December 29, 2004

I'm still in DC.

Hello, kiddies.
Still here at my parents' house in DC. I'm waiting for people to finish showering so I can get in the shower myself. Yeah, that's right, I'm stinking right now. It's been a good trip so far. We were lucky because my husband didn't have to work half a day before we left, so we were able to get on the road at an early hour. We're actually heading to Baltimore today to visit with my aunt. I don't get to see her too often, so this will be a way to get some quality time in. I wish I had something really exciting to talk about, but I don't. I've been sleeping a lot, which for me is exciting. My daughter has just walked into the room. I'll ask her a question.

KC: How are you enjoying vacation?

Little KC: Happily. You could kill an ox with this (she says about the pencil she has just sharpened.)

The child has left the building. So, really, I'm just wasting some time right now. We'll probably have our New Year's dinner on Friday because we want to hit the road on Saturday so we can rest a day before it's back to the daily grind. My brother and his new fiancee are here, as well. Everyone is excited about the engagement and the wedding next year. They haven't set a date yet, but they know it'll be next year sometime. I got my hair cut the other day, that's pretty exciting too. Well, I guess that's about it for now. I really wish I had something witty to say.

December 23, 2004

Last day.

So here I am sitting in my office with nothing to do. Magazine's out the door. Checks have been deposited. So, I'm just sitting here. Doing nothing but sitting. Did I mention I'm just sitting here? The good thing is I only have to stick around until noon or so. Then I can go home and clean the house before we take off for DC. There's a major storm heading through our part of the country and it's heading east. I hope most of it is cleaned-up by the time we have to hit the roads. One year, when my sister still lived in Madison, WI, which is only about four hours from South Bend, we were driving up for Christmas. There was a bad snow storm that day and, in the end, it took us twelve hours to get to her house. My daughter was only a couple of months old and if you wanna talk about a sucky-ass road trip, that was it. We actually ended up passing my parents on the road, who had driven from DC. That ended up being a good thing because my father got a flat tire in the last stretch of the trip when we were on the back roads to my sister's house. If we hadn't been with them, who knows how long it would've taken them to finally get to my sister's house. So you see, God's always looking out for you. Anyway, I am hoping that tomorrow doesn't prove a reprise of that fateful night. We have to swing past Cleveland to pick up my brother from his girlfriend's parents' house. If we get to my parents' house by midnight, we're going to feel fortunate. The reason we'll be hitting the road so late is because my husband still has to work half a day at the bank.

I was wathcing a little of Chris Rock on HBO as I was getting ready this morning. He's so funny, but so nasty. Why does every other word out of his mouth have to be fuck or mother-fucker or whatever? You should be sparse with the fucks. You know, you just sprinkle them in for flavor, like salt. Too much ruins the meal. I'm not a prude or anything when it comes to swearing, but, damn, it is possible to go overboard. Anywho, it's probably going to be awhile before I make another post, so Merry Christmas everyone. Drive safe and don't drink too much eggnog. Peace.

December 22, 2004

G.I. Christmas greeting.

My friend Kristen sent this to me and it was much too good to keep to myself. I LOVE military folk because they are in a class all their own. And this time, I'm not being sarcastic. Enjoy.

Time to kick back.

I finished packaging my other magazine yesterday, so it sits in a tidy bundle on my desk awaiting the printer for pick-up. If you've been keeping count, that means both my journals are out the door and ready to roll. The university doesn't close down until Friday, so I've got to still come in and sit at my desk for appearances. Not that I'm complaining too much about it. It's kind of like being on break already because no one's going to bother me because no one is here. Just us poor working stiffs.

