Petition To Ban The Circulation Of Petitions (Proponent: The well-meaning but deluded Green Faction that can't seem to understand the stabilizing forces of supply and demand in all things, including the natural world.)
In addition to being Third Person Thursday, yesterday was apparently also Make Guillermo Awkward Thursday.
Advice Girl Strikes Again
I got a phone call from Advice Girl (the real one in my class, not the blog one.) She had left me a message saying that she wanted to be her date at a party she was going to on Saturday.
I called her back to tell her that I didn't want to go.
I find myself not wanting to go into the particulars of the conversation. It should suffice to say that I had to work very hard to make certain concepts understood. Particularly that I didn't want to go out on Saturday night or any of the following nights.
Well, maybe I will get into one particular:
She had asked me why I didn't want to. Before I could answer she had quickly asked "Is it me?"
Maybe I just think too critically sometimes, but I found that statement to be the pinnacle of hypocrisy. She is not an attractive girl, and she seemed to be trying to make me feel guilty that I wasn't looking beyond her physical appearance and giving her a chance.
I wanted to ask, "And why are you asking me out when I've only seen you a total of three times in class and have exchanged less than a handful sentences with you?"
I think it would have been a fair question. One I could have even answered for her.
She is asking me out because she thinks I'm good-looking.
She's not asking me out because I like to read, or love my brothers, or because I used to watch The Adventures of Milo and Otis over and over when I was little, all of which are qualities I find very attractive in others.
She is asking me out because of my physical appearance. Arguably, the aspect of myself that I have the least do with. My parents passed decent genes on to me and then fed me right.
To ask someone out based solely on their appearance and to then get upset when physical appearance is a factor of rejection is...illogical.
Yeah, so that was fun.
Yesterday was also my friend and co-worker Natalie's birthday. I called her to wish her a Happy Birthday since she works mainly mornings and I rarely see her. We talked for a bit and then she asked...The Question.
"So do you have a girlfriend yet?" [not exactly The Question]
"Girlfriend? Yet? A?" I wasn't sure how to answer that. Of course, the obvious thing to say would have been "No," but this was what we in the business like to call a "loaded question."
"Really, why don't you have a girlfriend? [<--The Question] You're nice, you have a job, a car, a nice family and you go to school. And you're, you know, cute."
I forget exactly what I said, but I stammered through the rest of the conversation.
I thought about it after I hung up. In high school, all the students had taken "compatibility tests" the week before Valentine's Day. We could then purchase the results for a dollar to see what other students we were compatible with.
Dan R. and I must have done really well, because we ended up on all the girls' lists. We were nerdy Freshman at the time, so it became our running joke that "we look good...on paper."
So that will be my excuse from now on. "I only look good on paper." It's a good replacement for the "I keep odd hours" excuse, which makes me sound like a sociopath.
But sheesh. It's almost enough to depress a guy.
But I can't be depressed. Not when it is now officially...one moment...okay, now it is officially Pants-Down Friday.
And not when I get to write fun stuff like this:
Update from The Federal Newsfeed for War Against Crabs (F.N.W.A.C.):
Ace Fighter Pilot David DoBell violated direct orders and set out to rescue Cpt. Frenzy's squad in an Outrider that he hi-jacked from a Star Wars game.
He succeeded in returning safely with all the soldiers. Except for that one guy, who had turned out to be alive after all. The unknown Private had been blown out of the cargo hatch while jettisoning a stowaway crab. He had fallen the several hundred feet to the ground and landed on his keys.
Cpt. Frenzy was promptly court-martialed and found guilty of 34 counts of Stupefying Incompetence and 1 count of Thinking With The Wrong Head.
He has been stripped of his rank and sentenced to death. When asked what he would like for his last meal he quipped, "Anything but crab!"
A particular ironic statement to make considering he is to be executed by being fed to a captive Giant Red King Crab in the Federal Coliseum at the stroke of midnight.
A petition is being circulated to garner the signatures of citizens for Gurg Frenzy's immediate release.
A petition is also being circulated to execute Gurg Frenzy twice so that he will be "twice as dead."
Yet another petition is being circulated by the Green Faction to outlaw the circulation of petitions because of the amount of paper required to collect the signatures that are "signed in blood on the skins of our defenseless trees."
DoBell is awaiting a court-martial for various copyright and trademark violations against LucasArts.
