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November 30, 2005

Barbara Walters Easily Fascinated


Story via Defamer.

Camilla Parker Bowles is fascinating? I had no idea!

Take issue with this list by telling us who you think should be on this list.

How about Lt. General Russell Honore who stepped into the Katrina disaster armed with experience, a big mouth, and a bigger heart to finally get things in order and start getting help to actual people.

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Blast From The Past

Every now and then I like to look back at Dan's PC stuff and see what was happening today in PC history. Here's the entry from November 30, 2005.


I'm home alone today. I have a sore throat and my head is stuffed up. I have a drainage tube from last week's surgery still sticking out of me. I am waiting for word on whether I have cancer or not.

But somehow, the chortles I got from this picture made it all worthwhile.

I am reminded of the words of Dr. Johnny Fever: "Hey! I went through Harvard... Ok, it was in a car. Actually, a police car."

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Grief Update

Just in case you were wondering, having your husband die sucks. I am just about done sending "acknowledgment cards" from the funeral, etc. and now have to start on Christmas cards, which brings me to the reason I thought about your husband dying sucking. I have never written one of those dreadful Christmas card letters like some people do. If you are one of those people, I'm sure it's because your life is so fantastically thrilling that you just have to share it with everyone. So my comments here are not directed at you. (Whew! That was close!)

So, I figured with everything that has happened in the last year, a Christmas card letter would be appropriate. Ugh! I just finished writing it and it wasn't fun. But, I guess that's the first year for you. Eventually, supposedly, the wounds will start to close and the heaping piles of salt being poured on won't hurt as much.

Coming up on Friday I will be getting a haircut and will be telling my hairdresser about Danny dying because I haven't been to him since a long time ago.

Also, Monday is Danny's 37th birthday. I am thinking of ways to honor him on that day. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 marathon, anyone?

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November 29, 2005

The Season of Preparing

I've just made a stop at http://theobilly.blogspot.com/ where the right Reverend shares some thoughts on Advent, particularly related to the services at his own church.

Which reminded me. That Dan loved Advent. This should be expected of a man whose opinion of Christmas was very Charlie Brown-esque but whose greatest joy in life was making others happy.

Whenever Dan had a gift for me, he always told me I would be receiving a gift well in advance of the actual giving. He knew I hated this. I would always ask him for a clue, even though, deep down, I really did want to wait until the appropriate time.

Here's an excerpt from the reflection by our friend Kelly at his service that will help you understand.

"On my 26th Birthday, a seminary friend hosted a party for me. She asked everyone who came to bring a roll of Mentos, my favorite mints at the time. As the night wore on, I had received at least 50 rolls of Mentos. Dan sat on the couch with a large, obviously gift wrapped box. He told me he had something special for me, and that he would tell me when it was time to open it. Late in the evening, Dan said it was time and handed me the box. He said, "I know you have been getting a lot of Mentos tonight, so I wanted to get you something special, something I thought you would really like." I excitedly peeled back the paper and opened the box. Inside lay 20 rolls of Mentos! Dan just about fell off the couch laughing. “You should have seen the look on the face of the woman who gift wrapped it for me,” he laughed.

Several years later, Dan and Stephanie traveled to our wedding. The morning after our wedding Dan presented Chad and I with a neatly wrapped box. After everyone had gone home, Chad and I carefully unwrapped Dan’s gift. Inside we found a roll of Mentos.

Later when we went to visit Dan and Stephanie, Dan wanted to know what we thought of our wedding gift. He was so proud of himself. For me, Mentos will always be tied to Dan, his wonderful sense of humor and his love for Chad and I."

Dan understood that whether the gift was twenty rolls of Mentos extravagantly wrapped or one Savior wrapped in swaddling clothes, it is the thought and preparation that really matter.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of of hell thy people save
And give them vict'ry o'er the grave

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height
In ancient times did'st give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

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I'm suspecting there's more than missed child support payments behind this.


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Top Ten List

I'm not feeling particularly creative tonight, so let's see what's on the ole MP3 player.

1. The Other Way - Weezer
2. Manic Monday - The Bangles
3. Radio Silence - Elvis Costello
4. Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Go's
5. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight - James Taylor
6. Steal My Body Home - Beck
7. Everybody Has The Blues - James Taylor
8. Nitemare Hippy Girl - Beck
9. The One I Love - R.E.M.
10. Mexico - James Taylor

I was wondering when the JT would start creeping in. JT was a favorite of Dan's. I believe we saw him in concert three times. He probably saw him a few more before we met.

