Saturday, June 29, 2019

Random Notes, June 2019

What's new?

+ Writing about Donald Trump on this blog has grown rather difficult, insofar that I struggle to offer a fresh and unique vantage point. This is especially because we all have a pretty clear idea of who President Trump is. The decision to back out of bombing Iran, and the postponement of ICE raids on undocumented immigrants --both 11th hour, both in complete haste-- has shown us the cowardice underneath the bluster. Nearly 2 1/2 years into office, we're all well aware that his tactics are loggerheads and threats, not discipline and critical thinking.

+ Theresa May bit more than she could chew. Her three-year stint at British Prime Minister will be undoubtedly defined by her support of Brexit and her abject inability to set any feasible plan into motion to leave the European Union. The majority of Britons know Brexit was both a mistake and a right-wing pipe dream. Here's hoping her successor changes course.

+ My latest summer of travel is in full swing! Since late May, I've already been to Omaha, South Bend, and Des Moines, and tomorrow I'm taking a day trip to the Beloit/Janesville area. With the exception of Des Moines this is all familiar terrain, but I'm making a conscious effort to see and do new things in each city. Besides my week in Scotland in late July (see WU #620) and my third trip to Baltimore in 15 months, I have tentative plans to visit more mid-western cities, while catching minor league baseball games.

Next Week: at long last, my 14th annual Fantasy Emmy Ballot.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Where is Stuart? There is Stuart!

I'm overextending myself. I don't think I came to terms with that until I realized I still had to write my three posts a month in May ...and it was already the 19th. I ended up only finishing two posts, which marked the first time since 2005 that I didn't write at least three dispatches in a 30-day span. To both of my remaining readers, I apologize.

The end of May marked the second anniversary of my mother's passing. My sister and I are still holding down the fort in the west Chicago suburbs, but we don't know for how much longer. We're paying for property taxes through the teeth, and upkeep around the house has been daunting. My sister has contemplated moving out of state, and my wanderlust has never gone away. In April, we set a tentative timetable to move out and sell the property by mid-2021; its an attainable goal, but there's a lot of work to be done.

Besides subbing, I have two part-time jobs. I drive for Lyft, but one or two nights a week I do box office and tech for a small improv venue in Wicker Park. I set a financial goal for the year, and I'm just barely hitting it. I've also been battling writer's block on and off for much of the past year, though that could be due to everything else going on; my energies are often elsewhere. As for leisure and pleasure, I have a couple of mini-road trips planned, besides going to Scotland in late July.

I haven't elaborated on what *I've* been up to recently, so I just thought I'd post this to let everyone know where I am at the moment.