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(no subject) [Nov. 4th, 2004|12:53 am]
[mood |nothing]
[music |nothing]

I have to sub tomorrow, so I should be sleeping. But since I didn't get up until after noon, I can't right now. During my futile attempts at sleep, though, I was thinking, as we're all wont to do. The thing that I was thinking about was the election. Or really, how angry most people I know seem to be. Less angry than the last time, of course, and with a different focus.
I find myself very troubled at all the fuck-you sentiment directed towards people who voted for Mr. Bush. The general concensus seems to be "How could this many people be this stupid?" To me, that's an incorrect way to think about things. Using the logic that leads to such a statement, I could say the same thing about every single person who votes knowing that their vote doesn't make a difference. But of course the act of voting isn't stupid, and, as painful as it sounds, neither is voting for Bush. Both things are products of rational decision-making. For the vast majority of the 22% of Americans who listed "moral values" as their most important consideration when voting, it would have been irrational to cast a vote for Mr. Kerry. (For the record, even if I thought moral values were a valid basis for choosing a candidate, I still would have chosen Mr. Kerry.) Just the same, it would have been irrational and stupid for anyone who's primary criterion was the candidate's opposition to the death penalty to vote for the Mr. Bush.
It should go without saying that I'm not happy with yesterday's results. I just think anger is the wrong emotion. I think it would be more appropriate to feel, as I do, a deep and gnawing disappointment in the value structures of your fellow Americans.
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(no subject) [Nov. 1st, 2004|03:08 pm]
[mood |several]
[music |the urinals]

i'm so sillily excited about tomorrow. most of you know that i don't vote because of economic reasons, and most of that group is fine with that. but after explaining myself so many times to other people over the course of this cycle, i'm starting to see a hidden benefit of voting - not having to explain myself. or maybe i should just lie. nobody would know. maybe next time.
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(no subject) [Jun. 11th, 2004|02:14 am]
[mood |other]
[music |the alarm clocks]

a sentence or two on a few things:
1. i saved a kitten today, and i felt like a fireman. i've always resented firemen, but i never had any real reasons until i read this slate article about them a while ago. then i adopted all those reasons as my own. (interestingly enough, i saved it while delivering pizzas, a job which is at least 5 places more dangerous than firefighting.)

2. there are a lot of bugs in the house where i live. bugs of all kinds. just before i sat down to write this, i was in the bathroom taking out my contacts, before which i washed my hands. there were a couple bugs in the sink. i drowned them, but right after that, i saw in the mirror the strings on the scrubs i was wearing, and i thought they were bugs and jumped. earlier, a spider walked by my face and creeped me out. something has to be done. but what?! (the perfect place for an interrobang)

3. i switched to a new web browser the other day, and while doing so decided to clean up my bookmarks. the main point was to add some sites dealing intelligently with economics. i spent more time doing this than i meant to, but with poor results. most of the journals i read in school are no longer available, and, to my surprise, most people who write online about economics are either conservative or just don't know enough to be interesting. maybe the former wouldn't be a surprise to others, but economic theory is the basis for the rational leftism i do.

4. havana splits redux has taken a beating the first two weeks, yesterday at the hands of two of the meanest women i've had the displeasure of meeting.
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(no subject) [Feb. 19th, 2004|03:07 am]
[mood |recapped]
[music |can - tago mago]

60 of the 100 hours after the last time i wrote in livejournal were spent driving or packing, mostly driving - 3 times the distance between birmingham and chicago in 4 days, twice starting after midnight. after that, i lived in birmingham. some things since then: got a valet parking job - crashed one car into another on the first day; used holiday money to pay hundreds of dollars in insufficient funds fees; was sick (without insurance) for the month of january caused by time spent in the country on new year's; got a job delivering pizzas for domino's, where i haven't crashed my car into anything, but have gotten a $22 tip for buying a guy beer; cleaned out the remains of a "plus-size outlet" after they were evicted, where i found the bottom half of a (skinny) mannequin, a bag of chips, and 2 dvds - videotaped copies of "charlie's angels: full throttle" and the play "diary of a mad black woman"; turned 23; felt bad about not calling or emailing anyone i knew in chicago; felt bad that no one i knew in chicago has called or emailed me; got a job as a substitute teacher; subbed only once so far, but thoroughly enjoyed it; was inducted into the birmingham boys choir. and now things are stable enough to enjoy the decadence of livejournal again. which is nice.
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(no subject) [Dec. 11th, 2003|01:22 pm]
[mood |econometrical]
[music |the dicks]

watching the news these days makes me really wish i wasn't so ridiculously knowledgeable about public policy and economics. that way, it wouldn't be so frustrating seeing everybody missing the point or being stupid. let's see what i'm talking about by looking at three stories getting a lot of play these days.

