a request...


I feel the need to start every blog lately acknowledging the fact that I've been a horrible blogger... I'm sorry. For those who still check-in, I really appreciate it. It's not for lack of wanting to blog, it's just that times is tuff...

Today, for example, I'm once again workin' on a deadline. I have 3 ten-pagers due on Monday and Tuesday, and although I'll put in a solid 20 minutes or so, as soon as I have a paragraph done, my mind wanders and I find myself googling "head neck cancer stage four", or, "side effects of chemotherapy", or, "mortality rate stage four head neck cancer", or, "genetic disposition cancer".

I go back and forth in my mind, from feeling optimistic to feeling devastated, but no matter what my mindset, my faith is constant andI know that no matter what, we're all ok. This will be ok. We can handle this. It won't be easy; it will hurt; it does suck like a vaacuum, but... we're all ok.

For those that are familiar with my family, you know that we've had our share of accidents, illnesses and loses, but the one thing that has kept us together through it all is faith. Not neccesarily faith that our desired outcome will occur, because if that were true than sorrow would never exist, but faith that we'll have the strength to handle whatever comes our way. And so that's where we're at right now, especially in regards to my dad, who is undergoing a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment We are praying for two things specifically:
1. that my dad can handle this toxic "treatment"
2. that it works

So I write today to ask you to hop on board and with this prayer. No matter if you pray, meditate, engage in intentional thought, whatever... please take some time today to offer up some love and prayers for my dad, that he can handle the toxic chemo and that it works.

Thank you so much my dear friends...
much love to you

all done


A cademic yet absurd
L ong and laborious
L ate-night style with a dash of luck

D one, despite the distractions, delays, daydreams and dubs
O ut of my hands now
N ight is fading, better get some sleep
E mpty. Running on empty. Empty...



Like most of you, I spent last Tuesday night glued to my television, in a state of semi-paralysis due to a mixture of joyful anticipation and total fear. I knew deep in my heart that Obama would win, but I've come to be very skeptical of our electorate system, plus, I was fearful that the much-talked-about Bradley Effect might actually be an issue.

On one hand, I felt like Obama had it in the bag the moment the Maverick picked his co-maverick running
-mate, but on the other hand, Obama was a black man running for the highest office in a country where racism still runs deep and where the politics of fear often outweigh the politics of hope. The polls said one thing, but who knew what was truly in the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. Would America buy into the fear that Barack Hussein Obama was an anti-American who pal'ed around with terrorists, or would they see the past the desperation of the fear-based McCain campaign and actually vote for an African American liberal (gasp!)

I didn't know. Or, I guess I did know, but I wasn't convinced until the fat lady sung. For most of you, that fattie was California, but for me, I nodded off soon after Obama won Ohio (love you Ohio!) and woke up to McCain giving his concession speech. McCain was my fat lady, and his song was music to my ears. As I opened my eyes and realized the reality of the situation, I freaked out. Initially the freak out was internal, but after a minute or two of mild shock and internal freak out, I ran into the bedroom and woke Jay up. "Hey, wake up, Obama won! Obama won!" Jay's eyes opened really wide, and like a child full of wonder, he said "He diiiid?" We shared a big hug and a "oh my goodness!" And then he fell back asleep.

Me? Oh no, sleep wouldn't come for many hours. I needed to jump and shout and hug more people; I needed to start processing this HUGE moment. So I ran out into the streets, pajamas and all, to celebrate with my neighbors. I ran out my front door and headed up the hill towards the Obama office on G'town Ave. Horns were honkin, strangers were huggin' in their jams and everyone was jumping and screaming for joy. I've never seen anything like it. At one point a bus pulled up to the corner, and the passengers clearly hadn't heard the news yet, as they looked pretty mellow, but as our screams of joy got their attention, one by one they started to scream for joy and we shared this amazing moment together. Then the light turned green and their celebration-on-wheels rolled on down the avenue. It was pretty surreal.

After 20 minutes of street-corner celebration, I came home and watched his victory speech. And then I layed in bed, wide awake, and prayed. First I gave thanks for this amazing moment in history, but then I prayed for the safety of the Obama family, and for wisdom, discernment and strength for Barack as he takes the messed-up reigns from GW. And then I prayed for us, the American people, that we can come together after this divisive two-year election and work together to keep creating "a more perfect union; an America we can all be proud of. If there's one thing the Obama campaign showed me, it's that the power belongs to the people, and that great things, seemingly impossible things, happen when everyone takes an active role in the fate of their country. The election may be over, but the real work begins now. Whether or not you supported Obama or agree with his views, I hope you can agree to disagree and roll up your sleeves... because America needs you!

Now for some photos...

This was taken at an Obama rally right down the street from my house in October. Although the photo doesn't show it well, Obama is on a stage just to the right of the American flag on the left side. There were between 15,000 - 20,000 people there, and it was amazing!

This is a mural (in North Philadelphia) of Jackie Robinson, another "first" in African American history. I took this on election day, on my way to school. I couldn't help but feel inspired by it.

Hundreds of these signs were posted all over the city on election day. I took pictures of them as I drove through many different neighborhoods. I wish I would have snatched one for my collection of Obama memorabelia ;)

Happy ObamaRama! I hope whatever your politics, you are enjoying this moment in American history!



It's been awhile, I know, but it's also been awhile since I've felt normal.

There's been so much going on, and even though I've wanted to blog about it, I've felt this enormous lump in my throat which has kept me quiet. You know that feeling? Like when you feel so much and have so much to say but don't know where to start, so you keep it all in. It builds up and becomes this proverbial lump in the throat, preventing you from saying anything. After time, it builds and builds until you feel like there is an inflating balloon in your throat, expanding down into your lungs and up into your mouth.

That's how I've been feeling. I just didn't know where to start. And even if i did know, I haven't had a spare moment to indulge in a blog. But I have a pocket of time this morning, and so I guess I'll start with my dad's lump in his throat.

That's right, my dad had a lump in his throat too, but it wasn't from feeling emotionally overwhelmed; it was the real deal, and it was big. About 10 years ago, he had a similar lump (ok, who am I kidding, it was a tumor) on the other side of his neck, which was benign and surgically removed. So when this one came onto the scene, we thought nothing of it, just another pesky benign tumor and another surgical removal. No big deal.

It's a long story, but the morning of his surgery at Johns Hopkins, which i had no intention of going to, I received a call from my mom. She informed me, in that fake calm voice where I could tell she had a major lump in her throat, that things were much more serious than we all had anticipated. The tumor was large, had grown all up into his facial nerve system, was malignant, the malignancy had spread into his lymph nodes and there were "hot spots" (potential cancer) in his lungs and chest. Mind you, I was at work when this call came in, and I was making my client a grilled cheese sandwich. That is A LOT of information to process while trying not to burn a grilled cheese sandwich.

One minute I'm making the sandwich and the next minute I find out that my dad has cancer which has spread through his body. Hmmm. My dad was in surgery, my mom was terrified and more importantly, she was alone. And that is a very dangerous combination, so I called Jay, had a quick cry, and drove down to Baltimore to be with my mom.

My dad was in surgery for over 10 hours that day. Now he is healing and preparing for the long road of chemotherapy and radiation ahead of him, and our family is trying to process what all of this means. The "C" word constantly reverberates through my mind, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, cancer, scaring the crap out of me.

In the beginning, I didn't know how to feel because my parents represent two opposing sides of the coping style spectrum. My mom, on one side of the spectrum, thinks way too much and goes into "worst case scenario" mode, full of anxiety and panic. My dad, on the other side of the spectrum, tends to downplay everything and is cool as a cucumber no matter what. I joke that if my dad were shot in the head, he would say, "it's ok, it's just a headache, nothing a tylenol can't fix". So in the beginning, my mom was in full anxiety mode, talking as if my dad were going to die, and then my dad was in full "everyting's irie" mode, acting as if chemo and radiation were regular errands on his weekend "to do" list, right in between grocery shopping and trips to Home Depot.

So I didn't know who to trust. Where on this spectrum was the reality of the situation? Well, my mom has calmed down and has been blessed with the deep peace of God, so now I'm feeling like, ok, this is just a little cancer, nothing a little chemo and radiation can't fix.

Some days I feel more like my mom, other days I feel like my dad, but most days I feel like a perfect 50/50 combo, which I am ;)
It is a big deal, he will suffer nasty side effects of the treatments, but he will be ok. At the end of the day, this is just another occurance in life that reminds me to be grateful for each moment, because we never know which moment will bring joy or sorrow. One moment you're making grilled cheese, and the next moment your dad has cancer. Life is anything but boring.

I can't say what tomorrow's moments will hold, all I know is that this moment is perfect, and I refuse to ruin this perfect moment in anticipation of tomorrow's moments.

Thank you for reading, and for caring. And thank you for waiting... My lump is gone!