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, March 16, 2007

the deep freeze

i experienced something odd the other day while at work. i'd wager that if i asked most people if they'd gone through it, they'd say no.

i went into the small break room shortly after arriving at work tuesday. i don't remember what i was doing, but i was there. as i walk in, i hear this rining sound. it's a cell phone ringing. by the ring, i know it's not mine, which was in my pocket at the time.

i am looking around, checking out the small counter space or the top of the mocrowave to see if someone left their phone on either one. nope. nothing.

i'm looking around, knowing it's in the room with me. somewhere. nate walked in during the latter part of this humorous time. i tell him there's a phone ringing. he looks around.

i notice it's coming from below me somewhere. i hunker down near the fridge. nothing. it now sounds muffled, as if it's inside of something. i reach over and open the fridge's door. the ringing sounds louder. i grab a small bag and...there's a cell phone inside it.

i pick it out of the bag, which also includes film. i suppose the film was in there to keep cool, for some strange reason.

i ask a few people if it's their phone. nothing. i finally ask alan. he starts fiddling around with it, checking any contacts in it. he finds the number.

he turns around to the cubicle quad behind him and asks, mmmmm, i'll call her angelica (yeah, that's what i'll call her) if it's her phone. she responds it is.

she'd bought film and happen to put the cell in the bag. then when she got to work many hours before, she slipped th bag into the fridge. and that's where the phone stayed for many, many hours.

i have not let her forget about it. i figure it'll be some time before the incident of the cell in the deep freeze will be forgotten, at least not be me, to angelica's dismay. heh heh

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

emergence #2

i know it's not done yet, winter will return for one last hurarh some time in the near future and temperatures will drop, more snow will come.

and yet today is beautiful. it's one of the joys of living here. you get a wonderful march day like today and it makes you happy, the world is alive around you.

i opened up the windows (the second time in a week and only after many months of them being shut. the breeze, a little strong, blows in, the curtains billowing.

outside, the sounds of cars moving back and forth come through the open windows. my neighbor's wind chimes (out the entire winter) now seem to have a purpose, their sounds not to haunting and indicating cold winds, now meaning only cool breezes blowing.

the snow receded to simple mounds through yards and driveways. the once huge mounds guarding our driveway entrance are now reduced to nothing more than thin wafers 0f white surrounded by emerging grass.

i set out for the library to return some items. for the first time, i put tennis shoes on. i think early december, after that big snow, was the last time i worn them. today, though, it seemed like the perfect day, with no wet sidewalks to hinder my progress.

off i went, trying to experience renewed sounds and smells as i went along my merry way. the obvious smell of car exhaust made its way to me. even though i smell it in the winter, it's a different smell now. not any better, though. the scents of cooking food coming wafting through open windows. yum. open car windows lets me know smokers are driving through the streets.

once covered shrubs and small trees now make their appearance, having survived the freezing temperatures, winds and snow.

you can see white arms and legs, too. people start wo wear shorter clothing and the winter white skin is out for a quick tanning. not much today, though.

to me, sounds are what's alive again. unless you've lived in snow for some time (and my time is limited), you realize just how much it muffles sound. mounds of snow and any object covered with snow prevents sound from traveling too far. snow acts as a shield, sort of. you don't really notice it and as winter wears on, you forget aboug sounds.

then you get a day like today, after most of the snow is gone and you realize the sounds are there. they come flooding back. it's like auditory overkill. but i love it.

in time the familiar sounds of laughing kids, lawnmowers running, boats rumbling on the lake, BBQ cooking outside, music blaring from stereos and birds chirping and crickets doing whatever sound they make will once again add their layer to the sound machine.

i'm waiting.

emergence # 1

my confining home is now too small for me,
it's time to spread my newly-formed wings,
make my exit from this womb,
no longer able to contain me.

a push and shove, the air now comes through,
cool and sharp through the gap made at the top.

still, smells flood through.
flowers in gentle early bloom,
leaves form slow and cautious,
renewed life once more rises.

the breeze fills me up,
drawing strength from it,
causing further emergence from my home,
now seeming to be my captivity.

the sun, bright and full, floods
my sight, alive and alive, it proves to be.

emerge, emerge, i must.
for this new world seems too good to miss.

ah, one wing out. with another push.
yes, the other, now.

breeze flow through me,
see the yellows, greens and reds,
see them shine, alive.

wings flicker, once, twice, three times.
yes, they flicker.

afloat, above my former cage.
goodbye, i say.
you served me well, gave me life,
yet, now you purpose done,
i must bid you farewell,
cage or home or womb,
for life awaits,
and i await it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

pulling carpet

it looks like spring is here, as katrina cat (the real indicator of spring, not that stupid groundhog) attested to this morning when she yowled to be let out for a roll on the cool concrete porch and a nibble of wilted grass that had been exposed after the snow receded enough.

as the afternoon wore on, we decied we needed to do something at home. we've been here since november, with the winter being a time of repose, but not it is time to spend a few bucks and start working on the house.

the number one project we'd chose -- even back when we first moved in -- was to pull the carpet in the room that became our computer room.

to be honest, we yanked a piece (with mark's help) as we were in the process of moving in because i noticed a smell coming from the carpet. turned out that the idiot who rented the place or room probably had a pet and it peed. so removed the chunk of carpet was imperative. we then covered the wood floor beneath with a large rug.

today was the time to start working on the room. we thought that since the floor beneath was good, solid wood, we would remove the carpet and paint the floor, having a nice wooden floor instead of carpeted floor.

we went out to lowe's and bought some supplies and began the task of removing the rest of the carpet and the padding underneath. it was tough, lots of dust floating around, coming from the padding.

we placed all the items outside the room then removed the carpet and padding in large strips. we vaccumed the room and tried to pick up all the dust and junk off the floor.

it now appears we're going to completely redo the room, from the floor to painting the walls and replacing the floor trim and eventually the door leading into the room. it needs some work. we figure when it's done, it'll look nice. we'll post some pics on the webpage soon of before and after.