30 April 2005

Overheard at the 'Blatt

After talking to Eron this morning about College World Series tickets, I, for some reason, remembered the game last year where we had these 3 people (2 boys and a girl) sitting people us. I think it was just Eron & I at this particular game. One of the boys and the girl were in some sort of relationship, but since that boy worked as a hired man for the girl's dad, and the girl was a few years younger, the relationship had to be kept on the hush. I can't remember the other boys role in all this, but he left rather early in the game and after he left, the other two aired all their dirty laundry for anyone in several rows distance to hear. Eron will have to help fill in some of the holes here, but I think the guy was serious about it all and was talking about when they would be married, but the girl was a bit demure about that. or maybe it was the other way around, I can't recall. Either way, their dialouge kept us in stitches. Then the boys cell phone rang and he answered and it turned out to be the girl's dad & there was some drama there. There was also some related story about a friend or a brother of the boys who was in the Marines then came back and dropped out of college and either became an alcoholic or got cancer or died in an accident or something. I realize there isn't much coherence to this post but it was quite an afternoon at the park.

The Day After...

The move went pretty well yesterday. I think we got it done in about 4 & 1/2 hours and Dara & I were only at each other's throats 2 or 3 times! Hopefully we will be able to coerce some other strong backs for our big move in three months. And we have some space left over in the storage unit. Oh, and then so last night we went to go see Pomeroy play as a nice treat after the move. They played at a different venue and it happened to be right in our neighborhood, which was very nice. So we go, pay our $10 each to get in and go upstairs to the stage and the lead singer for Pomeroy sees me and says, "Hey, you missed us!" Turns out they got stuck playing at 7:45 and I thought they played at 10. So we turned around and went back downstairs and haggled with the people at the door, and then with the promoter to get our $20 back. Finally we did and that was that. We used our money to go check out a hole in the wall bar, have 2 beers and watch the end of the Sox game, went home and crashed. I was BEAT.
Now, this morning I will be cleaning my old place and also unpacking the few things I brought over to my new place. And doing laundry. I am quite excited, cable TV and internet everyday now!!! I already enjoyed Rick Bayless's Mexico One Plate at a Time last night and am watching some music videos this morning. (Unfortunately, no CMT, though). I like Bono's intro to his song is very cool. Has any one seen it? I also LOVE Will Smith's "Switch". Very catchy little tune. Plus, Will Smith is just the coolest guy.

29 April 2005

Ivory-billed woodpecker!

Its always a fresh change to hear positive, re-assuring environmental news these days. Check out the news about the reappearance of the Ivory-billed woodpecker, or the Lord God bird (that's a bit sacreligious I think). Eron emailed out this article on NPR at about the same time I was reading this article in the Tribune.

Moving day is at hand...

"You must move your house to the lee of the stone." (or to StorageMart).

25 April 2005

Emily's Communion

(reprinted from email)

We had such a perfect day for Emily's communion. It was such a touching moment I just wanted to tell everyone how special it was. It was a simple but beautiful cermony and I just loved seeing all the kids with their families on a day that was all theirs. The kids had on a simple white satin alb that zipped up, boys and girls alike. You could wear your special dress or suit underneath. Some of the girls wore veils others hair odornments. Each child had a banner out of felt with their name in gold that hung on the pew to mark their families row. I loved watching each family come in with their child all decked out. Some of the girls came in walking like they were made out of glass, special new slick shoes and tip toeing in so as not to muss themselves up. Others ran in with veils flying they were so excited. The boys were just as excited in new ties, shirts etc. Several families arrived , got inside the door then exclaimed, "Where's the banner, where's the banner?" thank goodness most ran back to the car and found the coveted banner. Everyone was bustling about getting pictures, getting the child dressed and in line for a group picture. They had a professional photographer!! It was so easy. Now to tell you how cute Emily was!! I was telling Annette how cute she looked when I realized I was going on and on so I said, "Well, I am partial, Annette said," that's okay, she sounds like she was a doll, "and I said," Yes, she was!!!" And we both laughed heartily. Kate had Emily's hair all curly around the bottom and pulled over and a white rose hair band dealie( Having boys I don't know the correct term) holding her hair over to the side. She had on a beautiful white eyelet dress with a satin sash. A pale pink sweater and the prettiest pale pink shoes with white tights. She had the sweetest smile of all!! And so did I when I saw her. Brighid had on a yellow and white plaid pair of capri pants with a sweet yellow sweater, she looked so cute. Of course Pretty was on hand for the event. You know Brighid has trained that cat to kneel on the kneeler! Noah was in good spirits as he had his blanket to keep him warm on this chilly morning. The ceremony was very nice and as they marched in I found myself getting a little teary eyed. I mentioned this afterwards at Eron and Kate's house and I thought Walt put it very well when he said," I get emotional too like that, it's because I remember my own kids at that age." And that is so true. During the mass I found myself thinking what did Eron wear at his communion? I remember we had cake from Hy-Vee to celebrate! Anyway, Kate and Eron had a nice brunch afterwards and it was a great morning. I enjoyed being there so much, any church event with my family is always heartwarming to me. Thanks Kate and Eron for a wonderful time. You have a fantastic family. It's hard work to get everyone "to the church on time" but you did it with great style.

