Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve party tonight! And probably well into the next day...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

For the sake of cabdrivers everywhere, it is fortunate that DC will turn 21 only once .

For my sake, as well, since two of the four people with whom I left the bar ended up throwing up at my house. Only one of those two made it to the toilet. I am glad that I am not the petty sort of person that will forever keep track and bear a grudge to people that have vomited on my bedroom carpet (three, three people have done so.)

I was not very intoxicated when I arrived home that night because earlier that evening I had decided to cease and desist all activities that bring me any kind of joy, including heavy drinking. I make this decision about every two months or so with varying degrees of success. In this case, I had made the decision after already consuming a pitcher of seven-and-seven thus I was very determined to stick to it this time.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

There is a world. Sometimes, it reminds me that I'm in it. Two of my friends were in a car accident last night. It wasn't their fault, but that matters very little to momentum and friction and velocity and friction.

At this time, I have every indication that they will be okay. Changed, certainly, but they have not gone where I cannot follow. I thank them for this.

I don't much feel like figuring out some kind of smooth transition into whatever else I'm going to write about.

Which seems to job. Or rather, my lack of a job. I quit the pizza place around Thanksgiving. My boss had gotten wind of my upcoming vacation from school and scheduled me to work all of those days. I responded with "...uh, that's okay, I think I'm going to quit." And I did.

Inopportune, considering Christmas is coming up.

I've been toying with the idea of becoming a bartender. My mother was in charge of throwing the holiday party for her school this year and I was enlisted to help. It went off beautifully. The food was great, the music was good, my mother had gotten some great donations from local businesses to give away as prizes, and I did my part by making sure those elementary schoolteachers got so wasted they couldn't count to ten. Not that they needed any encouragement. Man, if there is a profession that can binge-drink, it's gotta be schoolteachers.

Joey and Brian Y. were my co-hosts for the evening. They did a great job making everyone feel welcome. They had a pretty good time themselves, and luckily for them they were good friends with the bartender.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I ended up pretty drunk while bartending. It's a weakness I've had since I was a wee lad; I can't let anyone take a shot of tequila by themselves.

It was fun, though. I'm something of a social butterfly but when you're the one serving the drinks everyone comes to you. It's great.

I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

There are times, man. There are times.

Last Friday, I sat in a sports utility vehicle converted into a limousine drinking champage, dancing from the waist up to hip-hop music mixed without imagination by a local dj, and pondered if I would be able to make rent by Monday.

Tonight, I sit in a computer lab on campus listening to a stranger's iTunes and strain my psychic abilities to envision a future in which I have finished a term paper and a final exam by 9 am. I will give up ten minutes from now ashamed at my extra-sensory impotence but pleased that I am still able to time-travel very short distances into the future.

Yesterday, I laid on the futon my brother Mulk sold me. It was still in couch-mode and with quiet resolve I swore to keep it that way. In the antiseptic yellow light of my Batman alarm clock I dreamt that I was tumbling down a crevass and as I fell my teeth fell out, one by one by one.

I think it would be funny to drop a few pieces of bacon into the coffee filter of your friend's automatic coffee maker. A boullion cube might have the same effect in respect to the flavor, but not the same effect on your friend's face when he/she looks inside and finds raw bacon.

Thirty minutes ago, I stood in line with Brian Y. and a morass of other hungry students at the campus cafeteria for free food and drink that was being distributed in celebration of late-night studying for final exams. Final exams may or may not be final depending on the year of the student, but no one seems to care to think about that. I sat and ate and didn't think about that with everyone else.

It's right now again. Arcade Fire begins to play. Last time I heard this song I was working 9-5 at an insurance company. Last time I heard this song for the first time at a friend's apartment. Last time I heard this song I was making love.

Last time changes. The song doesn't. I want it to be an immutable marker in a tempestuous sea of memory. But it isn't that. A bit of music can't hold the world on its shoulders even if it can sing in French. I believe I shouldn't worry. I believe I shouldn't strain against the mast and try to re-create the conditions that even now give Probability and Hindsight cause to shrug their shoulders and quickly change the subject.

Good song, though.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I can't pull up my blog right now so I'm blogging in the dark. The technological equivalent of shouting into the wrong end of a megaphone. Dang, and I had it set to make my voice sound like a robot. It would have been useful earlier today when Molly and I were walking around like robots in the bank. And the parking lot. And on campus. Instead of robot voices we used pseudo-Strongbad voices. It worked out pretty well.

This evening should be interesting. I have to "significantly revise" a short story I've written based on "workshop feedback." I am disappointed that the teaching assistant made no provision for the possibility that everyone else is a fraggin' idiot and I'm a genius so the story is perfect the way it is.

Not that I would ever use that provision. But I would feel better having it, sames as I feel having a spare tire in the trunk of my car even if it is flat.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I have learned that there are no longer any slots available for the '06 Ironman competition. Entries have been accepted since April of last year, and I suppose the typical Ironman competitor is the sort of "long-term planning" type of person that I don't get along with so well.

I have mixed feelings.

I was almost beginning to sort of look forward to the event. I wonder if it is possible to sneak into an Ironman competition? I imagine the downside would be that if I get caught there is no way in hell I'll be able to run/swim/bike away.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My friend Matt has talked me into entering an Ironman competition that will be coming here to Tempe in April. I thought, "Well, I ran a marathon in January with no training, logically I should be able to do an Ironman in five months with some training.

I've been to the official Ironman website. It took me a while to find out what to even expect. I went to the Frequently Asked Questins page and got all the way to #28 before it answered how long an Ironman is. "The swim is 2.4 miles and the cutoff is 2 hrs. and 20 min., the bike is 112 miles and the cutoff time is 10 hrs and 30 min from the beginning of the race and the run is a full marathon which is 26.2 miles and the cutoff time is 17 hours from the beginning of the race."

Questio #29 tells me that the official race drink is Gatorade Endurance, lemon-lime flavor. That does little to reassure me.

This is clearly a bad idea. Ah, well. It has been some time since knowing something is a bad idea has deterred me from going ahead and doing it.

There is always the chance that this could end well. After all, the slogan for the race is "Anything Is Possible." When's the last time a slogan has led anyone wrong?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I went to see the fourth Harry Potter movie. I liked it about as much as I liked the other three. That is, not very much. There was plenty of good stuff in it, but it never seemed to come together.

What I really loved was the trailer for Happy Feet. I've been watching that over and over as I wait for my stomach and brain to decide if I should try to eat more.

I probably will. I simply cannot resist foods that are stuffed with other foods.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

If you enjoy short stories but are not going to DC's site then I will not hesitate to call you a damned fool.

Still here? You damned fool.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dear, dear Sleep,

I was wrong. I admit it. I was looking at you in the wrong light. Or rather, no light.

You are not the enemy. You are a reward. And as such, I failed to follow your rules and have been rewarding myself without having earned it. I'm like one of those white mice in laboratories that can push a lever to receive food or push another lever to receive some addictive drug, cocaine or something. Invariably, the rodent ignores the food lever entirely, pushing the drug lever again and again until its little heart explodes.

That's a poor analogy. Somewhere there's a rat in a cage glaring at a guy in a lab coat and thinking "I'm in a frikkin' cage here. I don't even have a wheel to run in. Who are you to pass moral judgement? That's what I thought, biped. Now shut up and refill my lever!"

Sleep, I have forsaken you to attend to a few of my responsibilities. I'm not sorry. The laws of thermodynamics should include "No rest for the wicked."

Having said that, this wicked little rodent is about to hit the metaphorical hay for a couple of hours until I have to get up for class.

Thanks for listening, Sleep. We'll see you around.



PS. This particular form of writing is called "epistolary."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dear Sleep,

I am leaving you. We have been been spending too much time together. I have been neglecting my family, my friends, and my education. I'm not talking about lock-your-kids-in-a-cage-but-still-give-them-food-and-clean-clothes-neglect. This is like what?-I-have-kids?-neglect.

Sleep, you are the enemy. We go to a land without fault where responsibility is drowned in a sea of delta waves. That was a pun.

Discipline is not donned like a bonnet. It cannot be fastened securely around your chin. Discipline comes like birth, pain and pain and pain increasing until it is a separate little bastard that can be sent to its room without any dinner. That was a metaphor.

I may be wrong, Sleep. Maybe nothing will change but I have to know if it's your fault. Who else could it be?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

This is my dog, The Noobers, in possibly the greatest costume ever.

I'm going to look for a Mogwai costume for next year. I am convinced that he is a gremlin.

I went as Marv from Sin City. I nearly got in a fight with some cops, just to stay in character. No, I wouldn't do that. I did speak to a couple of officers when they came to our Halloween party (The Nightmare Off Elm Street). They were pretty friendly. When I first saw them I wondered if they were guys in costume because one of them was named Officer Bacon.

Their weapons looked real enough so I tried to show a little restraint.

The costumes at the party were great. My roommates, Brian, Virginia, and Molly, went as Sin City characters as well: Hartigan, Nancy, and Shelly, respectively. Kelly was dressed (or rather, undressed) as Marv's parole officer, Lucille. There was also a Jack Skelington and Sally, Skeletor and She-Ra, a flamboyant I-Pod with working speakers, Donnie Darko, Ali G, a slew of women in costumes that weren't really costumes but were certainly provocative, and, my favorite, Mike dressed up as The Most Fabulous Rainbow.

