Monday, August 31, 2009


Bad economy, bad living situation:

Percentage of 2008 U.S. college grada who moved back to parents' house due to lack of jobs available: 18%

Parents tell them, "I think we should start seeing other people."

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Yesterday, Paul took me to my liver doctor for a follow-up. Numbers for my liver are slowly returning to normal.

But we got incredibly sidetracked to other results found in my bloodwork. He was awfully concerned regarding results related to my bone marrow and white cell count. He recommended that I see a hematologist right away, and it's possible that I will have to go through another bone marrow biopsy.

I asked why the urgency. He said plain and simple that based on the numbers, I am a candidate for having leukemia.


I heard this analogy the other day: life with its many struggles is climbing Mt. Everest. The more more you climb, the air gets thinner, the temperature gets colder, and the terrain becomes undauntingly difficult. Some climbers stop at a a plateau, take a break, and then head back down. The path before them was too much for them, so they choose to return to the base of the mountain. But the other climbers who stay on target get to the pinnacle and receive the reward of a view so undescribable, so richly visual and full, that their hike up seemed so long ago.

The terrain in my life has become shockingly and suddenly steeper. Sometimes I think it's not worth it. I think things like, "Why keep going? What do I have to look forward to?" It sounds destitute, desperate, and depressing, and the fight to avoid thinking these things keeps me up at night and tests the authenticity of what faith I have left.

(sigh.) In a couple of days, it's my birthday month. I can either choose to focus on all the positive, all the celebrating, all the excitement, or dwell on the unknown and the scary path ahead of me.

What's after September? Autumn? Thanksgiving? The birth of my niece? Christmas?

What's after Steptember? Becoming a cancer and leukemia fighter? More medical procedures? Another surgery? More MRI's, visits to new doctors, and a new daily regimen of drugs? Death?

One thing is certain in my future: clff hangers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

You Once "Ruehl"d The Mall.

Abercrombie & Fitch's "urban lifestyle" sibling, Ruehl, is closing its doors permanently in January.

All locations will have a Winter Clearance sale in late December, then will begin liquidating total inventories in early January.

Reason: "Lack of demand," said a sales rep on the phone with me today. "There's just not a want for our clothes and label anymore. A&F and Hollister have the market cornered." She continued, "We wanted to cater to an audience who wanted a look and lifestyle similar to young New Yorkers. They just didn't see the difference between us and our other brand stores."

That rings so true for me. It's the exact same look, same clothers, same inage, just a different logo.

Ruehl reported a $58 million dollar revenue loss last year.

My Point Of View (In The Middle Of Night)

The deep impact of some people's realities are something that I cannot comprehend. Events such as losing someone close to you like a spouse, a child, or even a parent can be so overwhelming that I cannot even begin to imagine what that feels like.

My reality that I'm currently going through now, is minor compared to other's. I haven't' lost someone, I'm not financially bankrupt, and overall, under the circumstances, I'm okay.

People's situations and problems, no matter how trivial or small they may sound, are still important because it's happening to them, (Duh.)

I feel terrible for people who have no network, no close enough friends, and few family relatives who they can reach to for support. I know one woman right now who lost her husband not too long ago, and as popular as she is, she can feel so downright alone,

I guess that loneliness she may feel is that it's her problem, and although there are people to help her, it still is her situation that she has to go through.

I'm bouncing all over the place.

Some of this is so simple, so elementary, that if I were reading this, I'd yawn, log off, and go shopping.

Afer all, I'm just learning braille. I'm just using a walking stick. I'm pulling my eyelid up to watch TV.


Isiah 43:1-3

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


This is some f____d up s__t.

I always always thought this stuff was for people who were totally f____d up. Now here I am learning this s__t myself.

Raised dot on position 1. Three raised dots, position 1, 4, and 5. Two dots on, one above another, making the letter "b".

F___d up crazy s__t for people like me who are totally f____d up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hold Up. Wait A Minute.

I can't believe the words that are coming out of my nouth- "I am excited about fall."

What? You were diagnosed with S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), plus you suffer from cold intolerance!

But last year, I changed my frame of mind: all it took was buying a Yankee Candle that smelled like spiced pumpkin. Having that cnadle strangely made it easy to welcome fall.

Now I'm looking forward to football season, the rustling of leaves blowing in the wind, and of course, having a pumpkin at my front door.


Monday, August 24, 2009

There's Nothing Ordinary About Ernie."

That's what one of my doctors said about me (Hi, Dr. B.) And while that sounds complimentary, I think it can be manipulated this way:

"There's not an ordinary day for Ernie." Esepcially recently. I have gone through so many changes: an operation to have one eye sewn shut, gamma knife surgery, learning to use a walking cane, getting plastic bubbles placed on my computer keyboard to identify home, return, and other important keys, amd now, giving up sunglasses for my one eye that can see because the eyelid is drooping even lower.

Maybe this is the typical dose of Monday blahs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Gunn" Goes Off Tomorrow

Fashinistas, don't forget: the season premiere of "Project Runway" airs tomorrow, Thursday, August 20th at 10PM on Lifetime, not Bravo.

Tim Gunn was interviewed today on Regis and Kelly. He discussed that before WWII, the fashion capital of America was Los Angeles, because the glamour of Hollywood. But after the war was over, a rise of fresh designers in Manhattan caused the migration of fashion trendsetting to move to New York.

Gunn's top advice for those of us not actual designers or waif-like models: "Take responsibility for what you wear."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Weird Or Cool?

Only 300 made. By a company called The Hundreds, who manufacture clothing and accessories for skate punks.
Don't even ask me if I'm buying one. I'm in the process of trying to dump the bike I already have.

House Of Cards Come Crashing Down

It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. The reality of yesterday's experience with the cane just hit me like a head-on collision with an 18 wheeler.

All I did was walk around the block. It's not even a half mile. But with a blindfold on and just a walking stick, it felt like a nightmarishly long 10 mile march with nowhere as the finish line.

Paul and the guy teaching me followed right behind me. I made funny comments to try amd lighten the mood. But looking back, it was all to hide the scary feelings that overwhelmed me.

Afterwards, Paul and I ran some errands. Cleaners. Grocery store. Target. Bed Bath And Beyond. I used the cane while walking around. While it parted groups of people walking towards me, I could feel and sense children looking at me like I was a gr0tesque circus freak.

At Bed Bath And Beyond, I bought an area rug for the bedroom. It was pretty and made the room more welcoming. But if I lose all of my eyesight soon, then what's the point? I may feel it underneath me, but I won't be able to see it.

I guess a good question to ask is, "Am I really going to go completely blind?" I know I've been talking about it like it's really going to happen, But what I'm wrong? What if the little vision I have left doesn't change?

Losing your eyesight changes EVERYTHING. You can't read the Christmas cards you receive, nor can you send cards out. You can't watch television. You just listen to it. You'll have to recall and imagine the facial expressions on the actors' faces as you sit through a rerun of a sitcom.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. For Paul. And it's all hitting me now.

Let's take a quick look at this spiritually: James 1:1 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perserverance."

Pure joy? I don't think so. I ain't feelin' it, certainly not right now. And perserverance for what? For more trials? Great.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Swang ThatThang

Alas, today starts the latest chapter of my life: at 12:30, a cane instructor will come to my hourse, blindfold me, and teach me how to use a walking cane around my house and in my neighborhood to help me get around and understand where the sidewalk starts and ends.

When I'm in public, should I wear sunglasses for the full look?

All I know is y'all better get out of my way while I'm walking or I will beat yo' head with that stick..

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taste Test II

Yesterday, I was in Georgetown having mango sorbet at Ben & Jerry's. Hours later, I was at Pentagon City Mall trying the same at Haagen Dazs.

Ben & Jerry's: nice aut almost too sweet. Very sugary. Generous serving.

Haagen Dazs: less sugary and more mango flavor. Tasted like biting into an actual mango fruit because of its tartness and sweetness at the same time.

Verdict: Haagen Dazs. Had more to offer your tastebuds, as opposed to Ben & Jerry's which was just sugary-sweet.

