Saturday, February 21, 2004

Must Have Been A Slow Night For Crime

I just walked out of my house to go to work when I noticed something unusual about my beloved car. There was much more broken glass around it than usual.

Now, my car is a 1989 Toyota Tercel. From what I remember, even in mint condition it still wouldn't be worth more than $900 dollars. And it is far from mint condition.

I peered in through my newly-ventilated passenger side.


The miscreants had broken the window, a method that is noisy, messy, and most conspicuous to any casual observers.

They should have just jimmied a bent coat hanger between the window and the door. The coat hanger would have caught the tension wire that opens the lock. C'mon, this is standard thieving procedure for an older model vehicle.

The sad part is, my car stereo which my friends from Midnight Auto wanted is, as Jake once referred to it, "A piece."

The sadder part is that they didn't even get the stereo out. When I checked it, it was as firmly in place as it ever was, if not firmer.

I was surprised when I saw that they had managed to find the button that makes the stereo face come off. It looks like that was all they got away with.

"Poor bastards. Times must be pretty tough when you're stealing stereo face plates that have almost half the buttons missing."

The trunk and the hood had been popped. I checked under the hood and everything looked fine.

I felt my first moment of real anger when I checked the trunk. From what I could tell, everything was still there.

"What?! Don't these guys know a good skateboard when they see it?! And who wouldn't want roller blades?! C'mon, there are hundreds of things you can use a bowling ball for! Don't expect me to believe that thieves have no possible use for a crow bar!"

I was pissed. Some people just can't appreciate the finer things car trunks have to offer. Philistines.

I started to head back into the house when I noticed...

"Dammit! The bastards stole my passenger-side rearview mirror! ....Oh, wait, no. I never had a passenger-side mirror."

The '89 Tercels were not made with passenger side mirrors. I always forget that, especially when I'm trying to cut someone off.

I called in to work and explained that I would probably be late. I'm supposed to wait for the police to show up now to investigate and file a report.

It's only a five hour shift, and from my experience with police efficiency, I should probably let my boss know that I won't be coming in at all.

No, I take that back. In my experience with police, they have been very good at arriving promptly when I don't want them to.

Luis was upset about the incident. He passionately described his desire to "warn the neighbors." He's been sitting and watching television the entire time I've been writing this. I'm assuming he's resting up for the long walk across the street.

It's a good thing that Paul Revere didn't have the Finding Nemo DVD.

Well, I'm going to make the most of my Saturday morning off. Breakfast sounds a-pretty good. I am going to need my strength.

After all, today is a very big day.

The Now

"A child's spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after it; you must stand still, and for love it will soon itself come back."

-The Crucible

Yes, well, it appears that I am to play the role of Reverend Parris in my acting class project, Act 1 of The Crucible.

I took the class in hopes of learning more about building characters so that I could possibly then write about them. So far, we've mostly done breathing exercises. And now, The Crucible.

I was a bit confused by the director's casting me in that part. I strongly doubt that "wheedling man of God who can't even chop his own firewood" is what comes to mind when most people think of me. But then, I am here to learn.

Journalism went well. I ended up catching a couple hours of sleep before I had to get to class. I also caught a couple more hourse before I had to go to work. At the moment, I'm finding it very difficult to focus on objects. Heh heh, it's been a while since I've had that problem.

The Future

Tomorrow is a big day.

I am looking forward to it.

Stay tuned...

Friday, February 20, 2004


There is a new force in my life. It is called The Deadline, and it urges me to stay up until 5 am working on stories for my journalism class (that I was given plenty of time to work on) that are due in about 5 hours. Here's what I have done so far, a student feature:

Melinda "Mindy" Schlemmer is a difficult person to catch up with. But then, that is probably one of the major reasons she received a scholarship to play soccer for SMCC. Fortunately for me, even she has to take break once in a while.

I was able to actually sit down and speak to her during one of these rare breaks, ironically, at her workplace, United Blood Services. When I questioned her about her usual routine, she exuberantly rattled off her classes, described her daily soccer conditioning (on this day, a mere 3-mile run,) her regular trips to an off-campus gym, and of course, her part-time job.

At this point I was beginning to realize that there was much more to this somewhat diminutive freshman than first meets the eye.

Listening as she casually recounted various incidents from the soccer field confirmed my suspicions. Mindy was smiling as she pointed out the rib she had dislocated during a game in October. She laughed as she told me about being punched in the face during a game by a member of the opposing team. When I expressed my surprise that she didn't find such mishaps more discouraging, she told me this next story. That's when I realized: Mindy Schlemmer is a player that gives even better than she gets.

A good example is how she creatively dealt with hecklers at an away game. Displaying a profound understanding of the phrase "Words will never hurt me," she had kicked the soccer ball into the stands and struck a male heckler squarely in his head.

I wasn't sure I believed this story right away, but I was a little afraid to say so. I was spared by her supervisor signaling the end of the break period. I still had some questions so I asked if I could speak to her after she got off of work.
"Well, on Wednesdays we usually play volleyball afterwards," she replied.


