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.

Friday, September 30, 2005

what the fah!!

so i'm changing a flat tire in our car tonight because dawn has a gig in the morning. it's late, after midnight, and it's cold and we're out there doing this thing. three lug nuts loosen easily. the fourth, of course, does not. i go back and forth on it and it's sorta loose. then i apply pressure and it moves. but i realize something's up.

it's dark and i reach down to feel for the bolt where the lug nut goes. guess what? no bolt. no lug nut. both had come off. dawn found the lug nut still screwed into this bolt. they were still attched to each other. i dunno shit about cars or anything but this is weird stuff. i didn't panic or think of the money to fix it. i'm getting better at it. but i'm pretty freaked about it. i don't have that much strength that i'd be able to rip off the entire thing. i think it was either defective or when the dealership people rotated the tires two trip[s back, it got somehow tightened to a point where it wouldn't come off. so i gotta make a few calls tomorrow. in the meantime, dawn is driving to her gig on the spare doughnut with this fourth bolt missing. i do worry about it. but it's anintown gig and she'll have to go slow.

then some shit happened in the basement. i smelled something. then dawn went down to put patns in the dryer. she discovered some standing water. there was some leak somewhere and it was putrid. i thought he smell was the cat boxes. however, i'd cleaned them at noon today. so it was this smelly water. dunno where it came from. we ran all the faucets and tub and flushed the toilet. nothing. but it came from above because dawn had her wooden shoes on the second level of a shelf and there was water inside of them. so who knows. another phone call to the landlord.

at work, same ole thing for me. the most interesting thing i covered was the library will no longer charge for VHS tape rentals. good news there.

there was a murder in holland twp. poor 70-year-old woman found dead in her garage. she'd been a nurse here for over 50 years. the police have a "person of interest" in ustody. what a shame about the woman.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

last night

it turned out Ok last night at the city hall. i had to relieve john twice. once it was early on for a little over an hour and then later for about 45 minutes.

dawn gave me a ride there because it was pouring. no media except for old myron was there. the tv people weren't at the event yet. turned out the union talks didn't begin until 8p.m. - two hours late. i left and the returned at 10:30. by then it was a frenzy of tv people. there were wires leadinng in and out of city hall and cameras and lighting umbrellas and lights all over the place. all the tv stations were out there and i got to see the australian woman from kalamazoo and rachael ruiz from channel 8. she's a little thing. it's funny when you see these people on the tube because they always look different in real life.

i kept to myself and wanted to get out of there. too much activity for me. luckily john came by close to 11:30 and i walked back in the rain. it was a relatively easy assignment. good thing nothing major occured when i was there. (the talks will continue some time in october).

it rained like crazy yesterday evening and into the night. it started at 6 and continued into nearly 1 a.m. we needed it badly. it is also cool outside now. feels like autumn.

wel, i'm off to the library board meeting soon enough.hopefully it'll be uneventful. we'l see. tonight i also get to watch survivor and report on howe our local boy gary hogeboom does on tonight's show. he really screwed up last week when he lied about being a football quarterback. that might come back and bite him in the ass. we'l see.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

oh boy, what a week

we're having problems with the toilet. started over a week ago and some guys came in to fix it. apparently we have piping that is made of clay way down and trees roots make their way in and plug them. so we called up steve and the problem was taken care of. so then the toilet starts up again. there's nothing like that sinking feeling when you go to the john and flush and it goes nowhere or simply goes in a whirlpooling motion. it's not so bad when it's your own home but still, toilets are meant to flush not display your business (god forbid it should happen when company is over).

so the guy's out there again. he said it might be the vent (on the roof is plugged. i didn't know that toilets and other types of drains need a vent to let air in to prduce the flushing motion. learn something new every day. the people upstairs are having the same problem, so we'll see what the results are. i can hear the machine revved up right now as the guy works on it.

earlier thsi week, i attended a meeting that had to be the most excruciating thing i'd experienced, workwise, in a long time, maybe ever. dawn dropped me off because she heard from derek it was going to take long, so i went in alone, into uncharted territory (i'd never covered this meeting before).
only three main items on the agenda. only a few people there. seemed like maybe the naysayes were wrong. could be a short one.

i was wrong.

hte meeting started late and then slowly went downhill. after a discussion of ONE item for nearly two hours, it was tabled for another meeting. so, it's hitting 9:30 and we're barely on a second item. inside, i was screaming for help. things just progressed way to slow.

i've been to many other meeting where similar things went on and still it went by quickly. in fact one of the townships, which has site plan presentations, gets done in less than one hour.

i don't know how i did it to get by. i had to reach way, deep, down inside myself to survive it, and i've been to meetings that have lasted a good six hours back in texas, where people are notorious (at least where i came from) for liking the sound of their voice.

but it's mid-week. i have no assignment tonight. tomorrow is the library board, whichis usualy easy enough. i hope so anyway.

i guess i spoke to soon. just got a call from rich teling me that i would have to help burdick on the teachers' union thing tonight at city hall. the teaches here are on the verge of a strike if no agreement is reached with the school board. it will be hectic and brutal. but i'm not lead on this puppy, so all i have to do is do my little part.