« February 2005 | Main | April 2005 »

March 31, 2005

Another American Idol scandal?

Was Scott Savol arrested for domestic violence?

Posted by Dan at 10:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Reflection: What the caregiver needs.

You know, Mrs. Popping Culture does an awful lot. Because of my cancer, she's now the primary grocery shopper, dog walker, hunter/gatherer, pastor's liason to the church, financial officer and a hundred other jobs she never wanted, all on top of caring for a husband who suddenly has a potentially fatal disease. She's just barely in her thirties... can you imagine?

And yet I, just because I may or may not be dying, remain the center of attention. All I do is pretty much sit in a chair and watch television, or take naps, and yet websites and pretty Hallmark cards all come with messages to me.

Not too long ago I quoted Anita Tejedat and her masterful piece on how you can lose your health and still have everything as long as you are loved. I found her work in the book How to Live between Office Visits by Bernie Siegel. Her husband had cancer at the time.

She also provided this letter, which stands in defense of the caregivers who give up so much. It allows them to be angry. Pardon the language, but it's there.

"What about the person who is not the one with the illness? Yes, how about me? How am I doing? No one ever seems to ask. A selfish thought when I am not the one who has the disease. No, my pain doesn't have a medical label, my fear is abstract, there isn't any medicine that can take it away. It is the pain of sharing my life, my love, my hopes, my dreams, my future with someone whose life seems to be shattered and all those things stolen from him.

How am I doing? Well, since you asked, I'm scared shitless. I'm scared to love all the way now, because the loss is too great. I'm scared because I'm real angry and I want to scream out to God, 'Are you nuts?' Or to my beloved who is sick, 'Snap out of it and make it go away,' or to friends and family who have become distraught over trivialites, "Shut the hell up, you don't know how lucky you are.' I'm scared because my own life and love, and hopes and dreams and future are so connected to my love's that I wonder what will become of me. I'm scared because I see and live the reality of what is and still reach for the idealism I've always had and wonder if I'm fooling myself. Maybe you could say a prayer of courage for me, so I can continue on and care."

It's easy being sick. You don't have a choice.

It's hard loving someone sick.

I invite you to use the comments section to say something uplifting to Mrs. Popping Culture, who has the worst of it by far, not counting the nausea.

Posted by Dan at 09:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Ara discovers the ultimate practical joke.

I, like Ara, would pay real money to see it happen.

Posted by Dan at 02:57 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The latest from "Starbucks Gossip"

Tricks to get free drinks.

Which is nice, since the average drink at Starbucks costs a week's pay.

Posted by Dan at 02:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, I, for one, have to ask what the world is coming to...

... when they can take away a college fraternity's charter for something as innocent as shooting a harmless film.

What? It was a porn flick? Um, called College Invasion 6? And it featured sex between professional porn actors and college students?

Oh, I guess that's different. To make it worse, you can read the full story with this unfortunate headline: "Porno stains Greek image". Ewwww.

Posted by Dan at 08:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 30, 2005

Meanwhile, in nearly-irrelevant political news.

Pat Sajak GOES OFF on liberals.

That was a funny sentence to type.

Posted by Dan at 09:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Well, so, I'm alive.

I probably won't be happy about it for another day or two, but I'm through the worst I think. Thank you for your patience on chemo days!

Posted by Dan at 09:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 29, 2005

While I'm doing chemotherapy, you guys keep reaching for the prize.


Posted by Dan at 08:15 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Light blogging Wednesday.

Blogging will be light Wednesday insomuch as several grim-faced nurses will be injecting me with various poisons.

That's right: it's chemo time again!

Jealous yet?

Posted by Dan at 07:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm still convinced my last sermon was a success.


(photo lifted from Alton)

Posted by Dan at 11:00 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

All you need to start the baseball season.

With Opening Day bearing down on us, I thought I'd point you to the only gadget you'll need to make your baseball season a success.

The Stadium Pal, pointed out to me by my buddy Travis. Don't miss any of the action!

What's that? You want to bring your wife/girlfriend/female consort to the game? No worries. Just pick up the Stadium Gal!

The seventh inning is no longer so much of a stretch thanks to the Stadium Pal and Stadium Gal!

Posted by Dan at 10:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 28, 2005

Jumping the shark.

Remember Moonlighting, with Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd? Remember how good the first few seasons were? Then, they actually hooked up, and you could tell the show was going downhill from then on. In a phrase, Moonlighting had jumped the shark.

Lots of other shows had that moment, too... the time after which you just knew it was going to be all downhill. Say, when Doggett replaced Mulder, or when Ally adopted that girl, or when you just got tired of watching The Simpsons.

Here's a clever website that lists over 2,000 television shows and allows you to vote on when that show jumped the shark. I couldn't leave.

PS I was pleased to note that the vast majority thought that Buffy never jumped the shark. I couldn't agree more.

Posted by Dan at 09:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

For those of you who are fans of both philosophical reasoning and violence against children.

This bulletin board thread, which actually reached 42 pages of responses and clarification questions, asks an all-important question:

How many 5 year-olds could you take on at once?

Posted by Dan at 07:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Springsteen does U2

Ara provides a link to Bruce Springsteen's induction speech of U2 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It's interesting and worth a read.

Posted by Dan at 07:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Source of Easter Bunny woes discovered.

Regulars of Popping Culture will remember how, just before Easter, one Easter Bunny was assaulted and another, across the country, did the assaulting.

I wondered what could have caused such an upset in the normally excellent Easter Bunny karma.

Wonder no more.

Posted by Dan at 02:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Eye Candy

Georgia O'Keeffe.jpg

Ram's Skull with Brown Leaves

by Georgia O'Keeffe

Posted by Dan at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You can always tell when the Pope is using his x-ray vision.


Oh, yeah... Pope's got x-ray vision.

Posted by Dan at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Registration no longer required.

Tired of reading a post on your favorite web log, then hitting those dreadful words: "Full story here. Registration required."?

Don't want to register with the New York Times or whereever just to read the rest of the story? Registration may soon be a thing of the past.

Just head over to bugmenot.com and they'll get you in without all the hassle. 61143 sites liberated!

Posted by Dan at 09:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!


