Mike: Meaghan, I think I’ve become one of those coffee people.
Meaghan: Like a coffee snob?
Mike: I just made a cup of coffee by weighing a specific number of coffee beans and grinding them in a fancy grinder. And then before putting the grounds in the filter, I ran hot water through the paper filter first so I could get the “paper taste” out of it. This process took me about 10 minutes. I was taught by Matt Buchanan, who is now editing over at The Awl and wrote this guide to buying coffee products.
Meaghan: WOW. Okay, you lost me at rinsing the paper taste out of the filter.
I work in a co-working space. (For all of you who ask me what that is, I say, “a co-working space is a place where you pay a few hundred dollars a month to share an office space with people, and also, how are you such a genius that you have thus far managed to avoid reading the annoying publications in which you would have learned this annoying term?”) In said co-working space, I share a small room with two other writers. We have recently taken to calling our little room The Suicide Suite, because off of it is a beautiful balcony on which we are prohibited from standing as it could easily just snap off the building, like a bad lego. A member of our co-working space’s dog once toddled off this balcony, and as this dog is no longer with us—balcony not at fault here—there is talk of naming it after him. But we’ll have to check with the owner first and right now he is in a foreign country, teaching people to do something which I will forget as many times as it is explained to me.
The biggest subject of the day here at our co-working space is lunch. Lunch is always a problem. There are not many good restaurants in the little town we live in. It’s strange, because there are a lot of really good cooks here, but no one seems to want to do it for a profession. There is a grocery store up the hill that makes good pre-made sandwiches, but sometimes they are out of them, and anyway, I am beginning to wonder if they are a) not very nutritious b) making us fat. Then there are two health food stores, one you drive to and one you walk to. The one you walk to has pre-made sandwiches, too, but they’re a little soggy and while I can’t recall the exact cost, my mind hovers somewhere around the sum of one thousand dollars.
Gilette is coming out with a new razor with a ball that allows it to pivot, and Kevin Roose writes at NYMag that this is just a trick to make us believe that our perfectly good razors are in need of a modern replacement:
Even if the new razor is more effective than old ones (which I doubt), a swivel ball that gets facial hair 23 microns shorter isn’t a “moonshot.” It’s not even an across-the-street-shot. It’s a dumb novelty that is meant to trick customers into believing that their old, swivel-free razors are outmoded, and that they should pony up for the new model. And what’s worse is that it will probably work.
In other somewhat related news, this exists.
Emily Nussbaum was the subject of Rookie’s wonderful “Why Can’t I Be You?” interview series last week, where they talk to successful women about how they go to where they are in their careers, and how we can all grow up to be just like them. It is the best, and Nussbaum, TV critic for the New Yorker and inventor of NYMag’s Approval Matrix, is refreshingly frank, per usual:
The thing is, I literally feel like I cannot give advice on how to get [my] job, because the obvious ways that the journalistic economy has collapsed and the role specifically for culture analysts within that make it very, very hard to make a living. The clear paths even for people who are already privileged are no longer there. I don’t want to BS people. I was super lucky—I aged in at a point where, when a really desirable job became available that I was actually suited for, I had enough experience to already have the clips in place. But how often does the television critic for The New Yorker step down?
The situation now is biased against newcomers. That’s factual. And I don’t think people should beat themselves up for not being able to make headway in that kind of situation…
I mean, listen, I love my job. I have a real dream job. And I want to be encouraging about people who are interested in the same things I am. But I just feel like it’s dishonest to ignore the many structural things that are in the way of the thing I do being something people want to do as a career, depending on their circumstances. I hate when young people are found wanting for not making headway in careers where a lot of doors have been blocked. That’s my basic feeling.
If you are planning a trip to Cuba some time in the near future, you may want to B.Y.O.C.:
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, director of the state-run wholesaler Ensume, which is responsible for obtaining and supplying most of the nation’s government-subsidised condoms, told the newspaper there were more than a million condoms in the company’s warehouses and that the problem was the result of his workers being unable to meet demand.
He said Ensume had struggled to keep up with a ruling by the state’s regulatory medical agency Cecmed two years ago that the 2012 expiration date on millions of condoms imported from China was incorrect and that the packages had to be relabelled 2014.