Carbon Leaf show

Saturday night Dara & I went to see Carbon Leaf play at Martyr's (a small bar/music venue). They hail from Virginia and have been making their way from the college music circuit to more mainstream airplay. It was a GREAT show, complete with encore (Mary Mac). I have been listening to their music for probably 5-6 months now, thanks to Luke, who saw them in Ames. Their show was very fun and their music is just fun, lively and easy-going. Plus they were giving out free stickers, which always makes me happy. I highly recommend their music to all. Check out the website for more info or to give them a listen.

Ahhh, Spring!

Dara & I made the drive to South Bend on Saturday, it rained/sleeted/snowed most of the way there and the blowing sleet continued as we walked around the campus. It was definately not an ideal day for a tour, so we were lucky I guess that their weren't any tours offered! Not that we would've had time to really do one. We stopped at the Adidas tent when we first got there and checked out the racks of clearance merchandise, selected some items, then headed to the Joyce Center and we looked at some of the memorabelia in the Hall of Fame, namely the SEVEN Heisman trophies. Then we walked to the visitors center, then to the bookstore. That place is incredible. They definitely know how to market themselves their. It is 65,000 sq.ft. and every inch is stocked with product. The number of different styles of t-shirts is astonishing. They pretty much guarantee they have something for every shopper. Golf shirts, Hoodies, Windbreakers, Jerseys, Throwback Jerseys, ND tshirts in every color of the rainbow, tanktops, ND shirts for pretty much every varsity sport, sweatpants, pajama pants, hats, then you go upstairs for all the other stuff, stickers, stuffed animals, coasters, paperweights, pens, pencils, notebooks, car decals, flags, car flags, christmas ornaments, posters, bed sheets, towels, birthday party supplies, cups, mugs, glassware, keychains, jewelry. The list is endless. They also have a decent sized non-textbook bookstore. The lines to checkout were LONG. It is a sight to behold, for sure. They we went and looked at a couple other sights to behold, the Sacred Heart Basilica and the Grotto. They we barely had enough time to run back to the car, grab our food and go the the game. It was great to get to sit so close to the field! We were in the 4th row on about the 5 yard line for the first half. The second half we moved to about the 20th row on the 30 yard line. Great views! Not good enough to be able to find Joe Montana, Joe Theisman, Chris Zorich, or Tim Brown underneath their hooded winter coats on the sidelines. They were the honorary coaches! We were definately happy to get back in the car, though and enjoy my heater on the ride home.
**Another item proving that ND is an incredible place...they had the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted. Not water and powder like most places, this was some smooooth rich chocolate. MMM, MMM.

20 April 2005

The Virgin Mary under the Expressway

Dara and I took a nice walk Monday night to go check out this mysterious salt stain or miracle. It does resemble the Virgin Mary, standing with hands clasped in front of her, similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe, but it looks even more striking when a picture is taken of it. It was very fun to go check out the crowd of people hanging out there and see all the excitement. There were families bringing their kids in their pajamas, hipsters, old couples, and teens. And then we also tried to get in the background while a local TV crew was filming from the location. :) fun stuff!
Picture to come...

"Habemus Papem"

Man, I can't tell you how excited I was yesterday when I heard those words. I just happened to get in my car as NPR was breaking in with the news, so I was able to get home in time to watch it all live. Regardless of whether you agree with the conclave's selection or not, it was such an wonderful scene; people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities running through the streets of Rome to be there to greet the new Pope and to receive his first Papal blessing, a packed St. Peter's square cheering and singing, sharing this moment, and Pope Bendict XVI smiling and beaming out to the crowd. I loved it, it gave me goosebumps! What an amazing experience it would be to be there and hear those words and greet a new leader of our church.

If you would like to send him a few words of support or congrats you can email him at benedictxvi@vatican.va

On a side note you could get 3 to 1 odds that the new Pope would choose Benedict.

