Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Heck of a game tonight...

For the Illini fans in the house. The first 37 minutes against Wisconsin were enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, and the last 3 minutes were enough to make you giddy. Jack Ingram and James Augustine turned the tide with two successive three-pointers and slam dunks respectively to help the Illini to their first win at the Kohl Center since heaven knows when and snap Wisconsin's home winning streak. The determination on the faces of the Illini players over the last 5 minutes of the game was obvious -- they wanted this one desperately and were not going down without a fight. I was practically jumping out my seat cheering -- which is a bad thing when you have your work computer on your lap and an assignment you absolutely need done in the morning. Very bad. Have I mentioned work is NUTS lately? Still, this late evening was worth it.

IlliniPundit has up a great game summary / play-by-play for those who are interested. I'm sure there will be all sorts of interesting media coverage tomorrow. My husband noted that he thought Dickie V was covering all his bases during this game -- praising Wisconsin consistently and praising Illinois especially fervently when they were down, saying that you couldn't count them out. As it turns out, he was right. Imagine that! Vitale's praise continues after the game over at ESPN. Fun night in Illiniland, almost makes me want to drop my Self-hatred (yuk, yuk) and realize that the team and system the Illini have now may have a better shot at the championship. We'll see how that goes though.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Liberty, the best hope for peace

Even if you aren't a big fan of the President, it's hard not to be appreciate the rhetoric espoused in his inauguration address. "The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world". I would like to know who helped him write it -- I see faint hallmarks of Peggy Noonan and yet it does not seem entirely characteristic of her writings.

Happy Inauguration Day from a proud American who did her part to fuel the economy today! FYI, we are up and running with our cable modem in the new house. Hooray! Unpacking may take the vast majority of my time this weekend, but I may be around sporadically...once my heart recovers from the minor attack that my boys in orange put it through during the game against Iowa tonight.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Hauling hiatus this weekend

The long-awaited move has almost arrived. Illinihaus is a bit topsy-turvy at the moment. I haven't moved in almost four years, and I've forgotten what a hassle it is...even if you're just moving a few blocks across town. Internet access could be off as soon as tomorrow evening. Cable had better stay up and running until Alias is over Wednesday night!

We may hit up a local coffee shop for WiFi briefly, but it's shaping up to be a busy weekend. Posting won't be much more frequent or less frequent than usual -- even I realize it's been sparse around here for a good while -- but I just thought I'd provide some advance notice. Keep yourself occupied -- visit the blogroll and watch some of that fine Big Ten basketball! :)
Calling all Illini fans: Hell just froze over

Dick Vitale on ESPN.com today:

"I don't think it's any secret that the best team has been the Fighting Illini. There is no doubt that Illinois has had a fantastic start, and the fans in Champaign should be jumping with joy"...

"That's right, I remember when the Flyin' Illini reached the Final Four in 1989. Coach Lou Henson was on the sidelines. This year's Illini also have the potential for special things."

He also names Bruce Weber mid-season coach of the year and names Deron Williams to the All Rolls-Royce First Team. Could it be that the Illini's "We don't get no respect" aura is starting to wear off? I don't want it to totally wear off though -- I think that's what gives this team some of its humility and edge.

If that's not enough -- happy birthday to me! I just noticed that Dick Vitale actually devotes his latest column to the idea that Illinois could make a run at a perfect season. Hopefully this is not another variation of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx, and Dickie's not trying to sink our boat. A girl can dream though, right?
MLK Day Posts

Interesting Martin Luther King Jr. posts from some of my favorite bloggers and an unknown:

LaShawn Barber

Josh Claybourn at In the Agora

"Dr. King and I: I never met him, but he made me love America" by Roya Hakakian

Michelle Malkin's round-up
Boys in Orange

BigTenWonk has a nice compilation of the weekend's conference hoops action. My favorite links have to be to this ChicagoSports editorial discussing Illinois's intensity and this Chicago Sun Times article discussing the team sneaking out of their hotel to see 'Coach Carter' Friday night and receiving a standing ovation from the crowd when the movie ended.