While our daughter is gone, my husband and I have taken the opportunity to rent movies we can't normally rent while she's home. And, no, I'm not talking about Debbie Does Dallas, you pervs. I'm talking about R-rated movies for the most part. Things like horror or action or the really boring adult films where most of the movie relies on you paying attention to the dialogue to know what's going on. I will confess that I also rented Princess Diaries 2, which is something I could have rented anyway, but that was the only one. I swear it. All the rest are completely inappropriate for small children. Although, this does bring to mind the time my brother, husband and I went to watch Blade 2 in the theaters and while we were sitting there, we happened to notice a father walking his six- or seven-year-old daughter up the aisle to go to the bathroom or whatever. I don't know if you've all seen Blade 2, but it's incredibly violent and incredibly gory. So it goes without saying that we were all pretty disgusted by the idea that there was a father who thought this was a good movie to bring his very young kid. You know how they say you need to pass a test to be able to drive but any idiot can be a parent? Well, this was an instance of someone needing to have taken a test before having a child. I have to imagine she was terrified watching this movie. Actually, it made me really angry and I wanted to go up to him and ask him what the hell he could have possibly been thinking to bring his daughter to that movie.

What's funny about our daughter, though, is that she's very good at policing herself. If one of us is watching television and she comes into the room she'll immediately ask, "Is this an appropriate show for me?" And, yes, she does use the word appropriate. Usually it's not and we have to change the channel to Nickelodeon or something. Damn kids always ruining our fun. I think it's funny.

December 21, 2004

We're so gauche.

Did something totally rude last night, but I'm really not feeling too bad about it. We stopped by my friend Elena's parents' house to drop off a panettone my husband made for Elena's sister, Ana. Now the reason we stopped at their parents' house is because we knew the whole family would be there for a birthday dinner that they were having for Ana. We'd already given a panettone to Elena and her parents, we were just dropping off the one for her sister. Now, I knew they were having a nice, home-cooked Italian meal and I knew they'd probably invite us to eat. My husband said that we should just leave, but I wanted to eat some of that good Italian food, so when they asked, I said, "Sure." So rude and tactless, I know. But there's something about home-made Italian food that makes me not care about manners. It ended up being a really nice evening, for me and my husband, anyway. I'm feeling a little guilty this morning about barging in on a family night, but the food was so good. And if you could eat Elena's mom's cooking, you'd understand. Of course, I won't ever tell my mom about this because she'd be angry that I did something so uncouth as to conveniently show up at dinnertime to someone's house and then stay to eat.

December 20, 2004

Exciting News.

My brother finally proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend. Yesterday, to be exact. Yesterday evening, to be even more exact. I knew it was coming because he told me his plan, but it's still exciting now that he's asked and she's accepted. So soon I'll have a new sister-in-law. But first, I will be taking her out for "the talk" when we get back home. The talk I am speaking about is not a sex talk or anything because, ewww, why would I want to talk to someone about sex with my brother? No, this will be the talk about how to function as an American in a Korean, or at least partly, Korean family. More importantly, what it means to be a daughter-in-law with a Korean mother-in-law. Sons are very, very special to Korean mothers and my mother's son happens to also be the baby of the family. A lot of baggage with that one. I'm not criticizing or anything, my brother's girlfriend will just have to be able to handle certain things in a way that she probably hasn't expected. I don't want to say Korean mothers-in-law are pushy or bossy or intrusive or anything like that because that seems harsh (even if it's a little true), but they definitely expect a certain level of respect and a certain level of being listened to. In the old days, daughters-in-law usually became a sort of slave to their mothers-in-law. I'm not saying that's good or anything, in fact, I think it sucks, but this is the tradition that we're operating with--that the husband's mother will have supreme say. My mother grew up in a culture where this was the expectation in the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship. My mother doesn't really expect to exert this much control over my brother and his girlfriend after they get married, but you know, there's a cultural identity that's buried deep beneath the surface of each of us that can never be erased no matter where we end up as adults and how we're expected to act by society at large. So, I'll have to take my future sister-in-law out to lunch and basically explain to her that she can't take any of it personally and she's just going to have to let most of it roll off her back. But let me reiterate, it's not because my mother will be a monster to her, but I think she'll expect to be able to say what she wants without too much dissent. I know, I know, doesn't sound fair that my brother's girlfriend has to be the one to bend. But in the end, it will make life soooooooooooo much easier. Really, trust me on this one.

