Re: With my unicorn alongside!

1

I think I'd probably just do what I do now, but without having to worry about money. Which would be nice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:13 PM
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I'd buy a boat, and ride my unicorn on it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:17 PM
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My answer remains the same, but I'll bet this post gets more comments.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:19 PM
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That right, people. There was a time when a post could get only one comment.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:21 PM
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The thread should go ahead and go nuts on the topic, but honestly, I'd pay off debt, hire people to take care of outstanding legal and accounting things on my behalf which drive me nuts, and retire to a gorgeous place beside a lake. With forest. With a shitload of books. There should be a boat as well. (Also a personal trainer or something; yeah, an actual exercise room, maybe.)

I can't think past what's annoyingly beyond my reach now, to actual unicorns. If all the troubling things that could be fixed with money were erased, what would I do? Wow.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:22 PM
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There was a time when I would have said "found a university," but I think that time has passed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:24 PM
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I would subsidize political journalism. And buy a European soccer team and do all kinds of weird things.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:24 PM
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Maybe I would move to New York.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:25 PM
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Deal with debts, get real furniture in a nicer apartment, then rent a nice place in a good ski area and turn ski bum for a season. Also, go to all the nice restaurants and not worry about how much a book or an ingredient is.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:27 PM
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Though I should probably note this addendum from January 2007: "Also, if I had as much money as John Edwards, I'd have a swank-ass rapper's mansion and would brush my teeth with 1997 Gaja Barolos, because they're just now becoming ready to drink. And to be perfectly honest, I probably wouldn't found the UNC Center on Poverty or volunteer for Habitat for Humanity."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:29 PM
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I'd buy my mother a big house. Which is a bit tacky of me, I know, but that is what I'd do.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:29 PM
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I would subsidize political journalism.

I endorse this.

Stanley doesn't say in his post whether we have enough money to change the face of the media today. "Super rich" probably isn't enough.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:31 PM
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I'd do two chicks at the same time, man.


Posted by: Lawrence | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:31 PM
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I wonder how Jackmormon's board-mounted bathroom grout mosaic worked out.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:32 PM
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Pieds-à-terre in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, Florence, Santa Barbara. First-class flights. More scotch?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:34 PM
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It's great to see you, Mary Catherine. The question is: what would you do after the big house made a tiny dent in your fortune?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:34 PM
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I'd be the best rich person. Seriously. I'd be the perfect combination of frivolous and sensible.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:36 PM
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17: Boring.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:38 PM
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You wouldn't have to be super-rich, or even rich at all, to bike across the country, Stanley. Could you take a leave from your job?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:39 PM
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Anyway, if I were super-rich, I'd go across the country in a palanquin.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:42 PM
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I wonder how Jackmormon's board-mounted bathroom grout mosaic worked out.

Shut up, that's how.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:43 PM
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$5000 would satisfy all my personal wants.

$50,000 would handle needs and security, not counting healthcare, I suppose.

Anymore than that would feel like work. I'd rather read Balzac and Zola than sit in a plane for the trip to Paris. I dom'y want to pack up my books for a new house. Can't see that it would be worth it. After learning about Wyoming etc, the house by the lake feels like a really selfish and destructive fantasy.

With really big money, after giving to family and friends, I don't trust my judgment, assume unintended consequences and would be ashamed of egotrips, so would let other people decide. That would mean the usual NGO's, ACLU, Doctors without Borders, etc.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:44 PM
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Anyway, if I were super-rich, I'd go across the country in a palanquin.

With the Decemberists walking ahead to announce your arrival in song?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:44 PM
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19: You are correct. I could go at any time. I'm sort of tied up in recording right now, speaking of which: whoever's next on the Unfogged Recording Project, go already.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:46 PM
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God. I might feel so creeped out about the whole thing that I'd give a lot of it away. I really need to know how rich I am here.

I could possibly have anxiety attacks about what to do with it. People are starving in Africa, for fuck's sake! This is really embarrassing! No way you can just breed dogs that crap pot and be happy with that.

If I were completely free I'd roam alot, both geographically and spiritually, I think. Always wanted to have enough time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:47 PM
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I'd be drinking in Tuscany RIGHT FUCKING NOW.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:48 PM
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No way you can just breed dogs that crap pot and be happy with that.

I would be a hero to millions, parsimon. That's nothing to sneeze at.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:49 PM
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23 I don't think that's quite the way it was - horses, not palanquins; and if they were singing as they walked across the country, I doubt it was announcing the arrival of their guards.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:50 PM
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26 wrong season. I think you either find a beach or snowresort type place suiting your taste or a nice city.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:52 PM
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23: Why not have the Decemberists actually bear my palanquin? That'll teach you to become associated with all those highfalutin words, Mr. Meloy.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:52 PM
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Healthcare is a real horror, isn't it? House is nearly paid off, got working cars, retirement IRA's and SS etc.

But how much healthcare money, even including Medicare, but not assuming it will be there, will I need to make 90? I have seen out-of-pocket hit 5 figures fast in a medical catastrophe.

2-3 million?

It feels so selfish and desperate I have pretty much decided I don't want to care.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:54 PM
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I'd be drinking in Tuscany RIGHT FUCKING NOW.

Even at this hour? Good god, you do hate sleeping


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:54 PM
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Buy ludicrously expensive organic hemp linen sheets.

But probably not until after I'd funneled some strategic cash to the best activists I know.

(I'd probably also sponsor a mural.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:56 PM
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32: Gaja Barolo for breakfast! My God, just the thought of it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 8:57 PM
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Like teo, I had long thought that it would be fun to found a university -- in my case, a Black Mountain-style freeversity, but maybe with a couple of city branches. Recently, however, I've been thinking it would be fun, after taking care of family, friends and important non-profits, to found a series of Radical Culture Festivals, that would bring together political organizers, permaculturalists, radical artists, actors, dancers, musicians, etc, plus zinesters and weirdoes of all descriptions. I know there are a few things like this already, here and there, but this would be well-funded and sustainable. I'd start out with one, here in town, and then building off of that do maybe 4 city ones across the country, plus a couple of rural ones too. The idea would be to jumpstart a real culture of resistance that could operate independent of stupid mainstream culture.

This could dovetail neatly with my idea to become a Freemason, start a secret, Hellfire Club-type clandestine libertine organization within Masonry, and then start a secret organization inside that, which had as its goal the disruption of capitalist society. Pull the strings!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:00 PM
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Oh, I left Boston off my list. Thinking like a rich person is difficult.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:02 PM
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32,34 are the reasons I don't want Tuscany. Too many people want Tuscany, which means Tuscany is crowded and being destroyed.

How can people do that? Be the ten thousandth daily tourist at the Louvre or get the acreage in Jackson Hole or hike in Sikkim?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:03 PM
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Boston over, say, London? Craziness.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:03 PM
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(Uh, I actually really really like Boston, I'm just wondering about the US-centricness of essear's list.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:04 PM
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It's probably not very hard to become a Freemason these days. They're not getting a whole lot of new members.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:04 PM
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Tuscany is crowded and being destroyed

But that's where the wine is, Bob.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:05 PM
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If you're rich enough, the wine is wherever you are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:06 PM
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37 s/b "Nobody goes to Tuscany anymore. It's too crowded."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:06 PM
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27: I would be a hero to millions, parsimon. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Well, true. You'd solve all kinds of drug kingpin problems in one fell swoop (I assume you'd have the processing of the dog shit taken care of, something people can do in their own homes, not more complicated than growing their own pot.) I think there's an opium problem as well. Huh. It just never ends.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:07 PM
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37 I want to live in a place with tourists, they're the price of being in a place worth visiting.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:08 PM
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I assume you'd have the processing of the dog shit taken care of

It's just a matter of drying it out. Then grating it and sprinkling it on the pastries.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:10 PM
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Natilo's totally got it goin' on, man.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:10 PM
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46: Of course, having won the lottery, I would have my Indian manservant do all the drying, grating, and sprinkling.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:12 PM
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One thing I have learned from this thread is that comments that have disappeared forever down the Hoohole can still be found using bing.com. This discovery is unsettling.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:14 PM
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I'd pay someone to steal apo's dog.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:14 PM
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I want to live in a place with tourists, they're the price of being in a place worth visiting.

I regularly deliver out-of-town guests to Jefferson's Monticello. I feel mildly bad the guests pay. But hey, free tour for me, being a resident of the city, and all the tour guides have different stories.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:16 PM
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48: I'm not sure you're thinking this through.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:17 PM
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London is nice too. I'm sure I'm missing plenty of other nice places to keep pieds-à-terre. Most of the places on my list are motivated by people and/or physics departments I like to visit, which helps explain the US-centric-ness and idiosyncracies.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:17 PM
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Maybe I'm not properly thinking like a rich person. I suppose the thought should be that I get a place in a beautiful city, like, say, Budapest, and then pay people to visit me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:19 PM
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What else I just learned:

Above Hoo Hole lies Bell House, on the edge of Erringden Moor. Here the infamous 'King' David Hartley ruled the notorious Cragg Coiners gang, some of whom were destined to be hung in chains from the Gibbets above Halifax. You should know that the area around Cragg is designated as being of outstanding natural beauty, the contrast between lush valley and heather clad but otherwise barren moorland is often spectacular.

