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

sábado, agosto 31, 2002

A beautiful article. I feel this nearly every waking moment of my life.
More comments regarding my articles. This one is from my college professor at good ol' Chapman U...

ronmaydon? Is that a disguise? Hey, I really liked the Keltic Knott and Amin David pieces. Really good. Your bite is getting better all
of the time. You need to consider creating a collection of your pieces. I'd buy it. Hope you get this, Ron. I just want you to know I am veryproud of you.

My response

Thank you very much for your kind words; they really mean a lot to me. Ron Maydon is actually the title of an essay by Studs Terkel in his "Race." I read the essay in my first semester at Orange Coast College (it dealt with a Mexican-American Chicagoan who said that Latinos would be the buffer between whites and blacks) and it had such an impact on me that when I got an email account, I named it after the essay. Hence, the email name. I use it for business purposes; my other one (which you have) is my personal account.

Thank you as always for your honest critiquing of my work. I'm slowly amassing my pieces into a work. Hopefully, I can get people outside of Orange County to read them.

One day, I hope. Here's yet another congratulatory on my recent Gigante articles...

Thank you for the only article on the Gigante fiasco that appeared to be researched. I have taken a stand against racism where I have found it, and I resented my wonderful neighbors (many Hispanic) being called racists. You did a wonderful job of capturing the snow job Gigante did in order to get their own way, and the number of people who used the issue to make political points. Well done!

My response...

Thank you very much for you kind comments. I agree with you in stating that Gigante fooled the entire nation in believing that their liquor license rejection was based on race. Hopefully, people will realize that it wasn't and that the Planning Commission was right all along. Thank you once again.

No more comments on my behalf. I'm drunk

sexta-feira, agosto 30, 2002

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.

quinta-feira, agosto 29, 2002

A couple of emails from strangers (almost always strangers) regarding articles of mine. This one goes way back to a completely different me. The reader is talking about my Pacific News Service article arguing that illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for drivers licenses...

I just wanted to tell you that I read your article and am very impressed at how well you reflected on your actions. You were unaware of the man's legal situation and after you realized you completely wished you could change what you had done. Like you my parents are also immigrants. Like you also, I strongly support that licenses be given to immigrants regardless of their legal status. In a time after September 11th the worst thing that has arisen is to be a foreigner. Any American sees you as a potential threat to the US. It is truly sad to see that an action committed by merely a few terrorists can have such a dramatic impact on so many different groups of immigrants.

My response...

Thank you for your kind remarks regarding my article. I wholeheartedly agree with you that post-9/11 America is a dangerous place for an immigrant. Hopefully, the situation will improve with time, as with the allowance of illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. Thank you once again for your response.

The following is a letter of appreciation regarding my Gigante articles. She specifically refers to this week's article but also is referring to this one and
I just wanted to say thank you.

My response...

Thank you for your kind response. It really encourages me and only confirms my opinion that I reported the story correctly. Hopefully, more people will discover that the Gigante "controversy" was little more than an meticulously orchestrated sham. Thank you again for your response.

We'll see if my Latino leaders will be as gracious as she was.
Some comments will come soon. For the meanwhile, I am a bit sad and disappointed, but nevertheless positive.

quarta-feira, agosto 28, 2002

I don't like to play the Israel-Palestine media bias game but...

Família palestina morre em ataque israelense em Gaza

This was posted as "Urgente!" on the BBC Brasil website. For some reason, I doubt that any of my local stations is going to be reporting on it in the next couple of hours.

I'm fine. I think I have my cover story tackled, but I still have to do the important parts.
I'm in the process of writing a huge cover story. I'm good, if a bit shaken by an incident that happened yesterday. I'll only tell a select few about it. Uds. know who you are.

terça-feira, agosto 27, 2002

Cristo, ruega por nosotros

segunda-feira, agosto 26, 2002

One other thing...

The following person (or persons) read this blog like crazy...


Use the following web browser...


And operate with Windows 98.

Who the hell are you (or youse) and why do you read my page so much?

