Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Hockey Night in Urbana!

"People talke about skating, puck handling and shooting, but the whole sport is angles and caroms, forgetting the straight direction the puck is going, calculating where it will be directed, factoring in all the interruptions. Basically, my whole game is angles."  Wayne Gretzky

Yes it is Hockey night and the Illini are home!   Hope the angles work for them against Robert Morris College, a conference game.  

I will we there, all alone tonight, as J is working the set at the IUB fall musical Jekyll and Hyde  at Follinger Hall(saw the dress rehearsal last night and the show promises to be a winner and I might add the set is wonderful), and R  is working, and my guy is also working.  But I will be having fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pavarotti sings Puccini

It just doesn't get better than this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

Because it is Halloween week and because I love this series of books:

"Sure you can manage that broom. Potter:" said a cold, drawling voice. Draco Malfoy had arrived for a closer look, Crabbe and Goyle right behind him.
"Yeah, reckon so," said Harry casually.
"Got plenty of special features, hasn't it?" said Malfoy, eyes glittering maliciously.
"Shame it doesn't come with a parachute-in case you get too near a Dementor." 
Crabbe and Goyle sniggered.
"Pity you can't attach an extra arm to yours, Malfoy," said Harry. "Then it could catch the Snitch for you."

Thanks to J. K. Rowling for writing such wonderfully entertaining books, rich with full bodied characters.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feeling Happy

"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation." Rainer Maria Rilke

The weekend was so delightful.  I find myself feeling really happy today.  My new guy seems so suited to my personality and he seems to like me too.  When I find myself feeling blissfully happy in the moment, I begin to listen to Puccini.   I just can't help myself.  Puccini's operas are so full of emotion it suits me.  

So here I sit listening to Pavarotti singing love arias from Puccini's greatest operas, as I work, and feeling overjoyed. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hockey Weekend

”You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”  Wayne Gretzky

The Fighting Illini will be in Edmond Oklahoma this weekend.  

I will be cheering them on and checking each night.  The games are broadcast on the University of Central Oklahoma web page,  but I am going to be having some fun this weekend, so I will miss the broadcasts.

Dinner at BayernSteuben in Gibson City, on Friday night and then the Halloween Party at my friends house on Saturday.  Spending two evenings with my new guy  and really looking forward to them.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


"Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life."  Sophia Loren

Lately, I have been carrying around a lot of baggage. It comes in the form of men. Men I have been married to, men I have dated;  Men who have been jerks.

I feel like I am carrying around 5 large bags everywhere I go. They are just with me at present.

I feel like I have made some mistakes in my life.  

Recently, I have met a truly good man.  I am having a wonderful time with him and look forward to each and every time we can be together.  The funny thing is, when I met him for the first time, I didn't have any idea that I would feel this way about him.  It has blossomed gradually.  I am looking at this as a good sign. Perhaps all that "love at first sight" business; that immediate attraction, is a bad thing for me. I certainly have made some bad choices in the arena of love.  

I want these men out of my head ( the baggage that is).I want to board an airplane and have the airline loose this baggage for me.   I just want the one good one to be there, in a special place of his own.

I figure if a beautiful women like Sophia Lauren had made mistakes and lived through them,  then so can I. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

Because it is October and I am dreaming of Scotland. Something from Robert Burns

I DREAM'D I lay where flowers were springing
   Gaily in the sunny beam, 
List'ning to the wild birds singing,
By a falling, chrystal stream;
Streight the sky grew black and daring, 
Thro' the woods the whirlwinds rave;
Trees with ages arms were warring,
O'er the swelling, drumlie wave.

Such was my life's deceitful morning,
Such the pleasures I enjoy'd;
But lang or noon, loud tempests storming
A' my flowery bliss destroyed.
Tho' fickle Fortune has deciev'd me,
She promis'd fair, and perform'd but ill;
Of mony a joy and hope bereav'd me,
I bear a heart shall support me still.

Monday, October 20, 2008


"Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none travel alone." The Dhammapada

 Well I will have to admit that the people that I traveled with were every bit my equal!  I was just looking for a quote about travel and came across this tidbit.   

I had to actually, look up what The Dhammapada is-  A collection of 423 verses containging the Buddha's essential teaching on some 305 occasions for the benefit of a wide range of human being.  So there!

