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

quarta-feira, setembro 03, 2003

Love Letters in the Sand...

First, the letter. If you didn't receive it personally...it's that I still don't know you enough. But it still applies!

I apologize for the non-BCC status of the email, but I figure since this is more personal than my usual shameless self-promotions, Uds. might as well know some of the people I talk to!
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The Summer of my Content
By Gustavo Arellano

DISCLAIMER: THE WRITING WITHIN THIS HEARTFELT LETTER IS SLOPPY AND NOT AT ALL UP TO THE QUALITY OF WHICH I LIKE TO PRETEND I'M CAPABLE OF

So another summer ends with the passing of Labor Day, and students across the States trudge back into classrooms. But this Labor Day commemorates not the sweaty efforts of the proletariat, but rather the first day of my perpetual summer. See, I'm now a staff writer for the OC Weekly and also a summa cum laude graduate of UCLA's Latin America Studies program, emphasis in history, sociology, and anthropology.

Some of you already knew about the first development, but only about three of you knew about the second. Why the delay on my behalf? Mainly, because of the second. As all of you have become aware of thanks to my shameless self-promotion list, I've spent the summer writing mediocre hack job after dull food review after music screed after crap. But I wanted to take the chance during this holiday to write this much-needed update for Uds.

First, the first. I finished graduate school around June, concluding my studies with a 3.95 GPA. My time at UCLA was well-spent, and the most important thing I learned from academia was that nation-building is really little more than a genocidal experiment under the auspices of liberation, whether it is the Americans in the future USA, the Aztecs in Tenochitlán, or the Americans in Iraq. I'm not sure if I'll return to UCLA or another school for my doctorate, mainly because I'm still undecided which major would be my emphasis. But the bigger reason is the Weekly.

The Weekly hired me full-time about three weeks ago. Nothing really changes-still pursue the same beats, type the same scribbles, receive the same hate mails, if not more (did any of you read the one where I was called a "gold-toothed beaner"? Of course not). But now I have benefits! My name on the masthead as a "News and Investigative Editor"! The direct phone line! Umm...the cool OC Weekly T-shirt emblazoned with "OC Weekly'!

A staff job with the Weekly is the work situation of my dreams. Yes, the pay barely qualifies me for serf classification, but money has never been an issue with me when it comes to employment during these bachelor years. Working with the Weekly gives me the opportunity to live and work in the only place I've ever called home, a county that's been in my blood for almost a century. Orange County is bubbling over with magnificent, bizarre, wonderful stories untold by the dailies-and I plan to take them across the world via our fine rag.

But enough about my new job and me. This letter is really an excuse to thank every one of you for making me the boy I am today. I realize I don't talk to some of you as much as I should-but I don't worry. If you're receiving this email, it's because I'm sure our friendship shall persist even after the Bomb. Some of you I've known my entire life, others but a year. Yet each of you occupy a space in my heart, and all I can do is humbly ask for your blessings.

And the future? Would be ridiculous of me to predict. I've learned that life presents you with unexpected opportunities and that it's up to individuals to grab on and let it ride-hell, that's how I began with the Weekly. But I do know that my main goal for the future is to be the best damn writer I can-and to continue to treasure each of you and ask for your guidance as I continue on the first day of the rest of my life.

God Bless,

Gustavo Arellano
Staff Writer (!), OC Weekly

And now, some responses...

Gustavo! CONGRATULATIONS! That is SO fantastic. You are a great writer and a really, really sweet person. I know you will keep fighting the good fight and set the record straight. Investigative reporter Arellano...woo hoo!
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Congratulations, my friend, on the job as well as the excellent finish on your Masters! That was a great email. And though I did know aboot the FT job because of Lalo's show (and read the hate mail), I wasn't aware of your graduating with such praise. So there. I can honestly say that you truly deserve the plaudits, a full-time job with bennies and then some.
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You are an asset to OC Weekly. Our county needs a voice like yours.
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Man, what a sweet letter. Thanks for including me. (my thoughts--umm, OK)
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¡Felicitaciones!
I had no idea you were so busy. Your letter made me tear up. I appreciate all the times you've written, especially knowing now how hectic your life has been. Incredible...

Please remember there is always a place for you here in the grand Tenochtitlan and a guide ready and willing to show you the seamy underbelly of the biggest city in the world. There's a lot here for a student of Latin American culture. If there is anything you need please ask.
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This is a great example of who you are and the reason to why many simply love you. Thank you for being you.
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Just wonderful. My friends are just wonderful. All of you are just wonderful. My pockets hurt.