And more.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:19 PM
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I think there's also a binghole. At least, bing wasn't finding something I was looking for the other day.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:21 PM
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If I were super-rich, I think I'd complain more.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:25 PM
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AWB, bringin' the realism.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:26 PM
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I think there's also a binghole

New mouseover.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:27 PM
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Maybe. But the thing I complain most about is not having money. And the amount of noise my kids make. But maybe that would be less oppressive in my swank-ass rapper's mansion.

In Tuscany.

Byatch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:28 PM
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Quit my job that I like, because I like sleeping 'til ten more than I like doing things I like at nine.


Posted by: MauryD | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:31 PM
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Solid gold rims for my Escalade.... none of this gold-plated crap.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:31 PM
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62: Yellow gold, or white gold?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:32 PM
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I'd by legit copies of all the albums I've pirated.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:32 PM
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Oh, and I'd get my own place.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:32 PM
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Yellow gold, with white gold plate.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:32 PM
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I assume gold is too soft a metal to make good rims.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:33 PM
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And learn to spell?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:33 PM
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64: I'll bet that isn't even possible.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:33 PM
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I'll bet that isn't even possible.

Where possible, then.

Plus I bet I could manage to get laid.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:34 PM
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Yellow gold. I'd don't want anyone thinking my gold rims are silver.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:35 PM
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I'll sleep with you if you win the lottery.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:35 PM
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If I had money, I think it would be harder to get laid, but I'd have a nicer apartment to get laid in.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:36 PM
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So, in attempting to think like a rich person, leaving aside the thought that you would inevitably be crazy, insofar as your motivations and concerns would be significantly further removed from those of the rest of humankind,

Whoa. I realize that this isn't a new thought, but is this is why Americans are sort of crazy? We're so much better off than the majority of the planet; our moral calculus is entirely different. Not counting western Europe and a few other places. I'm not sure why western Europe doesn't seem as crazy.

Well. Okay. I digressed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:36 PM
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72 to 73. And everybody else. Scratch-off tickets, even.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:36 PM
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I also want a gold toilet seat, but that has to be gold-plated, because real gold is too heavy for a toilet seat.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:37 PM
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Solid gold rims for my Escalade

Now we're talking.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:37 PM
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I'm not sure why western Europe doesn't seem as crazy.

Because they stopped trying to maintain their military empires decades ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:38 PM
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I'm not sure why western Europe doesn't seem as crazy.

They had centuries of crazy, but it got finally got bombed out of them in the War.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:39 PM
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78, 79: Yeah. Damn, I've depressed myself and the discussion.

Apologies! I hear Neb's going to get laid, and commit typos. That's cool.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:46 PM
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Most of the places on my list are motivated by people and/or physics departments I like to visit

That makes perfect sense.

I think I'd like to live for a year or two in various places around the world, if I were really wealthy. And I'd love to have the money to buy all the books I want - and have a place to actually put them. And, and, and. I'm really terribly materialist, I fear.

(Also, it would be really great to be able to ensure that my entire family didn't have anything to worry about, monetarily.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:47 PM
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I think I'd buy one of those yachts with a swimming pool.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:54 PM
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The question is: what would you do after the big house made a tiny dent in your fortune?

Honestly, I think mcmanus is onto something way upthread. I can imagine wanting enough (or maybe 'enough, plus a little extra') to ensure financial security for myself and my family and maybe also for some close friends. But beyond that, it's too much to imagine, and I suspect it might be more an unwanted burden than a fabulous opportunity.

Lifelong financial security I would not turn down, though. I'm not virtuous, just unimaginative.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:54 PM
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A lot of people have mentioned travel, and that's certainly an obvious choice, but the more I think about it the more sure I am that that wouldn't be a priority for me even if I had the money for it. I'd rather find a place I liked to live, which would be easier if money weren't a concern, and just stay there. I don't really want any more stuff, either; I have more than I really need already.

I guess what I've come to realize lately is that I'm really happy with my life right now, for the first time in a long time, and if I were super-rich I would just want to maintain a lifestyle like this indefinitely. Unfortunately, to maintain this lifestyle indefinitely I would actually have to be super-rich, so at some point I'll have to, like, get a job and stuff. Hopefully I'll still be able to hold onto as much of what I have now as possible.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:56 PM
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RE: Helping out your family if you won the lottery. So what do you do about the people for whom more money (even in a very restrictive trust) would essentially enable their pathologies and hasten their demise? I can think of a couple of people in my extended family who would be totally ruined by a big sum of cash getting dropped in their lap. In fact, I've already seen it happen a couple of times with inheritances. Would you want the money if it meant you were going to have to either snub somebody you liked/were related to, or instead you would have to take control of their life? It sounds like this is the kind of thing that does ruin a lot of lottery winners -- they get to be the big patron of the family, and neither they nor the family members can handle it. Depressing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:56 PM
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I would earn a ton of interest pretty much by accident while thinking about what to do with the money.

I'd accumulate terrible habits and hangers-on who were no good for me.

I'd get confused and unhappy when I thought about the money problems of my close friends and relatives.

I'd buy several more bicycles, and maybe a neat car.

I'd sit at my giant, mahogany desk, in my tailored linen clothes, and stare darkly at the massive painting I'd commissioned from mcmc, cursing myself darkly for my lack of imagination.

Then, I'd find a University. One that's never been found before, in the deep jungle


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 9:59 PM
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85: I guess I'm just really lucky - or perhaps it is simply because my family is pretty small - as I can't think of anyone that would qualify as a problem like those you mention. Well, maybe two of my uncles, on either side, but they've both already died, sadly.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:01 PM
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Darkly darkly darkly. I'd pay to have more synonyms for "darkly" coined.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:01 PM
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I would spend it all on a fruitless quest to find my childhood sled.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:02 PM
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90

It sounds like this is the kind of thing that does ruin a lot of lottery winners -- they get to be the big patron of the family, and neither they nor the family members can handle it. Depressing.

Yeah, it's a big problem with all sorts of financial windfalls.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:02 PM
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There was a This American Life piece which, geez, of course I'm too lazy to google, about a guy who worked for a company setting up annuities for lottery winners, so they wouldn't basically ruin their lives (although it usually happened anyhow). Then there are these ads that run on daytime TV for shady operations that let you borrow against your annuities.

So with that said, let me take back 86: if I were super rich, I would spend my time running the massive, successful, and rewarding enterprise I'd built that helped me get that way, because I don't really want to contemplate the alternative.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:06 PM
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86 is well writ.

Honestly, though, I like to hang on to Stanley's thought experiment for the question it raises of what you might do if you were free. Never mind the money aspect, and the responsibilities therefrom. Just the question of being free as a child. This is a nice thing to keep in mind from time to time. Dreams 'n' all that. Maybe they wind up in the jungle rain forest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:10 PM
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If I was free as a child, the available evidence tells me I'd spend all day fucking around with computers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:11 PM
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I don't really want any more stuff, either; I have more than I really need already.

Yeah, I sympathize with that. Multiple people upthread mentioned books, but I already have more books than I have time to read. Lately I've been trying to avoid buying more; if I need to read something I don't already own, I go to the library.

I can currently afford a somewhat more expensive lifestyle than I now lead, so I don't think having even more money would change my spending habits that much. I spend basically the same amount now that I spent in grad school, except that my rent has gone up. On the other hand, if my salary doubled, all else being equal, I would rent an apartment in New York. Thus, the best I can come up with if I became rich would be many such apartments. I'm not very imaginative.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:15 PM
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93: Go for it. I'd probably spend a lot of time near the water, whether lakes, streams or oceanside. And a lot of time with books.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:17 PM
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It all really comes down to not having to have a job, doesn't it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:19 PM
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For me, definitely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:20 PM
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If I were rich, I'd finally shell out for a solid state hard drive.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:21 PM
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See, I like my job. If I could keep it indefinitely, I would, because my job amounts to having a nice office surrounded by smart people and talking to them all the time and occasionally writing a paper. It's would be the best job in the world, if not for the whole "short timeframe in which to prove myself worthy of getting another job which carries a bunch of extra unwanted responsibilities" aspect of it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:22 PM
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If I was free as a child, the available evidence tells me I'd spend all day fucking around with computers.

Similarly, I'd spend all my days kicking it in the cafes of large cities and reading novels, and all my nights cooking stuff and reading the internet and linguistics books. Every once in a while I'd write something. I'd buy lots of expensive clothes that didn't make me look especially chic, despite the expense, and have a cleaning person come every week! Presumably once I have a child, I'd also play with it. I'd subsidize Snark's reading, dining, fucking around with computers, New York rent, first-class airfare, and child-playing-with too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:27 PM
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101

Revealed preference.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:28 PM
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Just the question of being free as a child.

Which is not so much about money, I suspect, as it is about time (which, as adults, we experience as an increasingly scarce commodity which, alas, we can probably only hope to "purchase" with more money, at least until the clock stops ticking altogether ... ). Could I really ever buy that childhood sense of day-dreamy open-endedness, of vast unexplored possibilities, of so many uncharted universes in so many blades of grass and so on, if only I had loads and loads of money? Probably (or almost certainly) not, but I guess I could purchase some approximations, along with a few interesting subsitutes?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:30 PM
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92:AFAIK, Sean-Paul Kelley of the Agonist is still backpacking the world on money earned from freelance writing. #100 a week maybe. He's in his mid-30s, I think.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:33 PM
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but I guess I could purchase some approximations

Yes. Or rather, could buy your way out of the closed circle most of us know. Which would be as close to day-dreamy open-endedness, of unexplored possibilities, as we could get, given that our bodies do begin to give out. But there are still those blades of grass out there, and we give up seeing them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 10:46 PM
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28: Just to clear things up, they meant the Decemberists, the band (who have a song prominently featuring a palanquin) not the Russian exiles.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 11:14 PM
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Apologies! I hear Neb's going to get laid, and commit typos. That's cool.

