Eaglie's Aviary

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I haven't written since December 2011. You'd think this was a hint that this blog is dead, but you'd be... well... right. I unknowingly killed this blog. But the sprites of it will live on.

Currently, my alter ego/janitorial staffer Andy is reworking his own life. I/he finished a Master's degree in Boston in Publishing & Writing and a personal website. He keeps me dusted, but the life of a student is tough to keep up with.

But he promises a next step, with my help: Aviary 3.0: The Semanticking. Or Bird of a Nation, the likely renaming of this circa-2003 blog. Development is a few months of development off, as money and time are tight. It may even take a year. But it will come.

But I do have a Twitter account, like everyone else.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Ten Years Later

Eaglie. Born December 5, 2001. Ten years ago.

You argue that he's only nine years old. You also were that horrible person who insisted the year 2000 wasn't the turn of the millennium and you are going to ruin Christmas this year.

Why does December 5th stick around? Why not July 4th?

I've told the story before. It is the day I first typed the name "Eaglie" as my label.

In the years since, I've discovered new reasons to keep the date:

Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933. That's when Americans ratified the 21st Amendment. As Ken Burns put it, Prohibition was the only time the U.S. Constitution was amended—key word: amended—to take away freedom rather than add to it. All other amendments have been meant to give Americans more freedom... or to add term limits. (And I'll add a personal story I told a few years back.)

And then, going through family documents, I learned my grandmother—my oma, as I'd call her if I'd known her—became an American that day. A German naturalized to an American citizen. My dad remembered his dad being so proud of her. And she was just as proud.

To me as an American (and as me), December 5th is as important as July 4th.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wake Me Up When September 11th Turns 20

"Ten years ago" is a sorry way to lead a post on Sept. 11th, 2011. It would've had impact nine years ago. Not today.

The time I'm writing this, late on 09/11/11, I have heard "Empire State of Mind" far more than is comfortable, thanks to a Spike Lee commercial. I saw soldiers, Clydesdales, and a lot of small children attempt to warm the cockles of my heart. Some moments did, some didn't.

Simon Garfunkel was fine.

Questions remain ten years later. For example, at the WTC site memorial, how clogged with pennies will those twin reflecting pools get? And real questions like: where does our nation go from here? Where does Eaglie go from here?

I've said it before: Eaglie was forged that day of watching CNN on the crappy televisions in the school dining hall. The admin office gasping. Senor Kennedy crying. The F-16 patrol around the Chicago skyline shadowing us. Mr. Stonich teaching. And you'd have to know Mr. Stonich to know EXACTLY what that means.

More than any other event, the explosions shaped this character of mine. So I take this selfish moment to ask that question: where DOES Eaglie go from here? Maybe the next few months will tell. I AM working my mojo in a tech class.

On that ambiguous note, here's an archive of my September 11th posts (because you ever so wanted it). Apparently I didn't have a post in 2003:

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Never Forget, Mate

Never forget.

Five years ago, Croc Hunter.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

The End of All Ha' Potta' Kedavra

My first brush with Harry Potter began with someone shoving a copy of Goblet of Fire next to my face and shouting, "It's uncanny!" And I pretended I knew exactly what the book was and exactly who the boy on the cover was.

Years later, the Lord of the Rings Versus Harry Potter rivalry began. Movies and midnight releases galore. But I avoided the Boy Who Looked A Lot Like Me.

Then I let up for the release of Order of the Phoenix. I started with the first book. And the second book. And the third book the next day. By this point, Lord of the Rings was winning Oscars and there wasn't much of a comparison.

Then I got the final book on my 21st birthday. (True story. A good story, really.) I guess I've grown up with the series, and it all ends tonight with a movie, Part Two of Two. No more, despite what the stupid website implies. With all this nearly behind us, I figured I'd share some of the better stuff I've written at this blog (most in my compatriot character Eaglie's voice):

American Quidditch
The Political Allegory of the Minister of Magic
Will the World End?
After a Cookie-Fueled Marathon...
Harry Potter and the World's Imminent Collapse

I'll end with one of my pieces of investigative journalism, my visit to Oak Park's Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Release Party. Did you know that I wrote 5000 words about Harry Potter in that one week? I called it Ha' Potta' Kedavra Week.