P.S. Hey, different strokes for different folks: as long as it's worth the fat, the calories, and the penance at the gym the next day, then go for it. Just don't eat it because it's in front of you. Defy mediocre eating.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Taste Test I

A friend and I went out for Starbucks last week. Still hungry for some breakfast food, I ordered a blueberry muffin.

Little did I remember that an Einstein Brothers Bagelry was right next door. We hopped on over and bought bagels and another blueberry muffin.

I took everything home and decided to have a blueberry muffin taste test.

Einstein Brothers: Light, airy, and blueberries tasted very wild and fresh.

Starbucks: Tasteful sugary and crunchy muffin top, sweet all around, but rubbery texture.

Winner: Einstein Brothers. More bakery-style look and texture, and tasted fresh like it was baked that day. Starbucks on the other hand seemed to be the kind that would last in a display for weeks and not spoil.

Another taste test tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back To The Roots

Let's return to one of the main reasons why I started this blog in the first place: sharing what it's like to fight cancer.

I first found out I had a brain tumor in 2001, leading to a series of brain surgeries, radiation treatments, and chemotherapy sessions that began in February 2002. Ever since then, it's never been in remission, only having the tumor seed itself in new areas of my brain.

This morning I layed in bed thinking about how much I've been through. And the more I focused on the suffering and pain it has placed on my body, it made me both sad and angry at the same time.

And now I'm opening up to the latest chapter written for me: complete blindness. I've already had a taste of it, from walking around a grocery store nervously to avoid bumping into other shoppers, to watching a movie holding up my eyelid with a finger to see the screen a little better. On Monday, someone from the Virginia Association of the Deaf and Blind will come to my house to teach me how to use a walking stick.

"Have a good attitude, have a good attitude" echoes in my head everyday. "Be thankful for the fact that you still can see" repeats incessantly in my thoughts.


I'm done talking about this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ten People, One Bathroom

That's the current situation here at the house. Paul's parents and two of their friends arrived Saturday. His sister and her three daughters arrived yesterday.

Surprisingly, the one bathroom situation is working out smoothly because everyone has been very mindful of keeping their bathroom usage to a minimum.

If you ask my opinion, I'm the one who uses the bathroom the most. After all, I'm high drama and high maintenance.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I Don't Know Why...

but I can't bear to watch or listen to other people going through some type of physical pain. Every time someone on TV is talking about a disease that affects them physically, a disability, or some type of horrible injury, I cringe. And don't get me started on movies: all forthcoming crashes, shootings, or killings, I end up looking away and sometimes even holding my ears.

Maybe it reminds me of the pain I've been through.

Yeah, that's probably it.

Snaps to those of you who can handle watching physical pain.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Enemy Of The State

Paul downloaded on his iphone the other day. Did you know that if you typed an address in it would show you the location via satellite?

Paul asked googleearth to show where we were at the time (Tysons Corner Shopping Center). It not only showed the mall from space, it also showed us sitting down at the sidewalk right outside the mall!

Very weird. Big Brother's watching you!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Is It Raymond And Charlie?

"The Hangover" does a wonderful spoof of a scene from "Rain Man." It had me at "C--H-A-R-L-I-E. Main man."

Monday, August 03, 2009

A.C. Baby!

Paul and I went to Atlantic City over the weekend. Meeting us there were my sister, Ellen and my brother-in-law, Andrew (Happy Burfday, Chinner!)

We stayed at The Borgata, the newest casino in town. And while it was nice and fancy, it certainly didn't compare to some of the Vegas hotels we've stayed at such as The Wynn,

We walked around the boardwalk. So dirty, So downright depressing.

I did okay at the roulette table due to my sister helping me out. I won $75. Although it ain't a lot, hey, at least I came out ahead.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

I'm Either A Hick or An Old Man

It was Teen Jeopardy! last week. One of the categories was "Urban Lingo". The response worth the least was "Christmas Adam is the day before this."

I had no idea what Alex Trebek was talking about but the nerdy pubescent high-schoolers quickly buzzed in.

"What is Christmas Eve?"

I didn't know about Christmas Adam. Did you?

(Yeah, I thought so, you old country fart.)