With guns blazing and shell-crackers in hand, they managed to fight all the way to Oslo, the capital of Norwegia, and secure it.
There, they rendezvoused with Mr. and Mrs. Walle, who patiently explained to them again that Hannah was studying safely in Australia.
Realizing that they had been acting on erroneous intelligence, our brave group of crab-killers began the trek back to the Norwegian Sea and their landing craft The ShellShocker.
Just before they reached the sea, they stopped to camp and drink some of the beer that Jamie had brought. After a few drinks, Captain Gurg Frenzy remembered his vow to destroy the sun and began firing wildly at the arrogant celestial orb.
This attracted a battalion of the Red King Crabs and our heroes were forced to entrench themselves and go toe-to-cheliped with the Giant Red buggers.
"Captain, look! More flawed intelligence; these things aren't red at all!"
It is with a grievous heart that we report this breaking news: The random Private that nobody seemed to know has died bravely on the field of battle. Our heroes are shaken by the loss; none of them could have foreseen such tragedy.
"Ow! Ow! Ow!"
[Excerpt from eulogy given by Cpt. Frenzy:] "What can you really say about the guy? I mean, really? That guy right there, that was the guy. Eh...Damn you, Crabs!!! Why must the good (as I'm sure he was) always die so young!!!"
At this point in the eulogy, Cpt. Frenzy realized what he had forgotten to do when the Private was initially wounded and began to shout, "MEDIC!!! MEDIC!!!" until he was reminded that they didn't even have a medic. He was then asked why he was holding a funeral service in the middle of an attack anyway and that they really should all be trying very hard not to get killed as well. He had thrown up his hands and said with exasperation, "Fine! Let's just do everything that you want to do!" The battle was then resumed.]
So, at this very moment, our brave warriors are standing bravely against the ferocious enemy crabs, with brave hearts and spirits shooting out bravery the way their Plasma Blasters...blast plasma.
They struggle bravely...for all mankind.
This just in: There appears to be some kind of "new, more-gianter crab" that has joined the assault on our heroes. For those of you wondering why our intelligence has failed us yet again, do not be so quick to judge. Have you not taken the factions of Communism into account? Surely, they must have some hand in this deception.
We now go live to our heroes engaged in glorious combat. They have already recovered from their initial surprise at the More-Gianter Crab and are scrambling to counter the new threat:
Sitting at Manny's Beach Club with almost all of our closest friends, Alan draws in a composition notebook I brought along as part of my master plan to not be viewed as a crazy jock party guy but as a sensitive, composition notebook-carrying guy.
It didn't really work out.
But I wrote a poem inspired by Alan's drawing and the pandemonium that is Mexico during Spring Break. (As always, the picture is a link to the larger version.)
Waves hesitant to reach shore
Almost pulling back from the skeletons of long-since-living creatures
glorious still among the broken glass that sparkles so
Competing for attention and indeed the victor becomes
the one who draws the most blood
Stinging pain Reminding more the glory of living
the all-consuming desire to be and remain so
Than even resting on the bones of the Earth and water
Could suggest in an eternity
to those who have long since stopped seeing
Cursing all that carry the title, "The Fragile,"
That may never stop to wonder
why the waves would hesitate
Since I'm Here And I'm The One Who Brought It Up...#11: Thoughts On Weight Loss
Weight is only a guide to health.
As I joked, if I really wanted to lose weight quickly and permanently I would stick my arm in a wheat thresher.
That weight sho' ain't coming back!
To lose weight quickly but not permanently, I could just stop drinking water for a couple of days. It works, just ask Olympic wrestlers. Of course, that's incredibly dangerous. I used to weigh myself before and after I ran just to check how much water weight I would lose.
I would lose five pounds after running for an hour. So in theory, if I ran for 36 hours straight I would blink out of existence. All that would be left would be a pair of shoes. Heh, kind of like that monster in Loony Tunes, the one that was all hair.
To avoid this, I had to make sure to drink about a gallon of water after I ran. A gallon of water weighs about eight pounds, so I was still three pounds heavier after a run.
There is also the time-honored tradition of not eating entirely. This also works well if weight loss is your ultimate goal.
Unfortunately, the human body is smarter than the human mind, at least in this case. Not eating for about 24 hours or so will trigger "starvation mode," in which the body begins to convert everything eaten directly into fat for storage.
