Saturday, February 14, 2004

What I mean when I say "I love you."
Ah, Valentine's Day.

It is also a three-day weekend.

If you do things right, you'll have plenty to fill that spare time with.

If you do things wrong...well, just don't do things wrong.

Now is also the time for spontaneous and grand romantic gestures. So if there is anyone that you feel like telling "I Love You," or "Bee My Honey," or "I love you, I've always loved you, in all of our time apart I have not found another being wrought so exquisitely as you. Would that I could say that it is hope that drives my heart to beat, but it is not. It is but the ghost of hope that delights in haunting these four chambers that once housed our love. I live as a planet that has been flung out of orbit from around its life-giving sun, warming my hands over a dying memory as I drift further and further out into the ether, forsaking the light of every star for my shadow of you."

I'm still looking for a candy heart large enough to fit that last one on. I guess I'll just stick with "Bee My Honey" for now.

Ah, Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2004

As Brian G. pointed out, I didn't say you could only pick one. Some of them aren't very long. Some of them are essentially one-liners. Let's see...Brian and Donovan both wanted 12, which fits nicely into the current theme of Guillermo Vs. The Man And His Down-Getters.

#12. Police Officer Pulls Over Guillermo And Asks "Are You In The Army" (While AWOL)

Alan Schuler and I have a yearly 24-hour road trip to Six-Flags in California every summer. The first year we went, it was just Alan, Ryan Smith, and I. Nothing particularly eventful happened during that trip, although Ryan fell asleep in the back seat of the car. This in and of itself is normal, since that bastard falls asleep at the oddest hours and in the oddest places.

Alan and I were irritated that he was getting some rest and we weren't. My bitter, sleep-deprived thoughts turned to mischief. I thought of an idea, and ran it by Alan. He had no problem with it, and even volunteered to be the person to count to "three."

So we're driving through the desert in the middle of the night and Alan begins to count.


Alan starts swerving the car madly. Simultaneously, the two of us start screaming at the top of our lungs.

It was a good thing Alan's sunroof wasn't open, because I swear Ryan would have leapt right out of it. He shot straight up, instantly awake. His eyes were as big as dinner plates. All he could do was stammer "Wha? Wha? Wha?" until he calmed down.

A few hours later, as we were entering Phoenix, he began to see the humor in the situation.

But we didn't run into any police that year.

The next year, again, on the tail end of our 24-hour journey, I was driving Alan's car. Alan and I were driving in hundred-mile shifts. Brian H. and Andrew N. were snoozing in the backseat. I think we tried the ol' scream-swerve on them, but Andrew was awake so it didn't get him.

I was exhausted. I only had about 10 miles left before we would stop at a rest stop and switch. Being a bit anxious to do this, I began to drive a little above the speed limit.

I think I was going about 97 miles per hour when I passed the police car.

This wasn't one of those deals where the police sit by the side of the road. I did the whole slower-car-in-front-so-switch-lanes-to-pass around the police car.

I didn't even notice them. I do remember thinking "Hm, that car I just passed is driving must faster now." I felt a weary pride, like maybe I inspired them to seize the day or something.

When the flashing red and blue lights came on, I understood. The only thing they were interested in seizing was my reckless ass.

"Oh yeah," Brian H. mumbled sleepily. "I thought that was a cop you passed."

I was still too exhausted to properly express my thanks at that bit of information.

I wearily put my hands up, with my wrists resting on the top of the steering wheel. (For those of you in India, you don't have to do that. Pulling a car over is potentially the most dangerous position a police officer can be in, so it puts them more at ease when they can see your hands. In my experience, it has usually been a good idea to get whoever is holding the gun to relax.) Andrew does this as well, since the two of us have been pulled over a lot together. Now that I think about it, I've only been pulled over once without him being in the car. Hm.

There were two police officers, and one of them came over and questioned us while the other hung back by the squad car. I didn't have my wallet on me; it had vanished the week before. I was instructed to go over to the officer by the car and give him my social security number. I did this.

The cop punched the numbers into his computer and peered down at the screen. He looked back at me and asked, "Are you in the Army?"

His question triggered on of my infamous flashbacks. I was back in Basic Training, sitting in one of the classrooms listening to a lecture. We had to sit through all kinds of classes on topics ranging from filing the proper supply forms to proper behavior in the event of capture by the enemy.

