Saturday, June 05, 2004

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Yesterday, my sister Barbara surprised me with a present. It was a steel nib quill. Now that's old school.

It is sweet. I didn't try to use it until just now. It's an amazing instrument. After first examing it, I didn't really believe it would work. I tentatively dipped it into the ink. Then, slowly, hesitantly, I wrote a thank-you note to my sister with it.

It's a little unreal. This was a tool that everyone used to write with. Now, I just hit buttons to make my words show up. Often, something is lost in the adaptation from ink to text.

When I look over things I've written on paper with pen, I can still see the parts that I've scratched out, or substituted a better word, or got so excited about that my handwriting became an almost illegible scrawl.

Then it gets sterilized and thrown up onto the computer screen.

Nothing too serious. Good writing is good writing. It doesn't need all those flourishes utilized by the old calligraphers.

My sister got me the pen to write in my journal with. Not my foul-weather composition notebook (which a PaperMate Flex-Grip Ultra Fine pen is good enough for), but the sweet leather-bound journal that Molly gave me.

So now I'm very happy. I slipped the thank-you note under my sister's door. It is past four am, and I think she works tomorrow. She would not likely be happy to have me burst into her room shouting "Look, I wrote with a quill!" Not at this hour.

Whoa, I almost forgot something very important. Two things, really.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Andrew Nunemacher is having a going-away party at his house starting around 4 pm. Should be plenty of food, but I think it's BYOB.

Nunes will be heading off to Missouri to continue his education in technical theatre. It will be rough on the poor guy; the majority of the students there are female, and I guess he's one of only six males in the entire theatre department.


My brilliant friend, Edward Auburn Carter, will also be having a going-away party at his home beginning around 8 pm. He will be starting a new job in San Jose doing something incredibly difficult involving mathematics and computers.

He will be missed and envied.

But I like to think of it in this light: I'm not losing a friend, I'm gaining a place to stay in San Jose.

So I'll doing all kinds of running around tomorrow. Maybe more, since I sort of have a pseudo-date as well.

We'll see.

No rest for the wicked.

Buona notte.
i don't care if monday's blue
tuesday's grey and wednesday too
thursday I don't care about you
it's friday i'm in love
monday you can fall apart
tuesday wednesday break my heart
thursday doesn't even start
it's friday i'm in love

saturday wait
and sunday always comes too late
but friday never hesitate...

i don't care if monday's black
tuesday wednesday heart attack
thursday never looking back
it's friday i'm in love

monday you can hold your head
tuesday wednesday stay in bed
or thursday watch the walls instead
it's friday i'm in love

saturday wait
and sunday always comes too late
but friday never hesitate...

dressed up to the eyes
it's a wonderful surprise
to see your shoes and your spirits rise
throwing out your frown
and just smiling at the sound
and as sleek as a shriek
spinning round and round
always take a big bite
it's such a gorgeous sight
to see you in the middle of the night
you can never get enough
enough of this stuff
it's friday
i'm in love

-The Cure "Friday I'm In Love"
Me gustan los aviones, me gustas tu.
Me gusta viajar, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la manana, me gustas tu.
Me gusta el viento, me gustas tu.
Me gusta sonar, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la mar, me gustas tu.

Que voy a hacer ,
Je ne sais pas
Que voy a hacer
Je ne sais plus
Que voy a hacer
Je suis perdu
Que horas son, mI corazon

Me gusta la moto, me gustas tu.
Me gusta correr, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la lluvia, me gustas tu.
Me gusta volver, me gustas tu.
Me gusta marihuana, me gustas tu.
Me gusta colombiana, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la montaña, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la noche, me gustas tu.

Que voy a hacer ,
Je ne sais pas
Que voy a hacer
Je ne sais plus
Que voy a hacer
Je suis perdu
Que horas son, mI corazon

Me gusta la cena, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la vecina, me gustas tu.
Me gusta su cocina, me gustas tu.
Me gusta camelar, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la guitarra, me gustas tu.
Me gusta el regaee, me gustas tu.

