Saturday, January 03, 2004

Obligatory Reflection On Past Year:

As I sit and type, my little brother's new puppy sits on my lap and sleeps. (There was much contention over what to name him. I voted for Queequeg, but he was ultimately named "El Guapo," after the bad guy in The Three Amigos. I admit that I have actually been calling him "Nibbles," after Killer's ill-fated brother in the movie Half-Baked. I still think of him as Queequeg, though.)

My former roommate Mai-Linh's cat, Sashimi, would also sit in my lap as I wrote.

Nibbles and Sashimi have the love of sitting in my lap while I type in common.

One way they differ, I've discovered, is that when Nibbles rolls off of my lap, he lacks the ability to break his fall by sinking razor-sharp claws into my leg the way Sashimi would.

Another key difference is that Nibbles is much more content with my writing. Sashimi would invariably find something wrong with what I'd written and try to walk across the keyboard in an attempt to delete the whole thing.

The puppy is snoring gently. With a lazy dog, I do not fear accidental deletions.

Sleep, little Queequeg, sleep.

A Different Kind Of Reflection

Joey M. made me a mix CD. The hand-made sleeve boasts that it is a "[...] just-for-you mix. Tailored to your tastes. Word."

I was very impressed with what he put together, so I thought I'd share.

1. Whistling In The Dark -They Might Be Giants
2. Circle of Friends - Better Than Ezra
3. Tetris Techno - Bad Boy Bill
4. Everloving - Moby
5. Fithos Lusec - Nobuo Uematsu
6. If Your Mother Only Knew - Rahzel
7. Rock N. Roll McDonald's - Wesley Willis
8. Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
9. Honey White - Morphine
10. Mana Mana - Muppets
11. Optimistic - Radiohead
12. Yoda -Weird Al
13. Second Hand -Underworld
14. Smells Like Teen Spirit -Tori Amos
15. Beer Beer Beer - Wylde Nept

The CD makes me very...thoughtful. It's a very good thoughtful, though. It's the kind of thoughtful that keeps me occupied for hours on end, forming wild theories and second-guessing and even triple-guessing everything (don't blame me, I learned it from reading Dune.)

There are lines that keep popping out at me.

Whistling In The Dark:

"There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well"

Circle Of Friends:
"...Try and understand
Put a checklist on your wall
I am not what you think I should be

But you're making amends
To your circle of friends
And you're trying to fit me to their mold "

Lust For Life:

"Love, love, love
Well, that's like hypnotizing chickens."

Teen Spirit (Tori Amos):

"With the lights out, it's less dangerous"

Fithos Lusec

All of it, since the song is in Latin and I don't know what the heck they're saying.

Resolutions...Sort Of [Not A Song]

Quitting smoking has been going well and I'm pretty proud of myself.

But last night as I was having my third glass of wine I hazily remembered having resolved to stop drinking so much. So I didn't drink tonight. So far, so good.

I saw the latest movie version of Peter Pan last night. I took Luis. He enjoyed it, and so did I. The audience was filled with mostly parents and their children. I felt a little odd when a number of times I was the only one in the theater laughing hysterically.

Like when Captain Hook is shouting insulting at Peter and says "You are a tragedy!" Because, well, Peter Pan is. His refusal to "grow up" keeps him eternally happy, but without the ability to love.

Since love means attachment, and being attached means wanting to be with someone, wanting to be with someone means risking loss, and loss means pain.

So Buddhist style, Pan has achieved joy by removing desire.

Or something. When did I start sounding like Yoda from Episode I? Wait....Track 12 from Joey's mix...diabolical.

Tonight I bought the book. One of my favorite parts:

("Pan, who and what art thou?" [Hook] cried huskily.

"I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."

This, of course, was nonsense; but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was, which is the very pinnacle of good form.)

It makes me thoughtful as well.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

I'm reminded of the fake Star Wars Episode II DVD I was given for my birthday.

My cousin's house was actually robbed tonight. Their DVD player was stolen, as well as some jewelry. (Which makes me think it was kids, or at least people without a vehicle since the heavier TV and computer were not touched.)

Well, the joke is on them. I had lent my cousins a couple of my DVD's. Those dumb bastards were trying to steal Episode II, and all they got away with was The Rookie.

But damn them, as if by an odd twist of coincidence, they also got The Professional, which I had watched the night I had discovered that I actually had been given The Rookie.

Odd, very odd.

But then, that is the very nature of coincidence.

"Sounding like me again you are."

Can it, Yoda! I stole that coincidence bit from Edgar Allen Poe.

Smart-ass Muppets.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

The year died last night, and the heavens wept.

How appropriate.

I saw many good friends. I drank until 5 in the morning. I won at beer pong; I lost at beer pong. I started smoking just so that I could give it up for my New Year's Resolution. I leapt from rooftop to rooftop.

I slept on a couch for three hours and woke up dehydrated and confused.

I blearily stepped outside and rejoiced in the fact that this January 1st there was no sun to bother my trembly eyes.

