This week David and I succumbed to perhaps the worst flu I can remember. I spent the first two days taking care of him, he spent the next two days taking care of me, and then we both had to push through independently as he made his way down to DC. I took two days off work and existed in a sort of fugue state of fever dreams and coughing. Since I don’t remember much about it at all, I’m calling this my lost week.
The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire, Citylab
Citylab has done some of the best reporting on aging anywhere. Here they look at people clocking into jobs past traditional retirement ages not because of economic necessity, but because the town needs them to stay on the job.
“This year I experienced a vivid illustration of the happiness of older women. I switched recreational centers from the university where I have taught for many years to a gym geared toward older people. I noticed a great change in the locker room atmosphere. At the university, the young women were mostly stressed and unhappy. They talked on their phones or to their exercise partners about their weight, finances, studies, and relationship issues. Almost all of them hid their bodies by crouching as they undressed. Except for occasional happy talk about weekends or school holidays, conversation was generally gloomy.”
I know a thing or two about coffee, so most of the information in this series was not new to me, but if you enjoy learning more about your brew, this is a fun way to do it.
“Read newsletters instead of News Feeds. Fall back to private group chats. Put the person back in personalization. Revert to reverse chron. Avoid virality. Buy your own server. Start a blog. Embraceanonymity. Own your own domain. Spend time on federated social networks rather than centralized ones. And when a big story breaks, consider saving your appetite for the slow-cooked, room-temp take.”
There are plenty of reasons why I would not walk into a restaurant and order six ounces of prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m mostly vegetarian, of course, but also, where did the meat come from, and how hard am I going to have to work at the gym to counterbalance it? Meals like this just seem to be of a new other time. But food critic Tejal Rao reminds me that these traditional meals have value beyond their nostalgia and are worth revisiting because they are simply good food.
“In America, our toilet stalls are awful. The flimsy partitions start at least a foot off the ground, don’t go anywhere near the ceiling, and fail to block the reality that we’re pooping and peeing right next to each other. Sometimes, these stalls are so shoddily constructed that there is a gap at the edge of the door through which a toilet sitter and someone outside the stall can make eye contact.”
That’s it for now. See you next week.