Monday, February 20, 2006

Thoughts on Sunday's Indiana game

Just a few brief notes on Sunday's game against Indiana. It was nice to see Illinois turn on the gas and not let a big lead slip away. It was nice to see Augie and Brian Randle come out of their shells and play like the confident, big men they are. It was nice to see Illinois shoot over 70% on free throws. It was nice to see Marco Thuggingsworth pretty much get shut down on the floor and get dunked over by Randle. Mark Tupper calls it a solid but not great performance, and I'm inclined to agree with him.

So overall, I must say that I enjoyed this game...but darn it if Illinois's offense isn't painful to watch these days. I must say that I agree with Big Ten Wonk's assertion that they are not confident in their outside shooting. I was guardedly optimistic about their progress earlier in the season, but I am a bit nervous these days. Here's to hoping that complete understanding and utilization of the motion offense lurks deep within these men and is just waiting to bust out as they start a tough 4-game stint against Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan State to end their season.

There are some great pictures -- tons of orange -- over at Illini Loyalty, if you are interested.
Something of little importance but much emotional resonance

But I must say that Grey's Anatomy is one of my favorite diversions at the moment, and its writer's blog Grey Matter is to die for. (Although the web designer in me hates that the link has a different name than the page, but that's a whole other neurotic tangent).

What a neat idea to have the writers actually communicate with the fans this way. If only the fans had this kind of input a couple seasons ago, perhaps we could have saved Joey from that doomed hook-up with Dawson and gotten her back to Pacey a little sooner.

Now granted I know these are all fictional characters, but if you watch Grey's, how much did you feel for George last night? Almost everyone I know has misguidedly poured their hearts out to someone who did not love him/her back and had similarly disastrous results. I've sucked my husband into Lost now, and I'm getting closer to having him hooked on this dramedy as well.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Meredith has introduced me to the Johari Window concept, and I must say that I am intrigued. This kind of reminds me of performance feedback at work -- an attempt to find out if others see you, your strengths, and your weaknesses the same way you see yourself. Interesting concept from a psychological point of view. I thought I'd put one together for myself, and you can fill it out if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

happy heart day

So the blog has been inactive for a while. For once, it's not really work or school -- just a host of personal issues to deal with lately. It's made the last ten days of painful-to-watch Illini games look inconsequential and left me uninspired blogwise.

I won't go into all the details, but my husband lost a very young uncle last week, less than 2 weeks after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. I've had a loved one recenly diagnosed with lymphoma, and it just kind of hurts my heart to feel like there's so little I can do for her. It's all just kind of wait and see at the moment, determining whether she has a fighting chance or whether she is even up for visitors as she has started treatment. Granted she's had a good long life, but it's still kind of hard to accept the pain she's going through. All I can do is call, send cards, and pray for her...and somehow that's hard to accept.

I'm not really a believer that bad things happen in threes, but it's been one of the months when it feels like life has dealt you several crummy cards in the same hand. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective -- to the tune of God works in mysterious ways and he won't give me any more than I can handle. But I'm a control freak who hates feeling like there's little she can do, and I am struggling a little at the moment.

But regardless of all that, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day. If you're one of my personal friends and loved ones (you know who you are), I didn't get cards sent this year but you are dear to me and in my thoughts. Somehow it also seems appropriate to count my blessings today: great friends, family, and a husband who surprised me with the works this morning (roses, candy, music, stuffed animals, et cetera) and shows me his love in all sorts of acts of kindness, patience, and support every day.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Save Our Bluths Friday Night

For those of us who could probably not care less about the Olympics opening ceremonies (just how I feel), there is another wonderful television option tomorrow evening. Arrested Development's 2-hour finale will be airing on Fox. The episode features guest appearances by Judge Reinhold and William Hung, potential awkward romantic scenes between Jason and the guest-starring Justine Bateman, and incredibly misleading image of the cousins George Michael and Maeby Bluth at the altar in a tux and wedding gown.

I don't know how to explain the pure zaniness and humor that we find in this show. Except for maybe Scrubs, nothing has made me laugh so consistently over the past 3 years. Wanda at E Online has a column on its chances of return. If you're home tomorrow evening, help us send a message to the powers that be (Showtime and ABC specifically) to bring back this show -- watch Arrested Development on FOX.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


For Illini fans in the house this evening, all good rides come to an end sometime. But to have a 33-game home win streak and have it end with such a questionable call? That really stings. For those who didn't watch, Illinois inbounded down one with 2.2 seconds remaining. Rich McBride hit the 3-pointer, but after review the officials said it had not left his hands and took it away. I'm not 100% convinced it was out of Rich McBride's hands at the buzzer, but from the angles shown...I'm just as unconvinced that it was IN his hands too. As my husband says, the NFL rule is to call it cautiously in the face of inconclusive evidence. I'm not sure that was the case tonight. Poor Rich played his heart out, and I really wish he got to be the hero this time.

That said, kudos to Penn State for playing a good game. Except that for a few players looking like jerks (Luber and the guy who got the double technical with Randle), Penn State was fairly clean and played a heck of a inspired game. Great shooting. Maybe they were emotionally unprepared after the win at Wisconsin, but it didn't look like most of the Illini really wanted it tonight. It was the stand around, pass, and watch offense at its worst. The bench was nervous from midway looked like they were just preparing themselves. Illinois looked so offensively timid in the second half, and their defense was just not up to snuff. I was suprised that Dee Brown and/or James Augustine didn't step up and provide some senior leadership to seal it at the end here. And the ticky-tack fouls really have to come to an end. If Augie or Randle hadn't spent so much time on the bench, I doubt it would have been quite so close with 19 seconds to go.

Disappointing evening here, but I guess that's the way the cookie occasionally crumbles for everyone in the Big Ten these days. It is just a game...but as an Illini fan, I have been spoiled these past few years and generally enjoy them much more than this.