I deny that I misspelled anything in this thread, but I'm too tired to trust myself, which may be contributing to my not getting laid—honestly, invitations to three parties and I'm back at home after an hour at the first (and, admittedly, lamest)?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 11:25 PM
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I would get an amaaaaaazing mattress.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 11:26 PM
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I'd be different than you or me.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 11:29 PM
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With my infinite money, I'd buy several quainte bed-and-breakfast type places in different beautiful locales and rotate between them, hosting my friends.

I'd burn a chunk of my money by finding out whether my tastes really are charming enough to keep a cafe full.

I'd train all the time, and have bi-weekly massages.

Eventually, I think you'd have to pick an obscure mission in a beautiful place and spend a decade on it.

This sorta reminds me of splurging on a fancy-dancy hotel in Thailand at the end of a trip that was mostly roughing it. It was relatively high-end, which I thought just about approximated the comfort of my own living room at home. Mostly, I've got it good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-12-09 11:41 PM
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108: Yes, you'd have more money.


Posted by: Apocryphal Ernest Hemingway | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:36 AM
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All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.


Posted by: Tevyepostropher | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:39 AM
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I'm up early with a coughing son, and we're watching the Meccano episode of James May's Toy Stories om iPlayer. He gets to do fun stuff AND get paid for it(*). If I were fuck-off rich I would come up with crazy wonderful projects like that (or pay someone to come up with ideas for me to choose from) and do one of them each year or so.

I'd have to give loads of it away though.

And I'd buy a big house near my parents (I'm assuming I have enough that C can stop working, though I'm sure he'd find himself something to do eventually) and probably carry on life pretty much as I do already - the main constraints on my life are my children, and I guess I'd still have them. But we get to do a fair amount of what we please, and would just do more of that, but with lunch in restaurants rather than packed lunches.

Once they've fucked off though, well ...

* - we're now watching Top Gear, and he's in a caravan attached to an airship. I rest my case.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:08 AM
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I can't believe nobody is going to build themselves a rocket to Mars, or at least a giant zeppelin.

I'm going to buy an entire state, one of the sparse mountainy ones, through shell companies. Then I evict all the residents and appoint a few senators.

I'm going to commission a short film on an obscure subject, and play it during the commercial breaks of the super bowl.


Posted by: Lambent Cactus | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:30 AM
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Hmm... Stuff for myself?

Definitely the multiple homes thing, but they'd all be urban condos. Too much shit to break or that needs maintenance/use in a house. Sydney, Shanghai, NYC, and probably some other cities like London and Paris. Plus the expensive-as-hell tickets to fly to each of those places.

The thing I've always wanted to do though, is throw my own music festival with no cost concerns whatsoever. I choose the artist line-up, offer however much money it takes to make them all play, host the entire thing in fairly small venues (I think it would be two-part, with a traditional rock venue through the afternoon/evening and a club for DJ sets in the night), and make it super-affordable. I'd also institute measures to make sure no tickets can ever be resold, but allow people to cancel and get a full refund, so tickets would only be bought by people there for the line-up.

I've shuffled the line-up in my mind several times. There would be rough sorting by genre to make it easier for people who don't share my particular mix of tastes. The one major constant for the past several years is that I'd get Daft Punk to squeeze their amazing pyramid on to the stage of the modestly-sized Metro, and they would merely be listed as "Special Guests" on the final night to make it a surprise for everyone who comes.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:30 AM
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I'm going to commission a short film on an obscure subject, and play it during the commercial breaks of the super bowl.

Oooo, that's a damn good one too.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:35 AM
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If I were rich enough to have time for this each morning, I'd have one of these every day, like I am today. Photos in the photo pool.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:20 AM
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I'd visit the Himalaya and stay until I saw a damned snow leopard in the wild with my own eyes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:35 AM
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I'd visit Iowa and stay until I saw a damned snow leopard in the wild with my own eyes. Or got hit by a combine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:02 AM
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Let me dream my dreams, Dad!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:08 AM
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How rich am I? If just moderately rich; anything I personally would like-scale, big sailboat and start bumming around the world from port to port. (Preceded by a certain amount of time learning to sail again (it's been a long time) navigation and such.) And then if I got bored maybe grad school - academia as a career always seemed implausible, but as entertainment sounds great.

If I'm seriously largescale rich, I want to be Scaife on the left. Thinktanks, research grants, programs that support young activists...


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:35 AM
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FIRST THING: I'd get my shirts made for me. The kind of shirts I like, nothing fancy - long sleeved cotton, dark block colours, NO buttons on the collar - come round about every 10 years and the rest of the time I'm forced to wear stuff I hate.

And... pieds a terre in Dublin and Barcelona (would have said New York but I'm not sure I can be arsed dealing with the TSA every time I just want to catch a gig.) An income roughly what we have now, maybe a bit more to travel with, invest in extended family (not just give them money, or it'd all go in taxes) and large sums to Amnesty, MSF etc. I think you'd need to be Soros to do the media thing right.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:47 AM
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I'd buy up appalachian mountaintops and put windmills on them.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:48 AM
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I want to be Scaife on the left

If that happens, don't forget that the Scaife family (I'm not sure which ones) has given a great deal of money to a certain medical school and that this medical school has need an endowed chair in internet commenting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:50 AM
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119: My theory is that the snow leopards aren't actually endangered. They just moved.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:52 AM
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The one major constant for the past several years is that I'd get Daft Punk to squeeze their amazing pyramid on to the stage of the modestly-sized Metro, and they would merely be listed as "Special Guests" on the final night to make it a surprise for everyone who comes.

It was very weird to wake up and read this, because I in fact just woke up from a dream where I was at the Metro.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:00 AM
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I've long intended to fund a water fountain at the U of C with the inscription:

Ἄριστον μὲν ὕδωρ, ὁ δὲ χˈρυσὸς αἰθόμενον πῦρ
ἅτε διαπˈρέπει νυκτὶ μεγάνορος ἔξοχα πλούτου·


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:11 AM
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I'd skip the think tanks, etc., and just start buying politicians. Seems quicker. Then I'd stick a piece of dynamite up a lion's butt.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:11 AM
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Then I'd stick a piece of dynamite up a lion's butt.

I suppose it makes more sense than trying to ride a balloon around the world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:17 AM
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Molly and I piked from Seattle to Chicago, and I didn't even have a tenure track job. Its not very expensive if you camp the whole time (which we didn't.) All you need is flexibility in your job. Full blown unemployment works, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:27 AM
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Actually, we biked from Seattle to Chicago. I'm not sure how much it would cost to pike the same distance.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:28 AM
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rob, are you just trying to make the dynamite/lion butt idea seem smarter?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:30 AM
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I'd secretively hoard all my money and stage an elaborate masquerade that I'm a math profesor for my gullible internet friends.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:30 AM
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Like how I've managed to avoid anybody realizing that I'm John Stamos.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:34 AM
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No, we knew you were John Stamos.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:05 AM
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131: See here, around 1:35 in. Or watch from the beginning for a little context.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:07 AM
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I would probably build a small cabin in western Montana or upper Idaho and try and through hike the National Scenic Trails.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:11 AM
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I would travel round and give papers at universities and stuff like I do now. Except instead of giving the papers I would say 'Ha! I have written no paper! And I bought this university and you are all fired!'. But i wouldn't really fire them - just make them feel bad for a while and then reveal that I am Santa Claus for the whole world and they can have their jobs for EVER! And I mean EVER! That'll show them.
No, I don't need psychiatric help, why do you ask?


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:39 AM
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There's a shelter for homeless children in Elyria OH that I've been meaning to do something for. In real life, I keep thinking about sending some of my ethics students there to volunteer and write about the experience, but setting that sort of arrangement up is very labor intensive.

If I got control of a large chunk of money all of a sudden, I would probably set up a foundation to support the shelter or set up one like it. I like the channel from effort to outcome to be short, direct, and visible. This isn't entirely hypothetical. There is money in my family, but it will be 20-30 years before I have any control over it, if I ever do.

On the other hand, I might just attract a large body of women who look like models and dress like nerds who tell me how smart and kind I am. Eventually, this will break up my marriage and family, leading to despair and possible suicide, unless I wind up being one of those old rich guys who puts all the awful things he's done behind him by setting up a second family with a young attractive wife and children that I only really have to be a grandfather figure to.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:51 AM
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1. Quit my job.
1a. Spill all my boss' deep dark secrets he never should have shared with me.

2. Hit the sperm bank and have myself another baby or two.

3. Study psychology.

S. Learn a couple more languages.

5. Learn to play an instrumen.

6. Write.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:55 AM
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139. I can play an instrumen, but I don't because I'm a feminist.
Point S rings a bell though, because I always feel like I should know more languages, even though the ones I 'know' I don't know nearly well enough.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:13 AM
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134: Rebecca? You told me you didn't even have an computer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:15 AM
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To the OP:

Become a real estate developer and build funky, small, green housing on urban brownfields.