I'm proud to have such intelligent, creative, genuine friends that will unabashedly don their wife's formal wear. Brings a tear to my eye, it does.

PS. Blogger's "Recover post" option is one of the greatest ideas ever.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

At lecture for my creative writing class, my professor brought up rewriting. "Do you look at something you've written and want to rewrite it?" he addressed us all. There was murmur of confirmation. His eyes darted around the room. "Why is that?"

I raised my hand. "I think that when you first write something, you still hold a lot of the assumptions you've made about the character, the motivations, that sort of stuff. But as time goes by and you grow away from what you've written, you forget a lot of those assumptions you made before and you can see where you might have taken shortcuts or written something out of character..." I trailed off.

"Wow, that's good stuff," he said as I tried not to appear to pleased with myself. "That's pretty deep. Have you taken like an advanced composition class or something?"

I shook my head. "No, but I did take English 102 three times."

The class murmured in laughter.

I contemplated hopping onto one of the long desks and doing a little soft-shoe, but I remembered G-Man's suggestion that it is better to leave 'em wanting more. I took the advice, but I was reluctant. I so seldom have a decent segue into a good soft-shoe.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I didn't finish my story on time. I got an extension. My new deadline is in 4 hours and I am pleased to say that I have just met it.

I was in Los Angeles (the city of Angels, although I didn't find it to be that exactly) this weekend for the wedding of my friends Jody and Ben. It was delightful. I'd never been to a Jewish wedding before. It seems that a little culture goes a long way.

Open bars also go a long way. In this case, from the wedding to the reception hall to the hotel bar to the honeymoon suite until I finally ended up at Verina's home around seven in the morning. Or maybe it was eight. Daylight savings time kicked in that night, so 2 am became 1 am and I had the novel experience of two last calls in one outing.

I must go and make copies of my story. There are many miles before we sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Good writers don't have to rely on inspiration. But I do. I rely very heavily on it. It's like an opiate and if I don't get it, I'll quickly find myself shivering on the floor and vomiting into my Spiderman wastebasket.

My laptop has abandoned me. I'm not completlely by surprise. The feisty little machine had been slowly breaking my heart for the past year and a half. First, the sound went away. Then, my video capability. My CD drive became more functional as a drink coaster than anything else. But I did not despair because I still had my crappy Wordpad and my fickle internet connection.

Now, as I sit in the University library at 5:50 in the morning (I've been here since 11 pm) and I stare at the little heap of dead stories in my computer tray I wonder if there is some way to take off my pants without immediately being pepper-sprayed by security. And, if there is, will I have enough time to write ten pages of fiction?

It's not too late, though. My roommates have computers. I have friends with computers. I have three hours before I actually have to be at an actual class, and 7 hours until this story is due. I'll think of something.

Won't I?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hmm. Allegedly, there is some sort of literary magazine that is accepting what is commonly referred to as "submissions." I may submit something if I can get over the terminology.

Because in general I submit to no one! Only to abstract concepts like hunger, weakness, temptation, malaise, and dinosaur comics!

Thus I contemplate.

Heh, I'll send them some poetry. Now who is submitting to whom?

I have nothing to lose, but I can't shake this nagging feeling that I'm someone's literary bitch.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm up early this morning. Historically I have never slept well after nights of flagrant disregard for point of view and proper tense.

Or it could be all the Tang I drank. How do astronauts do it? I'd have space madness in record time. If I ever leave the Earth's atmosphere, I'll be certain to smuggle some Country Time Lemonade with me. I could drink that stuff all-to-live-long day. Probably 'cause I don't know what I'm getting.

I have a very interesting design on my inner arm. Since it is on my left arm and very weak conceptually, I assume I drew it, probably with one of the dry-erase markers that lie around the house. I suspect the blue one.

methinks has a birthday soon. Unless it passed. I'm not sure. Just to be safe, I shall celebrate over a blanket few days. Hell, I may even finish the meme she sent me which at the moment is residing in the electronic limbo of being a saved draft on Blogger. It is in elite company, as there are only two other drafts in there.

methinks was kind enough to let me know that I had been tagged. I was confused at first. I thought she meant more nature-show-documentary-kind of tagging. I imagined some brightly colored plastic tube filled with electronics firmly affixed by a tiny harpoon barb buried in my skin. I would hear it beep in rhythm with my heartbeat, but it would always hover just on the edge of my vision.

Not that any such device would be very exciting. Day 1: In his room. Day 2: Rearranging his room. Day 3: Washing his sheets and one pair of white athletic socks. Day 4: Going out to a bar; apparently fighting a bus. Day 5: Back in his room.

I predict a mad dash to cash the checks for the research grants and an equally mad dash to stop said check-cashers.

But enough about me. How are you? I see by your research tag that you've been pushing your own boundaries as well.

At least, that's what the data suggests. It's hard to really know without going native.
No Gurg?! I'm sorry. When I get upset I tend to withdraw.

Either that or...

inundate you with drunken ramblings!

Week Two of My Misadventures finds Guillermo suffering an all-too-familiar ethical dilemma.

Well, here I am, suffering this same ol' ethical dilemma. I wonder what I should do?

FUTURE GUILLERMO: Well, you could do what you always do and spiral down a path of angst and woe that you can easily translate to the common observer.

PRESENT GUILLERMO: How dare you refer to my observers as common?! I declare that they are as uncommon as any other!

FUTUR GUILLERMO: You will regret that statement.

PRESENT GUILLERMO: Ha! I regret nothing! What do you know, Future Self!

FUTURE GUILLERMO: Mostly everything ever.

PRESENT GUILLERMO: Well, we'll see about that!

Later, in the Future:

I should learn to trust myself! I seldom have reason to lie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My creative writing class was cancelled. I lament. I look forward to this class immensely. I find it usually releases a wave of endorphins that I ride until it crests against the tiny desk that I squeeze into before my chemistry lab.

I do not find chemistry unpleasant. Not that I understand much of what is going on when it represented mathematically. The geometric representations, spatial relations, and the kick-ass properties of H20 are nothin but good times.

I will leave this topic before I convince myself to gain a net 4 hours of leisure by not attending.

In happier news, Venom will be in Spiderman 3, thus ensuring for at least three more years that people won't ask me what the hell I'm doing whenever I point my wrists at objects and shout "Thwip!"

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I would like to learn how to write screenplay-style. Not for an actual screenplay, though. Only because I want to write a music video mocking the idea of Intelligent Design. In the video, a happy-go-lucky guy would ramble around marvelling at the myriad creatures that could "only be explained by Intelligent Design". He might even dance with a few.

Then I want him to get mugged, lose a loved one, and contract syphilis whereupon the heavens will open up and God will appear to give him a big thumbs-up. The beat-up, grieving, syphilitic guy will return the thumbs-up which will be ignored by God but returned by a nearby Panda.

All to the tune of "Faith" by George Michaels.

And cut.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I know this is like the worst thing you can say to someone who's depressed but damn it's funny.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Story of
The Story of Jerald

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. Now when I am critiqued by my classmates, I will have an idea of what to expect and, of course, prepare a tone-appropriate retort.

"Four heads in the car? That was a deliberately crude reference to genitalia! Male genitalia!"

"Of course I use the pronoun 'they' to refer to Jerald's belt! Referring to the belt as 'he' or 'she' would be discrimination of gender...and pwetty wiewd."

My personal favorite is stolen straight from Luis. If anyone refers to my "draft": "This ain't no draft, it's a story!"

As I mentioned in the post previous to The Story of Jerald (post #507 "Invisi-Gurg's Old Spice Adventures"), I vowed that I would not eat or put on any clothing until the story was completed. I kept this promise.

I did, however, put on sandals when I dropped off Brian Y. on the campus of Arizona State University. I think it's illegal to drive a car without footwear or something.

Other than the sandals, I was still in my towel.

I completed my story at 5:10 pm, thirty minutes before I, too, had to be on campus for my chemistry class. I threw off the towel, threw on some clothes, grabbed my books and my skateboard, and rolled off on my merry way.

So I did take some inspiration from my current situation. Jerald was in a towel because I was in a towel (a maroon towel) and Jerald was thin because I felt hungry. I'm also pretty sure that's why I threw in the muffin-eating scene. After the story was done I realized that Jerald reminded me of my friend, Brandon because of his curly hair. That and he hits cats with tire irons. A lot.

My writing teacher is T. M. McNally. He spoke of many things in class but he emphasized a select few: Show, don't tell. Character over plot. Concrete, visceral imagery. Something about theme or setting; something. Use the temporal frame to create suspense.

I focused on these. I started from the title (lovingly suggested by Kelly) and one of the most visceral images I had ever seen: a cat struck by a car that was still alive. I feel I should point out that I like cats. I even have a cat of my own. He doesn't live with me, but he is mine.

So there was my plot. A guy named Jerald drives a car and hits a cat.

I tried not to use any sort of "he said sadly" or "she looked puzzled". It was a painful weaning I hadn't realized how much I relied on those shortcuts to keep the story moving. Not that Tom Swifties are inherently bad but they certainly get old fast.

