Thursday, March 31, 2005 

The 'Hood Photos

I was inspired by a blog that I read yesterday (for the life of me I can't recall the address) so I headed out today to "shoot up" my neighborhood.

In the blog that I read the photographer shoots only images within a 2 mile radius of his home. I didn't quite feel as ambitious as that guy but I went ahead with the idea anyway. I restricted my lazy ass to within 2 blocks of my house. Maybe one day soon I will venture farther.

I grabbed the ever-faithful ipod, my digital camera and my sense of adventure and headed out the door. Shooting the photos was fun but the best part of the adventure was seeing the crazy crap that really happens around here!

Here are the top 5 strange things about my 'hood that I learned. They were all equally insane so there is no order to the list.

1.) There is a real honest to goodness one armed, eye patch wearing, wine out of the bottle drinking, bearded pirate just two houses down. I think he was just visiting because I have never seen him before. I gave up trying to take a picture of him when he growled, "You better watch what you're shootin' there boy!" Needless to say, I crossed the street and moved on like a bat out of hell.

2.) Someone finally took the old washer and dryer I put in the alley a couple months back. I hope the police don't read this. I am sure that I committed some sort of felony by leaving them there.

3.) I think that a cowboy or construction worker actually exploded behind my house. You will have to view all the pictures to understand what the heck I am talking about.

4.) That nice old lady at the end of the street really isn't a nice old lady at all. I was taking a photo of a sign on the street in front of her house and she said to me, "I'm fixin' to call the po-lice (that is how she said the word, police) if you aint be movin' along soon." Not only is she mean as hell, but I think that she may have missed at least one grammar class at some point in her life.

5.) There are at least 6 places that I noticed in the neighborhood where I could hide bodies. Not that I have any bodies to hide or anything...ok maybe I should change the subject now.

So now that I have got your attention...
Click here for 24 super thrilling photos of my 'hood. Also...Beware of pirates and run like hell if any senior citizens in your 'hood try to talk like John Wayne! Smile today! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005 

The New Look

Well...I got a little bored of all the black and I switched everything around. I'm still pretty much a rookie when it comes to design but I am trying. I would appreciate any comments that you may have. This design gives me more freedom to provide links to other sites so let me know if you would like me to link to your blog or other place on the web. Thank you again for reading. I hope that everyone out there is doing well.

Sunday, March 27, 2005 

The Dog Juice

What a weekend! We covered almost 700 miles in our funny little Toyota Matrix, went to 2 Easter parties and got stuck in a massive traffic jam. The funny thing is that through good and bad we made some amazing memories.

Things I said to Meg that she never thought I would say:
"Megan, I think your dog sprung a leak!"
---I said this after Hector lost control of his bladder all over my shirt and pants. We felt so sorry for him because he was crying because he had to pee but we were stuck in traffic. When he finally got relief I think he broke some sort of Chihuahua peeing record!

"Damn babe! I look like I pissed myself!"
---I said that after I walked out of the bathroom of a crappy gas station. I was attacked by an evil soap dispenser that sprayed all over my leg! What a freakin' mess!

Phrase that will catch on and be huge and super popular:
Chihuahua Juice
---Mega-star Nelly rapper coined the term pimp juice (whatever the hell that is) so my phrase might be the new craze! I can hear it now...every time a kid gets a stain on his clothes his friends will say..."Dude! What's that crap on your clothes? It looks like Chihuahua Juice!"
---Maybe it will even be the next big drink craze! Snoop Dogg will release a new version of his hit song called "Gin and Chihuahua Juice!" it may not be big for a while but it will be big...major...huge! :-)

Anyway, the weekend was great! My Grandma was in great shape, all billion of our relatives were excited about our marriage and my health was perfect. I love when life is good. I hope all is well with everyone out there. Smile today!

Friday, March 25, 2005 

The Rest Stop

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, March 24, 2005 

The Life I am Living Today

What a strange day. I am sitting here at almost 4:00 and I am sucking down another iced coffee from the crack house. I had a terrible bout of pain last night and was up until the wee hours again and today I woke up 11:00. I feel all hazy and a little light headed and achy but i will survive.

Anyway, I feel obligated in a way to put my two cents in here about Terry Schiavo. She seems to be the hot topic lately in the blog world. All I can say is this...I am not a healthy person. But, I feel confident in my heart and my mind that Megan and my family would not keep me alive on machines. My mother would have the hardest time letting go and I understand that but I think that she would rather see me able to function. I believe that she would understand that I do not want to live for a long while in a hospital room. I want my family to be able to move on and blossom in my abscence. I don't wish for them to spend their lives tending to me. It is time to let Terry go home now. It is time to let her rest in peace. That is all I will say about this issue.

In other news about my life...I finished "Tuesdays with Morrie" last night and as Megan slept next to me I quietly sobbed. What a beautiful book! Morrie left the world with his family at his side and a peaceful song is his heart. That is the way to move on. The photo above shows Morrie towards the end of his life. I love this photo because he does not look a man that is dying. He looks likes a happy and wise old man that is living. What a brave man he was!

