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December 31, 2005

2005 Bites; 2006 Not Looking Much Better

I don't know how this works for other widows, but New Year's Eve has surprisingly been the worst so far. Worse than my birthday or his, worse than autumn or Halloween, worse than Thanksgiving or Christmas. I think this is so for two reasons. New Year's is all about reflecting on the past year and looking forward to the coming year. Well, my past year sucked and the coming year doesn't look too hot, either. I know things will get better and Jesus loves me and blah, blah, blah. But I still have eight months of firsts ahead of me so I'm not real excited about watching the ball drop at midnight tonight.

Also, this is the last year my husband was alive. He never saw 2006. No memory of 2006 will have anything to do with him. Right now, I just can't imagine a whole year with no Danny.

I'm not sure yet how I will not be celebrating the arrival of 2006. As far as I'm concerned, it can stay away for another year. I may be with friends or I may decide to curl up with a good Lunesta until the deed is done and pretend it didn't happen until I have to record something in my check register.

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December 30, 2005

Top Stories of 2005

the onion.jpg

Bush Elected President Of Iraq

Asian Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Kashmir Earthquake Battle For Natural Disasty Award

Pope Died As He Lived: Propped Up For Public Viewing

North Korea Nukes Self In Desperate Plea For Attention

Brain-Dead Americans Defend Brain-Dead Florida Woman

Prince Charles Weds Longtime Horse

Losing Super Bowl Team Gets Locker-Room Condolence Call From John Kerry

Theory Of Intelligent School-Board Design Disproven

White House Celebrates Fifth Straight Year Without Oral Sex

Pitt, Aniston To Quietly Separate

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Before shutting the downstairs down for the night, I poured myself a tall glass of water to drink whilst checking my e-mail. I have no new e-mails and I just had a shot of ACT fluoride mouthwash and can't drink my water for another 30 minutes, so I guess I'll take a second to update you all on my exciting life.

Christmas was spent in MD with my family including the new baby, David Robert. I got back home Tuesday evening.

I had an EMG today and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. I'd noticed some symptoms over the years, but not frequently enough to worry about it. The symptoms became more frequent mid-November. The tests were not fun. But, I have yet to discover a medical test that involves eating a box of chocolate and hugging kittens, so you gotta do what you gotta do.

Oh, also, I have a job. I actually started the weekend before Christmas and worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 5:00 am to 1:30. (If you've ever noticed the post times on this blog, you may be surprised that I can get up early enough to go to work at 5:00 am.) I am working at a bakery near my house part time. So far, I have enjoyed it and the people I work with are very nice.

On Monday, I'm going back on Weight Watchers. As you may or may not remember, Dan and I both lost weight on WW a couple years ago. I stopped pretty much last year after I had pneumonia. Then after Danny was diagnosed with cancer, I put a halt to that nonsense. I remember one day we spent in Cleveland seeing doctors and we had to drive back home in the snow at night for three hours and I couldn't bear the thought of eating a salad after that ordeal. Fortunately, I've been able to keep off the weight I lost then. Well, until the last few days, anyway, but holiday weight doesn't count.

That's all for now. I'll try to check in Friday with some New Year's thoughts.

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December 28, 2005

Lazy Sunday

This is freakin' hilarious!

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December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays!

merry christmas.jpg

I'll be leaving tomorrow so I thought I'd send out holiday wishes to you all now, just in case I don't have time tonight. See you next week.

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Man's best friend or early detection system?

This story via Dan at Any day above ground is a good one.

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December 21, 2005

Brain Candy, revisited

December 21, 2004

Brain Candy, domestic

Time does not bring relief

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go - so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, 'There is no memory of him here!'
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

Edna St Vincent Millay

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Happy Festivus!

This looks like a holiday I could really get into.


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Top Ten Signs You Chose The Wrong Guy For A Carpool

10. "Before starting the car, hands you an organ donor card"

9. "Says he can fit one more if you sit on his lap"

8. "Keeps asking if you'd like to learn about the joys of Scientology"

7. "Turns to you and says, 'Hey, wanna see the airbags?'"

6. "Introduces you to his friend Chet, but there's no one else in the car"

5. "Keeps playing Regis' Christmas CD"

4. "Wants you to think of it not so much as a carpool, but a getaway car"

3. "The three carpoolers in the back are bound and gagged"

2. "Never met him yet his dashboard is covered with polaroids of you"

1. "Whenever you stop at a red light, gently strokes your thigh"

Via Dave Letterman

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New Jersey: It Always Smells Like This

New Jersey Looks For New State Slogan.

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Gotta love this.

I wonder if this will be featured on VH1's Top 3000 Celebrity Break Ups of 2005?

britney spears.jpg

P.S. I love the kicker at the bottom.

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Still here.

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. It's been a rough week and a half.

Is Christmas over yet?

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December 15, 2005

Speaking of cats . . .

