Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Cybils 2009 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards will be up and running tomorrow. Nominations will be open to the public from October 1-15. You may nominate books in nine different categories:
- Easy Readers/Short Chapter Books
- Fantasy/Science Fiction
- Fiction Picture Books
- Graphic Novels
- Middle Grade Fiction
- Non-Fiction (MG/YA)
- Non-Fiction Picture Books
- Young Adult Fiction
For More Information:
I’ll be serving as a second round judge on the Poetry Panel this year.
FYI: Some excellent children’s poetry books have been published in 2009. I have written reviews of nine of them. Here are links to the poetry book reviews I’ve posted to date this year at Wild Rose Reader:
- Red Sings from Treetops: A Book Review & An Invitation (4/17/09)
- Presenting Anna Alter & What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe? (4/21/09)
- Poetry Friday: Animal Haiku (4/24/09) This post includes a brief review of Michael J. Rosen’s The Cuckoo’s Haiku.
- The Frogs and Toads All Sang: A Book of Poems by Arnold Lobel (6/05/09)
- Book Review: Sky Magic Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins (6/12/09)
- Poetry Book Review: Incredible Inventions Compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins (6/19/09)
- Poetry about City Life (7/24/09) This post includes a review of Lee Bennett Hopkins’s City I Love.
- Countdown to Summer: A Poetry Book Review (8/28/09)
- Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School (9/04/09)
Stay Tuned: On Friday, I’ll be posting a review of a wonderful book of mask poems—Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes by Alice Schertle.
- Shilling With Schiller: Newspapers Attempt To Boost The Real Estate Market, Again
- Geography of some countries through History
- US Troops Match Wits With Iraqi Shoe-Tosser
- 民主黨愧對民主 公民黨走出悲情
- THE EAST IS STILL RED, SORT OF...
- a travelogue in Southern Xinjiang (Aug 2009)
- Passports for Tibetan
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
We'll be starting this season without a particular favorite of mine, but we were given a bit of good news. Mad Max Talbot is making progress in his recovery from shoulder surgery - he skated today for the first time since the operation. It won't be the same without him. Here's hoping he improves faster than expected. :)
Our title man expects to be ready to hit the ice this Friday following a minor groin injury aggravation during last Thursday's preseason matchup against Columbus. He has practiced, so that's a good sign. Keep your fingers crossed!!
The BIG screen is coming back for Friday's Stanley Cup Banner celebration. (Sigh... One more reason I wish I lived in Pittsburgh!) I wanted desperately to get tickets to the season opener. I haven't wanted tickets this badly since the 01-01-08 Winter Classic, but unlike before, things didn't work out in my favor. I know a few Friends are going, so I'm hoping I'll get some SWEET fan photos from the ceremony and game. (I'm looking at you three, G ladies! ;) )
I didn't respond to any preseason blogger roundtable emails in time to participate, so I'll go on record here on The Show: I am predicting another stellar season for our Boys of Winter. I anticipate that they'll make it to the playoffs again, and (at least!) come out the 2009-2010 Eastern Conference champs. However, I don't look for it to be a Stanley Cup re-rematch. Detroit's players are getting a little older (sorry, KCJacoby!), and I think the much younger Blackhawks and their 12-year-wing-man (and Cup hungry) Marian Hossa will be a force to be reckoned with in the West. What do you think? Leave your preseason predictions in The Friends' Zone below.
Don't forget - there are still a few days left to vote for your favorite Sid!
When the PRC government cleaned up its corrupted official, they would discredit any possibility that certain government(s) in this world, however authoritative or generically corrupted, would want to become less corrupted. Instead, they cooked up some conspiracy theory of power struggle to confuse its reader. If they hate you, whatever you do it is just wrong.
But to think that they are against China is "too simple, sometimes naive", to quote the ex-prez Jiang. To the "main stream media" and so-called opinion leaders, plus the foreign ministers of two major European countries, if they love you, you can rape a young teen brutally and their loves are still eternal.
As for media in Hong Kong, they simply applied google translation for whatever they have received and spit out to their readers (of similar caliber, they would think). They would not bother to read the comment fields under those websites, or a few lonely critical minds such as this.
What could China do to move from the "bad guy" circus to the "good side"? Here are a few tips from this lesson
- Be rich and famous
- Be-friend those western opinion leaders who had sold their souls
- Open the comment field
Monday, September 28, 2009
Volume22 - Part 10 – (October 2009)
Eye on Fiction—Where the wild things are
Richard Gottlieb analyses Maurice Sendak’s fascinating 1963 picture book, on the eve of its cinematic release
Click here for the pdf version of the article mentioned above.
