Monday, August 30, 2004 

The Ghost of Me

Do you ever get blown away by something that you read? I was blog surfing the other day and I found a great blog that featured this killer poem and it really made me think. I would say that it describes how I feel most of the time. I mean on the outside I may say that I feel fine because I may not want to talk about my true feelings but I think that this is pretty accurate. Also, check out the blog where I found this at: I have talked back and forth with Nicole, the writer of that blog and she has some great things to say!

The Ghost of Me
I am the ghost of me.
Always standing two steps behind.
Just a shadow really of the real me.
Sensing everything but locked in my mind.
Utterly unable to alter, to alter reality.
I am bound, dumb, but not blind.
People are made of glass and I see into their hearts,
fearing what I will find.
I am weary, weary of being tongue tied.
The shackles made of love and fear,
a thousand trial conversations.
Made of thoughts and words I can't share.
I am trying myself, guilty of being alive.
Every person, judge and jury, made unaware.
The juries out, but I condemn myself each day,
as into every pair of eyes I stare.
Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 28, 2004 

The Scene of the Crime

Megan and I decided to head out today to see small town America. We headed towards two small towns that we heard would offer great photo ops and a nice change of pace from our crazy town. I think we both had visions of antique shops and Ice cream Parlors but the first thing that we found interesting enough to take photos of was an old barn and vacated home.

Meg stayed in the car as I headed out with the camera and I should have stayed with her. We should have never stopped! As I headed around the back of the old farmhouse I ended up inside of the barn. Through the dust and grime I noticed that there was a car in the barn parked and partially covered. When I got closer I noticed the car was full of bullet holes! I got out of the barn to walk up to the house because I wanted some pictures of an old tractor and that is where I saw that I was at an old crime scene!

Needless to say, I took just a few pictures and headed out rather quickly! The thing is that I left my tire tracks and possibly some fingerprints behind! If any of you get calls from people that have names like Vinnie "The Boss" Marciano or Tommy "No Thumbs" Vanducci and they happen to be looking for me please tell them that I have moved to Mexico or anywhere else far away! I am really picky about footwear and I have no interest in wearing cement shoes!

Seriously though...we did get some cool photos of great old towns and I will post them soon. Posted by Hello

Friday, August 27, 2004 

The Burning Bush

Just two days ago in Hollywood, Florida a man saw two Marines walking towards his front door. Immediately the man knew that they were at his home to tell them that his son, a 20 year old Marine had been killed in Iraq.

The man snapped and went to his garage to get a blow torch, a can of gas and a propane tank. He walked out to the van that the Marines arrived in, climbed in and set it on fire. The Marines pulled the man from the fire and he is now recovering with over 50% of his body burned.

His wife says that her husband burned the van in protest of the Iraq war. It seems that many people feel this way. This is a very personal issue for me. My best friend Matora (pictured above with his wife) is serving in the Army in Iraq. This is the second time that he has been to Iraq during this war. Luckily he holds a position that keeps him clear of the front lines but there is no way to tell what could happen there.

I don't agree with this war at all. To me this war was put in place by a man who stole an election and now is trying to avenge the legacy of his father. The events of 9/11 were tragic but what part did Iraq really play in that? Why is Bush still playing on our emotions in regard to those events to win this upcoming election?

As for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq...where are they? Oh thats right...they were never found! My point is that I would be devestated if anything was to happen to Matora. I know that he likes what he does but for him to die in a web of lies would be a terrible thing.

Many of you reading this may not agree with me and I understand that. Please just think about Bush this November and think about Florida in 2000, Iraq, 911, unemployment, the economy and the safety and well being of our Country. Other countries mock us and call us stupid for what Bush does (Canada did this just today) and we should not have to settle for mediocre leadership. We should not have to deal with anyone playing on our emotions either. Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 26, 2004 

The Big Kaboom

Well I have had a pretty emotional day! About noon Megan called me to tell me that she was in an auto accident. When I think about it I am very glad that she was the one to call. I never want to get a call from someone to tell me that she is hurt or in trouble somehow. Anyway, she collided with a large SUV and as you can see her car did not come out to well. Megan however is ok. She is a little sore and probably will be even more so tomorrow but right now she is doing great.

Days like this make me really think about how much I need her. If she was ever to go away I would be really lost. I could not imagine being in our home or seeing something that reminds me of her knowing that I cannot soon touch her pretty face. Life is funny but I believe that circumstances like this really serve to show people how important love and compassion are. I hope everyone out there has love today! It is a beautiful thing! Posted by Hello


The Blues

I just posted over 100 more photos to my Yahoo photo album of Mexico and I invite you to check them out!

