Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ah, much better. With the help of my loyal assistant, Mini-Moose, I have heaped this morass into piles more manageable. Mini-Moose? No, he's been here all the time, you just haven't noticed him.

I have my little virtual library in the corner now. Someday, it will contain every book I've ever read. At the moment it contatins a handful I own but have not yet read but that would be misleading. Horribly misleading.

This week is about finishing books I've begun to read and failed to finish. This is a relatively new habit. Started right around when I got friends and subsequently plans for weekend evenings. Odd coincidence.... No, I still finish most books I begin unless they're absolutely terrible. But sometimes I...forget.

At at time when I could benefit from guidance, I picked up a book I stopped reading some time ago, but not from forgetfulness. Well, I don't think it was forgetfulness. I flipped through the autobiography of the first American, scanning headings and trying to recollect where I'd stopped. Tucked between page 74 and 75 was a thin clear band of elastic. It was a hair tie. But I don't use hair ti-. Oh yeah.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Drnken blog go.

Two and a half botles of wine and here I find myself. Listening to music on ye ol Itunes. Nightmare before christmas, specifically. Danny Elfman put out some tracks that he recorded himself to guide the actors that would perform the songs. It's a terribler burden being an actor. So many parts. Only one you.

Bury me in the cold cold ground with this quote: Every drunk, thirty seconds ago, thought himself a Romantic.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

G-Man hit me with this a few days ago. I meant to respond, then I didn't, and then someone else prodded me about my lack of blogging and so, here I am. Let no one say that I do not respond to the right kind of prodding.

"Each player of this game writes about "6 weird habits/things about themselves." People who get tagged then write their own blog, including their own "6"... and restate this rule clearly."

1. I don't sleep well. I do not say that I am insomniac; there is a massive difference between insomnia and not sleeping well. Many people will say they have insomnia but few will convince.

Insomnia is not sleeping. Everything else is not sleeping well. The distinction is as apparent as that between a starving person and one who has rickets because all they eat are Big Macs.

I wake up at least two times a night during which I will get up, meander about, and then head back to sleep after no more than fifteen minutes. This is likeliest to occur at 2 am. I think some part of my lizard brain registers that this is last call and is trying desperately to acquire a drink.

Besides that, I awake at 5 am every morning although I set my alarm for 5:40. This results in me trying to fall back asleep for half an hour only to succeed just before my alarm goes off. I hit the snooze button in spite.

2. I fail a lot of classes.

3. The mental image of myself is still pretty close to this:

4. Many times a week I almost wish that I had no body hair whatsoever...and then I stop myself when I recall how much I use my eyebrows.

5. My long-term memory is pretty good but my short-term memory is on par with that of an 8-year-old with ADD.
I can remember the text on the page that gave me a papercut on my middle finger last week but don't expect me to do basic arithmetic in my head because I'll forget the first number I was adding by the time I get to the third.

6. Six can wait.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Step right up to the Belief-O-Matic! Two bits, please.

My results are right below this sweet picture of a Uninjacorn. You don't see many of those these days.

The results are listed as what belief system you share the most (or least) similarities with. Way, way down at number 26 on my list is Roman Catholicism, which is what I was raised. Funny.

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Secular Humanism (99%)
3. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (86%)
4. Liberal Quakers (86%)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You scored as Jean Grey. Jean Grey is likely the most powerful X-Man. She loves Cyclops very much but she has a soft spot for Wolverine. She's psychic so she can sense how others are feeling and tries to help them. She also has to control her amazing powers or the malevolent Phoenix entity could take control of her and wreak havok. Powers: Telekinetic, Telepathic

Jean Grey
















Emma Frost






Most Comprehensive X-Men Personality Quiz 2.0
created with

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I was about to hop into bed. On the brief way from my doorway to my bed in the closet I flicked on the soundtrack for The Fountain. So here I am.

The film is beautiful, the soundtrack exquisitely deliberate as DNA from an angel. Harsh at times, so perhaps it was an archangel.

It is a thoughtful movie, and thus I place it into my Qeue of Favoritest Thoughtful Films along with:

Meet Joe Black
Great Expectations
Edward Scissorhands
The Mothman Prophecies

I think there are a couple more but they are not coming to mind.

These movies that draw their power from...hmm. The moments between. The quiet that comes when the character stands and faces the world and the world contemplates them right back. They are alike in that moment, alike as they ask themselves "What is this?"

Looking at my list, they could also be grouped as Lonely Guys Do Stuff For or Because of A Girl Films.

But really, so many things fall into that category that it's hardly useful.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm designing a school for myself. It's largely based on every other school in existence except that instead of deducting points for incomplete assignments, I will be sprayed with icy cold water. This should be effective since more than anything else I hate being sprayed with icy cold water. Sleep deprivation is not terribly effective for training me because I will go to sleep before I complete any desired task. My sleep is an armor, see.

Cold water will be alternated with hot water to warm the body back up. Cold water brings a numbness that renders it ineffective after a short time. Warm water brings back sensation, and thus unpleasant sensation. It works.

All I need now is a sponsor. Well, perhaps two. It is pretty easy to spray me with cold water. Keeping me from escaping takes considerably more effort. I escape real good, see.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I think the people in the picture above are stopping at a gas station to ask for directions. They're lost, see. What's funny is that they look like they have all this technology but they still can't find their way. Hilarious.

Movie Reviews:

The new Bond movie was pretty good. I've seen a few Bond movies, but this was the first to hold my attention through the entire film.

Happy Feet was also pleasing to me. Great animation and a good time. I'm a bit concerned about the message it sends. In the movie, seals are the bad guys and I don't need any more reasons to go out and acquire a seal hat. I really want a seal hat.

"I am not killing a seal, madame, I am saving a penguin."

I'm always having to explain myself to madames.

I forgot to mention that during our Tetris rampage we ran into the student travel agency and I yelled "We need to get to level 2!" They could not help us.

No one could help us.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My robot never wants to play. Just patrols the perimeter all day and night. "Perimeter secured," it reports. Yes, yes, I'm certain the perimeter is quite fine.

It doesn't even need to be outside. Its sensors are so finely tuned that it can notice when I'm biting my fingernails from 100 meters away. But what is the point of that? I don't need to know I'm biting my fingernails; I know when I'm biting my fingernails. It is built to impress, I think. Do one thing really well and a half a million other things that never need doing at all. Strooth, I've known people like that. Most are considered educated.

Despite these misgivings, I hope to be considered educated also. Actually educated is ideal, even if being considered educated is sufficient momentum for most lifetimes.

There is little left to learn within the perimeter, secure as it is. I'll have to leave it soon. Just push through the tall grass and go. As I think of it, I wonder if I can. My robot, it's not really mine. It's just there, eternally guarding the perimeter. It doesn't come inside. I'm not sure what will happen if I step into the outside. What if the perimeter follows? Ah, but what if it doesn't? Will I be shot in the back and nourish the dry ground with vital fluids? I expect to find out soon.

I wonder if my robot will regret never wanting to play.

Sometimes a man just needs a break from drinking, fighting, playing rugby, restoring classic cars and then outfitting them with heavy artillery for desert war games, and punching out endangered species of rhinoceros. Times like these, I throw in Sarah Mclachlan's new CD, Wintersong.

But after that it's immediately back to punching rhinos. They ain't gonna punch out themselves.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I used the phrase "disproportionately large penises" to successfully counter an argument in class today.