I wanted more characters to play with so I threw in a carpool. Shortly into the story I realized that they were all teachers at some kind of preparatory school. I toyed with the idea of making them all British but only left in Jerald's use of "honour". The UK version would have had them eating tea and biscuits and Jerald opening the boot of the car to give the cat a few bloody good whollops with a ye old mitre.

Er, I couldn't think of any British slang for tire iron so I just made up that ye old mitre bit.

incidentally, I decided that the sailor-tongued Mr. Eiderdown is an English teacher.

The names of the other teachers, Mrs. Plover and Miss Godwit, are also the names of birds. Sibbitt and I were on Mt. Mitchell, I think, and we had laughed at all the great bird names there are. My favorite was the dark-eyed junco.

And who can forget the booby-breasted nut hatch?

Jerald didn't get a bird name because he already had a name; Jerald.

He could use a last name, though. Jerald D.E. Junco. I like it.

Writing short stories is interesting. Hell, writing a draft with the intention of revising is interesting. Not too sure about an idea, line of dialogue, description, or phrasing? Who cares! Throw it in and we'll figure it later.

That's the spirit. The kind of spirit I like.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Story of Jerald
(draft 1)
By Guillermo Lopez on 9-14-05

The black car pulled up alongside the curb in front of the small house. It idled for a moment and then gave a tentative honk. A few sparrows burst out of a frail poplar tree but the house remained still. Through the windows of the car, four heads simultaneously began to shake from side to side in protest of an unvoiced duty.

After a brief flurry of arm-waving, pointing, and lip-pursing, a man came out of the passenger side and began to pick his way through the front lawn. The grass was tall and healthy and still glistened with dew. He reached the doorstep, looked down at the clinging bits of grass and moisture on his shiny black shoes, sighed, and began to pound on the door. "Jerald! Jerald! Are you even awake, you son of a bitch?!"

As he raised his arm to begin a second barrage, the door swung open just enough to allow a long, thin face to poke out. "How could anyone sleep through such a warm greeting?" Jerald's sly grin staunchly refused to go along with the theme set by his squinting, sleep-rimmed eyes, his unruly mop of curly, brown hair, and the plush bath towel of deep maroon wrapped loosely around his waist. "Good morning, Mr. Eiderdown."

"I knew it. I fucking knew it. You know, you're the last one we pick up on our carpool for a reason. You'd think with more time you'd be ready but no, you just sleep in longer. You're worse than our students!"

The grin remained. "Hey, that is a cruel accusation-"

"How can we give out demerits for being tardy when the four of us show up late every day? You're turning us into a gaggle of hypocrites!"

Jerald flung the door completely open and stepped out onto the porch. "Let me know if your honour becomes wounded enough to consider ritual suicide. I may even perform it with you, just to be polite." He gripped his towel with one hand as he leaned around Mr. Eiderdown. He waved to the women in the car. "Mrs. Plover! Miss Godwit!" he yelled. The older woman stiffened indignantly and looked away. "I know none of you have had a decent breakfast! Come inside for a moment and have something to eat! I have muffins!" Jerald stopped waving and began to rub the concave portion of his abdomen. "Mmm! Muffins!" He adjusted his grip on the towel. "Hurry, before I become indecent!" The younger woman laughed and opened her door.

"You are already indecent!" shouted Mrs. Plover through Miss Godwit's open door. She opened her door and began to shuffle out. "These muffins had better be very good," she muttered as her lips began to twitch into a smile.

Mr. Eiderdown, Mrs. Plover, and Miss Godwit ate standing up in the kitchen. Mrs. Plover was beginning her second muffin (blueberry this time) and Mr. Eiderdown was pouring orange juice into a fourth glass when Jerald proclaimed himself ready to go.

"But where's your belt?" asked Miss Godwit.

"I have no idea," Jerald shrugged. "They're probably gallivanting about with my contact lenses."

"So that's why you're wearing spectacles. Hmm. I think you should let your contact lenses go gallivanting more often."

"What kind of example would that set for the rest of my belongings? I'd never find anything. I'll find them soon. For today, I shall just have to figure out another way of keeping my pants where they belong."

Mr. Eideldown handed Jerald a chocolate muffin on a napkin and the glass of juice. "Try eating once in a while. Now let's go."

"We can take my car; it's a bit roomier."

"What? Jerald, our cars are almost exactly the same size."

"I know, Eideldown. It's simply that when I spill this juice, I'd prefer it be in my own car."

"Fine, we'll take your car. Now let's just go!"

Jerald spilled his juice exactly two minutes into the drive when a primer-grey (except for the flecks of orange rust) truck with tires designed for traveling in mud squealed and swerved in front of Jerald's white sedan. Jerald jerked the car away from it. WHUMP! There was another squeal as the truck accelerated away. "What the fuck?! Did we hit him?!" shrieked Mr. Eiderdown, who had already been half-asleep.

"Language, Mr. Eiderdown, language," Jerald said absently. He stopped the car on the gravel shoulder. "I didn't get near that truck. But I am afraid we may have hit something else."

Jerald stepped out of the car. There was very little traffic. He squinted through the glare of the sunlight on his glasses. He heard it before he saw it.

A strangled hissing came from a dark, furry mound on the edge of the road. It was a cat. Some kind of housecat.

It was a sort of tabby, covered all over in thin dark lines. The lines around the head broke up into dashes and spots, marring the tiger pattern. Jerald stepped closer.

He was met with that same choking hiss. The hiss became a sustained screech as the cat's front legs struggled to move it forward, away from what had hurt it and what was still hurting it.

Jerald saw.

Where it approached the hindquarters, the smooth fur of the cat's body suddenly seemed to violently unzip like an overstuffed welted cushion. A coil of intestine spilled out and glistened purple in the sun. Thin, white streaks pulsed with the rhythm of the cat's shallow breaths. The tail, if the cat had ever had one, was gone and the hind legs were shapeless twists. The fur on them was stained with blood where it had been pierced by splinters of ruddy bone. The shards hung wetly in grotesque parodies of icicles.

Jerald had seen enough. He turned and briskly walked back to the car. The others had remained seated in the car, necks craned 'round. Waiting. "Was that a cat?" asked Miss Godwit. Jerald reached inside the car and pulled a small lever set underneath the dashboard. There was a dull click of the trunk opening.

"Leave it, Jerald, whatever it is." Mr. Eiderdown's forehead furrowed. "We should get out of here before the neighbors see.

"He's right, dear," Mrs. Plover called out. "There's probably nothing we can do for it now."

Jerald, opening the trunk, hesitated. The cat screamed. His trunk was cluttered and messy but it only took him a moment to find what he needed. He walked slowly towards the cat.

"Shit," Mr. Eiderdown muttered.

Jerald glanced up the road for cars and knelt down by the cat. It squalled at him and then turned and screeched at its own hindquarters, at the tangled mess of fur and flesh that held it prisoner. The cat wailed plaintively as its front legs scrabbled again at the asphalt. It stopped struggling, bowed its head, and mewed an acceptance to the hurt and the fear. The cat breathed shallowly. It watched Jerald.

Jerald reached towards the cat's black collar and gently removed it. The cat did not protest his shaking fingers. He removed the silver, fish-shaped tags and placed it in his breast pocket. He placed the collar aside. The cat's ruff still bore the collar's indentation and looked naked without it. Jerald unrolled a small, maroon towel and placed it over the cat as carefully as a father tucking in a child. No part of the cat could be seen. The cat did not protest.

Jerald's hand found the other object. It was a tire iron. He gripped the long part of the "L"-shaped tool and hefted it. His vision wavered as he tried to focus on the small lump in the sea of maroon that would be the cat's head. Underneath the towel, the cat mewed. "A broken, little lion," Jerald whispered to no one.

The tire iron flashed up and came down once, twice, thrice, and Jerald was back at the car, throwing the tire iron in the trunk and slamming it shut, behind the wheel, and they were all on their way once more.

No one spoke. The only sounds were the hiss of the air conditioning, the tires purring along the road, and the shuddering breaths emanating from Jerald's trembling frame. Once, only once, someone let out a whimper that sounded far too much like a wounded cat for anyone’s liking.

(in case I didn't mention it before, this is draft 1)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My deodorant is Old Spice "Red Zone" Invisible Solid. The scent is "After Hours". The label leads me to believe that I will "SMELL GREAT! All Day All Night". I believe also that using it will make me invisible.

Later that night at the local brewery...

Night Watchman #1:
This is very alarming. I smell someone that SMELLS GREAT and yet I see no one.

Night Watchman #2:
That is not entirely true, Watchman #1. I agree that there is someone very near that SMELLS GREAT. However, I am standing near to you, well within your line of sight.

Night Watchman #1: You are the one in error. My statement remains true because I am blind.

Night Watchman #2:
I apologize for my erroneous statement. You will understand why I made it when I reveal to you that I, too, am blind.

Invisible Great-Smelling Guillermo:
What the hell is the point of being invisible if everyone is friggin' blind?!

Night Watchmen:
We shall fire our weapons towards the GREAT SMELL.

Invisible Great-Smelling and Soon To Be Mortally Wounded Guillermo:
Damn you, Old Spice!

Night Watchman #1:
How did he know my name?

Now that that's out of my system...