Oh, and hire someone else to finish painting the outside of my house.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:20 AM
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142: Sommerset at Frick Park? Sort of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:22 AM
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With proper spousal consent, and/or participation, how about some more fun sex romps? A bit of group sex, maybe bi-sex testing? For both marriage partners. Nothing too extreme, sort of T Woods style without the sneaking around and hiding from spouse (assuming spouse was ignorant and un-approving in the T Woods case). Spitzer type stuff, with the spouse giving an ok. Not sure this takes lots of money, but probably does not hurt to have a bunch of surplus cash (so spouse knows she ends up with 20-75 million if, worst case scenario, the marriage ends) .

Get the MJ laws changed and grow and use medicinal MJ (to supplement decent beer, wine, spirits). Not much need for extra cash, but could help.

Go back to dabble a bit in what was dreamed of pre-spouse and kids - checking out the old photos and memory banks for ideas. Re-do the simple fun stuff - shell collecting on the beaches, motor boating, sailing charters, camping (like the boy scouts did), hiking Appalachain Trail segments. Honor the old folks in the family (vicariously and, on occasions, in person).

Spend some bucks on the alma maters, visit them and makes suggestions for improvements (which they will of course ignore). Visit and enjoy top restaurants, clubs, shows and live music events.

Get good medical and dental care and contribute to medical service providers for the needy. Contribute generally to support providers for the needy (have competitions to sort out who should get the "CFW Prizes" for best support given effectively for the needy each year - like Nobel prizes).

Set up CFW Prizes (like Nobel Prizes) for social sciences outside economics - sociology, psychology, cogsci.

Also set up CFW Prizes for sci-fi, engineering, computer science, criminal law reform, international law, immigration law reform.

Set up fund (including large fund for paying politicians) for reforming US Constitution or reorganizing the US - to a parlimentary system or systems (no more Senate, elect Pres from popular vote, etc.).

Set up job creating (and population reducing, and global warming stopping) programs in US and world wide. Set up CFW Prizes for best ideas in job creation programs (and population reducing, and global warming stopping), world wide. Set up huge funds for paying politicians for job creation (and population reduction, and global warming stopping). Seek to have world population reduced to 4 billion in 60 years, through voluntary family planning.

Might try persistence hunting in Africa (see the Attenborough video) for fitness, geo-cach orienteering, visit all the continents, all the states (maybe in an RV part of the time). Get rail passes for travel in all places with good rail systems. Do bike tours, esp. in France.

Set up Prize Funds and huge funds to pay politicians to transition into solar energy, lots of trains and buses and bike-ways, nuke power as a transition step, changing US tax laws to stop promoting house ownership as opposed to renting.

Study how to be a philanthropist and be a good one (like Carnegie and libraries, Gates (Mrs.), Buffett [still needs to prove himself as an effective philanthropist]).

Set up huge fund for politicians and Prize Funds to transition US away from $500 billion each year for "defense" budget and too much reliance on offensive war as a policy option.

Play good golf in fun spots with great instructors. Do some yoga/running/golf retreats. Travel often to places with lots of history and decent to good food. Run the Medoc marathon.

Avoid collecting too many things or too much real estate - focus on spending on services, creating jobs or gigs for people who want them, can do them well, and will be thrilled to have had the job or gig.

Concentrate always on one of the top three problem areas in my field of expertise or endeavor, and encourage similar focus by those in my family or hangers on. Be prepared to support all positive efforts that are going after achieving top three problem resolution. Be prepared to go broke and risk it all if that is what it takes to get the job done. Always keep in mind is like is short and the balance sheet for all of us shows zero assets at the end of life. Set up a Prize and large fund for paying politicians for treating atheism as intellectually, morally, legally and ethically equal (or superior) to various religions.

Build a workable transition plan, modeled on the Buffet plan, for when death takes me.


Posted by: cfw | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:29 AM
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Build a workable transition plan, modeled on the Buffet plan, for when death takes me.

Wasting away in Margaritaville is no way to go. You should try to help people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:31 AM
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7. Build a charter school.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:42 AM
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To the OP

Sorry, I just assumed that we'd be off-topic by now.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:00 AM
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143: Very sort of.

Actually, if I have as much money as others are suggesting, I'd set up a Homestead Act for Braddock (that's funny for locals, btw) in which I will fund the renovation of properties in Braddock for anyone who wants to live there; all they need to do is farm the landlive there and pay taxes for X number of years, and they get the house free and clear. I'd have to work out some details, but something like that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:04 AM
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Can't you already get a house in Braddock for like $18.50?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:07 AM
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149: Yeah, but you can't fix it up for free. Not to mention that most of those houses actually have outstanding lines in the 5 figures. I'd probably budget over $100k per house for clearing title, purchase price, and gut rehab.

Actually, now that I think of it, there is (or was) a great old builder's supply company in Braddock (or possibly just across the muni boundary). I'd buy/invest in that and turn it into a green building supply house, so that the Homesteaders could buy all their rehab products there, guaranteeing green, high-quality rehabs without me having to oversee the work. Hmm....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:26 AM
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OK, so each homebuyer gets:

Title, free and clear of all liens.
~$50k in credit at Braddock Green Building Supply
~$25k in reimbursable expenses for services (Dumpsters, contractors, etc.)

Maybe there's 2 tracks, one for sweat equity and another for people who can't do work on their houses (and so need more $$ for contractors). Not sure how to do that, but anyway. Part of my goal is for these things to be done well, not for people to encase nice old wood-sided houses in vinyl. But that's for my VP for Braddock to work out.

I'd also pay to stabilize whatever historic commercial structures remain (not many, alas), but my goal for the main drag would be for revival to come from the influx of residents (and tax base), not from direct intervention.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:32 AM
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I'd do that in Swissvale or something. Braddock is too far gone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:34 AM
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Why Braddock? Why not a town that is truly isolated, like New Castle or Aliquippa?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:35 AM
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Realistically (heh), depending on how big the pile was, I'd probably spend 45% or so trying to fight climate change (foundations, aforementioned buying of politicians, targeted assassinations (what?), &c. The next 45% would go to mitigation of global warming (funding cheap green energy research, desalinization research, local food networks, &c.) and global capitalism (as above for fighting climate change, plus funding unionization efforts, etc.).

I'd drop 5% or so ensuring the safety and security of me and mine when it all goes in the shitter, and the last 5% pursuing hobbies like travel, cooking, eating, building the perfect blowjob machine, and so on.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:43 AM
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154: I think the last point on your list would be better served by employment programs to train some of our demobilized workforce than by designing more machines and robots.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:49 AM
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So, am I the only one who wouldn't dedicate my super wealth to saving the world?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:55 AM
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Why Braddock? Why not a town that is truly isolated, like New Castle or Aliquippa?

Why a town that is truly isolated? What's better about that?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:00 AM
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156: I think you were just visualizing less money than the world-savers are. You could pay for everything on your list for a lot less than it would take to do any significant amount of world-saving.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:12 AM
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156: One motivation for me is that I know efforts to spend vast sums selfishly tend to end badly. See Sifu's 86 and my scenario 138.2, as well as the famous studies of lottery winners.

Actually, I think the only thing I really want is a graduate student. Someone to help me with grading and record keeping and writing when I'm blocked. I could actually offer graduate credit, but I could pay more than schools with graduate programs. Also, I have vast stores of wisdom I want to impose on impart to someone.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:32 AM
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I'd set about creating a 21st century Alamut, from which I'd send my minions out to wreak terrible damage. And indulge in a life of sybartic luxury while I was being Hasan-i Sabbah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:33 AM
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Oh yeah, and I'd spend a lot of time getting REALLY good as musician/photographer/whatever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:34 AM
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There are less laborious ways to smoke a lot of hash.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:35 AM
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re: 162

Not really the interesting bit, for me. I was thinking more of the cadre of elite assassins doing my sinister [but ultimately benevolent] bidding.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:40 AM
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There are less laborious ways to smoke a lot of hash.

That's the thing. The barriers to effective hedonism typically aren't financial. The promiscuity in 144 doesn't really need a whole lot of money, for instance. Neither does a cross country bike trip or a moderate drug habit.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:46 AM
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Well, there's a base level of "not needing to hold down a job," before you can devote your time to doing what you'd like, which is actually quite a bit of money, depending on your standards. I'd have to be really quite wealthy before I felt that I could sufficiently take care of myself and the people I'm responsible for without having to work. Someone with no kids or other responsibilities, it might not be nearly that much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:51 AM
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153, 157: My objection to Braddock wasn't on the grounds that you could find somewhere more worthy of help. Just that it is too far gone. Even at $75k of subsidy per household, I'm guessing that you couldn't find enough takers who could pay the property taxes needed. Braddock would, even cleared of debts, probably need $200/month from each household. Figure the in county and school districts taxes, we're talking $400 a month from each household and that's if you flip every house. And that is after the great effort of renovating. I don't think that is enough of a discount over nearby housing in places where your mother won't assume you're going to get shot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:54 AM
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I forgot that Braddock still has its mill, so maybe the taxes wouldn't need to be quite so high. But I'd still start somewhere else. Maybe Wilkinsburg. I'm guessing that $200 million spent the right way would turn that around, especially if gas keeps going up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:02 PM
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After the mundane stuff, like buying a house and setting up my parents for a comfortable retirement, I'd allot a slice of money to funding my brother's crazy schemes, which are much more interesting than my own. Then I'd go take a bunch of classes and dick around with some tech-heavy corner of science, like plasma physics and MEMS microfluidics, with a ridiculous goal like developing hand-held fusion energy sources, which would inevitably end with spending all of the money or blowing myself and the only close-to-working prototype up.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:05 PM
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Also, have a good barber on retainer, and/or invest in some laser hair removal.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:09 PM
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Microfluidics is so silly.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:12 PM
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169: Never having seen a picture of you, I'm now picturing a werewolf.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:20 PM
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You know what is totally a fun thing to do with a ton of money? Give lots of it in order to be on the board of various scientific institutions so you get to hang out with august scientists and have them explain things to you.