While doing this, the body will begin to break down muscle tissue for energy. This effect is two-fold; there is a great deal of stored energy in the muscle, and having less muscle equals less calories spent moving said muscles.
Score one for the human body:
And since muscle weighs more than fat, sucking out all the muscle in my body and replacing it with fat will still have the effect of causing me to lose weight. I'd be slugging around like a...slug.
But I would weigh less, overall.
I don't have a problem being heavy. I'm a very dense guy. I always have been.
When we would go swimming when I was little, I couldn't float. In the deep end, I would sink down to the bottom of the pool and just stand there, looking up enviously at all the happy, floating children.
Oh, that reminds me. I need to find an underwater photographer. I had an idea of taking a picture of me standing underwater like that. I would be engrossed in a book entitled "How To Not Drown."
If I ever get published, that will be my poster for those Celebrity Read things. (They have a new Orlando Bloom one, if anyone is interested.)
Where was I....photographer...Orlando Bloom...dense...
Oh, dense. I'm dense.
I should be able to safely lose 5-8 more pounds before I would begin to affect my ability to exercise. If you have ever had the urge to beat up a body-builder, wait until they're about to do their routine for a show. They will be starving, dehydrated, and weak, so you'll have the best chance then.
Right now, I'm eating whatever I want. Last night I went over to Tracy Sagalow's house with Brian and Joey to watch the film she made. Tracy was so kind as to supply us with several quarts of ice cream, which we ate happily.
I'm tired of talking about weight.
#2: In Which Donaldo And I Are Mean To Our Mormon Friend
When my younger brother Donaldo was in town this Christmas, he, Boston, and I all got drunk and then stumbled over to IHOP on Mill for some breakfast. While we were waiting for our food, we got onto the topic of our old friend Christine whom we hadn't seen in a while. Apparently, she was now Mormon. She had been Catholic before, so that was quite a leap of faith.
Donaldo had called her on her phone. The hour was pretty late, and it wasn't even a weekend night; this was the middle of the week.
He had left a long message in which he roasted her for being many things, including being Mormon. It was quite hilarious. I didn't agree with calling her up at such a late hour, but hey, the damage was done.
"Later on, Mormon!" he said as he finally hung up. I pretended to look pissed off.
"Give me the phone!" I demanded. "That was messed up."
I hit the redial button and again, the answering machine picked up.
"Hey, Christine, this is Guillermo. Look, I'm really sorry about my brother calling. He's pretty drunk. I apologize for what he said. Look, he didn't mean it. You're not Mormon."
She didn't call us back that night. Nor has she since.
Man, some people just can't take a joke.
#3: Thoughts On Alcohol Dependency
Eh, it's been two months without a drink. I feel good...different...strange...I don't know, I need more time to think about it.
I've been in bars, in clubs, at parties. I've had alcohol offered to me, gifted to me, practically forced on me.
It was easier than I thought. Too easy, really.
I always treated alcoholism as sort of a running gag. It's turning out that that's exactly what it was to me. I could never pass up a good joke.
The oddest thing has been not having the escape, I guess. The dulling of senses, the retreat, the disregard. The excuse.
I can't say anymore "I'm sorry; I was drunk." But on the upside, I haven't had to say "I'm sorry," at all. Except for when I stepped on the dog, but to be fair, I didn't make him walk under my foot.
I don't know where to go from here. I know I can stop drinking. I don't even really want to drink anymore. At least, not enough to get drunk.
But from what I remember, the Kiltlifter at Four Peaks was an excellent beer. So was the beer we had at the Rock Bottom in San Diego.
I'd like to believe I can sit down and just have one beer. But I won't know until I try. My hopes are not high. My personality type is pretty well described by the phrase, "all or nothing."
Questions, questions, questions.
How do you live without alcohol? How do you live without anything, for that matter?
You learn how to live with yourself.
I'm still learning.
This drawing was in the same notebook as Alan's. I drew it two years ago on Valentine's Day weekend.
While working the graveyard shift, I had gotten around to reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It had come highly recommended and I was skeptical. How good could it possibly be?
The next weekend found me on a Greyhound bus headed towards UCLA in Californa. After finishing the book, I had discovered that The Objectivism Student Conference was to be held there. I was burning with questions about Objectivism, so I went.
The fact that Annie Melchor was attending UCLA and had offered me a place to stay might have also had something to do with it.