1. the flu vaccine. this is always one of the examples professors use when teaching the schelling diagram. as well it should be. unfortunately, it seems that the people on tv missed those classes. even slate, normally the main influencer of my opinions, fell into the trap with this article. my point is that, as any economist knows, my incentive to get the shot decreases as more and more other people get it. the fact that the vaccine is quickly running out (and is being rationed in some places) means that i have very little reason to get the shot myself. i think the slate article acknowledges that, but then cancels that out with some shit about responsibility to others. which is just silly. the idea that my getting the shot will help other people to not get sick is preposterous. the marginal benefit to society from me getting a shot is negligible (as is the benefit to me if other people are getting shots), whereas the cost to me is significant. so the people getting the shots are idiots, but at least their mass idiocy is making me safer.

2. canadian prescription drugs. this one's a little more complicated. the problem i see is that both sides have bad arguments. the fda's claim that over-the-border meds are dangerous is laughable. old people's claim that they should be able to afford all the meds they want is also laughable. most of the drugs people buy in canada are made by the same companies who sell drugs here - why should they be less safe? as for the oldsters, they already suck the life out of future generations (http://slate.msn.com/id/2092302/) and now they want to deprive the world of medical advances. the high prices americans pay for prescription drugs essentially subsidize the low-cost meds of the rest of the world. without americans footing the bill, drug companies lose the incentive to undertake the mind-bogglingly expensive development process. now i hate old people as much as the next guy, but i find it hard to believe that even their shriveled souls can justify passing the costs on to 3rd or 4th world countries. in this case, it's easier to point out the stupidity of both sides than to come up with an alternative solution. on the one hand, free trade can clearly benefit all countries involved, and i'm generally for it. on the other, that could lead to higher drug prices for people who already can't afford them (i.e., not americans). maybe the safety issue is the answer: it's clearly false, but provides a good excuse for maintaining the most economically optimal situation.

3. reconstruction contracts. bush et al earn points here for appearing to be fair. why should other countries benefit when they paid none of the costs? but on further reflection, this, like many bush ideas, is horrendously ill-advised. first, why is the u.s. even involved in granting contracts? shouldn't that be the responsibility of the fake iraqi government that'll somehow exist by april? whatever, that's not an economics question. what is is that this provides an incentive for countries to foment and become involved in wars. i think the u.s. had this figured out a while ago, but it's just asking for trouble to bring other countries on board. at the risk of being country-centric, it seems like this could "teach" other nations a very disturbing lesson: start/support wars or suffer financially.

i'm spent.
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(no subject) [Dec. 10th, 2003|10:19 am]
[mood |disapproved of]
[music |the cannanes]

i just got back from the most awkward meeting i've had in years. i let my old girfriend know i was moving, and she said we should meet for coffee. we set it up for 1 yesterday and i slept through it, so we rescheduled for this morning at 9 and i made it. every time i see her, which has been rarely since we broke up at the end of september, i wish i hadn't. we get along so poorly and have so little to talk about i think we both wonder how and why we were together a few days less than a year. except, of course, that's exactly the reason for the way things are. she resents me for taking up her first year in college, and i resent her for resenting me. it's a circle of hate. this is part of a pattern i'm realizing, though. i stay with girls too long (or they stay with me too long), and then we break up for unexciting reasons, and then we loathe each other even though neither of us has actually done anything wrong or different than before. it's so boring.
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(no subject) [Dec. 8th, 2003|03:48 am]
[mood |relievedrelieved]
[music |the handsome family]

normally at this time every week i start hoping maybe it's possible to just sleep through the six days between now and next sunday's football. it's really the only thing i have. but since i put "normally" at the beginning, you know that this week is different. my move to birmingham is all but finalized. thanks to my dad loaning me some money and a few great pals willing to make the drive to chicago to help me load my shit into a uhaul and get my car back down, i'll be completely relocated by next monday. it all fell together beautifully, i have to say. so beautifully, actually, that i wonder why i didn't just do it all a month ago. i took care of the last and hardest thing a couple hours ago - emailing the people i'm subletting from and letting them know what i've known for a few weeks now. i opted for e-mail because i didn't have the guts for an over-the-phone confrontation. i told them i left my phone in a friend's car. so with everything taken care of, i'm going to enjoy this week, my last in chicago.
everything's gonna be ok
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(no subject) [Dec. 6th, 2003|03:30 am]
[mood |gwyneth, how could you?]
[music |beach boys - smiley smile (i can't get enough)]

i did three things for the first time today. or four if you count doing three things for the first time for the first time. but wait, i've done 4 things for the first time in a day before. so, yeah, back to 3. wow! that's a first! thanks a lot. really. i'll be here all week.

Number One: i went out in public be-bearded for the first time. i'm not including trips to walgreen's or the grocery store. those are public, but not social, which i guess is more what i mean. just so you know, i stopped shaving 3 weeks ago, so i've been able to call it a beard now for about 2. and this was a first. that's the kind of life i lead. but i think the reactions were mostly positive. i mean, i get a lot of looks normally anyway what with me being so handsome, but i attribute the several more than normal tonight to the beard. i'm still undecided about it, though. i'll have to make another appearance in a week.