December 18, 2004

The vacation before vacation.

It's 4:20 am. What the hell am I doing on the computer? I don't normally get on so early, but I woke up at 3:30 am because I went to bed at 8:00 pm, and my body obviously thinks it's had enough sleep. I woke up and then couldn't go back to sleep because I started thinking about the stuff I have to do today: wrap my mom's birthday present, write a letter to the mailman telling him when to stop our mail, get the Christmas package for my sister's family together. You know how it goes. Anyway, we're taking our daughter up to Chicago today because my mom is flying in to take her back to DC. That's where we'll be this Christmas, but my daughter's school ended yesterday and my husband and I don't start our vacation for another week, so my mom's going to get the kid a week early. Good for us because it means life will be a little less hectic as we finish up this last week of work before the holidays. I'm also grateful for my mother getting the child because it will save me a week's worth of child care money. Woo hoo. I can, of course, then spend money saved on presents, which is good for the kid. She's starting to want high-ticket items now and it definitley changes the way you look at shopping. She wants things like video games, dragon playsets and whatnot, so the number of items under the tree will probably be less. That's not a bad thing as far as I'm concerned.

When I was a kid, I remember my parents would tell us we could ask Santa for two things and that was it. So the one year I asked for a bionic woman doll, her inflatible dome house and her control panel, and that was ONE gift and for the second I wanted some board game. I don't remember the name but it was the one with a little dome in the middle with a die in it and you had to push down on the dome to get your dice roll. I mainly wanted it because you had to push that thing down and that seemed really cool to me in the commercials. Anyway, my parents gave it all to me, which is cool because they could have definitely said the bionic woman doll was just one thing. I remember the Christmas in third grade was kind of a bummer because my dad was stationed in Germanyy and we were still in Georgia waiting until we could go over, too, and we each only got one gift that year. It didn't seem like Christmas anyway without my father there. I don't know if the reason we only could get one gift was because we didn't have as much money as usual with my dad out of the country, but it was a sparse year all the way around, that's for sure. Not that it bothers me now or anything, but I remember being disappointed then. But that's life. The next year was a more normal Christmas because we were in Germany with our dad by then.

December 16, 2004

Eight shopping days left.

Are you done with your Christmas shopping? I'm not. I'm planning on finishing up this weekend. When did Christmas shopping become such a drag? I used to really enjoy it. In general, I used to enjoy shopping a lot more than I do now, but something about Christmas shopping has become particularly gruesome to me. It's not that I don't like getting things for people I love. In fact, that's the only part of Christmas shopping that I enjoy anymore. I really love doing something that I'm hoping will bring a little bit of joy into the lives of my friends and family. I just hate the crowds because they add more time to whole process. I hate being crammed in with so many other people. Crazy people, as it were. Christmas shopping makes people crazy. The same kind of crazy you always find in Price Club shoppers. That frantic I've-got-to-get-this-before-you-do kind of shopper. Shopping in Price Club can be a contact sport if you keep an eye out for the people around you because if you see something you like, you better grab it because it probably won't be there the next time you go. So, everyone goes crazy thinking they've got to get that thing, whatever it is. When it comes to getting the gifts for my daughter, we've told her she writes her letter to Santa and then he decides which of the items on her list he'll give her. I wrote that into the contract as my get out of jail for free clause because I DO NOT want to be in the situation where I'm schleping from place to place trying to find the only remaining Cabbage Patch doll in town. I refuse to do that. The parents who do that sort of thing think they'll be destryong their children's belief in Santa Claus if they don't get every freaking thing on their lists, but what they don't realize is that they created that unreasonable expectation in their kids by letting them think that's the way Santa operates. We made it clear from the get-go that Santa never brings everything on the list, and that, really, the letter is just a list of suggestions for Santa so that he knows he's on the right page. It's worked pretty well so far. I have to say, as a sidenote, that I really appreciated the North Pole scenes in the movie Elf where all the Christmas elves are making things like Barbie, Etch-a-Sketch and Monopoly. That was a brilliant way to explain to kids why Santa brings toys like the ones in the stores.

