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, fevereiro 28, 2004

Some Rotten.com history...

Feb 28 1574
Two impenitent heretics are burned at the stake in Mexico at a spectacular auto-da-fe comparable to those in Spain. The two are the first victims of the Inquisition in the New World, dying for their heretical crimes of... Lutheranism.

Feb 28 1993

Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco use armed force attempting to serve Branch Davidian leader David Koresh with a search warrant (one with no actual evidence of any illegal activity whatsoever), in what the BATF viewed as a publicity stunt to improve their image. While the agents carefully coordinated the raid with eleven different media outlets, something apparently tipped off Koresh and things do not go well: six Davidians and four ATF agents were killed. The warrant instead could have been served peacefully, while Koresh did his daily morning jog.

Feb 27 1977

Rolling Stone Keith Richards arrested in Toronto with his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg for possession of heroin. Found guilty at trial over one year later, he manages to get off with a suspended sentence plus benefit concerts for the blind.

Feb 27 1992

Trying to get the lid off her McDonald's coffee to add cream and sugar, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck accidentally splashes the 180-degree liquid on herself, causing third-degree burns to the thighs, genitals, and buttocks. After skin graft surgery and weeks of recuperation, Liebeck asks McDonald's to turn down the temperature of their coffee and pay $20,000 to defray her hospital bills. McDonald's tells the old lady to fuck off, as they had done for a decade of similar burn claims. Ultimately, a jury awards Liebeck $2.9 million in the resulting lawsuit, which immediately triggers a renewe
**
I've discovered I blog less often when I'm actually happy. So there.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 27, 2004

I have the biggest, loudest mouth in the world.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 26, 2004

I'm Singing in the Rain...

There is someone at the door of my heart again. But I shan't reveal her identity or even give her a nickname as...ah, now you want to know, eh? Pues nada. All I can say is that she's a woman and she's wonderful. So there.

What did we do yesterday? A tour of Little Gaza, with a stopover at Sarkis Pastry and Kareem's Restaurant. Absolutely delicious. And then, the rain.

Work has been hectic, as usual. Will post some Rotten.com history in a bit. And most importantly, listen to Howard Stern. Morons are trying to get him off the airwaves--if this happens, then we're truly doomed.

segunda-feira, fevereiro 23, 2004

Mele Kalikimaka is the Thing to Say...

There's supposed to be a protest tomorrow at Santa Ana Unified, of which I will attend. Since this is a personal blog filled with my sometimes-baffling remarks, I will refrain from commenting on them other than the district is even more fucked-up than my stomping grounds back in the days of Harald Martin. There is a God, but He sure loves to smite the blessed.

Some Daily Rotten history...

Feb 23 1942

The first Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland occurs when an I-17 submarine fires 13 shells at an oil refinery near Goleta, Southern California. $500 damage was inflicted. It was not clear why this target was chosen until much later, when it was found that the commander of this particular submarine had visited the site in the 1930's and stumbled into a field of prickly pear cactus. Captain Nishino never forgave the ridicule he received from his American hosts that day.

Feb 22 1987

Andy Warhol dies of complications after gallbladder surgery, though the details are hazy. The official cause was listed as cardiac arrhythmia, but speculation includes his fear of hospitals as well as possible Cefoxitin allergy. Warhol's death brings him a bonus 15 minutes of fame.

Nothing other to report except obrigado to all of you who post comments on this infernal blog. Oh, and that my Teutonic (or was he Austrian) namesake Gustav Klimnt scares me.

domingo, fevereiro 22, 2004

Stormy Weather...

A rather eventful couple of days these past couple of days:

FRIDAY

Went to open mic night in Little Saigon. Couldn't stay there that long but it was great. Good turnout, too. Afterwards, went dancing at JC Fandango. Me! Dancing! Salsa! With a woman! Together! Fun! Everyone who I've told this too has been shocked, and frankly, so am I. But it is a shock that will be happening with more frequency, inshallah.

SATURDAY

Some Nicaraguan with Downer Downey in Downey, then a fandango at the Centro Cultural de Mexico. Nicaraguan food is rather delicious--I liked the banana chips, and the cacao was frothy and dunked with a good amount of chocolate.

SUNDAY--THAT IS TODAY

Nothing. Read. Bought. Ate. Wrote. Talked.

An email regarding my Jugos Acapulco piece...