Que voy a hacer ,
Je ne sais pas
Que voy a hacer
Je ne sais plus
Que voy a hacer
Je suis perdu
Que horas son, mI corazon

Me gusta la canela, me gustas tu.
Me gusta el fuego, me gustas tu.
Me gusta menear, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la Coruña, me gustas tu.
Me gusta Malasaña, me gustas tu.
Me gusta la castaña, me gustas tu.
Me gusta Guatemala, me gustas tu.

Que voy a hacer ,
Je ne sais pas
Que voy a hacer
Je ne sais plus
Que voy a hacer
Je suis perdu
Que horas son, mI corazon

-Manu Chao "Me Gustas Tu"
[Some more from the journals]


Her name is Angel. Beautiful and ironic. She is graduating with a degree in psychology. She is not from around here. She doesn't sleep at night. She reads.

She is a lot like me. This is not a good thing. This means that she will like me; find me charming, attractive, funny, caring, adventurous, intelligent, creative, and easy-goingly-manic.

This means that despite everything I am to her, I lack that romantic glimmer that will catch her eye and tell her, "This is the one."

I am not enough to keep her.

There is not enough of me yet. Not here. Not now.

If she gives me nothing more, she will have already given me what I need.

The knowledge is like being on the verge of tears; brimming up behind my eyes, held in check only by deep, steady breaths.

Tomorrow I will have more information to help me decide. What I want. Hell, I cannot pretend that this equation calls for an equal amount of desire and what I believe myself capable of accomplishing.

A degree in Philosophy, with a minor in English or Biology? Law school? Copyright law as my profession?

Still noble. Still protecting people's rights. What a hero.

I can accomplish this. I just don't want to do it alone. I'm so afraid of going out there by myself. Knowing that I am the only one that has my back is not comforting. I don't have to trust me because I know me.

Perhaps, now that I sit and think, I have been instilled with a conscience that causes me to feel guilty for having new friends. Causes me to feel as if I were a man cheating on his spouse just because I am sharing new experiences.

I feel like the monster in the Marvin Martian cartoon. Only instead of being all hair,, I am all mystery. And if someday, I were to let someone too close, too far inside, they would find that if they shave away all of the mystery they will find at its core...nothing at all. Perhaps the merest mote of dust, little more than a cloud requires to form around.

There isn't room for everything. Not in my room, not on my bookshelves, not in my head.

Not even in these inexpensive composition notebooks that I have in great supply.

Jaded. Disillusioned. Unmotivated. Existential.

I can't see the abyss surrounding me. But when I close my eyes when the world is quiet enough I can hear the void. I listen to a symphony of music that isn't an I imagine myself waltzing alone, my arms eternally outstretched, waiting for a partner that will never have this dance, that will never tap the nothing on the shoulder, cut in, and ask, "May I have this dance?"

Self-indulgent. But informative.

Narcissistic. But very, very, helpful.
The last time I saw Angel...

After we had eaten lunch (after my rabbit and rock-sitting adventure) we had gone over to Sky's apartment. We lounged for a bit, then we ran some errands.

Then, we decided to go swimming.

Angel still had a copy of her key to her old house, so we broke into the backyard to enjoy one final swim in the pool. Angel had had foresight to bring a swimsuit. I had the foresight to put on boxers that morning.

The water was cold. After we dove in, it wasn't so bad. But once we were used to the water, it became too cold to step back out into the overcast afternoon.

So it goes.

Angel had also brought a towel. Clearly, she had been studying up on her Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. We dried ourselves. We sat in the now-abandoned patio chairs, smoked, talked, and watched her dog, Guinness, play in the grass.

There was a quiet moment. I said. "I'm torn." She looked at me. "I'm torn because I want to want you to stay. But I can't. That would be hypocritical. I mean, if you didn't do stuff like this, you wouldn't be you." She laughed.

"I'm terrified. I'm terrified because I know that if you asked me to come with you, I would." I had been looking away while I spoke, but now I turned and met her gaze.

