Mike: Meaghan, when is the last time you flew on an international flight?
Meaghan: Oh man, a LONG time ago, if Mexico doesn’t count. 2004! Wow. ALITALIA.
Mike: Obviously, mine was like, yesterday, but I’m still kind of astounded each time? Free movies, free booze. Enough bathrooms? That hot towel they give you. Oh, also meals with real silverware. And it’s all included in the ticket.
Meaghan: The silverware is crazy. Were there knives? Wait and hot towels? The last time I did this I was 21 so I only remember the wine.
Mike: Yeah, there was a knife for like, slicing your bread roll, and spreading butter on it! And also your block of brie, if you wanted (lol).
Meaghan: BRIE? Hahahaha. So international flights have somehow preserved the fanciness feeling that flying “used to have,” or whatever, when people wore suits to fly. Wait, I feel like you might dress up to fly. DO YOU?
Mike: Well, I don’t dress down. I essentially wear the same button-down and jeans I would normally wear. I don’t revert to sweatpants. But yes, it does seem people on international flights don’t really revert to sweatpants like they do domestically? They are sitting there and reading the Financial Times! READ MORE
It is as tricky to apologize right as it is easy to make a mistake. (She said ruefully.) I’m not alone, tho! Mallory Ortberg apologized recently as did Dan Kois on Slate’s Mom & Dad Are Fighting podcast. It was a big week for digging yourself out of a hole.
Now, more and more, to prove they’re sincere, famous fuck-ups have upped the ante and started donating to relevant causes. Words are wind, right? But nothing speaks louder than cold hard cash.
Daniel Handler, aka children’s book author “Lemony Snicket,” made a series of racist jokes the other night when he hosted the National Book Awards. Now he is trying to make amends.
After his initial apology on Twitter, Handler further apologized and has pledged to match donations to We Need Diverse Books for 24 hours up to $100,000.
Music Theory, Music Composition, Music Performance: I was all ready to say $20,000 and counting, but then I remembered that I’m still in debt from my music career and I lose money on many shows I play. At this point, probably -$2,000.
Postmodernism: Despite the fact that my postmodernism “final project” was an interpretive dance (no, seriously, I put on my leggings and my poofy shirt and did a dance), I’d argue that postmodernism and poststructuralism have done as much, if not more, to help me think critically about what and why we signify than anything else. This is an essential skill when you’re trying to break apart an Atlantic or ThinkProgress article in 15 minutes so you can write about it for The Billfold. I’m going to generously say $10,000.
Introductions to Chemistry and Physics: Sorry, nope. Haven’t earned (or used?) anything from this.
Introductions to French: Le nope.
Everyone has a favourite activity for when they’re mildly depressed. For some, it’s huddling in bed with a comforter pulled up around their ears to shield against this cruel world; for others, it’s donning neon underwear and blasting “Deceptacon” for an impromptu bedroom dancing party.
My own ministrations involve watching old episodes of Freaks and Geeks I’ve already seen at least four times, soothing myself with the familiarity. (If I need a quick hit of joy, it’s straight to Youtube to watch a 47-second clip of Bill Haverchuck stutter “You cut me off mid funk!”) When that’s not working, I go watch videos of Michael Clark. For the unitiated who may not share my interest in post-punk and wacky outfits—Michael Clark is the apotheosis of the two combined. He was the enfant terrible of 1980s contemporary dance and you can watch old videos of him leaping gracefully along to the jagged guitar screeches of The Fall in ass-baring leotards or polka dot face paint. And now that it’s November, I’ll surrender to the sweeping melancholy of the Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs and let the music seep into my listless limbs.
The point is, no one is immune to getting the mean reds, the SADs, the abject paralyzing fear of continuing to live your own life. No matter what you want to call it we all have our own unique ways of coping with the world when everything turns to shit, and I’ve made it my mission to collect some of the “sadness routines” of some of my favourite people on the Internet and IRL.
So here’s to buying an entire box of Hallowe’en candy for yourself and eating it while watching The Craft. Here’s to buying overpriced essential oils and pouring them in the bath. Here’s to putting your socks in the microwave to warm your feet. And most of all, here’s to allowing ourselves to wallow and assuage our guilt with the knowledge that hopefully soon we’ll feel temporarily a little bit better. READ MORE
— Companies that provide their employees with perks like catered lunches and workout classes have also created a role for people to manage those perks. The WSJ has a profile of one of the people in that role: Jen Nguyen, the “head of workplace” at Pinterest.
