No el cry-0 for yo, Argentina

O.K., the Spanish is a little rusty, but that’s what I hope to fix during an upcoming visit to Argentina. I just enrolled in a two week intensive language course in Buenos Aires that starts in mid March. I’ll spend another two weeks touring the Country to use what I learn.  Since speaking English was my stock in trade for so many years, it should be humbling to see the impatience in people’s eyes as I struggle to get directions to the biblioteca. I’ve always admired anyone bilingual (except Hitler who spoke German and French).

The question is, how much harder will it be for my 50 something year old brain to learn a new language?  We all know kids pick it up more quickly than adults, but that’s partly because they approach the challenge more openly and without the fear of failure we adults are burdened with.   My strategy will be to get really annoyed with anyone who doesn’t understand my Spanish. And make friends.

This is a sample page of an assessment test the Spanish school wants me to fill out.  I think they’re going to start me in the neo-natal program.

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How screwed am I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Australia, they call it “Impro”

Just back from a three day workshop in improv performance and sketch writing at Second City in Chicago. 16  randos from around the world were brought together by a desire to explore our inner goofballs.  All lovely people, one from Canada, one from England and two from Australia who call it ‘impro’ instead of ‘improv’.

 

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Props to Second City the fabled comedic home of most of your favorite SNL stars for offering a training program that doesn’t condescend to non professionals.  The teachers (Johnny and Micah) worked really hard cramming a ton of material into a total of about 18 hours of instruction.

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Half the fun was being a Chicagoan in winter for a few days. I crashed at my son Patrick’s condo in Wicker Park (Patrick seen here with his girlfriend, Angela.) Knowing I was going home to a balmy Tampa Bay, the snow and chilly air made it an adventure.. like being magically cast in the film,”Frozen”!  (Did I just say that?)

This is precisely the kind of thing I would never take the time to do before the Sabbeardical.  Next stop… Plant City!

 

 

 

 

This just in… I’m out!

 

Sabbeardical  (suh-BEER’-duh-kuhl) noun:     A period of unemployment filled with adventure, learning and tonsorial experimentation. See also- Shavecation, Hirsute Pursuit

Dispatch #1

What, are you crazy?  That was the reaction from several friends to my decision to walk away from a lucrative, some might say prestigious career with no plan B.  My answer- Yes I am. Crazy like a weasel. The plan is to do whatever I want for the remainder of 2016, let my wife continue to work so I can stay on her insurance and hope a great new career opportunity will be waiting for me at the end. Brilliant, no?  If you’re considering making a similarly reckless life decision, please follow my adventures on this blog. You might be inspired to follow my example or hang on to whatever gig you have for dear life. But first:

THE TOP FIVE REASONS I BUGGED OUT:

1) I was burned out. At a point in my career where I thought things would get easier, they’ve only become more difficult (and less fun).  I thrive on deadline pressure and enjoy the immediate feedback from social media that has become a huge part of local TV news’ survival strategy,  but the frantic push to pump out more news sometimes at the expense of better news sucked a lot of the joy out of the business for me.

2) I was bored. Because I don’t want to appear ungrateful by throwing shade at an industry that paid me so handsomely for so many years, I’ll save this topic for another day. Suffice to say, I stopped watching local news which is like a chef not eating their own cooking.

3) I was curious about what else I might be good at. Scrimshaw? Fighting oil fires? Banjo repair? Check fraud?

4) I was scared of dying (probably by mob lynching) before I had a chance to experience the freedom of un- or self employment. I’ve never had more than two weeks off in a row for 40 freaking years. 

5) I was able to. Don’t think I’m being so courageous here.  My wife and I saved up enough acorns over the years to make this break possible without having to move into the Dutch Motel on Nebraska. I will have to go back to productive work eventually, but not until I’m good and ready.

So from here on out, I hope you’ll check in on my travels, foibles, peccadillos, adventures, contretemps and shenanigans. Wait.. Huh? Oh. My wife says no peccadillos.