Daily Office:


Matins: It’s time for Larry Summers to be deported to Australia. Somewhere! Hiring him in any capacity is to date the president’s biggest boo-boo. As Frank Rich reminds us, “Summers worked for a secretive hedge fund, D. E. Shaw, after he was pushed out of Harvard’s presidency at the bubble’s height.”

Lauds: Looking for an old house with new wiring, preferably something truly Palladian? Look no farther. (via Things Magazine)

PrimeDio mio! Thomas Meglioranza will be singing in New York in June — Beethoven at Mannes. Must I wait to buy tickets at the door?

Tierce: Michael Cooper reports on the stimulus perplex from Houston:

But to ensure that the money is spent quickly, the law leaves decisions of how to spend some $27.5 billion in transportation money up to the states — and quite a few are using their shares to build new and wider roads that will spur development away from their most populous centers.

Sext: Today, I want to share with you a masterpiece of sixth-grade humor. N!S!F!W!

Nones: France rethinks its version of colorblindness.

Vespers: And, in more news from France, Benjamin Ivry reports on the inevitable dustup concerning the publication of Roland Barthes’s diaries.

Compline: The personal-responsibility folks won’t see a problem with this, but Pablo Torre reports, at Sports Illustrated Vault, that “within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke. (via Morning News)


§ Matins. As for Tim Geithner, there’s the real question of who would do better at Treasury. Perhaps we could ask Bob Shiller for some names.

§ Lauds. Have a look at Houses>Ferne Park, Dorset.

Of course, this isn’t what British planning Clause PPS7 envisioned. “The value of such a building will be found in its reflection of the highest standards in contemporary architecture.” This might be more like it. “But there was just one problem. No one wanted to buy it.”

As Things says, “the idea of the truly large house has become entirely redundant.” Have a look at any of Lutyens’s plans: at least half the ground floor is typically devoted to kitchen/utility/servants. Another world!

§ Prime. Do yourself a favor: buy Tom’s Schubert CD. This man has one of the truly beautiful voices. (I figure that, the better the Schubert sells, the sooner we’ll see Tom’s cabaret CD. But I wouldn’t recommend a disc that wasn’t on my desert island list.)

§ Tierce. Having lived in Houston for a while, I can’t imagine it as a genuinely urban place — ever. Rather, I expect that Houston will be in the vanguard of low-density adaptations to the green transportation shift.

But first, all the developers will have to be deported to — even Australia won’t take them.

§ Sext. I learned about this conversation piece from Christopher Shea, at Brainiac. Because of the provenance, I wasn’t immediately sure that the book is a joke. Mr Shea did plant a terrible idea in my head: how would fellow travelers on the Lex respond to my perusal of a book with such an arresting cover?

§ Nones. It’s galling to be assured that you live in an egalitarian country when so many of your alleged countrymen are incapable of outgrowing equal-but-separate wishful thinking.

§ Vespers. Says a former close colleague, François Wahl,

The publication of Journal de deuil would have positively revolted [Barthes] insofar as it violates his privacy.

But surely whatever right the dead have to privacy vanishes altogether in the case of published writers?

§ Compline. You can say that (overpaid) athletes are irresponsible; or you can say that if so many of them are failing financially then perhaps they need some help as a group. After all, athletes aren’t chosen for their abstract-reasoning skills.

For the risk-averse investor, an adviser such as Butowsky would suggest allocating 5% to private equity, 7%–12% to real estate, 50%–65% to a mix of public securities (stocks, mutual funds and the like) and the rest to alternatives such as gold and hedge funds. Yet with athletes, who are often uninterested in either conservative spending or the stock market, those percentages are frequently flipped. Securities are invisible, after all, and if you don’t study them, they’re unintelligible. Not to mention boring. Inventions, nightclubs, car dealerships and T-shirt companies have an advantage: the thrill of tangibility.

4 Responses to “Daily Office:

  1. Nom de Plume says:

    What, no link to Tom’s CD?

  2. Nom de Plume says:

    Ooops, I didn’t see the link above the jump. I was below the jump by the time the CD came up. And below norm. Like nursery school or something.

  3. Migs says:

    Re Sext: Ha! You’re right. It’s so Not Suitable For Women.

  4. George says:

    Having just spent the first week of March in Houston and anticipating making my residence in Houston within the next year, having graduated from high school in Houston and lived there up until 1980 and being a “big rig” driver I can attest in spades to the idea that the last thing Houston needs is more multi-lane highways, especially outside the “Beltway”. Sidewalks, more office clusters, industrial clusters and PUD’s outside the Beltway with rail links to the center and the two airports, yes, resoundingly, Yes! But more freeway to drive the first and second home buyers and low wage workers further out from the center, NO! Can’t we use land taxes to foster the type of growth we want or is that too simple for regional planning authorities to understand. Oh, greed! I forgot, land developers, greed, land use & rights issues and “The American Way”. Ah, yes, “The American Way”! We will all die soon in “The American Way” if we don’t mend our ways. Somehow I don’t think market forces will move us in the right direction nor will the new politics which seems more and more to be not very new nor very smart, evidence L Summers, confiscatory taxes on selected employees of selected employers, … Need I go on? If it weren’t for my good love life and artists like Tom I would be suicidal by now. As for IHaveOMG, well, you know J P, l’auteur, vous savez, la personne qui a écrit Mangeurs d’ oignons. Bien, mon chéri, j’ai ce problème, vous vois, une fois qu’il y avait de deux mais maintenant il y a de trois. Connaissez-vous un bon urologiste féminin à Houston ? Sérieusement, j’aurais plutôt une femme. Juste un spermatocele, je suis sûr.