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Archive for February, 2013

I’m always excited about Brewers baseball…I get the fever, and it won’t go away until I get to see or hear a game from Spring Training (it breaks up the awful wintery feel of Chicago. Ugh.) But this drives me crazy. I wish they’d leave Braun alone. Braun’s “story” really doesn’t need to be out there, and there are other players’ story that should. Braun is a good player. After missing 50 games last year (due to last year’s escapade), he came back and put up the same stats as the previous year in half the season. Can’t we accept that he’s a good player, and not try to dust up some hearsay? At this point, that what it is, and I agree with Roenicke.

The Brewer Nation

The media spent some time with Ron Roenicke at Maryvale Baseball Park today on the first full day of workouts of Spring Training. Among his comments, he addressed the Yahoo Sports report that exposed Ryan Braun’s name as being written among the records of Tony Bosch’s defunct Biogenesis clinic in Miami.

Here is the original full article where this quote is taken from, by Brewers.com beat writer Adam McCalvy: Roenicke: Braun story “shouldn’t be out there”

Says Roenicke:
“It’s a pet peeve, I guess, of mine: Don’t bring up anybody’s name and put it in there if you’re questioning it,” Roenicke said. “If there’s something going on and there’s a

roenicketshirt

definite [transgression], fine, that’s your job to put it out there. But don’t bring up names that you’re not sure of and then retract it later, because it never is retracted from the fans or the people that are out…

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I saw the recent travel theme and the word “gaudy” came up. I decided to share, but not because I have an adversity to the gaudy, but a secret admiration for it. Particularly with what I am going to share with you. I think it takes a lot of cojones to be “gaudy”.

In Chicago, there are two major events that I believe, specifically, call for the gaudiest costumes of them all. The annual Pride parade celebrates diversity, particularly in the Boystown neighborhood, and for which has become the unofficial gay and lesbian yearly hurrah of Chicago. Pride is also about being proud of who you are or who your friends are. People all over the city, gay, straight, etc. all come to the parade to support themselves or friends or both. Why people dress up so obnoxiously, I’m not entirely sure. I think it is fun, radical,  and like Bonnie Raitt says, “Let’s give ’em something to talk about.” People are going to talk regardless — especially regarding homosexuality. Why not make it worth everyone’s while, right?

The second event is the annual Halloween Parade (hosted in the same neighborhood). It is the same elaborate, “gaudy” garb but 30-40 degree cooler than the July Pride Parade. I have on several occasions heard people start planning for the next year before the event is even over. If you can come up with a creative get-up, not only are you in the running for best costume, but people from all over the world (this being Chicago and all) want to take pictures of you and with you. It is a rush if you can cross that threshold.

To give you an idea of what these parades look like, here are some of my favorite snapshots:

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This week’s poll on the Daily Post was about which we preferred as readers:

1.) Your Kindles, Tablets, or iPads: “ebooks — you can get new books in a flash and bring multiple reads with you everywhere you go.”

OR

2.) Old fashioned books. “Paperback — nothing beats opening up a brand new book or rummaging through a bookstore.”

I have more to mull over before I post for the week, but for now, here’s a guy I really like who doesn’t publish for companies that deal in the electronic book industry. He’s got some larger ideas in general, andI think there’re some gems in here to consider. 🙂 My friends, I give you Mr. Sherman Alexie. Enjoy!

**UPDATE 2/10/13**

So, I promised I would offer my OWN thoughts on this debate. To be fair, I own a Kindle Fire. When I first bough it, I found it replacing my computer for more recreational purposes (i.e. Apps — Facebook, Words With Friends, Pinterest, etc.) I did not use it for reading. I downloaded some free classics thinking that I would find more reasons to read more and delve into the classics because now I didn’t have an excuse. Not so much. In fact, I still prefer to hold a physical book, and wouldn’t have caved except that the Hunger Games trilogy was on a “forever” waiting list at the library, and for some reason, I haven’t figured out how to “rent” via a digital eReader. So I bought all three books, and was done reading all three books in three days. Devoured!