Have a great day today and a nice weekend. Meg and I may hit the road to visit my family in Northern california and that would be nice. It all depends though on how I feel tonight. The nights are the hardest for me anymore. Smile today and have fun. Also...try to stay away from Starbucks! They are turning us all into addicts! Their people should not be called "baristas" they should be called enablers or dealers! :-)
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 

The Book of Life

I am sitting here alone today reading "Tuesdays with Morrie" at the suggestion of Dylann, another blogger. If you have never read this book I would recommend that you do. Over the course of the last few nights I have been reading this book in bed when I cannot sleep and more than once it has evoked tears and laughter. If Megan ever woke up and looked over she would either think I have lost my mind (laughter) or that I am in pain again (tears).

Today I read a passage in this book that really made me think about my life and what will happen to me after I am gone. I often wonder if people will remember me. I think that is why I write so much. I want people to be able to have something tangible to hold when I am gone. I want people to be able to look back at different points in my life and think about me. Good or bad...I just want people to have memories of me and memories of my life.

In the book, "Tuesdays with Morrie," the author, Mitch Albom asks Morrie if he worries about being forgotten when he dies. Morrie replies by saying, " I don't think I will be. I've got so many people who have been involved with me in close, intimate ways. And love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone."

Just typing that passage gave me chills. I have told Megan a million times that if I die from this battle that I will be looking out for her from wherever I am. She has promised me that she won't stop living like she does now and she has promised me that she will never stop teaching.

But the greatest promise that Megan has made to me is that she won't stop loving. She has so much love to give and I hope to God that she stays open enough to fall in love again. I want to be able to watch her laugh and smile and play because those are the things that she does with me that make her happy. I want her to always be happy.

I don't ever want to leave her alone in a physical sense but it will be easier for me to go if I am confident that she will let me live on in her heart and mind. If I get to the end of this fight for my life and I lose I want her face to be the last thing that I ever touch. I want to go away knowing that I don't have to be scared because she is always right with me...Just a touch away.

Monday, March 21, 2005 

The Drinking Problem

Well it has finally happened to me! The one thing that my mother told me could happen to me that I never really thought could happen is now upon me like flies on... well, you know.

Anyway, I have developed a drinking problem and I think it is pretty serious. I woke up this morning craving a drink and I am about to head out of the house and get my fix. I can taste it now and I want it so bad! I need therapy! Maybe there is a good 12 twelve step program that I can look into. What will I do? How will I explain this to my fiance? Will she leave me? Will she realize that there are other men out there that can fight their urges better than me?

I can see myself now sleeping in dark alleys and collecting change. All I need is $2.10. How long could it take for nickels and dimes to add up to that? People will take pity on me right? I will need a marker and some cardboard. I will need an empty cup to keep my money in.

All I can say is....DAMN YOU STARBUCKS! DAMN YOUR DELICIOUS ICED COFFEE! I'm going to end up behind my local store begging the baristas for just one sip! I am doomed! What will I do now?

Thursday, March 17, 2005 


This is a photo of me undergoing radiation therapy for Cancer in 2003. It may seem crazy that I had Megan take this photo or even crazier that I have posted it here for the world to see but I am very proud of it. I promised to let readers of this blog see my whole it is.

Megan and I attended my six-month Cancer follow-up yesterday and everything went well. I am still Cancer free and very happy about that. I am still fighting the liver disease but I can do this! I'm not going to die of this! I still have way too much to do in my life. I need quite a few years to make all my dreams come true.

In regard to my dreams...Meg and I looked at a place last night in a little town called Ione and it looks like the perfect place to have our wedding. There is even a staircase that she can walk down with her father that walks into a gorgeous courtyard with a pond and other beautiful features. I cannot wait to call her my wife. Our life together is my dream. I won't let my liver or Cancer take that dream away. I deserve to be happy and I will fight to be happy.

Anyway, the news is good here. Life is good here. I hope that everyone out there is happy. Smile today. Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005 

The Cowboy

One of my favorite singers, Chris Ledoux died last week. Complications of liver cancer took one of the most honest, passionate and talented artists that I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. In 2000 I took my Grandmother to see Toby Kieth and Ledoux in concert in Red Bluff, CA but Chris did not appear because he was having a liver transplant. I remember that I felt dissapointed that he was not there because I loved his music very much. I was hopeful for him and I was happy to hear later that his recovery was going well. I would have loved to see him in concert and regret deeply that I never did before he passed.

Thursday, March 10, 2005 

The Flu Beast

I am off to the doctor again today. This time I am fighting some sort of evil cold/flu beast that seems to think that my body is a rather comfortable place to live. My head is pounding, my sinuses are all stuffed up and I get very dizzy whenever I stand up. I have to be very careful when I have issues like this. A cold or flu used to just go away over time but anymore it takes a super-strong antibiotic to make the symptoms go away. I have to be careful with my immune system. It is so weak now that a cold or flu that is bad enough could actually really hurt me.