I have no idea who this is (or these are). I really don't.
This article is testament to the beauty of yellow journalism.
Many things have happened since the last time I posted. Here's some of them:

-! is back. For how long and under what role remains to be seen. But she is back.
-The Simpsons is hilarious even when it's not good.
-I think there's something physically wrong with me or it could be that I'm not eating well. Any way, I'm dizzy and my head hurts.
-The Boys are great and playing poker with them is a blast, even if I do lose miserably. I'm not a good player of chance and must work for everything I've ever attained in my life.
-My individualistic nature is grating. Necessary but grating.
-Pray for me, virgencita: I need it.

sexta-feira, agosto 23, 2002

One reason why this world will survive...

Came back from a show at Fandango's where on feature was chilango rock. Puro pinches chilangos there. Anyways, the mosh pit was insane except in one song, a guy sat in the middle of the pit and just played air guitar. No one went after this easy target; instead, everyone gave him his space and moshed around him. He was untouched until the very end, when someone accidently fell on him. There is a God.

quinta-feira, agosto 22, 2002

So much work, no time to write except for...

Another Simpsons moment...

Marge is chasing Otto in her car because he didn't wait for Lisa and Bart to get on the bus. They race each other in a scene parodying Grease, then Milhouse says, "Wow! This is like Speed 2, except on a bus instead of a boat!"

quarta-feira, agosto 21, 2002

The writing this week for the Weekly has been so overwhelming, I have had little time to think. Maybe that's a good thing.

Another Simpsons moment

This happened in Sideshow Bob's last episode. He had Bart alone in a tool shed and was about to strangle him when he stepped on a rake and smacked himself between the eyes. Uttering his trademark weird groan, Bob then uttered "Ah rakes, my old arch-nemesis." (Loyal watchers will recall the infamous scene when Bob spent about two minutes trying to navigate through a sea of rakes only to keep hitting himself with them. This episode is also classic for the Homer Thompsons bit and the fact that Homer was wearing a "Witness Protection Program" T-Shirt).

In a rejected voice, Bart asks Bob "Hey, I though I was your arch-nemesis."

Scoffing, Bob replies, "I have a life outside of you, you know."

terça-feira, agosto 20, 2002

We all live in a corporate world! More details to come...

segunda-feira, agosto 19, 2002

Drove Guillermo Swaim around in his car while he tore up my art review. Isn't being an intern grand?

Something about me seems to be changing. I'm not sure what. But it's something good...I think.

domingo, agosto 18, 2002

I messed up the previous post somewhat. I apologize in advance.
Many comments. Let's ratch them up. First batch will be regarding my mock editorial as R.C. Hoiles speaking from the grave to his heirs. Own comments on my behalf...

How are things? Judging from your articles I see you’re still dangerous with a pen and a paper that backs you up. I enjoyed the article about the former owner of the OC Register speaking through you to voice his disgust about how business is being conducted by his prodecessors (sp?) I gotta ask though, would he really have been this angry or were you beefing it up a bit?

Funny thing is, I think Hoiles would be as cantankerous as I made him out to be

great register column. i can't believe tonny katz and chris anderson are still there. i worked there from 1987-88, my very first job, and they were there then.

so fill me in on why henry sheehan was fired....

That one was from Sam Quinones, one of my countless mentors.

really enjoyed your bit of OC Weekly channeling there pertaining to the former owner of the Register. I was just wondering but, how's that gonna go over with the still living fam?

I'm not sure how it will go over, except through the possibility of a lawsuit

My mock editorial was so well-received, it was posted on the website for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. It'll probably be up there for a couple of days, but only the best of newsweeklies goes there. I guess I am part of the best now.

Here's a letter I received for my Lila Downsin Long Beach with !. Yes, !. She's always going to be ! to me whether I want to or not. We had a good time and let's leave it at that.


Wrote all day. Finished two articles, started on two others that will be completed tomorrow. Spent most of my free time downloading songs from the Internet.


My white supremacist website to bolster their arguments about the evils of political correctnes. I'm not sure how to feel; those idiots at posted by Gustavo @ 9:23:00 PM   4 comments

Another Simpsons moment to keep you occupied while I write a lot...

