Friday, July 16, 2004
Guillermo B. Lopez here, reporting live from Phill's apartment on the corner of 28th Avenue and Judah.
It's shaping up to be a beautiful afternoon. The area is still shrouded by the morning fog in much the way a mother seal might cover her little seal pup in a moist beach blanket stolen from a hapless surfer.
I'm very excited to be here. The last leg of my journey was a bit harrowing, having been guided through the city by a crude map drawn by Phill before he abandoned me to go to work. He had picked me up from the airport and we had to pull some Grand-Theft-Auto style driving so that he wouldn't be late.
Now I'm here in his apartment patiently awaiting his return. What to do, what to do.
Excuse me, I'm being handed a news flash....Ye gads! It appears that there is an Irish pub directly adjacent to this apartment building!
I'm sorry, I don't usually cry while I'm reporting.
Excellent then. I shall finish my rum and orange juice (Phill said I could help myself to anything) and head down to the pub. Perhaps I will stumble to the nearby park and see if there are any ducks to chase.
The possibilities are bottomless.
Yes, well, if any other Bay Area bloggers want to do some on-location reporting, fire me an e-mail or send an instant message to "alwaysephemeral."
I am certainly going to be at the Minna Gallery tonight at 9.
Until then, this is Guillermo B. Lopez, taking my pants off, San Francisco.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
This Friday evening will find me in San Francisco, rocking some artistic socks down at the Minna Gallery.
Josh Hagler will also be rocking some artistic socks, much more so than I because he is, in fact, displaying art there.
He has the hard part. Since I'm more of a writer, I'll just have to get intoxicated to prove my artistic worth.
Minna Gallery is also a bar/nightclub, I think. I'm not sure how it works exactly, but I'm assuming I'll check in as part of Josh's "posse" and then we'll all dance around his art to show our appreciation of it.
Is it okay to be pretentious if you know you're just being pretentious?
"Hey, I haven't seen you around."
"Well, I've been dancing around the Lucien Shapiro's art."
"Oh. I've been around Josh Hagler's."
"I see. How...quaint."
"Um, would you like to go dance over by Andrea Wicklund's stuff?"
"Please. You don't dance by Andrea's unless there's really good jungle techno. This is more Dylan Maddux music."
"Um, I was just thinking the same thing."
I can't wait.
* * * *
I am The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune represents unexpected encounters and twists of fate. You can't predict surprises; you can only be aware when one is circling around. Indeed, Card 10 often suggests wheel-like actions - changes in direction, repeating cycles and rapid movement. When the energy of the Wheel arrives, you will feel life speed up. You are caught in a cyclone that may deposit you anywhere. "Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows."
For a full description of your card and other goodies, please visit LearnTarot.com
What tarot card are you? Enter your birthdate.
I am fortune's fool.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
That's how my day started off. In a meeting. It was everything I'd ever imagined it to be...and more.
Fighting Fire With Fire
If you live in Arizona and are concerned about the fire that is raging out of control, don't worry. We're in good hands with Sibbitt is on the watch.
Because Someone Has Already Said It Better...
I've added some new quotes to my sidebar:
"As an apple is not in any proper sense an apple until it is ripe, so a human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated." -Horace Mann
Before anyone accuses me of being biologically-unfriendly, the quote contains the word "he" and I haven't yet figured out how to quote somebody and but not what they said.
"Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters." -Samuel Johnson
Whoa, whoa! Slow down there, Professor.
"We may lose and we may win though we will never be here again" -The Eagles
"Take It Easy" was playing in my headphones while I was vomiting into a trashcan during my run at Kiwanis Park the other night.
"Ain't that the truth," I thought. "HWARARRF!"
"The single greatest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place"
I don't think I need to expound on that one.
Since No One Believes Me
I've created a new blog. It is just going to be papers that I write for school. Exciting, huh? It is also so that I can have a record of what assignments I've completed that I can access from anywhere.
I don't think it's possible for people to be so bored that they'll actually read it. I'm hoping it will at least appeal to procrastinators.
No Sleep Till 'Frisco
In an effort to save power, work has shut off the ventilation fans in the parking garage. This means no more nap-time for me. Even though I haven't napped in a couple of months, knowing I can't is very depressing.
I guess I could, if I were willing to risk carbon-monoxide poisoning and heat stroke. There is nothing more unpleasant than waking up dead.
Mail-Boy Powers Go!
A very hefty gentleman sat in a seat at a horse-racing track and it collapsed underneath him.
