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

quinta-feira, janeiro 31, 2002

When I went to Mexico during the summer, I had a hard time using my second cousin's computer because their keyboard was configured to Spanish while I was used to English. But it was perfect for Spanish (duh!) and I found myself putting accents in their proper place with ease.

I recall this anecdote because I'm trying to figure out how to write in Portuguese on the computer. I've already mastered Spanish, but Portuguese has its own unique funky figures like a tilde over the "a" and that squiggly thing underneath "c". At least I'm not learning Chinese; I have no clue how that is written.

quarta-feira, janeiro 30, 2002

I own this really cool jacket that everyone says makes me look like a despot. My mom bought it for me a while back at a thrift store but I like it so much that I want to buy two more colors of it. Trouble is, I cannot seem to find any information on it in the otherwise-reliable Internet. But I will get what I want, even if it means going to friggin' Alaska to get it.
So more viruses are trying to invade my computers. Faithful readers will remember that I purchased my current monster only because my previous monster was ravaged by a virus. The same thing nearly happened: received an email from VR saying "See my pictures!" with an attachment. As I was at UCLA and was checking my email through a different system, I was able to eliminate the virus.

Got more work than I can handle, which is good. Plus, my digestive system is still not up to par. Going to have to delay on monster meals for a bit.

terça-feira, janeiro 29, 2002

The NBC man was not hostile. All he wanted to do was talk about diversity with me. Said if I ever have any concerns, give him a ring. It's always nice to know that writing an article affects people, whether positively or negatively. Positive? One person said tears welled up in their eyes after reading the ending of my article on Los Tigres del Norte. Negative? Three threatened lawsuits, one boycott against me, another person demanding that I get fired, and someone else saying that they wish I could be dead. God, I love journalism.

segunda-feira, janeiro 28, 2002

Enemy #37: NBC

Got an email from an NBC exec today regarding my SF Chronicle op/ed piece regarding Telemundo. Wanted to know where I got my information regarding NBC's plans for Telemundo. I emailed back saying that it doesn't take a genius to figure out what I wrote in my article (though I said it much more diplomatically). I have no clue how he got my email, although I was thoroughly amused. If the conversation gets more interesting, I'll be sure to post whatever happens.

domingo, janeiro 27, 2002

My stomach is absolutely killing me. I won't recount the horrors of my digestive tract, but I think that I should eat healthier. More fruits, for starters. But like Homer said "Purple's a fruit".

Have finished my article quota for the week. Now, the deluge.
How is it that the New York Times can do stories all around the country? The more I see their stories being published in other papers, the more I wonder at it. Good stuff.

Meanwhile, my attempt at journalism is just wonderful. Article today in the SF Chronicle (which--despite PSS's assertation to the contrary--is a pretty good paper) with another for sure and maybe even more. Two more for the Jewish Journal and a hell of a lot more for the Weekly. I'm writing so much, in fact, that academia is seeming like a nuisance nowadays--which isn't good at all. Oh well. Come summer, academia just might fade away forever...until I get fired and go back to grad school.

sexta-feira, janeiro 25, 2002

THE RULES OF LIFE (an ongoing series as I go through new experiences every day and learn more...in other words, life)

Rule #1: If you're going to have 5 email addresses and you use each of them frequently, make sure to check them frequently.

Case in point: I'm in a Portuguese class that meets MWF. When we passed out a sign-in sheet, I put down my UCLA email as my info. This is a email that I use only for professional purposes, but the service is bad so I'm slowly weaning myself out of it. As a result, I check it infrequently. I should check it more: today, I drove to UCLA and decided to check my UCLA email before class because, hey, maybe someone actually wrote to it.

I should have checked it earlier.

Waiting in my inbox was a message from my professor saying she was cancelling class because she was ill. I drove all the way up to UCLA for nothing.