December 15, 2004

Yes, I have an awful lot of time today.

This one's here for my daughter.

Harry Potter!!!

Created by KrYpToNiTe64 and taken 537 times on bzoink!

Do you know who Harry Potter is?yes
What are the first and last names of Harry's two best friends?Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger
Do you know what the name of Harry's godfather is?Sirius Black
Do you think the aforementioned godfather is hot?Are you talking about Gary Oldman, then yes.
How many brothers and sisters does Ron have?five brothers and one sister
Who is Percy Weasley's boss?Corneilius Fudge
Who is Dolores Umbridge?Evil defense against the dark arts teacher at Hogwarts
Who does Harry have a crush on until the fifth book?Cho Chang
How many movies have been made based on the Harry Potter series so far?three
What is the incantation for the levitation spell?wengardium levioso (I'm guessing majorly on the spelling.)
What feature does Harry have that is a mark of the curse he repelled?lightning bolt scar
What is a bowtruckle?a tree-dwelling, pixish sort of creature
Which three people can see thestrals?Harry, Luna Lovegood and Hagrid
Who wrote the Harry Potter books?JK Rowling

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What do you think?

I just sent one of my magazines to the printer, so I obviously have a lot of time on my hands right now. Anyway, it's Christmas. Cut me some slack.

What is your stand on.....

Created by spyndakitrose and taken 16975 times on bzoink!

Abortion?Don't advocate abortion but believe every woman should make that decision for herself.
Death Penalty?I'm for it, for the most part.
Prostitution?I don't really think about it. Obviously it's a career choice that involves a lot of potential danger. I think most people involved don't want to be.
Alcohol?I don't have a problem with alcohol.
Marijuana?I don't think it's a good thing and people should abstain.
Other drugs?Same as with mariijuana
Gay marriage?I don't have a problem with it/
Illegal immigrants?They shouldn't be allowed to stay. They're too much of a drain on our system.
Smoking?Don't do it and don't like it when people do.
Drunk driving?Sure everyone should drive drunk. Psych!
Cloning?I think it's pretty dangerous territory and humans are too stupid and too greedy and too blind to ever make it a good idea.
Racism?Don't believe in it. I've been on the receiving end too many times.
Premarital sex?Well, I'd be a hypocrite if I said it was wrong.
Religion?I think religion is important.
The war in Iraq?I don't think it's a bad thing that Sadam is out of power.
Bush?I think he's doing the best he can. It's easy to criticize when you're not the person having to make the decsions.
Downloading music?I don't have a problem with it personally, but I understand musicians are getting under compensated for their work and that sucks.
The legal drinking age?I think it should be 18 because everything else that legally constitutes "adulthood" is doable at 18.
Porn?There's obviously a lot of hurtfull porn (child porn, snuff films, etc.), but generally I think adults should be able to watch what they want (as long as it's not illegal, such as with child porn and snuff films. I'm talking about the mainstream type of porn that involves consenting adults. )
Suicide?It's wrong and people who commit suicide are carrying out a very selfish act.

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I'd say that's average.

How many people hate you?

Created by KerianaWilliams and taken 14955 times on bzoink!

Favourite colour?
People that hate you:370
You willl be murdered because people hate you.False

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Considering how many billions of people there are on the planet, I don't think 370 is sooooo bad.

December 13, 2004

The horror, the horror.