Almost every morning I awoke to a scene like this in Mexico. The greys, blacks and blues seemed to permeate the entire sky to usher in every day.

To see more photos that I took in Mexico click this link: The new photos are in an album titled, "Other Mex." Posted by Hello


The Love Boats

This was taken at a placed called Jardin Borda in Cuernavaca. Lovers from all over Mexico come here to walk through vast gardens, kiss under beautiful trees and float across this pond in these old boats. I really missed Megan here!

To see more photos that I took in Mexico click this link: The new photos are in an album titled, "Other Mex." Posted by Hello


The Fine Cuisine

Bugs have to eat to! I took this picture because I thought that the colors were amazing! I swear that the colors in Mexico were more vivid than I have seen anywhere!

To see more photos that I took in Mexico click this link: The new photos are in an album titled, "Other Mex." Posted by Hello


The Ancient Roots

Imagine standing where hundreds of thousands of people made a life thousands of years ago. Places like this were the foundation of my culture and it was very humbling to see how the roots of Mexican Culture were formed. The pyramids of Teotihuacan were incredible to look at! One day I hope to go back. It is nice to see things that never change once in a while.

To see more photos that I took in Mexico click this link: The new photos are in an album titled, "Other Mex." Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 22, 2004 

The Art Site

Sometimes I just sift through other blogs to see what is out there and I came across a great art site tonight called: It features great art that is sort of a modern twist on the art featured on calendars in the 1950's. Check it out!
Posted by Hello


The Broken Voice

I'll tell you matter how old I get I hate to hear my mother cry. She called today and she sounded fine at first but as she spoke I could hear her soften and her voice began to break. She said to me, "Your dad and I want to come and pick you up."

This has been an issue since I first found out that I was sick. My parents live almost fours away and it is rough for me because I don't see them often. I moved here to Modesto initially to try to make my marriage work but it failed miserably so I decided to stay and go to school, work and spend time with my kids. Then one night in a poetry class I met Megan and she smiled at me and now almost two years have passed. Right now I am sitting here on the couch using my laptop and she is next to me asleep. She could go to our room and rest but she likes to be close to me and know that I am ok. She was the first person that my doctors told about my illness being terminal and she has been here next to me every day since. She is an angel and I feel like I could not move away from her because she has never once walked away from me. She is really the only person that I can recall in my life that has showed me 100% pure unconditional love. I was scared that on the day after my diagnosis that I would wake up sick and alone but when I woke up Meg was there and she held me and promised to be there every day when I wake up. We bicker and argue like all couples but at the end of the day we talk things out and the next day we wake up and she helps me make that day a good day.

Anyway, my Mom called in response to a message that I left on her voice mail the other day when I was really hurting. Even though I am 29 I still feel like I can call my Mom when I hurt or I need someone to talk to. I wish that we could all live together or at least close but Meg is going to college here and my doctors are here. I will figure this all out one day but until then I will just try to do everything I can to be ok.

One more thing...The above photo was taken of me by Meg in our back yard today. She shot it in negative mode on a Sony Cybershot. Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 21, 2004 

The Shark Movie

Meg and I headed out to the theater today to check out "Open Water." It is suppossed to be as scary or scarier than "Jaws," but we are not so sure about that. There are a couple of parts where I thought I may wet myself but nothing compared to that music in "Jaws" that told you that some poor schmuck was about to lose a head or a limb. I think you can safely leave your adult diapers at home for this one.

The thing that gets you about this movie is the sheer sadness of the situation that occurs. I won't give away too much but I would say to say go ahead and wait until this one hits the local video store.

Also, if you know anyone that scuba dives call them and tell them to rush out and see this today...right this second! One more thing, you may want to take some Dramamine before you watch this if you have trouble with boats or planes.

Have fun with this movie. Watch it before a night time pool party or right before a trip to the beach or the lake! Better it with your kids! Posted by Hello

Friday, August 20, 2004 

The Crows

The above pic is of Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. I am posting this entry because I made a promise to myself to use this journal to convey my emotions and explore my feelings and I really have not done that.

