Author Archives: El Guapo

Another Auld Lang Syne

Today’s Music: Dead South – In Hell I’ll Be In Good Company

As she put it…
It was a typical Thursday, at the end of December. Guap was back from another round of saving the world. This time that involved terrorists, twerking, that orange powder they use to coat Cheetos, and chocolate pudding.

He was taking a much needed day off (I can’t tell you how badly Cheetos dust and pudding react to each other) and decided to go skiing to celebrate the end of the year, and the approach of spring in a few months.

He made it to the top of the lift and was considering which trail to take while adjusting the bindings on his 192cm solid titanium rocket skis (a gift from the King of Montenegro) when he heard the first scream.

There was a woman – a pregnant woman, holding a baby, at the top of one of the trails – wearing rentals!

Guap ski’d over as fast as he could to see if he could help. As he got closer, he could see her expression was one of unmitigated terror! She turned at his calls, then turned again – facing straight down the mountain. She pushed off, the newborn squealing in her arms as the edges of her cheap rentals grabbed the snow and gravity propelled her down.
He raced to catch up, focusing only on helping the beleaguered damsel. He rocketed past the copse of trees where she had been, not seeing what had caused her overwhelming fear until it was too late.

A Yeti rocketed from the evergreens, it’s horde of miniature reindeer accompanying it with a fierce whuffling noise to drive fear into the hearts of men.

But Guap was made of stronger stuff. Using the snow bumps to his advantage, he skied circles around the mythical horde, raising a cloud of ice and snow to blind even the hardiest of winter nightmares. Knowing it had been beaten and that the prize of the pregnant woman and her spawn had escaped, the Yeti unleashed a mighty bellow of rage!

The bellow unsettled the precarious sheets of snow and ice resting loosely on the mountain face and they began to slide toward the base. Guap knew what he had to do.
Casting caution to the wind, he raced down the mountain, calling on all his skill and all his luck. He caught up to the pregnant woman just ahead of the cascading avalanche. He hurled himself to the surface just above her, and used his body as a snowblock to protect her from the tons of ice and snow.

She was saved.

But Guap…poor Guap. A ski glove that had been lost the previous season, spending the year being slowly encased in solid ice, was the last thing down the hill in the avalanche. It was aimed directly at the poor woman’s head. Ignoring the pain, Guap tore his leg from the snow and held it between her and the projectile.

He saved her. At the low, low cost of shattering his lower leg in three places.

And he’d do it again.
As he put it…
I was turning to stop at the top of the first run of the season, to see what the terrain looked like. One ski bit beautifully, arcing through the hardpack snow. The other didn’t.
And down I went.

The truth, I expect, lies somewhere in between…
And how is your year going?

A head is an awful place to live.

Today’s Music: Ravel – Bolero

This seems to be the time of year when exhaustion, apathy and wtf all collide in a perfect storm inside my head. It happens every so often. Nothing for me to do but ride the wave and find my moments where I can. On the bright side, it finally feels like spring here. Only seven weeks late.

So I’ll be playing with my trains, reading books about Roosevelt and Taft, the Mediterranean, and rereading a stack of books before reading (what better be) the final installment of a ten book cycle.
I’ll still be cooking, and maybe I’ll even try baking bread again.

And eventually, I’ll snap out of it. The Hawaiian shirts, the music, food, stories – all of it adds up, and it’ll re-anchor me to the world. I’ll come back and tell you about the Motorcycle Safety Class, and whatever happened with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. We’ll listen to some great music. Oh, and I’ll try and finish writing the hanggliding adventure. Maybe I’ll give you the story about when Steve screwed his hand to the ceiling. That isn’t a metaphor, by the way – he literally screwed his hand to the ceiling. And there might even be more polls.

The last few months have been exhausting. I’m taking a short break. You’ll still see me reading and commenting on your stuff, because I love the stories, but I doubt I’ll be posting for a bit, aside from the random one-off (I have a beatnik Poetry Slam I don’t want to waste).
Mostly, I’ll be spending time with TMWGITU.

And as so often happens, Shakespeare said it best:
“If we do meet again, why, we shall smile. If not, why then this parting was well made.”

Rock on.

Give My Creation…FOOLISHNESS!!!

