July 31, 2005
Popping Cancer Update: The world the way I see it.
The current schedule looks like this:
Tuesday - Visit with cancer doctor. Not much he can do until we confirm that pneumonia is gone.
Next Monday (the 8th) - CATscan to confirm that pneumonia is gone, if, you know, the pneumonia is gone.
16th - Appointment with pulmonologist, to confirm that pneumonia is gone and arrange to drain the fluid (or whatever it is) surrounding my left lung.
WHAT MIGHT REALLY HAPPEN:
I have decided that the left lung is the one causing me the actual discomfort (inability to breathe, coughing, weakness). This is confirmed in my mind by the last x-ray which showed stuff all over that particular lung.
Both doctors want me to re-start chemotherapy as soon as the pneumonia in the right lung is gone.
The issue is that life is hell right now. I can't walk across a room or sit leaning back without losing my breath. I am weak as a kitten. Mrs. Popping Culture is now babysitting me all day every day, as if I was her 99-year-old grandfather just waiting to die.
What I think will happen is that I'll somehow scuffle out this next week and take the CATscan on the 8th, then call the pulmonologist for results the next day. If the pneumonia is gone, as it should be by then, I will ask him to arrange a procedure to clear up my left lung. If he declines and wants me to wait another full week until the 16th to visit him and THEN arrange the procedure, it is very very likely that my breathing will suddenly get worse in my own mind and I'll go to the emergency room. Once I'm in the hospital, complaining of being unable to breathe and looking as weak and awful as I do now, they'll fix my left lung.
Either way, I don't think I can survive chemotherapy with my left lung now completely down. I can't climb a flight of stairs and they want to poison me? C'mon.
So that is my plan.
Any comments, congratulations or rebuttals?
Write these down, Mr. Funny Person
Spidey 3 news.
Thomas Haden Church will play Spider-Villain The Chameleon.
I know that most of you probably already subscribe, but,
Brain Research magazine is down to just $23,177.83. That's only $176.93 an issue!
PS I was tickled to see you can buy it as a gift subscription, too!
July 30, 2005
Another photo sent in by Doug.
I think we're all learning some things about Doug.
On the cutting edge of child discipline.
Doug sent in this picture. I presume the kid is in time out.
THIS is why we may be trapped in Youngstown.
Click here to guess how much these two houses cost.
Same deal with salaries around here.
July 29, 2005
Summer gonna agree with this list, summer not.
Billboard compiles their Top Ten Summer Tunes.
More from our "News That Only I Care About" desk.
The next generation Playstation?
Of course, with the production cost so high, Sony will take a loss, too.
Google Fight! Denmark versus Canada! Up for grabs: Hans Island.
Motto I just made up: Keep your Hans off Hans!
Your mother is not that bad.
And I quote:
Fed up with arguing, mom pulled over to the side of the road.
"Get lost," authorities said she told her son Tuesday.
He got out. She drove off.
The problem: Her son is 7.
Now Lori Heine, 46, is in the Pasco County jail, charged with child neglect.
The reason for the dispute: McDonald's Happy Meals.
The boy wanted a Cheeseburger Happy Meal and a Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, the mother told police. He told officers his mother said he couldn't have any of the burgers she bought. According to police, the mother doesn't deny abandoning the boy.
July 28, 2005
Popping Cancer Reflection: Why It's Hard To Talk About
I'm not dying and I don't plan to die any time soon. Still, I'm sick enough that this passage resonates with me.
From Patient Encounters: The Experience of Disease by James Buchanan:
"This whole business of dying is so completely misunderstood by the living. The assorted visitors, well-wishers, bereaved family members, curious doctors, distracted nurses, angry attendants, that one receives throughout the day are like travelers in a foreign country. They enter the court and kingdom of the patient but only on official business of import and export; they tarry not, nor do they adopt the local customs of the country within which they find themselves. Indeed there is an arrogance, even an insolence to these tourists which is the insulation by which they protect themselves against the contamination of death. After all, what do they know of pain, sweat and incontinence, putrefaction of rotting flesh and the sheer humiliation of not being about to control your own bladder and bowels? They measure your fever but they do not suffer it. They study your blood but they do not bleed it. They palpate your liver, your spleen, your guts; but they do not feel them. They hear your heart and yet cannot feel its weakened beat; they measure your blood pressure and yet cannot feel its intensity; they peer with curious abandon into the various interstices, holes, canyons, craters of your body and yet are never part of the great cavern you have become. They are guests, not residents, of this house of death which you inhabit. How then could they possibly understand?"