Posted by Dan at 08:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 26, 2005

Popping Cancer: Reflection

Right now, I don't have any hair on my head. My facial hair is growing in patchy, smooth here, thick there. I can't speak two sentences without starting to cough and I tend to spend most of my days either napping or sitting in the same chair under the same blanket watching television. I am pale and weak and I'm losing weight.

Not exactly the description of someone you'd flirt with from across the room or strike up a conversation with on the bus, is it?

I can see how some folks would be driven to depression by these circumstances, but I know who I am. I know that being ragged and torn is not always a bad thing. I know that I am loved.

AND I own a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit. Let me share this exerpt with you.

"Real isn't how you are made. It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real... It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

I know that I am loved. See? There's no way cancer can win, no matter what the final result.

Just keeping it Real.

Posted by Dan at 04:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

From Popping Culture to you: a little pre-Easter bunny love.


Posted by Dan at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More disturbing Easter Bunny news.

Remember the Easter Bunny that got attacked?

Well, this one is doing the attacking.

Posted by Dan at 04:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2005

Because I love you, and it's Easter candy time.

Click here to see The Lord of the Peeps: The Fellowship of the Peep.

For most big fun happy good time, click "movie."

Posted by Dan at 09:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

This sign posted on a pole in NYC. Things like this make me wish I lived there.


Posted by Dan at 03:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Driving through Utah?

Be careful, the Utah Department of Transportation is heavily armed and not afraid to use the weapons they have.


Scott and Lori Connors' family room looks like it was bombed. There are random holes in the walls, gashes in the fabric of the couch and chair. There's broken glass everywhere and a sheet of plywood where the window used to be.

Outside, a shed is in tatters, and there's a boulder-size crater in the lawn. Upstairs, there are pieces of shrapnel imbedded in the bathroom wall.

A large mirror has what looks like bullet holes in the glass.

It looks like it was bombed — because it was.

A 105mm howitzer shell fired near Sundance in Provo Canyon overshot its mark and landed with a bang in the Conners' back yard. The boom was heard over several blocks.

That's right, gentle reader, the Department of Transportation has escalated action from simply making you wait in jarringly long lines to actual bombardment.

Utah Department of Transportation officials, who have taken responsibility for the errant mortar, say the event is a rarity, even though they set off 560 rounds of explosive material every year in an attempt to control avalanche danger in the Provo, American Fork, Big and Little Cottonwood canyons.

Full story, complete with pictures, here.

Posted by Dan at 03:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Candy

A scab
is a beautiful thing - a coin
the body has minted, with an invisible motto:
In God We Trust.
Our body loves us,
and, even while the spirit drifts dreaming,
works at mending the damage that we do.

Close your eyes, knowing
that healing is a work of darkness,
that darkness is a gown of healing,
that the vessel of our tremulous venture is lifted
by tides we do not control.
Faith is health's requisite:
we have this fact in lieu
of better proof of le bon Dieu.

-from "Ode to Healing" by John Updike

Posted by Dan at 03:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's official: nothing is sacred any more.

The Easter Bunny has been attacked.

Key Quote:

No children were waiting to see the Easter bunny at the time of the attack, the newspaper reported.

Posted by Dan at 11:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Anybody here shop at Whole Foods in Chicago?

Aw, rats.

Posted by Dan at 11:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2005

As I spend the afternoon sleeping off yesterday's chemotherapy, let me share this image, which I think accurately portrays yesterday's events.



Posted by Dan at 03:52 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Update: Did you get the number of that truck?

Chemotherapy yesterday was horrific. At least I was mostly in my own home for the side effects. By way of backstory, every night for the last month or so, my temperature has risen to about 100 degrees for no real reason other than that I have cancer. So yesterday I took a nausea drug in the late afternoon that made me kind of loopy but also gave me a general feeling of being unwell. I think once the fever hit, it was all over.

Today I feel kind of normal, but also weak and sore like I had been mugged. Same deal next Wednesday, but with another drug added. Neat.

Posted by Dan at 08:16 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Ex-Idol Mario Vazquez update.

It looks more and more like Vazquez jumped ship for the publicity.

This from a New York Post article:

March 23, 2005 -- SEAN "P. Diddy" Combs is conspicuously silent about whether he's signed "American Idol" dropout Mario Vazquez to a record deal.

"I can't discuss that right now," Combs told The Post yesterday.

Vazquez, 28, a favorite to win "American Idol," stunned everyone, including his mother, when he abruptly left the show 10 days ago for "personal reasons."

Since then, some reports have emerged that he quit to sign with Combs' Bad Boy Records. Vazquez is contractually committed to "AI" until the show is over in May.

"I can't really have any comment on that at this time," Combs said yesterday. "We're hopefully about to announce our plans for our next era."

If Vazquez had stayed with "Idol" and won the competition, he would have been automatically signed to a contract with RCA records.

Combs' produces and hosts a similar show for MTV, "Making the Band."

P. Diddy has already found at least one star among the contestants on "Making the Band," a singer named Chopper, whom he has signed to Bad Boy.

Combs and MTV will announce today that they've signed a new production deal.

Full story here.

PS I only post this stuff because the wife loves American Idol.

Posted by Dan at 07:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Words I never thought I'd say: Thank goodness for the television show Wife Swap.

Ok, ok, the show itself is drivel, but the crew did a good deed.

Seems they were on the road when they saw a Nashville father they were following hit his teenage daughter repeatedly in the face.

The crew called the cops and drove the daughter to the hospital.

So, at least one member of the Wife Swap crew has a soul.

Posted by Dan at 07:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

How do you know when kids' sports have gotten out of hand?

They have to ban the post-game handshakes.

Posted by Dan at 07:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 23, 2005

Wednesday's News

Sorry this is so late. Mr. P.C. and I got home around 11:15 am today after his chemotherapy. He has felt pretty "icky" and "weird" (chemotherapy apparently produces side effects indescribable to those of us who haven't experienced it)and very tired today. That's all for now.

Posted by Dan at 11:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Light blogging today, as your gentle host is off to chemotherapy. I'll let you know later that I'm alive. In the meantime, here's a picture of a kid yelling at a donkey. Enjoy.


Posted by Dan at 07:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 22, 2005

Tomorrow I have to do chemotherapy. Since I have to suffer, I fully expect each of you to read completely through the lyrics to the Ashlee Simpson song "La La." Come to think of it, I'm not sure which is worse.

