A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

domingo, setembro 30, 2001

The horror is finally coming. I am exhausted reading all this material for grad school. Actually, I'm not but the essay I'm reading right now is very boring. I'm actually proud of myself in the fact that I seem to be digesting the material pretty good. I better be since I'm reading everything twice. Tomorrow, we will see if I have done good.

Spent part of today with ! in Little India and watching horrible Bollywood films at home. Tomorrow will be the last day I see her for two weeks. But those two weeks might possibly determine the definition of "us" forever. I'm not saying we're together (we're not). However, this time spent apart will say many things about the true nature of our romance. Needless to say, I am not worried...or am I? If anything, I'm scared.

sábado, setembro 29, 2001

Felix "Tito" Trinidad (the great borinquen boxer) lost. I am sad.

The Argentines next door are having a blast playing various tropical rhythms. I am happy.

My mother's longtime friend (since childhood) died tonight after a long battle with cancer. I am sad.

I got yet another compliment about one of my stories for the Weekly. I am happy.

In short, life is happy, life is sad. Such is the way of the world whether we like it or not.
This time, I had some crazy ones. First one, I went to the Weekly's weekly Thursday editorial meeting--in my bedroom. Afterwards, everyone stayed over to play Monopoly, including !. The Monopoly game segued to a big party held in my honor (for what I don't know). There I introduced my editor Guillermo to my best friend Art and Guillermo told me I was a great asset and really liked the Pick o' the Week that I recently submitted. From there, ! and I were shopping somewhere when men tried to hit on her. Neither of us liked the attention and I was about to fight one of them until ! made me realize that my ass would have been whupped. So we ran away from two separate men, tired but safe.

Cut to me swimming in Northern Huntington Beach, which miraculously was in the center of Anaheim. I swam up the ocean to Koreatown and Little Armenia, where Latinos were celebrating a Pentecostal mass. Then it looked like Laguna Beach. Finally, I became Chow Yun Fat and I liked Michelle Yeoh (though ! wasn't Yeoh). Yeoh left me for another man, but she liked me and I knew it. She left with her protector and they sped away while I plotted my next hit. They were being pursued so they drove into a corn field and went the other way. Fade to a shot of the Baja California coastline, the both of them running happily along the sand.

sexta-feira, setembro 28, 2001

The early prognosis on UCLA is that it's going to be ridiculously easy. Reading? Writing? Thinking? Come on! Then again, whenever I get an arrogant streak in me, I fall flat on my face. I think it should be easy. I'm the type of person that concentrates solely on their schoolwork when in school and even when not. In short, I'm a nerd.

I actually got a call from a girl! It was a girl that I met a month ago. We met at a bonfire and had some physical attraction thing going (though nothing happened). At almost any other time in my life, I would have dropped anything and gone after her. But now I have met !. I ignored the call. Do I regret it? Not really. I'm not going out with ! in any sense of the definition, but...well, I really like ! and do not want to risk anything. I'm confident in my feelings, I just don't want ! to think I'm a player (ha! me a player).

The end of the beginning is nearly upon me. This Tuesday will be the beginning of my 40 days in the desert. I think I'll survive, I just hope I am not forgotten.
Am I archaic? Does the fact that I prefer Sinatra with Dorsey over the "Moulin Rouge" girls make me an old fogie? Do my ideas of romance seem better suited for the Victorian era (taking into consideration, of course, the hypocrisies of that era--buggery, anyone)?

I think I am. But oh well. ! seems to like it. But even if she didn't, I still would be. Does that make me morally superior to anyone? No. All I am is me, love me or hate me.

quarta-feira, setembro 26, 2001

My car is messed up. My pride and joy, the only thing that I am truly responsible for in this world--broken. The suspension in the back tires. I got my beloved Camry stuck IN THE SAND AT CRYSTAL COVE while driving with !. How the hell did I end up there?! Blame in on being head over heels.

But now I am a virtual prisoner to !. Thank God she is kind enough to drive me to school tomorrow and spend the whole day with me. She spent the whole day with me today waiting for the phone call from the mechanic that never came. She was actually excited to see all the various titles in my book collection, from an academic treatment on "solitary pleasures" to the Grimm's fairy tales. But meanwhile, my car is away from me.

It really has affected me. I miss my car. I miss being able to drive and not being dependent on others for rides. I miss hearing what I want (I must have over 30 CD's in my car). I cannot exist sans car. Guess what? I am not unique; I am a quintessential Southern Californian.

terça-feira, setembro 25, 2001

Life truly is beautiful--as absurd as it may be.

Dreamnt something about waiting for a book. Probably because it happened recently. A book on "The Simpsons"

segunda-feira, setembro 24, 2001

I don't think people ever truly appreciate how much they mean to others. Our society is based on the individual and the glories of one, not the community. As such, we take so many of our relationships for granted.

