Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A good friend gone

I was shocked and saddened today to learn of the death of Chris Gibson. Chris was a well known establishment around San Luis and will be greatly missed. I think it's safe to say he was one-of-a-kind and his death will leave a massive void in a lot of lives.

I first met Chris while working at Barnes & Noble. My roommate Kevin and he were friends and combined with the fact that I worked at Chris' favorite hangout meant we were destined to become friends ourselves. We talked of philosophy, history, and literature. We also talked about EVERYTHING else in this world. His cutting remarks on life, both local and global and his unrestrained wit are legendary. (For more on Chris' sense of humor, go to computarmachine)I wish more had appreciated who he was.

Many only knew the ever-present and often overwhelming image of Chris Gibson as the guy wandering around downtown. And that saddens me even more, because he was so much more than that. When I first moved away from San Luis in 1999, I didn't really feel a connection to Chris. He was a friend, but I had many and I didn't think I would miss him anymore than the next. But that all changed on the day I actually moved away. I had packed all of my belongings into the back of my pick-up truck, but was completely confounded on how to tie it all down. I had images in my head of debris falling from my truck and killing people when all of a sudden, Chris came up my driveway.

He remembered I was leaving that morning and wanted to see if I needed help. Boy did I. I asked him if he could tie a knot and was treated to not only the best knot ever tied (It made it all the way to Seattle without losing any tension) but to an hour long story about tying knots on fishing boats in Alaska as well.

Upon arriving back in San Luis two years later, Chris and I took up our friendship as if I never left. I listened to stories of his childhood, stories of his alcoholism and of his crushing depression. Yes, Chris could make me want to cry, but he made laugh too. He introduced me to a lot of people that helped me in a myriad of ways. He painted my bathroom and taught me how to fish for smelt. He borrowed like two hundred dollars from me and was one of my best friends in SLO.

I guess what saddens me the most is that I could never really help him. He was his own worst enemy and that made knowing him real hard sometimes. He was dealt A LOT of bad hands in life and ultimately never worked through them all. There wasn't much his friends could do for him, but be his friend. I hope I was a good one.

In an attempt to end this on a high note, I will relay one of my favorite Chris Gibson "experiences." One of Barnes & Noble's frequent customers is Steve Ford, son of former President Gerald Ford. He is a pretty unapproachable guy and so we never attempted it. Not Chris. Upon finding out who Steve Ford was, Chris sat down, introduced himself and quickly became lose acquaintances with him. One night, Chris and I were talking, the bookstore was about to close and Steve was heading out the front door. Chris yelled out, "See you Chuck." Steve (aka) Chuck Ford responded, "All right, Chris," without batting an eye. I paused and then asked Chris why he called him "Chuck." "Because that's his name," Chris quickly replied. "No, I'm pretty sure his name is Steve," I said. Chris seemed confused and then replied, "Steve?" "His name isn't Chuck?" "No," I said. Chris was silent for a while and then said, "Ah, what are you going to do?" At that Chris left for the night.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The revolution is growing

I have added yet another member to the federalcheese family. Arianne Rollinger is sweet, loves Jessica Simpson and wears the same perfume as an ex-girlfriend. She is the only English grad I know who HATES Shakespeare and she has been added to my links.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Good News Y'all

The first piece of good news is that Rick Santorum has, for the time being, decided not to run for President in 2008. Why is this good news? Because it means one less Nazi that can possibly dupe the American people into thinking they would be good for the United States. The other good news is that there has been an update to the "Story of Federalcheese."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

in light of recent events

Some have inquired into the nature of the comments to my last post. Justin Cooley, in response to the challenge posed under my profile picture, was attempting to guess the “old” and “dead” person to whom I resemble. Justin began by looking to the obvious; British Royalty (and some Prime Ministers), and I assure you this was a mistake. It was a valiant effort, but wrong. I ask those few who do know the answer to hold their tongues. I invite all others to venture a guess.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Good News/Bad News

On the one hand, the Giants are tied for third place in the National League West, but on the other hand there are only three other teams (out of fifteen) that have worse records than the Giants. Hope? According to my history with the team, it's better to give up now and wait for the 49ers. Oh God! Okay, okay, I'll wait for the Golden State Warriors. I'm officially crying now.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, Turn and Face the. . .Cheese?

