Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day #8099 - A Mighty Wind

People write songs about a lot of different things in nature. Sunshine, rain, starry nights, fire, waves - you name it, there is probably a song about it. Today would have been an appropriate day to listen to all songs featuring wind, and I'm not talking about gentle breezes. I'm thinking more along the lines of Twister. I laughed a little bit yesterday when the weather report said that today we would have the worst winds Illinois has seen in 70 years, but that stopped this morning when I was outside in my pjs helping my mom gather up parts of our backyard fence because it got blown out. Toto may have been a quiet and obedient dog when Dorothy calmly told him she didn't think they were in Kansas anymore, but Addy, my family's current fuzzball, didn't quite follow Toto's noble example. Pups these days...

In other news, life post-LEEP weekend is mostly back to normal. I'll have a full week of my usual online lectures this week, complete with homework due and projects to be worked on. I have done laundry. My room is clean enough for now. My creative writing isn't so great, but at least I'm trying at it again. The only thing that needs to happen now is the Blackhawks getting out of their current funk and I'll be a happy camper.

And before I wrap this up, on a completely random note, am I the only one who thinks that Glee is getting a little ridiculous? Tonight was their Rocky Horror episode, and if I were a parent, I'm not so sure that I'd be letting my kids in elementary school watch this season. I'm really feeling like this year, there's no way it belongs in a 7pm timeslot. But maybe that's just me.

Can't believe it's almost November already. My oh my how the time flies by.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day #8090 - A Weekend Away in Campustown

Under other circumstances, I might feel bad about not updating this thing in a week, but hey, I've been busy and it's not like a whole lot of people actually read this thing anyway. Chances are that if you read this blog, you also live in the same house as me and share my DNA. So there ya go.

I'm currently sitting in the South Lounge (the one that faces the quad and looks like it could belong in Harry Potter) of the Illini Union in Urbana, IL. The graduate school program I'm in is primarily online, but we are all required to come to campus once a semester for a designated weekend for class. It's been fun being back - yesterday and the day before I hung out with my friend Ali, have been enjoying this awesome weather by taking long campus walks, and even went to the Illini hockey game last night. It feels nice to be surrounded by other students and other people, even if just to do homework, rather than doing homework around the house all day. It's kind of weird though that the leaves haven't changed colors yet, here. I guess it's been too warm still.

Classes are going alright. I'm in a really good position as far as work is concerned for the class that met yesterday. My group has made a lot of good headway on our final project. I was really excited about the class that met today, but unfortunately that didn't last as long as I would have liked. The fact that I have such limited experience in schools and absolutely zero experience working in any library in any sort of capacity is starting to weigh on me. We talked about the final project for that class today and after the professor was done explaining all of it, the only thought that went through my head was "I genuinely don't think I can do this." So I'm frusturated and freaking out to say the least. As soon as I finish writing here, I'm going to do some reading for another class and just hope that tomorrow goes better. Class is only scheduled to go until 4 I think, and then I'll hit the road. If all goes according to schedule, I'll be back in Schaumburg just in time to watch How I Met Your Mother at 7 and then the Blackhawks vs. Blues game at 7:30. I figure it'll be necessary to chill out after 3 full days of classes and 3 hours of driving. Might as well try to push off the worry until at least Tuesday.

So I guess that's really it from here. I know, I know. My life is terribly exciting and you're all incredibly jealous. Have no fear, I'll be back in suburbia and my life as a hermit before you know it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day #8083 - 10/10/10

Don't really have anything particular to write about today, so this post is most likely just going to be a smattering of random thoughts. Prepare yourselves.

I'm completely loving today's date right now, and as one of my old high school buddies who is currently living in London, England posted on facebook, it's awesome because its coolness is amplified because it doesn't matter if you're in a country that writes the date day/month/year or month/day/year. Good times all around, people!

Also, here's a 26.2 mile shoutout to my neighbor Kelly and anyone else who ran the Chicago Marathon this morning. You are all rockstars in my eyes, that's a seriously awesome accomplishment and you should all be incredibly proud of yourselves.

With it being 84 degrees out right now, I'm starting to have mixed feelings about it being this warm in October. Those who know me know that I love cold weather, but I can also appreciate sunshine and being able to go out without a coat. But really, 84?? It's warmer now than I feel like it was in August! But the leaves are pretty much completely turned and falling, which makes me smile. (Also, the sight of kids raking their lawns while wearing shorts and tee-shirts is pretty funny because it's so weird.)