Being one of the only males in a women's studies class leads to some interesting situations, mostly involving me saying things to people that would normally get me struck and/or kicked out of other classes and most places of business.

This must be what anonymous commentors on the internet feel like.

By the way, I'm bringing Pants-Down Fridays back.


I'm also going to see Happy Feet. Likely I'll need to keep my pants on in the movie theater. For some reason, it's listed as a children's movie and I don't think many parents will appreciate the jarring social commentary of Pants-Down Friday. Not yet anyway.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How many generations away are we from being cavemen?


Or so I used to think. The latest evidence (if genetic sequencing can be considered evidence (pipe down you CSI fans)) shows that Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens differ in their genetic code by oh, about .5 percent.

So more like half a generation away from being caveman?

There's also some speculation about human-on-Neanderthal action. Yes, I mean knockin' dinosaur-skin boots. That's right, layin' down by the cave fire. And by that I'm implying they interbred. That is, science is implying they interbred. I'd heard them Neanderthal womens would get all-up-ons anything in that genus after half a clay mug of fermented berry juice but dang I can't really talk informed jive about a species that hasn't been around for 30 thousand years or so.

That would mean Jean Auel might have gotten something right in her books but I don't know if I'm convinced about the rest of her speculations. I should have realized something was amiss by the cover of her first book in the series which clearly shows a cave bear about to high-five another cave bear. The other cave bear isn't pictured, but it's obviously there because then who's the bear saying "W'sup?" to? A cave-badger or something? Unlikely.

As I go about my day tomorrow, I intend to be on the look-out for any half-Neanderthal ancestors. 'Specially those ladies.

I propose that the CDC be re-christened the Center for Disease Information Control.

Next, we still have to determine what color the new Ministry of Truth is going to be painted. There is an interesting proposal to forgo painting it at all and simply re-educate everyone to believe it's whatever color is politically expedient for the Administration.

Today was a good day, although my science fiction writing class thinks I'm dead.

I intend to return as soon as I finish my current story and concoct a new one about the astonishing events that led to my truancy.

I feel sleepy. That is welcome at this hour. This is Day Three of trying to distance myself from my ancient sloth ancestors, majestic though they are.

A nap is a small crime. In the wrong hands, it can be deadly.

NPR featured Damien Rice on their song of the day. After a few listens, I opened up an iTunes account and purchased the entire album. I think I did the right thing.

In HTML news, I think my template is as done as it's going to get. I've plugged in my links, comments, and sitemeter and I think that's it. The edge of the blog seems to have noticed something very interesting to its immediate right and is attempting to meander off in that direction. Let it, I say. We're not about strict enforcement of rules here.

It's a bit past my witching hour bedtime, and I must soon retire. I should mention the reason for my stricter nocturnal habits. Much like the week in which I vowed not to eat any foods that my pet rats would not (sorry, McDonald's fries,) this study suggests that erratic sleep patterns aren't super-happy-fun for the body. Thus, I am attempting to stabilize one spinning orb in my hanging mobile of self-destructive habits which incidently looks like this:

The green leopard represents malt liquor.

Buona notte.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My new curfew is midnight. Yes, I know it's a tiny bit past but I'm still getting used to it. Some might say that getting up early for work merits a more conservative bedtime, but haven't some heard? Conservatism is out. Booyah.

Good nacht.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

So here I am on a lovely Thursday evening. I've spent an invigorating amount of time overhauling, then tweaking, and polishing my blog until it finally looks like this. At least, I hope it looks like this.

I feel refreshed just looking at it.

I've been listening to National Public Radio [note to self: add to links] following the elections as closely as I can with my limited understanding of the American political system. Well, not terribly limited. I have spent my entire life under it. Wait, maybe that's why I don't understand it.

I'm a bit jaded right now. It seems to be all "lesser of two evils" business and finding that juncture in a candidate where their ability to lie and their ability to perform are within a stone's throw of each other. (A very small stone that probably floats.)

I'm surrounded by lights. It's a quirk of mine. I enjoy multiple light sources. Unless I'm trying to sleep cause then ya best turn off that bug light or you're gonna be eating it.

I have a red bulb and a blue bulb and a black bulb that comes out more violet but it's still very mild to my eyes. I have a few white lights that are actually yellowish like very clean sand. I use them for getting up in the morning or delicate work.

By my side tonight is a bottle of wine made by a friend of mine. It's delightful, much better than most wines I've had. Incidently, it's also twice as alcoholic. A dangerous combination but not when you're just sitting at home on your computer on a Thursday night. C'mon, it's Thursday. What could possibly go wrong?

My feed site is now active since this template is designed to be fully compatible with Blogger. This pleases me although I only know of one person who actually accesses me via feed. I am fond of that person, and very sympathetic to whatever situation they're in that requires them to poke around my archives in which I whine about going to weddings and exotic islands with cartoon characters.

The bottle wine is canted snugly in a white plastic pitcher filled with ice. I recall drinking most of the first bottle out of a Justice League mug, but now it's all about the bottle. Why make Mollie do more dishes?

The above is one of my Halloween costumes. My awesome roommates (on the lease and otherwise) and I terrorized the Memorial Union at ASU, stacking on things and jostling countless students and faculty.

I haven't been able to track down any pictures of me in my full Tobias Funke costume for the party we had the weekend of Halloween, but here's one of me just after I blue myself.

If I had my druthers, I wouldn't post pictures of me in briefs (blue though they are) on the internet but this picture was taken by my roommate Marcus before I was in full costume (note the never-nude cut-offs in hand with the glasses and bushy mustache yet to come)but this picture is already all over Facebook so why should I worry? Once my peers have seen me in all my naked blue glory then what have I to fear from unsuspecting family, prospective employers, and governmental granters of educational subsidies?


I also went as an indian.

I had little choice. My Tobias costume was composed mostly of allegedly non-toxic paint that nonetheless was never meant to be applied to human skin. I started having strange, irrational thoughts, and not the usual strange irrational thoughts I have when I'm drunk. These were much It's hard to describe.

My distant relative Mary Alice was kind enough to hose me off in the backyard. I was subsequently violently ill a couple days later. Causal? That's still being debated.

I think I may have a picture of me in my authentic Indian loincloth...

I can't seem to find it. I can find pictures of the costume because I wore it to our unprecedently un-politically correct Cowboys and Indians party, but I just look like that shirtless guy at parties except for more primary color body paint. I'll ask around.

Work is going okay. I'm still pretty slow, but I am probably the strongest person there. Although, I met my match the other day. I was trying to move a box about the size of a piece of carry-on roller luggage, and I was barely able to move it. I later learned that it weighed 297 pounds. Fair enough, I thought. I seldom try to lift anything more than 120% more than my body weight. (I weigh about 195, for any future algebraic purposes.)

But I am worried. My joints are still not up to par. My mother has pretty bad osteoarthritis (on account of she worked probably every day her entire life) and perhaps I am predisposed to it. If so, it is inevitable that my tissues will start to deteriorate and my body begin to consume itself but I'd still like to put that off as long as possible if I can. Unless it means picking up or quitting smoking because I refuse to do either.

I thought I was strong, and I guess I still am. But it isn't the big things that have been getting to me. It's little things like holding my phone up to my ear to talk to my little brother and finding my wrists aching after 8 minutes (I've timed it.) It's bowling two decent games and then waking up later that night to grinding pains in my elbow.

