Life Hacks

Experiences over things—that's one of the top "life hacks" on this Quora thread about things that people say have made their lives better.

Please Leave Work Early

Do you know when I thought I'd find some use in anything former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist ever said or wrote? Never. But a friend (whom I also never expected to quote Rehnquist) posted something on Facebook that the ol' Chief said at a commencement address in 1989, and it's actually spot-on, and a good thing to think about as we commence what is sure to be another beautiful late-summer weekend:

Live Like Marie Antoinette on a Marie Callender Budget

I have a Marie Antoinette appetite for decadence, but my wallet can't keep up. And so, from babysitting days to college days to first-big-girl job days, my budget has learned to adapt in small ways, to make room for small luxuries. So I can eat my cake and have it, too.

For Only $2,499.95 This Deconstructed Sofa Can Be Yours

Well it's Monday. Here is a couch.

The Art of The “Next Time”

I come to you today happy to report that I just got next time’d! Which is when you forget your wallet or don’t have enough money and a store or cafe employee tells you to pay them “next time.” I consider this a truly great honor and/or a sign that they do a shoddy job of keeping track of inventory. Do I have a very honest face — I was trying to buy a bottle of HONEST Tea, after all — or do they just not care about losing $2.00? The world may never know.

There are gradations of triumph in the “next time” and this one was particularly triumphant. Factors include how loyally you patronize the establishment in question, whether it’s the total amount or just a partial I.O.U., the degree of rapport you have with the cashier, their seniority at said establishment, how badly you want the item in question and how far away from your apartment / an ATM / your next paycheck you happen to be.

Today’s Next Time Eval:

How Loyal of a Customer Am I: Not very! I go in there maybe once every week to two weeks. So in this case, “next time” could be quite awhile from now. Bold move, bodega clerk.

Louis CK’s 70% Rule For Decision-making

This GQ profile of Louis C.K. is short and sweet. Near the end, he outlines his rule for overcoming decision paralysis. Yesterday I talked a friend through her decision to open an IRA vs. have more money available in savings -- so relevant! -- and I wish I had this on-hand to copy and paste:

If You Have to Pee, Pee in a Baby Store

I have been sitting on this for months and waiting for the right opportunity to share it. I’m not sure what I had in mind, though. Terry Gross interviewing me about my bathroom habits?

Okay here it is. This is, I feel like the most important thing revealed to me about humanity when I had a child: every baby store I have ever been inside of has a beautiful, luxurious, publicly accessible bathroom in it, and a salesperson beaming and excited to show it to you.

Land of Nod? Bathroom. Giggle? Bathroom! In the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, Caribou Baby has an excellent bathroom. Jake’s Mini Mart, which is on North 9th St. between Bedford and Driggs, has a great bathroom right next to the register. Fancy soaps! Lotions! It’s absurd.

If being out and about in a city while having a bladder has been as much of a problem for you as it has for me, keep an eye out for crazy baby stores. After you pee you can sit in their overpriced gliders and pretend to discuss something baby-related while you enjoy the air conditioning. I did this today, which is where I took the picture of these delightful chickens, $45 apiece.

Live in Elizabeth Bishop’s Nova Scotia Farmhouse

Welcome to today's installment of houses of dead writers for sale/1! The best part of this one is that, at $135,000, it's modest, adorable, and relatively affordable!

Contract PSA For Comedians (And Other People, Too)

Nato Green is "either a comedian who moonlights as a union organizer or a union organizer who moonlights as a comedian," he can't really tell anymore. Regardless, he knows a thing or two about contracts, and knows how common it is to be screwed over by not reading or understanding something before you sign it. Care of the Comic's Comic, Green shares some helpful tips and real talk about contracts.