What can I say about the Christmas concert? This is where I'll direct you to the title of today's post. The little kids (which consisted of grades K-5) were fine because they just sounded like a bunch of little kids singing. You know what that sounds like. However, it was an entirely different thing altogether for the sixth- through eighth-graders. The music teacher obviously thought that she could make the higher grades sound like actual choirs. You know, where they're split into parts--alto, soprano, tenor, baritone, etc. Wrong, so wrong. I sang in choirs pretty much my entire way through school, and I now know with complete understanding why you must actually try out for choir. I've never truly understood until now that sharps and flats and everything else thrown in together actually produces noise, not music. Not only that, it's painful noise. It hurts your ears. I don't want to put these kids down because I don't think it's their fault they didn't sound good. They looked miserable up there and it was really interesting listening to cheerful music sung with all the enthusiasm of a funeral dirge. That music teacher obviously has watched Sister Act too many times and thought, hey, if Whoopie can do it... Ok, that's why it's a movie. That can't really happen in real life. You can't actually take a group of kids who can't sing and make them sound good. I'll be curious to see if next year's concert follows in a similar vein.

December 10, 2004

O Tanenbaum, O Tanenbaum...

Well tonight is the night that we live through that most joyous of joyous holiday events--the school Christmas concert. This is actually our first Christmas concert as parents and it should be really interesting. All the kids are just singing, it's not a play or anything, but it should still be interesting. This is the first year the school has done this because they have a new music teacher this year. She's a little Nazi-like in her determination to pull off this little shindig, but what the hey? Let's see what Frau Musiklehrerin can do. She's certainly been cracking the whip at practice from what my daughter tells, so I hope she's satisfied with the results of her hard work. Although, I'm a little worried that she hasn't truly taken into consideration that kids on stage always result in some tragic or embarrassing mishap. For sure, someone's going to fall off the risers. But only after someone else makes the rest of the carolers on stage laugh by farting in tune with Silent Night. I really have high hopes for this evening. Of course, this all assumes she actually gets as far as starting the performace. She wants all the parents to drop the kids off at the auditorium two hours before the concert so she can have a dress rehearsal. She doesn't want the parents to stay or anything. She just wants us to drop the kids off and then come back when it's time for the concert to start. Apparently some of the teachers will be there for crowd control, but something deep inside of me tells me this woman has no idea what she's getting herself into by having all those kids (who will be bouncing off the walls with excitement over their upcoming performance) in a confined space for two hours. If the curtains are still hanging when the show finally begins, I'll be really surprised.

December 09, 2004

Don't go chasing waterfalls.

I don't buy the shy part. So unique that I am completely beyond your understanding? Oh yeah, that's totally on.

?? Which Natural Wonder Or Disaster Are You ??
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Boiling Point.

I was flipping through the channels the other day when I happened upon a show on MTV called Boiling Point. The entire conceit of this show seems to be how quickly one can piss off a stranger for no apparent good reason. Sure, it's an interesting sociological study on human reaction, but, really, it's just televising how to be an ass. I only watched it long enough to see what was going on and I have to say I found it somewhat disturbing that this is what passes for entertainment nowadays. Now, I like to push buttons. I'm a big one for saying random shit just to see how people will react, but I try to come clean pretty quickly if I see that someone is confused or totally put off by whatever it is I'm saying or doing. It's really a sort of litmus test so I can determine if the person I am engaging is worth my time. The ones who can sense right away that I'm full of crap are the ones who pass the test. The ones who take me seriously and don't get that I'm joking are the uptight wads I don't really care to get to know any better. But, I would never, never continue to play with a person to the point where they are genuinely upset. That's just wrong. Why do you want to put that kind of energy into the world? So, I do find it disturbing that there are shows that make a point of getting people so agitated. I think they're trying to play off the tradition of Candid Camera, but it just doesn't work for me.

December 08, 2004

You're a blockhead, Charlie Brown.

