The Cost of Things
Joyce Wadler, my new hero, shares via the NYT the kind of calculus she does when deciding whether to pop a $35 pill that will help her get to knockin’ boots:
The older woman’s cost of love: $880 a year. I am not the sort of person who would ever put a dollar value on intimacy, but $880 is a winter coat. Two nights in a Paris hotel. Dinner for two at the most expensive restaurant in New York, although that gave my companion such heartburn he couldn’t lie down until three in the morning and would have negated any love drug benefits, were we able to afford both and had that sort of relationship.
Happily, I am not one of those women who has to decide between cat food and hormones.
Also, after crunching the numbers, I realized things were not as bad as I had thought. Dividing the annual cost of product ($880) by estimated number of encounters (conservatively, twice a week or 104), I saw it would be only $8.46 per event. And if the guy surprises you with a trip to the Caribbean in February you could probably get it down to $7.
All I can think is 1. that’s a really nice coat, and 2. that we should all be so lucky to have sex (“conservatively”!!) twice a week when we are over 60 / me right now. Oh and 3. I want to be Joyce Wadler’s best friend.
Photo: See-ming Lee
When’s the last time you were at the DMV?
I am applying to grad school for the Fall 2014 semester, and therefore am losing / have lost my mind.
In lieu of a nervous breakdown, here is a financial one
Speaking of keeping your day job, The Rumpus has a new podcast called Make/Work, hosted by Scott Pinkmountain (now THAT is a good last name):
Every creative laborer has a different story to tell about how they negotiate their relationship between their creative work and their paycheck and how they balance their lives to sustain their creative practice. In Make/Work, Scott will speak with emerging and established artists working in a wide range of creative mediums about how they survive, how they make a living, and how they maintain their work over the long term.
With their unparalleled eye and broad-reaching sense of fashion, what they offer isn’t just technical skill, but a certain transformative promise; a clear vision of the way you want to look right now and the ability to make it happen. The Duchess of Cambridge’s newly darkened hair and side-swept layer of fringe may not involve such a radical change—but after seeing it crowned by a diamond tiara en route to a diplomatic reception last night, it’s hard to argue with the politics of her unfailing royal polish.
The cost of Kate Middleton’s haircut + coloring: $984. Vogue comes to the Duchess’s defense by arguing that Middleton is a high-profile person who is in front of a lot of cameras and since she visits a high-profile hair professional, the costs are just what they are.
I am no stranger to expensive haircuts—my own costs $50—but besides the professional cutting your hair with the clear vision and all that, what else goes into a $984 haircut? The serum made from a flower that grows in a single place in the Amazon rainforest? Shampoo made from kitten tears? I’d like to know.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
After about day two of buying this tea, the young guy that works at the deli said something like, “Hello my beautiful baby! So you really like this tea?”
“Uhh, yeah!” He walked out from behind the counter and over to the refrigerator where my beloved Amazonian teas were lined up. We both peered in, quiet.
“So, which one do you like best? I’ll make sure we always have it for you.”
Giving your friends and family things you made with a 3D printer is kind of like giving them something handmade, except instead of making something by hand you plugged a formula you found online into a machine, and then instead of a jar of jam or a picture frame or some clay jewelry (I don’t know what people ‘make’, ok) the thing you give them is a small, useless piece of plastic.
The processes involved with making a t-shirt have long been held as a prime example of manufacturing in a global economy, but what really goes into it? The good folks at Planet Money set out on a quest to illuminate the process first-hand, by selling their own t-shirts on Kickstarter, then circling the globe to document the entire process.
As verified by NBCNews, gas prices really did rise this week, for the first time in two months:
Regular-grade gasoline prices, which had decreased about 37 cents between early September and Nov. 8 to an average of $3.22, inched up 3.4 cents to $3.25 a gallon as of Nov. 22.
The highest price for gasoline in the survey of major cities in the 48 continental states was in San Diego at $3.58 a gallon. Drivers in Tulsa, Okla., paid the least to fill up at $2.93 a gallon.
Commentary today is provided by my father, who posted this on his Facebook profile 7 hours ago, presumably while he browsed the web with his morning coffee:
Gas prices jump 35 to 40 cents a gallon just in time for Thanksgiving week when the people are on the road to visit family and friends. Thank you Oil Cartels. Enjoy being robbed by polite men in suits and ties this week.
Thanks, Dad! Will do.
An Australian family in Canberra has been decorating their house with Christmas lights since early October, and they’ve just been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records to have the most lights on a residential property. According to the NPR story, their display includes “502,165 LED lights that, laid end to end, would stretch for more than 31 miles.”
The Priceonomics tumblr posted a fascinating, extensive look into the economics of bike thievery, and why it’s such a rampant crime when there’s so little return on investment.