Friday, April 27, 2012

Just updating so Blogger doesn't see this as an inactive account and delete it -- hopefully.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So one master's degree and one little baby later, Illinigirl is still out here and considering reviving the blog. I'm so frustrated by everything going on in Washington DC and Springfield that I'm thinking about reviving my political blog here to make some arguments. I feel like I need to take some action before the economy completely tanks as a result of all the statist policies being bandied about...what do you think? Anyone still out there?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pardon my foray into tonight's debate

I know this is part of Obama's shtick as a calm, cool reasonable guy, but this is ridiculous. In tonight's debate (which I watched part of and thought the format was weird btw), Obama pulled something that seemed straight out of Hans Blix's playbook in Team America: World Police. Obama promised in his first year in office to meet one-on-one with basically the three most hideous dictators the globe has to offer: Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Kim Jong Il.

I know I'm not a foreign policy expert (although neither is Obama in comparison to other candidates), but this just seems like appeasement at its worst to me. I must say I agree with Hillary on this one -- words you never expected to see on this blog, I know. Let's take the three lowest of the low, known as oppressors of liberty and tyrannical leaders throughout the free world, and validate their approach with an in-person meeting with the president of the United States. Like these are reasonable people that are going to swoon at the recognition and cut out their antics as a result of a meeting with Barack?

Folks, there are arguments to be made for liberalism. I can understand the tack behind Edwards' Two Americas and Hillary's universal everything entitlements....but this? I think Obama made quite the faux pas this evening, and I'm curious whether it will show up in the MSM tomorow. Now all of this is not to say that I have decided which candidate to give my support next year. A lot of this depends on the degree of libertarianism exhibited by the Republican nominee and whether this TBD candidate has a snowball's chance of beating the Democratic nominee. But after comments like that, I am all the more certain who it will not be.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ideal Weekend So Far

Thought I would check in since I finally have a few minutes free. Woo hoo! My last full semester with work and two classes is behind me. I am finally in the home stretch for my degree here. Two things this summer then a capstone class fall semester and I done.

So to celebrate being done with classes for a while, I'm trying to celebrate what is good about my life. Thursday evening, I went out with friends from my program and had a lot of fun. Last night, the hubby and I grilled out and then went for ice cream. (And I won some Dancing with the Stars tickets, which is exciting for someone like me who really likes watching ballroom dancing.)

This morning, I got to spend some time with my hubby, work in the yard, and go to the gym. Beautfiul weather here in the low-to-mid 70s and clear...just the way I like it. This afternoon is looking for home remodeling stuff, perhaps a bit of shopping, and visiting with my hubby's family. Tomorrow, it's church, then back south to see my family for a few hours, and maybe squeezing in some home decorating and/or scrapbooking.

I really enjoy learning, and I do enjoy my classes. But if anyone ever tells you how hard it is to work full-time and do a graduate degree in the evenings...I'd believe them. It's okay for a term or two, but when you hit year two or three of that stress's exhausting. I just haven't had it in me to write much lately. Thankfully, my load is starting to lighten a bit, so I am hoping to get back into blogging more. Stop by and hopefully there will be more here soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Despite all appearances, I am alive and well...just swamped. However as a die-hard Illini fan who grew up watching the Bulls play for championships and a woman with a husband who has actualy suggested naming any potential firstborn son Michael Jeffrey, I can't help but log on to post this:

Jeff Jordan reportedly headed to the Illini

Jordan will reportedly start classes during summer session and enter as a preferred walk-on. Michael Jordan at the Assembly Hall for games! Jeff has supposedly made great strides this spring. And who knows where he can be after a few years under Weber's tutelage...his dad didn't really blossom as a player until college. This also puts Illinois in the hunt for Marcus Jordan in a few years. After all the hardships this spring, I find this a very exciting development for the fans this evening. Welcome to the Illini Jeff!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

NCAA Tourney so far...

Well, last night was a roller coaster for Illinois fans. The partygoers who did not care about basketball had a grand time watching the rest of us. I was so happy when Illinois came out like real men, defensively intense and actually showing some offensive aggression. I was happy until about halftime when I just had this sense of dread as the lead started slipping and I felt the onset of the "hurry down, run around, pass a lot until the person stuck holding the ball with five seconds left on the shot clock has to take a shot" offense. The last 8 minutes of the game were painful to watch. We had some questions about the fouls that VT was getting away with and the calls going against Illinois, but let's just face it...the Illini let it slip away and sullied the Big Ten's almost-perfect opening round record. Here's to hoping one of next year's recruits actually wants the ball when the going gets tough.

