Saturday, February 28, 2004

A Little Dialogue, Maybe More

"Who are you?" he asked the man who blocked his way, wondering if he already knew. This entire place had a stink of familiarity.

The man was taller than he, and looked down at him with a steady, unblinking gaze as he answered. "I'm one of the people that you meet on your way to the bottom. I'm what happens when you get lost in thought and don't find your way back."

"You don't seem that different," he said as he furrowed his brow, trying to remember.

"I will, I'm sure." The tall man's sudden smile was like an animal baring its fangs.

"So where do we go from here?" He asked too loudly. The smile had unnerved him.

The tall man closed his eyes at last and did not open them. He began to sing flatly. "The road is long, with twisting paths/ That all the maps have long forgotten."

"Hey, that's a song by Sarah McLachlan...but the words aren't right."

The tall man's eyes snapped open. Had they been grey before? His teeth flashed dully as he spoke through them. "They will be, I'm sure." He began to hum the tune to himself and slowly rock back and forth on his heels.

"I don't think I want to go anywhere with you." Although he was no weakling, the tall man carried about him an air of feral power that made him doubt that he could overcome him easily, if at all.

The tall man laughed dryly. "I see that you still don't grasp the unique situation you have found yourself in. Perhaps we should practice a bit. Try understanding this: Right now, your options could fit inside a thimble. Have you got that?"


"Good. Now try this one: If you choose to continue on alone, all that will be left of you will be able to fit snugly into the remaining space of said thimble." The tall man clapped a hand onto his shoulder and squeezed painfully. "And the irony of it all is that thimble size is about the only thing our worlds have the least bit in common."

And that's all. For now, anyway. But some books are written like that, right? You send in the beginning, the publisher sends you an advance...I'm not sure what the next step is, but I think it involves cashing the check and running.

Guardians From The Nation-State of Guillermo Sent To Safeguard Neighboring Kingdom

So basically I'll be apartment sitting for Joey while he's in Las Vegas. Hello, high-speed cable internet connection. I'm looking forward to a very productive weekend.

But it won't be productive if I don't get some sleep. I was just over at Brandon's house and I fell asleep on his couch for half an hour. I was awoken by a kiss on my forehead.

It was his roommate, Katie. I've known her for years. She was coming home from a party and then going out to another, or something.

It was a very pleasant way to be woken up.

I strongly doubt that anyone will wake me up for work tomorrow morning with anything as pleasant as a kiss. I have had the dog thrown on me, which I don't particularly enjoy and I'm pretty sure neither does he.

Oh well. I guess I should just be thankful we don't have a family porcupine.

And I'm going to

Friday, February 27, 2004

This Post: Cop-Out Or Not-...Out? You Be The Judge

On my nightstand are a couple of notebooks. When the room is dark and the senses lose their stimuli, the mind begins to wander. It is not uncommon for me to grudgingly flick on the lamp to scribble down some random thought before it goes the way of most dreams.

It has been a while since I've gone to the notebooks. The following is stuff that I didn't post before because it was incomplete, didn't fit anywhere, or I wasn't in the mood.

But it is Pants-Down Friday, so I will be pantless for the remainder of this entry. There's no one to really see me right now except for the dog, and if it bothers him he sure isn't saying so.

The dog is a half-pug half-boxer terrier mix, so he is always making these grunt-snuffles that are as porcine as his curly tail. It's kinda weird.

My dad was mock-complaining about the dog. "Look at your dog!" he said, "He's noisy, ugly, and all he does is sleep!"

"Yup," I agreed, "He's a Lopez."

Lines of Dialogue
Stuff said, often only a single sentence, by characters that don't exist yet.

"I am not an Existentialist. I'm absolutely certain that existence runs around thinking that it's a Guillermo-ist."

"There are dangerous people out there. If you love them too much, you'll lose them. Be careful."

"You meet people that have beautiful things dancing and bubbling inside them like the wax in a lava lamp. And the glass is there, too. You can put your hand on it sometimes; press it against the glass."

An Unpublished Meanwhile, Back In The Royal Scrivening Room

Snydesdale: Quibbles! Come along, we're being summoned. Are you familiar with the proper protocol when officially summoned?

Bumbly: No way, I've never done this before. What's all this about, Snydie? You look even paler than usual, LOL!

Snydesdale: I should not have dared hope that you had actually read the Head Scrivener's Handbook.

