October 30, 2005
Happy Halloween Eve to you all! What with the Halloween activities this weekend, I haven't had much chance to post. So let this photo from the pumpkin carving at my house hold you over until the big day.
October 27, 2005
Comments are back! Comments are back!
So, um, whatcha been doin? It's been a while. Janet Jackson might have a kid, but Tom Cruise is still nuts.
Resume commenting now. Here's something to think about.
Ten More Random Songs From My MP3 Player
1. Feels Like Rain - John Hiatt
2. Battle of Who Could Care Less - Ben Folds Five
3. God Will - Lyle Lovett
4. High 5 (Rock The Catskills) - Beck
5. The Lady Is A Tramp - Frank Sinatra
6. Still - Foo Fighters
7. Sweet Jane - Cowboy Junkies
8. Truckdrivin Neighbors Downstairs- Beck
9. Amy's Song - Switchfoot
10. I Shall Not Be Moved - Johnny Cash
October 26, 2005
More Halloween Fun
This one won't make you pee your pants. I promise.
Actual news alerts available here.
Get an alert when there are new stories about:
* Homeland Security
* Michael Chertoff
* Federal Emergency Management Agency
* Rep. Bennie Thompson
* Rep. Gene Taylor
» More Alerts
What "more alerts" could a girl possibly need? How about "What Chief Justice John Roberts had for breakfast" or "Watch John Kerry choose a tie."
This land is your land . . .
"Former FEMA Director Michael Brown said Wednesday he was asked to stay on the job another 30 days to help the agency complete its review of the response to Hurricane Katrina, a "completely legitimate thing to do." . . . if you don't want Navy Seals to burn your house to the ground while you're sleeping.
If I'm ever lucky enough to head the botching of major government initiative, I hope they let me investigate myself. I'm pretty sure I won't be guilty of anything.
Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.
Good advice from a wise man, er, kid.
Hope you didn't miss it on CBS tonight
Aww. Sweet, and scary.
"We already knew that Natalie Portman was unreasonably gorgeous in high school, so why do we need to bid on her yearbook? Because it will one day make her fall in love with us, that’s why."
Claim: Janet Jackson has secret child
"Janet Jackson and James DeBarge, who were briefly married in 1984, had a daughter together, DeBarge's brother Young DeBarge has claimed on a radio program."
How can this be? How could we not have known? Janet, talk to me!
"Young DeBarge, 28, said he has recently finished an album."
Now I get it.
Do me a favor. It you see/hear advertisements of any kind for this guy's album, avert your eyes, change the channel, turn off the radio, etc.
Isn't it amazing how the people with the big scoop always have an album coming out?
October 23, 2005
This is Halloween
I'm hosting a pumpkin carving/cookout at my house Friday and thought it would be appropriate to share this with you all. If it's raining here, this may be how we carve our pumpkins!
October 22, 2005
Where's Dr. Neil Clark Warren when you need him?
"The Titan Arum, or Amorphophallus Titanum, nicknamed "corpse flower" because of its putrid stench, blooms rarely and briefly.
Its scent has been likened to rotting fish or animal flesh.
"The smell is crucial to its survival in its natural habitat because it attracts pollinating carrion beetles and flesh flies," said botanist Franziska Lo-Kockel."
That is a real shame. I'm guessing this is not a popular flower with FTD.
If comments were working, I'd post this picture and ask who it is and you would all guess and be wrong and then I'd tell you who it is and everybody would say "ohhhhh."
But comments are not working, so that ship has sailed, my friends.
He's Porky from The Little Rascals! And he passed away Friday at age 71. (I know the episodes I saw were not filmed during my lifetime, but somehow, this still makes me feel old.)
Details on the life of our friend here.
If you've been a Popping Culture fan for at least a year now, you'll know that Dan's favorite Halloween movie (and probably in his top five of all movies) was "The Nightmare Before Christmas." I haven't watched it yet this season, but I'm planning on doing this soon. If you're planning on renting it, I suggest you do so quickly. I rented "Mr. Holland's Opus" today and the video store had "TNBC" playing. The guy said all of their copies were rented out and they were being snatched up as soon as they were returned.
There's seems to be a problem with comments. But keep coming back, even if it's just to kill time when you should be working.
I think this is fantastic! I wish I lived across the street from this place, or maybe drove by it going to the grocery store.
October 20, 2005
I HATE it when that happens!
"The end is near for ScienTOMogy."
"The owner of a Tom Cruise-skewering Website that came under scrutiny from the Church of Scientology for its too-close-for-comfort URL has agreed to change the Web address.
"He said he would change it, so, we're waiting for him to do that," Helena Kobrin, an attorney representing the Church of Scientology, said Wednesday."