I finally read one of your food columns and it had to be about one of my favorite places, Jugos Acapulco. I miss that place. I would always go on Saturdays after taking a walk around Downtown Santa Ana, and I would order una ensalada escamocha. Se me hace agua la boca, nada mas en pensar.

And, that, broder, is the best compliment one can pay to a restaurant critic.
Amazingly touching bio onMr. Rogers from the otherwise-scabrous folks at the Rotten.com library. Just take a look at this excerpt...

There was a moment at the 1998 Daytime Emmys when Mister Rogers was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom Junod covered the story for Esquire magazine.

"...Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award -- and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone: All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence.

And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, I'll watch the time. There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds -- and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly, May God be with you to all his vanquished children."

Wow.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 20, 2004

Queremos Pastel...

Had dinner at Ebisu in Fountain Valley with...hmm, need a nickname. Will think of something later. Afterwards, went to UCI for an African film festival--first docu was too talking heads, second short film was nice and anti-authoritarian. Not to mention it used checkers, not chess, as a major plot point!

After that, we went to her friends house. 'Twas fun all around.

Outside of that, nothing to report. Work is work, life is life. My pockets don't hurt, but we now allow the planes to fly over the poor people. But what of Open Mic?

Decipher that, cabrones.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2004

I'll write more in a bit. First, this observation about Greg Maddux, the great pitcher who once threw for the Cubs, then found greatness with the Braves, and is now returning home:

Any pitcher who breaks a record held by Cy freakin' Young--in Maddux's case, he broke Young's record of most consecutive seasons with winning at least 15 games last year by winning at least 15 for the 16th consecutive season--is a stud.

terça-feira, fevereiro 17, 2004

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Excerpts fromRotten.com's entry on McDonald's...

Synonymous with mass-marketed crap, McDonald's is generally reviled as lowest common denominator fare. Greasy, salty foodstuffs concocted to satisfy your most unhealthy gastronomic cravings in the maximally-profitable manner. It is cheap, ubiquitous, and marketed to the working class. All of which makes it the perfect target for budding culture snobs.

As such, people commonly bitch that McDonald's is selling "junk food" -- substandard fare, marginally suitable for human consumption -- as if its customers are somehow hypnotized into buying food that doesn't really appeal to them. Which is bullshit. McDonald's delivers a consistent, if somewhat bland, product that competes quite well in the marketplace. If people didn't want Big Macs and french fries, they wouldn't buy them.

Most people who hate McDonald's are really just anti-establishment wannabes. Maybe they were raised by hippie parents, maybe they listened to a lot of punk rock in high school, or maybe they're pretentious jerks. Whatever the issue, these people feel compelled to reject the modern-day corporatocracy, but deep down they know there's no way they could live a whole month without Starbucks or Comedy Central. Rather than admit to themselves their complete and utter dependence upon the evil capitalist system, they draw the line somewhere arbitrary, so they can make a meaningless stand:

FAMISHED: Where you wanna eat?
IDEALIST: Anywhere except McDonald's. They're just -- the food, y'know? Yuck. And the rainforest...
FAMISHED: Burger King, then?
IDEALIST: Sure, whatever.

Feel free to slam McDonald's, but you should resist the urge to blindly rail against their product offerings. Especially when there are plenty of good reasons to oppose the multinational corporation behind them.

First of all, the company can't be trusted to keep its own story straight. Consider the lionization of Ray Kroc. Kroc's business card bore just his name, the golden arches, and the word "Founder." Except that Richard and Maurice McDonald were the actual founders. By the time Ray Kroc entered the picture, the McDonald brothers had already opened eight restaurants. Kroc joined on as their franchise agent. (Ever wonder why it isn't called Kroc's?) But he bought them out six years later for $2.7 million and went on to minimize their role in the official company history.

"Sometimes after reading excerpts from an article on McDonald's, I began to wonder if the McDonald brothers ever had anything to do with the success of McDonald's," observed Richard McDonald. "During the years from the time we first met Ray Kroc in 1954 and hired him in 1955 to be our franchise agent, there was never any mention over the years that Ray was founder of McDonald's. However, after we sold to Ray and his associates, he was elevated to be the founder."