I have returned from my swimming class and showered. I am sitting at my desk in my room with a fluffy, maroon towel wrapped around my waist. My short story is due in 24 hours. I cannot leave this desk until my story is complete. I will not eat, I will not sleep, I will not put on pants, I will not use the baffroom. I have 300 ml of water to sustain me until my story is done.

When I return, I shall present to you The Story of Jerald.

Er, I have decided that I can use the baffroom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I have to write a short story by Thursday afternoon. I can't say this is a great shock considering the class title contains the words "short", "story", and "writing" in roughly that order.

I will do what all great men have done in times of great crisis and tests of mettle.

I will collapse into a quivering, sobbing heap and beseech help from a higher power.

This is where you come in.

A one-sentence plot is alls I need. Nothing too elaborate is necessary. My professor has been emphasizing the importance of character over plot. A lot.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I'm typing this while on the floor in a quivering, sobbing heap.

It's all a bit tragic, really.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I think I've made a breakthrough in sociolinguistics. I have answered the question "Why do people lie?"

I believe that the development of the lie went something like this:

The first job is created.

The first employee is hired.

The first employee is late for the first time.

The first employee/liar tells their boss that a dromeceiomimus seriously injured them but they decided to come to work anyway, albeit late.

The first employee/liar promptly becomes the first person to be "in between jobs."

I am going to be late to work in a few minutes. I want to be honest. I want to tell my boss that I was on my way out when my roommate, Virginia, yelled for me to come and try the makeshift slip-and-slide she had put together in the backyard.

How could I possibly say no?

So now I have to lie about why I'm late.

I may also have to think up a reason why my pants are wet.

Making socio-linguistics are hip!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kelly and I are leaving for Tucson this evening for a couple of nights. Her grandparents are having an extravagant birthday party...or wedding anniversary. One of those events that gets you in trouble when you forget.

It's grandparents gone wild!

I shall return Saturday morning. My mother's birthday is on Sunday. I'm glad I haven't forgotten that. I don't want to test my hypothesis that I am too old to hit with a wooden spoon.

Don't underestimate the recent advances in wooden spoon technology.

I had a wonderful conversation with Verina as I walked home. Sadly, it was over the phone. Well, sadly on my end because I was dusty and sweating but she is in the delightful city of San Diego and I can be happy for her.

'Sides, I like dust and sweat.

I often take for granted the cultivation a proper friendship requires. Far too often I am content with informal communication, i.e., blogs and livejournals. Speaking with Verina after too many years of not hearing her voice was awesome.

Writing in a journal, I think, is like growing something in a greenhouse. The elements are controlled; a lot of the variables are contained.

But having a conversation or pursuing some other activity together is so...wild. Maintaining a line of communication amidst a tangle of other goings-on. It's like the Indiana Jones...of language.

Speaking of archaeology, everyone should read Dinosaur Comics.

Make sure to go back through a few of the archives. You'll be pleasantly counfounded.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I'm a terrible delivery boy.

Well, not terrible. But I do get distracted easily.

During one delivery, a ferret ran out of the open door. I reached down, picked it up, handed it back to the lady. Then we had a ten minute conversation about ferrets and their wacky ways. It was like we were sharing stories about our kids. It was pleasant, although her ferret had been on the honor roll for two years straight and mine had barely graduated with the minimum amount of credits.

We did not arrange a play date.

Another woman and I had a long conversation about working in the food service industry and the wacky ways of stealing food.

In the parking lot of an apartment complex, a guy asked for help jump-starting his car. So I did.

In another parking lot, a guy pulls up next to me and asks me for directions to the nearest liquor store. I give the directions, repeat them, and he goes on his way when I am certain that he will find the liquor.

I also saw a lady chasing a guy with a broom so I ran around the corner where I had seen a police officer and got him to help.

I guess what I'm really doing is not so much delivering pizzas as patrolling the city helping my fellow citizens...find liquor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I know I say this every six months or so, but I know what I want on my tombstone. Forget about what I wanted last time. This right here. The bunny with the pancake on its head and the inscription exactly as it is. Throw out all those old plans.

Well, maybe keep the periodic fifteen-foot jets of flame that shoot up from the sides. Hell, if they've already been ordered we might as well use 'em.

Monday, August 29, 2005

My friend Megan's car burst into flames in front of my house the other night. Brian and Virginia were home but I was tempted to call Mollie, my absent roomate, and tell her to come home immediately and then hang up in mid-sentence.

Upon her arrival she would find the flaming car in the middle of the street, the fire engine lights playing crazily over the neighborhood like an ominous disco ball, and (in my plan) a chalk outline of myself in the driveway.

It would have been cruel, I know, but opportunities like that don't come around every night. Not in this part of town, anyway.

My plan was foiled because I couldn't find my sidewalk chalk. At least, not the colors I wanted. Pink is not the preferred color for such ghastly undertakings.

But it should be.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One of my favorite things is when I have trouble writing something (often as small as one sentence), I mull it over, finally settle on it and people still pick up on the issues that plagued me in the first place.

Yesterday morning I wrote:

"Along with swimming in the morning will be chemistry class in the evening. I presume that I'll do well since, from what I understand, I am mostly chemicals."

Two lines. Seems a simple enough statement. Straightforward. But the time that elapsed between the writing of the first sentence and the second was at least 10 minutes.

There are two reasons: 1. My computer is rather slow. 2. The same reason that caused DC to comment that I am also mostly water.

Originally I planned to say I was mostly chemicals because I just thought it was funny. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if I could legitimately make that claim for the simple reason that I wasn't sure exactly what a chemical is.

I have always had this image in my head of a mad scientist's laboratory (pronounced "lah-bore-a-toe-ree") filled with flasks and beakers over Bunsen burners while their exotically-colored contents bubbled, hissed, and belched clouds of noxious gases.

But I think that deep down inside, I knew there had to be a little more to it than that.

So I enlisted the help of the Google search engine and began the hunt for understanding. Google ran ahead into the surrounding shrubbery to flush out our quarry and I fired wildly at everything that moved until I finally hit this:


1. Of or relating to chemistry.
2. Of or relating to the properties or actions of chemicals.


1. A substance with a distinct molecular composition that is produced by or used in a chemical process.
2. A drug, especially an illicit or addictive one.

Google came back wagging its tail but I knew we were not finished. This definition was only the appetizer. For the main course I wanted something much more filling. I decided to set a few traps designed to ensnare compound nouns.

After waiting impatiently for .14 seconds, I checked the traps. Success!

Chemical reaction, process by which one or more substances may be transformed into one or more new substances. Energy is released or is absorbed, but no loss in total molecular weight occurs. When, for example, water is decomposed, its molecules, each of which consists of one atom of oxygen and two of hydrogen, are broken down; the hydrogen atoms then combine in pairs to form hydrogen molecules and the oxygen atoms to form oxygen molecules.

Google and I ate well that night.

Water, I decided, was indeed a chemical since it is capable of undergoing a chemical reaction. I felt worn out from the hunt but the sweet reward was mine: After all that effort I now felt justified in using the word "mostly".

This, all this is why I hold my tongue when people tell me I should write more. I'm usually happy if I can make it through a few sentences.

And yet, here I am writing several lengthy paragraphs about the trouble I had writing that single line. Hell, that single word. "Mostly". Pshaw. Who goes around saying "mostly" anyway?

Ah, well. I suppose writing is an exercise in neuroses. (Yes, neuroses, plural form of neurosis.)

neu·ro·sis (nʊ-rō'sĭs, nyʊ-) pronunciation
n., pl. -ses (-sēz).

Any of various mental or emotional disorders, such as hypochondria or neurasthenia, arising from no apparent organic lesion or change and involving symptoms such as insecurity, anxiety, depression, and irrational fears, but without psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. No longer in scientific use.

Then, after all that, you go back and re-read the DC's comment and realize you very likely simply misunderstood the context and he was probably referring to success in swimming due to my water content and not at all contesting my flagrant use of the word "mostly".

And let's check the scoreboard, shall we?


Scientific Use-0

and Nueroses still holds a strong lead with 8 bajillion.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Four thirty in the morning. And it's a school night. Heh, this feels familiar.

Tomorrow I begin my first day at Arizona State University. I suppose there should be a certain element of suspense but I don't quite see it that way. This morning I will have a swim class. I presume that I'll do well as long as I don't drown. I also have this class on Wednesday morning. This is designed to get me out of bed at a decent hour on the days when my class load is the lightest.

Along with swimming in the morning will be chemistry class in the evening. I presume that I'll do well since, from what I understand, I am mostly chemicals.

My Tuesdays and Thursdays will be filled with a couple of biology classes, a creative writing class, a fire ecology class, and then the labs for the chemistry class. These days will be long. When winter comes I do not expect to see much of the sun.

Such will be my semester. Again, I'm not too worried. The next few months will be filled with writing, trying to figure out what life is exactly and how it's supposed to work, and, of course, not drowning.

In essence, all the things I thought I was doing anyway.

But at least now I'll have a towel handy.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

School begins this Monday.

Not a moment too soon, I say. I don't think I can survive much more of summer vacation.

I'm hanging on by the final thread off the end of my rope. I'm ready to find a nice degree (ideally,one with a great body of knowledge,) settle down, and start a family of textbooks.

Well, maybe right after just one more drink...

Allison, my friend from San Diego whom I met at the Comic-Con, has been staying with us for a few days. She is an electrical engineer, works at a comic-book store, and she belly-dances.