She looked away. "Don't say things like that."

There was quiet again.

Guinness lolled about in the grass. She suddenly caught sight of her own tail and tried to lunge and bite it. Angel and I laughed.

Our friend Paul came over and met us in the backyard. Together we watched as the sunset transformed the white wisps of cloud into fiery banners of red, golds, and purples.

Wisps of smoke from our cigarettes climbed up the breeze, straining to mingle with the heavens.

It was time to go.

Angel locked up the house. We stood in front of it. Paul said goodbye and left. It was just the two of us. Now it was our turn.

As I held her, I tried to let her go. Three times I began to pull my arms away and each time I failed. I gave up, then, and just waited until she let go of me.

I wanted to whisper, "Thank you for having me," which is kind of our inside joke. Instead, I decided to try not being facetious for once in my life. I simply wished her a good journey.

I bade farewell to Guinness who happily ignored me as she frolicked in the front seat of the car. I walked to the my car on the opposite side of the street. I got in. I turned the key in the ignition. I released the emergency brake. I pressed down on the clutch. I finally took a breath.

I threw the car into first gear. I caught one last glimpse of Angel out of the corner of my eye as she was standing next to her full car in front of the empty house.

I turned out of the neighborhood. I pointed the nose of my car towards the last, dying rays of the sun and I headed for home.

Friday, June 04, 2004

My first real week of work is almost over.

Today was unique at work, in that I did not use my 45-minute lunch break to go down to the parking garage and sleep in my car.

This day-walking is still hard on me.

Brian G. pointed out that I should erase my internet history if I'm going to use my website at work. A good precaution in general, but I'm the only one that uses my computer. Although, I will do it from now on, considering that I may be writing about the antics I must pull to keep myself sane. Or at least, keep up the appearance that I am sane. I already have "Go Crazy" scheduled in my phone organizer for 3:14 pm, a week from next Tuesday.

So, back to the antics.

I was taught a new skill today. I learned how to process "evidence". This is any mail that contains recorded transcripts or CD's or DVD's; any piece of technology with recorded information that cannot be read.

Mostly cassette tapes, interrogations and the like. But there was one piece of evidence that caught my eye...

Client Suffers Fall At Gentlemen's Club; Security Camera Footage On Media File. Burned onto a CD. That will play on my computer.

Is there a reason not to watch this?

No one was looking so I threw it in the disk drive. Heh heh, Big Brother is watching. I didn't have the guts to watch it long enough to see the guy fall. But still, it's the thought that counts.

But all kinds of crazy stuff passes through my hands. When I can, I read it. Court transcripts, interrogations, autopsy reports, and lawsuits.

One letter in particular made my day. It was concerning a fire that damaged some windows or something. This was written by a lawyer, a trained professional, and it read "Thank you for your understanding in this matter and I am sorry for any incontinence this fire has caused you."

At first I laughed at the guy. But then I wondered if he too, was just finding ways to entertain himself as he drudged through the reams of documents that swamped his day. I have a kindred spirit out there. Well, with him and all those food-service guys that habitually urinate in the soup de jour.

I really enjoy the language employed by most insurance underwriters. It's very acrobatic. It leaps, flips, and revolves only to end up in the exact same place it began. Very impressive.

The underlying malice and hidden threats are also very entertaining. But what kills me is that the correspondence always ends on such a friendly note. For example:

Dear sir,

Your failure to reply promptly is terribly inconvenient. Since, under state law, you are required to provide the proper documentation within the allotted time, I am certain that you will comply.

An immediate response will eliminate the need for further legal action.

Very Truly Yours,

Smeagol Law Corp.

PS: The family had a great time at the wedding! Best wishes to the kids!


What else, what else...Oh! There was an announcement for a meeting that would be held for anyone interested in joining the company bowling league.

I rarely bowl. When I do, I'm certainly not sober. I have no interest in joining a competitive league. But I certainly demanded to leave work for half an hour to go to the meeting.

