August 25, 2005

i only want sympathy in the form of you crawling into bed with me

...or why this semester is going to be awesome.
1. Classes
I'm pretty excited about my classes this semester. On the rhetoric/English side I'm taking a fiction writing classes. It's structured a little differently than the others I've taken, but it seems like it will be cool. I'm also taking an honors seminar called "Law and Citizenship in the American Novel." It might sound kind of boring, but I'm pretty interested in law so after taking Media Law last semester I'm happy to be able to take another law related class. Might law school still be a possibility for the future? Who knows. In journalism I'm taking News Editing, Magazine Article Writing, and Investigative Reporting. Unfortunately I came into the investigative reporting class a semester too late to do substantial work on the Deep Throat project that garnered international media attention, but we're starting a new project to find the worst judge in America that sounds like it will be really interesting. The news editing class probably won't be thrilling but it's one of those important skill building classes that will probably help me a lot in the future. The magazine class is awesome because it's designed to be geared toward writing a article and shopping it for publication in a magazine. I really hope I can get mine published because that would be a great thing for the ol' resume.

This semester might have the most amazing line up of shows out of any that I've been here in Champaign. I might not be able to attend them all but the ones that have me excited so far are Of Montreal, Sufjan Stevens, Interpol, Foo Fighters & Weezer with Kaiser Chiefs, Hum, and Death Cab for Cutie. I'm sure there are others that I'm forgetting or haven't heard about yet. But that line up is pretty amazing. And that's all in Champaign. It doesn't include the Alkaline Trio and Reggie & the Full Effect show I'm going to in Chicago or any of the other great shows in the city this fall.

3.Writing my ass off
My intention is to go from shitty resume to kick ass resume in the matter of one semester. In order to achieve this goal I will be writing for anyone who lets me. I've already got a gig writing for the Physics Department alumni newsletter and I'm working on getting stuff at the DI and the Buzz right now. I might even try to see if I can get anything in the News-Gazette. The idea is to have a lot more clips to work with than the few assignments I did for the Daily Herald senior year of high school.

This one is a big question mark. The Illini are a question mark no matter what. As excited as I am about the "Zook Era," I'm not ready to make him Champaign's football messiah. Although if his record is anything like what it was at Florida, I'll be right in line at the First Church of Zook.
I was a little bit more confident about the Bears until Rex Grossman went down. It's not that I think the team was built around Rex or that he's necessary to succeed. I just question the team's ability to manage the QB situation. Maybe Chad Hutchinson will be better with a better O line, but I have my doubts. If it were up to me I'd stick Orton out there and use Kurt Kittner as the back up. I guess we'll see what happens.
If it's bad, Illini basketball is only a few months away.

It's going to be fall soon. I love fall.

6.Second to last hurrah
Although I'm going to be very busy this semester, you can be damn sure I'm going to find time to enjoy myself. This is my last year* of college and I'm definitely going to make it count.

They'll Need a Crane - They Might Be Giants

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August 1, 2005

can you still remember april to november?

A few baseball related items

First of all, I'd like to express my disappointment that the Cubs traded Jody Gerut. Since he came to the majors I've been hoping that Gerut would get a chance to play for the Cubbies. I was exstatic when I found out we'd aquired him for Jason Dubois, a very good trade in my mind. Jody didn't get a chance to do very much in his two weeks on the North Side. I think he could have done very well here, but it seems like the trade for Matt Lawton should work out pretty well, especially if Dusty actually puts him in the lead off spot where he belongs. It's still cool to be able to say that my high school physics teacher's son was a Chicago Cub, even if it was only for two weeks.
If you follow baseball, by now you've probably already heard that Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro was suspended today by Comissioner Bud Selig for violation of Major League Baseball's steroid policy. This is a man who sat in front of a congressional committee 5 months ago and testified, "I have never used steroids. Period." He is apparently still taking that stance despite the fact that he has failed drug tests. In a statement released after the suspension was announced today he stated, "I am sure you will ask how I tested positive for a banned substance. As I look back, I don't have a specific answer to give. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to explain to the arbitrator how the banned substance entered my body. The arbitrator did not find that I used a banned substance intentionally - in fact, he said he found my testimony to be compelling - but he ruled that I could not meet the heavy burden imposed on players who test positive under the new drug policy." (His whole statement can be read here). I think it seems very odd that everyone who tests positive for a banned substance has no idea how it possibly got into their body. I don't think there's anyone lurking around locker rooms stick players with needles full of steroids when they're not looking. I'm sure that mistakes can be made in the testing process, but it seems interesting that someone who has been implicated by a fellow player (even one with as little credibility as Jose Canseco) as a steroid user is later suspended as a result of the league's steroid policy. In my opinion, this means that a little more credence should probably be given to what Canseco has to say on the subject. On The Score today, Terry Boers talked about how he wrote early in Palmeiro's career that he was a corner outfielder who couldn't hit homeruns and couldn't drive in runs. Now 40, Palmeiro is 9th on the all-time homeruns list with 569 and has surpassed 3000 hits. Palmeiro has not been able to meet the burden of proof to show that he did not use a banned substance and we can only assume that he actually violated the policy unless he can prove otherwise.
On a much more positive note, Ryne Sanberg was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday and gave an outstanding speech about having respect for the game of baseball and playing it the way it should be played. He criticized the players who put themselves before the teams they play on, reminding everyone that the name on the front of the jersey should be more important than the one on the back. Ryno also emphasized the importance of doing the little things it takes to win a baseball game rather than swinging for the fences every at bat. Exerpts from the speech can be read here.
As far as the modern day Chicago Cubs go, they need some much better work from the bullpen if they have any chance of taking the Wild Card at all. Houston is playing very well right now and the Cubs are really streaky.

Remember His Name - Jurassic 5

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