Where The Wild Things Are Trailer
I’m going to be involved with the Cybils Poetry Panel once again. This year, I’ll be serving as a judge in Round II rather than as a member of the nominating panel in Round I. I’m excited! I’ll be in the company of some wonderful kidlit bloggers.
Some excellent children’s poetry books have been published in the past year. I think the nominating panel is going to have a wonderful time reading and evaluating them.
Panelists (Round I Judges):
Bruce Black, Wordswimmer
Kristy Dempsey, Reverie--Abstract Musings on a Hopeful Life
Kelly Fineman (Panel Organizer)
Tricia Stohr-Hunt, The Miss Rumphius Effect
Sylvia Vardell, Poetry for Children
Judges (Round II):
Sara Lewis Holmes, Read Write Believe
Elaine Magliaro, Wild Rose Reader
Greg Pincus, GottaBook
Jama Rattigan, Alphabet Soup
Stacey Shubitz, Two Writing Teachers
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Many thanks to Alyse for sharing this with us. :)
The season opener is fast approaching, so don't forget to vote for your favorite Sid!
Come join me in Philadelphia to help celebrate the life and work of Lee Bennett Hopkins, children’s poet and anthologist extraordinaire. Let me know if you’re planning to attend.
- The continental shelf is defined as the natural prolongation of the land territory to the continental margin’s outer edge, or 200 nautical miles from the coastal state’s baseline, whichever is greater. State’s continental shelf may exceed 200 nautical miles until the natural prolongation ends. However, it may never exceed 350 nautical miles from the baseline; or it may never exceed 100 nautical miles beyond the 2,500 meter isobath (the line connecting the depth of 2,500 meters). Coastal states have the right to harvest mineral and non-living material in the subsoil of its continental shelf, to the exclusion of others. Coastal states also have exclusive control over living resources "attached" to the continental shelf, but not to creatures living in the water column beyond the exclusive economic zone.
- Japan has submitted a 78-page long "executive summary", to which China and Korea challenged the legitimacy of Okinotori Rock, which USA (North Mariana Island, i.e. Saipan and Guam) and Palau reserved their rights on overlapping claims
- Korea and China each submitted their claims, both pushing the continental shelf to the Okinawa Trough
- (Note all 3 countries ratified UNCLOS, which DPRK did not)
Consisting of 5 major areas:
- SKB Shikoku Basin, the large vertical strip south of Shikoku Island and north of the Okinotori 200 nm circle.
- The area between Ogasawara/Iwo Jima (OGP) and the Minami-tori Shima (island) 200 nm circle (MTS)
- KPR, the area between the Okinotori circle and Palau's 200 nm EEZ boundary (potential overlap)
- 2 smaller pieces ODR and MIT to the east and west of the Okinotori circle
A very nice map for Chinese and Korean claims can be found in the red firefly blog (a very nice map blog in Chinese)
- The orange area is the co-development zone (1st phase) reached by China and Japan a year ago
- The green area is the Joint Korea-Japan Fishing Zone
- Blues lines are the 200 nm lines for Korea and China
- KOR1-KOR5 are sample points (joined into a line) of Korean claim
- D1-D4 are sample points of Chinese claim
- Both the KOR and D points are where the continental shelf end at the Okinawa Trough
Here is the technical definition of China's calim
- A -- the base-point (land territory) where the claim distance starts to count (usually an island close to the continent)
- B -- 200 nm line
- C -- continental shelf slope start to fall (FOS), point of maximum change in gradient
- D -- deepest point when continent shelf falls to the trough (lowest sea level)
Note that China's "preliminary example point" has carefully avoided to overlap with Korea claim points, apparently for a few reason (that I can think of)
- To avoid controversy with Korea
- To have Korea on its side over a potential rebuff from Japan (Japan's argument may be quite weak given the fact that it also submitted similar claim to the other side of its ocean)
- The example points are only "examples" to establish the Okinawa trough as the boudary, China can then negotiate with Korea (if the trough is established) regarding how to divide the trough between them, most likely it would be the equidistant principle which is not far from D1/KOR1
Friday, September 25, 2009
How many of you still remember the “Great Scrotum Debate” of 2007 that took place after The Higher Power of Lucky won the Newbery Award? I thought about it yesterday as I was compiling a list of links for Banned Books Week 2009. I thought I’d post a revised version of Book Talk 2007: A Poem, which I wrote when there was a lot of discussion going on in the kidlitosphere about Susan Patron’s book and about the censorship/banning of children’s books. BTW, I’ve left off the final couplet that was included in the original poem: Who’s got a solution antidotal/For the current row o’er something scrotal?.