"La La"

You can dress me up in diamonds
You can dress me up in dirt
You can throw me like a line-man
I like it better when it hurts

Oh, I have waited here for you
I have waited

You make me wanna la la
in the kitchen on the floor
I'll be a french maid
Where I'll meet you at the door
I'm like an alley cat
Drink the milk up, I want more
You make me wanna
You make me wanna scream

You can meet me on an aero-plane
Or in the back of the bus
You can throw me like a boomerang
I'll come back and beat you up

Oh, I have waited here for you
Dont, keep me waiting

You make me wanna la la
in the kitchen on the floor
I'll be a french maid
Where I'll meet you at the door
I'm like an alley cat
Drink the milk up, I want more
You make me wanna

You make me wanna la la
in the kitchen on the floor
I'll be a french maid
Where I'll meet you at the door
I'm like an alley cat
Drink the milk up, I want more
You make me wanna
You make me wanna scream

I feel safe with you
I can be myself tonight
It's alright, with you
Cuz you hold, my secrets tight
You do, You do

You make me wanna la la, la la la, la la, la la la la la la la la la
You make me wanna la la, la la la la

You make me wanna la la
in the kitchen on the floor
I'll be a french maid
When I'll meet you at the door
I'm like an alley cat
Drink the milk up, I want more
You make me wanna
You make me wanna la la
in the kitchen on the floor
I'll be a french maid
Where I'll meet you at the door
I'm like an alley cat
Drink the milk up, I want more
You make me wanna
You make me wanna scream

You make me wanna la la, la la la, la la, la la la la la la la la la
You make me wanna la la, la la la la
You make me wanna la la, la la la, la la, la la la la la la la la la
You make me wanna la la, la la la la
You make me wanna la la, la la la, la la, la la la la la la la la la
You make me wanna la la, la la la la

Posted by Dan at 09:53 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

If the Ashlee Simpson lyrics didn't give you nightmares, this'll do the trick.

Imagine being trapped on an amusement ride upside-down for 15 minutes.

It only makes it worse that it was at "Camp Snoopy."

Scary quote to help you sleep:

Riders screamed as loose pocket change rained down. Some riders became lightheaded, but no one was hurt during the incident, which lasted a total of about an hour.


Full story here. Registration required.

Posted by Dan at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An actor has been chosen to play the villain in Spidey 3.

It's Thomas Haden Church. We just don't know which villain yet. I hope it's Electro.

Spider-Man 3 will be opening in theaters on May 4, 2007. I am gonna do some serious cursing on my deathbed if this cancer thing keeps me from seeing it.

Posted by Dan at 09:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Finally... a replacement for chemotherapy!

Who needs to be poisoned when they can just read and re-read this opening paragraph?

(Caution: the following may cause nausea and shortness of breath)

At 75, most actors might think twice about accepting a role that required them to be on location in the woods and naked from the waist up amid bugs, mud and rain. Not Ed Asner.

I'm never going to know what the full story is about because I'll never be able to get past that lede.

Posted by Dan at 11:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Only four days left to bid...

... on this lovely item.

Thanks, Dave.

Posted by Dan at 07:58 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 21, 2005

Popping Cancer Update: Quick Hit

On Wednesday, I start a new regimen of chemotherapy.

I hope it works.

Posted by Dan at 09:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The world is going nuts. I decided it was time to get some protection.

And what better protection could there be than a gerbil with a gun?


Laugh if you will, but I'm sleeping soundly tonight. Of course, part of that is the Nyquil.

Posted by Dan at 09:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

This kind of thing can happen in Chicago.

A first-grader brought cute little bags of "candy" to school and started distributing them to friends.

You guessed it already, didn't you? The kid lives in a house with drug dealers, who told him the crack cocaine they were selling was candy. In an act of generosity, the kid was passing out little bags of crack to all his classmates.


A member of the household is believed to have stashed "40 bags of rock in his book bag . . . when he gets to school he finds them in his book bag, and he knows this is 'candy' because this is what [people in his home] say it is," Camilli said. "Then he starts handing it out. It's insane."

Welcome to America.

Full story here.

Posted by Dan at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MTV's Spring Break is a (no) go!

Here are some fun statistics from last year's Spring Break. These will be bad news for some of us and good news for others of us.

And I quote:

One of the most alarming findings in the amazing Parents Television Council study of MTV’s Spring Break programming (March 20-27, 2004):

"In 171 hours of MTV programming, PTC analysts found 1,548 sexual scenes containing 3,056 depictions of sex or various forms of nudity and 2,881 verbal sexual references. That means that children watching MTV are viewing an average of 9 sexual scenes per hour with approximately 18 sexual depictions and 17 instances of sexual dialogue or innuendo. To put this in perspective, consider that in its last study of sex on primetime network television, the PTC found an average of only 5.8 instances of sexual content during the 10 o’clock hour -- when only adults are watching."

The report goes on to describe in fairly intimate and bleep-filled detail a human-sundae eating competition: Three guys lie on stage; whipped cream is placed on their legs and chests. The three girls each straddle a guy and lick the whipped cream off, and vice versa.

The competition was aired at 2 p.m., just in time for the latchkey tweens to get home from school.

Sure. Just let the TV babysit your kids.

Posted by Dan at 05:01 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

From Popping Culture's "Golf TIps" Desk

If you ever lip out a chip shot on 18 that would have forced a playoff, it's ok to be disappointed.

Just, please be careful of your reaction, particularly if there are cameras nearby.


Posted by Dan at 11:55 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Good news for those of you who can read.

Paulo Coelho is ready to release his latest novel.

Coelho wrote "The Alchemist", one of two books that I consider must-reads and life-changing works. The other is "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe.

Both are easy reads.

Details on the latest Coelho creation here.

Posted by Dan at 11:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 20, 2005

Brain Candy

One day, when I have strength and wit about me, I shall write you a several hundred word essay in praise of Kahlil Gibran. For now, I give you this selection from his writings, which nicely sums up my life with cancer and the accompanying internal struggle:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break,that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep your heart in wonder
at the daily miracles of your life, your pain
would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your
heart, even as you have always accepted
the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.

It is the bitter potion by which the
physician within you heals your sick self.

Therefore trust the physician, and drink
his remedy in silence and tranquillity:

For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided
by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips,
has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter
has moistened with His own sacred tears.

- Kahlil Gibran

Posted by Dan at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Are you gonna eat those tots?