Maybe this is why these reflections have gotten more and more rare. I'm at the stage now where I just have to suffer until it's over and cured. As much as I write about how hard chemotherapy days are, or how frustrating it is not to be able to use either of my lungs right now, or how walking across the room leaves me gasping for air, I still can't communicate really and truly how it FEELS.
In a way I'm glad for it. I don't honestly want you to have to understand what it feels like. At the same time, it makes me feel like I'm not only sick, but on an island.
Cancer is a jerk and I hate it.
Pit Bull Versus Porcupine.
Guess who won?
So I'm not the only one who noticed.
Apparently the secret to retail success in the Outer Banks is to think up a name that's mildly witty with a really filthy connotation.
July 27, 2005
Because you demanded it.
Yes, yes, but you're asking yourself, "How many goats is Chelsea Clinton worth?"
Finally it can be told. Answer: 40.
Put on your caption hats!
July 26, 2005
Best. Commercial. Ever.
A six year-old Tiger Woods takes the British Open.
Is there an asteroid headed our way?
Sports Central: Jocks and Jokes
Comedy Central is launching Sports Central, which will be like The Daily Show, only with sports news.
July 25, 2005
Is it too much to ask for a shark with a frickin' microwave beam attached to it's head?
Does your cow have a $1,000 a day habit? Then you might live in Liechtenstein.
"Many of the cows are stressed nowadays. If they eat hemp, they calm down. Now, a milk cow which is calm produces better milk. That is a fact."
I found this cute picture.
Popping Cancer Update: More of the same.
The pneumonia is better, it's just not better. I saw it on an x-ray compared to the x-ray from last time and the area of my right lung hit by pneumonia is much smaller, but not gone.
That means 10 more days of antibiotics. I'm not sure how long I'm comfortable going without chemotherapy, but I am sure doing chemotherapy while unable to breathe would kill me good.
So... I remain in the chair, memorizing the television schedule and attached to oxygen, for another two weeks or so.
On the importance of staying in shape.
They all laughed at him when he started working out.
They don't laugh any more.
"Types of Stories My Mother Tells"
The Mountainous Molehill
Voicemail: Honey? It’s your mother. And I’m afraid I have some really bad news. Could you give me a call as soon as you get in?
[I frantically dial her phone number]
I: Ma? It’s Ian, I just got your message. What’s going on?!
M: [Brightly] Oh hi, honey! How are you?
I: I’m… well I’m fine, but you said you had some bad news?
M: Oh, yes. [Somberly] Do you remember Mrs. Ikeson, who lived next door to us when you were in elementary school? Well I we just got her annual Christmas letter in the mail, and she said that her dog Buster has diabetes.
One more from "Jokes on Translation"
A businessman arriving in Boston for a convention found that his first evening was free, and he decided to go find a good seafood restaurant that served Scrod, a Massachusetts specialty. Getting into a taxi, he asked the cab driver, "Do you know where I can get Scrod around here?" "Sure," said the cabdriver. "I know a few places... but I can tell you it's not often I hear someone use the third-person pluperfect indicative anymore"
Ba dum dum.
The importance of punctuation.
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior.You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours?
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior.You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?
July 24, 2005
Easiest and Hardest Mario Ever.
Year Zero One has created a modified version of Mario by removing all the enemies, prizes, and architecture within the game. All you can do, as a player, is pretty much take a walk.
The mod inspired one of Boing Boing's coolest sentences to date, usable in many situations: "Eventually you run out of time and die."
No Update Needed.
Nothing is too different from the last update.
