Monday, January 26, 2004

Hanging in there

I'm fighting some sort of head cold at the moment. I've made it through the work day okay, even made it through a mild gym workout tonight, but I have no voice and my eyes are hardly staying open. My husband's theory is that the cold, gray, snowy days are leading my body to consider hibernation. Not sure about the validity of that one, but I will agree that all I want to do is sleep.

Hope to get back in the swing of things in a few days. In the meantime, the blogroll has recently been updated -- check out some of the links in my right nav.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Busy week

I wish I had a good reason for why I haven't been blogging much lately. Chalk it up to a busy schedule, mid-winter blues, no pleasantly entertaining subject matter, and a slew of events as Illinigirl celebrated another birthday. Yes while I still feel like I am fresh out of college, I must acknowledge that I am definitely in my mid-twenties now, which as Jessica Simpson puts it "is almost thirty, you know?"

I had to post this evening though because Illinois actually put together two impressive halves of basketball, beating Penn State 80 - 37. Hooray! After losing to Northwestern, I wondered if it could be any worse. (Jeffrey Utech's Northwestern Rule says it can when you lose to the Wildcats at HOME). Now if only Illinois can pull off a road win at Madison this weekend...they might worm their way back into the rankings.

On the State of the Union...why even post when Bobby A-G sums it up so nicely in his SOTU Instant-Reaction? Spoons has an interesting, albeit slightly cynical recap as well. I hope to dredge up some more insight by later this weekend, but you know how that goes. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Thursday, January 15, 2004

With Friends Like These

I find it hard to believe that this endorsement will buy Howard Dean too many votes from Illinois residents. However over at the Chicago Report, Michael Van Winkle is reporting that some people never learn. (About 9% of Illinois Democrats to be precise)

Aside #1: A bit of background information for those who aren't familiar with the ethics scandals that clouded Moseley-Braun's tenure as Illinois's junior senator.

Aside #2: OpinionJournal offers a Bye-ku for the former senator's campaign -- "Land of Lincoln / Reclaims the first lady / of Nigerian scams"
Jay's Blogging

Jay Marvin is a Chicago radio personality that seems to be a cross between a communist and a libertarian. I don't always agree with him, but he's a decent liberal and entertaining on the air. Not much content yet but his new blog could become an interesting site.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

FYI Movie Buffs

"That's two hours of my life that I'm never going to get back"

-- A friend tonight offering her thoughts on "How to Deal". I advised her to rent A Walk to Remember next time she gets a Mandy Moore craving. She's an appealing actress, but that movie stunk.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

On Immigration & Bush

Spoons has up a quality post on the arguments against Bush's proposed immigration plan. I'm in the camp that has to disagree with the president on this one...on principle if nothing else. I've watched two of my good friends go to great lengths to live in this country. A Swiss native, one of my friends jumped through the hoops -- academic, financial, procedural -- to become a citizen of this great nation. She did so once she realized that she was going to be staying here indefinitely, and she wanted to participate in our government. Another friend spent all sorts of energy, time and money to maintain his green cards after he married an student shortly after during her semester-abroad in Perth and moved back to Illinois. If nothing else, this plan would be a slap in the face of all such immigrants who obtained their citizenship legally.

Spoons notes that this plan is so immoral it should make it difficult for a true conservative to vote for Bush. I agree with that statement. If Bush was undergoing a primary challenge from a non-RINO Republican right now, I would be tempted to support that candidate. Could I bring myself to vote for someone other than the president knowing that might lead to Clark/Dean/Edwards/Gephardt election? The answer is a big fat NO. It's the same reason that I voted for Bush instead of Browne after the November-surprise DUI mess -- I couldn't bear the thought of Gore becoming president and knowing that I had diverted my vote. (Not that it generally makes a difference in Illinois, close national races are rare here in this trending-blue mess of a state, but it's the principle of the thing).

While I like many things Bush has done in office, I'm not his biggest fan at this point. He still seems sincere in interviews, but I feel that many of his political moves lately were chosen to increase his popularity within certain electoral groups. He is ignoring the wishes of his conservative base in many ways. Yet what can we do to get a more principled conservative in office by 2004. At this point, I feel that the administration is doing a great job fighting the war on terror and a decent job running the economy. Not exactly ringing praise from my end, but considering the alternative I will probably still be voting Republican next November and hoping that if re-elected Bush's "true conservative" will shine through since he (and Cheney) won't have to worry about running in 2008.
Breaking Up's Not Hard to Do

Lee Anne Millinger offers up an interesting post over at Such Small Hands on how the Internet has made it easier for people to break up with their significant other over e-mail. She points out a particularly funny quote, questioning how many dates you have to go on before someone cannot break up with you over e-mail.

This made me laugh, because I was broken up with over e-mail in the Internet's infancy -- July 1996. My freshman year of college guys pitied me when I told them this story. Just thinking about it makes me feel old. I had been dating Mr. X for about six weeks since high school graduation, when two mornings after a great date I got a four sentence e-mail telling me that he'd realized he was "still in love with his ex-girlfriend". I called him up, drove over to his house, and made him actually explain himself to my face. Three housr later I left for a week of scuba-diving and seething in the Berry Islands.

