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Journal Writing Project: Eric M. Leitzen


Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Here we are. St. Patrick's Day. The time for the wearing of the green. Time for everyone to feel just a little bit Irish. Bust out the corned beef and cabbage, Mom, and top off the tankard. I love the Irish. I love them to pieces, everything about them. Their land, their attitude, their music, their food, their music, their red hair, and their music. Sadly, however, I am not in the slightest way of Irish descent. Not one little bit. No tiny Shamrocks floating in my hemoglobin. Allow me a moment of lament. I really wish that I was Irish, because there isn't anything I don't dislike about them. The mystique of the Irish is one unrivaled. They just capture me. Like the fog that often envelops their fields of heather, the true Irish are a people not known to us Stateside. We all have the picture of the “drunken Irishman” in our heads, to which most Irish do not identify with.

As you probably noticed, I said most.

My most favorite Irishman is not my most favorite Irishman for his social habits, because to put it frankly, he's lacking them. He is an absolute aberration of a human being. He has spent time in both prison and mental institutions. However, as a curious catalyst, he makes some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. His name is Shane MacGowan, and from his sandpaper voicebox springs Irish songs worthy of legend.

Born Christmas Day 1957, who would have known that he would become the poster boy for irreverent Irish music and deplorable dental hygiene. MacGowan’s teeth (or lack of them) get almost as much recognition as his singing career. Teeth or no, MacGowan captured the world's attention with his songs, which blended the ballads of old Ireland with the modern styles of the 1980s. His music is unlike any other, mixing the flitting notes of a pennywhistle with the harsh rhythms of a snare drum and the plodding dulcet tones of a bass guitar. The Pogues, a band which MacGowan frontlined for, scored a smash hit in 1988 with the song Fairytale of New York, a masterfully blended duet of MacGowan with the late great Kirsty MacColl.

Shane MacGowan, along with the Pogues, completely brought me into a craze. Ever since I first heard a CD of theirs last winter, I have been an Irish maniac. I want to know everything about them. They absolutely fascinate me. I have since purchased a CD of the Pogues and am in the process of looking for a tin whistle to attempt to pla .....
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Are You Game? Spring, the harbinger of great things to come

Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you and what a sports week it has been. Jim Harrick gets the boot in Georgia, as UGA’s NCAA and SEC Hopes slip past their fingers. The Twins are looking like last year’s ALCS squad.   First with C ..... 
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Township Roads: Almost the right word

Fri, Mar 7th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

When our second son, Matt, was just a little guy, he went on a school field trip. They were gone for the day to the Twin Cities. We didn’t know the trip itinerary so we quizzed him about his activities when he got home. We asked him what he had seen. ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Andy Wolter

Fri, Mar 7th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

You’ll never figure everything out. That’s life, no matter how much you hope and plan, there is nothing to guarantee anything will ever work. I guess that’s what makes life worth living, the fact you will never figure everything out, and the fact tha ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Jamie Rose Howe

Fri, Feb 28th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Eighteen years I have experienced life here on this planet. In this world there is hunger, wealth, poverty, divorce, terrorism, hate, and love. I’ve experienced eighteen years of it, of pure...life. And as I approach graduation, it gets more and more ..... 
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At Home in the Woods: For the birds

Fri, Feb 28th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

One morning in early February, I saw a sharp-shinned hawk perched on one of our bird feeders. The sharp-shinned is a small agile woodland hawk whose favorite food is small birds. The feeder birds immediately disappeared into the nearby bushes. [Read the Rest]
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