I'll do some work here and probably drive back home in an hour. But I learned something, which can be put into another rule:

Rule #2: Learn from your mistakes and admit them. Thou art human, even if you think you're smarter than everyone else.
OCLatino.net is off and running. Met with AAS, ER, and NGF. I am such the stereotypical editor: barking orders yet inspiring. Those three know I love them, but deadlines must be met! Pero we're doing good. We hammered out some of the finer details and come next meeting, the actual content will start to form.

I've been writing so many stories as of recent, studying, and playing Madden. And I find time to spend with my friends. And yet I still feel as if I'm lazy. Is it any wonder I was bored as hell in Mexico. Though Orange County is my patria, maybe I am better suited to a more urban area like Los Angeles or New York. But I'm going to ride this pony until I'm on the ground nursing my wounds.

And one final comment: carrot cake is good, but two servings are better. Though not in all cases.

quinta-feira, janeiro 24, 2002

With the monstrous computer comes the games. I am particular to sports games, probably because I can't play them worth anything in real life. JAM let me borrow Madden 2001, which is pretty realistic and brutally difficult. I'm used to blowing out my AI opposition and them scoring a lot of point on me also. I just finished a game--a football game--and the final score was 5-2. 5 to friggin' 2. Yes, pigskin people, I was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

quarta-feira, janeiro 23, 2002

Went to the Egyptian Theatre last night to preview Zoot Suit Riots, which will be showing on PBS February 10 @9PM. See it; it's a goodie, much better than how American Family seems to be turning out. But I'll have the last word tonight.

I'm supposed to be reading a book right now but I left it at home. So I surf the net and amuse myself by writing.
My philosophical musing for the day (though not my only planned entry for the day

Sometimes, the only way you know you truly want something is when you are denied it. But if you are denied it for too long, you forget that you wanted it in the first place. Moral of the story: if you want something, fight for it. Once you get it, guard it with your life.

terça-feira, janeiro 22, 2002

Though I might not have posted yesterday, that does not mean that my day was uneventful. Disregard the horrific grammar of the previous sentence and allow me to regale:

I've spent most of yesterday and today focusing on my journalism career. Yes, as I stated in a previous blog, I am now a journalist. I've published a lot of things for newspapers (a Jewish newspaper!) but yesterday is for me the day that I can say that I made it. I talked to Lynn Myers, opinions editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, who I re-wrote the Taco Bell editorial piece for. I also wrote a piece on the proposed NBC/Telemundo merger for them, which will be published soon. Quick summary: the Chronicle, a major daily newspaper all the way in the Bay Area (where PSS collegiately resides) wants me to continue writing for them--so much, in fact, that I was assigned a piece by them. And, to boot, when I revealed my age, she was amazed that I wrote so well for such a tender age. Sound familiar? That's how I started with the Weekly.

That's that. With the Weekly, I have 7 stories ready for them. Not only that, I'm going to apply for a diversity internship for them which will pay me to actually work for them during the summer. And to sum it up, Guillermo Swaim also brought up the possibility of staff writership for me. On his own.

Throw on top of that my totaled car, the still-present graduate school experience, www.oclatino.net, Taco Bell, friends, family, lover, and just general wackiness, and this amounts to a boy who is busy as hell yet has time for everything. I'm pretty cool and I hope someone gives me a cookie for that.

domingo, janeiro 20, 2002

Like PS last year, my car is now smashed and totaled. It was wrecked by a drunken man who tried to run away but was apprehended by my friends. He crashed into my parked car. Thankfully, I was nowhere close to the car when it was crashed into spectacularly.

Someone asked me (I believe it was TA, though I'm having a hard time remembering all the details) if I find it ironic that the guy who crashed into me was an illegal immigrant--this after I spend so much time defending them. Not really. Am I supposed to hold it against American citizens if a citizen crashed into me? Such inane logic.

Anyway, my car has been towed and I'll find out soon enough if it is still salvagable. I'm sure it is, being that it was only crashed from the left rear side, but it was a nasty crash. Solamente sabe Dios. And as always:

Never a dull moment.
I'll be quick because I should be asleep.