Last night we played Shot Chess. The rules are the same chess rules, but when one of your pieces is captured you must take a shot in honor of the fallen piece.

Allison and I made it through two games. She won one, I won one, and we didn't make it through a third game because we kept forgetting which pieces were ours.

It's fun and educational.

Not so the morning after.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Work was a tad wild this evening.

Halfway through my shift, the only other delivery boy parks in a handicap spot and his car is towed in the five minutes it takes him to deliver the pizza.

It was all up to me.

Historically, that has never gone well.

At one point during my driving I noticed I was surrounded by cars filled with screaming girls in silver-colored plasic crowns.

At two points I found myself grill-to-grill with a vehicle headed down the street in the opposite direction.

At no point did I get pulled over by a cop, but it was close. I was being trailed by a squad car for a mile or so but then a couple of homeless guys tried to sprint through eight lanes of traffic. I avoided them by a wide margin, but the cop nearly hit one of them.

Eyes on the road, officer, not on the delivery boy who tries to manuever his car like a damaged TIE fighter. Even if you catch him in the act, he'll never learn.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Last Sunday, Kelly and I saw Little Shop of Horrors at Gammage Auditorium. I had never really seen the stage show before although I was part of our high school's production. I had no singing aspirations at the time so I had auditioned for the puppeteer of the largest version of the man-eating plant.

So last Sunday was the first time I saw the entire show while not crouched in a giant, hot, heavy, green, foam-and-rubber plant puppet.

It was almost as good.

I had a great time at the show. The experience left me with the feeling of seeing your best friend from elementary school after many years. Not exactly a sense of loss, but a quiet pride that they turned out so well and you were once a part of that.

I don't know. Theatre still brings that sense of nostalgia for me. Which is accurate, since I feel a sort of wistful longing for a time and place where everything was just so and I don't see how I can get back there from where I am now.

Not without a terrible haircut, glasses, and a complete disregard for fashion sense, anyway.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I think it's fair to say that I've completely mastered the art of being a pizza-boy. I am already considering trying my hand at other "-boy" careers to round out my experience. Like maybe a bag-boy at a hotel or even a pool boy. I'll bet there are tons of cabanas out there that are in desperate need of a good boy.

Although, it is tragic that all my "-boy" experience will not help me land my dream job. I've never told anyone this, but I've always wanted to be one of those girls that walk around seedy night clubs with a tray of cigarettes.

That's right. A cigarette-girl. Or a "smokes-dame" to those of you from 1920's gangster films.

But that's probably not ever going to happen. Sigh. A boy can dream.

A boy can dream.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I went to the Phoenix Art Museum this evening with Emma, Dana, John, and David.

I have never been familiar with Surrealism nor do I pretend to be so now. I did learn a few things, though.

I think perusing the exhibit helped me add to my definition of art. I think art is when you can keep getting closer and still find more to see.

That should be sufficiently un-helpful. Like my definition of good driving. Pick a side of the road, left, right; it doesn't really matter, and stick with it. Either you'll get where you're going or you'll be imprisoned and never have to worry about getting anywhere.

Speaking of driving, I changed my oil today. I also changed Molly's oil. I have a few new cuts, burns, and oilstains on my body but otherwise everything went as I'd hoped.

At least, I think so. I'll know for certain if my transmission drops out when I work tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

On Rails.

The clattering behemoth roared as it clawed a path along the earth-stained metal lane. The noise reached my ears but was just beyond my field of vision. What a thing, I wondered, to be in this world with your path already set and only an ancient furnace to guide you.

I hear your passage as you churn along. Your strength rattles us ever so slightly and with good manners we pretend not to notice.

I wonder about you; your rusted pieces of self. Constantly stopping, attaching, discarding. I imagine an army of boxcars, empty and spray-painted with the names of hopeful street gangs; all of them abandoned but still in sight of the weak wooden rail that descends to block the motor traffic. I hear the boxcars chuckle every time a horseless carriage approaches and hesitates before the railroad crossing as if in silent reverence, in tribute to the ancient boundaries.

The rusted iron tracks are a herald. They still proclaim to all driving in their cars and walking with their feet: "Don't be here when I am. Don't you dare be here when I am."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I am pleased. The wireless internet connection is up and running. My signal strength is almost as weak as the argument for Intelligent Design, but I'm still happy to have it.

The monsoon rains have been pelting the house. This is not a good night to be a delivery boy.

I still need to make a name tag that reads "Fry". In time, I hope to make a Galaxy Express polo shirt.

It feels good to sit at my old writing desk. It is as cluttered as ever with cds, notebooks, folders, first-aid tape, a talking Triumph the Insult Comic Dog doll, and the usual slew of hygiene products.

* * * *

As Kelly and I were driving to pick up Luis from his first day at Mountain Pointe, I tuned in to National Public Radio. I turned up the volume as I heard the familiar voice of Peter Jennings. I listened happily to the interview. "I really like Peter Jennings," I said to Kelly.

The interview drew to a close and then a voice said, "That was Peter Jennings in 1990."

I remember feeling little pin-pricks of warning inside my brain and I was instantly uneasy. NPR doesn't usually play programming from that long ago unless...unless...

"Peter Jennings passed away yesterday of lung cancer."

Peter Jennings was the first anchor I paid any attention when I was much younger. This was significant because at that time I didn't care for any television programming that didn't revolve around some kind of teenage mutant animal.

Perhaps watching a few snippets of news back then didn't really have a signicant impact on my development or anything, but I remember it and I remember it fondly.

What more could a man ask for?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I dare say it has been quite some time since I have posted drunk. Or, I dare say it has been a many moons since I've moseyed 'round this par-ticular pasture. That is, I mean to say, while drunk.

This house is a madhouse. More people sleep here that don't pay rent than sleep here that do. It's a difficult balance to maintain, but we work hard 'round here.

This evening I came home to find a home empy save for one lone Jessica. We watched a bit of that Bridget Jones's movie during which Jess and I drank every time she did something socialy awkward. (and we're talking British awkward, not USA awkward).

Jess has passed out and I am...well, I'm here.

More people showed up to the house. More drinks were drunk. More people showed up drunk.

I'm just trying to enjoy everything while it lasts.

Pyne! My professor's name is Pyne.

Oh, and I've decided to forgo the swimming class for a ballet class. Since, after all, I can already swim. And who knows when I might find myself thrown into a dance recital with my life at stake?

I'm just not willing to take that chance.

Are we lacking intimacy? Should I light some candles or something?

Let's not do this in front of the children. Just tell me what you want and I'll stop trying to second-guess you. I'll assume you know what's best for you and act accordingly. I suppose that is frightening, though. God forbid we be responsible for our own actions.

I've been trying to be less sarcastic. It hasn't been going well.

But my capacity for understatement is as strong as ever.

Today is Saturday. Is Saturday some sort of day? I met a New Zealander today. I suppose that's good enough.

Happy Birthday, Alan Schuler. I'd sing for you but I forgot what number I'm supposed to call for that audio blogger thing. It's for the best.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I have just emerged victorious from the electronic melee that is registering for classes at ASU. This morning at 7 o'clock sharp, all the students that had registered for classes but had not yet paid tuition were dropped. This opened up many classes that had previously been full. Thus, myself and all the other students who hadn't thought about what classes to take before this week were ready and waiting to register online before classes filled up again.

As I said, I emerged victorious. I did fail to get one of the classes I wanted, so I suffered the electronic-melee-equivalent of losing an arm.

Ah, well. I can always take a singing class or something else that doesn't require two arms.

The television set has been blaring local news at my back. A few moments ago, when I heard the space shuttle Discovery is preparing to return to Earth, my ears perked up. But when the news anchor described the cargo the shuttle was returning with, I cocked my head in confusion. Included among the research and equipment is all the garbage from the space station.

Now, I'm no space-knowing-stuff-about-guy, but isn't this one of those time when it would be okay to just fire off the garbage in the direction of, I don't know, let's say...anywhere?

But I digress.

My classes should be good. I'll be taking Fire History Ecology which is taught by the world's leading expert on fire. My hope is that I'll be able to contribute more to the conversation than just Smokey the Bear anectdotes when Sibbitt and I discuss his forest service work.

I wonder if this guy smokes?

I've just realized that I have failed to see if any writing classes have opened up. Looks like it's once more into the breach, dear friends. If I don't make it, I'll make it back.

Update: At Jaden's gentle urging, I dropped my pants in celebration as I successfully registered for my writing class.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I am listening to a song by Lauren Henschen's entitled "I Swear It Would Have Moved You".

I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I work in a few hours. Driving around most of the night allows me plenty of time to think and/or rock out. This delivery business isn't a bad gig at all. I even think I've discovered a new form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It seems to manifest primarily in women and it compels them to take a shower immediately after ordering a pizza and then run around in a towel until the pizza arrives.

It is just a hypothesis, though. Clearly, more research is in order.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

After feeding my blog template a last meal, I took it out to the yard behind my house and shot it.

I buried the blog template under the pink grapefruit tree. I observed a moment of silence that was marred by the rumbling of a passing train and a grunt of pain as the grapefruit I was biting into squirted pink liquid pain into my left eye.

I returned to the indoors and the mounds of uncertainty that had accumulated in my new bedroom.

