31 March 2009

Do the Right Thing

Stories like this amaze me. Yes, in theory, it is a simple gesture and the right thing to do. But, in reality, during the high intensity and blazing speed of a professional match and you are inside your opponent's 18 yard box, having the iron-clad resolve and unerring fairness to tell the referee AFTER he's awarded a penalty kick to you that you were actually not fouled and the tackle was fair and good, is more than respectable. It's admirable. It is pretty much giving up a free goal, which is monumental. Check it out here.

30 March 2009

March Madness

Going into the Final Four weekend and the champion's crown is still up for grabs (barely). homebase is the only person who can still earn points. The rest of us have no teams still alive. homebase, predictably, have the Tar Heels winning the whole thing and actually only needs them to win their next game to overtake me and earn bragging rights until next season. Good luck!

Sonal Shah


I've really be enjoying this season of Scrubs and especially the new group of interns. They really bring some much-needed new personalities to the already great show. My favorite intern, and new crush, is Dr. Sunny Dey, played by the wonderful Sonal Shah. Her character is hilarious and the webisodes that she directs are superb. I checked out what wiki had to say about her and also her website and she is amazing! Incredible dancer, speaks 4 languages, was the student keynote speaker at her Loyola graduation, Second City and Improv Olympic in Chicago, and it goes on and on. Very impressive...and visually impressive as well. :)

26 March 2009

Too snippy or just a snappy comeback?

The President had a short press conference on Tuesday night that I happened to see. About two-thirds of the way through, Obama calls on Ed Henry of CNN. You can read Ed's version of what followed here. You can read the transcipt here. Ed asks this four paragraph long question about the AIG bonuses and other items which Obama answers selectively and then Ed follows up Obama's answer with,
Ed: "But on AIG, why did you wait -- why did you wait days to come out and express that outrage? It seems like the action is coming out of New York and the attorney general's office. It took you days to come public with Secretary Geithner and say, look, we're outraged. Why did it take so long?

OBAMA: "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

Now, I thought it was a apt retort that made sense. I don't want a leader who rushes to a press conference as soon as anything comes up. There is A LOT to disseminate and research with the AIG news and waiting a few days to find out what is being paid, to whom, why and what can be done about it seems to make sense to me.
I thought it was interesting that in Ed's version of events, he acts like he was surprised to be called so early and couldn't go off-topic and had no choice but to 'hammer' him on AIG, even though other people had already asked about the Mexican drug problem and the Defenese/Veterans Affairs budget cuts.
I do think that Mr. Henry has good ending to his article, "What do I think? I've got no hard feelings toward the president and I assume he feels the same, but I can't worry about that. I was doing my job -- and he was doing his."

One other comment in Mr. Henry's column got me thinking. He continues his review of the moment, "But it's in moments like that we sometimes find out what's really on a president's mind. In this case, he's not happy about the scrutiny on AIG. So he did slap me down a bit." I've actually be doing some reading on these infamous AIG bonuses the last few days. Like the majority of Americans, I too was disgusted when I read about people getting these million dollar plus bonuses at a corporation that the government has had to take over and bail out. But after I read a blog post on an economics blog that I regard highly, I've started to learn a bit more and temper my feelings on the issue. I'm not saying I whole-heartedly endorse the bonuses, but there is a lot that is being misconstrued by the media and needs to be clarified. If you care to learn a bit more, read the blog post, then read this resignation letter from an executive VP at AIG to Mr. Liddy, and (optional) read Campbell Brown's thoughts on the letter. I agree that it is hard to feel sorry for anyone (guilty or innocent) who is raking in high six figure salaries, but disporportionate wages and the ethics of salaries like that are a completely different discussion.

23 March 2009

Basketball Uniform Violation

Another story brought to my attention via Gapers Block. It started off as one of those odd, unique, quirky stories you see every so often - a team is playing in the Illinois state semifinals and gets a technical foul assessed on them before the game starts due to an stripe on their jerseys that doesn't match regulations. But as you read more it gets more and more ridiculous. After the free throws, the game starts with them down a point and they end up losing by one point. These are the same uniforms they've worn all year, without ever getting a technical before. For the consolation game they bring their sophomore team's uniforms but they are told that they also are in violation of the rules, so they wear their original uniforms and start that game off down a point as well, although they go on to win handily. Oh, they've also had a player shot, another be academically ineligible and one be ineligible after being caught cheating but then getting a court injunction to be able to play. That is one wild season!

Parking Meter Assault

Saw this article on Gapers Block and after I started to read the article I realized that this happened right by my old YMCA! The assailant was a resident at the Y and some of the residents there were a bit off but this definitely would've been memorable! Great pictures to document the whole scenario!

20 March 2009

Presidential Bracket

Could this get any better? March Madness is great, Obama is great...put them together...golden! There's so many good quips in this. I love when Obama says he has to pick Duke because of Reggie Love and the ESPN guy asks "All the way?" and Obama says "No, not all the way" - like 'are you out of your mind?' :) He's got such a great speaking manner, even explaining his reasoning for some of his picks he sounds so calm, sound, and convincing! homebase has gotta love that picked UNC. "Now, I picked y'all last year - you let me down. This year, don't embarrass me in front of the nation...I've still got those sneakers you gave me." Love it!