It was great. I got to speak to Leonard Peikoff and Yaron Brooks, and hear them speak. I got into arguments about stuff that I had never even thought about before and was promptly obliterated by the other students who were more familiar with the philosophy.
I wrote this as a comment on one of my newest and favoritest blogs but thought I'd stick it up here as well.
Writing is not a cop-out.
It is the presentation of an idea that has a permanence that words often lack.
It forces you to commit to a definition or point. It carries more weight because, in general, it takes a little more thought to write something than to say it.
And in written form, it can now be examined, meditated on, and critiqued more objectively. When conversing, people tend to remember the spirit and tone more than the specific words. I think that leads to more problems than anything; the misunderstanding.
While I have been doing well with the whole not-drinking thing (today making two months, the longest period of time since I was in the Army,) I haven't been doing so well with the running thing. I haven't run for the past two and a half weeks. I'm still steadily losing weight (about fifteen pounds.) It's at the rate of almost two pounds per week, which is a safe pace that doesn't hinder my working out. I mean, I'm not getting weaker because I'm not eating or anything.
It is mostly the loss of all those calories I usually got from beer.
In theory, after another month I will level out for a couple of weeks and then slowly start to gain weight again. Ideally.
In order to motivate myself, I have decided to take a picture of my progress every month.
Here is this month's:
Where's my head, you ask? I cut it off.
Oh, as if you know a better way to lose 9 pounds in 12 seconds.
The quick post before this one is a modified Family Guy reference. The actual scene is of a tiff between Gentle Ben and Grizzly Adams.
Donovan took note that the my link to Live Journal actually says "Liver Journal."
This is an obscure reference to an entry that Dana made long ago about accidentally typing in "liverjournal.com".
Well, it made me laugh.
Last night as I was lying in bed, I wanted to write a quick note to remind myself about something before I fell asleep. I ended up writing this.
In class on Thursday, my English teacher asked, "Have you thought about being a writer?"
To me, that question is like being asked if I ever thought about having brown skin.
Anyone who puts together a sentence is, by definition, a writer. Everyone that can talk is, by definition, a speaker. A writer is something that I already am. It's not something I ever planned on becomig, but nor do I plan to stop. No, what she was really asking me is if I've thought about trying to make a living from it.
Not that I particularly mind. It's just something that occurs to me. I've noticed a general reaction from people whenever anyone displays a particular talent. "You're good at something! You should go make money off it!" Well, maybe. For now I'm happy just doing it.
If I really wanted money, I would have at least gotten one of those Pay-Pal things. Not that the thought hadn't occurred to me back when I lost my job.
Not that it doesn't occur to me now that I'm getting gloriously soaked every time I drive my window-less car in the unseasonable rain Phoenix has been getting.
Sidenote: My attitude towards the bling maybe isn't unique for a Lopez kid. My mom received that teaching award and they've been showing some kind of commercial of it lately. Another teacher she knew saw it and had asked my mom, "So what did your children have to say about you winning 5,000 dollars?"
My mom had to think about it for a second before she answered. "You know, none of them have mentioned it."
Which isn't entirely true. My mom had put the check in a picture frame. When she had shown Donaldo, he had remarked that being in a frame might make it difficult to cash.
Back On Topic: I look at professional writing like professional theatre. There are the big name lead actors, like Chuck Pahlaniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, and Anne Rice. And there are all the other writers who do other writing things. Editing, publishing, teaching English, journalism, et cetera.
They're like the stage crew running different parts of the show. A comedian like Eddie Izzard doing a one-man...er...woman...
A comedian like Steve Martin doing a one-man show takes a slew of technical performers. One of those pyramid things.
And like theatre, even if you have the talent, the odds of you reaching the top of that pyramid, that level of multi-million dollar stardom are not heavily in your favor. When you decide that's what you love, though, it doesn't matter.
For the greatest chance of reliable, steady work in theatre, you have to look more towards the technical aspects. Have enough to pay the landlord, feed the cat, and all that.
But the gamble and the risk and the pay-off and the profit aren't even aspects right now. I'm writing because I haven't lost sight of what I'm trying to do. The whole point is to understand.
And how can anyone go wrong when they're trying their damnedest to make sense of it all?
Are we sick of the journal yet?
For the rest of you bloggers, you only get one chance every four years to post on February 29th.