Saturday, April 24, 2004

Before heading out to the bar tonight, I spoke to my friend Mindy from work. We ended up talking for quite a while. She is an interesting girl. In an earlier conversation she had asked why I referred to Luis as "the boy." I told her it was in homage to The Simpsons. It was not unusual for an angry Homer to refer to Bart as "the boy."

It makes sense, because when you're angry at someone you tend to objectify them, or at least strip them down to their most base characteristics. It creates a distance, an impartiality, I think. But what do I know? I'm not really here to break down the psychological significance of The Simpsons. That would take all night.

Mindy asked me if Luis was bothered by being called that. I had to think about that one. "I don't know," I said. "I'll have to ask him."

This evening, Luis and I had driven to Blockbuster Videos so that he could rent a movie. It is a short distance away from my house. On the way, I asked him my question.

"Does it bother you that I call you 'the boy'?"


"Oh. Well, what would you prefer I called you?"

"Jackass." He laughed.

"Shut up, boy, I'm not going to call you that."

At the video store, Luis chose to rent Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. It is one of our favorites. I really need to purchase that movie for my Tim Burton collection. (It's not a truly loyal collection; I refuse to purchase his remake of Planet of the Apes.)

I also rented Kill Bill Volume 1 for Miguel. Also, I might as well watch it before I finally go to see Volume 2.

* * * * * *

Drunk dialing.

Dangerous words, aren't they?

I don't do it very often myself. It has been quite a while since I've done it at all.

But it is always flattering to be on the receiving end of one.

Even if it is by almost complete accident.

From what I can patch together, somewhere in California, Julie was going through Erin's cell phone calling the phone numbers that would catch her fancy (and trust me, Julie has a very catchable fancy).

She came upon a number that was labeled as "Warm Crevice." Intrigued, she dialed it.

Somewhere in Arizona, right outside of Silver Mine Subs, a very confused Guillermo answered.

After I had correctly guessed who it was (a game I hate playing), we chatted for a bit. I tried to explain to her that "Warm Crevice" was going to be the brand name of the blatant knock-off of "Hot Pockets" that Erin and I were going to put out on the market. (I would write the commercial and Erin would star in it.)

I say I tried to explain because I'm pretty sure I failed.

Julie then tantalized me with talk of coming back down to Phoenix to visit. I was so excited that a drunk guy stumbled into me.


I was so excited, and then a drunk guy stumbled into me. He had thrown his hands up and shouted "I'm harmless!"

I doubted it, since he had managed to knock into me, the only person within a 20-foot radius.

Julie then entered her parking garage in which reception is almost nil. At that point, the drunk-dialing gods decided to intervene and the call was dropped.

I also have to commend Jaden for trying her damnedest to leave me a drunken voice-mail.

The fatal flaw in her plan was that she called me at night.

If anyone expects to leave me a drunken voice-mail, they had best be blitzed by 11:00 am because that's the likeliest time that I won't answer the phone.

We discussed many things, like the music of Prince, how sometimes it's okay to be submissive, and how most guys in bars are terrible at approaching women.

I told her about "Damn-Bros", the term that either Donovan or Alan came up with for frat boys since everything they ever said seemed to start with "DAMN, BRO!"

Mark this day. The term "Damn-Bros" has officially hit the West Coast.


* * * * * *

I was thinking that if I ever have to classify my writing so far, it would fit easiest into two periods: The Innocence Period and the Yearning For That Lost Innocence Period.

Having said that...

The blister that had formed on his finger after the cigarette had grazed him burst as he was driving home. The blister wept a clear fluid that dripped past his white knuckles and then onto the frayed cover of the steering wheel. The radio was on full-blast and the frigid wind was roaring through both open windows, but they were not enough drown out the echo of her voice:

"You talk so much shit about the worthlessness of emotion! But look at you, what are you? You use reason like a ball of twine. Venture into every emotional labyrinth you come across, then just string it out behind you, the whole time hoping it's long enough so you'll be able to find your way back. Hypocrite."

* * * * *

After creating Dilbert, Scott Adams worked for six more years at the engineering job he despised before the comic strip was successful enough to fully support him.

I have to work in four hours. Seven months down, five years and five months to go.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Mom, Dad, I've made my decision. I know what I'm going to do with my life.

I'm going to be a pirate.

'Cept I get sea-sick and I'm scared of the ocean and I am allergic to parrots.

No one said it was going to be easy.

Saddle up!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I'm sorry, Yahoo. There's a new woman in my life. And her name is...


I have finally realized my life-long dream of having my own e-mail account with my name in it:

I never could get it before because my name was always taken. What I always found funny about my name is that it is pretty unique around here, but back in Mexico my first and last names are incredibly common. Guillermo Lopez is the Spanish equivalent of Will Smith.

Aw, hellz naw!

* * * * *

I've been getting my literary ass rocked. Kavalier and Clay is already one of the best books I've ever read, but it is giving my dictionary a work-out. The language in that book is...I want to say amazing but that isn't a word I'd want to use when describing great language...

Homer: "Ooh, I love that section, Increase Your Word Power. It's really"

I've also picked up The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It is a very humbling read.

It's pretty much: For the Love of Cheebus, do not ever do this when you write... and then my heart sinks when I realize it's something I do all the time. Ah, well. I'm learning.

And it's time for work. I wonder if I'll be late.

Let's find out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I fell asleep at midnight.

Now, at eight, I am awake.

Has the world gone mad?

