Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Support This Artist!

Last night I was fortunate enough to see KT Tunstall at Schubas. I first heard of her when I was in England in November. We were watching an episode of Later with Jools Holland because another band I like was appearing. She performed on that episode, and I was blown away. This girl can rock. She was so good live. If you watch this video you will get an idea of how awesome she really is. Apparently her album isn't out in the US yet. I bought an import copy, and I brought it with me. The other fans were shocked to see someone with the album. When she came out to sign autographs the other fans made me go first since I had the CD and all. I also go the set list. I hope she does well here in the States. And I hope that everyone who reads this will check her out.

Official KT Tunstall website
Click on "music" and you can hear clips of songs off of her album and see some videos.

Preorder Eye to the Telescope

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I'm Sad To See Him Go Like This

During the NHL lockout last year there was a lot of talk of players whose career could end because of the lost season, mostly centering on players who were towards the end of their careers and might have a hard time getting back into shape after losing a season. I read various articles that named players that might be forced into retirement due to the lockout. I seem to remember Luc Robitaille and Steve Yzerman mentioned most often.

I think there was some discussion about Dave Andreychuk in there, but I don't remember it specifically. Whenever I thought about players who would be adversely affected by the lockout, the first player I always thought of was Dave Andreychuk. Part of me thought he might retire, but another part of me thought he would give it another go.

He was such a great player and was well respected, and you really want to see a person like that leave the sport on his own terms. Yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning waived Dave Andreychuck. Today he cleared waivers, so his career is probably over.

Jim Kelley has some good thoughts about this. I understand that Andreychuk was the sort of guy whose stick "would have to be pried out of his hands," but it would have been nice to see him leave the sport on his own terms.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Ever since I was a small child I loved the Olympics. A lot of that has to do with my mom, who is an Olympics junkie. She watches every moment she can of both the winter and summer Olympics. After I became a gymnast, making the Olympic team because a goal I had for a very short time, until I realized it would never ever happen, but I love watching the gymnastics. I like that there is coverage of sports you wouldn't normally get to see. I like the human interest stories.

I always wished Chicago would get to host a summer Olympics. There are many arenas here, and a decent transportation system compared to many other American cities. I thought that way the Olympics would come to me. Tickets are expensive, and it would make it so much easier to go to the events if I didn't have to pay for a flight or an extremely expensive hotel room. I could even get tickets to more events because I could stay at home. Barring that, I always thought the next best thing would be for the Olympics to be held in a city where I have relatives or friends, so I could at least forego the cost of a hotel room. London is great. I could potentially stay with a friend of mine, and get to see London again.

Over the past couple of days, the big story in town is how Mayor Daley would like to put in a bid for Chicago to be awarded the 2016 Olympics. This got me to thinking of what it would actually be like if Chicago was awarded the Games. Many new venues would have to be built which could be used by the community after the Olympics is over, but somewhere in the back of my mind I remember hearing a news story about some venues built for other Olympic Games in other cities that sit empty and unused. While the Olympics might bring in a lot of money to the city because of the tourism it would generate, do the Olympcs actually make money for a city? With all the money the city would have to put into building venues, improving infrastructure, and adding security, would the city make money?

These are important questions, but given that I'm sometimes a selfish little girl, I will admit that none of this means anything compared to one thing. An increase in tourists.

I work in a part of Chicago known as the Magnificent Mile. It's a big shopping area, with some other tourist attractions such as the Water Tower. It's close to Navy Pier, and also close to some of the touristy restaurants such as the Hard Rock Cafe. And yes, I hate tourists. I dread the summer, when I can't walk down the street to get to work without having to dodge multiple tourists. I also dread the holiday season because of the numbers of shoppers who come from out of town and the suburs. What is it about being a tourist that causes people to lose IQ points? I think that most people know you shouldn't stop dead in the middle of a really busy sidewalk, or that you shouldn't stop in front of a revolving door so people in the door can't get out, but when people become tourists all of that common sense flies out the window. And I'm not even going to discuss the chaos in front of American Girl Place. Please don't get me wrong, I think Chicago is a great city and I want people to come here and experience it, but please be polite and know there are locals here who are trying to get to work while your group takes up the whole sidewalk and walks really slowly.

If it's this bad during a regular summer, how bad would it be if the Olympics were in town?

So I'm torn. If the Olympics came to Chicago I would save a lot of money and try to get into as many events as I could. I would take total advantage of that situation. But I think it would make day-to-day life in the city very difficult.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Two things I did in 2005 that I had never done before:

1. Leave North America. Up until November 2, the only other country I had ever been to was Canada. My first ever trip outside of North America was supposed to consist of six nights in England and two nights in Paris; however, because it was at the height of the riots, I spent my entire trip in England. I loved it and I can't wait to go back.

2. Became a doctoral candidate. The fact that I passed my final candidacy exam wasn't extraordinary, although the fact that I blew one of the questions and had to redo it made it interesting. The great thing is that it is the last exam I will ever have to take. Sure, I will have to do a dissertation and defend it, but not more sit-down exams.

My new year's resolutions:

1. Work out at least four days a week, unless I'm sick or injured or out of town in a hotel without a gym.

2. Floss my teeth every day. I floss most days, but I need to floss every day.