And I'm sure I could say more, but there's nothing really left to say. I couldn't let such a great date go without a post, so now that I've filled that self-obligation, I feel comfortable moving on with the rest of my afternoon.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day #8079 - Few but Faithful?

So it has brought to my attention recently that what I affectionately refer to as you, my "readership", is most likely no more than five people tops. Not that it really needed to be brought to my attention - I had kind of figured that the whole time. Maybe it's just me needing to play pretend a little bit, wishful thinking that what I write reaches others and makes people think or laugh or even roll their eyes.

So though this readership community may be a small one for now, I just wanted to say that if you do take the time to read this blog, thanks. I know it's silly, but it's nice to know even five people might take the time to read this thing from time to time.

Happy Wednesday, and until next time... :o)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day #8076 - Ode to Sports Movies

October is a unique time of year as far as the world of sports in North America is concerned. Baseball is heading into the home stretch with the World Series coming our way. Football is about a month into the season. Hockey's pre-season is ending with the promise of a new chase to the Stanley Cup about to be under way. Even basketball is in the midst of training camp with their regular season starting at the end of the month. And for those of you who follow professional soccer on this side of the pond, that is still going on too. Yes, all (male) major league sports are present in one way or another during October - a busy time for the networks in addition to the MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLS.

But even though there's such a wide variety of real sports games to be watching this time of year, I'm going to give my little ode right now to sports movies. I love them, I always have. More often than not they're stories about the underdog team or athlete working hard and with just enough guts and determination, they're able to beat whatever Golliath they're facing. And as corny as it may be, I love it when these sports tales are commenting on something much greater than just the final score. Miracle wasn't just about a hockey team, it was about a country needing something to believe in when it felt hopeless. Remember the Titans was about more than high school football, it was about looking at race relations in 1960s America and the idea that a small group of people, even a high school football team, can make a difference. The Replacements captures the idea of having a second chance to live your dream. The incomperable The Mighty Ducks shows how even misfits have a place to belong. And though I'm not really one for watching golf, The Legend of Baggar Vance uses the game of golf as a metaphor for life, something that "can't be won, only played."

But that's not always the case, they don't always win or end in the traditional happily ever after, and those stories (fiction or fact) are almost even more endearing to me. Rudy is based on the true story of a young man who only ever dreamed of playing Notre Dame football, and for all his hard work for four long years, he got to dress for one game and participate in two plays. In Mystery, Alaska, a small-town Alaskan team puts up a hell of a fight against the New York Rangers and though they fall short when the final buzzer sounds, the movie is about a team with a lot of heart who really didn't lose when you consider the big picture.

I could go on and on. True, I love it when a movie or story is based on something that actually happened (such as Invictus - if you haven't seen it, you should), but they all carry the same tone with me. Sometimes, it really is more than "just a game" and though winning is always the preferred outcome, the bigger message is about laying it all out on the field, ice, court, etc. and giving the situation your absolute best so that when you do walk away or look back later in life, there are no regrets. So here's to the sports movies and the many metaphors they stand for.

Oh, and Go Blackhawks!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day #8074 - Routine Maintenance

First and foremost, readers, Happy October! I love the binary of today's date: 10/01/10. Just wait until the 10th; then I'll probably have goosebumps.

While Fridays this semester mean that I don't have class to log into, that doesn't mean I sit around in my pjs all day wandering the world of YouTube or Wikipedia. Usually, Fridays and my other weekday without classes, Mondays, are dedicated to homework - either trying to get ahead of the game or keep up with the schedule. Today I took on a different project bright and early. Twice a year I wax and clean my car and today was one of those lucky days.

Let me tell you, taking care of my car was apparently just the change I needed to snap out of this weird place I've been in for the last two days. Though in today's society a well-off job almost always requires working at a desk with a computer, I loved that the day went by so much faster than it has in a long time because I was working with my hands. It reminded me of all the activities I did in high school and how I'd get so engrossed in a project or task that I wouldn't notice the hours going by. Lately I'm lucky if I'm at my desk working on homework by 9:30, but today I was full of energy and was already working in the garage by 8am. I feel it was a job well done and a good start to the weekend that will now be filled with more studying, reading, and writing.

Much like cars, I think it's important that people give themselves routine maintenance as well. Evaluate what we're doing, where we're going, and the company we keep. Cleaning out my Facebook friends over the summer felt liberating, and I feel another purge coming on in the near future. In the grand scheme of things, there isn't a whole lot that we have control of in this life. So, let's take care of the things we do have a say in.

Keep it classy, my few but faithful readers! Comments ALWAYS welcome!