Gonzalez said the workers could only repackage 1,440 strips of three condoms per day while the demand in Villa Clara province alone was 5,000 daily. Consequently, the price of a single condom has risen from just pennies to about $1.30, a day’s wages for a typical Cuban worker.
Obviously our first step is to look up the population of Villa Clara province on Wikipedia: 817,070. 5,000/day for 817,070 people? Not impressed, Cuba. READ MORE
I was setting extra placemats, paper cups, and napkins on the plastic tables as fast as I could, taking over half the tables in the McDonald’s Playplace. More kids had shown up for the birthday party than were originally counted for and it was my job to make accommodations for them. Less than 10 feet away in the small party room, a plate of glass separating us, the kids were bored. I was paid to entertain them and in my absence, they entertained themselves. They released their energy as kids do best: screaming, running, and jumping on each other. I turned my head in time to see a one of the boys swing his leg over the statue of Ronald McDonald, climbing on top of that smiling clown like it was boosting the boy above a crowd. A mother shooed him down as a couple others tried to control the bedlam. Until then, I had been apprehensive yet optimistic that I could get the party under control, but seeing that drained all hope out of me and I felt very, very tired.
Like millions of teenagers, I worked at McDonald’s in high school. I was mostly tasked with cleaning or working the cash register, but a couple months in, I knew what would be best for me. I wanted to be a birthday party hostess.
In the Times, Joseph Berger writes about how more young people are steering clear from the suburbs after they graduate from college and deciding to move and stay in urban cities instead. Suburban towns are trying to figure out how to get young people to come back to them:
Thomas R. Suozzi, in his unsuccessful campaign to reclaim his former position as Nassau County executive last year, held up Long Beach, Westbury and Rockville Centre as examples of municipalities that had succeeded in drawing young people with apartments, job-rich office buildings, restaurants and attractions, like Long Beach’s refurbished boardwalk. Unless downtowns become livelier, he said, the island’s “long-term sustainability” will be hurt because new businesses will not locate in places where they cannot attract young professionals.
The suburban towns face increasingly tough competition from the city. Jennifer Levi Ross grew up in Jericho on Long Island and moved into the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan a few years after graduating from college. She liked living in the city so much — the easy commuting to work, the night life, the cornucopia of things to do — that when she married another Long Islander, Michael Ross, a Syosset boy, in 2012, they decided to stay put. They say they may eventually end up in the suburbs, but they are not in a hurry.
“It’s something in the distant future,” said Ms. Ross, a 32-year-old advertising copywriter. “We want to hold out as long as possible.”
There’s another theory for why young people are not moving to the suburbs: They’re not just ready yet. Previous generations married, had children and settled down earlier in their lives (my mother had me in her early twenties), and twenty-somethings today are still navigating relationships and their careers and are not ready yet (especially in financial terms) for a house in the suburbs.
Photo: Daniel Ramirez
Payscale, a company that provides compensation information, asked 11,000 of its users last December whether they believed the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour. In their category looking at responses according to gender, women, regardless of income, leaned towards raising the minimum wage. Here’s the chart Payscale put together:
Good morning! This week felt like it went by very quickly—let’s do some estimations.
I have a lunch meeting with some new colleagues today and will be going out to dinner tonight to a steakhouse with some friends, which we’ve been planning to do for the last three months. I’m also having Easter supper with two close friends on Sunday. My estimate is $150.
What are your estimations?
All right, kiddos! It’s time for Part II of the conversation begun last week about estate planning for millennials, wherein we find a lighthearted way to talk about money and death. There should be a Schoolhouse Rock! cartoon on the subject. Unfortunately the show went off the air before it could find a catchy way to address the importance of bequeathing your earthly possessions and making provision for your dependents and heirs, so we’ll have to make do the best we can. Let’s start at the top.
WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY: What is a will exactly? Is it different from a Living Will? Is there such a thing as an Unliving, Unleavened, or Zombie Will? Do we still “entail” things, like they do on “Downton Abbey“? What if we’ve got nothing to leave but debt and a questionable browser history?