Link Roundup: Happy Marriage?; Telecommuting; How to Shop IRL

1) Thanks for the cheerful morning read on how most of us will not end up happily married, Quartz!

Just as most Americans want to believe that they will get rich someday, most Americans want to think that they will have a marriage of far-above-average quality. … What we do tell people is that happy couples are really no different from unhappy couples. Either they have found some secret formula for happiness (and if you buy the right book/attend the right seminar/take the right product, you will be happy too!), or they have learned to lower their expectations to the point where they don’t feel the sting of disappointment from incompatibility, loneliness, sexlessness or boredom. The first case is akin to Senator Marco Rubio testifying that America is “a nation of haves and soon to haves.” It is theoretically possible for any single individual to become wealthy, but it is unlikely that we are all going to be rich anytime soon. The second is like saying that rich people don’t have more money than poor people, just a better attitude. 

This is not a well written article. (“There are many theories floating around about why greater gender equality have not put an end to divorce in America.”) Does that mean the thesis is wrong? I hope so. The dream of being contently coupled should be more accessible than the dream of being Scrooge McDuck. There is, after all, an infinite amount of happiness in the world, and only a finite number of gold coins.

2) Women and childless men, don’t ask to work remotely

Happy Post-Memorial Day Weekend Link Round Up!

+ Japanese man cooks and serves his own genitals, charges $250 per serving. How was your Memorial Day Weekend BBQ? Pictures NSFW but, I mean, obvs. (

+ Anthropologist exploring remote Venezuelan jungle “weds” 12-year-old girl, brings her to Pennsylvania, is epically awful:

After David was born, Kenneth attempted to settle Yarima into modern American domesticity, with a sprinkling of celebrity treatment: Around that time, a reporter at People magazine caught wind of their story, and in January 1987, Kenneth and Yarima — who spoke no English, no matter — were profiled in a feature called “An Amazon Love Story: Romance — and a Jumbo Jet — Took Yarima from the Stone Age to Philadelphia.” Then came the book deal, the movie options, the wooing and flattering. “CBS wanted to do a miniseries,” Kenneth says. “I said, ‘No. I don’t watch television. I want the big screen.’”

5 Sick Stories About Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

1. Caroline Leung talked to her friend who does sex work in Canada (“She has no problem calling herself a hooker, or prostitute, or what her clients prefer: an escort.”)

2. Michael Hobbes talked to his friend who did sex work in Denmark (“On the night when he first began his transition from IT administrator to freelance prostitute, Henrik opened the Excel file called ‘personal economy.’”)

3. + 4. Jeff Winkler wrote about his drug dealer (“Part of my philosophy in selling drugs is that I’m not going to actively seek it out.”) and his drinking problem (“Last month, I made about $500 dollars, about $250 of which went toward booze.”)

5. S.T. VanAirsdale bought and sold his dream guitar (“I have gone through most of my adult life being irresponsible. I go to work not to make a living so much as to have the wherewithal to do stupid things.”)

Link Round-up! Cheap Hotel Rooms, Egg Sandwiches, Commutes

+ How do you get the cheapest good hotel room? Go through an exhaustive 7-step process that involves several different websites and Skype. (“It gets easier with practice!”) If you’re feeling more like satisfising rather than maximizing and you’re okay getting a pretty cheap, pretty good room, though, even following one or two of the steps will net useful results. Like this one:

If you’ve already booked a flight, or are going on a longer, more complicated trip, package deals won’t work. But this straightforward, in-and-out New York-to-Paris trip is exactly the sort where a package deal might be the trick. (Trips to sunny destinations in the winter also work pretty well.) I went to Kayak’s packages page and it led me to a promising deal on a round-trip, nonstop flight for two from New York to Paris, plus four nights at the Crowne Plaza Paris-Republique, for $2,505. The cheapest nonstop fare on my dates was $2,503. In other words, four nights at the four-star Crowne Plaza would essentially cost 50 cents a night. I even contacted Priceline to make sure there were no hidden charges.

+ “How much should a bagel sandwich cost?” Step off, Gawker. This is our corner, and we’ve got bats. 

“Neighbors,” “Eat, Pray, Crib” and More in our Monday Link Round-Up

+ R-rated Seth Rogen and Zac Efron comedy “Neighbors” threw a wild keg party and chased “The Amazing Spider-man 2″ out of the top spot this weekend, bringing in $51 million. Even more valuable: Dana Stevens gave “Neighbors” a thumbs up, so it’s safe for thinking people everywhere.

+ Good news for Aaron Sorkin fans and people who are thinking of trying out treadmill desks! Turns out walking-and-talking, or walking-and-working, doesn’t impair performance.

+ OpenRoad Media has published a top 12 list of Best Residencies and Fellowships for Writers, featuring Yaddo and MacDowell of course as well as some lesser known ones all around the country. Good timing: Alexander Chee is in the midst of his Amtrak Residency right now. I’ve done two writers residencies — one at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and one at the Vermont Studio Center, plus the Summer Literary Seminars program in Lithuania. Either I’ve been extremely lucky or one can’t go wrong with time and space to write, plus community. Each one of those programs has changed my life.

Longevity gene also makes you smarter. Try singing that to the tune of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” You know: “One gene makes you smarter, and one gene makes you last …”

Eat, Pray, Crib. Buy bestselling author Liz Gilbert’s fantastic amazing perfect house in New Jersey, complete with Skybrary, for $999,999. What’s that? More literary house porn, you say? Compare / contrast with the Berkeley house of power couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon.

Year in Review: Our Favorite Pieces About Saving Money

What it Means to Save: A Year in the Life

Betting on Love (On-going Series)

Dipping into Savings

Adventures in Budgeting

Here’s Some Advice on Saving Money

Monday Link Round-Up: Class Matters; Are Belts (and Fathers) Undervalued?

Lots of fascinating money-related reads this weekend:

+ Start-up with a dumb name (“Beltology”) thinks it can make men’s belts the next pocket square:

Mr. Heffernan, 40, approached the exercise in a way that befits an M.B.A. who had spent a year working at Bain Consulting. “We looked at the numbers, which were just staggering,” he said. “Socks, particularly colored socks, were up, gloves were up, scarves were up, even ties were up.” Everything was up, that is, except belts. “We thought, surely this is a sleeping giant,” he said.

In January, the couple launched Beltology, an online-only brand devoted to giving the least-noticed, least-talked about and least-fetishized accessory in menswear its proper place of worship. “We want to do for belts what Swatch did for the wristwatch back in [1983],” said Mr. Heffernan.


+ Progressive Manhattan private school, one that is actually and not just theoretically multi-cultural, takes children on field trips to their own very different houses:

Six Stories About Our Lines of Work

• Julie Beck recalled her time working at a pizza parlor. ("We were supposed to weigh our cheese in a little metal bowl on a little metal scale and limit each pie to a scant few ounces. I felt the customers should get their money's worth of mozzarella, so I would grab it by the fistful and plop it on with abandon.")

Our Favorite Gadgets And Tools

Excluding your phone and laptop, what is your favorite tool or gadget?