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.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

the photograph

i was talking to my aunt yesterday and she related to me that she had a newspaper photograph from one of the local papers in texas that had about a dozen of my classmates gathered around at a local restaurant in san diego. the group apparently is attempting to make a tradition of getting together during the christmas holiday season.

now, being from the high school of a small town, the dozen or so 1989 graduates comprises about 12 percent of our graduating class, so it is anigh solid figure of folks that got together to chat.

in the photo were people i knew by name. it's impossible not to know every one of your classmates in a class of about 92 or so. so as my aunt mentioned name by name of each person, i pictured them in my head as i knew them back in the day in high school or afterward, depending where i'd seen them last.

there was erica thompson, who i'd seen last working at the alice city hall. i was there to get something for the newspaper then. we chatted about rock concerts we'd bene to. there was isabelle garcia, who i always enjoyed talking to. last time i saw her was at HEB (like a family fare) in the fruit/vegetable area when i was thee with dawn. there was sonia barrera, who i haven't seen probably in more than 10 years. the last time i really remember seeing and talking to her was probably in the early 1990s when she and i went over to another classmate's house during the christmas holidays.

there was leo ibarra, who i last saw in the county courthouse in san diego about three and a half years ago. he wasn't there for legal reaasons; he's some sort of law enforcement guy who works with juvies. there was joe lopez (or "red" as we called him for his red hair), who i was just talking about some weeks ago to dawn. they guy almost had his eye gouged out by a root in the fourth grade while playing red rover.he tripped and hit his face ona tree root.

and emy helton, who works at a bank in alice and belinda luna, who's in the welfare dept. in san diego (at least she did), both of whom i've not seen in a few years. though, i'd see emy at the bank and we'd chat a bit here and there.

and there were a few others like rolando garcia and chale trevino who i really haven't seen in ages, maybe even since the few, alcohol crazy days after high school.

i guess we get the picture. i've got stories for all of them. rattle off any name of a classmate and i can forma mental image of him or her and some anecdote about the person.

sadly, i don't keep in touch with any classmate, not even the drinking buddies who i continued going out with after high school and still managed a little contact here and ther. i think it would have been interesting to have sat in, either fully participating or in cognito, with the group. there would definitely be things to catch up on or things from the past to talk about.

i tink having left south texas and living in a different part of the country where the weather is different with seasons and living where thereis a different culture (dutch) influencing where i live, i believe i'd have some things to say. perhaps during the 20-year reunion. that's still three years away. christ, 20 years out of school! that seems weird to write.

Monday, January 30, 2006

honeymoon hideaway gone

this weekend i was talking to a friend fromtexas and related to her how dawn and i met. she asked one question and it turned into this 20 minute conversation about that. anyway, i got to talking about where we met for the first time and where we subsequently went for our honeymoon in san antonio.

she was speaking of how she and her husband needed a little break from everything and i suggested that place. it's called the riverwalk inn and it's in san antonio. dawn checked online while i talked to rose. she encountered some problems locating it on the web site.

dawn e-mailed the company. she got a reply this morning and then re-emailed again for more information. turns out the riverwalk inn, which is a bed and breakfast, it sno more. the place has been turned into offices. it saddened me to think of that.

the bed and breakfast was located on a secluded area of san antonio right off the river. being there was like being in a rural area, desptie being near downtown san antonio. the place was beautifully decorated with trees and gardens. also, the b&b was composed of old log cabins brought from tennessee. they were connected and placed to form two-story structures.

the riverwalk was right there, about 50 feet away from the place. we walked down the paved-brick walk way to where the action was in the central downtown area, where small boats took people up and down the river, people sitting and eating outside restaurants, music playing and old builidng marking the landscape. and when you tired of this, you just headed back to the inn for comfort and quiet.

at night, windows open and curtains blowing in the breeze, you could see the lights of the tall buildings with thenight sky as a backdrop. very beautiful. and even though it's a city of over a million people, the night scene is pleasant and calm with hardly a noise for distraction.

the place itself has special meaning. it was where dawn and i first met after our long-distance relationship all of those months. it was the place where i first met her physically. i remember putting my bags down and pushing the doorbell button intercom. i coul dhear inside, a man and woman talking. i said i had a reservation there. dawn was already there. she opened the door and that was it. pretty smile, short cute hair and eyes, and perfume i still haven't forgotten its scent.

we spent three days then and three days over memorial day. then we spent our honeymoon there more than two years later.

i will miss the coziness of the place, the afternoon dessert laid out for guests (the first time i ate and loved carrot cake) and the old cat that wandered the house, lounging around the place.

it is sad that those beautiful rooms are now offices. but at least we have the memories of the place and time we spent there. and they are good memories.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


i decided to get away from watching the old movies for a little bit and go on a small tangent off to checking out some horror flicks. i enjoy horror but it's hard to find a good horror movie that really scares the crap outta ya. most movies either rely on lots of blood, surprises or humor to get across to the masses.

so i rented a few movies this weekend (from herrick's free vhs selection, of course) that have those above-mentioned elements. i didn't even try to hunt down one of the classic afi 100 movies i was in the mood for lame, not-using-your-brain horror movies.

so i rented "scary movie" and "urban legends 2: the final cut." neither film, i'l admit, comes close to being even average. stil, dawn and i went through them with ease, knowing after they were done, we wouldn't have any deep conversation about plot or characters.

i had already seen "scary movie." dawn had only seen bits and pieces. it's a spoof even more so than "scream" was. "scary movie" even spoofs "scream." in fact, most of the movie parodies its predecessor (and other movies like "i know what you did last summer" and "the usual suspects"). it's outrageous comedy, silly even, vulgar at times. made us laugh. sometimes it's good to have a laugh. i don't do it very often when it comes to movies since i'm not into funny flicks.

"urban legend 2" i rented by mistake. i thought it was the first on, but failed to see the 2 on the cover. this one wasn't funny, but, instead, was a slasher with surprises popping up on occassion. dawn figured out who the killer, who was wearing a fencing mask for some odd reason, midway through the movie. spoiler for those who haven't seen it). it was the professor who done it. and he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those crazy kids (i love scooby doo). the story revolves arond a film school where people start getting killed. one girl is doing a film based on urban legends. i laughed when they mentioned the urban legend someone biting into a piece of chicken and proceeding to bit into a chicken tumor in the meat. i'd heard of that before.

the movie was neither great nor particularly scary. but it was entertaining. it's like watching "friends" or something (sorry if anyone likes that show). it's not great but it's entertaining.

these flicks will never be at the caliber of "halloween," "friday the 13th parts 1 and 2," "night of the living dead," "alien" "poltergeist" or "psycho." but no-rainers are a good way to chill out the waves for a little bit.

what's next on the list? hmmmm, maybe romantic comedies starring sean penn and madonna.