Bart and Milhouse get to take over Comic Book Guy's store after he suffers a "worst episode ever." They find his stash of bootleg videos and Milhouse pops in one of Kent Brockman picking his nose on-camera. Milhouse stares in amazement (the camera doesn't show the television action) points at the television, and yells in amazement "He's picking his nose!"

sexta-feira, agosto 16, 2002

Will write at a later time; much to report. In the meanwhile, let's leave you with a Simpsons moment...

In an early episode of the Simpsons, Mrs. Krabappel tells the class that she has a surprise for them. It turns out to be a test that determines what their future occupation will be, but her class daydreams about the possibilities. Bart imagines that Krabappel reveals herself to be an alien. But the best is Milhouse, who imagines an Indian resplendant in loincloth, solitary feather, and war paint wrestling an alligator.

quinta-feira, agosto 15, 2002

I'm tired in every way imaginable and there is no rest in sight.

quarta-feira, agosto 14, 2002

This is one of the most arrogant comments I have read in a long time. It's actually disgusting...

O comandante Radkee disse que algumas dessas atitudes dos presos podem ser sinais de arrependimento por seus atos.

Translation (let's brush up on my Portuguese...

Commander Radkee says that some of the prisoners' attitudes could be signs of regret for their actions.

The article in question was posted on BBC Brazil saying that about 30 of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have exhibited suicidal tendencies. So Radkee is saying that they're probably doing that since they regret their actions. Or could it be because they're held in absolute isolation and forced to wear ridiculous outfits while in open-air cages?

terça-feira, agosto 13, 2002

I was supposed to go to a concert tonight with PM but I wasn't on the guest list. Unprofessionalism on their behalf. Damn bastards.

I didn't let this ruin my night, though. PM and I went to eat some bruschetta at Bucca di Beppo, a good corporate eatery. He's one of the Boys, so needless to say, we had fun.

Much writing to come, as concerts. So many concerts, in fact, that I have to decide which I want to go to. Such is the life of a music writer.

segunda-feira, agosto 12, 2002

The trip to see Morrissey was great. NGF was great, singing virtually non-stop to every Morrissey song. I have to admit, I'm starting to like him a lot. And that damn song "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" possesses a beauty that is rarely seen by me. For crying out loud, it has me serenading it to everyone in my life right now...everyone that I talk to, that is.

The full accout will come out later in print. Nothing more on that matter, nothing more on any other matter.
There is a light that never goes out...

domingo, agosto 11, 2002


I drove my car into a pool and was so freaked out, I looked for a helicopter to wrap a chain around it and pick it up. It was in the middle of winter, so the water was cold. Better yet, this is not the first time I have dreamed about driving my car into a pool. Please submit your theories as to what this dream means, please.

I also dreamed that I talked to CK, who I've been meaning to talk to. There's been a lot of people I've been meaning to talk to as of recent.
Preparing for Morrissey. Pray for me.

sábado, agosto 10, 2002

Went to SD's party in the LBC tonight. Had a blast kicking it with AP. We're two big nerds (I think I'm slightly ahead of him) but he does seem to have a thing with the ladies. Not me! Had fun, though.

Tomorrow comes Arizona and Morrissey with NGF. I'll have a dream to post in the morning then comes my destingy.

sexta-feira, agosto 09, 2002

I am at home and I am happy. I had plans but I dropped them because I wanted to read. Could I possibly be any nerdier? I don't give a damn. Here are two letters written to the Weekly this week regarding an article of mine. My response will be personal and was not published in the paper...

In an otherwise competent piece on the gawking at the Runnions (Gustavo Arellano’s "When Memorial Becomes Spectacle," Aug. 2), there is a glaring error on a key point: Erin Runnion is culpable for her actions contributing to the circus. Perhaps she only "lamented her child’s fate," but she also did so very—in fact, spectacularly—publicly. At any time, Ms. Runnion could have simply asked the TV folks to leave her family alone. She could have politely suggested people get off her neighbors’ lawn and stop leaving teddy bears and flowers all over the sidewalk for departing TV crews not to film. Then she might have—if she were interested at all in downscaling the spectacle—considered courteously declining to be on Larry King Live. Finally, she could have offered a soft, gracious, thanks-but-no-thanks to Crystal Cathedral representatives (whose idea was that, anyway?), explaining she wished to have a quiet, family-only ceremony to bury her daughter. The media will cover the stories it must—as the OC Weekly’s own investigative work shows—but public spectacles will be fewer and farther between when individual members of the public don’t get the ball rolling by making spectacles of themselves.
In closing his article, Arellano leaves us waiting "until the next missing child." He probably should have written "until the next missing middle-class Caucasian female child."