I should have some piping hot news for you tonight, though - I'm meeting with the pulmonologist this afternoon. Should be x-rays, pneumonia talk and scheduling to free my left lung of stuff, presuming the pneumonia is cleared up.
Original Man's Life Drama - "Weasels Ripped My Flesh"
That's a lot of weasels. And some of them look like they're aiming for sensitive spots.
Link via growabrain.
Complete visual and written instructions for a Dale Earnhardt NASCAR cake here. Good luck!
My understanding is that this website sells the necessary edible decals.
July 23, 2005
Nothing Gold Can stay
by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
For those who figured out the aye aye, I give you the equally rare surfdog.
July 22, 2005
Finally! A site for fans of both haikus AND newly neutered dogs.
Warning: some explicit language... what do you expect? It's haikus about newly neutered dogs.
Link thanks to Dave Barry.
Need a new obsession? Parents of, er, ACTIVE kids will appreciate this.
As if your kids don't play this with you all day anyway. I made it to level 3, but I wasn't trying very hard. Maybe tomorrow. Report your progress here.
Take a trip down geek memory lane...
How about that Melissa?
The mystery animal is not, in fact, a hyena. It is, as Melissa correctly pointed out, an aye aye - a young one at that. I wish I had a prize to give her. Check it out.
July 21, 2005
What sort of animal is this?
Answer coming soon.
So I'll just sit here until Monday.
Well, I can breathe thanks to the oxygen tube. I can sleep for most of the night with the help of drugs. No chemotherapy until my lungs are cleared up. No surgery to clear the left lung until the pneumonia in the right lung is over. Four more days to take antibiotics until we can check up on the pneumonia.
Nothing to do but surround myself with chocolate, sit on the big chair and watch Cops reruns and Sportscenter until Monday.
Harry Potter fans!
If you liked this latest book, you should check out Harry Potter and Leopard-Walk-Up-To-Dragon.
Link via AOTS.
This guy built himself a 13-pound gummi bear. Can't argue with that.
Are you gonna eat those tots?
Direct Quote: "I'm the goodest sheep rider in the whole world. Except Jesus."
At age 6, Kobe Blunt is retiring at the top of the sheep ridin' game.
Worth a read.
Popping Cancer Update: How things will go if they go my way.
Monday I will meet with the pulmonologist. He will tell me the pneumonia is cleared up. We will set up a date to clear up the fluid/whatever it is around my left lung. One minor surgery and a few days to heal later and I'll be ready to resume chemotherapy at full strength.
Also there will be chocolate.
Macbeth and the Witches
by Fuseli, Henry (1741-1825)
Does every blog on the Internet really think they're clever for titling their posts about James Doohan's death "Scotty beamed up"?
July 20, 2005
I love this picture.
July 19, 2005
Popping Cancer Update: It's what we thought it was, only different.
Turns out the spot in my right lung IS pneumonia after all. The test that came back negative from the five-day cultures was apparently for a really bad kind of pneumonia, and the nurse just told us it wasn't pneumonia at all.
So, to update: left lung still surrounded by fluid and unusable, pneumonia in the right lung still being treated by antibiotics, laying flat still untenable (I sleep at the computer desk with a pillow on top, slumped over - if my chest isn't upright I collapse in a coughing fit which frankly isn't very attractive). Oh, yeah, I also have cancer... gotta try and remember that little tidbit.
I have three words for you.
Link via AOTS.
More proof that Hollywood is out of ideas.
Bad, bad ideas. Not to mention that the Smurfs flick would be 3-D CGI. Why not live action, since you're throwing your money away?
Someone should go to jail for false advertising.
Adfreak reports on a Showtime promotion, the gift for which is a year's worth of Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
Ready for the punchline? Apparently, to Showtime, a year's worth of ice cream is ONLY 12 PINTS, a pint for each month. A pint for each month?
If 12 pints lasted TWO months in our house it would be a miracle.
July 18, 2005
Hey, you can't park there!
After all that, if you STILL need some variety in your life...
... try on some of these many methods of tying your shoelaces.
Real life getting you down?
