Unpublished Opinion

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Field of Dreams

Am I the only one who didn't realize that Moonlight
was a real person? I just assumed he was a fictional character. When I was reading the article, all of a sudden I had a memory of the part of the movie where Ray turns the van around and Terrence is standing there in his path and says "Moonlight Graham." Oooh. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

I wonder if the part about the hats for his wife was true too. It was a cute part of the story, so I will think that it is true.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Yahoo! and Spelling

If you search Yahoo! for Vince Vaughan Jennifer Aniston, I come up #8. All thanks to my little post about seeing their movie (maybe) being filmed.
Funny thing is that I spelled Vince's name wrong. Oops. (It is really Vaughn).
Sorry to disappoint all the fans (who like me can't spell his name)looking for actual dirt. I just saw some guy fall out of a kayak into the Chicago River.


Since I am still so honored to be on the links list over at Blonde Justice, I feel I must answer her call to complete the following questionnaire, which she got from Begging the Question.

1. What is the total volume of music you own? I have 3.43 GB on my itunes, plus another 100 CDs or so that I didn't upload onto itunes.

2. What's the last CD you bought? I can't remember the last CD that I actually bought in a store. Now I usually just download/purchase CDs or single songs from itunes. The last whole album I downloaded was The Ditty Bops.

3. What song is playing right now? No song on right now. Listening to the People's Court. Something about a security deposit.

4. What 5 songs do I listen to a lot? I have been listening to the Wicked soundtrack alot lately and particularly like "What is this feeling?" and "As Long as Your Mine," from that. I also listen to "I believe I can fly" before runs and other events that need a little inspiration (it got me through undergrad and law school). I also particularly like lately, for some odd reason, "With You" by Jessica Simpson. It is especially good when I run and sing at the same time. Lastly, I guess I would say the little jingle that they have at the beginning of the People's Court. I like it and it reminds me of Rainman.

5. What 5 people will I pose these questions to? Not even sure I even have five readers, but I will name Kiki, Mom, Chip, Betty, and Julie. Feel free to leave it in the comments if you don't have a blog.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Sad day for Winnie-the-Pooh.

From the words of A.A. Milne:
"Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on top of the Forest, a little boy and his bear will always be playing."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Simba Loves Me

Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.
Picture of the unaltered pattern of cat food shaped like a heart that Simba left for me. He must be sad that I am leaving for the weekend and wanted me to know that he loves me.


I think they can, I think they can...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Another day, another movie...

So on our way to the lakefront path today, Betty and I happened upon another movie set. I am guessing it was for the Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughan movie "The break-up," but I think there are other things filming in town now, too, so who knows. All we saw was a fake tour boat with fake tourists on it. (why couldn't they just use a real one and save the money?) We also saw a guy fall out of a kayak, although I don't think that was part of the movie. It was right when we were crossing the bridge that we saw him and the cameras were further up the river, so I think it was an accidental falling in. We also saw a hunky, tanned guy in a kayak near the tour boat. Also saw someone I am guessing was a producer or camera guy or something in another kayak hidden behind the fake tour boat. He was wearing a wetsuit. He must have been roasting.

We went on our run. I employed my new training plan: Run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute. I am hoping this will get me through my 1/2 marathon. It was a good plan and the walk breaks were long enough to help me out, but short enough that when I started running again it didn't suck.

After the run, we stood up on the bridge, trying to figure out what was going on with the guys in the kayaks and enjoying the breeze. A 20 year old punk (who I am sure has a fancy title like "Director of Crowd Control") came over to us and asked us to move along because they were shooting a movie. I am sure he expected us to clutch our hands to our bosoms and say "A movie!!! Wow that is so exciting!! Tell us more oh fantastic Director of Crowd Control" but, instead, he got two pissed off chicks glare at him and move on. It is a public bridge. In my city. I should be able to stand there if I damn well please. People stand on those bridges all the time, take photos, look at the river, etc. It is REALISTIC for people to stand there. I guess realism has no place in the movies, though, because in the real world, men don't usually wear wetsuits in kayaks in Chicago in 80+ degree weather.

You are peanut butter me up !!!
You're so sweet that I'm getting a cavity !
Your loving personality always makes those around
you feel special!

What Ben and Jerrys ice cream flavor are you ?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'm secretly evil...