The class I was remembering was about the Universal Code Of Military Justice. Specifically, penalties for active-duty soldiers being Absent Without Official Leave. "Now soldiers," the instructor was saying, "Just because you go AWOL doesn't mean helicopters and tanks are going to come swarming after you. You may not get caught for a long, long time. But someday, maybe years from now, when you have a nice job, a home, maybe a wife and some kids, you're going to get pulled over for, I don't know, a burnt-out tail-light or something. And when that happens, that police officer is going to run your license, and on his little computer screen, in big, red letters it's going to say: AWOL."

Then I was back in the present. The cop was still looking at me, waiting for an answer. "Eh, no, not anymore," I said weakly.

"Smart move, kid," the policeman nodded. "I got out as soon as I could, too." Gravity must have been looking the other way for a second because there was no way I should have been able to stand on my own power after I heard him say that.

We ended up talking for a bit; the two of us bitching about the military like old pals. The other officer came over and asked why I had been speeding. I told him, "No real reason, I just wanted to get home." He seemed satisfied with that. We all talked for a little longer and then he wrote me a ticket for speeding. I told them to take care and that I hoped we wouldn't see each other again. (Hey, you have to play to your audience.)

Back in the car, gravity started paying attention and we all sank in our seats with relief. Everyone had heard the cop ask me if I was in the Army and had thought I was screwed.

Despite having just been ticketed, I was in a good mood. I was in an even better mood after I looked at the ticket. I was walking away from a criminal speeding without a license violation. The cop I had talked to had put me down as having gone the minimum eleven or so miles over the speed limit to merit a ticket.

We drove the rest of the way home without further incident.

I had to think about it a bit more, though. If the computer hadn't told him I was AWOL, how did he know I was "in" the Army? If I had to wager, I'd say he must have recognized it from the way I said my social security number. During Basic Training, we had to rattle that thing off hundreds of times. Our names weren't important; we were that number. After saying it so many times you start to sound a little...robotic. I probably still had that and he must have just picked up on it.

It still didn't explain why I hadn't shown up as AWOL on the computer. But judging by the pile of homework still sitting on the table, the reason for that is going to have to wait for another night.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

#6: Not-As-Little Guillermo Steals His Own Car
(As requested by Sibbitt)

The first car I ever owned was a 1998 Mercury Tracer. Well, I couldn't really say that I owned it since I was still making payments on it. It was one of those "How long can three years possibly be?" kind of purchases. Subsequently, that's where a great deal of the money I earned from Basic Training went to.

There was a brief period between my purchasing the car and my (cough) actually acquiring my driver's license. This was mostly due to my lack of driving experience. Civilian vehicles, anyway. I was actually driving 2 1/2 ton trucks for the my National Guard unit whenever I drilled with them.

During this very brief period, the only time I would drive the car was when Andrew Nunemacher and I would do midnight training runs.

One evening during this infinitesimally brief period, one of my friends dropped me off at my house. There had been talk of some other event that night, and I was interested in attending. Since I didn't live very close to where said event was going to happen, I didn't want to inconvenience anyone by needing a ride home.

I had my key in my pocket, so as soon as I was dropped off at my house, I hopped into my car and drove off. I didn't even go inside.

I ended up staying out for about an hour. There was nothing exceptional about the drive. There was the smell of wine that the car always had. There was "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down on the radio (it played without fail every time I was in the car.)

Just a typical, pleasant week-night drive.

As I pulled up to my home, I noticed something unusual. There seemed to be a lot more police cars outside of it than there usually were. Two more, in fact, than the usual number, which was none.

One thing that wasn't unusual was the sinking feeling in my stomach that I was going to be in more than an infinitesimal amount of trouble.

What had happened was this:

My mother had been using my car; she had my permission as well as that of the state of Arizona to operate it. She had been about to leave on some errand and had gotten into the car. Before she started it, she had realized that she had forgotten something inside the house. She had taken her key, left the car door unlocked since she was planning on coming right back, and gone back into the house.

The instant she had stepped inside, my friend had pulled up, dropped me off, and I had jumped into the car and driven off. My mother had come out in time to see the back end of the car turning around the corner. She had jumped to the drastic conclusion that someone had stolen the car and acted accordingly. Hence, Johnny Law waiting for me on my doorstep as I pulled up.

I spoke to my mother and the police, all the while skillfully avoiding the subject of my non-existent license. I apologized profusely. The police scolded me for not telling my mother that I was going out. I looked properly chagrined and agreed. They also told me that they had pulled over another Mercury Tracer in the area and, pistols drawn, had made the driver get out of the car with his hands up and all that. Oops, sorry guy.

