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, December 08, 2006

birdseed? where's the rice?

the last thing we did tonight was get bags of birdseed before the bride and groom departed the restaurant, in what was an elegant affair.

i am referring to the muptials celebrated by my friends krista and alan. both work with me and that is where they met more than three years ago.

the wedding was held in saugatuck at all saints episcopal in a quaint church that is, according to the pastor, more than 130 years old. we rushed in 10 minutes prior to the start, wind blowing off the river behind the curch, me almost slipping ona slick patch of ice.

since we arrivd late, we were unable to sit with the others from work. still, they were across from me and we exchanged some comments, most notably the exclamation of "Yessss!" it's something sports announcer marv albert used to use when someon made a great shot or play in basketball. we'd joked that we'd say that when it was time for alan to say "i do." but we figured krista would kill us.

krista looked radiant in the dress as her dad greg walked her down the aisle. it was nice to see my friend looking so happy. she later commented at the reception that it was all a blur while walking up to the altar, but she did see me and felt the urge to say "hola." that would have been awesome.

after the ceremony, we rushed back out and off to holland for the reception. we struggled to find a parking spot, failing to get one behind the restaurant or anywhere downtown. we settled on parking at work and hoofing it the two blocks to the spot, rushing through the wind tunnel that is downtown.

what a blast we had at the table, sitting with jim and jayne, dan and corene, jason and later lee and his wife (i know her name but i don't want to butcher the spelling). we joked, laughed, sang songs, hummed, whistled, swayed to the music. lovely time we had.

i had my first beer in ages...and it felt so good going down. i told dawn it was like when i was 18,s ame taste and feel. i think the beer really loosened me up the rest of the night, too.

i got krista's dad to tel us a joke. it was funny and not off-color as krista feared she might say.

i also danced with 50 percent of the vanwyck women. while i was talking to krista, i went up and was introduced to her mother, mary, then i started to dance with her. it was great, so relaxed and she went with it.

i'd been wanting to dance with the bride and it seemed we never had the chance. and as luck would have it, it was the last dance and we took a few turns before alan gave it a go as she walked out of the restaurant.

dawn and i danced a handful of songs ourselves, including the beatles "in my life," and lennons' "love," which was one of our songs at our wedding. so it was special to slow dance with la wifa.

and so the second wedding involving friends (the first was dan and corene's last year and most of the same bunch attended that one) is complete.

long live the merry couples.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

am i damien?

this is a question i've been asking myself for the past day and a half, ever since nate at the office brought it to my attention tuesday afternoon.

for those of you who don't know who i'm talking about, damien is the devil's child in "the omen" movies. he's a small boy in the first one, then subsequently grows up into a teenager in the second one and is later played by sam neil as a man.

damien is a quiet boy, seemingly harmless when you look at him. he even seems gentle at times. then,there's the other side of him that kills people who get in his way of ruling the world. he usually disposes of them rather cruelly. in the first movie, one person has a metal spire rammed through him after lightning strikes it. another man's head is cut off by a sheet of glass. it's quick. he felt nothing.

on tuesday, then, i walk into the office and put my things down in my cubicle. nate is standing there in his cubicle and says, "we think you might be damien." i knew, sadly enough, who he was talking about.still, i inquired why he asked me that question.

he came across to my side andsays i'm soft-spoken and quiet. yet, when you least expect it, i'll come up and slam into you without warning.

i thought about it and then nodded. it's true. i am soft-spoken and quiet most times. and yes i do like to run up and slam against people. nate has been the recipient of this many times. once while talking to j.h. i came up and slammed into him, unknowing that he had a cup of coffee held out in front of him over the cubicle wall. it spilled, nonetheless.

i later found out he had had this conversation with krista about what i'll call the damien syndrome. and i guess she agreed with him.

i will have to admit, though, that i do not have the all important third nipple that the devil's child or the antichrist is suposed to have. nor do i inflict enough harm to actually hurt someone,unless they merit it. hmmmmm, the atrium sure looks menacing. and it's sooooo close to where i sit, too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

news about dad

it has been awhile since i've written about my dad and what's been going on with him, hic cancer and the chemo. i figure it's time again.

he's been undergoing more chemo and has been since the beginning of october. some of hit has been intense and he got really sick the first time he underwent the first chemo. he's been OK since, weak some days, not hungry other days.

everything's hinged on trying to eliminate the cancer that spread to the left side of his liver, it was the good side, in hopes of going back to houston to get some tests done and see if he can be operated. he is supposed to go the week before christmas to see how things are going.

well, he's had several blood tests that they take to see how the cancer is behaving. the last time he took the blood test. the number was 16, which is good. when he first started with these tests more than a year ago, the number was about 700. so the news has been good.

until today. the marker went back up to 20. so it seems this marker will only go to a certain point and then stop, go up. this is what was happening last may befor he went to houston. the marker started to go up again.

the doctor came in and the look in his eyes told my parents it wasn't good. so he will continue with my chemo this week. it is unknown if the cancer has spread again or not. but the chemo has stopped working on him again.

my mom is happy we're going to visit. it's hard to tell where things will stand next year with him. if things don't work and continue to deteriorate, this could be my dad's last christmas. a year is a long time and yet it's so short and passes like time flying by.