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, September 07, 2007

Real Love

i think after listening to the song "Real Love" by John Lennon, i've determined it's the most beautiful, engaging, thoughtful, meaningful love song i've ever heard.

i first heard the song during the beatles anthology. near the end of the final disc after a couple of lennon's songs were discovered. the beatles got together and performed "Real Love."

then i heard regina spektor sing it on the instant kharma album to safe darfur.

i listened closely as i walked to herrick. i was entranced by the words, the arrangement, the voice. the words brought tears to my eyes. i never would have thought a song could do this.

i love the way it starts with the words, "all my little plans and scheme/lost like some forgotten dream/ seems like all i was doing was waiting for you."
the second verse talks about boys and girls playing around, but all they're doing is waiting for love.

then there are phrases like "seems like from this moment on, i know exactly where my life is going, " and perhaps the most poignant one, "thought i'd been in love before, but in my heart in my heart i wanted more/ seems like all i really was doing was waiting for you."

what words. you know lennon wrote this for yoko. he was married before but when yoko came along, it was like a match made in heaven.

say what you will about yoko (and i have been one to say why did he marry her??), but after hearing the song, it's plain that he loved the woman.

the part that brings goose bumps is the end (at least with the spektor version). she repeats, "it's real love" over and over. but it becomes a crescendo. so lovely.

and so it's with all my heart that i dedicate this beautiful song and its words and meaning to dawnie, my own soulmate. xxx000

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

emergency room trip/hospital stay

(the time stamp on this entry is wrong since i saved this entry earlier and planned something else for this spot. then things happened. this blog entry was finished at 2:30 a.m., thursday)

it's been such an emotional roller coaster ride these past five days, really high on friday, the weekend, and wednesday. i will get to this later this week.

but also there is a low that i will address now.

my sister called me late this afternoon shortly before i was off to my meeting. blood was coming out of dad's mouth and when he urinated, there was blood, too. it was too much for my mom and she took him in to the emergency in alice. he was weak and that's al i knew.

linda called after i'd returned to the office. things progressed for the worse. his blood pressure was at 170/105 and they were having trouble lowering it. it was dangerously close to cardiac arrest. the flow of blood from his mouth continued. things were grave.

she and arnold were headed to the hospital. robert drove off very fast. meri stayed with the kids and emma.

linda called later saying his blood pressure was stabilized down to 150. he had a urinary tract infection, low potassium and x-rays were taken of his chest area. the blood was due to the cancer. he was given much morphine and it sedated him.

linda left with mom, who was returning to stay over night. arnold and robert stayed at the hospital meanwhile.

today is hit me very hard. i know what's happening to my dad. i know he will die and the time is growing closer. he's sick. he's been in the hospital before, the er before. but tonight it was too real. after i heard what was happening, i expected the phone to ring and it would be linda or arnold telling me dad had died.

tonight i felt as if i'd lost my father.

i spoke with him tuesday when i had my day off and we chatted better than we had in a long time, in more than amonth. he sounded good. he went to the ranch also that day with my brother, something he gets a thrill still and i like that.

and then this happens. there are so many spikes and dips with my dad's cancer. i guess it's like this with many people's cancer. it just stinks. they're having such good days and then something bad happens taht nulifies everything. it doesn't seem fair. it just doesn't.

he was admitted late wednesday. so we'll see where we go from here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


the labor day weekend was up and down. it was relaxing and rushed.

saturday dawn and i headed up north to krista's parents' house we planned on making tamales. earlier this summer when attending her sister's grad party, the subject of tamales came up because we'd been successful at making some some months earlier and her brother wanted to get together. we did.

despite my wanting to control the preparation, i settled back and let krista do it. it was tough, she'd tell you. but i did fine. all i did was mix the masa (and even that was minimal stuff). she did her way and you know what? they were delish.

dawn, krista, krista's brother and their mom spread the masa on the tamales and rolled them up. i just chilled out drinking mojitos. great stuff brad!

there was even a request from mary to have tejano music. we brought some over and that set the mood for it.

krista's becoming quite the tamale cook. she's always beena good cook/baker. this is something new to her, having done it a few times, but she's got the knack of it or for it.

we steamed about three dozen at a time, all placed at angles with the open end up, water filling the bottom of the big pan. it took a little over an hour for them to steam.

the test (with this different recipe) came when it was time to check if they were done. krista took one out and started to unroll it. the masa peeled off the hoja with no problem. the new recipe passed the test. we tasted the tamal and it was good.

the difference in the recipes was the masa and the way it was made, with this one having the crisco whipped instead of melting it and mixing it by hand into the masa mix. the consistency was different. it was pointed out that the masa looked (as it was spread onto the hoja) peanut buter. and i guess it was like peanut butter. it was so much so that i couldn't really get enough of it on my hand to make a little patty to cook on a pan to see if it had enough crisco. it made no difference.

it was a good experience once more. i deviated f rom my norm, out of my comfort zone and was pleased at the end.

what did i really learn? i guess things can be done differently than what i'm used to and still be good.