I am not an ingrate when it comes to my relationships, but I sometimes forget that I mean more to people than just a cheap rant. Writing a letter to those who mean something to me helped me figure that out. When I came home, there was 17 emails waiting for me, all from my friends. Talk about feeling nice, I sure did. If you didn't receive this letter (which I will post soon), don't feel bad: I probably don't have your email address. So give it to me already!

Speaking of nice, my first day of the rest of my life was today at UCLA. Prognosis? Easy, somewhat harried--and lonely and depressing as hell. But I always survive. I always have. I know I'll meet new people, but still.

Didn't talk to !. If that's how the rest of my life will be, then let's stop it right now. But for some bizarre reason, I feel that today was an anomaly...
Wow, what a weekend.

Beauty and pain, agony and ecstasy. But what will happen?

All of this centers around the mysterious ! that many want to know about. But I cannot divulge anything right now. I promise I will...sometime next week.

In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with a very bizarre aside: Chicanismo is dead. Anyone who still identifies as such is narrowminded. This is the decade of the Latino, or even Bolivar's "Americano" concept that the US so shamelessly copied. My parents are Mexican but I am Latino. Viva Mexico, cabrones!

sábado, setembro 22, 2001

Two major complaints so far with my site:

1. Where is the "Ron Maydon" essay?
2. Who is "!"?

The first question is easy to answer: I haven't typed it. Yes, I am a lazy mofo (yeah, right) but I was hoping I could find the essay online. I haven't been able to. So soon, I will take some 15 minutes to type up the "Ron Maydon" essay for all you beautiful people.

I refuse to answer the second one--at least not yet. The only thing I can say right now is that I am very happy with her but there are circumstances beyond my control that prohibit me from writing about her. However, I am in negotiations to write our story. I just need to get her permission, which I think she'll be cool with. But then again, everything I write seems to get bad reactions and she doesn't want to be another of my weird stories. Such are the consequences of being associated with me.

sexta-feira, setembro 21, 2001

My academic journey started today as I read the first 50 pages of a book on ethnicity. Pretty fascinating except for the last 10 pages, which were just murderously boring. I need to liven up right now with a bottle of booze...but I don't drink.

Tonight marks a milestone in my life: I am actually going salsa dancing! Notice how I did not say "going to dance salsa" because I can't dance a lick in the world. Neither can !. So it should be a blast. The fact that I even considered going to dance with someone, let alone do it (I NEVER take anyone dancing) shows what type of person ! is. Needless to say, ! is !!

Not a good one. I went to some play to see someone perform. It was a two story playhouse, kind of like the old ones in that it was mostly uncushioned seating and there were seats in the aisles. It was a play but during intermission, I got into a fight with the person outside my car, my old Camaro named "Beatrice". I don't know what it was about, but it was my fault completely. She was hurt and went away. I just went back to the play and saw her, feeling like a moron.

Later on, we talked, this time more happy. I peppered her with questions about her life and she answered them all. It turned out she had two brothers and another sister--all of them (including herself adopted). They were all of different "races" too. This is strange because in reality, the woman has only one brother and they're both biological (if that's the right term)
Punk is a very interesting musical genre. Just thrashing instruments with hard core lyrics and fans who'd volunteer to be in hell if it offered eternal moshing. But I am not a punk. My punk friend once asked me why. And as I was surrounded by a sea of brown faces at Chain Reaction a couple of hours ago, I asked that same question.

Why am I not a punk?

Simply put: my mother would have hit me with a belt. She once nearly slapped me for saying "rock and roll". This was back when we were still not privy to the Anglo world surrounding us.

Gave my goodbye to the great folks at the Weekly earlier today. The editor Guillermo is one of the most awesome people I have ever met--and not just because he is my boss. He just kicks so much ass. He told me something today that just might stick in my soul forever. I will tell everyone what he said when the third secret of Fatima is revealed--or if I get married. Whichever comes first. Count on the first one.

quinta-feira, setembro 20, 2001

There was a peace vigil that ! invited me to last night at UC Irvine. UC Irvine has the deserved reputation as being a lackadaisical school but there must have been 500 people there at the vigil yesterday. Afterwards, everyone went with a lighted candle to Aldrich Park and made a humongous circle. It truly was touching. All I can hope is that those people are willing to do more than just hold a candle.

The trip to Easlos was magnificent. Since there were many murals, ! wanted to know the Mexican history behind most of them. And so I pretended that I already had my graduate degrees. I think I explained the history correctly because ! was enthralled with everything that I said--or maybe she was just enthralled with me. How scary.

quarta-feira, setembro 19, 2001

An actual request!