So the point of this post is that I traveled to Milwaukee for a professional conference.  I just love Milwaukee, but unfortunately I left my camera at home (with my chapstick and sunglasses).   The conference was pretty good,  I heard some interesting papers.   My paper went quite well, I felt like some one else giving it, so I guess the actress in me kicked in.   A malfunction of the remote control for the computer, during the paper just before mine, left me having to give a nod to the girl at the computer each time I needed a slide change.   She was marvelous and did very well.  It was a bit strange trying to look up at the audience without signaling a slide change,  but it all went well.  It didn't even freak me out when  the batteries died on the guys paper just before mine.

I managed to get to an ice hockey game on Saturday night (skipped the banquet, which I had not any desire to go to).   My friend had read that the Rockford Ice Hogs were in town to play the Milwuakee Admirals for their first home game.  The stadium was one block from the hotel, so after a delightful Thai meal, Alex and I headed over to the game. It was my first time at an AHL game and it was fun.  Alex is a Chicago Blackhawks fan, and the Ice Hogs are the farm team for the Blackhawks.  Being a Blues fan, I was less excited about the team, but had a great time anyway.  Felt sorry for the home team, as they lost in a shootout after the 4 minute overtime,  hard way to loose.  It seems the Blackhawks faired equally as well Saturday night as the Blues beat them in a shootout!  Go Blues!

Back at home the Illini swept the Buckeyes in two games.  My girls said Saturday night's game looked more like a practice than a game!   

On my return home on Sunday afternoon, I went to an Organ Spectacular with my very nice and thoughtful date.  This is turning out to be quite and exciting dating experience, as we have much in common, as he  his is a warm, generous, genuine guy.  I didn't know that I actually like pipe organ music!  It was fascinating watching a truly gifted organist play that beautiful instrument.

A whirlwind weekend, that was truly fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Magic Land

"The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn, and violets bathe in the wet o' the morn."  Robert Burns

I pulled out of the garage this morning to begin my drive to work.
I was expecting to see the full moon still in the western sky.  I stepped outside last night at 10:30 to view the bright full moon in the crystal clear sky.

It seemed strangely dark and quiet out.  When I pulled out of the garage, the ground was damp, the sky shrouded in a fine mist.  Mist hung about the street lamps giving them a soft yellow glow.  

I was immediately transported to a magical land I once visited two Octobers ago.  That land, the birthplace of Robert Burns,  is known to the world as Scotland.  I long to return to that land and feel the magic once more.  I am even wearing the shoes I trudged all over Scotland in.  

I love  the wet o' the morn.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hockey Night in Urbana

”A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” –Wayne Gretzky

I can't believe it!  I will be in Milwaukee this weekend, which means I am going to miss Hockey night in Urbana. The fighting Illini take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State.  It has been a long while since the Illini have played Ohio State.  
My team is 6-0-0 so far this season.  
I may be gone in body, but I will be there in spirit. 

 Go Illini!

Thought for Tuesday

"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable." Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott born November 29, 1832 died March 6 1888
I have always enjoyed her book Little Women.  I read it to the girls when they were young.   Here is a bit, from the end of the book.

Jo couldn't even lose her heart in a decorous manner, but sternly tried to quench her feelings, and failing to do so, led a somewhat agitated life. She was mortally afraid of being laughed at for surrendering, after her many and vehement declarations of independence. Laurie was her especial dread, but thanks to the new manager, he behaved with praiseworthy propriety, never called Mr. Bhaer `a capital old fellow' in public, never alluded, in the remotest manner, to Jo's improved appearance, or expressed the least surprise at seeing the Professor's hat on the Marches' table nearly every evening. But he exulted in private and longed for the time to come when he could give Jo a piece of plate, with a bear and a ragged staff on it as an appropriate coat of arms.

Friday, October 10, 2008


"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." Aristotle

We have  traditions at my workplace.  Four times a year we get together for lunch and we call these days Spring Day-or better known as Fish Day, Summer Day (hot dogs), Fall Day (barbecue sandwhiches) and Christmas Holiday(Papa Del's Pizza).  

These are truly amazing events.  We all bring in a dish to share; some bring in breakfast foods, such as tasty bagels, blueberry french toast, quiche;  some bring in tasty in between snacks, Tex Mex dip, salsa and chips, quacamole, cheese balls and cheese and crackers; some bring in dishes to accompany the sandwhich, such as potato salad, slaw, salads of all sorts  and some bring dessert!

This year we had delicious pulled pork bbq and sliced beef brisket from Foudini's.  It was so good I can't even do it justice with words.

It is a time of bonding and sharing and motivating us all to work and enjoy our work!

I ate myself into oblivion!  