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November 28, 2005

I'll do anything for a good deal.


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Speaking of Holiday Baking

As you will read below, there was much cooking and baking happening for Thanksgiving last week at my sister's. Which, of course, made me think of this:


As Homer Simpson might say "Mmmm . . . doughboys."

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So I got back home Saturday evening to a house of excited (each in their own way) pets and a little snow on the ground. Things seem to be in order.

The church voted in a new Pastor today. I wasn't there. He seems like a decent enough guy, so I didn't figure my vote would matter a whole lot.

Thanksgiving was most excellent. The family gathered at my sister's (in Maryland) and I was the head chef for the occasion. Danny and I always enjoyed cooking together for Thanksgiving, so I was allowed this honor. My menu included turkey (my first ever without the Mister), dressing (ditto), string beans, sweet potatoes, home made cranberry sauce (come on people, it takes ten minutes!), broccoli casserole, chocolate pecan pie, and, of course, gravy. My brother-in-law's mother provided potatoes in some kind of delicious, creamy sauce, cole slaw to rival Chick-fil-A's, and an apple pie with just the right ratio of sweet to tart. My niece made a caramel pecan pie and mixed greens were provided by Glory. I can't wait 'til Christmas!

On the 19th, there was a baby shower for my sister at their church. I didn't get any presents, but the cake was good. Later that day, there was a birthday party for my niece and I who share a birthday. I did receive delightful gifts and cake at that party.

Between the shower/birthday party events and Thanksgiving, I got to visit briefly with some friends in VA. The first visit was with a friend who asked not to be named so I will only mention her as BAM. Then I had a nice visit with other friends and some malling with one of them.

I also got to drive around the campus of Old Dominion University where the Mister and I met. It seemed like each turn I took held some memory of us together. Except for the 3,000 new buildings and parking decks, etc. And to think that when I was there working on my Master's degree, we were all excited about the new food court!

I think that pretty much sums up the last week or so for me.

More posting later as events warrant. Or even if they don't, which will probably be the case.

***How could I have forgotten the most important part of my trip? What, you ask, could be more important than celebrating birthdays, welcoming new lives into the world, visiting with old friends, and giving Thanks for all our blessings?

I SAW HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE!!! And I forgot about it! I'll chalk it up to fatigue, but don't let it happen again!

It was fabulous. Pretty scary, as you would imagine, but also unexpectedly funny. As a matter of fact, I think Professor Snape has some very humourous moments, which is, again unexpected.

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Why can't we all just get along?

Like these guys?


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November 18, 2005

Here I go again.


Now I'm off to Maryland to my sister's for a baby shower and birthday party tomorrow, visiting some friends in Virginia, then the Big Day on Thursday.

I'm going to try to post some things while I'm gone, but here's a little something in case I don't get around to it.

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Give Thanks . . . NOW

No need to wait until everyone's around the table with the food getting cold. Go ahead and give thanks right here and now.

Here are some things I'm thankful for, in no particular order.

1. a good husband, even though I only had him nine years
2. my family
3. my friends
4. Marshmallow Fluff
5. Polly
6. Roxy
7. Francis
8. my MP3 player
9. flannel pajamas
10. Harry Potter
11. good health
12. snow
13. autumn
14. a house with indoor plumbing and heat
15. a God who knows better than I do
16. music
17. Martha Stewart
18. Napster
19. Sirius radio

Posted by Stephanie at 11:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thinking cap . . . on.

Danny had this list of his favorite quotations on his desktop. The first one was used quite often around the house, as I often do not get it. Feel free to share your own favorite quotation(s).

"I don't get it, Big Dan..." -John Goodman in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Not all who wander are lost. – John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. — Napoleon Bonaparte

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. — Thomas a Kempis

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." — Antoine Saint-Exupery

Our revels now are ended: these our actors
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yes, and all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a wrack behind: We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. –William Shakespeare, The Tempest

May you live in interesting times. — Chinese Curse

Clearly he had his own strange way of judging things. I suspect he acquired it from the gospels. — Les Miserables

How can we lose when we're so sincere. — Charlie Brown

“Evangelism is one beggar showing another beggar where to find bread.” –DT Niles

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

William Shakespeare, "Hamlet", Act 1 scene 5

The rest is silence.
William Shakespeare, "Hamlet", Act 5 scene 2

If you're gonna be stupid you gotta be tough. — Joe Byrd

If you want what I have, do what I do. – unknown

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."
- General George S. Patton