Here’s my contribution to Poetry Friday—a poem for Banned Books Week (September 26-October 3, 2009).
by Elaine Magliaro
Dressed in uniforms of blue,
The word police arrived at two.
With laser eyes, they scanned our pages
And locked our naughty words in cages.
Then up we cried: “You’ve taken text!
Will you remove our pictures next?”
“Your pictures?” one policeman said.
“We only take the stuff that’s read.
Your naughty words must be excised.
Let all your authors be advised
To watch their words when they compose
Their poetry…and all their prose.”
Warning given…the men in blue
Then turned to leave. They bid adieu.
We books now left with words deleted
Feel somehow, sadly, incompleted.
Now…don’t go and read any banned books!
At Blue Rose Girls I have a poem by Elaine Equi entitled Ciao Bella Chocolate Sorbet.
At Political Verses, I have Dirty Dancing with the Stars: A Poem about Tom DeLay.
Susan Taylor Brown is doing the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
From ALA—About Banned & Challenged Books
From OIF (ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom) Blog—Banned Books Week Video: Puppet Book Banners
From ALA—Banned and Challenged Classics
From ALA—Most Frequently Challenged Authors of the 21st Century
From School Library Journal—Celebrate Banned Books Week, September 26–October 3
From Random House—Censorship Causes Blindness Poster
From Random House—First Amendment First-Aid Kit
From the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign—Challenged Children’s Books
From the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression—Banned Books Week Handbook Online: The Stories Behind Some of This Year’s Book Bans and Challenges
Longtime readers will recall that last season, I cropped a blurry picture I took of Siddo skating, cut out around him, and ran a distortion filter over him to create a footer for The Show.
After that, I changed the background following a few key victories on the Pens' journey to the Cup victory. Well, I figured since we are beginning a new season, I should probably reset the background to black since we're going back to the beginning of the road again.
I thought for a second about using the old footer I made last year, but then it occurred to me that there isn't any reason we can't still celebrate the 2009 victory for a bit longer, right? So I narrowed the many pictures of Siddo and the Cup down to five shots that I think would make good website footers, and now I want all of you to choose which one it will be. Here are the photos in no particular order (click them to enlarge):
Now it's time to cast your vote! I'll leave the poll open for a week. The winner will become a fixture in the lower left corner of the page — hopefully in time for the season opener!
Thanks in advance for participating!! :)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thanks for stopping by and all your encouragements.
♥ Thank God for seeing me through another week. I am feeling very tired but resting in our Lord's love and mercies daily.
♥ Thank God for His mercies that my brother is discharged from the hospital and is now resting at home! (I shared about how he went through 2 surgeries within the last 2 weeks and was very sick, in my last post : Please pray for my brother). Thank God for preserving my brother's life and restoring him.
♥ I thank God for your prayers and encouragements during this difficult time. It means a lot to me as this brother is very dear to me. I thank God upon every remembrance of you.
My brother and my family is very grateful for your support. My brother just wrote:
"After one of the toughest and most life-challenging cum life-changing ordeal of my life from 9th Sept 2009 to yesterday, 23rd Sept 2009, I finally came home from the hospital. Yes, it was a most difficult time of suffering, physically and mentally....I am still very weak because have not been eating much of anything for the last 2 weeks. Only started eating properly the last 3-4 days. Will concentrate the next few days on full resting and good food to recuperate and recover my strength. I could hardly walk properly now and also kind of disillusioned mentally too. But I think everything will be ok soon.
I thank God and everyone for your prayers and concern. I needed them very much."
♥ Please continue to pray for my brother especially for his salvation. I have been sharing the Gospel with him over the years but he is a very intellectual man and he found it difficult to trust in our Lord as his Saviour as he couldn't reconcile certain things he has read in the Bible. There came a point of time that he told me not to talk to him about the Lord anymore. He said if the Lord wants him to believe in Him, the Lord will bring him to do so one day.
