I live in a 1928 house built from a Sears kit, and while the landlady renovated the kitchen, the bathroom seems pretty close to original. So it’s got a shower conversion that consists of hanging some metal racks from the ceiling to hold a shower curtain around the clawfoot tub.

Yesterday a screw fell from somewhere into my shower, matching a previous screw that had mysteriously appeared in the bottom of the tub.

I cannot see any empty screwholes on the shower curtain rack, but I am concerned.


My tweet was kidding; I did not procrastinate on reading the New Yorker article on procrastination (which is dated 11 October so you probably already saw it, I just clicked on it now while procrastinating on reading Susan Orlean on social networking):

A two-stage experiment provides a classic illustration: In the first stage, people are offered the choice between a hundred dollars today or a hundred and ten dollars tomorrow; in the second stage, they choose between a hundred dollars a month from now or a hundred and ten dollars a month and a day from now. In substance, the two choices are identical: wait an extra day, get an extra ten bucks.

No, that’s not identical. In the first option, you are waiting twice as long as you would otherwise; in the second option, you are waiting an extra 3% as long. 3% is a marginal tax to pay in return for $10; $10 is not much to give up to cut your waiting time in half, or by even more than half. This sounds like a book written by economists; surely they know something about how money and time interrelate.

(I translate everything into percentages and sales. 10% is not much of a discount, but 25%? that’s a good sale, makes me consider buying something. 50% is a “buy-it-now” or “stock up” discount. Helps me figure out what’s worth being upset about.)

In other words, hyperbolic discounters are able to make the rational choice when they’re thinking about the future, but, as the present gets closer, short-term considerations overwhelm their long-term goals.

I don’t know. Taking the relative value of time into account sounds pretty rational to me, but I’m a procrastinator.

(And if it was a choice between getting $100 right then and sending in a form or having to make a trip or cash a check to get the $110 a month later—fuck, $10 ain’t worth paperwork or errands and I know that’s a rational choice.)

Find black pants and a black top in your closet.

Go buy some yellow and white electrical tape, and some toy cars, at your local big box store.

Tape a road running from ankles to neck—yellow lines in center, white lines on the outside—with cars in appropriate places. Remember to make some cars going up your body, and some going down. Try to get plastic cars rather than heavier metal ones.

Caution: if attending a dancing party, avoid outlining your crotch in reflective yellow tape (ask me how I know…..)

Possibly more exciting—I have two one-year contracts that guarantee I will not be homeless or unemployed anytime soon. I have no intention of using that second year, but it feels nice to have. That was the verbal deal, but it’s nice to see the signed pieces of paper, as both my chair and I were just assuming that I would not be busted down to adjunct with a big pay cut. And indeed, same rank and salary.

All my computers were forecasting a high of 59 the other day. On that day:

At 11am it was 35 degrees.

At 4pm it was 35 degrees.

I really don’t think there was any room in that day to get anywhere close to 59. Maybe it was 59 degrees above the cloud layer?

I spent a year in Vermont, during one of the worst winters in decades, entire months when it didn’t break freezing, weeks when it maxed out in single digits, many mornings of starting the car in 20-below—and I don’t recall anyone ever suggesting that I grease the rubber seals in my car doors with Vaseline to make sure they would open in the morning.

And they opened every time, too.

(I wanted to include a picture of the big marshmallow lump that I came back after Christmas to find, but it turns out that was before—gasp!—I had a digital camera. How quickly we forget. I’m really jealous of kids today who will have their whole lives documented digitally instead of this analog/nothing/digital mixture.)

…snow does come down “to the valley floor”*, because I went to the grocery today and now I’d really like to have an excuse not to leave my house all weekend.

*whether it would snow down in the valley was the hot topic in the gym locker room this morning.

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