"I'm tingling with the secondary fame that comes from your mere acquaintance." - Mnar

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
-- H.L. Mencken

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. — Wayne Gretzky

Everywhere I have sought rest and not found it, except sitting in a corner by myself with a little book. — from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors. — African proverb

Exit, pursued by a bear.
William Shakespeare, Stage direction in "The Winter's Tale"

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. Mark Twain

“It’s over already? It seemed so short.” “You got what everyone gets. You got a lifetime.” – Death (in The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

"The world is poor because her fortune is buried in the sky and all her treasure maps are of the earth."
--Calvin Miller

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW -- What a Ride!" --Anonymous

I've looked that old scoundrel death in the eye many times but this time I think he has me on the ropes.
Douglas MacArthur

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.
Douglas MacArthur

In war there is no substitute for victory.
Douglas MacArthur

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Thanksgiving Facts . . .

Courtesy About.com.

When was the first Thanksgiving celebration held?

The Plymouth Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving celebration in the fall of 1621.

What was the reason for holding a Thanksgiving celebration?

On December 11, 1620 the first Pilgrims (or Puritans, as they were initially known) landed at Plymouth Rock. By the fall of 1621, of the hundred or so passengers who had sailed on the Mayflower, only half were still alive. (Of these, only four were adult women and almost forty percent were children.) The survivors, thankful to be still alive, decided to give a feast.

What was the name of the Wampanoag chief that was invited to the first Thanksgiving feast?

His name was Massasoit. Some ninety Wampanoag tribesmen were present at the feast.

What was the name of the Pilgrim leader who invited the neighboring Wampanoag to the first Thanksgiving?

It was Governor William Bradford who invited them. The reason they were invited is because they were the ones who taught the Pilgrims to cultivate the land, thus making it possible for them to survive.

How long did the first Thanksgiving celebration last?

It lasted three days (the celebration consisted of games as well as food).

Which president proclaimed the first "National Day of Thanksgiving"?

George Washington (in 1789 and then again in 1795).

Even though Thanksgiving was observed most years, it was not an official holiday. What is the name of the woman credited with making Thanksgiving a national holiday?

Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor. She began her Thanksgiving campaign in 1827.

Which president made Washington's "National Day of Thanksgiving" a national holiday?

On October 3, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued a "Thanksgiving Proclamation" that made the last Thursday in November a national holiday. (Before that, the president had to make an annual proclamation naming the day when Thanksgiving was going to be held.)

Who was the last president to change the date of the Thanksgiving holiday?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving to the Thursday before last (the reason was to make the Christmas shopping season longer and thus stimulate the economy).

What happened in 1941?

Congress passed an official proclamation naming Thanksgiving a legal holiday to be observed, from that date forward, on the fourth Thursday in November.

Last but not least...

Who wanted to make the turkey the national bird of the United States of America?

Benjamin Franklin, but he was opposed by Thomas Jefferson. Legend has it that Franklin then named the male turkey a "tom turkey" to spite Jefferson. (The female is called a "hen turkey" and the baby a "poult.")

What part of the turkey is used in a good luck ritual?

The wishbone.

What drink did the Puritans bring with them in the Mayflower?


Hooray Beer! (Sorry. I couldn't help myself.)

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He pretty.

He also sings pretty and plays the piano pretty. If you haven't heard him, you can check him out at the link on the post below. If you don't have time, just think of him as the male Alicia Keys. If you don't know Alicia Keys, shame on you.

john legend.jpg

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November 16, 2005

On The Road Again


Well, I'm off this afternoon to see John Legend perform in Columbus. (When you enter the site, make sure you have your speakers on!)

Be back soon.

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Things You Won't See On Hallmark Cards

OUTSIDE: As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am...
INSIDE: That you're not here to ruin it for me.

OUTSIDE: If I get only one thing for Christmas...
INSIDE: I hope it's your sister.

OUTSIDE: I've always wanted to have someone to hold, someone
to love.
INSIDE: After having met you, I've changed my mind.

OUTSIDE: I must admit, you brought religion into my life.
INSIDE: I never believed in hell 'til I met you.

OUTSIDE: Sex with you is like using drugs:
INSIDE: Lots of people do it, but nobody's stupid enough to
admit it.

OUTSIDE: I'm so miserable without you...
INSIDE: It's almost like you're here.

OUTSIDE: If you ever need a friend...
INSIDE: Buy a dog.

OUTSIDE: Congratulations on your new bundle of joy.
INSIDE: Did you ever find out who the father was?