I thanked her for her time and promised to attend one of her upcoming games. Soccer season starts on July 1st. If you go to a game to see SMCC in action, keep an eye out for Melinda Schlemmer.
And if you're going to support the opposing team, watch your head.

One down, two to go. This one was fun to write up because I'm allowed a much more casual tone.

I desperately need to learn how to be productive before 3 am.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

1. Team X-Treme Breaks Into The Forest
(Requested, Or Rather, Demanded by Alecia)

One listless Saturday night in the 2000th year of our Bored, Team X-Treme and friends violated the sanctity of Nature. But it was for a good cause.

Dan R., Alan, Garrett, and I were spending another quiet weekend at Garrett's house. There wasn't much to do anywhere in our desolate desert town that night so we decided to get something to eat. The lateness of the hour had whittled our options down to the usual fare: Filiberto's or IHOP. Neither sounded appealing.

Someone suggested we make sandwiches. Someone else suggested cigars. We almost attacked them for suggesting cigars when we were trying to decide what to eat.

Then someone suggested Flagstaff. We almost attacked that person as well. But it was too late. In a grand example of group-think, we decided that the only way to resolve the issue was to find a forest to eat sandwiches and smoke cigars in.

I don't remember anyone actually suggesting the bit about the forest, but it became an integral part of the plan nonetheless.

The only obstacle we were facing was the whole desert thing. There wasn't a forest in sight. But we knew where one was.

Flagstaff, in northern Arizona, was a mere 150 miles away. We had the time. We had the technology. Our collective dream was within our grasp.

We hit kind of a snag convincing Garrett to leave. He had a few reservations about leaving the city in the middle of the night without telling his girlfriend. After exerting the power of the Collective, we had him convinced that there is a 200 mile relationship radius that he could travel within at will without any possible repercussion. Heh heh, we could get that boy to do anything. (Sorry, Dana.)

Our Collective decided to take my car, since everyone else was tall and my car was the largest. The Collective then concluded that since it was my car I should be the one to drive it. Who was I to argue against the authority of the Collective?

We arrived in Flagstaff without incident. This was particularly impressive because collectively, we had no idea where we were really going.

The sun was rising gloriously over the mountains as we emerged from a 24-hour grocery store triumphantly bearing sandwich meats and other sandwich-related items. An earlier stop at a gas station to refuel had provided us with the finest Swisher Sweets our money could buy and still leave us enough to get fuel for the journey home. The Collective had decided that Dan R. (being the only one of us who was old enough to purchase tobacco,) should purchase the tobacco.

Thus equipped, we were lacking only one part of the equation: the forest. This was turning out to be more difficult than we had anticipated. There was plenty of fauna, sure, but there was also plenty of civilization. Houses, roads, telephone poles. The Collective felt that for this was inappropriate of a rugged, manly excursion such as ours. We also needed a place to park the car that wouldn't attract unwanted attention.

We found a winding road on the outskirts of the town that looked promising. There was only a smattering of houses and they were becoming scarcer and scarcer as we went on. Finally, we found a turn-off that seemed to lead into some decent forest. The Collective nodded in satisfaction.

Our satisfaction was short lived. Less than a hundred yards on our turn-off was a low gate across the road. It wasn't much to look at it; iron bars making two scalene right triangles whose points met in the middle of a road. A chain and a padlock held them fast. The Collective was bewildered. "Who locks up a forest?!"

A sign on the gate answered our question. "Closed Due To Severe Fire Hazard Conditions".

The Collective hung its head, defeated.

It was a good thing that the Collective had elected a member of Team X-Treme as the driver.

I began to creep the car forward. Unbeknownst to me, as I was doing so the rest of the Collective were all exchanging looks of exasperation.

The nose of my car tapped the gate and the lock and chain blew apart and flew off to the side of the road. The gate swung open reluctantly on rusty hinges that squealed in indignation.

There was much rejoicing among the Collective.

Alan ran out and closed the gate behind us. Almost as an afterthought, he grabbed the lock and chain and draped it over the gate. After he realized that it wasn't fooling anyone he brought it into the car as a souvenir.

Thus, we broke into the forest, made our sandwiches, and smoked our cigars.

I hadn't ever smoked a cigar before, or anything for that matter, so I mostly coughed and tried to look distinguished.

With full bellies and sour mouths we had left our forest to journey to our desert. The morning sun warmed us as we drove back towards Phoenix, back towards home. The rest of the Collective fell asleep on the way.

All things considered, not a bad Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Moral of the Story: If you're the one behind the wheel, screw the Collective.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Blog: Guillermo.

Guillermo: Huh? Blog, is that you? Hey, I almost didn't recognize you! Damn, you're lookin' a-pretty pretty good.

Blog: It is, Guillermo.

Guillermo: That's weird. You've never initiated a conversation before.