Number Two: i went to a hooter's for the first time. i hadn't not been for any ethical reasons, i don't think. it's embarrassing to admit, but i don't like wings too much, or at least not enough to pay for them. also, i don't think shorts look good on anybody. and anyway, there's like a million restaurants in chicago with at least a few hot waitresses. so it ended up with me not looking at any of them because i didn't want to play into their hands by buying into the gimmick. luckily, i didn't have to pay, as if i could anyway. it's good to have friends with money who feel sorry for you.

Number Three: i played online poker. everywhere i've turned the past few weeks, it's been texas hold this and texas hold that. i knew vaguely how to play, but only with friends who knew less than me. so i studied up a bit, found a site i liked, and then lost a whole lot of fake money. but then later i won a whole lot. i started with 1000, got down to about 350 or so, and then climbed back up to 1900. it was fun, but no matter how hard you try, it's just impossible to think about fake money the way you think about real money. sure, you still want to win more than you lose, but there are no consequences. you take risks you never would if you were playing with the real stuff. in a way, i guess it lets you focus more on strategy and skill when you don't have money has a limiting factor. but, on the other hand, fuck-ups without consequences tend to decrease your sensitivity and aversion to fucking up. i think for now i'll take my fake money as seriously as possible, and work on getting better so one day i won't have to pawn my kid's baby teeth.

Number Four: i did three things for the first time!!!
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(no subject) [Dec. 5th, 2003|02:51 am]
[mood |fighting the cuts]
[music |wire - chairs missing]

this is the first day this week i've been able to stay up past 1. which is why this week mostly sucked. the only way i know how to get through the day is to sleep through it. i'm sure that's a symptom of something. but even when my days matched what the man says they should be, i still never knew what day it was. not the date, which i started finding useless when i stopped paying bills, but just what day of the week. you'd think, or i thought, that if i just knew it one day, i could keep track by remembering how long it had been since then. but that didn't work out. i'm always surprised when i linger over the time on my computer.

2 people have come to see the apartment this week. several more living in foreign countries have offered to take it. i think i'm going to leave by the 15th no matter what. yeah, i had to look that up.

good for a limited amount of fun: http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/p1/src/sing/default.asp

it's good to see that "honey" has the courage to both mock white people co-opting hip-hop culture and celebrate it. if you're wondering whether that was sarcasm, i'll tell you when i decide.

there really is no reason for it to be this cold. and not even any snow. rick dimaio is a cock-tease. oh, wait, nevermind. i just looked at the detailed forecast where he said less than 1 inch along the lakefront. that's me. on the nose again, rick.

speaking of rick, i'm watching "world news now" on abc, which i think is my favorite national news show. since i like putting in pictures, here's one of my favorite news personality in chicago. tamron hall. actually, i've never seen anyone doing the news that i liked better. i'm sure any chicagoans who might read this will support my kudos.
you're so cool

it seems that the u.s. is one over-50-soldiers-killed skirmish and one clear and widely-read expose of the administration's conflicting and ill-advised exit strategies away from analogies to vietnam having more impact. but then again, it's possible that neither of those things will happen.
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(no subject) [Dec. 3rd, 2003|07:57 pm]
[mood |i'll smell shit for hours]
[music |the cannanes - witchetty pole]

there's no way i'm gonna be able to remember all the things i was thinking during the simple life, which is just about to end. first, i can't say enough good things about it. it's definitely the best show i've seen in years, since sportsnight i think. which wouldn't have surprised the me of several years ago, i.e., the beginning of the reality era. but apart from the dating shows, which are really more like game shows, and a few episodes of the first joe millionaire, i haven't watched or followed the genre since the second season of survivor. but with the simple life, i don't know whether to say there's so much going on, or there's not that much but what's there is great. i've never judged a show before, only music and other people's actions. one of the most obvious things, but one that hasn't been played up on the show yet, is that both sides think the other leads the show's title, which doesn't need elaboration. the thing i've found most interesting, and what certainly won't get played up, is that the life of the leding family and the people they know is likely more foreign to the majority of the audience than the unattainable lives of paris hilton and nicole ritchie. i confess that i didn't grow up on a farm or in ruralia, but i'm the only one in my family who can say that. and what's more, i'm the only person in all my family who's ever lived north of the mason-dixon. which i hope gives me license to identify with the people in the simple life who aren't heiresses. on a social level, not a personal one. which all means to say that if you don't know that life first-hand, then you don't know it. but, you say, what about green acres and the beverly hillbillies and that bunch. ahh, i say, it's all the time used for laughs, but this is different - it's for real. the punchline to all that is that for most of those people who don't "know it", the jetset life is more comfortable and knowable on account of it always being in our face. (an aside: this entry was just interrupted by me finding enormous amounts of dog shit on my shoes, which i was wearing, and walking around in. the first time that's ever happened to me, although it's one of my most worried-about fears. i think this dog was unhealthy.) regardless of all that, though, i'm not tuning in for the unwitting social commentary. the show is funny. most of the humor, i guess, is of the culture-clash variety, but that's rarely been done so naturally when it's not based on race. there's more, but it's been forgotten. i can't imagine anyone not liking this show. except maybe those people who don't watch tv and tell you so no matter what the topic of conversation, which doesn't count because they enjoy not enjoying things.
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