September 29, 2005
Tom Cruise Cancels Lecture Series
So he says there was no lecture series. Details. Does anybody know how I get my money back?
Release the hounds!
Francis will be released from his prison on October 10. That's just eleven days away. I've taken him downstairs a few times so he and Polly can have a look at each other and there have been no traumas yet. Keep your fingers crossed.
This is what I'm anticipating.
P.S. When I play this, Francis puts his paws on the screen. I think he's rooting for the little cat.
Top Ten List
This is a weird one. Two Edie Brickell songs in a random playlist? Seems rather suspect to me. However, this list does include what I think may be the best cover of a song. Johnny Cash's version of Personal Jesus is outstanding. Of course, everything he did was outstanding, but this is exceptionally outstanding. I could go on, and on, and on about what an amazing artist and person he was. Maybe another time.
1. Girlfriend in a Coma - Jerry Chapman
2. Evening: The Sun Set - The Moody Blues
3. Green - Edie Brickell
4. annie waits - Ben Folds
5. Block Rockin' Beats - The Chemical Brothers
6. In The Bath - Edie Brickell
7. Cry Me a River - Diana Krall
8. Reelin' In The Years - Steely Dan
9. Personal Jesus - Johnny Cash
10. Protection - Ben Folds
I thought about whether or not I should do this for a while and decided to go ahead with it.
Here's Dan (with me in the first one).
Graves Mountain Lodge, October 2004
September 27, 2005
It's a good day to not be "government."
"At the end of the day, I suspect that we'll find that government at all levels failed the people of Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama and the Gulf Coast," said committee Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va.
Yep. That pretty much sums the whole thing up.
First of all, I love the Current catalog people and their products. I buy Christmas cards, etc. from them every year. Their staff are always polite and friendly on the phone.
Second of all, I'm sure the author of the poem on this ornament is a delightful man.
Third of all, if anyone buys me this for Christmas, I will thank them by having a stroke right in front of them.
Would you believe . . . ?
Last week (roughly), I asked what television show you all would bring back if you could. I thought of one a few days later . . . WKRP in Cincinnati. And tonight, I was reminded of another favorite while checking out www.defamer.com. Get Smart. I read somewhere that Tom Poston was originally intended to play Maxwell Smart in this popular spoof targeting the spy craze that James Bond launched. No offense to Mr. Poston, but can you imagine how different Max would have been without Don Adams in the role? Me neither.
September 26, 2005
Happy fall to you all! It's starting to get nice and chilly around here, but it won't officially be Fall until I get a cinnamon twist from Brant's in Ashtabula. That was a tradition of ours that I feel very strongly about continuing. Mmm . . . cinnamon twists.
And you know what else Fall means? Halloween is coming! Also a favorite of Danny's, as you may remember. Did you ever wonder why? Doesn't it seem odd for someone's favorite holiday to be Halloween? I think his favorite holiday used to be Thanksgiving until his dad died in 1995. His dad always took pride in cooking a big meal so I think Danny associated Thanksgiving with his dad. Christmas was too commercial to be his favorite holiday (good grief!). So next was Halloween. When we lived in VA and he was a youth minister, there was a family that put on a big, scary Halloween maze in their back yard and they charged a canned good to enter and donated them all to a local food bank. He always wanted to do something like that but he thought it would cause too much of a stir at the church.
He also said "no" when I wanted to start a Friday night poker game. I don't know what all the fuss was about. No one else was using the church on Friday nights.
Poor, poor cinnamon bun.
I returned this evening from Maryland where my sister's birthday was celebrated. Not in the whole state. Just among the family.
Anyhoo, we had breakfast Saturday at an establishment in Ellicott City that had delicious breakfast sandwiches and coffee. After perusing the bakery case, I felt the need to clear them of their cinnamon bun inventory. Six women . . . two cinnamon buns. It wasn't pretty. See for yourselves.
September 25, 2005
You get a man! You get a man! You get a man!
Man! When I went to an Oprah taping, all I got was was Ricky Martin's new CD.
September 23, 2005
I've got lots to do before I leave today, so this might be it for now. If you get bored, come back for the penguins.
News and Dahlias
Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I was out of town for a little while in Rochester. Danny's school (Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School) had a very nice memorial service for him on Wednesday which I attended and said a few words. More on that later. This weekend, I'll be going to Maryland for my OLDest sister's birthday. She will be 40. Even as the baby, I'm starting to feel old.
Now, look at these beautiful dahlias! Harriet from church is a dahlia-grower and belongs to a club and everything. This first picture is of the room most of them were in. The next one is named "Miss Palmer" after Harriett's mother, Myrtle. The third one is another type of dahlia. The last picture is of a basket Harriet arranged. The actual basket is one that someone sent flowers in for Danny's funeral. Harriet has used it three times and has won awards all three times. It is now her Lucky Basket. I think that's sweet!