I hope this lady isn't holding her breath.
Full story here.
So, of course, you want to see the website now.
I don't know. It doesn't look like this guy is going anywhere.
October 19, 2005
Sorry things have been so slow. Outside the room my computer is in, there is a bee's nest. Over the last few days at any given time, there have been five to fifteen bees in this room. An exterminator came yesterday and they're starting to die down (literally).
So here's a little bee humor until I can resume normal activity.
October 17, 2005
Dude, I just want some candy.
I swear I did not photoshop this. I was looking for some fun Halloween tidbits and came across a website with this picture and these words scrolling across the top.
"So you think its just harmless fun do you? What does God think.... Christian???"
So I'm guessing they think Halloween is NOT just harmless fun. Also, they seem to know what God thinks. Also, they're questioning whether or not I'm a Christian.
Nope. Doesn't seem crazy at all.
I'm just a hunk, a hunk of burning love.
This is for Jenny who was disappointed that we didn't see any Elvises (Elvii?) in Las Vegas.
October 16, 2005
Stupid Celebrity Tricks (Or A Cry For Help?)
It doesn't get much stupider than this.
"Singer Boy George faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on charges of drug possession, while his lawyer said on Tuesday the flamboyant entertainer had no idea how 13 plastic bags of cocaine got in his apartment."
What are you gonna do?
This is probably the best concert I will never go to. The Foo Fighters with Weezer and Hot Hot Heat? Are you kidding me? Maybe Beck could drop by for a quick number.
I started out just looking around for stuff coming to Cleveland/Pittsburgh, just out of curiosity. Now, I'm depressed.
You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman.
One of the important matters Danny and I discussed not too long before he died was who should play Wonder Woman if a motion picture was ever made of the comic. My first choice was Catherine Zeta-Jones. I don't remember who he picked, but I'm sure it wasn't Katie Holmes. Wonder Woman was not a skinny little 26 year old. She was beautiful and intelligent and strong and looked like she could put any guy in a sleeper hold. (Don't try this at home.) Lauren Graham would be good, too. I think she even resembles Lynda Carter a little. Buzz here.
I remember that the show came on around dinner time because I would watch it and hear my mother calling and calling for me to come to dinner. Before I left my room to join the family unit for our evening meal, I would always make sure to spin myself sick, just in case that was all it took.
So here's the question you've all been waiting for. Who would you pick? May the lyrics of the Wonder Woman theme song inspire you.
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
All the world’s waiting for you, and the power you possess.
In your satin tights, fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you and the wonders you can do.
Make a hawk a dove, stop a war with love, make a liar tell the truth.
Wonder Woman, get us out from under, Wonder Woman.
All our hopes are pinned on you and the magic that you do.
Stop a bullet cold, make the Axis fold,
Change their minds, and change the world.
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman. You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman.
October 14, 2005
This guy is supposed to make me swoon?
Sony announced that Pierce Brosnan's replacement (a moment of silence, please) would be announced this week. British tabloid's are reporting that the role will go to Daniel Craig. He would be the first blond Bond.
I think we did this a while back, but who would you rather see in this role? Forgot about Hollywood politics, etc. You're the casting agent. Tell us who you want.
Where Are They Now?
I've been wondering what happened to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And here's my answer.
"In other reports, when it comes time for the actress to give birth in several months, it has been suggested that Holmes will attempt a silent labor in keeping with Scientology tradition. The practice encourages mothers to be to forgo painkillers and to refrain from screaming or even talking as they bring their children into the world. Scientologists believe that the silence reduces trauma during birth and prevents irrational fears later in life."
"Forgo painkillers and refrain from screaming or even talking . . . "? I can't imagine doing that before getting out of bed in the morning.
October 13, 2005
Ten more random tunes from my MP3 player. (This always makes me nervous!)
1. Hotwax - Beck ('Who are you?' 'I'm the enchanting wizard of rhythm.' 'Why did you come here?' 'I came here to tell you about the rhythms of the universe....) Ohhhhh.
2. She's Always a Woman - Billy Joel
3. House of Tom Bombadil - Nickel Creek
4. Mockingbird - Carly Simon/James Taylor
5. Peace, Love, and Understanding - Elvis Costello and the Attractions
6. Light My Fire - The Doors
7. Paper Tiger - Beck
8. She's Leaving Me Because She Really Wants To - Lyle Lovett
9. Jungle Boogie - Kool & the Gang
10. Sleeps with Butterflies - Tori Amos (favorite of Dan's)
Extreme Home Improvement
If you live in the Youngstown "metropolitan" area and are in need of home repair/improvement services, you are out of luck for the next few days, and not just because you don't have "connections." Ty is in town! And he's utilizing the services of every blessed contractor in town, it seems. Possibly including the guy I need to install motion lights on my house. That's OK. I know where my front door is by now.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is re-building a house just minutes away from where I live. I went to the site last night with some friends and saw them cutting branches off a huge oak tree. (To the right in the picture below.) I overheard someone say that the episode will air Thanksgiving weekend. Be sure to watch it. If you see three dorks in baseball hats, that's us.