As far as megalomaniacal Ray Kroc was concerned, there was one problem with the buyout arrangement: it allowed the McDonald brothers to maintain ownership of the original McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California at 14th and E Street. So what did Ray Kroc do? First he forced them to change the name of their restaurant (which became "The Big M"). Then he opened a McDonald's franchise as quickly as possible just one block away at 15th and E, purposely driving the McDonald brothers out of business. This event illustrates not only Ray's overweening vanity, but also his single-minded philosophy about competing in the fast food industry:

"It is ridiculous to call this an industry. This is not. This is rat eat rat, dog eat dog. I'll kill 'em, and I'm going to kill 'em before they kill me. You're talking about the American way -- of survival of the fittest."

And some quotes!

"We have found out... that we cannot trust some people who are nonconformists... We will make conformists out of them... The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization."
--Ray Kroc

"Everything went downhill from the moment the McDonald's chain was allowed to invade England."
--Morrissey

"I am in complete solidarity with France's farm-workers, and I detest McDonald's food."
--Jacques Chirac

"The Israeli people are infected with Americanization. We must not be concerned for culture only as culture, but understand what Israeli culture is, and Israeli religion. We must be wary of McDonald's; we must be wary of Michael Jackson; we must be wary of Madonna."
--Israeli President Ezer Weizman, summer 1999

"You people are destroying the rainforests of the world by grazing your cheap cattle. You are cutting down trees to graze your cheap cattle to sell your hamburgers."
--Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

segunda-feira, fevereiro 16, 2004

Polka Dots and Moonbeams...

Saw Osama yesterday. Talked until midnight yesterday. Ate stuffed eggplants yesterday. Shared some sholeh zard yesterday. Had fun yesterday.

Ah, but with who? I'm sure inquiring minds want to know. Know what? Keep inquiring--forever!

In other news...Rotten.com history!

Feb 16 1959

Failed baseball player Fidel Castro is sworn in as President For Life of Cuba. During his first year of rule 500 are put to the firing squad, an RBI record any dictator would be proud of.

Feb 16 1978

The first computer bulletin board system goes live on an S-100 motherboard and CP/M, and a Hayes 300 baud modem. Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss's Computerized Bulletin Board System still kinda runs to this day, but the Internet has taken the place that BBS's used to have. And this is why you have no social life, loser.

Feb 15 1936

At a speech in Berlin, Hitler confronts German industry with the challenge of creating the Volkswagen. Thus Ferdinand Porsche designs the Beetle which is now widely seen as the final solution to fahrvergnugen. But neither Hitler nor Porsche would have the foresight to realize how groovy the Beetle would be, man.

Feb 14

The eve of the Roman feast of Lupercalia. Naked youths would run through Rome, anointed with the blood of sacrificed dogs and goats, waving thongs cut from the goats. If a young woman was struck by the thong, fertility was assured. Pope Gelasius I decided this was a bit too much, and co-opted the Roman holiday to be the Feast of St. Valentine in 484 A.D.

Enough for now. Now, work.

sábado, fevereiro 14, 2004

Every Day the 14th...

Yesterday was the birthday of Johnny Arthur, my longtime droog. As the previous week, the Boys and Girls reunited to celebrate with delicious food--in this case, tongue tacos. Have never been a fan of tongue tacos, but let me tell you, these tacos were delicious.

The usual banalities were spoken--and I wouldn't have it any other way. Banality is my idea of fun--I take that back. Banality is my form of relaxing--the rest of the time, I'm having fun. But my type of fun is exhausting--eating, going to concerts, slamming people in the conscience.

From one-half of the Chapman Couple...

"I've never seen the same combination of arrogance and insecurity in a person as I've seen it in you."

Guilty as charged.
I TIED! I TIED! I TIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In tennis, that is. Next up--win a bloody game.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 12, 2004

Work is all around...fun and a dispatch soon.

quarta-feira, fevereiro 11, 2004

A shout-out from some blog calledxymphora:

Gustavo Arellano describes the disgusting - and there is frankly no other word to describe it - coverage by the American media of the April 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela (you have to be brain dead if you think you can get any semblance of the truth from the American media).
**
Talked for four and a half hours today--and I wasn't bored and loved it. So there.
Strange item in Rotten.com's bio on Janet Reno

1988 During a candidatorial debate, opponent Jack Thompson hands Reno a slip of paper: "I, Janet Reno, am a homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual. If you do not respond then you will be deemed to have checked one of the first two boxes." To this, Reno crumples the paper. One of Thompson's campaign points was Reno's susceptibility to blackmail because of her (even now) indeterminate sexuality.

terça-feira, fevereiro 10, 2004

I was called a coward today. Hoo boy: wanna get me angry. Call me that. One hell of a email later, I received an apology. Moral of the story: if you're trying to insult me, at least go after me on something where you can back yourself up.

