of sleeping like a sloth. This naturally reminded me of my #3 Greatest Fear.

Number 2 is zombies.

And #3 is the most vile abomination that Mother Nature could ever conceive: A sloth underwater.

Regular sloths aren't frightening at all. They hang upside down in trees with their two or three toes, move very little, and grow algae on their fur.

But they have been known to come down from the trees, find a body of water, and then attempt to cross it the only way they can. They swim.

It's horrible. This green monkey-thing with giant eyes and hooked claws churning its way through the water, hell-bent on reaching its destination (probably an innocent, unsuspecting, Guillermo.)

It's sad when the Nature Channel scares me almost as much as the Horror Channel.

My greatest fear I will not tell. Because if that information got out, it could be used against me. I'm not worried about the other two. Good luck finding a zombie or a sloth in Arizona. I'm pretty sure they both mostly hang around Brazil.

You Mess with the Bull...

You get a ride to the bookstore.

I was heading down to the freeway to go to Barnes and Noble when I spoke to my friend Marie via my "cellular phone."

"What are you doing?"

"I'm heading to the bookstore, on Ray."

"Where are you now?"

"I'm coming up on Elliot."

"Well, what you're going to do is get off on Warner, head left, then take a right past Kyrene, and then another left, and I'm the second house on the right. Got all that?"

"Um, yeah."

"Good. See you soon."


So I picked her up and we were actually inside the bookstore before I even realized what had just happened.

Clever girl.

At the bookstore, David DoBell and I sat down and tried to figure out why my laptop wouldn't play sound anymore. Well, he mostly tinkered with it while I read a book about climbing Mt. Everest.

Gurg Turismo

Marie was hungry, so we went to a Denny's on Chandler. It must have just been built because the parking lot was just dirt. Against my better judgment, I pulled my emergency brake and power-slid perfectly around the corner, rally-car style. It was absolutely beautiful.

I was especially pleased at the result because I had tried to power-slide in rain before but never in actual dirt. I really hadn't been sure of how it would work out.

I didn't share my surprise at not completely losing control of my vehicle to Marie because she already didn't seem too impressed by it.

I was proud of myself though, and swaggered up to the doors of the restaurant.

Then I noticed that all the people inside were eyeing me warily.

Man, what's wrong with everybody? Back in my day, a good power-slide in front of a restaurant would have gotten you a standing ovation, a free meal, and the waitress's phone number.

Enough For A Hat, But Not Quite For A Coat

Marie and I went back to her house and I got to see her pair of chinchillas. I managed to pet one through the bars of its cage. Those things are incredibly soft! It's like petting a silk-marshmallow-cloud-bunny.

Now I know what Beyonce is so crazy-in-love with: Jay-Z's chinchilla coat. Mystery solved, Amy.

Niles, the Amazing Cat/Dog.

I also met Marie's cat, Niles. He's monstrously huge and acts like a dog. When I saw him I proclaimed, "Geez, that's the biggest cat I've ever seen!"

Marie said, "We feed him other cats."

I thought, that's funny, we sound like the movie "Great Expectations," which was what I had just quoted.

Marie laughed after she said that and then continued, "I always think of Great Expectations, I love that part."

I was quite stupified that we had been thinking the exact same thing, but I was able to cover it up quite well with a dumbfounded expression.

Just when you think you have it all figured out, some girl goes and quotes Great Expectations.

Gurg's Gym

Well, Brian Young's gym, really. He just got this sweet set-up in his garage. I went over there and we worked out and discussed life.

We used to do this all the time.

After a couple hours of working out and frank discussion, I felt immensely better. It's nice to find out that you're stronger than you thought you were. It's also good to figure out exactly where you are weak, so that you can get to work on building up those areas.

But of course, a good work-out needs good music, so now I have to head over to Chimera Eyes to listen to the most motivational song ever written. Don't be afraid to turn up the volume.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Having armed myself with the knowledge that I am pretty much the way I think I am after taking all those personality tests, I set out to enjoy the rest of the weekend as best as I could.

Lost In Scottsdale

Lauren H. and I went to see Lost in Translation with Bill Murray.

We enjoyed it.

I may even go see it again. It gave me a different perspective on the all-too familiar feeling of loneliness. It made me think that loneliness wouldn't be such a prevalent condition if everyone weren't so damn surrounded by each other.

I mean, the mind is a finite thing; The more people you know, the less well you can possibly know them. I'm sure you physicists and sociologists agree.

"You're not hopeless."
-Bill Murray.

Lost In Bank One Ballpark

Boston had invited me to go with him to see Arizona Diamondbacks play. I had been all for it. The last time (eh, only time) I had been was when our team was brand spanking new and I had gone with Donovan.

It was fun. A lot of people were there.

After we left the stadium, we went back to my parent's house to make some hamburgers. Jake called me at that exact moment to see what I was up to. I told him.

