Wednesday, December 29, 2004 

The Poet

There are so many people out there that seem too afraid of rap music for some reason. I am not a fan of many rap artists that are releasing albums these days but I am a big fan of "old school rap". I guess that I am writing this in hopes that someone may read this and try to listen to something that they would not otherwise have listended to.

My favorite rap artist, Tupac Shakur is pictured above. Based on his appearance, many people were afraid of him and that is sad. How many people that read this know that I have several tattoos and that both of my ears are pierced? Appearances don't mean much. I am generally a nice guy.

Tupac was killed in Las Vegas in the 1990's and not many people realize it but when he died the world lost more than a thug. His reputation made him out to be a sinister gangster but he was a brilliant poet. Right now I am listening to his song, "Only God Can Judge Me." Even though he has been gone for many years his unreleased work keeps surfacing and right now he has a release with Elton John called, "Ghetto Gospel." Like many of his songs this one speaks about the struggles faced by the youth in our society.

Some songs that I would reccomend include:

Dear Mama
I Aint Mad at Ya
Letter to my Unborn Child
Keep Ya Head Up

Give them a shot if you have the chance. I believe that an open mind is a wonderful tool. Take care of yourself today. I will close this with a quote from Tupac:

There's gon' be some stuff you gon' see that's gon' make it hard to smile in the future.
But through whatever you see, through all the rain and the pain, you gotta keep your sense of humor. You gotta be able to smile through all this bullshit. Remember that. Mmm, yeah. Keep ya head up.Yeah. Posted by Hello

Saturday, December 25, 2004 

The Beautiful Day

Megan and I would like to express our love and gratitude to everyone that has supported us in person and in spirit this past year. This past year was very difficult for us but it it helped to show us that we could survive anything if we made sure to do it together. We hold one another a little tighter today and we love one another a whole lot more. This morning I woke up and she was at my side and that was the best Christmas gift that I received. I am a lucky man to receive that amazing gift every morning.

Have the safest new year possible and please remember that anything can be overcome with a little hope and faith. Smile every chance that you get and hold your loved ones close. I am lucky to be here today and I appreciate every second that I have to live.

Take care and thank you again!
Ruben and Megan

Thursday, December 23, 2004 

The Best Holiday!

There must be a better way. And, out of that, a new holiday was born. A FESTIVUS, FOR THE REST OF US!"
Frank Costanza, SEINFELD

Today is truly a day to celebrate! Today, December 23rd, is Festivus! This holiday was created as an alternative to the traditional Christmas Holiday because Christmas has become to commercial. There are some things that you will need to know to really be able to truly understand and celebrate this amazing holiday!

Official symbol of the holiday: An 8' tall aluminum pole. Much cheaper than a Christmas tree with all the trimmings!

Official meal of the holiday: Spaghetti. Have you seen the prices of turkey and Ham?

Official holiday traditions:

  • The airing of greivances. Tell people what you really think of them. Let your anger out. You will feel better! Your mind will be clear for the new year ahead!
  • The feats of strength. Wrestle your dad or maybe that brother in law that really drives you nuts or fight that old woman that bags your groceries and always puts the canned peas on top of the eggs! Prove who is stronger and they will remember that lesson all year long!

You can probably tell that this is a holiday that really does not have much merit but it may someday! Think about how good you will feel after celebrating this! Well, have a happy, happy Festivus and I'll check back in a few days around the time of the other holiday! :-) For now I have to head out to Home Depot. I hear they are having a sell on Festivus poles!

Smile today and don't forget to send someone a hilarious Festivus e-card!

Monday, December 20, 2004 

The Heaven Song

Happy Holidays everyone! Can you believe that 2004 is almost gone? It is amazing just how fast this year flew bye. I will write my year-end recap soon so stay tuned. I am posting today to mention a song that you all must hear. I know...I know....all I ever seem to write about lately is music but this one is just incredible. The last time I felt this passionate about a song was when I watched as Megan listened to Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." She looked at me as that song played and as tears rolled down her beautiful face I knew that song would forever have a special meaning to me.

Anyway, the song is called, "If Heaven" and it is sung by Andy Griggs. If you have Real Player you can hear the song for free at: Click here to read the lyrics.

In other happenings...My oldest daughter is following in her crazy Daddy's footsteps and she has started her very own blog. It will be nice to see where her little heart and mind take her. She has a very descriptive little voice and I love to read her words. Maybe she can be the famous writer her Daddy never was. But who knows...I still have some words left in me...maybe I will get them published one day. She is very proud of her blog and would love if anyone would post a comment for her. The address of her site is:

Well, it has been a long day and my body is screaming for rest so I better get some. I am going with Meg and her family tonight to some place called Christmas Tree Lane to see wht kind of crazy things that people can do with christams lights. It will be nice to get out. I sure miss Meg lately because she is working quite a bit but she will slow down soon.

So go have fun. Maybe head to a local mall and watch a child's face while they are on Santa's lap. Maybe take some time and watch a Holiday movie or listen to a Christmas song. I am not the most festive guy in the world but I am thankful to be healthy this year and I look forward to seeing the joy on the face of my babies when they open their gifts.