Everybody Still Hates Chris
Did I mention that I saw Chris Rock in Los Angeles?
And his show is still great. Even the episode titles make me laugh.
Everyone Hates the Pilot
Everybody Hates Keisha
Everybody Hates Basketball
Everybody Hates Sausage
Everybody Hates Fat Mike
Everybody Hates Halloween
Everybody Hates Greg
Everybody Hates the Babysitter
Everybody Hates the Laundromat
Everybody Hates Food Stamps
Everybody Hates A Part-Time Job
Everybody Hates Christmas
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Halloween is fast approaching. In case you haven't picked out your costume yet, here are some to avoid, courtesy of The Onion.
How could I have doubted?
I must admit, I was nervous about introducing Francis to Polly (and my nice furniture), but things are going well.
All together now . . . awww!
Arkansas Mother Gives Birth to 16th Child
"Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again."
16th child? Doing it again? Wha?
I need a nap.
October 12, 2005
My Big Trip to the Left Coast (And Other Locales)
Today was the first day in about three weeks that I wasn’t traveling or getting ready to travel. Even though I had lots to do, it was nice to know I could sleep in my own bed and not have to do laundry at midnight.
The big trip started with a visit to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (famed home of “The Dance of Women’s Spirituality”) in Rochester, New York where a memorial service was held for Dan. It was great to meet some of the folks Danny talked about, including some of you! The service was beautiful. I have to admit I was a little nervous about how it would go. I wasn’t sure how well the people up there really knew him. However, one of his professors delivered the sermon and I could tell that he “got” Dan.
I stayed overnight with our friend Robyn. We remembered when she called Dan one day to ask about buying a particular house. Dan talked her through it and I was excited to be able to be a guest in the very house she called about. When I left that Wednesday, I hadn’t gotten three blocks before I thought about how I couldn’t wait to tell Dan all about it. However, the saddest moment occurred after I pulled out of a service plaza onto the PA turnpike and could not get my bag of M&Ms open. Danny would have had a stroke if he had been there to witness the various ways I attempted to do this.
Then I had a nice weekend in Ellicott City, Maryland for my sister’s birthday. And I don’t want to mislead anyone (especially Gail), so I should mention that there were two of those giant cinnamon rolls.
Then my friend Jenny from California visited. Girl stuff ensued (shopping, manicures, pedicures, eating, etc.).
Then Jenny and I headed for Las Vegas where we stayed with my friend Heidi. The first night we kicked it old school on Fremont Street. The next day we shopped in The District where we JUST missed American Idol auditions then headed to the newer part of the strip (The Bellagio, Caesar’s, etc.). On Sunday we saw the Cirque du Soleil production Mystere. (Check out a trailer here.) I’m not really a “show” person, but this thing was amazing! Those people made me feel super lazy for whining when I can’t find the remote and end up watching G4 for three hours. After the show, we had dinner and I took out a second mortgage on my home to get a drink at the Voodoo Lounge. If you go to Vegas, I honestly do recommend this place for the view and the band that does a jazz version of Baby Got Back.
Next Jenny and I bid adieu to Heidi and set out for Los Angeles, The City of Polar Opposites. I mean, Angels. We did the typical LA stuff: shopping on Rodeo Drive, eating at fancy schmancy restaurants, spa stuff. But my two favorites were Natalee Thai (ethnic in Youngstown is one of the 3,000,000 Italian restaurants or the one Lebanese) and The Dresden, one of the bars from the movie Swingers. We even got to meet Marty and Elayne who gave us autographs and copies of one of their records.
The last leg of my journey was to Graves’ Mountain Lodge in Syria, Virginia. This is a place in the mountains that was a family vacation spot when we were kids. Danny and I also went there for a week last year. I highly recommend it for fresh air, great food (lots of it), and rest. And best of all, no cell phone reception! (That’s like winning the Golden Ticket when you’re a pastor.)
So that’s it for now! I guess I get back to “normal” life, although I don’t really remember what that’s like. But I must go now because little Mr. Francis requires attention of some sort. And he doesn’t like to be kept waiting.
