Saturday, January 24, 2004

An Argument

As I was eating the dinner I prepared for myself last night (a plate of Spanish rice, two over-easy eggs, and a few tortillas,) my father started sermonizing at me. He is Roman Catholic. And when he gets some booze in him, he becomes the thirteenth apostle. (Oh yeah, there was a thirteenth apostle. Recently uncovered evidence suggests that he was probably Mexican. Experts arrived at this consensus after reading the passage that describes, in detail, him bussing the table after the Last Supper.)

So I was eating and he was talking about his beliefs. At one point he proclaimed, "God works in mysterious ways!" I looked up from my meal. I finished chewing, and swallowed.

"(Gulp.) So what does it benefit God to be so mysterious?"

"God makes no mistakes!" he countered.

"Okay, so God makes no mistakes. God is the creator of all things. God's will is inseperable from the will of everything in creation. That is, unless it's possible for a lowly, sinful human to subvert the will of God. That's impossible, isn't it? Nothing can go against God's will.

So, everything that happens to me is because of God. If I die at 22, or have brown eyes, or don't believe in God, it must be the case that because it is so, it is as God wills it to be. If I don't believe in God, it's because he doesn't want me to."

My father was thought about it for a second. "That doesn't make any sense!" he finally argued.

"God works in mysterious ways!" I replied, knocking a piece of rice off of my face that had been stuck there the whole time I had been talking. "And if you're a fan of things that nobody can understand, I've got some poetry that you would probably love."

Friday, January 23, 2004

Please disavow all knowledge of this post.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Mama Lopez's Home Remedies

Do not mention that you have a scratchy/sore throat around my mother. She will demand that you pour a copious amount of salt into a cup of vinegar and then gargle with it.

Oh yes, it is as bad as it sounds.

But I checked up on it and it's actually medicinally sound. You see, the salt draws water out of the cells in your throat, creating inhospitable conditions for the attacking germs.

And the vinegar, well, the vinegar makes it all taste so horrible that the germs become convinced that you are trying to poison yourself. This causes a mass exodus in which the germs abandon your throat cells and desperately hunt for a less suicidal host organism.

At least, that's what it says here in my medical journal.

Hm, there's a footnote, too. "This concoction has also been used historically to persuade prisoners of war to reveal information. The Geneva Convention ended it's use on the field of battle and severely limited it's production. It is now only readily available to Australia* and to a handful of doting, Mexican mothers.

*To make up for their lack of nukes.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The 12:15 Revelation: I drive myself to gibbering insanity for absolutely no good reason.

The 12:16 Revelation: That doesn't mean I'm going to stop, but I'm glad I'm at least aware of it.

The 12:17 Revelation: If you live in Phoenix and are driving around this afternoon and don't have your window rolled down, you are a fool.

The 12:18 Realization: I probably should have posted this earlier.
Guillermo Jerusalem?

"Now, does everyone know that this class is actually two parts?" my journalism professor inquired of her bright-eyed students, "Because we get the occasional person that didn't know that as well as this being a news-writing course, we are also responsible for producing the school newspaper."

All the bushy-tailed students looked shocked at the idea that someone might actually be so foolish as to have signed up for the class and not have known this.

I was looking a bit shocked myself.

* * * * * *

So I guess I'm going to have to play journalist for a while. A bit sooner than I expected. I mean, I was hoping to have some idea of what I was doing when the time came to actually perform, you know what I mean?

And here I was thinking that sex and journalism had nothing in common.

* * * * * * *

So now I'm trying to think of a name. In the comic Transmetropolitan, the main character is a journalist named Spider Jerusalem. Hm...

Turtle Calcutta?

Forest Gaza?

River Phoenix?


Ah well, I'm sure I'll come up with something that is appropriately intimidating and has quasi-religious undertones.

* * * * * * *

Step 1: Seat-of-the-pants journalism.

Step 2:

Step 3: Profit.

* * * * * * *

How do all of you day-walkers do this? It's only 2:30 am and I feel like it's already dawn.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Note To Self

You'll have to remind me to post the notes I took during the whole mountain-climbing thing.

Oh wait, you can't comment. That's too bad.