I think Jake and Elwood were the only cats we had that might have let us do this kind of thing. Too bad we didn't know about this while they were here.

stuff on cats.jpg

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Baby, it's cold outside.

This should warm you up. Enjoy!

hey baby.jpg

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You're never too young for Maxim.

And everyone credits J.K. Rowling with getting kids to read.

Interesting stuff in this mag.jpg

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I'm an aunt!

Actually, I was already the aunt to a wonderful 16 year old girl (born on my birthday, by the way), so I guess I'm an aunt AGAIN.

David Robert Burket was born to my sister Amy, her husband David, and my niece Tara (the 16 year old) tonight at 7:32 pm. He was 6 pounds, 7.5 ounces with dark brown eyes and dark brown hair.

Word on the street has it that both David and Tara were in the room for the delivery. Quite the bonding moment, wouldn't you say?

I will be seeing the little fella next week when I go out for Christmas. I can't wait to get him a little Green Bay uniform to wear!

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December 13, 2005

Narnia Targeted To Christians

Via The Onion.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Narnia Targeted To Christians

The film adaptation of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the first installment of the Chronicles Of Narnia series, is being marketed strongly to a Christian audience. What do you think?
Young Woman

Marta Osburn,
Travel Agent
"Do they realize this movie is all about people coming out of closets?"

Harry Sousa,
"It's high time we Christians fought back against those Hollywood elitists with our own movie about sorcery and witchcraft."

Cody Slaughter,
Sales Agent
"Instead, they should market King Kong to Christians. Wouldn't it be awesome if Jesus were an enormous, rampaging ape?"

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Go Pack Go

Last night I watched the second half of the Green Bay game. Since I've been busy the last few months and haven't been able to watch them very faithfully this season, I'd like to thank them for actually winning this one. It was pretty exciting.

And good ole' Brett Favre is talking about returning next season. With Javon Walker back and healthy (sans Drew Rosenhaus as his agent) and Ahman Green back and healthy, 2006 should be a much better season.

The bottom line for me is that I just can't imagine watching the Pack play without Favre. Now I know how Miami fans feel.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

This photo should strike fear in the hearts of all cat owners this Christmas.

This is my friends' cat, Blaze. A Christmas tree killed his uncle.


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December 12, 2005

December 12, 2004

Brain Candy

On Turning Ten
by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

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Top Ten List

1. Look Sharp! - Joe Jackson
2. Lonestar - Norah Jones
3. Canary in a Coalmine - The Police
4. Wild Honey - U2
5. Rollover D.J. - Jet
6. You're All I need To Get By - Marvin Gaye
7. Stacked Crooked - The New Pornographers
8. No Sleep Till Brooklyn - Beastie Boys
9. Times Like These - Foo Fighters
10. For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder

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Richard Pryor Made Audiences Laugh, Think

65, like 36, is too young to die. Story here.

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December 11, 2005

Christmas Miracle

My Christmas party was tonight and it was a success. Many Chick-fil-A nuggets were consumed along with other things that were not Chick-fil-A nuggets. To me, that is the measure of a good party.

There was also a nice Christmas surprise. Roxy and Francis are now best friends. Ever since Francis got his shots and was free to roam the house, he would stroll over to Roxy's door and shove his arms underneath. This worried me at first, but Roxy always seemed excited by this and I never came home to find cat appendages strewn about her room. Tonight, I put a table across the doorway between her room and the kitchen and Francis took it upon himself to pay her a visit. I was terrified when I first saw them, but they seemed to enjoy playing together. Roxy even let Francis eat from her bowl and lay down in her bed. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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Overdo it much?

This is almost embarrassing. This is a picture of my Christmas trees. Yes, I said "trees." I got this crazy idea from a Christmas display a few nights ago. Of course, they used artificial pencil trees, but I have to have a live tree, or trees, in this case. If it makes you (or me) feel any better, I did get a good package deal on them.

In related news, Francis has not tried to scale any of them yet and has not ripped any ornaments from their branches.


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December 09, 2005

Record Low in Youngstown, Ohio

Record low temperature, that is.

It was 2 degrees at some point Thursday morning which beat the record for the same date in 1977 when it hit 5 degrees.

It has been snowing like crazy here since about 9:00 tonight.

Just thought you should know.

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World marks 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder

Yahoo! news story here.

john lennon.jpg

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No Hell below us
Above us only sky.

Imagine all the people
Living for today ...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace ...

You, you may say I am a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world ...

You, you may say I am a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one.

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December 07, 2005

Somebody get Martha Stewart on the Horn

I'm working on getting my grocery list ready for the party Saturday. So I brought up a box of Town House crackers because I need to add the ingredients for the Pecan Cranberry Spread to my list. Then I noticed something that changed my life. A serving suggestion for the very recipe I am making. Cheese on crackers? What will they think of next? Peanut butter on bread?


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I'm a widow. Amuse me.

One last bit of ridiculousness before I shut down for the night. Here's another place close to home.


I always told Danny I thought it'd be fun to get some teal paint late one night and do this:

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A girl can dream, can't she?