He received a settlement of 75,000 dollars.
Amazing. I would gain 100 pounds for 75,000 dollars. Well, no, I wouldn't.
That's how it goes for most of the settlements I see. Hmm, this guy did get 5 million dollars, but I think I'd rather have my arm.
I've gone through and rid my sidebar of blogs that seem to have been abandoned. It was sad.
But, to quote Riddick from "Pitch Black": "I will leave you."
It was sad. Ol' Yeller getting shot was sadder, though.
Lunch Time Regrets
My lunch break is over. I haven't even finished my oatmeal. Darn. Not even time enough for my Mormon joke.
Maybe next break.
Unless I start to work on my six-page research paper that is due in four and a half hours. Let's see, when I write good it takes about an 45 minutes per page. But bad writing seems to come much, much faster.
Man, I am having the time of my life.
Monday, July 12, 2004
I am a mail-boy.
I see everything. I see birth certificates and death certificates. I see lives destroyed and lives rebuilt. I see good companies lose millions and clumsy fools gain fortunes. I see lawyers that earn 500 dollars an hour and bowling lane employees that make five.
I see acts of vengeful gods. I see people accidentally light themselves on fire again and again and again. I see taxi cabs in collisions with limousines.
I see people.
I see them sue. I see them counter-sue. I see insurance adjustors swarm in to carefully measure pain and suffering until they can slap a price tag on it.
From 8 am to 4:30 pm I peruse through a thousand reasons to never leave the house and a thousand more to never step foot inside again.
Husbands and wives unite against common enemies. I see them turn on each other. I see injustice after injustice after injustice. I may never know if the innocent are spared and the guilty punished.
I am a mail-boy.
I have the world inside a 4-digit post office box. And there is nothing I can do because it is not addressed to me.
I can only provide solace to dead letters and graves to torn envelopes.
I am a mail-boy.
Dedicated to Amber. Even though she sat idly by and only laughed when we were playing volleyball and my team was soundly trounced by a couple of drunk guys and a pretty, blonde, philosophy major that had just been passing by and joined in.
No one blames you for not helping us out, or even for our crushing defeat, Amber. Really.
* * * * *
I have decided to call my pirate ship "The Brown Pearl."
What? What's everybody looking at?
Anyway, I'm also going to invent a drink that will be served exclusively on "The Black Pearl." It's going to be a type of shot called "The White Whale."
Of course, it'll need a proper chaser. That's why I'm also going to invent "The Cap'n Ahab."
Get it? Like Moby...yar. It gets very lonely at sea.
But who am I kidding? (Whom am I kidding???) The "White Whale" will probably just be a White Russian and the "Cap'n Ahab" will most likely be straight rum. Maybe with a little Red Bull, you know, for added zeal.
Yar, I be plottin' a course to good times. Looks like sailing as smooth as this fine, spiced rum.
I can picture it now. I'll be out there on my ship all night trying to navigate by stars drowned out by the light of the city. I can see Luis coming out in the morning to check on me: "Mom! Memo's got himself lashed to the inflatable Shamu!"
My mom: "Again?! Madre de Dios! Why do we even keep that thing around?!"
Me, (struggling against the ropes): "Fie, you mulatto leviathan! Fie! You'll taste the cold iron of my harpoon yet! ...What is everybody looking at?!"
Hmm...on second thought, maybe I won't invent those drinks. But it's okay because I have plenty of other drink ideas. Look, here's a good one. It's called "The Albatross."
Now that just has "successful voyage" written all over it.
Uh oh, if the number gets much higher I'm going to start confusing it with how many times I've tried to quit drinking.
Or how many nights I should have gone to sleep but stayed up ridiculously late for absolutely no reason.
Or how many homework assignments I haven't done.
Or how many pens I've lost somewhere in my room.
Or times I've said something trying to be funny and immediately regretted it.
Or how many times I've thought that things just couldn't get any worse and then they did.
And how many times I've realized "Ev'ry ting's gonna be all right/Ev'ry tings gonna be all right/".
But good morning, Visitor #20,000. There are cold ones in the fridge and some jokes in the archives. Please, help yourself.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
The following picture of Boston, Brittany, myself, and Chris was taken with very little warning:
If I look a little odd it's because I had been standing directly under the misting system.
This next picture was taken with the request that "everyone act natural".
See, I haven't been partying all weekend. I've been doing research.
Now if I could just find someone to give me a grant...
Photographs by Ed C.
I've been thinking about that.
