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.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

green eggs and gas

the high price of gasoline sparked quite a conversation this morning on the local talk show "talk of the town." as if with most free-flowing chat shows, the conversation meanders these days to the price of gas.

people call in and tell where they saw this price or that price, what street or nearby town it's in. someone else will call in and detail why they went to the store, then put gas in the car and how much it cost. the host will then say, well, that was yesterday, today it might be higher.

and so the conversation goes back and forth, volleying here and volleying there.

but this morning, something different was thrown into the mix. this guy called in, presumably from the store doing the advertising, saying taht a grocery store that sells gas was selling it for $3.11. all a customer had to do was buy two dozen eggs and they'd get the deal.

ok, so here's a chance to get cheaper gas. i don't know how much the eggs cost, hopefully not so much that it wouldn't make a difference. then, you just had a crap load of eggs for awhile. bake a lot of cakes, i guess.

well, wouldn't you know it, callers started calling in about that. their main concern was the amount of eggs. i thought they'd start talking about what to do with all of those eggs.

no, friendly readers, the callers began talking about the longevity of eggs inthe fridge. this woman calls up and says they only last 10 days, so they'd have to eat them quickly. another one calls up and says they last longer, and by the way, some nice birds are sitting out in the yard.

another woman called up and said eggs last much longer because they used to haul them down state. the host of the show agreed with her. the next call had to do with barn swallows and how they showed up and then disappeared. that spurred up a small chat about some noisy birds being cowbirds.

in between the talk about the birds and the expiration of eggs, someone said a dozen egs isn't too bad. a couple of calls later, someone said, "it was two dozen, not one dozen eggs," and she hung up. insanity.

the conversation quickly devolved away from gasoline prices. it happens quite frequently. all it takes is one rogue caller to cause the chat to veer off into a black hole of chaos. focus people.

if you're going to make a comment on the egg/fuel thing, then talk about either what a good deal it is or not a good deal. gripe about what the hell you're going to do with that many eggs. but don't go off and start yakking seriously about expiration dates of eggs. it isn't quite relative to the subject at hand. figure that out for yourself. if that many eggs is too much for you, then give some away toa neighbor or family members. then, you did some charity, got gas at a cheaper price and helped out (hopefully) some poor egg farmer in the midwest.

Monday, May 21, 2007


perspective is everything in life. it can make the difference between good and bad, love and hate, laughing or crying, contentment or discontent.

looking in from the outside, you don't really see what's transpiring. you see the movement, the mouths talking, the gestures, the sights, colors. but ultimately it's all muted. it's like a TV with no sound and in black and white. you can see what's going on, maybe make and assessment and be correct bases on what you're seeing. or, you could be wrong altogether, the actons leading to an unknown conclusion, an unexpected ending to a 30 minutes of movement.

a smiling woman can look beautiful and happy, interact, be sucessful, yet, what lies behind the smile? look closely at the eyes. there is no smile there, ony a longing to tell secrets, purge herself of what's locked inside her.

the joking man, friends with all, hides so much. pain emanates through ever pore and every day is a challenge to survive and stay afloat, ahead of the game. look carefully at his hands. do they shake every so slightly? his evasive eyes, do they share his humor?

if you change places at a table in a room, will you be in a better place? will the loud diminish? will you be able to talk to the person you enjoy conversing with in ease? do you escape the loud-mouth chatting incessantly about his accomplishments? does it become better or can you still hear the loud-mouth? does your friend really want you sit near? did moving at the table work to your advantage?

perspective is a one-way street. there is no way to see what's really going on in the mind. don't ever assume someone's got it better than you. watch them closely and you'll see what i see. and then shame yourself for being you.

what about the vortex? it seems an unlikely word. yet, so applicable. it's a void of negative energy. to be in the vortex is painful. lyrics from the smashing pumpkins' "bullet with butterfuly wings" come to mind: "the world is a vampire/set to drain."

don't the vortex power over you or it will overtake you. if you realize where you are, you can grip the edges and ease out of it. but, if you wait too long, way too long, you'll never get out. never.

to gain full knowledge of the vortex, it's good to have perspective. gain it, learn it, follow it, embrace it. perspective will teach you how good it is. perspective will help form the lines and boundaries that help keep the sane sane and leave the insane insane a distance away.

perspective, my friends, is what you get when you reach that place when you can smile and it touches your eyes because you know; humor is funny because you know of it; sit at any chair in the room and it matters not, the view's all good, the friends all good, the loud-mouth muted.

para cantar usa tu corazon
para hablar usa mente
para ver usa alma
los colores vienes en diferentes tipos
mira los colores de tipos brillantes
te ensiegan, pero de dijan con sonriesa
es todo.
que mas quieres