These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


the number contiues to tumble and i'm absolutely thrilled. dad went back to the doctor this week after taking more blood work and the doc came in with a smile and said he was pleased to say that the cancer cell count had continued to drop and he was responding to the treatment. he had one more round of treatment in two weeks.

the number has dropped from 700 to 75 and now to 45. he is taking a vacine with his chemo called avastin used to shrink tumors from colorectal cancer that has metastized.

he sounds so good right now. he's not been affected too much by the treatment. he is gatiged at times and he does have a low white blood cell count that will require some injections next week. but he didn't lose his hair and hasn't experienced vomiting or nausea. he was very happy about that.

i can't put into words really how i feel about this change. i guess the pessimist in me can't qite believe it. i keep waiting for the bottom to fall, since it has all been a shock. however, the potimist in me says screw the pessimist in me and to accept the news and go with it. i will listen to the optimist and say screw the pessimist.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


talked to my sister today. she had her first doctor's visit as a pregnant woman. she and her husband got to hear the baby's heartbeat. arnold said it was going very fast. they both got a kick out of was a special moment for them.

linda said the doctor thinks she's about 11 weeks pregnant. she has an sonogram tomorrow to get a look at what the baby looks like. it's pretty exciting. it's a shame we can't be there for this part of it, but according to the doctor, the baby is due around march 31. if all goes well with dad, then we'll go in april down to texas and we'd get to see the baby.

arnold seems to think it's a boy. the boy names are still being tossed around. arnold likes alejandro, which is really
cool. other names are funny and linda does not want them or like them. linda already has her name if it's a girl, emma grace. i like that name. as linda pointed out to my mom, i'd end up calling the child Em. she's right. it's me.

in other news, started a short story that was generated by john robbins here at work. he told me the story of him and his buddy trying to pick up chicks back in the day. i liked the story so much that i told him i'd fictionalize it. i would also make the characters hispanic. i started today and enjoyed it. a lot of it is easy because i'm following his lead. but i want to make characters interwoven throughout a series of stories. we'll see where it goes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


i am disappointed and saddened at a comment a family member back in texas made recently about the new orleans refugees. the information passed to me second hand but it was still painful to hear and i shook my head in disgust.

i was told that this family member said that a lot of the people they were getting in south texas were these poor blacks who were criminals (it was said in spanish and it loses a lot in its translation). i guess what was supposed to get sent across was that all the refugees are poor, black criminals and wouldn't want them scattered over south texas cities. i guess that comment comes from watching tv and making that assessment based on what the media portrays these refugees as being.

it is a shame to categorize all the refugees in one lump group. yes, i'm sure there are the criminals among them -- like there would be in any group of people in any situation. but to assume that all of the refugees are bad is so pathetic. these people need a place to go and stay after their city was ravaged.

if something should ever happen in south texas, whould people make the same assumptions about hispanics? i'm sure they would by looking at the tv, since a majority of the population in south texas is hisanic. so is that to say that all the population of south texas are poor mexicans who are criminals? not all all, although there are poor people there and there are some criminals -- like any area of the country or world.

i am not sure i'd like for my race to be categorized as being criminals because of a few agitators and looters. these people need help and the rest of the country needs to reach out and help.

i am angered that a memberof my family would make such a stupid ignorant comment about something unknown to him or her. that type of attitude needs to go. those people could very easily be south texans if a hurricane with katrina's strength struck that region. i'd hate for people to marginalize us as being poor mexicans with long rap sheets.

my apologies to any refuge or family member who should come across blog entry from my family. that ignorance doesn't extend far from the source. not to my generation.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

latino festival

had a great time yesterday at the park. the city had its annual latino art and film festival this weekend. the park was filled with several hundred people watching folklorico dancing from various groups from here, GR and detroit. i ended up visiting with my brother in law and his family.

i get a kick out watching this kind of thing up here. back in south texas it was part of what was there and took it for granted. but up here, where it's not part of the everyday culture, i guess i appreciate it more.

i really liked this year that the festival was condensed into four days and all the locations were near each other so people could walk from the park to one of the theaters to watch a film. that's something that should have been done was scaled down but nice.

now i wish they'd have other things incorporated into it. they talked about having a folklorico dance contest and i like it. but what about a bingo event or chalupa playing event. something on a grand scale. those types of things draw people like crazy. great way to raise money and have tons of fun. or what about something they used to have back in alice, a bean and meat cookoff. over there they had a wild pig contest (who could cook the best wild pig), but here it could be a carne guisada or fajita contest. or even best flour tortilla contest. that would attract a lot of the townspeople to both participate, enjoy good food, and watch. if it had that affect in alice, it would certainly have that affect here in holland.

or how about having an international food area where people from different latin or hispanic cultures cook foods from their respective country and have tasting area. i think the farmers market area or even the civic center would be grat for that. think of the unity it would bring to our culture here if everyone participated in something like that. what an experience. mayby i'll suggest these things.

either way, i like this festival. this year it brought the people out who compose the makeup of this city -- both white and hispanic appealed to who we are as a hispanic and latin people. next year, hopefully it will further that connection.