1. The long slog to summer. Now that we’ve tipped the hat to the father of our country, we start the long, hard march to Memorial Day. For those of you not keeping track, that’s 13 straight weeks without a federally approved long holiday weekend in the mix. It feels like a very, very long time between breaks. Of course I’ll probably throw a few days of my own leave at this problem to keep from having a complete break from reality. That’ll stave off the worst effects, but it clearly no substitute for legitimate long weekends. Others will disagree, but for me, this slog from mid-February to late May is the worst part of the year.
2. CBO Reports. The Congressional Budget Office is the non-partisan doer of research on behalf of the feckless officials we elect to Congress. Their reports are spun by both sides equally, but on balance the reports themselves are as close to fair and balanced as we’re likely to see from any large bureaucratic organization. I forced a laugh when I saw their latest report on the impact of the proposed minimum wage hike. It’s the classic Washington good news, bad news story. The good news is raising minimum wage could lift as many as a million people above the poverty line. The bad news is it could also simultaneously throw as many as half a million people out of work. A report like that gives both sides plenty of ammunition and seems to increase the likelihood that we’ll stay true to form and opt to do nothing at all. Based on the CBO’s report, it seems that a radical increase in the minimum wage is a devil’s bargain at best… great if you keep your job and get your raise, but a spectacularly craptastic deal if you’re one of the 500,000 extraneous employees who are thanked for playing and invited to go on back to the house.
3. Dreaming while you sleep. It’s very rare for me to remember dreams I have once I wake up. Sometimes they’ll stick as a vague recollection, but usually they’re gone by the time my eyes are fully open. Except the one I had last night that featured a former boss of mine. Somehow he showed up in my current office with glowing red eyes, tore up a couple of cubicles and then hurled a potted plant at my head. The odd thing might not be that I remembered this little episode once I woke up, but that it didn’t actually feel very surprising. Make of that what you will.