Both are valid points that I chose not to bring up in my article. With the first letter, I didn't want to kick Erin Runnion while she is down. Besides, she knew exactly what she was doing with her handling of the case, as exploitative as we may deem it.

The second letter does bring up the salient fact that most of the children who get national attention are "white" children. But in an effort to immediately tie this into race, the person who wrote the letter forgot that Runnion came from a working-class background. That said, I felt that race had nothing to do with how quickly the American public forgets abducted children. If this constant obsession with "white" children ends so quickly, imagine what would happen if the child was of another race? Oh wait, they're not even reported--which I might even argue is better. Better to have not been remembered at all than remembered so vapidly.

The following is a comment about the new picture that adorns my site. AH said it...

Nice choice for a picture. The black and white representation of you works, don't ask me why. Just like with the Verizon wireless guy I just see this.

Thanks. I seem to be a very black-and-white guy for my adherence to a deconstructionist life philosophy. BTW, AH, my name is Gustavo, not Gus. Not to me rude or anything, but I'm very particular with the names people give me. Only certain people can call me certain things.

The following is the two picks I did for the Weekly this week. Since the links for our Picks of the Week get erased with each new week, I shall post them here in all its glory. Here's the first one...



An already-bad year for Argentina worsens every day: its beloved fútbol squad didn’t get past the opening round of June’s World Cup for the first time in 40 years; a recent New York Times article revealed that ex-president Carlos Menem allegedly took a $10 million payoff from Iran to cover up the country’s role in a 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish center bombing that killed 85 people; and a poll taken in anticipation of next year’s presidential race found an electorate so dispassionate that the leading candidate got only 7 percent of the vote.

So what is the dozen-member group Los Auténticos Decadentes doing to help their compatriots? Same thing they’ve done for the past decade: party hardy to forget. Staying true to their name (come on, carajos: Spanish doesn’t have to be your mother tongue to guess the translation, "The Authentic Decadents"), Los Auténticos’ joyous "anarcotropical" fusion of football-chant-like vocals, ’60s British horns and ska has always offered respite for long-suffering Argentines. Underneath the looniness, though, lie tender, almost tragic, lyrics. For example, one of their best songs is "El Dinero no es Todo" (Money isn’t Everything). Over a jubilant beat, lead singer Cucho Parisi recounts how he is broke and cannot find work. His grandmother advises him with the title of the song, but Parisi responds with Lennon-esque bitterness, "¡Pero cómo ayuda!" (but my how it helps!).

I feel so much for Argentines. I still think they're a bit arrogant, but how could you not call them Latinos as so many of my Chicano brethren have insisted? To me, "Latino" signifies a constant struggle against oppression and next to Mexico, Argentina has been one of the most fucked-up nations in Latin America. That's why you have such great music coming out of there, like Gustavo Cerati, Bersuit Vergarabat, and Enanitos Verdes, just to name my favorite. You don't hear any great music coming from Costa Rica, for example. And strangely enough, nor from Guatemala, though you'd expect otherwise.

The next is a bit personal. Yes, I do exaggerate, but exaggeration is not synonymous with lying...



When I find the woman of my dreams (that is, one who’ll go out for cigarettes and actually come back), I’m going to plop her on a piano and tickle out the only tunes I ever learned to tinkle: those of George and Ira Gershwin. I’ll wow her with my rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue," scare her by singing the bittersweet "They Can’t Take That Away from Me," then finally ask for her hand in marriage after belting "Our Love Is Here to Stay" complete with the little-known prologue.

