Baby it’s cold inside.

The horse-eating project I’m working on involves some historical research, which involves dusty old records, which involves going down to the historical branch of the Detroit Public Library and summoning boxes out of storage. The librarians turn them over with a pair of white cotton gloves, which you are expected to wear when you handle anything within. It’s hard to type in them, however, so there’s a lot of on-and-off when you’re taking notes.

I’m generally not sentimental about ephemera. I can think of nothing less worth having than an autograph. And yet there’s something about holding a piece of letterhead embossed Sullivan & Cromwell, 45 Wall Street, New York, New York. Just a piece of paper, and more than 50 years later, and it still screams white shoe. As does the signature: J.F. Dulles.

A couple years ago, I interviewed a graybeard from our legal community. What’s changed since you started practice in 1969? I asked. The work, not so much, he said; it’s still about money and how it’s divided, and it always will be. But the pace, the old days of chin-scratching and deliberation — that’s gone forever. A client would call with a question, and you’d tell him he’d be hearing from you. Then there was time for thought, and research in libraries, notes on a legal pad. Then you summon the secretary, dictate a letter, maybe revise the letter, type it in duplicate or triplicate, put it in the outgoing mail, onion-skin copies for the file. At every step in the process there was time to change your mind, consider further, refine. No one expected a reply sooner than the next day’s mail, and that was considered a blistering pace. Thought percolates, reduces, strengthens its flavors.

No more. Funny that we have a slow food movement, a slow travel movement, but slow thought is considered lazy. Dude, I saw that on Twitter like, two hours ago.

Speaking of movements, the NYT Thursday Styles section, home of bullshit trend stories of all sorts, has a story today on what you might call the slow blood movement, i.e., freezing your ass off. Today, a clot of the impoverished, the self-righteous and the just plain whack who endure, nay embrace, a life without furnaces.

I’ve read so many of these I can recite them in my sleep, but here’s a theme I see more often these days:

Attitude, not clothing, is what thaws Daniel McCloskey and his roommates in Pittsburgh. Last year, Mr. McCloskey, 22, bought two poorly insulated turn-of-the century clapboard houses for $41,000 in the Lawrenceville neighborhood there, and turned them into a writer’s retreat he named the Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writer’s Co-op. …Mr. McCloskey offers monthlong residencies to emerging writers, which is to say a free room in the house at the back. There is a furnace, but his finances are low and mostly it stays off. …Mr. McCloskey warms himself up by spending time in coffee shops, he said — “an hour will do it” — and by maintaining an upbeat demeanor. Doesn’t his girlfriend, with whom he shares a drafty attic room, get grumpy?

“What makes her grumpy is using resources,” he said. “We’re all about staying positive.”

Ah, yes: “Using resources.” Way to sell a greener America, Daniel’s girlfriend — champion a lifestyle of miserly one-downmanship (“I keep my thermostat at 55” “Well, I don’t have a thermostat”) that turns on the embrace of a miserable lifestyle and fingerless gloves. Also, rationalization:

If it’s 20 degrees outside, as it was last week, it might be 15 indoors, so Ms. Gallagher will stoke the fire and go for a long walk; when she returns, the room can be 50 degrees, and 60 by bedtime, though it slides precipitously toward freezing as she sleeps. “The main reason why I do these winter trips,” she said, “is that when your house is 15 degrees, the only problem you have is getting warm. Focusing on survival is right up there with a Zen retreat when it comes to clearing the mind.”

It’s not the cold that’s the problem. It’s you that’s the problem.

For the record, I think most American houses are overheated, and that a chilly nighttime temperature is actually conducive to better sleep. But I like toilets that flush and prefer to focus my mind on work, not survival.

Eh. It’s their house, after all.

OK, now to commence eating the horse. First, a workout to strengthen the body. And one bit of bloggage: Man buried in Haiti rubble survives with help of his iPhone. He was rescued 65 hours later. I imagine he amused himself in the interim playing Wurdle.

Posted at 9:53 am in Popculch |

49 responses to “Baby it’s cold inside.”

  1. Sue said on January 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Sorry to go off topic, but can anyone tell me why I should even bother to vote anymore?
    We are so screwed.

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  2. coozledad said on January 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Leave it to the Americans to get all messianic about the slightest damn choice they make.If these assholes were really serious about the consumption of natural resources, they’d opt for castration, tubal ligation, or suicide. A single one of them will have consumed more resources than sixty denizens of the developing world by the time they hit their 20’s. If you take them as a group, they’ve probably underwritten a couple of vacation homes for the Bin Ladens and the Cheneys.
    I thought most people grew out of that holier than thou shit about the time they got their “get a job” cherries popped.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on January 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Living in the cold will supposedly help you develop brown fat, the so-called good fat, but as an arthritis sufferer I can only say that warm is good. If you can’t function anymore it’s too darn cold.

    Not for a moment do I believe the guy’s phone battery lasted that long.

    Edit: our thermostat is set at 67, which means our bedroom is a few degrees lower. We don’t like big gas bills.

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  4. coozledad said on January 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Julie Robinson: I like the idea of my spare tire being composed of brown fat. Does ‘slightly chilly’ count?

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  5. paddyo' said on January 21, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Out the door this a.m. too quickly to scan the NYT’s worst weekly section, Nance, but in my mind’s eye, I can see the scene in that “Cyberpunk Apocalypse Writer’s Co-op” (BTW, only one writer? — “writer’s” — or did the NYT writer and copy desk miss the plural possessive here? I’m betting on the latter).

    Anyway, I see row upon row of Bartleby the Scrivener types at Bob Cratchit desks tappity-tapping away with those fingertip-less gloves and solitary beeswax candles for light and warmth. Puh-leeze. Does misery really make for better writing? I doubt it. When my feet get cold at my desk at home, everything else tenses up. So much for the writing. Those fuckmooks (wondrous word, thanks Ashley) need to behave like humans of old — not to mention most of the rest of the mammal community — and migrate to warmer climes . . . like, say, a toasty, jangly coffeehouse somewhere.

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  6. Sue said on January 21, 2010 at 11:39 am

    “Mr. McCloskey warms him­self up by spend­ing time in cof­fee shops”
    I’ll bet they just love him there. Good tipper, smells real nice…

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  7. nancy said on January 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Read what they say about hot water and showering, too. I can just see the baristas in the closest coffeehouse: “Those fucking stinky bag people are here in their fingerless gloves — quick, put out the ‘no free refills’ sign.”

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  8. Sue said on January 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

    And the good news just keeps coming:

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  9. Jen said on January 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I know I write better when I’m warm, and when it’s not winter. I just want to hibernate in the winter, and I’m much less productive. If they want to live with no heat, fine, but I’ll take a furnace and hot showers, thank you very much.

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  10. Scout said on January 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Sue, I hear you on both points and I am appalled. I am so disillusioned I don’t even give a good crap any more.

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  11. Jason T. said on January 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I’m starting to feel “The United States of America” is a long-running TV show in its last season, like “M*A*S*H.”

    It’s too creaky, it’s too expensive, it’s just going through the motions, and it makes me cry a lot more often than it makes me smile.

    But I’m worried about what will replace it. An American version of “Franco’s Spain,” maybe.

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  12. coozledad said on January 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Jason, Scout, Sue; And yet we have to listen to these idiots with their eighteenth century knickers, tricorner hats and gadsden flags going on about self-reliance and the frontier spirit. All the Chinese would have to do is cut off the AC for a couple days and the lardbuckets would suffocate: guns or no guns.
    It’ll be interesting to see how the various fundamentalist screwjobs will decide how to kill each other once they’ve finished fucking the country over. I wonder if they’ll go back to the gibbets, or the auto da fe, or if they’ll use more sanitary mass slaughter techniques.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on January 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    It is said we get the government we deserve. I shudder to think what we have done to deserve this inertia.

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  14. Arlene said on January 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Let’s see these writers are choosing to be cold and staying positive it about. What a group of idiots. There are countless poor people who have no heat and are struggling to just get by and we have to read about these sanctimonious prigs. I agree with Coozledad that there should be a follow up next summer and see how they’re surviving without ac. My guess they’ll be at their local Starbucks.

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  15. beb said on January 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Sue @1, I hear ya. Today’s a good day to go see a movie, or beat your head against a wall, or both. It’s certainly not a day to read political blogs.

    If you have to leave your house to warm up it’s too fricking cold in your house. If you can’t afford to turn up the heat now would be a good time to investigate ways to improve the insulation in your house: taping plastic over the windows, stapling layers of cardboard to the walls.

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  16. Dexter said on January 21, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I know a 50-something year old man who turns his thermostat completely to the left and leaves it there, complaining of heating costs, but he spares no expense in acquiring jeroboams of Michelob and Stella Artois, which he drinks by the case, alone in his one-light-bulb kitchen, the rest of the house dark, listening to an AM radio he bought in 1962 when he was little boy. He drives a thirty year old car and his garage roof sags and is full of holes. He bitched incessantly when he had to convert to digital TV, no cable. No internet, no cell phone. Never a meal, just fried or frozen crappola . No wife, no family, no friends…no pets, no air conditioning.

    It’s amazing how many people still live in the past like this. And no, I wasn’t able to persuade him to attend even one of my recovery meetings, but he sure the hell is what we call a prospect.

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Re: thermostat? we don’t need no steeking thermostat —

    That says it all, I believe.

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  18. Dexter said on January 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    JmmO: Timely recall, old sport. My grandkids do not believe I actually attended a school with no indoor toilets. We used a three-holer outhouse until 1958, when the plumbers installed bathrooms, finally. As far-fetched and funny as the Pythons’ skit was/is, in many ways it is true even today.
    Breaking News…Scott Brown’s wife in her racy video:

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  19. MarkH said on January 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I, too, am troubled by today’s SCOTUS decision, at least on the surface. But the fact is, not only did swing-justice Anthony Kennedy swing to the majority on this one, he wrote the opinion. For that reason, I’d like to take the time to read the entire opinion before I form mine. I’m all for freedom of speech and expression, etc., but…

    EDIT: You attorneys out there, moe and mark in particular, ought to weigh in on this one.

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  20. LAMary said on January 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t understand how buying Starbucks five dollar coffees is ok by paying for a little heat isn’t. On the other hand, I’m pretty careful with my thermostat. It gets into the forties here at night and the heat comes on, but the thermostat is set on 65. We seldom use AC in the summer. No central AC in my house, just window units in the bedrooms.

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  21. beb said on January 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Dexter @16. This man you know sounds like a candidate for the “Hoarders” program on A&E. Usually the hoarders have a houseful of crap, oftens literally since many are elderly, but living in a single pocket of habitability sounds like a hoarder to me.

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  22. Tommy Tomlinson said on January 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    My column this morning sort of touches on the “slow thought” idea…

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  23. LAMary said on January 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I think Dexter has it right with his guess at what’s wrong with the guy. I had a relative who had a very similar lifestyle and he was an alcoholic. The lights and heat came on when he stopped drinking. Actually, I had two relatives like this.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on January 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Well, bless the Supreme Court of the United States Supreme for that wonderful decision earlier today allowing companies to plow unlimited amounts of money into campaigns. We already have a Congress bought and paid for by special interest money. Now this. . .

    We’re going to have to start wearing wetsuits and oxygen tanks during national elections, folks, if we want to escape the tsunami of sleaze coming our way.

    I kind of understand the argument as a free speech issue, but Lord, this is going to make things even worse.

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  25. MichaelG said on January 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    As a firm champion of the First Amendment, I support the right of every individual to purchase the very best legislator money can buy.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on January 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm


    What’s funny is how they sell themselves for so little. An industry gives them, say, $50,000 in campaign contributions in exchange for the support of legislation that will generate additional millions or more.

    So, it’s not just that Congress is largely a group of whores. They’re cheap whores. . .the kind you find on the darker corners of Hollywood Boulevard at 3 a.m.

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  27. John said on January 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Jeff, it is the lowest bidder concept. It’s easy to find someone who will do it for a buck less.

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  28. moe99 said on January 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I’m sure mark is in absolute heaven over the SCT ruling, but I am really, really depressed about it. When our country was founded, corporations were not part of the political/economic landscape that was the basis for our Constitution. As a result, our founders did not anticpate and plan for this huge wrinkle in the fabric of our country. Individuals have defined lifespans. Corporations do not. In essence they exist to keep themselves in existence–and the way that they do that is producing profits for their shareholders, an increasingly select group. We are not talking about returning the profit to the people.

    As a friend of mine wrote to me today, “What we should outlaw is the idea that corporations are “persons” for the purpose of free speech and equal representation. I’ve said it before – corporations don’t vote. People do. Corporations only exist to do business – and the most vocal and active of them exist to make profits. Like religion, I don’t think mixing corporate interests with politics is a healthy idea for the citizenry.”

    So what do we do to limit corporations and their increasing power? Do we propose limits like Obama has today on the banks? Do we give them finite lifespans? I don’t know the answer, but I have a deep sense of dread about the future of our country. The Supreme Court has just lifted the controls from an engine that we the people no longer can restrain, one that threatens to significantly change our country, and not for the better as far as I am concerned.

    I think the next arena of change will be net neutrality. Because it’s the place we can all meet and talk–and yes organize and campaign, it behooves those in power to gate its access.

    And I keep thinking about the fact that the Dems did not filibuster Roberts or Alito and in fact many of them voted for them. We are well and truly screwed.

    On our hostess’ topic of note today, I have a former brother in law who lives in a cabin he built by himself in Waldo Maine. Running water but no heat and an outhouse. He works as a car repairman up to the point he would have to start paying taxes then stops. He is vegan and no milk too. These are our modern day Puritans. They suck the joy out of life.

    Not a good day, is it?

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  29. alex said on January 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Here’s what Mitch McConnell had to say about it:

    “For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. With today’s monumental decision, the Supreme Court took an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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  30. MichaelG said on January 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    McConnell is the guy I had in mind with my #25 post. I’m very sad to say that I agree entirely with Moe. Thinking of the Calif Gov and Legis and the US G’ment is enough to drive one suicidal.

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  31. Sue said on January 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    More from the laugh or cry department:
    ‘this Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.’

    Well, no, not the appearance. Just the almost-certain result.

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  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Moe, I’m not ready to say that *I’m* happy or unhappy on the ruling (among other things, haven’t read it), but I have to demur on “When our coun­try was founded, cor­po­ra­tions were not part of the political/economic land­scape” — how does 1791 work for you? Hamilton’s third report to the Cabinet & Congress, aka “The Report on Manufactures” [this is a link to a prof’s excerpts for a class – ] is quite enthusiastic for industry, businesses, and what would recognizably be corporations.

    Now, should corporations have standing before the law? I’ll let all you lawyers debate that out, but they are treated as legal entities in so many ways that I’d be cautious about ruling them as non-persons in some categories and yet as fully autonomous persons in others. As a conservative, I’m bound to point out that economically and practically, corporations never pay taxes, only individuals do (ultimately). If they paid no taxes under the law, they should not have a role of any sort in the political process, but if they can be taxed and regulated, then they will end up with a stake in legislation one way or another.

    I like radical transparency more than restrictions. Waiting to read the decision to see how far it goes to enforce rapid posting and specificity on donations/contributions. With that in place, I can shrug on letting them act in the political marketplace.

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  33. moe99 said on January 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    More dumbshittery today from the TSA. We really have sunk so low:

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  34. jcburns said on January 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    And the perfect accompaniment to generalized malaise: please enjoy The 100 Cheesiest Movie Quotes of All Time (YouTube video, PG-13 maybe.)

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  35. Sue said on January 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Well, at least the SCOTUS left the disclosure thing intact.
    Not that that means anything, of course. From TPM:

    ‘One of the biggest winners from this morning’s Supreme Court decision on campaign finance: the Chamber of Commerce. And that’s not just because the court’s ruling gives the corporations that make up the business lobby’s membership an even greater voice in the political process than they’ve enjoyed until now.

    As we explained last week, over the last decade, under CEO Tom Donohue, the Chamber has perfected a strategy of using the Chamber as a “pass-through” for corporations looking to run issue campaigns, but wary about having their names tied to the effort. In 2001, the Wall Street Journal described this as Donohue’s “striking innovation.” And a recent report made clear that the Chamber had played just this role on behalf of health insurers in a bid to stop health-care reform.

    Perhaps the only saving grace of the court’s ruling this morning was that it upheld the provisions of campaign-finance law that force corporations to disclose their political spending. But those requirements don’t apply if the Chamber acts as a pass-through. That’s Donohoe’s “innovation.”

    “Corporations can contribute to the Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber can spend the money,” campaign-finance reform advocate Fred Wertheimer said this morning in a conference call with reporters. “So we’ll have no way of knowing where it comes from, even with the disclosure requirements.”

    Of course, that’s been the case until now. But the court’s decision means that the Chamber doesn’t need to stick to “issue” ads on behalf of its corporate members. Now it can expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate. That figures to make Donohue’s “innovation” even more valuable than ever.

    Paul Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center noted that Congress could act to beef up disclosure laws, requiring that the Chamber disclose its funders on individual campaigns. And at a press conference this morning, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that he and others would immediately look for legislative remedies to mitigate the effects of the court’s decision.

    But until that happens, it looks like the Chamber’s clout will only get larger.

    It’s not like the Chamber didn’t already have outsized influence in the capital. Media Matters reports that it spent $71 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to disclosure reports.’

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  36. moe99 said on January 21, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Jeff tmmo:

    I don’t recall that there were corporations of the size of ATT or other mega corporations back in Colonial times. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    And I too have Republicans that I think are on point here– Teddy Roosevelt. Is he out of your pantheon?

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    No, no — Teddy’s why I’m not ready to shout hurray, either.

    I know we didn’t like the British East India Company (other than swiping their flag design), and I’m not sure otherwise who the trading companies were who had Hamilton’s admiration. George Peabody was the private owner of a for-his-time behemoth, but he’s more 1800s a phenomena. Early 1800s, tho’.

    Busy beating eggs, not arguments. I’m still hoping for radical transparency regardless.

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  38. beb said on January 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I think the thing about 18th century corporations was that they were owned by individuals and if the company went bankrupt it would literally wipe out the owners. Corporations today are protected as Limited Liability Corporations so no corporate official suffers for their misdeeds.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    So, you both are saying that Dartmouth v. Woodward is in error and should be overturned, or that there should be a Constitutional amendment forbidding corporate persons from claiming personal individual rights, contra Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific?

    And I’m not saying I wouldn’t vote for such an amendment, I’m just trying to figure out how far the implications would run.

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  40. Deborah said on January 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Bummer, I’m not going to watch Rachel Maddow tonight, just going to read instead. I can’t face all the doom and gloom ahead of us.

    On the cold front, one of the reasons our holiday trip in Abiquiu was not so great this year is because the place we stayed was freezing inside. Except at night it was boiling hot under the comforters with the feather bed below. You couldn’t throw off the covers though because the temp outside the covers was dangerously cold. It’s miserable being cold like that inside. Our place in Chicago is fairly cold too, we live on the 27th floor of a highrise built in 1957, all glass on two full sides (voyeuristic proximity) and that’s single pane glass. The heating unit in the master bedroom makes a lot of noise so we only keep it on during the day, turn it off at night so we can sleep in peace (that bedroom is in the northwest corner of the building with floor to ceiling glass on the north and west sides, brrrrr, it’s amazing what you put up with for the view). But we have a great down comforter that is rated for really cold nights. It’s heaven. We are also the kind of people who rarely use AC. We live next to the lake so it’s not bad at all in the summer in Chicago. As I’ve gotten older I don’t like the way AC makes the air feel. But of course years ago when lived in Dallas I couldn’t be without it most of the year. I grew up in Miami, FL and we didn’t have AC until I went away to college, I didn’t know how hot it was until we got the AC. I spent some time in Miami this past summer on business, it was so irritating how the AC was cranked up to be so frigging cold, I had to bring sweaters to wear in meetings, while outside it was a steam bath.

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  41. Deborah said on January 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Is anybody still paying attention to John Edwards and his latest confession of being the father to Rielle Hunter’s child, Francis Quinn Hunter. Any comments?

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  42. nancy said on January 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Deborah, Alex once told me Marina City is one of the great real-estate looks-good-from-the-sidewalk deals. The units are chronically cold and noisy.

    No one’s paying attention to Edwards, but guess who’s gunning for a Pulitzer this year? The National Enquirer.

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  43. Deborah said on January 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I worked for a different architecture firm a few years ago with offices that overlooked Marina Towers (designed by Bertrand Goldberg). My former office was in the IBM building designed by Mies. Everything I’ve heard is that the cylindrical Marina Towers look great from the street and the skyline but are not very well designed for habitation. On the other hand the building I live in, also designed by Mies Van der Rohe, is different than the Goldberg designed Marina Towers, in that it’s much more livable. When Jim of Sweet Juniper was in town for an exhibition of his photography I had an interesting conversation with him about how incredibly habitable Mies buildings are, they make the most out of square footage, they really do (he lives in a Mies building in Detroit as most of you know). There’s just a problem with the technology available in the 50s when these buildings were built, the windows are not up to snuff with today’s methods and technological advances regarding energy and sustainability.

    If the National Enquirer wins a Pulitzer what’s next?

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  44. brian stouder said on January 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Deborah – Rachel was wonderful this evening; much better than the over-wrought Keith Olbermann. Howard Fineman inhaled/shared/expanded upon Keith’s melodramatic explosion about the Supreme Court’s decision (Keith claimed repeatedly that Chief Justice Roberts is now worse than Chief Justice Roger Taney, which is at best – silly; and at worst, willfully ignorant)

    Jonathon Turley, himself no slouch when it comes to Constitional law and the United States Supreme Court, threw a bucket of cold water on the over-heated Olbermann, and this did seem to take him off the boil for a short time, but by the end of the show he was again screeching like a teapot on a red-hot stove.

    Turley indicated that Justices had genuine and compelling differences of opinion, and that he shared the reluctance (not to say refusal) of the majority on the Court to impede the freedom of speech of the movie-makers who made the anti-Hillary Clinton polemical movie “Hillary; The Movie”

    I think President Obama was exactly correct in his reaction, that the Legislative branch has to get off their asses and tighten in political contributions by corporations and LLC’s and other such groups….and I would add that if we’re going to err, it will be better to err in favor of cash for polemical movies and AGAINST thirty second and sixty second ad campaigns and the like.

    Our saving grace (in my opinion) is that hardly anyone has the patience to sit through a political harangue that lasts longer than 60 seconds. Or, put another way, if Haliburton/KBR or Walmart or whatever other soul-less corporate entity wants to bankroll a movie – I’d sooner LET them, than risk shutting down Michael Moore or any other thoughtful individual visionary who gets corporate funding.

    But unlimitied cash from unaccountable grey-suit people for 30 or 60 second hit-pieces in political campaigns, or for bankrolling professional rabble-rousers who criss-cross the country in air conditioned buses – THAT stuff is the dirty bath water we want to get rid of (while retaining the baby)

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  45. brian stouder said on January 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    By the way, tomorrow is game-night, and here is a description of a board game that we will have on the table, called Tammany Hall:

    Tammany Hall is played over a period of sixteen years, divided into four term. During each year players will be able to use the power associated with their office. They can also either place two ward bosses or one ward boss and one immigrant cube on the board. If they place an immigrant cube they also take a political favor chip of the same color. Players also have the chance to slander each other.

    An election is then held at the end of every fourth year. An election is held in each ward, the winner being the player who has the highest total of ward bosses and favor chips. Players expend favor chips in a sealed bid, so you are never quite sure what the opposition is going to do.

    The player who wins the most wards becomes the mayor. He then assigns city offices to the other players, which they use to their advantage. Victory points are scored for winning elections in wards and becoming mayor. After four terms the game ends and bonus points are awarded for favor chips in hand and any remaining slander chips.

    I’ll get killed at this (although I may be able to win the Dog Catcher post) – but it sounds like fun

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  46. Dexter said on January 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I thought this was Conan O’Brien’s last night, but he signed off with “see you all tomorrow.” I never thought Conan was funny , not like Dave and Jay and Craig Ferguson, and Kimmel and even Fallon. I heard that Conan is wildly popular with young men in their 20s.

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  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 22, 2010 at 7:03 am

    One more night. Heck, I’ll watch, just to see Neil Young sing.

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  48. beb said on January 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

    If Neil’s on, I’m there.

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  49. Peter said on January 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hey Deborah, I had friends who lived at Marina City and they liked it a lot – except for the parking. At Marina City the parking is done by attendants, which was the norm for the time, but my friends couldn’t stand the fact that they just couldn’t jump into the car on a moment’s notice; they had to call, arrange a time, be at the curb at that time, tip the attendant, etc. They didn’t drive often, still don’t, but the whole hassle just bothered them.

    I think the main problem in Marina City – and Goldberg’s hospitals, is that while the pie shape has a lot of advantages, most furniture is rectangular, so you’re going to wind up with a lot of awkward spaces. It’s easy to say that if items were shaped and designed for humans, they wouldn’t be rectangular, but would their shape be any better to fit in a custom space?

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