This is a new experience for me. I've never considered myself tough. Pain was something that my self-imposed attention deficit disorder took very little time to notice. And now, just now that I am trying to think of that two-dimensional concept known as the future I begin to notice these things.

Will I still be able to do this tomorrow?

My father taught me a bit about cars and I often fall back to this analogy: You can run a car with no motor oil and get a pretty good ways, but when it quits son it is going to quit.

I've put another bottle of wine in the icebox. It's the blackberry merlot. I'm quite looking forward to it. Myes, quite.

I had a thought earlier. It flirted with me for a moment then left when I turned to order it a drink. Now I'm stuck here with an empty head and two drinks in my hand. Hm, sounds rather like a country song.

"Two two two drinks in mah hand
One one one,
god that rules this land"

That'll be enough of that, thank you.

I fear that I'll begin making much less sense from here on out. Ah well, that's never stopped me before. And now your topics. I'm taking suggestions right now; you can ask me anything.

[from an earlier conversation]
but if I've learned anything from biology it's that you need to be careful of getting too comfortable.
When in doubt, write it out. It is beneficial to be smacked about by your own words every now and again. Encourages thinking.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted today. Today I am the equal of any man. Much like punching someone in the dark. Or putting a dirty dish into the dishwasher amongst all the clean ones.


[edit. Thank you Sibbitt for pointing out that very few sinks can fit into a dishwasher.]

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Discipline stems from the belief that you know when your breakfast is coming.

(if I can wait just a little longer)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I know I promised an amazing conclusion involving make-out parties in thatched-roof cottages, but it was a lie. It usually is.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Story So Far

"Reminds me of Mars," the pale young man said as the heavy treads of the stubby, armored land-crawler crunched to a halt at the edge of the precipice. The sepia-toned plain that had been trying to choke him to death with its dust for the past two revolutions had finally relented here to an only slightly more interesting ruddy shale that spanned across the valley to the mountains, hazy in the mid-cycle heat.
"Mars? How in Corruption would you know, kid?" The driver shook his arms out of the bulky, shoulder-length guiding gloves and pulled his goggles up. He peered at the young man with red-rimmed eyes. "You one of those nuts that think we've been there?"
"No," the young man said, peering back at they way they'd come. A plume of dust was a rising stain against the sky. It was heading towards them. He grabbed his pack and climbed over the side-shield onto the tread. "We have not been there. But we have pictures." He sat down, glanced again at the faded decal with curling edges that described the disembarking protocol, and slowly lowered himself the remaining meter to the ground. The older man laughed and jumped down. Dust leapt up angrily.
"You’re talking about the Mars Freedom Rover? Brother, you should have been entertaining me with these fairy tales when we left the Territories. Did Little Paul show 'em to you in his family photo album?"
The young man squinted up at him. "President Shrub does not take much time to socialize with us. Frankly, I don't think he even knows what we do in the Privileged Research Division."
The older man stiffened. "You’re a PR? I mean, um, you’re a PR, sir?"
"Formalities are not necessary, least of all out here. Your service has been of great help. I apologize for any inconvenience I may cause you." The young man shouldered his pack and turned towards the edge of the valley.
"No trouble at all, sir. Always happy to help the Guided Republic…did you say ‘may cause'?" A rumbling in the distance punctuated his question. Behind them, a much larger vehicle was chewing towards them like an armored caterpillar. "A Mauler? What in Corruption is the Militia doing out here?" He turned back to the young man but he was already gone over the edge, crumbling down the steep precipice in a sliding crouch. When he reached the bottom he broke into a stumbling run, his pack bouncing wildly on his back. Back on the rim, the older man slumped against the tread of the land-crawler and buried his face in his hands, and waited for the awful machine to come for him.

The setting sun was painting the sky with purples and reds when the young man reached the river. He knelt down by its edge, wincing. He dipped his canteen into the brackish water. When it was full, he opened a compartment on his belt, removed a pill, and dropped it into the canteen. It fizzed violently. After peering into the opening, he added another. "I hope you brought enough for the rest of the class," someone said. He whirled around, raising his canteen like a weapon. The water gurgled furiously as it splashed onto the dirt. A woman was smiling at him in the dim light. She wore a long robe the color of the sand. Her hair was shining black marbled with streaks of grey. She put her hands up like a child playing Militia and Robbers. "Whoa, calm down. You got me. I yield to your superior waterpower."
He lowered the canteen. "Who are you?"
"You’re wandering around on our land, so why don’t you tell me who you are first?"
The young man stiffened. "This land belongs to the Guided Republic."
"This Reservation belongs to us. The Guided Republic gave it to up so we wouldn't bother them with our heresy. Fair trade, I say. Now tell me what I’m supposed to call you. I’d like to know the name of the first person to try to hydrate me to death."
His dry, cracked lips tried to twitch into a smile but he bit it back. "I am Suik."
"Oh, I love the old names. Call me Becky."
"Short for Bekenglar. I told you I love the old names." Suik stared at her. "Well, we’d better get going."
"You’ve come to see the village. You’ve come for the Clay."
Suik started to protest, but couldn’t think of a lie. He was still new to deception and was already developing an intense dislike for it. "Yes."
"Shall we off, then? Or are you planning on purifying the whole river?" She spun neatly on her heel in imitation of a Militia serviceman and began an exaggerated march along the river. Suik looked back the way he’d came as the last sliver of sun slipped behind the horizon. He shivered, screwed the cap onto his canteen, and hurried after her.

The walk was not long. The village was a shock to Suik. The houses (he was hesitant to refer to them as that) sat unceremoniously in a clump around an afterthought of an inlet. Most of the rectangular structures were barely taller than he. Walls of red clay and poles supported a roof made of bundled brush. Some kind of animal skin sat atop like a collapsed hat and a single entrance gave a toothless, gaping mouth to each. It was a far cry from the gleaming, antiseptic towers of the Privileged Research Facility.

Next episode: "Thatch-Roof Make-Out Party"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Coffee. Cigarettes. Hexadecimal Genome. And an ice cold brew for when I'm done.

Let's write a fucking story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm going to make a shirt that says "Every Day is Science Friday" with maybe a dinosaur fighting a caveman on it or something equally scientific. (Because for a caveman to fight a dinosaur one of them had to have invented a time machine and gone back or forward in time in search of a worthy opponent.)


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility. Also you have too many ferrets and a hydrogen tattoo.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

It's uncanny!

That could be my superhero theme: the mighty ferret. I kinda am like a ferret. Given the chance, I will sleep sixteen hours a day and hop around chittering accomplishing absolutely nothing for the remaining eight.

Ben Bova spoke at ASU today. It was at the little writing house we have on campus, a quaint little two story cottage nestled among some trees in one of the campus's larger patches of grass. I was shocked at the number of attendees; perhaps fifteen people. I sat on a big comfy couch directly across from Dr. Bova and munching on an assortment of (free!) snacks.

I think he thinks I don't believe in global warming because I made a disgusted face when he talked about it but that was because I had eaten a grape that had gotten hummus on it.

It was an excellent experience. I think I asked him at least 6 questions (redeeming myself, I hope, after the grape incident.)

After that, I went to the store to pick up a wireless keyboard and donated money again, this time to National Public Radio. As Eek the Cat would say: "It never hurts to help."

Today was a good day.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Here I go trying to do good things.