Apparently, people want to know what I dream about. OK, it was just one person. But this is finally an excuse to start some sort of dream log. I've had some extremely bizarre dreams in the past (solitary tennis balls rolling down the streets, requests for me to punch someone, etc.) so this should be fun. So here is

And of course on the debut of this feature, I am virtually blank. I vaguely recall talking to someone about someone else. It was a sad conversation filled with longing and all that good stuff but I woke up happy. I also talked to a friend that I haven't spoken to in ages. Obviously, this means that I miss him.
'Tis all for now. Going to Easlos today with !, trekking down the former Jewish ghetto of LA.

terça-feira, setembro 18, 2001

Went to UCLA today for the first time in ages. UCLA, which will be my home away from home for at least the next two year, hopefully the next for, and maybe the next six. It is a beautiful campus filled with old buildings, grassy knolls, and statues all over. I'm not used to high-class but the experience is about to begin...

Afterwards, me and "someone" (heretofore referred to as "!") went to Farmer's Market to eat good Brazilian food. That is, after I nearly drove to downtown LA. It's funny the moronicies people do trying to impress others. But at least we got to see why LA can be such a vibrant city.

! is a real trooper in keeping up with my idiosyncracies (I don't want to bother knowing if I spelled it correctly, so if it's wrong, I don't apologize). Amongst other things, I keep saying things that make me out to be the arrogant prick so many view me as and that I probably am. But patience is a virtue and ! seems to have much of it.

I keep adding new things to this lame site and if anyone has any special requests (new sections, more info about me, the deleting of this entire site from existence), please do tell me. I might even bother to read your request.

segunda-feira, setembro 17, 2001

I'm still getting the hang of it. But I guess I better find out soon, no?

Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets
towards your oceanic eyes.

There in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens and flames,
its arms turning like a drowning man's.

I send out red signals across your absent eyes
that wave like the sea or the beach by a lighthouse.

You keep only darkness, my distant female,
from your regard sometimes the cost of dread emerges.

Leaning into the afternoons I fling my sad nets
to that sea that is thrashed by your oceanic eyes

The birds of night peck at the first stars
that flash like my soul when I love you.

The night gallops on its shadowy mare
shedding blue tassels over the land.

--Pablo Neruda--

domingo, setembro 16, 2001

Existence truly sucks. I mean, truly. Or maybe it's just my luck that sucks. Fuck.

sábado, setembro 15, 2001

I'm driving home up Beach Blvd. after a small excursion to a bookstore and the never-ending waves of Huntington Beach. From the PCH/Beach intersection to my own sordid 'burb of Anaheim, people were in street corners, in median strips, in cars waving flags, waving signs and (those who know their flag decorum) lighting their flags with flashlights. An email circulated everywhere urged people to do this.

In one sense, I am happy that people still have the capacity to unite. Most of the cars that surrounded us (me and my passenger) were honking like mad, yelling God knows what jingoistic slogan. If that helps them in their time of mourning, then more power to them.

But what about tomorrow? Or the day after? Or when yet another of our liberties is taken away? I did not honk. If I were to honk, I would be acknowledging that I also care only when it suits me best. I also did not go to church while nearly everyone I know did. I refuse to be surrounded by people who show up only to save their mortal souls. My commitments are more permanent than that.

Will all those people out there last night also be protesting when we're bombing the hell out of innocents? Will they be there to support those who will be persecuted? For some reason, all the flag-waving has just confirmed for me why this country is in trouble.

quarta-feira, setembro 12, 2001

Amazingly, I am back to some sort of diary, although I am not even sure how many people will read this or how many people will actually care. But anyway, I shall write since only writing can comfort me from the dark abyss that is existence.

I have met this great girl--but I shall talk no more about her since A. She will most likely be reading this, and B. Well you'll find out later if you keep reading my site and I continue publishing. Anyway, we have been talking a lot about the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. She once read a self-help manual that was based on Ecclesiastes so she liked the book (the biblical one, that is). I let her know that it is my favorite book in the Bible because it gets to the core tenet of my view of life--mainly that it's futile and there is no ultimate meaning to it. She disagrees with my interpretation of Ecclesiastes and says that she finds the book very life affirming; the uncaring continuance of life and dearth of originality which she identifies with I abhor. I argue that people should make a lasting impression while she feels comfortable being the latest in a long line of rabble rousers and so forth.

Which brings me to the NY and DC bombings. I have never been so physically ill in my life without a real disease as I have these past two days. I have barely eaten, I frequently lose it and have to control myself, and seemingly every 5 minutes tears come into my eyes. Why, I ask myself? Over the years, I have acquired a thick skin of skepticism and cynicism and my "journalism" has also given me an objective viewpoint on many things. So when death in the family occurs, I barely react. Natural disasters, nothing. Yet this has just crushed me.

It is not just the loss of human life. It's not the symbolism of the WTC and the Pentagon. It's not even a fear that "nothing will ever be the same." Or maybe it is. This is the reality of life: absurdity. Randomness. We cannot count on anything. Right now, a nuclear warhead can explode in my house and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it since I wouldn't know about it. This is life. It's terrifying.

I do not claim a special insight, but I think most people delude themselves into thinking that they will get what they need in life on demand. Judging by people I have talked to and the general serenity of things, I don't think people have looked into the abyss of life. That is the most frightening thing I can think of.
try this again.