I also bought them because they were “on sale”. Digital words, on sale…that still blows my mind. Who does my money support when I purchase digital words? I suppose I pay into a large corporate conglomerate that dictates where I can purchase said titles from. But what if my Kindle didn’t work with the corporate conglomerate that hosts my “to read” titles? It becomes a bit too selective and elitist for my taste. In a way I am forced (I know, there are hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, but still…) to choose from a list. But I pay a corporation. What artist am I supporting by purchasing an eBook? These large companies can essentially set the price and list for what they believe is my taste…or are they essentially setting that, too?

Sherman Alexis said something poignant in his “rant” above that resonated with me. More or less, “these companies are going to favor a certain kind of book.” There isn’t going to be a publisher, but a company asking for a certain type of book. I believe that this is true because some many people have access to what is trending. If Hunger Games is so popular, will we see a spike in literature like this trilogy? What inventive will writers have to create new genres and foster their creativity or their own ideas?

I think about Apps like Spotify, for instance. When I am creating a playlist, I tend to favor music that I liked when I was growing up, and less about what’s “new”, because there is an element of original sound that I am looking for and have a hard time having someone, or something (i.e. Spotify, the App) tell me what I might like. It takes away the ingenuity and musicianship of an artist’s work, I think.

But, again, I have  Kindle. I bought it because I felt that I might be able to find digital copies cheaper than the bookstore prices for my classes, or that I might even be able to download them for free from the library (still working on that). When I’m in a fix and want to keep up with pop culture, I appreciate the immediacy of being able to download a book and finish it in a day. 🙂

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I am sad that I missed last week’s photo challenge about love. I LOVE love! ❤ So, as I was reading through some posts on The Daily Post, I started to get some ideas to try and combine last week’s and this week’s unique. I have pictures of me and my boo, for sure, but what about random signs of love?

I thought about public love notes. Prior to my layoff, I worked with a group of teenage girls on a media project. The neighborhood that many lived in and/or attended school where we held the program is not always the safest and has regular occurrences of violence. In many metropolitan areas this is true, but Chicago has become something of an anomaly and a problem that no one seems to know how to solve.

Our program’s focus was also to challenge media. Oftentimes during our conversations, the young women would be irritated that their communities were vilified and pigeon-holed as gang infested communities and didn’t attempt to take an angle that gave them a voice. So as a way to respond to this dominant narrative, my colleague and I decided to host a community walk to gather footage of what the neighborhood was really like  — or at least acknowledge what other assets it had to offer. My colleague had also been inspired by random, public notes (sometimes of love), and thought we might leave notes as well for the community — a positive mark. Nothing much ever came from it. No news team tried to track down the writers or follow up on our aspirations for the community — but our ladies came up with their own notes to post all the same. I wonder, what are your reactions when you become witness to random messages (notes) like these?

Since the project, I’ve become more acutely aware of the random notes left around the city I stomp in. Here are a few of my favorites:

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If all I could ask for was a window,

then please make it a big window

framing an enormous sky

with vignettes of meadows and forrest

in the reflections of lakes.

Let it take me from this place of solitude —

an empty compartment of cold and mundane brick.

© CassBee 2/3/13

…perhaps there is more to come. And I’m almost overwhelmed by the idea of a genie granting me any and all desires to create a prefect space. I don’t know what that looks like, but a big, BIG window must exist.

In fact, the room itself doesn’t need to be big. I really just want to window that I can sit in. Maybe something like this. This is quite the window. Throw in a pillow, some fine tip/felt pens of various colors, a journal with a lock on it, a door that locks, and  maybe a cozy blanket to wrap around me, I will be happier than a bee in summertime. (P.S. how many of you have seen GEICO commercials with the “happier than a….” phrase?” They are hilarious. Here’s happier than a witch in a broom factory.)

I think what I would really like the genie to give me is money to write and maybe an extra hour in the day!

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