I donated a bit of the green stuff to Jaden's effort to combat diabetes, represented in the above picture by Venom. You can too, if you really want to. She is so very close to her goal.

I've been selected (by the highly competitive electronic equivalent of entering my name into a hat) to attend a conference on human rights this weekend. I'm pretty excited and also a little intimidated since I'll be following in the footsteps of such great men and women as Jarod Sibbitt, Mahatma Ghandi, and that girl who did that thing. What's her name...Jaden, I think. Yeah.

I'm not sure what I'm getting into but maybe I'll be able to better focus my efforts in making a bit of a difference.

At least I'm sure I'll be in excellent company.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I've always wondered where October comes from. I wasn't paying much attention at the end of September; the short months tend to throw me off. Maybe next year.

My old pal Gabe has helped me put together a new computer, or as he affectionately refers to them "a machine." I'm thoroughly pleased with the results. He and I went to an auction where a round, fast-talking cowboy-hatted guy decided that my hand motions, facial tics, and vocalizations were superior to all other bidders. This happened enough times for me to piece together most of what I'd need.

So here I am.

I have a lot to do tomorrow. I shouldn't even be up this late but I took a long nap this afternoon. Life is so hard.

I ordered a Sony Reader. Should be here in the beginning of November. I've decided to hollow out a book and keep the reader inside so to the casual observer it will appear that I am constantly reading To Kill A Mockingbird. Which I very well may be.

I saw Michael Chabon speak. He's quite a guy. Seems like a big kid, if not a slightly effeminate one. His voice reminds me of Kif from Futurama. He read an excellent short story and commented throughout on the writing process. Fun and educational.

I have my own short story to write in the next couple of weeks. I have the germ of an idea. Let us pray that the penicillin of sloth does not kill my budding culture. Or something.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Imagine this:

A majestic, booming symphony of some glorious music and a delighted Guillermo raising his arms towards the heavens as he shouts, "At last! At last! At last!"

I have to imagine it too; I can't do it right now. I am in the computer lab at school and they don't allow music, majestic or otherwise.

But the display dramatise is unnecessary in my heart for Slashdot has just informed me that what I've been waiting for since I first read about "electronic ink" has arrived:

The portable reader.

I can carry a virtual library with me everywhere I go. Mwahahaha.

I haven't bought it yet, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to. Who really needs an iPod, anyway?

In other news, I got the symbol for hydrogen tattooed on my right shoulder after my statistics class. What are the odds of that?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bio for my softball team.

•Full Name: William Bryce Lopez Estrada [Guillermo is Espanol for William.]
•Nickname: Gurg
•Age: 24
•Date of Birth: May 12, 1982
•Place of Birth: St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona.
•Astrological Sign: Cthulhu
•College Major or Area of Study (if applicable): Biology and Society; Creative Writing
•Favorite book: To Kill A Mockingbird
•Favorite movie: Edward Scissorhands
•Favorite band: Sarah Mclachlan
•Favorite breakfast cereal: Steak'ums.
•Favorite smell: Freedom
•Favorite sound: Laughter, even ridiculous annoying kinds.
•Favorite place: Home base.
•Favorite color: Dark grey, almost charcoal. With a yellow racing stripe.
•Favorite time of year: Whenever it's warm.
•Favorite time of day: The Witching Hour (Roald Dahl style.)
•Personal heroes: Jon Stewart.
•Personal anthem: Take On Me by A-ha.
•If you could have a super ability what would it be? Deadly wit.
•A genie grants you three wishes, what are they?
1. Avocado and tomato sandwich.
2. God to throw me a party.
3. Remove my deadly wit so I stop accidentally killing people.
•If you could be the lead singer of any band, what band would it be? Any celebrity fundraising musical ensemble.
•Which Hollywood actress/actor would you like to have dinner with? Portman. Natalie Portman.
•Do you play a musical instrument? I can make familiar but painful noise on a violin and a harmonica.
•Do you usually tip the waitress at Sonic? If I pay in cash, yeah. And I believe the correct term is "car hop".
•Have you had any major physical injuries? Busted me noggin open when I was a lad. Broke a toe. Nothing that kept me off my feet.
•If you were a Transformer, what would you transform into? I would constantly be transforming but never turn into anything (so a lot of wah-weh-woh sound and fury signifying nothing.)
•What do you want to be when you grow up? Happy together.
•What are your hobbies: Softball, reading, wacky animal biology, writing, running, biking, mischief-making.
•Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost? That's what I tell people whenever I wet my pants.
•What attributes would you say define beauty? I'm gonna have to go with the butt.
•You need a heart transplant and you have to get it from an animal whose 'spirit' will then influence your personality. Which animal's heart do you choose? Sonic the Hedgehog's.
•A nurse shark fights a jaguar, who will win? In deep or shallow water, a nurse shark. On terra firma, the nurse shark's cartilaginous skeleton would snap under its own weight.
•You've heard of those who cook/eat the turducken (a chicken stuffed inside of a duck stuffed inside of a turkey), what's the most bizarre, three-animals-stuffed-inside
-each-other dish you can come up with? Nurse-shark-Jaguar-Sonic The Hedgehog.
•Pigeon: friend or fo? Filthy sky vermin. Their day of reckoning will come, unless they all learn to to perform in magic shows like the rest of the doves.
•What are you going to be for Halloween?
Intoxicated in public.

Friday, September 15, 2006


"I wonder what a whale booty call sounds like? Mmmmwroooooo....mmmmmmwroooooo...."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

As I rode my bike to work this morning, a little old woman told me to have a great day. I consider myself a person that respects my elders but seldom listens to them, but I figured this was good advice so I took it. I was already in a good mood because I had a piece of peach pie for breakfast.

The woman often walks in the morning and I try to smile and say hi whenever I whiz past. There is a guy named Tim who I've seen riding to work also. He doesn't wear a helmet and always wants to race. I oblige him, and although I am at my fastest when I am late to work, I have yet to beat him. He's pretty spry for a 43 year old. Also, he takes corners like they were nothin'. I am of the motorcycling tradition and when faced with any doubts about the integrity of a riding surface, I ain't stupid enough to try any fast cornering. Not unless I know friction's got my back.

On a related note, greyhounds handle like bicycles. [To any animal lovers out there, I do not say this from personal experience.]

In Sad Panda News, Ya Ya the panda crushed one of her cubs to death during her sleep. Fortunately, nearly half of panda pregnancies result in twins so there's still one left. Chinese officials are joined by the rest of the world in hoping and praying that the baby Ya Ya crushed was the evil twin and not the good one.

There is an odd line in the article in the section that discusses the mating history of Ya Ya and her mate, Ling Ling: "The pandas watched a mating video before breeding."

What?! The article says nothing else about the panda pair's penchant for pornography. I imagine that could be an article in and of itself.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Location:Somewhere between Phoenix and a sunset the sooty orange of cigarette ash in a tin of watercolor.

Brian, Mollie, and I have struggled through a morass of traffic for the past several hours. A few moments ago, on this overworked two-lane stretch of the Interstate 10 (towards the ocean, Mollie chimed), we encountered the cause: a car accident (a phenomenon unique to the world of man in that it is a catalyst for inaction.)

Firetrucks lined the shoulder of the road, crushing the low shrubs and claiming their new territory with a frenzied display of flashing lights. A pair of helicopters spun their blades lazily as paramedics scurried and stabilized the wounded before attempting a sojourn through the dusk to find better odds.