Hey, this is from a girl who just finished I Am Charlotte Simmons, a novel that paints a disheartening picture of Division I college hoops stars if I ever saw one. It warms my heart to hear that's what my favorite b-ball team was doing the night before they pushed to Illinois's best start in twenty years!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Stormy weather

I had to get off the phone this evening because apparently there really are sporadic thunderstorms lurking throughout Central Illinois tonight. Of course, I also had to get off the phone because I was talking to my mother and it's her job to worry about these sort of things. You know, the old wives tales (or are they old wives tales?) that "We'd better get off the phone" or "You had better not take a shower" because it's storming here.

Thunderstorms in mid-January. There's a saying in Central Illinois that if you don't like the weather here, just wait a couple days and it will change. Unfortunately, I think this year that only applies to the temperature. January has been rearing it's gloomy damp head, flittering back and forth between fog, ice, snow, and cold rain.

I think that winter weather really just has messes with people's moods. For some reason, I've been inexcorably stressed-out the past few weeks. No classes, the holidays are over, yet I'm in a bit of a funk. Of course, we are trying to pack up a house full of four years (and two households') worth of stuff and get the old place ready for sale. Life is speeding along merrily at the moment, but somehow I'm finding it a bit overwhelming. Therefore, I apologize if posting hasn't been as frequent as usual, but I've been lacking the inspiration. Hoping it will pick up soon.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Updating the blogroll

I've seen some articles lately that suggest the rate of blog readership exploded this year, growing well over 50% between February and December. I daresay I believe that it's true, as this is the year that many of my friends and I started keeping up on one another's lives by reading their blogs. It's positive in that you can keep up on one another's lives and negative in that you learn about major milestones in one anothers' lives via pixels on a screen.

Anyhow that being said, one of my favorite things about blogs is the interesting people that you virtually meet on other blogs. Although I've never met any local bloggers or bloggers I link to on my site in person, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the interchange of ideas that can be gained through blogging.

That being said -- my referral log this month has listed links from several blogs with which I'm not familiar. Take a minute to leave me a note in the comment section with your URL, and I will add you to the blogroll. I'm particularly interested in the Central Illinois blogs that have been popping up recently and a site having something to do with Reagan Republicans that seems to have vanished from my referral log. Thanks a bunch!

PS In attempting to update my referral log, I stumbled across this website about Governor Rod! that tickled my funny bone. Not sure if it's a blog or what, but it's worth a giggle.
America the Generous

Complements of "You Big Mouth, You!", I present you with the Stingy List, documenting the contributions of American individuals and corporations to assist with tsunami relief. The total stands at over $236 billion so far according to that blog's numbers.

This is not to say that I don't believe we should still strive for more relief -- the sheer quantity of coastline lives destroyed demands. This is merely to illustrate that Americans and American corporations are generous, compassionate, and will find ways to provide relief without the assistance of the federal government and United Nations.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

About Last Night

During last night's Illinois-Cincy festivities, my husband and I were left to wonder if perhaps Valley High School's announcers were the ones calling the game. If not, Fox Sports Network really needs to make the announcers do their homework a bit better. Roger Powell Junior was referred to as "Luther Powell Junior" for the better part of the first half, and then at some point "Roger Williams" made an appearance as well. At some point, graphics were flashed on the screen that said Cincinnati player "Maxiell served as an assistant under Gene Keady at Purdue for 18 years".

Nitpicking, I know since the game still made for great New Year's Eve entertainment. I was concerned that this game could be an upset. While it was still a grudge match and Illinois did not play up to their Wake/Gonzaga potential, Illinois controlled the tempo throughout and exhibited flashes of brilliance late in the second-half. Still a fun game to watch, still won by 18. Mark Tupper has up a column today asking disheartened Illini fans, those who wonder where the Wake/Gonzaga poetry in motion has gone, to take stock of the situation. If someone had told us two months ago that the Illini would be 12-0 and ranked #1 in the country, what would we have said? My answer -- pretty darn happy. I am excited to see what this team can do once it really gets into the heart of Big Ten play. Iowa and Michigan State will present solid challenges, and traditionally big road games at Wisconsin and Purdue should still be fun to watch.

As for this afternoon, let's go Yellow Jackets. Although it seems a little against the spirit of the New Year, as a die-hard Illini fan I find it hard to get beyond one grudge I hold dear -- I root for the Illini and whoever is playing Bill Selfish's Jayhawks.