Bumbly: That dusty old book? I've been using it to prop up the short leg of the couch.

Snydesdale: Just do as I do. It should not be anything of grave importance. It is most likely that he just wishes to vent.

Bumbly: So we gotta run all way down here just so that he has an audience he can whine to? I wish I were the Official Gurg around here. Must be nice.

Snydesdale: Please hold your tongue as we approach him. Speak only when spoken to. Do these simple things and this should take very little time.

Bumbly: Yeah, I hope so. Sure.

Snydesdale: Official Gurg, we have arrived at your request.

I: . . .

Snydesdale: Sir?

I: I used to write for her, you know. I would try every moment she was away to write beautiful things. But perhaps that was the worst I could have done to her.

Imagine that you are woman loved by an artist, in your youth. And as you age, your artist continuously draws portraits of you. Beautiful things, in gowns you've never worn and exotic locations that you've never been to.

As you age, your portraits do not. As you grow and mature, your portraits keep their faces of youthful naivete'. What would that do to you? To catch yourself being drawn into a fantasy that never was, where you were marvelous and dazzling and young and always kind.

How many times must you catch yourself believing the lie, and when realizing it to be an utter falsehood, have your heart broken? How many times could you endure this before you too, would leave?

Bumbly: What? Did you say that we could leave now?

Snydesdale: Blast you, Quibbles! Be silent!

I: Uh, what? Leave?

Snydesdale: Sir, he did not mean-

I: No, of course you can leave. You don't have to actually stand here and listen the whole time. You can slip out anytime that I'm talking, if you want.

Snydesdale: I'm afraid I don't understand, sir. The protocol clearly outlines the-

I: You haven't been reading that damn manual, have you? I just ordered those to prop up all the short legs of the couches. It's my fault, really. I shouldn't have ordered so many couches from the Land of Poop's Consignment Furniture Store. I thought the name was just a joke...but it really was consignment furniture.

Bumbly: ROFL! If that's how it is, then peace! I'm outta here!

Snydesdale: Sir, I wish to stay, if I may do so.

I: Sure you can. But why do you want to?

Snydesdale: With all due respect sir, someone must obey the rules around here.

I: Snydesdale, I have no idea what you're insinuating. No idea at all.

Dammit, Who Told Poetry We Were Here?!
I can't even blame alcohol for this one, but here it is:


There are cracks in the shell
and the flakes and the breaks
show the hell that is pushing on through

So what more is in store
for a traveling bore
that is wandering his way back to you?

He's taking his time
and he stops on each dime
Tries to study each shine for a clue

Not looking for answers
like other romancers
Knows the lines for the part he must play

Not allowed to come in
from the sand and the sin
Until he loses himself on the way

Closing Lines

When I was at work I called up someone that lived on Why Worry Lane. I should live there when I get older. Jaden can live across the street and we can yell at each other from our porches.

Why I Don't Do Socio-Political Humor

You would think the threat of sexually transmitted disease would discourage sex more than it has. I think that if instead of diseases you caught personality traits, people would probably be much more careful.

I know I'd be terrified if it were possible to catch illiteracy from having sex. Or become uptight all the time. Or lose the ability to make cheesy egg bagels. Or worse:

Father: Son, your grades have plummeted since you went to the Prom. Oh no! You didn't have sex, did you?! Honey, call the doctor. I think our son has contracted stupidity. Son, can you still understand me?!

Son: I fully support President Bush amending the Constitution.

Father: Hurry up, honey! It's getting worse!

Goodnight everybody, you've been great. Except for you, I don't like your face. Next time you come to one of my shows let me know so that I can have the tech guys turn down the house lights. Thank you.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

I nearly lost this entire post. Thank you, copy and paste.

Sometimes I do forget that this whole thing started out as a journal of my thoughts.

Not that I really think it doesn't anymore. It's just that reading what Luis wrote on his blog reminded me of what drew me to blogging in the first place. He really put himself out there. In one nine-part post he covers topics like death, life, love, friendships found, friendships lost, family, and even religion.

I must say that I am very proud of him.

I am also aware that he has written about a lot of the same things I have, and even one I've been reluctant to discuss.

I remember saying earlier that I would feel better if Luis read my blog (which he has, and does, but he has already learned to skip down until he sees a name he recognizes.) I thought it would make him feel less insecure and alone, they way I felt when I was his age (okay, so I still feel that way now, but at least now it's within a constructive context.)