I was walking to the bus stop from work this afternoon and saw a man wearing a Michigan State hat. He was obviously lost, given his annoyed look and the fact that he was intensely staring at a map of downtown. I thought for a brief second (just a teeny tiny millisecond really) that if he asked me for help, I would "accidently" tell him the wrong way. But luckily he didn't, and I probably wouldn't have done anything mean, given that I don't want to sink down on the Dante's inferno chart. Plus, the guilt would have killed me.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The rest of the day

As if running 3.1 miles weren't enough of an adventure for one day, I also went to see the Chicago Bandits beat the Chinese National Team. The PA announcer was much better for this game and had obviously been practicing his pronunciation of Chinese names. It was hot and we baked in the sun again. Poor E has a sunburn on his shoulders which I know is going to be super ouchie tomorrow. After that, we went to see Batman Begins. I highly recommend it. It was excellent. (MOM: warning, there are lots of bats in it). Katie was great, although her part was smaller than I expected. Morgan Freeman was very good too. And Michael Caine was really funny (except for some reason I kept thinking of his role in Miss Congeniality).

Loop the Loop

The race today was pretty good in terms of running, but the course kinda sucked. It took us into the near west side, which was a mixture of smells: chocolate factory (yum!), industrial and garbage (not so yum). Also, the traffic wasn't as blocked off as I would like. A SUV turned out of a townhouse parking lot behind me (going the other way, thankfully). Also, there was debris in the road and somewhat treacherous terrain. I managed to finish in about 31 minutes, 40 seconds, which I was very happy with, given my lack of training. The post-race snacks were probably the best I have had: giant cookies, cold stone creamery ice cream, and yummy vitamin water (my new best friend). Luckily Dotsie the Clown wasn't as scary as I thought she would be and I only saw her briefly before the race.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Shocking News!!

Stop the presses!!!! There are drugs in the Cook County Jail!!!
And the guards helped smuggle them in!!!!

What?? Drugs in the jail?? And the guards helped?? The shock!! The horror!!

{Really: is this news to anyone?}

In their shoes

Many people find it difficult to believe defendants when they claim that they were coerced into confessing. Having never been subjected to the overpowering sleep deprivation, the threats of violence, the tales of expected prison rape, it is inexplicable to many why someone would admit to doing something horrible when they had no part in it. Even something as horrendous as sexually assaulting and murdering your own child.

When DNA evidence cleared Kevin Fox yesterday of those crimes against his daughter, I hope people were paying attention. After a year of the media, the police, and the prosecutors already considering Fox guilty as charged and calling for the death penalty, he was finally vindicated.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to have people think that you have done something so horrendous to your own child. How will he ever regain the dignity he has lost; how many of his neighbors are still convinced of his guilt? Often a confession can trump even the most scientific evidence.

But let's talk about the "confession" for a minute. From what I have read, it sounds like all of the videotaped "confessions" I have seen. The prosecutor asks the defendant a series of leading questions and the defendant answers "yes" or "no" at the appropriate times. It is not what you see on television: the defendant saying "Yes, I did it" and then giving the exact details of the crime in his own words. It is not in his own words; it is in the prosecutors words; and the questions are specifically tailored to prove the elements of the crime; they are specifically tailored to rule out any possible defense; they are specifically tailored to put the nail in the defendant's coffin.

Often defendants who were coerced into confessing say that they would have said anything to get the police to stop the interrogation; anything to get to sleep; or eat; or use the bathroom; in the case of juveniles: anything to get to see their mom again. Even admitting to something so heinous that you could not even have imagined it, let alone actually done the crime, if you were not subjected to the police tactics.

Of course people won't learn, even from this high profile case. State's Attorney's trying to win elections will still go on witch hunts. Police will still use their horrific tactics to get what they want. The prosecutors will still sell those "confessions" to the jury as the almighty word. At least today, though, there was a bit of justice.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Something good...

I ran yesterday for the first time since June 4. It showed. My body was upset with me. Every step was difficult. I ended up walking. A lot. I am running a 5k on Sunday. My only goal for the race is not to hate it. Oh, and there better be ice cream left when I am finished. I picked up the race packet today. At least the shirt is cute.

Update: I just tried the shirt on. I think it is a size too small. Damn.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Simba's Mom

An interesting article from
on people's obessions with their pets.