The Fire Ant Gazette found all your favorite Napolean Dynamite gear at Dillards, of all places.

Vote for Pedro.

Posted by Dan at 03:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

You talkin' ta me?


I didn't think so.

Posted by Dan at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cancer humor

Doctor: I'm afraid the cancer isn't responding to treatment. I can only give you six months to live.

Patient: But I can't pay your bill in that time.

Doctor: Ok, I'll give you another six months.

Posted by Dan at 10:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 19, 2005

Popping Cancer Update: If you don't have your health, you can still have everything.

This was written some time ago by Anita Tejedat. I share it with you now:

When someone you love is falling apart with the dreaded disease that seems to be consuming him little by little, you become steeped in fear and anger and denial and often feel helpless. What can you do? What is the purpose of all this?

"Why, dear God, why?" is the question that goes around and around in your head. You've heard it said that when you have your health you have everything. I wonder about that.

Do you really? My beloved husband is sick. I live and feel and breathe these things and live with the questions always. But I have found one of the answers. I give it to you. No it is not true that when you have your health you have everything. What is true is, if you have someone who truly cares about you, when you do not have your health, you have everything.

It is easier to buy good health than to buy good love. No amount of money can do that. Love is a free gift. It can give us all the strength we need to go on when there ain't no more to give.

Screaming out in the quiet, "I adore you. I hate this. I am here. If only my love could heal you, you would be healed instantly. Together we'll get through this. We'll beat this thing." And in my heart I know our love is better than anything else, richer than anything else, healthier than anything else, and will rise above anything else, yes, and can even heal.

No, when you have your health you do not have everything, but when you have a heart, a soul, connected to yours, be it wife, husband, child, friend, lover, parent, sister, brother, doctor, nurse, whoever, that says "I love you, I'm here," you have everything.

Posted by Dan at 09:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I can't be certain, given my current state of health, but this appears to be a cat with a slice of bread on its head.


Posted by Dan at 05:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Free roof!

I love it when the little guy beats the system.

Posted by Dan at 04:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

Popping Cancer Update: No Update!

I'm thrilled to report I have nothing to report.

Still have the cancer, but finally I get a break from treatment. I get until Wednesday to sit around the house and gain some much-needed rest and energy. I might even be able to finally shake this annoying cough.

So, for those of you checking in on my health, I have nothing to say and it feels great!

If you're in it for the misery, check back Wednesday.

Posted by Dan at 09:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Of course not, officer. Maybe one beer.


I love the way the guy's wiping off his forehead. You can tell he's feeling it.

Posted by Dan at 09:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Still more tragic hamburger news.

The story's opening sentence says it all:

An argument over a hamburger escalated to a fight that left one twin brother dead of a gunshot wound and the other indicted Thursday on a manslaughter charge, a Baton Rouge prosecutor said.

Posted by Dan at 02:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Eye Candy

Don Q.jpg

Don Quixote
by Pablo Picasso

Posted by Dan at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Little help?


No word on if he saw his shadow.

Posted by Dan at 10:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Update

The way it looks now, chemotherapy will start back up on Wednesday. Seems the drugs they want to give me aren't traditionally used for sarcomas, so the doctor has to jump through a few hoops with the insurance company.

Couple extra days off is fine with me.

Posted by Dan at 10:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

This drunk driver was really trying to get high.

His blood alcohol level was 0.235 percent - more than twice the legal limit.

Oh, yes, and he was driving on the on the tarmac at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

No big.

Free and easy registration required.

Posted by Dan at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2005

Everybody take a deep whiff of Jesus now.

Thanks to Kimm for this link that feels somehow wrong and blasphemous, if only for the price tag attached to making your house smell like Jesus.

Posted by Dan at 09:07 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I started to watch the baseball players testifying about steroids...

... but I lost interest when I found out they didn't invite my favorite player.


Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn

Posted by Dan at 02:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Reminder for the new kids.

You can jump just to the cancer/health updates by clicking on "Cancer" in the topics list in the right sidebar. Now you know.

Posted by Dan at 01:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I've done it. You've done it. Everyone you know has shouted "Freebird!" in a crowded auditorium and thought they were the next Chris Rock.

Of course it's not funny. Of course it's a cliche. Still, who can resist?

Here's a history of the "Freebird!"-shouting phenomenon, along with some rather amusing responses by bands who, of course, won't play along.

I'd rather hear "Stairway to Heaven" anyway.

Posted by Dan at 01:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Quitting your way to the top.

"American Idol" finalist Mario Vazquez quit the show. Old news.

Rumors included his previous connections with Michael Jackson (Vazquez sang for a spell as Jacko's backup), family issues and even porn in his past.

This writer thinks Vazquez hit the road for another reason: publicity he could never have gotten by being voted off the show in another week or three. In fact, since leaving the show, Vazquez has been seen on Letterman, Regis and MTV to name a few.

Need more proof that Vazquez is in it for the cheap fame? He hired Clay Aiken's attorney, the one who got Aiken out of a contract with the American Idol folks.

I am coming dangerously close to being interested by this. Let's hope it passes.

Posted by Dan at 01:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Thought for the day


Good tidings to the first person who names the reference.

Posted by Dan at 08:14 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

From Popping Culture's Diet and Fitness Desk

Projections are saying it should be a good year for calories.

Posted by Dan at 08:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2005

The old bait and switch is still alive and well!


"$2 most garments"

I love that.

Posted by Dan at 09:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Brain Candy

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

Posted by Dan at 09:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Auto-repair shop employee takes customer's SUV on a 200-mile drive.

The technician "did not offer a substantial reason" as to why he kept the vehicle, Murphy said.

Full story here.

Posted by Dan at 01:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's gonna be one of those days, I can just tell.


Found this picture over at Grand Mental Station and thought it was too rich to keep from you.

Posted by Dan at 08:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Geek Heaven

If I had this thing as a kid, I'd have picked up my anti-social tendencies and violent urges much sooner.

It's a computer rig set up for Dungeons and Dragons tabletop play. The DM (if you have to ask, you aren't nearly geek enough) controls the projection, which allows players to see only what they have explored.

Quote: I scan in adventure maps and Photoshop out all for the DM-only information (room numbers, secret doors, traps, etc.) and create a mask layer. We then suspend a digital projector (connected to my laptop) from the ceiling, pointing directly at the game table. I project the edited map onto the game table and scale it to match our miniatures. As the players explore the map, I erase portions of the mask layer, revealing the map beneath.