In light of the new look here at federalcheese, I have been considering changing the content as well. Maybe not completely, but more serious topics might bring me a wider audience and more lively debate. There will still be my frivolous posts about all the boring aspects of my life and hopefully it will stay (start being?) funny. Well, here goes. One of the most pressing issues facing the United States is our intelligence gathering. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that we are lacking in this category. Our government’s usual solution to problems like this one is to have Congress allocate about a billion dollars, focus the media for a week or so and move on. But money isn’t the issue. How does the United States gather intelligence, vital information necessary to stop events like 9/11 and the London bombings, without creating more terrorists in the process? We okay the mistreatment of prisoners in the attempt to gain more information, hoping to save lives, but is it working? Does the government really believe Guantanamo Bay is helping the cause or do at least a few in the Bush Administration see it as detrimental? It seems as if our intelligence community missed the boat and never quite made the move away from Cold War spying and into the Middle East. Who’s to blame? Is anybody to blame? We need to start building constructive relationships with the leaders of Middle East countries in order to gain access to the threats that lay within them. But, we need to recognize the problems these leaders perpetuate at the same time, issues such as the suppression of human rights. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but I would like to hear people’s thoughts on this.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

big BIG changes

As all have probably noticed, federalcheese is a changin'. I owe this metamorphosis to the craftsmanship of Amie Barnett and Evan Jones. Amie and I recently attended a Built To Spill show in Santa Cruz with guitar virtuoso Jameson Swanagon and his girlfriend wherein I expressed my despair over the stale federalcheese look. Amie and Evan came to the rescue. I complained that I regularly screwed up my CSS by adding too much HTML. And that I am a moron. Anyway, Built To Spill was awesome, as is the new federalcheese.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Rocky Mountain High

The Gingernatti and I are back from our Colorado adventure. The purpose of the trip was to be in attendance for the wedding of Joe Swanson who, having recently coverted to Judiasm, is now also know as Joseph Abraham. If, like me, you always thought Denver was in the mountains, you will be, like I was, surprised to hear that this is not true. Although the Rocky Mountains are clearly visable from the "Mile High City," Denver is most decidedly, in the plains. Denver was also on this particular weekend, HOT. Temperatures reaching the upper 90's.

It is always nice to leave the west coast so as to better appreciate it. The weather is nicer in California, the terrain more interesting, but it's the little things that make all the difference. Lower octane gas (85), advertisements for houses that state the basement is thrown in for free and the seemingly large number of Texans. Joe explained that there has been a recent invasion of Texans to the area, but couldn't explain why.

I am lead to believe that there are nice places in Colorado. Boulder, Durango (which I have actually visited and yes, it is quite nice), Aspen and Mesa Verde National Park is pretty cool. But Denver didn't do it for me. I'm a Pisces, I need the water and only the ocean will do. Maybe it's just me.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I have the same jacket as DC Berman

DC Berman

It's true. I saw a picture of DC Berman in this month's The Fader and sure enough, he is wearing the same camel hair sportcoat. The clincher is the buttons. It's a bummer he tried to kill himself, but what are you going to do, right? For those who don't know, DC Berman is one of the best American songwriters working today and his band The Silver Jews have a new album coming down the pike. Lyrics such as "In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection" and "Why can't monsters get along with other monsters?" have put Berman on the map. The fact that I purchased an article of clothing before my mind was polluted with the image of a personal idol wearing it, means something. Well, maybe not to you, but it means something to me, mainly because I have so little in this world that means anything. Sure, I love my cats. Oh and my wife, but not much else. Maybe the ocean. . .and the color orange, but that's about it. I recommend American Water as a good intro to the intoxicating world of DC Berman.