19 March 2009

Chicago in 26 hours

I made a compact trip to Chicago the last couple days and, although it wasn't long, it didn't feel like a whirlwind either. I was arriving in Chicago on the first flight of the day and had a 'wheels-down' time of ~8:30. Took the train straight to down town and was in line when the Art Institute opened its doors. They had a special Edvard Munch exhibit, but since I'm not a big fan and didn't have that much time, I opted for just the standard admission. But they also had an exhibit of Yousuf Karsh, an Armenian-born, Canadian photographer. His name didn't ring any bells but when you look at his portraits you will definitely recognize some of the shots and the style. The portraits were very fun to see upclose; they are large prints! I couldn't spent an hour or so on this one alone. After that, my shopping commenced and although I saw lots of items that I liked, I ended up buying nothing. And I found an adidas Performance store that just opened in August, in addition to the adidas Originals store that I love, so that was great. I took a little break at the Borders on Michigan and I wrote down a couple books to try and get from the library. My seat was in the very corner of the second-story cafe and I had a wonderful view of Michigan and Water Tower for people watching. I figured spring break was a great time for a little pampering so I had booked a massage, my first ever. At the skilled hands of the Lincoln Park Massage, I had a relaxing and reinvigorating 60 minute deep-tissue massage (thanks for the tip, Amy!). I can definitely see why people like them so much! Following that, it was time to meet up with Amy, Adriana, Dave and Jen at English for a little dinner. It was very nice to spend some time catching up with them and hearing what all was new with everyone. I also ran into a couple students...seriously! Of all the restaurant/bars in Chicago, the probability of that occurring is mind-blowing! After dinner we went our seperate ways, they to see 'Mary Poppins' and me to see 'Xanadu'. I had got a tip from a drama-major former student that Xanadu was good fun and I was able to find a coupon for $20 off the ticket price online. I really enjoyed it. It is tons of campy, roller-skating, neony fun. I just got the soundtrack off iTunes. :) And I got to stay in a super-comfy bed at Dave & Adriana's new place (sweet views!). The next morning I walked up Milwaukee and marveled at all the killer shoe and clothing stores (none of which were open that early). I will have to be sure to hit up that area on my next trip! A great time for sure!!

16 March 2009

Obama to AIG: "WTF?"

Txting typos

I had a great trip down to Conception, MO on Sunday with homebase for mass and a visit to their gift shop. Beautiful weather, nice mass, fun conversation. On the way home we stopped in Maryville for a lunch at Subway. So we have our sandwiches and are munching away and the place is pretty busy. There are quite a few college kids, probably just rolling out of bed or maybe fueling up before a Sunday afternoon of studying. Anyways, there's this group of four girls and one of them is re-telling the events of the previous day. My favorite part is when she is describing the communications she had traded with a boy. "So I was texting him and I meant to say "Oh well" but instead I sent "Oh Wells Fargo" on accident!" and I just met him and this is like the first time I've texted him..." I could barely contain my laughter on that. Gotta love T9/iTap. What made me think of this is a text I received this morning from homebase. I'm assuming she meant to send "Thx" but instead it came out "Thxbox". :)

15 March 2009

Cookies!

















I may have a new chocolate-chip cookie recipe. I felt like baking something tonight and wanted to use what I had on hand. I had half a bag of butterscotch chips and half a big bar of chocolate (hand me down from homebase I'm sure). I had tried the official Tollhouse recipe last time and I thought it was better but since I didn't have a bag of chocolate chips to read the recipe off of, I went to food network to see what they had. I found this one and was really pleased with the results. I also replaced my baking powder which was so far past expired, I'm too embarrassed to print it.

St. Patrick's Day (warm-up)

We had a little pre-Patrick's Day weekend this weekend and we kicked it off with a visit to one of the most impressive fish fry operations I've seen. Mary Our Queen's Knights of Columbus do a great Friday night event every Friday during lent. Last week I hear they served just over 2,000 meals. That's a significant amount of fish! It was a fun time and the fish, mac-n-cheez, tator tots, etc were all super tasty. Saturday brought the annual parade and festivities in Imogene. As hard as it is to believe but this was the first time that I've even made it to Imogene on St. Patrick's Day. For those readers that don't know...1- St. Patrick's is my second favorite holiday, 2- I have a large arsenal of green and Irish themed clothing and accessories and love to bust them out on March 17, 3- Imogene is the location of my home parish, St. Patrick's church, 4-Imogene was founded by Irish immigrants and was then and is still rich in Irish heritage. Yet, I usually find myself in Chicago or Omaha or somewhere and haven't made it back home for the big day, so this year was a special treat for me. Add to that the fact that my younger brother, caboose, was playing with a friend at the local tap, the Emerald Isle, and it was definitely a big day. The parade was great. Short, yes, but what do you expect from a town that counted 66 residents in the last census?! I got some festive and fun pictures of the parade. I did not take any pictures of the "duck" races, jig contest, or sanitary-questionable potato-bobbing. I did get some nice shots of caboose and Tom rocking the place though! And a couple videos. Everyone I talked to was impressed by their musical stylings. Well done boys! Can't wait til the next gig! And I'm looking forward to the actual holiday on Tuesday! Slainte!