I was in bed reading to my daughter last night when my husband called up saying that A Charlie Brown Christmas was on and would it be alright to let her miss her bedtime to watch it. I said OK and we went down to all watch it. It's probably the only Christmas special I'd let her miss bedtime to watch just because it very directly presents what Christmas is really about. My husband says it was his favorite Christmas special when he was a kid. Personally, I liked all the Rankin-Bass stop-action shows. Charlie Brown was OK, but I'd get bored when Linus did his little schpeal about the meaning of Christmas, mainly because I didn't really understand what he was talking about. So while we're all sitting there watching it, I wondered what sort of perceptions my daughter would have about it. My husband asked afterward what the show had been about and she said that it was saying Christmas was about Jesus' birthday. Now, it's been a long time since I've actually seen the Charlie Brown Christmas show and I have to say it's amazing watching it as an adult because you don't realize how much of it is over your head when you're a kid. All the psychiatric help stuff that Lucy was offering Charlie Brown was something I NEVER got as a kid. But, of course, how could I? It also made me realize how low our expectations have dropped over the years, as far as what we try to tell our children. Obviously, the people making the Charlie Brown Christmas show didn't think there was anything odd about writing the things they wrote. They expected children to get it. Today, we've dumbed down everything and we wonder why Johnny can't read. I'm not trying to get on my high-horse or anything (but of course I will) but we really just don't get anything anymore. I'm sure most kids watching that show today don't really get how harsh a criticism it presents against commercialism and I'm kind of shocked by how relevant the message still is. I'm shocked because we're the generation that lost that message in the first place and created what we've got today.

December 07, 2004

Hi, we're here in...Tuesday.

The child is at work with me again today. They closed her school because our priest's mother died and they're having her funeral today. They figured many staff and faculty member would want to attend the services, so they closed school. Good for the kid, but only so-so for me. My daughter is taking the opportunity of this day off to make new Pokemon cards for herself. She is currently drawing the picture of one of her original Pokemon, which she will name Pup. It does look doglike as a see it now. She says it's a puppy with a saddle because one often wants to ride a puppy. And it's likes those kind of dogs that have the long, long fur that drags behind them, she says. She forgets what its name is. And he has his tongue sticking out because he always has it sticking out. We'll put a picture up here as soon as she finished drawing it, and then you can be amazed by her awesome talent at creating Pokemon. Don't cry, only a special few are granted this ability. It's just not you. Here's her Pokemon card.

December 06, 2004

Really, I don't care about ND football, but...

So, the mighty Urban Meyer is going to Florida and I say, "BRRWWPT (sound of a rasberry)," to Notre Dame. Serves you right and I am laughing the deep, satisfied laugh of the smug and vindicated. Not going to find a bit of sympathy from me. I've been doing a little reading of viewer comments posted on a local news station's website and it would seem most people don't approve of ND's firing of Ty Willingham. Most of the people who commented seemed to echo similar sentiments to those I've already expressed here. Willingham wasn't given enough time to prove what he could really do and the University only cares about the almighty dollar. Despite how it might appear from the outside, this is "supposed" to still be a Catholic institution. It's "supposed" to be concerned with something higher than money and its ill-gotten gains. Whatever. Now I understand in this country and in this culture, higher education is big business. I've got to wonder about football, though, in terms of its place in higher education. Do you have football programs to try and support the educational goals and desires of a university or do you have a football program to support the football program? Maybe I'm just really clueless on this because I really, really, really don't know why football is soooooooooo important to this country in general. Just like I don't understand why soccer is sooooooooo important to the rest of the world. I mean, if anything, all it displays is the primal human urge to claim territory. Just something to thump our chests about. This might all sound strange coming from a person who has degrees from two schools with very large football traditions, traditions I've enjoyed participating in to a certain extent. But, you know, it is just a game. Deal with it. There are more important things in life.

December 03, 2004

Another word on Ty Willingham.

I like this editorial. Willingham It sums up pretty nicely why the decision to let him go leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As I mentioned in my last post on the subject, I think it was a decision motivated entirely by money. So read the editorial and make up your own minds.

December 02, 2004

Kids! Can't kill 'em and beating 'em doesn't work.

