Saturday, April 03, 2004

Ditched school. Ditched work.

Instead, Joey, David, Brian Y, Josh H, and I drove down to the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Pounding rain. Clinging fog. Large trucks. Kill Bill soundtrack.

Saw some art. Went to Bookman's. Purchased Stephen King's On Writing.

Went to a party thrown by Chiara Caballero, the publisher of Ornithopter. Met Josh's art professor and a slew of other artists and writers. An older crowd, but very fun people.

Food. Lots of food. Four slices of chocolate cake. Stomach cramps from excessive sugar.

So worth it.

Calm weather on the drive home. Stayed at Brian's long enough to watch Cartoon Network's Animated Clone Wars. Said goodbyes.

Drove home. Checked phone messages on way. Co-worker had called to see why I wasn't at work and if I was "okay." Too late to call back anyone.

Checked e-mail. Checked blog roll. Now blogging.

Weary. Naseous.

But okay. Definitely okay.

Friday, April 02, 2004

I am a liar!

Come on, this is where you say "I knew it all along!" with such sincerity and vehemence that you almost fool yourself.

No, I knew I wouldn't fool anyone. Not completely, anyway. But if there was even the tiniest bit of doubt, I'll feel validated for all the time I put into trying to sound convincing.

Not to mention all the time I spent trying to work in Radiohead lyrics and song titles. (For instance: "Here, I'm alive" from Idioteque)

Heh, I did kind of get a little over-zealous in the middle there.

But a belated Merry Fool's Day to all. Just be thankful it's only one day a year. Some of us feel like we're stuck in this day every single moment of our lives, waiting in vain for someone to clap us on the back and say, "Yes, yes, you were right; it was all just a joke!"

Today being the 2nd day of the month, I have posted my progress report. I feel pretty good about it, despite the extra nine pounds I gained by adding my head this time.

Not to discourage anyone on the South Beach or Atkins diet, but my dinner the night before this picture was taken consisted of a bowl of spinach ravioli, three flour-tortilla quesadillas, a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, and a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.

But, uh, I'm sure that an all-protein diet is good, too. I mean, I'm living proof that carbohydrates turn you into a heifer. Hold on, let me put this bell around my neck...

Sorry to everyone that's on those diets, but I'm with Jesus on this one. It's not what you put into your mouth, it's what comes out of it.

Wait, that sounds like he was promoting bulemia.

No, I mean that eating can be a great pleasure in life. But it's like a credit card. You can put on all these charges as long as you pay them off. Do it promptly and you'll be sittin' pretty with a sweet credit rating that anyone would love to fondle.

(My self-help video, Blog Yourself Thin!, will be out in May. Blog Yourself Smart! and Blog Yourself To Spiritual Enlightenment! will be out by the end of this year. All three are looking to be wonderful additions to the Go Blog Yourself! line.)

So it looks like it's further on down the trail.

I remain confident. My life plan (to cover as much ground as possible and to collect the little bits of truth that I inadvertently stumble upon) is still in full effect.

Saddle up.

Hmm...I think that picture would look a-pretty-pretty good if I had a pirate hat and a hook. And maybe a tattoo of a marmot skull on my chest.



A good joke has to be like a pearl: Smooth, lustry layers of coating wrapped around an irritating grain of truth.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

So this is it. The end of this blog.

I didn't think it would really come about this way. After over a year of working with this thing, I always imagined myself having to abandon it in some grand fashion, like suddenly being whisked away to a remote part of the world to work on a top-secret project with only the clothes on my back and a few moments to say goodbye to my loved ones.

Or more likely, I'd just die. The way everyone dies. Then, thirty days later my little death post would come up saying how I wished I had said this to that person or done something with someone or had gone back to some place one last time. But it isn't going to.

I never imagined it would because I just felt so...tired.

There isn't always happy ending to every story, with all the loose ends tied up and everyone smiling as they face the new day. Nor is there always a sad ending, with tear-streaked and grim faced warriors fighting a losing battle knowing they were doing the right thing.

Sometimes, all we get is an ending.

* * * * * *

Why? I've been wondering that myself. For the past while, I've been reading and re-reading all of my old journals that I've dug up during my emigration from my old room to my new one.

I don't recognize the person that wrote them.

It's fun, in a way. I think I've used this analogy before, but reading old writings can be like watching those old, grainy, home movies. "Man, I can't believe I thought I looked good in that!" or "Sheesh, I used to start crying at the drop of a hat!" or the occasional, "Heh, I'd bounce off that wall and get right back up like it was nothing!

I miss the way I wrote. My voice has changed so much since a year ago. It has become aloof, arrogant, and pretentious. When in the hell did I start taking myself so seriously?

I don't like it. I'm going to stop it.

* * * * * *

I won't miss a lot of things.

I won't miss feeling like someone is looking over my shoulder every time I type something out.

I won't miss the paranoia that I get every time I hit the "Publish" button. I won't go to sleep wondering if I've committed the literary equivalent of having forgotten to zip up my pants after walking out of the bathroom.

I won't miss how I now divide people into two categories: The ones that read or might read my blog, and the ones who don't know it exists. I don't like how I've been using the ones that don't know as fodder for myself and the ones that do read.