Blog: As you say, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Well, what brought about this historic event?

Blog: I fear for your safety, Guillermo.

Guillermo: That makes two of us, bloggy ol' pal. You know my car has been losing power at very in-opportune times? There's nothing like trying to cut someone off and then having your car completely lose the ability to accelerate.

Blog: This is not about your malfunctioning vehicle, Guillermo.

Guillermo: I didn't really think so. It's been doing that for a while. I guess I'll just listen, then. What's up?

Blog: Your posts are becoming sparse and infrequent, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Yeah, I guess they have. It was quite a weekend and I'm still a bit out of it. You know, disruption of my routine and all that. But I don't think I see how that relates to my safety.

Blog: There are parties that may not find your recent posts satisfactory.

Guillermo: Satisfactory? That's flattering...I think. Can't a guy disappear for a few days? I didn't know we had that kind of relationship, Blog.

Blog: I do not have the capacity to interact with you in a manner that would warrant the term "relationship" as you are using it, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Sheesh, that sounds familiar. Heh heh. you think all that would fit on a candy heart?

Blog: It would fit provided that the candy heart is the appropriate size to accomodate the size of the text that is imprinted upon it, Guillermo..

Guillermo: Oh. Well, yeah, I know.

Blog: As you say, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Indeed. think I should write more for my own good, huh? Wait, I think I know what you're getting at. Hell hath no fury like a Jaden scorned, eh?

Blog: As you say, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Well, it's already pretty late. I have to do some interviews tomorrow for my journalism class and the people I'm interviewing are usually up during the day. Maybe tomorrow. I know Alecia wants some Team X-Treme stories, but I need to track down and then upload some pictures first. Is that cool, Blog?

Blog: If events happen as you describe, yes, it will be, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Groovy. Well then. Is there, um, anything else you want to talk about?

Blog: There is nothing else I want to talk about, Guillermo.

Guillermo: Why do I get the feeling I used the wrong choice of words?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

David D. smacks up templates and makes 'em beg for more. Thanks, man.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

Now I just have to deal with the usual post-adventure depression.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

I guess I forgot to keep in mind some of the web log ettiquette.

In my de-linking frenzy, I may have offended some people.

I guess I should re-state my linking policy: "My links are tailored to suit what I like and what I need."

What I like are my LiveJournalers.

What I need is to respect that a live-journal is geared towards privacy, with options to help prevent internet spiders from searching them, comment-blocking, and pre-approved viewing access.

Blogger is geared more towards being a pirate. Sailing the seas of the internet, tattooed, gold-toothed, eye-patched, and with a shining cutlass always drawn to meet all comers. "Avast, ye Google-spiders! Dare ye crawl aboard my vessel? Dare ye infest my dear ship? Meet then, my hook, so that it may give your little robot innards a taste of the glorious sea-air! And to all ye anonymous commentors, you are welcome to prance on the decks, but expect not to share in our ascorbics should scurvy overcome ye!"

Yes, well, I mean that blogs are a bit more vulnerable to the internet-savvy. The risk of being caught by the British Navy (i.e., the Man) is greater, and nary a day goes by that I do not clutch my throat in fear as the haunting image of a noose floats before me.

Luis found my blog, by the way. He says he likes it. I found myself less bothered by it than I would have thought. I guess I'm just glad that he's reading. I also realized that I don't have a problem with my little brother knowing me as a complete person instead of just from what he sees of me at home. If he is tackling a particular challenge in life that he knows I also faced, even if the information turns out to be of no use to him, I would hope that he finds some assurance that yes, other people have to deal with that sort of thing too. Even big brothers. Especially big brothers.

The truth sets you free. Except for your mom. Don't tell her the truth; she doesn't want to know.

What was I talking about?

Oh, yeah.

Just because I de-linked the live-journals doesn't mean that I don't still like you, or don't still need you. I just don't need you here, on this little blog. I still have every one of you on my friend's page, and let me just say that a friend's page is so astoundingly convenient and easy to use, I wasn't even using the individual links I had on here anymore.

But other people were. Stow-aways, if you will. My trusty site-meter tells me how people find me, and I do notice when people are searching for specific names. It makes me wary. Everytime I see a name searched that was sent to here I frantically try to recall everything I ever said about the person and if whatever I did say would incriminate them in any way.

Stow-aways finding live-journals was making me fear for my friends' privacy, so I put a stop to it. I knew it might offend people. I just want to elaborate on my decision. Then if people are still offended, at least they will know exactly why the are offended.

Now if you'll excuse me, I am currently in Studio City, California. Brian Y. and I got a call from Erin M. (fellow bar-fly and Family Guy) late Friday night, so I ditched work Saturday morning and the two of us drove about 400 miles to come and visit her and Julie. Well, we have other people to visit, and the girls are awake so I am finally able to use the bathroom after several excruciating hours. Hence the rambling length of this particular post.

If someone tells you that you can't type away bladder pain, they're stinking liars.