I've been exchanging e-mails over the past couple of days with my friend who told me that her 7-year-old son invited some friends to come over for Thanksgiving dinner, only to be told they'd only come if it was going to be a party with naked girls or nearly-naked girls. It seems they wanted some boobage to cast their eyes upon. Then these boys wanted to later take these topless beauties in the bedroom to enthrall them with their 7-year-old sex skills. Needless to say, my friend was somewhat disgusted and dumbfounded that boys that young would even know about stuff like that. Of course, I'm using the word "know" very, very loosely. She complained that it seems like just yesterday that she held her little baby boy and fed him and changed his diaper and now, all of a sudden, he's a pig just like the rest of them. I told her I think the whole tit fascination MUST stem from some fond infantile breastfeeding memory. I mean, really, what else can it be? We women, we don't get why men think boobs are such a big deal. We compare it to looking at your scrotum and can't understand what's so great. Anyway, I told her while her sweet little boy is dreaming of sexing up the ladies, my sweet little girl is practicing unmanning them. If you ask her what to do if a boy bothers her, she says, "Kick them in the wiener." And she says it with a lot of passion and gusto and a real bloodlust that, I must confess, scares even me a little. I really think she's just waiting for the opportunity to have a legitimate reason to knock a couple of balls into the top of some poor boy's mouth. I think the main reason for this is that I've told her this is a last-resort, self-defense technique. This is to be used in the event that she is in real physical danger and not to be done if the boy does something stupid like pull a ponytail. So she understands that slamming the nuts hurts, and that it hurts badly. I think she wants to see just how badly it hurts. You know, she wants to know if it will really make a boy puke his guts out from pain. It's really just scientific curiosity, but I'm a little frightened for the boy who does her wrong.

December 01, 2004

You're gonna go and fire the man at CHRISTMAS TIME?!?!

So they fired Ty Willingham. At the risk of coming across as actually caring about Notre Dame football, I'm going to say a few things about this anyway. First of all, I am really disappointed by the news of Willingham's dismissal, primarily because it says something about the state of the current American university system that I don't like: It's all about the money, baby. Now, what I find particularly irritating about this situation is that we lowly employees have only been getting 1.5% salary increase over the last few years because "there's not enough money" to give higher increases. But there doesn't seem to be any financial repercussions involved with coughing up the few million dollars the university will have to give Willingham for firing him before his contract was up. I don't begrudge Willingham a cent of that money, I do resent being told that the university with the country's largest endowment doesn't have the cash to pay its employees a decent rate. That burns my butt.

Secondly, I don't think Willingham got a fair shake. Whether or not the board of trustees wants to believe it, it does take longer than three seasons to build a strong football program. Let's see, three years was just enough time for Willingham to get through the last of Davie's recruits and to just start developing his own recruits. I don't know about the average observer, but I'm saying that doesn't seem like enough time to show what you can really do. And I am the average obverser. Actually, I'm probably the sub-average observer because I don't really care about football in the whole scheme of things.

Third, Willingham seemed like a real decent guy to me. Someone who realized football is just a game, but leaving with a good education is something that lasts a lifetime. Maybe I have that wrong, but I dont' think so. He seemed like a real guy to me. I'd see him biking up campus to practice with his clipboard in hand. I liked that because it showed that he considered himself just an ordinary guy. I like ordinary people. I think the powers that be should have at least given him the length of his contract.

I'm also a little sensitive to this because there are similar sorts of concerns whirling around Joe Pa at Penn State. I like Joe Pa. I met him when I was in college and I know he's a decent guy. Joe Pa IS Penn State football and people who are saying he should be booted out because we're not winning as much as we should are jerks. Joe Pa has earned the right to walk away when he chooses. I don't care how many games we lose from now until then. He's done right by the football players he's guided over the years and he's done right by the university, as far as I'm concerned. You don't turn your back on loyalty like that. But, of course, money means too much for some people to worry about common decency. Well, you can suck my ass, you greedy bastards.