14 March 2009

Jane Eyre

I enjoyed reading 'Crime & Punishment' last year over spring break (and the following months) at the suggestion of my AP Lit teaching friend. So this year they are reading 'Jane Eyre' over break. This one did not take long at all. I really loved it! I was a little bit hesitant before I started it. As I senior in high school I read 'Wuthering Heights' which was written by Emily Bronte, the sister of Jane Eyre's Charlotte Bronte. I just remember 'Heights' being dense and hard to get through but luckily, 'Jane Eyre' was not like that at all. It reminded me of 'Oliver Twist' a little and that is definitely a good thing. I am following it up with 'Wide Sargasso Sea' which tells Bertha's side of the story.

Favorite lines:
"there is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort."

"We were born to strive and endure - you as well as I: do so."

Vocabulary list:
timorous
torpid
turpid
captious
artifice
parterre
poltroon
penurious
moiety
perfidious
ameliorated
resurgam
soporific
officious
caprice
assiduous
celerity
palliate
salubrious
contumelious
sagacity
avaricious
prurience
refulgent
cumbrous

09 March 2009

The Office: Music Mashup

Saw this on Today's Big Thing and LOVED IT.
All lovers of the Office need to watch.

08 March 2009

"Not without my..."

I thought this post from Kathleen Flinn's blog was interesting and fun. It also made me think, despite not being near her level of culinary achievement, what would be my "not without my" items...
Like Ms. Flinn, I'm very fond of my knives. And like her, I am a fan of Wusthof. I've got a Le Cordon Bleu paring knife from the knife class I took with stoppable a couple years ago to go with a good cook's knife and a santoku that is not bad either. All of them should probably be sharpened. (Which reminds me, I need a sharping steel). I also really like my big cast iron skillet. It is super for curry, frying falafel, making chicken, really pretty much anything. I might also include my (secondhand) pepper mill. Fresh ground pepper is hard to live without. Honorable mentions: my Microplane, my box grater, measuring spoons, and my All-Clad grill pan.
I do have to add that her spice drawer made me recoil. As homebase can attest, I've always had an obsession with organizing, alphabetizing, condensing and purging the spice pantry at home. I've let go of the alphabetizing but still like all spices to be facing forward, neatly stacked and visible.

Girls State Basketball

I was hoping to make it down to Wells Fargo for a game last week during the Girls High School State basketball tournament and homebase thought it sounded like a good time so she came into town and Friday we were able to hit up the fish fry at St. John's (with caboose) before heading to some games. Although the Deer Expo going on next door looked interesting, we stuck to our plan and got our ticket ($8 for two championship games) and had good seats to watch Springville take on AGWSR (Ackley, Geneva, Wellsburg, Steamboat Rock). Springville was the defending champs and led almost the entire game...until the last 30 seconds. It wasn't a pretty game and the final score was 28-27. They both liked to take it slow and set up their offense but the finish was crazy; missed free throws, turnovers and a come from behind win. We also watched the first of the 2A game with Manilla-IKM going against a Cascade team that couldn't seem to get things going. Their student section was INCREDIBLE and great to watch, but they didn't have it on the floor. Saturday we made meatloaf and cheesy potatoes and watched the finish of the 3A game and all the 4A game on TV. I was happy to see Sioux City North take down Ames. Some good individual performances and girls state bb is always a fun time. I was very happy that they decided to allow the high school pep bands to play and they seem to have scaled back on the relentless scoreboard distractions and give the cheerleaders and students a chance to actually cheer and keep the focus on the game and on the lights and sounds of Wells Fargo.

04 March 2009

A little Cary Grant for my brother

After hearing a piece of this dialogue repeated from stoppable many times and it always cracking me up, I decided to go hunt it down. I couldn't remember who said it or what movie it was from but after a few minutes of searching, I found this perfect little video snippet. (0:37)

02 March 2009

Wordle

I saw this creative linguistic website, Wordle, mentioned on Fischbowl and had a little fun checking it the classroom teacher's account of what all took place. I thought it was cool how they incorporated it into their lesson. I'll have to think on ways to possibly use it in my own classes. Check out the ones I came up with while playing around. Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" and Taylor Swift's "Love Story"
Wordle: Robert Frost
Wordle: Love Story

01 March 2009

Beckham vs KG

As I've noted before (example 1, 2, 3), I love seeing professional athletes having fun and enjoying competition away from their jobs. This is a great little video clip of Kevin Garnett and David Beckham playing a little driveway competition. I love seeing how into it they both get.