Then take time to review these 40 Things That Only Happen in the Movies.
Popping Cancer Update: This might not be good news.
We got word today that the item in my right lung is not pneumonia. The five day cultures didn't show any growth, according to the doctor.
This means there is something in my right lung that is keeping me from breathing. I don't like having unknown things in my body, because they've never turned out to be good, or even benign. Either way, we have to do something relatively quickly before my breath stops completely.
I should hear from the pulmonologist tomorrow. I have to gear up for a trip for bloodwork to the oncologist Wednesday, which right now seems an impossible task since just walking across a room leaves me gasping for air.
While we're spending all our money in Iraq, China is making huge advances.
Although I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the word "advance" here.
Popping Cancer Update
I have taken 7 of 14 antibiotics for the pneumonia. This morning I'll take number 8. If I don't start to feel better soon, I'm taking a hostage.
July 17, 2005
Popping Cancer Reflection: On the God of Loss and Grace.
Here's one Christian doctor's response to issues of faith in the face of real loss and pain.
Thanks for the link go to Ellana.
Had breakfast yet? Then don't read this.
And I quote:
"Drinking toilet water out of your faucet is an idea that is getting closer to reality for people living in the city of San Diego."
July 16, 2005
I got mine.
I'm thinking I'll start reading it tomorrow after Tiger wins the British Open and before the Yankees and Red Sox play at 6.
That is, if I can pry it away from Mrs. Popping Culture, which, of course, in my condition I can't.
Doctor, it burns when I score goals.
Dave Barry introduced me to this must-have male item.
July 15, 2005
Well, this is dumb.
That's right, kids! It's a tie-in to the new Fantastic Four movie (the one where they make Jessica Alba invisible, which should be a felony on its own).
The Human Torch on an ATV! Here's where someone in promotions really showed their skills. I mean, it's one thing to take a character that can FLY, and put him on an ATV, but it's another thing entirely to take a man IN FLAMES and put him on a gas tank.
Be careful out there, kiddies.
Too tired to caption this picture... why don't you give it a try?
Popping Cancer Reflection
Dude, I'm tired.
I'd like to write another long, romantically-written reflection on what I'm going through, but all I can think about is how tired I am.
When breathing is hard, just being awake all day is exhausting.
I guess it's not ALL bad.
At least this month's water bill didn't come to $74,326.66.
That is one wasted baby.
I feel sexy.
It's now 2:32 a.m.
A moment ago, I was sleeping fitfully in a chair with my head down on a desk, because if I lay flat or even lean back, I can't breathe. The pneumonia in my right lung coughed me awake, which is fortunate, because the oxygen tube I'm breathing through had started a nosebleed. My feet are swollen large enough that I couldn't fit my slippers on when I walked roughly 10 feet to the bathroom, a trip that left me gasping for air.
Step on up, ladies! Big Dan is feelin' like a hottie tonight!
July 14, 2005
It's still not too late...
...to make your Emmy picks.
The Onion gives summer sun safety tips.
Am I still have trouble breathing from the pneumonia?
Do bears pee in the.... oh.
We do love our Starbucks news.
Police in West Linn said Tuesday they found a hidden video camera last week inside a women's bathroom at a Starbucks shop.
A woman customer at the coffee shop at 22750 Salamo Rd. found the camera inside a toilet paper roll last Friday.
The tiny camera was no wider than a quarter.
Neat. (Registration req'd for full story)
July 13, 2005
Stuff on my cat dot com.
Popping Cancer Update
Just trying to breathe and rest, waiting for antibiotics to work. Until then, understandably light blogging.
July 12, 2005
Just one of those days here at Popping Culture.
Because you demanded it!
Ever promise yourself you'd learn to play guitar? Or get back into shape? Or spend more time with your grandmother?
Want to learn French? Ready to write that Great American Novel?
This clever website, 43 Things, lets you create your own list of tasks to accomplish before death. It also tracks over 40,000 people, many of whom share those same tasks with you. You can check everyone's progress by task or even by city. It's worth a peek, procrastinator!
Popping Cancer Update.
