Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Welcome To Olathe

So far all I’ve seen of this part of Kansas is the drive from the airport to the hotel in the dark of the night, but today should be different.  The Midwest Dramatists Conference has gathered 44 playwrights from around the country along with local actors and directors who will do the readings today and tomorrow.

I don’t know how much time I’ll have to write this weekend, but keep checking.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Getting Into Training

One of the benefits of being Officially Old is that I am now eligible for Miami-Dade Transit’s Golden Passport.  It allows me to ride the county’s Metrorail system for free, and for $11.25 a month, I can park at a nearby garage and take the train.  So instead of spending $30 a week on a tank of gas and driving 38 miles round-trip (not to mention fighting the legendary traffic of Miami), I will have a commute of 12 miles round-trip to the station.  The Metro Mover drops me practically at the front door of my office in the morning and a shuttle van drops me off at the station in the afternoon.  Meanwhile, my car is in a secure and covered parking lot.

I could get very used to this.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Evacuation Route

I am heading out for my safe haven.  I’ll check in when I get there, and hope that all stays put here at Chez Mustang.

Thanks for all your good wishes, and I hope that Irma decides to head out for a long sea cruise to the middle of nowhere.

Update: I’m ensconced with my friends on relatively higher ground and in a safe place.  We’re as ready for the storm as we can be.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Short Takes

Italy may stop ship unloading migrants.

Forty arrested for protesting healthcare bill on Capitol Hill.

U.S. to hold off on further airline laptop bans.

Miami-Dade public schools achieve no “F” schools status.

Arkansas Ten Commandments monument run over.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Short Takes

Trump’s tax plan is great for business.  Deficit?  What?

National parks endangered by Trump’s plan to reverse course on preservation.

“Freedom Caucus” approves warmed-over healthcare bill.

Which are the highest — and lowest — rated U.S. airlines?

Talk about your native Americans…

R.I.P. Jonathan Demme, 73, director of “Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia.”

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On The Road

I’m heading off to Independence, Kansas, for the 36th William Inge Theatre Festival.  I’ll be having a short play read in the New Play Lab, then presenting a paper at the scholars conference, and doing a workshop on dramatic criticism.  It will be a full week, and as I have in the past, I’ll post some stories and pictures.

Independence Historical Museum

So this is it until I get settled in to my hotel room.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Want To Get Away From It All?

The Sunday before last November’s election, I ran a story about a joke website set up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to attract Americans who wanted to move there in case Trump won.

Well, they’re doing a land-office business.

The first sign of what Rob Calabrese would come to think of as America’s unmooring began last year, just after Donald Trump won his first presidential primary and Calabrese published a $28 website that he’d designed in 30 minutes. “Hi Americans!” it began, and what followed was a sales pitch for an island where Muslims could “roam freely,” and where the only walls were those “holding up the roofs” of “extremely affordable houses.”

“Let’s get the word out!” Calabrese wrote, adding a photo of an empty coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. “Move to Cape Breton if Donald Trump Wins!”

It was meant as a joke — but seven hours after Calabrese linked the site to the Facebook page of the pop radio station where he works as a DJ, in came an email from America. “Not sure if this is real but I’ll bite.” And then another: “It pains me to think of leaving, but this country is beyond repair.”

And then more. Within 24 hours, there were 80 messages. Within a week, there were 2,000, and many used the same words: “nervous” and “terrified” and “help.”

“The United States is losing its mind,” one person wrote.

“So ashamed of half of my country I could curl up and cry,” wrote another.

The emails kept coming, so many that soon the island’s tourism association brought on four seasonal workers to help respond to the inquiries, which were arriving from every state and hundreds of towns, until it seemed to Calabrese that America was filled with people who wanted to get away.

“Look at this one,” he said one day recently, scrolling through a spreadsheet where the inquiries were organized and stopping on No. 2,121. “I am a former U.S. Marine who did two tours to Iraq. And I want out of here.”

“Beyond astonished,” Calabrese said, scrolling through more.

There were emails from a molecular biologist, a University of Oregon professor, a granite construction worker, a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a woman who said her home town was “Unfortunately, Alabama.” There were declarations and confessions about incomes, sexual orientations, goals for their children. Several included résumés. “I am so sick of what has happened to my beautiful country,” one letter began.

“I desperately want to move my daughters to the safety and sanity of Canada,” email No. 3,248 read. “It doesn’t even really matter if Donald Trump wins. He has exposed the awful attitude that plagues the US.”

“This is no longer the America I have loved for all my life,” email No. 3,310 read. “I am a hardworking man and could contribute much to any country that gives me a chance.”

It was somewhere around email 4,230 that Trump was elected president of the United States, and just before his inauguration came email No. 4,635.

“Looking to immigrate to Cape Breton area from Colorado,” it began. “I am a skilled paralegal and my wife is an attorney.”

Calabrese read it, wondered briefly about the people who sent it, and waited for the next one to come in.

“What do people see on the horizon to be this afraid?” he said.

Maybe they don’t want to find out after it’s too late.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

Short Takes

Kim Jong-nam killed by VX nerve agent.

Arms Race: Trump calls for U.S. nuclear supremacy.

Hang in there, RBG — Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’ll stay on SCOTUS as long as she can.

Miami-Dade and Broward schools to keep protections for transgender students.

Cheap Seats — Airlines’ no-frills flying taking off.

Friday, December 23, 2016

It’s Cold Outside

Yeah, I remember what being in a “temperate” climate is like and why I moved to Florida.

The trip was uneventful.  I had a little fun with the guy at the rental place; when we were doing the pre-departure check-out of the car, I said, “Oh, the steering wheel is on the left?”  That got a nervous chuckle.

Anyway, I’m here and already basking in the glow of family dinners and Christmas cocktail party cheer.  It’s taken the edge off the smack in the face when I walk outside, but I’m glad I brought a couple of sweaters and a jacket.