Cars littered the scene. Broken windows, twisted metal, wheels raised to the heavens in prayer to some machine god (a novice god, theologians agree.) Healthy vehicles queued to the horizon. People, shiny with sweat, milled about their cars. We drove on, sympathetic to their plight but thankful it was not us.

I am in Los Angeles, fighting against the forces of evil. The above photo was taken during one of my training sessions with Cadet Flanagan. In order to develop as many random skills as possible, one must be open-minded about occasionally fighting off-planet, even if it's far outside our territory and may cost the lives of many tiny, green, three-eyed men. But I admit I can't feel too bad; they're soulless puppets living their fake plastic lives in hollow hope of becoming one of the billions of images that flicker across a squarish electric box. Truly alien.

I'm having a great time. I hope you are, also.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

[assignment: Brief History of My Experience With Science Fiction and Fantasy, or, Would You Like To Know More? completed well ahead of schedule]

As I look back on my academic misadventures, I realize that I have the dubious distinction of being sent to the principal's office in elementary, middle, and even high school for thought crimes.

Well, not exactly thought crimes. They weren't even my thoughts. They were other people's thoughts and I just found them to be much more interesting and informative than the majority of the subjects my teachers prattled on about.

I would consistently get in trouble for reading in class. Much of what I read was science fiction, fantasy, mythology, and a brief flurry of "young adult" pulp thriller type novels (i.e., Christopher Pike.) I wasn't much of a discriminate reader; I didn't even think to look for specific authors. A sticker on the spine of a little rocketship circling a planet was enough to get my attention.

Still, a few novels stood out. Dune, Dragonlance (Dragons of [season]'s [time of day]), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Lord of the Rings (although I admit skipping the poetry the first time), The Chronicles of Narnia, Slaughterhouse 5, and a lot of Ray Bradbury.

Today, I am enamored of China Mieville (who I believe is the exception to Dr. Cook's rule against mixing fantasy and science fiction), the graphic novel Transmetropolitan, the cancelled but still alive in our hearts animated series Futurama, and I just finished Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and it was even better than Diamond Age.

I've attended a few Comic-Cons in San Diego and spoken (albeit briefly) to Greg Keyes, Ray Bradbury, David X. Cohen.

Our culture is living science fiction. I often go to to see which fantastic ideas have become reality while I slept. Science fiction, and writers who choose to convery how technology can be catalyst and crucible of the human condition, may prove to be the next great force that shapes American culture.

Well, besides the internet, I mean.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm a bit intimidated right now. I'm working from 6:30 am to 11:30 am with my classes in the afternoon and evenings. It's not too bad; my latest class ends at 7:30 but it's only one day a week. What worries me is...the reading. There's going to be a lot of reading. I'm a good reader, but a novel a week on top of everything else may prove a bit tricky. Of course, I can always stay home on weekends and curl up with my homework. I mean, I think I can. It's been done before, I should say. Not by me, really, but I've heard others have done it.

My science/writing ambitions seem to be taking me all over the place. My schedule of classes sort of fell together of its own accord. I'm taking Statistics for the Biosciences (or "Damned Lies For Godless, Baby-eating Liberals"), History of Medicine (such as the origins of the Hippopotamus Oath), the Politics of Women's Health (Desperate Pharmacist's Wives), Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy (or Damned Lies for Friendless, Cheeto-eating Role-playing-gamers), and Eco-Literature (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal Stories).

Hence the reading. Statistics seems to be the only class that requires counting, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

The Politics of Women's Health is a small class with pre-med, graduate, and honors students in the majority. We even have one student purusing her doctorate. All are female. There is one other male in the class, but he is considerably older and in a wheelchair so he won't be much help if the women turn on us. In that event, my plan is to just run for it. Sorry, other guy, I will leave a man behind. I'm Army trained, and we, in fact, leave men behind like breadcrumbs.

You know you have a good schedule when most of your professors incorporate casual swearing into their lectures.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I am now pursuing a double major in Biology and Society and Creative Writing.

It was bound to happen eventually.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Good guesses, everyone, but no gummy worms for you, sour or otherwise. Jess came close by recognizing it as a medieval labyrinth.

I was surprised no one thought to image search "fig043.jpg" which brings it up on page one. But it's too late now; in the future I will change the image name for all my photo quizzes.

This labyrinth comes from the Lucca Cathedral in Italy. I was pleased when I delved into the history of the design I chose. It is a finger labyrinth and in the stylized design one follows the black, not the space between.

Strictly speaking, labyrinths are not mazes. There aren't any wrong turns or dead ends. The choices are: go forward, go back, or go nowhere. The goal is to reach the center (be it minotaur or David Bowie) and then return with the experience and knowledge acquired from the journey.

So it's about going on the grand adventure, but it's also about coming home to tell your mom about it.

Also, as far as my views on suffering, I think I understand what the Catholics were going for. Essentially, suffering sucks but it is inevitable (for whatever reason (desire, original sin, being human)) and in light of this, it would be wasteful to pass up a chance for reflection during this time. You know, like peeing in the shower, but in a more spiritual sense.

Goodnight everybody.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"What would your life be like if from this moment forth you regarded your sufferings as refinements? Then the image of sacrifice and refinement would work deep in your mind and soul. The suffering, which is inevitable, would be the vehicle for the recasting of your nature. Then pathos might becomes mythos, and instead of suffering in the school of hard knocks, you would find yourself whipped into consecrated shape, becoming a Grail instead of a crushed plastic cup."

Jean Houston, from The Search for the Beloved.

I've decided to get a labyrinth tattooed on my back. I've been looking at labyrinths for hours and I've selected this one. Guess which labyrinth it is and I will give you a dollar or a bag of sour gummy worms. Your choice.

Also, I've learned that "labyrinth" is one of those words which start to seem mispelled if you look it at too many times.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I picked a few random quotes fromhere that reflect some of the things I feel about stuff.

"There are people whom one loves immediately and forever. Even to know they are alive in the world with one is quite enough."

Nancy Spain

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

Charles W. Eliot (1834 - 1926),

"There is nothing glorious in dying, anyone can do it."

John Lydon

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom."

Greek Proverb

"I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there."

Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988)

"First things first, but not necessarily in that order."

Doctor Who

"The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

"See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that."

Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

"Speech is the mirror of the mind.
(Imago Animi Sermo Est)"

Seneca (5 BC - 65 AD)

My body hurts. At work, I move hundreds of pounds of industrial equipment a day. It comes in all shapes and sizes but most are big and awkward. The problem seems to be that I am capable of manipulating more weight than my joints, tendons, and ligaments are used to dealing with.

Muscle growing faster than ligaments and tendons? I'm really starting to doubt this whole "Intelligent Design" idea...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Backblog go!

I've been meandering about writing on scraps of paper and I'm compiling them here because I will lose them. They're in reverse chronological order because why the hell not?


During my hour and half of sleep last night, I dreamt of Kate. I was house-sitting for a moderately wealthy family and she came over. I was aroused. When I went to meet her, I found a friend of hers sitting on a couch in semi-darkness. She introduced herself (the name escapes me now, but I did not know her) and then she kissed me passionately, almost violently, her teeth hitting my own. I was surprised, mumbled hello, and went to look for Kate. I met many more people that she had invited over. Mostly unsavory types, Limp Bizkit fans, known pornographers, and the like. There were also two young boys with a pet monkey. It was yellow and had black spots. Its name was "The Cheat." The monkey had bitten one boy pretty badly and the other boy was explaining why The Cheat wasn't a bad monkey, but a good monkey who had done a bad thing. The police came. I never found Kate because I awoke 30 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off. I didn't sleep much in the interim.


