Friday, February 15, 2008

Message to Anti-Gun/Conceal & Carry People

The message is simple: All of you shut up!

This school shooting hit a little too close to home, occuring at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. It could have just as easily happened at Western, Eastern, UIS, Lincoln Land or even at Macomb High. There is no way to rationalize what happened. It happened. We all must mourn the lives of those killed and find ways to prevent this from happening again. How do we do that? I don't know.

The anti-gun lobby and pro-conceal and carry people have already pounced all over this. Six (and maybe more who knows for sure) people are dead, yet both sides are making them martyrs for their respective causes. These people are SICK. If you are one of those people, you are SICK. Get some professional help. There is a time and place for thoughtful debate on the issue.

Now is not the time. It is the time to remember those who were killed and be a source of comfort to their friends and family.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

As We Bring 2007 to a Close...

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I went to Decatur to spend the day with my mom, stepdad and family. Those who know me know that I am an uncle several times over (between real and step siblings). I love Christmas time because it is truly a time for kids. It makes me happy to see the kids open presents and watch their eyes light up. I guess I'm getting soft in my old age

One thing is bothering me today. Pakistan. You all know by now that former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered the other day. Did you hear the "official" cause of death? The Interior "Minister" said that she died when she bumped her head against the car's sunroof. Are we honestly to believe that? I guess the lunatic who shot at her AND blew himself up right next to her competely missed his target. I realize there are some people in the world who may believe the "official" version. These are the same people who will vote for Dennis Kucinich I suppose.

OK, two things are bothering me today. Well really three. The third is the fact that the Bears sucked this season, but I'll get over that.

The other thing bothering me has festered for a while. Why do people lie? OK, I'm not talking about Governor Go-blow-a-bitch (he's beyond help and will get his). I'm talking about one's friends. I'm not going into specifics (some of you know what I'm talking about) because I'll get more pissed off about it. Sufficed it to say that I would have been less upset if said friend hadn't lied about it in the first place. Do I hate this person? No, I'm more disappointed than anything else. There's really no way I can hate this particular individual. I guess my feelings were hurt.

Above is my nephew Karter on Christmas Day. Be safe on New Year's Eve. See you in 2008!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Six Months At Least

I remembered I had a blog after all. It's amazing, I know. I noticed my last posting was in June. Let's recap what happened since then. Not a lot acutally happened, but the year flew by.

I got a promotion effective August 1st. I am now an Office Coordinator. It was a two title bump and a $100 a month raise. We get another 3% raise on January 1st. I may actually break the poverty line at that rate sometime in 2010. I was busy most of August.

Shana, Nicole, McFarland, Little McFarland, Amber and I went to watch the Cubs play the Cards in St. Louis on September 14. We met up with Kennealy and saw the game. The Cubs won that game and the NL Central (only to break our hearts later on but I won't talk about that). After that, we went to the Casino Queen. If you know Kennealy, you have heard that he played blackjack with Alfonso Soriano.

I got iced in on my birthday, but a lot of people called to say hello. I went to Chicago this past weekend to see Phantom of the Opera. I had never seen it, but had heard of the show and was familar with the premise. It was a really good show. I learned a few hours before the show that Duran Duran (to whom I am listening at this moment) was playing that same night. I told Shana that I would go to that show instead. She told me to sleep outside if I did. There was no way I could have gotten tickets to Duran Duran, but I'll be checking Ticketmaster on a daily basis just in case they come back around.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pack a Bag!

America’s favorite TV program ended on Sunday night. The Sopranos went off the air after several years of entertaining us. It was more than a program about the mafia. It was a show about family and how the choices each family member makes affects the others around them. The fact that Tony had another “family” only added to the drama.

A lot of people are upset at the ending (or non-ending as some dubbed it). For those less literate, the show ended with Tony, Carmella and AJ sitting in a diner eating onion rings. Meadow, the daughter, was heading into the diner to join her family. I sat on the edge of my seat for five minutes wondering what would happen next. Then the screen went black. Nothing happened.

That’s good. There was no way that David Chase could write an ending that satisfied everyone. Why bother? He left it to us to write our own ending to the program. In my ending, nothing happened. Tony didn’t get whacked nor did the diner blow up. The family ate dinner and went home. Life goes on for the Sopranos like it does for the rest of us.

If the family comes back, they should do it with a movie set six months in the future:

Tony, by this time, has cut a deal with Phil’s crew and has some of the NYC territory. Tony is getting ready to begin his trial with Carmella at his side. Meadow is pregnant (hence the hasty trip to the doctor) while AJ is his normal annoying self. Paulie is in the funny farm after the cat gives him a nervous breakdown and Silvio is out of his coma, ready to fight alongside Tony.

Other than Sopranos, the big talk around the Patch is the ongoing state budget mess. I could spend hours talking about egos and why single party control is a failure, but it won’t fix the mess. Instead, read about the mess and the behind the scene machinations at Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax blog at I’m addicted to Capitol Fax and know a lot of others that are as well. Join in the fun!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Grad Wrap-Up

This past weekend was a three day event. Saturday was Kennealy’s graduation. It was also a chance to get out of Springfield for a while. I’m glad I went.

