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, August 30, 2007

help coming

i checked out from the library this cd, the best latin album of all time -- ever. i got it for the beck song (a mariachi mix). and here i am now listening to "macarena" and a blast from 1996 or so, "no tengo dinero" by los umbrellos. yeah, a far cry from my '80s metal days. i enjoy it all now, i guess. my aplogies to everyone i told i'd only listent o heavy rock all my life.

and to a more serious subject.

i talked to mom tuesday and she sounded tired. she relayed to me that dad was weak. he could shower and hadn't shaved. a nurse ws there and offered to help. he declined.

i was a little upset because mom needs help and this was a good opportunity to get it. but what could i do. i know hospice would be good to help mom out with dad.

i talked to linda yesterday and brought it up. i don't want mom to get sick or end up in the hospital because she got hurt trying to get dad to the shower or something.

later on, linda called me to say that the doctor broached the subject of hospice. he pointed out that it was not only or specifically for the person who's sick or dying. in this case, it would help mom with things to make life a little easier for her.

now, they're looking into it and are expecting a phone call or visit from the hospice person. i'm very pleased by it. i think having someone from hospice to help with dad or sit with him while she runs an errand is good.

mom sounded better tonight. she called, too. maybe it was a little bit of relief knowing there's that kind of help there. i hope it works out.

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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the weekend

a mishmash.

we had a nice get together saturday. it started with krista coming over for a few drinks and then denise and mig joining us later. good company.

it gave me a chance to make mojitos. i'm still rusty. the first one had too much lime. i should have measured, but as the recipe said a lime, i squeezed out a lime. half a lime is good. the second one was better, more alcohlic. krista, who poured the rum, admitted later to adding more rum than necessary. it was good.

i felt my body going numb, light. my mouth running a little wild, slack-jawed, but not slurred. i was still able to do my hannibal lecter voice and a few others, so i was not far gone. but it felt good. it had been a long time since i felt like that. good thing? bad thing? i dunno.

we had good conversations. after beatles music, we put on los hometown boys. denise and i danced around the table (me with sandals) while mig and dawn watched, laughed. it was good to dance, too. my legs were a little rubbery but not from the drink. it has been years since i've actually danced entire tejano songs.

the next morning, not much of a problem. the only thing was the weekend passed too quickly.

dawn has since started work at least workshops. no kids until tuesday. she's ready for school. at least i think so. i'd be bored if i had to hang out wit me for an extended period of time. if not bored, going insane.

the unnamed cat is now named. she will be petunia as was her name. she's slowly becoming acustomed. though she still hisses at the other cats. katrina and petunia still don't quite get along. sometimes they pass each other and no problem. at other times, it's a stare down.

i'm reading hemingway's "death in the afternoon." it'sa great non-fiction account of bullfighting and how decadent it became in spain during the 1920s and early 1930s. i've always enjoyed the book and consider it one of my favorites. i enjoy the jabs he takes at faulkner.

i also began reading 'the nick adams stories" and like then a lot. i've only read a few of them, the ones that appear in "in our time." this collection has them in chronological order. it's nice to read about places visited by us while up north. that's the reason i chose it. i wanted to get a glimpse of the petoskey area back in the early, early 20th century.

and i'm making progress rewriting "bonita." it came quickly last night and i believe the rest will occur quickly, too. i'm looking forward to finishing it and putting it behind me for now.