Thursday, July 31, 2003

"Types" of bloggers

Anyone ever tried out Bloginality? I was visiting a few new blogs today, came across a link, and decided to give it a try.

Illinigirl's Bloginality is ESTJ
(Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging)

Save for the part on not tolerating messiness (which bothers me but I have learned to live with because I rarely can clean every day), most of the ESTJ description has me pegged right on the money. It's also interesting because I realize that these are some of my strengths and faults as a's just strange to see them compiled into such a comprehensive listing.

I'd be interested in seeing what those in my blog-circles evaluate to be. I've always held that there is some sort of a connection between personality-typing, the way one sees the world, and the way one chooses a political affiliation. It would an interesting research project for a psychologist...a couple years too late for me, I am afraid.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Real life tears and prayers

One side note...thoughts and prayers go out to Kevin Holtsberry as his grandmother's funeral was today.

Once again this evening, cable provided me with an opportunity to watch A Walk to Remember, and I was sucked right along. I'm not sure why, but a different part of that movie makes me cry every time I see it. Very few movies have every made me cry. Period. In the case of those few movies, I only cried at one specific part. My Girl...only when the bees killed Thomas J and Vada tried to climb into the casket at the funeral. Terms of Endearment...when the Emma gives that tiny wave goodbye to Shirley MacLaine from her hospital bad. Stepmom...where Susan Sarandon gave her cute little son the magician's cape at Christmas before she passed away. Love Story...when Preppie finds out that Jenny is sick and walks home from the doctor's office in a fog. It was all downhill from there.

Anyways, A Walk to Remember is not the world's greatest movie. In some ways it's quite formulaic and it de-emphasizes the "importance of faith" theme at the center of Nicholas Sparks's novel. However, it does emphasize some positive themes...forgetting what's popular to do what's right, respect for oneself and for God, making the most of ourselves in the time we have been given. Shane West does a nice job playing the bad boy turned good, and Mandy Moore seems to have quite a bit more acting power than the other pop princesses. Overall, I'd have to give it a B+, since I have seen it half a dozen times and I still can't pry myself away from the TV when it's airing.

Anybody have any other recommendations for romantic movies / tearjerkers? Just in case I feel like a little variety someday...
guts & principles in iowa city

As I have mentioned on the blog before, I love Iowa City. I spent several weeks attending camps there during high school, and I fell in love with the town, the great ethnic restaurants, the brick mall, and Hy-Vee. Don't get me started on how much I like Hy-Vee...a finer grocery store chain I have never seen.

My love of Iowa City is somewhat irrational because it is probably third in line for the title of "Most Foolhardily-Liberal Big Ten University Town" -- behind Madison and Ann Arbor, ahead of Champaign-Urbana. Generally, the politics I observed in Iowa City drove me crazy, especially so when I returned to visit in my post-baccaulaureate days. I was never quite ballsy enough to voice my displeasure though, especially when I felt so clearly in the minority.

It appears that someone in Iowa City has the necessary guts and principle this week. Ben Domenech recently mentioned an extremely thought-provoking letter to the editor on partial-birth abortion in the Washington Times. Dr. Hanes Swingle has written a solid piece discussing his disheartening experiences with late-term and partial-birth abortion as a resident in the 1970s. He also points out the conundrum from a medical perspective -- many of the babies being aborted at 24/26 weeks could survive as premature babies with today's technology. He may be ostracized in Iowa City for the forseeable future, but I salute him for at least having the courage to make such hard truths known.
Morning folks!

Bit of trouble with DSL last night. Lost a couple posts but I'm hoping to catch up on them shortly - this afternoon, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Byron Blog-o-Cabinet

Mark Byron is doing a bit of daydreaming today that he might become politically famous in the next few years and end up with his Byron/Santorum presidential ticket beating Hillary in 2008. He has up a rather interesting outline of his potential cabinet o' bloggers.

So far I have been mentioned as a potential deputy secretary or an ambassador to an exotic locale. Perhaps this is a result of my relative anonymity. While regular readers might know that Dr. Byron is an economic expert, Jason/Bobby/Josh are aspiring lawyers, and Ben is a speechwriter, all anyone really knows about me is that I work in the IT sector. To give you a bit more insight, I spend most of my time working with the Internet and how to best adapt computer systems for business purposes.