It's pretty bad right now.
I'm not breathing well at all, although the oxygen helps, as you might imagine. I'm not eating, either. I don't know if I'm supposed to force myself to eat or what, but I just have no real desire to eat. Finally, sleep is a remote idea. I'm sleeping at clips of about 1/2 hour at a time when I can sleep.
The good news is that I don't have a fever. Perhaps they caught the pneumonia early enough that the antibiotics can jump all over it. Also, our mothers happened to be in town, so Mrs. Popping Culture has some helpers and doesn't have to go through what is no doubt a difficult time by herself.
I continue to search for creative ways to sleep, since I can't really lay down without launching into a coughing fit, and I've never been able to sleep in a chair. My main idea now is exhaustion: stay up until I collapse. Fortunately, exhaustion is never far away when both of your favorite lungs are out of commission. More updates as events warrant.
July 11, 2005
Popping Cancer Update: "You have pneumonia in your good lung."
That's a quote from today's pulmonologist visit.
It's small, but it's in my right lung (the good lung) and it explains why my breathing has gotten worse over the weekend. I start oxygen and antibiotics tonight.
Thought you'd want to know.
ADDENDUM: The left lung seems the same. The x-ray showed either fluid or something around the left lung still, but to go after it would require another procedure in the hospital, which the pulmonologist doesn't want to try until this new stuff gets cleared up. In any case, no chemotherapy until I can get my breathe on.
Popping Cancer Update: First goal, breathe.
Later this afternoon, I'm off to see the pulmonologist who has to fix my left lung. I've been unable to sleep and even the short trip up or down the stairs leaves me gasping like a fish out of water for a good 2 or 3 minutes.
I feel like I have strength and the ability to fight the cancer now, but it's all hidden by my inability to breathe. I can't lay down without coughing, so I've been improvising a bed by laying my pillow on the computer desk, which at least keeps my lung upright and keeps me from coughing.
The pulmonologist MUST FIX my lung. This and my recent stays in the hospital make me wonder how many people die of cancer compared to how many die of complications of cancer. I'm not sure I want to know.
In any case, enough depression. Don't forget that cancer is a fun thing! Be sure to send your prayers, good intentions, kind thoughts, positive mojo and whatall else you have to me (or the doctor) this afternoon. I could use a good night's sleep again.
Helping YOU make your Monday at work more productive. Now with a creamy filling.
Quickly! Head to Planet Twinkie, click Game Galaxy and "Help Captain Cupcake navigate through treacherous waters, cruise ships and even sharks as he tries to get points by grabbing Cup Cakes!"
Or take part in one of way too many Twinkie-related activities, all at your sticky fingertips. This official Twinkie site even has a convenient recipe box full of Twinkie recipes, a Twinkie Hall of Fame and, of course, a Twinkie Shop.
PLEASE NOTE: This post is a result of your delicate host taking an Ambien, 2 adult doses of Nyquil and 2 Tylenol Three with Codeine (recommended dose: one with no Nyquil) within 2 hours of each other, the last at 1 a.m. Progress as warned.
July 10, 2005
Keep track of your favorite artist/band at Pollstar. Calling itself "The Concert Hotwire," this clever site not only gives you up-to-the-moment musical news, but lets you track your favorite performers day-to-day, whereever they are, whatever they're doing.
Film News of the most depressing sort.
July 09, 2005
Popping Cancer Update for Sunday
I anticipate very light blogging on Sunday for a few reasons.
First of all, the joint pain shot should be kicking in and I might be in the bed most of the day. Secondly, my breathing today (Saturday) has been horrible, and if it continues it should also keep me away.
Because I might not be blogging until later in the day, I have provided you with a Sunday Ponderable and a Sunday Distraction below. Enjoy, and think of me in the bed.
Picture thanks to Kimm.
Sunday Distraction: The McDonald's Employee Simulator
Don't make fun of them until you've walked a mile in their virtual shoes and goofy hats. Click here. Then click on "The Simulator."
Men of Popping Culture!
Speaking of Eye Candy.