More pics and information here
. Check out the lucky rogue with the Goggles of Night.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

Posted by Dan at 08:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Well, it's about time.

Everybody relax. Justice has been done.

Key Quote:

The new edition will carry this listing: wedgie: noun. a prank in which the victim's undershorts are jerked upward so as to become wedged between the buttocks.

Posted by Dan at 07:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why Popping Culture isn't covering the Michael Jackson trial (AKA the most recent Trial of the Century).

It's icky.

Posted by Dan at 07:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 15, 2005

AWWW... wookit the cute puppy... wookit the sweepy puppy!


Makes me hungry.


Posted by Dan at 02:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I'm not sure, but I think this is a political story.

If I have the story right, President Bingu wa Mutharika left the Malawi presidential mansion because he was afraid it was haunted.

Two reporters printed the story and had their homes raided and were arrested.

I wish stuff like this happened in America. Full story (?) here.

Key Quote:

...telling reporters at the weekend that he had not met any ghosts in the palace and was in any case not afraid of them.

Posted by Dan at 02:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer: Doctor's Report

We had a decent visit.

Since the last rounds of chemotherapy knocked out my white blood cells and crunched my bladder and kidneys like Lay's potato chips, we're going with a less stressful chemo drug for the next few rounds.

Shorter visits at the chemo room, more time at home. There are still side effects - they ARE still poisoning me, after all - but it shouldn't be as brutal as the last time. New treatments start next week.

The most interesting of the potential side effects this time is loss of feeling in my fingers and toes. Fun!

As always, I'll let you know how it's going. For now, I get the rest of the week off - huzzah! - and it's time for a nap.

Posted by Dan at 02:08 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Update

On the road again!

Back up to Cleveland this morning to meet with the special cancer doctor. More details and, presumably, chemo dates when we return this afternoon.

Posted by Dan at 06:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2005

On the powers of a one-way friendship.

Is it possible for one of your best friends to be someone you've never met, or someone who is only partially aware of that you exist?

Of course, it was possible when I was a kid. Sherlock Holmes and the kid from Danny, the Champion of the World were dear friends, and they don't, in the strictest sense, exist. Still, as an only child with the nearest neighbors over a quarter mile away (and the nearest kids my age miles after that), all those fiction novel characters were my best friends.

We sort of get to know people, real and fictional, by their actions, their words, moral stances, how disclosive they are, how open they seem, and a million other unspoken or subliminal signals that we pick up on and latch on to in our minds.

In the case of real persons, either authors or bloggers or whatever, we imagine ourselves connecting with what we find attractive about them, in the same way that I wanted to be Holmes' sidekick or the way I wanted to be Spider-Man because of, not despite, his real human problems.

I think that a less-rational, more needy, even psychotic mind turns this into something unhealthy sometimes, in the way Hinkley did after watching Jodie Foster on the screen enough times. He connected with her perceived traits, then psychotically assigned traits to her that only existed in his mind.

Still, if you read someone enough, you can get to know them on some real level. After reading Dave Barry columns for years, I think I have a fair sense of how Dave might react in certain situations, and I find myself able to adapt my own humor to the positive ways he creates humor himself. I think, as we all do, that Dave and I would be great friends. Of course, in reality, we might not have two words to say, but it is the illusion that matters sometimes.

I say all that to say that since I've been homebound with cancer, Sheila of The Sheila Variations has been one of my best friends while probably just barely knowing I exist. She occasionally links to Popping Culture and sometimes posts messages here, but like everyone, she has her own set of friends and her own world in which to exist.

Still, her writing is unfailingly disclosive and she cares about a number of things that are important to me. That disclosiveness makes her an easy read, even when she's on a deep topic.

For this 36-year old, trapped in a house for months now by a body that is literally trying to kill me, knowing I can point my browser to Sheila's website and unfailingly find something intelligent or humorous or heartwrenching or nostalgia-inducing has been a gift, and even if she never knew I existed, I would count her as one of my best friends of the last several months.

And really, it works both ways. Maybe these are my last days, and I'm taking a new friend into eternity. Maybe Sheila reads this and sees the incredible healing power that just writing honestly and personally can give. Maybe I live another 50 years and forget all about The Sheila Variations. Still, she was part of this part of the journey, part of the team that's working to keep me alive, whether they know it or not.

She's worth a read. I'm just saying.

Posted by Dan at 09:50 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Mail order brides are a thing of the past.

Why use snail mail when we have the wonders of the Internet?

Am I the only one who is surprised that this kind of thing still happens? Still, it's nice to know there's a fallback position.

Um, don't tell Mrs. Popping Culture I said that. She's the only thing keeping me alive.

Thanks to Kimm for the link.

Posted by Dan at 09:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Latest acquisition.

Here's the latest addition to my CD collection. Thanks to Mrs. Popping Culture.

Posted by Dan at 05:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Still hungry after the bag of airline peanuts?

Have some fish. Link via Dave.

Posted by Dan at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Still seems cold out.


Posted by Dan at 08:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 13, 2005

Old Dominion University earns 12 spot on NCAA Tourney bracket, as predicted by your Popping Culture host.

For more accurate predictions, continue to aim your screen lookers at "Popping Culture" via the International Computer Net.

Posted by Dan at 10:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

Because we're all about culture....

.... Sheila has an important catering tip.

Posted by Dan at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Update: Getting Technical

The early news on my CAT scan was that things pretty much remained the same over two courses of chemotherapy.

Well, when we say "remained the same" we mean that the big growth remained the same, but has some friends who are now visable on CAT scan.

On 12-13-4, my CAT scan showed a single tumor, 5.5 x 2.8 cm in size.

On 3-10-5, a CAT scan showed that tumor is now 5.4 x 2.7 cm, which is actually a little bit smaller. This is good news.

The mixed bag is that two of the smaller bits that showed up on the PETscan are now big enough to be seen on the CATscan. Here I quote from the CATscan report:

There is a 2.3 x 1.6 cm left periaortic enlarged lymph node. No
other mediastinal lymphadenopathy is identified. An additional finding in the left lung is a convex late marginated nodular density contiguous with the left basal pleural effusion 2.4 cm diameter.

