Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy July 1st!

My family is celebrating July 1st after a June we'd like to forget. But June wasn't a complete loss. Here are a few good things that happened last month:
  • I got two writing jobs totaling over $800 of work. It may not sound like much to those who are regularly employed, but if you looked at my earnings for the first five months of the year, it's notable.
  • In one of my writing jobs, I got to shake hands with Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel. Though I voted for someone else because Emanuel threatened to cut police pensions, it was still pretty cool to meet him and shake his hand. Also he's a much better speaker than his predecessor!
  • Although I didn't get to read much in June, I read an excellent book about the Cuban Missile Crisis by Michael Dobbs called One Minute to Midnight. It's scary how close I came to never being born, and we have both John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev to thank for being alive today (never mind that we also have both to thank for creating the crisis in the first place). Here's a discussion with Dobbs to pique your interest (SPOILER ALERT: If you know little or nothing about the crisis, the online discussion may detract from the drama of seeing events unfold in the book).
  • An old friend came to town on business for a few days last week, and we got to spend two evenings catching up on things (coincidentally, however, his last visit to Chicago was in late February so maybe he's actually the Angel of Death -- which wouldn't be surprising considering the friends I've had).
  • When we finally celebrated my birthday, I got a thoroughly modern microwave with a digital clock! (Our current microwave, 12 years old, has a dial labeled in two-minute increments. Needless to say, it's hard to set a time under two minutes with any accuracy. Our current microwave is also undersized and under-powered so it's hard to cook anything in less than two minutes anyway.) Sometime in July I hope to take it out of the box and put it on the counter. I also got some great CDs by the likes of Backyard Tire Fire, the Decemberists, and Ben Folds.
  • Last night's hail storm was really cool to watch. Best of all, although a hailstone shattered the floodlight on the garage, the CFL within remains intact. That will make it a whole lot easier to unscrew and replace, plus I'd rather not have mercury sprayed all over the backyard.
I feel better now that I've convinced myself the month wasn't all bad. But then, life never is.

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