In hindsight, it all worked out for the best. I cooled off, and he eventually apologized in person a year later. In a perfect world though, I would like to think that anyone who was beyond a second date with a person would have enough common decency to break up a fledgling relationship in person or at least over the phone. E-mail just doesn't allow for the necessary interchange and closure.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Loving the Entertainer, Hating the Politics

As some people here at Illinigirl know, I find it hard to support the work of liberal blowhards. Not necessarily the thinking liberals, who can offer intelligent debate on both sides of the issue, but those who show little to no respect for the other side's viewpoint. While it's their First Amendment right to voice their opinions, it really bothers me when entertainment types with no real academic/political credentials show complete disrespect for conservative ideals...particularly when they try to tell everyone else how to think without thoughtfully presenting both sides of an issue.

When this occurs, I try to boycott their work. In some respects, I realize the effort is futile. Entertainment types are quite likely to be liberal in today's society. At the same time though, I make it a point to makre sure my hard-earned money doesn't go towards supporting Ben Affleck, Toby Maguire, Susan Sarandon, or Cameron Diaz types whenever possible. (Kevin Smith movies being the rare exception).

Anyone that has voluntarily taken part in's recent Bush-Bashing ad contest has been added to my list. Janeane Garafalo, Michael Moore, Moby were not surprises -- I could care less. I was disappointed but not shocked to see Michael Stipe and Jack Black were judges. Pretty unhappy to see Eddie Vedder and Hector Elizondo on the list, because my husband digs Pearl Jam and I'm generally a big fan of Hector Elizondo's films. (Tortilla Soup was quite good, FYI).

The name I was saddest to see on the list? Tony Shaloub. USA's Monk reruns have been a guilty pleasure for my entire family this year -- parents, great-aunt, aunt/uncle, my husband and myself. A bit too reminiscent of Murder She Wrote, but it's good, humorous, fairly clean TV. Now if I do tune into the new season of Monk, I will likely enjoy it less and regret that I am perhaps increasing Tony Shaloub's influence within the entertainment world.

TV shows are tricky ones. When it comes to their music and movies, I've found a compromise that I can handle. Find it at the public library. Pay a buck or two, legally enjoy the album/film, never contribute to its financial take. It's not perfect, but it works for me.

(Thanks to Chicago Report and VodkaPundit for the heads-up)

Sunday, January 04, 2004

So Long Indian Summer

I cannot say that I minded having 50 degree weather over the holidays. It's wonderful to have the weather not be a consideration when making travel plans. Alas, that wonderful break from reality is gone. On the last leg of our drive back from St. Louis today, we encountered all sorts of freezing rain, an inch of ice upon snow upon ice, and reported nearby power outages. Now the lights are flickering...ick.
I'll eat my hat...

If this marriage lasts. An "Oops!" 5:30 am Saturday marriage in Vegas as a publicity stunt qualifies as either: A) an enormous drunken mistake or B) a publicity stunt even more shameful than making out with Madonna. Mandy Moore and perhaps even Christina Aguilera look more like role models every day.

If it's the former and not the latter, I do feel some sort of pity for Britney though. It's got to be hard growing up with all your mistakes under a microscope for public consumption.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Best Movies of 2003

Jonathan Last has a good article up over at Weekly Standard on his attempt to pick the top 10 film offerings of 2003. Although I've only seen about half of the quality pictures, I'm hoping to drop in my two cents on this by the end of the weekend.
Political Satire to Kick Off the New Year

Iowahawk on "Why He is a Democrat". Thanks to Jay Solo's Verbosity for the link.

Editorial note: I don't really believe ALL Democrats think this way. In reality, the disconnect over political party affiliation is much more accurately depicted in this Jeffrey Utech post that has been making the rounds. However, that is a post for another day. I'm beat.

PS. Also congratulations to Jay on his wedding -- which if I'm reading properly may be occurring this evening in Vegas!
Friday Five

I answer their questions on a regular basis, but I stopped by Ryan Reynolds's blog tonight and thought these were interesting questions. Obligatory link to the Friday Five...

What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .

1. Lazing around in my pajamas until noon. (Already did that!)

2. ...over the next week? My early birthday present...seeing Mamma Mia at the Fox in St. Louis with my parents/husband.

3. ...this year? Watching my husband get his masters and find a job that he loves!

4. ...over the next five years? Hopefully having my first child in several years. It's both scary and exciting to realize we are closing in on such life-altering moments.

5. ...for the rest of your life? Living my life out the way God intends for it to be. Not certain what that entails, but I'm looking forward to finding out!
Auld Lang Syne -- The Highlights

Happy New Year everyone! I survived my date with the GMAT Tuesday and spent a great New Years' Eve out with friends on the Peoria riverfront. My husband and I concluded that we are definitely too old for the bar scene (yawning as we shuttled everyone home at 2 am), but it was great fun getting to spend time with friends that had not seen in almost a year.

I'm just getting a bit of time to catch up on blog happenings, so I thought I'd offer links to some of my favorite New Years' posts below...

Mark Byron has up a rather entertaining post, "Letter to 2002", that does a great job of recapping the year's major news events.

Spoons scores his 2003 predictions. Scarily on the spot with regards to several predictions. How did he guess that Illinois would fall to Notre Dame of all teams in the second round of March Madness? Oddly prescient.

I found Josh Claybourn's "Best of 2003" list to be dead-on in almost every category. The only ones that I would pick differently would be Woman of the Year and Blogger of the Year. May I suggest Ms. Condoleeza Rice and James Lileks for those categories? Just my two cents.