Friday, January 26, 2007

Bear Down, Chicago Bears

As sung by Chicago Lyric Opera's Bryan Griffin. Hat tip Rich Miller.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Good Housekeeping

I went on an unplanned break there, but now that I've switched over to the new version of Blogger and did something of consequence over the weekend, I felt like coming back.

First, an order of business. I changed the template once again (marking a fourth change for me in nearly five years of blogging). Sure it's a bit 18th century in its drabness, and a bit reminiscent of my Up A Gum Tree template, but no one's here for the aesthetics, right? I may be changing the site even more, or possibly changing the URL/permission feature that's available. I've probably lost some loyal readers in the interim here, and would lose more if it was an invite-only kind of thing, but whatever.

Last night, Mary and I checked out Dave Eggers at 826CHI. He spoke about his new book, What is the What, alongside the book's subject, Valentino Achek Deng. Deng is one of the Sudanese Lost Boys and he talked at length about the conflict in southern Sudan and the ongoing war in Darfur. His fluency on the issue, along with his incredibly hopeful attitude, were something to behold. He witnessed countless friends and family die in the genocide, and through Eggers, retold his story in What. Mary bought me a copy for Christmas; I'm only a hundred pages in, but I can say at this point that it's worth a read.

On another morbid topic -- I watched the movie "The Killing Fields" over the holidays, which is about the story of a New York Times journalist and his interpreter in the midst of the Cambodian massacre in the fallout of the Vietnam war. It won four Oscars in 1985 and it was nominated for Best Picture. I only had a loose knowledge of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime, sussed out through a few news pieces and word of mouth while traveling northern Thailand; this movie filled in a lot of the gaps, as did its Wikipedia stub. Definitely recommended.

On a lighter note, the defense/Robbie Gould OT field goal in yesterday's Bears game goes up there with the Illini's comeback victory against Arizona in the '05 tournament, Kerry Wood's 20 strikeouts, and Paxson's three against Phoenix as some of the best theatrical moments in my sports-viewing history. Grossman was mediocre, which I can be happy with, if only the rest of the offense would catch the ball when he actually hits his target. And the Tank fiasco seems like ancient history by now, no?