We all swish & flick on.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

Proof Through the Night

Happy July 4th to anyone stumbling upon this page! Especially Americans, since it is our holiday. This holiday rings with such celebratory excitement and glee (not joy--that's saved for Christmas) that I can't help but sing along. Read the Declaration, read some satire of the Declaration... the usual American things.

And despite all our misgivings, all our wars, debts, and general stupidity, there's always room to bask in the awesomeness of our country. People STILL love coming here. SMART people. For example, British author Simon Winchester is getting his citizenship today after living in this country for years.

It's gallant of a proper British chap become an American this day and age--and aboard a warship that stood cannon-to-cannon against the British in 1812 to boot! Not many Americans can say that. None that I know personally. I'm almost jealous.

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Still Alive This May Five...

You thought Eaglie and the Aviary was dead. (It's been since January since we've posted.) Well, we're not, which is more than I can say for some terrorists. We're more than alive. But things are moving fast: it's May 5th again, meaning it's the 8th anniversary of the beginning of this blog. The eggs of plans are coming up, I swear. I have billions of them to lay.

But, a word during this second post of 2011: nearly a decade ago, an idea began in the ash of a terrible September. A few months later, the chill of a December night created Eaglie. Two years later and Eaglie was blogging.

Eaglie was a high school student's product of a tragedy perpetrated by a terrible man with a beard. A teenager's image of a failing empire. A bird watcher's binocular view gone loony.

But maybe we aren't as bad off as we expected: democracy is in everyone's hearts and wings all these years later. As bin Laden gets a seaweed makeover, the Arab Spring continues to bloom and liberate peoples in the Middle East. And not to stand by and allow the Arabs all the credit, maybe America did usher in a new world order. Maybe the USA'll last long enough to see it! And maybe the Aviary helped!

Of course it did.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bears-Packers, Part 182

Storied, storied, storied, storied! That's what this rivalry is. I mean, I've written about it before. The last time the Bears and the Packers met in the playoffs was a week after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

If only I was in the Midwest today--in Chicago, eating ribs, brats, and drinking Jim Beam in a hallowed parking lot. It really is the Super Bowl today.


Friday, December 31, 2010

Wait Until 2011! It'll Be Great!

Eaglie's annual Four Horsemen post will be going up soon, just... well, okay, I ask for some more slack. I mean, Eaglie didn't even get to wish you guys Merry Christmas! For that, I am sorry. Please, have a Merry Christmas. On the house.

In lieu of the Horsemen post for now, sit with something that cheered me up today and in Auld Lang Syne:

(Video via Neatorama and friend-of-the-blog Chris Edwards.)

Here's to a happier, healthier 2011, one with a Four Horsemen post and lots more happy penguins.

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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Remember My Birthday and Repeal Day!

Repeal Day and my birthday mix well, even if I was mostly alone. I spent the day drinking hot toddies alone due to a sore throat. (Yes, birds get sore throats.) Phlegm was coming out of every hole in my beak, and that isn't healthy for a human, let alone a bird. However, we've learned in the past few decades that alcohol solves everything, and you can't ban it, unless it makes your heart explode. You can ban it then.

Business-wise: I've been out of contact and not blogging, but still I should mention I've planned out a trip to Chicago for Christmas with Andy. I'll head with him and go see my parents in downstate Illinois. They're getting ready to fly a bit south. Eagles and humans have the same instincts in this way.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Someone Left the Cake out in the Rain

The House was called for the GOP a while ago. The Senate is leaning Democratic, but barely. The GOP is probably going to take a few extra governors' mansions and get to gerrymander to their hearts' content. And our cake was ruined.

But I need to say about this situation: it looks bad for sure. All our plans seem ruined. Dinner, certainly. But it's nothing to worry about.

There is an equal chance to ruin and satisfy on a day like this. When the smoke clears, we just have to deal with the situation we're in. Some people even like burnt cake. For the next two years, they get to have their way and eat it, too. But I get my way sometimes. So I don't worry.


The Witchblade Has Been Lost

This is really old news: in fact, this is really old news for the 24-hour news cycle: in fact, this is older than old because there was no chance in hell she'd win: Christine O'Donnell lost her race in Delaware, giving the Democrats something to crack a smile over.



