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New York City, June 28, 2015

★★ Morning seemed stolidly wet and gray, continuous with the wet and gray end of the day before. By early afternoon, though, everything was fluctuating pointlessly. Blue appeared in the north, and the clouds to the south thinned enough to send shadows pointing uptown. Wearing a short-sleeved shirt with jeans was too chilly and too hot simultaneously; within an hour or so, the sun was fully out, creating an interlude of heat that lasted just long enough for changing into shorts and no longer. A returning gray cloud appeared overhead, and a big drop of water fell. By the end of the afternoon piano lesson, the clouds had closed over and there was a smell of rain. Sun and clouds went through another cycle, by which time the transition was no longer worth reacting to.

America's Choice

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Losing Your Job In 32 Steps

1. When, around your birthday, you hear rumors of budget cuts and layoffs, do not be alarmed. Startups are always on the verge of shutting down—and anyway, you were told you’re up for a promotion next quarter. Besides, you’ve been unemployed before. You’d be fine!

2. Remember the beginning with this company? They all but promised that after your three-month trial period, you would win a coveted internal employee-with-benefits position. You were confused when, instead, you were given a five-dollar raise and seated near an expanded legion of interns and permalancers. But you were fine!

3. Recall another surprise, from a month after you started. You were already working overtime hours that you couldn’t bill and you learned that your boss also expected you to use your free time to take the online courses you would be writing reviews of. You wanted to know why research couldn’t be done on the clock. “I’ve always paid writers to write,” he explained. Totally fine!

Could coworking startup WeWork really be worth 10 billion dollars? Sure, why the hell not, says Business Insider, which also wants you to know that soon we will be able to genetically engineer literal unicorns.#

Supreme Court Inspirations

Last week, the court made history; this week, it’s making history again. Justice Kennedy wrote last week’s stirring majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges. This week, he joins the majority opinion, written by Justice Alito, in Glossip v. Gross. Here are some of the most memorable passages.

“Thousands are being forced to leave London because their local authorities can’t find them homes and people on middle incomes can’t acquire a place where anyone would want to raise a family…. The spaces for work that are an essential part of the city’s economy are being squeezed, its high streets diminished, its pubs and other everyday places closing. It is suffering a form of entropy whereby the distinctive or special is converted into property values. Its essential qualities, which are that it was not polarised on the basis of income, and that its best places were common property, are being eroded. It is becoming the case that delights and beauties are available only at a high price.” That said, if the price is one you can afford, here’s “a guide to the best hotels, sights and eats” in the formerly dodgy neighborhoods that are “now magnets for Londoners and tourists alike.” It’s all about perspective, I guess.#

“‘MOM’ is a compliment along the lines of ‘QUEEN’ or ‘SLAY,’ but it’s something more than just ‘you look good!’ It’s to say ‘Damn, you are so cool, you give the best advice and are super hot, I seriously just want you to be my mentor and/or have birthed me, for real.’ The difference between ‘MOM’ and other compliments women—especially famous women—get is that ‘MOM’ is ultimately about respect. In reality, Moms don’t get enough respect.#

Mercury Rev, "The Queen of Swans"


I know some people for whom Mercury Rev guy’s voice is an absolute dealbreaker, and while I sympathize I can’t help feel like they are missing out. For those of you who are unencumbered by such a burden, however, there is much to enjoy here on this bright fall morning. I mean, it’s pretty clearly fall, right? Anyway, enjoy.

“I think that if you know you’re a man, you know what other men are like. And that makes you fearful. If you are a man, you know what other men are thinking all the time.#

New York City, June 25, 2015

image★★★★ The three-year-old insisted on applying his sunscreen himself on the walk east, in the cool of morning. A tree crew was out with a cherrypicker on 67th Street, stripping small limbs off a bigger limb that twisted out and up beside scaffolding. Down in the Park, the soccer field was roped off with yellow caution tape as another tree crew got ready to work there. The would-be soccer campers dispersed, the three-year-old agreeing to take the southwest way out and to ride the downtown train. On the office roof deck, flies were clinging to the cornhole bags, or to the smell of whatever was inside them. The child wanted to know where he could get a flyswatter, prepared to fight whatever the outdoors might bring him. He soon judged the roof too hot, but went uncomplaining down all the stairs and blocks homeward. The sky with no special haste or severity ended up gray.