Watching Michigan State put up a hell of a fight against Tyler Hansborough (whoops North Carolina) at the moment. MSU up by 1! Izzo is just such a class act and seems to inspire his players in the tournament. I'm never going to change my colors, but MSU is officially my second favorite college basketball team now. Go Spartans! And should they not survive, I will turn my support to the Salukis. Should they both take down #1 seeds UNC and Kansas, I would still be a pretty happy camper.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Is anyone else really having trouble filling out their brackets this year? Mine just seems so boring at the moment. Lots of 1s and 2s making it to the Final Four, and we all know that hardly ever happens. I feel a little bit disconnected this year, because usually the hubby and I make a trek to the 1st/2nd round games or even the Sweet 16. Alas, this year there will be none of that due to the impending family nuptials and academic commitments. And my schedule's kept me from having the time to do my brackets justice. Watch this be the year I rock the pools!

I will admit I'm still more than a little angry with Illinois for the whole Carlwell/Smith/Frazier mess. I understand that they are just teenagers, but there has to be some common level of responsibility, decency and humanity that I'm still upset they were missing that ugly snowy night. But somehow I can't stop my orange and blue loyalties from rooting for these kids, and I still want to pick the Illini to upset Virgina Tech. Although it kills me to watch them try to generate offense, I still think the Illini are a dangerous #12 seed. If everyone shows up offensively on Friday (Frazier, Carter, Pruitt, and perhaps even Randle and McBride), then I think the Illini have a good shot. Weber has generally been a great tournament coach. But Virginia Tech has also beat Duke and North Carolina this year...and a hard-fought win over a quality ranked program is something this Illinois team does not yet possess. And after reading about the adversity Virginia Tech has faced off the court the past few years, I have a feeling I won't hate their team if they win either.

I also think Illinois would also give Southern a run for their money. As someone who has been to and watched a number of Missouri Valley games over the past few years, I can't help but think the conference is overrated. However, they can generate offense...which is more than I can say for the Big Ten most nights so who knows! David Mihm has some interesting commentary on how the brackets fell over at his Bracketography site. They also have a discussion board at the site for those of you who can just not get enough speculation.

In other news, my household officially despises the U of I board of Trustees' cowardice, and my husband is buying up all the Chief merchandise he can get his hands on... He almost bought a baby blanket today, and we don't even have a kids on the way yet. I'm headed down to campus tomorrow and may just pick up a few goods myself. Darn them.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thoughts on life and the Chief's departure...

I apologize for the long absence from the blog, but things are nuts here again as per usual. The big news in my neck of the woods is that we are quickly approaching a family wedding. Almost exactly two weeks from now, my sister will be married off and I'll be gaining a pretty great brother-in-law. So that's exciting and the last few months have been a flurry of showers, parties, dress fittings, and what not.

I've meant to post on Chief Illiniwek's retirement, but I must say that I lack the time to give this the appropriate consideration it deserves. I understand why the university felt they had to make the move, as the NCAA dictatorship was going to ban them from hosting events and potentially, eventually the NCAA tournaments. But at the same time, I feel cheated by the hypocrisy of this whole thing. It's fine for Florida State to keep their nickname, because they pay the Seminole tribe on a regular basis and were able to receive their okay...but it's not okay for Illinois to keep its symbol because they have no tribe to pay off?

I think part of this problem is that people do not understand the true role that Chief Illiniwek played at the University of Illinois. I was surprised to find this interview with the final Chief (Dan Maloney) on CNN/SI On Campus, but I thought it did an excellent job portraying his true role. The chief is not like the Cleveland's Indian or even the Atlanta Braves mascot. He's not a caricature that dances around when good and bad things happen during sporting events. He was more of a symbol or an icon at the university, making his appearance only at the halftime of sporting events in an incredibly dignified manner.

I think what makes me the saddest about the Chief's departure is that the NCAA has arbitrarily stripped our state of a celebration of its heritage. Perhaps it was not a 100% accurate portrayal, but it was better than nothing. This angers my husband to no end, perhaps because of his 1/8 Fox ancestry and his family's past involvement with athletics at the university. He was incredibly proud of Chief Illiniwek, the Three-in-One, and the reverence it received in this state, and he was incredibly angry when the Chief's retirement was announced. He's upset that he won't be able to take his children to football games and explain the significance of this tradition and their heritage.

I know college sports are just a game, and I know that Chief Illiniwek is just a symbol. But as I watched his final dance a week and a half ago, I got goosebumps and I felt incredibly sad. Sad that an honorable celebration of my state and its heritage had to go. Sad that our society is so incredibly overly-sensitive that the discomfort of a few has caused the removal of a tradition that truly celebrated our state's heritage and was so beloved by so many.

Updated 3/12: To correct my labeling slip in an ongoing fit of tiredness.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mother Nature's in charge

She's bearing down on Central Illinois at the moment. I woke up this morning to howling wind and a half foot of snow. Work wasn't called off initially, but an hour after we arrived we were all sent home. Driving home was a kick -- almost a complete whiteout with 1 inch of snow in some spots and 3 feet in others.