* * * * * * *

I have been ravenous lately. My appetite is always hearty but lately I've been devouring everything in sight. Every time I sit down to eat I feel like I haven't eaten all day (which is true when I have breakfast, but not any other time.)

* * * * * *

Why am I up so early? Oh, right. I'm going to apply for that job. The one where I'll be using powerful acids to break down alloys and separate them into their component parts so I can recover the desired metals.

It could be interesting; I've never done any work like that before.

If nothing else, the 6 pm to 6 am work shift that is a standard at this place will surely make the rest of my life more interesting.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I am taking a moment to reflect on the grandness of being Mexican-American. I suggest that all the US-born who have parents that were born and raised in Mexico also enjoy a quiet observance.

I feel like I am a perfect blend of the two cultures.

A synthesis of epic proportions, on par with the Choco-Taco. Or, to a lesser extent, the Mission tortilla.

I say lesser because Mission tortillas are perfectly round. Real tortillas aren't perfectly round. A good tortilla will have an accommodating "lip." When preparing a burrito, the foodstuff would be placed on this lip and then the burrito-rolling would commence.

Rolling a burrito with a perfectly round tortilla is possible, but they are best suited for quesadillas.

Since it's almost five am and I find myself with nothing else to discuss, I'll go on about burritos.

The tortilla (and subsequent burrito) is common in Northern Mexico. But stray too far South of the border, and you will be hard-pressed to find that most functional of flour products.

My younger sister, Barbara, just returned from Southern Mexico and will firmly attest to this.

Thank you for joining me for this moment of ethnicity.

Heh heh, that should satisfy the people that hand out all those minority scholarships. Buncha know-nothing dinosaurs...I mean, Hola!

Please excuse me, I am about to put on my "pancho" and my "sombrero" and go fire my "pistolas" wildly into the air.

It should go without saying that I am already completely intoxicated. After all, it is almost time for breakfast.

* * * * * *

I knew that the trip I made to Half-Priced Books today was going to be special the moment Brian Y, Luis, and I pulled into the parking lot. A smattering of people surround an old Jeep Wagoneer that was smoldering in its parking spot. Tiny flames, as if encouraged by the wood paneling that adorned the sides of the vehicle, began to creep out from under the hood.

The people stood and watched.

In my extremely limited knowledge of spontaneously combusting automobiles, I know that placing oneself very close to said vehicle is very unwise.

An employee from the bookstore certainly didn't think so and was using a fire extinguisher in an attempt to subdue the flames. He was hunched over, trying to direct the extinguisher's stream underneath the hood of the Wagoneer and failing miserably.

There was a muffled BOOM as the radiator blew up. The guy wasn't hurt, but he staggered back in surprise and fell on his butt.

A by-stander shouted that firefighters were on their way and they had instructed everyone to stay away from the vehicle.

I happily complied and made nervously made my towards the bookstore. Usually the tires blow up as well, and I didn't feel like getting hit in the back by a high-velocity chunk of flaming rubber. At least, not today.

Luis enjoyed watching the whole thing.

The plan for the bookstore was to pick up a copy of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Things did not go as planned.

Luis doesn't read very much. The rest of us kids read quite a bit, but not the boy. I pretty much ordered him to go find a book that looked interesting and I would buy it for him. After failing to convince me to buy him a PlayStation game instead, he agreed.

I lead him to the Young Adults section and set him loose. I figured, as long as I'm here I'll pick up a copy of The Giver and see if they have the psuedo-sequel I'd heard about. Hey, The Phantom Tollbooth! James and the Giant Peach! A bunch of other books I read when I was a wee bookworm!

I ended up purchasing about fifty dollars worth of books. I should also point out that the Young Adult books were roughly three dollars each. I do love that store.

I also picked up a book on short-story writing by Damon Knight.

When I was younger I had no grasp for authors' names. The idea of a person writing more than one book was incomprehensible to me.

Damon Knight's short story compilations were one of the first times I made the connection between the name underneath the title of the book and the quality of the book itself. It was quite a leap when I grasped the concept that I could not only like this particular book, but the author as well.

I enjoy the works of this author. How prestigious!

Eh...before this turns into a love-letter to Damon Knight (although he did write the short story To Serve Man, which I'm pretty sure was the basis for one of the earliest The Simpson's TreeHouse of Horror episodes in which Lisa thinks the aliens are fattening them up to eat them) I'll just say that I like the author.

Leafing through the book on short-story writing made me laugh. It seemed very contrary to what I'd just finished reading in Stephen King's On Writing.

We'll see. As my nigga Phil Collins sang, "We always need to hear both sides of the story."

On that note, the sun is rising, the birds are chirping, I'm not even in my own house, and I'm starting to see those phantom cats out of the corner of my eyes again (not unusual when I've been awake too long.)

Wait, wait. Luis bought an Arthur book, which I was very pleased about. Old School, baby. He also wanted a novelization of The Tigger Movie. I stressed the fact that it was a novelization and that any idiot with a Pause button on their remote control could write one of those. He wanted it, though.

Ah well, whatever gets him reading, I thought as I patted my copy of The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost one of the four John Bellairs's books in my basket.

Wait, I was also supposed to talk about how I fell in love with the bookstore girl.

Ah, well. I doubt anyone wants to hear about that anyway.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

A college student in San Francisco was expelled for writing a short story.

I was pissed off, but I feel I can relax because Michael Chabon has his back.


That guy is a bad-ass.

I guess he also wrote The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I haven't read it but I hear it's good. So do the guys who hand out the Pulitzer Prize.