If I've been a bit elusive lately, it's only because I'm a busy guy. The month of May marked an uptick in substitute teaching assignments, and last week I began a temp job doing data entry over in Naperville, IL, two towns west of Downers. It's 40 hours a week on top of spending all weekend in the city for improv, so I haven't had much time to write. Where I spent much of the last month sharing personal anecdotes for an imaginary autobiography I am nowhere near piecing together, I will acknowledge the unofficial sixth anniversary of this blog (!) by catching up on current events.
+ "It's the economy, stupid." Some of you will remember this blunt phrase from it's frequent refrains during the presidential elections in the 1980s and 90s. In 2012, President Obama's fiscal policies --his most apparent weakness-- will be the X factor for his Republican challenger, whoever that may be. With the birther controversy put to rest and Osama bin Laden captured and executed, the GOP can no longer play the citizenship and defense cards. As it stands, only Mitt Romney and Mitch Daniels have made any strides in prodding the perceived flaws of "Obamanomics," while the other candidates in the field are still flirting with Iowans and figuring out their platforms. Even though President Obama was on a roll in May, goodwill can be fleeting. Fifteen months before the 1980 vote, Jimmy Carter broked peace between Israel and Egypt. A year and a half before Decision '92, George H.W. Bush defeated Saddam Hussein and liberated Kuwait. Alas, neither man could create jobs nor handle a recession, and both became one-term presidents. I still consider Obama the odds-on favorite for 2012, but he's still quite vulnerable.
+ Monday night on Facebook, a conservative friend of mine openly wondered where was the "liberal rage" aimed at U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY). A mutual friend of ours commented that compared to what former Sen. John Edwards has been indicted for, "Weinergate" is small potatoes. Though his, um, "self-portrait" was a sizable lapse in judgment, Rep. Weiner's actions are more embarassing than enraging. Three months ago, a Republican congressman posted beefcake photos of himself online to impress a woman that obviously wasn't his wife; he resigned and people forgot about it shortly after. Odds are, the same thing will happen to Rep. Weiner. Where Weiner is a mostly harmless, narcissistic moron, Edwards is a flat-out monster. There couldn't be a greater difference.
+ I'm a realist, but I try to balance that with a dash of optimism. Widespread acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriage won't happen in this generation, but the number of states that now permit civil unions --including Illinois, ahem-- is encouraging. With that said, I offer congratulations and the best of wishes to all the couples --both gay and straight-- that have shared vows in the Land of Lincoln since the middle of last week.
+ Fantasy Update: I've made one change after another to my rosters, but I'm still in the middle of the pack in both leagues. I finally gave up on Bronson Arroyo, but his replacement Kyle McClellan only lasted one start before going on the DL for a unspecified period. Meanwhile on the same team, after I lost Jorge de la Rosa for the year I nabbed Bartolo Colon, who quickly became my de facto ace. It was my intention to also dump Joakim Soria after he lost the Royals' closer gig, but I'm stashing him at the moment to eat innings. With my arms in flux, my position players are doing most of the talking. My TV.com team went 7-4-1 against the guy in first place, while my "other" roster finished 12-3-0 and jumped from eighth place to a tie for third.
+ Improv Update: I can't believe it's almost over. Next weekend marks my last Level 5B class, ending my 14-month run in the basic improv program at iO. After that, my class will have student demonstration performances every Sunday at 7pm, starting June 26th and running through mid-August. Meanwhile, I'm also in the last stages of my writing course at iO; as I type this, I'm working on the first draft of a spec script for an original sitcom pilot. After the term ends, I will be taking a temporary breather from improv to take an acting course --yes, acting-- at Second City.
+ Finally, a Heystu exclusive! Thanks to some old connections in the radio industry, I am in possession of the infamous photo that nearly derailed Rep. Weiner's career. This photo was posted on Twitter and deleted shortly thereafter, and now this incriminating cell phone pic is saved on my hard drive. I dare you to look.