Via my brother-in-law David.

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November 15, 2005


I guess this is the closest we're going to get to a Sex and the City movie.

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November 13, 2005

I only have eyes for Harry.

I was shocked to see that there are several other movies coming out this holiday season besides Harry Potter. Why would we need another movie? OK, maybe Walk the Line, but come on.

And at least two of them are rip offs of other pretty recent movies. I guess people will watch anything the theatres put out on Thanksgiving day.

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Does anyone else see this?

I was never very good at math or science, but something seems kinda off here.


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November 12, 2005

Top Ten List

1. I Shall Not Be Moved - Johnny Cash
2. Still - Foo Fighters
3. Misguided Angel - Cowboy Junkies
4. Derelict - Beck
5. Sweet Sunshine - Beck
6. Narc - Interpol
7. Heaven Is A Scent - Spandau Ballet
8. You're A Weaver Of Dreams - John Coltrane
9. Handy Man - James Taylor
10. In A Sentimental Mood - John Coltrane

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Also, because I can . . .

I want to wish a happy belated birthday post to Jenn, who turned 27 on Friday. Tonight, there will be a party with Pizza Joe's veggie pizza (the best!) and this delicious cheese dip that Aunt Phyllis found somewhere. Also, ice cream cake.

I predict a long walk with the dog this weekend.

Since I'm next (on Monday), we're turning this whole weekend into a it's-my-birthday-weekend-I-don't-have-to-do-anything festival of whining and laziness.

I have also been told that I can use the widow card for a full two years. Sweet!

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This cat is NEVER going to find a wife.


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Kid Sandwich


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For Adults Only


If your kids see this, don't send them to me for an explanation. You're on your own.

(Photo compliments of Kimm, with whom I am going to try to have lunch one of these days.)

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Popping Culture Reflection

I can't remember exactly why my husband started this blog. I think it was a creative outlet for him and a way to screw around and pretend he was doing something productive.

Whatever the reason, I'm so glad he did it.

Tonight, I finished reading all of the cancer posts Dan wrote. I guess I started about a week ago. It was good medicine. Tough, but good.

So one thought I've had recently is that maybe if we all heed that voice nagging us to do something crazy, maybe we would be much happier. What if Dan had ignored the little voice urging him to start this blog or put it off until another day? None of us would have been the wiser, but having experienced it and imagining life without it is unimaginable. To me, anyhoo.

So the next time you hear that little voice, give it a lot of thought and prayer before you dimiss it as crazy or impossible. It just might change lives.

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November 10, 2005

Looks like these riders got more than they bargained for.


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My Change of Heart

I don't usually like to post (or say, or think) negative things in case someone involved is reading. However, I think this is generic enough that it won't matter too much.

While Danny was sick, I was not allowed to attend church business or committee meetings. If you've ever been to one of these meetings, you probably understand why I, the wife and caretaker of a man with a fatal disease, was forbidden to attend them. If you've never been to one, I'll tell you it's because churches are made up of people and people are not always very sensitive or nice or aware that other people exist.

The first meeting I attended after Danny died I only did so because there were some important things to vote on. I almost left that day directly after church and skipped out on the meeting, but "something" told me to stay. And it's a good thing, because if I (and another friend who showed up directly before the meeting after hemming and hawing about it all day at home)hadn't been there, we would have potentially lost some good friends to The Most Holy and Sacred Church of The Couch. (You know. The one where you get to wear your pajamas and don't have to shower.)

The second meeting I attended was this Sunday. I'm not sure why I stayed for this one. No important vote and the voice of my husband ringing in my head, forbidding me to go.

I'll pause for a moment to just remind everyone that our church members were absolutely fantastic during Danny's illness and after his death. They made sure we were taken care of and bills were paid. Our grass was cut, we had beautiful potted flowers outside our house, and delicious meals every week.

But, boy, did I wish I'd left that meeting on Sunday. I can't tell you how many times I heard someone ask why so-and-so wasn't there or heard someone casually mention that so-and-so was supposed to have taken care of something but hadn't, and what in God's name were we going to do now?

On Monday before the mail arrived, I was still feeling frustrated. Then I went to the mailbox and was excited to see a letter-sized envelope on the front porch from Kenmore, New York. The envelope contained at least a dozen cards and letters from students four to seven years old at Faith Up Church School. Their teacher, Miss Karen, is the sister of Carla who attended Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School with Danny. Both sisters were Popping Culture observers and admireres of Danny. Here are some excerpts from the cards.