New Food Pyramid

Didn't know if you all had seen this, but the UDSA came out with a new food pyramid this week. Check it out here. I think that making it clear that combining exercise with your diet choices is paramount to good health was a very smart & needed aspect. I don't think that the food part of the pyramid is as easy to understand or apply as it could be, especially if you consider teaching to young kids. I think I prefered the old horizontal layers as opposed to this new one where the layers radiate somewhat vertically from the apex. Why did they stick with a triangle shape, it is meaningless? They could just as easily used a pie chart! What kids knows how many teaspoons of oils they are taking in a day? And "Discretionary Calories"? I like the idea of using 'extra' calories in your allowance to consume more of any of the categories or to use on sweets, etc, but, again, I am skeptical of the ease of understanding/teachability of it.

18 April 2005

Attack of the Clippers Posted by Hello

16 April 2005

Pink Slips...

This news item came out today and will give you an idea as to the size of the Chicago Public School system. They are letting go of 1,116 nontenured teachers! That is just over 1 in 10 of nontenured teachers. I think it is a good thing that they are getting rid of the 'deadweight.' Now, as mentioned in the article, they had announced a week or so ago that CPS was going to need to cut 800 positions and hopefully this cut will satisfy most of that. It does place a lot of responsibility with the prinicipal to be unbiased and responsibile with his/her actions, but I think that to improve our education system, our educators need to be evaluated on thier performance and then paid accordingly. Reward those who are doing great things and get rid of those that are not pulling their own weight in the education of our students.

Check out this page for other noteworthy info on CPS. I was really amazed by some of the figures, like the $4 billion budget, 26,500 teachers for 427,000 students, the $62,000 AVERAGE teacher salary, and that only 8.8% of the students are white.

Check out this page for info on Chicago Catholic schools. Not as much info but still good. 6000 teachers for 107,000 students, better student to teacher ratio, and better attendance.

For comparison, here is Des Moines public schools info. $267 million budget. $42,000 average teacher salary, 2600 teachers for 32,000 students, 32% of which are racial-minority. Worth noting, the AP program in Des Moines ranks in the top 1% in the nation.

Another 50 year anniversary...

I didn't even know this legal battle was still going on. I remember when the song came out and was a big hit, that lawyers for Rosa Parks had sued Outkast, but I didn't know that it was still going on. And, come on, they were asking for $5 BILLION. (maybe that is a dollar for every time that infectiously catchy chorus went through everyone's head...ahh ha, hush that fuss, everybody move to the back of the bus..Damn, there's another dollar!) Umm, that seems a bit high to me. I am glad that there was no fines or anything. The best outcome is that there will be money going towards civil rights education. It's a great song, after all!

I am a 'Cinderella'

For whatever reason, I love these meaningless quizes, even though this one is meant for girls. Check it out What Princess Are You?

"You are Cinderella. Dignified and hard working. With a gentle and soft-spoken manner you have something many people don't. Patience. Even through the moments of heartbreak you're still able to hold onto all of your hopes and dreams. Bide your time; you're dream will come true."

15 April 2005

Super Sizing it for 50 years

I may have to head out to Des Plaines to check out the festivities. It is the home of the first ever McDonald's. Also going on today, they are opening the super-sized new Rock-n-Roll McDonald's in downtown Chicago. Check out the pictures of it.

14 April 2005

Name Jake's iPod

Alright, I am nearing the point where I will make up my mind to spend some of my tax return on an iPod. I am thinking that the 4 gig - Mini in green is what I need and the educator discount will help knock off $30 or so. The big final question is...What to get laser-engraved on the back? (it is a free option they offer) You get 2 lines with 23 characters on each (spaces included). So, take that and run with it (46 characters can't run too far, but still). It could be a famous quote, a saying, Bible passage, my name & phone number, anything. I'm just looking for some good ideas here.

"The Jungle"

This book will always hold a sort of special significance for me. I chose it to read when I was taking a Literature Reading class at Farragut. One of the more enjoyable classes I ever took. I can vividly remember sitting at those 1-piece desks in a classroom on the third floor of the old building. Windows open and warm/hot breeze blowing in and those 50 minutes would just fly by. It was also when I discovered Hemingway. 'The Jungle' sticks out though, when I read it, I felt like I was reading a book for adults. It had major socialist political angles and the muckracking/expose of the packing industry would keep my stomach turning and my eyes riveted to the pages. Also, the misery and inescapability of Jurgis' situation captivated me. I have always been drawn to harsh, sad reality in stories. Anyways, I saw that 'The Jungle' is the book of the month for the book club of my favorite news blog so I thought I'd share. Check out their background info of the author and his tale here.

