Friday, October 24, 2003

End of an era

Reading about today's retirement of the Concorde makes me a bit sad. Safety comes first, but I always wanted to give it a try. RIP supersonic airliner.

Whether or not the memo was intentionally leaked, I just really like Donald Rumsfeld. His memo questioning the war? I'm glad to see confirmation out there that someone in this adminstration IS asking the important questions. I'm kind of surprised that the press is even reporting this memo, as they seem to regularly assert that the Bush administration is just war-hungry and blindly fighting their hearts out.

I don't think it's the beginning of the end for him (as the MSNBC article wants to assert). I think it's a breath of fresh air, and it may lead to a more thorough examination of what the American people want us to do in Iraq and what we MUST do. Here's to hoping that we can find a nice compromise of those two.
Supporting Bartman

I love the Cubs as much as the next guy. I'm still a bit heartbroken about their loss. But I agree with Rick Sutcliffe and everyone else on one fact: the reason the Cubs are not in the World Series is not Steve Bartman.

The reason the Cubs are not in the World Series was their total loss of focus, their mental collapse if you will in Games 6 and 7. Yes, game 6 was going fine up until that cursed foul ball. However, it was Moises Alou's angry reaction, always-calm Prior getting hysterical on the mound, the wild pitch, the Alex Gonzalez error on the double play ball...that was what led to the Cubs losing the NLCS. It was a wholehearted mental and emotional collapse that could still be felt during Game 7.

In the past few weeks, Steve Bartman has definitely had more than his 15 minutes of fame. He was parodied on Saturday Night Live, he's been offered interviews from all sorts of people, he's been talked about from New York to San Antonio to LA. He's spent the past few weeks in seclusion, reportedly depressed and trying to hide from all the threats and harassment that have been thrown his way.

He came out with a final statement on the incident today -- refusing all interviews about the incident and donating any gifts pitched his way to the Chicago chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in the name of Ron Santo.

While the picture I had posted last week was a tad funny, what has occurred in the resulting days is not. After reading his last statement, I've decided to remove the image from my site. Steve Bartman has proven himself a class act. I hope everyone starts to leave him alone now - starting with me. It sounds like he just wants his life back. Who can blame him for that?
No place like home

Sorry for the long lapse here. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I am going on a couple business trips for work this month. Couple that with the fact that I won't use my work computer for personal business...and I was up a creek for internet access last week. Not to the Hilton chain: listing a public business center as a seemingly-free hotel amenity and then charging your guest 50 cents a minute for access? Not cool.

Texas was pretty cool though. My husband was able to accompany me on this first trip, so we mixed business with pleasure and spent the weekend in San Antonio. Pretty fabulous town -- we had a lot of fun and good food down on the Riverwalk. (Dinner at Boudro's and a visit to Howl at the Moon piano bar are musts if you are in the area.) Then it was off to Austin for a seminar. It's an impressive town -- constantly growing, some pretty interesting nightlife. The highway system down in Texas leaves a bit to be desired though -- I was happy to leave the goofy highway exits and crazy pickup trucks behind. Back to Illinois for a couple BUSY days at work as I am leaving Sunday night for another business trip to Virginia.

Let's just say the glamorous, jet-setting lifestyle of an executive? I don't think I could maintain it. I'm beat. I've been struggling to keep my eyes open past 8 pm. I wouldn't be posting tonight if I hadn't snuck in a half-hour nap earlier this evening. I haven't seriously exercised in a week, and my muscles are doing all sorts of goofy things.

Overall though, I really do enjoy traveling. I like getting out there and seeing the world, reminding myself that people live their lives in different ways. Not necessarily better or worse ways...just different. After a few days though, I look forward to coming home. For all the complaining I may do on a regular basis, I really do love my life here. I'm blessed, and I'm going to try to remind myself of this fact on a regular basis.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

no joy in mudville

It seems the mighty Cubbies have struck out. A 3-1 series lead has turned into a heartbreaking defeat. I doubt anyone in the Midwest is more unhappy about this situation than Steve Bartman, who may have to enter the federal Witness Protection program at the rate things are going.

