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.