In other news...work is fun!

segunda-feira, fevereiro 09, 2004

El Novillo Despuntado...

Some people can be so dramatic, I swear. And let's leave it at that.

Here's some Rotten.com history...

Feb 9 1909
The first federal law prohibiting the importation of opium is enacted, aimed not particularly at the ravages the drug was having on American society (none: white people weren't using opium), but at the hated Chinee.

Feb 9 1950

Senator Joseph McCarthy announces he has a list of 205 State Department employees who are Communist Party members. He did not mention that J. Edgar Hoover likes to wear garters and pumps.

What I've discovered--rather, what I've always known but am now proclaiming so that those that don't know already now do--is that I like to combine grand philosophical knowledge with ridiculous, hilarious trivia. So, I'll buy a copy of Nichomachean Ethics (but only to grasp Aristotlean thinking, not because I agree with the guy--he was just a rip-off of Plato and Socrates)--but I want my Rotten.com history also. I'm babbling now, but my pockets DON'T hurt.
Had a posting--was erased. Argh.

domingo, fevereiro 08, 2004

I'm glad that Akwid didn't win a Grammy for best Latin alternative album of the year. Nope, the winner this year is Cafe Tacuba for Cuatro Caminos (here's the entire list of winners). But that didn't deserve it, either. When will the world realize that El Gran Silencio es la pura sabrosura?!
I danced yesterday at JC Fandango.

Boy, was it fun. And I'm not being sarcastic.

To keep the ambiguities of this infernal blog a constant, now I submit Rotten.com history!

But since there's none to report, I leave you with this thought--Mexican fruit salads are damn good.

sábado, fevereiro 07, 2004

If it's an Internet test, it HAS to be true!

DisorderRating
Paranoid:Low
Schizoid:High
Schizotypal:Low
Antisocial:Low
Borderline:Low
Histrionic:Low
Narcissistic:Moderate
Avoidant:Moderate
Dependent:Moderate
Obsessive-Compulsive:Moderate

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --


Smithers, Have the Rolling Stones Killed...

So this is how Birthday Week is shaping up:

FRIDAY

Ignored the Rag's fabulous burlesque show in favor of the Philly cheesesteaks at Jon's Philly Grill with the Boys and Their Girls. I think everyone liked their food--at least they say they did. I know I did--I staggered out in a food coma so serious I'm still babbling right now (look, this is my stream-of-consciousness journal, so I can't be expected to say hilariously stupid things all the time). After that, went back to Johnny Arthur's place to see American Splendor. Coke Man and Library Girl gave me a gift certificate; Johnny Arthur and Marge gave me a gift certificate and Amores Perros. Thought is appreciated, but the only gift I wanted from Uds. Uds. gave to me: your company and good food.

The conversations were dorky as usual. No one can see me be a radical activist, just as my lefty friends cannot believe I'm a Howard freak (Stern, not Dean). Stenographer Gal once again reiterated what so many have told me--I'm intimidating. She didn't say it in an insulting way, just honest. So we had a conversation about that. Wonderful, wonderful times.

TODAY:

Drove up PCH from Corona del Mar to Seal Beach in search of good restaurants. Mission accomplished. Along the way, an epiphany came to me: I need to go out more. And that is what shall happen tonight, as I'm meeting some people in Little Saigon for an interview, then afterwards attending an art exhibit of a friend in downtown SanTana. And to conclude the evening, I'm dancing at JC Fandango.

Pray for me.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 06, 2004

Am supposed to dine on Philly cheesesteaks today with the Boys in honor of my birthday. Dispatch to come later. In the meanwhile, Rotten.com history!

Feb 6 1911
Ronald Reagan, who appeared in such films as Jap Zero, Girls on Probation, and Bedtime for Bonzo, born in Tampico IL.

Feb 5 1861
The "Peep Show" machine patented by Samuel Goodale of Cincinnati.