♥ I am thankful to our Heaven Fatherly that through this incident He is opening ways for me to reach out once again to my brother with the Gospel. I have written to him to remind him of God's mercies to him, and to share the Gospel with him and beseech him to turn to our Lord to save him. I hope to speak to him more about it when he is able to talk. Please pray with me that God will continue to be merciful to him and grant him a true saving knowledge of our Lord and the assurance of His love and forgiveness. I have given him a Bible in the past. Please pray that he will read the Bible and God will do a deeper work in his soul through His Word and Spirit. God willing, may He also use Pastor Kong and other of His people who are near to my brother to reach out to him with the Gospel. Really appreciate your continuing to uphold him in your prayers.
To God be the glory!
♥ I am thankful to God once again for all of you, my dear blogging friends and visitors. I have been so greatly blessed by all of you and I thank God upon every remembrance of you. Thanks for all your prayers, encouragements, visits and comments. I enjoyed visiting your blogs too. It is wonderful to read of how God is guiding and blessing you in your walk with our Lord and it encourages me in my walk with God too. Thanks again for your prayers and encouragements.
Thanks for stopping by and all your prayers and encouragements.
Recently, I went for a walk at Hort Park, Singapore. It is a beautiful park with flowers and plant. It is so good to get out of the house and immerse myself in the beauties of nature and God's creations.
I love flowers. Somehow their beauties reminded me that we have a God Who not only creates but care for us. He clothes the flowers and feed the sparrows, surely He will take care of me and all of His beloved people no matter what we may have to go through in this world.
I love photography too. It gives me a sense of accomplishment whenever I am able to take a good photo and capture some of the beauties of God's creations. I am having problem uploading new photos, so here I am using some photos I took the last time I went to Hort Park.
So spending time in nature and photography has become 2 very therapeutic hobbies for me. They help me to slow down, relax and connect with nature. These are very helpful to me in managing depression and bipolar disorder.
Thanks for stopping by, dear friends! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. Your friendship, prayers, encouragements and concerns have been used by God to be a great encouragement to me!
The thought of God and you encourages my heart daily. May God bless each of you in His special ways.
Hope you have a blessed weekends! Take care.
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
24 September 2009
Here's a couple pictures I have from the Black and Gold game that was played in Wilkes-Barre on September 17th. Sadly, there's no pictures of the boys, but it was totally awesome to see the Stanley Cup in person. One thing I never expected to see... I apologize for the quality of the first picture — I took it with the camera on my Blackberry:Thanks so much for sharing the pics and welcome to The Show, Rita! :)
But this next one is a better quality shot and is from a small little ceremony that they did with presenting the Cup at Center Ice at the Wachovia Arena:I may be biased, but I think this just has to be the most beautiful trophy in professional sports.
The Black and Gold game was really fun to watch; it's not often that one gets to see Crosby and Malkin go head to head.
Can't wait to read about the Pens more, and I'll be down at the Flyers game on October 8th. Let me tell you, it's quite interesting to be a Pens fan in Flyers territory — I live just outside Philly — and it's especially interesting since my best friend is a die-hard Flyers fan!!
A new Friend of The Show...
Check back here tomorrow for a special post - I need your help with something... ;)
Thanks for stopping by and all your encouragements.
♥ Thank God for seeing me through another week, and giving me much joy and strength in Him daily.
♥ Thank God for His many mercies in preserving my younger brother who just went through 2 surgeries within the last 2 weeks. He went for a surgery 2 Fridays ago at the General Hospital, Malaysia, to remove some kidney stones. His recovery has been very slow and he has been very weak and sickly. A few days later, the hospital found out that he is suffering from some form of internal bleeding. They have done some scan and given him blood transfusions. The scan reveals that he has a growth at his kidney and the laser treatment during the surgery to remove the kidney stones has accidentally punctured the growth and it was bleeding. The doctor has tried to use some medication to stop the bleeding but it didn't work. A second surgery was needed to remove the growth and stop the bleeding. Last Friday the General Hospital decided to transfer him to a Specialist Hospital as the General Hospital does not have the expertise to deal with this issue or do such a surgery.
♥ Thank God that my brother went through the second surgery successfully at the Specialist Hospital last Friday. After my brother's second surgery on Friday, he was still rather weak because he has lost a lot of blood over the week and he couldn't eat much as no appetite. He was still on blood transfusion on Saturday (the 8th packet). Due to the eternal bleeding, he has blood clot in his urinary tract and experienced great pain whenever he passes urine. He was also breathless and unable to talk much. But thank God that he has improved significantly now! He is no longer in pain, able to talk and eat better.
♥ Thank God that my brother is recovering well now and may be discharged within a few days if he continues to recover well. He spoke to me briefly over the phone and told me of how he suffered tremendously over the last 2 weeks and he is going to cherish his life and the people around him more in the days ahead.