September 22, 2005
Must See TV
"Everybody Hates Chris" premieres tonight at 8:00 on UPN. I expect much hilarity and truth. Just like real life. (Take that "Joey.")
March (?) of the Penguins
Several weeks ago, I was listening to NPR and heard a therapist in New York say that several of her patients, all in one week, related their lives to the film "March of the Penguins." I am providng a link to the following site in her honor. My best so far is 577.6.
September 19, 2005
Today's Life Lesson
Since Danny died, I feel this nagging obligation to teach people lessons. Some of them I learned from my husband, some I learned on my own.
I remember at the calling hours the night before his funeral, I felt overwhelmed seeing people walk through the door who I knew thought the world of Dan and were possibly more at a loss than I was because they really depended on him to be their rock. He was a very good Pastor and a good friend to many, and all kinds of, people. You know how most of us are pretty good with people, but there are certain types we clash with? He didn't clash with anybody. That's why he is missed by so many people.
I think having the benefit of living with him all these years has helped me through the last ten months. I've found myself hugging other people and telling them it's OK to cry. Before the funeral, I was asking people who they'd like to sit with and putting strangers together so they wouldn't have to be alone. I didn't want anyone to be alone.
Today when I had lunch with a friend, I remembered two things that I think made our marriage a very good one. I'm not a shrink or anything, but they worked for us.
1. You should want, every day, to make the other person happy. You may not always succeed at this but you have to want to try. If you and your partner can say this is true of you relationship, then it's probably pretty good.
2. You should want, not need, the other person. Even before he got sick, Danny used to joke that that I was just waiting for him to die because I could do just about anything on my own (i.e. installing a toilet, fixing the kitchen sink, etc.). My response to him was always that I didn't need him for anything. I loved him and I wanted to be with him. I think that's why, now that he's gone, I'm not really lonely like a lot of widows are. I just really miss him.
American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Movie Quotes Of All Time
Check it out and let us know if they missed any. Besides the obvious. "You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills."
Hurricane Katrina Photos
Have a seat and hold your breath. These were taken right before she hit Louisiana and were sent to me by Jenn. (Sorry I can't figure out how to make em all show. I'll figure it out.)
September 18, 2005
Where's the pet psychic when you need her?
"There seems to be a wide-spread belief that if a companion animal is behaving in a crazy manner, then it is because the owners are crazy and have made him that way."
So what does this say about me?
Of course, they go on to say this isn't true. Which is good news for my animals.
I'm Sorry For My Loss
How is it possible that in one game Brett Favre can join Dan Marino and John Elway in the 50,000-yard passing club, can then break Elway's single-stadium touchdown record and still lose? To the Cleveland Browns? Did anybody see this game? I was helping friends shop for a refrigerator at the time. That's the last time I do something for someone else on a Sunday afternoon during football season.
With the stats above, I don't suppose it was Favre's fault. He doesn't usually start throwing multiple interceptions until the playoffs, anyway. I guess I'll have to wait for Sports Center to fill me in.
The Emmys are on! I think I'll take a nap.
I remember getting excited about awards shows. But since everybody went reality show crazy, the Emmy's have lost their appeal for me. It's too bad they don't include shows in syndication and on Nick at Nite. Then, MASH, Cheers, Seinfeld, and Sex and the City could rule the Emmys forever. At least I've still got Monk, Will and Grace, and good old dependable Father Ted. Oh, that Dougal!
Here's a list of Emmy nominees, in case you're interested. I can't wait to see who wins. Oh wait. Yes I can.
So, if you could bring back and continue any television show (characters at same ages, etc.), what would it be? I guess what I'm really asking is what's your all-time favorite television show?
September 16, 2005
Today's Top Ten
I think I am about to steal something from Joel. Danny told me once that Joel used to turn on his MP3 player on Friday morning and list on his website the first ten songs that came on. However, I checked Joel's website and found no evidence of this. So this is either Joel or Dan's idea.
Here are my ten songs for today. (Oh, God. Please don't let them all be The Ray Conniff Singers and Debbie Gibson.)
1. Ozzy Osbourne - Iron Man
2. Lost In The Supermarket - The Clash
3. Talk About The Passion - R.E.M.
4. Scotch and Chocolate - Nickel Creek
5. Misguided Angel - Cowboy Junkies
6. Prison Food - Ben Folds
7. What You Need - INXS
8. Breakout - Foo Fighters
9. Save A Prayer - Duran Duran
10. Imagination - Harry Connick, Jr.
Wow! I'm like, cool, or something! Of course, they're all songs I picked, so I guess I'm not one to judge. Also, just give it time. I'm sure one day that I do this, all the songs will be tragically uncool.