I know people who do this, and it seems like terrific fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:24 PM
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I think (?) Nathan was at UnfoggeDCon II, and if that was him, I recall that he was the only male person there with long hair. I don't know how this translates to his wishing for a barber on retainer.

Maybe that wasn't him, though. I blame name-tags.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:24 PM
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Maybe the mere fact of his having long hair doesn't so translate.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:31 PM
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172 sounds _awesome_


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:35 PM
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Other people have such high-minded uses for lots of money. I feel selfish for wanting to gold-leaf my entire house, inside and out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:38 PM
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Not one vote for converting your wealth into gold coins and swimming around in it like Scrooge McDuck? That's always my first thought.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:39 PM
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blowing myself

You can possibly accomplish the latter by a rigorous regime of stretching and/or maybe getting a few lower ribs removed. Probably wouldn't take that much money.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:42 PM
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Er, "the latter" s/b "this"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:43 PM
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174: Mm? Hard to say why Nathan wants a barber for his long hair. He finds it difficult to manage?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:44 PM
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172: Do you know the incredibly rich guys who get together with scientists every few months, ask them a bunch of open-ended questions, and then patent everything they say? Because those guys worry me.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:45 PM
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I actually work for a dude who is ridiculously wealthy; he took some of his riches to found the company that I work at. He pays for shit and is cheap as the day is long. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he flouts all sorts of governmental regs because, well, he can afford lawyers, if he needed them.* He and his wife are not the happiest people at my company.

If I had his money, I'd fund a nap room at my old grad school. I'd have to figure out a way to prevent it from being the sex room, but I'd have people for that.

*Working for him has really made me believe in the positive aspects of a strong regulatory state.


Posted by: Stephen Douglas | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:48 PM
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If I had his money, I'd fund a nap room at my old grad school. I'd have to figure out a way to prevent it from being the sex room, but I'd have people for that.

Fund a sex room as well?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:49 PM
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Totally OT, but I just realized that all the books I ordered for my spring course at Super-Religious U have paintings of naked dudes on the covers. FML.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:57 PM
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183: And put it on the internet! Profit!


Posted by: Stephen Douglas | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 12:59 PM
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My solution for Wilkinsburg is to pay to have it annexed to the City. That would (more or less) resolve the terrible schools issue and the absurdly high, which is the main drag on that town. I'll even pay a stipend to the Board of Ed to ease the transition.

I'm not convinced the taxes in Braddock would be as onerous as you suggest, but if they are, I'll arrange for a ten year abatement. After 10 years, a couple thousand a year to live in a free house in a community full of interesting urban pioneer types* shouldn't be too onerous.

* I'm not sure we should worry about gentrification in one of the worst communities in America, but I would keep an eye on making sure that existing residents have access to the program.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:01 PM
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Situations like 184 are why graduate schools need sex rooms.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:01 PM
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That would (more or less) resolve the terrible schools issue and the absurdly high, which is the main drag on that town.

There's no way that the absurdly high could be a big enough demographic group to be the main drag on the town.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:02 PM
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BTW, I should note that this isn't exactly "saving the world" stuff - I mean, this stuff is what I care about and work towards (however obliquely) irl. My fantasy is designing urban housing for poor people without being stymied by 1. close-minded, conventional gatekeepers and 2. budget. But 1 is by far the greater barrier to designing the way I'd prefer.

I should add that I'd definitely buy the country property that AB & I have talked about for years and build a kick-ass underground house there, plus do assorted other obvious smallish luxuries, like annual trips to see AB's family in Germany and Austria (and I'd totally rent a bad-ass Mercedes to drive from the one to the other at 250 km/hr).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:05 PM
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183/87: Isn't this what the stacks are for?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:05 PM
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The stacks are really more for undergrads.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:06 PM
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188: The absurdly high are the primary population responsible for drags in the community.

I meant to say "taxes". I also should have made subject/verb agreement; such are the wages of adding at the last moment without rereading.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:06 PM
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a kick-ass underground house

Why underground? For energy efficiency, or simply because having a Batcave would be wicked sweet?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:07 PM
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I would buy a baseball team and make it so bad that they'd be willing to hire me to actually play for them. I suppose I'd hire trainers and such to improve my play, but I'm mostly envisioning a demand-side solution.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:08 PM
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I would buy a baseball team and make it so bad that they'd be willing to hire me to actually play for them.

Don't you already have one like that where you live?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:09 PM
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LB, you have seen pictures of Nathan (I think). Search the flickr group for "Nathan". You probably met him too. Long hair but not a werewolf.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:12 PM
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Oh wait, I know, I'd found a cult!

Well funded cults are far more likely to wind up like the Unification Church or Scientology than the Branch Dravidians or Jim Jones. And it is clear that a cult is a great way to leverage money into sex, drugs, and power.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:17 PM
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re: 197

If you don't mind the cult despatching elite assassins, you are welcome to piggy-back on mine. See 160 above.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:23 PM
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I read the whole Wikipedia entry on Hassan-i Sabbah and could not figure out who his assassins were actually assassinating, or why. Were they like the Taliban's elite corps that went around beating people to death for owning cassette tapes?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:25 PM
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198: Also 35.2.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 1:29 PM
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I was thinking about this crossly on the bus this morning: about how many of my friends are trapped in jobs that don't let them do the stuff they'd like to, so that even when they have a bit of time, they're too stressed to enjoy it and etc. So I guess I'd buy them all time and space away from stress.

Also: a hat made of rubies.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 3:24 PM
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The barber's not so much about the long hair - and being wealthy would just be one more reason to maintain a relatively idiosyncratic hairstyle - as it is about the beard. Shaving sucks, and the faster I can eliminate or outsource it, the better.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 3:51 PM
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195: They're not quite there yet. But I'mthey're working on it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:14 PM
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The Pirates and Braddock are both beyond help.

My $200 million for Wilkinsburg was basically what I figured it would cost to pay-off Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:23 PM
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In both cases, it would be kinder to pay the people stuck there to move somewhere else. PNC Park could get a minor league team with no drop in quality of play or attendance after June. Braddock would make a world-first combination coke works/nature preserve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:29 PM
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205: Wasn't someone seriously suggesting converting swaths of depopulated Detroit into nature preserve? I can't remember the source.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:33 PM
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155: You perhaps miss the necessary field research needed to define optimum characteristics for such a machine. You'd need a huge statistical universe to really quantify appropriate specs for prototyping.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:46 PM
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206: This guy has proposed something like that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 4:52 PM
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206, 208: They are trying to deal with depopulation in much of Pittsburgh, but it won't be as bad as Detroit. Pittsburgh is much more compact and some of the houses were built in places where you kind of wonder why anybody put a house there in the first place (i.e. the side of a very steep hill). There are many neighborhoods where the city will push down an abandoned house and give it to the neighbor (for a yard) for nearly free. But, we've lost 1/2 of our population, which is why I don't think Braddock will be revived any time soon. You can find plenty of cheap houses in safer neighborhoods with better schools that are much closer to large employers and stores.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:02 PM
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re: 199

Primarily people who were a threat to his particular brand of Ismailism, I think. But they took commissions for money, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismaili#Alamut


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 5:16 PM
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I salute 201. Especially this:

a hat made of rubies


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:20 PM
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Amin Maalouf's The Crusades through Arab Eyes is good on the whole collapsing caliphate/competing petty states/band of fanatics thing.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:21 PM
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These ideas are too unremittingly positive. We need some mean-spirited joy. I'd buy that new mega grotesque 6000 person cruise boat and sink it offshore the artifical islands in Dubai.


Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:52 PM
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If I got super-rich - I'd worry, worry seriously. A very good friend of ours made himself US$20 million a few years back - quite legitimately. It probably was the worst thing that could have happened to him, given all the problems that then beset him as a direct result of making so much money. (Think investments made with all kinds of altruistic intentions, all manner of crooks and con artists emerging out of the woodwork etc)

You read about the lottery winners who blow the lot away - they exist in an almost fictional manner to most of us - but when you see it happening for real, despite friends trying to intervene with good advice, you realise with utter clarity, how damaging sudden fortunes can be.


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:31 PM
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I WOULD BUY THIS PLACE AND FIRE YOU IMMEDIATELY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MARWOOD | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:28 AM
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I like the cult/Hashishim/P2 train of thought. I'd most certainly build a Zeppelin, something about twice the size of the Hindenburg, but made with fancy space age materials and unblowupable things. The other major investment would be an Institute for the Frustration of Assholes and the Advancement of Nice People. I suspect that a cadre of fanatically loyal Ninja assassins would be handy on that front. Poisoned blowdart to the neck for assholes, pot crapping dog for nice people, and the mushy middle gets a slanket.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:32 AM
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something about twice the size of the Hindenburg, but made with fancy space age materials and unblowupable things

I'm picturing togolosh taking off for the first time, monocle firmly in place, exclaiming, "This dirigible's too big to fail!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:54 AM
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The whole Tiger Woods thing is puzzling-- he really was rich as Croesus, chose to have a family, and instead of a carefully-chosen partner on the side, waffle-house waitresses and strangers who evidently didn't like him much? Has this been kicked around here, or is it beneath contempt?