So Boston, Jake, and I had a pleasant late lunch of hamburgers and fries. Good times, good times.

Lost in Lyceum Theatre

I had foolishly missed the opening nights of The Laramie Project and How I Learned to Drive, so I arrived at the playhouse a little before six pm. My belly was full of dead animal and good feelin's and I sat back in slightly-too-small-to-be-comfortable seat and was ready to be entertained.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

Both shows played right after each other. Not counting the intermissions, I experienced almost four solid hours of theatre.

The first show was The Laramie Project, which Beth Froehlich and Eric Piatkowski were in. I felt pretty emotionally drained after I saw it. Beth gave a powerful performance in the first act and had everyone (almost) in the audience in tears. And of course, the first act ended right after so that went the lights came up everyone (almost) got to play the "Crying? Who was crying?" game.

I felt that the show didn't quite reach that point again in the next two acts (but then, the emotional climax parts after that were performed by other actors.) And Eric was great, too. His seamless transitions between multiple portrayals characters was amazing. His characters were also some of the most distinct in the show. (Although one trait that all of his characters were forced to share: Eric's trademark lack-of-an-ass. )

Eric and Beth have always made a great combination.

The second play I watched was "How I Learned to Drive." I had a tough time getting a feel for the setting (probably due to having spent the previous two-and-a-half hours being convinced I was in Laramie, Wyoming.)

It seemed a bit disjointed at first, but as the play progressed, I think being continuously caught off-guard seemed to work for it. The interspersed racy humor and over-the-top slapstick comedy starkly contrasted the darker, more disturbing scenes. And there were some scenes that became surprisingly touching because of it.

Some scenes fell somewhere in between and weren't enough to keep me connected to what I was watching. A scene would draw me in and then the next one would lose me. Basically, I would start to forget myself (which happens only when I'm really enjoying something) and then suddenly be reminded that I was in a theatre again. To be fair, my ass was incredibly sore from being seated for so long. And to be completely fair, I have a very difficult time with the subject matter that was presented for reasons that are completely personal. It is a very enjoyable show. What I most enjoyed?

Julie (a fellow Lopez) was downright adorable in the lead role.

There was a great lip-synched Doo-Wop/chair dancing scene.
*Update: You can actually see it over at Lauren H's live journal.

And a school sock-hop scene with a young, love-struck, vertically challenged Casanova.

Lauren's timing was impeccable, as always, and she gave a nearly flawless performance.

After the shows, I hobbled out of my seat and went outside to check my voice-mails. One particularly caught my interest:

"Hey, G, this is Brian. I'm about to get off work and then have a drink at the bar."

Brian works at a hotel. The bar is also in the hotel. That means the bartender is really a co-worker and that means that despite having lost my ID I could certainly order drinks.

So met up with Brian there. We had a few drinks and discussed important things like "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and how movie theaters don't make any money from the movies they show, only the concessions they sell (five-dollar bags of Reese's Pieces starting to make sense now?)

We also tried to plan out the rest of our evening. This was urgent, since where we were going and how we would get there would determine how many more pints of Fat Tire we would have.

Once we received confirmation from Kiki that she would be able to give us a ride, it was on.

Lost in the Pointe South Mountain Resort

That night was the birthday of Brian's niece and the family was spending the weekend in the Pointe South Mountain Resort. It was pretty late, but we went over to see what they were up to.

Brian had a key to their room. He opened up the door, and we walked into the wildest game of Pictionairy I had ever seen. It was pretty intense. We were all split up and merged into the existing teams (Kiki being the most sought after since she was actually sober.) We had only planned on saying Hello, but there was plenty of beer in the mini-fridge...

We ended up staying for over half an hour (or three beers, to be exact.) Brian and I knew we were drunk when we started arguing about the game "Peek-A-Boo."

"It's a stupid game!" I had shouted in mock anger. "You're right fucking there!"

I'd like to think I won that argument.

Lost in an Empty Apartment

We all went over to Joey and Meg's after that. We hung out some, talked some, drank a little some. It was fun. Erin McCarthy was there (quite possibly the funniest girl in the world) and she was cracking us up. She was also kind enough to give us a ride back to our cars, which were still back at the hotel.

We got back to the hotel at four in the morning. We were still a little drunk. But there was nothing to fear, because the hotel also has a kitchen. Raul, the cook, made us egg and cheese bagel sandwiches. Brian and I ate and discussed egg and cheese bagel sandwiches.

It was good times.

Lost in Blogging

I remembered something today, not really a reason to blog, but a definite bonus:

On several occasions I have heard genuine surprise expressed by someone who had read something I wrote. The surprise came from the fact that it was me that wrote it.

Ben Siemon, who I had known for over four years, summed it up the most appropriately. "I always thought you were just cute and stupid!"

I had to laugh. That's what I love about Ben, he always tells it like it is.