I have moved into a house on Apache and McClintock. It is a four-bedroom with a lush backyard. I now live with Brian Y., Virginia, and Mollie. I moved in almost two weeks ago but it seems as if it has been much longer than that.

I finally got a job a week ago but it seems as if it has been a little less than a week ago.

I am now a pizza delivery boy. It is almost the exact opposite of the insurance company I left in May. I am still as reckless as ever, except now I am on the road and instead of desperately avoiding my supervisors I have to avoid police, pedestrians, and other cars.

I have been admitted to Arizona State University. I begin classes full-time in a few weeks. It came as a pleasant surprise to discover that I am actually a Junior. It seems all that half-assed effort at community college added up. I will major in Biology and Society and perhaps sneak in an English minor.

I am dating a wonderful woman named Kelly. She is left-handed. I had deftly managed to avoid dating entirely since December. Kelly, simply by being herself, performed the mental equivalent of sticking out her foot and I tripped right over it. And I liked it. A lot.

I am still tinkering with this template but my hopes are high. My old writing desk and my laptop are set up in my new room. This is the same setup I had during the year when I found myself the most prolific. I am hoping the same trick will work twice.

Here's to a new chapter. Here's to an honest discourse. And here's to figuring out how to get rid of that "Typewriter's at the ready!" in the corner of this template.

I'm warning you, New Template. Don't give me no sass. There's still plenty of room underneath the ol' pink grapefruit tree.

Update: My threat worked.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Any experienced insomniac will tell you to avoid watching Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and then reading certain livejournals, such as Jaclyn's. Doing this, while very pleasurable, will undoubtedly lead to much more thinking than you typically do on a Monday evening/Tuesday morning.

Ah, well. I like the nighttime.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The quiet is different here in this town with no stoplights.

There is a thickness to the air that persists despite the gentle breezes that carry in the smell of the freshly-cut hay in the surrounding fields. I wonder if it is the soul of this place. It is a peaceful quiet that could be a despairing acceptance of the inevitable.

I imagine an elderly hunter-gatherer sitting alone in the falling snow because he can no longer keep pace with the rest of the tribe.

Some cows escaped from the pasture today. Brian and I tried to herd them back into their enclosure. It was going well but we ultimately failed because we couldn't figure out how they had gotten out in the first place. Without a destination, our valiant attempt at herding cattle quickly degraded into just a couple of city boys chasing some cows around.

A sad farce played out under spacious skys amidst amber waves of grain.

There is a mountain in the distance. It is white, not purple. I believe it is Mount Hood.

The neighbors keep goats in a large field. The goats eat the grass in the field. I presume this frees up a lot of time for the neighbors since they no longer have to mow their field or justify their poor landscaping skills. "If you don't like my field, feel free to complain to the goats."

I remember something in the Bible about sheep going to heaven and goats going to Hell. I guess nobody is off the hook.

There is a donkey along with the goats in the field. Every now and again he will stand in the middle of the field and bray and bray as if something terribly exciting were about to happen. Which, incidently, it doesn't.

Or perhaps he just forgets that he is a donkey in a field with a bunch of goats and then suddenly realizes it again. Hence the brays of dismay.

I don't remember where the Bible says donkeys go.

Wherever it is, I doubt they deserve it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Smokey the Bear is, in fact, a real bear. At least, he was. After a forest fire, a bear cub was found horribly burned. He was nursed back to health and cruelly named "Smokey." He was the direct inspiration for the anthropomorphic, shirtless bear who still intimidates children and adults alike.

Regardless, I snuck in and out of the Grand Canyon without a problem. So much for Homeland Security.

Brian, Kelly, and I arrived at the East Rim at 1:00 am after a car ride filled with Cheeze-Its and laughter. We didn't want to wait until morning to hike into the Canyon, so we shouldered our packs, donned head-lamps, and were on our way. We arrived at the campgrounds around 6 am. The Reservation Checkpoint had yet to open so we just hiked right past it and I was in.

Brian and I stayed until Sunday evening. Kelly was driving back to Phoenix with her friends and had left very early that morning. Brian and I had no such commitments. We hiked out around dusk and somehow made it to the East Rim in 3 hours and 45 minutes. It was hardcore. Bats were flying everywhere, kingsnakes were slithering about, and squat, brightly colored lizards bobbed their heads threateningly at us.

We got to the top, rested for 20 minutes, hopped in the car, and headed towards San Francisco.

San Francisco was awesome. Josh and Laura's apartment is a block away from the beach. Next door, less than thirty seconds away, is a little grocery store, a bar, and a pizza place.

I was in heaven.

I did a lot. I went to the zoo, the Legion of Honor to look at art and sculptures, an art show at an art gallery which was more like a party with live music, I ran along the beach, I saw an amazing band called Loquat where I fell in love with the lead singer and got her to sign my chest, went wine tasting in Napa Valley, walked all about the town, talked to a multitude of colorful characters including a Korean War veteran and a magical musical bum, and ate a lot of pizza.

Saturday was the wedding of Josh and Laura, which was the whole reason we were there. It was a beautiful ceremony and a great reception. I love those two.

The wedding reception and events afterward is a story in itself, but Joey's blog already puts it pretty well.

Brian and I left San Francisco Sunday afternoon. We arrived in Merril, Oregon at 8 in the evening at Brian's grandparent's house were we are staying right now. I like it here. Which is good, since I'm not returning to Phoenix until the beginning of July.

Well, I gotta go; I'm on borrowed time.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

So as I'm sure everyone expected, I'm now off to break into the Grand Canyon for the weekend. From there, I'm jaunting off to San Francisco for a week. The rest of June will be whiled away in Oregon where I will be exploring caves, wildlife preserves, reading, and trying not to get bitten by any more ponies.

I should return around July 4th.

Unless I get arrested by Smoky the Bear or whatever forest creature is in charge of that sort of thing.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

On Thursday, I had my final day at work. As expected, I did about fifteen minutes of actual work, allowed myself an hour-and-a-half lunch, and then jack-assed the rest of the day away.

I came back on Friday for my going-away/birthday party which I had been touting as "My Final Huzzah." I told everyone that the theme was "East Coast vs. West Coast." I showed up wearing a blue bandana, a wife-beater, one pant-leg rolled up, and a temporary tattoo of a dragon on my neck along with a couple of other tattoos my sister drew on with Magic Marker that said "Thug Life" on my shoulder and "Anya" (the name of my neice) on my clavicle.

I'm not sure which coast I was representin', but I am certain it was to the fullest.

I had reserved one of our large training/seminar rooms with multimedia capabilities. It was easier than I thought. I just told the person in charge that it was for a "team building activity" and I neatly skirted mentioning that I would no longer be an employee at the time of the event.

I highly recommend learning some meaningless bureaucratic terms. They're very effective with people who don't want to admit they don't understand what you're talking about.

When I entered the training room in the building that I used to call work, I was not surprised to see that no one else had put much effort into the theme. I understood. I'm sure they had opportunities to dress up as gangsta rappers at work all the time.

We had pizza, cookies, chips, brownies, and soda. We had chess, dice, cards, and Hungry Hungry Hippos (thanks, Jake). I brought down the projection screen and slipped Office Space into the DVD player. I laughed at the movie. I also laughed at my supervisors as they cringed and fretted during some of the racier scenes in the film and whenever the movie blasted explicit gangsta rap music. To their credit, none of them made me stop the film. This confirmed what I had long suspected: the disciplinary problems I often presented them with had not been covered in any of the corporate training, rendering them essentially powerless as long as I remained polite and exuded confidence.

I'm going to have to put that on my next resume'.

So now I'm free as long as my bank account holds up. It is a strange feeling. I think it's like when Neo touches the mirror in the first Matrix movie. There is this little blob of freedom on my fingertip and it is spreading, slowly at first, but gaining speed.

I think I'm starting to feel like myself again which is good because, all things considered, I really liked me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

So I never explained what happened during my Italian presentation on The Inferno.

I walked into class carrying a whole bunch of posterboards and a gasoline can and lighter hidden in a spare bag. I took my seat and waited patiently.

My name was called, I stepped to the front of the class, I began my presentation began, and everything started off smoothly. I had essentially made a giant slide show with posterboards depicting the Dante's journey through Hell. Oh yes, many-a wicked stick figure was shown suffering plethora of poorly-drawn tortures.

After all my descriptions, I set up the posterboards around the classroom in order of the levels of Hell. Then, I held up pictures of well-known people and asked the class where in Hell they belonged. Einstein was in Limbo (virtuous non-believer), President Clinton was in Level 2 (lustful), Ruben Stoddard was in Level 3 (gluttonous) and so one. The last picture I held up was one of myself. I was curious to see where the class would place me. I was thinking Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) because I was usually in a bad mood when I was in class, since it was at 7 pm and I'd been working all day and I probably hadn't eaten.

They couldn't come to a consensus so I placed myself in Level 2, since that's where the Dante's Inferno Online Test placed me. Although, to be fair, I scored very high for almost every level except Limbo.

After that, it was time for my big finale. I grabbed all the posterboards and my notes and dumped them in a pile.