12 April 2005

a good movie i just saw-put it on your que

Say, I saw a very good movie, I Am David. It reminded me of Life Is Beautiful. It would have been a more powerful movie if it was a foreign film and subtitled but it wasn't However I did enjoy it and it had a few surprises. Well worth seeing. Also watched Garden State-Bloody Awful. Too bad, good actors, not a bad message, terrible flow. and that is your review for the evening

09 April 2005

Your mom got a medal!!!!!!!!!

I won!! I got second place -for real with an engraved medal and everything:) I was only 20 seconds off the time I predicted so I got 2nd in my age group., Some people were less than 1 second off their time. I had so much fun. It was a beautiful day- the walk was 2 miles --2 and 3/4 times around Lake Placid. I met and talked with several people, ate a great brunch, went to mass, took a group tour of the basilicia and visited the gift shop before starting home. The people were so nice, many children.older people, all ready for fun. One 82 year old guy I talked to has been there all 12 years and walked the fun walk every year, says he has never had arthritis at all. He had a walking stick and walked it in around 48 or 50 minutes. Maybe next year some of you can join me. I decided I am going to make a personal retreat there this summer. I met some people from coin that I already knew and they said they do that and bring their bikes. They had an awesome picture of the pope on display at the church and everything was decorated in yellow, gold and white. Many seminarians from all over the midwest so they sang loud , the most people I have ever seen at mass. Well worth the drive.

08 April 2005

Wrong decision...

I saw this blip on the Archdiocese of Chicago's website and thought it would be a very interesting event to take part in.
"Procession In Honor of Pope John Paul II
The Polish community invites the public to join in a procession of prayer for the Holy Father beginning at 10 a.m. The procession will begin at Holy Trinity Church and end at St. Hyacinth Basilica."
So I planned on going down and walking, until this morning when I was pulling up the addresses and the route (also after I had had a kid puke and have diarheaa within 30 minutes of his mom dropping him off). The route was just under five miles. So then I thought, where am I gonna park my car and there isn't any way that I could prevent having to walk the route, then turning around and walking back to my car, so it would be a 10 mile walk. Not something I was up for this morning, so I skipped it.
Wrong thing to do. As I am on the eleptical machine working out, I see on the news live footage from the procession. It stretched for blocks, an estimated 5000 people. :( I missed out on something very special. I guess the moral is, don't be lazy.

Jakers! in the Summer?!

So Dara has started a grassroots push to get "Jakers!" on IPTV and NPTV. I submitted a comment using the link on the IPTV site and got the reply pasted below back from them. The info I cited came from http://www.unitedmedialicensing.com/b2b/html/jakers.html
If you want to help, go to http://www.iptv.org/contact.cfm and tell them you want Jakers!. While you are at it, tell them to pull The Red Green Show. ;)
For Nebraska, you need to email jhoward1@unl.edu
Thank you for your email. IPTV broadcast JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF
PIGGELY WINKS last summer and it is being considered again for our
Summer 2005 schedule. During the school year we often have to take a few
programs out of our schedule to make room for the classroom television
we broadcast for educators.

Can I ask where you found the statistic you cited in your email? The
information we have for carriage of this program is a little different.

Elizabeth Williams

Please consider adding "Jakers!" to your progamming schedule. I viewed
it while I lived in Chicago. It is an award winning show that is
garnering praise from the media and has been picked up by 75% of PBS

No Child Left Behind...well, maybe a few

U.S. Secretary of Ed announces some changes and a new approach to NCLB may be coming.

"The Cabinent"

When a co-worker of hers turned ill, Dara scored a pair of tickets to a play being done by Redmoon Theater, a prominent, edgy local theater group. "The Cabinent" is a puppet show and it was totally amazing. I didn't know til the Q & A session that followed the 65 minute performance that it was based on a German silent film from 1919. It is a dark, chilling work and the set/backgrounds/production/soundtrack were all incredible. I don't feel that my words could properly do it justice. Please read this review of it from the Chicago Sun-Times or this one from the Trib.

Side note....As the play started the first thoughts through my head were "I have found what Maharishi students do after graduating!" (Breathe Simply....Simply Breathe)

Welcome back to Indianola...

(via email today)

Congratulations! You have been officially accepted into the MAT program. The admissions committee met this afternoon and they were very please with your application. So--welcome back to Simpson!

