Although I never intended to give up on this project, I did take a long pause after getting frustrated at the utter lack of native speakers in the area and willing to do a tandem language-exchange. A few weeks ago, though, something in me stirred and I began listening to some dialogues from my Colloquial Slovak book again and last week I started actually reading the book and making Anki flashcards.
You could say I'm giving this another go. Additionally, a couple day ago I went to the library and re-borrowed a few materials I had taken back last fall because I wasn't using them. The thick Beginning Slovak book is good but I'm also discovering how good an old German-Slovak textbook published back in the early 70s is. It's possible that some of the expressions therein might sound dated to Slovaks of my generation, but that's probably not too much of an issue with the lower-level vocabulary I am working on grasping at the moment.
Example of my current level:
Moja izba je malá, ale príjemná a účelná.
In English: My room is small but comfortable and practical.
As you can see, I'm at that silly stage of not doing much more than naming stuff and describing it with adjectives.
So, until I find my Slovak language partner (where the hell are you?), I'm going to go the route of pure self-study, at the (very great) risk of teaching myself some bad mispronunciations which will be difficult to correct later, but what choice do I have? It's either learn Slovak under less-than-ideal circumstances or forget it entirely. So here we go... alone.