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, August 29, 2007

is it raul? or joel?

i'm still trying to figure it out. i'll let you know when i do.

i was at the tulipanes latino film festival ceremony yesterday. i know many of the people there, having covered them for other events. they know me, having had me cover them for other events. some i know less. still, i've written a story or two with them in it.

j.r. and i walked into the arts council. i scanned the room. it was dimly lit, the loud murmur of people filling the room, bodies mingling. i made out no one i knew off the bat.

then one woman i know walked up to me and said what i didn't want to hear (though i wasn't expecting it), "hi, raul. is there anything i can help you with?" i tried correcting but the room was too loud and i guess she just didn't hear me.

after a no or something like that, i stepped back into the foyer area. i'm gathering my thoughts when this small woman to my left begins talking to me. i don't recognize her at all. but she started off the conversation with something i didn't like.

"hi, joel..."

for the next minute while this woman talked to me, i never quite got past those two words. she rambled off some stuff about her daughter, ballet teacher, china, no responses from e-mails sent to the paper. i had no idea whqt she was talking about. she finally said that it appeared as though there was going to be no story about her daughter and ballet, china blah blah blah.

the two people that incorrectly identified me i know and they know me. the first i've talked to on a handful of occasions for various stories. i'm sure she's seen the stories, my name, has heard me introduce my name when i call her or leave a message. the second, i've written two stories in the past involving her daughter. she's seen the biline, has talked to me (too much on her end) and i've left messages.

i think in all of those cases i've introduced myself as "hi this is roel from the newspaper..." still, they don't hear it. they hear raul or, in the case of that not to smart person, joel.

it is frustrating to constantly get the same shit from different people. get it right. if you don't really know, do what the smart people do, they ask me to pronounce it and spell. and it's all clear.

i don't know what else i can do.

i know it's sort of funny. while the undertones of the blog are angry, it's still a bit funny. friends go ahead and call me what you will. i will grin and bear it.

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