This is technically the first day of Spring Break for the public schools in Miami-Dade County, but it actually started last week when the state said to close all the schools until April 15. My part-time job continued on last week as the school where I work turned into a food and laptop distribution center for the families whose children attend the school. I am not sure when I will go back to work; no one really is.
One of the elements of this new world that we are dealing with is the uncertainty principle. No one can really say when this pandemic will be over; some say weeks, some say months, some say even with a vaccine there will be remnants that linger. Our lives will change on a scale we cannot comprehend or imagine, and that, for a society and a civilization that needs order and certainty, is a very scary prospect. We seek reassurance and action, not platitudes, and despite the attempt from everyone that they are doing their best and “we are all in this together” ads from everyone from the plumber to the federal government, this invisible menace’s biggest threat isn’t the disease itself but not knowing.
We are dealing with it in very human ways. We look for humor, we look for solace, and even if we are told to keep our distance, we are finding new and inventive ways to cope without endangering our health or our sanity. The one weapon we have is our natural instinct for hope and perseverance and even optimism. As John Patrick noted in the play “The Curious Savage,” we are by nature optimists; otherwise we’d eat our young. So instead of being upset that I can’t go visit my parents in person, I’ll do my best to reach out to them and re-book the flight and hotel for a time when I can. I’m very sorry that the William Inge Festival and the Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Festival have been postponed until 2021, but I’m in touch with people from both of them and they’re finding ways to do virtual readings and sharing. Meanwhile, the amount of writing that I know my fellow playwrights are doing is growing exponentially, and we are sharing our work and making it happen new ways.
So, since it is Spring Break, I am doing what I can to make it so. I will do what I usually do: write, read, and be aware of my surroundings. If you’re looking to me for great words of wisdom, all I can offer is what Bobby Cramer said: Hope is my greatest weakness.
With retirement looming, I need to use up my vacation days or lose them when I leave. So today is the first of many Fridays where I’ll be using up the time to sleep in, do some writing, and enjoy some non-work work, like write my paper for the upcoming Inge Festival.
So posting will be light and variable today. Think of me here.
I have a lot to do while I’m on break, including getting ready for the opening of Can’t Live Without You on Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m. at the Willow Theatre.
So blogging will be light and variable for the rest of the week. Just as well; I don’t want to get buried in the weeds of the aftermath of the Mueller report any more than you do. And if you do, then this isn’t the place to look.
I got a robocall from the Superintendent of Schools of Miami-Dade County last night welcoming me and the rest of the population back to school today. This proves once again Einstein’s theory of relativity: two weeks can seem like a lifetime when you’re waiting for something to come along, like a vacation or break (this is technically not vacation time), and a microsecond when you’re approaching the end and looking at going back to your normal schedule.
Where did the time go? What did I accomplish?
Well, I did catch up on some sleep, although it took almost the entire time to adjust my circadian rhythm to waking up at a reasonable hour (and I still got up in the middle of the cycle to use the facilities; sleep doesn’t win out over nature). I binged on “Downtown Abbey” and got to the middle of Season 6 and now face the dilemma of deciding which is my favorite character: Mrs. Patmore or the Dowager Countess? (As for eye candy, tough choice between Tom the chauffeur turned erstwhile gentry or Jimmy the footman.) I wrote 56 pages on my new play and did extensive re-writes as I went, which is how I write. I met with the director and producer of “Can’t Live Without You” to plan the production coming up in March at the Willow Theatre in Boca Raton and set up a Facebook page to promote it (see what I did there?). I spent four days with my parents in Cincinnati, which I posted about already. I went to Christmas dinner and a nice open house at Bob’s and the Old Professor’s house and enjoyed their Christmas and New Years revels. And I paid marginal attention to Trump and his ravings because I was on a break and why ruin a perfectly nice two weeks with extensive examinations of a lunatic?