He also shared with me that there are many wonderful things happening in the midst of his sufferings. He said the people around him were exceptionally kind to him. He has several room mates who are Christian and daily their pastors and fellow Christians will come and read the Bible, sing and pray with them.
He said he was somehow very troubled after the first surgery even though the Surgeon told him that his first surgery was very successful. He suffered much after that due to the internal bleeding.
When he was told that he need to go through a second surgery, he began to experience peace. He said when he went for the second surgery, he found something very strange. The scene and the happenings at the second surgery has appeared to him in a dream before in the past and he remembered that in his dream after the second surgery the Surgeon asked him whether he is a Christian. My brother said the strange thing is that indeed after his second surgery the Surgeon asked him whether he is a Christian!
♥ Thank God for His mercies to my brother and in working wonderfully through the people around him and even through his dream. I asked my brother to reconsider his life and to seek the Lord.
Please pray with me for God's mercies upon his soul in this difficult time. He is not a believer but have heard the Gospel many time. He believe there is a God but unable to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. I know the Lord has not opened his heart yet. He is very involved in the religion called "The Heavenly Way" or "Tien Dao". Pray that through this trial he may be led to consider his life and his need of a Saviour.
♥ Thank God for one of my friends who has contacted a pastor in Malaysia who might be able to visit my brother. Please pray that if God wills, He will open the door for the Pastor to visit my brother. I am unable to visit my brother because I have to take care of my mother who has many health problems. My brother is very faraway from my mother and I now. He is staying in another country ie Malaysia. Thank God that His people are everywhere and God can use His people that are near to my brother to minister to him.
Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you for stopping by! Take care and have a blessed day!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
No worries, though. It doesn't count, so who cares? :P It's the preseason, lots of our young guys are getting ice time, and the Boys are have shown over the past few seasons that, even if they don't fully come alive until after the All Star (or this year the Olympic) break, they can still make it to the playoffs - and go all the way.
Okay, so the Pens have a new marketing campaign... The slogan is "Defy Ordinary". I've got to be honest - I'm not loving it. In fact, the more I'm hearing it, the more I'm hating it. My favorite Pens slogan so far (since 1997) has been the inspired "Experience the Evolution" because it was more appropriate than even the Pens' marketing team probably anticipated at the time. Last season's "It's a Great Day for Hockey" was a great tribute to Badger Bob as well as a statement of the obvious. (Isn't it always a great day for hockey?)
But "Defy Ordinary"? Perhaps it is because I work at a college, but it seems more suited for our brochure than the side of a Pens' souvenir cup. Don't believe me? Click this link to open the Pens' new commercial in a new window - BUT listen to it with your eyes closed. I "defy" you to dispute that the ending line "We Are the New Pittsburgh" couldn't easily be replaced with "Call Now to Apply for Fall Enrollment." Take a listen and leave your thoughts about it in The Friends' Zone below. (Oh, and don't forget to enter the contest at the end of the video!)
We're getting dangerously close to the start of the regular season, and DirecTV customers (like me) still have no Versus. On September 1st, Bettman's sports channel of choice was replaced with the following message:
Versus is no longer available on this channel. Comcast, which owns Versus, has forced us to take down the channel because we will not submit to their unfair and outrageous demands.This has the potential to be a real problem. Fortunately, we live in the Greater Pittsburgh area, so when FSN Pittsburgh and Versus both have the rights to broadcast a game, Versus was always the channel that got blacked out. But there are a handful of times when Versus has exclusive rights to certain games in the regular season and they hold exclusive rights to most of the playoffs, so if negotiations between the Philadelphia based Versus and DirecTV don't work out, woodstock and I will need to use the instructions on the WATCH GAMES ONLINE page to watch them online. If push comes to absolute shove, I can listen to them on SiriusXM, but listening to hockey is less than ideal. (And it will severely limit my ability to recap the game!)
Versus has been urging DirecTV subscribers to switch providers, but it's just not that simple. The 2 year contract we signed with DirecTV a year ago is structured kind of like a cell phone contract: there is a substantial early termination fee. At the time, we figured it was the price to pay for the best quality HDTV broadcast currently available. Twenty-two days into it with no real end in sight has me thinking it might not be resolved in time to avoid missing a game. Cross your fingers...