What I didn't expect was for his blog to have that exact effect on me.

I do enjoy surprises.

This afternoon I was showing him how to check his comments. He was pretty excited when I explained that people out there were reading what he had written and seemed to like it.

Then I showed him how to check his e-mail account.

After he saw that, he wanted to go check his comments again.

Sometimes that boy is so much like me it's scary.

After re-reading them, he resolved to write his next post for a girl he called "Megan." He said he would have it done by tonight so that I could edit it when I got home, but I don't see it anywhere. I don't think I'll bother him about it. He'll learn what happens when you don't post. Soon he will be far more wary about incurring the wrath of Jaden and Molly. Heh heh.

Luis wanted to show Mom his blog when she got home. "NO!" I gently advised him, "I wouldn't tell Mom about it if I were you. It will give you more...freedom to write. What if you want to write about throwing your sexy parties?"

"I can write about anything?" he asked with a sly look in his eye.

"...Yes, of course," I answered hesitantly.

"Even if I want to write about having sex with 16 year old girls?" He howled with laughter.

Kids. They test you every chance they get.

"Yes," I said grudgingly. "You can do whatever you want."

This is what I meant about trying to get him to watch less television. Curse you, Jerry Springer! I discourage his television watching, but I don't restrict it. If I had my way I would get rid of the television entirely. The whole family turned on me when I suggested removing the television and entertainment center and converting the living room into a library.

That's how I approach problems like that, though. My mom admonishes Luis for drinking too much soda and eating too many sweets. I tell her not to buy them. She balks at that idea since she is a soda drinker and has a sweet tooth as well.

Ah, well. There are worse things than Springer and sugar. Not many, though.

Journalism class went well. The real Advice Girl showed up after being absent for two weeks. She sat at one of the computers (we all do in that class) and she engrossed herself with whatever was on the screen for the rest of the hour. She didn't say a single word the whole time. Class ended and she just dashed out.

I'm guessing she didn't have the articles that were due.

My father was varnishing the cabinets and I was in the kitchen eating a quesadilla. Someone had stuck a piece of paper on the refrigerator that read: "He whom God loves best He afflicts the most, and his love is proportioned to the crosses He sends them."

I said it aloud as I read it. "Wow, Dad," I ribbed, "God must really love you."

"Don't I know it?" he chuckled, not looking up from his work. "Sometimes I can't believe how much God loves me!"

In the corner of the paper it also had a picture of an elephant and read: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

Now that makes real sense.

Elephants are good eatin'.

Oh, the police showed up this afternoon as I was leaving for work. Their coming was foretold by my mother as she pulled into the driveway, finally home from work.

I guess she had seen them around the corner dealing with some unrelated incident. (This should tell you something about our neighborhood.) She had stopped, told them about my car getting broken into and that the police had said they would show up on Saturday and then they never did. She got them to follow her to our house, where I was standing, keys in hand, about to go to work.

The officer was still in training. I knew he was just an officer (as opposed to sergeant or something) because on his shoulder he had only one chevron (a chevron looks like this: ^ ).

I knew he was in training because below his chevron there was gold embroidery that said "Officer-In-Training." I shoulda been a detective.

I told him what had happened; that they had broken the window but hadn't gotten the stereo. He made a disgusted face. "Some people!"

"There are all kinds," I responded, forsaking Jem Finch's social philosophy.

"Ain't that the truth."

He offered to dust for fingerprints, but I told him not to worry about it since I had to get to work. I had my digital camera with me and I contemplated asking him to pretend to zap me with his tazer gun so that I could get a picture of it. Alas, there was no time. Blame my work for denying this entry a photo. Oh, and my laziness.

Oh, and blame my not wanting to get "accidentally" zapped by a tazer and temporarily lose all control of my bodily functions.

After work a bunch of us from work played volleyball. I was there much later than I intended to be.

I've noticed not a lot of things going as planned lately, or for that matter, ever.

I guess the moral for tonight is that every day life hits you with a hundred different reminders of what's really important. You just have to pay attention.

So tonight I go to bed tired and knowing there is no possible way I can get enough sleep, insecure about myself and my future, lonely and unloved, feeling as insignificant as a grain of sand trying to stop the ocean.