While I am glad to see that I am not alone in the fact that I call
myself Simba's mom, I will not go as far as other pet owners and get him testicular implants, so he can feel more manly.

Surveys of pet lovers reveal 83 percent call themselves their pet's mommy or daddy, and 78 percent confess they coo to their pets much like a parent would to a baby.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Home Again

We are home from Las Vegas and no, we didn't elope!
We had alot of fun, although it was definitely not enough time. We barely made it past the midpoint of the strip. We started from our end (the Luxor) and made our way down the strip, stopping in nearly every casino on the way. That was in part because it was so hot and the casinos were nicely air conditioned and part because we were just curious what each different place had in store. The prettiest ones (that we saw) were probably the MGM Grand and the Bellagio. The Wynn was also lovely, but that may have been thanks to the fact that it is brand new and still shiny.

* E and I shared a strawberry daiquiri in a container shapped like the Eiffel Tower, from (of course) the Paris casino. It was yummy and made us both a little tipsy. I liked the funny looks people gave us as we carried it around. Two different casino personnel asked me if I drank it all myself.

* The Slot machines!!!! I just love the pretty blinking lights and the fun noises they make. The Jade Monkey was good to me and E likes Cops and Donuts.

* E's fabulous string of wins at the Blackjack tables. His philosophy: leave while you are ahead. A good lesson for all you gamblers out there!!

* I got carded four times. Grrr. I supposed it could have been more, so I shouldn't complain.

I will post more interesting stories soon. I am too tired to think.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hail to the Victors!!

Congratulations to the University of Michigan softball team on their National Championship!!! Go Blue!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

birthday card
Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.

Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Scary how true this is...

In honor of my birthday:

Your Birthdate: June 7

Born on the 7th day of month gives you a tendency to be something of a perfectionist and makes you more individualistic in many ways.

Your mind is good at deep mental analysis and complicated reasoning.

You are very psychic and sensitive, and you should usually follow your hunches.

You may not take orders too well, so you may want to work alone or in a situation where you can be the boss.

This birthday gives a tendency to be somewhat self-centered and a little stubborn.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Girls in Juvenile Detention

I read an interesting article in the Sun-Times today about a study on the death rates of children that serve time in juvenile detention centers. The study revealed that girls that were at some point in the Cook County juvenile denention system were eight times more likely to die young than a girl in Cook County that was never in juvenile detention. It seems like a pretty decent study. They tracked over 1800 kids, chosen at random, who were in the system from 1995 to 1998. If you are curious, the death rate for boys in detention was 4.5 times the non-detention rate.

I find this interesting for a few reasons. At one point in time, juvenile incarceration was geared to rehabilitation and a focus on services for the children to help them to live better lives. Either they stopped doing that, it isn't working, or it isn't enough to overcome the problems that result from poverty. It is no coincidence that most of these girls were from poor communities.

I also wonder why there is the disparity between boys and girls. I would love to read the full study. It is appearing in the journal Pediatrics. Not sure how to get a copy of that.

One other interesting thing the article pointed out was how the country gets fixated on school shootings, but states that from 1990 to 2000, there were 53 deaths in school shootings. Meanwhile, 840 teenagers died of gunshots in NYC alone during that same period. Nobody cares, though, because the majority of them were poor and minority, instead of rich and white and driving a BMW to school.

Finally, I would like to point out what I think was a completely inconsiderate disrespectful act on the part of the Sun-Times web team. The identifier in link for the above story is "dead kids." Real nice.

Unusual Wedding

Two toads got married in India. It is supposed to be good luck and bring much needed rain. There were 400 people at the wedding. I don't even KNOW 400 people. And something tells me they didn't get the toads permission first.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Chicago Bandits

E and I had tickets to see the Chicago Bandits take on the Australian National team on Saturday night. The Chicago Bandits are one of the teams in the National Pro Fastpitch softball league and they play their games in Lisle, IL. The star of the team is Olympic Gold Medal team member Jennie Finch.

Unfortunately, during the second inning, the game was stopped due to a report of inclement weather approaching and possible lightening. Below is a picture of the "storm" that I took on the way to the car. The game was finally cancelled and rescheduled for today as part of a doubleheader. We had to settle for outfield seats, though, instead of the behind-the-plate box seats we had on Saturday. The game was still a lot of fun, though. There was a homerun and a great catch by the rightfielder. We are still a little confused about the rules, though, so we were surprised that the Bandits' homerun in the bottom of the 7th was a game winner. We stayed for the first couple of innings of game 2 because Jennie Finch was pitching. However, we were melting in the 90 degree sunshine and decided to call it day. But not before stopping on Taylor Street in Chicago for some yummy Italian ice.

