Just Like US

Dear J-

We head home together without rancor; the weight of work lifts as we pass through the gates and so far, it’s still sunny on the way back.  Come the end of Daylight Savings, though, things will change.  Sometimes I think about picking up a smoking habit, or even just a secondhand smoking habit, for the excuse of getting out of doors once in a while when I’m otherwise stuck at my desk all day long.  Back in grad school I had friends from foreign countries who’d drag me outside — this is how I picked up the odd habits of carspotting I carry to this day.

I get out the door in the afternoons and forget how bright daylight is; the conflicting edicts of microbreaks and productivity conspire to keep me from leaving my chair on a regular basis.  Weather, what’s weather again?  The amazing thing is how staying busy keeps the day moving; no sooner it seems that I get one or two small things done than it is time to head back home again.  I can’t help but put on my old job hat and look at things from a cost engineer’s perspective; one of the rules was that overtime was effective in limited instances, but completely ineffective to the point of countering productivity after roughly six weeks.  The aphorism that work expands to fill the available time holds true:  given the chance, I suspect that we’ll lay some pretty spectacularly polished gold bricks.

But we’re headed home again.  Weather continues to cooperate with the notion that it’s still summer around here, not a handful of days short of the next equinox.  The political season continues, unabashed in hypocritical contradictions and hyperbolic projections; I keep hoping that folks will figure out better criteria for picking candidates than tabloid magazines (the “Stars, they’re just like US” segment in US magazine comes to mind — not that I read that too much, right).  I can’t say that I understand the backlash against smart candidates — why is it so engrained in us to be jealous?  We’ll have a lot of time to consider it, at any rate.

Mike

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