For a guy like me, who likes Halloween more than Christmas, The Haunted Studio, chock full of spooky paintings by Lewis Barrett Lehrman, is just what the doctor ordered. Lehrman will even turn pictures of your personal home into an appropriately spooky Halloween painting.
Via Boing Boing.
July 08, 2005
By Jean François Millet (1814-1875)
Location of Origin: France
Medium: Oil on canvas
Original Size: approx. 33 x 44 in
Style: Realism (Social Realism)
Location: Louvre, Paris
Unexpected quote of the day
"The left mocks the right. The right knows it's right. Two ugly traits. How far should we go to try to understand each other's point of view? Maybe the distance grace covered on the cross is a clue."
-Bono, lead singer of U2, quoted in Christian Ethics Today, Spring, reprinted in The Christian Century.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is set to be released July 16. You'll remember that this was one of my "reasons to live" back in January. I seem to have survived nearly to a milestone.
So my problem, cancer-wise, has been the fluid around my lung.
This video game I've been playing, Resident Evil 4, might just be the answer. It's a pants-wetting good time if I've ever had one. Maybe I can lose enough fluid through self-urination by playing long enough.
And, you know, that big thing didn't really seem to mind the bullets all that much.
This should put the whole "Christmas in July" thing to rest.
July 07, 2005
Popping Cancer Update
This, in a nutshell, is where I stand right now.
Today I started the two days of steroids which are traditional in the second week of treatment. I should breathe a little better and feel a little stronger for another day or so thanks to the little pills.
Today I also got the shot that boosts my white blood cell count but also causes horrible joint pain. That pain traditionally starts with creaky joints tomorrow evening and culminates with me in bed whimpering softly to myself all day Sunday.
Still no breath sounds from the good old left lung. I see a pulmonologist on Monday. The funny thing is, I think I've been feeling better overall lately, it's just been hidden by this inability to breathe.
No change either way in tumor size.
Thursday night funny.
Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, "Father, me dog is dead. Could ya' be saying' a mass for the poor creature?"
Father Patrick replied, "I'm afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there's no tellin' what they believe. Maybe they'll do something for the creature."
Muldoon said, "I'll go right away Father. Do ya' think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?"
Father Patrick exclaimed, "Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn`t ya
tell me the dog was Catholic?"
People who blow up other people are dumb.
You'll notice that the terror alert meter in the right sidebar remains yellow, but rose to orange for mass transit, in case the London thing was a dry run.
I probably have a pastoral answer for this already, but why do people who blow up random strangers live long healthy lives, and guys like me - who only keep mental lists of people they WOULD blow up - get the cancer?
Popping Culture's INTERACTIVE Christmas in July.
Here's a top-eight list of Signs That You're Sick Of The Holidays. Help me out by adding two of your own to make it a top ten list.
8. You've got red and green bags under your eyes.
7. You're serving reindeer pot pie.
6. When you hear, "Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin'?," you scream, "No! I'm not listening!"
5. You climb on your roof and start shooting carolers with your air gun.
4. You think you hear your Christmas tree taunting you.
3. Instead of spending time with family, you're watching some guy make photo copies.
2. You've got eggnog coming out of your ears.
1. Two words: tinsel rash
Why work? Here's your new timekiller.
My favorite so far:
Title: Larynx Lane
Premise: A group of French-schooled mimes stranded on a Subway Platform competes for Speech Therapy.
But the catch is: One of them can talk!
Traffic stop goes bad - very bad - for suspect, who later wins $1.75 million in court.
How bad did the traffic stop go for the man who was later cleared of all charges?
So bad that you men in the audience probably shouldn't click here.
July 06, 2005
Scary moment of the day.
Add this to the list of things you don't want to hear your cancer doctor say right before chemotherapy:
"I didn't hear any breath sounds coming from your left lung."
NOTE: Fortunately, it turns out that I am one of the lucky ones who was born with an entirely other lung over on the right. I'll be using that one for the next couple days until I can get with the pulmonologist.
Still more of Popping Culture's Christmas in July.
July 05, 2005
Light blogging Wednesday.
