Some grand drama based on the vagaries of the human heart!

So, what’s new? Let’s not talk about school. Let’s not talk about elephants or rhinos or stock derivatives or solid waste disposal or rhombuses (rhombi?) or antelopes or anteaters or ants, for that matter. Let’s not speak of any of these, nor of serial murders, nor thunderstorms (as the wind picks up behind me). Let us not speak of fruit flies on the tomatoes on the table, and how when I flung the bad tomatoes out toward the windbreak, I really flung them, arm extended, and both times I felt the blood rush outward, out toward my fingers, moving tangentially—centrifugal motion, as the physics books decline to call it, usually preferring their Newtonian explanations.

Bars and bugs—life doesn’t require that much effort. Life isn’t about trying that hard.

I’m wearing my “Nader 2000” t-shirt this morning—on the back, “Bush and Gore make me want to Ralph.” God, nearly six years ago already since we went to that rally at UIC with B___s, maybe that was Oct. 15th? How spontaneous of us. Eddie Vedder was there, interesting. And I still haven’t read the Nader reader, the signed copy of which I was sent in exchange for my $200 donation—my only political donation, I think.

Money’s such a funny thing. NYTimes (online) story yesterday about how,  basically, housing costs are high relative to incomes, which is, well, of course—no, stay away from criticisms. All I wanted to say is how that’s sorta weird. They (The Times) didn’t use the word “relative”—I don’t think they did, anyway, but that’s all that housing prices are, anyway, is relative. There’s no absolute or true value to any land. Same house in one suburb is worth twice what it would be in another. And some people are stretching their budgets to stay in certain areas with nicer schools, story said.

Had a thought. What was it? About housing and junk? About living month-to-month, paycheck to paycheck? Oh, well, let’s see if that idea comes back—it was one of those novel ideas.

Hers’ a different one—I like myself (and my writing) better when I don’t criticize. That’s been harder to not do lately, as tired as I’ve been.

The sky is really deep blue—midnight blue?—off to the west. Maybe it wouldn’t appear so blue—more black—if there weren’t yellowish interior lighting here also catching my eye?

I saw a really nice wood home—an interior of an timber-framed house, with timber arches, and a fireplace, so beautiful and so cozy. This was in a small ad in the new New Yorker, and I thought how nice it’d be to have a house like that, and yet, I’m old enough now to know that having a beautiful space like that to live in wouldn’t make me happy, not by itself. And it does seem a tad petty, doesn’t it, immature, simply to want things, to want a nice house. Who doesn’t want that? You’re not unique in your wants.

Maybe the missing thought was this: that when people agree to buy property, when they agree to pay a certain price, they don’t have that amount of money now. They’re making a promise to pay that over 30 years—pretty obvious, sure, and yet, there’s more: what they can pay now is based on their salary now—it’s what the bank is willing to loan them based on how well the bank thinks the borrower will be able to pay back the loan. And of course lots of people sell before the 30 years are up—they pay back the loan and start paying on another loan.

I don’t know, it all seems sorta optimistic, in a way—like, maybe if banks weren’t willing to make loans (or even just the larger, more speculative loans), that there would be fewer people in the market and fewer people to bid up house prices. I mean, this isn’t all that new. It’s basic econ theory. And yet, when you stop and think about it for a few minutes, it’s actually sorta odd—if the only thing supporting house/real estate prices is other people’s desire (and/or greed), well, then there’s not really much stability to these prices, this economy—the whole thing’s based largely on human emotions. My god, no wonder people like to follow it, it’s better than a soap opera—or maybe it’s exactly/precisely a soap opera—some grand drama based on the vagaries of the human heart! Yet, some people still make their livings predicting, or trying to predict, it.

[From journal of Weds., 4 October 2006, Journal 77, page 7-10]

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