Anyway, yesterday was a very hard day for me in regard to my health. I woke up at noon with a cloudy head and my abdomen and side hurt so bad that It was hard to get up. All day the pain persisted and everything in my body seemed to ache and throb. Even my legs felt like they were on fire. It was like my body was trying to spread out the pain so that I would not feel it all in one place. Most of the day I was alone and that is what made me think. Being alone and in pain is a terrible thing. Maybe if I lived with or closer to my parents or Grandma then they could help me more. But the reallity is that I live here with Megan and she does what she can. I know that she has work and school to attend to and I love that she is so ambitious. I look forward to her arriving home everyday and that really keeps me going. Maybe I will feel better when I start school on 08/30. Maybe it will be good to get out of the house more. I just hope that my health will be alright in regard to dealing with school. I am sure I will be ok.

Back to why I posted the pic of Adam Duritz: There is a song that appeared on his first album called, "Time and Time Again" and it has always been very meaningful to me. It has always brought out the best of my ability to dig deeper into my own mind and force me to think not just about the song but about everything. Read the lyrics and maybe you will see what I mean.

Time and Time Again - Counting Crows
I wanted so badly Somebody other than me
Staring back at me

But you were gone
I wanted to see you walking backwards
And get the sensation of you coming home
I wanted to see you walking away from me
Without the sensation of you leaving me alone
Time and time again
Time and time again
Time and time again
I can't please myself
I wanted the ocean to cover over me
I wanna sink slowly without getting wet
Maybe someday, I won't be so lonely
And I'll walk on water every chance I get

So when are you coming home Sweet angel?
You leaving me alone? All alone?
Well if I'm drowning darling

You'll come down this way on your own
I wish I was traveling on a freeway
Beneath this graveyard western sky
I'm gonna set fire to this city
And out into the desert we're gonna ride

I guess I will close this now and focus on my day. I feel better now that I have expressed some feelings here and I will continue to do this when I can.

Think about the line in the song that says, "I wanted to see you walking backwards and get the sensation of you coming home."

Think about this every time you recall losing someone or everytime you think that someone precious may walk away. These few words have been in my head for at least ten years since when I first heard the song and I thought about them every time that Carolyn left and everytime that my babies got back into the car to go home with their Mother. I don't want to feel lonely anymore. I don't want to feel lost. If only I could find myself. Thanks for reading...have a great day. Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 14, 2004 

The Family - New Faces

This is my cousin Geraldyn from Texas. I just missed the opportunity to meet her and her family in Redding because I was in Mexico but I hope to meet her one day. She is 15 and hoping to be a nurse someday. I wish her luck in everything that she does! I would love to hear from more family that I have never met. That would mean alot to me. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 

The Audio Test - Megan Speaks

this is an audio post - click to play



I promised to keep everyone updated on my health with this site so here it goes...My first official health update.

I received test results from my last blood test today and the levels were elevated as usual but they are not a whole lot different than the past. The main concern that I have however is that the test that measures the size of my liver is really, really high. My last test showed this level at 54 and this time it is at 80. A normal measurement for liver inflamation would be less than 36. I will leave a message with my doctor (gastro) to see if I should be seen for this.

Also, I talked to my primary doctor and he said that my problem with fatigue is not realated to my blood. He gave me the same news as always; All the illnesses that I have and all the medicine that I take have fatigue as a side effect. It is so strange to me because this problem just gets worse and worse. I guess that I should just deal with everything the best I can. I can't change it.

Thanks again for visting my site. I will keep the updates coming. Also, please remember that you can post comments to any of my entries at the bottom of every entry. Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 

The Sexy Girl

This photo was taken today of Megan. It has been almost three months since her weight loss surgery and she looks amazing! She has always been the prettiest girl in my world and now she is healthier and beautiful all in one glorious package! She will always be my baby! Posted by Hello

Monday, August 09, 2004 

The SF Photo Update

This update is just to inform visitors that all of my pictures from my weekend San Francisco trip with Megan are available to view and order. This picture was taken at Baker Beach as the fog gently rolled in. There are over 30 photos in this album and I hope that you like them! If you choose to order some of these pictures please don't order over 5x7. I have edited some and anything larger may be somewhat distorted.

See all the photos I took in San Francisco at: Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 08, 2004 

The People Photo Update

I just posted pictures of people that I took in Mexico. This picture is one that I took at a bus stop. None of the photos that I took of people on the street in Mexico were posed. Most of the time I gave people a few pesos after I took their photos. After I took this photo I paid for the bus fare for this nice lady and her grandson. Some of the photos such as the photos taken of soldiers could have really gotten me into trouble but I figured that I would never get a good shot unless I risked it a little.

See all the photos I took of the people of Mexico at:
Posted by Hello


The First Important Update

This update is to inform everyone that I have started uploading my images to a site on Yahoo that will allow people to eventually see all my photos. I started with images of art and artists in Mexico like this photo of a Diego Rivera mural.