I hate censoring my own thoughts because I'm afraid of offending people. I hate the quibbling that arises because I voice how I'm feeling at this particular moment in time. I hate that there are those that get offended by the conclusions I've drawn about life and then fail to realize that I didn't break into their house, sign them on to the internet, hold their eyelids open with some Clockwork Orange-ish device, and then make them read what I wrote.

I just want to shout, "You came here! You! Came! Here! As uppitty as you might be trying to make yourself feel, you cannot escape the simple fact that you are just another lowly human being who started out knowing absolutely nothing and despite the fact that you have such an incredibly short-life span in which to learn anything at all, you are doubtless doing a number of things to make that life-span even shorter!"

I might be wrong but at least I'm optimistic, idiot.

* * * * * *

I've been using this blog as a replacement for more traditional social interaction. I've spent less and less time with actual people and more and more time trying to stretch the five-minute interaction I had with the outside world into a page-long entry to convince myself that I am not a total recluse. Alecia summed it up pretty well last Saturday night at Mai's house. "Guillermo, I haven't seen you in so long! I mean, it's weird, I haven't seen you, but I read your blog. It's like I know you, but I don't."

Ah, the double-edged sword that is the blog. To know someone, but not know them. I don't like the idea of people second-guessing everthing they know about me.

This blog, I do love it. I love that I've gotten to know people so much better, and have even gotten to meet shiny new people. It's just not what I need to be doing right now.

I'm not fond of goodbyes. In fact, this entry has turned out to be much longer than I originally wanted it to be. It is strange to write this. I am fighting this yearning to take just a little bit longer; to spend just a few more sentences here with you.

I guess I'm just being theatrical.

It is best, I think, that I do not draw this out any more. I'll just go. After all, I am quite good at just going.

So, having said all this: Why? I was happy here. Now I'm not.

There is an entire world out there. And there is not enough of me here.

I'm going to find a place where I can spread out my arms and say, "Here, here I'm alive."

The End

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Joey M: Your blog has been a little sparse lately.

Me: Yeah.

* * * * * *

Come back, Athens, I didn't mean what I said!

I'm hitting a snag with developing comedic material. A stand-up comic can work for an entire month at various clubs and night spots and come out with only 5 minutes of usable material. Essentially, jokes are re-told and refined until they become reliable enough to include in an act.

I don't like re-telling jokes. I don't even like repeating a joke I just made for someone that might not have heard it.

And I'm very paranoid that I may just be covering old ground. I was eating a bowl of Cocoa-Puffs last night and I began to lament the loss of the really cool prizes that would come in cereal boxes.

So I look inside the box and printed on the cardboard is a coupon that you can cut out and send to Betty Crocker to get your very own shiny new pair of scissors. Actually, it was a whole set. You would get four pairs of scissors by sending in this box top.

What a wonderful idea. Let's feed the kid a cereal that is the nutritional equivalent of a grande mocha double latte and then hand him a pair of scissors.

No, wait, let's give him four pairs of scissors. Yes, yes, he can hold on in his right hand, one in his left, I guess he can carry the third pair between his teeth. Hmm...where to put the fourth pair?

I know! Just jam the fourth pair directly into his eye. That'll save the kid a lot of unnecessary running around.

I hope the prize in the next cereal box is an eyepatch.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Athens, Ho!

Luis and I are in training for a new Olympic Event. Er, I mean, we're training for what is almost certain to be an Olympic event once the Olympic committee loosens up a little.

The event shall be: Entertaining Strangers In Line At The Electronics Store.

We started off with a warm-up at the office furniture section in Fry's Electronics. The computer desk that I wanted was also the only one on display without a price tag on it.

There were plenty of sales associates milling about, but they all seemed busy helping other consumers. Luis and I stood on the display platform by the desk and raised both of our arms up to the heavens to attract the attention of the gods, in hope that they would see fit to send us a sales associate.

We stood like that for quite a while. We got plenty of odd looks from the other customers. We got even more when Luis tried to play the pity card and started yelling, "Help, we have no parents! We're orphans!"

A brilliant ploy, but ultimately unsuccessful.

Our arms got tired and we just went over to a sales guy and asked him where to find someone who would help us.

We eventually got our computer desk.

Properly stretched, we made our way to the main event. The line was long. We were soon surrounded front and back by people were standing around listlessly.

Luis and I scanned the rows of impulse-buy candy. After I noticed how several old favorites were offering their candy bars with white chocolate, I commented on how affirmative action seemed to be sweeping the candy aisle.

No response.

I sulked for a second. I was proud of my joke. But you lean as much about your audience by the jokes they don't laugh at as the ones they do.

Luis got us back on track. "Are you going to get me a horse for my birthday or what?"

"Have you seen The Godfather? It's going to be kinda like that."

"Shut up!" Luis said in disbelief.

Someone behind me snorted. Encouraged, I went on. "Yeah, I found a place that will let me buy the horse in installments. Every month when they receive a payment, they'll send us another part of the horse."

The couple behind us laughed. It was a least a 6.

Not too great, but I'm sure we'll place higher than Russia.