"Now what would a presentation on Dante's Inferno be without..." I rummaged in my bag and pulled out the gasoline can and the long barbecue lighter. "Without the Inferno?" I finished. I started pouring the can's contents onto the pile of papers. When it was empty I tossed it to the side. I held up the lighter high over my head and sparked a flame. I stole a glance at my audience. There was a variety of facial expressions. Some disbelief, some shock, and (my personal favorite) a good deal of morbid fascination.

I let the lighter extinguish and lowered my arm. "You were all just going to sit there and let me do this?!" I yelled. "What's wrong with all of you?!"

The liquid in the gas can was water, of course.

I was disappointed with my class. I had been bracing myself to be tackled to the ground or at least been hit with a chair. But no, nothing. I guess for some crazy reason, people trust that I know what I'm doing. I appreciate that, of course.

I can, however, see a very large downside to that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"What are you going to do now?"

Ben, I can't tell you how many times I've had to answer that question. Whenever people around here hear that I'm quitting, the first question is usually "Why?"

My answer to that question is "Because it's my one-year anniversary. When I started I gave myself one year to play grown-up and then I'd leave."

That answer usually leads to blank stares. After the person stops trying to figure out whether I'm joking or serious, the second question is "What are you going to do now?" The answer to that question is another I greatly enjoy giving and, coincidently, the same thing I'm going to have chiseled on my tombstone:

"I don't know."

Most of the people around here have a very difficult time hearing this, and if I were to judge by their facial expressions, for very different reasons.

In general, they look at me like I'm a fool. This only reinforces my belief that I'm doing exactly the right thing.

Well, I have to go. I'm at work. That's right. Let them catch me. What are they going to do to me that I haven't already done to myself?

Friday, May 13, 2005

My Birthday Present To Myself

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a pretty wild day/night. Not that it's over yet; I'm from the Jaden School of Birthday Celebrations so I intend to celebrate the entire month of May.

My day started off very well. I went into work for a few hours. Everyone thought I was crazy for coming in on my birthday. Poor, distrusting fools. I had to come in to work because I wanted to send out an e-mail. The following is what I sent to about forty of my co-workers and a handful of the people in charge of me:

Hullo everyone,

As I'm sure you are all already aware, today is the 23rd anniversary of the day of my birth. I took the liberty of stashing a couple kegs down in Archives so come on down on your break or lunch or whenever and say hello.

I would also like to announce that I am retiring from the insurance game. I am confident that my record of 134,000 wins, 0 losses, and 4 draws will go down in the annals of mail clerk history.

Exactly two weeks from today will mark my one year anniversary with this insurance company. That day will also be my last day with insurance company. I'm sure the timing is just a coincidence but you numerologists can kick that around if you'd like.

For your listening amusement, I have attached a cheesy song that expresses my feelings the way only a harpsichord and a pair of bongos truly can.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.


Guillermo Lopez
aka Willy B
aka Grr
aka Scotty McSurance
aka That Guy Sleeping Under The Desk

PS. What I said about the kegs in Archives...that was a lie. I'm sorry.

"Are you the brains of this operation?"

"To tell you the truth, I don't think this is a brains kind of operation."

-Way of the Gun

“Of course there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings."

—Arthur Rubinstein

Attachment: "Two Points For Honesty" by Guster.

Then I was asked to print out an actual letter of resignation. I obliged and gave my supervisor this:

May 12, 2005

To Whom It May Concern,

Know all ye present that I, William Lopez, henceforth and herewith do tender my intention to resign from this insurance company in precisely one fortnight from the date of this communiqué, in accordance with the customs of this civil and prudent institution.


Associate #36845


I feel good. Oh, and watch your backs, numerologists. You know what day this is.

Oh, and Luis posted.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It is time for Italian class! I'm afraid you must excuse me; I have to go fill a can of gasoline for my presentation on Dante's Inferno.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Doughy Wrath!

Photo concocted by Joey Moore.

Given my fondness for juxtaposition, I think I should put up some stuff that isn't particularly related to homicidal dough people. This is from the journal I carry around with me from time to time. I often ponder the relationship between where a person is writing and what they write. Some authors, like Stephen King, recommend creating a personal, intimate space in order to be alone with your thoughts. Others, such as Neil Gaiman, write in bars, airports, and even while waiting in lines. I've never gone to a bar with writing in mind. I've been pretty happy with what I've produced in airports. I've never tried while waiting in line for anything because my handwriting is already terrible.

I'm not sure that either way is better or worse. I like having a personal space to write because hey, sometimes you just don't feel like wearing pants. I also like writing when I'm somewhere I don't necessarily want to be because when I turn my attention to the journal I am essentially creating my own personal space amidst the din and clamor of the world at large. Well, anyway, here's some of that non-doughboy stuff.

* * *
I often forget that this is a journal. The purpose of this book has become blurred. If it ever had a purpose, of course. The only purpose I could bring myself to assign to this particular composition notebook is to relieve stress. Except that it doesn't always do that, either. The pen dips into the mind and stirs up the thoughts. The words, already written, eagerly wait for the eye to light upon them. When I read them again they seem to spring up like tiny imps to unearth old graves.

This journal is a headstone, a grave marker for an aborted idea.

Lack of motivation. Might not that be a good sign? Contentment and complacency are inbred cousins, if not outright conjoined twins who enter together when you only meant to invite in one.

* * * *
He wears all black except for a green arm-band around his left forearm. The large screen in the center of the viewing hall has descended from the ceiling. Projected upon it is the delicate visage of a young Italian woman with the title "Catalina Va In Citta'."

What does he think of as he sips black coffee from a Styrofoam? He thinks of love, no doubt, as all men do when they find themselves alone. What keeps him from loving, then? What keeps him alone? A fierce desire to master himself. A foolish pride that will not allow anyone else to succeed where he has failed.

* * * * *
The old theatre master used to smile grimly and say that the thick, red curtains that hide us from the audience are the border between the living and the dying. He never said which of these we were.

* * * * * *
This time last year, I had no idea how happy I was to become. Nor how great my despair would be at the end of that summer. I don't regret it. I was happy then. I remember the feeling among the others as one would remember the sun more brightly than the stars. That time is gone but I keep it still. I have grown around that summer the way a tree grows. That ring of joy and pains is buried deeper now; under the thinner rings of this past year. At times I feel that ring down under all the others, pulsing with its own heartbeat. I am reminded of a cocoon, lying patient and afraid.

* * * * * * *
"I make 80,000 a year," he said, straightening up slightly in the narrow seats of the airline gate.

"Eighty thousand what?" I asked quietly.

He stared. "Are you joking? Dollars. I make 80,000 dollars."

I looked down at my feet. "Oh. I thought maybe you made songs or stories or fuzzy oven mitts that look like big red lobster claws."

"What? No, man. I make money."

"Drat. I always wanted an oven mitt that looks like a big red lobster claw."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

My Interview Today


Guillermo Attempts To Swing A Leg Up Whilst Dangling From The Bottom Rung Of The Corporate Ladder

I had an interview today for a position in a slightly more prestigious area of the company. I wore black, pin-striped pants, a white buttoned shirt and the thin black tie which is the only tie I own. I stole that tie from the United States Army along with a few other items. Well, I didn't steal them so much as simply not return them after Uncle Sam and I parted ways over creative differences.

In all my years of wearing a tie, I haven't ever known how to tie it.

I would simply close my eyes, twist the ends around like I'd seen other people do, and hope for the best. After wasting a great deal of time and effort much like everything else in life I somehow managed to cover my neck.

My gurgy-rigged knot was holding steady as I strolled into work this morning. On a whim, I decided to ask my supervisor, Ron, if he would teach me how a proper knot. Ron is quite a character and by far the best boss I've ever had. He knows a great many things, not all of which I agree with but most that will do in a pinch.

He demonstrated how to tie a Windsor knot, named after the legendary balladeer Johnny Windsor of Lower Umpington. I attempted to imitate the movements and succeeded in fashioning a tangle that looked unnervingly like a noose. I kept practicing, being very careful to avoid hanging myself. Eventually, success was mine. I wore my tie proudly as I awaited my interview at the end of the day.

My interview went moderately well. It was held in a very cold room about the size of a walk-in closet. I arrived early and while I was awaiting my interviewer I pulled a lunch receipt out of my pocket and scribbled,

Check your purpling
rage before it colors
every option

To that same dull throbbing
royal ichor
weeping from your wounds

An almost Oedipal emotion
anger seeks to strike the loins that spawned it

Coursing along a lineage
no holy book has dared to chart

The path when followed
fractures into shards
of silvered glass reflecting
every step that led you here
and none that lead you back

I don't know where all the rest came from but I just liked the sound of "purpling rage." I picture a furious Pillsbury Dough-Boy or something. As I said, my interview went moderately well as far as presenting myself as a potential candidate for whatever the hell I was applying for. I believe the interview went extremely well as far as me realizing that the winds of of change were fluttering my newly fashioned Windsor knot madly about and I was desperate to leave that tiny closet of a room and set sail.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I formally apologize about the feet. That usually doesn't happen to me.

Unless, as I've long suspected, my feet begin to disappear when I consume alcohol. That would explain all the missing footwear.

My birthday is coming up in May. The twelfth. Another milestone that month will be my one-year anniversary at my corporate job.

I wonder if I can remember my first impression of the place...[text goes shimmery, flashback-style]

This is Hell. An easy-listening, khaki-and-polo Hell.

