So a couple weeks ago our newspaper ran this little box of a puzzle, called Sudoku, I found out. I flipped past it during my morning read but went back to it after overhearing some of the buzz about it in our newsroom …

I’m glad I did. I’m notorious for not being able to walk past a jigsaw puzzle without at least putting in a few pieces (I once spent an extra four hours at my college newspaper office, working into the wee hours of the morning to finish a jigsaw puzzle), and I’m afraid now I will no longer be able to come across a Sudoku puzzle without solving it …

Here’s the deal: You’re presented with a box with nine squares down and nine squares across. And each of those squares are further divided into 3-by-3 regions. Your job is to figure out how each row, column and region intersects to contain each of the numbers one through nine just once.

Math is thrown out the window. There’s no adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. This is purely, as I have begun calling it, a huge process of elimination that requires you only to know how to count.

It was invented in America about 30 years ago, but became huge in Japan, and then Europe. Now the craze is taking over the U.S. and several newspapers have begun running syndicated forms of Sudoku in various levels of difficulty. Web sites are springing up all over the Internet.

And here’s the sign you really know it’s become a craze: people are having Sudoku classes. I just returned from one tonight at the Logic Puzzle Museum. It was classic. Imagine me, six other people (a high school freshman girl, four women past their 50s and a man about the same age) and the director sitting around a circular table in this cramped, storefront museum.

I've done nearly a dozen Sudokus since discovering them two weeks ago, and, like me, the beginners I was hanging with tonight quickly figured out how motivating the puzzles can be. And that when you get on a roll and your strategies are working, solving the puzzle seems lyrical and poetic. But when nothing seems to work, the puzzles can drive you down right nuts.

From the Chicago Tribune, here’s more of what I’m trying to say: Are Sudoku support groups on the horizon?

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If you live in the Chicago area and you’re not watching the World Series on Sunday night, you might want to check out the world premiere of ‘Resurrection Mary’ in Park Ridge’s Pickwick Theater

Stories abound of the ghostly young girl in white walking alone on Archer Avenue in Chicago’s south suburbs, the movie is an original that pits Shawn six months away from his wedding date. But before he knows it, casual glances toward the pretty woman in white are turning serious and his fiancee, Amy, figures out things aren’t right.

When Shawn refuses to divulge his thoughts, an argument ensues and the girl appears in front of their car. Shawn swerves and rolls the car, sending Amy into a coma and him on a mad dash to figure out the decades-old secret of Resurrection Mary.

The movie also features Joe Estevez -- Martin Sheen's brother, Emilio Estevez's and Charlie Sheen's uncle.

It sounds like a great movie and I had an awesome time interviewing the producer a couple weeks ago and a local band, Ded Red, which has songs appearing in the film …watch for it in theaters and on DVD sometime next year.

Speaking of Ded Red, you might want to watch for them too. Watching them jam out their song 'Empty Box' was like being transported back to the hey day of ‘90s grunge from Nirvana, Candlebox and Soundgarden … These guys play original songs laced with tight guitar licks and serious lyrics. I’ve watched quite a few local acts die out, but I think it’s safe to say these guys are the right thing. Hopefully the movie deal gets ‘em going …

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Talk about crazes …

I’m having so much fun lately with blogging, and surfing the Internet and sharing good writing, it’s really kinda sad.

Here’s more of the craziness that is enveloping baseball, Chicago and the White Sox this week …

a Loss could haunt Astros
a Dramatic finishes … I remember watching and agree with just about every one of these, although I think the media has jumped the gun a little bit on Pujols game-winning homer the other night. Astonishing and incredible as it was -- I don’t think it’s one of the greatest moments in postseason history … yet.
a America should rally around the White Sox

Ah, the battle for those prized tickets … Granted the White Sox system sounded a little better than the Cubs’ we’ll-pick-you-at-random-and-if-you’re-lucky-after-13-hours-of waiting-patiently-by-your-computer-maybe-there’ll-be-a-ticket-for-you system …

For all the baseball players and owners preaching about trying to give back to the fans, they’ve missed the boat on dedicating tickets to devoted fans and instead pay more attention to up-scale, front office people usually more deserving of tickets to drinking competitions…

During my train ride yesterday, I dispersed text messages to a few buddies calling for at least one of them to reserve some tickets for Game 6 or 7 of the World Series at Comiskey. There were no takers.

(… I WILL NOT call Comiskey U.S. Cellular Field. … Talk about a stupid name for a stadium … dang corporate people … Seriously. How the HECK can they possibly think they’re selling more products by having their name attached to a stadium. You’re not convincing me to jump off my seat and go by a U.S. Cellular phone … About as big a waste of money as I’ve ever known …).

Then I saw the magic number this morning -- 18 minutes. A couple people at our office mentioned getting online at noon yesterday to try grabbing Sox tickets and had no luck. But a former co-worker, I found out, did manage to get two tickets to Game 2 on Sunday … he’s a lucky man.

(…and if that wasn’t enough to depress me, I got a call early this afternoon from my college roommate who had acquired two tickets to tonight’s NLCS and was on his way to St. Louis. When I hung up the phone, a co-worker observed later, I was turning a little green … or blue. Think about this: not only is he attending a baseball playoff game, he's possibly witnessing the Astros clinch their first-ever trip to the World Series and the last-ever game at Busch Stadium. Yep, lucky man.)

a No ticket? Join the crowd
a The Golden Tickets
a Chairman of the Adored … I’ve never admired Jerry Reinsdorf for all the misconceptions mentioned in this story. A good read that just might make you begin to appreciate the man…

Hey, I heard a good joke on the radio the other day: What do you call a Cubs fan who roots for the White Sox? … a Bi-Sox-ual …

These stories couldn’t have put it better …
a Can Cub fans suck it up?
a Difference between North and South Sides
a Don't expect to see Gov. wearing Sox gear

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your a freak, a freak I tell you. The memories come rushing back Horndoggie.