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The Battle Continues

I wonder if Elyse is Kevin Henson's wife? (See November 29 if you don't get this.)


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Funny and True

As previously mentioned on this blog, I sometimes do not "get" it. This proved infinitely humorous to Mr. Popping Culture. Here is a funny and true (and disturbing?) story.

Just months after we were married, the Mr. gave me a little word scramble to solve. I believe my instructions were to re-arrange the following letters to spell out the name of a character sometimes seen on a blimp: onsoyp. After a few minutes of deliberation, I inquired of my husband who "Spoony" was. We enjoyed that joke for many years. Some of us enjoyed it a little too much, if you ask me.

So please amuse me now as I share this with you. This is a photo of a sign at a restaurant down the street from me. For some reason, every time I drive by, I read "WE STUFF CABBAGE" and wonder why they feel the need to advertise that they stuff cabbage.


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Holiday Time Waster

I think Danny may have posted this link last year. It seems familiar except that I don't remember shaking the globe while the little guy was coming down the hill.

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December 05, 2005

Happy Birthday To Danny!


He would have been 37 today.

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December 04, 2005

This is a smart cat.


There's an inch and a half of snow on the ground and it is 22 degrees outside. She probably wonders why I haven't staked out a vent, too.

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Good Gift Giving

As I mentioned earlier, I like to look back at the postings of Mr. Popping Culture just to see and remember what was going on. I just read a post of his from after Christmas regarding the receipt of plenty of gift cards. (December 27, 2004). That is another thing I will miss about him. Not the actual gift (although gifts are nice) but the thought he put into and excitement he experienced purchasing, wrapping, and presenting the gift.

That's why on my birthday this year I felt down because I knew I wouldn't be receiving that special Dan gift on my birthday. And the tables were turned on me. My friends Jenn and Julie remembered my fondness for Marshammlow Fluff while they were flipping through one of those mail order catalogues everyone gets when they found this.

m fluff.jpg

The perfect gift! And they included two tubs of Marshmallow Fluff with it.

Even though Danny is gone and I know some things will never be the same, there have been pleasant surprises over the last few months that indicate that there are other good people in the world. So that's been my focus recently; to stick around the people I know and like and trust and keep others at arms distance until I feel ready to deal with them.

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Warning: Inactivity Ahead

FYI - My annual Christmas party is on December 10. If you are my husband, which you are not, you know exactly what this means: house cleaning and straightening and shopping and cooking and craziness of epic proportions. The week will culminate in what the Mr. used to call my "frenzy" for about two hours before the party starts. This year, I hope to have showered, dressed, and dried my hair BEFORE the guests arrive.

What does this mean for you? I may not be around much this week and when I am, I may not have much time to offer. So, good and faithful readers, keep checking in for tidbits of my life now and then. Hopefully I'll get back on track for a few days before leaving for Christmas.

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December 03, 2005

Another Blast From The Past

A few weeks ago, Julie (you're on the interweb, Julie!) helped me bring down all of the boxes from the attic so I could start sorting through all of the junk Danny and I moved with us from Chesapeake to Richmond to Bowling Green back to Richmond to Louisville to Boardman to Youngstown. Needless to say, it's a lot of junk. But I've also found some very interesting items that Danny kept. So prepare yourselves for some good Danny stories accompanied by visual aids in the next few weeks.

Here's the first one, with accompanying explanation. You know how, at theme parks these days, they put cameras at strategic parts of some of the rides so they can sell you a "souvenir" in an attempt to empty your wallet of it's entire contents? Well, one day when we were dating, we ventured to King's Dominion in Richmond with our friends Jim, Bonnie, and Scott. We were having a great time riding rides and suddenly Danny became obsessed with finding a roll of Mentos. (Mentos are becoming a theme on this blog.) After searching all of the high-priced gift shops, we finally found them, thinking that Danny's need for refreshment had been fulfilled. He, however, had other plans. Shortly after this important acquisition, Danny, Jim, Scott, and I decided to ride The Hurler in the Wayne's World section of the park. We had already ridden it that day, so it was, as Linda Richman would say, "no big whoop." Jim, Scott, and I innocently waited in line and took our seats on the ride. We were thrilled by the speed of the coaster and the wind in our hair. Then, as we approached the point at which the camera was located, something very odd happened. Danny reached into his pocket and produced . . . the roll of Mentos! He had planned for this moment for hours, literally. The time or two we had already been on The Hurler that day were simply reconnaisance to him to locate the camera. And what we thought was certainly madness in seeking out that darn roll of Mentos did, indeed, possess a method.

While the rest of us were raising our hands and smiling big, goofy smiles or giving the camera the finger, Danny was one-upping us with his signature cleverness.

Of course, we had to buy the photo. I'm glad we did.


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Stowaway cat arrives home from France.

Details here.

Personally, I think she was just an embarrassed Green Bay fan trying to leave town.

Nice try, Emily.

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