Friday night, whoop whoop. This is supposed to be a three-day weekend, but between a) helping xgf move on Saturday and Sunday, and b) a work call I accidentally scheduled for Monday morning, it’ll be more of a weird, extended, not-quite-relaxy interlude than anything else.

The landlords’ 16-year-old son is apparently staying with his older sister, who lives a few miles away. Still not sure what all the shouting was about recently, but hey – looks like at least someone figured something out. Sometimes damage control is the only option when you can’t quite put things back together.

At the risk of sounding more flaky than I usually am – got yet another new hobby! Decided to step up my exercise game with some actual structure, for once. I stayed up somewhat late last night, reading different arguments for and against pre-recorded workout routines like P90, P90X, P90X3 (someone definitely ran out of imagination on that one), Insanity, etc. A stray comment led me to “Bigger Leaner Stronger” by Mike Matthews. Seems to be rooted in science and common sense, unlike a lot of other products I’ve seen. It’ll be interesting to see how far this takes me. So far, I’ve enjoyed the opening chapters defining key nutritional concepts in very plain language. (I used to know most of this, but that was so long ago.)

It’s occurred to me that I enjoy hobbies with immediate, tangible outcomes more than the more abstract ones… Learning French as opposed to learning how to draw. Working out and cooking as opposed to, well, most other things. The hardest part – and I already know this much about myself – will be forcing myself to get eight hours of sleep each night. I’ve accomplished a lot of fairly impressive things in my life, but getting that much sleep is something I’ve never been able to do. We’ll see how that plays out.

And speaking of patience, stocks are being weird again. The market is being even more irrational than usual, going up and down by as much as 2-3% per day. Interestingly, my risky stocks are finally going back up while all that is happening. Carnival Corporation, one of the major cruise ship companies, will resume its cruises this Sunday – though from Europe, not from the US. A few of their competitors announced plans to start cruising again in 2021. Cue fun, fanfare, festivities, and a spike in stock prices. It took almost exactly three months, but my portfolio is now back at the high level it’d hit before the market crashed in early June. I’m about to hit another significant financial threshold – might pop that 3-month-old bottle of champagne next week at long last. Macabre, I know, celebrating something while the world is in such a horrid state… But one must celebrate something, eh? Can’t be all doom and gloom all the time: there’ll be time enough for that later.

Speaking of which, in covid news – there’s a new and scary model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The model states that the US covid death toll could reach 410,000 by the end of the year, and possibly as high as 620,000 if the government decides to go with the herd immunity model and let everyone get sick. If there’s one thing about this pandemic, it’s that it exceeded everyone’s most pessimistic estimates, making fools of pundits and professional prognosticators. The combined US death toll in WW2 was 418,500 – and that was enough to leave a permanent mark on the nation’s history. It’s possible that that figure will be exceeded in just about four months… I don’t even know what to say. That number is even more difficult to imagine than the current ~200,000 deaths. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it seems like hope is all that’s left in terms of options…