Jenny Finch warming up before game 2.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.

Miniature Golf Champion, Pt. 2

Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.
No, I didn't beat him again (only because we yet to have a re-match), but I thought I would post the score card that E scanned for me, showing my victory. He said that since it is almost my birthday, he would scan it for me, despite the fact that it humilates him.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Going that extra mile

There is an article in the Trib this morning about how the Lakeshore Marathon and Half Marathon run this past Monday here in Chicago were both a mile too long. E and I saw some mile markers for this race during our walk and I assumed that the race was long over by then because I only saw a few mile markers. But then we saw a water station and a couple of runners and I realized that it was still going on. In addition to the extra mile in both races and the lack of mile markers, the half marathon was so poorly marked that the initial female leader got lost. She was told the wrong way to run and added an additional mile to her run before getting back on track. The article doesn't mention another problem that I noticed. The path wasn't cleared of pedestrians, dogs, or bicyclists, so the runners had to deal with a lot of traffic on the race course. I have participated in a poorly set-up race before, but nothing of this magnitude. While a lot of the runners were upset because they hoped to get Boston-qualifying times, I would be more upset about how the poor course would affect my overall experience during the run. Even under the most perfect conditions, racing is a challenge, but should be fun. A runner should be more focused on concentrating on doing their best, then worrying about getting lost. Oh and I should mention that Betty, my brother Chip, and I briefly contemplated doing this half marathon a few months ago. Good thing we thought better of it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Why my life is now complete...

tator tots
Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.

I have the ability to vacuum seal.

Judge Joe Brown Overturns Judge Hatchett Ruling

As a big fan of television court shows, I found this Onion article to be pretty funny. Although, personally, I prefer Judge Marilyn Milian and Judge Mathis.

Beauty and the Geek

E and I watched the first episode of the Beauty and the Geek last night. I thought it was pretty good. (I should mention that I went into the living room and E had the show on, so it wasn't my idea. I think I am rubbing off on him).

Anyway, for those of you who didn't see it, it pairs beautiful women that aren't smart with very smart men that (supposedly) aren't that attractive or socially mature. I say supposedly because at least two of them were cute. And alot of them were funny and able to carry on normal conversations with the women. The point of the show is that they are supposed to learn from each other. For a more thorough description, check out this post from Blonde Justice.

My two cents: I think that secretly at least one of the women is a genius and one of the men is a suave actor or something. It can't be reality television these days without a twist, right? Then the lesson would be that you can be attractive and smart at the same time.

Oh, and why is host Brian McFayden acting like the show is SO serious. I mean, crack a smile already.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Yoda Kitty?

light saber
Originally uploaded by Unpublished Opinion.

Simba's dream is to one day grow up and be Yoda. Now if he can just figure out how to pick up the lightsaber...

Running Slowly

My half-marathon training schedule called for 30 minutes running easy today. So I forced myself to run slowly. Not that my usual 10 minute per mile pace is breaking any land speed records, but I slowed myself considerably today. There is definitely an argument for running slowly. I didn't feel out of breath. I didn't find myself looking around for a drinking fountain. I could pay more attention to the cute babies and puppies that populate the lakefront. That being said, it had its downside too. I had to keep forcing myself to slow down. My body wanted to take flight at several points, but I had to hold back. When other runners passed me by, I wanted to call out: "No, really, I am faster than this!! I swear!! Wait, come back!!!" At one point, I could have sworn that a trio of senior citizens with walkers were breathing down my neck. I sped up just a little to avoid them passing me. (although I am sure they couldn't have, the thought was just too much to bear). My run tomorrow (40 minutes) will include some fast sprints at the end, which should be fun. (wait...did I just say that?)


As it is only a week and a half until our Las Vegas trip, I thought I would solicit information from my readers about good places to go, cheap places to eat, and other general tips. Even if you haven't been yourself, feel free to suggest places that you have heard of that I might enjoy. Thanks already to Kiki for her fantastic wealth of knowledge. Add a comment, or send me an e-mail.