Went with !, NGF, AAS, and ER to see The Groove Syndicate, MS (AAS's husband) band. Lead singer another good friend, NM. They are funkay! Good music, great demo. Another Local's Only coming up.

I am good. Very good. And I'll write better when I don't have to go to sleep.

sexta-feira, janeiro 18, 2002

I have been asked by a Chicano studies professor at Long Beach St. to talk about the role of politics in music, more specifically rock en espa~ol and Latino rap. It'll happen sometime soon, granted that I'm available. I was also invited by a high school to give the journalism portion of their Career Day. My choice for a career has been good.

Meanwhile, I've been invited to see two bands belonging to the significant other's of AG and AAS. Which one will I go to? Neither would be the fairest decision but I might go see both. Combine that with articles, studying, a bike date with !, and a trip to Little Seoul, and Saturday is shaping up to be a busy day. Busy but happy.

quinta-feira, janeiro 17, 2002

Sometimes, I wish that I could freeze time and leave things the way they are. But that wouldn't be life; it would be death.

What provokes such thoughtful pondering? Nothing more than happiness--sheer, unadultered happiness...which turns to annoyance after I'm trying to write this and I'm experiencing software problems. Muerte a la tecnologia!
Internet Explore 6 is pretty fast, but it takes forever to load. That bothers me. Also, I wish I could use accents in Blogger, but we live in an English world, habla ingles guey!

quarta-feira, janeiro 16, 2002

Have I ever said in these ramblings how I don't like auto mechanics? I'm going to have to go to one soon. It seems that now my front left tire is a bit low on air. Loyal readers will recall (I think) that a couple of weeks ago, my rear left tire was getting flat. I get the job done for free where I go, but I'm always suspicious that the mechanic will "find" something else wrong with my car and try to guilt me into buying some unnecessary services. Weren't we supposed to have transport machines already like the ones on Star Trek?

Am slowly discovering the wonders of Morpheus. An all-Bollywood CD of my making will soon follow. But I'd still rather get emails from editors.

terça-feira, janeiro 15, 2002

For the record, I want to be a journalist, not an academic. That's comment the first.

Secondly, I was just approved for what may be the most infamous article I will ever write. Those of you in the know, know. Those of you who don't, well hopefully I write it well enough for it to be published--and for me to be hounded eternally.
Our second Taco Bell protest was today. Around 50 people showed, substantially fewer than last time but still good. Only problem was, it was freezing and I forgot to take a jacket. End result: my throat hurts.

segunda-feira, janeiro 14, 2002


Earlier today, I was having extreme doubts about whether I would enjoy this quarter. I have decided to become an academic rather than a journalist (email me to find out the juicy details) so I was wondering what was the point of even going to school. I was seriously considering dropping out.

I used to not be like this. For the past four years, I was an academic monster, slaying every book in my path and focusing on living the academic life. But two things would change that forever: the Weekly (which introduced me to the wacky wonder that is alternative journalism) and !.

From the start, ! said I would be a much better journalist than academic and that academia was not for me. At first, I would get insulted and accuse her of an elitism that only the wealthy have. But she saw something in me that I sure didn't and I am very thankful to her for that.

Now before I get emails saying not to take the advice of just once person (especially someone that I am romantically involved with), Sam Quinones, Will Swaim and Ruben Martinez told me the exact thing: fuck grad school. You're a damn good writer; roll with that. Ruben called it "grad school madness" while Sam has given me tons of advice. Will screwed me into place and said to bilk UCLA for its grant that it gave me then run away to the friendly confines of the newsroom. Good advice from all; I am grateful to them.

Long story short: I'm going to be a full-time journalist come summer. Where: don't know. Why: because I want to get people angry. In the meanwhile, my courses are pretty cool but my articles will be better. And my UCLA exiling will soon end once and for all.

CORRECTION: It is banh mi ga, not banh minh ga. But they're still damn good.