[text goes shimmery, returning-from-flashback-style]

Foolish young Guillermo. How wrong you were.

Foolish current Guillermo. You really should have listened to foolish young Guillermo.

I don't entirely blame young Guillermo. That was a very interesting week as I recall.

The third milestone will be the one-and-a-half month anniversary of the time I saw the Red Elvises perform at the Rhythm Room. I went with Alan and Matt. The three of of us have been fans since we were sixteen years old and saw Six String Samurai. It was one of the greatest shows I've ever attended. I'm eager to go back. I'm also eager to get to class and see if my Italian teacher has dropped me yet.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A idea I've been kicking about in my head...maybe the beginning of
something bigger.

The day before she died, I think my grandmother tried to kill me.
Every night before I went to sleep she would tell me a story. And not
just the same few stories over and over. She would tell me a new
story every night. She would only retell a story if I asked. I
usually did. Her grey eyes would shine whenever I asked to hear one
again. Those eyes would also glint like a cold knife whenever I
became impatient and asked for two new stories in one night. I can't
recall how often she would scold, "How do you expect me to tell you a
new story when you haven't finished hearing the one I told you?" I
think she meant I should think about it for a while in case I was
missing the point.

It isn't unusual for me to come across one of grandmother's stories in
a book I would read or a movie I would see. But it happened much less
than I expected. I think she pulled a lot of those stories right out
of her own head and was trying to put them into mine for safe-keeping.

The last story she ever told me was the only one I think I'd ever
really forgotten.

I was eleven years old. I was sprawled out on the floor at my
grandmother's feet. She was quiet for a long time, rocking slowly and
gazing out the living room window at the snow. "Douglas, I'm going to
tell you about God and the first animals."

"Oh, this one's about God?" I said. A lot of the stories were about
God. Often, God had a cool name like Vishnu, Zeus, Allah, or Ah
Kinchil. But that night it was just God.

She ignored me in the way she would when she knew I didn't need an
answer. She went on "The animals you see all around you today are not
the first animals. They are the second. I will tell you why."

She had my attention.

"God created the first animals gave them intelligence. Unlike the
animals of today, these had the ability to look at their own past to
learn from their mistakes. When they had learned from their past,
they could then better prepare themselves for whatever they might face
in their future." She turned those clear grey eyes on me as if she
expected me to speak. I looked up at her and remained silent. "This
was a great help to them at first. Sadly, there was an unforeseen
consequence. Unlike human beings, they were mere animals and had no
higher purpose. Whenever one of the animals contemplated too deeply
about their own purpose they would realize that they had none. With
the discovery of this knowledge, their hearts would break and they
died of utter despair." She looked down at me. "Imagine how it feels
to find out that, however hard you may try and whatever great deeds
you may accomplish, all amounts to nothing in the end. Not a single

As time went on, every kind of animal would ask realize this of
themselves. They all met the same fate. Except one.

One animal survived by never looking too far into the past or the
future. One animal avoided stumbling upon the one truth that could
completely destroy it. The animal accomplished this by creating
distraction upon distraction. So clever was this animal that it
invented distractions to distract itself from all the distractions,
lest the truth become too obvious." Grandmother paused to see if I
was confused. I didn't think I was.

"One favorite distraction was to try to look and act like human
beings. They were so very clever, in fact, that they became better at
apearing human the humans themselves." Her voice had been dropping
lower and lower as she said this. She leaned down towards me and
continued. Her voice was little over a whisper. "To this day, the
greater part of the people you see everyday are not God's Chosen.
They are the animals, pretending to be human in order to protect
themselves from the terrible knowledge; still preventing themselves
from questioning too deeply about their own natures."

Grandmother always told me that every story she told me was true. If
I told her I thought it was false she would tell me that I was looking
in the wrong place. Other than in her stories, Grandmother had never
lied to me. Not once. This was not lost on a boy who had been told
contradictory information from almost every other adult he met.
Grandmother was also unique because she would always tell me when she
didn't have an answer. At that moment in the story, I had a very
urgent question.

"Grandmother, how do I know you're not one of those animals pretending
to be human?"

Her eyes flashed again but her voice remained a whisper. "Foolish
child! The question you should be most concerned with is how do you
know that you are not one of these animals?" I stared up at her with
wide eyes. Through the large window behind her snow began to fall.
She held my gaze with her grey eyes that seemed sharp enough to cut
you open and see everything hiding inside you. I'll never forget her
eyes. My own eyes were large and brown and seemed to carry none of her
strength. My lower lip began to quiver and I felt my eyes stinging.

Grandmother smiled. She seemed very tired. "Go, young one. Go find
out. Keep your eyes open and try to see what you really are. Then,
if you die, you will know for certain. But if you live, then you will
understand what a life can truly be." She hugged me and I went
silently to bed.

Grandmother died the next morning just as the sun was coming up. In
my grief I buried all that I knew of her. The years passed and I was
no longer able to see my grandmother in the same delicate features
that my mother and I carry on in our own faces.

Until this morning, I had almost entirely forgotten Grandmother, her
last story, and the childish fear I had felt upon hearing her telling.
I was trying to shave by the dim light of a bare bulb. The mirror
itself hadn't been cleaned in a long time. I was halfway done and had
managed to cut myself only twice when I saw them. My grandmother's
steel grey eyes were staring fiercely at me through the grime on the
silvered glass. I yelped as I nicked myself again and threw the razor
into the sink. I grabbed a towel, scrubbed furiously and looked
again. I was wrong. Those were not my Grandmother's eyes in the
mirror. They were my eyes. Sometime between last call at the bar, my
stumble back to my apartment, and getting up for work this morning, my
brown eyes had become a stormy grey.

Now I'm late for work, Grandmother's final story is echoing in my
head, and I'm as afraid as I was the night before she died.

I finished shaving, got dressed, and jumped into my car. As I turned
the corner out of the narrow-laned parking garage, I ran the stop sign
and was nearly broadsided by a garbage truck. "Easy, Doug," I told
myself over the pounding of my heart, "Pay attention to what you're
doing or you're going to get yourself killed."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Jared is still in Southeast Asia working dilligently towards a better future for the devastated region. I suggest that everyone show some love. Or, as a Buddhist might say(as I learned from his post), transfer some merit.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I watch very little television. I average less than 20 minutes a day and I'm almost never the one that has turned it on. If it wasn't for National Public Radio, Google News, and Slashdot I probably would have no idea what was going on anywhere...ever.

I donated some money to NPR this week. Two times, actually. Once because they asked so nicely and the second time because the donation was going specifically to the blues programs I listen to on Sunday evenings.

I'm trying to sound cultured here to balance out what I'm about to confess.

I love the Charmin Bears.

The commercial where the animated family of bears dance around in an animated forest with animated Charmin toilet paper and then go behind a tree to do their animated business. I roared with approval the first time I saw it. "Go little bears! Hide your shame!"

The commercial works on so many level. Well, at least three. The bears using a tree as a make-shift toilet paper dispenser? Deliciously ironic.

Hm, I don't think I've ever used the words "deliciously" and "toilet paper" so close together before.

The commercial marks a brave new chapter in animated hygiene commercials. It dares to answer the age-old question: Does a bear shit in the woods? The answer, my friends, is yes. With Charmin toilet paper. As a family.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

My friend Valerie at work is taking a photography class and she asked a few of us to help her out. Thus, one fine day we trudged out to a nearby park and she took a few photos of us. These two pictures are of me and Janelle. She's all-around stellar and has done modeling before. Most of the pictures turned out okay. Someone had joked that I should be a model. I replied that I could't be a model; I don't like people telling me what to do. Although, another model I knew told me I should be a model. She said I had a "universal look."

I want to say that these were the only two times anyone has ever told me I should consider modeling. I don't want to make it seem like everyone who meets me tells me "Darling, you're so beautiful! You absolutely must be a model!" Mostly, people just tell me to stop trying to steal their food and at least try to look like I'm working.

Speaking of work, Janelle and I both really like Napoleon Dynamite. Last week she made a drawing of my face (with gratuitous over-shading) that said "There's more where this comes from if you go to the dance with me. -Janellean Dynamite."

I wrote her a note, summoned my origami skills and folded it elaborately. Inside the note was a picture of a heart with the "No!!!" written inside.

After lunch that day, I'm sitting at my desk when Janelle saunters up, sets down an entire cake and then walks off. I'm sitting there confused as all hell. I look at the cake and written in red frosting is "Janellean (heart)'s Guillermo."

I look up and everyone in my entire unit is staring at me knowingly. "No," I protest weakly, "it's just a joke from the movie." I start blushing furiously. I admit I was confused.

Once the furor died off from that I was determined to respond in kind. I was scheduled to get off early that day and by the time I left the building I knew what I had to do.

I returned to work a short time later. I marched over to Janelle's desk (followed by a small crowd) and presented her with something wrapped in aluminum foil. "I caught you a delicious bass," I said.

She unwrapped it and shrieked "Eww!"

I had purchased an entire 2-pound fish at a nearby deli. Sadly, it wasn't actually a bass but some much cheaper type of fish. But it got the job done.

Janelle admitted that I had gotten her pretty good. Then The Promise by When In Rome began to play and we both went to the respective bathrooms to wash the fish juice off of our hands.