It's up to you to decide if this is good or bad news.

Can you tell the difference? (To be fair, scan 2 was done without contrast)

CAT scan #1:


CAT scan #2:


UPDATE: For fun, in the second scan, you can see the heart monitors attached at various places on my chest and in the upper right, you can see the catheter they put in. Fun.

Posted by Dan at 05:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I'm sick. You caption this one.


Posted by Dan at 09:19 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Dude, you're getting a Dell. Oh, and you're also setting back Muslim-American relations by 100 years.

Dell fires 30 Muslim workers for praying at sunset. Neat.

Good thing this took place in Tennessee, not America.

Posted by Dan at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nobody in '08!

Better not put any bumper stickers on your car in the next election. This woman claims a fellow driver chased her and tried to force her off the road in response to her political bumper sticker. Must be a blogger.

Key quote:

"He just ran me off because I have a Bush bumper sticker in my car. He had some type of - he drove up next to me with - he had a sign on it like hanging from his - from the passenger window, that said something about the war in Iraq. . . . I'm shaking like a leaf."

He held the antiwar sign up to his passenger-side window, she said, following her along busy streets in south and west Tampa and veering into her path, forcing her to swerve to avoid a collision. She pleaded with the dispatcher for help and tried to get away by running through stop signs and changing directions.

Of course, the story ALSO indicates that she may have shot him the bird to get him started, too, but isn't it a much more fun story this way?

Posted by Dan at 08:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Remember me?

Yes, your gentle host is back home and recuperating. The infectious diseases specialist decided there is more to worry about in a hospital full of sick people than here at Popping Culture central! He obviously hasn't seen my dirty clothes hamper or the cat puke that's been on the floor for over a week now.

Still, I'm home! Thanks for all the kind words while I was away. Normal operations will resume shortly.

Posted by Dan at 08:49 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together

Well, my stint as a blogger is over, as Mr. Popping Culture is home. The last update for now is that if the mister is up to it, we will be traveling to Cleveland early Monday morning to see the expert.

Well, you've been a great crowd. I wish I could take you all home with me. Good night and drive safely.

Posted by Dan at 07:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Here goes . . .

The news from the CT is only 25% good, considering that the options were cancer all gone, shrunken, the same, or increased. According to the good doctor, the cancer has remained the same. So now, we're referred back to the expert in Cleveland for more treatment options. The up side is that the things he was put in the hospital for are better so he doesn't have to get IV antiobiotics or injections any more and can hopefully go home soon. Not much of an up side, considering, but we'll take it. That's all for now.

Posted by Dan at 03:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

Latest Hospital News

The good news is that red and white blood cell counts are both up and the mister seems to be feeling better. The neutral news is that they still aren't sure what's causing these problems other than, you know, cancer. He had another X-Ray this afternoon and did have his CT tonight. Hopefully the doctor will have some news about the progress the chemo has made tomorrow morning.

Thanks for the messages. He will get them in the morning.

By the way, what if I ate the green Jello?

Posted by Dan at 11:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Thursday update

Mr. PC has had blood drawn, X-Rays, etc. and no one can figure out what is wrong so far. The things they have checked for get negative results, so they will keep searching. It is also possible that the only problem is his low white blood cell count and that will be taken care of with the antibiotics they are giving him. Thanks for you patience. I'm sure the fun will start again soon.

Also, after I post these things, I check to see if there are any new responses. If there are, I print them out for the mister so he can see them. If you have any messages for him, feel free to post them and I'll make sure he gets them.

Posted by Dan at 01:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 09, 2005


Mr. PC will be staying in the hospital for a few days. The doctor thinks he probably has some kind of infection but hasn't received all of the test and lab results yet to identify it. So we will continue to wait.

He gets antibiotics every six hours and tries to get sleep in between.

Updates will continue.

Posted by Dan at 03:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Will the fun ever start?

Mrs. Popping Culture here. The mister has been admitted to the hospital due to a fever (101.9 Tuesday morning) and a low white blood cell count. These were discovered at a scheduled doctor's appointment on said morning. After waiting in ER overflow for several hours, he finally got a real room around 11:15 pm. Thanks for any prayers you care to offer up. Hopefully we'll be home in time Wednesday to see Janay and Amanda get booted from American Idol.

Posted by Dan at 12:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 08, 2005

Test Results: I am a big geek

I am a Chaotic Good Half-Elf Ranger.

Chaotic Good characters are independent types with a strong belief in the value of goodness. They have little use for governments and other forces of order, and will generally do their own things, without heed to such groups.

Half-Elves are a cross between a human and an elf. They are smaller, like their elven ancestors, but have a much shorter lifespan. They are sometimes looked down upon as half-breeds, but this is rare. They have both the curious drive of humans and the patience of elves.

Rangers are the defenders of nature and the elements. They are in tune with the Earth, and work to keep it safe and healthy.

Are you a big enough nerd to take on the "What Dungeons and Dragons character are you?" challenge? If so, click here.

Posted by Dan at 07:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

You're either gonna care about this or you're, um, not.

Three words: classic car commercials.

(Some dating back to 1957)


Yes, it's a 1970 GTX. You'll want to buy one after you see the commercial.

Posted by Dan at 07:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Um, I can explain.


Posted by Dan at 07:33 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Projecting slots

ODU may not have needed the win in the conference tourney to make it to the Big Dance. No team with 27 wins has ever been left off the dance card, so they might have gotten an at-large bid even with a loss yesterday, which didn't happen.

So now they have a decent RPI, a conference tourney win and 28 wins on the season. Typically, an ODU getting into the tourney would be stuck with a 15 or 16 seed, meaning they have to play one of the top teams in the nation in the first round. The strong year they've had means they have a chance to get ranked above the garbage teams that just got in because they won THEIR tourneys or those who won fewer than 28 wins.

Projected ranking? Well, as much as my heart cries "12," realistically I am officially projecting Old Dominion University in the tournament at a 13 seed.

Any rebuttals?

Posted by Dan at 07:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 07, 2005

Time to start cursing and breaking things!

Remember week three? No? Let me refresh:

Week one is the week I receive chemotherapy treatments. Hell.
Week two is the week I sit and watch tv, weak as a kitten as recovery starts.
Week three is the week that I have some actual energy. I get to live my life and get stronger in preparation for repeating the cycle.