I guess the moral of the story is to never return to the scene of the crime.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Some Blog-keeping

I just spent all the time I would have normally spent writing playing around with my blog template.

With all due respect to my friends in the Live Journal community, it is a rather different system over there, what with all the "Friends" and "Friends Only" options and such. I feel that it could be a misservice to link to other's Live Journals, and indeed, it has been in the past.

I regret any inconvenience that this may cause.

Well, As Long As I'm Here

I have been slacking in the writing department. I've decided to throw a few options out there and see what happens. I thought of a few topics at work today...and here they are:

1. Team X-Treme Breaks Into The Forest

2. In Which Donaldo And I Are Mean To Our Mormon Friend

3. Thoughts On Alcohol Dependency

4. Team X-Treme Dodges The Train

5. Little Guillermo Breaks Into His Own House (Unsuccessfully)

6. Not-As-Little Guillermo Steals His Own Car

7. Team X-Treme Gets Artistic

8. Midnight Mexican Food With Garrett (From Garrett's Point Of View)

9. Reflection On The Nearing Anniversary Of Blogging

10. Little Guillermo Discovers That He Is Different

11. Thoughts On Weight Loss

12. Police Officer Pulls Over Guillermo And Asks "Are You In The Army" (While AWOL)

13. Travel Journals From Recent Trip To The South

14. Poetry

15. Brain Teaser

16. Vision Quest?

17. New Staff At The Nation-State Of Guillermo

For Example, If Someone Picks #8:

During my senior year of high school, I hung out with Garrett a lot. I didn't have a cell phone then, only my pager (remember those?) The following scene occurred very often.

(Garrett is middling around at home at some ungodly hour of the night. He bumbles over to the phone and punches in Guillermo's pager number. He punches in his own number after the prompt, and then hangs up. He waits. After a few moments, the phone rings. Garrett answers.)

Garrett: [with an energy that belies the hour] Hey man!

Guillermo: [muffled, sleepy, confused] Hello? Garrett? Wha...what is it, what do you want?

Garrett: Hey, what are you doing?

Guillermo: [annoyed] What am I doing? What are you doing? I'm asleep, that's what.

Garrett: Hey, you wanna come over so we can go hit up some Fili-B's?

Guillermo: [all-out pissed] What, now? Is that why you paged me in the middle of the night, to go to Filiberto's? What the hell, man? We both have school tomorrow! What's wrong with you? Screw this, I'm going to sleep. (Guillermo hangs up.)

(Garrett puts the phone back on the cradle. He sits. A few moments pass.

The phone rings.)

Garrett: [brightly] Y'ello?

Guillermo: [grudgingly] I'm on my way.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Happy Birthday, Eric Piatkowski. If you haven't called him to wish him that yet, now would be a good time. Don't worry, with Eric, any time is a good time.

A few of us went to Ra on Mill Avenue last night to celebrate. I was a little late because I wanted to get Eric a card. I guess I got a little carried away.

I don't like most birthday cards because they already have something written them. I'm generally not a fan of store-bought sentiment. I try to find cards with interesting pictures that are completely blank on the inside. That way I can write something myself.

For Eric's card, I found one that had a photograph of a big sunflower on it.

(Sometimes the selection of blank cards is rather scarce.)

Inside I wrote:

I heard from somebody
That you like sunflowers
So I got you this card
Through my economic powers

Now, I know for a fact
That you also enjoy
Manly things, like pornography
And strong drink with the boys

But it would be rather tactless
To bring up all of your porn
Around your wonderful girlfriend
Whose arm you adorn

And since you're in a bar
I'll wager a bet
That a good 7 and 7
Won't be too hard to get

So just tell me you like sunflowers
Convince me, and I'll buy
C'mon, you're an actor
You're fucking trained to lie!

Happy Birthday, Eric.
"Take care when casting out your devil that you are not casting out the best thing inside of you."

Monday, February 09, 2004

Alan Schuler has moved in with me.

Team X-Treme is back.

What's Team X-Treme, you say? Well, let me tell you. Back in the day, Alan and I had a goal. Actually, three goals. We wanted leather jackets, motorcycles, and tattoos. And we got them, eventually. We don't anymore. The leather jackets turned out to be "pleather" and started to peel and flake until they were unserviceable. Our motorcycles were both lost due to two completely unrelated series of circumstances. And as for our tattoos...

Wait, we still have our tattoos!

Team X-Treme!