Hey, does anyone mind if I post some deep, melancholy, relevant-to-my-life, song lyrics? If so, just say so.



"I'm a walkin' in the rain
Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain
Wishin' you were here by me
To end this misery and I wonder

I wa-wa-wa wonder
Why, why-why-why-why-why she ran away
And I wonder where she will stay
My little runaway, a-run-run-run-run runaway!"

Today's Notes:

I had class today. It wasn't bad. Getting up was the difficult part since I had still been up until 4 in the morning. I have not yet resigned myself to my fate of becoming a daywalker. It's like in that poem by Dylan Thomas that goes "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light" except completely opposite, and without the dying father.

As I said, classes t'weren't bad. We had to do an introductory exercise in one class in which we were required to write down three bits of information about ourselves. Two were to be true and one was supposed to be false. It was a pleasant change of pace from the usual dry reading of the syllabus for the semester. The example for the false bit that my professor put down was "I went to Prom in a gorilla suit." My three bits were as follows:

1. I have a tattoo.
2. I am in the Army National Guard.
3. I went to Prom dressed in a jester costume.

As far as I know, all of my classmates put down number three as "false." (I was told that I look like a Marine, and since that can be taken both ways, I took it as a compliment.)

I suppose, as The Dude might say, "They're not privy to all the new shit, man."

Number 2 was false, I had to explain, since I had been in the ANG when I was 17, but I had high-tailed it out of there when I was 18. I wonder if I qualify as a veteran?

I did indeed go to Prom my Freshman year of high school dressed in a motley jester costume, belled hat, tights, and all. There was a medieval theme that year, and a few of my friends and I dressed up as jesters and got to go for free. It was a blast, and rivaled the fun I had when I went my Junior and Senior years (in a tux.)


Apparently, if one were to Google-search "What's it like being drunk?" (without the quotation marks,) smack-dab in the middle of the first page of results is this very web page. I still maintain that I don't have a problem.

After all, it's not as if the person searched "What's it like being a drunk?"

That would have been pretty damning.


Speaking of being 17, I once wore a Simpsons shirt that was ten years old on a first date.

There was no second date.

I think it was for the best, since if she couldn't appreciate the sophisticated humor of a t-shirt with Bart saying "Gross, man!", I doubt that she would have appreciated my own.

(I still have that shirt. I only wear it on special occasions, since it is 14 years old now.)

Now if I could just find someone who'd like to go out for dinner and a movie. I have been wanting to see Big Fish again...

If you're interested, just leave a comment.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Where Have I Been?!

We ended up flying in to Nashville, Tennessee. Once there, we were upgraded by the rental car place to this beauty:



The way to the top was often treacherous...

"This looks like a good idea!"


We braved snow, wind, and altitude sickness.

"Take that, Sea Level!"


But we made it to the top each time.

"Too easy!"


But we always wanted to get a little higher.

"I'm the highest living thing East of the Mississipi!"


Each summit we achieved was well worth it.


Our journey ended the way we hoped it would: the two of us still alive, and with minimal frost-bite.

I also managed to take some notes along the way...

Monday, January 19, 2004

Big Pancake

Now, I've been makin' my way through this life for some time now and I've come to a few conclusions. One of the most relevant bein' that we men aren't too good at thinkin'. Well, not plain old sittin' down and thinkin', anyways. A fella has to be doin' something else while he thinks, like working on car or making a sandwich. For me, it's writing, and running. But to confess, I've been doin' more running than writing lately.

But when a man gets an idea, it's got to turn over in his head a few times, like a pancake. Yep, ideas are a lot like pancakes. 'Cept the main difference (besides all that bio-chemical stuff) is that the big ideas don't always take longer to cook. Some little silver-dollar size ideas take more time than ones that are so big ya can't fit two of 'em on a griddle.

Some years ago I was making myself a big pancake like that. I had woken up that day at the crack of noon with a notion to make myself a really fine pancake breakfast. I fired up the stove and whipped up some batter. In my hunger caused-haste, when I was pouring out my batter I slopped it up a bit. The pancake was perfectly round, with the exception of two long drips of batter that looked almost like little legs.