But I’ll go alone to this Saturday’s Gershwin Showcase at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Part of the Pacific Symphony’s Summer Festival and featuring Alain Lefèvre as the guest pianist, the event is sure to touch on all of George’s symphonic pieces ("An American in Paris," the aforementioned "Rhapsody in Blue," which—despite United Airline’s co-opt of the song—is still one of the great American works of art, and the Concerto in F) and Ira’s superb libretto (the operatic faves of Porgy and Bess and the ones I warble in my dreams). Plus, with fireworks at the end and a pre-concert picnic opportunity beforehand, it’s the perfect romantic evening. Or for people like me, it’s a perfect place to cry.

Yes, I can play those songs on the piano, although they're horrible renditions of it. But I won't be going alone; in fact, I won't be going at all. I'll be going to a house party hosted by a fellow Weekling. That's where I'll be crying.
I'll be posting a couple of letters shortly, both personal and those directed to my articles in the Weekly. I'm currently waited to have my work torn into pieces. Going to see Morrissey in Yuma, Arizona with NGF. Road trip. Something I always said I wanted to do as a younger adult. Now, they freak me out.

quinta-feira, agosto 08, 2002

For the romantics out there...


Nunca pensé que algún día, tú me pagarías con una traición
Tu falso amor me dejó herido del corazón.

Con tus ardientes caricias y tus besos brujos me hiciste soñar,
Y me dejaste recuerdos que nunca en la vida los he de olvidar.

Juraste que me querías poniendo tu mano en el corazón
Dulces promesas de amor me llenaron de ilusión.

Cuando más seguro estaba, me diste en el alma el golpe traidor
Por lo que hiciste conmigo tendrás tu castigo, lo juro por Dios.

repeat **

I've been listening to this song a lot as of recent not necessarily because I feel that way (although I do) but because I found a great version of it on the Internet by a long-forgotten group known as Los Sailors. Long live the Internet

I'm suffering through one of my periodic bouts of writers block. Rather, I have written what I need; now I just need to make it great. Such is my life--always trying to improve.

quarta-feira, agosto 07, 2002

Somebody read this page, que no?

terça-feira, agosto 06, 2002

Finally, the response from JT...

>In my message of yesterday, I forgot to put down the URL of my website.
>All I can say to those who pointed it out (thanks, BTW) is.by now all
>of you should know it by memory!

You know...I really think you should stop with the guilt-tripping. I mean,
what does it accomplish...really? :)

So I finally read your piece on how porn saved you...fun stuff, man. I
mailed it to my bro.

I also read your thing on the Runnion tragedy. You do a good job emphasizing the tragedy of the situation. That is, you do a good job making your point while not minimizing the horror of what was done to her. My only criticism is this: why the pessimism about "until next time." I mean, duhhh...this will happen again, but I just don't see how the recognition of the inevitability of recurrence of this sort of tragedy fits in with the rest of the piece...if it's supposed to say, "this will happen again, you
just might not hear about it"--well, I'm not sure if that was obvious to me
the reader.

Anyway, it's not a big deal...I just didn't understand what you were going
for in that part of the article. Besides that, it was good.

Hey...I'm just trying to provide you with some criticism that you're so
intent on receiving...you're always begging for it! :)

But seriously, it's not like when I was reading it, that this REALLY stood
out to me, I just noticed it, that's all.

I enjoy everything you read, man...keep sending them. (But I don't enjoy
the guilt trips so much... :))

My response...

Thank you for the thoughtful response and I apologize for my guilt-tripping. I just don't feel appreciated when out of the 80-odd people that I send my shameless letters to, I receive response from maybe 3 of them--at the most.

Glad you liked the porno article. As my professor told me, "When you're accepting your Pulitzer one day, someone's going to pull out that article and they're going to revoke it."

Glad you liked my Runnion piece. The reason why I ended it on such a cynical note was because that's the inevitability which I was trying to lead up to. I feel that our media has made tragedy such a spectacle that people really feel that life is like entertainment and is susceptible to trends. Samantha is the poster child of the moment, but in a couple of weeks, she will be forgotten. Oh wait--those two girls who were kidnapped from a Lover's Lane are all over the news. Where's Samantha? I find this fleeting fascination to be horrific and to end on a cynical note, while a bit unpleasant, was also shoving bitter reality in its face. At least that was the intent.