As for the weekend,  I have no hockey game in town tonight, but I will attend the U of I homecoming parade and game with my friend Sandy.  I have a concert at Krannert on Sunday afternoon and a date in the evening.   I just might need Monday to recuperate from the weekend!  But, alas , I have to finish my presentation slides for the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Milwaukee, which I am leaving for next Thursday!  I will listening to the hockey game on WPGU  107.1!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

There is harmony 
In Autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Driving to work this morning and yesterday morning it struck me that it is dark when I leave the house.  I used to love the dark, still morning drive to work. It took me sometime to adjust to leaving the house in daylight, seeing the sun.   I felt suddenly, alive and exhilarated in the wet darkness of this morning.  

A few trees have begun to show their color on my street.  My maple tree has started to drop yellow leaves on my deck and in the yard.  I love autumn!

If only I could take this autumn road and just enjoy the beauty around me.   But alas, I have to work.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thought for Tuesday

A little excerpt from Lucy Maude Montgomery~ Anne of Green Gables 
If only I could be this optimistic in troubling times.!

"I'm just as ambitious as ever. Only, I've changed the object of my ambitions. I'm going to be a good teacher-- and I'm going to save your eyesight. Besides, I mean to study at home here and take a little college course all by myself. Oh, I've dozens of plans, Marilla. I've been thinking them out for a week. I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Weekend update

"I was at a fight and a Hockey game broke out"   Bumper sticker

Friday night's game proved to be an interesting game of hockey. Oakland seemed to want to play hockey.  But the dominating National Champs were too much for them to take.
They became frustrated and turned to sloppy, fighting thugs. A gloves off fight, in the 3rd period, left Heredia without a jersey and a game disqualification.  The Grizzles player who started the fracas was also disqualified,  and the poor official ended up on the bottom!  Several other near fights occurred but we managed to make it to the buzzer and win 6-0.

I figured Saturday's game couldn't get worse,  but alas it did.  With the Illini up about 7-0 the in the first period the Grizzle's turned nasty again.  Another fight, two more players disqualified in the second period,  and a 3 Grizzle receiving a game misconduct and escorted off the ice.  The third period slowed down a little and the Illini won 12-3.  Three individual players, Pringle, Nemeth and Jennings had hat tricks (each scored 3 times).  

All in all it was an exciting two evenings!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Hockey Night in Urbana!

It is Friday, if you are looking for me you will find me at the Illini Ice Arena watching the National Champion Fighting Illini take on the Grizzlies of Okland University.

The Grizzlies make the trip from Rochester Michigan to take on the number 1 ranked Illini.  It should be an exciting weekend of ice hockey.

Face off both nights is 7:30pm.

Go Illini!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

See the Beauty

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead. " Louisa May Alcott

Fall is here, the sun is magnificent, the air is crisp.  Driving to work this morning, I felt happiness in the dark, early morning silence. 

It is a  difficult time we are living in, so many hurdles to jump each and every day. 

To be healthy, I will remain positive, see a better time ahead, remember my higher aspirations and believe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Civil War Re-enactment

"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Bierce

Saturday last, I was invited to attend the re-enactment of the  Battle of Chickamauga, at Kennecuk Cove in Kicapoo State Park.   I was so very excited as I have been intrigued by the American Civil War for a long time, and have visited many actual battlegrounds.  I have always wanted to attend a re-enactment.

It was a beautiful day and I was absolutely in awe of the dedication of the re-enactors.  We arrived just a little early for the Ladies Tea and Fashion show, but Generals Grant and Lee were addressing the audience, explaining about the different uniforms they wore for different occasions.  Now the man playing Lee was pretty good, but the man playing Grant, was awesome.  He looked just like all the pictures of Grant during the Civil War.

The fashion show was so much fun.  The ladies had on dresses for different occasions and the host explained all the details of each outfit and the etiquette of the dress.

We then walked around the Union encampment, saw what they were cooking on the fire, looked in tents, etc.  When we got to the surgical tent, we saw all the medical instruments of the time, and the surgeon had a table of surgery set up.  He even provided models of the amputated hands and arms, which was so accurate for medicine in that time.

We visited the cavalry tents and saw the horses being readied for the battle.  We then took our seats for the battle.

It was absolutely fascinating to view the battle.  I mean I have read about them and all the strategies, but to see it played out, made so much more sense to me.  Watching the men bite off the powder packs and try to load their weapons in the midst of battle, and seeing the smoke from the cannons and the guns was truly amazing to watch.

I was looking for an appropriate quote for this post and I could only think of Ambrose Bierce who lived through the Civil War, wrote an amazing story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and was a great American author. I took this one from The Devil's Dictionary and could not help but recognize how appropriate it is for the current political atmosphere.

I certainly would recommend everyone attend one of these re-enactments at some time.