I can't exactly remember the words to the Beatles's song of the same name, but Uds. should check it out. My mind is exhausted. WAY too much thinking, even for my normally chaotic mind. And I'm still thinking even as we speak. But ultimately everything will turn out good. Or at least, it should turn out good. Let's talk to my various editors and we'll see. Personally, I'm fabulous. Career-wise, I'm still cutting through the muck.

sábado, janeiro 12, 2002

This should probably work, but if not, then that means technology runs amok. And for the record, banh minh ga is good!
The monster is nearly alive. Meanwhile, I have to study and write!

sexta-feira, janeiro 11, 2002

Ladies and germs, the monster has arrived.
The Los Angeles Times is just awesome. The only problem is that I must now reconfigure my schedule. I am able to finish the Register in 15 minutes because it's not really a newspaper. The Times, on the other hand, takes time to read--about an hour. But this takes time away from my other activities. Oh well, this three-month subscription is one of the best gifts I ever received. It's like getting 90 gifts.

Met yesterday with my parterns in crime: PSS, NGF, AAS, and ER. We are starting the oclatino.net thing soon and it will be great. As always, we had a blast. Everyone was amused (as always) at my bluntness but nevertheless had respect for me. Best of all about those freaks, they stand up to me and do not let me bully them around. I love you guys and gals. Their only concern is that I antagonize too many people. I promised to tone it down and leave my Little Boy/Fat Man antics for the Weekly.

quarta-feira, janeiro 09, 2002

When all is said and done, historians might look back at this day as the first day of my life. Of course, the day isn't done yet. When it is done, I will have a report. But all I'll say is that I am in a chaotic mood right now. Happy, but chaotic.

Never a dull moment.
Opportunities arise like crazy. Get them while you can. San Francisco, here I write!

terça-feira, janeiro 08, 2002

And so I did that, and the words disappeared! Technology is so infuriating. And there's nothing I can really do about it. Now that italicized stuck!
Arg! Italicizing run amock continues. No more shall this happen. So everyone who reads this: if I wrap a word with the following sign which I will put in paretheses (<>), that means I want it to be considered an italicized word. Like . And like . And like and a...so just chill, 'til the next episode.
Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's Hamburgers, died today after a bout with liver cancer. May this be the only AP-style beginning I ever write. But I'm kind of sad even though I ate at Wendy's exactly once. Everytime I think of Wendy's, I think of an old friend, CA, who goes back to my junior high days at Sycamore. We were assigned to do an biography book report and he chose to do Thomas (I forgot who I did, but no doubt it was some eccentric). Brilliant guy CA was, but he got a C- for the report and I'm still convinced that the teacher gave him the grade because she was a proud vegetarian. I also remember Mr. Thomas because he was adopted as a child and always tried to promote adoption as a viable option of getting a child. Que descance en paz

In other news, UCLA should be pretty easy, but talk to me again on Wednesday and I'll see. My only problem is that I'm going to have to start using the term "Chicano" for the first time in my life. And finally, I did phone-banking yesterday for a Anaheim bond issue. Not much fun, but it was significant since I was petrified of doing it. Yet another of my peculiar phobias.

segunda-feira, janeiro 07, 2002

Another quarter at UCLA starts in about half an hour. I've yet to post my official schedule in my pointlessly-named "News from the Western Front" portion of my home page because I need to petition a class today. I talked to the professor and he said he would let me take the class, but I believe things when I see them. I usually do not take a Kierkegaardian leap of faith, but as of recent, I've taken many.

I met IF by accident while going to buy my books for Portuguese. He is the only friend I've made so far at UCLA (SR doesn't count since I already knew her). He's a cool guy, a nicaraguense from the Bay Area who recently had a beautiful baby boy. It's nice to see him so enamored of that child. He's about a year and a half older than me, skinny with glasses. We had a good talked and promised to keep in touch, which I'm sure we will. My first real friend outside of Orange County! I'm so proud.

domingo, janeiro 06, 2002


This is getting annoying. No longer are El Vez's hilarious lyrics of "He's leaving the land of endless crime/To the promised land of Anaheim" (or something like that) true. Anaheim is apparently gang-infested. Or, as my sister pointed out, it could just be that the Anaheim Police Department are resorting to ridiculous tactics to put down graffitti boys and girls Give them a spray can, cops, and encourage them, don't discourage them.