I woke up at 7:30 Saturday morning for no reason whatsoever. Graduation was at 1PM, so I didn’t have to leave town until around 10. I didn’t go back to sleep, so I was up and out the door by 8:20. My mom called my cell phone at a quarter past nine. She was surprised that I answered and was even more shocked to hear I was in Beardstown at the time. She called to tell me that my niece (who was turning one the next day) was out of the hospital and feeling fine. That made me feel relieved and brighten my day.

I called Kennealy from Industry around 10:15 to make sure he was awake. He was (barely) so I told him I would be there in about 15 minutes. I arrived back at Linc/Wash to see the little brother graduate college. Those of you who John know that, with a little more than an hour and half left before an event, he is no where near ready. While he got ready, I ran to the bookstore and went to Walcher’s house for a few minutes.

Walcher and Bridget were also graduating at 1PM, but, for whatever reason, they were ready to go. I stayed over there for a few minutes talking to them, Chris Thomas and Kyle McNeely. Walcher was ironing his gown and getting ready. Of course, he wore his white shirt and that purple and gold tie. Anything else would have been a sacrilege.

I didn’t get the chance to know Bridget well (she arrive a little after I left), but I do know that she is a really sweet girl who will undoubtedly do great things in life. I’ve known Chris Thomas for years. He also will do great things as well, once he takes that sombrero off his head. I met Kyle once before for maybe three seconds, but he is really personable. He likes to have fun and make people laugh. We need people like Kyle in the world.

Back to Washington Hall to check on Kennealy. By now, he was ready (more or less). His mom and sister had come up for the big day. We were running behind schedule slightly and were getting hungry, so we ate lunch at McDonald’s before taking John to Western Hall for the main event. It took an hour and a half (probably less if a certain former SGA President hadn’t “filibustered” on stage), but it was over.

I met the rest of the Walcher clan after graduation. They are really good people. I talked to Walcher’s brother Chris for a while. He told me that he had been up since four that morning turkey hunting. That made me laugh because I can’t picture John Walcher hunting. The mental picture of John wearing camouflage was too much.

After the post-graduation dinner, I went back to Springfield. Sunday was Mother’s Day, so I went to Decatur to visit my mom. My little nephew was in town, so I spent time playing with him. I’m going to be an uncle again in November. I’m starting Christmas shopping as soon as I’m done moving over Memorial Day weekend.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ode to a Graduate

Chris Galvin came home on leave and came to Springfield this past weekend. Galvin spent the last 88 days or so cruising the West Pacific’s mean streets. Having him home meant he was safe and out of harm’s way. Shana, McFarland, Ira, Galvin and I went to Lincoln’s New Salem Saturday. It was a really nice day and I enjoyed a few hours hanging out with dear friends. One friend wasn’t there and I wish he had been.

John Kennealy graduates from WIU in two weeks. This is going to be a special day for me because (barring anything going wrong) I will get to return a four year favor. I am looking forward to seeing my best friend walk across the stage. He will finally get the degree for which he’s worked his ass off. I know John is looking forward to May 12th. I’m stoked for him.

I’ve known John since his first semester at WIU when he came to SGA as the very young junior SGA senator from Thompson Hall. In contrast, I was the most senior SGA Senator, the Speaker Pro Tempore and the chairman of the Senate’s most powerful committee (you knew I’d throw that in there). He had the talent and the ambition, but I didn’t see it at first. Why should I? I knew and controlled everything.

I was wrong. 100% wrong. I saw this young man go balls to the wall after the things he wanted. I was impressed. We became friends that semester. Since then, we’ve been through a lot. I watched him become the first freshman in SGA history to chair a standing committee, then saw him betrayed by people he considered friends. He’s won and lost elections, chaired committees, represented students, led a party and then an entire chamber, partied with friends and was always there when the phone rang.

John called me his friend, brother and mentor a few weeks ago. I am honored to be all three of those things.

John is my best friend. I respect him immensely and love him like a younger brother. I’ve said that thousands of times, but it’s true. We fight like siblings and John always knows what to say to put me in my place. We’re polar opposites on some things (baseball being a big one), but are lockstep on so many others. I know that I can trust him implicitly and that his heart is always in the right place.

He has stood right beside me through the good and bad times. I pray that I will always be there for him. As he closes the book on this chapter of his life, a new chapter begins. I’m honored to have been a part of this chapter. I’m looking forward to being a part of the next.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Everyone is posting lyrics, so I shall do the same (thank Shana if you like!).

Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode
You had something to hide Should have hidden it, shouldn't you Now you're not satisfied With what you're being put through It's just time to pay the price For not listening to advice And deciding in your youth On the policy of truth

Things could be so different now It used to be so civilised You will always wonder how It could have been if you'd only lied It's too late to change events It's time to face the consequence For delivering the proof In the policy of truth

Never again is what you swore The time before Never again is what you swore The time before

Now you're standing there tongue tied You'd better learn your lesson wellHide what you have to hideAnd tell what you have to tellYou'll see your problems multipliedIf you continually decideTo faithfully pursueThe policy of truth

Get Right With Me by Depeche Mode
I will have faith in man That is hard to understand Show some humility You have the ability Get right with me

Friends, if you've lost your way You will find it again some day Come down from your pedestals And open your mouths that's all Get right with me

Life is such a short thing That I cannot comprehend But if this life were a bought thing There are ways I know we'd mend

People, take my advice Already told you once, once or twice Don't waste your energy Making apologies Get right with me