So while she may lack advanced credentials, illinigirl would like to submit her name for the position of Technology Czarina. I've got a solid understanding of the Internet in relation to the business world, a very real understanding of issues within the IT sector, and a bit of knowledge about biomedical engineering and artificial intelligence to boot. Plus, how cool-sounding a title is that? Technology Czarina...sweet.

Replacing GWB's tech czar Democrat John H. Marburger III, I'd anticipate working under Brink Lindsey/Larry Reed within the Department of Economic Development.

Second choice? Ambassador to New Zealand. A breathtakingly beautiful country that turned about as far left as possible...and has now begun to turn around in the "right" direction. While I have never traveled there, my friends from Down Under have assured me that I'd love it. Who am I to argue?

Amended 8/11/03: Post has been altered slightly due to privacy concerns
Mark it on your calendars

A somewhat historic event has occurred yesterday. Governor Hot Rod has made a legislative move I support, at least for the purely selfish and obvious reasons. Hooray for semis not running us off the road!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Chicago Hot Rod versus Springfield Insiderz

Discovered a great new Illinois blog tonight, a new can of worms by Greg Blankenship. It turns out that Mr. Blankenship is the director of the Illinois Policy Institute, a self-proclaimed non-partisan "free market oriented think tank dedicated to state public policy issues in Illinois." It makes me happy just to realize that such a thing exists.

I was intrigued by his long, deliberate post on my buddy Rod! As regular readers know, the governor of Illinois is not my favorite person. There is something incredibly slimy, insincere, and almost Clintonesque about the man.

Apparently many Illinois officials have come to the same conclusion lately, as both Republican Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka and Democrat Secretary of
State Jesse White found out in the past few weeks. Apparently the governor reneged on a last-minute deal to spare both their budgets the axe, chopping $2 million and $46 million from them respectively. The AP has begun to notice that many politicians are not happy with Blago and his tactics. Generally in my mind, this would be a demonstration of his arrogance, blatant disregard for fellow legislators/official, and love of showmanship for the camera. I wouldn't be surprised if he actually pulled this stunt in order to cause a stink with all the legislators and come off looking like a reformer.

Mr. Blankenship provides a more optimistic take on this matter -- that Governor Hot Rod, while he may be manipulating the media with his political motives in mind, is seeking public debate on issues such as prescription drugs, tax cuts/increases, Medicaid Reform, and fiscal problems facing the state. He is all for this twenty-first century approach of taking issues to the people, and he believes that Rod's efforts to bring such issues up for public debate could actually end up working in favor of Illinois conservatives. (One can only hope...)

I still haven't seen Rod do much more than quietly swipe his pen across a piece of legislation up in Chicago, but I will agree that Rod's antics with the legislators in Springfield are making the media take notice of Illinois legislation on a regular basis. I also like Mr. Blankenship's new nickname for the guv, Hot Rod. May have to borrow that one myself from time to time :)

p.s. Make that two good Illinois blogs I discovered. Via Bill Dennis (aka Peoria Pundit), I stumbled across Random Acts of Kindess, a blog run by the Executive Director of the Illinois Libertarian party, Jeff Trigg. He has quite a few bones to pick with the Blago family as well.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Nothing of significance

I've been trolling the internet this evening, but I can't seem to find anything important to post about. A few random reflections...

There's some speculation that Hillary may run in 2004. Can you believe it? (To me, it looks like a possible NY Senate race against Rudy Giuliani has her running scared).

Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. We were listening to the Score on our way up to Chicago Friday, and we definitely had our fill. The only person in this whole mess that I feel too much sympathy for is his daughter Natalia, who turned six months old on Saturday. I was inclined to feel sympathy for his wife before I stopped to listen to the press conference. While I found her statement brave, it somehow bothered me that she acted like the adultery was such a minor problem. Less than three weeks this occurs, here she is the deed was done, here she is at the press conference trumpeting what a great person her husband is, "I know Kobe better than anyone. The great person you see on the court and in the public is a far greater person off the court." Perhaps I'm being a bit too old-fashioned here, but in my opinion truly great people don't jeopardize their marriage and their career by cheating on their spouses.

I really liked that new Black-Eyed Peas song until I realized two things. #1 Justin Timberlake is featured within this tune #2 The following lyrics:
"Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism, But we still got terrorists here livin’, In the USA, the big CIA, The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK"

I am sure that not-so-wonderful things happen within the CIA occasionally, but overall they are here to protect the American public. I find it offensive that hundreds of Americans who are working hard and (in some cases) risking their lives to ensure our security...that they can be compared to the KKK and gang-bangers by these few musicians who are doing zilch to serve and protect our great nation. How their blood must boil when they hear this song...