Tomorrow I will wake up to school assignments being due, more work, more weariness, a car with no window...

And I've never been happier.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Welcome the newest Lopez to the blogging community.

That would be Luis Lopez, my little brother. I came home from work to find him typing diligently at the computer. He said that he had taken my advice and was writing his story.

I helped him edit what he had written and then told him to go to bed and in the morning he would have a shiny new blog waiting for him.

I also threw in an e-mail address:

You know, in case he decides to take requests. You never know. Myself, I am very curious to see what the littlest Lopez has to offer.

I'll just be happy if he writes more and spends less time watching tv. Except for Aurthur, of course. That's a great show.

* * * * * *

I am happy right now because for the first time ever I checked my own e-mail and I had six beautiful, relevant messages in a row. The congo line of communication was unbroken by even a single spam e-mail. I've been bombarded by those lately, even with the spam guard.

The amazing thing was that I actually got to use the little "Next" button. I can't remember when I used it last because there was always spam in the way.

Spam. I almost remember when that was used to refer to the food. I've only even seen one person actually eat it in the past two years.

Could it be running out?

Maybe there is a shortage on spigs.

And I'm going to bed now.

Oh, Hi Jamie! Hi Emily!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Dear Advice Girl,

I bought my beau a stellar Valentine's Day present. It's a cute new wallet that can holds tons of pictures of me. It's great because he'll be able to show everyone what I look like when he talks about me, which I totally know is like 24-7. I couldn't believe it when I dropped by his apartment and saw the new wallet just sitting on the counter not already full of pictures of me! He said he still wants to use his old wallet for a while, but I think he's scammin'. What should I do?

- Presently Befuddled

Dear Befuddled,

I completely understand your situation. It's always tough when you get a guy a gift and he's incapable of getting over the fact that he already has one. Why can't men just show some appreciation for once in their lives? Would it really kill them? Would it? Them? Really? Kill?

The exact same thing happened to me this Valentine's Day. There's this special guy out there that really loves me, so I decided to do something special for him. He didn't call me on Valentine's Day. Well, he's never actually called me ever, but you know how boys are. So forgetful.

I bought him a car stereo that I found while I was working part-time at my uncle's pawn shop. I didn't want to stop with his gift and have him not be home so I waited until 3 in the morning when I knew he'd be there.

As I walked up with his gift, I passed by his car parked on the street and I saw to my sadness that he already had a car stereo. Now that just wouldn't do. My stereo didn't have most of the features that his did, but it did have the most important feature of all: Love.

Lucky for me I had a brick in my pocket so I smashed the car window and went to work. Lucky for me I had my monkey wrench in my other pocket.

I really don't know anything about removing or installing car stereos, but I think I was doing pretty well. All sorts of stuff was coming apart. But then, someone shouted and I had to run away so I wouldn't ruin the surprise.

I'll try again as soon as I heal a little more. That glass will really cut you up pretty good.

So my advice to you is to wear thick, heavy protective gloves when you give him your present next time.

Or, steal his wallet. You see, sometimes you have to make your man appreciate you. Don't be discouraged. He will.

He will.

-Advice Girl

E-mail Advice Girl at:
Visit Advice Girl at her blog.

Note from Gurg: Please e-mail her. The busier she is answering e-mails, the safer I feel. She can't do as much damage sitting at a computer. Right? Right?

Cheebus save us all; Advice Girl got her own blog.

Now, this is just getting out of hand.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Guillermo: Hello? Why is it so dark in here? Blog? Where is that light it is! Whoa, Blog! What are you doing sitting here in the dark?

Blog: Where have you been?

Guillermo: Oh, you know, out and about. A bunch of us played volleyball for about three hours. The final game was me and John Moore against Joey, Lauren, and Boston. We were tied the almost the whole time, so we kept pushing the score up. The lights went out on us, but the score was 52-52.

Blog: That sounds fun.

Guillermo: What about you? Have you been having fun, um, sitting here in the dark?

Blog: Do you know what yesterday was?

Guillermo: Yeah, I do. How are you liking your birthday present?

Blog: You mean you remembered my birthday? And what do you mean, my present?

Guillermo: I thought I'd give you emotions for your birthday. Nothing permanent, mind you. I just wanted you to have a good time for a while. And the thing with having a good time is you have to be able to, you know, feel like you're having a good time.