Money would free up some constraints for me, but the real balance is between freedom and responsibility, too much of either is not good.

I'm fairly pessimistic about altruistic spending-- Gates and Soros seem to be doing OK, but they're definitely the exception to the rule.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:30 AM
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I'd buy that new mega grotesque 6000 person cruise boat and sink it offshore the artifical islands in Dubai.

No. Ram it into the artificial islands in Dubai.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:38 AM
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No, invite thousands of Somali pirates on board your ship, dock it at one of the artificial islands and welcome the Somalis to their new home.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:40 AM
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Why would Somali pirates want to move to Dubai?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:40 AM
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Well, they'd have the option of the yacht taking them wherever they wanted if they got tired of Dubai.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:41 AM
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Why would Somali pirates want to move to Dubai?

All pirates like the Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrab Emirates.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:43 AM
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The whole Tiger Woods thing is puzzling

It's a standard pro athlete slash rock star story, innit? Doesn't seem at all puzzling to me. These have been my two favorite quotes on the matter:

wwtdd.com: "I think it's safe to say he didn't think this all the way through. He's maybe the most famous person on earth. Of course he got caught. The Statue of Liberty could go buy some weed and have a better chance at getting away with it than he did."

An friend's (female, L.A.) Facebook assessment: "I am FAR less offended by Tiger Woods' outrageous pussyhound behavior than I am by his belly laughable taste in vagine. You'd think with all his simolians that he'd only go in for top shelf cooter. Those broads he's bangin' look like Tuesday night at Jumbo's Clown Room."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:48 AM
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Poor Jumbo's Clown Room gets no respect. I could point you towards some way nastier establishments in LA!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:56 AM
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It's a standard pro athlete slash rock star story, innit?

It's way more sordid than any other possible story! I can't think of a more elite athlete with more invested in a squeaky clean image. And then to have lady, after lady, after lady emerge from Tuesday Night at Jumbo's Clown Room...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:02 AM
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I could point you towards some way nastier establishments in LA!

Um, no thanks.

Sifu Tweety: World's Worst Tour Guide


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:04 AM
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Not quite-- the choice to start a family seemed pretty deliberate, not an accident or a pre-wealth relationship. If it turns out that the new Mrs Woods has a temper or is otherwise not such great company, surely he can find someone who actually likes him rather than picking strangers who subsequently sell his voicemail?

I mean, maybe this is par for the course-- famous people imagine that everyone does just really love them, blinded by their own wealth and aura and having everything covered in money-scented pleasantness all the time. It just seemed that since he was reticent and chose to marry and have kids, so shallow a failing was out of character. Reading too much into silence, I guess.

You guys are being really unkind. They seem like typical young women, slightly venal and slightly stupid; the idea that people should be ranked for glitz or exclusivity is an ugly one, even if pervasive. Scorn them and him for selling out so enthusiastically(them) or shallowly(him), not for having bad hair or clothes.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:09 AM
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Jumbo's is (1) super famous, (2) in the middle of Hollywood, and (3) doesn't have nude dancers. Totally too classy for Tiger. Just look at those reviews!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:11 AM
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not for having bad hair or clothes or implants.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:11 AM
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I haven't been following the story, but wouldn't it make sense as just impulsivity -- he's not auditioning mistresses through any organized process, he's hitting on the woman he finds most attractive in his field of vision at the moment he feels like it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:12 AM
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more invested in a squeaky clean image

I guess, but stories about Tiger's assbanditry have floated around ever since he joined the Tour.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:13 AM
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There's a real strip club called Jumbo's Clown Room? Jesus. I'm going to stop picturing naked women in full clown makeup with big shoes and red yarn wigs, doing pratfalls and piling out of VW bugs now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:13 AM
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You guys are being really unkind.

True. I feel slightly bad.

If it turns out that the new Mrs Woods has a temper or is otherwise not such great company, surely he can find someone who actually likes him rather than picking strangers who subsequently sell his voicemail?

This is all wrong, though. He's spent all his energy cultivating the most upscale image possible, and so (of course!) nothing turns him on more than the most down and dirty opposite end of the spectrum.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:13 AM
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231: wasn't he also hiring hookers by the handful?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:15 AM
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232:Sure, but name someone with a more posh self-brand. Maybe Martha Stewart.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:16 AM
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he's hitting on the woman he finds most attractive in his field of vision at the moment he feels like it?

I suspect if you're Tiger Woods, you don't have to hit on anybody. You just have to say yes. Starfucking is a sport with a long and storied history.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:16 AM
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217: I'm serious about the Zeppelin. I fell in love with the idea after reading Nevil Shute's Slide Rule, about his experience working on the dirigible R-100. There's a great scene in which he describes drifting over the St. Lawrence Seaway, standing on top of the airship and watching riggers repair the wires stabilizing the tail fins. I want to float over the Amazon basin 100 ft above the treetops, engines off, just drifting and watching the forest. I think it would be very calming. Y'all are welcome to join me of course.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:17 AM
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236: Ted Haggard.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:18 AM
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Well, 'hitting on', 'accepting advances', whatever. The point is that he doesn't seem to be looking for the most beautiful woman in the state, by whatever his standards are, he's looking for the most appealing woman available in the next fifteen minutes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:18 AM
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240: or possibly the top five or six.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:21 AM
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239: I suppose. Boy I love it when those guys bite the dust.

He's not really the same type of posh, though. (Imposhter.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:21 AM
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Hugh Grant!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:22 AM
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240: I think you're giving him a little too much credit. This is more like Hugh Grant with the tranny prostitute. Tiger gets off on playing against type.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:23 AM
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I'm confused as to whether or not I was pwned.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:23 AM
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237, 240, etc.: The way the rumor goes, one of these women wasn't so much his mistress as his procurer. She flew around to tournaments with him and made sure the women were available (sometimes these women were paid, sometimes not). Apparently this is SOP for top athletes, etc. Wacky!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:24 AM
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Also, the timing of the story is delicious. Just a car crash? No big deal. Wife breaking you out of your car with a golf club? Sure, why not.

Police asking questions? Demurely denied.

Then one after another girl comes forward, and they just don't stop...Clown car really is the right image.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:25 AM
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246: I'm trying to come up with a job title for that role that's not hugely offensive. Personal Madam?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:26 AM
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Isn't the story really that the press was covering for Tiger for a long time? Didn't lots of people have to have known that he was a serial philanderer?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:26 AM
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248: Social activities coordinator.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:27 AM
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I'm trying to come up with a job title for that role that's not hugely offensive.

Why?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:27 AM
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You know who set the absolute gold standard for crisis-management on this kind of thing? Eddie Murphy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:28 AM
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Eh, what's the line between 'covering for' and 'it's not newsworthy until you drive your car into a tree and your wife is hitting things with golf clubs'. Who cares if he's a philanderer, beyond his family?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:28 AM
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252: That's right -- he had a transgender prostitute issue that hit and then disappeared, never turned into a big thing at all that I remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:28 AM
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248/50: Apparently her real job title, for the less racy parts of her business, is "executive concierge"!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:29 AM
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cultivating the most upscale image possible,

I had figured that between the damage to the house and car and his person, he was basically an abused spouse. It's bad to beat your partner, even if they cheat.

I hate golf, just surprised by the depth of schadenfreude, given how many celebrities have lives that are train wrecks, and indeed, how many of them are briefly famous for doing nothing and squander even that opportunity and the money that comes with it.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:29 AM
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Who cares if he's a philanderer, beyond his family?

Ha, ha, ha! Only every single person in the world!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:30 AM
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251: well, I don't want to get in trouble.

She did the lay groundwork?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:30 AM
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I had figured that between the damage to the house and car and his person, he was basically an abused spouse. It's bad to beat your partner, even if they cheat

I haven't been categorizing him as an abused spouse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:31 AM
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254: he had a whole history of picking up transvestite hookers on Santa Monica Ave. and taking them home, and the whole thing got buried under "GOOD OL' FAMILY FRIENDLY EDDIE MURPHY YOU SEE NOTHING".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:31 AM
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248: iBawd


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:31 AM
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253: No, it really was "covering for." Charlie Pierce wrote a profile of Tiger in the 90s, when he was poised for superstar status, that included his skirt-chasing, racist and sexist jokes, etc. and was roundly vilified for it by the rest of the press. Like, denounced on Charlie Rose, etc.
Here's a link to Pierce's update piece, which contains a link to the original.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:31 AM
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259: really? Why not?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:31 AM
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Entourage Trimmer?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:32 AM
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Only every single person in the world!

I just realized that was an ambiguous statement.

I meant every individual in the world, not just the unattached individuals. This is a case where genuinely no one cares.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:33 AM
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259: I haven't been following the story closely enough to have a belief, but if his injuries were from his wife hitting him rather than from a car accident, that's abuse even though he's sleazy and she's justifiably angry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:34 AM
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263: I assumed he had the power in the relationship, and picked her because she fit his lifestyle brand image. There's a difference between the nondominant person finally snapping and lashing out physically, vs the dominant person flipping out on a regular basis and using their rage to be controlling. I'd assumed she was the former.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:36 AM
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267: Well, I'm not particularly worried about his ability to get help, or get away from her, or protect himself physically. But still, if your spouse is causing you physical injury in anything other than self-defense, that's abuse.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:38 AM
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267: if she hit him without him hitting her first (ever), I don't get that distinction at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:38 AM
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Robert Wright on Tiger Woods:

http://www.slate.com/id/86898/

This seemed really stupid at the time, but I think it may now have achieved classic status in the idiocy genre.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:41 AM
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I guess. I hadn't really thought out these specifics.