You know the drill. Say it with me fellow Cub fans: There's always next year. :( Now I just have to convince my husband.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Other stuff

I'm working on a post about the Rush situation, but I couldn't get my thoughts to flow well tonight. My perfectionist tendencies are getting the best of me, and I have scrapped it for the time being.

I have poked a little fun at Jessica Simpson about Newlyweds, but this article on MSNBC that questions whether she was raised by French poodles just seems mean-spirited. Yes she says stupid things and is a bit spoiled, but at least she has her head on straight. She's come through teen stardom fairly well and seemingly stood by her morals and remained close to her family. I really do respect the fact that she was such a proud advocate of waiting until the wedding night for sex. (Although it would be nice to see a famous male with that same enthusiasm at some point). Despite all the dippiness, I would hold her up to my daughter as a role model in that respect. That's definitely worth something.

As this FoxNews article notes, men's jewelry-buying duties are not over after the wedding! Push presents are de rigeur here in Central Illinois. I know several women who have received them lately -- one even pushing up the baby's arrival by a few days to land a certain birthstone. This article makes it sound a bit crass, but guys? If your wife is going to be incredibly uncomfortable for six to eight months of her life and endure several hours of agonizing labor...if you can afford it, is a small remembrance too much to ask? My advice to you -- don't even argue about this one. Buy her something meaningful before it even becomes an issue.

Friends from Michigan were in town for the weekend, so we journeyed over to Champaign for the Illinois - Michigan State game. It was a gorgeous afternoon for least if you weren't part of the Illinois defense. It was a painful game to watch for the Illini Nation, but I must admit Michigan State looked good. Except for Sparty's dancing which I think was still outclassed by Chief Illiniwek's Three-in-One.

Administrative note: As of next Friday, posting may be even more sporadic than usual for two weeks. I'm going on a couple trips for work, and squeezing in a little time with seldom-seen family and friends as well. One week I'll be in the great republic of Texas, home for a couple days, and then it's off to northern Virginia. I am going to be a BUSY girl, but if I can find a public computer, I will make a concerted effort to post.
A few days off...

And the world has changed. Arnold -- goodbye
Terminator, hello Governator. Rush -- goodbye radio, hello rehab. Da Cubs -- goodbye post-season collapse, hello World Series?

Even though only three teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit, last night's defeat by the Marlin's proved it's a bit too soon to get cocky. (Speaking of which -- Josh Beckett pitched great last night but what a cocky little punk!)

Cubs fans don't want to talk about this series for fear of jinxing it, but it's almost like we can't stop talking about it. That just goes to show how long it's been since this area had a professional sports team to get excited about.

Even the people who ignored baseball all summer have caught "Cubbie fever". I heard more talk about Sunday afternoon's game than last night's episode of Alias at work this morning. My friends from western Michigan report that their co-workers have been bleary-eyed the past week from staying up to watch Chicago. The entire Great Lakes region waits with baited breath to see if Marvelous Mark will pull it off tomorrow night.

My guess? If I was in Vegas, I'd be laying down 2-1 odds. Who would really want to bet against Prior AND Wood at this point? It looks like the Red Sox may even up their series tonight. A Cubs - Red Sox series? The world just may be poised on the brink of Armageddon, but Illinois is loving it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


Not much to say this evening. Looks like the Cubbos are going to win handily this evening. That's good news, because everyone at work stayed up far too late to watch them lose a heartbreaker last night. The office was full of groucy gusses today. Lack of sleep and far too much exercise have me BEAT. I was going to post a short run-down of links here, but my eyelids started drooping before the fourth sentence of this paragraph. I'll try to come up with some good material tomorrow & see you then.

Monday, October 06, 2003

more on the cubbies

Jason has up an interesting post that references an article on what Cub fans can teach us about perseverance. Not mention blind faith. My husband's already lamenting the fact that our upcoming anniversary trip will put us far from Chicago during the World Series. (Note: You can also keep up on the latest news at Jason's Cubs blog, The Clark & Addison Chronicle)

Apparently, Chicago wasn't the only place celebrating last night. McLean County Sheriff's Department and Normal police performed crowd control as 3,000 Illinois State students spilled out of their dorms shortly after the Cubs won in Atlanta. Blocked traffic on major thoroughfares and knocked down goalposts. What do goalposts have to do with the Cubs? Wish I knew.