More Fun Grief News
Well, it seems that what they say is true. OK, one thing they say is true. Everyone grieves in their own way. Actually, I suppose everyone does everything in their own way, but grieving is obviously on my mind these days. One thing I've discovered so far that's different about me is that I seem to need lots of time alone. My mother said that after my father died, she was most helped by being around other people. Someone else told me yesterday that when his father died, he also wanted people around.
On Tuesday, I spent two to three hours making phone calls related to Dan's death (i.e. canceling accounts, talking to one of Dave Ramsey's people about bills, etc.). After that, I returned to work for the first time for a big two-and-a-half hours. Then I helped out some friends who just bought a house near me. Wednesday, I had chest pains and realized I just needed to go back to bed and have a good cry because I didn't leave time for it on Tuesday. It sounds sad, but at least it's free and it works.
So, I am now not working for a while, again. I have some trips coming up that I'm excited about. ("Dan would have wanted" me to go to Vegas).
My challenge now is finding balance. After spending eight months not taking care of business (i.e. going to the dentist, getting cars checked out, etc.) and having to take care of new business (as mentioned above), I have loads of stuff to do. Hence the problem with going back to work. I feel like I already have a job getting things done at home. Taking time to grieve and getting out of the house every now and then for some fun are also priorities. Which would expain my adventures today with a friend having breakfast at Steak and Shake (or 'n Shake?) and purchasing a DVD of The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy and a nifty Liz Clairborne bag for cheap. Also, pulling those pantyhose things you put on in stores to try on shoes over my head and trying on interesting hats and belts at Value City. I hope the security tapes don't get released to the public.
September 15, 2005
So much for tearful goodbyes.
Well, I guess I'll try to keep this thing going and see what happens. You'll have to forgive me if I don't post something every day and be patient while I figure out how to do cool stuff. I did get that picture of Roxy on, though.
So, does anybody have any advice for me? Specifically, should I go to Old Navy or Target to buy new blogging outfits? What? "Both", you say?! Well, the customer is always right. I'll add it to my list of things to do.
Since Dan's funeral services, etc. a lot has happened. Some things have been uninteresting, but maybe it'd be good for you to know what life as a widow is like. Well, it's not so good. Through this whole process, I've experienced that people really don't know how to respond to these kinds of things. Here are some examples.
1. When Dan was taken off the ventilator, I was told that he could hang on for a while, so I should make sure to get some rest, a shower, a hot meal, etc. You know, take care of myself. I'm not sure what Dr. Phil would have to say about this, but I think it's ridiculous. I wasn't going to leave my husband (conscious or not) knowing that he might be about to take his last breath.
2. Dan wouldn't want me to be sad, cry, etc. Thankfully, I didn't get this one too much. First of all, you don't know what he wants. Second of all, Dan understood that these would be natural responses and would be all for them. Third of all, when I die, I want everyone I know to pile up in a big heap and wail and gnash their teeth for days. If any of them is happy or has a smile on their face for more than five minutes, I'm coming back to haunt them.
3. It will get better with time. I guess this is partly true. However, I checked out a website today about grieving (you are SO jealous!) and it made a good point about this. Time alone does not heal. Grieving is an active process. If I just sat around all day eating Marshmallow Fluff and not thinking about my husband, I probably wouldn't be OK as soon as I would be talking to people about my loss, looking at pictures, AND eating Marshmallow Fluff. Here's the web address in case you're interested in having a look. (Sorry I don't know how to link yet.) http://www.mtech.edu/counseling/healthy_grieving.htm
Those are the big ones I can think of right now. Anybody else got others?
I'll be back tomorrow with more fascinating widow-related events and tips.
Go get some sleep and maybe a hot meal. Also, a shower.
September 10, 2005
There probably aren't a whole lot of people still checking this, but I thought I'd mention that Dan wanted his cancer postings to be published. In the event that I actually get them published and you would like to know about it, please post something here so I can get in touch with you at that time.
After all this time, you probably think I have something amazingly profound to say, but I don't. All I can think to say to end what my husband created is that cancer really is a jerk and I want to punch it in the face. But even more than that, I want him back. Right now, I can't imagine going through life without him. Fall, Halloween, birthdays, playing with Roxy, watching the first Sunday of the NFL season, eating freshly-made chocolate chip cookies: none of these things will be the same without him. Some widows I know (older, of course) say it will get better. I don't guess they're lying, but they also weren't married to Dan Champion. It probably sounds corny, but I feel honored to have been his wife. As one of our friends shared during his funeral, he was one of the only people in the world who could tell you the truth about yourself. He could do this because he cared. And he always seemed to know what was important. He knew that life wasn't about getting to appointments on time (though he usually was) or wearing the right clothes (though he "looked pretty snazzy", according to my niece), or even being correct (though he always was). He knew that life was about relationships: with each other, with ourselves, with God. I think that's what helped him through his experiences with cancer. He knew that earthly things didn't matter in the end. All that mattered was love. And so, he loved. And he did it well.