Mayor Of The Block

I was thinking of a recent Bucktown biting when I moved into the street to avoid an unleashed dog and a tall woman with gray hair and dark skin.

I’ve often seen her holding court on the corners with other dog-walkers. They always have theirs on leashes, and she usually has a red leash draped over neck. I lowered my head and resolved to say nothing. 

Continue reading “Mayor Of The Block”

Breaking The All-Star Break

My annual summer retreat ended in dramatic fashion about a week ago. The Chicago Cubs were winning 8-0 by the top of the third, had lost the lead in the bottom of the eighth, and then won 9-8 with a home run in the top of the ninth.

Since the end of the 2017 MLB All-Star break, the Cubs have won eight of ten games and improved their pitching with the recent Sox trade. Nevertheless, the unofficial end of the first half was actually a relief this season because the Cubs have been lackluster although the recent trade suggests a seriousness about contending.

The Cubs, according to renown FiveThirtyEight statistical analysis, actually have had one of the worst World Series Champion starts in the history of baseball. Many predict that this team will have a better second half, but many had been predicting that they would have a much better season, especially given how much of the championship team returned. Continue reading “Breaking The All-Star Break”

New American Plays In Chicago

I am excited to learn that two selections for the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays will be produced in Chicago soon.

One is We’re Gonna Be Okay by Basil Kreimendahl at American Theater Company from 25 January to 04 March 2018. The other is Cry It Out by Molly Smith Metzler at Northlight Theatre from 10 May to 17 June 2018.

I’m still awaiting my favorite 41st Festival play — Airness by Chelsea Marcantel — which was one of my most joy-filled evenings in a theater. This play apparently appealed to others, so perhaps I will see it again in Chicago soon.

To Vacay Or Not To Vacay

More than half of Americans (54%), according to Project: Time Off, ended 2016 with unused vacation time although that was slightly less than those (55%) who did the previous year. Americans had 662 unused vacation days in 2016, which represents $66.4 billion in benefits, or an average $604 work time donation to employers.

Some won’t vacation because they are apprehensive about their employment. However, those who take 11 or more vacation days, as reported in the Harvard Business Review, are 30% more likely to receive raises and be promoted. Continue reading “To Vacay Or Not To Vacay”