Keep on with the comments and I'll try not to guilt-trip anymore :-). Hope everything is well with you.

You people look up the links to the articles we refer to. I do too much for everyone as it is.
One of the greatest quotes in Simpsons history. It is from "Deep Space Homer" when Mr. Burns is addressing his workers. Apparently, Burns was a member of the United Fruit Company during the 1950s...

Compadres, it is imperative that we crush the freedom fighters before the start of the rainy season. And remember, a shiny new donkey for whoever brings me the head of Colonel Montoya.

Greatest series ever.

segunda-feira, agosto 05, 2002

I cannot find the lyrics to Thee Midniters' "The Town I Live In." I will not rest until I do.

domingo, agosto 04, 2002

Today was the Arellano family picnic. Unlike my mom's side, my dad's family gets along wonderfully. No fights amongst anyone. Everyone played games (volleyball, sack races, and some weird plank activity that looked like a walking form of rowing) except me. I always stick to myself. Of course, I had great conversations with cousins and uncles but I always stick to myself. And I left early. It's not that I'm a misanthrope; I just don't like relaxing.

Here are some random emails. The first is from JGS, a dear friend of mine from USCB days who now lives in San Jose...

I received your e-mail but I don't have the link to read your articles. Please reply with info. because Pancho (note to reader: Pancho is her husband)is really interested in reading and criticizing you.=)

Hope you are doing well.
Hey send me an update on your love life!

I don't remember if I told you that I know we're having a Boy.

My response...haha, you think I'm going to post updates on my love life here?! All I can say is that I have a love life in the past tense only. Here's another email from JT, my brilliant philosophying pompous asshole friend...

I'll post another one later. For now, I get to play soccer!

sábado, agosto 03, 2002

Something happened to me that made me so happy, I literally stuttered. Yes, it had to do with food. Those close to me know that whenever I start talking about bánh mì, I cannot string a coherent sentence; I am simply too much in awe about its taste, size and price. Today I experienced the same thing.

I will not reveal what food made me speechless, but let's just say it's found in abundance in Los Angeles but I believe the restaurant I frequented today is the only of its kind in this damn county.

Was disappointed today at the Cuauhtemoc concert. It was supposed to be a fundraiser for some political prisoners but turned out to be for a different purpose. If the organizors had said that in the beginning, I wouldn't have had a problem. But I don't like being told one thing and then see something else result. It's duplious. I hate duplicity.

Tomorrow is the Arellano family picnic. Should be fun. But I doubt any food will leave me agape.

sexta-feira, agosto 02, 2002

Let's post some comments shall we? These are in response to various articles, most from the newest batch. This is some words of encouragement from Olin of that great band Cuauhtemoc...

i read the JC Fandango fame...

Your a bad ass mother f%#*er...

No response needed for that one.

Finally got around to seeing The Fast and the Furious today. I really enjoyed it. Unlike most films of today, the movie followed specific genre guidelines. This does not make it a rip-off of past films; if anything, sticking to a genre's motifs makes your film more interesting and original. God, how I miss film criticism. Maybe I'll get a PhD in it...

I could have gone to three different concerts today but didn't. Why not? Attribute it to loneliness. Tomorrow, will be different. Tomorrow is always a new day...unless it's my life, which means it's always the same--never a dull moment.

quinta-feira, agosto 01, 2002

I hate rejection. I despise it. Yet I'm used to it because it befalls me so frequently. What do I do? Feel bad, then go back up to bat. I just need to write better and I won't be rejected anymore.

Just came back from the Angels-Yankees game with PM and his girlfriend P. They were gracious enough to give me a ticket at no cost. I proceeded to embarrass them for the next three hours, yelling belligerantly at the Yankees and cheering the Angels. They're both die-hard Angels fans, so I think inside they were happy. Outside, PM was telling me insults.

Here's something good for the day: another email from loyal reader RG regarding my Ron Jeremy article...

Liked the Jeremy article like a car crash, couldn't stop reading, but wanted to...

My response...

Now why would you want to stop reading that article, besides the disgusting nature of it and all?

Enough for now. I must learn not to be rejected anymore. I've learned too much already from rejection for it to do me any good...