We've never taken our kids to Disneyworld, but I've thought about it. We used to go for the day on occasion when I was growing up, and I'm not opposed to the idea that it could be a super fun few days, if I got in the right headspace for it. If some family or friends wanted to join forces, I'd probably bite the bullet in order to do it and spend some quality time with family.
The thing that generally holds me back is that the fucking price tag makes me lose my mind. I've dropped plenty of money on home renovations or vehicles or whatever, so I'm not a universally frugal person. But the goddamn psychological manipulation involved in every step to separate you from your money makes me feel stressed out. I start to contemplate a Disney vacation, and I get flooded emotionally and just X out the tabs and walk away.
This article is ostensibly about the best way to outsmart the lines for rides at Disney:
There's an easy, if quite pricey, way to double your FastPasses. Tip no. 2: Upgrade to Club Level at any of Disney's deluxe hotels and you can buy three additional FastPasses for $50 per person, per day, for a minimum of three days. This would give everyone in your group six FastPasses for each of those days. Another big plus: You can make the extra three FastPass+ reservations 90 days before your visit, which gives you a big advantage over most Disney hotel guests. This strategy is particularly appealing to families that like to sleep in, since most other time-saving strategies require getting up and out early.
It's that kind of thing! The baroque level of vacation-maximizing that you have to wade into, with a billion decision points and a total lack of guiding star that you may wish upon to lead you through it, or probably there is a guiding star you may buy, but it costs another billion dollars.
I know families who are far more frugal than we are can save their money and make it work, and they seem to have a blast and sometimes go back a second time. But the knowledge that I will get fleeced, or have to do extensive planning, or both, and that it will all have that shiny-resort faux-riche feel to it... no. no. Please no.
Moby Hick writes: Both of which I knew before reading this article. But I hadn't realized how bald the fraud was for crypto and I didn't realize Tom Brady was an asshole without Bill Belichick.
Heebie's take: (First, it's paywalled, but I got around that by using a lesser-used browser, so I suppose you get a certain number of NY Magazine articles free.)
Another crypto executive showed me a digital image of a sneaker that he'd bought for $8 and that he said was now worth more than $1 million. He told me that recently, all owners of these imaginary sneakers had been issued an image of a box, which was itself worth $30,000. When he opened the box, he found another picture of sneakers and another box, each of them valuable in their own right. "It's this never-ending Ponzi scheme," he said happily. "That's what I call Ponzinomics."
The article just came out in September 2023, but most of the anecdotes are from 2022, pre-Sam-Bankman-Fried's demise, at least. I can't tell whether that's put a damper on the hype or not.
This seems right:
It struck me that almost any of the companies I'd heard about would be good fodder for an investigative story. But the thought of methodically gathering facts to disprove their ridiculous promises was exhausting. It reminded me of a maxim called the "bullshit asymmetry principle," coined by an Italian programmer. He was describing the challenge of debunking falsehoods in the internet age. "The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it," the programmer, Alberto Brandolini, wrote in 2013.
Also, goddamn there are a lot of celebrities in the linked article.
Snarkout writes: Here's a palette-cleanser from the gloomy-doomy -- a lovely interview between Mark Slutsky and New York retiree Irene Eckstein, who Googled herself and discovered via Slutsky's "Sad YouTube" comments collection (but the interview itself is not at all sad!) that she had a secret admirer in high school.
Heebie's take: Oh this is just the sweetest thing. Go read it. It's just right.
(Look at me, tactfully not saying anything one way or the other about the ending.)
On the topic of YouTube comments, remember that time that jms found the comment on SWV's I Get So Weak that was like, "They played this song at our 8th grade prom, baby, and then we made sweet, sweet love in the backseat of my brother's car, and then you got pregnant, and now 30 years and five kids later, I'm still just in love with you as I was then!!" I'm exaggerating, but not by much.
Jesus, this is bleak. It's a profile of the woman who founded a small drug helpline called Never Use Alone, where they just keep you chatting while you use drugs, and monitor whether or not you're overdosing and need someone to call 911 for you. (It's clearly a good hotline - by "bleak" I just the whole tone of the article is depressing.)
I would find something more upbeat, but I'm late for a meeting! Then to teach! Sorry!
Heebie's take: You should definitely click through on all three, at least for the photos.
1. Gave me the pleasure of freely associating to that time that that ship got stuck in the Suez Canal back in 2021, and then I found out that it keeps happening.
2 and 3: Holy moly.
Springs and rivers in Texas are distressingly low, or dried up altogether. But I subject you all to an outsized amount of conversation about this state, so stay focused on the rivers above.
One last note: the city closed the local baseball fields last week because the cracks in the ground were so big that it was a liability risk.
That just seems like a cinematic opening scene: dawn cracks over the baseball field, camera pans over the parched, fractured fields. Cut to the interior of a car, sitting in a driveway. Hand flicks on the radio. Local news comes on, and the morning news guy turns from his wacky cackle to "In more serious news, the Pee Wee League is on hold for the time being due to..." and then the kids bustle into the backseat and everyone heads off to school and work. Ominous overtones, but let's set it aside and get this narrative going.