The holiday season is upon us, and I know what some of you are thinking. “I’d love to buy my wife a house without asking her if she wants it.”
“But, Meaghan, I’m a woman, as are the majority of your readers.” Sssh, you sit this one out. Take the time to practice your ‘I’m not vexed this is just what my face looks like’ face.
Anyway, if you are a man married to a woman, a woman who I guess conveniently has no opinions and desires to give no input on where she spends her life, here is a gift guide for you, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
Faith Zelenko ’s husband, Cliff, called her at work one day to tell her there was something he wanted to show her. That night, he took her to a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “Cliff opens the door and says, ‘This is your new home,’ ” recalled Ms. Zelenko. “I was, like, are you kidding me? You’re joking, right?”
Then, she burst into tears.
“I’d like to start using they pronouns,” Blaise said.
Blaise’s boss didn’t know what to say. He covered for it by not saying anything.
“This means that instead of using he and him, you use they,” Blaise explained. “So it would be something like “This is Blaise Zabini, they are the manager’s assistant.”
“But there’s only one of you,” Blaise’s boss said. “Are you planning to use Polyjuice Potion to double yourself? That’s illegal, you know, in the workplace.”
“No,” Blaise said. “I’m still the same person.”
When Blaise was a young Hogwarts student, many classmates automatically assumed Blaise was female. Blaise at that time identified as male, although they identified as male primarily because nobody had presented any other option. Sometimes Blaise wondered if they were female as well; if there was some kind of way to be both. This was all when Blaise was younger, when their life still felt like something to be explored rather than something to be survived. It was easy to play hopeful games like “this candy will make me a boy and a girl!” when Blaise was younger, when there wasn’t a war.
It took the internet, first cadged off Draco’s iPhone (Draco being the first of the former Slytherin classmates to get an iPhone, naturally) and then later, in depth, on the used laptop Blaise bought off a Muggle and charmed into working, to provide context and vocabulary. It took the internet to give Blaise words like genderqueer and non-binary. It took the internet for Blaise to understand that the wizards who “changed” their genders hadn’t really changed anything; they had always been who they were the entire time. That Blaise, also, had been who they were the entire time.
It is pretty illustrative to see, via this week’s Great Homes & Destinations, what two million dollars would get you outside of major metropolitan centers. For example, this house in Missouri will make your head spin on your neck like a carousel:
Both the interior and exterior are paneled in redwood, while walls of glass throughout face woods and valley. Thirteen doors open the house to the grounds, drawing outside in. Floors are black speckled terrazzo, and ceilings are pitched throughout. Several rooms also have built-in furniture and space-age-style chrome light fixtures, all original. Most of the walls are wood-paneled, though some are exposed limestone.
Common areas include a family room with a checkered concrete floor, and an open-plan living and dining area with a built-in stone bench and a stained-glass panel. Both the bench and the stained glass were designed by Siegfried Reinhardt, an artist with work in the Vatican Museum’s permanent collection. The kitchen is paneled in white birch. Cabinets are suspended over the center island and one of the counters; they seem to be floating.
I feel like I’m floating too. Let’s get back to earth with what we can get for $475,000.
Several successful politicians ran on platforms that included “universal Pre-K” this fall. So did lots of unsuccessful politicians, for that matter. Still, the issue — getting more kids into education earlier on to give them a better shot in life –seems to be one about which people generally agree. This is Pre-K, mind you, as distinct from “preschool,” and not “daycare” or “kindergarten” either. Confused? Sure, why wouldn’t you be. The Atlantic explains.
Less than half of all 3- and 4-year-olds across the country are enrolled in any sort of early education, largely because of how pricey these programs can be. That’s a shame, advocates argue, considering the research showing the positive, long-term impact a quality early-education experience can have on a child’s life—all the more so if that child comes from a low-income family. In particular, these advocates want every child to have the opportunity to attend prekindergarten. …
In edu-speak, pre-k typically refers to a specific category of early learning that focuses on ensuring kids are prepared for kindergarten. The premise is that a child’s readiness for kindergarten can put that student significantly ahead of one who isn’t ready. This is what causes the achievement gap, and that gap only widens over time. …
Other sectors have joined the cause, too, including business leaders and big-box corporations that say pre-k is key to developing a skilled workforce and stimulating the country’s economy. Moreover, pre-k is seen as an economic investment because it’s believed to reduce the chances a kid will drop out of school, get arrested, and rely on social services, as well as significantly increase that person’s earning potential.