Picture Book Lists & Book Reviews
Just Fall Picture Books from Your Friendly Librarian (9/11/09)
Autumn Days from Through the Looking Glass Book Review
Autumn Books for Children from Johnson County Library, Kansas
Fall into Autumn from McNally Robinson Booksellers
Harvest Mood by Lee Bock (School Library Journal, 10/1/2008)
Fall Recommended Reading-Kids Books for Autumn (Apples 4 the Teacher)
Autumn Celebrations: Recommended Books for Fall (The Holiday Zone)
Thematic Book List--Fall (The Miss Rumphius Effect, 10/25/2007)
Change Is in the Air (Reading Rockets)
Autumn Book Bunch: Leaves, Leaves, Leaves! from Wild Rose Reader(9/29/08)
Look What I Did with a Leaf! from Wild Rose Reader(9/22/08)
Fall into Poetry from Wild Rose Reader (9/19/08)
Autumn Poetry from Wild Rose Reader
Poetry Friday: Autumn Acrostics
MAPLE: An Autumn Acrostic
Poetry Friday: An Autumn List Poem
Poetry Friday: Autumn Leaves
Poetry Friday: Autumn Fires
LUNES (Includes a quartet of lunes about September)
Autumn Crafts and Activities
Fall Crafts, Decorations, and Printouts from Enchanted Learning
Autumn Lesson Plans and Ideas from Scholastic
Autumn Leaf Crafts & Activities from Wild Rose Reader (9/25/08)
Friday, September 18, 2009
- Some were written for Tricia’s weekly Poetry Stretches at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
- Some were written specifically for posting at Wild Rose Reader.
- Some were written for poetry collections that still remain unpublished.
I asked myself: Would any editors be interested in publishing a poetry collection I had written if some of its poems had already been posted on my blog? Would any anthologist/publisher ever pay me for permission to use any of these poems in anthologies?
Once I started posting my original work at Wild Rose Reader I never looked back. I love writing poetry. I enjoy sharing my poetry with kidlit bloggers, poets, writers, teachers, and other visitors who stop by to read it. I like reading the comments people leave for me. After all, I write because I want to share my creative thoughts with others—and once in a while, it actually pays off!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Right out of the gate, I want to apologize for being gone so long. Losing Baylee in the midst of coming to terms with my Gram's deterioration and the near-loss of my uncle just completely threw me for a loop. I thank all of you for your patience and understanding and especially for the kind words. You all have become such an important pillar of support in my life. I don't think I'll ever be able to convey exactly how much it truly means to me.
I also must publicly thank my sister for handling the post that broke the news of my beloved Baylee's passing to all of you. I just couldn't have done it. Even now, this post is hard for me to type. I loved that dog like a child. I had him my entire adult life - 1⁄3 of my life overall. He and I had a bond that didn't require us to speak the same language or be of the same species.
We worked so hard to fix him. When I took him to the vet that morning, I never dreamed the doctor would tell me it was time to throw in the towel. Cancer is cruel and vicious and unforgiving. That holds true for both humans and canines. As you know, Baylee had liver cancer, and it began affecting everything from his appetite to his ability to walk. Eventually, there were no treatments left for us to try, so we had to end his pain. It may sound crazy to non-"dog people", but that was by far the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. It's crazy - I had so many big plans for TSCS to celebrate the big win. This should have been one of the best summers of all time. Instead, for me, it was the worst.
Despite the month long absence, I assure you that I have not lost my passion for the sport, for the team, for the player, for this blog. I am back now, and while it may take a few posts to get back into the swing of things, I promise to do my best to be in top form for the new 2009-2010 season. And please continue to be patient with me as I attempt to tackle my inbox - I literally have several hundred unread messages. I will do my best to respond (even if it's just a "thank you") to all of them.
The preseason gets underway tonight at the Mellon when the Pens host the Blue Jackets at 7:30pm. Regular season tickets went on sale last Saturday. I didn't get the game I really wanted (the home opener), so instead I surprised my husband with tickets to two games for teams he'd been wanting to see live for a while - November 16th we'll be at the Anaheim Ducks game at 7:30pm, and March 7, 2010, we'll be watching the Pens face the Bruins at 3:00pm.
I want to end this post on a positive note — last week I got a shiny new 24" iMac. :) :) :) :) :) It's a total nerd-girl's dream: It has a terabyte (!) dual booting hard drive that is running Snow Leopard on the Mac side, and the not yet released Windows 7 on the other. (It's so good to work at a school!) Vista haters rejoice! Windows 7 is actually pretty darn slick. :)
And, as ALWAYS,