Except that God or whoever is pulling the strings is out to get me. Last week three I had a consuming dry cough that exhausted me all week. Now, it's Monday of the most recent week three and I have a temperature of 101.2 and a productive cough that's keeping me from sleep. Today I slept all morning and all afternoon, getting up only for Rice Chex and potty.

The thing is, when you've been sick for so many weeks in a row, you just want ONE DAY to feel good, if only to remember what it was like to have energy.

I know, whine whine whine.

Still, I'm laid up right now, so I'm counting on you, the readership of Popping Culture, to curse and break things. Begin.

Posted by Dan at 10:24 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Update: Test dates set.

Tomorrow at 10 is a fairly standard blood test. Just like all the rest, this will make sure my counts are up. I'll get a shot of ProCrit if they're a little low.

Friday morning is the biggie. I'm having a CAT scan (complete with two tall bottles of yummy contrast!) that should help us figure out what, if anything, the chemotherapy has been doing other than making me feel like a mugging victim.

Results here could be anything from (a) cancer completely gone, tumors dried up and left town to (b) cancer still growing at the same happy rate.

No reason to get too wound up until we have some definite results, I guess. Either way, for good or bad, it will be nice to have some real, tangible facts to work with. It's hard doing this treatment with no idea if it's making a difference.

Posted by Dan at 03:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

To boldly go where no man has watched television before.

Spike TV might offer to bail out the endangered Star Trek: Enterprise series.

Somebody care to tell me the difference between a show being off the air and a show being aired on Spike TV?

Posted by Dan at 03:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Coming soon from Marvel Comics.

With the recent spate of comic books turned into big screen movies, it's only a matter of time before Squirrel Girl gets her own movie.

Stan Lee's finest hour.


Link via Dave.

Posted by Dan at 08:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Our long national nightmare is back, alright.


The Backstreet Boys have announced that they are producing new "music" and going on tour this year.

This has to knock off at least one from my list of reasons to live.

Posted by Dan at 08:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 06, 2005

Because who doesn't like a good cancer joke?

A guy goes to his doctor because he's been having problems remembering things. After a battery of tests the doctor says, "Unfortunately, I have bad news, and I have very bad news."

"What's the very bad news?" the man asks warily.

"Well," says the doctor, "our tests show that you have cancer and only have three weeks to live."

"Oh, my God!" says the man. "Well, what's the bad news?"

"Our tests indicate that you also have Alzheimer's disease," says the doc.

"Well, I can always look on the bright side," says the man. "At least I don't have cancer!"

Posted by Dan at 06:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New for the kitchen, and NOT from Martha Stewart.


Well, maybe if she had served her time in a maximum security prison.

Posted by Dan at 06:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I can't be the only one who remembers Dr. Demento.

Now you can relive nearly every episode EVER at this clever online archive.

Thanks for the link to Boing Boing.

I would be interested to hear any fond Demento memories out there.

Posted by Dan at 06:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


You won't be after getting a gander at this Ebay item.

Thanks, Dave.

Still, four bucks is a steal!

Posted by Dan at 06:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

National Exposure!

My beloved Monarchs of Old Dominion University (from which I proudly hold a creative writing degree) are hitting national television Monday night.

Tune in to ESPN at 7 p.m. EST to see the Monarchs hoop it up for a chance to take home the CAA crown AND earn a spot in the big dance - the NCAA tournament!

Oh, I'm just giddy. Tired, and giddy.

I wish it was now.

Posted by Dan at 06:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 05, 2005

Reason to live #417

The new season of Inside the Actors Studio.

Guests this season will include the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond and personal faves David Duchovny and Michael J. Fox.

Also appearing will be Angelina Jolie. My understanding is that Jolie might speak words aloud, but to me that's just gravy.

Full story here.

Posted by Dan at 05:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A true feel-good sports story.

The Washington Post sports division toughens up its coverage of the Washington Redskins. One columnist asked if the wheels “are coming off this Redskins team, just as they have come off every Redskins team under the ownership of Snyder.”

The response? Redskins officials cut back the number of season tickets for the Post from 279 to 12.

Game. Set. Match.

Yeah, the Redskins still suck, but it's nice to see them stand up for themselves. Opinion columns are opinion columns, but you can't expect to keep banging on someone with no response.

Posted by Dan at 05:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another athlete governor?

Lynn Swann is reportedly considering a run for Pennsylvania governor.

Posted by Dan at 10:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Somebody over in advertising needs a raise... or a vacation.


Posted by Dan at 10:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yes, you're saying to yourself, but I wonder what the breaking news is over at Starbucks!

Finally, a place to keep up on all your Starbucks news and gossip!

Posted by Dan at 10:29 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 04, 2005

Reason to Live # 204

Joel will like this one.

Posted by Dan at 11:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ok, Mr. or Mrs. Wizard, here's your chance to shine.

I'm taking some antibiotics now and one of the warnings on the bottle is "Do not lie down within half an hour of taking this medication."

Mrs. Popping Culture and I have a theory on why this could be (it was her idea and it sounds as smart as anything I could come up with).

So I put it to you: why would a medication have such a warning label?


Posted by Dan at 11:29 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

From Popping Culture's Childrearing Desk

Parents, do you want your boys to be stand-up guys?

It's never too early to start.

Posted by Dan at 03:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Very nice.

Young man and the sea.

Posted by Dan at 07:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is it just me, or are the public courses getting more strict?


Doug - adds an all new layer to the term "cup defense" doesn't it?

Posted by Dan at 07:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

That's MY man!

Because we here at Popping Culture strive, as always, to fill in the gaps left by Jerry Springer, there is this story:

A woman was found guilty by the Sheboygan County Circuit Court of possession of stolen property. That property? The remains of her dead boyfriend.

She had originally been charged with digging up the remains herself, but managed this inciteful defense:

“I did not dig up those remains; they were brought to me,” Stolzmann told Bourke. “I should have returned the remains. I did not and for that I apologize.”


Bonus touch of class:
In addition to the cremated remains themselves, the defendent also had possession of a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of beer that had been buried with him.

Full story here.

Posted by Dan at 07:23 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 03, 2005

On to a new video game!