Three good op-eds from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Greg Couch, "Cubs players finally catching up to their fans' commitment"
Mike Kiley, "When you pray for the Cubbies, start with Santo"
Jay Mariotti, "Forget history, these Cubs are winners".

Bring it on, Marlins.
thoughts on arnold

For the past couple days, I have been mulling over what to say about the recent Arnold controversy. As you may totally recall from an earlier post (yuk yuk), the only comments I have really made about the recall are that I think it should happen and this circus should be fun to watch. I have been somewhat silent on the subject of my preferences. The fact is -- if I lived in California, I'm not certain who I would be voting for tomorrow. I would be voting for the recall, but when it came down to punching the chad for governor...I would still be up for grabs at the last moment.

As for Arnold's boorish behavior, I do believe that some of it happened. Do I believe it's just an incredible coincidence that a few anonymous women started recounting some incredibly detailed stories just four days before the election? Not bloody likely. (Bush DUI story anyone?). It's dirty politics plain and simple. Don't even get me started on the Hitler comments -- I don't even consider such an out-of-context smear tactic worth discussion.

It really does bothers me when men treat disrespect women on a regular basis. One overly-friendly display of affection that wasn't entirely welcome? It can happen. An offcolor comment? Not a big deal -- pretty much everyone has said something boorish/sexist at one time or another. However if some guy continues to act this way on a regular basis, am I going to reward him with my friendship and/or support? Highly unlikely. The question then becomes does Schwarzenegger find this sort of behavior appropriate NOW and how would he conduct himself in office? He may stand up for the cameras and claim this is all in the past, but I am not entirely convinced that it's not good acting.

It's been noted in many blog-arenas that we really have Bill Clinton to thank for Schwarzenegger's candidacy. Clinton was the original inspiration for the rationalization: it's not the candidate's personal life that matters, it's the job that the candidate does while in office. If it hadn't been for Clinton, do I think that Arnold would stand a chance tomorrow? Not really. But can we really vote for someone's character/conscience in this day in age -- when the media can dig up a skeleton from almost everyone's closet?

So if I had to pull the lever tomorrow, who would I choose? My principles align more with those of McClintock. I think he did a solid, respectable job in the debates, but I also find his stubborn streak and his willingness to send Gray/Cruz back to the Statehouse very unappealing. (I also think it hurts his chances for a Senate bid later on, but that is a post for another day.)

In an extremely-lefty state like California, conservatives have to take what they can get. Arnold is closest-to-conservative candidate that seems to have a snowball's chance of winning tomorrow. In order to elect someone that would make policies to improve my state's economy. I would probably have to hold my nose and vote Schwarzenegger.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Holy Cow

5-1 -- Cubs win, Cubs win, Cubs win! History was made on FOX tonight, as the Cubs won their first postseason series in ninety-five years. WGN broke in with live coverage as soon as the game was over, if that gives you any idea what an occasion this is. Oh to be in Wrigleyville tonight!

Way to go Cubbies and a special hearty congratulations to Kerry Wood. The fireworks are still going off in my neck of the woods (over two hours south of Chicago). Next year may be here!

Friday, October 03, 2003


This week Kerry Wood and Mark Prior have provided me with an opportunity to witness an event that has not occurred in the first quarter-century of my life: the Cubs leading in a playoff series. They have been gut-wrenching games to watch but the drive and spirit shown by the Cubs kept me glued to the TV. Mark Prior's 132-pitch complete game this evening was quite an impressive achievement for the poised twenty-three year old.

A close associate from work (who ironically enough is a life-long St. Louis Cardinals fan) is lucky enough enough to be taking in her first game at Wrigley Field tomorrow. Here's to hoping that she gets to witness history in the making as Chicago clinches a berth in the NL Championships.

Regardless, this year the Cubbies have proven that they are a more than just a post-season joke. They can be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. Here's to hoping this is the first of many such seasons at Wrigley under an impressive Baker regime.