Now that I’m back home and have a few more days off, there are a couple of things on the to-do list. I do plan to see the new Star Wars movie so no spoilers, please, but I also need to do some things around the house such as clean out the garage and maybe even do a little tidying up other than the usual. I might catch up on my writing; there are a couple of stories in progress that need attention, and I might even get started on a new play.
Or I might say the hell with that and go for a day or two in the Keys.
I’ll think about it.
I’m off to Stratford, Ontario, to take in the Stratford Festival.
Since 1970 this was an annual pilgrimage with my parents, who looked forward to this time even more than their son with all those advanced degrees in theatre. This time I’m going with someone who has been an important influence on my theatre studies for nearly forty-five years and a good friend as well. You know him as The Old Professor, a cognomen he bears with bemusement. He is generously sponsoring a good deal of this journey, and my gratitude knows no bounds.
We’ll be seeing four plays while we’re there as well as dropping in on some favorite haunts such as Fanfare Books, exclusive distributors of my scripts in Canada and Rundles, the favorite restaurant of my father.
All of this is my way of saying that I’ll be on my vacation schedule while I’m traveling. I’ll post some pictures and notes about the plays we see and the places we go, but posting will be light and variable.
Exit, pursued by a bear.
Okay, spring break’s over.
I caught up on some sleep, did a couple of fun car show events, took the Pontiac in for its annual spring check-up, and even had time to catch up with some friends.
Anyway, back to work, and blogging is back to its normal schedule. Try to control your joyous rapture.
It’s the time of year to celebrate the vernal equinox by giving the fourth-largest school district a week off.
I have plans: Over to Naples (Florida) for a car show, then back to judge another car show, then write a paper for the scholars conference at the 34th William Inge Theatre Festival, help strike a theatre set… and then there’s Tuesday through Sunday to do nothing.
Blogging will be light and variable, but I’ll be popping in on a daily basis.
Break’s over. I’m back to blogging on the usual schedule. Please try to contain your exuberance.
The time off gave me time to do things around the house like pressure-clean the patio, do some real housecleaning, get caught up on a lot of reading, and enjoy the holiday celebrations with friends. I also had a great time at the Miami 1-Acts Festival. We had a bit of a scare before the second performance of A Life Enriching Community; one of the actors woke up the morning of the show with the flu. But a couple of calls later and we had a real trouper step up and do her part like she’d been rehearsing it the whole time. The next theatre adventure is the One-Minute Play Festival coming up January 17th and 18th.
I also got a lot of writing — and re-writing — done on the novels-in-progress, and I am striving to keep true to my prediction that I will finish at least one of them by the end of the year.
But enough about me. I suppose I could recap all the news I didn’t write about, but you probably know all of it already.
They’re already on their way; in fact some have been here in South Florida for a couple of weeks: the annual migration of visitors from the north who boost our economy and up the chances of seeing license plates from Ohio, Michigan, New York, and Tennessee from occasional to routine.
I’ve lived in Florida for a total of nearly twenty years, and the only people I’ve ever heard complain with any degree of rancor about the influx of snowbirds are other snowbirds.
I’m going to divert from my vacation posting to direct your attention to this mirthful posting by Charlie Pierce about how the IRS could make the Republicans go even nuttier than they already are.
Over at Bloomberg Politics, Margaret Talev has lit the fuse by which dozens of heads may go supernova all at once. I mean it, this woman is calling for the mother of all cable-news tantrums. She may also be calling for the immediate spontaneous combustion of Darrell Issa and anyone standing within a 15-foot radius of him. Amid other suggestions as to how the president can continue to do the job he was elected (twice) to do, and fck with the minds of the opposition at the same time, both laudable goals, she drops the big one. I like her style, I must say.
So-called dark-money nonprofits, such as those affiliated with the Koch brothers, could find it much harder to muck around in elections. Under current practices, up to half of these groups’ money can be spent on politics. Changes to the Internal Revenue Service regulations governing 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations could shrink the percentage they can devote to election activities such as advertising. Overall, the aim would be to make it more difficult for any nonprofit group to engage in campaign politics; in practice, it would likely be perceived as a disproportionate handicap of conservative donor-backed organizations. These are among the reforms that the administration, regulatory groups or Congress could take on if so inclined (which Congress probably is not).
Oh, my sweet Jesus H. Christ on a Vespa, if the IRS were to adjust its regulations so as to end the laughable farce that Citizens For Limited Whatever is actually a social-welfare organization, and not a well-financed exercise in ratfcking, a regulatory adjustment that is only overdue by about 20 years, it would take the jaws of life to get our pals from True The Vote off the ceiling. Not only is this excellent public policy, because it goes at least some distance toward rendering our elections less of a plutocratic puppet show, it’s also a remarkable political kick in the nuts. My god, what a wonderful idea this is. Do it now.
Okay, back to the beach.
For sunscreen and beach towels.
My idea of a Christmas tree.
As I said last Friday, the staff of Bark Bark Woof Woof — meaning me — is off for two weeks. I’ll be checking in on daily basis, so don’t trash the joint.
Today is my last day at work before the two-week winter holiday. Yesterday we had our annual office luncheon and Secret Santa gift exchange (thank you, Carmen!). I missed that part of it because I was doing our first-ever live webinar in financial training.
This week has already been interesting. On Monday the transmission in the Mustang basically fell apart, so I’ve been driving the Pontiac all week. (At least I know its transmission is in good shape.) I’ve been in rehearsal for a one-act play that I wrote for the New Theatre’s Miami 1-Acts Festival winter season. Normally the playwright isn’t involved with the play after the first reading or so, but in this case the director couldn’t find an actor to play one of the roles, so for the first time since 1995, I’m performing on stage. I’ve never acted in a play that I wrote, so this is an interesting learning experience as I occasionally wonder who wrote this shit?
I’ve also had a play selected for the Miami version of the national One-Minute Play Festival that goes on in January, so I’ll be meeting with the director of my offering for that sometime in the next couple of weeks.
This is my roundabout way of telling you that things are going to get a little quiet after today until New Year’s. Posting will be light and variable through the break, but I will be here when I’m not doing something else like working on another play still in the works or one of the several other projects, plus a crossword or two.
Who reads blogs over a holiday weekend?
Blogging will be light and variable until Monday. Enjoy the time with your friends, your family, a book, a crossword puzzle; whatever it takes to decompress. Oh, and if you go out and spend a fortune on Black Friday, don’t come crying to me when you find everything you bought for 25% more off on December 24.
I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon.
This is the unofficial end of summer for a lot of people in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy the last trip to the beach or to the mountains or wherever you find rest and peace.
This is where I’ll be. Or at least close to it.
I made it home safe and sound. The flight back treated me to a view of the full moon rising over the clouds somewhere between Northern Kentucky and South Florida.
I still have a whole week of vacation to go, so blogging is still on vacation time.
Getting ready to head back to Florida.
Before I discovered Florida, there was Lake Michigan in the summer.
From a trip to the highlands of New Mexico in 2000.
The crane statues I gave my parents for their anniversary have taken up residence in their new home.
I’ll be in touch.