You really forget that you are at the mercy of the weather until storms like this interfere with your everyday life. They are a pain in some ways, but I think I would miss snowstorms if I lived in a milder climate. It's kind of nice to hole up at home, crash on the couch in PJ pants and with your laptop, get to spend extra time with the family, that sort of thing.

In more serious but seemingly weather-related news, Illini basketball players Jamar Smith and Brian Carlwell were in an accident last night when their car ran off the road and into a tree. Jamar has been released with a concusssion. Brian was critical but is rumored to have been upgraded to serious condition. If you are the praying type, please keep them in your thoughts today.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

For Da Bears

I will preface this post by saying that I am morally opposed to praying for the outcome of any sporting event. For big football fans though (and Bears fans in particular), I thought this humorous and worth a post:


Our Papa
Who art a bear,
Hallowed be thy fame,
Thy championship come,
Thy play be run,
At home as it is away,
Give us this day our Sunday win,
And forgive us our turnovers,
Though we pounce on those who turnover against us,
And lead us not into fourth and long,
But deliver us from Manning.

In the name of Ditka,
Butkus, and the holy Payton.
As it was in 1985,
So shall it be in 2006, reign without end.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gut-Check W

Okay, I will admit -- I've had a bit of a hard time watching my Illini lately. First the Michigan State loss -- a beautiful first-half and a disheartening second half. Then the heartbreaker to Wisconsin, which somehow I managed to miss. THEN I had class tonight, and I didn't get to see the Indiana game until I got home...

But the wonderful hubby had DVRed the game for me, and I must say that I agree with the ESPN announcers here. This was a gut-check win. It was a game that had to be won to keep NCAA tourney hopes alive, and it was a game that the whole team so clearly WANTED to win to beat Kelvin Sampscum. And although it was the subject of much debate this evening for the announcers, I will salute Bruce Weber for even touching that man's hand twice. I will salute the crowd for simply booing the man and not the team. For a minute or two, I felt bad for how overwhelmed that man looked tonight. He actually looked kind of frightened at several points, but to be fair there were about 10,000 people in that dome who were letting them know how they felt about him. But then I thought, you know he's royally screwed this program at point guard for the next couple years. Maybe he will think twice before his next shady recruiting stunt...or soon no one in the Big Ten will be shaking his hand.

Aside from the theatrics though, let me say that this game made me somewhat hopeful for the rest of the season. The Illini played entirely without Brian Randle and still put up an incredible defensive effort. They held Indiana scoreless for something like 14 minutes of the game. Offensively, Illinois might have struggled if Indiana had maintained its usual shooting percentages. However, I was a bit encouraged on this end as well. Shaun Pruitt continues to play like a beast, even while hurt. Warren Carter has really matured and is becoming a leader before our eyes. And even if it was only for 8-10 minutes, it was so nice to see McBride find his shot again.

This is the kind of win this program needed right now, and I salute the Illini and Bruce Weber for making it happen. Now how about turning this mojo into a road win at Purdue?!?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Um...Happy New Year

Although it's not the happiest one here from IG's house. First of all, the last two Illini basketball games have us in a bit of a funk. We won't even mention the Xavier game, because it was incredibly painful to watch. However, the Michigan game this evening was not much better. The first half was fairly palatable, but I am worried about whether this team is going to be healthy and practiced enough to gel. Their defense and rebounding has been solid, but they cannot score to save their lives at the moment.

Shaun Pruitt showed his potential to be a beast in the first half, but he was mysteriously absent from the court most of the second half which triggered injury worries from the hubby. Randle seemed like he is still not healthy and on the ball as he usually is. You can't have repeated games with less than 6 points from your leaders and expect to win. You just can't.

Game nights are starting to get a little stressful around here. We are Cubs fan (and Bears fans) in this house, so we should be used to this. We shall eventually overcome, or we will wait until next year. As much as I love the game, it is just basketball.

Otherwise, it's been a hectic couple weeks of getting details wrapped up before the holidays, traveling to spend time with friends and family, and cleaning up the house from Christmas. We had a health crisis over the holidays with my husband's grandmother, so it was a bit muted in these parts. Our prayers have been answered so far though as she pulled through a stroke and surgery and is doing fairly well. I am looking forward to a nice weekend off to really relax. Perhaps I can eke out a politically natured post then, as we have been having some interesting discussions in these parts on smoking bans, trans fat bans, and individual liberties. Hope all is well with you and yours, and I will see you again soon.

Updated: Man, last night just stunk for the Orange and Blue faithful. Poor Rev: Reading that article just makes me miss Deron and Dee more. As Roger well knows though, all things happen for a reason. Perhaps it just was not his calling at this time.