The funny thing about this incident is that Cincinnati is notorious for its prudish tastes. This is the city that declared Mapplethorpe and Flynt obscene, amongst other deeds. And they like race riots here, also!

Feb 5 1979

Woodrow Bussey files suit against the Adolf Coors Brewing Company for failing to warn him that their product, Coors Beer, is an intoxicating beverage.

terça-feira, fevereiro 03, 2004

They Live...

Today was the day of the exes, as no less than THREE of them attempted contacting me today! Following is the only email exchange, this from the Irish lass I wrote about for my hilarious comic drawn by Lalo Alcaraz...

> I'm not sure if this is still your email address, but i guess i'll find out. So my sister found a cartoon in oc weekly...... was that suppose to be me???? Had to ask, I couldn't resist. I was amused, thought I'd let you know. Katie on the other hand was rolling on the floor laughing. Hope all is well for you.

PS.. Sorry I was such a bitch to you back in the day. Learning experience I guess. But just the same sorry

My response!

Funny how one thinks no one reads their stuff but the minute they write about a personal incident, the protagonist (or, conversely, antagonist) in question comes out of the woods...of course it was you--never dated any other Irish gal.

There's no need to apologize--you went your way, I went mine. No bitterness--makes for great fodder, anyways. And in the larger scheme of things, our cantankerous split pales in comparison to the other people mentioned in the article.

Talk about crazy!

segunda-feira, fevereiro 02, 2004

Goal for this coming 25th year--eliminate all sentimentality. Unless someone comes along and justifies pathos' resurrection.

domingo, fevereiro 01, 2004

Poetic Justice...

The times I'm in agreement with Matt Drudge are so rare...this coming bromide is the first time I've ever been on the same side of the issue as he is!

Saw the Super Bowl with the Boys. Good game, and I even won three bloody dollars at Texas Hold 'Em. But during the halftime show, Justin Timberlake ripped off a part of Janet Jackson's dress, exposing a breast.

"I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl," Timberlake said in a statement. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."

An MTV press release after the game:

HOUSTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The tearing of Janet Jackson's costume was unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and was inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance. MTV regrets this incident occurred and we apologize to anyone who was offended by it.

I'm actually seeing footage of the incident off Drudge's site--it's rather disturbing. Jackson seems content, then Timberlake suddenly reaches over her chest and rips. Her head snaps back, then she immediately covers her chest. Looks almost like a rape.

But I refuse to give anyone the benefit of the doubt here. Even if it was unintentional, the rest of the skit--with Jackson snaking over Timberlake like a snake on a tree--was prurient, disgusting, and indicative of our society.

Do I have a problem with sex--am I a prude like so many of Uds. maintain? Absolutely not--hell, porno kept me off the streets. But there needs to be a point to flashing or public displays of sex. When this nation's celebrities do it--Paris Hilton's lame video, the Madonna/Britney osculation, and now this--it's usually done to garner attention for a product: themselves. Capitalism run amok. That's how popular culture treats sex now--consumerism, a status symbol. Look at me--I flash everyone and sleep with any guy or gal I want to! I'm liberated!

Fuck that. One of the reasons I have respect for porn is that it never pretends to be anything other than what is is--bonking. They're not trying to sell anything other than the act and the people in it. Shocking here is nothing. And that's why I've never appreciated Madonna. She's a shrewd businesswoman, yes, but all her moves save for "Like a Virgin" seem crass, coldly calculated. The only true sexual rebels are pornographers who use this nation's prudent beginnings to win freedom of speech for all of us. And so, I end this moralistic, perverted rant with a Rotten.com paean to pornographers:

Pornography is not an easy business. It requires a constant supply of fresh new talent, an eye for new trends in fetishes and desires, a willingness to stand up against the hypocritical anger of your customer base, and a familiarity with organized crime. Between being made an easy target for politicians looking for cheap votes, and having to negotiate what part of your income must be used to pay off those who need paying off, you stand to make a huge fortune indeed... if you live to spend it.

As a result of this, the professional pornographer (those who make a living at it and don't dabble on the edges) tend to be strong, maniacal personalities who can bluster and demand with the rest of them. They're outspoken, brash, and as distrustful of the media as only one who is part of the media can be. They might carry a gun, not to use it, but because that's what has to be done.

They are demonized, they are hated, they are sometimes violently attacked.

They are freedom.


Amen to that.

Birthday week is now!