One more thing....please pray for my best friend Matora as he continues to fight the war in Iraq. I am not a supporter of the war but I sure support him. He called me the other day from 10 miles west of Fallujah and I could hear something in his voice that I have never heard before. I know he will come home safe soon and that he will finally be able to enjoy his new marriage and his new nephew. He is a good man and a great friend.

Please take care today and smile...always smile.

Friday, December 10, 2004 

The Road Trip

On the iPod today:
Anything but Mine/Kenny Chesney/I Believe/Diamond Rio/Holiday in Spain/Counting Crows

Above is a new feature that I have wanted to add here for a long time. I'm not sure how it looks but I will play with it some more over time. Maybe I should add images of artists but hey...who really wants to see people like Willie Nelson or whomever else that I choose to list here? I listen to some damn ugly folks! :-)

Anyway, I went to San Francisco with Meg's dad today for a doctors appointment that he had and I had a great day. We took the BART train (subway) into the city and it was very relaxing to be able to just sit and watch the scenery go by. I could totally live in San Francisco. The city is gorgeous, the people are generally laid back and the art and culture scene is amazing! I would probably get tired of it at some point but for a while I would be in heaven.

So back to the topic at hand; Dan's appointment was at UCSF Medical Center and it was great to visit there. If I am lucky enough to get a transplant it will be done there. The building we were in had a view of the city including Golden Gate Park that was really nice. It seems like it would be a very nice place to be if I am in need of care. The staff was very helpful and easy to deal with and I bet that I would get great care there. It is still crazy for me to think about having to get a transplant to survive the bulk of my life but it is as neccessary as diapers to a baby and I accept it. I am in fear but I know that I will be ok. I need to be ok. My family needs me to be ok. Gosh....tears still come to my eyes when I think about this. I need to get stronger. I need to fight harder to understand my circumstance.

In other events...I had the babies for my three hour visit tonight and it was great. This weekend will be very hard on me because I have had them for the last three in a row and not having them wake me up in the morning will be strange. I will have them at my home next weekend though and I look forward to that. This weekend will bring the installation of outdoor Christmas lights, a much needed visit with my good friend Jim in Merced and some time with Meg. She has been working non-stop lately and it will be amazing to have her here with me for a while.

Well, I am sitting in bed right now and my eyes are drooping so I will sign off for now. Have a great weekend and remember to smile. You may have problems in your life but you always have a smile to share and if you get one back those problems will seem meaningless. I hope that you are all having a great holiday season! Thanks for reading and stayed tuned for more updates.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004 

The Tamborine Man

Hello all...I am just sitting here listening to some music and wondering where time seems to go. I feel like I have been lost for so long and I wonder when I will come to grips with who I am. Is this an endless search? Does anyone ever really find themselves? There are always stories about people that do the same thing for their whole life and one day they wake up and wonder where the hell all the time went. There was a Jack Nicholson movie a few years back called "About Schmidt" that everyone should watch. In the Movie Nicholson finally plays a character almost true to his real age and it is a very deep and touching portrayal.

In one scene he realizes that he has been sleeping with the same woman forever and that she is essentially an old woman with a funny scent that he really hates. But when he returns home one day to find her dead he realizes how much that he really needed her. This comes to mind because lately I feel like Megan and I are growing apart a little and it scares the hell out of me. I was driving down the road this morning trying to think of things to to do to show her my love and I better get busy before she gets beyond my reach. She is really the main reason that I am still able to fight my ilnnesses and I want to show her how much I care for her.

About 1:30 this morning I woke up crying again in pain and she calmed me down like always. Would I be able to do that for her if I needed to? Would I be strong enough to watch her hurt? I guess my mind just wanders lately.

Right now I am listening To "Mr. Tamborine Man" by Bob Dylan and thinking about what Dylan must have been thinking when he wrote some of the things he wrote. Maybe he was high but you know something...he made some beautiful words into some of the most meaningful songs of all time. I wish I had the capacity to write like him. One of my other favorite writers and singers is Willie Nelson. He has that voice that makes you sad just hearing it.

One of the best verses that he ever wote was was from the song, "The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning." In that song he weeps, "Last night you came home late and I knew you'd been drinkin' by that old mellow look on your face. But I thought it don't matter cuz it's the holiday season and you fill such a big empty space. And I layed down beside you and I wanted your lovin' cuz your love makes my life complete. The last thing I needed first thing this morning was to have you walk out on me." That verse combined with this particular time of year is really meaningful. Think about it...have you ever held onto to someone just so you would not have to be alone? Is that what I am doing to Megan? I hope that she does not think that. I really do love her quite a bit and it is in fact her love that makes my life complete.

Well, enough of my rambling for now. Go laugh and play and smile. I'll leave you with one last statement; This morning while I was out I took three cases of corn and green beans to my oldest daughters classroom for their food drive and for a brief second I saw that look in her eyes that says, "My dad is my hero." She kissed me and thanked me and as I walked out of that room I felt like my life really had meaning. Maybe it really does. Maybe I just don't see it like she does.

Smile today!

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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