"Well, I'm alive," I thought as I put on my sunglasses despite the overcast.

"So far, so good."

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The Pessimist: "My beer is half-empty."

The Optimist: "My beer is half-full."

The Drunk: "Where the hell is my beer?"

* * * * * * *

The Good Host: "Can I get you a beer?"

The Drunk Pessimist: "Is this your beer?"

The Drunk Optimist: "Is this my beer?"

The Drunk: "Yes, yes, and not anymore it ain't."

* * * * * *

The Good Host: "Are you okay to drive?"

The Bad Drunk Host: "Let's all go to Salazar Bros. and get burritos!"

The Bad Drunk: "Race you there!"

* * * * *

Happy New Year's Eve! Please make sure to be a "Good Host", or a "Good Drunk".

The parts of "Drunk" and "Bad Drunk" have already been cast, I'm afraid.

Don't feel too bad. Maybe you'll get the part next year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

It's like looking into a mirror...

You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark,
variable, and can change many things at your
whim...even when they're not supposed to be
changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or
wonderful; it's your choice.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

My friend Sibbitt is in town. I've mentioned him before, I'm sure. He holds the rather dubious distinction of being the Person That I've Most Nearly Died With.

Last night, we tempted fate once again by eating at Denny's after last call at a nearby bar.

We sipped bad coffee and talked of life, love, fishing, and frostbite.

We ended up staying there for about two and half hours.

After much discussion, we concluded that frostbite is bad, fishing and not catching anything isn't so bad if you bring drinks along, love doesn't seem to actually conquer all obstacles, and life is best spent doing what you want.

No startling revelations were made, but I think it's best to remind myself of those facts every now and again.

I'm terribly forgetful.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Setting: Gurgle Inc., a large store that sells time. Methinks, a lovely young woman and recent customer, enters stage left and approaches a young fellow in an ill-fitting suit, (one of the salesgurgs that work for Gurgle Inc.

Methinks: I'm here to complain about the two minutes you sold me sometime back.

Salesgurg: Were they unsatisfactory?

Methinks: It seems there was some trouble back at the factory, and they made these defective 2 minutes which were really long. I would like to exchange them
for um... well, what can you change them for?

Salesgurg: Of course, of course. Here at Gurgle Inc., customer satisfaction is our top priority. Let's see...hmm, it appears that the first minute is completely okay. Ah, here's the problem! The second minute had a skip in it. Very common problem, probably just mishandled at some point. Just like a scratched CD, it will get stuck and play over and over and over.

Methinks: Mishandled. Mishandled?! Excuse me, I used it very carefully. By the time it was time for the second minute... time just stopped

Salesgurg: Ma'am, I did not accuse anyone in particular of mishandling it.

Methinks: Well, now what do I do with the second minute?

Salesgurg: Hmm...not everyone has the opportunity to get back an entire minute of their life.

Methinks: Could you remedy it? I heard someone say you work miracles.

Salesgurg: Was it one of our Public Relations people?

Methinks: I have a bad memory.

Salesgurg: Nice guys, but don't believe them.

Methinks: Ah, ok. But it'd have been lovely to be able to believe him. Well?

Salesgurg: I didn't say we couldn't work miracles. Just never believe the PR guys. They're all really nice, though.

Methinks: Friends of yours?

Salesgurg: You could invest this minute, and see how it grows. Minutes become hours, hours become days, days become years, years become lifetimes. Oh, I'm sorry. The PR guys? I see them briefly at the end of the day. Sometimes we go out, grab a drink and a sandwich.

Methinks: You spend a lot of your precious minutes with them.

Salesgurg: Heh, I file those minutes under "Business Expenses."

Methinks: Say, if you would care to spend a precious minute with me, can you tell me, wise one, how to invest a minute so that it yields an hour?

Salesgurg: To be honest, it does not actually yield an hour. But the minute will be worth an hour, you see.

Methinks: Ah! Illumination at last. Now I guess I can make up the defectively long two minutes to myself.

Salesgurg: I'll tell you what: I don't usually do this, but here's my card. Call me, and I'll take care of those two minutes for you, free of charge.

Methinks: Aw, thanks so much.

Salesgurg: Please consider it a little Thank You for doing business with us.

Methinks: One rarely comes across such open-hearted generosity.

Salesgurg: Too rarely, I'm afraid.

The End

Based on a conversation with Methinks. Okay, it isn't based on so much as taken straight from it. It's just a germ of an idea, but perhaps in time it will grow.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Hmm...there's quite a lot today, but well, it's Sunday, and you've all been very good. To be honest, it peaks at about the middle and sort of peters out at the end.

Twenty-Five Cents for Two Cents

I went to Amado's 24-hour Mexican Food with Boston, Donaldo, and Brittany. I hadn't been there in a while, and during my absence they had installed a coin-operated scale that also tells your horoscope. It looked ancient, and probably broken.