Dear Miss Stephanie,
God loves you. We're very sorry that your husband died. We love you with all our hearts. We're sorry that you're sad. We love you.

To Miss Stephanie,
God loves you and cares for you, and so do we.

To Miss Stephanie,
God is there with you through everything. You are in our prayers.

Dear Miss Stephanie,
We love you. We love you with all our hearts.

Wow. What a completely unexpected blessing. I am incredibly grateful for the prayers of these children and for their teacher, Miss Karen, who is showing them how to love.

I am also grateful for the reminder that that there are lots of good people in the world and they're the ones who deserve the attention.

So, THANK YOU to the kids at Faith Up Church School in Kenmore, New York! You guys are the best! And thank you to Miss Karen! I love you, too!

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November 08, 2005

Election Day!

GRACE: Remember when Election Day used to be fun? Passing out leaflets, knocking on doors, ripping our bell-bottoms and running from the fuzz?

WILL: That wasn't us. That was Linc and Julie from "The Mod Squad."

For more Election Day fun, check out this link.

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November 07, 2005

Happy Monday!

I hope your day is better than this mouse's.


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Better late than never.

I was saving this for Halloween and I don't think I ever used it.

The things we do to our pets in the name of cuteness is astounding.


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November 06, 2005

Movie Alert

I have been excited for weeks about the opening of Walk The Line on November 18. As you may recall, I am a fan of The Man in Black, due in part to the Reverend G. Travis Norvell, who I will never again mention because he has a new blog which, I believe, qualifies him as a competitor. Anyhoo, check out The Man rockin the robin's egg blue socks below.


Could it get any better? Evidently, it can. Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire opens, get this, on November 18! Sounds like a moviehouse stake out, to me.

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November 04, 2005

All Hail Ben Folds

Ben Folds rocks! I just don't even know what else to say.

I made it through The Luckiest with an unused tissue in my pocket. But don't think for a second that Ben Folds is just a big sap. If you've never heard him play before, you should check him out. If you have (especially live), give me a hand here with an adequate description. Billy Joel on crack?

I received an e-mail tonight inquiring about The Luckiest, so I figured I might as well post the lyrics. Fabulous.

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face?
Now I see it everyday
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

What if I'd been born fifty years before you
In a house on a street where you lived?
Maybe I'd be outside as you passed on your bike
Would I know?

And in a white sea of eyes
I see one pair that I recognize
And I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you

Next door there's an old man who lived to his nineties
And one day passed away in his sleep
And his wife; she stayed for a couple of days
And passed away

I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong
That I know

That I am
I am
I am
The luckiest

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November 02, 2005

I have no idea what to call this entry.

Well, it's been a week of being aware that my husband is dead. Sorry if that sounds too "real", but there's really no other way to put it. OK, there are other ways to put it, but they seem fake to me.

It was at our church's pumpkin carving last year that we noticed that Danny wasn't feeling well. Of course, at the time, we didn't think much of it, until he discovered the big lump on his back a couple of weeks later. So while the pumpkin carving at my house Friday was fun (who wouldn't have fun with all that candy and smashing pumpkins in the street?), it was also a reminder of how this mess started.

On Sunday, I visited the First Baptist Church of Dorset in Dorset, Ohio. This was Danny's first pastorate. I wanted to visit them before the weather got bad and Sunday was their chili cook off, so that was a no-brainer. It was great visiting them and even judging the chili. Fun, but again, no Danny.

After I left there on Sunday, I went to Brant's apple orchard where Danny and I used to go in the fall for cinnamon twists, caramel apple cookies, and cider. They also have apples. But no Danny.

Then Halloween was Monday. We never really did a whole lot on Halloween since we didn't get trick-or-treaters at our house. But Danny always had dreams of what we would do "one day." He talked about setting up a maze in the back yard and scaring the crap out of kids so we could steal their candy. OK, HE talked about scaring the kids and I talked about stealing their candy. We were a good team that way.

Tomorrow (Thursday), I'm going to a concert alone. I keep telling myself that people do these kinds of things alone all the time, so I can do it, too. All I know is that if Ben Folds breaks into "The Luckiest," I'll be stepping out of the auditorium for a moment.

Also, my birthday is coming up, then Thanksgiving, then his birthday, then Christmas, then New Year's.


That's all I'm saying.

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Time Waster

Need to look busy at work? This should do the trick. Just make sure you don't have speakers on.

By the way, sharing of answers IS allowed.

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