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Need an Escape? 

For eight blissful days, I was on a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean (with occasional margarita stops in Mexico), blissfully ignoring the world back home of economic distress, politics and the Tampa Bay Rays (?!) in the World Series.

But as my cruise concluded on Sunday, Oct. 26, reality came crashing back, starting off with the discovery that the cruise company had sold me and about 800 others airport transfers, but had arranged bus space for only about 400.

Well, the temporary disconnect was fun while it lasted.

The breaking news on the day that I am writing this--Tuesday, Oct. 28--has me longing to return to that cruise ship. Earlier today, the world learned that Lute Olson was forced to retire due to a stroke--suffered sometime within the last year--that led to a bout of depression. And that Gannett Co., the owner of the Tucson Citizen and a partner with Lee Enterprises in Tucson Newspapers Inc., plans to lay off another 10 percent of its workforce, which is bad news for everyone who cares about local journalism. (John Schuster will have more on this in Media Watch next week.)

But as I edited the copy for this week's newspaper (with some help from James Reel, Irene Messina, Adam Kurtz and others who pitched in extra efforts during my vacation), I was reminded that the news isn't all bad. There are good ideas (check out Catherine O'Sullivan's column for one example), great things to do (check out City Week for info on art exhibits, an Old West roundup and even some tropical-themed tunes), wonderful music to hear and fantastic people to hang out with in abundance.

I recommend flipping through this Tucson Weekly issue to learn about all the fantastic things happening in Tucson. It's the next-best thing to getting on a cruise ship.

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