Here's where I'm coming from: I was the youngest, and my brothers would tease me until I flipped out and tried to hit them, at which point they would do something like that thing where you hold the kid an armswidth away by their forehead, and they swing uselessly at you. It's really enraging to be held by your forehead while you swing uselessly at someone.

There is a way in which the person without the power can go ballistic, physically, without it being abusive. I have no idea if that's what is going on here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:42 AM
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269: I might get it for very low values of 'hit' -- much weaker person smacking much stronger person after significant provocation, whatever, whatever, there are circumstances where I'd think it would be silly to call it 'abuse'. But when we're talking about actual injuries, as we are here if that's how he got hurt, yeah. The person injuring the other person is abusing them, regardless of the interpersonal dynamics underlying it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:43 AM
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Man I just can't get there with 271 at all. Little kids teasing each other and having fights is one thing. A member of a couple in a relationship physically injuring their partner is entirely different.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:43 AM
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270: But this sentence is pretty awesome in today's light: "Though thinking is vital to hole-by-hole strategizing and the year-round honing of your swing, when the moment comes to actually execute your swing, conscious thought is the enemy of success."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:43 AM
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272: sure, right. A woman slapping a cheating cad in the face is a time-honored tradition. Ain't trying to take that away from anybody. But, you know, he had "facial lacerations", in the term of art.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:44 AM
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Oh and she went after him with a golf club. That, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:45 AM
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in which the person without the power can go ballistic, physically, without it being abusive

I think there's at least a possibility she was swinging a golf club at his head, right?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:46 AM
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Which, you know, you wouldn't have to be terribly strong to kill someone with a golf club.

(I really don't know -- is this pure speculation, or is it pretty clear that she did injure him, rather than it being from the car accident?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:46 AM
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274: "ho-by-ho strategizing" -- ha!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:47 AM
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Okay. But I'm still hesistant to put him in the category of "battered spouse". Maybe because I've got gender biases that I need to reconsider.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:48 AM
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278.2: eh, I'm going off of gossip sites. But still, he hit the tree at like four MPH, there are no bloodstains on the steering wheel, the airbag didn't deploy, he apparently told somebody on the phone that she scratched the shit out of him, she was definitely beating on the car with a golf club: that's some reasonably well-sourced gossipy innuendo right there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:49 AM
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(I can, of course, totally sympathize with 271. I was half my sister's size and strength at the age when we were fighting a lot, and I was in precisely the position you describe a lot. Then she'd toss me across the room, and I'd lie there muttering imprecations at her under my breath.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:50 AM
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I'm still hesistant to put him in the category of "battered spouse"

As well you should, since none of us have any idea what actually happened. I can't get much excited about this story, since "pro athlete likes whoring around, wife enraged" sounds like an Onion.com "Area Man Does Ordinary Thing" headline.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:52 AM
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280: Well, there's a whole 'battered spouse' dynamic that probably doesn't apply, largely because he's got all the resources in the world to get away. But (again, assuming everything we're assuming is true), whether or not he's a 'battered spouse' in the full psychological term of art sense, she's certainly an abuser.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:52 AM
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280.2: seems that way to me. He's now quit his job (!) and moved with her back to her home country, where he doesn't speak the language and will be fully under her control, basically. If the genders were reversed and we weren't talking about famous people, I imagine [girl Tiger]'s friends and family would be freaking out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:53 AM
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285: Has he really? I knew he was taking a break and that there was some new weird pre-nup to convince her to stay. Boy, who knows what the hell is going on in that gory household.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:55 AM
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He's now quit his job (!) and moved with her back to her home country, where he doesn't speak the language and will be fully under her control, basically.

Really? Huh. I would be worrying about him. Again, not all that much, given that if he wants to get away, all he's got to do is decide to -- there are no practical obstacles at all. But I would worry about him, if he were someone I cared about at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:55 AM
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I do endorse 283 and 284. But still, the power dynamics in famous-person relationships can be rather opaque.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:55 AM
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Phil Hartman was such a great comedian.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 9:58 AM
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229: I used to live right around the corner from there. Also: Jumbo's has long been woman-operated; Courtney Love made her performance debut there.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:03 AM
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There a big difference between hitting him and hitting his Escalade with the golf club.

He's now quit his job (!) and moved with her back to her home country, where he doesn't speak the language and will be fully under her control, basically. I

Oh please, Sifu. Like ninety percent of Swedes don't speak English? And also it's not like a woman moving to Saudi Arabia--I believe Swedish law is pretty reasonable about marriage and divorce, abuse, etc.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:05 AM
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291: Eh. Sweden or no, everyone speaks English or no, it's still socially isolating, being in a different country. Anyplace on earth, of course, he's got the practical capacity to just leave whenever he wants to, but if they've got an abusive dynamic going on, moving to another country could be part of it.

And he's got injuries -- if it wasn't from the car accident, someone hit him.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:09 AM
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Like I said, I'm really not worried about it. But, y'know, it's hardly outside the realm of possibility that his wife tried to kill him (or at least assaulted him with a deadly weapon, like the kids say), that he covered it up because he thinks he deserved it and didn't want her to get in trouble, and that basically the entire world is now conspiring to convince him that (1) he did deserve it and (2) he should patch things up with her, regardless of the cost, and he's therefore reacting by giving her total power over his life (at least for now). The fact that he's, by all accounts, a world-class sleaze doesn't really enter into it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:15 AM
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288.last: Man, I'd forgotten all about that*, especially the part where she killed herself. Jeez.

* or, rather, forgotten the awfulness of it. Every time I watch the Simpsons or hear the Monorail Song I get a little sad for Phil Hartmann.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:15 AM
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I bet Sweden has some great Christmas desserts.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:18 AM
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There's some cake that's a cone shaped stack of rings of dough that I've always sort of wanted to try making. I think it's Swedish.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:20 AM
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Swedish gefilte fish?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:22 AM
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I assumed he had the power in the relationship, and picked her because she fit his lifestyle brand image. There's a difference between the nondominant person finally snapping and lashing out physically, vs the dominant person flipping out on a regular basis and using their rage to be controlling. I'd assumed she was the former.

She comes from a quite wealthy and powerful family, you know. Not a cocktail waitress.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:23 AM
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282 - You shouldn't have provoked your older sister, LB. She knows what's best for you.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:24 AM
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296: The Donuts of Hammurabi?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:24 AM
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There appears to be a Pyramid Cake (spettekaka, hilariously enough), which seems remarkably similar to Baumkuchen (which, according to the New Yorker, is almost impossible to make without a speciality oven).


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:26 AM
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Darn it, I had a link for the Baumkuchen. Lost it now.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:27 AM
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301: That's not a pyramid, it's just like any other edible tower.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:28 AM
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I bet Sweden has some great Christmas desserts.

Come for the penance, stay for the spettekaka!

If only she'd taken out her anger on Joe Lieberman, we'd all be better off.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:30 AM
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Man, do I wish that man ill.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:32 AM
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There's some cake that's a cone shaped stack of rings of dough that I've always sort of wanted to try making. I think it's Swedish.

Kransekake?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:33 AM
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And he's got injuries -- if it wasn't from the car accident, someone hit him.

He has scratches, as far as I know. Is there some suggestion that she actually hit him with the golf club? I would take that more seriously.

Of course it's not impossible that their relationship is abusive, but it seems quite unlikely to me. No doubt I'll feel really bad when the tell-all memoir is published.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:33 AM
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306: That's what I was thinking of.

307: I've really only been following this by osmosis, but I thought he was taken to a hospital to be treated for something -- I had the impression that he was noticeably banged up. But I really don't know. Everything I've said about abuse is working from the assumption that he did have reasonably significant injuries, and that she caused them -- if that's not true, and I don't know that it is, then I don't have any reason to call her an abuser.

(Well, actually, even beating on someone's car with a golf club while they're in it seems to me to be a threat of serious violence. Denting the car/breaking the windows while the owner isn't there is one thing, and might be threatening or might just be vandalism. But if I were in a car and an angry person was breaking windows with a golf club, I'd be terrified of them hurting me, and I think legitimately so.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:38 AM
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305: God, me too. Just the sight of his face makes my fists clench.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:40 AM
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The insurance companies have a special underground facility where Joe Lieberman's clones are kept in a vat. If he doesn't vote their way, well, next time he needs a new heart....Joe Lieberman is functionally immortal but only as long as he serves his dark masters.

Can't Connecticut's voters impeach him or something? How else can he be stopped?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:41 AM
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Can't Connecticut's voters impeach him or something?

Sadly, no.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:42 AM
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Voodoo.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:42 AM
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Harry Goddamnit Reid could take away his committee assignments and reassign him to office space in the basement next to the water heater. But that would be mean, and Democrats are nice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:43 AM
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Denting the car/breaking the windows while the owner isn't there is one thing, and might be threatening or might just be vandalism.

WarningWarning: following link is to Carrie Underwood song.
This is apparently a culturally validated method of registering annoyance over infidelity.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:48 AM
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313, 314: Does Lieberman have a car he's fond of?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:53 AM
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314: No, no. We ought to let Mercedes handle it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:53 AM
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He has scratches, as far as I know. Is there some suggestion that she actually hit him with the golf club? I would take that more seriously.

He was drifting in and out of consciousness when the cops showed up, right? And wwtdd is all over it.

That's all I got. Oh, that and a baby seal joke a friend of mine heard from a bartender. But that probably doesn't rise to the level of evidence.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:56 AM
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317: Although the alternate claim here on the unconsciousness and the serious hospital treatment is that he was treated for an overdose.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:02 AM
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318: yep.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:06 AM
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Overdose seems to have some plausibility problems. It's not impossible, but the timing is a little tight, isn't it? He'd have had to go from together enough to get in the car and get it started to passing out from the overdose in a minute or so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:09 AM
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Escalades almost drive themselves.

Seriously I can completely buy that; people do funny thing under the influence of CNS depressants.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:10 AM
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Especially if things were heated or whatever, he could have had a surge of adrenaline when the fight was happening/he was getting in the car/he was in the accident, and then when that went away he passed out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:11 AM
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And I've got very little direct experience here, I'm working off what drunks are like. I'd expect a drunk to either fall asleep without getting the car started or get further, but if the analogy doesn't work, then I'm wrong about the plausibility.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:12 AM
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323: Well, the drugs reportedly Ambien and vicodin. People do get in their cars and drive on Ambien and then pass out. And Sifu's 322 rings true for me: He could have taken his drugs to go to bed post-fighting, when his wife woke him up for more fighting.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:17 AM
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Yeah, something like (say) Ambien or K (like our wobbly beer-buying gentleman from the video heebie posted a few weeks back) or Oxycontin is going to be very different. But even alcohol can do weird things: I watched an episode of Cops from Las Vegas once, and one of the people they dealt with was sound asleep at the wheel of his car (which was stopped) in the middle of traffic. I still haven't figured out how that worked.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:19 AM
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324: or he could have taken the drugs and the fight started before they kicked in.

Really, taking Ambien and then failing to go to sleep leads to very, very strange things.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:20 AM
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On the other hand, nobody seems to be inclined to charge him with DUI, which presumably would be on the table if they found drugs in his system. Maybe the toxicology reports are still out or maybe he's rich and famous and doesn't get in trouble for that sort of thing or maybe they feel bad for him because hey, they cheat all the time, too. Who knows.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:21 AM
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Yeah, I have a friend whose Ambien weirdness included getting up in the middle of the night, pulling all kinds of food out of the refrigerator as if he was preparing for a dinner party. Then he'd crash in a heap to the kitchen floor where his wife would find him sound asleep with the fridge open and all the food out on the counters.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:34 AM
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Do committee assignments really work like that? The majority leader assigns, and that's it, no voice for anyone else? Wow if so, but I thought that there was more to it than that.

Have majority leaders ever been busted for bribetaking linked to committee assignments?

Sweden? Jesus. Nice people and all, but he must really love those kids. Poor guy.

Jazmine SUllivan had a grating urban contemporary hit this last year,


I bust the windows out your car
After I saw you laying next to her
I didn't wanna but I took my turn
I'm glad I did it cuz you had to learn

The metonymy of destroying a beloved possession may be appropriate sometimes, but I'm pretty leery of a strong impulse to hurt your partner, either directly or by proxy. If things are that bad, separate with amiable custody arrangements.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:36 AM
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separate with amiable custody arrangements

That's what normal people do, but there are impossibly large piles of money and lawyers in the equation here and it's hard to overestimate the impact of those.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:40 AM
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329.last: Ahem ahem 316.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:42 AM
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330: I'd actually think the impossibly large piles of money should smooth things out. That is, I don't actually expect it to, but I don't understand why it doesn't. I'd think that being able to throw a king's ransom with a hat made of rubies on top at your ex without ever noticing the loss would make extricating yourself from a marriage you don't want to be in much easier, and with less in the way of bad feelings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:01 PM
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Well, grubby peasants like us think that half of a kajillion dollars is a lot to live on. But if you're used to the thought of having a whole kajillion, maybe half feels like an excutiating loss.

Maybe fewer party girls come on you with less enthusiasm if you are only a half-kajillionaire.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:08 PM
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But if fewer come on you with less enthusiasm, that means that more come on you with more enthusiasm—right?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:10 PM
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332: that would hurt, LB. A king's ransom is heavy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:12 PM
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The thing is, Woods has, unfortunately, only a possibly large pile of money.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:16 PM
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That wasn't what I meant, although I can see how it confused you, darlin.

I think commas would help you understand, sugar. It is a list of complaints about the relative quality of sexual advances when one has only half a kajillion dollars.

...fewer party girls, showing less enthusiasm, if you...

Thanks for helping me clarify that, sweetpea.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:16 PM
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There's more to endearment than terms of endearment, you foul harridan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:18 PM
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If I had large piles of money, I would have a bathroom mosaic, yes, but I would also have an AWESOMELY RIDICULOUS WARDROBE. God, that shit must be fun. (I'd have the leotards cut lower so as to avoid bikini-waxes: why put yourself through that when you're a kijillionaire?)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:22 PM
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If you were a kajillionaire, you could just get electrolysis on your bikini line and be done with it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:26 PM
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I could, theoretically, but I suspect I'd still be too much of a cheapskate (or at least, that's the excuse I would use).


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:33 PM
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306: That's what I was thinking of.

Around here it is called Norwegian Wedding Cake and is often made in cookie form where the rings are about 1.25 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Making it that way might be an easier start than trying for the full tower.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:36 PM
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If I were a kajillionaire, I bet I could do a lot to make Joe Lieberman's life shittier.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:41 PM
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famous people imagine that everyone does just really love them, blinded by their own wealth and aura

This is a blindspot not unique to the rich and famous.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:41 PM
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I'd still be too much of a cheapskate (or at least, that's the excuse I would use)

You might need a more convincing excuse.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:44 PM
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If things are that bad, separate with amiable custody arrangements.

If things are that bad, "amiable" anything is pretty unlikely. At least that's what people tell me...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:45 PM
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If I had a kajillion dollars, I'd produce a reality show about hyper-rich philanderers who have been beaten in the face, starring Woods and Berlusconi.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:56 PM
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re: 343

I could lend you some of my elite hashashim, trained in my mountain fastness...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:59 PM
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302: If you were looking for the New Yorker article, it's here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/11/23/091123fa_fact_sheraton


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:05 PM
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And now I'm crying.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:29 PM
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I wonder why they kept appending "related to obesity" when his describing his health problems.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:38 PM
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Also, don't cry, Megan. He had it coming: he was fat.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:38 PM
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I noticed that too. So we can blame his appetite for all his problems, I guess. That one sentence is in all the captions; they may only have made a choice to mention his obesity once, then repeated the same text throughout.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:40 PM
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Right.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:41 PM
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But his neighbor, Ruthy. She's obviously distraught, and she doesn't deserve anything bad. She's thin!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 4:44 PM
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If I had large piles of money, I would have a bathroom mosaic, yes, but I would also have an AWESOMELY RIDICULOUS WARDROBE.

Boy I love her. #34 on that list is particularly great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:02 PM
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I missed this thread, but if I got rich I would buy myself a Senate seat. That would be fun.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:31 PM
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357: Yeah, but then what would you do?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:35 PM
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Beat Joe Lieberman with a stick!

Also, pontificate to the public, have my worshipful staff carry me around in a sedan chair, and just for the hell of it, shut down the U.S. government every so often. Senators have all of the fun of governing and none of the responsibility.

I guess that is kind of a boring fantasy.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:41 PM
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I'd love to be a senator.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:01 PM
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The words "senator" and "senile" come from the same root.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 7:44 AM
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Beat Joe Lieberman with a stick!

I'd vote for any candidate that ran on this platform.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 7:46 AM
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It's probably not very hard to become a Freemason these days. They're not getting a whole lot of new members.

Locally, this is true. They are trying to make themselves known and actively soliciting applications. I find them slightly weird.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 8:24 AM
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1.) Pay off my student loans.
2.) Get a will written
3.) put some money in a charitable gift fund so that it wasn't all taxed right away--assuming that I got this money through the lottery.
3.) Make sure that my parents are taken care of. I think that nice care for my Mom could cost $150k/ per year.
4.) Buy a house or an apartment in the city.
5.) Hire a housekeeper/assistant/cook --full time.

BUT the big thing I'd do is make sure that I could get a tropical vacation in every November and February or March. I might even be decadent enough to go away on a plane for long weekends to soak up sun during the winter.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 8:30 AM
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I'd also get massages, manicures and pedicures every other week and a personal trainer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 8:32 AM
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The person I met with like 150 million has several kids, a large house in Boston plus a summer place on the North Shore. Her husband is now semi-retired and is active in foundations pushing charter schools (he's tried to run for office, but he lacks any charisma). She's pretty active in politics.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 8:35 AM
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Their live-in housekeeper/nanny did win a big lottery and then quit her job.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 8:35 AM
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I'd get all my clothes custom-made in the far east, and I might even buy a couple of honest-to-god couture pieces.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 8:39 AM
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||
Connecticut for Lieberman is slagging Holy Joe.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 9:24 AM
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I'd work when I goddamn felt like it. This trundle off to the office every day because you have to pay the mortgage bullshit is bullshit.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-15-09 10:06 AM
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