After some complaints on my more recent choices of video entertainment, I decided to find a nice, peaceful game that nobody could find anything questionable in:


Posted by Dan at 07:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Random images from my life:

-I ate out tonight. We went to my favorite Mexican restaurant for enchiladas and I'm sure I'll pay for it. Still, it was the first time in a LONG time that I've left the house for someplace other than the doctor's office. It felt good to be OUT in public, although at one point I had a sort of partial anxiety attack (hey, if you had been in the same chair in the same quiet room in your own quiet house for months, then dropped in a Mexican restaurant, you'd pause, too).

-I have been having a recurring dream that the high doses of chemotherapy aren't doing anything to stop the tumors. That they are just too advanced and aggressive. It's an unsettling dream, and what's worse, it could be accurate. We'll find out in a week.

-Found out today that the disability came through. I should get a letter inside a week.

-John Chaney should be fired.

-I owe a LOT of money in my name only to student loan companies. If I die, are they gonna come after Mrs. Popping Culture? For some reason, that question has bubbled up a couple times since I had to take a leave of absence from school.

Posted by Dan at 07:45 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Forget the serial soccer moms: THIS guy is the lowest punk EVER.

Shirley Barker, 68, was working as a greeter at Walmart. Probably put a few smiley stickers on things, pointed out cosmetics or electronics departments to a few people, maybe checked over a few receipts.

WHEN WHAM! Some guy just walked by and PUNCHED HER for no readily obvious reason. Poor Mrs. Barker reportedly spit blood for three days and has bruises on her face.

No leads on the puncher yet.

This is why I prefer to be poisoned and stay home for weeks at a time.

Key quote:

"He approached. He walked by. He just rolled up his fist and then just went pow," said Barker, demonstrating a punch. "He said nothing to me at all."

Posted by Dan at 04:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Well, good for me.

According to Site Meter, yesterday I had my 20,000th page view here at Popping Culture and by the end of the day today I'll be over 10,000 in total visits!

Upon reflection, I'm not sure how much significance to attach to these numbers, but they are big and round with zeros at the end.

Posted by Dan at 07:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Popping Cancer Update: First round of tests coming.

At the end of next week, I'll be taking a CAT scan to determine what, if anything, the chemotherapy has been doing to the tumors.

If the tumors are significantly smaller, I jump right into another round of chemotherapy. If not, we enter discussions.

If there has been no change in the tumors, though, I at least have the comfort of knowing it hasn't been for lack of trying. This chemotherapy I've been getting is the most brutal I've ever had.

When I was younger, it was harder to get through chemo because the anti-nausea drugs weren't up to par yet, so I had to suffer through more physical side effects than I am now. However, as my doctor has indicated, this time we are being very aggressive with the treatment. The sarcoma I have now is a high grade tumor and isn't afraid to spread pretty quickly.

I have noticed little things that indicate they are hitting my body with the chemo poison pretty hard - sore kidneys, worse fatigue for longer periods of time (when I was a kid, I was usually feeling fine about a week after chemo - not now), and other less savory side effects.

Once again, the CAT scan will come at the end of next week some time. It'll be nice to know one way or the other if all this nonsense is making any difference.

Posted by Dan at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2005

Ah, sportsmanship!

Lessons in life as taught by good old mom.

Posted by Dan at 09:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Brain Candy, Raymond Carver Redux

What The Doctor Said

He said it doesn't look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I'm glad I wouldn't want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I'm real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn't catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who'd just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong

- Raymond Carver

PS I should very likely have to investigate why I've posted so much Raymond Carver poetry compared to any other author. Still, this one fits my mood today.

Posted by Dan at 05:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hang In There, Baby? I don't think so.


Sometimes, it's better to just let go and find yourself a new place to hang.

Posted by Dan at 10:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2005

Popping Cancer Movie Reviews Aborted.

I thought about doing an in-depth analysis of how cancer is used in movies, and which movies use cancer in certain ways. It all seemed so interesting up in my head.

Now? Not so much.

Suffice it to say that the two movies I've seen that most accurately portray the emotions surrounding someone suffering from cancer and his/her loved ones are My Life (people don't like that this is at least 50 percent comedy (cancer grim!) - guess what? My own life is at least that, too) and Dying Young, which shows clearly what folks can go through and how it can change their actions.

The worst (and this is not a reflection on the quality of movie, but the way in which cancer is used) are movies like Beaches and Steel Magnolias. You know what I'm talking about.

These movies may be great works of dialogue and human exploration and female bonding. They get lowest marks for use of cancer, though. Cancer to these movies (and I'm sure you can think of a couple off the top of your head) is just a plot device, a way to add some cheap emotion. Might as well have your character hit by a garbage truck.

Let's see: we have a mom-daughter or best friend bonding flick, we need some free emotion... I got it! Give someone cancer! Don't SHOW it, but have it come out of nowhere and just kill 'em dead, complete with final bonding reconciliation scene.

A plot device. For all the work these studios put into research, you'd think they'd do more than add an IV and start the crying.

So at least I spared you the long version.

Posted by Dan at 10:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Well, now I know how I want to die.

I'd like to be tasered in a Chuck E. Cheese after trying to sneak some free vittles off the salad bar. Twice.

Key Quote:

"They beat this man in front of all these kids then tased him in my sister's lap," said witness Felicia Mayo, who was at the establishment with her 7-year-old son. "They had no regard for the effect this would have on the kids. This is Chuck E. Cheese, you know."

Posted by Dan at 10:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Reason to Live # 2,114

At least my life isn't "a madcap whirl of monthly hamster shows."

Thanks, Dave.

Posted by Dan at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Remember Dr. Johnny Fever? Venus Flytrap?

WKRP in Cincinnati was just great television.

Don't expect to see it on DVD, though, like other popular shows hitting the shelves. Don't expect it, or shows like it, EVER.

Posted by Dan at 09:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Getcher B-star sitcoms here!

Sitcom pilots are in the works featuring David Arquette, Marilu Henner, Kristen Johnston, and Laura San Giacomo.

Sweet news. Another 2 hours of peace and quiet with the TV off.

Posted by Dan at 06:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hey! More snow! Time to freak out!


Hmmm... he's bald, he's tall and large (but has been losing weight)... could this be Dan?

Posted by Dan at 09:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It's going to be one of those days. I can just tell.


Posted by Dan at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There is so much wrong with this story.

What? Hiding ecstasy in your baby's diaper as a cover for your drug trafficking?

What could possibly go wrong there?

Posted by Dan at 08:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack