Thursday, October 07, 2010

You Can Never Be Too Rich Or Too Thin

If my life was part of classical literature, this would be about the time that things would start to crumble around the main character because things are going too well.
  1. The first should really come as no surprise. My new job pays about 186% of what my old job did. Even with a major kitchen remodel, my bank balance was surprisingly high when I logged on to pay the bills.

  2. Listening to NPR lately and their series on the middle class led me to suspect that I am probably upper class. This is confirmed by the Wikipedia article on income distribution in the United States. My household income is in the top 20%! Like a lot of people I don't feel all that rich because our experiences are colored by the people we know. And I know a fair number of people who sold out to work for Google at just the right time, people who bought houses in San Francisco in the early 1990s, and such. I tend to know a lot of outliers.

  3. Annoyance of the day, though: According to a story on NPR this morning an economist did research on perceptions of wealth distribution by asking people's opinions and asking them to describe things in terms of percentages. Dude, percentages are fractions. People have no freakin' clue about fractions. None. I certainly hope that NPR mis-represented the work and that the Harvard guy did not actually base any conclusions on asking normal people to express their opinions in terms of fractions.

  4. In more hubristic good news, the other day I decided to see if I could wear The Pants That No Longer Fit And Probably Should Be Given To Goodwill Instead Of Serving As Part Of A Closet-Based Shrine To Earlier Times. They fit! In fact, they were sort of loose, and I kind of wished that I had a belt! This morning I weighed myself, and I weigh less than I did in high school. (But 11 pounds more than when I finished grad school -- when I was on the no car, no money, much coffee, much stress diet. To put this in perspective, if I lose 6-7 more pounds, I won't be able to give blood anymore.). I suspect that not having a kitchen may be a key player in this development.

  5. Speaking of the kitchen, today the tile guy is going to be doing the backsplash and the appliances are scheduled to be delivered. I am expecting some sort of appliance-based disaster, so I am steering clear of the house. I am paying my architect $95 an hour to supervise my contractor, so if there is an appliance problem, the contractor should call the architect (who is the one who drew up the plans -- including where all the electricity and holes in the wall and such should be). Yes, as an upper-class person it is worth it to me to pay $95 an hour to have them figure it out and not involve me. Just make it happen; let me get my checkbook.