Pop Quiz Time Killer
I am proud to have scored a 90% on this one! I didn't do as well on the Physics Pop Quiz.
Take a stab at it when you have a sec then pass your papers to the front.
Today at 5:40 pm, it will be two months since Danny died. So I'm posting something one of his cousins from NY sent me a while back that is relavent. I meant to do it earlier, but never got to it.
You are so right about people not knowing how to respond to someone's death. I find most times, no matter what the situation, I don't know how to respond - they should teach this in school instead of some of that crazy math and social studies. So here I go, allow me to add another to your list of examples.
Not relevant - but I've been working for the New York State Police for the last 20 years (I was only 5 when I started). Since December, I've been working in the NYSP Employee Assistance Program. While I was qualified for the secretarial part of the job, I have realized that I was right - I don't always know how to respond. I've had some training since December, and worked at Survivors Weekend last week. This is a weekend that NYSP holds for surviving family members of troopers who were killed. There were guest speakers who spoke about dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one. While I'm no expert in the field, cannot honestly say I understand what you're going thru and until the last year, never believed in therapy and counselor's, etc. - I can at least offer some of what I learned and hope in some small way that it will help.
One of the things the speakers (Dr.'s, of course) agreed on was that healing takes time (heard that before?) and it's important to talk
about your loved one and recall memories with them. Another was the
importance of humor and laughing. Of course, they went in to detail - using words i can't spell or that i've even heard of - on exactly how it helps. I can tell you though that at the time, as they were talking (using humor in their "lecture) it all made perfect sense. As a matter of fact, the entertainment at dinner on Saturday night, was not a band, dj or magician - it was a comedian. Not the best I've seen, but he did have the crowd of about 150 survivors laughing after they spent the morning crying in "workshop" sessions.
So after all this, I guess my response to the situation is: you do
whatever you need to do to get thru this - whatever makes you feel
better. Cry, laugh, eat marshmallow fluff, etc. It's all ok.
October 11, 2005
Cynthia Rylant is the author of Cat Heaven and Dog Heaven, must-haves for pet owners if only to make you appreciate them even more while they’re here. I thought about these on Monday when I was driving home from Virginia across Skyline Drive, Dan’s favorite place in the world. And I hoped that he is happy wherever he is. I know he is in God’s presence, but my human mind can’t begin to know what that means. So, here are some things I hope are in Dan Heaven.
Autumn all the time
Hot oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast
The Miami Professional Football Dolphins winning the Super Bowl every year
A big stone fireplace
Animals (even buggy ones that I would normally ask him to “remove”)
Elwood and Jake
His dad and sister
All the friends he watched die of cancer over the years
Fields of soft grass to run in
The ability to run, and breathe
Sleeping with the windows open
James Taylor tunes
A Christmas shop
Thanksgiving dinner every night
Candy (Nerds, maple sugar candy, sour balls, Hershey bars)
A nice Italian restaurant
In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not a big reader. The last book I read all the way through was the last Harry Potter. Then I started Vanity Fair (YES the book, not the magazine!). About 1/4 through, when it was revealed that Becky was married to Captain Rawdon Crawley, I deemed that a satisfactory ending and stopped there. So . . . many . . . words.
But here is a book I will actually purchase and read. Her first book "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America) played a part in why I quit my job over a year ago and continues to shape my view of corporate America, or America, or aren't they really the same?
I Love America: Part Deux
I can't believe that in 2 months 20 days 0 hours 38 minutes and 10 (9, 8, 7) seconds, I will be able to switch between Howard Stern and Martha Stewart on my Sirius Radio receiver. The only thing better would be if Howard actually appeared on Martha's show. If P. Diddy can teach her to rap, Howard can certainly teach her to . . . never mind.
I Love America
"Spears' Auction Concludes - Without Bra"
This headline has been appearing under the Yahoo! Entertainment section for a day or two. I finally broke down and checked it out.
I heard the cement blocks Kevin's truck was propped up on went for $500. God bless those kids.
This chair's only big enough for one of us.
I'm back from all of my travels! I don't have time now for details, but I thought I'd post a picture from Francis and Polly's first meeting which took place last night. So far, things are going as expected. Francis wants to play and Polly wants to be quiet. (She's a very contemplative cat.) She has informed Francis of this by swatting at him very hard.
So I'll have some exciting vacation news later and then we'll get back to business as usual.
October 07, 2005
I'm back for now.
I'm back from my West Coast adventures. And I think I found the cure for grieving.
OK. Maybe it wasn't a cure, but it was a nice distraction. More details after the weekend where I will meet my family in the mountains of Virginia for horseback riding, Brunswick Stew, and all-around good, clean, family fun! Just like in Vegas!