Well, I left my pancake sizzling happily in its oil. While I waited, I read my paper and drank my coffee. (I don't drink coffee really, but when I read the paper I feel like I should be.) I was chuckling over the latest antics of those clowns in Congress when I heard a PLOP! and a sizzle. I looked over my paper at the stove, and danged if that pancake hadn't been flipped over somehow. There was no one else in the house at the time, so this puzzled me a bit. I wondered if maybe I had put too much sugar in the coffee I wasn't drinking and was starting to imagine things. I went back to reading my paper.

After a bit I decided that the pancake was just about done. I grabbed a spatula and a plate and headed over to the pan. Well, that pancake must have decided that it was just about done too, because it jumped out of the pan onto those two little batter-legs and started runnin'. My pancake ran through the kitchen, through the living room, and right out the front door. I'll confess that I stood there for a few moments trying to figure out what in the world was going on. I speculated on a couple a theories before I realized that this was one of those situations where you don't have time to understand so you just got to look at the bottom-line. And the bottom line was that I was about to lose my breakfast. I grabbed my bathrobe and my cow slippers and took off after that pancake.

I chased that pancake all the way down to the supermarket on the corner. It ducked inside, and I followed. I was right on its tail, chasin' it around a corner when I bumped right into the woman of my dreams.

I knew she was the woman of my dreams before I even hit the ground. For one, she was so beautiful that I knew I could try for the rest of my life and never be able to describe her to my satisfaction.

And for two, the only thing she had in her hand-basket was a bottle of Mama Lola's Maple Syrup. Real maple syrup, from a real maple tree, like a lot of folks I know have never even tasted.

I was about to introduce myself when that pancake peeked around the corner to see if I was still chasin' it. I leaped up off the ground, bowed slightly to the woman of my dreams, and ran after my breakfast. I heard her laughter behind me, like little bells. I swore to myself that after I caught and ate my pancake I was going to set up a tent in the middle of the syrup aisle and live there until I saw her again. But, first things first.

I finally caught that pancake in the check-out lane. Can you believe that it was trying to convince the cashier that it was 21? Twenty-one minutes, maybe. But while it was doing that, I snuck up behind it and grabbed it. I apologized to the cashier and hauled the pancake home. It was pretty tough, that pancake was struggling the whole way. The little bugger even kicked me in the nose. It didn't hurt me much, it mostly hurt my nose's pride.

Now, I used to have a little button of a nose, but when that pancake had kicked it, my nose had gotten so offended it had puffed up with anger. And my nose is the kind of nose that holds a grudge, so even to this day it hasn't forgotten. So if you see me and my nose is still big, well, you'll know that it's still pretty upset about the whole darn thing.

I was a bit upset myself. "You've giveb be a lot of trouble, little pabcake," I scolded when I finally got it home. "What bade you rub away like that?"

"I wanted to go to Hollywood and be a screenwriter!" the pancake said indignantly.

"A screebwriter?" I laughed, "How cab a pabcake be a screebwriter?"

"I know it sounds nuts," the pancake said, (deliberately using as many 'n's as possible to annoy me) "but for your information, stranger things have happened. Do you know who wrote The Last Samurai? It was an eggplant!"

I thought about that for a moment. An eggplant that writes screenplays? That did sound nuts, but it would sorta explain all them historical inaccuracies in the film, and the very last line of dialogue.

The more I thought about it, the worse I felt. This pancake had a dream of writing screenplays in Hollywood, and here I was dreaming only of filling my belly. I decided right then and there to let it go. After all, who am I to stand in the way of someone's dream?

The pancake thanked me, and said that if I ever needed a place to stay in Hollywood I should contact it. I laughed and told it that I would. But before I did anything else, I was going to find myself some breakfast. The pancake thanked me again and then ran off to the bus station before I could change my mind.

The next day, I went down to the supermarket and discovered to my horror that Mama Lola's had decided to stop making maple syrup. There was no sign of the woman of my dreams. I sadly purchased an eggplant for supper and made my way back home.

I guess what I'm saying is that you should follow your heart and not your stomach.

By the by, I highly recommend seeing Tim Burton's Big Fish. It's an icthyological-metaphor of a tale.