I have a variety of excuses prepared, of course. One is that my computer is bogged down by viruses and worms and spriggans and the like. It takes me literally twenty minutes to get to the blogger page. And when I do get there, all sorts of fun things happen. For instance, the text will suddenly turn into all caps. Or, I'll be completely unable to highlight anything. Very fun stuff.
The other excuse I have is that my priorities have shifted somewhat. It's become very important to me that I catch that extra hour or so of sleep. Having my wits about me while at work and now, at school, has been very rewarding.
I'm more reluctant to speak now. Sky and I talked for a bit before he left. He said something that has been floating around me like a wisp of smoke. He told me that I'm forgetting how to listen.
He told me to remember how, years ago, I used to hardly open my mouth. I would listen, observe, absorb what was going on around me and what people had to say. He pointed out (and I agreed) that I had lost that.
I don't know at what point I decided that I had to shut my eyes and close my ears just so that I could open my mouth.
So I thought about that for a while. I still am. I'm trying to re-assess the kind of person I am.
And I will admit, it is much easier when I keep my mouth shut.
So what should I start with? This blog, for one.
I haven't been coming here as often. And when I do, it isn't for very long. I haven't been oblivious to that. Now the question is: Why?
That requires some looking back. The single most productive period for my writing (blog and otherwise) was during the month I was unemployed. Almost every day would bring a new post. Oh, never really about anything, but I was always producing something.
So what's different now?
Well, I'm working full time. That brought a few spurts of writings about interesting mail I'd come across or how much I disliked being there or how much I'd escape into my imagination.
My screen saver at work is still the same scrolling marquee. Silver letters meander across a black screen and ask "Who's dreaming you?"
I think this is all about expression. For a time, this blog was all I had. This was my only means of creative expression. At least, I thought it was.
It certainly isn't now.
I'm working a lot. I'm taking my summer class. I'm getting an idea of just how much harder I'm going to have to work when I start taking a full-time class schedule at the end of August.
There will be no room for error if I expect to get to where I want to be.
But I can still find ways to have a good time on the way. For instance, I am taking English 102 right now. I've withdrawn from the class three times. On three separate occasions with three separate professors I have dropped English 102. I told myself it was because I couldn't stand the environment they expected me to write in.
Really, I just didn't like to do anything I didn't want to do.
My professor gave as a homework assignment for the weekend. I am to write a two-page paper about various learning resources on campus.
Basically, I'm writing a thousand words on the library.
"This is preposterous!" I thought. "This is mindless drivel, this is pointless busy work, this is...this is....
exactly where I've earned the right to be."
But I'm going to show that professor. My goal is to write the entire paper without even once using the word "library".
I've come up with "literary sanctuary", "intellectual haven", "writer's Valhalla" and "printed-word Mecca".
I'm hoping it goes over well. The last paper I wrote was another dull writing exercise. My professor commented "Not quite what I asked for, but it's amusing so I'll accept it."
Heh heh, the system works.
We talked about it later. "Sorry," I said, "I got a little bored."
"That's what I figured," he smirked.
I was laughing today about something that Jay said. We were riding in Donaldo's car and listening to a CD when he suddenly yells at the stereo: "You don't know anything about life! You just sit in your room and write music all day!"
I felt inclined to agree. Some time ago, Jay had also told me that I spend too much time in my own head.
Jay isn't entirely correct, but I do agree that there is much more out there than there is in here.
Here's something from the journal:
"I've only ever withdrawn from two classes because I was failing so badly that I would have never been able to pass. One was a math class. The other was...well, there was no other class, it was really just the math but I didn't want to say math was the only one because that would place far too much emphasis on the subject, because really I'm quite bad at a number of other things that I haven't actually managed to fail in..."
I am also aware that I write more profusely when I am frustrated.
Not that I haven't been frustrated lately.
Wanting to move, to travel to a new place with your friends and then realizing that you have no marketable skills?
Getting ideas to write about that get you really excited but then when you finally get around to them you find them floating belly-up in a moldy tank, much like the fish you promised your neighbors you'd take care of?
Finding the woman of your dreams and then turning into a blithering idiot around her? Deeply, sickeningly, profoundly frustrating.
But this is life and things like that do happen.
Take for instance, me going to sleep. That happens all the time. Especially right now.
(Oh, and if you do run into any spriggans (which are ghost-like things that will cause parts of decaying buildings to collapse on you when you enter) just remember that a spriggan will never collapse anything onto itself. Just stand right next to it and you will be perfectly safe. I hope that helps.)