The household god must be appeased.


He goes to his bed as a bridegroom to a bride.


Bedroom floor strewn with alkalides and broken rubber bands. He writhes silently, dreaming of running. If not in his own room when he falls asleep, he will often break things. There is little he can do. There are no pills against happy dreams.


They're patient. They're insidious. And they're very, very good at what they do. They're on every corner. If you follow your friends around long enough, you're certain to catch them meeting. Bright and attractive, they know they can wait. When a moment of weakness comes upon you, you will turn around and see an inviting glow. And if you give in just once, they'll have you. Because it is good, there's no doubt about that. There is something you will like. It'll get easier after the first time. Your body will turn against you and you'll want it even more. You'll get it, feel good, feel worse, then want more. Truly, fast food is the devil's kitchen.


Your voice made arctic colors in my head
Your voice makes arctic colors in my head
You woke up arctic colors in my head


Running out of things to fear. All the sentients still try to convince each other that there is no such thing. They pass the blame onto freedom. Whose responsibility lies in giving it up? I won't be late again, I promise. Couldn't be helped; now even less so. I've got a feeling. No, you haven't. A feeling has you.

"Let's kick the shit out of those shit-asses!"


Peeling away layers of unnecessary roughness.


Little room for error now. Now only room for little errors.

Winds play "Love-me-not" with innocent bysquatting shrubs. Pick pick pick denude the branches and move on. "She loves me She loves me She loves me" Leaves half-eaten by insects count for two. "She loves me twice!" Chlorophyll and freedom mix until the air is stifled, until the winds move on or the Earth moves under them. Others play with worlds "She loves me She loves me She loves me. This planet is half-eaten by people. She loves me twice!"


After watching Solaris I fell asleep. I dreamt, of course, and saw her there. We sat across from each other with nothing between us or behind us. Her voice was the same but her hair was shorter. Well, shorter than I remember it. It may be that length now. I'd like to know.

She looked at me and I looked away even though there was nothing else to look at. Our conversation was civil, and in gentle voices we discussed matters of little importance. I was happy just to hear her speak to me.

Then I realized that this was a dream because in the waking world she doesn't speak to me. I'm not sure exactly why but I'm sure it's slightly more than a matter of convenience. I shared this thought with her (but it wasn't her.)

"Do you want me to go?" she asked, speaking directly into my eyes as always. I didn't know. As I was debating I woke up. I fought to fall back asleep but when I did she was gone. This is not the first time we've met like that, nor was it the first time I tried to go back to her (but it isn't her.)

Alcatraz Balloon Churlish Detritus Emeritus Fennec Gallon Harcourt Indulgence Judaism


"You can only be two things: confused, or totally confused."
-Michael Vansickle, age 11.


The moon is old and yellow. Well, not right now. If it were I would scatter like crows. Leave only the chamber maids. It is a beach here, without an ocean.


Why be a writer? Guillermo six years ago would have yelled "Why be anything?" and then hopped into the back of a moving Jeep dressed up as the Ghost of Christmas Past.

The Guillermo from four years ago would have said "Why not be a writer?" and then gone running for an hour along a dark canal.

Two years ago, I would have become defensive and retorted with "I am a writer...I just haven't written anything yet."

I ask myself today and I have a new answer. I need to be a writer because I go crazy sometimes and I need a way to indulge it...safely. Or at least, constructively. Writing is when I face the music and dance on the fragile boundaries between reality and everything else. I need to. If I don't do this on a regular basis, lines blur and I live half-awake, my imagination overlapping every surface with flickering pictures as if from an ancient movie projector.


Hours seem short. It is not having that which makes them seem long.

As always, bowed heads and scrabbling hands dig soft tunnels into time that collapse as we do, in a dust of grey memory.


After much display, I am back under my tree. Not much, I guess. I think I was noticed and expect to incur an antisocial label. Not one of the values here, I expect.

Lunch today with Danny and Lindsay. That is, I expect at least they will be there but I am unsure of whom else. I must prepare the letter for Beth. She will forget I promised to this time, I'll wager.

This life makes me wonder. I expect the unexpected to happen to me. I am spoiled, I guess. I am less comfortable initiating.

I can mix up my own Gatorade here. Not as sweet as I like it, but I drink a lot so I cut down on sugar this way. Sugar does not serve me as well for energy. I am more like a diesel engine. I prefer slow-burning fuels.

I'm considering scar reduction. They'll cut me up and sew it back. No anesthetic would be appropriate.

Oranges can be so messy. How dare they. I've been getting sores inside my mouth. I must lack a vitamin. Hence the orange. This is an experiment. My favorite kind, because it involves eating. 12:55 pm has been an exceptionally long minute. I'll need a new belt soon. Losing weight too quickly. Not weight, really. I am still about 200 pounds. My waist is decreasing in circumference. Maybe now society will find me acceptable.


I logged in to SAP to fill out my SIRF form. Not a good sign...

This job is good for me. It takes organization, exact recall, communication, and a lot of hustle. These are areas that I have allowed to lay fallow for too long.

I run around like mad. Between this, cycling everywhere, a diet virtually free of corn syrup, and a religious adherence to my workout schedule (well, as religious as I ever was), I've felt much better in general. My sleep has been halved but I still function pretty well. (The not drinking helps, I think.) My internal clock is back, too. Waking up when I have to serves me well. Hmm, I've never used these notches on this belt.


I am braver in the dark of night. Courage ebbs away by dawn, a character trait with a vampiric ethic.


She'll send oceans after me, I feel
Twin blue barracks of glistening minions
Waves convincing the rocks into sand
Poetry reveals cliche in atmospheres of moist decay


Love for others must not have at its base attachment, clinging, and expectation. This will create a hunger that cannot be satisfied. Best the keep these at the periphery where they may remain miraculous.


"Something of this kind has to be recognized and dealt with by any serious student of art. If you go to a master to study and learn the techniques, you diligently follow all the instructions the master puts upon you. But then comes the time for using the rules in your own way and not being bound by them. That is the time for the lion-deed. You can actually forget the rules because they have been assimilated. You are an artist. Your own innocence now is of one who has become an artist, who has been, as it were, transmuted. You don't have to behave as the person behaves who has never mastered an art."

-Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


There are no prayers to find here. And what, then, if there were? Would I now be lying in warm bed with her in my arms? "You seem happy."

"Thank you."

Seeming happy is almost as well as being happy. When memory serves, a happiness will be recalled along with the unease. Laughter will drown doubts and jokes will shovel dirt onto the gleaming new caskets.


Do not forget what E.O. Wilson Told you. Do not forget what Alan Lightman told you. When it comes to learning facts and explaining them, science is the only game in town. When it comes to understanding life (with capital "L"), the universe, and everything, Art will show you the final door. I don't believe that door can ever be opened by one, the other, or even both. But I don't worry too much about that yet. I'll figure that out when I come to it.