CNN called Kentucky for Rand Paul. Indiana was called for Coats. Let the pity party start for Democrats.

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It feels weird to be disenfranchised and for it to be one's own fault.

I checked three weeks ago for policy on Illinois absentee ballots. The deadline was gone and dead.

No, the Internet can't solve my problems either. Instead, I went back to doing the other parts of my civic duty: the rest of my undemocratic life. But sadly, I won't get to vote in an election I've been urging people to vote in. The most important election of 2010.

There's a lack of control in my life today. I feel the need to sit on a couch and tell people that I'm at the mercy of all too many crazies.

But I don't worry. I don't despair. Andy and I are going to go bake a cake.




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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Night of the Living Tea Party

Out of the woodworks in the past two years came the Tea Party here in America. I know this is old news, but they've been terrifying the populace, eating brains, and spreading by virus and dogma. Thankfully, it hasn't crossed the borders into Mexico or gone overseas yet.

One must be careful these days as these "Tea Baggers" attack shopping malls and town halls, not to mention undocumented housekeepers. One must speak softly and carry a shotgun. And it needs to be loaded with bullets rather than logic. They're immune to logic at this point.

Top scientists race and hope to find a cure someday. Or at least a vaccine for those of us to fight back with. First we have to find the gene that makes people innately angry and unreasonable. It might involve a healthier economic climate with growth in stocks and consumer spending, leading to swift job creation and a steady increase in the market, leading to a smaller trade gap and a lessened national debt. But only the top scientists can tell us in time.

Good Halloween night, and good luck, America.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Rally and Restore America, Sirs and Madams!

I'm going to Washington, D.C, and my preference is to keep fear alive. (As "sanity" is not in my vocabulary.) Washington is a lovely-sounding city where I've almost never been except when I went that one time with Andy and his family and saw everything but the kitchen sink of the Library of Congress. Of course the Library of Congress has a kitchen! It also has a Make-Out Point! That's in the ,69.SUTRA stacks. (Over 5,000 editions and almost as many positions!)

Though the link to that trip's log is long broken. I should fix that.

I'll see you, my readers, again when the weekend's out. When Halloween hits, actually. I'll have a report when I get back from my lovely eight to ten-hour bus ride through all the highlights, like Smelly, New York, and Dorky, Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Land of Autumn Is Slacking

I live in the Northeast, the land of autumn. Where is my instant beauty?

I don't know much about this place yet, but I expected on September 22nd to see all the leaves to burst into flame and dance in the wind. Instead, I see a lot of misty skies, rain, and, once in a while mixed in, an 80-degree day.

Not to mention school. There's always schoolwork when I should be out playing with friends outside with a light jacket on. I should be making Ol' Man Witteker mad after he spent his whole day raking! But I don't have any time to jump in the leaf piles! And there aren't even any on the ground yet! Five whole days into October!

Fall is the reason to live in deciduous America and not California. Don't screw this up for me, Nature.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Captain, My Mayor

Me and Andy leave Chicago for one minute and everything in Chicago happens!

Unless you live under a rock or somewhere besides the Chicagoland-Northwest Indiana area, you've heard that Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago will not run for a seventh term. That means, in May, for the first time in 21 years, a Daley will not be Mayor of Chicago. And in the past 55 years, Daleys have handled 42.

Without King Richard II, there would've been much less graft. Okay, you're killing me. This is CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, we're talking about. There will ALWAYS be graft. And greed. And corruption. And governors getting fitted for stripes.

The difference is that Richie Daley knew how to work that system. Very, very well. I mean, he looks almost clean! Other mayors have always struggled to hold the feuding factions (blacks, whites, Hispanics, the Polish) of the city together.

He (and his father) worked this system to make the City of Chicago into what it is today. A shining jewel of the Midwest--the sparkling center of a region that's turned to rust.

Richie has been mayor a super-majority of my life. I shed a tear for him. REALLY! I will miss him, and I worry for my city without him.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

So I Forgot

Sue me and donate the proceeds or something.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hitting the Road in August--Boston, Here Eaglie Comes!

Andy and I are in the throes of moving, the most American of pastimes. What is more American than dangerously over-stuffing a minivan and swerving about the highways and byways of this great nation?

Moving allows you to:
  • Discover new places to be bigoted about.