It really is the little things in life.

Eh, so now I should be careful about posting at work. Or, as careful as I am about anything.

I know people read this thing. I know that most of my friends have read it. I know that even some of my friend's parents have read it. (Most of them are polite enough not to mention it. Most of them.) No, I've decided I don't mind.

I mean, Cheebus forbid that my friend's parents actually discover that I'm a three-dimensional person and not just the wise-cracking guy that raids their refrigerators and is always involved somehow when their kids get into trouble.

Plus, blogs cannot be entered as evidence in any court of law.

That's not true. Maybe they can. If so, I'm boned. Speaking of being boned...

A Weblog Runs Through It

I was over at Sky's house Tuesday night for his roommate's going-away party. Danny is going to Europe for a month. Not exactly forever, but our excuses for throwing parties as of late have been as thin as the praise for "The Day After Tomorrow".

It was a work night and I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before, so I had taken it easy.

Later, after filling a five-gallon water-cooler with Sex-On-The-Beach, chicken-fighting in the pool, learning how to mix Lemon-Drops, salsa-dancing with Anna in Sky's living room, finishing off the Sex-On-The-Beach, and making plans to spend a weekend in Chicago with Mai, Nunemacher and Kate arrived.

Kate said, "So, I heard you have a website..."

I thought, "I'm boned!" Then I told her where she could find all the stuff I had written about her.

Why not? My only other option would be to run home and delete my archives. But I won't delete my stuff for anybody.

I'll just proceed with Plan B: that even though my thoughts are instantly accessible to anyone with an internet connection, I'll be lost among the throngs, just another face in the crowd; my entries skimmed over and immediately forgotten.

There are worse things, but few more reliable than the fickle attentions of a human being.

Final Thought

I really want a shirt with a picture of Scrooge McDuck on it. Below the picture, I want it to say "Entrepreneur".

Maybe once I get paid.

This post has been provided to you 100% pants-free, in honor of my neglected friend Jaden.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Behold the glory of posting at work!

I'm getting paid to do this.

Okay, I gotta go before I get fired.
Today at work (this one time, at band camp,) we had a staff meeting. We were introduced to our new Director. I'm not sure what her position entails, but I'm pretty sure she has the power to fire each and every one of us.

The meeting consisted of a question and answer session. For an hour and a half.

I am certainly glad that I found out what her favorite type of food is.

Towards the end, everyone was running out of questions. There was a dragging moment of silence. So, I raised my hand.

"What is our purpose? I mean, really, what are we doing here?"

I heard someone sitting behind me mutter "Duh!"

I ignored them and leaned forward in anticipation.

She gave me the textbook answer, that we were an insurance company that takes high-risk claims, blah blah blah. Then she asked, "Did that answer your question?"

"Yes." I said. I was being semantic, which I do when I'm feeling snippy. She had given me an answer, surely. Just not the answer to the question I thought I was asking.

So now my entire department thinks I'm an idiot. Also, I've deduced that we will never be able to draw the blinds on our huge windows overlooking the scenic landscape. It interferes with the air conditioning, apparently.

And I have to be awake in three and a half hours.

[insert bitter expletive here]

Monday, May 31, 2004


Name / Username:

Name Acronym Generator

Wow, these things are amazing!

It's Not Everyday That Tuesday Is Your Monday

Three day weekend over. Bones tired. Had good time. Managed to get into a handful of misadventures. Want to read and then sleep. Here are some notes:

* * * * *
I went to the club with the usual crew for a night of cranberry-vodkas and music that's too hip to be played on the radio. Lauren, Alan and I ended up staying until 3 am. The dance floor there is wild. I hadn't been there in some time because things tend to get a little out of hand. But it was fun to go dancing again.

* * * *

"What are you doing?"

"Hm? Oh, I'm working on a story."

"What is the story about?"

"Ha ha, my dear, if I could tell it, then I wouldn't have to write it."