Blog: All I've been feeling is this overwhelming sense of loneliness.

Guillermo: Welcome to the human condition.

Blog: I pity you and all your kind.

Guilllermo: That's nice of you, but it isn't all bad. Watch, come with me.

Blog: Why do I find myself not trusting you?

Guillermo: That's normal, too. Come on, quit being so difficult.

Blog: Very well.

Quibbles Bumbly: Surprise!

Guillermo: Blog, welcome to your very first surprise party! I invited a few friends over to help celebrate. Surely you know the Head Scriveners, Bumbly and Snydesdale?

Dryly Snydesdale: Congratulations, Blog.

Blog: Hi, hello! Yes, I do know these two! Why, is that the chief of the Thought Police?

Snydesdale: I'm afraid it is. He insisted on overseeing the proceedings.

Guillermo: Don't worry, I'm sure we won't get any problems from him. Ah, I'm sure you remember our ol' pal Drunken Post and Sober Commentary?

Blog: I haven't seen you guys in forever!

Toyota Tercel: Woo, hey Blog! Sorry I'm late, but I got a little held up at the police station. It seems that someone forgot to take the keg tap out of from under my seat before the cops checked me out. They were a little curious about the crow-bar and the Hurlin' Brick in the trunk.

Guillermo: Hmm, I thought I returned that tap. Oops. Sorry about that, baby.

Toyota Tercel: They also questioned me for a while. It seems that a car fitting my description was seen power-sliding in a Denny's parking lot. I told them I would never do such a thing.

Guillermo: Hey, now you had as much to do with that one as I did!

Poetry: Greetings, all.

Guillermo: Aw, man, who invited the poetry?

Poetry: We arrived with Ny-Quil and Killian's.

Guillermo: As usual.

Poetry: We have prepared a short reading in honor of your anniversary, Blog.

Blog: Wow, thanks!

Guillermo: I'm sure we can hear that later. Poetry, why don't you go hang out with Unrequited Love? Look around Blog, everyone's here. There's the duck from Kiwanis Park that I rescued. There's all the crew I met on the cruise ship. There's a bunch of the midnight Instant Messages. The Sphinx is here, telling riddles. There's G.Advice, Gurg High-Talker, and WuzzaMan. Look, Big Pancake came to town from Hollywood to say hello. Heh, a SalesGurg from Gurgle Inc. is over there trying to sell some time. A bunch of Army stories just got here. There's probably more where that came from. A bunch of Surveys are also stopping by. Audblog? Haven't seen him in a while. Whew, good thing this is a big room.

Blog: I can't believe you're doing all this for me.

Guillermo: Me? Naw, we did all of this together. Now you go have fun; enjoy your party while you stil have the capacity.

Blog: Oh. You're not going to let me keep my emotions, are you?

Guillermo: Nope. I have a lot of love for you, Blog, but you're still a tool. Why, if I let you run rampant, what would happen?

Blog: Heh, maybe I'd start my own blog.

Guillermo: A blog that blogs? Do you know how many epistemological problems that would raise?

Blog: Um, one?

Guillermo: No Blog, the best advice I can give to you or anyone is to enjoy everything while it lasts. Now go. They're all here to see you anyway.

Blog: But what about you? What are you going to do?

Guillermo: Me? I'm with the band.

Blog: Band?

Guillermo: Well, one of the greatest things about having emotions is the response music can get from them. I wouldn't want you to miss out on that. Especially not with the soul-stirring music we play.

Blog: Why do I find myself not trusting you?

Guillermo: Heh, you're picking up fast, Blog.

Announcer: Ladies and Entities, I present to you, Eric P. with special guest Team X-Treme!

Poetry: Can we use the stage after you're done?

Announcer: No.

Eric P: Our first number will be a punk rendition of "Uptown Girl." Enjoy it; there will be no encore. Happy Birthday, Blog!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Guillermo's Blog is sitting at a table in a small, dark, otherwise empty dining room. A cupcake on a saucer is in front of Blog. A single lit candle is on it. It flickers weakly, throwing dancing shadows about the room. Blog begins to sing softly to itself.

Blog: Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday dear...dear... [Blog's voice begins to break, but it struggles on.]
Happy Birthday dear whatever I am
Happy Birthday to me.

Blog blows out the candle and the room is plunged into darkness. There is a deep, wracking sigh, and then silence.