I was talking to my friend Jim last night and he seemed surprised in a way about how easy it is for me to joke about all my illnesses. I think that if I took it all too seriously it would drive me mad. When I was first diagnosed I was very depressed. I have no desire to be that way again. I told him that I could not imagine dying from an unattended cold or flu. I explained to him that I would rather die trying to jump the Grand Canyon on my mountain bike or breaking up a gang fight. It would be a bummer for my gravestone to read, "Here lies Ruben Porras...victim of the common cold."

I want to die with honor like a samurai soldier. I would like to go out in a blaze of glory. Maybe I should be more considerate of Jim's feelings though. He has become one of the best friends that I have ever had and if he was told that he had a terminal disease it would totally crush me. Jim comes around more than ever before and that is very special to me. He has a gorgeous wife and the prettiest baby in the world and I hope that he knows how much it means to me that he shares a part of himself with me.

I will post what happens at the doctor today. I am sure that I will be fine but I still worry. It is beautiful here today and I hope that it is nice wherever you happen to be reading this. Take care today and have fun doing whatever you are planning to do. matter how stressful life gets that there is someone that loves you somewhere and that is what matters.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005 

The Quiet

The little clock at the bottom of my laptop screen reads 4:38 a.m. right now and I have been watching its minutes tick by since 3:57. I thought that my sleepless nights were over for a while after I slept so well last night but I was wrong...again. There is nothing more lonely than the sound of an empty house. I can hear the breathing sound of our gas heater, an occassional car in the distance and the wind rustling the trees outside but otherwise it is quiet here.

It is times like this when I think about my life the most. If I lose the battle with my illness how many of these sleepless nights will Megan have? Will she be ok? I don't want her to have have to sit and contemplate life like I do so often. I just want her to live and be free. I want her to feel alive.

Tomorrow I will be half awake all day and lost deep inside another dark haze. I enjoy walking and driving through the misty fog of winter nights but seeing fog through my own eyes when nobody else sees it is painful for me. My body and my mind seem to waging a war against one another and there is no clear leader to speak of. Together they are driving me slowly insane.

The clock reads 4:49 now and I should sign off. I have a great deal of useless information gathering to do on this laptop and I am sure that there is an infomercial on that I have not seen on television.

Maybe on the channel after the newest ab machine or container organizer there will be a commercial that can be of some use to me. Can I buy sleep or a new liver for low easy monthly installments? Can I buy a better outlook for $19.95? Can I buy a machine that can beam Meg and I off to a new place where there are only beaches, great movies and down comforters? I don't want buns of steel. I don't need a tool that can fix my car and mow my lawn.

It is 5:03 now and I am saying goodbye. Smile today.Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005 

The Life Ahead

Well, tomorrow morning I will wake up a whole year older! I will make this post simple and quick and just leave you with a quote from my column that will be published next week. Have a great weekend!

---"If I could say a toast for myself on my birthday it would go something like this, "Here's to a slightly insane but utterly amazing grandmother, a young woman that is as stubborn as an ox, all the people that have watched me fall and all the people that have picked me back up again. Here's to my best friend in Iraq, my pretty little girls and my doctors. But mostly, here's to the chance at having another 30 years to do it all over again!"

To read the rest of this column click here.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 

The Haze

It has been forever since I last posted and a lot has been happening around here. The main issue around here lately is the usual health stuff. Ever since we got back from San Francisco I have been in a strange haze. I can't seem to catch up on my sleep and I feel totally out of focus for some reason. Even the Benadryl is not working to put me to sleep. I took 2 Benadryl pills at about 10:00 last night and I still stayed up until after 4:00 am.

My blood tests turned out to be stable (still bad but not a whole lot worse) so Dr. Cheng does not feel the need for me to have another procedure done to clear my bile ducts at this time. That was very welcome news. I am really wanting to be healthy this year. I will have my blood checked on a regular basis and keep posting updates here.

In other news...I turn 30 in two days! I don't know how to feel about that. Part of me is sad because I have not achieved all of the things that I wanted to at this point in my life but part of me is happy because I am alive and I am enjoying the slow pace of my life. I will spend my birthday at the wedding of an old friend that I have not seen in many years and that will be nice.

About our wedding...Meg is feverishly ordering invitation samples and scouring the web for ideas. It is beautiful to watch her plan our day. I am so happy that she is looking forward to the day that she becomes my wife. I am certainly ready to share that day with her.

I hope that this post finds everyone happy and healthy. My Grandma Rose is getting over a terrible infection and has not been feeling very well lately. It scares me whenever she gets sick for any reason. The thought crossed my mind when I first was diagnosed with my illness that maybe I was meant to die before her so I would not have to see her go. She has been a big part of my life since I was a baby when we would have Jello fights while she was caring for me when my parents were at work.

Take care of one another and smile today. Check back soon for updates. I am trying to teach myself more about creating an internet radio show from home, posting music on the web and working with image galleries. Thanks for letting me test all my crazy ideas on all of you!

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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