I think I've done enough ranting and navelgazing these past two weeks. Time for some random notes:
+ My bracket is still a work in progress, but for once I'll probably be paying more attention to the NIT than the "Big Dance." My alma mater (Illinois State), my dad's school (Northwestern), and our mutual nemesis (University of Illinois) will all be duking it out for college basketball's greatest consolation prize. Unfortunately, the Fighting Illini arguably have the best shot of taking the championship of the three; Stony Brook, Kent State, and Tulsa aren't fooling anyone, so the Blue and Orange are probable locks for the NIT quarterfinals. NU has a tall order against Rhode Island, while my Redbirds will need to get past Dayton's efficient pressure defense. As for my "real" Final Four picks, I'm going with Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky, and Villanova.
+ An article in last Sunday's New York Times suggests that the Tea Party has no stance on any issues besides fiscal policy and limited government. Gee, you think?
+ I woke up Friday morning to learn that both of Conan O'Brien's shows in Chicago (May 19th and 20th) are sold out. On one hand, it's encouraging to know that Big Red still has a rabid and devoted fanbase that will support him through thick and thin. On the other hand, I won't get to see him live, and I doubt that they'll add a third show. I would've gone in '06 when Conan did a week of shows at the Chicago Theatre, but it was the same week as finals at ISU. Oh well.
+ While I can only hope that this level of egregious political activism doesn't spread across the country, this really sums up the sad state of the American educational system.
+ I've seen the movie "Airplane" about ten times. Some people will say they've seen their favorite movie anywhere from 50 to 100 times, but for me ten is excessive enough. I was reminded of that Sunday night when I heard about the passing of Captain Oveur, a/k/a veteran character actor Peter Graves. I keep going back to that movie because there's always something new to discover with each viewing, and Graves certainly figures into that equation. Oveur was a silly character played straight, a seemingly straight-arrow airline pilot with some repressed urges (no spoiler alerts here), and the role wouldn't have worked with any actor besides Graves. I'm not mourning, but thanking a good actor for a memorable performance.
Next Week: the year in music, 1965.