  • Make one's way in the world only to discover the skyrocketing price of gas means you're going to have to "borrow" from the people still inside the Hardee's at the Oasis (bring a funnel and some Altoids).

  • Buy new IKEA furniture.

  • Do the necessary research on an apartment after you've signed the lease, just like a Senate Appropriations Committee.

  • Live in squalor and swear you won't next year, all the way up to the point that you lazily resign the same lease.

I should add an addendum: moving is the most American of pastimes only if the move is to another part of America, which is exactly where we're going. Boston.

We're going to Boston, where Andy will hit the books, get this website working, and get laid. Oh, and I should rediscover America instantly and feel inspired.

Until we're situated in our dingy new apartment with Internet/manage to steal Wi-Fi, I'll just be on Twitter. Follow @eaglie.

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

How American

The bans on buying handguns in several Midwest towns (Chicago and Oak Park, Il.) were essentially overturned by the Supreme Court.

The Gulf of Mexico has been handing out free fossil fuels to all its neighbors.

And we're still terrible at soccer. At least on defense.

How American. Happy Birthday to all of us, guys!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

American Exceptionalisms to Soccer

American exceptionalism: we take exception to the game of soccer. When the World Cup kicked off last Friday, I figured something out: there is something distinctly un-American about soccer. We Americans like scores. We like close-ups. We like tackling without sliding. We like funny commercials. Ad companies (i.e. Americans) like funny commercials. Let's see:

___ Scoring
___ Close-ups of awesome action during the game
___ Tackling (without sliding)
___ Funny commercials, maybe involving a cute baby
___ Americans winning

No checks. Soccer fails this list miserably, so most Americans aren't going to like soccer very soon. The ones that will aren't me.

But, hey! USA tied a game with England last Saturday! We might do pretty well in this bracket! Go Team USA! Beat Slovenia and Algeria next! And go Soccer! WOOOOO! BUUZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!

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Friday, June 04, 2010

I Knew Breaking Up Standard Oil Was a Bad Idea

It's an environmental disaster! Do something before it gets worse than the Exxon Valdez! It will lead to the destruction of the Gulf Coast people and their homes! Do something, please, before it's worse than Hurricane Katrina! Nothing we can do about it while it makes the shrimping industry extinct? OH GOD, SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING, NOW!!! TOO MUCH!!!

The British Petroleum oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has been going for weeks now. In that time, we've seen the rare: perfect games in baseball, ALMOST-perfect games in baseball, and the rarest sight of all, a Chicago sports team on the verge of winning a championship.

We've seen politicians backtrack on stupid statements made years ago. We've seen almost-covert military operations by Israel. And we saw someone get named an American Idol by text message. Not exactly rare things these days, but all these things, all the while, oil leaked out of the earth and into our seafood.

Sigh. I will resign on this. There is no hope. That squeeze bottle of cocktail sauce in my fridge... so much will be wasted.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicago to New York, Sunset to Sunrise

I have nine hours in Gotham to do everything from tap-dancing on gilded streets to ice-skating on the roof of Rockefeller Center. At least I imagine this will be the case. I can't go many places because the flight lands at 10 pm and leaves for Chicago again at 9 am. It's late for gallivanting in New York, but Andy and I will be fine. We can make it there. No "if."

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Seven Years of Love and Neglect

May 5th, 2003, was the day I first posted. I still was Andy then. As I still am, for anyone wanting to inform on me to Arkam Asylum.

Seven years, and I've both loved and neglected her since. So this State of the Blog? Most would say that when you're posting once every two weeks, the state is not good. I would agree.

Maybe the answer lies in change, as our president reminded us many times the past three years. But what is "Change"? Twitter? Probably not the only answer. Deleting this blog? Would never cross my mind. A completely new way of going about this blog? Maybe. I don't fear change.

Speaking of which: soon enough, I'll be moving to Boston to start grad school. Yes, I said I was moving to Boston. Maybe it's there that the Bird of a Nation will come back to life, and where better but 200 miles away from the City of Brotherly Love for a fictional symbol of freedom to spread his wings? Oh, and there's all that Freedom Trail bullshit in Boston, too.

So: in good and bad times, in sickness and in health, in pursuit of happiness, I say cheers to my Aviary. May she live forever.