* * * * *

["On Location" in Superior, Arizona to visit the set of the movie Joey is working on, a sort of "B" horror flick. I don't even know the title, but the budget is supposed to be around 200,000 dollars and one of the actors used to be on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. I didn't recognize him so I don't think he was one of the original Rangers. Brian and I tried to make ourselves useful in our temporary "Grip Assistant" status, but to no avail. We pretty much just ran around getting mistaken for new actors. We chose not to take full advantage of the situation, although I did ask the make-up guy to make it look like I had a bloody nose. He happily obliged.]

Add six parts Tedium to Essence of Underfoot Child and you will have our day on the set of Joey's movie.

The set is nestled snugly in the center of one of the most dismal towns I've ever seen. This part is being filmed in an old, abandoned hotel. It felt like the video game, Resident Evil, with nostalgic, Western-themed decor. Spooky; which is good because it is a horror movie.

Lunch has arrived.

[They at least fed us. I had lemonade and a couple of veggie-dogs. I felt like a movie star, really. No, I don't have any desire to be in movies and seeing the actual process didn't change my mind. A lot of Hurry Up and Wait. It reminded me of the Army. So I guess I won't ever be gracing the silver screen with any epic films. Unless, of course, I am asked to be in one and I have nothing better to do.

Oh, we also met a guy who is in the upcoming movie "DodgeBall." That was cool.]

* * * * *

There is much more that I didn't take notes on, like Luis and I making a police officer laugh so hard that he couldn't finish writing down his report.

We had been at our cousin's house (two blocks away from our own house) on Sunday. There was carne asada, tequila, abrasive mariachi music; the whole bit. Behind their house is a strip of undeveloped land, dirt really, that divides the houses from the string of apartments that run parallel to the next major street.

When I was little, my brothers and I would ride our bikes around there all the time. Local kids still frequent the area.

That afternoon, some children, about 12 or 13 years of age, had thrown rocks at a few of the apartments. My cousin could see them from where he was cooking in the backyard and he had yelled at them to stop.

Not entirely unexpectedly, one of the children had hurled a rock in his direction. The rock missed and the children ran away.

The police were called, and a police officer arrived shortly after. My cousin was giving him a description of the children, (male, 12-13, African-American,) and Luis was listening. I was watching the boy with a raised eyebrow because I could tell he was about to go into Dramatic Mode. Sure enough...

"What if it was Angelo?" He put his hand over his mouth, eyes wide.

"Angelo. Our next-door neighbor?"

"Yeah, he's been arrested before."

"Boy, I doubt it was Angelo. First of all, he's our next-door neighbor and he's not that stupid to think we'd never see him again. Secondly, he isn't black. Sorry kid, but you're never going to make Detective."

I didn't think it was that funny, but the police officer just lost it. He wasn't able to write down what my cousin was telling him for a full minute.

Anyway, score one for Luis and I. No one is safe.

* * * * *

Later that night, a group of us went to go play sand volleyball. As it began to grow too dark to play, Johnny pushed the big yellow button marked "Lights". The lights came on. So did the sprinklers that wet down the volleyball courts.

The sprinklers must have been having too much fun or something, because they didn't turn off. We waited about 10 minutes, figured they would stop soon enough, and began to play again.

It was very interesting. Sporadic streams of water and muddy sand added a new dynamic to the game. On a serve, the server could wait until the sprinklers were on the opponents' court, partially blinding them and making for an easy ace.

It was muddy and cold and a great time.

* * * * * * *

Now, I'm off to read Joseph Cambell's The Power of Myth until I fall asleep. Tomorrow I will go to work and hope that I develop more interesting things to say.

After re-reading my last post, I have decided that the non-sequitur nonsense I've been churning out is the result of one of two things:

Either my job is so dreary and stifling that my imagination is igniting like a Christmas tree in February.

Or, that everything I've been producing has been a mental fibbrilation; my creativity a candle in a tempest, flickering violently just before it is snuffed out.

Heh, I guess Luis isn't the only Lopez that can be dramatic.