Popping Culture's Christmas in July continues...
Christmas in July - Brain Candy Edition
by John Donne
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves His well-belov'd imprisonment,
There He hath made Himself to His intent
Weak enough, now into the world to come;
But O, for thee, for Him, hath the inn no room?
Yet lay Him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars and wise men will travel to prevent
The effect of Herod's jealous general doom.
Seest thou, my soul, with thy faith's eyes, how He
Which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie?
Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go,
With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.
July 04, 2005
Popping Cancer Reflection: On Confronting Your Fears
Unless you discover it really late in the game, cancer is mostly a grind. Week after week of brutal treatment, followed by long afternoons where you try to stay active, try to rest, try to heal.
Cancer comes down, for me, to an effort of the will. Either I want to live and am willing to put in the effort that it takes mentally, physically and spiritually to do so, or I'm ready to die.
One of the hardest parts of the spiritual fight with cancer is naming my fears. Of course I can say "I'm scared to die," but that doesn't really tell me anything. I don't know what that means.
So what am I scared of?
Well, I'm scared that I'll live the rest of my life feeling weak and going through horrible chemotherapy treatments and never have another day where I feel GOOD before I die.
I'm scared that I will leave this earth without ever having made a difference.
I'm scared that bad things will happen to my family after I'm dead, and I won't be there to help.
Of course, there are probably lots of other things I'm scared of, too, but that's a good enough start. See, when you can name your fears, you can begin the work it takes to heal them, or overcome them. I found out that I'm not scared of death itself. I think I'm absolutely prepared for whatever comes.
I hate to bring in a cheesy example here, but I remember when Luke Skywalker had to go in that scary tree in The Empire Strikes Back at Yoda's command. The darkness showed him his greatest fear and forced him to begin confronting it.
By taking time to search out my own dark places in this battle with cancer, I can name my fears and begin to confront them. This is what it means to beat cancer, whether you live or die.
As always, somebody else said it better than I can. In The Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living, Joseph Campbell is quoted as saying:
It is only by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble,
there lies your treasure.
The very cave you are afraid to enter
turns out to be the source of
what you were looking for.
Campbell also shared:
A bit of advice
given to a young Native American
at the time of his initiation:
"As you go the way of life,
you will see a great chasm.
It is not as wide as you think."
Fire off a rocket in my name today, folks. I'll be in bed most of the afternoon in hopes of having enough strength for the get-together tonight.
Q: Do they have Fourth of July in England?
A: Of course, their calendar doesn't go from the third to the fifth.
July 03, 2005
Now THAT'S using your finger.
Here's a website dedicated to the many miraculous ways Harrison Ford can communicate anger on film, just by using his index finger.
Popping Culture's Christmas In July continues.
July 02, 2005
I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.
Thai men hook 646-lb. catfish, may be world's largest.
by Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Popping Culture's Christmas In July!
July 01, 2005
A man can only take so many sheep-related requests on his blog.
It is enough people. Enough with the constant emails asking me about how to manage your herds of sheep. YES, you'd like your breeding records all in one place. YES, you'd like pedigree charts for each of your wool-bearing friends.
For the last time, here's the link to FlockFiler. All future sheep management emails will be deleted.
"This is the most stupid ruling the appellate court has rendered in years"
Fitzroy Barnaby said he had to swerve to avoid hitting the 14-year-old Des Plaines girl who walked in front of his car.
She said he grabbed her arm and began to lecture her.
In a Thursday ruling, the Appellate Court of Illinois said the 28-year-old Evanston man must register as a sex offender.
While acknowledging it might be "unfair for [Barnaby] to suffer the stigmatization of being labeled a sex offender when his crime was not sexually motivated," the court said his actions are the type that are "often a precursor" to a child being abducted or molested.
Saints and angels protect us. Full story here.
July 1! Day one in Popping Culture's celebration of "Christmas in July"!
This story makes me feel good.
The wedding got called off 12 days beforehand. This family turned the scheduled $8,700 buffet dinner reception into a chance to feed the homeless.
Good on them.