Constanza S. writes:
Sometimes I dream that I’ll meet a really wealthy old person who is ignored by their whole family and we’ll become friends and she/he will leave me all their money. I’m thinking we’ll go out to have pizza and ice cream a couple of times and old people usually LOVE ME so that’s probably all it would take.
Then they die and I’m RICH FOREVER. (and sad about losing my friend who I kind of just met but we had a really special connection)
Hey! I want to do a series of illustrations of different daydreams of unexpected financial good fortune. For example, I once met a lady who told me she was at a party where someone stepped outside for a smoke and found a paper bag full of hundred dollar bills.
One Sunday evening, my elder child called to me from the shower, with apparent alarm, “Dad! It’s raining in here!” Since this was a ten-year-old and ten-year-olds are prone to goofy, physical humor, I mostly expected to find him in the shower under an umbrella, but lo and behold, the water was not running, he was toweling off, and there was a distinct sound of light rain on a tin roof coming from the bathroom ceiling.
Commutes are nearly inescapable, mostly reviled, and scientifically proved to be bad for us. While Eric Jaffe at Citylab makes the case that no commute at all is actually a bad thing too, that is not a problem that most of us have. But are there not some hidden gems, some small pleasures in the daily trek?
For a while, I was one of the so-called mega-commuters, covering sixty miles thrice a week with a combination of bicycle and train travel. It was stupid, but because I am fundamentally an optimist, I tried to focus on the happy parts: exercise! quiet time! seeing the sun rise! At the time, I would have told you that I actually didn’t mind it, but now that I have a five-minute bicycle commute, I can say that it sucked. Still, it had its charms.
Short commute notwithstanding, in my current job I sometimes have to travel to far-flung parts of my state (you wouldn’t think Connecticut had far-flung parts, but it does). Today, needing to go from Hartford to Stamford, I chose a two-hour train ride over an hour-and-a-half drive and carried my computer so I could do work on the way. I would say it was pretty great, except that when I arrived at Stamford, I found out that one of the other lawyers involved in my case was sick and had called the court to reschedule, so I just turned around and went back to the train station. Still, the fruitless voyage got me to thinking about the little aesthetic pleasures that make even awful commutes tolerable. Herewith, a few examples:
Do you know when I thought I’d find some use in anything former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist ever said or wrote? Never. But a friend (whom I also never expected to quote Rehnquist) posted something on Facebook that the ol’ Chief said at a commencement address in 1989, and it’s actually spot-on, and a good thing to think about as we commence what is sure to be another beautiful late-summer weekend: