Friday, April 28, 2006


I've just experienced a couple VERY busy weeks -- attending a conference the past six days and all the related crazy hours at work that normally precede such a trip. Couple this with the fact that it's almost the end of the semester. I'm wrapping up a research project this week, which hopefully will leave me with a bit of downtime to enjoy (and blog) before summer classes begin. Looking forward to the breather!

As someone who digested about four newspapers AND flew on United this afternoon, I spent a lot of time today mulling Flight 93. The movie opens nationwide today, and the overall reviews have been very positive. In fact, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 93% positive at the moment. I think part of why I dwelled on it today was I was up in the air and spent a lot of time with security. In some respect, every time I have travelled since September 11th, I have thought about it. But today it just seemed particularly poignant somehow.

The reviews I read today were Canada Globe and Mail (3 stars - registration required), USA Today (4 stars), Chicago Tribune (4 stars), National Review. I'm not particularly wanting people to go see this movie to get angry or remember what the troops are fighting for at the moment. Rather, I'd recommend seeing it as a tribute, a reflection on the day, and a reminder that the problem sect of militant, radical Islamists has has not ceased to exist.

Darfur, Iraq, London, Bali, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, Beslan -- this sort of intolerance continues to rear its ugly head all around the world. We have been fortunate that planned attacks on American soil have not been successful since 2001. But it's all too clear that the problem has not disappeared. Are we going to be ready when it comes for us again? What can we do to help those it's coming for now? That's the question that sprung into my mind this afternoon. The Flight 93 passengers did not just sit back and wait for the "inevitable" to happen. Is that what we're doing now?

I doubt I will make it to the film this weekend, but I will see it matter how painful and disconcerting it might be. It's not too soon for America to reflect on this again. We need to have movies that deal with the difficult issues and truly make us think. Instead of focusing all our attention on high gas prices and how 'rough' we have it, perhaps we need to step back a bit and remember what that day felt like...and think about what we can do to stop people from feeling this way again.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Da Bleachers

So I must report that Saturday afternoon I saw my first-ever baseball game from the Wrigley Field bleachers. Excuse me, now the newly-renovated Bud Light bleachers. But I must give the beer tycoons credit that the bleachers were a lovely place before the game got started. They were completely covered in beer and peanut shells by the end of the game...but such is life. In many ways at 28, I think I am a bit too old and boring for the most of the shennanigans that go on least the ones that go on at bachelor parties seated directly to our right.

It was actually a pretty good game. A bit slow except for the Cardinals' 6th inning and the Cubs two home runs. We were sitting about 8 rows up between right/center field, and both the home runs came down within about 40 feet of us. We watched the game later on TIVO looking for ourselves, but we were only little flecks of blue and red, if anything, on the broadcast. It also didn't show the several cups of beer that we were showered with after the 2nd home run in the 8th -- intended for the Cardinals fan to our left.

We dressed for football game weather, but some ominous clouds rolled by and there was hardly a cloud in the sky by 1:20 pm. The sun kept us nice and toasty all game long and had us looking like lobsters by game's end. Even if the thermometer said 41F, it felt like 65F at times. However, I heard a much different story from my friend in the shaded stands who was frozen out before the 7th inning stretch. And guess who sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"? John Cusack. Every girl who ever watched Say Anything as a teenager is swooning a bit right now, even if she won't admit it. Of course, we were about as far across the park as we could possibly be -- I got a better glimpse on TiVo after the game.

So anyways, I must thank my sister for a very enjoyable day at the ballpark. And for putting up with a bunch of overly-cocky, asinine Cubs fans running around Wrigleyville all afternoon. But all in all, fun game and the Cubs swept the series...a good weekend.