JB and I were watching some awful show called “Million Dollar Yachts” the other day, which featured, as you might guess, obscenely expensive yachts. One ship included copious amounts of the world’s most rare blue granite, another had custom-carved whalebone accessories, and one owner had built some crazy custom golf course thing that allowed him to send ball after ball flying into the ocean in an attempt to hit various targets, while his crew stood by in a separate giant boat in order to determine each player’s score.

Can you even imagine being that rich? I was all hung up on the golf balls, like wait a minute, isn’t that kind of environmentally fucked? Aren’t golf balls the ones that have a center filled with radioactive space dust, or something? Or at the very least isn’t it possible a marine animal could choke on one? Come ON, wasteful millionaire guy, think of the ball-gagging dolphins!

Every now and then when the Powerball gets up to some ridiculous, unlikely number like $184,032,682,931,085.14 JB and I buy a ticket and launch into a pleasant, meandering, days-long conversation about what we’d do with all that money. It’s basically the polar opposite of those grim Well We Still Can’t Reduce Our 15-Year Refi Loan Like We Had Planned Because the Seattle Housing Market Took a Big Steaming Poo and Thus Our Mortgage is Like Getting Reamed With a Giant Pointy Stick Each Month discussions which result in us combing through our budget yet again and wondering if there’s anything we can skim off the top, like maybe those expensive-ass children.

What would you do with a giant mega-mountain of cash? I mean, you know, aside from donations, helping out family/friends, savings, school tuitions, college funds, and all that responsible stuff. Here’s the big things from my list:

• Quit my job, pronto. Sorry, job. I like you, and I love my coworkers, but your commute sucks and let’s be honest, if I didn’t need the paycheck we probably wouldn’t have a whole lot to talk about.

• Build a generously-sized but not mansion-huge house in Oregon, with two-story log cabin-style front windows overlooking something beautiful.

• Have vacation property in Bend, and a beachouse somewhere tropical.

• Buy a super comfy motorhome, so our family could spend weeks at a time traveling around the US

• Hire an awesome trainer to kick my ass 4-5 days a week.

• Start a business.

• Find the perfect babysitter for a weekly date night and pay to keep her on permanent retainer.

What about you?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your thoughtful comments on yesterday’s post. So much to think about, and I really appreciate hearing from each of you. Commenter Phoebe mentioned that she feels people’s anecdotes help her remember information by allowing her to relate to facts on a more personal level, and—wow, yes, exactly. I tend to have a difficult time researching child-safety issues, probably because I often react so strongly to personal opinions (especially if they’re scary, if I’m being honest) and find it hard to stay objective while sussing out facts. It’s really helpful for me to hear what real people are thinking, because even with multiple conflicting points of view, I take away more jumping-off points for doing my homework than I would from simply, say, watching the news.

This whole thing makes me think about how people say to trust your gut when it comes to parenting decisions. I’m generally a fan of the gut-guide method, but sometimes it’s not really enough, you know? I mean, when I read about how pregnant women are in trials for the H1N1 vaccine right now, my gut says, whoah, they’re doing trials now but the vaccine’s going to be publicly available in a few weeks? That’s not . . . much of a trial, right? Those babies won’t even be born! And I know the flu vaccination development process is supposed to be safe and well-tested and vaccines in general are not linked to anything and thimerosol is okay and it’s all fine and dandy, but . . . well, don’t we sometimes find out things aren’t what they seem to be? I mean, now Pluto’s not a planet and the Brontosaurus is actually an Apatosaurus, what the fuck.

Anyway, my gut says: I would rather not give my children this swine flu vaccine. But my brain is doing the research, and I think we probably will anyway.

Here’s something a reader named Karoline wrote me, with regards to considering the vaccination:

1) What’s the worst that could happen?
2) What’s the best that could happen?
3) How often does 1 happen? How often does 2 happen?
4) How do I feel about that?

I think that’s a really useful tool for coming to a decision. Sometimes it’s all about doing the best you can with what you’ve got, even if you’re not completely confident in the choice.

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