05 April 2005

One Shining Moment V

Well here are the final standings of our family pool. I think that we definitely need to use a weighted point system next year. Equal points for all rounds doesn't lend itself to much drama at the end. Congrats to me and thanks to all who played. No one picked North Carolina to win it all but Mom did have both teams in the finals correct. I also thought that One Shining Moment was very good this year. I remember last year as being a bit of a let down. This year's did a great job of capturing the emotions of the players.

1 jake 41
2 eron 40
3 rose 34
4 Lucas 33
5 dara 29
6 noah 20

04 April 2005

Vatican Document hierarchy

Sinced I posed the question earlier that I wondered what the difference between all the documents were, I decided to do a bit of research and provide the answer...

Vatican documents include, in descending order of formal authority: apostolic constitutions, encyclical letters, encyclical epistles, apostolic exhortations, apostolic letters, letters and messages.

Apostolic Constitution - Document of the highest authority, issued by the Pope, or by a Church Council with the Pope's approval. Apostolic constitutions today have the authority of the ancient apostolic constitutions, a collection of laws from the late fourth century, which included 85 canons attributed to the Apostles dealing with ordinations, official responsibilities, and the moral behavior of bishops and priests. They eventually became the basis for canon law in the West, when used to proclaim a Church dogma, a Dogmatic Constitution.; when used for pastoral teaching, a Pastoral Constitution.

Encyclical Letter - A pastoral letter written by the Pope to the entire Church, generally concerning matters of doctrine, morals or discipline, or significant commemorations. Its formal title is the first few words of its official text, usually in Latin. Encyclicals are not divinely inspired and do not contain new revelation, but they are authoritative teaching instruments from the Vicar of Christ. An encyclical letter is written for the whole Church, while an encyclical epistle is directed toward part of the Church, e.g., bishops or laity in a particular country, leaders of religious orders, priests, etc.

Apostolic Exhortation - A letter written by the Pope to the Church encouraging its people to take some particular action. Because apostolic exhortations do not define the development of doctrine, they are lower in formal authority than encyclical letters, which are directed to the whole Church and which may define development of doctrine.

Apostolic Letter - Document issued by the Pope or by a Vatican dicastery, usually for lesser appointments, erecting or dividing mission territory, designating basilicas, approving religious congregations, and other uses at a comparable level of importance.

Letters - A letter is written by the Pope, the head of a dicastery, or other Vatican office to a Vatican official, the head of a religious order or other dignitary. The contents are of interest primarily to those to whom they are addressed. Vatican offices also use letters to address points of doctrine or discipline that are not significant enough to require the Holy Father's personal attention, or points that have already been addressed by the Holy Father but require clarification.

Message - A letter written by the Pope or the head of a dicastery. The contents are generally of transitory rather than permanent interest

ALSO - Bull - The most solemn and weighty papal document, from the Latin bulla, the round leaden seal attached to each bull. For practical purposes a bull is an apostolic letter with a leaden seal. In it the pope takes the title episcopus, servus servorum Dei. A bull has greater solemnity, though not greater authority, than an apostolic constitution. In earlier times all important papal letters were called bulls. Today the pope issues a bull only to appointment a bishop.

02 April 2005

New Shoes!!!

I'm the proud new owner of Adidas A3 Axioms in the Grey/Red/Black colors. I'll keep you posted on how they work out. Or how I work out with them. (hee hee, a little fitness humor for ya)


So Friday, I get home from work, reheat my leftover corned beef and some spanish rice and sit down to dine in front of the TV. I had left it on public television and this new-looking cartoon came on and I reached for the remote to change it, when in the opening song they said something about 'here in Ireland', which made me pause and I decided to watch a bit more. "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks" turned out to be this very cool cartoon starring Pigley, Ferny, and Dannan. They have fun Irish brogues and the background scenery is great, colorful shopfronts and lush green countryside. Here's a good synopsis of it. They crazy thing is, Dara walked into my apartment and saw me watching it and said, "You're watching Jakers?" I was blown away that she knew what it was. Crazily, she had viewed (for the first time) the same show a couple hours earlier. We both loved this fun new cartoon and are looking forward to the next adventure down on Raloo Farm. Check your local listings and see if you can join us.


Pope John Paul II

The vatican has a page on the pontiff with a TON of info on it. I couldn't believe all the transcripted speeches and other writing it has for viewing in a half-dozen languages. (what is the difference between a constitution, an exhortation, a letter, a message, a speech, & an encyclical?) If you poke around you can find the transcription from when he visited Des Moines in October of 1979.