If you start an account with the Yahoo site you can buy any of my photos starting at only .19 for a 4x6 and you get some free at the start! The quality of my images allows them to be printed at up to 14x20 and I am posting them raw and unedited. You can crop and edit them using Yahoo or any other software that you choose. I really hope that you enjoy my photography! Check back for updates. I have almost 1,000 more images to publish including some great photos from the past! Please be patient with me. I'm a slow poke!

See my images at: Posted by Hello


The Climber

This is Megan at Baker Beach. I am posting this photo because of what she accomplished on this particular staircase. The staircase was probably over 1/4 of a mile long and virturally straight up and made of shifting logs and loose ropes. There were quite a few places where the log stairs were buried and you had to trudge uphill through soft sand. Just a couple months ago, before weight loss surgery Megan would not have attempted this trek but she did it at the beach! She met me at the top of the hike beet red, out of breath, angry and sore but all I saw was a woman that just keeps on fighting to be the person that she truly wants to be! I am really proud of her for everything that she accomplishes. This was a big deal for both of us! Posted by Hello


The Squinting Guy

This is just me squinting in the sun at Baker Beach. Like I wrote in other posts, Baker Beach is beautiful and fun but try to get there on a clear day so you can take full advantage of the views of The Golden Gate Bridge. Also, take a towel, a picnic and nerves of steel if you want to relax nude. Don't worry about a thing if you decide to do this. There are so many nude sunbathers that you won't even be noticed! Posted by Hello


The Heart

I guess that we left our heart in San Francisco! Right now and only through next month 130 giant hearts of all different designs will be on display throughout the city. Each heart is sponsored by a different company and the goal is to raise one million dollars to help with health care and research in San Francisco. I know there is only one month left but they are sure beautiful and it is fun to discover new ones as you explore the city! To learn more about this program or view photos and maps of the hearts see: Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 07, 2004 

The Naked Guy

This is just one nude person that we encountered at Baker Beach. The beach featured both a nude area and a clothed area but there was nothing separating the two. Watching people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds read, swim, have picnics and even fish nude (watch that hook) inspired us and we joined in. We sat nude (Meg just partially) on the beach and read and listened to the sound of the ocean and we were totally happy and we felt incredibly free! Nobody bugged us or even stared because we were just part of the group. I sure am taking this "Each Day Counts" outlook seriously and I love it! I feel amazing and more alive than ever! One more glad that I did not post my beach picture here! :-) Scaring the hell out of people is not the main goal of this site! Posted by Hello


The Beach Tree

This picture was taken at Baker Beach in San Francisco. This was one of the many beautiful things that we saw there. The main reason that we went to this beach was to see The Golden Gate Bridge but it was so foggy above the water that even though we stood right under it we could not see it. We loved this beach and are sure that we will visit it again. We just hope we get a clearer day next time. Posted by Hello


The Banana Sculpture

This is a piece of art that I found on display in a museum in Cuernavaca. The museum was once a home owned by an American that he donated to the city upon his death. This piece caught my eye because of the colors and the style and the way that it contrasted with the room. One of the best things about Mexico is the art! I fell in love with Frida Kahlo and was simply in awe of Diego Rivera! I will be posting a link soon so you can view many more pictures that I took of the art in Mexico. Posted by Hello


The Bugs

This is an ant that I caught running around my bathroom. Compare him to the width of the grout and you will really see how huge he is! This photo was taken right after he dropped a q-tip that was on the counter top! They will pick up darn near anything and use it to make a nest. I also ran into a few scorpions crawling across living room floors, giant spiders scurrying across dining room tables and some cockroaches that could probably tip a scale! I guess this is all a part of the charm of Mexico! Posted by Hello

Friday, August 06, 2004 

The Lovers

One of the most beautiful things that I encountered in Mexico was the amount of public affection that was displayed. These days people tend to keep love behind closed doors in the U.S. and I think that is sad. I took quite a few candid photos of couples in Mexico and looking at these photos really made me understand how lucky that I am to have Megan to share moments like this with! Posted by Hello

About me

  • I'm Ruben
  • From Modesto, California, United States
  • This space could be a million lines long but I will try to make a long story short. In April of 2003 I was diagnosed with a rare terminal liver disease and treated for Hodgkin's Lymphoma in my neck. Because of the combination of diseases and amount of liver damage, doctors estimate that I have between 2 and 5 years to live. Hence the name of this site, "Each Day Counts." If I cannot win this battle I will fight, love and travel until the very end!
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