Today’s Music: Berlin – Metro

Did you feel it? at 00:00 today, something glorious happened. Friday began! And as we look forward to the upcoming weekend, let’s also look back at some of the great writing from the week that was… Over at Tipsy Lit, Mike Calahan wrote About Passion. Tikk Tok continued the saga of Cooper, Bonnie and Clyde, and Lizzie Cracked told a story about a woman Discovering she Was Sick.
Fantastic writing, from them and everyone else!
Oh, and for those still missing Trifecta, there’s a new weekly story prompt at Light and Shade Challenge. I’m looking forward to reading their entries, and joining in from time to time.

They'll have a much improved lineup next season!

They’ll have a much improved lineup next season!

But even further back in the week that was, was last week’s poll, where we asked as a Mets fan, how you would spend this baseball season. And, much like the rest of the MLB, you guys enjoyed mocking the Metsies. Here’s what you said. (As always, my comments are taking their seventh-inning-stretch in italics.)

Wait…..the Mets have fans? When did that happen? – Revis
(It’s just the Curling fans, passing times til their season begins.)
Watching more games with Kentucky Bourbon Ale at my side (Frank)
(I prefer to watch with the bourbon inside.)
Watching the spinning because there’s nothing like a Mets brand ceiling fan –Linda Vernon
(The Mets stand still. It’s our heads that are spinning.)
with the trees – more exciting (Stacy)
(Not near as exciting as the Paint-Drying finals!)
In therapy. Just like the past 2,376 seasons. (Miz Yank)
(Much cheaper to scream at the players through your tv…)
eating cake and pudding in bed. Amy R.
(Where’re the peanuts and crackerjacks???)
being grateful for beer and loudly proclaiming I’m not a Mets fan Lizzie C
(Sorry – I missed everything you said after “beer”.)
making my mascot costume “UnderDog” Jessica
(I think you’re shooting a little high for the Mets…)
watching hockey – Curvyroads
(Why? Is it doing tricks?)
So I Mets this guy and well ya, you know where the story goes.
(It goes up, up, so close to the top…then…nothing.)
sending more pine tar to the Red Sox. Polysyllabic Profundities
(And maybe some discreet players?)
as a Canadian…we watch HOCKEY not baseball….SnB
(So it’s your fault this winter hasn’t ended!)
(Zoe) Where’s spring?? The Mets play baseball? When do I win?!
(You remember that bit about “there are no stupid questions”?…)
(Zoe) What the hell I didn’t win again? Who’s ass do I kiss don’t say the Mets!
(Funny, the Mets ask that first question after every game!)
(Zoe) What’s a Met? I’ve “Met” people before does that count?
(No. The Mets don’t recruit people as talented as “ordinary”.)
drinking copious amounts of vodka. thematticuskingdom
(Hey, save some for the umpires!)
trying to remember why I still watch baseball. thematticuskingdom
(For the Shakespearean levels of tragedy. And beer.)
looking for bigfoot – as likely at being successful as their season. thematticuskingdom
(No, he plays for the Mariners.)
pretending to be ANYTHING else – Benzeknees
(Jamaican bobsledder, maybe?)
to not be a mets fan
(There is no cure.)

Supporting the White Sox. ~~Addie
(I thought they had garters for that?)
blogging. Because baseball is soooo boring (Elyse 54.5)
(Next you’ll come out against apple pie and personal shoulder-fired RPGs.)
I live in Canada…we are still watching hockey…PLAYOFFS!! Kayjai
(Doesn’t the arrival of the Stanley Cup herald the start of summer?)
The Mets? Is that like a sad opera? –Marie Nicole
(Exactly! If only we knew what it was about…)
The Mets? Is that like a sad opera about hairnets? –Marie Nicole
(I believe you’re confusing the Met(ropolitan)s with the Metroplitan – singular.)
explaining to you that I’m not a Mets fan. jaklumen
(Ha! Next you’ll say your a Mariners fan!)
saying, “I’m not a Mets fan, GO Mariners!” jaklumen
(Now I feel better about rooting for the Mets…)
Who’s watching the Mets when playoff hockey is on- said the indignant Canadian
(Umm…hockey is played on normal ice, Mayor Ford, not the “ice” you’re looking for…)
eating $1 hot dogs…that’s how they make us O’s fans feel better, anyway –LaLa
(Only seven bucks a pop!)
Buying stock in Pine Tar, of course. brickhousechick
(Do you really want to stick your neck out on that?)
imagining how much better it would be if it were on ice. And called hockey. NancyTex
(The Hockey Pokey? You put your front teeth in, you leave your front teeth in…)
A Met’s fan? Why would I do that to myself when I have the Reds? Twindaddy
(It’s like a double header of sad!)
We are with the Red Sox. Argh.
(I think they make a pill for that…)
I’m more of a Stem fan…and hockey – it’s all about hockey!! Rutabaga
(But…but you’re not Canadian!)
Did I mention hockey? If they played Baseball on Ice, I’d care…..Rutabaga
(It starts as baseball on ice. Then it’s a Disney ride. Then a Johnny Depp movie.)
(So no.)