When I lived in northern Michigan (and had a brief reminder of it this week), I remembered how we all got so joyous over the coming holiday season and heard about letting it snow, letting it snow, letting it snow, etc. Then the holidays were over and the damn snow and cold stuck around and really wore out its welcome by the middle of January, knowing we still had about four more months until it was safe to open the windows and let in the air (and even then). The hard work of getting through the winter was still ahead of us when the parties were over on January 2. I think that becomes the metaphor now for our political scene: Yay, we elected a record number of women, minorities, and progressives to offices ranging from Congress to local school boards, but the bleak midwinter of getting through the crap of Trump, MAGA, and the mythical Wall still faces us and, like a Michigan snowbank, will take a long time to melt away. Sometimes it takes a shovel. Or in this case, a gavel.
So I’m up and ready to go back to work. I’ll wear clothes that have been in the closet for two weeks, I’ll find my MetroRail pass, and the routine of doing the job will come back to me. (Knowing that I have a limited number of working days before I retire gives me hope and uncertainty, but that’s another post.)
I just hope I remember my password to my work computer.
My two-week winter break begins today around 1:00 or whenever I decide to leave the office after our holiday luncheon. Then I’m off until January 7. I have nothing much planned other than some visits with friends and — I hope — a lot of writing that has been patiently waiting inside my head to get transcribed.
That’s my way of saying that things are going to be a little quieter here at BBWW for the break. Of course I’ll have my usual Christmas observance and year-end wrap-up and prognostications, but I won’t be getting up at 3 a.m. to do them. I’m also getting ready for a lot of theatre and car show stuff coming up in 2019, not to mention my looming retirement from Miami-Dade County Public Schools next August, so there’s a lot to look forward to and get ready for.
A lot of blogs and sites use the end of the year as a time to shake the can and ask for donations. I’ve never done that — at least blatantly — but if you feel the urge, I won’t stop you. It’s the yellow Donate button on the sidebar.
And what would the break be without a visit from Snowball? He sends greetings from his retirement villa atop my dresser, but here he is from a few years ago when he was decking the halls. What a crazy cat.
Someone got one of my credit card numbers and tried to buy something at a Citgo station in Houston on August 21 — and was declined — but the bank didn’t let me know until I tried to buy gas yesterday. I spent a total of 45 minutes of listening to “your call is very important to us…” before I got through.
Long story short version: I need to go to my local branch and get a temporary card until they issue a new one (4-6 business days) and then change all the accounts where the card is already set up as the form of payment.
It’s that time of year again. School goes into winter break this Friday until January 8, and for me I’ll be taking the time to do a lot of writing and catching up on sleep. I’ll probably take a day trip down to the Keys, and of course there’s the holiday celebrations with friends.
That means that starting today blogging here will be light and variable. I’ll be checking in daily and posting my usual holiday remembrances and my annual review and forecast, and of course there will be A Little Night Music.
So have yourself a merry little whatever you do, and enjoy the time off if you get it.
Back to the regular schedule for today and tomorrow, then off to Kansas for the rest of the week.
What did I accomplish over break? Well, I finished my paper for the scholars conference at the Inge Festival (“Around the Kitchen Table – A Set Piece with a Dramatic Role in Modern Drama”), finalized my travel plans with the festival coordinators, found out when my short play will be presented (Thursday at 4:30 p.m.) and started prepping for the workshop I’m presenting on Friday entitled “Writing on Writing.”
I also went to a Seder on Monday night, helped celebrate a friend’s birthday, and actually cleaned the house. I’m exhausted.
As you may have surmised, I am on winter break from work until January 9, 2017. Until then blogging will be light and variable but with something every day; at the least there will be A Little Night Music to either lull you to sleep or energize you to get through the coming months.
Spring break is over and I’m getting ready to resume my duties both here and at the office. I had a quiet time off and actually got some stuff done that had been waiting for me to do them. I also found out what it’s like to wake up when the sun comes up.
Anyway, things will probably take a little while to get back up to speed, but I’ll try to keep up.
I’m off until March 28. Time to sleep in, catch up on reading, do some writing, maybe take a day trip, see a movie, work on a research paper, write a novel… whatever. Blogging will be light and variable.