That's it for now. Hopefully there will be some more interesting news tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Random notes

My husband thinks this is hilarious. If the glove doesn't fit, then you must induct Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame. (So asserts Johnnie Cochran in a mock trail against Alan Dershowitz at

Lee Anne Millinger discusses an interesting article over at Boundless on watching your words and being a better listener. This is of particular interest to me, as I am one of the people mentioned in the article who will talk about anything to avoid an uncomfortable silence. I also have a tendency towards gossip and impatient interruption that I am working to mollify at present. The article is definitely worth a read though for Christians and anyone just pondering what it means to be a "better person".

That last sentence makes me think of How to Be Good. Nick Hornby anyone? It's a more philosophical book than High Fidelity or About a Boy, questioning some of society's PC mantra and chronicling one woman's attempts to make herself a "better person". I definitely found it worth a read...can't wait to see the move in a few years. :) Any guesses on who will be cast as the female equivalent of John Cusack/Hugh Grant?

Prayers and best wishes go out to Meredith over at Inner Monologues as she recovers from a scary-sounding fall down a flight of steps.

That's it for now. Leaving for another wedding tomorrow but I'm hoping to post sometime this weekend. Enjoy!
Illinigirl salutes a liberal...

Let it never be said that I won't give liberals credit when credit is due. Tony Blair's speech to Congress today was stirring and impressive. In one short speech, he managed to refocus the discourse on the war on terrorism where it belongs -- that this is all about fighting "the virus of terrorism" and to prevent terrorist organizations from "dividing the world in hate".

I do realize that Tony Blair is just about as socially liberal as they come. However, by no means do I think that he is a bad person. The past year has firmly convinced me that he is a man of principle. He stated his case for fighting this battles and has stood by his beliefs, despite taking a beating in the polls.

However when it comes to individuals like the Clintons and John Edwards, I just find it difficult to believe that they are in politics chiefly to make this world a better place. When I look at them, I see people who are in it for the power, the prestige, and the pocketbook. Everything they do seems calculated and manipulative, about putting themselves in a better situation politically.

This is not to say that the Bush administration is not guilty of some such behavior. I have been pretty disappointed as I watched the President back away from his promises on Title IX and create large federal entitlement programs like the recent prescription drug benefit package. I think these were moves that the adminstration felt they had to make, to maintain a certain degree of popularity and win favor by handing out "free ice-cream" (tm byron) to the moderates.

The difference between political conservatives and political liberals does not have to be that great. In many cases, we want the same things for individuals in our country. We want them to be free, to have jobs, to put food on the table, to have access to health care. The difference is that I, the conservative, would like to see these changes accomplished through tough defense, a roaring free market, and private or religious charity. I just don't happen to believe that the federal government is the most effective and/or appropriate means of dealing with these problems. I'd like to see tolerance come about as a result of a natural change in our society, people valuing one another for who they are regardless of ethnicity or special-interest affiliation...not as the result of laws that magically grant some minority groups more privileges than others.

Bobby A-G and Kevin Holtsberry have recently written about the media's misuse of language regarding politics. "Soundbyte rhetoric" is in full effect lately, as each one of the nine presidential candidates has been spewing the most controversial, confrontational accusations in order to get his voice heard. (Or her voice heard -- can't forget Illinois's own shady Carol Mosely-Braun!)

I have not seen one candidate that has the courage to support the President on this war...even though several of them voted for it just months ago. (If this uranium evidence was so troubling, why didn't they look into it after the SOTU address? It's no more their job to do so than it is that of the president.)

How refreshing it was to turn on the news today and see a liberal politician with principles...even if it's too bad we had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to find one. Tonight, Illinigirl salutes Tony Blair.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Notes on uranium mania

Hello, mainstream media? Just for future reference, I do not care about the veracity of one English claim about Iraq buying uranium from Africa. The fact here is that intelligence agencies supplied this information to the president -- perhaps not as concrete fact but as a reasonable assertion. It's not the President's job to be a CIA agent as well. He (or his speechwriters) took the best information supplied and ran with it. Condi Rice has been quoted as saying, "The CIA cleared the speech in its entirety," Rice said. "If the CIA — the director of Central Intelligence — had said, 'Take this out of the speech,' it would have been gone...We wouldn't put anything knowingly in the speech that was false." I believe her.

Wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on a hearing to "prove" one line of an enormous speech? Ridiculous.

Hello, Democratic senators and presidential candidates? Your false bravado and predictions about exposing Bush as a liar are not going to win you votes with mainstream Americans. Extremely partisan Democrats might be impressed, but they are already in your corner.

Hello, Terry McAuliffe? "This may be the first time in recent history that a president knowingly misled the American people during the State of Union address" Do you understand how ironic that statement sounds? Not to mention just plain untruthful.

I have wasted far too much bandwidth discussing this already. Let's stop to consider a few facts we do know that point towards Iraq's involvement with biochemical and nuclear weapons:

* Weapons evidence against Iraq, circa 1998
* Iraq made life tough for weapons inspectors
* UN report on 22 pounds of uranium that may have been stolen from Iraq's largest nuclear research facility

* More to follow later as time/research allows.

Explanations? Excuses?
So much for posting soon. Let's just say that life has not been cooperating the past week or so. Mother Nature apparently did not want me to blog last week, as Central Illinois was suffering from hurricane-force windstorms and flash floods.

On Tuesday, the Best Buy store in Bloomington lost its big, neon twenty foot yellow tag to either excessive winds or a never-confirmed funnel cloud. Wednesday night, Champaign-Urbana reported torrential flash-floods, and Normal had rains of "hundred-year flood proportions" hit Normal -- 8 inches in 6 hours. An area creek over-flowed and left firefighters rescuing the employees of an area pizza place. (If you haven't ever had Monical's Pizza, you are missing out. It's one of the best kept secrets in the Midwest).

So two nights during the week that I could blog...we had no power. The weekend saw the husband and I leaving town as we were both standing up in the wedding of two close friends. Where did we head off to? Ronald Reagan's old stomping grounds in Dixon, affectionately referred to by my family as "the land that time forgot". It's one of the few places I have been in the Midwest where one could drive through downtown and forget what decade it really is. The wedding was lovely, but we arrived home Sunday exhausted.

All that being said, let me thank God that we (and our house) made it through the week intact and get down to posting. I can't promise much in the way of thoughtful, long-winded posts until life settles down in August, but I will be around.

Monday, July 07, 2003

My summer vacation...
Wunderbar! I'm back. Refreshed and somewhat renewed, but the trip was definitely not long enough. It did allow for me to spend the Fourth frolicking in the ocean and reading under a cabana though, so I cannot complain. Now as for my "all-day waterproof SPF 48" sunscreen that still allowed for me to turn lobster-red...well that's another story.

Rejuvenating. The week off was a relief for both the body and the soul -- allowing sometime for soul-searching, reading Mere Christianity, Bible study, and reflection. To quote a wise man for whom I have tremendous respect (my father), "You cannot control other people's actions, all you can control is your reaction to them."

Southern. I love the Southeast. I'm not sure why. It may be the architecture or the leisurely pace of life or the food or the history. Every time I vacation near Charleston (SC), Savannah, or New Orleans, I leave town convinced that I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Harrowing. Want to know the definition of the word? Navigating through Hartsfield International Airport the Sunday night after the Fourth of July.

Enjoyable. Finally saw a few good movies. I cannot say enough great things about Bend It Like Beckham. It the first movie I have seen in ages that left me feeling happy and inspired. Well worth my $8.50 and I am one cheap little lady!

That's it for now. Catching up on household tasks and others' blogs, but I hope to have a few good offerings tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

administrative notes

Just a quick note -- I apologize for the long unanticipated absence. I have been dealing with a great deal of turmoil in my personal life over the last week, and I've also been working 10-11 hour days for my most recent project. Put it all together and I've been in no shape to blog.

The reason I have time to blog today? I am on v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n! The hubby and I are taking off early tomorrow morning for five days on the beach in South Carolina. We haven't had a nice trip (unrelated to a wedding) in ages, and we are both really looking forward to this one. I ended up off the past two days to prepare, yet getting hardly anything done. Yesterday was spent recovering from yet another sinus virus and the severe sunburn I acquired Saturday. Today was spent packing and running errands, as we are embarking on a can't-put-if-off-any-longer bathroom renovation project and needed to finish alterations for weddings later in July.

Started a couple posts today, but none of them got finished and made the cut. Sadly, I must report that I will be spending the next five days sans computer on the South Carolina shore. If the resort has a terminal or I find an internet cafe, I will be certain to check in here. Otherwise enjoy the links on the right and have a wonderful Independence Day!