Dreaming about Tug McGraw. Ya Gotta Believe! Mamma Mick
(Hasn’t he been dead for about a decade? Much like the Mets pitching…)
Rooting for the Orioles! (sorry, Guap! ) – Not A Punk Rocker
(Don’t apologize – Oriole is a synonym of Mets.)

Alas, as Mets fan know all too well, there is no winner this week. But from the offered choices, the most popular was Laughing at Yankee fans who can’t buy beer after the 7th inning. So congrats to all of you who know there’s always another fan that has it worse!

I say, would you keep it down out there? I can barely hear myself rattle!

I say, would you keep it down out there? I can barely hear myself rattle!

This week, we delve deeper, deeply, into your darkest secrets. We all have skeletons in our closets. But what else is there? Well, this week, that’s what we want to know.
Dig up your answers, but do it soon, because this one closes at 2359 EDT on Tuesday, 6 May. Try and keep yourself to three Other answers if you do write-ins, and if you do leave an Other, add a way to recognize you at the end, and I’ll link back to you next week.

And as we head into the weekend, I hope you enjoy this.
Even if I’m really not sure what it is…

Have a great week, y’all!

Conversations In Bars: The I.R.A.

Today’s Music: Neil Young – Keep On Rockin In The Free World

*Note on today’s post: As with everything that happens to me in a bar, this is as true as I remember it. However, unlike most of my bar stories, I was sober for this one.

Ah yes, here we are again...

Ah yes, here we are again…

It was a Tuesday afternoon when I showed up to hit on the bartender.
I’d seen her a few nights before, working the Sunday night shift. This particular bar, in a working class neighborhood, was an Irish hangout. Saturday night, the place was awash in uilleann pipe music, cameraderie and pints of Guinness.
A friend of mine brought me there. I had a blast. That night ended early the next morning at someone’s apartment, with a rum-soaked dash into the neighbor’s pool for a quick dip before the neighbor came out in his boxers to yell at us.
But that’s another story.
This is how it always starts.

This is how it always starts.

So after a bit of discreet investigation, I found out the bartender also worked the Tuesday day shift. I got there around 1 pm. The place was just about empty. I ordered a pint (mmm…afternoon drinking…) and waited for her to come back over so I could strike up a conversation.
While I was waiting, the guy who was sitting a bit down the bar wandered over and started talking. He’d started his afternoon drinking while it was still morning.

What followed was quite possibly the strangest real-life conversation I’ve ever had.

The Other Guy: Hello. Who are you?
El Guapo: Hey. I’m [name redacted].
TOG: Did they send you?
EG (looking a bit confused): Sorry?
TOG: Did they tell you where to find me?
EG: (Even more confused): Sorry, who?
TOG: Would it be easier for you if I turned around?
EG (Bewildered): Would what be easier?
TOG: To shoot me.
EG: (Lonnnng pause) Sorry man, I’m just here for a beer.
The guy makes one of those “oh, so that’s how it is” expressions. I, still bewildered go back to my beer, trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
But The Other Guy wasn’t done.

TOG: I’ve been here over ten years, but I knew they wouldn’t forget. Now with all these peace talks, I knew they’d send someone over to clean up.
EG: Listen man, I’m just here to hit on the bartender
TOG: Sure you are. I guess it wouldn’t help if I tell you about my life here since I’ve been gone…

So for the next while, we chatted. He told me stories of the old country, of his kids. He told me about the construction business he’d built up.
The drink flowed freely.
I must have opened my mouth and spoke at some point, because eventually, he realized I was too much of an idiot to be anyone’s hit man.

The evening (yeah, we were there for a while) ended when he said he had to head off. I told him I needed food. He offered to give me his construction business.
I heartily agreed.

And that was the last I ever saw of him.

I could have built my very own Assassin HQ!

I could have built my very own Assassin HQ!

And the bartender? Apparently The Other Guy scared here and she didn’t want to mess around with any of his friends.