I hopped onto it and threw a quarter into the slot marked for "Taurus". The dial on the scale settled at precisely 192 pounds. A metal panel slid back to announce in faded letters that:

"Your affections are shallow and your interests superficial.
You expect too much and give too little.
Give as much as you take."

"Hey!" I snarled, "Who are you calling 192 pounds?!"

Road March Down Memory Lane

Donaldo got me a pair of combat boots for Christmas. I had told him that I wanted a pair, and he had obliged me. I'm very happy with them, but they give me an odd feeling when I wear them.

It's kind of a good feeling, since I've always felt like I was ready for anything when I was wearing those boots. But I remember long, long, days of marching and running and being yelled at that never felt over until I unlaced my boots and gingerly pulled them off of my abused feet. It's just one of those things that I remember.

Now let's see if I still remember how to shine the damn things.

Great, now I'm reminiscing about my Army, year.

If it isn't common knowledge yet, I can be something of a smart-ass. Well, when I was 17 years old and in Army Basic Training, I was a very stupid kind of smart-ass.

There are all sorts of interesting ways to be punished in Basic Training. One afternoon our platoon was out doing a field exercise. I wasn't holding my rifle properly (depending on how you were walking/marching/running, you had to hold it a certain way.) A drill sergeant from another platoon saw me and told me to raise my rifle up above my head with both hands.

It would appear to a passerby that I was doing the "Y" part of the "YMCA" dance, except with an 8 pound semi-automatic weapon in my hands.

I complied, and the drill sergeant wandered off, presumably to find some more recruits to do the "M," "C," and "A."

Standard etiquette for being punished by a drill sergeant from a platoon that isn't yours is to act chagrined until they leave. Then, it's usually okay to go back to whatever you were doing.

Here's where the stupid/smart-ass part comes in.

In a fit of Ghandi-ish arrogance, I decided not to put my arms down.

Eight pounds doesn't sound like a lot of weight, but it gets very painful very quickly.

I won't talk about how my arms went from aching, to burning, to numb, to violently trembling, to back to burning again. I'm going to talk about how after 45 minutes of suffering, I went into this Zen-like state. I felt great. I felt like I could hold my arms up forever if I had to.

My friends all thought I was crazy. Everyone kept asking me, "Are you still holding that thing?!" The other drill sergeants were confused too, since they weren't sure who had told me to do it and were all certain that there was no way I would just be punishing myself.

The drill sergeant who had ordered me to hold up my rifle finally wandered back a little over an hour later. I marched up to her, rifle held high, and shouted, "Drill sergeant, Private Lopez requesting permission to recover!"

She cocked an eyebrow at me and muttered "Recover, soldier."

I brought down my arms with a sigh of relief and began to trot off to my platoon. A grin crept onto my face as I wondered what she must be thinking right then. But a moment later there was no need to wonder.

"Lopez! What in the hell are you smiling about?!"


I spent midnight to 2 am that night polishing brass doorknobs.

I discovered that the Zen-like state that can be reached from polishing doorknobs is more directly related to the amount of fumes you've inhaled from the brass-polish.

Gurgism; n 1. an odd saying that seems to make a sort of sense, but upon closer examination it is revealed that no, it most certainly does not. 2. the obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign object or Guillermo.

Gurgism for Today: "No, I don't put a slice of lime in my Corona! And no, I don't put a lemon in my Hefferweizen! If I want to get drunk and have fruit then I'll make sure that I pass out in an orchard!"

I've been up for 22 hours.

During that time I've gone to work, gone to the Outback Steakhouse where I had some of a Bloomin Onion and two bottles of Newcastle, rode a slight buzz over to Best Buy to purchase two DVD's (The Princess Bride and Disney's Hercules,) and...

Oh, quick detour. While I was there, I saw my old friend Kendall, whom I hadn't seen or spoken to for nearly six months. Very excitedly, I ran up and gave her a hug. Less excitedly, I noticed the look on her face that she reserves for people that she isn't happy to see at all. Now completely devoid of excitement, I mumbled lamely that my brother was in town and that my niece was doing well and that I guess I would see her around. Trying to ignore the feeling seeping into the emptiness that earlier had been filled snugly with all that excitement, I went to find Boston and Donaldo so that we could make our purchases.

Donaldo and I went back to the house, I made burritos for everyone, I went over to the house that Lauren H. was house sitting where I kicked her ass in Quake II for Nintendo 64 and Star Wars Pod Racer. Then she kicked my ass in Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and the Xena fighting game. Lauren had a new skateboard and I keep mine in the trunk of my car at all times, so we went skateboarding.

I left to meet Donaldo and Jay at a party where I saw a lot of people that I had used to go to high school with. Jay went to his house, I dropped Donaldo off at home, then I went back to Jay's house to hang out with him. I got home around 3 am, showered, gathered my notes, and sat down at the computer, ignored my notes and knocked out this post. Now I'm going to put off sleep for a bit longer and talk to Methinks.

The day had its ups and downs. Whenever it finally ends, I'm certain that a line from Hercules will still be turning over and over in my head as it has been doing for many hours now.

"There are worse things."