Ryan Adams is also worth remembering. True love isn't hard to find. Not that I would know. Not yet. Not at the time the knowledge would have been of some use and not yet. I could write you over and over a million times. Lightman speaks of wanting, passionate wanting. Immersion. A place where there is nothing else to breathe. Sustain yourself on this choking nectar until it weeps even from your oldest wounds. Let your lover taste it on your lips.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cryptic Thought of the Day: In some cases, no news is bad news.

I predict that in the year 3000, all music will remind you of Radiohead.

Life, Vetos, and Everything

I've been musing over President Bush's veto of a bill that would have provided federal funding for stem cell research. He stated "...that in our zeal for new treatments and cures, America must never abandon our fundamental morals."

I've been having trouble understanding what he means. America, as a country, has not shied away from killing for the greater good. The most prevalent example of this is the current occupation of Iraq which is still causing civilian casulties. However, civilian casulties in times of war is not a new concept. Our leadership understands that innocent lives will be lost and we have made the decision to engage in this conflict.

Thus, if the President is rejecting the bill because he does not wish to harm innocent lives (given some people's assumption that human life and subsequent rights begin at conception,) I do not think that is entirely accurate. I think the President does not wish to harm innocent American lives. I believe his sincerity in this as the fundamental morals he referred to in his speech.

So I have come up with a solution. Federal funding for stem cell research should be provided if and only if the embryos are Iraqi.

The current administration has accepted that the loss of Iraqi life is a consequence of US occupation but it is ultimately for the greater good of the people. Democracy never seems to come about easily. There is no contradiction in sacrificing a few more Iraqi lives for stem cell research. The knowledge gained could be for the greater good of people with horrible diseases all over the world.

How many Iraqi civilians will we kill to save Iraq? Quite a few, it seems.

I wonder, how many would we kill to save the world?

Now, here is Samuel L. Jackson to provide a short summary of my feelings:


Sunday, July 23, 2006

I quit the pet shop today. I was hoping to keep both jobs somehow, but today was the eleventh day in a row that I've worked and my souls are frayed and strands are wisping away to join passing clouds.

And there have been clouds.

It is monsoon season, and the sun often hides and hopes we on the earth do not notice the 100 degrees Fahrenheit shadows.

The house has been quiet. It hasn't affected me much, and in being un-affected I have realized how little I venture about the rest of the house. I do much of my living in my bedroom with my books and music and dvds. Nothing like a good hermitage once and again to get the blood flowing.

Work made me laugh. I was asked to log on to the company internet portal and fill out forms concerning emergency contacts, dental plans, and dependents. At one point I was instructed to log on to SAP and fill out my SIRF.

It's nice to know the corporate system that replaced the feudal one still remembers its roots.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

[written during my lunch break at work as I sat on a bench outside in the shade of a tree like a true native of Phoenix]

Day one of my new job. The environment is familiar, a kind of amalgam of the corporate morass I've slogged through before and the frenetic drudgery of warehouse shipping and receiving. But it is work, and it pays well enough that I can work less during the school year.

I cannot anticipate the amount of personal satisfaction I might find here. I wonder if it will compare to the pet shop. Yesterday, I found a home for an abandoned ferret. I assisted a lady whose hamster had lost the use of its hind legs. "If it's a congenital disease then there's not a lot we can do for it but it could also be a deficiency of vitamin D3 and we have a supplement that might help." Another ferret came in with respiratory problems. The owners told me that they had bought some cheaper pine bedding which is bad for any critter with delicate lungs and a small home. I gave them some oil-free and dust-free bedding and sent them on their way.

Now I leave the pet store with another bundle of random knowledge and move to the next job. I wonder what I will learn here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New bike. New job. New Sarah Mclachlan cd. New workout.

New wave of events that leave me clutching at my throat expecting to find my lost albatross.

The bike is pretty sweet, though.

Friday, June 30, 2006

My car is dead. I do not know if I will resurrect it. The expense is unwelcome but not insurmountable so I don't think that is the real reason I can't decide its fate. I have been riding my bike to work for the past two days. I enjoy it. I've had the bike for almost a month, actually, and I hadn't ridden it at all. I'm starting to think I don't do anything unless I absolutely have to...

My delightful roommates and I were doling out our daily requirement of jokes at others' expense earlier tonight. We mocked our friend for getting back together with a guy who didn't seem very nice at all. Someone said that guys never change and I laughingly chimed agreement. Now as I fulfill my daily requirement of pensively listening to Sarah Mclachlan, I wonder. There are times when I miss someone terribly and do not have the means of communicating with them. I mean, I could contact them, but doubt they would be very responsive. If someone chooses to forget you, allowing them to do so seems to be the polite thing to do. And if I'm nothing else, at least I'm polite.

And yet, somewhere there is a younger version of myself, perhaps scowling, maybe looking cold and aloof, or twisting away from an embrace. This me is locked in that moment, encased in the amber of someone's memory. I don't like it.

Not much I can do about memory. Memories can be true, memories can be false, but every memory is real, it exists, and it does have an effect. Thems the rules.

But if I can't change then why worry? Every memory of me is as good as any other. Same old Guillermo, every time. I guess I can live with that.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Netflix graced me with Joseph Campbell: "The Hero's Journey" last evening. It has been some time since I visited his ideas and it was refreshing to meet the basis for a lot of ideas I have now. I'd forgotten that Joseph Campbell had laid the foundation for the more optimistic ways I approach aspects of my life.

Campbell speaks abstractly about life, the universe, and everything, and despite my recent educational foray into the much more mechanistic chemical, physical, and environmental framework, I found no contradictions. He has ideas that could be further refined by studying biology, for instance, but hey, no one can study everything.

I'm enjoying my new position at the pet shop. A guy from the Arizona Herpetological Association brought in a gila monster. They're extremely protected round these parts, but he had a special permit to use this gila for educational purposes. Letting me hold the gila monster fell under the educational umbrella.

There is also a fireman that catches rattlesnakes that wander into homes (which is not uncommon in more upscale areas that nestle their homes up against the mountains) and he brought one in to show us. It was impressive.

I also ate a waxworm and a kingworm. We feed them to various reptiles and they're quite edible. I don't plan to make a habit of it, but I can now put worm-eater on my resume'.

Hello, Harvard.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I have returned from a long trek to the new home of my friend Tavy. We watched a French film entitled Jeux d'enfants (translated to "Love Me If You Dare.) I'm not sure how to describe it.

The director must have thought to himself "I really loved Amelie, but what if instead of using her whimsical creativity to help random people, she just tried to completely mind-fuck one person over and over again?"

If you've wondered that as well, then I recommend this film. The cover makes it look like a romance and the tagline claims it's a comedy, but don't be fooled.

* * * *

Last night I went bowling with Breanna. This afternoon, I attended my first class at bartending "academy." This is the way my life goes.

Her mother is opening a restaurant and asked me if I would like to bartend. I'd mused about bartending several times before but I hate being in situations where being friendly can be misconstrued as tip-mongering. But I can't say no to random opportunities that fall in my lap. I can say no to random opportunities that require long-term planning, but the best bet is to agree before I realize all the reasons I shouldn't be doing something.

* * * * * * *

As I was driving the long stretch of freeway home after dinner at Tavy's, I realized that I miss studying philosophy. I used to be all for crashing into the undergrowth of moral uncertainty and then using different compasses of reasoning to see where I'd end up. Completely hypothetically, of course. Er, mostly, anyway.