Finally got my Christmas gifts from ! today. Not that she forgot. She got me a 3 month subscription (wow!) to the LA Times because she was sick of me relying on the Register for my news. Trouble is, the delivery people were sending it to the wrong address. So I got my first copy today. I had forgotten what a real newspaper is. They actually have their stories written by staff writers!

! also got me Insurgent Mexico by John Reed. I had searched all over for that book and finally located. Cost: 80 friggin' bones. !, on the other hand, found it just like that. I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again: ! is !!

sexta-feira, janeiro 04, 2002

Um, I just noticed that my last couple of entries have been italicized. Not my intentions, save for song lyrics. Just more experimenting and such. Can't wait for my monster computer--but why won't they start building the infernal machine?

Heard from RR, SR's brother. Friends going from WAY back, back to my catechism days. Both of them very good people. RR is one of the few people into music that's not into a stupid corollary of music like drugs, free love, or booze. He's in DC right now and is part of a zine, www.rockero3000.com. It's a damn good zine. I didn't know DC had so many Latinos. In so many ways, I am an ignorant dork.

And finally: as I write this blog, a helicopter is screaming overhead to stay indoors. There is a suspect in the area, armed and dangerous. First time since my barrio days on Philadelphia this has occurred. Community? Times like this makes me wish I lived in zombie Irvine.
School starts anew this Monday. As always, I am looking forward to it and should probably get A's like I did this past semester. I was thinking of taking four classes, but the journalism bug keeps biting me and does not go away. Who knows what's going to happen. Who knows anything? I sure don't. C'est la vie--crazy as hell.

quinta-feira, janeiro 03, 2002

PS and NGF say I look like Stalin whenever I wear a certain green jacket. I think I look more like Cultural Revolution-era Mao. Or some sort of communist. Even Trotsky.

quarta-feira, janeiro 02, 2002

What would you do if I sang out a tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Give me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key.
I get by with a little help from my friends,
I get high with a little help from my friends,
Gonna try with a little help from my friends

Although Joe Cocker's version of "With a Little Help from my Friends" is the better known rendition of the song, there is a certain poignancy to Ringo's warbling of it as Billy Shears in "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." I've always loved this song, but can't remember all the lyrics at the time. But the song comes down to love, and that's what the Beatles were all about. Love is all you need.

My writer's ego is being fed with a warm broth of articles.
Not that I'm feeling this way right now, but to continue with my last thought, think of the Beach Boys' "I've Got to Dance to Keep from Crying". Or go for the all-time classic I Pagliacci

To better news...none! I'm waiting on some email responses to submitted stories and waiting for tomorrow, when I will know how many of my recent Weekly submissions have been published. Yet another song pops into my mind: Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping", although in this case it is journalism and not a woman I am doing the crying, waiting, and hoping for.

Finally, I have realized that I will finish all my work at UCLA in the winter quarter of 2003. If I was a madman, I could even finish within this calendar year. But I'm not an academic madman anymore; I have too many stories to tell the alternative newspaper-reading public.

terça-feira, janeiro 01, 2002

Rather than park close to the Knitting Factory, I decided to leave my car about a mile from the tiny club. Mistake at first, but it turned out to be a happy mistake. Ozomatli was...well, Ozomatli, although I would have preferred that the crowd be more into it. ! loved it, having never seen the band live. She's seen a lot of good bands in our time together. Such are the benefits of knowing a journalist.

Today is the long football day. But I've lounged enough and feel I should do something constructive. Thing is, I always do. In these three weeks, I've written 5 articles; one has already been published and four should be on their way. In addition, I'm starting a webzine, have two features scheduled for the Weekly along with another story and have one pitch pending with more on the way. And I start school next week. This is how I like life: busy. Keeps you from thinking too much about things that might hurt you.