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.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

could there be sharks in the great lakes?

we finally broke down and got cable or whatever it's called. it's great. however there are lots of channels and it's difficult to chose one because there are lots of things to watch. i guess we could dvr them and i need to get into doing that.

anyway, this week was shark week on the discovery channel. i caught it halfway through but still got to watch some interesting shows.

i was flipping through the other night and saw the title "the 10 most dangeroud sharks." great marketing title. i immediately flipped to it. i caught the last 10 minutes of it. but they were the 10 minutes that defined whether or not i get back in lake michigan.

the top three most dangerous sharks, according to the show, were" no. 3, the tiger shark, no. 2, the white shark, and no 1, the bull shark.

i, too was surprised by the top choice. there are reasons for it. the bull shark is in areas where there are lots of people. here's where i freaked a bit. the bull shark is the only fish that can live in fresh and salt waters. it can live in fresh water for up to four years. WHOA!!!

i had been falling asleep but this caught my attention.

i look out at the lake and see a vast body of water. to me, it looks like an ocean. oceans equal sharks. so i imagine there are sharks out in the lake.

the bull shark has been spotted 2,000 miles inland up the amazon river. also, they travel up 50 or so miles up a river in australia. they give birth up there. the baby sharks live there and then swim out to the ocean.

that freaked me out. bull sharks are no white sharks. they're eight feet long. still, they have sharp teeth and cna kill.

as i'm watching this show, i'm thinking the bull shark can make its way up lake erie, huron, throught ehstraits and into beautiful lake michigan. WHOA!!

i went to sleep with this stuck in my head.

the following morning i'm relaying the information to dawn. she listens, fascinated by the bull shark's ability to live in fresh water. then i tell her my theory of th bull shark living in lake michigan.

she dismissed it. she said the great lakes are too cold for sharks to live in the waters of the lakes.
though she's probably right, i countered with another theory: maybe the sharks have adapted to living in colder waters. they are warm-blooded fish.

so i don't know. all i do know is that i look at the big lake with new skepticism. and i little bit of fright.

"we're gonna need a bigger boat."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

a touching last day

migrant summer school is over. wednesday was the last day and i was proud and happy to be part of the kids' last day in school.

actually, the week has been filled with migrant kids. it started monday when i went to stephanie's classroom where the kids had a project going on. they wrote reports on latin american countries and had to present them to a person from that country. the kids did great as usual. arlette even put on evie's pollera and they danced.

i left shortly after lunch and promised the kids i'd be back wednesday. and so i returned.

it was a fun time, though sad because i might not see them again or maybe not see some of them again. and they had a tremendous impact on me.

i handed out copies of the paper to each child. then they wanted a story, so i performed an impromptu story that i told orally and that included each student. it was tough and i had to wind my way through rough ground. but it was done. one of the kids went with dawn out of the room and he told her it was a funny story. that made me feel pretty damn good.

arlette said "you made me famous" several times. her name appeared in several stories. some of them asked me to sign their papers or the report i'd created for them.

at the end of my time there, they got to read aloud the stories they composed out of the exercise dawn and i created for them. i was amazed at what they'd done with the stories since i first helped them with them some weeks ago. all they had was two characters and a very thin plot. the stories blew me away. i was impressed by marlynn, deila, erika and juan's stories. although all were impressive. if i get a chance i might reprint them here.

and so i made my departure before their lunch timie, giving them high fives and knuckles.

the kids are truly caring children. very unselfish. one girl who started the program very recently gave dawn a small jar of honey and a homemade piece of jewelry created by one of the other assistants. this girl is very economically disadvantaged and yet she did this really great thing. whether it came from her or her parents or both is just wonderful.

another girl later exchanged addresses with dawn. she hung around before she left, wanting to say something to dawn. finally she said, "you're like a second mother to me." wow. very touching. it really got to dawn. and frankly it gets to me, too.

these kids are nothing but love and good. as i said before i'm glad to have played my small part in their education this summer. it's nice to be appreciated and told heart-felt words from the heart for a change. it maks it all worth while.

have a good school year kiddos.

Monday, July 28, 2008

six years later

it's been six years for lots of stuff ...

our cat katrina is six years old. she turned six probably a month ago, maybe a little more. she went froma skinny little thing, a little wild, to a chunky kitty that allows you to pet her, pick her up (sometimes) and a big part of the family. she fit right in when i brought her back from outside and showed her to dawn through the door of our apartment in alice. it like she was meant to be our cat. and she has. no problems with her and kit and duffy certainly had no issues with her, except he must of seen her as another pain in the ass cat to deal with. another cat, too.

also, our car is six years old. it turned six in may. it's been around, traveled back and forth from texas tomichigan (and vice-versa) many a time. it's had a few fender benders. in fact on our honeymoon some idiot in san antonio struck the side of it (we never found out who). a little later that year or the next, a foolish woman at a drive thru BACKED UP and hit us. that was stupid. also in robstown this idiot hit us from behind. that was a few years ago. then most recently, there was the deer incident while driving to texas last month. it's taken a toll, but it's a good little car. engine still runs fine. and it gets us where we need to go and has good gas mileage, especially with today's gas prices.

also six years ago, dawn and i were married. yesterday was our anniversary. our marriags has been here and there. what i mean is it spent its first year and some in texas and the rest up here. hard to believe we've spent the bulk of our married life in michigan. time flies. it's been fun, sad, exciting, quiet, loud, personal, tight, loving, together, hand holding, kissy, huggy, chilled out, spontaneous, surprising and many other adjectives and such. we've gone up and down, mostly up, weve stood tall and here we are. we've grown. i'd like to think that in six years i know i'd say one or two percent more about women than i did six years ago. ha ha! i think what i've larned most is to love and care for someone. that's most important. dawn has shown me to care and love not oly for her but for others. that's nice. she's done wonders for my heart, opened it up and taught me to see what i really didn't see before. thanks dawnie.

happy sixth.
love ya