* * * * *

I must go and study my drinks. Let's see, a grasshopper is 1/2 oz of white cacao, 1/2 oz of creme de menthe, and 2 oz of creme. Strain through ice and serve with a smile so wide it could be confused with baring your teeth.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

News news news news news...

My sister gave birth to her twins around eight o'clock last night. Boys, they is, and they go by the names of Joshua Remy and Ender...something. I forget Ender's middle name.

Being the literary family that we are, my sister named her kids after books. The most obvious is Ender from the book Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Joshua Remy is named after a character in the Bible and Gambit from the X-Men comic books.

They're pretty big for twins.

In other news, I now work in the reptile department at the pet shop and I am seizing every opportunity I can to be bitten by new animals. Mostly baby snakes have been biting me, but I'm pretty sure the Giant African Millipede nipped at me.

I feel odd when feeding the baby snakes. They eat baby mice, which are very similar to the pet mice and rats and other rodents I used to help people care for as pets. It's not a very good idea to feed live mice and rats to snakes because they can still bite and sometimes injure the snake. So it's my job to kill the mice.

It's not that I have any moral objection to killing baby mice. After all, it's them or me. A snake has got to eat. I know that if those mice were given the chance they would kill me and everyone I love. But I just don't like doing it.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Horse-play, romping, frequent and loud fits of laughter, jokes, and indiscriminate familiarity, will sink both merit and knowledge into a degree of contempt. They compose at most a merry fellow; and a merry fellow was never yet a respectable man.
-Lord Chesterfield.

I heard the new single by Live on the radio as I was driving home today. I instinctivly rolled down the window as I felt the gorge rising in my throat. I managed to change the station before Ed Kowalzcyk could assault my brain with another chorus of "Dah-dah-da-da-dah."

The only prescription after the sugary bile drips out of my radio and rapes my ears is to listen to the 2 and 1/2 good Live albums at volumes loud enough to destroy the nerves in my ears that have been thus violated. It's like musical chemotherapy.

In this case, the aural bonesaw I chose was White, Discussion. A great song, nay, sonic journey that is just as relevant today as it was when it came out in nineteen schmifty-six. I am feeling better now.

But not much better. I've been reducing my consumption of meat for some reason and today I indulged in some hot dogs for breakfast. The effects have been reminiscent of a person who abstains from drinking for a month and then on impulse drinks a few shots of bottom-shelf vodka out of an ashtray. Unpleasant for all involved. Especially the vodka.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Kermit the Frog

You scored 39% Organization, 63% abstract, and 67% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are mostly organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Kermit the Frog.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Kermit is also reasonably tidy. He'll even dress up for interviews.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Kermit spends a lot of his time as a reporter collecting facts, but he is also the author of the dreamy song "The Rainbow Connection." You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both extroverts. Kermit gets along with everyone. Sure a few folks annoy him, but that's just because they are annoying. Kermit likes to meet new people when he does his job as a street reporter. You definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Kermit starred on Sesame Street years before The Muppet Show.

The other possible characters are

Oscar the Grouch

Big Bird




Cookie Monster


The Count

Guy Smiley


If you enjoyed this test, I would love the feedback! Also if you want to tell me your favorite Sesame Street character, I can total them up and post them here. Perhaps your choice will win!

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
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You scored higher than 13% on Organization
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You scored higher than 85% on concrete-abstra
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You scored higher than 65% on intro-extrovert

Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I've taped a scrap of paper on my desk above my laptop. It says "Say something. Now is good. Before would have been better, but before is over. So now is good."

It's a paraphrasing from the show 12 Oz. Mouse.

Maybe that'll help.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Evolution teaches us that the second most important goal in the existence of a living thing is to reproduce. In humans, birth is an experience that becomes lost in the first ripples of memory. To forget such miracles seems to be the hallmark of the species. But there are other epiphanies. When one realizes that they are actually one of many. When each day makes the world larger and larger. Growth. Change.

I find myself teetering on the brink of another epiphany, on the verge of the answer to another question. What changes when a human being shifts from survivor to creator? From spectator of life to biological architect. What prompted evolution, that blind deity of life, to suddenly bestow upon me the power to create order from chaos?

Today I felt the weight of life settle comfortably upon my shoulders, as if it had always been there, as constant as gravity and as reassuring as the warmth of the sun.

Today I learned that I am a mother.

A couple of weeks ago I had helped a woman and her son pick out a hamster at ye olde pet shop. They had never had a hamster before so I spent a fair amount of time helping them find everything their new pet would need to be happy (I assume hamsters can be happy because I know they can be pissed off.) The hamster the family picked was a male and the little boy named it after me. I felt honored as I waved goodbye as they walked home with their new hamster.

Today I learned that Guillermo the hamster has given birth to 6 healthy baby hamsters. Yes, I had incorrectly identified the hamster as male when it was really a female, and a knocked-up one.

To be fair, it is very difficult to figure out the sex of a dwarf hamster. I'm not even sure how they tell each other apart. I figure hamster courtship is equal parts perseverance, hamster booze, and luck.

So Guillermo the hamster is now Guillermina the hamster. And the majestic biological ballet goes on.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I don't dislike country music. I'm a huge fan of the banjo, the steel guitar, and I loves me some harmonica. As I was driving home from work last night I realized exactly what kind of country music I don't like; songs that sound like they've been written by some schmoe driving home from work while staring at his dashboard. Songs that sound a-like so:

Check coolant,
Low fuel,
Service engine soon

Doin 75 and my temp is rising
Gas is in the red and the miles keep piling on me

First my tires now my head is balding
I've never stopped rolling so why'm I mossing?
Feel like the devil chewed me up and now he's flossing
Can't get off the tracks of this railroad crossing

Check coolant,
Low fuel,
Service engine soon

Thursday, May 25, 2006

There is a mythical beast called a lah-dor. From afar the creature would appear to be a stocky, medium-sized dog a bit on the fluffy side. It does not have a head, but an almost human face is set in the middle of its back so that it is always facing the sky. No one is sure how or what the beast eats but all agree that it is probably quite messy.

The lah-dor has short, thick legs each with an almost human foot pointing outward. With this odd pedal arrangement, it is difficult to know if the lah-dor is walking towards something or just backing away from something else. Since the lah-dor's vision is extremely limited by its celestial orientation, it is very possible that the lah-dor doesn't know either.

There have been reports of people befriending a lah-dor, but all have said that it was a difficult one because they weren't sure that the lah-dor necessarily enjoyed their particular company or merely disliked the company of everyone else. Also, the lah-dor will not sleep if there is anyone else nearby. Whether this is a trust issue or a lah-dor simply does not sleep at all is not known. The latter is unlikely, since a large part of the lah-dor's behavior and temperament is consistent with that of someone who has just been woken up. Also, for all intents and purposes, lah-dor do not talk.

There have been no reports of friendships with a lah-dor lasting more than a year.

The lah-dor enjoys the warmth of day but is almost exclusively active at night because it has no way to shield its eyes from the piercing rays of the sun. There are diurnal lah-dor but they only occur in heavily wooded areas. They come in two colors; a greyish-brown or a brownish-grey.

The lah-dor are believed to be severely small in number or even extinct. Breeding programs were abandoned because lah-dor fail to thrive in captivity. Although, to be absolutely fair, the lah-dor doesn't seem to do all that great out of captivity either.

More information on the lah-dor can be found at any local library that does not exist.

Or you can just ask me about it and I'd be happy to lie to you some more.