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.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the corporate whore

i waded through some headlines tonight from AP news then scanned the entertainment news headlines. one caught my eye: did anyone not watch american idol?

well, the answer was yes some people didn't, of course. but according to the nielsen
rating something like 15 percent of the u.s. watched the freaking show. incredible.

turns out three people who didn't watch the show tuesday and wednesday were dawn, me and our friend krista. we have watched in the past and used to catch the show all the time, feverishly checking out thecontestants at the start of the season, who was good, who sucked and who simon bitched at, while paula gushed and randy called everyone "dawg."

we decied to stop watching the lunacy of the show. it's the same shit, different year thing. these early shows are all the same. nothing changes from year to year. we all know there will be some jerk-wad trying to sing and simon will crush him or her. the judges will laugh or try to suppress laughter. then the contestant will act shocked when he or she is rejected. big flipping deal. i think we saw that in season one.

the show has become a corporate whore, raking in billions of dollars. well you know what? you can suck on that because that show ain't getting shit from me anymore. i got better things to do than to sit and watch paula abdul try and undermine simon cowell, who will act like a snot rag to someone she likes.

the whow's become a joke. i got tired of watching it as it grew into this cess pool of unwatchable trash tv.

so perhaps 41 million people decided to sit and mull over who could be the next winner, give a few yucks at the sucky people and sit around waiting for next week. not me , baby. the show is over.

idol this, brother.

Monday, January 15, 2007

my twin brother ruben

while talking to my sister in law sunday night and catching up with my brother's family, she reminded me of ruben. he's someone i hadn't talked about or thought about in years and years.

i am shameful that i hadn't thought of my mentally handicapped brother in so long. it's just that i've moved on and he never did. the logical thing was to forget he ever existed. you know, we all do things like that. we want to forget someone that detracts from us and ruben did that for me.

until maricella reminded me of him last night. it was quite a jolt to the system. while the name sounded familiar, it took a few seconds for it to register. then it all came flooding back to me and i felt a shamed.

my brother started dating maricella while they both worked at the same supermarket, HEB. he finally brought her arond after a few weeks or so. i am unsure. alli know is she showed up one night on a saturday.

she's sitting in the small dining room table. she's sitting on the right side. my brother introduced her to us. we all said hello and were polite.

after some conversation, i said if she'd like to meet my twin brother ruben. he was upstairs and didn't come out much because he was shy. she said that was fine. i walked out of the living room/dining room area, turned the corner and headed to the room that led to the room we shared upstairs.

i minute or so later, the door to that room opened and in came ruben. he walked in the usual way, with his back all curved and his head twisted to one side, dragging his right foot as he made his way forward. she was quite surprised by him.

he made his way toward her and held out a limp right hand. he doesn't have much strength in his right hand but refuses to shake with his left hand. she took it.

he had much difficulty talking and slobbers when he talks a lot. so i instructed him to be brief and say his hellos and say he was glad to meet her. he did and promptly made his exit, which was great.

as my brother took his then girlfriend back to her house, he asked, rather ashamedly, that he hoped she would return despite meeting ruben. she assured him she would return to the house.

so as my sister in law is telling me this sunday night, she's cracking up. i haven't heard her laugh so much in a long time. all those memories of taht night flooded back as she laughed.

you see, gentle readers, there is something i have left out.
ruben is me.

that night when she first came to the house, i told her about my twin ruben. i went to get him. i went into the room, changed shirts, took off my glasses, messed up my hair a little, and walked back in, dragging a foot, right arm bob dole style, with my hand limp, head crooked and me talking a little off than usual.

and that was maricella's introduction to my family. it was a weird one. but she kept coming back and eventually my brother and her married and have two kids now. and she became accustomed to my antics.

however, ruben sort of retired that day. i am unaware of any other time i used him. at least not in taht fashion. i certainly have operated that way again (for the oscar-winning performance, of course), but he's never been named ruben.

it was actually my sister who was telling her husband about it and he didn't believe her. so my sis had to ask maricella that it was true. sure enough.

long live my dark half.