"But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?"
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It's been three months since I bought a house. And it's only this week that I feel settled, excited about coming home to it, all cozy like. I underestimated how moving into a new home is work for a long time.
I have a week off work before school starts August 28. I'm not sure what I want to do with it but I've had some ideas. I look back fondly on the time I was stuck in a remote place of the world with the no internet or cell phone service, going to bed by 9pm and rising by 5am, reading for hours a day and feeling in tune with myself. I might want to try to replicate that for a few days. Go on helpx.com and find a cabin in the mountains or something. I believe in rites or ceremonies to demarcate new phases. Me feeling adjusted for the first time, on top of school starting, feels like a new phase indeed.
I seriously want to study abroad in Seoul the spring semester of 2018. I'm scared that I'm willfully walking into a future war zone. I've heard both that this sort of saber-rattling is going on 50 years and I've heard that things are as untenable and unstable as they'll ever get with the current administration. I guess your and Mr. Hecker's point is that alarmism is clouding all sober discussion of the potential of armed conflict. Will continue deliberating.
What is proposition 13? I've heard about it a few times now but the Wikipedia article for it doesn't do justice to the charged tones any conversation pertaining to prop 13 carries. State politics are normally dense, but California is on another level. I recall your top Reddit comment in defense of the Golden State. Jerry Brown is literally coordinating international efforts to mitigate climate change since Trump won't, and they're like the sixth largest economy on their very own.
But prop 13 just seems like a subsidy up there with the mortgage interest tax deduction.
Jesus. How royally inept this inner circle is. Good lord.
I couldn't get through the first 30 or so pages of The Beak of the Finch. It was that good? Huh.
This summer has been a disappointment with reading for me. I've let myself be utterly distracted. Doesn't bode well for the semester ahead.
I think the economist mindset has really enabled a lot of laziness on my part. I'm thinking in short cuts and Pareto principles, marginal utility instead the long-term benefits of dedication and tenacity.
I can't add or detract to the main thrust of this piece. I certainly agree that Trump received a mandate to solve a vague, existential threat to middle-class security that he is no way qualified to solve but was merely speaking to in a way no one has before.
But one of the arguments presented by the author is about the tight relationship between decreasing economic security and the decrease in marriages/kids being born to married families. This is an almost common sense proposition--the less secure you are financially, the less likely you are to get married because you're a worthless sot and married w/ children with you is a bad idea. Therefore, if we can all just have high-paying jobs, things would return to normal. And a look at America's golden age confirms the co-incidence of a multitude of high-paying middle class jobs and a prevalence of marriage/single digit percentage of children-born-out-wedlock.
But I just learned of some interesting work that suggests we've passed the simpler times where economic security equates the namesake "America" of Trump's MAGA chant, i.e. if we get all these high paying jobs back, people will go back to marrying and having kids the right way. A pair of researchers looked into the fracking boom and its income-generating effect, and therefore a possible marital-childbearing effect, on communities. The communities that experienced a fracking boom are more or less randomly located. Yet, persistently, the high-paying jobs that came to these areas did not seem to cause a return to marriage and typical martial-childbearing family structure typical of the 50s and 60s. As I understand it, once the researchers came to this point, they basically said, "welp, we have no idea what changed but culture is different" and they're not wrong.
But I bring this up because latently racist upper-middle-class Trumpers who want a return to Leave it to Beaver will never get it, even if Trump brings back the coal jobs. I'm not saying we shouldn't have high-paying jobs. But everyone has to accept the different face of contemporary culture, whatever the hell that is.
I feel a lot better than I did last week.
My birthday is tomorrow. This weekend I'm having a joint birthday & housewarming party. I'm mowing the ol' back lawn, picking up charcoal and party favors, and getting the place ready. It's a very eclectic group coming Saturday and I can't wait for the cross pollination.
Just a month left in the summer before school starts. I secured a lot of financial aid in the form of grants and scholarships so I'm getting a sizeable refund check the middle of August. I'm going to be commuting a lot this semester so the first order of business is maintenance on the 2003 Civic. Then I might splurge on a thing or two for myself. What's on everyone else's wishlist?
I was telling someone else about how much I enjoy the practice of meditation but I allow myself to be "too busy" to do it routinely. It's also this irrational hurdle of money: $15 a month for headspace seems too high, but that's two drinks on a night out when I'll spend $100. I make no sense to myself.
I love the pitcher of cold water idea. I have some lemons but no pitcher. I'm going to fix this.
The sleep is a tough one. In another pubski I mentioned the lack of good sleep I was experiencing because of neighborhood noises. But I've fixed that mostly with a loud fan between the windows and I. I'm also having a housewarming party soon and hope the place will cheer up. Thanks OB