Speak Now, Or Forever Hold Your Foolishness

Today’s Music: Taj Mahal – Stagger Lee

Take a week, Throw it in a blender. Add confusion, paperwork and flourescent lighting, and what do you have? Relief that it’s finally Friday!!! And while you’re at it, add great blogs to the mix to help you get through the week. Here’s some of what I saw…
Are You Finished Yet talked about Gender Stereotypes. The Preschool Mentor discussed Children’s Dreams vs Their Parents, and Cayman Thorn reflected on the Boston Marathon. Oh, and Budget Cooking Blog finally vanquished his culinary nemesis, Brown Rice!
They, and all of you made a very good week of reading.
But last week, we were focused not just on Friday, but on how to make the very best Friday! And wow, do you people love avoiding work. Here’s what you said. (As always, my comments are waiting for 5pm in italics.)

Would only be 2 hours working long so we could get to the weekend sooner! Benzeknees
(Wait – I’m supposed to actually do work at work on Fridays???)
be followed by “Punch A CoWorker Monday” Samara
(And then, an exciting “Post Bail Tuesday”!)
not celebrate a man getting beaten, tortured and then nailed to a cross. Samara
(Hey, even fetishists deserve a special da- Oh…nevermind…)
flow in jazz-flavored sharpsexy tones of a muted trumpet.
(I hadn’t realized Miley released a new album.)
be BFF, Best Friend Friday. We’d both get to ditch work (and still get paid) to Jessica
(Fridays off are the best use of sick days.)
be when you give up guilt for Lent and eat bacon donuts all day! (Miz Yank)
(Better than giving up donuts and lending bacon all day.)
not involve a human sacrifice.
(Nono – those are Tuesdays.)
be every day of the week SnB
(I don’t think I can do a daily Foolishness.)
(Well, not in blog form, anyway.)

The one where I win the lottery. Elyse 54.5
(As long as you win enough for the whole class…)
be “stay home, and wear your pajamas and eat Nutella out of the jar all day” day radiochick74
(What if you sleep in your birthday suit?)
…be clouded by purple haze. And wine! (LVital7019)
(Fill the humidifier with Merlot. Win-win!)
(Zoe) Have me win this pool, geeze what does it take? Do you need bowing too?
(Lets be honest, does anyone ever really win these?)
(Zoe) See Guaps become famous
(Someone would have to give evidence against me for that to happen…)
(Zoe) Be the beginning of the end of ever having to work again cause rich
(And then we could afford grammar lessons!)
do a Rebecca Roll — jaklumen
(It’s like a Turkey Roll, but with less flavor!)
would be ..better? Lizzie C
Have to fulfill my every desire… lol Andro
(Several of your desires are against the law.)
(And the health code.)

Did someone mention orgy? Oh… Andro
(Sorry, typo. Should have been “ogre”. Still interested? 😉 )
Be a picnic after midnight with… Hey nosy 🙂 Andro
(That’s a terrible nickname for your picnic partner.)
be filled with bacon. Not that bullshit Canadian bacon (it’s NOT Canadian!) NancyTex
(You’ll cheer up when spring thaw comes to Canada.)
(In August.)

The day I tell my boss to go fuck himself … twice. KBar3
(Double Jeopardy precludes you telling him to fuck himself twice for the same thing.)
Come with a butler and personal hair stylist. The Sailor’s Woman
(The butler did (hair)do it!)
Best Friday would take place on the beach with margaritas! Susie Lindau
(I’d prefer it if that were an average Wednesday.)
allow me to think of a quick & good answer to these questions (Frank)
(There are no good answers, Frank. At least, not in italics anyway.)
be Saturday … all the time! –Judah First
(But SNL has enough trouble being funny one night a week…)
Live music of all my favorite musicians/bands…for free…in my yard. Rutabaga
(Careful – I hear Karen Carpenter hogs all the snacks.)

Congratulations to Lizzie C for this weeks simple, eloquent answer. (Plus I’m pretty sure this week’s winner will just confuse Zoe even more, so bonus!) And from the offered choices, the most popular was be chocolate covered!!!. So I guess the fetishists know how to spend this day after all.

He's in shock over how badly they play.

He’s in shock over how badly they play.

This week, calendar wise anyway, we are deep into Spring, which brings us to the joys of Baseball. Unless you’re a Mets fan. If you are, then what do you do? Well, that’s this week’s poll.
Take a swing at an answer often, but do it soon, because this one closes at 2359 EDT on Tuesday, 22 April. Try and keep yourself to three Other answers if you do write-ins, and if you do leave an Other, add a way to recognize you at the end, and I’ll link back to you next week.

And to send you on your way, enjoy Simpsons Lego!

Have a great weekend, everyone!